A/N: Okay, so my first fic in this fandom. Please enjoy!
Disclaimer: I do not own Howl's Moving Castle
Howl huffed, crossing his arms over his chest as he glared out the window. Large dollops of snow fell from the sky, freezing the earth in white beauty. Everyone was cheerful this time of year because of the snow flakes and the upcoming holidays.
But he wasn't.
Not when he had to be under the influence of a bad cold every single year.
"Damn this weather," he muttered with a stuffy nose, coughing again when phlegm caught in his throat.
Every year, the cold and snow, along with the unnatural abundance of diseases floating around always managed to get the handsome wizard sick. No amount of rest, soup or magic could help him recover. Like most wizards, he had to wait until spring to get it out of his system.
But being a wizard, Howl knew what would break his sickness almost as instantaneously as a balloon popping.
And since he now had Sophie, he couldn't wait to get better again.
Just then, a knock on his door sounded, signaling that Sophie was back. "Come in," he said weakly, trying his best to clear his throat.
The girl came in carrying a tray with soup, juice, and a couple pills of human medicine she probably thought might help.
Giving the bedridden Howl a tiny smile as she carefully nudged the door close with her foot, Sophie glided up to the bed, setting the tray on the small bedside table as she sat down on the edge of the mattress.
Howl let his eyes slip close as she ran a hand over his face, checking his fever again. The wizard hummed softly as her fingers tangled lightly through his hair, soothing him for the moment.
"Your temperature hasn't seemed to go up any, but you still have a fever," Sophie remarked, drawing her hand back. "But your face is absolutely flushed."
A slender brow rose. "Is it-" he coughed, "Is it, now?"
Clutching her dark blue dress in her hands with a worried look at Howl, Sophie silently reached for the bowl of tomato soup.
Howl couldn't help but sigh exasperatedly as she stirred the soup around. "Sophie, you know that-"
"I know, Howl," Sophie interrupted, shooting him a pointed look. Then her features softened. "Sorry," she apologized, "I'm not going to let you starve, though."
Not saying a word, the wizard held his hands out like he wanted to feed himself. In his mind, he was going through his plan to get rid of his illness as fast as possible. Sophie gave him the bowl, and he set it back on the table. When he looked back at Sophie, she had an incredulous expression on her face.
Shrugging, he merely said, "I'm not hungry."
"But Howl…" Sophie started, but lost her voice when the wizard grasped her wrist. She was pulled forward with an unexpected force, his breath suddenly hitting her ear.
"At least…not for soup."
Sophie immediately knew what he was up to, and she tried to pull away, but it was too late. Howl engaged her in a kiss, letting his eyes slip close as a good feeling washed over him. To make sure it would work, he ran his tongue along her bottom lip.
Jerking out of Howl's grip with a wide-eyed expression, Sophie sputtered, trying to get the wizard's germs out of her mouth before, she too, became as sick as a dog.
"Howl! What's wrong with you?" Sophie exclaimed, swiping her sleeve across her lips repeatedly. "If I catch your-your…a-a-achoo!"
Recovering with a sniffle, Sophie was met with amused chuckles from an unexpectedly healthier-than-ever Howl. She instantly had the feeling that magic had something to do with all this, and confusion and a small amount of irritation consumed her.
"Howl?" Sophie asked with a now nasally voice, searching for an answer.
Drawing the thick blankets off from his body, Howl sat up, pulling Sophie to him with an arm around her waist. "Sophie…" he purred, feeling a little bad at what he had done when she coughed as if on cue.
Rubbing her arm, he explained before she could set her eyes on him and make him cave. "Look, every year I get sick like this. Before I met you, I had to endure it all through winter until spring. I can't be cured by medicine or magic, but I'd heard there's an old myth that if you kiss your love, a sickness will be cured."
Sophie huffed. "Apparently it works."
Howl chuckled. "Come now, Sophie, don't be like that."
Coughing into her elbow, Sophie asked, "Does this mean I'll be sick until spring?"
Shaking his head, Howl hugged the girl closer to him. "No, you can take your nasty medicine and eat your soup and get better like humans usually do."
Sophie groaned at the thought, reaching for a tissue to blow her nose with. "What about magic?"
Springing off the bed and pulling some loose pants on under his tunic, a large smile spread across the wizard's face. "Of course I can use magic, Sophie." He paused as he admired her lightened look. "But…" he drawled, "I'm not going to use it for you."
The girl's face dramatically dropped and she tried to stand up from the high bed, but Howl pushed her back. "What are you talking about, Howl?" she demanded, her voice a little distorted through her plugged up nose.
The wizard hovered over her closely. She could just barely catch his usual scent of rain as he spoke.
"And where would the fun be in that? I love taking care of my little Sophie," he said teasingly, pecking her now unusually red cheek before pulling away.
Clawing her way back up from the sheets, she watched as he walked toward the door, the tray in his hands. "Go ahead and get comfortable, Sophie. I'll bring up some warm soup and tea for you," he said before disappearing down the hall.
Grumbling to herself as she pushed herself off the bed, unlaced her boots and changed into something a little more loose fitting, Sophie clambered back onto their shared bed, sneezing only twice. Throwing herself against the beyond fluffy pillows and idly taking in all the odd and shiny trinkets hanging above, Sophie sighed.
She never had thought of it that way, she supposed. Maybe being sick was a good thing when you had Howl taking care of you…
…but she would definitely get back at him for that dirty trick he played. Maybe with a piping hot bowl of soup.
A/N: Hopefully that wasn't bad. I liked it. Thanks for reading, and don't be afraid to tell me what you think!