Disclaimer: I definitely don't own these characters.
Edit: COACH does not equal COUCH. I am an idiot. That really was more than a few typos - that one was just the most ridiculous. Anyway, since I'm editing this chapter, let me just say thank you so much for the reviews. You've no idea how ecstatic I was, knowing that someone liked something I wrote even just a little. Seriously. And I feel like I should warn the reader that if I continue this, then it probably will get really weird. Ahem. By the by, I really, really like swearing. It's a borderline fetish. Anyway, they're both under extreme emotional duress and it just felt right writing it like that. And I really, really like swearing. F-ck just feels so good in your mouth, you know? Maybe that's just a weird me thing.
"Are you really sick?" Kyon said, crossing his arms as he stood facing Itsuki who was peering blearily at him through his open door.
"Is that a serious question?" Blinking in the harsh florescent light from the hallway, his hands clutching a blanket around him, Itsuki leaned heavily against the doorframe. "No, Kyon. I just decided to take a few days off. Having the time of my life, really, I am." He turned away as he burst into a fit of coughing, stumbling back into his apartment to sit down on the couch. He wrapped his blanket around him like a cocoon.
"Koi-Koizumi! Are you okay?" When Itsuki nodded ascent, waving him away, Kyon, still standing awkwardly in the doorway, shouted, "Was that just sarcasm you used?"
"I apologize. I'm a little out of it," Itsuki replied, rubbing his face. "You can come in if you like. I would like it if you did, that is. I promise I won't infect you," he added, straining to smile brightly.
"Are you here alone?" Kyon placed his hands on the doorframe and leaned a little into the room.
Kyon rocked back and forth on his heels, stranded between the hallway and the depths of Itsuki's apartment. "You've been here all alone, by yourself, for the past two days?"
"Yes. I like having this place to myself, under normal circumstances – the location is quite convenient." Itsuki's slender frame shook with another eruption of coughs. "Could you please bring me some water?"
Kyon paused, considering his options, and then took a few hesitant steps into the room. "Over here?" Itsuki nodded and settled back onto the couch. He didn't really need to ask, Kyon thought; the place was so bare it would be impossible to miss. It was a one-room apartment with a kitchenette and closet, a lamp table with textbooks stacked beneath it, a small table covered with empty soup cans and a hand-held can opener – is that all he's been eating while ill?, and the couch he assumed was some sort of a pull-out bed. The walls were uncomfortably bare.
"I live a rather Spartan life here," Itsuki said smiling, noting Kyon's covert observations, while Kyon fetched a glass of water from the sink.
"Here." Kyon thrust the cup towards Itsuki. Still smiling at him, Itsuki gently but firmly wrapped his right hand around Kyon's wrist and with his left hand, he grabbed Kyon's hand that was clutching the glass.
"Thank you, Kyon." He held Kyon there for a few seconds, looking up at him through his damp bangs, before he let go and slipped his fingers through Kyon's to take hold of the glass. Kyon's whole body relaxing as he released the breath he had been holding, he jerked his hand away, wiped it on his shirt and looked away. He felt awkward and uncomfortable, like there was a tight knot in his chest, restricting his breathing.
"Haruhi told me to come," Kyon mumbled, breaking the silence, as Itsuki feverishly gulped down the water. "She's complaining again about the 'lack of enthusiasm' as cause for the lack of membership. She wanted a full report on how sick you really were and whether or not it warranted missing club activities – never mind school, naturally."
"And I'm sure your heart is breaking because you're conveniently missing filming of her epic sequel," Itsuki said as he set the glass on the floor and stretched out on the couch, his eyes closing. "Ah, sorry. That was sarcasm again. That's your thing, isn't it?" Closing his eyes with a slight, soft smile, he added, "It would seem that you've had something of an effect on me, Kyon."
"Ah, well. Yeah. I've got to – I've got to go," Kyon muttered, backing slowly from the room. Kyon didn't like the way Itsuki said his name – it sounded possessive and weird, and he sort of rolled it around in his mouth like he was tasting it or something – and Kyon definitely didn't want to think about any possible effects he might be having on him. "I've got to go home and take care of my sister."
"Wait –" Itsuki said, his eyes snapping open. He reached out and caught a hold of Kyon's sleeve, nearly toppling off the couch in the process.
"You're surprisingly energetic when you want to be for someone too sick to leave the house," Kyon snapped, trying to shake Itsuki loose.
