Ferris groaned and pushed back the covers. Sunlight poured into the small dorm and Ferris turned into the cool breeze that flowed in from the open window. He tried to stand but his stomach twisted and he wrapped a hand around his middle.
"Ferris? Ferris, you okay...?" Harvey peeked around the door. Ferris jumped and Harvey sprang back.
"God, Harvey, don't do that. Yeah, yeah, I'm fine."
"Oh… kay… So are you coming then?"
"…To the car show?"
Harvey looked at him.
"Oh!" Ferris ran a hand through his hair and got up, wincing. "I forgot about that. Where…?" he looked around Harvey.
"Well, we were waiting for you to get up. The girls are just talking though, so you know… Ferris are you sure you're okay? You don't look so hot."
Ferris turned back to him, and then sneezed. He coughed to clear his throat. Harvey shifted.
"No, I'm…" A wave of nausea caused him to bolt up and run past Harvey down the hall to the bathroom.
In the hall, Jackie and Anna pulled away from the balcony.
"Is he okay?" Jackie asked.
Harvey cringed as Ferris' heaves echoed through the complex. Then moans.
"Doesn't look like it." Harvey sighed.
Ferris opened the door and stumbled back.
"Ferris, you don't have to come to the show if you don't feel, um…" Anna looked him up and down. She bit her lip.
"No, I'm fine, guys. Just… give me a minute, okay?" He smiled at the girls and gave Harvey a look.
Harvey nodded. "Sure…"
Ferris disappeared into his dorm, closing the door and falling against it in the same breath. Clear skies beckoned him from across the room. The breeze brushed against his skin.
Dammit, nothing was going to keep him here if he had anything to say about it. He smiled to himself—and sneezed again.
– X –
The hot mid-morning sun beat down over glimmering rows of Mercedes and Cadillacs.
"Look at that!" Anna awed over a canary-yellow Lamborghini. The owner smiled at her from his lawn chair.
"Whoa… I'd love to take that for a spin." Harvey nudged Jackie. She rolled her eyes.
"You'd probably total it in five minutes."
"Honey, you underestimate my driving skills…" he waggled his eyebrows at her.
"You two are terrible," Anna said as she peered into the windows.
Ferris hung back, glancing around.
"Hey Ferris, see any you like?" Harvey cocked his head, smiling slyly.
"What?" Ferris turned back to him.
Harvey paused, unsure if Ferris was joking. He had a feeling he knew what Ferris was looking for. He ribbed Ferris about his taste for guys and Ferris usually laughed it off, but now didn't seem like the time.
"I'm going to go look around, okay?" Ferris said.
The girls turned to him.
"Oh, why, Ferris?" Jackie asked.
"I want to go check out the other cars."
Truthfully, he wanted to see something other than cars. He glanced to Harvey. Harvey shook his head with a smile. Jackie or Anna didn't know and Ferris hadn't told them yet. He wasn't ready to tell them about Cameron, that Harvey knew.
"Well okay. We'll be wandering around here." Anna smiled at him.
"Thanks, guys." He turned around, faced with a sea of people and cars. Okay… which way to the Ferraris?
– X –
After searching high and lo, Ferris spotted Cameron. He sat under an umbrella close to his father's priceless car, nose in a book.
Ferris snuck up behind Cameron and wrapped his hands over his eyes. Cameron jumped up and nearly punched him in the face.
"Ferris!" He grinned reluctantly. "What are you doing here?"
"I wanted to surprise you." Ferris coughed and Cameron's eyes narrowed. Ferris avoided looking at him.
"Are you sick?"
"Hey! I'm hurt you think I came here – to see you – sick. Cameron, you don't know me at—"
"You are." Cameron stood up, doing a preliminary scan of Ferris' body and red nose. "And don't play that card. You know I wanted to see you but that doesn't mean you had to do it with a cold. You could have called me…"
"You're always busy though. You said you had that club tomorrow and your classes take up most of your time during the week." Ferris swallowed, drinking in Cameron as much as he could. His hands twitched. "And anyway," he said, "whatever it is'll probably be gone in a few hours and—"
"When have any of your colds lasted a few hours? You probably feel terrible, don't you?"
Ferris rolled his eyes.
"God. I'm taking you to my dorm."
"Ferris, look at yourself."
"This is the worst place for a cold. I bet you're burning up. I just have to find my dad. Won't be happy but I was going to leave soon anyway… Look. You stay here. Sit down. I'll be right back."
"I don't need—"
"Do it, Ferris." Cameron gave him the look.
"Here." Cameron pushed a water-bottle in his lap. "Drink this. Please."
Before Ferris could say anything, Cameron was gone. A couple walked by, glancing at him. He grinned and settled himself in.
"She's a beauty, isn't she?" He said, nodding to the car.
– X –
After informing the gang he was going to hang out at Cameron's place – everybody knew they were close friends, at least – Cameron drove Ferris back to his dorm.
With his stomach acting up again, Ferris allowed Cameron to support him as they made their way up stairs and around corridors. Some gave them looks but Cameron ignored them. Cameron pulled out a key at the threshold of a crisp white door and unlocked it single-handedly, other arm around Ferris.
Cameron led Ferris over to a pristine bed. A dusty green forest was just outside the window, a luxury that came with the luck of having a dorm complex on the edge of a ravine. Cameron pushed back the covers and reached out for Ferris, who was starting to shiver.
