To say that Shusei felt under the weather was an understatement. He didn't feel like he was under the weather, he felt like he'd deliberately hugged a large metal pole in the middle of a lightening storm and then decided it was a good idea to go to the gym for a few hours. Every bone in his body seemed to ache, from his fingertips to his toes. All because he had gone and fallen in a fountain in the middle of a fight with the Duras and then hadn't thought to go put any dry clothes on afterwards. So now he was paying for it. All because of Yuki.
He didn't hate the boy, not even half as much as Hotsuma did, but he did agree that the kid needed to learn to stay in one place instead of running off to apparently do a good deed. He didn't just put himself in danger but the rest of them too. Shusei sighed softly. Hopefully Luka would be able to drum that into the boy's brain before anything else happened. They needed Yuki, no matter how much Hotsuma wanted to deny it, and if they ever didn't get there in time… Shusei stopped the thought in it's tracks. There was no reason to think about that now, he would only stress himself out more.
Groaning loudly Shusei pulled himself to his feet, keeping as much of his duvet wrapped around his shoulders as he could and stumbled out of his room into the hallway, heading towards the kitchen. He hated feeling this feeble. Right now he should be out with Hotsuma, trying to keep him from snapping at Yuki every five minutes and making sure the idiot didn't let his mouth run away with him.
He smiled fondly at the thought of his partner. It was strange not having him around at that very moment. After waking up feeling awful Shusei had fumbled with the phone long enough to tell Takashiro that he probably wouldn't be around today and the man had hastily agreed that it was probably a better idea if he stayed at home anyway.
"You will only be a hindrance if you came in today."
Thanks, thanks a lot. He'd muttered a few apologies before hastily putting down the phone, only to pick it up again to call Hotsuma to give him the bad news. He'd been answered by the machine but there was nothing new there; Hotsuma was well known for his ability to sleep for hours on end but to wake up if a pin dropped. Whether or not he actually slept through the phone or chose to ignore it was something he had never bothered to ask but he had a feeling it was probably the latter. After he'd told his partner's machine what had happened he'd rolled over and fallen back to sleep only to wake up at two in the afternoon feeling worse than before.
Shusei made slow progress to the kitchen where he knew there would be painkillers although he couldn't quite remember if he had bothered to buy any since the time Hotsuma had accidentally burnt his wrist trying to cook. He smiled softly and shook his head at the thought but groaned afterwards. Shouldn't have done that.
Eventually making it to the immaculate kitchen Shusei sorted through three draws before he eventually found his painkillers. Two left. Well that's a blessing in itself. His smile was rueful as he dry swallowed the two little white tablets that would hopefully make the pounding in his head go away. Then he turned to shuffle towards the sofa that suddenly seemed so much further away then it normally did but upon reaching it he crumpled in on himself like a pathetic little ball of duvet.
I must really look pathetic. He let go of his duvet long enough to brush his hair back away from his forehead before huddling under the duvet again, turning his eyes to stare at the blank television screen. I'd never hear the end of it if Toko was here, she'd be constantly on my back to get better. He scowled at the thought. He got on with them all so well but sometimes it was nice to have some alone time.
Blinking owlishly he eyed up the remote control that was no more than a foot away from him. Effort, he thought before he snuggled down until his head rested on the armrest. Yes, it was uncomfortable but bed wasn't even a possibility now unless he wanted to crawl all the way there. He smiled as another memory popped into his head. Hotsuma and he had narrowly defeated a group of enraged Duras and had both taken a beating. Being the closest home to them, they had leant against each other and whispered words of encouragement as they trudged back to Hotsuma's only to collapse on his floor just after they'd got through the front door. Shusei had just about been able to get to his feet, dragging Hotsuma with him and through joint effort they had stumbled to the sofa where they'd again collapsed without the energy to move again. The memory always made him laugh because he could steal hear Hotsuma's unintelligible mumbling as they'd settled down to sleep, practically on top of each other in the small space.