"There's that familiar Kyon." Itsuki grinned weakly. "You'll bring the work I've missed won't you? I would like it if you did, that is."
"Alright, just let go of my sleeve. Tomorrow, I'll come back tomorrow," Kyon said and pulled out of Itsuki's grasp.
"Thank you, Kyon." He relaxed and pulled himself back onto the couch, watching Kyon scamper out the door and slam it shut behind him.
"You look better," Kyon said sullenly as he slid through the open door, his eyes darting over Itsuki and the apartment beyond. Though his voice was raspy and faint, Itsuki had regained the color in his cheeks, his eyes were bright and clear, and he seemed to be stronger today as he hadn't toppled back onto the couch – which Kyon noted was left pulled out as a bed. He had probably just woken up, Kyon thought, examining Itsuki, whose trousers hung loosely about his slender waist and whose hair was more tousled than usual. Kyon also noticed that Itsuki must have cleaned – the empty soup cans that had been rolling about freely were noticeably missing.
"Thank you, Kyon," Itsuki grinned obviously pleased. "I feel better. I'm quite sure that I will be able to return to school tomorrow."
Kyon sighed, relief apparent. "That's good." Itsuki cocked his head to the side curiously, mumbling in his weak voice. "What's that?"
Itsuki, quickly breaching the gap between them, leaned forward into Kyon, his chest pressed against Kyon's arm, lips close to Kyon's ear, as Kyon backed into the couch converted bed. "I said that you seem relieved, and the thought that you missed me makes me very happy."
Falling back onto the bed, Kyon raised his books up against his chest like a shield. "It's just that Haruhi's getting frustrated again. You know."
"And now I won't have to see you out of school."
Kyon glared at Itsuki, who was looking all together too amused for Kyon's liking, and tried to control the rising surge of embarrassment and rage that was covering his face with a fierce blush. Itsuki seemed content to stand firmly planted where he was, their knees just touching, simply smiling, leaving Kyon with few options if he ever wanted to get off of Itsuki's bed – like flipping over onto his back and crawling off. "It's just weird that you aren't there, okay? Things just don't feel – complete. Or something." Kyon looked away, intently studying the wall.
"I see." Itsuki cocked his head to the side again, his smile broadening.
"Could you, you know, back up?"
"Hm? Oh, are those for me?" Kyon looked down at the books still clutched to his chest that Itsuki was gesturing at.
"Oh yeah." He had forgotten the reason why he had come back in the first place. "It's the work you asked me to bring."
"Can I have it please?" Itsuki said, gently pulling on the papers Kyon was still clutching to his chest. Kyon rocked forward and planted his feet on the floor, pushing the books into Itsuki's arm with one arm while grabbing onto the boys shoulder with the other, and maneuvered around him toward the stove, avoiding as much physical contact as possible. "You'll stay won't you? To explain the directions, that is." Itsuki sprawled onto the bed, the work spread out before him, watching Kyon intently.
"Where do you keep the pots?"
"Pots. A pot – a container, usually round, and used for cooking. Specifically, I want a tea kettle – a type of pot in which you prepare you'll never guess what," Kyon grumbled, fumbling around the tiny kitchen.
"Why?" Itsuki said, bemused.
"What do you think? I'm going to – wait, why are all of your pots in the closet?" Kyon said as he looked up to see Itsuki pulling a kettle from a motley pile of paraphernalia that was tumbling from the open closet.
"I keep a lot of things in my closet," Itsuki said, tossing the kettle to Kyon while shoving the rest of his junk back inside.
"You're really weird."
"I like to keep things neat looking, thank you." Itsuki rose from his knees and crossed the room to his bed, flopping down onto the bed.
"There's food there on the table." Kyon said over his shoulder while busying himself with the tea.
"You brought me food?"
"Don't make a big deal out of it. It's just what I had left over, and besides, you were eating cold soup out of cans. I don't dislike you that much."
"I suppose I should take that as a compliment," Itsuki said, flipping idly through his missed work. "When did you set that down anyway?"
'Sometime between me walking into the apartment and you sexually harassing me,' Kyon thought. "Don't worry about it. You should just stop talking."
"I don't suppose you know anything about this?"
"What?" Kyon turned to see the chart Itsuki was waving. "Oh, maths. No clue." Returning with a cup of tea, he said. "You really should stop talking. Here." He reached out to hand Itsuki the cup, thought better of it, and set the cup down on the table between them.
