Being sick is nothing unusual.
Waking up with a pounding headache, a scratchy throat, and the urge to just curl right back under the duvet to hibernate for the next few days, is pretty expected if you feel a little under the weather and sorry for yourself.
Unless you’re a Lupus that has a naturally stronger and resilient immune system compared to Mundanes, then the concept of feeling a little under the weather is something new and completely out of their comfort zone.
And if Taehyung wasn’t feeling so rough, he’d be laughing at his mate’s surprised reaction as he came back into their bedroom, his uniform not even close to being as neat at usually is when he gets ready for work.
“Are you okay?” Jungkook asks from their bed, his eyes on Taehyung like a hawk.
Taehyung nods his head, and instantly regrets it as it just escalates the vicious thumping his brain is currently doing.
He ransacks their dresser for the little medical bag he used for university that is full of everything from your typical plasters and painkillers, to a couple of female menstrual products he had ready in case one of his female friends ever needed them, and antiseptic cream.
Opening the green bag and searching for the pills he needs, Taehyung asks for the current time to make sure he’s not running late.
“You have fifteen minutes before you need to leave,” his mate informs him softly.
Silence follows them as Taehyung feels his mate’s eyes watch him as he pops out two long white pills, and swallow the painkillers, chasing them with the water he had brought with him from the kitchen.
Taehyung drains the rest of the water, finding it doing nothing to chase away the dry little tickle at the back of his throat, and begins to finish getting ready.
He feels his mate’s silent presence come up behind him as he digs for a pair of socks, hears him pick up the silver tablet sleeve he had left on their dresser.
“Tylenol?” Jungkook reads, and Taehyung hums as he hops around as he puts his socks on.
He straightens to see Jungkook’s confused face blinking at him.
“It’s a pain reliever.”
Wrong words to use when you have a mate that is also an alpha, whose nature is to worry and help others.
Taehyung has to spend the next few minutes loudly reassuring his mate that he is perfectly fine and that, ‘no Jungkook, I just have a headache. I’m not in actual pain.’
By the time he’s running for their jeep, already a minute late than he usually is to leave for work, Jungkook is still fussing after him.
“Are you sure you should go to work?” Jungkook frets, holding the jeep door open as Taehyung tries to shut it. “You shouldn’t work if you-”
Taehyung can’t help but laugh – he really can’t - and just instead gently cups his mate’s face and gives him a reassuring kiss.
It’s enough to distract Jungkook, and for Taehyung to lightly push him back so he can close the door properly.
Jungkook’s concerned gaze doesn’t leave him or the jeep, and Taehyung can’t help but shake his head as he drives away.
He only has a headache and a tickly throat from the dry night air of the winter nights, and his mate is acting like he’s about to collapse.
Taehyung turns the heater up high to chase away the morning chill, and makes a note to text Jungkook once he gets to work to reassure him that he’s fine.
He also makes a reminder for himself to pick up more Tylenol from the pharmacy near the hotel before he starts his shift.
Being a room attendant is already hard work without trying to scrub toilets and change bedding with a thumping headache.
“You look flushed.”
Taehyung pokes his head up from his trolley, currently restocking it now that his shift is over.
“I do?” he asks, surprised, and presses the back of his hand to his cheek. “I don’t feel hot.”
His boss rests her clipboard on top of his cart and reaches for the stack of hand towels waiting to be folded for his trolley.
“You feeling okay?” she asks, ignoring Taehyung’s splutters of him saying he doesn’t need help.
Taehyung stands from his squatting position from where he had been neatly placing his towels and begins to help her with the stack.
“Yeah, why?” he asks her, curious and a little wary for the sudden question, wondering if it’s about to be connected to any of his rooms he’s finished.
“There is a nasty stomach virus going around the hotel at the moment,” she tells him. “The reception crew have only just recovered from it.”
“It is that time of the year for sickness to go around,” Taehyung acknowledges, bending to put some of the folded hand towels next to the big towels on his trolley.
“It’s even rifer when you work in areas like this,” she chuckles, handing him a few more. “You’re in constant contact with other people’s mess. Your immune system is going to love and hate you for it.”
