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The Guru Flu

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Clef had a cold.

It was the first cold he'd had in well over a decade, and he absolutely knew, beyond a doubt, that Umi was to blame for it. She denied this, vehemently, but there was no persuading him otherwise. He'd been strong and healthy for years. No measly little virus had disrupted his usual day to day activities for a while. And the only thing that had changed in the last few years - excluding the whole change of the status-quo in Cephiro in general - was his relationship with Umi.

Ergo, it must somehow be her fault.

Never mind the fact that he'd been pushing himself lately, fretting over getting things sorted on his end for her upcoming move to Cephiro.

Or that fact that Umi hadn't actually been ill recently enough to have passed it on to him - if viruses from Tokyo were even transmittable.

Despite all evidence the contrary, Clef still complained that Umi had somehow made him like this when she tucked him up into bed. Thus muttering "It's your fault" for perhaps the fifteenth time since she'd turned up, taken one look at him, and dragged him to his rooms to rest after sending Ascot to clear his schedule for the next few days.

"It most certainly is not!" Umi declared, roughly shoving the covers around him. "If you'd actually take breaks like you're legally obliged to do, you wouldn't be sick."

"Well, maybe if you hadn't up and decided you're moving in with me, I wouldn't be trying to do seventeen things at once."

"Up and decided? Clef, I've been planning to move over here for years!" She flailed her hands at him, and he wasn't half convinced she didn't nearly hit him - and probably on purpose at that - with one of those swings of her arms. "If you don't want me to move in with you, fine. I'll sort out my own rooms. It's not like I don't have a place to stay in the meantime."

"That's the problem," he grumbled.

"I meant my room! You know, the one Hikaru, Fuu, and I have shared for the past decade? Honestly, Clef, not everything in my life revolves around you." She turned on her heel and stormed out of his bedroom.

Clef felt a bit sorry that he'd gotten so stroppy with her. It wasn't like they hadn't been talking about her eventual move to Cephiro for years. Just, this 'university' study of hers had passed by so quickly, and he hadn't anticipated how short four years would be. Now she was going to be moving in with him, and -

The next sneeze echoed through the room and his head. Holding one hand over his wet face, Clef thumped at hand out at his bedside table for his ring. Resting his hand over it, he drew out every handkerchief he thought he might have in it, until his hand was raised a full three inches off the table by the pile now threatening to subside off the edge. He was still blowing his nose when Umi walked back in carrying a little tray with a teapot and mug.

"Ah, I was going to ask if you had tissues or something in here," she said, sitting down beside him and holding out a cup. "You need to drink something."

The steam from the cup made him wrinkle his nose, and he refused to drink. Everything smelled wrong. Worse still, everything tasted wrong too.


"Alright, fine." The sip of tea made him grimace something awful. So badly, in fact, that Umi reached out to take the cup from him.

"Is something wrong with it?"

"No, it's fine, probably. Everything is just so bitter. I swear I haven't been able to taste anything sweet for days."

Without a word, Umi got up and went back out into the main room. She returned a moment later with the pot of sweetener and a very large spoon. He let her have the cup then and was startled to watch her thump five soup spoons worth of sweetener into it, so much that the tea was lapping the edge of the cup when she handed it back.

The result still wasn't precisely sweet, but it wasn't exactly bad either. It was palatable if a little stickier than he normally took his tea.

"Thank you," he said, voice quiet as he finally admitted what he'd been trying to ignore the past few days. "I don't think I'll be up for travelling next week."

"Don't worry about it. My parents will understand," Umi said, pouring the remaining contents of the sweetener jar directly into the teapot. Clef tried not to think about how difficult it was going to be for anyone to clean that sticky syrup out if any of the residue tried to solidify in there. She stood and topped up his cup. "You don't have to push yourself, for my sake, you know. When was the last time you ate something?"



He waved his free hand. Well, more flopped it momentarily, before sinking back into the pillows. "Recently?"

Umi pinched the bridge of her nose and he heard her mutter a count of "1, 2, 3" to herself before she raised her head to look at him again. "I'm going to go down and find you something to eat, and when I bring it back, you are going to eat it. All of it, and I don't care what you think it tastes like. You have to eat."

"Fine." Clef shoved the cup onto his bedside table - a few of the handkerchieves fluttered to the floor - before blowing his nose again. There was absolutely no arguing with Umi when she was worrying over him. Any attempt was just a complete waste of his breath. "But if I die from this, it's your fault."

"Oh, shut up!" Umi thumped his leg through the covers before getting back up. "People don't die of trifling little colds."

She left him to finish his tea alone.

It may have been the first cold he'd had in over a decade, but it was many centuries since he'd had anyone to tend to him. He couldn't be too grumpy about that.