Title: Boys Day In
Authoress: Ladya C. Maxine
Summary: Kai comes down with a fever. Tala/Ata looks after him.
Warnings: shounen-ai, mild cursing
Disclaimer: I do not own Beyblade or any of its characters. Any and all unrecognizable characters belong solely to me so do not touch. I am not making any money off of this and I write with the sole intention to entertain.
A/N: No, this isn't the sequel to 'Untold Truths' (Lord help me, I'm still racking my mind on that one). This story was inspired by my little nephew who has a fever (nothing serious so don't worry; he'll live ). Anywho, sick people tend to bring out the sweetness in others and my thoughts immediately turned to Kai and Tala's friendship which I don't feel like I developed enough in 'Untold Truths'. Sooooo, here's an attempt to venture deeper in the bond between the Phoenix and the Wolf.
Note: this takes place way before the Russian Tournament. Better yet, it starts where 'Of Ravens and Wolves' left off!
Boys Day In
By Ladya C. Maxine
Removing his scarf irritably, Kai tossed it somewhere to his left, eyes never leaving the files. Ignoring the pulsing pain in his head and the sluggish weight in his movement, he signed on the indicated dotted line and went to the next page, reading the proposals and agreements. It was some time between eight and nine p.m; far too early for him to turn in.
He'd been up since five that morning, rising from bed awake but not feeling too refreshed. Nothing too out of the ordinary there since he had always been a troubled sleeper. However, a mild, unnamable discomfort had settled in his stomach when he had tried to eat breakfast so he had merely drunk coffee before heading out. The meetings hadn't ended till three in the afternoon; no time for lunch though his body didn't seem to mind. Two stops on the way home (one at the insurance company, the other to pick up the porcelain doll he had had imported as a gift for Saskia) he realized that he had gone the entire day with nothing in him except the cup of coffee.
By the time he reached the penthouse his head had been throbbing and the irritating discomfort was worse than before. Depositing the envelopes rather unceremoniously on the bar in the kitchen, he placed the boxed and wrapped doll down with more care. It had been a very expensive one, imported from China, and he planned to give it to his little sister as a 'Good job'-gift for having made considerable progress in her lessons.
Currently, she and Natasia were visiting an aunt of the cook, staying a few days in the countryside as a respite from the city life. Natasia had many family members living on farm-lands and forest locations who were always more than thrilled to have her visit them, especially when she brings Saskia along. Jeremei had driven them and would be staying as well. Seeing as everyone else was on a short holiday, Kai had given Ivan the days off until they returned.
Which left him with the entire penthouse to himself but he had been so busy working through business documents and meetings that he was barely home, only coming in at late hours to sleep before leaving again before dawn. It worked for him; at times he was so occupied with affairs that he almost didn't have time to miss his family.
Seemingly out of nowhere, his chest contracted and he coughed, wincing as the spasm brought a sharp sting to his itchy throat. Rubbing the sore area in annoyance, he stubbornly continued with the paperwork. His chair, a large leather piece of furniture that was usually so comfortable that he had fallen asleep in it a few times, felt strangely…strange; the leather felt too sticky on his skin, the backrest too straight, the cushions too soft…No, too hard…No, definitely too soft.
He wiped his forehead before pressing the heel of his palm against it, trying to press back the throbbing that pulsed there. His hand came back with a light film of wetness. Sweat. How could he be sweating when he felt so cold? Wait…if he felt cold then why had he removed his scarf? What the hell!
"Damn it!" he growled, too stubborn to admit the obvious. He was not sick. He didn't have time to be sick; the papers needed to be ready for tomorrow.
Brushing damp bangs out of his face, he wiped his hand dry on his jeans and picked up his pen, determined to get this done before two a.m. For a while he felt slightly triumphant that he would succeed. The room was silent except for the ticking of the clock mounted of the wall.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Strange, he never recalled the clock being that loud.
Throwing the pen down, he rubbed his temple, clenching his eyes against the now official migraine. And nausea.
"Food. I haven't eaten anything all day; that's the problem," he stated, ignoring the inner voice that pointed out he hadn't eaten anything because he felt sick. "A sandwich is all I need. And some coffee."