“I very rarely get sick,” Taehyung grins up at her. “I haven’t been sick for ages now.”
She picks up her clipboard, her buzzer going off to let her know another room is finished.
“We’ll see if you’re saying the same thing by the end of the week,” she teases as she leaves the laundry room.
Taehyung smiles and continues to fold his hand towels.
It’s true – he hasn’t been sick for at least a year or two. Even in university, he never got sick.
And his headache from this morning hasn’t returned, and the dry tickly feeling in his throat had vanished after his morning cup of coffee with the other room attendants this morning before the start of his shift.
This morning was just a little blip of, ‘I’d rather stay in bed and not go to work, thanks’.
He feels perfectly fine now.
Feeling the tugging hard enough to pull him from the deep sleep he had been in, Jungkook makes a questioning sound as he curls closer to his mate’s back.
“Don’t,” comes Taehyung’s rough, sleepy voice, and the word is enough to wake Jungkook up completely, “you’re too hot.”
Jungkook blinks into the darkness, lets Taehyung squirm out of his hold, before he also registers just how warm it is under the duvet.
Correction – just how much heat Taehyung is radiating.
Jungkook sits up, the duvet pooling down to his stomach as he inhales deeply, noting something is off about Taehyung’s scent, how much more…..stronger it is.
Taehyung grumbles at the movement, and when Jungkook moves to turn on the light beside their table, he grumbles even louder.
“Some of us have to be up early for work,” Taehyung growls, sleepy, flinching away from the light.
Jungkook ignores the growl and peers to look over his mate’s shoulder to get a good look at his face.
He sees flushed cheeks and his fringe sticking to his forehead from sweat.
Jungkook’s heart starts to race as he ignores Taehyung whines as he presses his hand to the flushed cheek, only to jerk back at how hot it is.
“Y-you’re too hot,” Jungkook stutters, already reaching for his phone so he can look up what the Tylenol site had told him it was good for.
“Yeah, because I’ve been sleeping next to a supercharged radiator all night.”
Jungkook squints at the bright screen, scanning the list of symptoms that Tylenol is helpful for.
His eyes lock on a word, his gut twisting.
He quickly searches for more details of what a fever is and his gut drops as he glances back at his mate that is trying to bury his head under his pillow.
Taehyung’s deep and slightly frustrated groan answers him.
“I…I think you might have a fever?” Jungkook says hesitantly, the words foreign to his tongue.
Taehyung scoff is loud enough that Jungkook is almost tempted to rip the pillow off his mate’s head.
“I don’t get sick,” Taehyung’s voice is muffled because of the pillow, but Jungkook hears him loud and clear.
“But you look and feel feverish,” Jungkook insists, eyes back on his phone for other ways to test for a fever.
Jungkook is already out of the bed and digging into the green bag his mate had left out since yesterday.
“You would be too if you were me and I was you,” Taehyung retorts, finally lifting his head out from under his pillow to see where Jungkook had gone. “What are you doing?”
Jungkook finds the digital thermometer at the bottom and looks at Taehyung with clueless eyes. “Checking your temperature?”
Taehyung’s amused, flush face would be cute in another situation but the current one of them discussing him possibly being sick.
“You know how to work that?” Taehyung asks.
“I’m sure Google will tell me if you won’t.”
Taehyung sighs, and Jungkook frowns at the way his mate literally looks like’s he’s shoving himself up with severe effort.
“Fine, give me the stupid thing so I can prove that it’s your fault I’m too hot,” Taehyung grouses, hand out for Jungkook to give it to him.
“If it was my fault, wouldn’t you be hot every night?”
Jungkook hisses at the sharp slap to his bare thigh, the skin stinging as Taehyung glares at him as he pops the thermometer between his lips.
Jungkook watches, waiting for something to happen, and nearly jumps out of his skin when it beeps.
Taehyung pulls it from his mouth and looks down at the screen. “Now, can we go…..”
Jungkook’s heart almost stops at his mate’s pause.
