AN: I originally wrote this bit of silliness mid-S3 at the request of Sma (politics and prose). It's likely on Tumblr somewhere so if you've seen it already I apologize.
[Insert disclaimer about my lack of ownership of Glee things and absence of any intended infringement.]
Carole sighed while tying her scarf. "Are you sure it's okay for us to go all the way to Cleveland when Kurt has the flu? I don't needto see the Christmas displays this year."
"It's fine, honey," Burt said reassuringly as he buttoned his coat. "Finn and Rachel are here in case he needs anything, and we're only going for the day. Besides, all he's been doing the past two days is sleeping." He turned to Finn and Rachel. "You kids'll be okay, right?"
"Yes, we'll take good care of Kurt, Mr. Hummel. I brought my homemade vegetable soup and some zucchini bread with probiotic wheat germ for him, if he gets hungry." Rachel smiled brightly at her boyfriend's stepfather (who blatantly suppressed a wince at the mention of health food products). She and Finn were seated on the living room couch and ready to watch Funny Girl... or notwatch, if their prior movie-viewing experiences were any indication.
"All right, then," Carol said. "Call us if you need anything."
With that they departed, and Finn started the movie. But as soon as they settled in, the sound of a small ringing bell drifted down to the living room from upstairs. It stopped for a second or two but then resumed.
Rachel glanced up curiously at Finn, who slumped against the couch cushions in frustration.
"My mom gave him the bell so he wouldn't strain his voice." The words were muffled from behind a throw pillow.
"Oh! Well we need to check on him, then." Rachel sprang up from the couch and started up the stairs before Finn had even dragged his body into an upright position. Although disappointed by the interruption, he couldn't help but smile at her willingness to help Kurt. He peeled himself up from the couch and caught up to Rachel at the top of the stairs.
"You'll need this," she said, quickly handing him a surgical mask. At some point between there and the living room she had also put one on, along with a pair of disposable rubber gloves.
"Finn! Influenza is highly contagious and exposure to an afflicted person could compromise your whole immune system, wreaking havoc on both your singing and athletic abilities and perpetuating the spread of disease amongst everyone around you!"
"All that stuff is bad, right?" Finn stared back for a moment and then flashed a dopey grin trying to disarm his overly cautious girlfriend, who he could tell was scowling at him behind her mask.
"Finn Hudson, if you don't wear the mask, I will not let you kiss or touch me for two weeks."
Finn put the mask on in record time. (He didn't point out to Rachel that he'd already been in Kurt's room that day without any sort of protection from the germs.)
"My cold compress is no longer cold," Kurt said, peeling the wet washcloth off of his forehead and handing it to Rachel as soon as she approached the side of his bed, the usual attitude in his voice still noticeable but tempered by a raspy, nasal undertone. "Also, you both look ridiculous."
"Okay, we'll get you a new compress," she said gently in an attempt to placate him, ignoring his comment about the masks. "Anything else?"
"Yes, this tea is now tepid." He glanced scornfully at the nearly full mug of light-brown liquid on his nightstand.
Finn scoffed playfully at the assessment. "Of course it is. I brought it to you three hours ago and you only had three sips before you went back to sleep."
Kurt rolled his red-tinged, squinty eyes. "I'm sorry, dear brother, if my illness and requisite need for slumber is both amusing and inconvenient to you."
The smile fell quickly from Finn's face. He decided that keeping quiet and following directions was the best option for his dealings with both Rachel and Kurt.
Meanwhile, Rachel had procured a small plastic bag labeled "BIOHAZARD" and was placing the damp washcloth inside of it, holding the offending item between her thumb and forefinger.
"I brought you some healthy flu-remedying goodies for lunch," she said, filling the silence following the brotherly bickering. "Should we bring you a bowl of soup? Or would you prefer some more tea with some toasted zucchini bread?"
"I suppose I could sample whatever vegan nonsense treats you've prepared."
Kurt was putting on his usual airs of being detached and unaffected by the kindness of others, but Rachel caught a hint of sincerity in this statement.
"Great! I'll go downstairs and prepare them. Be back soon!" She bounded out of the room with her usual enthusiasm. Amidst his sniffles Kurt managed to raise an eyebrow at Finn, who merely shrugged and sank into the armchair in the corner of the room. He then turned his attention to the television, which had been on low volume since they entered the room. Immediately he recognized The Sound of Music.
"Oh! It's almost up to 'My Favorite Things'! Turn it up, man."
An amused smirk crossed Kurt's pink face as he reached for the remote and raised the volume.
Just as the song started, Rachel returned with a tray of food for their "patient", along with a few pieces of zucchini bread for herself and Finn. (Wheat germ sounded weird, yeah, but this was Rachel's zucchini bread so Finn was willing to overlook it.)
They ate in silence except for the singing of the Von Trapp family. Rachel kept one eye on Kurt to monitor his enjoyment of the food. She was pleased at his satisfied expression when he daintily set his spoon next to the empty bowl and smiled in her direction, nodding approvingly as he took a bite of the bread.
By the time the movie ended Kurt had drifted off to sleep. Rachel put on another pair of gloves and laid a fresh cold washcloth on his forehead, then gathered all of their dirty dishes to take down to the kitchen. Finn followed behind her, gently easing down the dimmer switch and gingerly closing the door behind him.
"Wash your hands!" Rachel instructed quietly once they were safely in the hall, motioning to the nearby bathroom. "I'll put these in the dishwasher and meet you in your room," she whispered, winking at him.
Finn nodded happily, ecstatic that Rachel had forgotten about their attempted movie-viewing and wanted to move upstairs. He washed his hands as instructed and practically sprinted to his room, where he stretched out on his bed and tried to act natural (or however one acts when he knows he's about to make out with his super hot girlfriend but he doesn't want her to know that he knows). A moment later Rachel appeared in the doorway, making a beeline for the bed and all but throwing herself on him.
A half-hour later, Finn and Rachel were so wrapped up in each other that they almost missed the barely-coherent sound of their names drifting down the hall from Kurt's room.
"We should... go see what... he needs," Rachel panted between kisses, trying to ease Finn's hands out from under her shirt.
He flashed his best puppy-dog eyes and pouted, but he knew it was no use. Reluctantly, he removed his hands from her chest and lowered her shirt back down over her stomach. She smoothed first her own hair and then his, before adjusting the collar of his shirt. Once they'd donned their surgical masks yet again, they ventured back to Kurt's room.
"Finn! Rachel! You're here..." Kurt drawled sleepily when they approached the bed.
"Yeah, we're here bro, what do you need?" Finn tried to steady his voice and show concern for Kurt's situation (instead of just being pissed about this second interruption).
"The unicorns!" he exclaimed sleepily. "They were all different colors and they could fly..." A huge childlike smile spread across his face.
Finn and Rachel looked at one another, alarmed by his rambling.
"Rach. What the hell did you put in that soup?" Finn asked in a muffled whisper.
"Just some vegetable broth, carrots, onions, celery, turnip..." She thought for a moment, trying to recall the rest of the ingredients before she realized what Finn was getting at. "It was not the soup!" she scoffed, clearly incredulous at his implication.
Her expression softened when Kurt mumbled "I wish you could have seen them..." and rolled over onto his side, still smiling from ear to ear.
"See! He's just dreaming," Rachel whispered, staring at Kurt with wide, adoring eyes.
Finn smiled at his girlfriend's caring instincts. And the fact that his brother was still asleep and didn't need them to actually do anything.
"Nurse Rachel, I think you're needed in the other room," he whispered into her ear. Before she could respond, he threw her over his shoulder and carried her back out into the hall.