Pairing(s): Okumura Rin/Suguro "Bon" Ryuuji
Disclaimer: Blue Exorcist and all its characters are property of Kato Kazue. No copyright infringement is intended.
Notes:Written for Vonuberwald's second request.


While Rin often resented being the son of Satan, there were certain genetic benefits he appreciated, such as his immunity to the common cold. Of course, the influenza that currently assaulted the True Cross Academy was far from common. A demonic miasma had started it. Mephisto told the normal students that their illness was caused by swine flu or bird flu or dog flu or something. Rin could not be bothered to remember. While the Doctors who had contained the miasma had weakened its power, it still created an infectious disease that affected most of the humans in the area. Its effects were not entirely unlike the common cold, only worse.

Shiemi had been the first of their little group to fall ill. She passed out on the toilet. As soon as Izumo announced it to the class, all the boys in their class had crowded around the entrance in hopes of seeing some naked Shiemi flesh. Unfortunately, all they saw was Yukio carrying out a bundle of shivering blankets. Yukio fell ill a day later. His eyes watered so bad that he nearly killed five people during a training session. Shura dragged him to the school nurse, then crawled into the bed with him and demanded treatment as well.

Konekomaru fell next. He had dived into the pool, in perfect form. The problem was that he did not come back up in perfect form. He just sort of floated there, vaguely mentioning that his head felt like cotton candy. Izumo was the next to go. She started sweating and abruptly stood up during English class, announcing she was going to see the school nurse-in English, no less. Rumor had it that she made it, too, though she had to crawl the last five feet. Then Shima fell sick. He simply refused to leave his bed one morning. Soon enough, the classes emptied across the academy and the dorms filled with feverish students clinging to their beds. Almost the entire school now lived in their beds, and the Doctors said it might take the sick up to a month to recover.

Two weeks into the epidemic, only two students entered Rin's algebra class, including Rin. The teacher, a plump woman with demon blood in her, stood on her creaking ladder, writing formulas on the board. Rin knew he would never understand any of them, but the teacher must like him, since he was passing the class in any case. Takara sat a few seats away, apparently telepathically communing with his puppet. He did not appear in the slightest bit sick, and when Rin had asked why, the puppet told Rin to mind his own business. Rin considered stealing the puppet and stuffing it into Takara's mouth, but he was distracted when Bon staggered in, dripping with sweat.

Bon fell onto a seat next to Rin. His face appeared pale but for his red nose, and he wheezed a bit as he breathed. He shivered as Rin stared at him and drew the three jackets he was wearing tighter about himself.

"Hey," Rin whispered as the teacher turned her back to write more incomprehensible formulas on the board. "Shouldn't you be in bed or something?"

"I'm fine," Bon responded. Or Rin thought he said. As clogged as the other boy's nose seemed, it sounded more like "I'b fide."

"Then why are you sweating?"

"I ran here."

"Why is your nose red?"

"I'm allergic to you."

"Why are your eyes watering?"

"I cut up onions for breakfast."

"Why do you sound funny?"

"I don't sound funny!" Only Bon's statement came out sounding closer to "I doe sowed fuddy!"

The teacher turned around and narrowed her cat-slitted eyes at them. Rin fell silent and smiled brightly at her. She returned the smile after a moment and gave him a piece of candy before returning to her formulas.

"Suck-up," Bon said, glaring as Rin popped the gummy in his mouth. His glares were far less effective with watery eyes that kept closing on him. Even his hair suffered: his dark roots could be seen peeking from the bottom of his dyed stripe. He resembled a sick rooster.

"I can't help that I'm so adorable that our teacher adores me." Rin rather enjoyed that. Yukio said it was because Rin reminded the Algebra teacher of her uncle. Yukio also insisted this was to Rin's detriment. Rin disagreed, because he found algebra completely ridiculous. He still could not understand why "a" plus "b" equaled "c" when it was pretty clear that neither letter resembled each other and he was pretty certain that the only children who did not resemble their parents were he and Yukio, but they were special cases, having been adopted by their old man. Where did "c" get off thinking it was special? Was it a rebel and dyed its hair funny colors like Bon and Shima so it would not resemble "a" or "b"? Why was it so hard for children and parents to get along? And how did letters breed, anyways?

When Rin glanced over at Bon's notes to copy them down, he realized the other boy slept with his face planted on his notebook. Bon's striped hair rustled at the slight shivering of his body. He seemed very young and vulnerable as he slept, almost innocent. Like Shiemi. Only without the boobs. And the prettiness. Not that Bon was ugly. He was certainly cool, and when he did not look half ready to bite someone's nose off, he could even be called handsome.

Bon snorted and sat up. He stared in apparent horror at the board, which had nearly filled with equations, then glanced at Rin. He scowled. Rin realized he had been caught staring. Since there was no sense in hiding it now, he just gave Bon the brilliant smile he always gave the Algebra teacher.

