pairing: Matsumura Hokuto/Kikuchi Fuma
word count: 2,805
author's note: For the Tomochoco 2014 Challenge! The prompt was "40. A-kun is sick, B-kun takes care of him." I basically had the exact same experience as Fuma recently, and I wish I'd had a personal Hokuto to take care of me… But! This is for yomimashou, who did her best to make sure I didn't die last week. ♥
summary: Fuma wakes up on the morning of February 14th with a 39.5 degree fever.
Fuma wakes up on the morning of February 14th with a 39.5 degree fever. Or rather, he wakes up and gets out of bed before Hokuto; these days, Fuma has to be up earlier to commute to college for his 9:00 class than Hokuto does to get to Horikoshi before homeroom starts at 8:50, but even before Hokuto's alarm has run for the final time, roused most of the way by the cold spot that used to be Fuma in bed, Hokuto can see across the room that something is off. The lights are dim (Fuma doesn't ever turn them on while Hokuto's still asleep even though Hokuto's told him a hundred times that he doesn't mind) and Fuma's moving in and out of the room, brushing his teeth and washing his face and getting dressed, but Hokuto can tell that there's something off about his movements, can see that his face is all flushed and his body seems tired, like something's weighing him down. It takes an extra few moments to process in Hokuto's sleep-hazy mind, but the flu's been going around both at school and in the agency, and when he hears Fuma start coughing a moment later, he knows something's not right.
It's scary to think about Fuma being sick for a whole variety of reasons, because Fuma is Hokuto's sun, the light that guides him through when life gets confusing or tough, Fuma is the brightest star in Johnny's, and more importantly, in Sexy Zone, the one who guides the younger ones when they need a helping hand or a shoulder to lean on. Fuma the world to so many people, to his siblings and his classmates and his friends, but even just sitting up and gazing at Fuma in the darkened room, Hokuto can tell that something's wrong, because where Fuma usually radiates energy and possibilities and love for life and the people around him, there's only a dull, heavy shadow that hangs around his flushed cheeks and weighs down his limbs as he zips up his sweatshirt and pulls the hood over his head. And so, despite the fact that Hokuto has never been any good at words or feelings, despite the fact that even now, even after more than three years, he still has trouble finding the right way to express himself to Fuma, he pulls himself out of bed. Because he knows Fuma pushes himself too hard, and maybe Hokuto isn't much good at it, but he knows he has to at least try to help.
And so he pads his way quietly to Fuma's side, wrapping his arms around Fuma's waist and pressing a kiss to the back of his neck, because Hokuto's always been better at (or at least more inclined to) show his feelings through his actions rather than words. "Good morning," Fuma greets with a laugh, but his voice sounds hoarse and his nose congested, and Hokuto frowns, squeezing him a little tighter still instinctively. "You're warm," he replies, resting his head on Fuma's shoulder and angling it so that their cheeks touch. "Your face is all red, too. Maybe you should take today off."
He can feel Fuma tense a little bit in his arms, and he knows Fuma likes to be strong for everyone, for Hokuto, especially, but Hokuto isn't going to back down on this one, not when it comes to Fuma's health. After all, Fuma is his everything, and so, when Fuma replies that he feels fine, Hokuto is ready. He's at Fuma's house enough anymore (whenever Fuma's not at his place, basically) to know exactly where he can find a thermometer, and despite the fact that Fuma is resolutely trying to ignore that he clearly isn't feeling well and get ready for school, Hokuto insists on taking his temperature, and when the result comes out, Fuma seems to realize that he can't argue.
"You go on to school," he tries to insist, reaching out to run his fingers affectionately through Hokuto's hair from where he sits at the foot of his bed. "I'll text my classmates and ask them to send me the notes, and then I'll go to the doctor before rehearsal and call my manager from there…"
But Hokuto won't let himself be swayed by Fuma's words, or touch, or the note of confidence in his voice. "No," he replies, taking Fuma's phone out of his hands despite the way Fuma scowls at him. "Lay down. I'll take care of everything."
And maybe Fuma whines about it a bit, maybe Fuma tries to insist, tries to tell Hokuto that he's fine, that he doesn't want to put Hokuto out of his way, but the way he smiles when Hokuto finally gets him to lay back down and rest makes Hokuto feel like maybe the clouds are parting, just a little.
Hokuto calls in sick from school, and he knows that no one from Horikoshi will argue. After he texts Fuma's classmates and Sexy Zone's manager, he asks Fuma's mother for the number and calls the family doctor. It's busy because it's the flu season, but he puts Fuma's name on the list and then runs to the conbini on the corner for vitamin C drinks and medical masks. "You didn't have to," Fuma mumbles drowsily when Hokuto comes back, but he takes Hokuto's hand and holds on, and Hokuto thinks, yes I did, because I love you.