“What? What’s wrong?” Jungkook demands, anxiety rushing through him as he leans to see what it says.
He sees the number 38c, and blinks at his mate in lost confusion.
“What does that mean?”
“It means I have a touch of a fever,” Taehyung unwillingly answers, looking very displeased at the fact.
Meanwhile, all Jungkook heard was, ‘I have a fever’, and from what he’s just read about fevers, he’s shoving on pants before he’s even aware he’s moving or that Taehyung is telling him to sit down.
“Y-you have a fever, you need help,” Jungkook rushes out, his heart trying too, as he all but rushes around their bedroom trying to get himself and Taehyung dressed.
Taehyung wriggles from him, ignoring Jungkook’s stuttering, and heads for the green bag again.
“What are you doing?” Jungkook demands, hands still holding Taehyung’s shirt that he had just been about to shove over his mate’s head.
“Taking Tylenol,” Taehyung says simply, already popping out two pills.
“It’s only a light fever. I just need to take some Tylenol and go back to sleep,” Taehyung cuts him off, turning to look at him. “Can you go get me some water so I can-”
Jungkook’s out of the bedroom and halfway across the den even before his mate has finished his request.
His hands are shaking as he pours out the water into the glass, the cold water trickling over the back of hi fingers, can feel the cold sweat on his skin from his panic, and is very much considering waking up Jin and Namjoon because they’ve been around Mundanes longer, so they should know what Taehyung is sick with, right?
Jungkook takes the glass to his mate first, doesn’t move until Taehyung’s drank all of it, before rushing out to get more and to also damp a cold towel so it might help with Taehyung’s red flushed skin.
By the time he has Taehyung lying in bed again, the window slightly open to allow a little cool breeze in from the winter’s night air, and a damp hand towel on Taehyung’s forehead, Jungkook still can’t rest.
“I’m fine,” Taehyung repeats himself for the hundredth time, but Jungkook can’t help it, he can’t help the shakiness to his hands, the way his heart keeps clenching and racing.
He doesn’t like Taehyung being like this, doesn’t like the reason why his mate’s comforting scent doesn’t sit well in his nose, how unnaturally strong it smells, despite no anger or arousal being the cause of it. It’s almost as if the fever is cooking his mate’s scent higher, and Jungkook doesn’t like that at all, that something is making his mate feel unwell to the point his scent is screaming at him.
Jungkook honestly can’t focus on anything but Taehyung. His core is in a state of distress because his mate’s scent is screaming at him that he’s sick.
Jungkook doesn’t go back to sleep, he wouldn’t even if he could. He just sits beside his mate, watching him softly sleep, checking the towel’s coolness, and just making sure Taehyung is okay.
He also looks up more on fevers and their causes, and has to stop because he almost has a panic attack at what he reads.
He makes sure the Tylenol is within reach and that a bottle of water is on hand for the morning, praying that the fever breaks, just like Google tells him it should.
If Taehyung felt rough yesterday morning, nothing compares to how rough his body feels when his alarm blares in his ear before being quickly shut off.
“How do you feel?” comes his mate’s very concerned voice.
Taehyung’s body aches, his skin feels too tight, and his brain honestly feels like it’s trying to burst through his skull.
Oh and his throat is dry as fuck, edging on the borderline of sore.
Taehyung screws his eyes tighter with a groan of misery, rolling towards Jungkook’s body, almost shuddering at the gentle fingers that run through his limp, sweaty hair.
“Like shit,” Taehyung honestly replies, voice rough, and face pressed into the side of Jungkook’s leg.
“B-because of the fever?”
“And the beginning of a beautiful cold,” Taehyung groans, beyond annoyed that he’s actually becoming sick, something he hasn’t been for years!
“Cold?” his mate echoes, lost. “Are you col-”
Taehyung shakes his head, whines as it intensifies the pounding like a hangover he hasn’t had the joy in making.
“It’s called, ‘common cold’,” he tells his mate as he wills his body up, wincing as it feels twice as heavy and sore than it should. “It’s something Mundanes usually get.”
He finally opens his eyes to see Jungkook typing quickly on his phone, and he leans slightly to see that his adorable mate is googling, ‘common cold’.
