Take Your Medicine!
There was no mistaking it - Philip was sick. If the fact that he was pale and his cheeks were flushed didn't give it away, the rather unpleasant-sounding cough that plagued him did. Shotaro had no idea where in the world Philip had even caught the cold, or flu, or whatever the hell it was that he had, since the shorter boy very rarely left the detective agency. Shotaro mused that it was probably Akiko's fault, she seemed the the more likely of the two of them to carry a virus but not actually fall victim to it, what with her boundless energy that seemed to come from nowhere.
With Philip sick in bed, Shotaro couldn't exactly go out and fight Dopants. He didn't particularly want to find out what fighting as Double would be like with Philip sick and, besides, it was cold and rainy and just plain dreary out. There just weren't as many cases as there normally were. So Shotaro stayed in the agency and tended to Philip in a way that Akiko described as "like a mother hen". Meanwhile, she lazed around and didn't do much of anything while she was at the agency, and spent the rest of her time out doing whatever it was that she did while she wasn't being the "head detective".
The first thing Philip did when he realized he was sick was to read every possible thing about it in the Planetary Bookshelf. The first thing Shotaro did was make a trip to the local market and pick up medicine, soup, and an assortment of books from the discount shelves. Philip spent day one reading through the Planetary Bookshelf about the virus he had caught, stopping to take a break every once in a while to eat some soup or to have Shotaro offer him medicine and decline, stubbornly.
"According to the book, it is more effective to use natural treatments to get rid of the flu, rather than medicine, which contains chemicals..."
Philip trailed off on his explanation, and Shotaro just sighed, leaving the bottle of pills and the bag of cough drops on the makeshift table by Philip's bed before retreating to his desk. Unlike Philip, he'd been taking every measure he could think of not to get sick - trying not to breathe around Philip, sanitizing everything, and taking anti-flu medicine and vitamin c supplements like they were going out of style.
Day Two, Philip was in pretty bad shape. He'd at least had a little energy on Day One, enough to drag himself out of bed to listen to Wakana's radio show, or to banter back and forth with Shotaro. When Shotaro had shuffled into the main room and absentmindedly flicked a lightswitch, his action was met with Philip groaning in pain and throwing an arm over his eyes.
"Bright..." Philip practically moaned in pain. Shotaro blinked, shutting off the light and making his way over to Philip's bed.
"Are you all right?" he asked. Philip shook his head.
"My eyes hurt. Was that light always so bright?" he asked. Shotaro gently pried Philip's arm away from his face, inspecting his eyes and whistling.
"You look like hell. Have a headache?" he asked. Philip nodded meekly, as best as he could with the restriction of the literal mountain of blankets and pillows he was burrowed into. Shotaro felt his forehead with a hand, then gently placed it on Philip's forehead, cringing.
"You have a fever. Aah, I hope this isn't going to get serious, I can't take you to a hospital or that organization will find you..." Shotaro trailed off with a sigh. Philip just put his arm back over his eyes. If even the dim light filtering into the area from Shotaro's room was affecting him, it was probably already serious. Shotaro sighed, slightly annoyed.
"You need to take some of the medicine, Philip," he said, his voice stern. Philip shook his head, not removing his arm.
"The book said-"
"Philip," Shotaro cut him off, a hint of anger in his voice. Philip stopped talking, peeking out from under his arm at Shotaro. The brown-haired man had his arms folded and was giving him a look.
"I don't want to take the medicine, Sho-" he stopped, launching into a series of hacking coughs. Shotaro helped him sit up, patting him on the back in what he hoped was a soothing manner. Once he was sure the young man could breathe again, he stepped back.
"I'm making some coffee. What do you want for breakfast?" he asked. Philip groaned again.
"I don't know if I can eat anything...my stomach..." Philip replied. Shotaro rolled his eyes.
"Scrambled eggs and yogurt it is," he replied, ignoring Philip's half-hearted groan of protest as made his way toward the kitchen, his original destination. He was mindful to only turn on the light over the stove, so that he didn't blind Philip again, as he set his trusty coffee pot to brew and pulled food out of the fridge - eggs, bread, butter, jam...
Despite his protests, Philip ate his breakfast and drank the juice that went along with it, but still refused the medicine.
"Just take the medicine, Philip. A little bit won't hurt you. I got sick all the time as a kid and took medicine. I'm sure Akiko did too." he tried again, knowing he probably wasn't going to get through to Philip. Philip just ignored him, launching into a series of coughs.
