Hey guys! Sorry for the late update. I meant to get this up earlier but the day got away from me. Anyway here is the conclusion to the Patient and I will probably do an epilogue to finish up the last little bit of details. Also, I am planning on starting a new playful kiss fic and a new multi-chapter Ga Eul and Yi Jeong story so be on the lookout for both of those.
I hope you enjoy the rest of The Patient. It was a little drama-fun fic I had throwing around in my head to wrap up Soo Pyo's character but I am really excited to dive back into another full length story idea I have planned. Anyway, enjoy and as always please let me know what you think! I appreciate every review and even the silent readers mean a lot to me. They keep me motivated and encouraged to keep writing. So really THANK YOU!
Yi Jeong moved slowly into the room and Gong Soo Pyo raised his bed to meet his gaze. They stared at each other intently. Aware the only thing they had in common was Ga Eul which automatically put them at odds.
"So, I guess you are back in Ga Eul's life again." Soo Pyo said with a touch of snark. "Or does your protective vibe and claiming of her only come out around me?"
"Don't act like you don't know about my relationship with her." Yi Jeong warned him carefully. "Ga Eul has belonged to me from the moment I met her. I already made that clear to you. I was in Sweden for personal reasons but my claim on her never changed."
"No, apparently not," Soo Pyo sighed. " I held out hope though since she refused to talk about you. Whenever I asked, Ga Eul would just say it was her business."
Yi Jeong absorbed this with an internal wince. He didn't like the idea of Ga Eul not telling people about him. Especially other men. But he couldn't blame her for it since he never specifically told her how he felt and spent the majority of their time together simultaneously pushing her away and yet clinging to her like a madman. Her confusion over his feelings were murky enough for her to understand. Let alone trying to explain it to people.
"But from the look on your face yesterday, I would say things haven't changed." Soo Pyo continued with a smirk. "You don't want her but you don't want anyone else to have her either."
"I want her," Yi Jeong said quietly. "And I've had her."
His face fell for a moment but then he took a deep breath and nodded. "Well, congratulations. You got through her wall."
Disgust filled Yi Jeong's throat at his tone of lust and resentment. "You have not changed, Soo Pyo... Ga Eul is not a challenge."
"To playboys like us she is." Soo Pyo chuckled. "Don't act so high and mighty So Yi Jeong. You can't tell me that you weren't first attracted to Chu Ga Eul simply because she was the first girl who didn't want you. She said no and what kind of Casanova would you be if you let her say no to you?"
Yi Jeong fought against rage because in a way, he knew Soo Pyo was right. He had been intrigued by Ga Eul when she didn't automatically flush when he smiled at her or answer his questions because he flirted with her that night at his studio. She had simply told him off for trying. But he had never seen Ga Eul as a challenge simply because she wouldn't automatically jump into his bed.
He had seen her as a challenge because from the moment they met, they understood each other. She had seen his pain and the way he used sex and partying to cover it up. She had seen the love of his art and not the money or status from it. And despite all his flaws, she loved him anyway. She pushed him to be better for him, not her.
And with a shocking jolt, he realized he had seen Ga Eul too. From the beginning, he had seen the way she carried the burden of her family. Working herself to death to help provide for them and even the way she carried Geum Jan Di. Pushing her to love Jun Pyo and not to be so proud. Being everything to all the people around her but never leaving anything for herself. But Yi Jeong had put a stop to that… Starting the night he intervened to show Soo Pyo he couldn't break her.
After they had departed that night, Yi Jeong had pushed her to start being selfish. To start taking care of herself and not allow those in her life to take advantage. With deep relief, he realized there was a lot he had to apologize for when it came to Ga Eul but this was not one of them.
"No," Yi Jeong answered truthfully. "She was never just a challenge for me. Which is why she is at home in my bed, Soo Pyo. Not yours."
The man clenched his jaw. "Well, why don't you just point out how she is probably naked in it to finish me off."
"Don't tempt me," he growled. "And talk about her like that again and I will make your death as painful as possible."
Soo Pyo closed his eyes. "No. Ga Eul didn't deserve that. I'm sorry."
Yi Jeong ignored his apology and studied him angrily. "What are your feelings for Chu Ga Eul? Did you call her simply because you knew she would take care of you?"
