Title: Gift for brigidmn 2007

Author: tarotgal

Fandom: Harry Potter

Rating: PG

Pairing: Percy/Oliver

Disclaimer: I don't own any of these characters or their world. Please don't sue me. I'm just having fun and not making any money.

Summary: The boys are off on holiday, and happen to be sick.

Notes: Happy holidays, brigidmn!

            Urgently, Percy lurched forward and pulled a tissue out of the box. It was thin and ripped in half as he pulled. He swore as he brought the half to his face to sneeze into. "h'Kshihhh! Huh-ihhhShuhh!" He folded the tissue in half and rubbed it under his nose. Then he blew his nose and winced. The tissues were thin and rough, and he had to take a second just to wipe his hand off afterwards. He needed to blow his nose more, but it was sore and wouldn't be able to take much more of this abuse. He leaned back and the over-plump pillow dug into his back. He leaned one way then the other, trying to force the pillow up or down or in any other position but it didn't help. He shivered and tugged up the stiff white sheets and the blanket which was too thin and probably too dirty to imagine where it had been. Percy shuddered. "I hate being ill away from home."


            He looked around the dingy hotel room, frowning. There was tacky floral patterned wallpaper and a worse, clashing pattern on the bedspread and the curtains. The rug was an ugly beige. The furniture was supposed to look like antiques but really just looked old and beat up. The bathroom was tiny and far too bright to his eyes and the majority of one wall was taken up by a giant television set that didn't seem to work.


            The door opened and Oliver walked in, flipping the lock at the top for extra protection. He walked over to the bed and set two Styrofoam cups down on the nightstand. "Planning to get up at all today, Perce?"


            Percy shook his head and sniffed miserably.


            Oliver smiled empathetically. Then he kicked off his shoes, dropped his pants to his ankles, and pulled off his jacket and jumper. He climbed into the giant bed and stretched out. He wiggled his toes and spread his legs out against the cool, crisp sheets. He reached over to the tissue box, which was right beside him in bed, and held a tissue to his nose and mouth just in time. "HahKshoo! AhhhTchoo! Hahshooo! Sniff!" He blew his nose tremendously, going through three tissues, then tossed all three carelessly over the side of the bed into a little trash bin there. Given that he preferred handkerchiefs, his nose wasn't remotely as sore as Percy's felt, but he still looked under the weather. Nonetheless, Oliver sighed as he leaned back against the headboard, hands folded beneath his head. "I love being ill away from home."


            Percy scowled at his lover. He pushed his glasses up at the bridge of his nose. "I adore you, Oliver, but I have to say you're insane."


            "Insane?" Oliver laughed. "That's not very nice."


            "I don't feel nice." Percy crossed his arms over his chest. "I feel ill. I want to be back home in my own bed when I'm not feeling good." He sniffed and rubbed a finger under his sore nose. "Not here on the wrong side of the pond in a miserable, stuffy hotel room."


            Oliver shook his head and handed over a cup of Starbucks. "Oh, but this is so much better than home," said the Quidditch player who spent half of his season on the road. "Huge cups of tea in a variety of flavors, brewed to order. A nice, warm room we can spread out in and never have to clean."


            "But it's not comfortable."


            "I'm plenty comfortable."


            "It's too quiet. I can't sleep well here."


            "I could sleep anywhere with you in my arms."




            "Bless... blessyou-AHTchooo!"


            "Bless you." Percy returned the sentiment. Then Percy cleared his throat and turned onto his side to face Oliver. Oliver followed his example. They looked at each other for a few moments in silence.


            Suddenly, Oliver leaned forward and kissed Percy's nose with an unbelievably light and tender touch. Then he whispered, "I'm so sorry ye're ill, sweetheart. What can I do to make ye feel better?"


            Percy shrugged and shook his head. "No use in you doing anything. You're ill, too. The very same cold in the nose that I have."


            "Aye." Oliver raised his cup of tea. "To two incredibly good-looking blokes with the sniffles out on holiday. Or, rather, in on holiday."


