"Jude, I've got to go to work, do you mind looking after Max for a while

So, this is DEFINITELY not an original story. I've seen so many of these that I'd be rich if I got paid a nickel every time I read one.

However, it is a cute subject matter, so I couldn't help writing one on my own.

This is dedicated to SirusLovesRent, my wonderful coffee date, and ProngsLovesRent, my adoring and faithful (I hope!) husband. I hope this bout of Max/Jude makes you two happy :D.

BTW, it's Max/Jude sort of. They aren't a couple, but something more than friendship is definitely implied.

Go see 21 if you haven't. Jim Sturgess + well-tailored suits + fake American accent + adorable facial expressions too sexy for words (and this is coming from a true-blue Joe lover!)

Disclaimer: I do not own Across the Universe or these two, much to my dismay.


"Jude, I've got to go to work, do you mind looking after Max for a while?" Lucy asked worriedly as she glanced at the clock.

Jude looked up at her from his sprawled position on the couch and smiled warmly at her. "Of course, love. What's he down with, anyway?"

"Some type of flu, I'm guessing. It's nothing life-threatening, but he certainly is miserable."

"Poor bloke."

She sighed in agreement and looked at Max's bedroom door in dismay. "He might get up later, you know he'll do anything to find food if he's hungry." He nodded and got up to give her a quick kiss before disappearing into his own room to get his charcoal and his sketchpad.

By the time he came back into the living room, she was long gone. He sat comfortably on the couch, mindlessly sketching the gorgeous view of the full moon outside the apartment window. A few hours past, and eventually, he heard a slight disturbance coming from his best mate's room. Sure enough, minutes later, out came a very sick-looking Max, whose face was pale, his normally bright, vibrant azure eyes glazed over, and scraggly blonde hair disheveled and a tangled mess. Jude shot him a sympathetic smile.

"Hey, mate. How ya feelin'?"

"Like shit," came the raspy, stuffed-up response. "Damn city. Driving people around all day is like carting around bacteria in a disease pool."

"Fuck…" Max grumbled as he collapsed into the easy chair, pressing his fingers against his achy sinuses. "I feel awful."

"Why'd you come out here then?"

The wide-eyed, pathetic look that crossed the blonde's face forced Jude to contain a snigger. "'Cause I'm hungry," he pouted.

"You're just going to throw it up later, you know."

"Shut up," Max snarled, which was followed by a humongous sneezing fit. Once it was over, Jude tossed him a stray box of tissues that had been sitting on the lamp stand. Max grabbed it greedily, and blew his nose, making a horrible, prolonged honking noise.

"Fuck…" he groaned again, this time leaning back deep into the chair cushions. "I can't fucking breathe, I won't be surprised if I die sometime in the night."

"Oh, don't be such a wanker, it's just a little cold."

"Fuck you. This is worse than a cold. This is pure torture. And you wouldn't give a shit if I died right here and now, would you?"

Jude burst into chuckles. Max was always one who added an unnecessary dramatic flair to everything, but this outburst was particularly ridiculous.

"See? Look at you, laughing at me!"

"Sorry…sorry," Jude stuttered as his giggles subsided. "What can I do to make it up to you?"

Max crossed his arms, wrapping his fuzzy, royal blue bathrobe around his thin frame tightly. "Feed me."

"Okay." Jude pulled himself out the couch and into the kitchen. He rummaged in the cupboards, pulling out a medley of different cans and mixes. He picked up the first one his hand came in contact with. "So do you want..." Jude read the label to himself, and after doing so adopted a horrendous southern accent. "…Gramma's Mighty Tasty Cornbread?"

The look Max shot him answered that question. "Alright, how about…Sadie's Mystery Mix that's been sitting here for ages?"

"Because I know what's in it, I would very much like some of it, and so would you. However, she checks that thing all the time, and if any of it's missing, she'll flip shit."

Jude scowled in disappointment, but continued searching. "Ah, how about this? Chicken Noodle Soup?"

"What's in it?"

"Well, chicken…and noodles…"

Max rolled his eyes. "No shit, Sherlock. Anything else?"

"Yeah, but it's a bunch of other shit that I can't read. So, is this what you want? I mean, don't you Americans worship these bloody cans of soups when you fall ill?"

"About as much as you Brits adore your blessed tea."

