And since a bowl of soup and a pint of unbuzzed green tea have a lot of water in them, I eventually had to bully my heavy, sore body up and waddle back into the house for a toilet. My head throbbed from the action, demanding that I go back to a horizontal position. Alas, the bladder would be heeded.

Whiz done, hands washed, I set out on my new mission to retrieve the blanket and find a new, softer place to go back to sleep, hopefully away from Granger traffic. The shouts of kendo practice had come to a close, which meant Tyson and Grandpa were out, about, and noisy as ever.

Strangely enough, however, it wasn't Tyson I met as I dragged my blanket back in, but Kai, holding a small bottle of what looked like pain medicine and more green tea.

"Getting cold?" he asked.

"Deck's hard," I said while my stomach did a jig and my mind flailed in dismay. Yay, Kai. Nuuuu, I'm a gross sicky mess.

But Kai just nodded and headed down the hall. Since I was heading that way anyways, I followed. He turned around the bend into the open dojo, now clear of students and practice mats. And since I wasn't going to pass up a chance to look at Kai more, embarrassed or not, I watched as he slid open a closet and lifted out a futon, which he unfolded in a corner. Once satisfied, he straightened, looked at me, and nodded towards it.

Oh gal, more heat. In my face, in my neck, in my freaking heaving bosoms.

"Thanks," I muttered, making my way to the softness and trying very hard not to look at him. Even as I got me and my fluffy comforter settled, he set the bottle of medicine and the green tea next to me.

"How do you feel?" I found myself asking in some desperate attempt to stem the tide of 'oh my gosh, this is effing amazing.'

He did his confused little frown and his brow furrowed. As soon as it came, it vanished. "I'm fine."

"Weren't you still sick when you came to my house?"

"I was already through the worst of it."

It couldn't just be to return the favor. When was Kai a 'return favor' freak? But it couldn't be anything else.

"I'm sorry I…got you sick," he said suddenly, and so quietly it was almost a whisper. "I should have stayed home."

I perked up. "Why didn't you?" Then realizing that must have sounded accusing, "I mean, you're never one for parties anyways and you must not have been feeling good in the first place. Then it was cloudy and kind of chilly and all." Please tell me that wasn't babbling. That had been a lot of words. Or perhaps it just seemed like a lot of words because this was Kai I was talking to, and he measured his words out by the teaspoon.

He started to answer, then stopped, his gray eyes shivering on my own. After a breath, he looked to the side, as though to find the answer in the floorboards rather than my face. I reached for the green tea to hide my fidgeting hands.

"I…I came because I didn't feel well."

The cap made a loud snap as I twisted it. "So you were, like, all delirious even then? Man, this creature's fevers are something else, aren't they? I hardly remember the past few days."

"No," he folded his hands together between his crouching knees. "I mean I wanted to, because I didn't feel well, be there. I…want to be around you when I'm not well."

I paused halfway from pouring the tea into my mouth and lowered my bottle. My heart had jerked painfully.

"Why?" I asked. "Do you live alone?"

"Well, more or less, but," he hesitated again, looking to the other side, hiding his expression behind his bangs. "It's reassuring being close. You're…" he gave a helpless little shrug and stood, but didn't walk away quite yet. The way he swung a hand from back to front and then to his hair in a nervous sort of jerk told me he wasn't quite ready to leave yet. He was waiting or lost as to what to do next, or even unsure of what he had even done.

It was the oddest thing I had ever seen him do, besides handing me a bowl of homemade soup. It was so obtuse to how Kai portrayed himself.

And I melted with adoration. Good gravy, did he have any freaking clue how hard he made it on me being so adorable? I wondered if I should let myself smile as wide as I did then. He did, after all, have a phenomenal amount of pride.

"Well," I said. "If you ever feel sick again, let me know. I'll be there."

His face jerked up towards me, and through his bangs I could see his gray eyes again, widened and maybe happy. His mouth curved into a little smile, the only kind he made besides the wide, condescending smirks.

And since being sick was not cute or romantic, just then, from the depths of the dojo (approximately down the hall from the bathroom), came the loud, air-cracking bark of the loudest retch I'd ever heard.

Both of us blanched.

"Tyson," we groaned.

"So much for forcing me over here to take care of me," I said, kicking off my blankets and picking up the medicine bottle.

"No, stay."

Another retch. I stuffed my fingers into my ears, my stomach making an uncomfortable, sympathetic turn.

"Don't tell me we're going to have to nurse him as well," I muttered.

The funny twitch of Kai's mouth as he leaned against the wall next to me made me wonder what he found so amusing about this situation.

"I am under no obligation," he said. "He has a fully capable parent around, took compromising pictures of me, drank my soup, and essentially kidnapped you the moment I was out. We're going back."

That stopped my brain against a cement wall. While he was out…? So he had been intending to come back? And he wanted me—wait, no, it did not sound like he wanted the sick, gross me all to himself. Though that might explain why he was over at Tyson's house at all when there was no party or training powwow to be had. I had left a note on the fridge for my mom telling her where I had gone in case she came home early and hadn't checked my text. She had done that.

As the retching continued, interspaced with sad little moans, Kai reached down and tugged me to my feet. His hand was warm and dry.

"I'll leave the medicine and tea here for him," he said at the look on my face, and cocked his ear up. "And here comes his grandfather now."

"You dying, little dude?" came a familiar, loud holler.

"Shut up, Grandpa!" Tyson shouted from behind the bathroom door.

Kai slid his hand into my own and pulled me out of the dojo to the hallway, where Grandpa Granger stood in concern before the closed bathroom door. "Gramps, I'm taking Hillary back home. She's still sick too. There's some medicine that helped me on the floor in the dojo."

Grandpa's eyebrows rose as his eyes fell on our hands. "Is her Mama gonna burn me alive for letting you?"

I observed, with great fascination, as Kai's ears turned pink. He didn't say anything, just scowled, every line of his nice shoulders and face expressing how insulting he found that comment.

Grandpa Granger smirked and shrugged. "Just look'n out for my favorite dudette. Keep it clean, K-man, you hear?"

"What are you—" Tyson broke off with another impossibly loud upchuck. That kid had a talent…or a disease.

"I swear," said Kai, sounding irritated. He pulled me round. "Come on."

And from there I more or less floated back home, even until the point I started getting nauseous again from all the walking I'd been doing again so Kai gave me a piggy back ride the rest of the way.

End. And I pray that it was every bit of what my patron needed. ^.^ Being sick sucks butt, after all. I hope you all enjoyed! Please leave a review to let me know what you think, for good or for bad.