Summary: Hwoarang awakes in a hospital with mild amnesia and a Major looking to court martial him for something he can't remember.
Feedback: Comments are welcome; constructive or positive. Flames are nice too because they make for something to laugh at and keep my feet toasty.
Special Thanks: To my beta Kat for betaing everything I send her, and listening to me talk her ear off about this thing.
Disclaimer: The characters found here *do not* belong to me. The story itself *does* belong to me. I am making no profit from this endeavour.
Notes: I really like Yon. I don't know where she came from, but she just seems like the type of person I'd want on my side if I were in Hwoarang's situation. (Although a kind face amid screaming authority figures would appeal to anyone ^_^)
I’ve had a bit of difficulty/fun with the military ranks and titles I use here. At the end of T4 using Hwoarang’s ending, the South Korean officer who addresses Hwoarang calls him Sergeant. I’ve done a bit of digging at wikipedia and know that South Korea has its own ranks that can be compared to American ranks. To keep things simple (and since T4 used the American title of Sergeant) I’ve kept everything with American terms. Now, I know Hwoarang is a Sergeant, so I’ve had to take a little bit of a stab at figuring out what his superiors would be called. I consulted with a lost_catboy who knows his ranks and he helped sort out the roles of the ranks and the most plausible people who would deal with Sergeants and whatnot.
"Angel/Devil's words inside Hwoarang/Jin's head"
Please see the Index for more details and chapter links.
Hwoarang wasn't the type to sleep in, languidly waking up with no real desire to get out of bed. He usually woke up and immediately got up, full of energy. It was just the way his mind worked. However, something was different when he opened his eyes to stare at the plain, white ceiling of a hospital. He didn't have the drive to do anything.
'What the hell am I doing here?' he thought to himself. Everything before opening his eyes was so fuzzy. He remembered the woman in white… what was her name? He thought on her for a moment that she'd wanted something from him. Something important… he brought his hand up to poke at the bandages that were partially obscuring his vision but the action sent a stab of pain through his ribs and he wrapped the arm around his chest instead. He knew that pain; broken ribs. He hated having broken ribs; they always took so long to heal.
Gritting his teeth he reached up to his face, ignoring the pain in his chest and began to feel the extent of the bandages that were wrapped around his head. Everything felt so fuzzy, but he soon discovered it was because of the amount of gauze that was wrapped around the entire top of his head. His nose was bandaged up too, but he could deal with a broken nose. "What happened?" his voice felt scratchy, parched. He tried to swallow, but the action was difficult.
"Oh!" a woman's voice said from just beyond his vision. "That's not possible!" she said, rushing out from behind a curtain to Hwoarang's side. She looked down at him, an intense look in her eyes and he wondered what her problem was.
"Water…" he said and she seemed to snap out of her shock.
"Doctor! Get the doctor, he's awake!" she rushed away. "And get some water!"
More nurses appeared as well as a couple of doctors who seemed very interested in the fact that he was conscious, although nobody would answer his questions. Of course, it wasn't until he was handed a glass of water and was able to drink that his voice returned to him and he asked aloud what the hell the big deal was. "What happened?" he demanded, turning to the doctor beside him who was gingerly poking at his head. "What's the big deal, anyways? It was just a fight, right?"
She started when he spoke to her, but a genuine smile warmed her features and she nodded. "It was something like that." She seemed more empathetic than the nurses who kept an air of professionalism, which was a relief to Hwoarang because at that moment the last thing he needed was some hard-ass telling him he wouldn't walk ever again. He looked at her nametag so he'd remember who to ask for when he needed painkillers later; Yon. He committed the name to memory and looked up to her for answers. She placed a hand on his forehead. "It was a fight, but it went too far. You're lucky that you woke up at all."
Hwoarang didn't like the vague answer and tried to remember what had happened on his own. Who'd he fought with? There weren't that many that he didn't get along with in his barracks, let alone anybody who could make him work up a sweat in a fight. He furrowed his brow; why couldn't he remember? Yon looked as if she was about to say something but one of the doctors called her away and she winked at him and mouthed the word 'later' before drawing away from him to speak with her colleagues.
