by Mina Lightstar

It's stupid, how it happens.

One day, one of the Yamada daughters is ill and Kurapika goes with the mother to the clinic. They come home with medication to help combat a flu virus. Her mother puts her to bed and the incident is forgotten. A few days in bed with lots of liquids and within a week the girl will be back in school.

Two days later, Kurapika catches it.


It starts on Wednesday night after dinner, when Kurapika complains of a headache and aching muscles. Leorio listens and takes note in case these are not just the product of a long day, because he is a doctor and that's what he does.

"Do you want a massage?" he offers as he finishes putting the dry dishes away.

Kurapika turns the taps off and gives Leorio a weak smile. "Please?"

So they retreat to the living room and find some television program for background noise, and Leorio strips Kurapika of his shirt and lies him face-down on the couch. They have a fairly large couch, so it isn't uncomfortable when Leorio straddles him and starts working tension out of the slim shoulders.

"Did you have a really long day?" he asks. Kurapika's skin is warm, but not too warm, so he isn't worried for the moment.

"No," Kurapika mumbles, sounding sleepy even though it is not even eight o'clock. "But tell me about yours?"

Leorio talks about bad clinic coffee and new receptionists and misplaced files. He has almost run out of things to say when he realizes that Kurapika is asleep. The blond is taking up a fair amount of the couch, but Leorio manages to move over and sit down. He picks up the remote and channel-flips until he finds something interesting. It's a drama movie with a lot of bullets and explosions, but it occupies him for nearly three hours.

When the movie is over, Leorio figures that Kurapika's nap has turned out to be bedtime. The couch, however, is nowhere to sleep, so Leorio leaves the room and heads to Kurapika's. He turns down the bed and gets out of a pair of pajamas (he can't remember the last time either of them wore pajamas at home) and returns to the living room to fetch Sleeping Beauty.

It takes seven firm shakes and two pokes in the shoulder before Kurapika even stirs. He opens one eye and looks none too happy about having done so.

"You'll feel awful in the morning if you sleep here," Leorio tells him. "And you'll drool on the cushions."

"I will not," Kurapika protests and ignores Leorio's offer of help. He goes to wash up and Leorio goes with him to the bedroom, intending to help him change but knowing Kurapika will refuse that, too. The most the blond lets him do is put the dirty clothes in the laundry hamper.

The most they do after that is kiss goodnight, which feels kind of weird, because they almost always do more than that.

Kurapika is a dead weight by the time Leorio climbs into bed with him. A hand against the blond's forehead and cheek proves him to be very warm, almost hot, to the touch. Leorio sighs quietly, because he has a feeling he knows what's happening.

After all, he's a doctor; he knows it's flu season.


Kurapika wakes up minutes before his alarm is set to go off. He props himself up, wonders why it's so hard to do so, and reaches across Leorio to shut it off before its impending shrill noise wakes the older man up. With excruciating care and slowness, Kurapika gets out of bed. He thinks, I really should rearrange my furniture, because his bed is against the wall and that makes it difficult for one to leave without waking the other.

He is not a doctor and he is rarely ill, but he knows something is wrong the minute he stands up. The world is not supposed to spin like this, and he hasn't done anything to be so sore, and his head still hurts. It's when he realizes he has a fever that he remembers, The flu. And he groans, because the flu is very unpleasant.

He isn't sure why he goes to the bathroom with the intent of showering and getting ready for work, anyway, but when he gets there and sees his tired, feverish reflection he realizes, This is just not going to happen.

So he goes to the kitchen (his stomach lurches at the word "kitchen," because the kitchen means food) and gets the phone. His boss is asleep, of course, but he leaves a message saying he has caught the flu. Then he realizes he's cold, except that he's hot, and that he really doesn't want to have to sneak over Leorio again. So he goes to Leorio's room, instead.

Leorio's bed is unmade (like always) but Kurapika doesn't care, because it looks inviting and it smells like Leorio.

