A/N. Second in this series of fluffy vignettes. In which Combeferre really isn't well.
Chapter 2 : Comfort Comes in Threes
Enjolras was on the table. There had been potential new members of the Society is attendance tonight so he felt the table top rousing speech was entirely necessary, it was recruitment, advertisement. Above all, it worked.
A sea of faces looked up at him, fierce with determination, determination to change the world, to follow him, to join their crusade. Les Amis too were caught up in the fervour, despite being used to Enjolras' rhetoric it didn't make them any more immune to it. All of them were there tonight, dispersed tactically throughout the crowd as catalysts which turned Enjolras' words (ably assisted and augmented by Jehan's poetic turns of phrase) and impassioned cry into the same fire which burned in the heart of every ami, the desire to change the world for good. All but one of their faces was lit up with revolutionary passion as they listened to him speak, cheering and jeering as appropriate; Grantaire as per usual, was watching from the sidelines, smirk on his lips, eyebrow raised sardonically, exuding cynicism from every pore. He caught Enjolras' eye and rolled his own at him, smirk becoming a grin intended to provoke. Enjolras, however, was in far too good a mood to let Grantaire under his skin tonight and returned the smirk triumphantly and turned back to the crowd, to finish the speech with panache. As he made eye contact with individuals in the crowd, fixing them with his intense gaze, he caught sight of another face which didn't seem entirely au fai with proceedings, Combeferre's. Enjolras is thrown, and he falters for a moment, this is most unusual for his friend. He covers the falter smoothly enough and manages to catch Courfeyrac's eye and make a motion towards where Combeferre is sitting as he closes the meeting, now distracted but still ecstatic with the crowd of new supporters who flood the table littered with sign up sheets and practically overwhelm Jehan and Bossuet.
Enjolras jumps down from the table, and immediately makes his way over to Combeferre. He can see Courfeyrac doing the same thing from across the room, both of them pushing slowly through he crowd, smiling, shaking hands and clapping shoulders here and there as they do so.
Combeferre is staring into the distance and rather pale, Enjolras realises, as he reaches him and doesn't seem to have noticed that the bustle around him is giving way to mass exodus as people leave the café.
Enjolras drops to his knees before Combeferre and gives his leg a little shake. "'Ferre?" He asks, a concerned line appearing between his brows.
Comebeferre shakes himself and looks down at Enjolras. "Oh." He says, a little startled, "The meeting is finished. I…er…"
By now Enjolras is alarmed, and Courfeyrac who has appeared next to them, a hand on each man's shoulder, and heard Combeferre's confusion, is equally so. "Combeferre, is something the matter?" He asks, and moves his hand to rest on the back of Combeferre's neck in a gesture of comfort.
Courfeyrac is incredibly tactile and is always touching whoever he speaks to, especially his friends. It is difficult to have a conversation with Courfeyrac without him draping himself over you in some fashion. To Enjolras, who is also a tactile person, communicating with subtle nudges and touches, it is one of Courfeyrac's most endearing qualities that he can switch from his overwhelming boisterous and rambunctious self to this calm, sweet and concerned self in a moment, expressed in one touch.
Combeferre sighs as he looks from Courfeyrac to Enjolras and back, "I don't feel entirely myself tonight, to be honest." He smiles weakly.
Courfeyrac's hand moves move again, this time to press his palm gently against Combeferre's forehead. "Are you ill?" he asks, peering at Combeferre. Combeferre sighs again, reaches up and turns Courfeyrac's hand round so the back presses against his skin. Courfeyrac blushes charmingly and turns to Enjolras, "I can't tell if you're warm or not. Enjolras…can I…"
Enjolras is taken slightly by surprise when Courfeyrac reaches out to him with his other hand and presses the back of it to his forehead. He allows it, bemused, letting Courfeyrac compare the two.
Courfeyrac hmms for a moment, comparing. "Well, you are warmer than Enjolras, and as he's been shouting from the table tops for the last hour…"
Enjolras reaches up and mimicks his friend, pressing the back of his hand to Combeferre's forehead for himself. It is strangely difficult to tell if someone has a fever if you're not used to doing so, whichever side of your hand you use, especially in a warm café after delivering an impassioned speech to the masses. "You are, a bit. I think." He says, worried, to Combeferre.
Combeferre takes their hands in each of his and gives them a squeeze. "Take me home?" he asks.
"Yes, of course…ah…" Enjolras looks about for a moment, trying to assess if anything needs to be done before he leaves.
