In Sickness And In Health

In Sickness And In Health

Rating: PG
Summary: Pre-slash. Lyle gets sick. Querl goes out of his way to take care of him.

In the absence of Doctor Gym'll, occasionally one of the Legionnaires would be brave enough – or foolhardy enough – to ask Brainiac 5 for his assistance.

Gym'll was currently in residence, but Lyle preferred the caustic wit of his best friend to the Legion doctor's abrasiveness. Besides, Brainy had already seen him in assorted states of dishabille and varying levels of humiliation.

"I feel like I'm dying," Lyle croaked through a throat burning hotter than his raging four-degree fever.

"This is an exaggeration, correct?" Brainy asked. The glint in his eye was worry, but it was only there for those who know how to look – never mind knowing to look to begin with.

"Not by much," Lyle whispered. In addition to the heat – and the unslakable thirst that was a byproduct of his body's internal inferno – of his body, his head was pounding, his vision was blurry, he felt weaker than a Rimborian ratling, and on top of that, just that morning, he'd woken up with the most maddening itch on his back.

An itch that was quickly spreading to the rest of his body.

The itch was so bad that Lyle didn't even notice when Brainy took blood and skin samples for testing. Even the soft, hypo-allergenic and bio-hygienic bedding on the one med-bed in Brainy's lab (used mostly for storing various things, like Brainy's extra lab coats and whatever his current personal project was, but also for when Brainy needed to stay overnight to keep an eye on something volatile) abraded his skin, making the itch burn even hotter.

Querl quickly ran a computer analysis on the samples, and soon had an answer as to why his best friend was suffering not four yards from him.

"What you have, Invisible Kid," Brainiac 5 pronounced after approximately sixteen minutes, "is a viral infection that you somehow caught a faint strain of back in the twenty-first century. It has lain dormant in your body for these past few months, but your recent surge in physical activity, coupled with your lack of sleep, has worn your immune system down, and the infection has taken hold. Quite vigorously, it appears." He finished mixing up the intravenous lotion he determined to be the first step in caring for Lyle, and injected the pinkish substance into Lyle's overworked veins, noting with pride the way his friend's face almost instantly relaxed as the itch died down.

"How d'you know i's fr'm twenny-firs' cenury?" Lyle asked groggily, almost blissed out as the insane itch receded from his awareness.

"Because, Lyle, no one on Earth or any other planet has had the chicken pox for over eight hundred years," Querl told him, not bothering to hide the hint of a smile lurking near his mouth. The information he'd found on the Galactic Infolink indicated that chicken pox was typically a children's disease.

"Sounds shtupid," Lyle slurred as he started to drowse. The internal analgesic Querl had given him had also contained a soporific.

"Feels worse, I'm sure," Querl commiserated kindly – at least as much as he ever offered sympathy. Which, with Lyle, was about seven point four percent more often than with any other member of the Legion. Including the recently departed Koko.

Having tamed the itch, Querl now need to give Lyle something for his fever, before it raged out of control. Ever since Lyle had injected himself with his invisibility serum, his core temperature ran a tad high, at ninety-nine, but a temperature of one hundred and two point five was much too high, and near approaching delirium levels.

Something needed to be done to help Lyle heal – and Brainiac 5 was just the person to do it.

"Where ya goin'?" Lyle roused himself enough to ask, blinking up at him in sleepy confusion.

"Nowhere," Querl answered softly, covering Lyle with a spare lab coat, and then heading towards his lab work. He intended on moving all of his less important projects even further down the list, and postponing his more urgent ones, so that he could finish seeing to Lyle's needs.

Curling up into the Brainy-scented garment, eyelids heavier with each moment, Lyle nonetheless protested, "Ya don't have ta stay."

"True, but…" Querl sighed and hung his head over his beakers, unable to think of a less…saccharine way to put his feelings. "I want to." It was part of being friends, after all; looking after one another. Lyle needed him, so…he stayed.

"L'v ya, too," Lyle mumbled, whispered words ending on a snore.

The smile that kept jumping up onto Brainiac 5's face for the rest of the day in turns surprised and worried various members of the Legion even more so than Invisible Kid's having developed an eradicated – and very contagious – disease.

They needn't have worried, however; it was just going to happen more and more often as Lyle and Brainy grew closer. Eventually, maybe, they'd even get around to admitting to their feelings, and start dating.