Rising from his seat, he had to grab the chair when the world suddenly tumbled head-over-heals, swirling madly before his eyes and messing with his balance. When everything finally returned to its rightful place, he dared to release the death grip on the leather. And since his attention was on the leather; a large, wet mark was on the backrest where the sweat had penetrated his shirt. Something had to be wrong with the heater…
The distance between desk and study door seemed longer than usual. The distance between study and bedroom door even longer than that. The distance between his bedroom and the kitchen…why hadn't he ever noticed how great the space between those two was?
Finally, he reached the first floor, the descent from the stairs leaving him feeling light headed. Entering the kitchen, he flicked on the light, blinking when the brightness burned through his eyes and into his head, increasing the throbbing menace. Swallowing, something that was becoming more and more painful to do, he headed towards the fridge, opening it and staring blankly at the contents. His stomach clenched at the sight of all the food.
Adamantly, he reached in, grabbing some cold cuts and lettuce. From the cupboards he took the bread and a plate, switching on the coffee machine before placing everything on the counter next to it, working as fast as he could as to not fall behind his self-imposed schedule. The mere smell of the fresh bread brought on another rolling wave of nausea but he completed the sandwich, grabbing a mug to pour a cup of dark, caffeinated beverage.
Mentally, he thanked God that Saskia wasn't here. Not only would she have been extremely worried but also he wouldn't want her catching whatever he had. Her small body and wavering immune system couldn't handle anything greater than a mild cold. The one time she had a fever she had been in the hospital for two weeks, weak and crying in misery and pain. He was also relieved that Natasia was absent as well. The woman was as healthy as a fish but she would have made too great a fuss out of it.
Sighing, he took a sip of the coffee, welcoming the distracting burn of its heated temperature. His throat rejected it but he took another mouthful. Eyeing the sandwich with some trepidation, he took a small bite, chewing long before swallowing it. It tasted like nothing on his tongue yet once in his stomach he felt a slight relief as the nausea let up a bit. With each bite he took he felt his stomach settle more and more. Still, he wasn't able to finish the sandwich, feeling full not even halfway through. Satisfied, he drank a bit more coffee.
Okay, that helped his stomach (a bit). Now the head ache.
The cupboard left to the fridge was where they kept all medications. The bottles on the lowest shelf were Saskia's, the rest were painkillers, flu syrups, weight-loss pills (Natasia's) and first-aid things like band-aids and alcohol to clean wounds. Grabbing the nearest bottle of painkillers, he unscrewed the top and deposited three in his palm and swallowed them dry.
Stomach: temporarily settled. Head ache: in progress. Which left him with…everything else.
Slamming the cupboard door shut loud enough to rattle the bottles within, he cursed himself for feeling this weak. It was a stupid cold, for crying out loud!
As if to contradict the very thought, a familiar voice piped up in his ears.
+System has detected virus infiltration+
"No shit," he grumbled at the chip's observation. Now he knew it was bad; the chip's monitory program only detected serious ailments.
+Recommend medical assistance+
He didn't say anything, rubbing his aching head and breathing deeply. For many minutes that was all he did. It was all he could do.
+Virus control program activated. System switching to stand-by+
"No!" he exclaimed but it was too late as he felt the inner defense abandon his body, drawn around the chip in the back of his neck to form a thick layer of protection. It was a necessary procedure to protect the vulnerable device but it now left him with next to no defense against the fever.
'Breathe…just breathe…' he willed himself.
Caught up in berating himself, he didn't hear the door to the entrance hall open. It was the voice that startled him back to reality as it called out, "I'm back!"
'Kuso!' he cursed, turning his back to the kitchen entrance. He couldn't let him see him like this.
"What are you doing down here?" Ata asked, sauntering into the kitchen. "How's the paperwork…"
The trail off told him Ata had picked up on something.
"I thought you were going to be gone all night," Kai pointed out, steadying his voice enough to sound convincing.
"I'm back early," was the obvious reply though he could hear that it wasn't the most important thing on Ata's mind at the moment. "Kai, look at me."
He didn't obey, finding a sudden interest in the tiles on the wall before him.
