JE, Tender Loving Care

Title: Tender Loving Care [Ryo/Uchi]
Rating/Warnings: R for the sort of nursing that most of us can only dream about.
Summary: Summer colds suck.
AN: for peroxidepest17, who is apparently fighting off the same summer disease that is causing me trouble. AI, YO.

Tender Loving Care

Nothing, Uchi thinks, absolutely nothing is worse than a summer cold. When it’s already hot and sticky and you’ve got a fever and a headache, and all the air conditioning does is give you the chills and nothing is appetizing but after a few doses even the cold medicine makes you nauseous.

“Oiiiiii,” Ryo calls drunkenly from the couch. “Uchiiii, the television won’t stop mooooooving.”

Nothing, Uchi sighs as he pushes the button of the rice cooker and then leaves the kitchen, except when Ryo has a summer cold.

“It’s a television,” Uchi says patiently, reaching down to pry the remote out of Ryo’s hands. “It’s supposed to move. And what did you turn it back on for? Fifteen minutes ago you said it was giving you a migraine and also that Matsumoto Hitoshi wanted to eat your brain.”

“But I got bored,” Ryo whines, and when he rolls onto his back to make a sad, sad face at Uchi, his hair is slicked to his forehead and his eyes are glassy.

“Your fever’s up again.” Uchi frowns as he presses a hand to Ryo’s forehead, wincing when it feels like Ryo’s skin is hot enough to burn. “Rice won’t be ready for a little while. Come on,” he bends to get one of Ryo’s arms over his shoulder and tugs Ryo up, “I’ll let you soak in the tub until then.”

“Dizzyyyyyy,” Ryo protests, clinging heavily to Uchi and nearly tripping them both to the ground. Uchi heaves an exasperated sigh and tries to tell himself that when he inevitably catches Ryo’s disease, at least Ryo will have to do the same for him.

It’s a patent lie, since the only thing Ryo has ever nursed in his entire life is beer, but it’s a nice fantasy for Uchi to have as he works them down the hall to the bathroom while Ryo spends his energy nearly giving them both concussions.

Somehow he manages to strip off Ryo’s clothes and get him in the tiny tub Ryo’s apartment affords, and then he turns on the water and pulls the shower head off its hook to hand it to Ryo.

“Don’t move,” he commands, propping Ryo’s elbow on the edge of the tub so that it’s sluicing water over Ryo’s head. “Don’t drown. I’ll be right back.”

He dashes out to the kitchen to check the rice and throw the soup he brought over from his mother into a pot to heat, and then hurries back to the bathroom, sure that Ryo has managed to do something ridiculous to himself.

There’s a half-inch of water on the floor, but Ryo seems unharmed, and Uchi breaths a sigh of relief.

“Point it at yourself,” he says, taking Ryo’s hand and twisting his wrist so that the water is once again raining down on Ryo. Ryo turns his head and gives Uchi a vague yet miserable look. “How do you feel?”

“I want to die,” Ryo reports, then he sneezes three times in rapid succession.

“That’s an improvement.” Uchi pats Ryo’s clammy shoulder as he sits on the edge of the tub. “At least you’re sentient enough to be miserable. On the down side, that plus your fever means your medicine is wearing off.”

“Some friend you are,” Ryo grumbles, slouching deeper into the tub, wet skin squelching. “Where’s my fix?”

“Not until you eat something.” Uchi shakes his head firmly at Ryo’s mutinous look, which would be more threatening if his pupils weren’t dilated like a mole-person’s. “I’m heating up soup, it’ll feel good on your throat, and then we’ll see if you can keep some rice down.”

Ryo just lays his cheek down on the edge of the tub and utters a string of syllables which are probably supposed to be curses, but instead is just bunch of woozy nonsense. Taking mercy on him in his pathetic state, Uchi pulls the shower head out of his hand, which is again spraying the floor, and instead holds it up to pour over Ryo’s head. He strokes his fingers through Ryo’s hair under the water until Ryo’s eyes flutter shut and his wheezing breaths ease a little, ignoring the way his own clothes are getting soaked as well.

When the loud click of the rice cooker turning off echoes from the kitchen, Uchi reaches over to turn off the water, and Ryo cracks an eye to glare at him.

“Come on,” Uchi urges Ryo up out of the tub and wraps a towel around him, ignoring whatever Ryo is mumbling now. “Food sounds good, right?”

Ryo just snorts, but he’s cooperative enough to end up re-pajamaed and back on the couch. To keep him occupied for a few minutes, Uchi finds Ryo’s cell phone and dials his voice mail before dropping it into Ryo’s hands. He’s confident, as he heads back into the kitchen, that between the two bands, there’ll be at least a couple get well messages.