“You’re cute, you know that, right?” Taehyung smiles, not at all sorry for resting most of his weight against his mate’s body as he leans against him.
“Do you have a headache?”
“Do you have aches and p-pains?”
“Do you feel any sore throat or trouble breathing through your nose?”
Taehyung hums, eyes shutting again. “Should recheck my temp, see if it’s gone down or higher.”
“R-right,” Jungkook stutters out, and Taehyung whines, unable to keep the misery from out of it as his cushion leaves him to reach for the thermometer.
“37,” Jungkook tells him as he takes it from Taehyung as soon as it has beeped. “That’s still not normal.”
“But it’s going down, so that means the Tylenol is working,” Taehyung yawns as he all but stumbles out of the bed.
Jungkook’s hands are on him, steadying him and restraining him at the same time.
“What are you doing?” His mate demands, eyes wide.
Taehyung blinks at him. “Getting ready for work?”
Jungkook’s eyes go from wide, to narrowed into almost slits.
“You are so not going to work,” Jungkook growls out, and Taehyung notes the change in his tone, the barely held back dominance of an alpha’s protective nature being tugged on.
Taehyung gives his mate a look to match his own. “I’m not sick, I just have the beginnings of a cold.”
“You have a fever still and you’re wanting to go to work where you do heavy labour which would make you temperature rise?” Jungkook shoots back at him.
“Jungkook, this is a normal cold,” Taehyung explains to him. “I know colds and flus aren’t that common for Lupus folk, but for us Mundanes, it is.”
“Let me repeat myself – you have a fever,” Jungkook says, once again. “I may not know a lot, but from what I’ve read, you shouldn’t be doing strenuous activities, but resting.”
“My shift isn’t even that long today,” Taehyung argues, trying to worm himself free. “It’s only a half shift because of the overtime I’ve been doing.”
“Which is probably why you’re sick in the first place,” Jungkook comments on, still not happy that Taehyung has been working longer hours in the last couple of weeks. “You’ve overworked yourself.”
“Probably, but that isn’t going to change anything now, is it?” Taehyung says as he successfully worms himself free, and reaches for the Tylenol and water waiting for him.
He ignores Jungkook’s growl of his name, and pops the pills in his mouth and swallows a good amount of water, ignoring the way his body feels, as he heads to the bathroom to get ready.
“Taehyung, you can’t go to work like this!” Jungkook hisses, following him.
Taehyung turns on the shower so he can get rid of the disgusting cold sweat on his skin because of his fever during the night.
Jungkook turns it off.
Now it’s Taehyung’s turn to hiss at his mate as he turns it back on.
Jungkook turns it back off and grabs Taehyung before he can turn it back on.
As they begin to bicker in their bathroom, Taehyung butt naked and Jungkook half dressed, the scene is quite comical, so the snort of amusement they hear from the doorway is acceptable.
“Lovepups, it’s too early for the arguing,” Hoseok tells them as he peers around the corner.
Jungkook blinks at his pack-member in surprise, since he had been too focused on bickering with Taehyung to even hear him coming.
Taehyung, however, uses the distraction to his advantage and jumps into the shower and turns it on.
“Tae!” Jungkook shouts his name, reaching in to yank him back out, not at all caring he’s getting soaked too.
“I need a shower anyway, I feel gross!”
“Fine, but you’re not going to work,” Jungkook says pointedly, something that Taehyung ignores as he begins to shower.
“Why can’t Tae go to work?” Hoseok asks, curious, and Jungkook steps out of the shower, water dripping off him and his clothes.
“I have the start of a cold, and he’s convinced I’m dying!” Taehyung says loud enough to be heard over the spray of water.
“He has a fever and he’s trying to go to work with it,” Jungkook corrects as he tugs his clothes off.
Taehyung catches a glance of Hoseok’s face as he turns around, and knows he’s now got two lots of trouble on his hands at the concerned look gracing the Lupi’s face.
“He has a fever?” he hears Hoseok say, and Jungkook’s response was too low for Taehyung to be able to hear over the spray of water.