He missed Hotsuma. It hadn't been anything longer than ten hours since he had last seen him but still he wanted to see his face. He'd grown so attached to his friend now, probably more so than was practical but the very feel of his presence was enough to calm him. He wanted him there now. Just there sitting and scowling at the television as he flicked through looking for something to watch, barely talking except to tell Shusei that he should be in bed instead of whimpering like a little girl. He smiled again as he pulled his legs further up to his chest, his eyes slipping closed. Fine Hotsuma, I'll sleep. And with that Shusei slipped off to sleep with Hotsuma's honey eyes and fire coloured hair filling his dreams.
"Go away," he muttered into duvet. "Shusei, open up!"
"No," he muttered again, well aware that he couldn't be heard.
"Shusei, open the door now or I am burning it down."
He'd do it too. His eyes opened slowly and his vision slowly became clear as the last tendrils of sleep vanished from his body. Mentally he made a checklist. Headache? Check. Achy bones? Check. Stiffened limbs from how he slept? Check. Hungry? His stomach rumbled. Great.
"I don't hear movement!" Groaning loudly Shusei pushed himself into a more upright position, watching the small white lights dance in front of his eyes for a second before he felt steady enough to move to his feet. That was more effort than it was probably worth. Leaving the duvet on the floor beside the sofa he stumbled across the room to the door in nothing but a pair of light blue shorts and a white t-shirt, shivering as he did so.
"Coming." He just about managed to say but his throat felt dry and his voice came out so quiet that he half expected the banging on the door to continue. Luckily it didn't and he just about managed to pull the lock back enough to get the door to swing open. Squinting his eyes against the sudden light in the corridor outside his apartment he peered up at his visitor. I take it back, it was totally worth the effort.
He hadn't expected to feel this relieved but it was like a weight he hadn't known he was carrying was suddenly lifted off his shoulders as familiar warm eyes appraised him. He managed a small smile as he leant against the wall beside the door.
"You look terrible." Was all he said and on anything other day Shusei would have been insulted if it wasn't for the lace of concern he could hear barely hidden in the other's words. He shrugged his shoulders and stepped away from the door to allow his partner into his apartment. "You should be in bed."
"I was asleep until someone woke me up." He said but it had him rubbing his sore throat afterwards as he led Hotsuma further into his apartment. He didn't bother being an attentive host seeing as Hotsuma knew where everything was anyway and instead Shusei fell back onto the sofa, dragging the duvet back up until he was once again buried beneath it. He cursed at his luck that it had somehow managed loose it's heat in the time it had taken him to answer the door.
Clanging from the kitchen kept him aware of his partner's whereabouts as his eyes again slid closed. The very thought of Hotsuma in the kitchen should have been enough to send his brain into overdrive but for now he just couldn't summon the energy. As long as he doesn't burn anything it'll be fine. He told himself as he slid into a light sleep.
He was woken again by dipping of the cushion as someone sat beside him and his eyelids flickered open enough for him to turn his head and look at Hotsuma. Already he was starting to feel better already, who'd have known that him just being there was enough settle Shusei's head so that he could rest peacefully. He smiled softly and pulled himself into an upright position.
"Drink this." The other's was voice was low but commanding and for the first time Shusei noticed the orange mug that was clasped in the other's hand, steam slowly rising from the contents that looked too pale to be tea but still looked tempting.
"What is it?" he asked wearily, peering up at Hotsuma from beneath light brown wisps of hair that fell in his face again.
"Something called Shoga-you. A hot drink that will apparently make you feel better." He said simply but his voice held something else just below the surface, something Shusei couldn't quite put his finger on but seemed like… embarrassment? Although it made Shusei smile. Had he really gone out of his way so much as to research something to make him feel better? The thought that Hotsuma doing research in an attempt to find something that would help him made his smile brighten a little more.
