Will doesn't remember how long it's been since the blood and the petals and the coughing started, but he can tell he doesn't have much time left. He retreated into his room. He kept it locked and didn't open it, even to Claire's incessant knocking, which had stopped in the past half hour, leaving Wilardo in an eerie silence.
"THIS IS THE HAPPINESS POLICE!" Suddenly, Wilardo's door burst open, revealing Claire and Ashe. Wilardo jumped, reaching for his gun before he fully took in the scene.
"What are you doing?" Wilardo exclaimed.
"I'm sorry, but I had to take drastic measures!" Claire said, entering the room without asking, Ashe following her.
"Did you ask Ashe to pick my lock?" Wilardo said, incredulously. Claire nodded vigorously. Ashe smiled awkwardly, shifting from one foot to the other. Wilardo narrowed his eyes. Before anyone else can speak, however, Will bursts into a fit of intense coughing, pain forcing his back and knees to bend.
"Wilardo!" Claire rushed to support him, holding him on one side while motioning for Ashe to hold the other. "This is..." Claire looked at Wilardo's hands, covered in dark purple petals and dark red blood.
"Lea...ve," Wilardo choked out, trying to wrest himself out of Claire and Ashe's grasp.
"What? No!" Claire shook her head furiously. Wilardo grimaced as the coughing finally subsided. Claire helped him sit, while Ashe watched, expression unreadable. Wilardo considered arguing with her, but he didn't have the strength and he knew how stubborn Claire could be.
"He leaves," Wilardo said. Claire glanced at Ashe, whose expression flickered.
"Ah, if you insist!" Ashe left with a bright smile, closing the door behind him. Claire turned to Wilardo.
"Who is it?"
"Why won't you just leave?" Wilardo said, his voice still weak.
"Wilardo! You're dying, you think I'm just going to leave you here?" Claire took a deep breath. "Tell me who it is. You clearly don't plan on doing anything about this! How long has this been going on?"
"Few days," Wilardo mumbled.
Claire tugged at her hair in exasperation. "Wilardo, who is it? You have to tell him. You'll die if you don't!" Wilardo didn't respond. "Please! No one here wants you to die!"
"I'm here," Wilardo said, trying to laugh and coughing instead. Claire didn't find that funny at all. Wilardo saw her frown, watched her think and worry and stress over him. "Leave," he repeated.
"Wilardo, I already sai-"
"Leave." Claire stared in shock at the gun pointed at her head. She searched Wilardo's eyes, but found only a cold, empty determination. Hurt, Claire hugged herself and left Wilardo's room. Wilardo let his hand fall to the floor, but didn't loosen his grip on the gun. He could barely stand, but after a few minutes of gathering his strength, he stood. Wilardo walked towards the door, intending to lock it. His journey was slow, and his vision beginning to blacken at the edges.
Just as Wilardo reached the door, it swung open, and Wilardo's weak legs gave out. Wilardo's body slumped against whoever had opened the door, his consciousness fading fast. He heard a voice calling his name, but it was no use.
Wilardo woke up suddenly and jolted upright, incredibly disoriented. "Did you expect to be dead?" A voice came from his right. It sounded collected, but a tinge of anxiety underlaid the words.
"Yeah," Wilardo said, turning to see Noel. He was in Noel's room, with the other boy sitting next to the bed where Wilardo lay. Wilardo did a quick scan of the room. They were alone. Wilardo looked back at Noel, and was taken aback to see tears silently sliding down the blonde's cheeks.
"I'm sorry." Noel's voice was barely above a whisper. Wilardo opened his mouth, but whatever he was planning on saying was slowed as Noel's lips met his. Wilardo could taste blood mingling with spit as he responded to the kiss. All too soon, Noel leaned back. "You almost died because of me."
Wilardo gave a half hearted shrug. "It's not your fault." Then, Wilardo realized several things at the same time. Noel had just kissed him, which brought a blush to Wilardo's cheeks. He was no longer dying, in fact he didn't feel the presence of the petals in his throat anymore at all. So his disease was gone. The only way to get rid of it was surgery or... if the love stopped being unrequited. Wilardo was pretty sure the former was impossible given their circumstances, and the evidence for the latter was rapidly building.
Wilardo glanced up at Noel, who was smiling at him like he knew all of Wilardo's thoughts and frankly found them adorable. Wilardo's blush turned from a dusty pink to a vibrant red, and he fought the urge to hid his face in hid hands. "It is my fault. I put you through this unnecessary suffering." Noel closed his eyes briefly, sighing. Then he opened them again, and continued. "But I did manage to save you in time."
Wilardo found all words escaping him. "N-noel..."
"I'm glad I realized I loved you before it was too late." Noel's composure broke as he spoke, his tears no longer silent as he wrapped his arms tightly around Wilardo's waist like any second Wilardo would disappear and Noel would lose him forever. Wilardo, still quite stunned, slowly placed one arm on Noel's back and the other in his hair. Noel had effectively moved from the chair to the bed, so Wilardo simply laid back down and Noel laid on top of him, holding him tightly and sobbing.
"Hey, everything's going to be all right," Wilardo said, softly. He ran his fingers through Noel's hair, marveling at how soft it was. Everything about the boy in his arms was soft, from his hair to his smiles. Eventually, Noel's crying subsided, and he sat up, puffy eyed. Wilardo sat up as well, watching as Noel wiped the remaining tears away with his hands.
"I was so scared," Noel said, his voice wavering. "I realized... but it was almost too late..." Noel's hands fidgeted in his lap.
Wilardo reached out, taking Noel's hands in his. "Please don't worry about that now. I'm safe, thanks to you." Noel blushed. "Everything should work out."
"Oh, right..." Noel glanced upwards. "I should probably formally ask you to be my boyfriend because if I don't things will get awkward."
"W-was that you asking?" Wilardo stuttered, face turning the same color as Noel's. Noel nodded, struggling to look directly at Wilardo. Wilardo moved one of his hands to Noel's chin, tilting the other boys face so they were making eye contact. "Then I suppose we're formally boyfriends, my star."
Both of Noel's hands flew to cover his face and possibly muffle a squeaking sound. After several seconds of silence, Wilardo tilted his head to try and see any part of Noel's face. "Give me like. Two more seconds." Noel took a deep breath and lowered his hands. "You've killed me. We've been boyfriends for like 30 seconds and you've already killed me." Wilardo chuckled, clearly feeling no remorse.
"We should probably tell the others," Wilardo said. "That I'm alive and all." Noel nodded, taking deep breaths in an attempt to get rid of the last of his blush. Noel helped Wilardo stand, putting Wilardo's arm around his shoulders. The two boys made their way to Noel's door, side by side. Claire was very glad to see Wilardo alive and well, and even more glad to immediately tell both Ashe and Sirius that the two were dating. All of the sudden questions and conversation was exhausting, and a still not entirely recovered Wilardo's legs gave out on him.
Claire panicked, accidentally picking Wilardo off the ground entirely and barging into Noel's room to lay him on the bed. "Rest!" Wilardo smiled weakly at her, and soon it was Noel and Wilardo alone in the room again. The second Noel closed and locked his door, Wilardo stood, stretching.
"I thought they'd never leave," Wilardo said with a smug smile. Noel rolled his eyes, walking forward and wrapping his arms around Wilardo's neck.
"Whatever," Noel said, in a teasing tone. "Just get some rest." After some mild protesting, Wilardo climbed into the bed, and Noel sat back down on the chair. "Night, Wil."