“If you’re going to gossip about me, at least be loud enough so I can hear it!” Taehyung tells them both as he scrubs his face with water.
By the time he’s finished, Hoseok is gone, and Jungkook is sitting on the closed toilet lid, waiting for him.
“What?” Taehyung asks as he steps out, reaching for the towel his mate is holding out to him.
“Please don’t go into work,” Jungkook tells him softly, his eyes so sincere with his worry and concern that Taehyung almost wilts right there with guilt for making his mate feel such a thing.
But he can’t be babied all because of a slight fever, not when he knows he’s perfectly capable of going to work for a few hours.
“I’ll be fine, I’ve had fevers before and I still did stuff with it,” Taehyung tells his mate softly.
Jungkook eyes just grow more and more concerned.
“If I still feel like shit, I’ll go see a doctor after work,” Taehyung whispers soothingly, cupping his mate’s face as he stands in front of him.
“Trust me, yeah?” Taehyung whispers as he leans down for their first kiss of the day.
Jungkook’s hands tighten on his towel covered hips, and Taehyung can feel it in their kiss how hard his mate is trying to believe him, using Taehyung’s confidence to reassure his instinct to protect him.
“Promise me that you will go to the doctor after work,” Jungkook forces out, looking up at him with his conflicted gaze. “Actually, I’ll pick you up and we’ll go-”
“You have a job today,” Taehyung reminds him with a soft smile. “I promise to go, Jungkook.”
“I’ll leave early,” Jungkook says easily. “Hobi won’t mind.”
Taehyung breathes in deeply, and just presses his face close to his mate’s, breathing in his comforting scent.
“Can I get ready for work now?” he asks in a light, playful tone.
Jungkook kisses him softly, holding him closer a little bit longer.
Taehyung lets his mate indulge himself, allows Jungkook to settle his instinctive alpha nature, and also the worry he has for his mate.
The doctor will reassure his mate later.
It’ll allow his mate to learn a little bit more about Mundanes health and sickness, and not to worry so much over a simple common cold.
Taehyung hates being wrong.
He hates it when the world decides to stick its middle finger up to him and make him look stupid.
Jungkook takes one look at him after work and all but carries him to the doctor’s office up the street.
In his defence, they had a sudden influx of stays last night because of a party needing a place to crash, so the extra rooms he had today shouldn’t have even existed!
His doctor has the exact same look as does Jungkook as Taehyung explains it to them.
“Your temperature is high, and the back of your throat looks inflamed,” the doctor tells him as he types up his prescription, “I want you to rest and drink plenty of liquids.”
He hears Jungkook repeat his doctor’s words almost religiously beside him, too low for the older male to hear him.
“Take these pills three times a day, after meals. It’ll help with the aches and the fever.”
Taehyung can’t help the little smile tug on his lips as he hears his mate repeat that too to himself.
“And Taehyung,” Taehyung straightens at the look the older male is giving him, “rest.”
Jungkook almost whispers that as a vow under his breath.
It’s a good thing he has the next two days off work, because the next morning when he wakes up, he feels like actual death.
His throat feels like he’s swallowed razor blades, his nose is stuffy – who knew how much you value breathing through your nose until it’s blocked - and his head feels like it doesn’t know how to stop thumping.
He feels and looks like the picture of misery.
And when you live in a den full of sensitive Lupi, that isn’t a good look to sport.
“You need to eat,” Jimin reminds him, a hand running through Taehyung’s hair from where he’s standing behind the sofa, having to lean down slightly so he can stroke his hair. “You need to take the pills.”
The actual thought of food makes Taehyung’s stomach roll, and he groans as he sucks harder on a throat lozenge that Jungkook had bought for him this morning when he heard how sore his voice sounded.
“Later,” Taehyung says, eyes slipping shut, content in the corner of the sofa down in the playroom of the den, bundled in one of Jungkook’s oversized hoodies and sweatpants.
“You said that fifteen minutes ago.”
“And it still hasn’t been later.”
“Taehyung,” Jimin’s tone lowers, and Taehyung whines, squinting up at him.