Hwoarang raised his head from the pillow and looked at the gathering of people in white coats congregated at the end of his bed. It was the stupidest thing he'd ever seen. Nobody needed so many nurses and doctors unless… unless they were really fucked up. He felt his stomach tighten and it was only a kind look from Yon that made him think it might not be so bad.
Hwoarang hated hospitals. Whenever he found himself inside of one it usually meant he wouldn't be able to move for a bit, and that was the one thing he hated more than losing. He felt so weak just lying around; it pissed him off. The answers he was getting from the doctors pissed him off too.
"Just tell me what the fuck is wrong with me, Doc. I can take it!"
"You'll live, and make a full recovery but it will be very painful for you should consider yourself lucky for that much," the stuffy, older woman said, pulling her glasses up so that she could look at the chart in her hands. Yon had disappeared with some of the nurses to God-knew where and he was stuck with this old woman. "Any other man in your position would probably be a vegetable by now, but you appear to have merely woken from a restful sleep and all the swelling in your brain has gone down. In all my years I've never seen a man wake up from such a severe cerebral contusion in a little under two weeks and still retain all his motor skills. Aside from the broken ribs and other damages it's almost as if-"
"What the fuck happened? That's great that I'm some fucking miracle for you, but what happened? Who ganged up on me? I hate cowards like that, when I get outta here…"
"I'm afraid I can't tell you that, Hwoarang," the doctor said, taking on a sympathetic look. "I don't have the authorization to release that information-"
"What the fuck are you talking about?" Hwoarang cut her off. "Authorization to tell me who I've gotta give a little payback to? I can't even remember how I got here!"
"I suspect that you may have a case of amnesia, which is completely understandable in your situation," she said, marking something down on the board. "We'll test you for that and make a report to your commanding officer, it might help with the court martial."
"WHAT?" Hwoarang tried to sit up, but the pain made him quickly rethink his actions. He lied back down and glared at the doctor. "Wanna tell me how I got THAT?"
"I'm afraid I can't tell you," Dr. Lee said again, the sterile look back on her face and she quickly changed the subject. "We'll need to send you for a few tests to see just how much you've recovered. Your ribs are still in pretty bad shape so I don't think I need to tell you not to move."
"Heh," Hwoarang grunted and the doctor left him. He hated being cooped up, but it would help if they were going to be lax in their security because they didn't think he could move. He listened to the doctor's retreating footsteps, waiting until the woman was out of earshot before steeling his resolve and trying to sit up.
The pain surged across his chest and he gasped, but didn't give up. The burning that coursed down his arms could be ignored and he pushed against the bed until he was sitting upright. He breathed deeply, each inhalation causing the pain in his chest to intensify which only made him breathe even deeper. "Oh God, this sucks…"
A strong hand fell to his shoulder and Hwoarang cried out in pain, rolling his shoulder to try and toss the hand from him and immediately regretted the action as pain lanced through his ribs and he doubled over. "The fuck?!"
"I heard you're feigning amnesia, soldier," a gravelly voice chuckled beside him and the man bent down to get into Hwoarang's line of vision. "Don't think that I buy it for a second, you damn bastard!" he pushed Hwoarang with enough force to make him bounce as he fell onto his back. He let out an involuntary gasp of pain which made the man smile.
"What's your problem, uh," Hwoarang looked at the man's jacket, "Kang?" He tried to push himself up again, but the man was leaning over him and restricting his movement.
His eyes narrowed, "Nice, very nice. Trying to pretend you don't remember me. I might have bought it too, if Chin hadn't told me about your insubordination. Let me tell you, 'Rang!" he poked Hwoarang sharply, his finger finding each broken rib and made the redhead gasp. "If it had been ME in his place, you wouldn't be here now!"
Hwoarang winced; this was fun. "Listen, dickhead. I'm glad you're pissed, but until I know what's going on I can't share in the fun. Why don't you tell me what's going oh, eh?"
Kang's face went rigid and he darkened a few shades of red. "Call me Major, Sergeant," he bit the title out through clenched teeth. "Insulting a superior officer is a punishable offense. I hope I didn't hear what I thought I just heard!"