            Rolling his eyes, Percy held up his cup. Reluctantly, he said, "Cheers." He took a sip of tea, surprised at the taste. He hadn't been expecting so much out of something store-bought and American. Of course, he hadn't had much faith in the muggle cold medicine Oliver had procured the night before, either, and it had knocked him out pretty well all night.


            Before he could think of something new to complain about, Oliver turned away, leaning against the headboard again, and stretched his arms out. "C'mere, Perce." When Percy did not immediately move, Oliver tried again, in a soft, weak whisper. "I need you."


            Understanding, Percy scooted over, snuggling up against Oliver's side, his head on Oliver's chest and shoulder. Oliver's hand trembled a little as he reached around and hugged Percy to him, but a squeeze and another sip of tea steadied him. "I don't feel so good either," Percy whispered, draping an arm around Oliver's waist and hugging back. "Let's just take it easy this morning. If we feel better later, maybe we can think about going sightseeing. How's that?"


            "Perfectly reasonable," Oliver said, with a mixture of disappointment and reassurance.


            Percy lifted his head, sniffling. "What did you expect? We're both ill with colds."


            Oliver meant to answer, but his breath caught and his nose twitched. His mouth hung open and his nose wrinkled as he tried to sniff it away. But when he lost, he found Percy had a tissue ready for him, and he sneezed into it repeatedly. "hahShoo! ahhChoo! Hah-hahhkShooo-Choo!" He blew his nose with Percy's assistance, then he hugged his lover tightly to reassure himself. He didn't smile, however, and that was what Percy was looking for.


            Percy wiped Oliver's nose for him. Sick while on holiday was bad enough, but he would not allow Oliver to feel so miserable if he could do something about it. He pulled another tissue out of the box, folded the rough thing in half, and held it over Oliver's nose. "Blow as much as you can. Then we'll get dressed and see New York City."


            "Really?" Oliver's face lit up. "Ye bead it?"


            Percy laughed and pinched Oliver's nose under the tissue. "I mean it. We're not too terribly ill, after all." It certainly wasn't the most sensible option, but that smile on Oliver's face made Percy feel loads better already. He cleared his throat and blew his own nose and resolved to enjoy his day out on the town for Oliver.




            "For you..." Oliver said, handing the warm, soft pretzel to Percy. He took one for himself and stuffed the change into the pocket of his jacket. He had to trust the street vendor that it was the correct amount since he really couldn't make sense of the strange British muggle money, let alone the even stranger American bills. Percy had absolutely no appetite, but the pretzel was warm and Oliver had recommended it, so he made the effort; a moment later, during his first bite, he was glad he had. It was delicious.


            As appealing as 'Naked Boys Singing' had looked, they had decided against seeing a play, even an off-Broadway one, for fear of making noise and disturbing patrons or actors. They did a good job of keeping their colds to themselves while wandering around central park. They had taken a fairy one way and then back again just to see the ocean and the statue of liberty. Oliver had found a private corner on deck and had held Percy tightly as the cold salt-filled air washed over them. It had made their noses run all the more and they had laughed about it through constant sniffles.


            Deciding that he had better pick up some souvenirs for his family and wanting somewhere warm and dry, Percy suggested shopping. There were plenty of classy, high scale shops and a bunch of smaller, cute little places along the way. There was a candy store Percy had to practically drag Oliver out of. There was a store that sold music and another one that sold paintings. It was all strangely magical in an ordinary muggle sort of way.


            But Oliver had been pulled over to the pretzel vendor as though by magic. He now held his pretzel out at arm's length and sneezed into his sleeve. "hahShoo! hehShooo!" Oliver sniffed and messed around with one hand in his pockets until he found his hanky. He swabbed his nose with this handkerchief.


            "How're you doing?" Percy asked him, pausing with Oliver just outside a store with a display window featuring winter jumpers. Percy polished off his pretzel in record time and crossed his arms over his chest to let Oliver know he was serious. 