"Go on. I'll finish up here." Courfeyrac interrupts his thoughts. "I promised Jehan I'd go through the signup sheets with him, if you'll be alright…" he drifts off, hand waving about to indicate getting Combeferre home.
Enjolras nods, and dashes about for a minute, delivering swift goodbyes and thanks to Les Amis who haven't yet departed. Joly shoots Enjolras an alarmed look when he whispers in his ear that Combeferre isn't feeling well, but gives Combeferre, who is watching Enjolras' make his rounds, a sympathetic smile none the less.
It takes them longer than usual to reach their apartment, although it is only a few blocks away. Combeferre is a little shaky on his feet, but insists he's fine, so they go slowly. They chat as they walk, reviewing the meeting. Combeferre might have seemed as though he wasn't paying attention, but was as observant as ever and agreed with Enjolras that speech and subsequent recruitment went excellently. It was a nice change from the public demonstrations which more often than not ended in a swift retreat.
Comebferre collapses onto sofa before Enjolras can even flick the lights on.
"Oh no you don't." Enjolras says, grabbing hold of Combeferre's arm and pulling him back to his feet. "Bed. Now."
Combeferre actually whines which makes Enjolras chuckle as he pulls him across the living room and pushes him into his bedroom. He's changed into pajamas and climbed into bed by the time Enjolras returns, balancing two cups of tea and a plate of toast. Combeferre takes the cups while Enjolras climbs onto the bed to sit cross legged side him.
"Are you hungry?" Enjolras asks, taking back his cup and balancing the plate on one knee. He takes a piece of toast covered in jam; he's always hungry after meetings, probably because you forget to eat beforehand says a voice in his head which sounds suspiciously like Combeferre.
"Not really." Combeferre admits, but takes a piece of buttered toast anyway and eats it slowly.
Enjolras reaches over to feel his forehead again. His hands are a bit cold from the walk home so now Combeferre does feel hot by comparison so Enjolras is still none the wiser. He wonders briefly if he should fetch the thermometer but decides against it, trusting Combeferre to tell him what he needs.
"Do you think you really are coming down with something? You do look a bit pale." he asks, now working on a piece of heavily peanut buttered toast.
"It's just a cold, I hope." Comebeferre replies, but he doesn't sound sure. "Hopefully I'll feel better after I sleep."
Enjolras' phone buzzes close to his hip and he almost spills tea over the bed contorting himself to pull it out of his pocket. "Courf…" he says for Combeferre's benefit as he read the text. "Just asking after you."
Comebferre smiles. "I'm ok. Made of sterner stuff."
Enjolras texts back something to that effect then finishes the rest of the toast Combeferre clearly doesn't want. He looks up to find Combeferre watching him over the rim of his cup.
"Just watching you eat that toast like it's going to run away…" he laughs as he says it.
Enjolras gives him an indignant look. "It's the first…" he protests.
"I know. I know. I'm teasing." Combeferre says, still chuckling lightly. "It's the first thing you've eaten since lunch. All day probably if I know you."
Enjolras raises an eyebrow at him. "Could I go without the lecture?"
Combeferre raises his hands in defence. "No lecture. I promise." He is quiet for a moment. "I'm sorry I wasn't much help tonight…"
Enjolras is severely tempted to slap him. He knows for certain the Society would be nothing without Combeferre, that Combeferre carries more than his fair share of the weight in everything he does. Enjolras doesn't slap him, but fixes his friend with his severest look. "Don't be ridiculous. I'm going to attribute that apology to fever and wipe it entirely from my mind."
Combeferre smiles, blushing and looks down at his tea. The atmosphere has become strangely emotional and Enjolras has to move to dispel it. "Do you need anything?" he asks standing up.
Combeferre shakes his head as Enjolras gathers up the cups and plate.
"Alright. I'll let you sleep. If you do…need anything, I mean, wake me up alright?"
Combeferre nods and slips down under the covers more as Enjolras kisses his forehead lightly.
Morning finds Enjolras doing the washing up which has languished in the sink for the past 2 days when he hears a key in the lock. He knows before he turns around it's Courfeyrac.
"I have breakfast supplies." He says as he delivers his usual greeting of a bisous from behind.
"Well that's good as I ate the last of the bread last night."
"How's 'Ferre?" He asks, turning the kettle on.