"In the beginning, yes." Soo Pyo admitted with a sigh. "I got sick so unexpectedly and so quickly. My parents pay the hospital bills but they don't want the details. It's an inconvenience to come here and pretend to care when they have work and parties to attend."
"Is this supposed to stir sympathy?"
"No." Soo Pyo laughed without any trace of real humor. "I'm sure you have your own parental horror stories. But," he took a deep breath and his expression faded into pain. "At least your friends would have stayed by your side. Mine…" he trailed off and then just shrugged. "Although, I doubt I would cared if one of them fell ill so I guess I can't blame them."
"And you knew Ga Eul wouldn't be able to ignore you." Yi Jeong bit out. "You knew she wouldn't be able to resist attending to your every need. No matter how much it wore her out."
"I'm not proud of it," Soo Pyo snapped defensively. "I admit that I took advantage of Ga Eul in our relationship. I didn't care about her. Not really. But even I could tell she was a good person who cared about people. And I needed someone."
"Then get your own woman." Yi Jeong snarled. "Don't abuse mine. Don't wear her out to the point of exhaustion and don't fucking manipulate her to save your life."
"What are you talking about?"
"Testing herself to become a match."
The color faded from Soo Pyo's face. "Ga Eul tested herself to be a match?"
Yi Jeong narrowed his eyes. "Are you really going to sit there and tell me you didn't know? Act like you didn't put her up to it?"
"No," Soo Pyo yelled. "And even if she was a match, I wouldn't have let her. For fuck's sake, So Yi Jeong. Do you honestly believe I would have let Ga Eul kill herself over me?"
"Ga Eul is a match. She asked me to let her donate."
"No." Soo Pyo shook his head. "No. I can wait for someone else. Ga Eul… Damn it!" He covered his face. "I told her not to do this."
For some odd reason, Yi Jeong believed him. He was genuinely upset about the idea of Ga Eul risking herself to help him out and some of his earlier fury faded. Soo Pyo may be a jerk but apparently even he was not willing to hurt Ga Eul to this extent.
"I love her too," Soo Pyo finally mumbled through his fingers. "Maybe not the way you do but…" He looked over at Yi Jeong, his expression a mixture of pain and defeat. "When I first called it her it was because I wanted someone to take care of me. And Ga Eul came. She came without hesitation. She took over all this for me."
Soo Pyo nodded. "She asked questions and wouldn't stop until they gave us an answer. She demanded the doctors do tests in order to get to the bottom of the illness instead of constantly telling me it was nothing. It would pass." He shrugged. "I didn't even question them but Ga Eul did. She made them take it seriously." He smiled weakly. "She is the reason they even discovered I needed a rare blood transfusion before it was too late."
Yi Jeong rubbed his eyes. "Sounds like Ga Eul."
"Yeah. And she told me she would get tested but then," Soo Pyo looked down at his hands. "Well, I realized I couldn't let her. Somewhere in all this, she had become… Important." He raised his head, his eyes blazing firmly. "I fell in love with her, So Yi Jeong. And I won't apologize for it."
Yi Jeong felt his muscles tense at the declaration. It was obvious he meant it and if Ga Eul had not spent all of last night assuring him the person she loved was him, he probably would have snapped with jealous fury.
"So do I," Yi Jeong said coldly. "And I don't intend to give her up."
"No. Besides, Ga Eul doesn't love me." Soo Pyo brushed at his blanket. "It was always you. Even when we were dating, I knew her heart was already claimed."
"Why did you tell her not to get tested?" Yi Jeong demanded and Soo Pyo sighed. "When she asked the doctors, they warned her of the danger. Normally this is not a big deal, they would just hook us up and do a blood exchange. But Ga Eul is… weak."
Yi Jeong straightened in alarm. "What do you mean weak?"
"Her body is exhausted." Soo Pyo continued reluctantly. "She is anemic and her immunity is down. They were worried she might get sick or collapse from blood loss. So, I told her no."
Worry filled him at how badly Ga Eul let herself go and Yi Jeong hated himself for not being here to stop it. His friends were attentive but they didn't know Ga Eul the way he did. They never would have noticed the tremors in her hands or the dark circles under her eyes until it was too late.
