Marie was an incredibly tolerant, caring woman.

But there is only so much one woman can take of a moping, sickly, silver haired scientist who refuses her help.

Stein was sick. And when Stein got sick, Stein got grumpy.

"Stein, get back into bed right now, so help me…" Marie said, clenching her fists. Stein turned to her, dark circles underneath his eyes and his face pale.

"No." he said, though, due to his clogged nose, it sounded more like 'dough.'

"Franken Stein, you get into bed now." Marie said. Stein sighed.

"That offer's not actually as good as it sounds, is it?" Stein remarked. His relatively new girlfriend sighed and feigned laughter.

"I'm not catching your disease." Marie said, turning Stein around and shoving him into the bedroom. Stein reluctantly sat down on the mattress, Marie pulling the covers back.

"In." Marie said, kicking Stein in the shin. Stein groaned and kicked his legs up onto the bed.

"There." he said, defiantly crossing his arms. Marie glared down at him.

"You're supposed to be a genius. Why are you acting like a 15 year old?" Marie asked. Stein rolled his eyes.

"Because I can." Stein said. Marie rolled her eyes and tried really hard not to smile.

"You're an idiot." Marie said.

"And you live with me by choice. Who's the bigger idiot?" Stein asked. Marie thought for a minute.

"Still you." Marie said. Stein smirked and buried himself back into the bed, coughing slightly.

The slight cough turned quickly into a coughing fit, which sent Marie into protective mode. Kneeling next to the bed, she grabbed a tissue with one hand and placed the other on Stein's lower back. She held the tissued hand to his face, the other hand rubbing circles into his back.

Stein's coughing fit ended with him gasping for air, his head heaving back and forward with the heavy breathing.

"Oh, Stein." Marie whispered, rubbing circles into his back. Stein took one last heaving breath and sat back.

"Are you going to tell me that it's because of my smoking, now?" Stein asked. Marie shook her head.

"Of course not." Marie said. Stein looked down at Marie, narrowing his eyes dubiously. He'd taken up smoking in his teens, and every coughing fit he'd had… well, ever, had been followed by a 'Those things are going to kill you' comment. Stein closed his eyes and sunk further into the bed.

"Just kill me now. It'd be kinder." Stein said.

"Not on me, you dope." Marie said, placing her hand on his forehead, causing him to wince slightly.

"One day," Marie started, "One day you won't flinch." Stein looked at Marie through sickly olive eyes.

"I doubt that." he rasped. Marie smiled slightly and pulled the covers over his shoulders, his poorly eyes closing.

"Are you hungry?" Marie asked. Stein shook his head. Marie sighed and placed her hand on his chest.

"Do you need anything else?" Marie asked.

"A bullet." Stein remarked. Marie's eyes widened.

"Stein! It's the flu, you'll be fine." Marie said. Stein looked up at her through the slits of his eyes.

"Are you sure about that?" he asked.

"You're the doctor." Marie smiled warmly. Stein sighed as Marie brushed his hair away from his forehead.

"I've got to take your temperature." Marie said, picking up a thermometer and turning back to Stein.

"Say 'aah.'" she said. Stein raised his eyebrows, giving Marie a 'that's-not-going-to-happen' look. Marie sighed.

"Just open your mouth." Marie sighed, putting her hands on her hips. Stein dropped his jaw and allowed Marie to stick the thermometer under his tongue. Marie hooked her finger under Stein's chin and shut his mouth, earning a grumble from the rather inept-feeling scientist. Marie sighed and looked on sympathetically.

"You'll be alright." Marie said. Stein mumbled something incoherent, due to the thermometer. She took the thermometer out and read it, taken aback.

"Oh my… Stein! You're really sick!" Marie said. Stein frowned.

"Yeah, I gathered that one." Stein said. Marie sighed and sat on the side of the bed, looking on at Stein.

"I have to take care of you, now." Marie said. Stein blinked.

"Why? Because we're sleeping together?" Stein asked. Marie smiled and shook her head.

"You're terrible." Marie said. Stein sighed and turned over, closing his eyes.

"Sleep. You'll feel better." Marie said. Stein groaned slightly and Marie kissed him on the forehead. She turned around to leave, but was stopped.

"Please don't go." Stein said, quietly, gruffly.

"What?" Marie asked, walking slowly back to Stein's side of the bed and kneeling down.

"Don't go." he said. Marie looked on, slightly puzzled as to Stein's motives.

"Alright." she replied, quietly. She held up her hand for a second and ran out of the room, taking a chair and pulling it back next to the bed.

"There." she said, quietly. Stein gave a tiny, contented groan and turned over onto his stomach, burying his head into the pillow and pulling the quilt covers over his head.

"Can I ask… why you didn't want me to go?" Marie asked. Stein pulled the covers back and turned his head to the side, so that only his face could be seen.

"No, you can't. Thanks for asking." he muttered before turning over and burying his head back into the pillow. Marie sighed and clasped her hands together.

"When I was little, I wanted nothing more than for my mama to stay with me when I was sick." Marie said, quietly. After a couple of seconds, Stein's face peeked out from under the quilt again.

"Yeah?" he rasped.

"Yeah. But she never would. She believed," Marie crossed her legs and took a deep breath in, "that leaving me alone would make me better quicker. She said that I was too clingy, and that too much human contact made me ill."

"That's ridiculous." Stein muttered. Marie nodded and sighed.

"I know that now. But, back then, I didn't. And I used to believe her." Marie wiped at her eyes. Stein pulled himself to a sitting position and blinked quickly.

"Marie…" he said, quietly.

"It's fine." She laughed and brushed away Stein's comment.

"It's not fine, you could have been traumatised by it, Marie." Stein told her. Marie crossed her arms.

"It could explain your hot temper." Stein said, with a tiny smirk.

"I don't have a hot temper, what are you talking ab- Stein!" Marie clenched her fists as Stein gave a small chuckle.

"I'm not sure you're even sick. That whole don't go thing was a ploy, wasn't it?" Marie asked, in a huff.

"Come on, Marie. Have you considered I enjoy your company?" Stein asked.

"You may enjoy my company," Marie stood up and leant down, kissing Stein on the forehead, "but I don't appreciate your germs."

"Fine." Stein came as close to a pout as he ever would.

"Get some rest." Marie said, softly and gently, watching as Stein's eyelids closed before she exited the room.