Lu Han opens his eyes to harsh lighting of a painfully familiar room. He blinks and tries to readjust his vision. He tries to move his hand to reach to something, anything, but he can only barely move his pinky. His face is covered by oxygen mask and as he gradually regains his senses, he can to hear the sound of life-supporting machines surrounding him.
He flutters his eyes back shut as his head begins pounding again. After the pain finally subdues, he tries to untangle the strings of his memories. He vaguely remembers a sunflower field, blue skies, boxes of strawberry milk, his dear, precious violin, and…
Scenes of memories finally come back to him and it hurts. It hurts so, so much.
But he has to go, he has to go and win that competition, he has to keep his promise, he has to he has to he has to —
“He’s awake! Oh God, someone call the doctor!”
Lu Han can feel hot tears falling on his cheeks as a nurse comes into his slightly blurred vision.
“It’s okay,” the nurse says softly, carefully squeezing his cold hand. “You’re okay now.”
Lu Han wants to scream that no, it’s not gonna be okay, I can’t speak and I can’t move anything how could I be okay —
It’s the last thing he remembers before he drifts back to nothing.
The next time Lu Han awakes, he can feel warmth encircling his wrist. It soothes his initial panic of being awake so suddenly and when his gaze finally falls upon his mother, sleeping on a chair beside his bed, head lolling forward in an awkward angle, he feels a bit calmer. He tries to move his hand but to no avail. He feels miserable that he practically can’t do anything, and the thought of not being able to play his violin again breaks his heart to pieces.
And so he cries, silently mourning for the loss he’s experiencing. He doesn’t remember whether he even completed his performance at the finale, and to think that would be his last performance upsets him greatly.
A few minutes later his mother finally wakes up and finds her son in tears. Her heart clenches at the sight and she gets to her feet, leaning in to kiss her son gently on the forehead, thumbs moving carefully to wipe the tears away. She wants to cry along with him but she knows better; she has to be strong for him. She swears she will do anything to make her son better, even if it would cost her her own life.
The team of doctors and nurses attending to Lu Han come shortly after and Lu Han’s mother finds herself being shunned outside in the cold hallway. Looking up at the ceiling to prevent the tears from falling, she takes a long, shaky breath. When she shifts her gaze to the benches nearby, a small smile finds its way on her lips. There’s another boy sitting there, just like he has been for the past week. His dark-brown eyes are eyeing her carefully, and yet she still can see the fear in those eyes. The kind of fear she has learned as the fear of losing someone very dear, and it touches her how her son already has someone that cares deeply for him. The medal encarved with the boy’s name she saw Lu Han was wearing during the competition hanging loosely in his grasp.
She quietly approaches him and she can see that the boy wants to say something, ask something, but afraid of what the answer might be.
“He’ll be okay,” she says softly, both to herself and the boy. “He’ll be okay. He will.”
The boy bites his lip and nods. The tears falling steadily on his cheeks speak louder than the words he’s too afraid to say.
Lu Han learns how to speak again on the fifth day. He learns that he was unconscious for a week, and that the symptoms he’s experiencing is normal and that he would able to speak, walk, and do things again with therapy. He also learns that he didn’t manage to finish his performance in the last seconds and that eventually Arthur Kirkland emerged victorious.
By the time Sehun is finally allowed to visit him a week later, Lu Han’s hospital room is already full of flowers and get-well-soon cards. With him suddenly collapsing like that in the finale of a prestigeous international competition, there’s no way for him or anyone to just cover it up and shrug it off as something trivial.
“Hi,” the younger boy greets tentatively, pulling the chair beside Lu Han’s bed to sit. “How are you?”
Lu Han offers a weak smile. “Good.” Then he frowns, as if trying to search for the right word. “Sorry.”
Sehun raises his eyebrows, surprised. “For what?”
“Lu Han,” Sehun sighs. “You were amazing. You are amazing. It’s okay. You have won lots more before and you will win even more later, okay?”
Lu Han shifts his gaze to his left hand sadly, trying to move his fingers with a little success.
