What is this, the third KKM story I've done? Second non-oneshot. No pairings, this time. Just me being an imbecile on my own time.

Chapter One

The coughs were small ones at first. Little irritating tickles in the back of Yuuri's throat. He was convinced they would go away if he just drank enough water, or maybe had some pudding to soothe the whatever-it-was. For a while, it worked.

For the record, there is little quite so mortifying as coughing during complete silence. Even worse is coughing during complete silence right after the class has finished watching a short video about how people caused the American Plague of 1912 by not covering their mouths when they coughed. …Awkward. By that time, Yuuri was starting to feel… not so good. His lunch wasn't settling well and for some reason, he was breathing more heavily, which in turn sparked more coughing sessions.

Yuuri was proud to say that he got through the entire school day without heading to the nurse's office. Granted, that was because the nurse's office would call home, and he didn't want his mother having small coronaries if she thought her son was ill, but there was still some pride to be had in not wimping out, as Wolfram might term it.

He was taking the chain off of his bike when Murata sidled up.

"Murata? You walk to school; why are you here?"

It was impossible to see the other boy's eyes with the glare coming off of his glasses. "Shibuya, you aren't ill, are you?"

"Huh? Oh, heavens, no. Where'd you get that idea? Crazy talk is coming out of your mouth right now." Yuuri began to laugh awkwardly, but interrupted himself with another poorly-timed coughing fit. "Before you call me on that, I swear, it's just allergies or something," he said when he could get the words out.

Murata's mouth tightened. "Well, it's the 'or something' part that you might need to worry about. Just don't push yourself, okay? I know Mama-san will have fits, and probably your brother, too, but your health is important."

"I don't have the Black Plague, Murata."

"And I didn't say you did. I just said not to ignore what might be a health problem. Are you sure you're okay biking home?"

"I'm fine. Honest. And besides, it's fifteen minutes by bike, for God's sake. That would take me forever on foot. No, thank you. Careful; your Mommy side is showing."

"You say that like it's an insult!" Murata whined, finally sounding a bit more normal.

"Eh – take it how you will." And with that, Yuuri slung his pack over one shoulder, mounted his bike, and got it rolling down the sidewalk.

It turned out that perhaps walking might have been the better plan. Yuuri's stomach keenly felt every bump and roll in the ground. For some reason, his lungs just couldn't get air very easily, and he had to pant just to keep up his pace. He'd always had a delicate nose, which didn't take in much air, which in turn made him something of a mouth-breather, but there was a big difference between breathing and outright gasping. It was also an issue in that the sudden nausea made him desperately want to close his mouth and keep it closed. Well, that wasn't an option.

Those fifteen minutes did not pass anywhere near fast enough.

He chained up his bike in front of the house, breathing heavily. He knew without mirrors that he must look terrible. He sat there on the ground for several minutes trying to get his breath back, with frequent paranoid looks at the windows in case his mother just so happened to look out of one of them.

He still looked a hot mess when he went into the house, but at least he didn't look ill, which was what he was going for.

"Yuu-chan! We're having curry tonight! Can you help me chop some vegetables, please?" Jennifer asked, sparkling and perfect as usual.

"Er, no thanks, Ma. I've got homework." It was a half-lie. He had some homework, but it was all appallingly easy stuff that he was reasonably certain he could finish in ten minutes. He just really, really needed to lie down. His stomach might stop trying to wring itself out then. A man could hope.

Yuuri flopped down on his bed, more grateful for the cool bedspread than he had ever been in his life. His homework could wait. He could probably do it in the couple of minutes of free time before class started, anyway. It was settled. He was totally going to blow off that worksheet until tomorrow. Or maybe he really could play the sick card and just avoid going to school altogether. There would be no need to do his homework until even later, then. It was strange how nefarious it felt to be playing a sick card even when he was actually sick.

He had no doubts about it now. He was ill with something. Probably just a cold or whatever, but it never hurt to take extra precautions.

I wonder if maybe Gisella could heal me up if I went to Shin Makoku now… Yuuri mused, seriously considering it. He almost laughed. It wasn't like he could come or go at will. He could stick his head in a bowl of water and hope for the best, but that somehow just didn't appeal. Shinou was kind of a dick in how inconvenient his transportation abilities always ended up being. Yuuri would not be the slightest bit surprised if Shinou was secretly trying to screw him over here and there in small ways, if just for the laughs. Maybe Adelbert's unreasonable hate of him wasn't quite so unreasonable.

What he wouldn't give for a nap. Surely if he closed his eyes just for a few minutes…

"Yuu-chan!" his mother's voice called from downstairs.

"God, why?" he whispered. Louder, he called, "Yeah?" He hated how much even something as small as speech utterly drained him.

"Dinner's ready! Even if you're not finished with your homework yet, you need to eat, sweetie!"

