A/N Alright, so this is a joint write fic with my friend Rhee - her user name is Arya Mory. I am writing the odd numbered chaptered, she is writing the even numbered one, so this chapter was written by me! I hope that you enjoy it! - Havah
"Hey, Charlie, did you turn the AC on?" Jason pulled his sweatshirt around him, shivering slightly, as he walked into the kitchen.
"Um, no…" Charlie frowned. "I turned the heat on like…an hour ago because you said you were cold even though I thought it was fine, now you're still cold and I'm sweating a little bit."
"What?" Jason grabbed a can of root beer from the refrigerator. "It's freezing in here."
"No, it's verging on boiling." Charlie turned around, looking oddly at Jason. "Come here, Jase."
"What for?" Jason asked, taking a long gulp from his soda.
"Just come over here, alright?" Charlie set down his sandwich and beckoned Jason forwards. Jason rolled his eyes, but complied, setting down the aluminum can as he made his way towards Charlie. Charlie reached out, putting his hand on his brother's forehead.
"Hey, what?" Jason pulled away. "Charlie, what are you doing?"
"You're freezing, Jase, and it's like 90 degrees in here, which means that either you're seriously imbalanced, or you have a fever, so come back here and let me feel." Charlie put his hand back to his brother's forehead just as their mother walked in.
"Charlie, it's a waste of time." Their mother came into the room, rolling her eyes. "He's been telling me he's feeling off all weekend, he's just trying to get out of going to school tomorrow, don't let him drag you in."
"Mom, I don't have a test or a paper due," Jason reasoned. "You can call my teachers and ask – I'm not trying to fake sick, I just wanted Charlie to turn the heat on."
"Jason, it's hot in here." Their mother frowned.
"Mom, I don't think he's faking…" Charlie frowned, feeling the boy's forehead again. "He's freezing."
"Freezing? Charlie, that's absurd."
"Go and get the thermometer," Charlie stated, getting off of the stool. His mother rolled her eyes, leaving the room. "Jason, have you been sticking your head in the ice box again?"
"No, I haven't done that since I was 12! That was like…two whole years ago." Jason shook his head.
"Okay, S.T.A.N!" Charlie called, biting his lip.
"What's he gonna do?" Jason asked as S.T.A.N entered the room.
"What is it?" S.T.A.N asked.
"Can you feel Jason? He seems…really cold to me."
"Of course." S.T.A.N nodded, knowing that Charlie wanted him to use the built-in heat sensor to figure out what was up with Jason. "Oh my." S.T.A.N backed away. "He does feel a tad cold, Charlie, why don't you help me close the windows in the house, try to make it a little warmer?"
"Yeah, sure." Charlie nodded, following S.T.A.N out of the room as their mother returned. "What is it? What's up?" Charlie asked.
"Your brother's body temperature seems to be a little bit…below normal." S.T.A.N frowned. "Now I'm not sure, but that's not really a symptom of any known diseases, at least not that have been programmed into my hard drive, just…whatever you do, try and keep an eye on him, alright? I'm going to talk to hall about this."
"Wait, what?" Charlie put his hand on S.T.A.N's shoulder. "Why does Mr. Hall need to get involved in this? My brother's sick, that's not a Hall Industries thing."
"No, no, I'm sure it's not." S.T.A.N faked a laugh before walking away in what would have been a nervous fashion if he weren't an android and actually had the ability to feel nervous.
"Wait, S.T.A.N!" Charlie sighed as the android walked away. There was something that S.T.A.N wasn't telling him, at least not right away, and that made him nervous. His mother was right, on one hand – Jason did fake sick a lot in order to keep from having to take tests or turn in homework assignments that he hadn't done.
"Hey, Charlie…" his mother walked into the living room, purse in hand as she searched for her car keys. "I have to go to work, they just called an emergency meeting – look after your brother, alright? Just make him some tea, I'm sure he's just fine."
"Alright." Charlie nodded, biting his lip. If Hall was calling his mother into work, something was up, something that she couldn't be around to witness. "Don't worry about it, I didn't have plans."
"Good." She smiled, kissing her son on the cheek as she ran out the door. The second his mother left, Charlie went to the kitchen, looking for Jason. He found his brother sitting at the counter, staring down at the thermometer, tapping it with his index finger.
"Hey." He took the thermometer out of Jason's hand. "What's up?"
"Thermometer's broken." He shrugged, reaching for his can of soda again.
"It is?" Charlie looked down at the device, frowning as he looked at the numbers. 94.2. "Whoa," he muttered under his breath.
"Yeah." Jason nodded. "That's like…4.6 degrees below average body temperature, so something's gotta be wrong with it."
"Yeah, must be." Charlie nodded, setting the thermometer aside. He knew that it was important that, for now, Jason thought that he was alright, but the numbers on the thermometer combined with what S.T.A.N had said and with his mother's quick exit led Charlie to believe that something was going on here, something that he was going to have to deal with.
"So…mom's gone." Jason looked up at Charlie. "What are we going to do?"
"I'm gonna make some tea." Charlie headed for the tea kettle, trying to remain calm.
"But you don't drink tea," Jason pointed out, giving his brother and odd look.
"Not normally, no." Charlie shrugged, putting the kettle on the stove before beginning to poke around in the cupboards, looking for the various boxes of tea that he knew his mother kept in the house. "But today I feel like a cup of tea, why don't you have one too? I mean if you're feeling a little cold, maybe it'll help, tea is known to help you get better, at least that's what everyone says, I-"
"Charlie." Jason reached out, putting his hand on Charlie's shoulder, stopping his brother's nearly frantic searching. "It's just tea. You're rambling, just calm down, bro. If it's wigging you out so much, I'll have a cup of tea even though it's weird…and an old people's drink." Jason shrugged.
"Right, sorry." He forced a laugh as he pulled out two mugs, dropping random tea bags into each one. "I'll calm down."
"Good, cause you're wigging me out."
"Sorry." Charlie sighed, sitting to wait for the kettle to boil. He didn't know what else to say, so he re-occupied himself with the sandwich he had started to eat earlier. Once the tea was done, he poured both cups, adding a great deal of sugar to both before handing one to his brother.
"Oh, warm." Jason smiled, wrapping his fingers around the mug as he did so.
"Hey, Charlie could I speak to you for a moment?" S.T.A.N entered the kitchen, beckoning for the older boy to follow him.
"What is it?" Charlie asked once he was sure they were out of Jason's earshot.
"It's as I feared." S.T.A.N let out a slight sigh. "Your brother has ingested some sort of toxin, a chemical…"
"I'm sorry, what?" Charlie lowered his voice, panic rising inside of him.
"Hall Industries has been keeping tabs recently on a toxin that Omega has been testing, we believe that your brother has ingested it," S.T.A.N reiterated.
"Okay, but S.T.A.N, what does that mean?" Charlie asked.
"Well do you want the good news or the bad news first."
"Um…good?" Charlie bit his lip.
"It's not contagious."
"There is no cure."
"What?" Charlie froze as he looked at S.T.A.N. "What do you mean there isn't a cure?"
"I mean that the only person with the ability to create an antidote is the same person who created the chemical, and judging by the situation, they won't be willing to help us."
"And that person is?"
"Okay, I'm staying calm," Charlie tried to assure himself. "What does this chemical do?"
"It is taking the heat from your brother's body at a slow, but steady rate."
"Oh." Charlie gulped. "And without an antidote?"
"Jason will die."
A/N: Disclaimer: We're taking liberties with medical info...sorry!