“I mean it, I’ll eat later,” Taehyung promises, nose stuffy, so he sounds even more miserable. “I just want to nap.”
“You’ll nap better with something in your tummy so the pills can work,” Jimin counters, still persistent.
Taehyung curls closer into the pillow he’s holding, breathing in the scent of his mate he can smell on the sleeves of his hoodie.
“Taehyung,” comes Jimin’s voice again, an edge of helplessness to it as Taehyung’s heavy closed eyes easily signal to his tired body to give into the pull of sleep he had been fighting.
He falls asleep to the feeling of his best friend’s fingers running through his hair, and the comforting scent of his mate in his stuffy nose.
In hindsight, he should’ve trusted his gut.
The nausea he had been experiencing all day wasn’t just down to him not eating or the side effect of the medication the doctor had prescribed, but a genuine warning.
“I’m sorry,” he mumbles weakly from where his face is pressed into the tile wall of the bathroom, his body slumped against it.
He hears the toilet flush, and forces his eyes open to see Jungkook coming at him with a damp cloth, his expression pulled with tight worry.
Jungkook crouches beside him and cleans the cold sweat and vomit that had sprayed back at him when he hurled his entire stomach’s contents into the toilet next to him.
“I thought this was just a common cold?” Jungkook whispers.
“I thought so too,” Taehyung says, his voice rough and sore from the burn of the acid and his sore throat.
He then recalls his boss’s words.
“There is a nasty stomach virus going around the hotel at the moment,” she tells him. “The reception crew have only just recovered from it.”
The slight shakiness to his limbs, the cold sweat he can feel at the back of his nape and under his fringe, and the still rolling feeling of his stomach churning, produces a miserable sound from him as he sags completely against the wall.
“There goes that dose,” he weakly jokes, referring to the medicine he had taken not even half an hour ago.
The sound of their bedroom door banging open makes Taehyung jolt slightly, before both of them turn to look as the bathroom door is given the same treatment.
Jimin almost pushes Jungkook aside in his haste to get to Taehyung.
“I knew we shouldn’t have given him something so rich!” Jimin hisses, frantic as Taehyung just lethargically blinks at him, whilst Jungkook regathers his balance.
“It was only porridge, Jin thought it would be light enough,” Jungkook tries to calm him down. “We know now to-”
“Move,” Taehyung barely gets the word out as he lurches his body forward, cold, sweaty hands almost slipping off the basin of the toilet as he gags once, and then another, before bring up another round of sickly smelling acid.
He honestly feels sorry for the sensitive noses of the two Lupi in the room as him, knowing how pungent it is even for his nose, never mind their own, but as he pathetically gags into the toilet, wincing as some of the acid goes down the wrong hole and burns the inside of his nose as it drips out, he can’t think of them for long.
He hears someone leave, whilst the other rubs his hand up and down Taehyung’s back, helping his heaving body through the motions that his body can barely keep up with.
When he weakly reaches for the handle to flush the toilet again, he sees Jungkook out of the corner of his eye as he does it for him.
“Where?” Taehyung asks, referring to Jimin, eyes shutting as he reaches for the dropped cloth so he can wipe his mouth again, and to also wipe his nose too.
Jungkook does it for him. Touch gentle and quick.
“He’s gone to get you water,” Jungkook tells him softly, throwing the cloth into the sink.
Taehyung’s tummy clenches.
“I don’t think that is a good idea.”
“Small amounts will be fine,” Jimin answers for Jungkook, already back with a bottle of water. “You can’t become dehydrated, Taehyung.”
“Hoseok has just left with Jin to get something for nausea,” Jimin also adds as he unscrews the cap of the bottle.
Taehyung follows Jimin’s instructions of drinking small mouthfuls slowly, and it does help chase away the horrible taste and feeling in his mouth.
They all breathe a sigh of relief when the small amount doesn’t reappear immediately.
He doesn’t leave the bathroom until the two Lupi have returned and the pills are in his system, but Jimin and Jungkook never complained, just sat with him near the toilet, trying to keep his mind off the nausea, and helping him when he frantically reaches for the toilet.