“Hey,” Sehun bites his lip, taking the older’s hand in his. “You’ll be fine. The doctors said so themselves. They will help you. I will help you,” a small smirk. “I am your best student, remember? I can teach you again, if you forget or something. I have the violin god in me after all.” A reasurring squeeze. “You’ll be able to play that what’s-his-name’s six-billionth concerto again in no time, I promise.”
Lu Han chokes out a laughter and Sehun finds himself laughing along, hand never leaving the other’s.
They may not know what will happen in the future; things could be getting worse or even better. But for now, having each other in that hospital room full of flowers, is honestly the best thing they think they could have asked for at the moment.
Just the two of them, in their own small, make-shift garden of flowers, and nothing can feel more right.
The next day, another bouquet of sunflowers comes. This time, on the card, the word resilience is written in a neat, cursive writing.
Six years later.
The audience breaks into a chorus of thunderous applause as Lu Han bows that last note on the string of his violin. The vibrato ends beautifully to his own personal satisfaction and he can’t help but smile to himself as he takes a deep breath, puts his violin off his chin, and gets a full view of the audience.
It’s always breathtaking, the view. Of people in different colors and voices melding into one, all singing praises to him. He never wants it to end, to be honest, but of course at the end of the day he has to take his bow and the curtain has to be closed, leaving him with only his erratic heartbeats and the warm feeling of adrenaline and blood rushing through his veins.
Lu Han gets back to the backstage quietly, nodding and bowing politely to the staffs and colleagues. He settles his precious violin down in its case in his waiting room and takes a look at the bouquets of flowers addressed to him. A crowd of yellow flowers tied as one in a beautiful bouquet immediately steals his attention in among a variant of red, pink, and white roses; a small, baby blue envelope with a matching colored card inside attached conveniently on the paper wrapper.
Lu Han smiles to himself as he takes the cheerful-looking bouquet. He opens the envelope carefully, afraid of him accidentally tearing the fragile paper, takes out the card inside and begins reading the words written in a neat writing. It is the nth bouquet; Lu Han doesn’t remember exactly when he first started getting the sunflowers bouquets at the end of his performances.
This time, a simple, imperative sentence is written.
Lu Han knits his eyebrows in confusion but does as he’s told anyway, and immediately another bouquet of sunflowers with another blue envelope attached enters his vision. He looks up to find the boy he has loved all these years, the now Olympic gold medalist and his self-proclaimed best violin student, smiling shyly at him as he offers the bouquet to the violinist.
Speechless, the recently graduated Juilliard violinist takes the bouquet into his arms and carefully takes out the baby blue card from inside the envelope.
To his surprise, the card is blank.
Raising his eyebrows, he stares at the other male questioningly. Smiling, the taller of the two takes the card and produces a pen from his pocket and starts writing.
When he gives back the card to Lu Han, it is now filled with words written in an all too familiar handwriting he had been wondering to whom it belonged to for all these years.
I love you. I have been for a long, long time.
Will you go out with me?
Fighting back the tears that starts pooling in his eyes, Lu Han takes back the card and pen, writes his answer, gives it back, and pulls him closer for a long-awaited kiss.
Hi all! Thank you so much for reading this piece! I started writing this in May 2014 and just managed to get it done today. This fic originally didn't end like this, and I will probably upload an alternate ending later. There's also a reason why I included Hetalia characters in this piece; I'd like to write a USUK spin-off later. And yes, the annoyed American cheering for Arthur in the finale was Alfred.
The strawberry milk thing was inspired by Sehun's diary entry.
Some of Sehun's faults when he's learning to play violin were based on my own personal experience when I started learning to play violin lol.
The sunflower reference was from the Greek myth.
When I was writing this, the Sibelius Violin Concerto I was listening to were the ones performed by Maxim Vengerov and Sarah Chang. The Vocalise in my mind was the one performed by Alexander Rybak.
I would like to dedicate this to people battling tumors and/or cancer. This story is actually very loosely inspired by a dear friend of mine. I just would like to say that if there's a chance of survival, go for it.
Don't be afraid.
You can do it.