In a flash of horror, Yi Jeong realized if he had not come home for this random visit, Ga Eul would have gone through with her intention to give blood to Soo Pyo. Who knows what might have happened if she had?
"I said no, So Yi Jeong." Soo Pyo tried to explain but Yi Jeong shook his head furiously cutting him off.
"Don't act like this is not your fault. You knew Ga Eul was becoming ill and you still used her desire to help people to keep her by your side. You could have stopped this at any point and you didn't. You tell me you love her but you don't. Otherwise, you never would have allowed her to be in danger. You're still the selfish bastard you've always been, Gong Soo Pyo. And now my woman is hurt because of it."
Yi Jeong pushed himself off the wall and leveled a hard gaze at him. "Stay the fuck away from Ga Eul. I will save your life because she asked me too. But if you ever come near her again, I will make sure it is the last thing you ever do."
Soo Pyo's face grew red but he only nodded. "Fine. Just give me my life back first."
Yi Jeong left without another word and only his promise to Ga Eul kept him from just leaving both the hospital and Soo Pyo in the dust. He quickly left a message with the doctors to expand their search for a new match. All expenses would be provided by him and all contact was to be changed from Chu Ga Eul to him. He didn't want her touched anymore by this nor did he want Soo Pyo still having any kind of hold on her.
He frantically drove back to the studio and called Ji Hoo. "I need a favor."
"I need you to examine Ga Eul."
"What?" Alarm ripped through Ji Hoo's voice. "Why?"
Yi Jeong told him what Soo Pyo had told him at the hospital. "Just look at her and make sure rest is really all she needs… Please, Ji Hoo."
"I will be right there."
He slammed to a stop at the studio and ran inside. Ga Eul was still sleeping and some of his panic eased. He watched her chest rise and fall in steady breaths. Her face was pale and he leaned down to brush her cheek. Her eyes fluttered open at the touch and she smiled sleepily. "Yi Jeong?"
He nodded and his thumb swept over her lip. "Yeah Ga Eul, it's me."
"I thought it was a dream." She said almost weepily. "I was afraid to wake up."
"No." He said quietly. "I'm here."
She leaned forward and kissed him lightly. He cupped her face and sighed into her mouth. Yi Jeong kissed her deeply until she rolled trying to tug him over her. "Come to me."
"I will." Yi Jeong promised. "I am going to crawl into bed with you soon and not emerge for days."
She smiled but the anxious expression on his face made her frown. "What's wrong?"
"I want Ji Hoo to look at you." Yi Jeong told her sternly and she blinked in confusion. "Why? I'm fine."
"Please Ga Eul." He kissed her lightly. "I need to make sure."
"All-right. Can you help me get dressed?"
Knowing her muscles were probably sore from the extra hours of being on her feet, he went to his closet. Not wanting to wrestle her back into her jeans and large sweater, he grabbed a pair of his sweats and a long t-shirt to cover her.
She rose slowly and he gently tugged the shirt over her head. His hands rubbing circles over her hips. "You don't feel well… Do you?"
Ga Eul shook her head, tears building in her eyes. "I'm so tired and my whole body aches." She buried her face into his chest.
Yi Jeong closed his eyes and gathered her close. "It's okay, Ga Eul. I am going to take care of it."
"I went to the hospital." He told her. "I am in charge of Soo Pyo's care now. I changed his emergency contact from you to me. I will find him a new donor and then we will be done."
Ga Eul gave a loud cry of relief and collapsed into him. "Thank you."
Hearing a knock, he brushed her damp cheeks. "That's Ji Hoo. Let him look at you."
With a sniffle, she nodded and wiped her eyes. His friend walked into the bedroom and talking quietly to soothe her nerves, Ji Hoo gently examined her. After he was finished, he kissed her forehead with a muted apology for not being there sooner which she only brushed off. Telling him not to be ridiculous. He had always been there for her.
This only made Ji Hoo feel worse and he tucked her back into bed before leading Yi Jeong out to the main room. "She is weak. I will send her blood to the clinic to rule out anything more serious but from what I can tell…" Ji Hoo stopped to give him a solemn look. "You're not going to like this."
"I don't like any of this." Yi Jeong spat out angrily. "So just tell me."