Enjolras finishes the final plate and turns around, leaning back against the counter as he dries his hands. "Not up yet, so…" he holds up the thermometer which had been on the counter, waiting. "He needs to phone in sick about now, or leave for the hospital about 15 minutes ago…"
Courfeyrac chuckles and begins to assemble the makings of breakfast and Enjolras knocks lightly on Combeferre's door.
He lets himself in and finds Combeferre in more or less the position he'd left him in the night before, but paler, much paler.
Enjolras hates to wake him, when he obviously needs the sleep, but shakes his shoulder gently.
Combeferre blinks and looks up at him.
"Morning," Enjolras says softly, perching his left leg on the bed and sitting down. "How are you feeling?" Now when he feels Combeferre's forehead there is no questioning the heat there.
Combeferre groans as he pushes himself up a bit. "Not good." He shivers. "Oh, rotten, actually."
Enjolras holds up the thermometer he has in his hand and gives it a quick shake. Combeferre is obliging as he lifts his tongue. Enjolras tangles his fingers in Combeferre's as they await the verdict.
It's Combeferre who takes the thermometer out and looks at it, somewhat dismayed. Enjolras takes it from him and looks for himself.
"Oh. Oh dear. Should I call in for you, or do you want to?" He asks, holding out his phone.
Enjolras nods, already scrolling through numbers on his phone and wandering back into the main room. Courfeyrac has managed to retain all his fingers and not burn anything it seems and looks up from slicing bread with eyebrows raised in question.
"Sick. Definitely sick. Temperature of 102.4. I'm calling in for him now." Enjolras informs him while he waits for the call to go through, then repeats much the same to Combeferre's supervisor on the other end of the phone.
"She says bed rest, fluids, feel better soon and don't even think of showing your face until you're entirely better. Not that either Courfeyrac or I would let you." Enjolras relays to Combeferre moment later. "Hey! What are you…this doesn't look like bed rest!" Enjolras exclaims as Combeferre climbs out of bed.
"The sofa counts." Combeferre replies, wrapping his quilt around himself before shuffling in the direction of said sofa. "Don't worry. I'm not intending to go anywhere. I'm not sure I even could."
He isn't surprised to see Courfeyrac making breakfast in the kitchen as he carefully settles himself on the sofa. Everything aches, and somehow it's worse that post-riot soreness and bruises.
Enjolras has trailed after him, with what looks like most of the bedding from their two beds combined. He arranges it around Combeferre, propping him up and tucking him until he chuckles and says "Thank you, 'jol."
Enjolras blushes a bit and sits on the edge of the sofa close to Combeferre. Courfeyrac has successfully conjured breakfast and brings it over to them, balancing what is probably to many plates, mugs and condiments on a tray that is probably advisable. He makes it to the coffee table and pulls an armchair up to the table.
"French toast?" Combeferre asks, surprised. "You made me French toast? It's…"
"Your favourite. I know. You get your favourites when you're poorly. That's how it works." Courfeyrac blushes, the tiniest bit and Enjolras is amused; Courfeyrac is rarely embarrassed and rarely blushes but it seems Combeferre being ill is having a strange effect on him.
Enjolras takes a plate and cuts into bitesize pieces, passing it to Combeferre without a word, so he can eat with one hand and stay mostly lying down. He and Courfeyrac eat with plates balanced on their knees and for several minutes there is peaceful, contented silence. It's almost like a well-rehearsed dance; they breakfast together often, although Courfeyrac doesn't usually cook it, and the rhythm of pouring coffee and juice, passing syrup and more bacon is comfortable and familiar. When they've finished, and Combeferre has done admirably, Enjolras clears everything away as Courfeyrac climbs under the duvet with Combeferre, insinuating himself under Combeferre's legs. Combeferre raises an eyebrow at him. "I take it you aren't intending to go anywhere today?"
Courfeyrac looks at him as if he's grown another head, (Combeferre definitely doesn't want another head right now, the one he has aches badly enough). "It's Saturday." He replies, as if it explains everything.
Combeferre had forgotten that; he currently usually has the day shift at the hospital on Saturdays and had forgotten the existence of weekends, but this fact doesn't actually explain everything.
"And?" Courfeyrac questions. "And you're poorly." At Combeferre's continued confused expression he adds, "where else would I be?"
Combeferre is oddly touched, and attributes the surge of emotion to his fever. If his voice is a little thick when he replies to Enjolras' inquiries about what film to put on the TV he writes that off to his sore throat.
