I have been sick on and off simce Easter break and yesterday this ficletty thing just came to me.


On the Gates of Delirium

A GW ficlet by leejeeg

I lie here, feverish and sweating freely. This is day three of what seems to be an endless torment of flu-like symptoms: the afore mentioned fever and sweating, around the clock vomiting, clogged sinuses and a headache that could cripple a charging rhino.

God, but I am miserable. It started off like a cold-all last week I showed up for work not at my best, but functional. By the end of the week it became apparent that this was no ordinary cold. My throat was raw and sore and my vision slightly blurred.

Sally caught me in the hallway trying to make a cup of tea from the water cooler. She took a long assessing look at me and declared me sick with flu. Then she made me go home.

I complied but I was annoyed. I don't like leaving my work unfinished, but I admit I had nothing urgent waiting. Still it was the principle of the thing. What ultimately persuaded me was the good doctor's assertion that I would infect countless others. While I did not appreciate being likened to a plague, I saw her point.

At home I was relaxed, not on guard; this was my sanctuary. I dressed in comfortable old sweatpants and a favorite tee: turquoise, worn and soft and okay, a little holy. By the evening I knew I had entered hell as the first round of nausea and vomiting hit.

When I settled enough to finally sleep that night I felt as if someone had hollowed me out with a trowel.

Then came the dreams, disjointed and fragmented images, amorphous and vaguely disturbing although none as disturbing as the vivid image of Une singing a German version of The Little Drummer Boy, wearing a gold glittering evening gown atop a grand piano, cigarette dangling from her rouged lips. I still shudder when I have the misfortune to think of it.

At some point-I honestly could not say when because I was convinced that I was in fact, dying, Duo appeared.

At first I thought he was a part of my varied hallucinations, but the cool compress applied to my forehead disabused me of the notion.

Inwardly I was relieved to have someone take care of me. It was something I never had much of but craved from time to time, the caring and the tenderness connected with it.

Relena had tried in her own way, but her version of caring would strip me of my independence. Besides, her infatuation with me was totally one-sided.

Duo on the other hand was a good friend: helpful but not controlling, compassionate without pitying and just plain fun. I guess that our association with each other opened me up emotionally and I am willing to admit that my affection for him has grown exponentially. But I keep it to myself. I don't want to lose his friendship over a hopeless crush.

Duo put up with my being sick and downright ornery. I am in bed now, finally over the nausea. Duo ran out to the pharmacy a couple of days ago to get my meds. Turns out the flu was a sinus infection along with a touch of bronchitis which prompted the severe headache alone made me want to give self-destructing another shot.

I am on the mend, however. I feel foolish for ascribing such direness to ordinary illness but I guess that's part of being sick. I also have a vague recollection of certain fever-induced fantasies concerning my best friend. I am very glad that in this day and age, we still cannot read others' thoughts.

Duo sat by my side during the worst of it even though I warned him against catching what I had. He's hardly ever sick, damn him; probably stems from his time on the streets of L2. He survived their plague, too.

The thoughts I've had while bedridden have been bizarre. I am struck by the connectivity of all things as I stare at the humidifier Duo brought over, a cute pink pig shaped thing. If they are not cleaned regularly, bacteria forms and can make you sick. Everything is alive, so it would seem. Everything is in motion, from invisible microbes to the dust motes seen in a ray of sun.

I have got to get well. Seriously.

Day five finds me awake, still in bed with that exhaustion that follows healing from illness. I turn to my side and realize that I am not alone. Duo stirs beside me, looking rumpled, mussed and utterly delicious. "What," I rasp, "are you still doing here?"

Duo frowns a little. "You said to stay, so I stayed."

"Oh. Sorry to be such a nuisance."

He smiles at this. "You were sick, Heero-where else was I supposed to be if not watching my partner's back, hmm?"

I return the smile, touched by his words. "Thank you."

Duo leans over me and kisses me lightly. "You're welcome. Next time maybe you'll tell me how you feel without having to have a fever to do it."

"What-what did I tell you exactly?"

He kisses me again. "Exactly what I wanted to hear. And we will talk more about it once you're feeling up to it, okay?"

I think perhaps I may still be delirious-but it feels a lot better now. I kiss him back. "okay."