Lawli: This can be blamed on all the historical fiction about The Tudors I've been reading lately. Henry VIII just makes me think of two things now: Sex and disease. :) And so, viola~! We have this oneshot. Musical inspiration goes to Spring Awakening, specifically the song "Touch Me." I recommend playing that song in the background of this.

Warnings: Oz taking advantage of a naive Gilbert. You know, the usual happenings in Pandora Hearts... only with more smut.

Where I go when I go there,
no more weeping anymore.
Only in and out your lips;
the broken wishes, washing with them, to shore.

- "Touch Me" (Spring Awakening)

Sudor Anglicus
(The Sweat)

It was well past noon, and Gilbert was no closer to pulling himself out of bed than he was when he first awoke, trembling in pain the likes of which he'd never before experienced, at dawn. The bedsheets – those he hadn't kicked off of himself – were damp, sticky with sweat and... something else which his private fears kept him from placing a name to.

He knew he should get up. It was the eve of the young master's fifteenth birthday, and there was plenty to do in preparation of the ceremony and feast that would take place the following day. At the very least he needed to keep an eye on the young master, to ensure he didn't get himself into any trouble on this important day – his last day as a 'child.' Oz was certainly the type to take full advantage of the last few hours of his childhood, especially with the servants too busy to pay attention to what he was up to.

Mrs. Kate had already come banging on his door several times already, but Gilbert could hear her distinct footsteps approaching again. He closed his eyes, hoping she would just leave him alone for a few more minutes. Perhaps then he could muster the strength to get up.

But again came that insistent knocking.

"Gilbert... Gilbert!"

Gilbert answered her with a short, aggrieved moan, bringing his knees up to his chest and hiding his face.

"Gilbert, your duties!"

He shuddered again, unable to imagine himself getting down on his knees and scrubbing the floor, or chasing after the young master in this state.

Ignoring all sense of decorum, Mrs. Kate barged into the humble bedroom. She took one look at the sweaty, pathetic ball he'd curled himself into, felt his burning forehead (and thankfully nothing more, as just the cool touch of a hand – even that of the Governess, whose wrath he feared almost more than that of the young master's – sent a strange and frightening spark of pleasure through his body and worsened the problem he'd been willing away all morning) and hurried away, muttering frantically about The Sweat.

As if he wasn't scared enough already, those two words had been enough to send him into a panic attack. He wrapped his arms around himself and whispered prayer after prayer for his ailment to be anything but the horrendous Sweating Sickness he'd learned of helping Oz with his studies. He could never remember the books mentioning the symptoms he had now, aside from the fever, and certainly Gilbert would remember the odd paradox of a disease causing pleasure to the infected, but Mrs. Kate had to know more about it than he did.

Gilbert began to fear for much more than his own life. He was but an insignificant servant, whose life was inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. If he died, it would not be a great loss to the world; there were plenty of others who could quickly and easily replace him. The thought of another person serving the young master made his heart ached something terrible, and Gilbert gasped, holding a hand do his mouth as tears sprang to his eyes. Heart pains were another symptom of The Sweat. There was no denying it now. However strange his case may be, he was still doomed to suffer the same fate as those who'd been victim to previous outbreaks.

What if he'd been carrying the disease for a while? What if it spread to others in the Bezarius house? Gilbert thought of all the time he spent caring for the young master, and the young mistress Ada as well. And Mrs. Kate... she was always close to him, either to give him a list of duties for the day or punish him for some misdemeanor on Oz's part. He'd seen Master Oscar just last night before retiring to bed; Master Oscar had hugged him and urged him to get some rest for the hectic days that were to come.

Any one of those people – or even all of them – could become infected now. Gilbert shuddered at the thought of his young master in a coffin, taken just before his fifteenth birthday. The accusations that would be on everyone's lips. All because of that servant boy...

"I-I'm sorry, young master," he wailed, unable to stop the flow of tears. What a poor excuse for a servant he was; how could the young master ever have seen fit to call him a friend? Gilbert might have just brought about the death of him.

"For what?"

Gilbert started, eyes flying open and breath catching in his throat as he saw Oz standing at the threshold of his bedroom, lopsided smile on his pale face. "Y-young," he hiccuped, "mas-s-ster!"

Oz closed the door quietly behind him. "I heard Gil's not feeling well," he said. His curious emerald eyes swept over Gilbert, taking in the tousled hair and disheveled pajamas that stuck to sweat-gleaming skin.

"Young master, p-please don't come any closer," Gilbert said, scooting himself back on the mattress as Oz approached. The last thing he wanted was to heighten the risk of Oz catching The Sweat. "I'm... I..." His voice trailed off as fresh tears sprang to his eyes. Oz had to understand; he had to see the symptoms just as Mrs. Kate had. Any moment now he would flee from the bedroom in terror.

Oz stopped where he was, tilting his head to the side. He placed a hand to his chin, seemingly analyzing the situation. Then he picked up one of the discarded sheets, turning them over in his hands. "It's like Mrs. Kate said," he decided with a nod and a secret smile that Gilbert didn't comprehend. How could the young master be smiling at a time like this, when he was infecting himself by remaining in his servant's presence?

Tossing the sheet aside, Oz closed the distance between himself and the bed. Gilbert wriggled, protesting weakly as the young master pinned him down by the chest. "Please stop, young master! If-if you got sick to, I—"

He choked on the words as Oz placed another hand on him, at the root of his problem. Oz squeezed gently, earning a high-pitched whine from Gilbert, who squeezed his thighs together in an attempt to dislodge his master's hand. The sensation was not what he'd expected. Another wave of pleasure washed over him and Gilbert arched his back, groaning. He hadn't a clue of what was going on, but Oz was grinning.

