Written for fic_promptly on DW, "sick day".

He would have to get sick the first day of a new assignment, Ike thought miserably. Father had promised he could go along on the next one, not to fight but just to get a taste of what the travel was like. It was the first time since the illness that had spread throughout the camp to everyone but himself and Rhys that they'd been able to work, too.

So of course, Ike would catch a belated strain of that illness. It started with a cough, followed by headaches and exhaustion. That night he'd come down with a fever, and the next morning Father didn't have to look at him even once to decide he was staying home. He must have looked especially pathetic, as even Shinon looked concerned. Or at the very least didn't make fun of him.

He wasn't alone, of course. He could hear Oscar in the kitchen, rustling together ingredients for soup. Rolf and Mist played quietly in the next room. And of course, Soren had adamantly refused to leave Ike's side even at the risk of relapsing himself.

"I hate this," Ike grumbled. "I hate being sick and I hate being stuck here."

"I know." Soren's fingers stroked the back of his hand. "Luckily, it's not serious and Rhys says you'll only be laid up for a few days."

"That's still too long." He sighed, fighting back a sneeze. "And everyone's so overprotective! If Rolf weren't here Mist would be hovering over me not letting me lift even a finger, and if Oscar weren't so busy in the kitchen-"

"They're overprotective because you have a history of making it worse," Soren interrupted. "You sneak out of bed to go outside and you push yourself until you're about to collapse instead of treating the symptoms at the outset. They don't think you're fragile, they know you're stubborn."

"I am not," Ike groaned, but he knew Soren was right. If he were any of them he would have tied him to the bed the moment he looked even the slightest bit off. "Okay fine, maybe I am, but I still hate it." He curled up under the blankets, shivering. "And now I'm too cold."

"Do you need another blanket?" Soren asked. "Of course, you'll probably be boiling hot again in no time, so..." He sighed. "I'm sorry, Ike, I feel so useless to you. I wish I could use a staff like Rhys, or knew more about medicine. I stayed behind so I could take care of you, and-"

"Stop it." Ike coughed, propping himself up on one elbow. "You don't have to fix me. Just stay with me...you make me feel better." He could have sworn he saw Soren blush a little at that, but it could have just been his fevered mind playing tricks.

"Are you sure...? Because I still feel like I should..." He trailed off, then suddenly snapped his fingers. "If you don't mind..." And then he was sliding under the covers, pressing himself against Ike's back. "I'll keep you warm. Unless it's too warm and then I'll leave, but for now..."

"Soren, you could get sick again."

"I don't care." Soren threw an arm over his shoulder and Ike was aware of his heart beating just a little faster.

"Well...if you're really sure." He groped for Soren's hand, lacing their fingers together and closing his eyes. "Thanks. I'm really lucky I have you...you're the best."

"Mm..." He felt Soren relax more against his back. "Feel better, Ike." And Ike slept, thankfully free of the nightmares that usually plagued him whenever he was ill. When he woke up, Oscar had two bowls of soup ready.

"I'd tell Soren to leave, but you two look pretty comfortable. Still, don't tell anyone I let this happen or Titania and the Commander might get mad," he said.

"We won't," Ike promised. He and Soren spent the rest of the day together in his bed; Ike slept most of the time but Soren was always there when he woke up.

Maybe being sick wasn't the worst thing in the world after all.