By the time Jungkook gently places him in bed, Taehyung passes out as soon as the softness of his pillow touches his heavy, aching, head.
The next day is better.
Meaning – he no longer has to consider the toilet his new best friend, but his sore throat has graduated from being mildly painful, to Annoying, and he’s now coughing every so often when he’s not busy blowing his nose.
He’d rather take on a common cold than a stomach virus.
“I’m going to have to call in sick for tomorrow,” Taehyung reveals later in the day, curled up to his mate as the rest of the pack split their attention from watching the movie to looking at Taehyung every time he coughs or blows his nose.
Yoongi shifts and Taehyung glances to see the alpha holding his own phone out to him.
“It’s saved under the hotel’s name,” he tells him as Taehyung blinks at him.
None of the others look remotely surprised, and Taehyung wonders, no – suspects – that they all have his workplace saved in their contacts.
Taehyung takes the phone, and sure enough, it’s there.
His boss isn’t there at this time, but he tells the head manger that he won’t be in tomorrow for his shift, and once the manager hears why, he’s all sympathies.
“Yeah, that bug ruined me for at least a week. I had to go to the hospital because I was dehydrated,” he tells Taehyung. “You feel as frail as a new-born, and look miserable as death.”
He gets the entire pack looking at him at that.
Taehyung hangs up before the manager can reveal more and worry them any further.
As soon as he hands the phone back to Yoongi, Jin is standing and heading for the stairs.
Jin comes back a couple of minutes later with a flask of tea that smells very green, and two 2 litre bottles of water.
The look he gives Taehyung – along with the rest of the pack – saves him the effort of trying to reassure them that he wasn’t going to become dehydrated too.
Needless to say, the toilet becomes his best friend again as his bladder gets a workout it has never experienced.
“What is that?” Yoongi asks, sniffing the air as he joins the older Lupi in the kitchen.
Jin looks over at him from where he stands at the stove, stirring slowly.
“A light broth,” Jin explains as Yoongi comes over to inspect. “I’m hoping this one will be lighter on his stomach.”
Yoongi winces at seeing how….unappealing it looks, but he can smell the herbs that aid natural stomach relief, the kind he was taught as a pup to know the smell of in case he ever had an upset stomach.
Yoongi eyes the clear green liquid, that it almost resembles tea if it wasn’t for the few floating bits of vegetables in it, and hopes it helps Taehyung too.
Taehyung’s nausea was under control because of the pills Jin had found for him, but he still wasn’t eating because he has no appetite, had barely ate a proper meal for a few days now.
And it wasn’t just worrying Jin. It was worrying them all at seeing the Mundane barely eat.
No appetite was a huge worry in Lupus eyes. No appetite meant a deeper, more serious cause, from sickness to grief.
Yoongi’s mate was a mess. Jimin wasn’t sleeping, too hyper aware of Taehyung’s presence in the den, so sensitive to every sound he makes in case he’s being sick again or needs something, and Jungkook was struggling to cope with his instinctive reaction to help and protect whilst also be rational enough to listen to what his mate actually needs from him.
Yoongi was just as worried, his instinct as an alpha to help his pack-member was constantly being yanked on, even more so because of Jimin and Jungkook’s reaction to Taehyung being sick. Even Jin and Hoseok’s worry was feeding his instinct to do something, and he was starting to feel tight with it, trying to remain calm headed, trying to be there for his own mate whilst also reassuring the young alpha whose mate is fighting a Mundane sickness.
Yoongi and Namjoon were the only ones being the most collected.
Yet, inside, both were just as worried.
Yoongi needed to be the collected one for his mate. He needed to be the one to remind Jimin to eat himself, to rest when Taehyung is resting, and that, ‘other Mundanes get sick and recover, Jimin. Taehyung will too. It’s just going to take a few days, okay?’
“Is he with Tae?” Jin asks, eyes concentrating on the broth.
Yoongi nods. “He and Jungkook are trying to keep his spirts up since Taehyung still feels bad about calling in sick and that Jungkook is staying home from work because of it.”