Ten minutes later, when he returns with two steaming bowls, he chuckles when Ryo is still on the phone, looking long-suffering.

“Maru says hang in there,” Ryo reports, sarcasm clearly audible despite the thickness of his voice. “Masuda says hang in there. Koyama and Shige say hang in there. Okura says hang in there. Hina, Yoko, and Subaru all called at once and said, just to be different, hang in there yo.”

“Everyone’s concerned about Ryo-chan,” Uchi laughs as he hands Ryo the soup first and sits down beside him.

“They sounded drunk, too.” Ryo glares at the soup. “Those bastards. Where are my drugs?”

“Food!” Uchi commands, giving Ryo a pointed look. “Then drugs. I’m not giving you anything until I’m sure you’re not just going to throw it all back up. Again.”

“You’re the worst boyfriend ever,” Ryo grumbles, but he lifts the bowl to take a cautious sip of soup. When nothing dire happens, he takes a longer swallow and his scowl relaxes. It returns when his phone rings, but Uchi scoops the phone up off the couch and tells Ryo to keep eating.

“Yo, Leader,” he says after glancing at the name on the screen and thumbing the ‘accept’ button. But then again he probably could have guessed since the ring tone had been ‘Daite Senorita.’

“Uchi-kun!” Yamapi’s grin is audible over the phone. “How’s the patient?”

“Grumpy and unattractive,” Uchi replies, giving Ryo an exaggerated once-over. Ryo snorts but does not rise to the bait, still occupied with the food. “But I don’t think that’s got anything to do with the disease.”

“Ne, ne!” Uchi hears somebody on the other end of the line. “I want to talk to Uchi-kun too!” There’s a moment rustling, and then Tegoshi’s sweet voice is much clearer. “Hi, Uchi!”

“Hi, Tego,” Uchi answers, not missing the way Ryo’s eyebrow quirks at the name. “Hanging out with Leader?”

“He’s buying me yakiniku!” Tegoshi chirps, and Uchi’s stomach growls at the thought. “But tell Ryo-tan to hang in there for us, okay? NEWS really needs him. Shige started having ideas about his hair again!”

“That fast? Ryo is very important, isn’t he?” Uchi gives Ryo a wide grin when Ryo looks up to narrow his eyes at the sound of them talking about him. “I’ll tell him. Put Yamapi back on, please?”

“Sure! Bye, Uchi!” Tegoshi hands the phone over, and after a second Yamapi is back on the phone.

“You aren’t having ideas about your hair too, are you?” Uchi asks, getting an ‘Eh?’ out of Yamapi, but more importantly, Ryo drains the last of the soup to set the bowl aside.

“What?” he demands after he swallows. “Give me that phone!”

Uchi lets him take it and picks at a couple mouthfuls of Ryo’s rice while they talk, Tegoshi’s talk of yakiniku having made him hungry, but he’s too lazy to go back out to the kitchen for his own bowl.

“Yeah, yeah, hang in there, I know,” Ryo finishes their conversation with a roll of his eyes, then winces and puts his hand to his forehead. “You all suck at originality.”

“Member-ai is so cute,” Uchi teases as Ryo hangs up, and Ryo snatches his bowl of rice out of Uchi’s hands with a sneer.

Eventually Uchi does get up to get his own bowl of rice along with Ryo’s cold medicine, and returns to dope Ryo to the gills. They flip the television back on and watch the music channel while Uchi eats, and he knows the medicine is working when Ryo leans over to rub his cheek against Uchi’s shoulder and tell him how cute he is.

“You should go to bed,” Uchi says after a while longer, when Ryo starts to whimper every time Matsumoto Hitoshi appears on the screen. “Since you probably think you’re going to work tomorrow, you masochist.”

“You should come to bed with me!” Ryo announces, letting his head loll back to grin vaguely at Uchi. Uchi just sighs and shoulders him aside to stand up.

“No way,” Uchi says as he hauls Ryo to his feet. Ryo wraps arms around Uchi happily and then leans as though Uchi is supposed to do all the moving himself. “Even if you were dying, you’d still want to do things, and I don’t want your cold.”

“Yeah, but,” Ryo shoots back as they start down the hallway, and Uchi thinks that the entertainment value alone of Ryo trying to argue while medicated is almost worth it. “You stayed over the night before I got sick, and you’ve already ingested like fifteen different kinds of my fluids! So you’ll get sick for sure anyway!”

“It’s just the drugs talking,” Uchi assures Ryo. “You don’t even have fifteen different kinds of fluids.”

“I do so!” Ryo exclaims indignantly as they stumble into Ryo’s bedroom. “There’s spit, and sweat, and…”

“Stop, stop it,” Uchi laughs, wrinkling his nose. “Please don’t try it. I’m not coming to bed with you.”

