Clavis hadn't been fussed over by someone so much since he was a small child. Whenever he expressed signs of illness or distress, his mother would fuss over him until he was comfortable. After those days had gone, hardly anybody fussed over him. Yeah, Julious did express concern at times, particularly when Clavis almost drowned one day. But, it was never to the same extent as how his mother fussed.

Times changed as the years developed. He soon found himself being fussed over again, only this time it was by someone younger than him. Well, he couldn't really blame Lumiale for expressing much concern, he did give him reason to. When they first met, it was a peaceful meeting. Both sat in silence and reveled in the other's presence. But, after one incident, things changed.

Lumiale had been searching for Clavis all day, but there had been no sign of him anywhere. He tried asking the other Shugosei if they knew where he could've been, but most of them replied that they hadn't seen him, while Julious just muttered about Clavis skipping out on work again. It was strange, Lumiale knew all locations Clavis would go to if he decided work was getting to be too much. But, he'd visited all locations and there wasn't even a hint that Clavis had been there.

Clavis, in fact, was in his manor. Work was getting to be too much, he found himself feeling incredibly stressed. Normally he wouldn't care for Julious' opinion, but if he were to have asked Lumiale to accompany him, then the younger would've also been facing a serious lecture about how one must be diligent in their duties. He decided to spare Lumiale that agony, and left without letting anybody know. He started to feel some pain in his lower back, something he hadn't experienced before. He decided the best way to ease it for the time being was to have a hot bath. It did work on most occasions, surely it would work this time.

The sun was setting and work was over for the day. Lumiale left his office and hurried to try to find Clavis again. He didn't know why, but he could sense something was wrong. And whatever it was, it had something to do with his best friend.

Maybe having a hot bath was not a good idea after all. Sure, the pain had eased significantly, but he was starting to feel too relaxed. He had a tendency of falling asleep practically anywhere, and that could be a concern depending on where he was. He felt his eyelids grow heavier and heavier. He tried to fight it so he could get out, but in the end, sleep won the battle, and he was left dozing in a bathtub full of water.

Lumiale had been everywhere for the third time that day, but he still couldn't find Clavis. That left only one place the older male could've gone...his manor. He hurried to the large building, the feeling of dread worsening as the seconds passed.

Clavis was fast asleep, it was so deep that he didn't even realise he was starting to sink under the water.

There was no time for manners. Lumiale hurriedly opened the door and ran through the manor, still having trouble finding his friend. He had two rooms left, both were connected. There was Clavis' bedroom...and the bathroom. He hurried to the bedroom and saw the bed was empty, but the bathroom door was closed. Clavis usually had the door open when he wasn't in there. Lumiale opened the door and saw his friend sleeping in the bathtub. He noticed the older male was slipping under inch-by-inch. He took large steps to the bathtub and tried to ease the older male out of the water so he wouldn't drown. "Clavis-sama, please wake up. Please open your eyes." He started to shake the other very carefully, not enough to startle him out of sleep, but enough to rouse him.

Clavis' eyes fluttered open, the first thing he saw was blue. His eyes opened further and that was when he realised Lumiale was in there. "Lumiale?"

"Clavis-sama, please forgive me for disturbing you during a private moment, but you fell asleep in the bath. You...you could've drowned..." Lumiale replied.

"I see. Thank you for waking me up." He noticed the water had become ice-cold. It started to feel very uncomfortable. He reached into the water and pulled the plug, allowing the water to drain. "I am awake now. I will get out of the tub."

"In that case, I shall wait for you in the living room. Please take care, Clavis-sama."

"I will." He watched as the younger turned to leave. "Lumiale. Don't tell Julious about this."

"I promise I will not mention it to another living soul." He left the room in order to give Clavis some privacy.

Ever since that moment, Lumiale had become a bit more fretful around Clavis. It hadn't reached the point that it had become annoying, so he didn't tell the younger to stop. Besides...it was nice knowing someone cared about him so much that they worried over him. Such as in this instant...

Lumiale returned to the bedroom with a dinner cart. He had his tea set, a bowl of soup and some medicine sitting on the top of it. "Clavis-sama, it is time for your dinner."

The Yami no Shugosei sat up in his large bed, and noticed Lumiale had again fluffed the pillows to make them extremely comfortable. "Thank you."

"I know you're not feeling especially hungry right now, so I have brought some soup for now. Once you've had your fill, it will be time to take some medicine." Lumiale forced himself to hide a smile when he noticed Clavis had started to pout slightly upon hearing that. "I've also taken the liberty to bring my tea set to prepare your favourite blend in order to help the taste of the medication to leave your mouth quicker." He brought out a small tray and sat it on Clavis' lap, then set the soup on it. "It will be hot, so please do take care."

Clavis was cautious with the soup, taking the time to blow on it so it wouldn't burn his mouth. He had a spoonfull and swallowed. "It is delicious."

"I am glad you enjoy it. It's an old family recipe. My mother used to make this soup for me when I was sick." He was glad Clavis approved of his attempt at cooking the soup his grandmother had created.

After eating at least three-quarters of the bowl's contents, Clavis lowered the spoon into the bowl and turned to Lumiale. "I am unable to eat anymore than this."