Jude grinned. "Well then, I suppose I ought to get started. Let's see…" Off he went, making Max's dinner, trying to read the miniscule directions best he could. He thought he was doing alright, though 3 tablespoons of salt seemed a bit excessive. Finally, everything was cooked. Carefully, Jude poured some into a stray coffee mug lying on the counter and brought it to Max.. He grasped it eagerly, and after shutting his eyes and inhaling (best he could) the delicious aroma, a slight smile tugging at his lips, he took a sip.

His features scrunched in agony, and sputtering , sent Jude's hard work all over the living room.

"The fuck did you put in here?"

Jude couldn't help but feel a tad bit hurt. "What was so wrong with it?" he mumbled.

"Too much salt. Blech! It made my mouth burn!"

"I followed the instructions on the back! Here!" Jude sulked back into the kitchen, grabbing the can off the counter and brought it back to Max, watching him read it sourly.

"I don't know what you did, but three teaspoons of salt wouldn't do this."

"…did you say teaspoons?"

"Yeah, why?"

"I thought it said…tablespoons."

Max tossed a pillow at him. "You dumb shit. It says teaspoons! T.S.P not T.B.S! Do you not know your alphabet?"

"Well, if you weren't so lazy, maybe you could make your own bloody food!"

"If you hadn't laughed at me, I wouldn't have asked you to do it!"

Jude racked his brains, trying to think of another reason to blame the whole ordeal on his demanding friend. "Yeah…well…you're just a pillock."

Max couldn't hold back a devious grin at his friend's failed attempts to make him feel guilty. Jude fell in a huff onto the couch, pouting ever so slightly.

"Aw, come on, man. Don't go all tortured artist on me."

Jude didn't reply, but a hint of a grin crept onto his lips. He picked up his forgotten sketchpad and charcoal and resumed his drawing, determined to not feel sorry for his ailing best friend. Max brought his knees to his chest and clung to them for dear life as he started to shake.

"Bring me that blanket, would you?"

"Get it yourself."

"But I'm cold. And it's three inches away from you."

"Well, we found out what happens when I try to help you, didn't we?" Jude replied with a smirk. Max groaned and muttered various expletives under his breath as he dragged himself out the cushions of his chair and to the couch. However, instead of taking the blanket that lay just above Jude's head, he stretched himself out across him, resting his head on Jude's chest.

Jude yelped in surprise, but didn't protest. Carefully, he propped himself up, making it more comfortable for the both of them.

"Glad you find me better than a blanket," he cracked, but Max didn't respond. On the contrary, he looked terrible, his breathing ragged and his body trembling relentlessly in his feverish state.

"Looks like you've got a bad case of chills…"he murmured before reaching up to grab the blanket. He spread it out across the both of them, to which Max grasped the thick, wool layer tightly. He snuggled further into Jude's chest, his chills receding ever so slightly to his relief.

Despite his head pounding and his empty stomach churning violently, Jude's steady heartbeat allowed him to drift off to sleep again. Before he did, however, he yawned and adjusted his position slightly.

"Judey, would you be sad if I died?" he asked quietly, in a childlike tone.

"Yes, mate." was the griped response.

"Would you cry?"

"I reckon I would."

"Would you sit in your room for days and days, never thinking about anything but how you possibly could have saved me if you had just thrown me the fucking blanket?"

"Now you're pushing it," he replied, giving him a light shove. Max started to laugh, but his chuckles were replaced by endless coughs that racked his entire body, causing his spine to curl awkwardly. Finally, once the spell ended, he resumed his previous position, breathing heavily and shutting his eyes in exhaustion.

"Maybe dying would be the easier route," he said bitterly.

Jude sighed and let his head droop onto the blonde's before grumbling "Oh, shut it." A sleepy grin spread across Max's face before he fell into his own blissful unconsciousness.

Lucy came from work about an hour later, giggling silently at the sight of both her boys sound asleep on top of each other. She leaned against the doorframe, shaking her head in exasperation. Her arrival caused Jude to stir, and when he awoke, he shot her a dazed smile.

"Hey. How was work?"

"Mm…it was work. How was work for you?"

He looked down at his still slumbering friend. "Not too bad. He's a bit of a handful, but he's all right."

Lucy nodded in approval, and began to head off towards her room until a thick, hoarse voice stopped her. "Luce?" She turned back towards the both of them, and saw her brother looking at her groggily.


"Don't let him make me chicken soup next time."


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