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Pox and Puns

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It had started two days ago. Connor had felt awful the moment he had woken up that morning, with a pounding headache and what seemed to be a fever. He had sluggishly dragged himself to his parents room only to find his mom was out somewhere and his dad telling him he still had to go to school.

It was a real shitty day after that. He didn't eat lunch because his appetite just got up and moved to Santa Fe, and eventually he had to spend the entire day in the nurses office because his dad refused to pick him up. He was "faking it to get out of school," apparently. Fuck him.

The day after that was the same thing but worse. He had completely lost his appetite and didn't want to move. He knew he was coming down with something but was constantly turned down by his dad. So he trudged through the second day, his friends practically having to drag him everywhere because he felt too dizzy to walk.

This was the third day. The school was on a field trip because for some fucking reason, high schoolers still have field trips. They were on their way to some lame art museum, and Connor was sleeping on the bus, or at least trying to. His head was still pounding. Literally- because the road was so bumpy the bus would bounce back and forth causing him to repeatedly hit his temple on the window.

"Ow! Shit!" Connor whined, rubbing the side of his forehead. "Where did you learn how to drive!?" He yelled at the bus driver, who didn't acknowledge him at all.

"Connor," Evan frowned. "Calm down," he rested him hand on Connor's shoulder.

He smiled, then groaned. "Ugh, I just feel like shit..." he mumbled, smushing his cheek into his palm. "I wanna go home."

"Your Dad still won't let you?" Evan asked. Connor nodded, as they stepped out of the bus and on to the sidewalk where the class was gathering. Absentmindedly scratching his hand, he followed sluggishly after his classmates into the museum.

"No. Even though I have a damn fever, I feel achy as shit, and my head's pounding like a boulder. So yep, he still won't let me stay home, the asshole," he groaned.

"Don't worry," Evan assured him. "If anything bad happens, we're all here," he gestured in front of him to Alana, Jared, and Zoe who were all on their phones. 

Connor smiled. "Ah, thanks." So with that, the two rushed to catch up with the group.

Minutes went by, he tried really hard to listen to what the fuck his teacher was rambling about, but wow was it boring. It's not like he had any interest in the news boy strike of 1899. 

All Connor heard was blah blah blah. One ear out the other, he couldn't get himself to focus. All he heard was the ringing in his ears as his headache pounded throughout his skull. He felt his hand being squeezed and turned to see Evan smiling at him. He blushed. Either from his crush, or his fever. Who knows.

But suddenly, the room started spinning. Connor's eyes widened and he stepped backwards, trying to make sense of his sudden dizziness. He reached out his hand to grab hold of the wal and backed towards it in an attempt to steady himself. After a couple seconds, he decided to just sit down. He was starting to wonder if maybe he had the flu.

Not only that, but he was really itchy. He had been absentmindedly scratching at his arm before is had spread to his whole body. Having worn a hoodie and skinny jeans, it was real hard for him to get all the spots he wanted to scratch, so he felt hella uncomfortable.

"Connor? What's going-going on?" He heard Evan ask. He looked up to see Evan, Alana, Zoe, and Jared all standing over him. It made him feel claustrophobic.

He swallowed. "I think my allergies are acting up? I'm like really fucking itchy all of a sudden. And I think I have the flu? I just wanna go home," he whimpered like a small child.

"Hmm. Interesting," Alana hummed, whipping out her phone again. "Well, since I'm comsidering becoming an internal medicine physician, aside from a lawyer, a New York best selling author, and  a famous mathematician, I would be happy to find out what's making you feel this sudden malaise," she smiled before typing away.

"The fuck?" Jared blurred out.

"She's gonna look up why Connor feels like shit," Zoe replied. "What're you're Um... symptoms, Connor? Or something."

"I have a headache, a fever, I'm dizzy and achy as shit, I kind of need to throw  up, oh! And my whole body is on fucking fire," he snapped.