Lumiale accepted the bowl and tray with a kind smile marking his features. "That is quite alright. You do not have to push yourself to eat more than you can handle right now."

"When I have recovered, would you be able to prepare that soup for me again? I would like to enjoy each and every drop."

"It would be a pleasure, Clavis-sama." Lumiale prepared the medication. He poured the thick liquid into a cup, making sure he had the correct measurement to suit his friend's recommended dosage. "I know you're not looking forward to this, Clavis-sama, but if you should finish this quickly, it will be all over."

"At least until after breakfast tomorrow. Lumiale, why must you give me such nasty medication? Why am I unable to have it in pill form?"

"I am only following the doctor's orders."

If he was a child, he would've considered hiding under the covers. But, he was not a child, he was a man. A man who hated medicine, but not a man who would dive under the covers to escape such a fate. "I want you to give it to me."

"Certainly." Lumiale picked up the cup and handed it to the older male.

"No. I mean...I want you to give it to me."

"I do not quite understand..."

"Lumiale. I want you to have some of that medicine in your mouth, then you put it in mine."

Lumiale blushed as he finally realised what Clavis was requesting. "But...but, Clavis-sama, I cannot do something like that..."

"Now you sound like you don't wish to taste that medicine."

"Ah no, it is not that." Okay, it is... "But, for you to request such a way of giving you your medicine...such a way is intimate..."

"It doesn't have to be unless you want it to be."

"Very well, Clavis-sama. But, only because you appear as if you would refuse it any other way."

"Indeed."

Lumiale sighed and accepted the medicine. He had a sip and bent over, putting his lips to Clavis and sharing the medicine that way. He pulled back once Clavis had swallowed, his cheeks were almost as red as Clavis' fever-flushed ones. He repeated the actions until all of the medicine in the cup had been finished. He then took that time to prepare the tea, he just had to heat it for a few minutes.

"The medicine was nasty."

"Indeed it was."

"But you made it better."

"Clavis-sama?"

"There is something I must tell you. I appreciate how much care and effort you put into looking after me in times like these. I am sorry I always make you worry over me, but in a way, I'm also glad you do. I appreciate seeing how much you care for me. And, I care for you a lot as well. What we did just now...well, I really just wanted an excuse to see what it would be like if I were to kiss you."

Lumiale's cheeks turned pink and he smiled shyly. "I see. I admit...I was curious about what it would be like to kiss you as well. But, I didn't think you would appreciate really knowing that. Your request certainly surprised me, and gave me hope." He started to pour the tea into a cup. "But, maybe we shouldn't be having this conversation just now."

"You and I are both aware that while I do have a fever, I have not had any delusions. I am still in my right state of mind."

He handed the cup to Clavis.

"Please continue saying what you were."

"Very well then. Clavis-sama, I have had feelings for you for a long time now. I know I worry over you a lot, but that's because I can't stand the thought of something happening to the one I love."

It is as I thought... Clavis had a few sips of his tea, made a quick remark about how it was removing the taste of the medicine from his mouth, and reached a hand to his best friend's. "I know. I know exactly what you mean. There were times in the past you also had me worrying over you. The days Solitaire caused a lot of trouble, the time yourself and Rosalia were taken by the Nightmare. And I also caused you worry during those times, didn't I. But, I couldn't help but worry. You were the only person I could even consider holding in my heart. You understand me."

"Clavis-sama..."

"It took me a long time to realise that I had developed romantic feelings for you. It wasn't until my heart was starting to open to others again that I realised it. But, even before then, I knew you were an important person to me. I was scared of making that request earlier."

"You were?"

"Yes. I was scared that my request would make you leave me." He set the cup on his bedside table.

"Clavis-sama..." Lumiale shifted so he was sitting on the edge of the large bed, he made certain he was facing Clavis. "Your request certainly did surprise me, but even if I did not hold such feelings for you, I would not have left you. I could never leave someone who means so much to me. Not again." He closed his eyes and inhaled shakily. "But, I do have feelings for you. That's all the more reason for me to stay with you."

"Lumiale..."

"I have been scared for a long time. I've been scared of these feelings and what would happen. I was scared to tell you, but it also scared me to hold them and not confess to you. I was scared of what you would say if I did confess. I was scared...of losing my best friend." He opened his eyes and gazed into the darker eyes of the Yami no Shugosei.

Clavis noticed Lumiale's eyes had gone misty. He pulled the younger male close and held him. "Nothing would cause me to leave you. That was one thing you had no reason to fear."

"Clavis-sama..."

"I love you, Lumiale."

"And, I love you, Clavis-sama."

They sat there holding each other for a few minutes. "Lumiale."

"Yes?"

"I don't mean to ruin the mood, but I am afraid I am feeling tired."

"It is alright." He helped Clavis lie down again, fixed the covers and started to stroke the long, black hair. "You do need your rest."

Clavis started to close his eyes, lulled by the gentle ministrations. "Stay with me."

"I shall stay with you for eternity," Lumiale whispered as he bent over and planted a tender, loving kiss on Clavis' forehead.