146. He’s Sick
YiHan quietly panicked. He thought back to how he’d been behaving for the past 2 weeks. How could he say he didn’t do all that without the slightest urge for revenge? He deliberately refused JingYuan’s marriage proposal. The reason he gave was awkward and ridiculous. He intentionally avoided JingYuan’s touch and wouldn’t go to JingYuan’s office with the man. He could handle watching JingYuan get disappointed. He told himself he was going to set JingYuan free but the sight of JingYuan’s drooped shoulders sparked off some glee deep within his mean heart. Did fYiHan not love JingYuan as much as he thought he did?
JingYuan did all of this for him. While the man lied to him, the man sacrificed a lot too. What right did he have to “revenge”? He really was that selfish Bai YiHan from his last life. Even when he’d been taught lesson after lesson and was given a brand new chance, he was still unable to change his innate nature.
“HanHan, just what is it?” JingYuan worriedly asked upon not receiving an answer from YiHan. “Can you tell me? What happened? We can resolve it together.”
YiHan absolutely could not tell JingYuan. If he spoke up, everyone would feel awkward. Was there a need for that?
YiHan sighed and pushed JingYuan back down on the bed. He tucked the older man in and gently replied, “Nothing happened. Don’t think too deep into it. You’ve been standing outside for so long that the chill has set into your bones. I’ll pour you a cup of hot water. Once you finish the glass, rest up. Don’t catch a cold.”
YiHan got out of bed to get him a mug of hot water. As JingYuan watched YiHan walk back to the bed and stand by it, holding out the cup, all JingYuan could feel was a ball of frustration get stuck in his chest. It wouldn’t burst out of his mouth nor would it settle down. It felt so uncomfortable.
The older man finished the water in the mug and laid back into his pillow. His eyes slid close. The bed dipped slightly as YiHan climbed into bed too and laid down beside him.
“Sleep,” YiHan whispered, laying a hand against JingYuan’s forehead to check his temperature. “Don’t think of all that nonsense. You have work tomorrow.”
JingYuan’s eyes remained close as his hand shot up and grabbed YiHan’s retreating hand. He pulled it to rest on his chest, right above his heart. Not a word was spoken.
When YiHan woke up on the next morning, JingYuan, who was usually up by then, was still asleep. His brows were locked together. He didn’t seem to have slept well. Their linked hands were still placed on top of JingYuan’s heart, as they were when they fell asleep last night. YiHan sighed. How could the man have slept well with a weight pressing down on his heart?
YiHan tried to pull his hand out but JingYuan’s grip tightened instead. Helpless, YiHan could only lay back down in the same position as he woke up in. Time slowly ticked past but JingYuan showed no signs of waking up any time soon. The bed was also getting rather hot. It wasn’t early morning anymore. The Mu Group office building was rather far from the old Mr Bai’s house. Even if JingYuan woke up now, he’d still arrive late at the office.
YiHan gently shook the sleeping man. “JingYuan, wake up. It’s getting late.”
YiHan shook and shook but JingYuan remained asleep. YiHan’s heart sank. He shook JingYuan with all his might and shouted, “JingYuan, wake up!”
The man merely frowned harder. He still didn’t wake up.
YiHan couldn’t hold back any longer. He forcefully tugged his hand out of JingYuan’s grip and got up, wanting to call for some help. However, the moment YiHan pulled his hand away, JingYuan’s eyes shot open. They were bloodshot. The man’s hand hurriedly began groping around until he found YiHan’s wrist. When he had YiHan’s hand in his once more, the man let out a sigh of relief.
“What time is it?” JingYuan rasped.
YiHan placed a hand against JingYuan’s forehead. “JingYuan, you’re burning up!” he gasped. “I’ll go call for the doctor now.”
YiHan was about to leave the bed when JingYuan pulled him back. “No need to make a big fuss,” JingYuan hoarsely said. “I feel fine. I’ll be okay after I take some medicine for it.” He turned around to glance at the clock. “Ah. I’m late. This place is quite far from the office.”
