This is my first story. It's a response to a kink meme prompt and I just thought I'd share it here. Any constructive criticism is appreciated. Thanks! :)

Sick: a kink meme prompt

In all the time that Peter had known Neal, he had never actually seen Neal sick. Somehow, though, it didn't shock Peter that illness turned him from a smooth con into a cranky two year old. An entire day of pouting and whining was wearing on Peter's patience and he wanted nothing more than to relax with El and enjoy a quiet dinner. Unfortunately, El had already invited Neal over for dinner a couple days before.

Of course, El immediately noticed that Neal didn't look so good. She fed him a barely touched dinner and sent him up to the guest room to spend the night.

As soon as she heard the door shut, El gave Peter a pointed look. "How could you not notice?"

"I thought he was just being his usual annoying self… times ten."

She sighed and said, "Go take his temperature, please. I'll go see if I can find some Tylenol and a cool pad."

Peter went and grabbed the digital thermometer out of the medicine cabinet and trudged up the stairs. He couldn't help but feel a little sorry for the kid. Being sick was no fun and Neal probably didn't appreciate not being at the top of his game. Peter gently knocked on the guest room door and opened it to find Neal curled up in a ball on his side.

He smiled a little at how young Neal looked. Rumpled hair, glazed eyes, and a pathetic pout tugged at Peter's heart.

"Hey buddy, I need to take your temperature real quick. I promise you can go to sleep as soon I find out how sick you are and get some medicine in you."

Peter walked over to the bed after receiving no response and squeezed Neal's shoulder. "Cowboy up. It won't take but a minute or two."

Neal gave him a withering glare and reluctantly opened his mouth. "I'm gonna go see if El found any medicine yet. Be right back."

Five minutes later Peter returned with a two white pills, a cool pad, and a glass of water. Neal was laying the same position as earlier. Minus one thermometer. "NEAL! Where is the thermometer?"

"What thermometer?" Neal asked with wide, innocent eyes.

"The one I left you with a moment ago," Peter seethed.

"Oh, that one. I think it was defective, so I got rid of it for you."

The thousand-watt smile on Neal's face wasn't enough to save him from Peter's creativity. "Oh really? Well I guess I'll just have to go get the other thermometer then. Thank you so much for taking care of that little problem for me."

Neal became wary and the smile instantly dropped from his face. Peter quickly returned with a glass thermometer and a small container. Neal frowned and whined, "Peeeter, is this really necessary? I'm sure I'll feel fine in the morning."

"Maybe so but I'm not willing to risk El's wrath. Now roll over on your stomach."

"What? Why?"

"This is a special, super accurate thermometer that won't have any problems like the other one. It was made to go up children's bottoms and to be monitored the whole time. So, I don't foresee any problems this time," Peter smirked.

"No way! I'm not letting you do that! I'm fairly sure that it's illegal to use a rectal thermometer on your CI."

"Nonsense. I'm responsible for you. I can do whatever I want. Besides, do you really want to have to give a statement to the bureau about how you childishly hid a thermometer and then had to have it taken like a kid?"

"This isn't fair!" Neal whined. "I'll show you where the first one is!"

"No, I think this is exactly what you need," Peter said as he grabbed the younger man's bicep and rolled him onto his stomach. Within seconds, Peter had Neal's sleep pants and boxer briefs down. Neal could feel the blood rush to his face as Peter carefully spread his legs as far as the restrictions around his knees would allow.

Some tiny masochist part of Neal couldn't help but watch as Peter opened the jar of Vaseline and stuck the stubby thermometer upright in it. Next, Peter walked to the bathroom and retrieved a few tissues. The young conman was pretty sure he would die of embarrassment as Peter stuck his right index finger in the Vaseline and gently spread Neal's cheeks. He let out an unmanly squeak as Peter lubricated him a little bit around and inside his rectum. The Vaseline was slightly cold and the large calloused finger felt strange.

"Stop shifting. I don't want the thermometer to break while it's in." With that Peter reached over, wiped his finger off, and grabbed the thermometer. Neal squealed and tried to get up as Peter began to insert the thermometer. This was definitely worse than the lubing part in Neal's mind. A large hand in the small of his back pressed him into the bed and prevented him from getting away while another quickly withdrew the thermometer from the small progress it had made.

"Neal! Stop this! You're acting like a kid."

"You stop! I'm not kid and I don't need you to take care of me while I'm sick." The sudden shock of a stinging smack to Neal's behind made him pause.

"Seriously Neal, I've had all I can take today. Either you lie still and let me take your temperature or I'm going to treat you like a complete child and then take it. Your pick."

Neal didn't know whether it was the fever or the feeling of a having someone take on a caring role in his life, but tears welled up in his eyes and he suddenly felt strangely compliant. He let his body go limp and spread his legs back to where Peter had positioned them. He could have sworn he heard Peter make a small noise of relief as the slippery thermometer was inserted again.

Neal buried his face in the pillow and tried to forget that Peter's hand was still holding the thermometer in place. After what seemed like an eternity, he raised his head up and croaked, "How much longer?"

"It needs to stay in four minutes. You're about halfway through." Neal released a dramatic sigh and tried to keep the tears at bay. Ever since he went to prison, Neal had had quite a few of what he considered to be bad days. This certainly counted as the absolute worst.

Neal felt some of his dignity return as Peter skillfully spread Neal's cheeks again and removed the thermometer. He swiftly pulled the boxer briefs and sleep pants back up while Peter wiped the thermometer off. "102.3 degrees. No wonder you've been acting like a brat."

He rubbed small circles on Neal's back and quietly suggested, "Here, take this medicine and I'll sit with you until you fall asleep." Neal gave a tiny sniffle and nodded while reaching for the glass on the bedside table. Peter grabbed the cold pad and smoothed the soft hair away from Neal's forehead while sticking the cold pad on. Then, he leaned against the headboard while Neal laid back down and continued to run a comforting hand through his partner's hair. "Get some sleep. I'll call Hughes in morning and tell him we're both taking the day off."

"Peter?"

"hmm?"

"Thanks," Neal whispered as he drifted off.

Peter just smiled and imagined the kid's reaction the next morning when he figured out that the older man had a new favorite way to torture him.