"You asshole, pay attention in class!" Bon hissed.

"What? You're the one sleeping!"

"I was not sleeping! Liar!"

The teacher whirled around again. Rin froze, but she turned her ire on Bon. "Suguro! Stand up and explain yourself for speaking in class!"

Bon scowled and stood. And promptly collapsed. Rin dived forward, fearing Bon might crack his skull on the desk, and caught the boy in his arms. Bon felt light and overly warm.

"Rin, you sweet boy. Good catch." The teacher frowned at Bon. "I'll excuse his behavior this once, as he's clearly taken as ill as everyone else."

"I'll take him to the nurse." Ever since the school nurse fell ill, Mephisto himself had to roll up his sleeves and fill her position. He looked terrible in the dress, but at least he seemed to know what he was doing.

"Good idea. I'll make sure to give you extra credit for being so kind to your classmates." The teacher beamed again and waved Rin out. "Such an adorable little boy," he heard her say as he left the classroom with Bon in his arms.

Mephisto did not seem to be in when Rin arrived. He looked around and saw an "Out to Lunch" sign on the nurse's desk, so carried Bon to one of the beds. The school clinic was as silent and empty as a tomb, having already treated most of its patients. The large room felt cold even to Rin-Mephisto had turned the air conditioning up far too high.

Rin set Bon down on the clean white bed. He stirred a bit and moaned. His cheeks had reddened, and his body radiated heat. Rin considered curling up next to him for the warmth, but resisted. Instead, he watched Bon sleep, studying how fragile the other boy seemed. Bon always seemed so cool, so tough. Yet, the vulnerability of illness did not reduce his coolness. It just made Rin want to take care of him, as if Bon were a sick puppy. A puppy that looked like a rooster. Or maybe just a rooster-Rin liked roosters, though they were not as cuddly as puppies. Roosters were cool to watch, though, as they strutted around, crowing. Except Rin was not sure if they crowed all the time or just at dawn. What any of this had to do with Bon, Rin was no longer sure. He had just confused himself with his own thoughts.

Bon moaned again, drawing Rin's attention to Bon's pink lips. They seemed the only healthy part of his body left. They seemed soft and plump. Rin found himself wondering what kissing those lips might taste like. It was not the first time he wondered what kissing a boy might be like, but this was the first time he had an opportunity to do it. Rin leaned forward and planted his lips on Bon's. After a moment, Bon kissed back. His mouth tasted like cough syrup and orange juice, but it somehow left Rin feeling as warm and flushed as if he had caught the demon flu, too. His heart pounded, electric currents raced through his veins, and Rin decided he could move into this kiss.

Something thumped against Rin's head. It took him a moment to realize Bon had tried to punch him, but was too weak to do much more than make noise. Rin stood up and licked his lips. Bon glared up at him, lips moist with Rin's saliva.

"You kissed me," Bon accused.

Rin grinned. "Yeah. Did you like it?"

"You kissed me!"

"I thought we covered that already. But did you like it?"

Bon's pale face flushed red. "Shut up."

"Only if you tell me if you liked it."

"Liked what?" Mephisto asked from behind Rin.

Rin practically jumped out of his skin. His tail jerked free from his pants and stood straight up in surprise. He wheeled around and found Mephisto in his ridiculous nurse's uniform, scowling imperiously at Rin and Bon. Though he had exchanged his top hat for a nurse's cap, he apparently could not resist dressing up the white uniform with a checkered scarf and striped stockings.

"He, er, just collapsed in class." Rin felt his face heat and irrationally wondered if Mephisto knew he had just kissed Bon. He was not sure if that was a bad thing or not, but he did not really want anyone to know.

"Like everyone else." Mephisto rolled his eyes and straightened his skirt. "But why would he like that?"

"I, ah, wanted to take a break from algebra," Bon said.

"Uh hunh." Mephisto appeared suspicious, but then shrugged his shoulders. "Since you brought him, I'll give him an antibiotic and pack him off to the dorms like I did everyone else."

Rin nodded and glanced back at the bed. Bon stared up at Rin with his mouth open. Rin grinned. "We'll try it again when you're better."

Bon scowled, but before he could respond, Rin sauntered away, leaving Bon to Mephisto's rather limited mercy. He shoved his tail back in his pants before leaving the clinic and decided that the next time he and Bon were alone, he was definitely going to kiss him again. It seemed a strange desire on the surface, since they were both boys, but Rin wanted it, and he saw nothing wrong with having it. It could not be any more ridiculous than algebra, he thought, as he headed back to class. If "a" plus "b" could equal "c," then he and Bon could equal a very hot kiss.

It was simple algebra, really.