“He’s sick and he’s worrying about others,” Jin tuts softly, still stirring. “He needs to just concentrate on himself and rest without the unnecessary worry.”
“How much do you know about sickness in Mundanes?” Yoongi asks, curious, since he was clueless – just like how the others were, except from Jin and Namjoon.
“Just that they’re a lot more vulnerable to it than we are,” Jin answers sombrely. “They get sick so easily, and they take longer to recover because every Mundane reacts differently.”
“But Taehyung should recover fairly quickly, right?” Yoongi confirms, his gut tightening. “He’s just got a cold.”
Jin nods. “He should…..as long as it doesn’t turn into anything more serious – like a chest infection or pneumonia.”
Yoongi only understood two of those words – infection and pneumonia, and both illnesses took Bong-Cha’s - Taehyung’s grandmother - life.
Jin sees his stricken reaction and has to calm him down.
“It won’t get to that level,” Jin reassures the shaking alpha.
“How do you know it won’t?” Yoongi fires back, pacing the floor, relieved that neither his mate nor Jungkook were nearby to hear Jin’s words.
Jin’s gaze makes him pause, sees the steely determination in those brown eyes.
“Because we won’t let it. He’s fought colds before, and he’ll fight this one too.”
Towards the end of the tunnel of the Cold From Hell, Taehyung likes to think of the huge positive this whole experience has given him.
Ultimate bonding time with his pack.
Okay, it did suck that his body was basically having an immune freak-out as it fought off two viruses, but it not only taught him to take more vitamins in the future, but it also taught his pack something too.
Taehyung’s sickness taught them all a reality check – he’s still vulnerable compared to them.
His body isn’t built to have a high immune system and resistance to viruses compared to a Lupus, and - because of that - it takes him longer to recover, another reminder of their differences.
Being sick taught his pack that Taehyung will often become sick at certain points – it’s just reality of being a Mundane, and not the end of the world.
Being sick also taught Taehyung how a pack relations and overall bond is affected when one pack member succumbs to an illness. He’s witnessed them all working as a unit – not just looking after him, but also each other too. He witnessed their stress and worry due to him being sick in many forms, but he also saw them help reassure each other too.
Hoseok often shifted back into his natural form to keep Taehyung company whenever Jimin or Jungkook had to be away from him, and the Lupi did this because of Taehyung’s habit to just stroke and play with their fur. It was a way to help Taehyung focus on something other than how he felt, and it also helped soothe Hoseok too because he knew it was soothing Taehyung.
Namjoon’s absence wasn’t because of him being afraid of seeing Taehyung sick, but because he was consistently researching and finding advice with every new symptom that appeared. Taehyung only became aware of this when he went looking for the Lupi and found him in a middle of Skype call with a doctor in Seoul.
Needless to say, after that phone call of listening to Taehyung’s cough, Namjoon and Jin left to buy the correct cough medicine for his chesty cough, and within a day, Taehyung’s chest felt a whole lot lighter.
The pack had worked in so many different ways in caring for him, that Taehyung couldn’t help the love and fondness that couldn’t have grown even more, grow just little bit more.
Being sick is natural, but being sick and having a family around you to help you through it, reminds you of how deep bonds go, and how grateful you really are of those presences in your life.
“Babe?” Taehyung whispers softly into the darkness, facing Jungkook’s front, as they lie in bed.
“Hmm?” Jungkook’s sleepy response comes, and Taehyung can hear the exhaustion in it because of all the sleepless nights his mate had during this week.
Taehyung runs his fingers over the skin of his mate’s back, and just snuggles closer, tucking himself tighter to his mate.
And when Taehyung coughs a little, Jungkook’s hand runs up and down his back, a habit that was formed this very week.
Taehyung doesn’t answer, just lets his mate fall asleep.
He was okay now. His mate can finally rest too.
He’s learnt a lot in this week of being sick.
They all did.
It not only reminded them of the differences between them, but it also established that this little pack of theirs is more than a mere social pack.
They are family.
And he’s theirs.
And in sickness and in health, family stands together.