            Oliver shrugged. "Feeling a bit chilly, I guess. And my hanky's getting to be rather useless. Would ye mind if I...? I mean, do ye think I could...?"


            Percy grinned and nodded. He had a stash of tissues in his right coat pocket which he had been dipping into periodically when he felt the need to sneeze. When finished, sneezing he would ball one up and toss it in the nearest trashcan or put it in his left coat pocket if there wasn't anywhere else.


            Oliver reached into Percy's right pocket now and withdrew a clean tissue. He rubbed it against his nose almost delightedly.


            Percy patted his back. "Let's get you a hat." It was cold out, but not the height of winter any longer. Their coats were warm and Percy wore his hood up over his head when they were outside, tied under his chin. Oliver, however, had just a coat and kept his hands in his pockets when he wasn't rubbing his nose.


            They passed a questionable little shop that sold everything from packets of gum and jumbo hot dogs to Lady Liberty shot glasses and absurdly large foam fingers. While Oliver picked out a few small tissue packets, Percy picked out a pair of navy blue gloves and a knit hat that was red, blue, and white in a sort of modified checkerboard pattern.


            "This is the one," Percy said, holding it up for Oliver and smiling.


            Oliver pulled a face. "Oh no, Perce."


            Percy nodded. "Oh yes." He paid for everything, then pulled the hat onto Oliver's head before his lover could resist. The fact that the two women behind the counter were watching didn't hurt; Oliver wasn't going to put up a fight when there was an audience. Oliver sighed and let Percy tug it down over his ears. Then he smiled.


            When they left the store, Oliver laughed. "Rascal! You charmed this when I wasn't looking, didn't you?" He put on the gloves as well and flexed his fingers in them to evaluate.


            Percy nodded. "It's nice and warm, isn't it?"


            "It's lovely, Perce. Thank ye."  Oliver wanted to take him in his arms and kiss him appreciatively, and Percy would have been more than happy to return the kiss. But they had been informed that that sort of display did not go over particularly well in some places in New York. The wizarding world was much more accepting, comparatively, thought they probably wouldn't have kissed in the middle of Diagon Alley, either. So Oliver merely licked his lips and smiled. "Can we go back to the hotel?"


            Percy shrugged. "I don't really like the hotel room." He raised his arm and buried his nose in the coat sleeve covering his forearm. "Huhh-Hushhhh! Hmpshhh! Sniff!" Oliver got a tissue out of Percy's pocket and handed it over, their fingers brushing during the exchange. Percy nodded his appreciation and blew his nose, wincing. He would have liked to stay in bed the whole day, but now that he was up and dressed and out just for Oliver's sake, he wanted to make the most of their holiday. He finished his thought. "Besides, you're the one who wanted to see the town."


            "But there's so much we can do there at the hotel that we can't do out here," said Oliver, leadingly. His brown eyes trailed down Percy's body, his gaze resting on Percy's crotch.


            Percy grinned. "Well, when you put it that way, I begin to see the benefits of a hotel... room. huhh... h-hhhh..." Percy screwed up his face until the urge to sneeze left. He started to say something else, but never got a word out. "hehhh... uhhhh... huh-h'Uhshhhh!" He caught this one in the tissue and sniffed just as wetly.


            "Poor Perce," Oliver said. "Bless you." He wanted to hold Percy, but settled for petting the man on the arm. "Are ye truly miserable?" he asked.


            Percy put his hand to Oliver's forehead, then to his own. "Actually, burning up is more like it," Percy lied. If anything, the cold wind had cooled them to the point of shivering. "We're both terribly ill. We had better head back to bed, don't you think?"


            Oliver grinned back. "Aye. Perfectly reasonable, that." Walking side-by-side, unable to walk arm-in-arm as they would have liked, they headed in the direction of their hotel. As soon as they found a private, empty alley, they kissed and pinched each other's nose to keep from sneezing as they Apparated back to their hotel room.