"At least try the cough drops. It says on the package that they're all-natural, and they're strawberry flavored. I know you like strawberries," Shotaro tried. Philip looked up at him, curiosity piqued. Taking that as a sign, he grabbed the small bag of cough drops off of the nearby makeshift table, ripping it open and handing over one of the individually wrapped cough drops. Philip unwrapped the suspiciously candy-looking medicine and inspected it curiously, tongue poking out of his mouth to lick at it tentatively before finally popping it into his mouth. Shotaro sighed silently in relief.
"So, you'll accept natural medicine?" he asked. Philip blinked up at him, momentarily pausing in his thorough tasting of the cough drop long enough to nod.
When Akiko got to the agency, Shotaro left her with a long series of instructions, and left Philip with the large stack of books that he bought from the market yesterday, grabbing a poncho on his way out. This time, he made a beeline for a nearby teahouse where one of the many people in his information network lived.
"What kind of tea is best for someone with the flu?" he asked the older lady who was busily pouring tea into cups behind the counter. She grinned at him and wordlessly stuffed a bunch of tea packets into a disposable cup and handed it to him over the counter, he sliding a bill back over the counter to her in return.
"Good luck with your sick friend, Shotaro!" she called as he exited the tea house. He stopped by the public library to pick up a few books on herbal remedies and a few novels he thought might interest the now bedridden Philip, before making a stop into the market to stock up on more soup, finally heading back to the agency. On the way back, he got a call.
"Shotaro! Philip says to get more of those cough drops," came Akiko's voice from the phone.
"Haah? But he's got a whole bag!" Shotaro exclaimed into the phone.
"He's already gone through half!," she replied. Shotaro groaned in frustration, shutting the phone and abruptly making a u-turn.
An hour later he finally arrived back at the agency with several bags, one full with more bags of the cough drops.
Philip looked a little bit better, but not by much. He had a neat little stack of opened cough drop wrappers and another neat stack of already read-through novels beside it on the bed nearby. Akiko was sitting at Shotaro's desk, of course, reading one of his books. He wordlessly handed Philip another package of the cough drops and the bag that contained the stacks of novels from the library. Philip was quick to abandon the book he was reading to rummage through the bag of novels, pulling out one of the books about herbal medicine with interest. Shotaro had already moved off to the kitchen and was setting up the tea kettle.
And so, the rest of the day passed uneventfully. Akiko left after dinner, and Philip went through an entire bag and a half more of the cough drops as well as five cups of the tea before the night was over. The cough drops were supressing his coughing, thankfully, and it seemed as if the sensitivity to light had gotten a little better, but his fever hadn't gone down by much. Shotaro sighed, realizing that if his fever didn't go down overnight he would have to go buy a thermometer, another expense to add onto the other expenses Philip's bout with the flu was costing him.
He'd have to rescue a lot of runaway cats to make up for this, he thought with a sigh.
Shotaro woke up the next morning feeling groggy and sluggish. Not because he was getting sick, though the thought crossed his mind at first. Not because of the weather, either, because it looked like it was going to be a bright, sunny day. No, Shotaro knew why. It was because Philip was up half of the night coughing even more loudly than before, and Shotaro woke up every time to make sure he was okay.
He really was acting like a mother hen, but he couldn't help it. Philip was charge, his responsibility his...aibou. So Shotaro sympathized with how tired Philip looked when he went to go check on him after setting a pot of coffee to brew.
If it was possible, Philip actually looked worse than before. His fever hadn't gone up, which was good, but it also hadn't gone down by much. He was still sensitive to light, and he was still eating cough drops like they were candy. With a sigh, he put down a tray next to Philip that had scrambled eggs, some yogurt, a glass of juice, and a glass of water. Philip tried to refuse the food because he felt nauseous, but Shotaro just stood there and glared at him until he finally gave in and ate the food and drank the juice. Another sigh, and he decided to try again, though at this point he figured he might have more success banging his head against a brick wall than trying to get Philip to take some of the medicine.
"Philip, the natural remedies aren't working. You're getting worse. It's for your own good, so-" Predictably, Philip cut him off with an annoyed pout.
"No matter how many times you ask I'm not taking the pills, Shotaro."
Shotaro sighed and sat back in the chair he'd dragged to Philip's bedside two days ago. Regarding him with a look that said 'is that your final answer', he was only met with Philip glaring right back.
Time for drastic measures.
"Philip, you are taking the medicine. You can either take it willingly or I can force it down your throat," he replied. Philip stared at him, incredulously, finally laughing a bit apprehensively.
"You're going to force the medicine down my throat? I'd like to see you try," he sneered. Shotaro cocked an eyebrow at him, and stood from the chair. Philip watched as he slowly made his way over to where the medicine was sitting, almost forlornly on the makeshift table. He grabbed the bottle of 'flu relief' pills and popped it open, shaking two pills into his hand before closing the bottle. He made his way over to stand at Philip's bedside, staring down at him impassively.
