Title: Chicken Soup for the Old One's Soul
Fandom: Angel
Rating: G
Words: 525
Disclaimer: Not mine, they're Whedon's. sob
Written for: My friend Alliterator's request, so you can blame him for this.
Notes: Takes place after "Time Bomb." Illyria catches a cold, and Spike tends her. Colds have kicked my butt and left me drained for days after they were supposedly over, so my sympathy is entirely with her. Of course, if I had someone like Spike taking care of me...
"You all right, pet?" Spike asked with some concern, putting his game controller down. He'd never heard Illyria sneeze before.

"Ugh," she said. "This shell is vulnerable to the microbes of this world. I believe--" she sneezed again. "--that it is being overcome with what the Burkle persona called a 'cold.'"

Now that he noticed it, her voice was scratchy, and she looked terrible. "How you feelin'?"

"I am tired. My eyes water, and there is a strange buzzing in my ears. And my throat feels as if a..." She searched for a word. "...hedgehog is lodged in it."

"You've got a cold, all right, Blue. Here, lie down." He pulled a quilt out of his linen closet and put it over her, while she rested her head on the arm of the couch. "Don't go anywhere; I'll be right back."

Spike was tickled pink to find out that Illyria actually had a vulnerability. He liked taking care of his women, and she didn't give him much of an opportunity to do so. Her fiercely independent, "I require no creature's regard" attitude wasn't exactly conducive to being fussed over. He hoped she didn't smack him down too soon.

###

Illyria felt terrible. These mortals were so weak, to be brought low by something as insignificant as a germ. The half-breed seemed to know what to do for it, and it was only fitting that he should serve her. He arrived home about a half hour later, carrying a bag filled with groceries. His cheery "Hello, luv" did nothing to improve her temper.

"Have you brought me a cure for this malady?" she demanded.

"Sorry, Bluebird, but the only cure for a cold is time, and you can't manipulate that anymore. I've got some stuff that'll make you feel better, though. Here, drink this." He handed her a tall glass of orange juice and went back into the kitchen.

She sniffed the juice suspiciously, then took a small sip. "This is very good," she said, surprised, drinking the rest in one long gulp.

"Course it is." The microwave beeped, and he brought her a bowl. "Stuff that's good for you doesn't have to taste bad."

"What is this substance?"

"Chicken soup. Me mum used to make it for me when I got sick. Eat up." He dipped the spoon in and held it in front of her mouth.

"I eat this because I wish to, not because you instructed me to," she informed him loftily--then spoiled the effect with another sneeze.

A smile tugged at the corners of his lips. "Right, pet. You keep tellin' yourself that."

She glared at him and practically snatched the spoon from his hand--being careful not to spill the soup. After she finished it, she lay back and closed her eyes. "Leave me. I wish to sleep now."

"Sure."

Something in his tone made her open her eyes again. She was above such things as hurt feelings...but he hadn't needed to try to make her feel better, after all--and she had enjoyed his attentions. "Spike? Thank you."

This time he grinned at her. "You're welcome, luv."