“Shows what you know,” Ryo says, and maybe he’s not as drugged as Uchi thinks, because just then Ryo throws his weight so they both pitch forward and land in a tangle on Ryo’s mattress, which is a pretty intelligent plan for as many pills as Ryo has taken. “See? Bed!”

“You’re a jerk,” Uchi sighs, then figures that if he isn’t going to win against even a drugged Ryo, he may as well get some mileage out of it. “Tell me I’m cute again.”

“Mm,” Ryo rolls aside just enough to fiddle around with Uchi’s shirt buttons like he’s never seen one before. “Uchi is really cute.”

Rather than helping, Uchi just leans back and enjoys the show. “Tell me how nice I am for coming over here to take care of you.”

“Uchi definitely takes care of me best,” Ryo answers obediently, finally getting enough buttons out of the way that he can push the shirt clumsily over Uchi’s head, taking the T-shirt underneath along with it.

“Tell me you love me,” Uchi says once the material’s over his face and Ryo’s attempts to push the shirts off Uchi’s arms means they’re almost nose-to-nose.

Ryo doesn’t say anything right away, and Uchi wonders if he’s gone too far even for a drugged Ryo to play along. But it turns out Ryo’s just concentrating, because as soon as he can toss the shirts aside with a hum of triumph, Ryo turns back to Uchi, pupils the size of hundred yen coins.

“It’s love, yo!” he announces, and then leans in for a kiss that Ryo clearly doesn’t have the capacity to control.

Uchi doesn’t mind though, because underneath all the medication he’s pretty sure that Ryo means it, and because Ryo’s skin is hot and smooth under his hands, and because the way Ryo moves when he’s sick, as though the air is thick like honey, makes Uchi’s heart speed up.

He tries to avoid kissing Ryo directly on the mouth, instead deflecting him to his throat or a nipple or something, but Ryo is insistent, and in the end Uchi rolls them over so that he can hold Ryo down and do as he pleases. What pleases Uchi, in fact, is to press a line of lazy, open-mouthed kisses across Ryo’s skin, enjoying the heat of it and the taste of salt on Ryo’s skin even if it’s tinged with a touch of sickness. Slow isn’t generally how Ryo operates, so Uchi takes full advantage of the situation, taking all the time that he wants.

“Uchi,” Ryo eventually whines, but it’s not a good whine, and when Uchi lifts his head to see, Ryo’s eyes are screwed tightly shut.

“Ryo?” Uchi asks, and Ryo’s fingers tighten on his shoulders.

“Dizzy,” Ryo answers, and Uchi crawls back up to pull Ryo close, tucking Ryo’s head in against his shoulder. Ryo noses at Uchi’s skin and presses closer. “Mm, Uchi…”

“Relax,” Uchi soothes, pressing his lips to the damp hair at Ryo’s temple and wrapping his hand around both of their cocks, stroking both of them at the same time.

It’s clumsy, and Ryo can’t keep a rhythm going for more than two or three thrusts, but Ryo is murmuring things against Uchi’s skin which feel really good and might possibly be actual sweet talk, and Uchi is happy to murmur them back into Ryo’s ear, plus a few suggestions they might try once Ryo starts feeling better.

Ryo comes first, clinging tightly to Uchi and holding his breath so he doesn’t cough in the middle, then he goes limp in Uchi’s arms, wheezing a little from the exertion. Uchi tries to hurry himself up, to concentrate on the taste of Ryo’s skin and the slickness on his fingers, and it’s only a minute later when he comes too, muffling his groan in Ryo’s hair.

Ryo is mostly asleep when Uchi pulls away to get a couple of damp washcloths. When Uchi returns, Ryo is sprawled out on his back across the whole bed, mouth wide open, snoring.

“Jerk,” Uchi says fondly, dropping the cool washcloth over Ryo’s face and using the warmer one to wipe both of them off.

“Wha?” Ryo reaches up with a hand to shove the washcloth up to his forehead and peers at Uchi with an unfocused gaze.

“Nothing.” Uchi tosses the washcloth to the floor and pushes at Ryo’s shoulder. “Budge over.”

Grumbling, Ryo rolls up onto his side, but he slumps easily against Uchi when Uchi crawls in and curls along his back.

“Love,” Ryo mumbles, then interrupts himself with a cough before continuing. “Yo.”

“Go to sleep, idiot,” Uchi says, and he waits until Ryo’s breathing evens out before kissing the curve of his shoulder, then settles in to sleep himself.

In the middle of the night, Uchi wakes up with a cough and pounding headache, and he gets up to take some of Ryo’s medicine. When he stumbles back to bed, the only comfort is that Ryo is just awake enough to tell him how cute his cough is.

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