Disclaimer: Not my characters or world! I’m merely playing (torturing is a form of playing, right?)
Summary: Wolverine and Nightcrawler are stranded. Wolverine’s got a cold. Take it from there.
Author notes: This actually started out wanting to be a Xander/Spike fic, but it worked better with Wolverine.
“Dabb it!” Wolverine’s fist came down on the instrumentation panel. “Forge was subbosed to fix this!”
They had been trying to get the X-Jet to take off for the past hour, but the procedure broke down halfway through each time. Everything in their quick diagnostics checked out independently, but something wasn’t engaging or checking out. Neither Wolverine nor Nightcrawler could determine what it was.
As Nightcrawler switched on the distress signal, he turned his attention to his lover. Of course, if Scott had known the two of them were intimate, he probably wouldn’t have teamed them up alone together—not with what had happened with Jean. Nightcrawler was happy to get some time alone with the man.
Wolverine coughed and rose from his seat. He collapsed in the back, leaning against crates. After a minute of locking down the controls, Nightcrawler joined him in the back.
Wolverine hadn’t been sounding or looking good all day. During the fight against Magneto’s men, he had even come close to needing Nightcrawler’s help a few times, though he probably wouldn’t admit that now, if asked. He had been coughing a fair bit and sneezing as well. They hadn’t had time to discuss it before, but now it looked like they had nothing but time. And Kurt had nothing but concern for the man sitting on the floor of the jet, barely able to breathe around severe congestion.
Nightcrawler’s tail swiped across Wolverine’s forehead, feeling the warmth and sweat. Feverish. Surely he was feverish. He forced a thick blanket he’d dug up from one of the boxes around Wolverine’s broad shoulders. The man shivered into it and snapped forward with a tremendous “hehSCHTTTTTT!” which caused the blanket to fall off. “Just go back to tryig to codtact the Idstitute. Give ub od be, elf.”
“Never!” Nightcrawler pulled the blanket back up into place. “And gesundheit.”
Wolverine eyed him, looking embarrassed. “These sdeezes are eb… ebbar… huh-huhhh-h’SHOO!” His whole body was thrown forward again, though his head snapped down so that he ended up sneezing against his chest. Nose running, he sniffed pathetically and closed his eyes.
Kurt could hardly blame him. Wolverine’s sneezes weren’t easy to miss. “Gesundheit.” He moved closer, wrapping an arm around Wolverine to hug him as he kissed the man’s hot forehead. It was terribly hot, but he still couldn’t figure out how strong of one. “I am going to make sure you start feeling better soon, so zat vhen ve get found, zere will be less of zis embarrassing sneezing to vorry about.”
“Or, at least, less of it. Gesundheit.” Nightcrawler teleported over to the far side of the X-Jet and felt around with his fingers until he caught the lip of the emergency box. It took another minute or so to slowly slide it out and break into it, but once it was open, he went through it single-mindedly. His face brightened when he produced a digital thermometer and a small pack of tissues.
“Now zen, I need to take your temperature. Do you feel like sneezing?”
Wolverine considered then nodded. No sooner did he do so than his mouth dropped open, tongue hanging loosely there. His nostrils twitched and eyes shut. His brow furrowed and he sucked in a huge, deep breath. Then he rocked forward once again. “hehTSHOOO!”
The sneeze had come too quickly for Nightcrawler to get a tissue out before, but he did so now. “Here you g—“ Wolverine had grabbed it and begun to wipe at his nose. “You’re velcome. Gesundheit.”
Wolverine shot him an angry look. Nightcrawler knew Wolverine wasn’t a fan of niceties even when he felt well, but all of this was pushing things. He could read Wolverine well, though, and knew the anger was really just grumpiness combined with the fact that he had a miserable cold. “How is your nose now? Tickly? Sneezy?”
Wolverine narrowed his eyes but also shook his head and opened his mouth.
Kurt snuck the thermometer in, beneath Wolverine’s tongue. “Zere. Now keep it in until it beeps. It von’t take too long.” He studied Wolverine’s face. The man was relaxed, uncharacteristically patient. The peacefulness didn’t last long. Soon his expression transformed into one of concentration. His body tensed, straightened. His jaw clenched. “Are you going to—”
“HUH-SHSTUHHH!” The thermometer tumbled out.
Nightcrawler pulled another tissue from the box and held it up as he heard the man’s breath catch again.
“huh-hah-hahSHSHFFF!” The tissue did little to contain the sneeze. In fact, it was so strong, the sneeze went right through it, stopped by Kurt’s hand. Another three tissues, folded in half however, did what one could not. “hah-SCHFFF Hah-KSHIFFFF! SCHSTTT!” He rubbed his nose into the tissues with sniffles and snuffles and a clearing of his throat.