"Ga Eul is worn out but she is also slightly malnourished."
Yi Jeong stumbled and he had to grip the table behind him. "What?"
"She is overworked but she hasn't been getting the nutrients she needs." Ji Hoo told him guilty. "Not only could she not afford a coat but it appears there have been a few days where she went without food."
"Ga Eul—" He turned and covered his face, sinking to his haunches.
"I am sorry, Yi Jeong." Ji Hoo said in an unsteady voice. "I don't know how we let this happen. Ga Eul was our responsibility."
"No." Yi Jeong snapped over his shoulder. "She was mine."
Ji Hoo shook his head. "You went to Sweden to get better for her."
Yi Jeong just sat in stony silence and Ji Hoo recognized that talking about this right now was not helping.
"The good news," Ji Hoo continued with relief. "This is all fixable. She needs to take some time off and rest. Hydrate and eat. Sleep. Her body will recover. And because she is young and otherwise in good health, she should bounce back fairly quickly."
Yi Jeong nodded. "Thanks."
Ji Hoo clasped him on the shoulder and quietly left. Which he was grateful for. While he knew his friends cared and were concerned for Ga Eul, he needed some alone time with her right now.
After spending some time in the bathroom cleaning up, Ga Eul finally emerged from the bedroom. She was holding up his sweats so she could walk without tripping and gave him a mock glare. "You're too tall."
His lips twitched slightly, enjoying seeing her in his clothes. "They look good on you."
She scowled and lifted her leg. "They are huge. If I were to let go they would slide right off me."
He cocked an eyebrow and she saw the mischievous twinkle in his eye. "I am perfectly fine with this option."
She huffed in amusement and made her way beside him. "What are you doing?"
"Making you some tea. Then I will cook breakfast."
"Don't even think about it." Yi Jeong gave her a look which made her flush. "You are going to eat and return right back to bed."
Ga Eul gave him a long perusal before taking his hand and bringing him closer. She rose on her tiptoes and wrapped her arms around his neck. "I'm sorry." She rubbed his neck with a soft whisper. "I didn't mean to scare you, Yi Jeong. I should have told you."
He wrapped himself tightly around her with a low growl. "Good. The don't ever do this again." He drew back and took her chin firmly. "You're not allowed, Ga Eul. You're not allowed to hurt yourself."
She nodded and buried her face into his neck. "I'm sorry."
Yi Jeong sighed and tucked his face down next to her. "You're going to let me help you. You're going to let take care of you this time."
"Okay." Ga Eul whispered. "And just knowing you are going to take over Soo Pyo is a huge weight off."
Yi Jeong brushed a kiss over her lips. "I am going to get him well and away from you. Then he can fall into a ditch for all I care."
She laughed and he grinned into her neck at the sound. "See. Doesn't that sound like a better plan?"
"Yi Jeong." Ga Eul warned with a poke to his ribs and he gave a long groan. "Fine."
Sobering he drew back, his eyes darkening. "But once Soo Pyo is well, he is on his own. I don't want him contacting you again."
Knowing this would always be a sensitive area for him, Ga Eul agreed. She was aware that Yi Jeong was naturally possessive and protective of the things he loved. He would probably never be overly comfortable with any man in her life. Even Woo Bin and Ji Hoo Sunbae whom he trusted completely would probably have limits on their physical affection with her.
"Yi Jeong," Ga Eul rubbed his arms. "You don't have to worry. I love you. The only feelings I have for Gong Soo Pyo is pity because he is sick. Once he is well, I will be fine to never see him again."
He let out a long breath of relief and drew her in, kissing her tenderly. "I am going to hover for a while."
"Hover for this weekend." Ga Eul instructed quietly. "And then you're going back to Sweden."
"No." He tried to move away but she held on firmly. "Yes. I will be fine. I won't work. I will stay here in the studio where Ji Hoo and Jan Di will check on me daily. I will eat and sleep." She flushed but knew he would never agree to go back if she held onto a fragment of her pride. "I will let Woo Bin buy me groceries so my cupboards aren't bare. I will be smart and careful this time."
Yi Jeong clenched his jaw. "I'm not leaving you."
