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Inflamed

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Sonny’s eyes open to his dark bedroom. It’s not just dark, it’s nearly pitch black. The only light peeking into the bedroom is coming from the street lights outside of the apartment. He looks at his watch-3:32. Why the hell is he up? It’s not like his body can’t use the rest. Then as if to answer his question, a dull ache pulses in his stomach. He tries rubbing the area to soothe the ache. Nothing. He decides to change positions, maybe lying on his back will help. Nope. He flips back onto his side. Nothing. He rolls onto his other side, facing Rafael. He inches closer to the other man. Just being close to Rafael usually makes him feel better. Settles his nerves. Eases his tired muscles and overwhelming thoughts after a long day.

And it does seem to work for a bit. Sonny is just starting to fall back asleep when the pain level kicks up a couple of levels. He lets out a frustrated sigh as he flops back onto his back.

“I swear I’m going to kick you if you don’t stop sighing and flailing around,” Rafael says tiredly from his side of the bed, his eyes still closed.

“I can’t help it,” Sonny whines. Yes, whines. He can’t help it. His stomach hurts and all he wants is to go to sleep but he can’t.

“What’s wrong?” Rafael asks opening his eyes.

“My stomach,” Sonny replies as he turns back onto his side to face Rafael. “It hurts.”

Sonny may not be able to see the other man, but he’s pretty damn sure that he’s rolling his eyes at him.

“Your stomach?” He quips. “I told you not to try that Korean-Jamaican fusion monstrosity last night.”

“It sounded good. It got great reviews online.”

“And how are those reviews working out for you now?”

Now it’s Sonny’s turn to roll his eyes.

“Now you can’t sleep, which means I can’t sleep. And I have opening statements for the Mancusso case tomorrow morning." He turns to look at the clock that's on his side of the bed. " No, let me rephrase, this morning. As in about six hours from now. So take some tums and go back to sleep.”

“Thanks a lot, counselor.” Sonny says as he sits up.

“No problem, detective.” Rafael says as he’s already burying his head back in his pillow.

Rebuffed, Sonny carefully gets up from bed and goes to the bathroom to find something that will hopefully settle his stomach. When he returns to bed, he finds that Rafael has already fallen asleep, his soft snores filling their bedroom. Sonny carefully lays down, so he does not wake the other man as well as not to aggravate his sore stomach. He lays there listening to the other man’s breathing as he wills his own body to sleep asleep and for the pain to go away.

XXX

The next time Rafael wakes up, it’s to his alarm. After turning it off, he rolls over and sees Sonny is still in bed, curled up facing the door. That’s not too surprising. Like all other days where he has to be in court, he’s up early. Earlier than Sonny has to be. He gives Sonny one last look as he leaves to go hop in the shower.

When he returns to their bedroom to get dressed Sonny is still in bed in the same position he left him in when he went to take a shower. Rafael playfully slaps Sonny’s hip on his way to his closet. “Hey! You gonna get up? It's after seven.”

Sonny lets out a grunt but doesn’t move.

“Suit yourself,” Rafael says as he lowers his towel and starts to get dressed. He busies himself with his normal morning routine. Moving efficiently back and forth between the bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen reciting out loud his opening statement. He’s half expecting Sonny to comment or give his advice, but the younger man does not. In fact, Sonny has remained quiet and in bed all morning. He’s barely moved and that was only to curl himself further into the fetal position.

Far too soon, it’s time for Rafael to leave. “Hey,” he says as he bends down by the side of the bed, looking at Soony The bags under the younger man’s eyes are darker and bigger than usual “Did you get any sleep?”

“Some,” Sonny says with his eyes still closed.

Rafael runs a hand through Sonny’s hair. “Stomach still bothering you?”

Sonny nods his head again as Rafael runs his hand over Sonny’s cheek, not liking the clammy and slightly too warm feeling.

“You feel a little warm. Maybe you picked up a stomach bug? You were around Jesse the other day. Kids are little typhoid Mary’s wreaking havoc on everyone else’s immune systems but their own.” Rafael is expecting at least an eyeroll, but he got nothing. “The Mancusso trial starts this morning, I can try and ask for a continuance.”

Sonny shakes his head. “Go. Just need to sleep for a bit. I’ll be fine.”

“You’ll be okay here?” Rafael asks. He really doesn’t want to leave Sonny like this, but he doesn’t have much of a choice. This trial has been
been continued three times already thanks to the Defense. He has witnesses lined up and can’t really afford to have the case continued to another day, but he will if he has to.