“Gesundheit. Better now?”
Wolverine shook his head. He nuzzled in more and blew his nose in small bursts until it was somewhat clear. Then he sighed and sat back against the wall.
A nod and another throat clear, then Wolverine obediently opened his mouth to accept the fallen thermometer.
Nightcrawler felt like patting him on the head, but he was sure Wolverine’s claws worked, even though he was sick and Nightcrawler was fond of his arm. So he merely stuck the thermometer back in. “Try not to sneeze zis time, all right?”
“I wash tryig lasht tibe too—“
“Ah! And no talking either.”
They sat and waited. Kurt watched the number on the digital reader slowly climb up from room temperature to normal body temperature. It kept going, tenth of a point by tenth of a point.
And then the sneeze happened. It was brief but powerful. And, to his credit, Wolverine did try hard not to sneeze. “h’ERSTSHHFFFF!” But all his trying was for naught.
Nightcrawler looked up and the corner of his mouth twitched into a smile. Wolverine had actually succeeded in keeping the thermometer in his mouth, despite the sneeze. But he had tried so hard, he’d bitten down. And the adamantium in his jaw made it stronger than any normal jaw; the result was that he had bitten the thermometer in half. One half still sat in his mouth. The other half had fallen onto his chest.
Kurt couldn’t help but be amused. “Good zing it vas digital, not full of mercury. Zough, vith your healing abilities…” He cocked his head, suddenly thoughtful. “How is it possible for you to even have a cold?”
Wolverine coughed, spat out what was left of the thermometer, and then toppled over so that he lay on his side. “Just by luck, I guess. By colds are always quick but strodg. ‘Crawler, what’s the teberature here id the jet?”
“Ah…” Nightcrawler got up and checked one of the panels on the wall. “Seventy-eight degrees.”
“Right, warb.” He sniffed and closed his eyes. “I’b shiverig with cold add I cad’t stob sdeezing lodg edough for a therbobeter to work. I thidk we cad safely say I’b sick.” He coughed, his whole body shaking.
Nightcrawler gave a nod. “Vell, I cannot do much for your cold…” He teleported under the blanket with Wolverine. “But I can keep you varm.” The man took to him instantly, wrapping both arms around him, bending a leg and resting that on Kurt’s side, and nuzzling close so that his cheek rubbed against the soft and furry side of Kurt’s face. Beneath the blankets, Kurt’s tail slithered up and stroked Wolverine’s side. “Vhen ve do not meet at the rendezvous point, zey vill come looking for us. Zey will find our rescue beckon.”
“I just hobe it isd’t the Cajun who fides us. I dod’t eved wadt to ibagide the look od his face whed he sees be all helbless hehhh add ah ah-hah-AHSHUHHH! Uh… sniff! Snffffffff!”
“Gesundheit. The tissues…” He started to pull away.
Hugging Nightcrawler closer, “Sniff! Dod’t you dare go adywhere. Sniff, sniff, snfffffff! “ Then he stretched his hand out, extended his claws out, and speared the half pack of tissues. The tissues came with him as he retracted his claws, and he caught the pack in his hand. Just in time. “hahh-SHATSTFFfffff!”
Nightcrawler chuckled, even as Wolverine shot him a look. “Some of your sneezes sound like vords in German. Zat one almost sounded like ‘schatz’.”
“Add what does that bead?”
“It’s… an endearment. It means…” What it meant was ‘treasure,’ but Kurt wasn’t about to tell him that. “Handsome. It means ‘handsome.’”
Wolverine didn’t seem to buy it but also didn’t seem to care. “Ady other words I should be aware of whed I… I… hah-have to… hahh-SHOOO!”
“Gesundheit. Just avoid the word ‘schwanz’ if you can.”
“Sniff, sniff! Which is?”
Nightcrawler smiled and reached down to let his touch explain. Wolverine, though ill and feverish, leapt to respond. After a long day of fighting Magneto’s team and then fighting the X-Jet’s systems, Nightcrawler was happy for some time to rest. But he wasn’t against using this time alone with Wolverine to his advantage.
Slipping out of their clothes was unrealistic, so they merely dislodged the portions that allowed them access. Kurt’s soft hand glided over Wolverine’s skin. Wolverine coughed and gasped happily.
And then, through the ship’s com system came a familiar voice. “Help is on the way, mes amis. Gambit be right dere.”
Wolverine stiffened, jaw clenched. Nightcrawler buried his face against Wolverine’s chest to hide his smile and laughter.