"Kai, turn around."
Taking a deep breath, he did so but only to prove as if he had nothing to hide. Meeting the blue eyes, he folded his arms calmly though clenched his fists to prevent his fingers from trembling.
Ata regarded him for a moment, both hands on his slender hips, which meant he was nearing full-seriousness.
"Hn," he replied as he closed his eyes in indifference, mentally debating if he could make a convincing show of leaving the room and retreating to his study without needing to hold onto anything for support.
A cool hand being placed on his forehead soon followed the sufferable sigh in the darkness.
"And you have a fever."
"Really?" he asked, not sarcastically but infuriating all the same. Opening his eyes to find Ata right before him, the redhead's hand still on him, he stood straighter, forcing the other to release him and step back. "Then I better go to my room before I make you sick."
Both hands on hips again, plus narrowed eyes: totally serious and not amused.
"I can't get sick, you know that," Ata half-caringly replied.
Snorting, he moved to pass the redhead when a dizzying strike of imbalance struck him, making him stumble in his steps. He was able to catch himself from falling face first onto the tiles but landed nevertheless on one knee.
'Great, a cold and bruising.'
Three identical pairs of legs came into his vision before three identical persons crouched onto their haunches before him. As the twirling stopped they merged to form one person who watched him with a 'serves-you-right' expression.
"Let that be a lesson to you."
And now he felt tired. Things just kept on getting better. What else could go wrong with him?
The gods of irony must have been having a field day as a sudden coughing fit brought him to both knees, his chest roughly jerking as his lungs contracted tightly. By the time he was done he was shaking slightly, holding a hand over his mouth as if he was going to throw up. Hell, might as well add the final icing on this rotten cake.
A glass of water appeared in his line of sight as Ata crouched back down, having retrieved the glass and filled it while Kai had been debating the fundaments of Murphy's Law.
"Drink," he ordered simply.
Accepting the offered glass, he sipped at it, the cold water numbing the stinging.
"What do you feel?"
"Can you specify that?"
"Head ache, dizziness, sore throat, nausea, upset stomach, light headed, exhausted…"
"You better take a bath and go to bed."
He shook his head, handing back the glass as he attempted to get back to his feet.
"I have the paperwork to finish."
"And how far do you think you'll get in your condition? I don't think the rest of the council members will be very thrilled to receive puke-covered contracts," Ata argued though took a hold on his friend to help him. "I'll give you a hand but first you must take a bath and change out of these clothes; they're soaked!"
Once on his feet, Kai blinked several times to re-focus his sight though everything retained a somewhat hazy outline. An arm rested across his shoulders and he allowed himself to be lead back up the stairs, vaguely listening to the redhead, more intent on the sound of his friend's voice than the actual words.
"…-age to the chip."
"Huh?" he asked, catching just the last piece.
"I said that I don't believe this cold will risk any damage to the chip," Ata repeated himself. "There's a pretty nasty virus going around town and lots of people are catching it; you probably contracted it during the train trip a few days ago."
Now that that was brought up, Kai did recall the man in the booth behind him sniffing and sneezing the entire time. That bastard.
"None so far. Doctors are just advising a lot of bed rest and plenty fluids." A smirk etched the smooth face. "Lucky for you Natty isn't here or you'd be confined to your room for weeks with five IV-bags stuck to your arm."
Scoffing, Kai bit back a sigh of relief when they reached his bedroom. Still clinging to his remaining independence, he loosened himself from Ata's supportive hold and opened the emblem doors, stepping into the dark room.
"Lights on," he automatically ordered, wincing at how hoarse his voice had become. And he wasn't the only to have noticed this since the personal voice-activated system didn't respond. Clearing his throat, he tried again, "Lights on."
At Ata's clear voice the room brightened. Glaring at his friend's amused expression, Kai shrugged off the hand on his shoulder and stalked off in the general direction of the bathroom.
"Oh, going to be the happy patient, are we?" Ata snickered, turning to head back downstairs and make some soup for the bluenette. "Well, two can play this game."
I don't know how long I'll make this but I'm sure it will extend past Kai's cold. I just felt like writing a cute Kai&Tala friendship fic.
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