Summary: Everything is unusually quiet when David wakes up one morning.
Notes: Written for day 8 of my 23 Ficlets project to celebrate my 23rd anniversary in the community
David was used to waking up in bed alone. But he wasn’t used to waking up to so much quiet. There was no panting and huffing as Lucas did his morning workout. There was no grunting as Lucas stretched and found an especially tight spot he needed to work on. David lifted his arm and grabbed for his phone on the nightstand to check the time.
But, tired, his fingers slipped and knocked the phone onto the carpet. As the late fall morning was chilly, he stayed under the covers as best he could as he pulled himself over to the edge of the bed to see if he could reach down and grab his phone. What he found was an undamaged phone lying face-up, waiting for him and a fiancé sitting on the floor beside it.
Lucas sat with his back against the side of the bed and his knees bent and up in front of him. He was tapping on his phone, which must have been set to silent mode because it didn’t make a sound either.
Lucas jumped at the word. He clapped a hand to his chest and looked up at David, head hanging over the edge of the bed. “I thought you were still asleep.”
“Clearly. I thought you’d be working out. What time is it?”
“Almost six?” David exclaimed with alarm. Lucas met with clients starting at six. “Did you sleep in? Do you need help getting ready so you’re not late for the gym?”
The corners of Lucas’ mouth twitched, as if they wanted to force him into a smile but couldn’t make it happen. “I, um.” He raised his phone a little, as if it could answer all this for him.
But David couldn’t see what was on the screen at this angle, and there was suddenly a thick, wrenching feeling in his gut. What had happened? Not another terrorist attack? Or a natural disaster? What could be so bad as to make Lucas go this quiet?
Lucas cleared his throat. “I don’t feel so good this morning, baby. I was cancelling my sessions.”
The twisting in his gut lessened but didn’t go away completely. Bringing a blanket with him, David melted over the side of the bed, he settled in the space between the wall, bed, nightstand, and Lucas. “What the matter?”
His only answer was a shrug, and the quiet made David more worried than if he’d spoken.
David reached over and palmed his forehead. As he did so, Lucas closed his eyes at the touch. It felt a bit too warm for David’s liking. His hand slid down the side of Lucas’ handsome face and his fingers pressed gently under his jaw, around, down his neck. He brought his other hand up, doing the same on Lucas’ other side. A couple of his lymph nodes were definitely swollen, and Lucas inhaled sharply when David pressed on one. David covered Lucas’ eyes with his hand then reached over to the lamp cord dangling from the nightstand. He flipped it on and slowly lowered his hand so the warm light wouldn’t be such a shock. David dropped his mouth open and stuck his tongue out; Lucas paused for a moment then copied him. David saw his throat was red, irritated. Finally, he passed his hand under Lucas’ nose. It came back wetter than it should have.
“All right,” David whispered, pulling the blanket off himself and wrapping it around Lucas. “You finish letting all your clients know. I’m going to go get you some medicine and make us some breakfast.” He rocked forward, trying to give himself the momentum he needed to get up, but Lucas grabbed the end of his t-shirt and gave it a tug, keeping him down on the floor. “Lucas, baby, I’ll only be gone a couple minutes. I promise. I’m going to make you a protein smoothie with a giant punch of vitamin C.” He pulled the blanket tighter around Lucas and patted the man’s chest through it. “Stay warm and wait for me.”
“Do—” The word came out scratchy, and he cleared his throat before giving it another try. “Do you think you could stay home today to take care of me?”
That twisty feeling in his gut was back. He hated his answer for so many reasons. “I don’t think I’m going to be able to at such short notice, but—“
“HuhhGxxxshhhh!” He sneezed suddenly, turning his head to avoid sneezing on David.
“Oh, God bless you, baby. Let me grab you a tissue.” Lucas seemed too busy sniffling to pull him back this time. So he retrieved the box from the bathroom and brought it back along with some cold medicine and a cup of tap water for swallowing the pills. Instead of reaching for the box, Lucas lifted his head and let David wipe his nose for him. “That’s good,” David breathed, giving it another tender wipe. His whole body was humming now. “That’s so good.” Lucas was being so good for him. And it felt so damn good to do this. Of course he wanted to stay home today and look after his love. “Lucas?” he asked quietly. Lucas looked back at him, waiting for him to continue. “Can I… get a quick cuddle?”
Lucas regarded him for a moment then nodded.
David lunged forward, wrapping his arms around Lucas, squeezing and nuzzling his man wrapped in the blanket. There was nothing at all better than this. His big, strong man all weak and needy, wrapped up in softness and warmth and getting warmer form David’s hug. He wished he could stay like this forever.
At once, David pulled away and maneuvered a tissue from the box to Lucas’ nose and mouth.
Lucas’ eyes shone with gratitude for a second before they snapped shut. “huhhIhschhhhh! Ihhhpxxxshhh!”
“God bless you, baby.” He wiped gently. Lucas’ nose looked fine right now, and David intended for it to stay that way. Only soft touches and soothing balms and frequent wipes to keep it from getting chapped and gentle kisses.
David had Lucas take the pills, even though swallowing seemed to give him a bit of discomfort at the moment. Then he leaned forward and kissed Lucas’ warm forehead. “I’m going to go make smoothies and then call the pharmacy and see if I can switch shifts with someone. No promises, obviously… but I really don’t want to leave you.”
It was clear Lucas didn’t want to be left either, and he nuzzled David back in quiet appreciation, snuggling and sniffling into his chest. David couldn’t resist wrapping his arms around again for another hug and squeeze.