Title: Medicine
Fandom: Howl's Moving Castle
Pairing: Howl/Sophie
Summary: Howl is sick, and Sophie knows just the thing. Unfortunately, Howl disagrees.


"How are you feeling?" Sophie asked, sitting down in the chair beside the bed.

"I think I'm dying," Howl declared from where he was lying down, eyes closed and expression one of pure misery.

"Oh, stop being such a baby. You're not dying, you just have a cold," Sophie retorted, beginning to unscrew the cap of a small bottle she had brought with her.

One of Howl's eyes opened a little to glance over at her. "What're you doing, Sophie?"

"Giving you some medicine."

Now both of his eyes shot wide open and he sat up quickly. "Medicine!"

She looked at him in alarm. "Yes, what's wrong?"

"It's disgusting, that's what's wrong!"

Sophie just stared at him for a minute, before going back to getting the medicine ready with increased vigor. "You're such a baby!"

"Sophie," he wailed, "don't make me take it! I'll get better on my own!"

"Yes, after making me do a ton of work to take care of you while you laze around in bed. I want you better as soon as possible, and if medicine will help with that, then you are going to take some."

"It won't help!"

Pouring the thick looking red liquid onto a tea spoon, she said, "You don't know that until you try."

"Yes, I--"

In one shift move, Sophie had reached over and stuffed the spoon in his mouth. Pulling it back out empty, she smiled at him and said, "Now, was that worth all the fuss?"

Howl looked mortified, hands covering his mouth. He glanced around the room frantically.

"Don't you dare try to spit that out! Swallow," she commanded in a voice that brooked no arguing.

With a sigh of defeat and slump of the shoulders, Howl obeyed, then immediately grabbed the glass of water she offered him and downed it in one gulp. Setting it back down on the small bedside table with a fervent thump, he accused, "You're trying to kill me, Sophie!"

"How does trying to make you healthy again count as trying to kill you?"

"..." Obviously having no answer to that, Howl just grabbed the covers and pulled them over him as he lay down again, back facing her. Sophie sighed and stood, gathering the medicine, spoon, and glass and turning to leave.

"Sophie..." came a quiet whisper from the bed, and she turned back to look at him. Howl turned towards her and held out his arms, looking at her hopefully.

With a small smile, she walked back over to him and gave him a tight hug, and then a kiss on the forehead. "Now go to sleep, and I'll come back in to check on you later."

"'kay," he muttered, before closing his beautiful blue eyes and giving in to slumber. Sophie stood there watching him for a moment, smile still on her face, and then turned to go, closing the door softly behind her.