A coughing fit resonated in the room, soon followed by a deadly silence, so heavy it could crush you under its weight. Unpenetrable, thick, morbid.
But things just get as bad as you let them get, right?
"Appa...? When is daddy going to come back home with us?" innocently asked a small girl, sitting on her father's lap next to a metal bed.
The chair they were using was uncomfortable and it broke the older male's back to sit for hours in it, but he didn't care. At all.
The only thing he wanted was to be close to the love of his life for the last minutes of the time they could spend together on this goddamn planet. He simply wanted to be with him as long as possible.
"I don't know, Minyoung... When he'll feel better, mhh?" he whispered in the young girl's ear, kissing her temple lightly. It was such an awful thing to lie to an innocent child, so horrendous that it made tears well up in his glassy eyes.
Jongwoon hadn't gone home in three days in order to stay here, in this room cursed with Death's wish. And so he hadn't gotten much sleep, food or even a shower since then.
However he didn't mind. He couldn't care less about his small but growing beard or about his grumbling stomach. He couldn't care about anything but the man laying in bed.
The man squeezed their daughter in his hold, pressing her to his chest as he looked at his husband with love in his eyes, but also with infinite pain.
If before the silly thought of how it'd feel to had his heart ripped out of his chest had crossed his mind, now he knew it was unbearably painful. It was impossible for a human being to stand that for all his life.
"Kyuhyun..." he let out, his usually deep voice coming out in a high pitched squeak.
Minyoung looked up at the eldest's face only to see a tear roll down his cheek. She didn't speak up, though, for even if she was young, she understood a bit that when people are sick, it is a sad thing.
After all, when her best friend was sick and that she had no one to play with at school, she felt very alone and not totally happy, too.
She stood up and went to her daddy's bed, her head barely reaching the correct height to be able to see the limp form laying on the bed. "I believe you'll be fine, daddy," she afirmed, nodding derterminingly.
Kyuhyun was superman to his daughter and, even if she didn't exactly know what a cancer was, she was a hundred percent sure it wasn't kryptonite. And only kryptonite can come to superman's end, right?
The hospitalized man coudn't help a smile from flickering onto his tired features. Such a miracle was standing right next to him, waiting for a word, a caress or a kiss...
But he wouldn't even be able to see Minyoung grow and be there for her when she'd need him. She'd get taller, transform into a woman, and all this with only a faint memory of Kyuhyun.
"Youngie... Keep daddy in your heart... Forever, please," he managed to say, then needing to stop, his breath already short after just a few words. He glanced at his pride, using much energy to flex his muscles.
The little girl nodded her head with vigor, smiling brightly as she looked at Kyuhyun, then Jongwoon, doing this a few times. "I pinky promise," she said, slipping her tiny hand between the bed's metal bars to get to the sick man's, grabbing his little finger.
Meanwhile, the older male had given up on trying to hold back his tears and was letting them stream down his cheeks freely, not even a paper tissue in hand to wipe them away. He didn't want to wipe them away, to start with, for they proved everything was real; Kyuhyun, his love for him, their relationship, their daughter, their life together.
"Minyoung-ah~~~!" suddenly made a woman's voice near the door, her tone fakely joyful.
The little girl spun around almost at lightning's speed, and her eyes widened at the sight of her aunt. "Ahra auntie!" she exclaimed, a certain twinkle in her eyes.
That was the wonderful thing with children of her age; a small thing and their attention was fully turned to something else. In that case, it was a good thing.
Yet, Jongwoon cursed at himself for asking such a thing of Kyuhyun's sister. Their daughter had the right to be here too, as well as both their families, yet he had asked for the man's last minutes, to be with him then.
He heard something about getting ice cream, candy and such lame promises that were able to create an illusion of happiness for a kid... Then the next thing the older man knew was that the door had closed again.
And that he was now alone with his eternal love.
"Kyuhyun," he practically sobbed, standing on his wobbly legs and taking the two steps separating him from his husband.
"Shhh..." hushed the younger, his eyes searching through the other's tears for a contact. "Come lay... Here instead," he suggested, a small smile flashing across his features.
Oh, Jongwoon didn't need to be told twice.
He lowered the metal bars and got on the bed, laying next to Kyuhyun. He passed an arm over the taller's waist softly, making sure not to hurt him.
Soon, a weak hand started to pat the older Korean's dark locks as he sobbed against the youngest's hospital blouse.
He slightly felt like crying even more at that moment, because it wasn't Kyuhyun's smell invading his nostrils, it was the hospital's sickening smell. It smelled too clean, so not human-like...
He wanted the smell of his husband's cologne. The smell of his shampoo. His smell.
Was it too much to ask!?
"Kyu... Kyu..!" he mumbled incoherently, looking up at said man's beautiful, yet so fragile-looking face.
"Calm down... You'll be perfect... Perfectly fine," he rasped out, coughing lightly afterwards. He wanted Jongwoon to calm down, breathe and not be sad for him.
If the older male was happy, then Kyuhyun also would be in whatever comes after life.
"I lo-love you...! I love you!" gasped out the eldest, unable to stop his tears, unable to stop the feelings slaughtering his heart, unable to stop the stress from making him feel like he was going to throw up.
He was giving him that look. He was giving it to him! He knew he was going to give in. He knew. They knew.
"I love you too," whispered the sick man, pressing a light kiss on the forehead of his everlasting lover. "Forever..." he let out, his voice giving in at the end of the word.
How could he be calm at such a time? Was it because he didn't have the strength to freak out?
"Shhh..." hushed the younger once again, lightly pressing his fingertips to the nape of the other's neck. "Let me do one... Last thing for you..." he said. He probably meant to pronounce the word as a question, but he failed to put the right intonation in his voice because of his extreme exhaustion.
And so Jongwoon nodded, just to make sure, as tears kept running down his cheeks.
"I can be your hero, baby..."
Oh no. Not this song. Not this song that Kyuhyung sang him so many times before.
It brought back so many memories; on the beach, in the park, during a shower, simply laying together.
"I can kiss away the pain..."
How could he when he was the one in pain? The one suffering, tied to so many annoying machines.
One for his heartbeat, another for his IV, another to calculate the amount of oxygen in his blood...
"I will stand by you forever..."
Forever? Of course they're forever.
They promised until death parts them some years ago, but Jongwoon knew that his lover was too possessive to let him go. Ever.
"You can take my breath away..."
The older male continued to cry silently in the ill man's chest, listening to his still magnificent voice resonating in the room.
The only other sound ruining that beauty was the incessant beeping of the heart beat machine.
Beep. Beep. Beep.
"Let me be... Your hero..." finally sang Kyuhyun, his breath becoming shaky while he finished this sentence.
It scared Jongwoon out of his skin, because not only had his dear husband became breathless because of this chorus, but the steady beeping skipped a beat.
"Kyuhyun..?" he wondered, his tone as worried as his face let it show.
Beep... Beep...... Beep.
The young Korean smiled brightly, his eyes mirroring the same light, the same emotion; love. "I adore you, you know this?" he mouthed, because his voice barely came through his lips.
Beep........ Beep.................... Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee--