Just a little one-shot that will hopefully be enjoyable for you guys to read! :)

Takano was having one of his really, really good nights. That was of course because he wasn't alone. His precious first love was sleeping quite soundly, cuddled up closely to his boss. Takano found it hilarious that while sleeping the young editor would always latch himself onto him, but if he was awake he would go to all costs in order to keep his distance and deny any such thing. This just showed that subconsciously, Ritsu did love him. He was very close to admitting it too, Takano could tell. It was only a matter of time before he would give and and admit it. After all, tonight the editor had pretty much agreed to spend the night with him without much pestering required.

"Mmm...sempai…." The brunette murmured sweetly, smiling a bit. "My sempai…"

Takano smirked to himself. So Ritsu was being cute tonight, huh? More than often his subordinate would have uneasy sleep, the stress of his family and work and god knows what else on his mind. He ran his fingers through those soft brown locks, bringing his hand down to cup one of his delicate cheeks.

"That's right, I'm here," He replied back to the younger male, whispering gently into his ear.

"Tak'no," Ritsu mumbled, snuggling up closer to Takano's warm chest. Both men were unclothed from their earlier bedroom activities, which made this after-cuddling all the more intimate. Their legs were tangled together, and both of Takano's arms were wrapped around Ritsu, one around his stomach and the other curled around the small of Ritsu's back. Ritsu, meanwhile, was burrowed up against Takano, head resting on the older male's broad chest, and both arms wrapped securely around his middle.

At the sound of the surname he went by today, Takano brightened. As much as he liked how Ritsu still thought about the 'high school' him, he wanted him to love the 'today' him even more. Luckily it sounded like that plan was beginning to happen. Takano was about to lean down and kiss his love's temple, but before he could Ritsu's expression of peace changed.

"N-No….stop it!"

Takano drew back. Had Ritsu awoken? Even if he did, usually it took him a few minutes to process things.

"No! Don't…..Don't….Please! Just don't…"

'Don't what?', Takano wondered with a frown. Should he awaken Ritsu up from his nightmare? Or should he let it end on it's own? What on earth was he dreaming about?

"Don't eat us!" Ritsu suddenly blurted out in a panic. "Kisa-san, run!"

Okay, time out. First of all, what was Ritsu running from that was going to eat him? Secondly, why the hell was Kisa in his dream now! He, Takano Masamune, Ritsu's first ever LOVE, had just been in the dream a minute ago making Ritsu smile and hum.

Finally Ritsu whimpered out, "Takano-san, help me!"

That brought relief to the Emerald editor-in-chief, at least he was still there in the dream. However it also occurred to him that he was being asked to help, so it was time to do just that. He gently moved away and wrapped his arms under Ritsu's, pulling him so that he was sitting up and gently rousing him.

"Oi, Onodera, wake up. Ritsu, you're dreaming!"

"W-Wha-?" Green eyes blinked open disorientated confusion. For a moment he breathed rapidly, and then he seemed to register that he was leaning into someone, and remembered that he had agreed to spend the night with his ex-lover. "Takano-san? What happened?"

Hmm, so it seemed that Ritsu didn't remember his dream. Takano ran a hand soothingly through his brown locks. His hand stopped on the editor's forehead though. Was he warmer than usual? He leaned forward and pressed his lips onto his forehead. Oh yes, he was definitely too warm.

"I think you have a fever," Takano murmured. "Are you feeling ill?"

"I do sort of feel like I'm going to throw up," Ritsu whispered through the darkness.

"Then hold on a second," Takano told him. He first got dressed himself before flipping on the light and looking on the floor in search for Ritsu's clothes. Once he found them, he helped the younger get dressed before accompanying him to the bathroom. Sure enough, as soon as he leaned down next to the toilet Ritsu promptly vomited into it. Takano attempted to rub his back, but his hand was slapped away.

"You don't have to be here for this Takano-san," He protested. "It's gross."

"It's fine," Takano answered, but stood and began to wet a cloth. "Were you feeling sick earlier today? What did I say about hiding your feelings from me?"

"I felt fine earlier, I swear!" Ritsu said, before turning grey in the face once again and dry heaving, since he'd already just lost everything in his stomach. Once he was finished, Takano gently wiped his face with the cloth and gave him a glass of water.

"You're staying home tomorrow," He told him once they'd both made it back to the bedroom.

Ritsu only nodded, curling back up under the blankets. The fact that he wasn't even protesting meant that he must be feeling pretty terrible. The editor-in-chief sighed, pulling Ritsu up against him. Maybe some sleep would help.

However, not twenty minutes later after they'd settled, Ritsu suddenly jerked back up and clutched at his stomach. Takano thought he was going to be sick again so he prepared to help him up, but was stopped.

"My stomach...it hurts. It really, really hurts! It was hurting a little earlier today, but now..."

Takano felt his heart rate increase slightly. "Where does it hurt?"

"All over!"

Takano moved Ritsu's hands away from his lower abdomen, gently rubbing circles over his belly. The other only hissed and clutched back at it. Takano thought over this for a moment. Abdominal pain, fever, vomiting...this was sounding a little familiar.

Oh yes, this was bringing back memories of his childhood. The symptoms were at least very similar to his own, when he had been seven years old. In fact, he still had the scar to remember, although it was so faded that one could barely see it.