They settle, after several minutes of debating, on a Bond marathon and start with, for no apparent reason, with From Russia With Love. Enjolras climbs onto the other end of the sofa, tucks his legs up under him as Courfeyrac tucks duvet over him, and presses play.
They stay like that for about half an hour, comfortable in companionable silence before Combeferre suddenly sits up, taps Courfeyrac's arm and says "Let me up a sec…"
Bewildered, Courfeyrac does so. "What's wrong?"
Combeferre shakes his head, walking carefully, steadily to the bathroom. He doesn't throw up, but he knows he's going to, so sits on the edge of the bath and waits. Enjolras appears, drapes a blanket over him and sits beside him.
"Have you thrown up?"
Combeferre really doesn't want to risk opening his mouth to reply and just shakes his head.
"But you're going to?"
Completely irrationally, Combeferre doesn't want privacy and shakes his head and rests his shaking hand on Enjolras' knee. Enjolras wraps his arms around his shoulder and gives him a quick squeeze and then rubs his back in slow, soothing circles. It is then that nausea surges within him and he's bent over the bowl and has, at last, thrown up. Enjolras' hand hasn't stopped its movement between his shoulder blades. His other hand is blissfully cool on his hot forehead and holding back his hair from his face. It isn't long enough to be in any real danger but he infinitely appreciates the gesture. He almost smiles wryly to himself as Enjolras' hand disappears from his back for a moment and a damp flannel wipes his mouth; he hadn't known he'd be such a needy patient, nor that Enjolras would make such a good nurse.
"Come on. Let's get you back to bed, or sofa, whichever, and keeping warm. You can throw up in the bin if you need to."
He stands, but is horrified by how shaky he's become since the journey into the bathroom and groans without intending to. He actually has to lean on Enjolras as they make their way back to the sofa.
Courfeyrac has moved to the end of the sofa, pillow on his lap, which he pulls Combeferre down to lie on. If they keep up this show of concern, care and affection Combeferre is fairly sure he's going to cry at some point before he's better.
Enjolras is crouched in front of them, his face pulled into a concerned frown, line between his brows, bottom lip pulled between his teeth. "This isn't just a cold then?"
Combeferre sighs and shakes his head into the pillow. "No. I"ve thrown up and with a temperature over 102…it's the flu." He says, somewhat dismayed. He sits up for a moment, and looks at them both seriously. "I'm sorry, but if either of your stay here for much longer you're both probably going to catch it from me…"
In response, Courfeyrac pulls him back into his lap. Enjolras lays a soft kiss on his forehead and curls back up on the other end of the sofa by Combeferre's feet as Bond re-animates from pause on the screen.
Combeferre is thankful that he's not sick again and can stay where he is, wrapped in blankets and his friends until Bond emerges victorious from his mission and Joly appears in the doorway to the flat.
"Ah…Joly….you probably don't want to come any further. I'm diseased beyond all reason…" he warns.
Joly nods, and steps into the room. "I know. Enjolras text me. I'm here to look you over." He's smiling, as he usually is and looks heartfeltly sorry. "Bossuet already has it. Found him being violently sick at 3 am this morning." He sits down on the coffee table and feels Combeferre's forehead with a little wince. Then, reaches over and places a hand each on Enjolras' and Coufeyrac's foreheads.
"You realise you both are probably going to come down with it, if you haven't already, wrapped up with him like that…"
Both nod against his hand and grin somewhat sheepishly. "Combeferre said the same thing."
Joly purses his lips. "Well, neither of you have a fever at the moment, so…there's hope." He shakes his head, disparaging them both. Turning to Combeferre, "You however…"
Joly rummages around in his doctor's bag pulling out various pieces of medical paraphenlia. "You have taken your temperature this morning, yes?" he asks as he holds out a thermometer for Combeferre to take.
"102.4, a few hours ago." Enjolras provides before he can. "And threw up."
Joly is feeling the glands under his jaw now, which hurts, and tuts at him. "All swollen." He takes the thermometer back, inspects it critically and huffs. "102.8 now. Say ah…"
Combeferre does as told, he's still lying on Courfeyrac's lap with his feet cradled in Enjolras'.
