chisotahn: Firebird with the text "Firebird's Child". ([P4] little flail but that's okay)
[personal profile] chisotahn posting in [community profile] ikuzeaibou
Title: Warmth
Fandom: Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
Characters: Souji/Yosuke
Summary: Fill for [ profile] badbadbathhouse: "Souji/Yosuke, so fluffy you could use it as a pillow; Yosuke's stuck in bed with a cold, and Souji brings him homemade food."

Notes: No spoilers. Extremely fluffy, as requested. I had fun. ♥

It was Yosuke's own fault, really, and that just made it worse. He'd felt sniffly for the past few days, but he'd tried to ignore it. Fighting Shadows was way more important than some stupid runny nose. So he'd kept going, trying to work through it... at least, he had until he woke up with a fever and a cough nasty enough to overpower even his powers of denial. On a Sunday, no less.

Couldn't even get sick in a way that'd get me out of school. Awesome.

Yosuke fished around for a tissue, found one, and withdrew back into the comforting warmth of his futon with a grumble that ended in yet another cough. His head felt like it was stuffed full of cotton balls, and his stomach hurt from all the coughing. Maybe he wouldn't have felt so grumpy about it if all he was missing was school, but they'd planned to make a long foray inside the TV world today. He figured they'd just gone on without him; a quick call to Souji seemed to confirm this, as it rang and rang before clicking over to voice mail. Logically, Yosuke knew it made sense not to stop everything just because he was out of commission, but he still couldn't quite suppress an annoyed frown. His parents had even abandoned him, informing him that it wasn't all that bad before heading off for the day.

He wasn't really sure how long he spent alternately dozing, coughing, and sulking; the morning seemed to stretch on in a timeless haze only exacerbated by the effects of his cold medicine. He only roused slightly when he heard his door open, shoving the blankets aside to blink sleepily at the feet walking towards him. Yosuke couldn't figure out who it was for a long moment, perception slowed by all the cotton in his head. After a pause, the newcomer crouched down to meet his bleary gaze. "Hey."

Yosuke blinked again, then made a startled noise as his brain finally processed what he was seeing. "Souji?!" He tried to sit up, went a little too fast, and ended up clonking his head into the wall. "Ow!"

"Feeling any better?" Souji asked, mildly, sitting down cross-legged to one side of the futon.

"Oh, yeah, sure. Hitting my head on the wall always makes me feel better," Yosuke said sourly, rubbing the back of his head with one hand before moving to sit up again, this time more slowly. "What're you doing here, anyway?"

"I came to see you, obviously." Before Yosuke fully realized what was happening, Souji had his hand on Yosuke's forehead, his touch unexpectedly cool against Yosuke's feverish skin.

"H-hey!" Yosuke protested immediately, face turning red with vague embarrassment. "Quit it, dude, you're not my mom or something."

"I do work at the hospital," Souji reminded him, though he did take his hand away after a few more seconds.

"Yeah, as a janitor," Yosuke shot back, quickly brushing his hair over his forehead just in case Souji tried that again. "Though if you want to call that sexy nurse friend of yours, I guess that wouldn't be too bad..."

"I don't think you're quite that sick," Souji said, shaking his head, but there was an amused expression on his face. "You really shouldn't have pushed so hard. Colds only get worse when you're tired, you know."

Yosuke made a face. "Fine, so you came to lecture me. Anything else?"

"We didn't go to Junes today after all," Souji said, in a conversational tone. "I think we all need a bit of a break. You're not the only one who's been pushing it."

"Just the only one who got sick, huh," Yosuke muttered, then had to stop for another ill-timed coughing fit. "Damnit-" A rustle of plastic caught Yosuke's attention, and he looked over at Souji to see a plastic bag resting in his best friend's lap. It made Yosuke instantly curious. "What's that?" he managed, forgetting for a moment that he was trying to be as obviously miserable as possible.

"I had to do something with that unexpected free time," Souji replied, and Yosuke could tell the other boy was trying not to smile. "You didn't do a very good job of taking care of yourself, so..."

"I can take care of myself just fine," Yosuke said, slightly nettled, though he had to admit he was feverish, coughing evidence to the contrary. "What's in the bag?"

It seemed to take an abnormally long time for Souji to untie the bag - Yosuke wasn't sure whether that was due to his own skewed perception or if Souji was just being difficult on purpose. Still, Souji finally got the knot undone, and the sides of the bag slipped down to reveal a familiar, colorful packet and a pair of plastic containers. "These are your favorite, right?" Souji tossed the packet to Yosuke.

"Yeah, they are," Yosuke admitted, picking the packet up - fruit-flavored throat lozenges, sure enough, exactly the kind he liked and had run out of a few hours before. He couldn't quite figure out how Souji knew he liked them, but the other boy was lifting the plastic containers out of the bag now, drawing his attention back again. "Thanks..."

Souji opened the largest container, releasing a small cloud of steam into the air. "You haven't eaten for a while, have you."

It wasn't a question, and that was kind of annoying - doubly so, since it was true. "Give me that," Yosuke grumbled, leaning over to try and snatch it out of Souji's hands. Of course Souji easily evaded Yosuke's grab, lifting the container up over his head so that Yosuke nearly faceplanted into him.