“No way!” YiHan shouted in anger. “How could you act so nonchalant about your own health? Your forehead is as hot as can be. How can you go to work?”
“But there’s a lot of important things I have to attend to today,” JingYuan said.
YiHan didn’t have it in his heart to pull his hand away from JingYuan’s grip again. “When do you ever not have important arrangements? You still stayed at home day after day before we came here.”
“That was to be with you,” said JingYuan with a straight face. “How can it be the same?”
“What kind of logic is that?” YiHan glared at the man with wide eyes. “You being with me is just hanging out with me. There was nothing to be done but you took a day off just because you wanted to. You even told me, ‘I’ve paid for so many workers. I don’t need to do everything myself’. Now that you’re sick, you still want to go to work? Do you not know how to prioritise?”
“Of course I know what’s important and what’s not,” JingYuan said. His face blatantly told YiHan the man thought he was throwing a tantrum again. “This is not some serious fever. How can I delay work for it?”
YiHan was shocked at how unphased the man was. His voice couldn’t help but grow louder as he asked, “So hanging out with me is worth delaying work for?”
“Of course,” JingYuan glumly replied. “You still liked hanging out with me, fooling around with me, back then. Right. Do you want to go with me to the office today?” As he said so, the man pushed himself upright with a hand against the bed.
It was only then did JingYuan realise he’d been holding YiHan’s wrist hostage the entire time. He hurriedly checked it over. He only let it go when not a single bruise or mark was found.
JingYuan was about to put his slippers on and stand up from the bed when YiHan grabbed him by the back of his shirt. A tug from YiHan was enough to send JingYuan hurling back onto the bed. The man’s head was throbbing before his fall. After the fall, his head began spinning as his vision went black.
YiHan’s two hands held on tight to JingYuan’s scalding face as he darkly said, “Since my mood is so important to you, I’ll tell you right now that I’m not happy. I want you to stay at home with me.”
The spots in JingYuan’s eyes were dispersing as his brains slowly processed through YiHan’s words. Once the words clicked in his mind, his headache suddenly didn’t feel as bad as he thought.
“Okay,” JingYuan said, eyes gently gazing at YiHan. “I’ll stay home with you.”
The older man’s eyes were teary and hazy due to his fever. The sight made YiHan’s heart clench in agony. He couldn’t help but dip his head down, wanting to kiss the other. However, just as their lips were about to meet, he stopped. All of a sudden, an awkward silence dominated the room.
JingYuan smiled and poked YiHan, softly pushing the younger man away. “Don’t get so close to me. You might get sick too.”
YiHan’s hands clenched at the blanket. Then, he stood up and went downstairs to call for the family doctor using the house phone. He then headed back upstairs to help JingYuan lower his temperature via wet cloths. He was bustling to and fro until Dr Chen’s arrival. The doctor came and gave JingYuan some fever medication. He also hooked JingYuan up to an IV saline infusion. Perhaps the pain-relieving properties of the drug had sedative effects. The man also didn’t sleep well the night before. Soon after Dr Chen’s visit, JingYuan fell into a deep sleep once again.
YiHan dazedly stared at the saline solution in the IV drip before his eyes slowly turned to JingYuan’s face. A few moments later, he stepped forward and tucked the man in. He then left the room and headed downstairs.
Ma Bai spotted YiHan as he descended down the stairs. “How is JingYuan doing?” she worriedly asked.
“He only caught a cold,” YiHan replied. “It should be alright. He’s already asleep.”
“JingYuan’s body has always been a strong one, why did he fall sick out of the blue?” she sighed. “He was doing fine yesterday.”
YiHan pursed his lips and paused for a second before replying, “Perhaps after his shower last night, he got sick while enjoying the breeze.”
“Why was that child so careless?” Ma sighed again. “You too. Why didn’t you remind him? HanHan, love is a two-way street. It can’t just be him being concerned for you, him taking care of you. You have to care for him and worry for him too. No matter how strong one is to the outside world, he’ll always need a lover’s care.”
YiHan kept silent and nodded.