Joly is murmuring to himself now, "…tonsils too…sit up a bit…there we go." Joly has his stethoscope out now, it's cold against Combeferre's back. He shivers and starts to think Joly is taking this a bit far now. Joly lies him back down onto Courfeyrac's pillowed knee and repeats his procedure over Comebferre's chest, undoing the button of his pajama top deflty with one hand. Combeferre is still a little bemused by all the fuss but is content to lie back and watch his friend work. Joly is a second year resident now, while Combeferre is still an intern as he started medical school later. Their rotations have occasionally crossed over and they've worked together a few times but never under the same supervisor since their 5th and 4th year of medical school respectfully.
Joly is doing his buttons back up now, asking a few questions about onset of symptoms and such. Courfeyrac or Enjolras are generally replying for him.
"Am I dying then?" Combeferre asks, feeling the need to establish at a little control over his own diagnosis, and proactively trying to head off Joly's hypochondria.
"Luckily no. Flu, as you suspected. Same as Bossuet I think, though you're worse." And for a moment Combeferre thinks he's going to stop there, until… "I'm still a little worried about your…"
Combeferre quickly lays a hand on his arm, "Thank you, Joly. Any instructions?"
"Er…no, well, none that you don't already know. Still, it could be…"
"Joly." Courfeyrac interrupts.
"Ah…yes, sorry." He drops his head, scratching the back of his neck for a moment. He's well used to being aborted in his hypochondria by Bossuet or another ami. He gathers himself and shakes his finger at Enjolras and Courfeyrac. "Both of you, wash your hands before you eat…"
"Yes, Joly." Both of them reply, Enjolras stands up to walk him to the door.
Courfeyrac holds his arms up to Joly. "I'd get up but…" he indicates Combeferre who, as he has correctly surmised, has no intention of moving. Joly smiles fondly and leans over Combeferre to reward Courfeyrac with the bisous he has demanded.
At the door Enjolras catches Joly with a gentle hand on his arm and says softly, "Thank you, Joly. I'm sorry for calling you away from Bossuet, I was…" he pauses "…worried."
"I know. It's just the flu, but it can still be nasty, so keep an eye on him. And yourselves! Call me if he's worse or either of you show any symptoms."
"Of course, Joly. Thank you, again. I will."
They make it up to Pierce Brosnan's stint as Bond before bedtime is declared, hours and hours later. None of them have watched every film all the way though, dropping in and out of sleep and Enjolras and Courfeyrac cobbling together meals which Combeferre valiantly tries to keep down.
It turns out both Enjolras and Courfeyrac come down with the flu; it's 3 days, in which they only leave the flat to go to the shop for food or a variety of medicines, before Enjolras wakes to an empty bed in the night and the sound of sobbing from the bathroom between the two bedrooms.
Enjolras' first thought is concern that Combeferre has relapsed; he's eating successfully again, much to everyone's relief. But as Enjolras pushes open the door to the bathroom it's Courfeyrac he sees on his knees.
Courfeyrac has refused to leave since he arrived on Saturday morning, and has been sharing with Enjolras ever since.
"Oh 'Fey." Enjolras sighs, bobbing down beside him hands immediately going to back and forehead. "You're red hot."
Courfeyrac turns to look him, tears streaking his pale face. "I hate, hate, throwing up." He whispers, before crawling into Enjolras' outstretched arms. They stay like that for a moment, curled together on the cold tiles of the bathroom floor.
"Come on. Back to bed." Enjolras lifts most of Courfeyrac's weight himself, the other man is shaking like a leaf. He tucks Courfeyrac into his bed, putting the bin tactfully close. Courfeyrac grabs his wrist as he stands to leave.
"I'll only be a minute," Enjolras reassures him with a soft smile and a squeeze of his hand. "I'll be right back." He darts into the bathroom, then the kitchen, collecting bits and pieces, checks on the fast-asleep Combeferre.
Courfeyrac has curled up, arms around his stomach by the time he returns. Enjolras sits beside him and offers a glass of water. Coureyrac sits up a bit, sips a bit before lying back down. "I'm sorry for…for crying." He says shakily. "I get a bit…um…needy, when I'm sick."
Enjolras gives him a look, "I know, 'Fey. I've known you for years. Don't be sorry, fool. Just let me look after you." He takes a damp cloth and wipes over Courfeyrac's tear stained face, as he takes his temperature. "Little bit of a fever, but not too bad. I'll at least wait until morning before inflicting Joly on you."
Courfeyrac gives him a watery smile. "Thanks."
"Do you think you can sleep?"
"My tummy hurts." Courfeyrac whispers, curling up into a tighter ball.
Enjolras rubs his back, "I can give you paracetamol, if you like? Might bring your temperature down too."