"Is that any way to treat someone who slaved in the kitchen for you all morning?" Souji said, and this time he wasn't anywhere near as good at hiding his smile. He brought the plastic container down and bapped Yosuke on the top of his head, very lightly.

"You're the worse nursemaid ever." Yosuke gave Souji an injured look and retreated back to the futon - but, as soon as he'd settled himself again, Souji was holding the container out to him, along with a plastic spoon. He looked warily at his best friend, as if he didn't quite trust Souji to not tug the offered dish out of reach again, but Souji just raised one eyebrow at Yosuke until he finally accepted it. The container was pleasantly warm in his hands, and Yosuke realized it was rice porridge. He poked at it with surprise, inhaling the steam (even though he couldn't smell anything, not with his nose all stuffed up). It looked perfect, the white rice lightly sprinkled with green onions and sesame seeds. There was even an umeboshi on top. "You made this?"

Souji nodded. "I put some chicken in it, too. You seemed to like the recipe when I made it for you before."

So he had; Yosuke remembered even though that particular lunchtime had been a good three weeks ago. "... Thanks," he said, after a moment, feeling a little sheepish; here he'd been throwing a pity party, when Souji had done all this for him. He dug the spoon into the porridge and took a bite. It was delicious, just as expected; Souji had flavored it heavily to make up for the muffling of taste that came along with a cold.

Souji watched him eat with obvious satisfaction. "You like it, I assume?"

Yosuke nodded, then swallowed. "Yeah. You're... a pretty good cook."

"Here," Souji said, holding out the other container; this one was smaller, thinner. "Careful, don't spill it."

Yosuke exchanged the new container - a plastic cup, he realized - for the empty porridge dish, and peered at it. "It's... tea?"

"Ginger tea," Souji confirmed. "Drink up."

"Don't tell me you made this too," Yosuke sighed. "Can't you just buy packets from the store like normal people?" He took a gulp of it, obediently; the warm liquid felt surprisingly good on his sore throat.

"Like I said, I had unexpected free time," Souji said, with a grin.

Yosuke took another long drink of tea. "So you decided to spend it... making me food?" He peered at Souji over the top of the plastic cup, bemused... and, he had to admit, more than a little flattered.

Souji shrugged. "It seemed as good a use of a few hours as any. Besides, I want you to get better. Not having you with me seems like a liability."

"... Oh," Yosuke said, then took an overenthusiastic gulp to try and hide his sudden pleased blush, and nearly dumped the tea all over himself. "Damnit! Hand me the tissues-"

Souji was already holding out a handful of napkins.

"Stop being so damn prepared," Yosuke muttered, grabbing those away from him too and patting up the liquid that had managed to spill. "It's annoying."

"Is it?" Souji grinned. "If you got all wet, you'd just get sicker, and then all my hard work would be wasted."

"Yeah, well. Nobody asked you to do this."

"I know," Souji said, simply, and there was something about the way he said it that made Yosuke stop dabbing at the covers and glance back at him. It was only for a moment, but there was a look of soft, gentle affection on Souji's face that nearly made Yosuke stop breathing, too - an expression of caring that Yosuke was fairly sure nobody had ever directed at him before. Not like that.

And then the moment passed, and Souji was just Souji again, smiling as usual, the same way he'd smile at anyone. "Maybe I shouldn't do anything next time?" Souji added, tilting his head to one side, teasing.

"Nuh-uh - see, first of all there's not going to be a next time, because I'm not going to be an idiot again," Yosuke said, kicking his brain back into gear. "And second... I didn't say it wasn't good, geez."

"Okay, then." Souji shook his head, still smiling, and took the now-empty plastic cup back from Yosuke. "You should get some sleep."

"Are you leaving?" Yosuke asked, quickly.

"Do you want me to?"

"... not really," Yosuke admitted, glancing away for a moment, hoping Souji would interpret the faint redness in his cheeks as an effect of the fever.

"I brought a book," Souji said.

"What did I tell you about being prepared?" Yosuke replied, with a sigh - but he gave Souji a grateful look. "Thanks, partner."

"Go to sleep," was Souji's only reply, as he got up and resettled himself on Yosuke's tiny sofa, pulling a book out of his bag with an amused smile.

So Yosuke did, after a few minutes, curling up in the futon again, with a comforting warmth surrounding him that had nothing to do with the covers and only a little to do with the meal. He wasn't sure how long Souji stayed there, only that every time he opened his eyes for several hours afterwards his best friend was still present, a reassuring silhouette on the sofa. Eventually his scattered daze gave way to true sleep, and when Yosuke woke up that evening, Souji was gone - but, as Yosuke got up, it seemed to him that he felt quite a bit better, that something in Souji's homemade remedies had done the trick.

(He also had the vague memory of another gentle touch on his forehead, of the brush of fingertips and something that might have been - just maybe - a soft kiss, but he could have imagined it. It could easily have been a dazed fever-dream.

Either way, he wasn't entirely sure he minded.)
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let's go, partner!

August 2012

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