"Don't worry, Gil," Oz said, getting on his knees on the bed to hover over his trembling servant. "There's a cure fore this Sweat."

Gilbert blinked, still afraid for his and his master's lives but wanting to trust Oz. "There... there is?" Oz nodded gravely. "But I thought-" He hissed as Oz started moving his hand in a slow, circular motion. "Isn't it... f-fatal?"

"Without this it might be."

Gilbert yelped as Oz drew his pajama bottoms down, exposing his heated skin to the cool air of the room. Instinctively he tried to curl in on himself, but Oz wouldn't allow it. He lowered himself down on the mattress, setting his hands on Gilbert's hips to steady them. "Y-young—"

"Does Gil trust me?"

The question made Gilbert still immediately. He stared in wide-eyed wonderment up at his master, wanting to believe him but still troubled by the idea of being contagious. Even if there was a cure, Oz was still putting his life at risk by helping him. Gilbert didn't believe himself worth that risk. "I-It's not that, young master. Of course I trust you... But I-I don't..." He hesitated, looking meekly down at himself, at Oz's slender hands on his flushed skin. He didn't want to imagine those hands clammy and feverish, his master stinking of death. Gilbert closed his eyes tightly. "I don't see how th-this..."

"The only way to get rid of the disease," Oz said slowly, lowering his head. Gilbert made a strangled noise as he felt something wet sliding over his skin. Oz's tongue. A furious blush darkened his cheeks, which Gilbert tried to hide by turning his face away. "Is to suck it out."

"Y-yo—AH!" Gilbert couldn't control the squeal that bubbled past his lips as Oz took him into his mouth, the unexpectedness of it coupled with how good it felt was far too much for him to handle. He brought a hand to his mouth, biting down on his knuckles with enough force to make them bleed – which perhaps, Gilbert thought belatedly, was Oz's goal. Bleeding was a usual treatment of The Sweat. Oz was just going about it in a very unusual way, but maybe he wanted to do it in a manner that would bring Gilbert the least amount of pain. His master was too big-hearted for his own good, sometimes. If it meant the safety of his master, Gilbert would gladly go through the ritual of a normal bloodletting, and...

And Oz started to suck, and all coherent thought left Gilbert. An unrestrained moan left him as he curled his toes. Somehow his hands found their way to Oz, his fingers – some of them stained with drops of blood – burying themselves in fine blonde hair, twisting and tugging on the strands insistently as his insides coiled with pleasure.

He felt hotter than before – almost unbearably so. And with a strike of panic Gilbert saw beads of perspiration forming at Oz's temples. The sickness was spreading. "Ma-master... Oz, please st-stop!" he cried, thrashing, bucking his hips.

Oz choked and pulled away, coughing. He was breathing heavily. Saliva dripped from his mouth onto Gilbert's abdomen, and Gilbert swallowed at the sight of his master flushed and looking just as pleased by what he was doing as Gilbert felt to be receiving the treatment. After wiping his lips, Oz leaned forward, brushing aside Gilbert's damp bangs and placing a kiss to his forehead. Gilbert closed his eyes, mortification preventing him from meeting Oz's gaze.

"The... The Sweat, young master," Gilbert urged as Oz's mouth covered him again. Oz laughed softly, and the vibrations reduced Gilbert to a puddle of stuttering and groaning incoherency.

It didn't last much longer than a few hard sucks and sweeps of Oz's tongue. All of the tension building inside of Gilbert suddenly came loose, flooding out of him, leaving him trembling in the aftermath but still far from an understanding. The only thing he did know was that he felt... better. His master had a miraculous healing capability. Golden eyes shone with admiration.

Oz licked at his lips, sitting back on his haunches. "You don't have the Sweating Sickness, Gil," he said finally, laughing and ruffling Gilbert's hair.

Gilbert sat up slowly, blinking the fog from his eyes and mind. "I... I don't?" It certainly was different that what he'd learned – and the cure even more unorthodox - but what other explanation was there?

"No. This happens to me all the time," Oz said. "It just means you're becoming a man." His eyes were teasingly focused on Gilbert's lap.

Remembering his nakedness, Gilbert hurriedly drew the covers over himself. Swallowing embarrassment, he chanced a peek in his master's direction. Oz looked honest, but Gilbert was never very good at judging when Oz fed him lies. "You-you mean it, young master?" Becoming a man... without any formal ceremony? The body just decided on its own, regardless of age? "How...?"

He blushed, fiddling with his hands, imagining Oz awakening in the middle of the night, in a hot sweat, an unbearable ache between his legs. Suddenly he felt silly for ever thinking himself to be diseased. The young master was so much smarter than him; Oz had probably known what was wrong from the beginning, when it happened to him. He'd probably never made a humiliating spectacle of himself as Gilbert had.

"How many times has it happened to you, young master?"

Oz shrugged, obviously never having counted. He was still sweating.

Guilt, for never having been there to help his master through the ordeal he now knew to be very painful and bothersome, ate at Gilbert. He bit down on his lip, crawling closer to his master, disregarding the blankets that slipped off his body as he came to kneel before the boy – who tomorrow would be a man if he was not, according to his own body, already one.

Steeling himself, Gilbert set his hand over his master's crotch. He felt the answering hardness there, heard the sharp intake of breath, and knew it was his duty to cure his master in the same way he himself had been cured.

"Master..." Oz grasped his shoulder tightly as Gilbert unclasped the button of his shorts. Lips hovering above swollen flesh, he raised his eyes, no longer afraid. Pacified, if not thrilled, by the opportunity to help Oz in this intimate way. "May I?"

The end.