Gratefully he took the mug from his hands, hesitating a second before raising it to his lips to taste. He sipped cautiously at the hot drink. It wasn't the worst thing he had ever tasted and that was something he supposed but not knowing how it was meant to taste meant he didn't know if Hotsuma had made it right. He'd trust that he had.
"Thank you." His eyes locked with the other's as he took another small sip, trying not to burn his tongue in the mean time. He smiled softly and the other gave him an awkward smile back, seemingly unsure of whether or not he was being mocked or not. "Thank you for coming. Takashiro won't be impressed if we both get ill though." He continued. He didn't want Hotsuma to leave, he wanted him to stay and help him keep the illness at bay but he didn't want to make him ill as well. Then what would happen to Yuki. As much as he wanted to be selfish and tell Hotsuma to stay, he couldn't let him get ill.
"I'm staying here." The words broke through Shusei's thoughts and his eyes moved up to the other's lips not quite sure he had heard correctly. "You need to get better and I doubt you could do that better by yourself." His voice was amused but Shusei picked up on the real meaning. Hotsuma cared but wasn't willing to admit it out loud. As proud as always.
Shusei studied the firm resolve in Hotsuma's eyes, looking for any flickering sign of doubt or regret that he had said he'd stay but no matter how hard he stared, there wasn't a flicker. He nodded his head once, accepting the other's decision. He was expecting Hotsuma to return to the kitchen then to finish something but he didn't instead he wrapped his arms around the duveted bundle and lifted him easily.
"Hey!" Shusei protested, although mainly through surprise.
"Oh hush, there's no point you sleeping here when there is a perfectly good bed in the next room." With that Shusei couldn't argue and with the determined look on Hotsuma's face he knew it was silly to even try so instead he shut his mouth and curled closer against the other's warm chest until he felt himself being laid carefully on his soft mattress.
The room was as dark as when he had left it. The curtains were still drawn to block out the offensive daylight with the only light seeping in around the edges so that the outlined of vague shapes could be made out. His bed felt so much comfier than the sofa.
"Right, so you stay here and rest. I will be in the kitchen." Hotsuma's voice was soft and low in the room, sounding distant to Shusei who was already beginning to feel the effects of the hot drink. He felt the mug being carefully extracted from his weak grip and the soft sound of it being left steaming on the bedside table. He vaguely made out his partner turning towards the door to leave him in peace when he was bought up short.
Shusei's hand was enclosed around his wrist all by itself. Despite being a weak grip it still stopped Hotsuma in his tracks and he look back towards the small form on the form that barely moved except for the small rise and fall of his chest. He felt so foolish.
"Stay." The word was soft. Almost like a light breeze and if it hadn't been for Hotsuma's next move he'd have thought he had dreamt saying it. His hand slipped from the other's wrist as he moved but the sudden weight behind him was comforting.
"I will stay, we need you to get better," Hotsuma spoke softly in the darkness. Shusei flinched at first as arms began to enfold him, they hesitated at his movement until he mumbled something that sounded vaguely affirmative and they continued their descent. The weight of arms pulling him closer made his lips part and a soft sigh slipped from between them. Using up more effort than he thought he had Shusei wriggled a little until he faced the other way, using the opportunity to bury his face into the side of Hotsuma's neck breathing in the familiar smell of his closest friend.
Vaguely he felt fingers sliding through his hair brushing his hair back away from his face and he turned his face away a little, trying to prolong the comforting sensation. Hotsuma was so… he didn't even had a word for it. What would he be without him?
For a second he felt… lips? Ghosting over his cheek. To be honest it could have been anything but Shusei liked to think it was lips, a small show of affection that Hotsuma wouldn't allow himself if they were both well. He smiled softly and closed his eyes and, taking a risk, pressed his lips to the warm skin of the other's lips. Maybe it was the illness that was talking and if Hotsuma got angry that was what he'd blame it on. But right now he didn't care, he just wanted this safe feeling to continue.
"I need you." The words were soft but unmistakable as Shusei drifted off into an undisturbed and warm sleep.