He thinks, When was the last time Leorio washed his sheets, anyway? and then falls asleep again.


Leorio is taking mental notes for a book he is going to write. He hopes to publish it, and will call it The Care and Feeding of a Kuruta. He dismisses the idea just as quickly, because there will be no market for the book; Leorio is sleeping with the only Kuruta on the planet.

It would feel more surreal if Kurapika wasn't driving him crazy.

"You've been to my office, haven't you, Kurapika?" he asked tersely.

"Of course I have," the blond replies, without even opening his eyes. "You know that." He is still in Leorio's bed and it seems like he intends to stay there.

"Well, if you've been there, you must have seen all of the degrees hanging on my wall. Leorio wants to pull his hair -- or better yet, pull Kurapika's hair. He has more; it will hurt more. But that wouldn't be fair, because Kurapika is sick. "And I don't make house calls for just anybody." (Actually, he does, but that's hardly a romantic thing to say.)

"You are very generous," Kurapika compliments him, "but I decline."

Leorio twitches. "But why? I could do it right here, for free, in the comfort of our own home, and--"

"If I did need a doctor for something as annoying as the flu, I'd rather go a doctor who hasn't already seen me naked. It's less awkward that way."

Leorio blinks. "You think that's less awkward?"

"Oh, yes."

He rubs his eyes. "Would you think of me, then? Do it for me? I'm the one who had to come home and find you regurgitating everything you ate yesterday."

Kurapika makes a face. "Keep talking like that and I'll throw up again."

"Kurapika, I'm a good doctor," Leorio is pouting but he thinks maybe that's what it will take.

"Oh, I know that."

He tries wheedling. "Please, then?"

Kurapika opens one eye, suspicious. "Why are you being so insistent, anyway?"

"I'm just trying to take care of you!"

This seems to placate the blond somewhat, though he still looks wary. "Leorio, it's the flu. I'm not dying."

Leorio reaches out and feels Kurapika's forehead. "You still have a fever." He ignores the glare, which isn't so intimidating when delivered lying down. "I could," he grins, "I could wipe you down with a cold face-cloth?"


"I could make you something to drink?"

"Water is all I can handle now, and I still have some here."

"How about I give you a suppository?"

"How about I kill you?"

"You know, if you'd bothered getting a flu shot, this never would have happened."

"Okay, go away and leave me alone." Kurapika pulls the blankets up over his head.

"I'm just saying!" Leorio folds his arms and glares at the mass of blankets. "I did offer to give you one. I was more than happy to."

"I'm sure," Kurapika mutters, "you would have loved to inject something in me."

"You--" Leorio sputters, "you've been watching too many porn flicks!"

"You're the one who left it in the DVD-player."

Leorio almost says, "I did not!" except that he is the only other person who lives in the house. "You can't honestly think," he says, hurt, "that I am trying to take advantage of you because you're sick."

"I don't," Kurapika assures him, "I'm just saying you're thinking of it."

"I AM NOT!" Except that he was, sort of, kind of, just a little bit, in the back of his mind. But it's not like he realized that until Kurapika mentioned it! "And anyway," he goes on, "it's not like I would have done anything strenuous. It wouldn't have been taking advantage of you; it would have been spoiling you! See? See, see?"

There are little noises coming from under the blanket, and it takes Leorio a few seconds to realize that Kurapika is laughing. "Okay," the blond says, moving the blankets aside. "If you want to do something for me so badly, you can..." he gives Leorio a sunny smile -- or as sunny as it can get, given he's under the weather.

"I can what?" Leorio leans over, eager.

"... Go to the bookstore and pick out something new for me." And then he pulls the blankets up again and snuggles onto his side.

Leorio feels disappointed. And cheated. "I hope you really love me," he grumbles, and turns to go and get his car keys.

"Oh, yes," Kurapika calls after him, "lots and lots."