“HanHan’s an adult now,” the old Mr Bai said. “I’m sure he understands these concepts. There’s no need to go on about it. Those who should be heading back, go. HanHan will be staying to take care of JingYuan. Even if you guys stay here, you can’t help with anything.”
Once the rest of YiHan’s family had left the manor, the old Mr Bai patted the seat beside him and called out with a benevolent smile, “HanHan, come and sit beside Grandpa.”
The old Mr Bai then waited until YiHan sat down before asking him with a smile, eyes glancing up the stairs, “HanHan, tell me. Are you and JingYuan fighting?”
YiHan was stunned. “No,” he hurriedly said. “Why do you think that?”
“Your grandfather has been through all this before,” the old Mr Bai chuckled. “Ever since your arrival yesterday, I’ve been observing the couples in this family. Your brother and sister are doing alright with their partners, but you and JingYuan… Hm, how shall I say this? You look fine on the surface but you two…” He then pointed at his own eyes and laughed, “Your eyes never met even once. JingYuan was acting normal but I could see he wasn’t in a great mood. And then there’s you, my dearest little one. You weren’t happy either. I knew you two must’ve argued. Back when your grandmother was around, we acted the same way too. When everything was going fine, we were as sweet as honey to each other. When we’re angry, dark clouds would loom over our heads. I’m very familiar with such a situation.”
“Is it that,” YiHan stiffly asked, “obvious?”
The old Mr Bai gave another chuckle and patted YiHan on the hand. “Of course it’s obvious. You might look like a smart kid but you’re actually quite straightforward and frank. You don’t know how to act at all. Your parents are careless people. I won’t even speak of your brother. He’s just a walking plank of wood. He’s lucky Jiang Hua’s eyes weren’t that good. It’s the only reason he could get a boyfriend. Your sister’s an observant girl but her heart is now always hanging onto Chen TianYang. The only reason they didn’t notice was that each one of them was foolishly oblivious. Your grandfather might be getting on in age but my eyes are still fine. I could instantly tell you two were upset with each other. Right, little one?”
YiHan bit his lip and said nothing.
The old Mr Bai tilted his head as he looked at YiHan. “A couple can fight but they cannot wage a cold war. This would hurt your love and your bodies. Look at JingYuan. As your mother said, his health had always been the best. Why did he get sick so easily?”
The hands laying on YiHan’s knees balled up into fists.
“There’s a saying among traditional Chinese medicine practitioners,” the old Mr Bai continued. “The fire in one’s heart is the source of all illnesses. He’s feeling down on the inside. The pressure building up in his heart had been whirling in him. Just one little prod is enough to make him crumble. Last night’s ‘cold’ was that tiny push. JingYuan’s an adult. His parents passed away early. He’s much more mature than most kids. How could he not know to take care of himself? If not for his preoccupied mind, why would he run out and enjoy the breeze just after a shower? HanHan, no matter what arguments happen between you two, you can’t ignore your bodies. He’s sick now yet you’re the one who hurts most on the inside. Yes?”
The old Mr Bai paused and observed the emotions on YiHan’s face before saying, “Back when your grandmother was around, I’d be the one apologising first every time we fought. Think. How could someone be forever in the wrong? This is a compromise between a couple. Someone must take a step back and apologise before your happy lives can continue on. Your grandmother had an explosive and impulsive temper. She was also thin-skinned. I love her so what’s wrong with compromising a little? She knew I backed down as a compromise. Every time I did so, she’d treat me even better than before. Just as your mother said, love is a two-way street. As a man, isn’t it normal to compromise so your partner won’t be upset? It’s the same logic. HanHan, as you were growing up, it’d been JingYuan doting on you, loving you, letting you win. Now that you’re an adult, what’s wrong with backing down for once?”
Pain-relieving properties…sedative effects: The actual translation here is “perhaps there are sedative components to the drug”. However, that’s largely untrue for drugs used for fevers. The drowsiness is due to the pain relief properties (analgesic). Drugs prescribed for fever are rarely classified as “sedatives”.