"Hey, c'mere. Oh, right. And take off your jeans; I have some PJs that'd fit you."
"Cameron… this is stupid." Ferris groaned but straightened. "I'm fine. Can't we just…"
"No. Now take off your pants. Here. Change into these." Cameron handed him a pair of sweats. Ferris took them and moaned.
"Stop complaining," Cameron said.
"I'm not complaining."
Cameron gave him a look and Ferris shrugged. He shimmied out of his jeans and pulled on the soft, worn pants. Cameron's pants. Ferris hid a smile.
Cameron took his arm and pushed him into the bed. Ferris pulled the blankets over himself and sniffled. Then sneezed. Cameron grabbed a box of Kleenex and handed it to him. Ferris took one and closed his eyes.
"Have you eaten anything today?" Cameron asked, hands in his back pockets.
"…Sorry?" Ferris laughed apologetically.
"Oh my god, Ferris." Cameron turned around in a huff.
"I'll be right back with some soup or something. Stay here."
"Not goin' anywhere."
Cameron slammed the door.
– X –
Several hours, soups, and naps later, Ferris woke to a darkened room and a cool wind whispering in from the opened window. Faint moonlight lit the room. He sat up and blinked sleep from his eyes. Oh. Cameron was studying; he sat hunched by a small desk, an assortment of textbooks piled around him. A small forlorn table lamp shone down. Cameron's eyebrows were scrunched, head resting on his left wrist. He scrawled every few beats, his breathing coming heavy and agitated. He shifted on the chair, paused, looked up, then to Ferris. For a fleeting instant his lips parted in surprise, his eyebrows lifting and then deepening as his mouth twisted into a smile.
Ferris yawned and sank back into the pillows.
"Nope. I think I'll sleep a bit more." He heard a rustle and then Cameron was kneeling by the bed, looking down at something. "Okay, what…?"
"Open up," Cameron held up a thermometer. Ferris stared at him wide-eyed.
"No way you're sticking that thing in my mouth. Go away, I don't even have a temperature!"
"I bet you do, and you feel—"
Ferris swatted Cameron's hand away, "Get away from me! Look, I'll just leave if you're going to be like—"
"Ferris, I just want to make sure you're—"
"No, look, I'm fine, just, Cameron, get offme! Cameron—"
And then Cameron had him pinned to the bed, the thermometer between his teeth. He grinned. Ferris strained away from Cameron like he had a cleaver in his mouth and not a slip of glass and mercury.
"Would you please get that thing away from me?"
"No," Cameron said through his teeth, and Ferris had a hard time not appreciating the canine sensuality of those teeth. White and gleaming, glass and the bulb of red at the tip, urging him to take it. Urging him to take something. All at once Ferris wished a tube of glass wasn't between them, wasn't there ready to impale his mouth. He bucked against Cameron's grip, struggling to get out from under him. Cameron bore down harder, putting his full weight onto Cameron's wrist and lower body.
"Get off me, you idiot." Ferris turned his head away, huffed, and fell limp. If there was one thing he hated it was being manipulated. If all he could do was ignore it, then he would. Except, the slight warmth from Cameron's mouth on his neck…
A coolness pressed against his neck and Ferris jumped.
"What the fuck, man, get the fuck off!" Ferris started to struggle again, "This isn't funny anymore Cameron, I don't want you on top of me."
"What are you laughing at?" Ferris tried to pull his arms away again but Cameron was by far twenty pounds heavier than him.
"You're cute squirming and hot like this, Ferris." It came out muffled and heady, but Ferris got the gist. He snarled and debated biting Cameron on the jaw to make him stop. But the thermometer was in the way, a single drop of glass just waiting to be sucked and—
Ferris's mouth contorted. He didn't want to do it. He didn't want to give Cameron the pleasure. He looked up. Cameron had sobered beside a slight twitch of his lip. He wasn't mocking or taking any sick sadistic pleasure from holding him down… well, not much. And for some unfathomable reason, Ferris forgave him. He didn't mind it, actually.
He licked his lips and tilted his head up. Cameron followed his lead, and then he had the tip of the thermometer in his mouth. Their eyes locked and Ferris nodded ever slightly. Cameron fed the tube down. Ferris took it, and Cameron was left, lips open, breath heavy on Ferris's face. Ferris smiled around the thermometer, shifting under Cameron. Cameron lowered himself down and kissed Ferris lips to the side of the glass instrument. Ferris grinned and reciprocated, on the verge of laughter.
They broke, grinning. Cameron shifted to take the thermometer from Ferris' mouth.
"What is it?" Ferris asked after a pause.
"Well it's coming down – It's ninety nine point four right now. You'll be fine in a day or so I'd say."
Ferris took the thermometer out of his mouth.
"Soup and a bed… and not taking any of my shit."
Cameron smiled. "'S What I'm here for."
Ferris looked up at him, suddenly shy. Cameron saw it and his eyelids flickered lower in arousal.
Before Ferris knew what was happening, Cameron was kissing him, really kissing him. It was soft and easy, and for a moment Ferris wondered if Cameron was worried about getting sick. Well, maybe then he could take care of Cameron. He braided his hands in Cameron's hair with a wicked grin. Yes, that didn't sound like an altogether bad way to spend an evening. Maybe next time they could even bring out the cough syrup.