Courfeyrac nods, and takes the pills form Enjolras, with another gulp of water. Enjolras stays where he is, with Courfeyrac essentially wrapped around him, head almost on his lap, for a little while until he seems to relax a bit.
Courferyrac nods and Enjolras stands and says softly, "I'm going to sleep on the sofa tonight, let you sleep."
"No!" There's a desperate edge to his voice. "Please stay with me?"
"'Fey, I know you haven't been sleeping that well, sharing with me and my fidgeting." Enjolras has been told he's an awful bed partner, he fidgets and kicks constantly and he knows Courfeyrac has been awoken many times because of it over the past few nights. He sits back down for a moment, rubbing Courfeyrac's arm. "You need to sleep. Properly."
Courfeyrac looks afraid, actually afraid. "Please. Please stay with me. I'm cold."
He looks so afraid and worried that Enjolras relents and climbs over Courfeyrac curl around Courfeyrac. He tucks one arm under the pillow and loops the other one over Courfeyrac so his hand rests on his belly, to let the warmth of his hand seep through the T-shirt Courfeyrac wears. Courfeyrac's shaky breathing evens out within minutes, and he seems to drift off to sleep. Enjolras lies awake for a while longer, mentally trying to will his body to behave itself during the night for Courfeyrac's sake.
Courfeyrac and Combeferre spend the next day curled up on the sofa. By now, they've exhausted the entirety the Bond franchise and have started on Indiana Jones. Enjolras is now usually to be found sandwiched between both of them, one head, or occasionally both, resting in his lap. The sofa is now somewhat surrounded by discarded tissues, mugs and plates, various books or games or other distractions from the pain and boredom which is illness. He does eventually extract himself from the mounds of feverish boy, once they have drifted off to sleep at the same time for once, and picks up the detritus which surrounds the sofa, does the washing up, makes both beds and lunch for himself and Combeferre; Courfeyrac refuses food presently. He's not hungry himself really, but Combeferre will give him a look and it's just altogether not worth the nagging if he doesn't.
He still feels fine, and his forehead doesn't feel warm at all, although it is hard to tell on himself. Combeferre has checked too, worrying he's going to get sick too, but, for now, at least Enjolras is fine.
Courfeyrac sleeps with Combeferre that night, so Enjolras can sleep as well as he ever does in his own bed. Enjolras feels strangely alone in his double, on the other side of the bathroom, without Courfeyrac there and he has to remind himself there was a time when Courfeyrac didn't steal the covers.
He finds them spooning most mornings, or post-afternoon naps, Combeferre wrapped protectively around Courfeyrac as Enjolras had done on the first night.
It's another 2 days before Enjolras starts to feel ill too, and it goes straight to his chest. He is spared the vomiting, for which he is eternally grateful, and manfully tolerates the nausea and dizziness. He actually manages to hide his condition for the better part of 2 days, or so he thinks, while Combeferre and Courfeyrac exchange looks as they listen to him cough in another room. They finally manage to pin him to the bed and take his temperature after a particularly violent coughing spell even Enjolras can't suppress leaves him faint and swaying on his feet.
He sits shakily for a moment on the edge of the bed, Courfeyrac's side, and presses a hand to his burning chest.
"That's it." Combeferre announces, shifting onto his knees to help Courfeyrac pull him onto the bed between them. "No more trying to hide it. You're ill."
Enjolras tries to protest, "Yes, but it's not so bad…not as bad as you two have been. I can handle it."
Combeferre is shaking down a thermometer. Courfeyrac has his hand pressed to Enjolras' forehead. Neither of them appear to be listening to him.
"'Ferre, he's burning up."
Combeferre sighs, and slips the thermometer under Enjolras' tongue. Enjolras rolls his eyes but lets him, folding his arms across his chest.
Combeferre and Courfeyrac hold a conversation over him, as if he's not there, discussing his stubbornness, complete disregard for his own health and several other of his faults at leisure. They are teasing, he knows, it is affectionate but somewhat despairing ribbing.
Courfeyrac gives him a kiss on the cheek, smiling fondly at him, to make sure he knows this as Combeferre takes the thermometer back. He presses a hand to his mouth as he check the reading.
"Christ. 'jol…you're running a temperature of 104."
Even Enjolras is shocked at this. "I didn't think it was that bad…"
"Oh …'jol, we need to get you to the hospital." Courfeyrac's tone is bordering on panic.