"Where's your jacket?" He asked, but then spotted it laying on a chair nearby.

"What...we're going out?" Ritsu asked in between small gasps of pain.

"Yes, to the hospital. Quickly."

"Wow Ricchan, you have really bad luck! I sure am glad you aren't dead though!"

"Thanks Kisa-san," Ritsu sighed, fiddling with his hospital wrist band.

"Your appendix really must not have liked you," The older (but baby-faced) editor continued on, and his face morphed into a mischievous smirk. "It sure is a good thing that Takano-san was there to bring you to the hospital."

Ritsu really couldn't deny that. He'd never been in such intense pain before. Apparently Takano suspected that it was appendicitis, because he'd had it when he was a young child. He'd pieced the symptoms together, pretty much carried Ritsu to his car, and went over the speed limit to bring him to the emergency room as fast as possible.

The last thing Ritsu had remembered was a gurney coming to meet them, and he was whisked away to an operating room. Takano had been holding his hand up to that point, and it had been quite terrifying in his pained state to be left alone with strangers wearing face masks. But he'd been promptly put into a quick sleep, and after that he'd missed out on anything else. Later he'd awoken in a hospital room feeling like crap, but his stomach no longer felt like it was imploding on itself.

Now it was two days after his emergency operation, and he was allowed to go home tomorrow morning, now that he was able to keep solid foods down. He would have to take it easy for a few weeks, but all in all he was recovering well. Sadly he wouldn't be able to return to work for at least a week, mostly because Takano had flat out denied his return until he was deemed well enough by the man himself.

Speaking of Takano, the man had barely left his side. He wasn't in the room right now because he had run down to the hospital cafeteria to get himself some coffee, and Ritsu some ginger ale. Somehow Takano had even managed to charm the nurse to letting him "overrule" the visiting hour policy despite not being a family member. That's right, he'd even been staying the night here. Kisa had only arrived a few minutes ago after getting out of work early. He was stopping by both to see Ritsu and to bring Takano some work things.

"So," Kisa leaned forward eagerly. "Do you have a huge scar and everything? Can I see it?"

"No way!" Ritsu pulled the blankets up further. "There's a bandage on it anyway, and I didn't look when they changed it."

Kisa realized he would not be seeing the scar any time soon, and changed the subject. "Has Takano-san been here the whole entire time? What about your parents?"

Ritsu snorted. "My mother would panic if she found out I was in the hospital. Besides, it wasn't anything major...Takano realized what it was and brought me to the emergency room, in the middle of the night nonetheless."

Kisa was grinning now. "The middle of the night? What were you guys doing?"

Oh crap, his pain medication must have been messing him up. "N-Nothing! I mean, just work stuff! Nothing un-work related!"

Kisa burst into a fit of laughter. Before Ritsu could retaliate, someone came through the doorway. Someone who was tall, handsome, and...sparkly? Ritsu didn't know him at all, but from Kisa's look of horror he sure did.

"I'm sorry Kisa-san, I know you wanted me to wait in the hall, but the nurse said visiting hours were up now...She said something about not letting any more handsome boys take advantage of hospital rules or something…"

Before Ritsu could even open his mouth, Kisa was up and over to the door, blushing furiously and nervously chuckling. "Right, we'd better go then! Feel better Ricchan!"

The other man was about to open his mouth to wish Ritsu good health, but Kisa grabbed his arm and dragged him from the room before he could say anything. For the first time in awhile, Ritsu was alone for the time being. He smiled to himself and muttered, "So that's what Kisa-san's secret boyfriend looks like."

"It's too bad he had to leave. I never got to ask him why you were dreaming about something trying to eat the both of you in your dream the other night," Takano said, mildly disappointed as he entered the room. Ritsu, already used to having his boss occupy his hospital room, only blushed at those words.

"I probably had that dream because Kisa-san told me this story he heard about a crazy man who ate someone," He explained, shuddering at the thought of something so wretched.

Takano passed Ritsu a cup of ginger ale and sat on the edge of the bed, running one of his hands through the green eyed editor's locks. "Don't worry, I'll protect you from the big bad cannibals."

Ritsu blushed more, and quickly thought of a subject change. "Takano-san, what was it like for you when you had to get your appendix out?"

Takano faltered for a moment at the random question, but quickly recovered. "It wasn't so bad. If anything it was sort of lonely. Both my parents had to work, but a nurse brought me books."

That answer made Ritsu feel sort of bad. Being in a hospital itself was a scary thing, especially for a child. He pictured a young Takano in pain all alone in a creepy white room that smelled like cleaning supplies and his heart swelled. Although he wouldn't say it out loud, he was glad that Takano was staying here with him. He wasn't as overbearing as his mother would be, and he hadn't even tried to do anything crazy like have sex in the hospital bed. That was probably just because it hurt Ritsu to move too much though.

Either way, Ritsu found himself gently grasping his boss' hand.

"If I had known you then, I would have stayed with you the whole time."

Ritsu blamed the pain medication for making him act all emotional. But still, it made him happy when Takano's eyes widened. He didn't protest when he leaned forward to gently kiss his lips.

"Onodera Ritsu, I really do love you," He said softly. "And I know that you love me too. You'll admit it out loud very soon, I can tell."

The bedridden editor blushed crimson once again, but he didn't argue against that statement.

Because Takano was right.

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