"This is your last chance. Do you want to take the medicine willingly?" he asked. Philip just scoffed, and Shotaro took that as a no. Before Philip could even comprehend, Shotaro had hopped onto his bed, straddling his waist and pinning his lower body to the mattress as he deftly caught both of Philip's hands with one of his, hand closing around both wrists and pressing it into the pillows behind Philip's head. Philip gasped in shock and outrage, struggling against Shotaro to no effect. He was exhausted from the flu, and aside from that, he'd been in bed for two days straight - and even before that, when he wasn't sick, Shotaro was still physically stronger than him. He never had a chance.
Philip gave him an absolutely bewildered look when Shotaro raised his hand and popped the two pills into his own mouth, then reached over for the untouched glass of water that was still sitting on the table nearby. Until Shotaro took a gulp of the water did it register in Philip's head what he intended to do, and he struggled a little more fiercely, once again completely futilely. Calmly setting the glass of water back down on the table, Shotaro leaned his face in close to Philip's before carefully pressing his lips against the younger detective's. Using the hand that wasn't pinning Philip's wrists into the pillows he gently forced Philip's mouth open, stroking in downwards motions along Philip's throat until he was forced to swallow the pill and the mouthful of water that was deposited into his mouth. Shotaro drew back, swiping the back of his hand over his lips and praying that he had enough anti-flu medicine and vitaimin c in his system to counteract what he'd just done. Philip was staring at him in absolute shock, and continued to do so even when he released Philip's wrists and swung himself off of the bed, offering Philip the rest of the glass of water, which the young man accepted, dumbfounded. He was halfway to the kitchen (to drink some orange juice, as a matter of fact), when Philip finally found his voice.
"Y-you kissed me!" Philip exclaimed in disbelief. Shotaro sighed.
"I told you I was going to make you take the medicine, didn't I?" the brown-haired half-Rider replied.
"But you kissed me!" Philip repeated. Shotaro made a big deal about taking the carton of orange juice out of the refridgerator and getting a glass out of the cupboard.
"It's only a kiss if you mean it as a kiss, Philip, and that wasn't meant as a kiss," was Shotaro's response. A few seconds of silence went by, and Shotaro concluded it was safe to drink his orange juice, so he drank it.
"But..." Philip finally started, pausing for a few seconds. "You kissed me!" Shotaro sighed again, trying to school the blush that was forming on his cheeks.
"I wouldn't have had to if you'd just taken the medicine," he replied, gulping down the glass of orange juice. "And as a matter of fact, if you keep refusing the medicine I'm going to keep doing that until you get better."
A small part of Shotaro hoped that Philip kept refusing to take his medicine. A very small part. And a small part of Philip considered continuing to refuse to take his medicine.
But, it seemed like the medicine did the trick, because Philip's fever started going down towards the evening, and he started looking less and less pale and sickly. He begrudginly took his medicine without having to be forced to take it, and by night he was loathe to admit that he was feeling much, much better.
Day four saw Philip looking a lot healthier than before. He still had a little bit of a fever, and he was still a little sensitive to light, and he was still eating cough drops like candy, but he had more energy than before. All in all, it looked like he was getting better.
About halfway through the day, after Akiko had come and left on one of her inane 'rescue the cat' missions, Philip wandered into the main room of the agency and plopped down in the chair across from where Shotaro was sitting at his desk, feet propped up on it and reading one of the novels he'd gotten for Philip. He looked up to find Philip smiling at him, cheeks still flushed from the sickness, hair messier than usual thanks to the fact that he'd been in bed for three and a half days.
"Thanks, Shotaro," Philip said. Shotaro blinked, and Philip continued. "For taking care of me for the past few days." Shotaro just nodded.
"Well, that's what partners are for, aibou," was the brown-haired man's response. Philip just grinned.
"It made me remember something," he said. Shotaro abandoned his book, re-adjusting his body to firmly plant his feet on the ground and turn to face Philip completely, shock evident on his face.
Philip didn't have any memories. At least, that's what the dark-haired boy had told him after the chaos that was the night that they first met. Philip had said he couldn't remember anything from before Shotaro and his boss found him in that lab. He'd had a memory like this once before - a vague impression of a loving family walking along the beach. And it had caused him to completely shut down, body and mind, every time the word 'kazoku' was said. He'd gotten over that, of course, but...
"It's not anything concrete. I just have the impression that I was sick like this before, and there was someone who stayed by my bed the entire time, and gave me soup and tea and medicine, just like you did," Philip explained, eyes looking over Shotaro's shoulder to a distant past that he only had vague impressions of, a gentle smile on his face. "A mother, perhaps."
Shotaro reached across the desk to ruffle Philip's hair affectionately, and Philip just smiled over at him.