Homework? What? Oh… oh, yeah. He had told her something like that, right? "Coming," he called. He really didn't want to. He wanted to go back to sleep and never be vertical ever, ever again. But his mother would come and bother the living crap out of him if he didn't eat dinner. He could eat (even though that sounded like an awful idea, to be frank), down some medicine, and go back to sleep. God, but sleep sounded so incredible right now.

He dragged himself upright, feeling his stomach and head protest. Wait, his head? When had a headache developed? Yuuri groaned. Oh, yeah. Dinner was going to be awesome(!)

He should have known that Shori would realise that something was off. He was picking at his food. He was pale. He wasn't speaking much. He was listless and wasn't moving as much as was possible. His mother only picked up on the first one. His father wasn't even there, away on conference in Hokkaido, like he had been all week. Normally, Yuuri supposed his older brother would rat on him at the first available opportunity. He was surprised when Shori said nothing at all, only shooting concerned glances his way and slightly irritated looks his mother's way whenever she pestered Yuuri about how little he was eating.

"Erm… I'm just really not hungry, Ma. I'm going to go upstairs. That okay?" he asked quietly.

"But you've barely eaten a thing, sweetie! Couldn't you please just eat a little more? Just for Mama?" she said.

Shori raised a hand. "Just let it be, Ma. He'll be fine. Besides, you make very large portions, and your curry is very filling. As a matter of fact, I think I'm done as well."

"Eh? But-"

"I'll take your dish to the kitchen, Yuuri," Shori said, quirking a quick smile at his little brother, which Yuuri shakily returned. He appreciated having an ally in the house for once.

He went straight to bed, unable to stomach the thought of actually going through the damn medicine cabinet for the right pill or syrup or whatever-the-hell else was in there. Sleep would fix all his problems, and if it didn't – well, it certainly wouldn't hurt.

Oblivion was nice for a change.

Then he found himself with his eyes open, comprehending vaguely that a glowing '4:32' meant something disgusting and unpleasant, although unable to quite remember why.

He felt awful. If he thought he was nauseated before, it was nothing compared to now. He stumbled out of bed, heading straight for the bathroom. It was lucky he did so, because what little he had eaten for dinner came back up violently. He coughed weakly, seriously considering bursting into tears. But no. That was ridiculous. And besides, that sort of thing shouldn't be a conscious decision. He would just feel silly and he'd had enough of that nonsense for one night. At least neither his mother nor Shori would be awake to witness his chronic pathetic-ness.

His mouth tasted bitter and acrid. Yuuri cupped his hands and used sink water to wash out his mouth. His stomach muscles also hated him from the solid minute or two of heaving. "Fuck my life," he whispered to the toilet, flushing. Normally, Yuuri wasn't one to curse, but these counted as extenuating circumstances. Besides, he was King of an entire country of demons in another dimension. He could do whatever the hell he wanted, in theory.

He could feel that fever that had been so late in coming surging through his body. Yuuri pressed his cheek against the deliciously cool porcelain of the toilet. Sure, it was probably all germ-y and gross, but Yuuri really did not care. His body heat quickly ruined the effect as the porcelain strove to reach thermal equilibrium.

Well… the shower was right there.

The shower had a cold setting.

Nobody was up but him.

…Well, then.

Yuuri climbed into the tub, reaching forward and pulling up the little thing that changed the flow of water to go to the showerhead instead of the faucet, then turning the dial to release a deluge of cool water.


Okay, it was cold as balls for a second or two, but he had just been taken a little by surprise. After having a few seconds to get used to the sensation, it was wonderful. He was still in his clothes. He didn't give a damn. He could just sit there, lying back, not worrying about moving or upsetting his already-agitated stomach.

Alas, he had forgotten about what an ass Shinou could be.

As soon as there was a reasonable one or two inch level of water, Yuuri began to feel a strange sensation of falling through the bottom of the tub.

"Son of a bitch," he moaned before slipping under the water and through the portal.

On a good day, the water portals made his head spin and his stomach churn. Now… it was hell. Again, he contemplated crying like a small child. It was very tempting.

Yuuri could tell from the stars above him in an oddly hexagonal pattern that he was in the fountain in the courtyard of Shinou Temple, and that it was late at night (or perhaps early in the morning – how did one make a distinction?) in Shin Makoku, too.

The water was cool.

He didn't want to get up or out of the fountain.

There was no-one there to help.

And so, Yuuri flung an arm over the side of the fountain base to keep himself from drowning, and went back to sleep.

(A/N:) You probably don't understand how difficult this was for me to write. I love reading sick-fics, but I have this issue where the mere contemplation of symptoms and their effects on the body and mind kind of makes me develop the symptoms. This means that when I lie to my parents and say I'm sick and have to stay home from school that I actually get sick with all the symptoms I've described for them. They wear off quickly, but it doesn't change the fact that for a few hours, I feel extremely nauseated and achy all over. So, when I was writing this, thinking about how all the symptoms should be effectively described… guess who felt worse and worse and worse as the story went on? Yeah. Difficult story to write. So why did I write it? …If I say "for fun" are you going to laugh at me?