“I’m going to call Liv and tell her you’re going to late. Give you some time to sleep. If you’re still not feeling better later, call her back and tell her you’re not going in. Okay?”

Normally, Sonny would object to Rafael asking Liv for such a favor. Him using his friendship with Liv for favors on behalf of Sonny has been a source of discontent between them in the past. The detective does not want others to see him as getting special treatment just because his boyfriend is good friends with his boss. But, Rafael doesn’t see it that way. He sees it as Sonny finally getting the time off that he’s deserved with a little push from his and his superior’s mutual friend.

But, this time Sonny doesn’t object. Rafael feels even more like shit for leaving now. He leaves the room to make the phone call and comes back with a bottle of water and a bottle of ibuprofen. He puts both on the nightstand. He picks up the other man’s phone. “I talked to Liv. She’s okay with you coming in later. I said around eleven. There’s no new case. She and Fin are going to be at the courthouse all day, so you’ll l just be doing paper work anyway. I’m setting your alarm for ten. That’ll give you about three hours. If you’re still not feeling good, text her that you’re not coming in. Okay?”

Sonny nods. “’kay.”

Rafael bends down to give Sonny a kiss but stops himself. What if he’s contagious? The last thing Rafael needs is to get sick. And not just because of the trial. Sonny may be a pain when he’s sick, but Rafael is unbearable. He can’t help it. And Sonny’s germophobic tendencies don’t help. The last time he got a cold and it turned into bronchitis, Sonny all but moved out into the living room for the duration. Yep, him getting sick is the last thing he and Sonny need.

He settles for squeezing Sonny’s shoulder. “Love you, feel better. I’ll text you when I can.”

Rafael hears a murmured love you in return as he exits the bedroom. He grabs his brief case and quickly leaves their apartment without looking back, for he’s afraid if he does he’ll end up listening to that little voice in his head that’s telling him not to leave.

As soon as the door closes behind Rafael, Sonny lurches off the bed and races towards the bathroom. It’s almost as if his stomach had the know all not to make its’ contents known until after Rafael left. Yes, Sonny wanted him to stay. But, he also knew Rafael couldn’t. The victim has waited too long. The Defense has been playing games from the beginning, stalling the case for over a year. Filing frivolous motions. The trial needed to happen.

Besides, what was Rafael going to do if he stayed home with him. What good could he do? Sit by his sick bed wiping his forehead with a wet towel? Getting him water? No, Rafael is better suited for the court room. That’s his domain

Still, the thought of Rafael sparring off against that asshole defense attorney does not bring him much peace of mind as Sonny’s emptying his stomach contents into the toilet bowl.

Racing from their bedroom to the bathroom is how he spends the next couple of hours. So much for catching up on some much sleep. In between his trips to the bathroom, he makes sure to answer Rafael’s text asking how he’s doing. He replies with a “Been Better” and then follows up with a “kick some ass counselor” in hopes not to make the other man second guess himself for going into work.

God, he’s never eating Korean-Jamaican fusion again.

After the third trip to the bathroom, he’s decided that he’s never eating any type of fusion again.

After the fourth trip. No, he takes it all back. He’s never eating again, period.

After the fifth trip leaves him boneless and exhausted, leaning against the toilet bowl, he’s decided that he's done with these marathon sprints to the bathroom. His stomach isn’t feeling any better. If anything it’s feeling worse. The dull ache he woke up to hours before has been replaced with a sharper pain. He’s hot. He feels gross. He can feel the sweat drenching his back.

He slowly gets up and goes back to the bedroom. Sonny strips off his sweaty t-shirt and replaces it with one of Rafael’s old Harvard ones that he commandeered awhile back. He grabs a pillow and the blanket that’s at the bottom of the bed. The turning and gurgling of his stomach tells him he’s not done getting sick, but these trips back and forth are zapping his energy. He knows laying on the bathroom floor is not the best option, but it sure as hell beats racing there every ten minutes. And, he refuses to use a bucket. He’s not a college kid who partied too hard.

Sonny gently lowers himself onto the cool, bathroom floor. He sighs as his overheated skin meets the refreshingly, cool tile There’s no way he’s going to make it in today. Even though the pain seems to have let up a bit, he still feels drained. He looks at his watch. It’s 9:41. He has to text Lieu to tell her that he’s not going to go in today. Shit. He left his cell phone on his nightstand and he has just gotten comfortable. He’s just going to rest a few minutes before he calls her. He sighs contently into his pillow as his tired body finally drifts off to sleep.