"Won't you come over here and look?" Itsuki said shifting on the bed.
"I've got to go," Kyon said hastily. There was no way he was crawling into bed with Itsuki.
"I'll see you tomorrow then."
"At club," Kyon said firmly over his shoulder as he headed out the door.
"Good morning, Kyon-kun," Itsuki said, falling into step next to him. Kyon grunted in response. "Are you not feeling well?"
"I'm just tired," Kyon said. He refused to mention the cause of his lack of sleep: that intense dream – nightmare, he amended – of Koizumi. And him. He sped up as he felt his face turning red.
"You look a bit flushed, Kyon-kun," Itsuki said as he matched Kyon's pace easily with his long stride. "Are you sure you don't want me –"
"I'm fine. I'm pretty sure I'm old enough to tell when I'm fine, thank you, Koi– hey, hey!" Kyon cut off his rant suddenly as he ran into Itsuki, who had slipped quickly in front of Kyon and stopped. Wrapping one arm around Kyon's lower back, Itsuki steered the unbalanced boy towards the fence, cornering him, and placed his free hand gently against Kyon's forehead.
"You feel hot," Itsuki murmured softly while closing the distance between their bodies, his hand trailing down Kyon's cheek when Kyon jerked his face away.
Kyon, shuddering at the close contact, pushed him away and rubbed his cheek against his shoulder. "I'm fine."
"Yes, I suppose you are," Itsuki said, cocking his head to the side. "I'm just suggesting that you may have caught a case of what I had."
'Insanity? That's more like have.' Kyon adjusted the strap on his bag and continued on toward the school. "I doubt it." Itsuki quickly caught up to Kyon once again.
"You did come to visit me while I was ill."
"Haruhi sent me."
"I was bringing you your missed work."
"And you were in my apartment for quite a while."
"Not that long."
"And you did bring me food."
"Yeah, well –"
"And you did make me tea –"
"Okay! Okay! I get it – I was with you for a while. I'm not sick, though. I just – I just had trouble sleeping."
"Whatever you say, Kyon-kun." They continued on to the school in silence, Kyon sneaking glances not-so-casually at Itsuki, who was walking cheerfully beside him. "Oh, there's something I've been meaning to do."
"What's that? Oh –" Kyon turned to look at him just as Itsuki seized him and pulled him into a kiss.
"What? What? What the fuck is wrong with you? I mean – what the fuck, Koizumi!" Kyon shouted, pushing Itsuki away, his hand rubbing his mouth fiercely.
"I was just testing a theory," he said coolly. Kyon noticed he wasn't sporting his usual smile – Itsuki seemed relaxed, but there was a certain sharp look in his eyes. Kyon stepped forward – to punch him or push him – but then stepped backwards. And then forwards again. He licked his lips, realized what he just did, and then rubbed his hand across his mouth again.
"Testing? What were you – testing? I mean – what theory? Wait, never mind. I don't want to know," Kyon said. He shook his head like he was trying to knock the memory right out of his mind, turned away from the other boy and stomped off in the direction of the school.
"Kyon." He ignored Itsuki's call. "Kyon. Are you sure you don't want to know, Kyon?" Itsuki nearly walked into Kyon, who had suddenly stopped and turned to face him.
"Yes. I'm certain I don't want to know. I don't want to know anything. I don't want to know you. So fuck off."
"No. I won't." Itsuki grabbed Kyon's arm and held on tightly with his always surprisingly strong grip. "I like you."
"Don't touch me, you freak. Fuck off."
"Yes. Stop fucking with me, Koizumi. Just stop."
"I'm not fucking with you."
"Yes, yes you are. That's your job, isn't it? That's who you are, isn't it? You're sick, you know that? This is why - this is why I hate you, Koizumi."
"Admittedly, I do fuck with you – a lot. But I'm not right now."
"Oh, well, that's alright then."
"I like you, Kyon," Itsuki said.
"Shut up," Kyon snapped, jerking his arm away.
"I like you."
"Just stop, please," Kyon pleaded. "Stop. I can't – I can't handle this right now. Stop it."
Itsuki stared at him for a few seconds. "Fine," Itsuki said. "I apologize for saying anything. I'm afraid I've only made things more difficult for you. I've been selfish. I apologize."
Kyon didn't say anything – what do you say in a situation like this? – and continued on towards school, Itsuki following him in step.