He manages to get some fluids into Fuma, who's a surprisingly good patient once he gets past having to be tough, and then bundles him up and takes him out to the doctor's office. It feels weird to be taking the lead this way, when usually, it's Fuma who's pulling on Hokuto's arm, Fuma asking Hokuto how he's feeling, Fuma navigating on his phone, or pointing to the right train line, or nodding towards the next turn. But now Fuma's relying on Hokuto, and Hokuto tries not to buckle under the pressure as he studies the Google maps instructions to Fuma's family doctor. It's scary at first, but every time he catches a glimpse of Fuma's face and sees Fuma's smile, small and pathetic beneath his pink nose and interrupted more and more often by coughs but warm nonetheless, he knows that he can't give up. It's crazy, Hokuto thinks, how even in this weakened state, Fuma can give him, shy and awkward as he is, an endless amount of confidence.
The doctor's office is just as crowded as they'd told Hokuto they'd be on the phone, but part of him is indignant as they sit amongst the screaming kids and grouchy older women, because Fuma is sick, really sick, and they should hurry up and see him rather than forcing him to wait and try to be strong. The longer they sit in the waiting room the more Fuma seems to wilt, the less he seems to have the strength to even keep up the act, and it makes Hokuto angry, but more than that, it scares him. Fuma has never been anything other than a pillar of support for Hokuto, never faded even once in his radiant presence that keeps Hokuto going, that keeps the world revolving around him, and to see him so gloomy, so wilted makes his throat grow tight and his heart squeeze in his chest. But he knows that he has to be strong, has to hold the world together when Fuma's light isn't enough, and so he squeezes Fuma's hand tight and thinks it'll be okay as hard as he can (maybe hard enough that Fuma can hear, somehow) until the doctor finally calls Fuma's name at long last.
Despite the fact that he's an adult who's been to the doctor more times than he can count in his lifetime, somehow, it's almost worse to sit there and watch as the nurses poke and prod at Fuma, sticking things in his nose and ears and mouth while he's too weak to fight back. He knows that it's all for Fuma's sake, to diagnose what's wrong and figure out how to make him better, but something about the way Fuma winces when they touch him, the way his eyes water and his face grows pinker with each intrusion makes Hokuto flinch too, and he has to clench his fists to fight back the urge to pull Fuma into his arms and protect him from everything else out there.
Eventually, though, it's all over; the doctor comes back with the results and informs Fuma that he has the flu. Fuma looks like he's going to cry at the news, and it almost breaks Hokuto's heart to see it, because he knows how much Fuma wants to be strong, wants to be there for everyone. But the doctor informs him that he needs to prioritize himself for the next five days, needs to sleep and drink fluids and take medicine and not much else, and Fuma doesn't have much choice but to agree. Hokuto tries to pay the bill, but in one last burst of strength, Fuma insists before letting Hokuto take him home.
It feels like forever, but as soon as there back, away from the nurses and their swabs and stethoscopes and away from the prying eye of the public, Hokuto can't help but pull Fuma into his arms, the way he's been itching to do for hours now. "Stop," Fuma whines, trying to push Hokuto away, "I'm gonna make you sick, too;" but they both know that if Hokuto was going to get sick, he'd be doomed by now, considering that he and Fuma share almost everything, and so Hokuto only chuckles quietly and squeezes Fuma tighter. Fuma needs to lie down and get some rest and take his medicine and drink energy drinks, and Hokuto will take care of all of that in a minute, but for right now, he just wants to hold on, wants to prove to both Fuma and himself that he can be strong for Fuma, too.
Hokuto has to go to rehearsal in the evening. Fuma tries to insist on coming along, but Hokuto has informed Fuma's manager of his diagnosis, and the official word is that Fuma is not to be giving the rest of his bandmates the flu. Fuma pouts, but all the same, Hokuto can see it clicking in his brain, can see Fuma visualizing Shori and Sou and Marius in the same puffy-eyed, red-nosed, miserable state that he's in, and pretty soon after, he relents, insisting on making Hokuto promise that he'll apologize on Fuma's behalf for holding everyone back. When he arrives at the rehearsal studio, Hokuto simply tells Nakajima that Fuma's home with a fever. Fuma doesn't need apologizing for.
Shounen Club rehearsal feels quiet without Fuma there, quiet and dark. It's not that Hokuto has taken Fuma for granted up until this point, not that he's particularly felt that he hasn't appreciated everything Fuma brings to his group, to their performances, but Fuma's absence is practically tangible in the air, like a shadow making the choreography just that much harder to visualize, the lyrics that much harder to remember. Sexy Zone sounds frankly awful without Fuma to pull them all on key, but more than that, Nakajima looks lonely in the front, and Shori seems awash in the center and Marius and Sou look so lost in the back without Fuma there holding them all together, and it's sad, almost, to watch. It makes Hokuto miss Fuma all the more keenly, makes him wish all the more strongly that he could have stayed home to take care of Fuma, too.