Hwoarang grinned and relaxed back into the bed. He didn't know who this guy was, but he was having fun!
The man opened his mouth to say something more, but closed it, a malicious look appearing in his eyes. "You can pretend all you want, but I don't give a flying SHIT if you have amnesia or not! You will be punished!" he pulled back and straightened his coat, glaring at the redhead before turning on his heel and leaving the room.
Hwoarang stared after him, more puzzled than ever. "Who was that fucker?" He didn't have a very good feeling about whatever would come. He began to wish that he was faking it, just so he could have one-up on everyone else. As it was, he couldn't move and nobody was telling him anything.
He closed his eyes. Everything ached and he just wanted to sleep, but he couldn't. A nurse came in to check on him, wordlessly marking something on his chart and then replacing his IV drip with a new one. He didn't really want a conversation, but her sterile way of taking care of him didn't make him feel warm and fuzzy either. Annoyed, he turned his head and closed his eyes, wishing he could speak with Yon again and get some answers.
He started a while later when a gentle hand came to rest on his shoulder and he looked up to see Yon standing above him. "Damn, I'm losing my edge…" he mumbled. If he'd been feeling better he would have heard her approach. The sun was hanging low and casting warm, orange colours through the window and across the bed.
"Hwoarang… are you alright?" her tone was stern but caring, almost motherly, which was funny because she couldn't have been that much older than him.
"Lady, I gotta get outta here," he said, trying to push himself up from the mattress but she put a hand against his chest and gently held him down.
"You shouldn't be moving, Hwoarang," she said, straightening out the bed sheets and tucking him in before grabbing his chart from the end of the bed to have a look at the information there. "Everyone is talking about it. It's like a miracle that you're… well, look at you!" she seemed to glow with excitement. Hwoarang looked at her strangely, something was so familiar about her then but he couldn't put a finger on it. She smiled and put the chart back before drawing closer to him.
"Alright, first, I don't know what happened so I can't really appreciate this miracle you're telling me about. Second, I heard I'm gonna be court-martialed for something I don't remember doing, which kinda sucks so I gotta get outta here. Third, that fucker doesn't know how to treat a guy with broken ribs. He was really pissed. Sure, I had a blast, but if he's gonna get up in my grill all the time…"
Yon's smile dropped and she put a finger to her lips, walking towards the door to see if anybody else was nearby. The nurse had been there earlier and Hwoarang figured that, judging by how often he'd seen her that day, she wouldn't be around until the same time the next day. She was probably afraid of Kang, just like Yon seemed to be.
She returned and pulled a chair close to his bedside, sitting on the edge and leaning close to whisper. "Everyone is being very quiet about it, but I heard from another patient here that you refused your orders on your last mission. He was bragging about how he had to defend himself against you and… well, in my opinion he went too far. His injuries were serious, but… kicking you in the head was not necessary!" She furrowed her brow in an annoyed expression, "I don't think Major Kang cares if you're still injured. He was on the phone to Dr. Lee the moment he heard you were awake. He's the one pushing for the court martial. It's all turning into such a mess, when you should be left alone to recover… but," she continued, "forgetting the trial for a moment, I am glad that you're awake."
"Yeah, so am I…" Hwoarang trailed off, trying to remember, but that area of his memories was grey and he couldn't focus.
"You should rest," Yon said. "You've made such an impressive recovery, it should only be a matter of time before you can remember everything, although I'm not sure if you'd want to…" she trailed off. "I'm sorry, forget I said anything. Please just rest. I'll see that your dosage of painkillers is increased."
Hwoarang mumbled, "Sounds good." He'd have to regain his strength before he could go AWOL again. There was no way he'd stay for his court martial, especially if he couldn't remember what had happened. It was as if there was a big, black cloud in his mind hovering over the whole event and blocking it from him. He grunted and closed his eyes; it hurt to think.
He listened to Yon return the chair to it's original position and leave the room. He waited for her to return but drifted to sleep before he could get his painkillers.
~End Chapter Five~
| Index | Chapter Six |