"No!" Enjolras exclaims. "No…no, please, no. Just…just…call Joly, if you must. I'm alright, really, I am. Please, no hospital. I don't…" he breaks off, coughing painfully into the crook of his arm.
There are hands on his back, and his chest, all but holding him up. Combeferre's voice is soft in his ear, "Alright, alright. Calm down. No hospital. I promise. Just Joly. Breathe Enjolras, please."
Enjolras sucks in a breath, and leans back against the mound of pillows which has been stacked behind him. Courfeyrac has wrapped his arm around his shoulders and pulled him to his side, holding him tight in a reverse of the position which has been the norm for the past week.
Enjolras lets him, giving in to their worry and the illness, and relaxes into the hug watching Combeferre find his phone and tap out Joly's number.
"He's coming as soon as his shift finishes in half an hour." Combeferre reports as he hangs up. He flips the covers back and stands up.
"'Ferre…don't….get back in bed. You're still not…"
"I'm just fetching you some pyjamas, because I'm not letting you out of that bed for at least a week so you might as well be comfortable." Combeferre replies, disappearing into Enjolras' room for a moment.
Enjolras protests a little as they manhandle him into pyjamas and tuck him into the centre of the bed, then sit either side of him, sandwiching him in as if they are worried he's going to try and make a run for it. In fairness, this is somewhat based off prior experience with an injured Enjolras who has proven himself to be a difficult patient.
Joly is flustered when he arrives, still in his hospital scrubs and bag in hand. He finds them all in Combeferre's bed, and has to smile at the sweetness of it. These three are the heart of their society, the heart of the revolution and here they are sick and cuddled together.
Combeferre shifts to the end of the bed when he sees Joly appear in the doorway so he can sit next to Enjolras.
"You too?" He asks softly, touching Enjolras' forehead.
"Me too." Enjolras confirms, coughing softly.
Joly winces, either at the sound of the cough or the fever or both, and sighs. He takes out his stethoscope and warms it as best he can before sliding it under Enjolras T-shirt and onto his chest.
"Breathe in. Out. Again. And again." Joly murmurs, listening with a frown. "Cough for me." Enjolras does as requested and Combeferre feels his chest tighten at the sound of it. How did he not notice how bad it was? Joly is still frowning as he moves around to Enjolras' back and repeats the process.
Once he's finished the exam and quizzed Enjolras about any other symptoms he sits back, kneeling in Combeferre's spot on the bed.
"It's gone to your chest. You have a pretty nasty infection in both upper lobes of your lungs, and a little wheezing in the lower right which I really don't like the sound of."
Courfeyrac has his fingers pressed against his lips, and wraps his arms around Enjolras.
"Your fever should drop a bit with rest, but I want to keep a close eye on you. I don't want you coming down pneumonia."
Joly may be infamous for his hypochondria and overreaction, but Combeferre knows this isn't an example of that.
Joly takes Enjolras' hand between both of his now and looks at him, more serious than any of them have ever seen him outside of a protest. "Enjolras, you have to rest. Complete bed rest. I'm serious."
Enjolras nods, biting his lip.
Joly turns to Combeferre, "Do you need me to stay, or…"
"No, it's fine. I'm feeling a lot better, I think we'll manage." Combeferre replies.
"I can help." Courfeyrac pipes up, arms still clutching Enjolras to his own chest.
Joly feels Combeferre's forehead, "100.9 earlier today." Enjolras supplies from where he's quite content against Courfeyrac's chest.
"Alright," Joly agrees, clambering off the bed. "If you need anything though…"
Joly leaves Combeferre with a list of instructions he already knows, but appreciates the back up and update of Bossuett's health which sounds much the same as Combeferre's currently.
As the door clicks shut Combeferre wonders how is going to care for both of his friends; Courfeyrac is still pretty sick and Enjolras can be a challenge at the best of times, and he, Combeferre, is still shaky on his feet.
The points becomes moot within the next two hours as Joly reappears on the threshold, a pale Bossuett wrapped in a blanket at his side.
"I figured this was easier." He explains handing Combeferre two bags and directing Bossuett to the sofa.
And that is how, over the next few days the flat only seems to get fuller until the living room has been entirely colonised by amis and enormous mounds of bedding.
As ever, please, please review. The idea for this series was to do one of each, which would make Courfeyrac next. But that hasn't exactly happened I have a few ideas so there might be a few more. If you have any prompts or comment please review and let me know!