And even amongst the juniors, things feel off without Fuma's boisterous laugh bringing them all into higher spirits and Fuma's witty conversation drawing them closer to one another. Kouchi and Jesse make jokes and shove around with Juri and Shintaro as Kyomoto and Yasui chatter off to the side, but Hokuto isn't sure where he fits into it all without Fuma there. Sure, they're all friends, but even in the recent absence of Junior groups, in the strange abyss, the complete lack of understand or of anything to hold onto, Fuma is what brings them together as one. Maybe they're all drawn to Fuma like moths to flame, or maybe Fuma knows just how to reach out to each and every one of them in his own way, but whatever the reason, without Fuma there to guide him, Hokuto hovers off to the side awkwardly, laughing at a joke here or there and not really feeling a part of anything.
Rehearsal drags on-- usually, it goes by quickly, usually, it feels more like play than work, but without Fuma there, Hokuto can't find his focus until finally, the rehearsal director gives up and calls it a day. Hokuto would feel bad, but it doesn't feel like there's room in his heart for anything but worry for Fuma, and so he bids everyone a quick goodbye before hurrying to the train station. It's unlikely that anyone will be going out to dinner together tonight, anyway, not without Fuma to make the invites, not without Fuma to make it an outing.
Somehow, Hokuto manages to work himself into an anxious tissy on the train ride back to Fuma's; being around people, for whatever reason, is exhausting for him, and facing the world without Fuma (while worrying for Fuma) is practically too much. It makes his mind run around in circles until it finds the darkest corners and crevices to fixate on. Maybe Fuma's gotten sicker. Maybe he won't want to see Hokuto at all in this state. It doesn't make any sense, but Hokuto's always been great about thinking himself in dizzying cycles until he worries himself sick, and so, when Fuma's mother smiles at him when she answers the door and tells him Fuma's been waiting for him, despite the fact that he feels guilty for keeping Fuma waiting, he can't help but breathe a sigh of relief.
Fuma is smiling at him from his bed when Hokuto opens the door, and Hokuto can't help but smile back, the tension falling from his limbs at the sight of the person he loves most in the whole world. Already, it seems, with just one dose of his five or six prescriptions, Fuma seems a little brighter, a little less muted by his illness, and it brings Hokuto right back to life, filling all the dark corners with hope that Fuma's already begun his recovery.
"How are you?" he asks as he makes his way to Fuma's beside and kisses him on the forehead-- he can't resist, he's never been able to resist with Fuma. "Do you need anything else to drink? Or to eat?"
"It's Valentine's Day," Fuma responds, or rather, doesn't respond at all, his brow furrowing as he looks up at Hokuto. "I… I don't know how I forgot. We were supposed to go out."
And it's so, so Fuma, to worry about something like that when he's sick in bed with a 39.5 degree fever, but the way he cares so much about his promises, about his relationships, about the people he loves is one of the things Hokuto loves about Fuma, and so he can't help it as his smile grows a little. "It's okay, I forgot too," he soothes, brushing Fuma's hair back from his forehead, but Fuma only frowns.
"I'm sorry I had to go and get sick today of all days," he mumbles, looking remorseful, but Hokuto takes Fuma's hand into his own and squeezes it tight as he shakes his head definitively. Not only because Fuma shouldn't be sorry, definitely not for something like this, but because, actually, somehow, Hokuto feels that in letting Hokuto take care of him, Fuma's given him more than he could even imagine.
"I'm happy that I can be strong for you sometimes, too," he says simply when he finally finds the words, but he doesn't think it really conveys everything he's feeling, and so he looks into Fuma's eyes and hopes that somehow, amazing and wonderful person that he is, he can understand. Because as nice as chocolates might have been, as romantic as dinner might have been, as fun as a date might have been, somehow, right here, just like this, hand in hand, Hokuto feels almost as if, rather than simply reflecting Fuma's light, he can light up this tiny corner of the world just for Fuma, and even if he's bad with words, even if he's too free with his touches, even if he can never seem to get the normal expressions quite right, he thinks that maybe right here and right now he can prove his love in a way that he's never been able to before.
2014 Tomochoco Challenge Works
arashijun | faded-lace 1 2 3 | lady-michiru | mousapelli 1 2 3 | ohhai-yo | rikikomori | tokyoskater | vflmaeuschen 1 2 | yomimashou