"No." She rose up and brushed his jaw with her lips. "Not this time. But you're still going back. You're going to finish up and then come home to me."
"Yi Jeong," She pressed her fingers over his lips halting his protest. "I am not going to trade my health for yours. You have worked too hard to get your hands back to quit now." She pressed herself closer into his chest. "It's important to me, Yi Jeong."
He ripped away from her hold, his body tight with frustration but she didn't back down. She wouldn't let him sacrifice his art. He would never be whole if he couldn't go back to the wheel with the same strength as before. They faced off in simmering silence until he finally groaned in defeat and pointed at her.
"You will let Woo Bin help you. You will go back to just teaching but not until you're a hundred percent healed. But more importantly, you won't push me away when I try to help or lie to me anymore."
Ga Eul flushed but kept her gaze on him. "All right, Yi Jeong."
"Promise me, Ga Eul."
He softened slightly and the slam of anger faded from his voice. "I will return to Sweden then. But only as long as your honest with me. No more hiding things or trying to do everything by yourself."
Her heart filled and all the weight she had been carrying the last few months lifted off her shoulders. Fresh tears flowed down her cheeks as she choked out her agreement. "I won't."
"Good." He snapped and Ga Eul took a tentative step forward. "Are you done being mad at me?"
"Not yet." Yi Jeong grabbed her hand and yanked her to him, picking her up off her feet and cursed into her hair. "Now I am done."
Ga Eul grinned as she clung to him. "I love you."
"I love you too." He gently pulled her head back and kissed her as he began to walk them back into the bedroom. "Bed now."
"What about my tea?"
"I will make it later." Yi Jeong promised, kicking the door shut with his foot as her laughter filled the studio.
"I take it we will also talk about the details of our agreement later?" Ga Eul teased as his hands crept under her shirt and whipped it over her head before she could blink.
"Hmm," his lips trailed over her neck as she arched into him. "Now what were you saying about these sweats."
Ga Eul giggled as he rose over her and his sweats fell off her waist with one quick tug. He grinned at her wolfishly. "These are now my favorite pajamas on you. Never wear anything else again."
"If you insist." She whispered and taking his face she brought him down to her. "But I have always preferred sleeping naked."
"You're killing me, Ga Eul." Yi Jeong groaned. "Damn it... These are going to be a really long two more years."
She laughed and tugged him down. "Well let's make up for it now."
"No." He quickly ripped himself away from her. "You're tired and need to rest."
"Yi Jeong," Ga Eul kissed the hollow of his throat. "I can sleep tomorrow."
"Stop trying to seduce me." Yi Jeong slapped her wandering hands away. "Quit that."
Her eyes widened as she saw that he was serious and she flopped back down on the bed with a moan. "You're no fun."
"Sleep." He yanked her up into the pillows and threw the covers over her so he couldn't see her the very tempting picture of her bare body. "Now if you will excuse me. I am going to go for a run."
Ga Eul laughed and hearing the sound he almost lost her resolve but her eyes were already beginning to flutter close.
"A long one?"
"Very." He grumbled and shifted awkwardly before lowering his voice gently. "I love you."
"I love you too," Ga Eul mumbled with a smile. "Hurry back and sleep with me."
"Mmm." Yi Jeong kissed her cheek and crawled into bed. "Forget it. I will just take a cold shower later."
Ga Eul chuckled as he pulled her into his side. "I will go back to Sweden." Yi Jeong's whispered as his thumb brushed lazily over her hip. "But I am not losing this again."
"Me either." She interlaced their fingers. "We will make it work, Yi Jeong."
He kissed the base of her neck and settled in behind her. He listened to her drift off and he waited until he was sure she truly asleep before making one final promise of a different variety. And as though she heard him, Ga Eul squirmed restlessly causing him to grin smugly.
"Better get your rest now, Ga Eul Yang. Because once I get you in Sweden I don't plan on letting you sleep."
With those images flashing in his brain, Yi Jeong decided he needed a run after all and slid out of bed with a long groan. With a curse he grabbed his headphones and pulled up his playlist. Figuring it was going to take awhile to work through his current energy.
As the door closed softly behind him, the woman in the bed smiled secretly as she rolled over to truly fall asleep this time. "I'm looking forward to it."