"I see..." Alana inquired. "It'll be just a moment! I've found this new symptom checker on Mayo Clinic! It should identify your symptoms to an illness in just a few-"

"Can you hurry up? It feels like, way worse," He violently scratched at his arm, watching it start to turn red. "Shit!" He whined, continuing to scratch all over his skin. "What the fuck?"

Alana looked up from her phone and gasped. "Connor! Stop scratching! I think you have chicken pox."

"Chicken pox? Excuse me!?" He sputtered. "But you only get that when you're a kid? That can't be right, Lana."

"Actually, I don't remember mom saying you ever got it," Zoe piped in. Connor stared at her in confusion, continuing to scratch.

"This fucking sucks..." he whimpered, trying to stop his actions. His arm was starting to burn. "Mr. Wiesel? I need to call my mom."

"Sure..." the older man frowned. "Go. But be back soon."

Connor nodded his thanks and bolted to an empty space where he could call his mom. "Cynthia? I need to go home."

"Connor? Where are you? Why do you want to go home, are you high?? Connor I told you I don't want-"

"No I'm not fucking high, I'm sick! And apparently I have chicken pox so can you please pick me up?"

"Connor I'm in the middle of a very important brunch right now, I'm afraid I'm going to have to call you back. You can ask your father to drive you home. Bye sweetie!"

"B-But! But Dad doesn't even-."

Click.

"...give a shit..." he tried off, listening as the line went dead. He gritted his teeth then threw his phone to the ground with a growl. "GOD FUCKING DAMNIT."

"Connor!" Evan yelped, rushing over to help his friend. "You okay?"

Connor turned around and let his face drop dejectedly. "Augh... Is there a nurses office here or something? I really don't feel good," he groaned, rubbing his face, even though he knew it would ruin his eyeliner. 

Sliding down onto the floor, Connor closed his eyes and whimpered, "I hate Larry, I hate Larry, hate Larry..." He put his palm to his forehead and felt it start to get even hotter. He blearily blinked his eyes. "I think... I'm just gonna take... a... nap..." he felt his forehead touch the ground and everything went black.

********

Connor woke up to the sound of air horns. He screamed and jolted up, finding himself in his bed face to face with Jared Kleinman.  

"GAH, WHAT THE SHIT, KLEINMAN!?! WHY ARE YOU... in... my... house...?" He trailed off, slowly taking in his surroundings. "I'm in my room. With Jared Kleinman. Goddamn, all my nightmares are coming true."

"No, it's not a damn nightmare," Zoe piped in. "You passed out at the museum with exhaustion and a high fever. Dad was busy so Evan drove you home and were staying with you. All day."

Connor gulped. "All... day?"

"Did I stutter?" Zoe purses her lips. Jared chuckled, nudging Evan in the ribs, Who's face turned immediately red.

Connor frowned. "Fuck off, Kleinman," he growled. "I didn't ask for any of you to be here, y'know."

"Well you know what? We didn't ask to be your friends, drag your out of the museum, lie to the teacher, or drive your sleeping corpse home and throw you in bed, but look where we are. So you better get used to it, wise guy," Zoe smirked.

Connor clamped his mouth shut. "Huh. Okay then..." 

"So Connor," Alana spoke up. "What can we do to make your chicken pox recovery better?" And at that, Connor suddenly remembered.

His arm itched like crazy.

He slowly started scratching at his arm, and noticed a new texture. He looked down to be greeted with a million raised red bumps all over his skin.

"Ew! Fucking gross!" He yelped. "What the fuck is this?"

"You've never seen chicken pox before?" Jared laughed. "What are you, like... a robot or something? I can't believe you've never gotten it before!"

"Save it, Kleinman!" Connor snapped. "Goddamnit, this sucks," he pouted, rubbing his skin in an attempt to make it feel better.

"I'd advise you not to scratch at your blemishes, Connor. They might break early or scar over, which would lead to permanent damage to your skin. I don't recommend it," Alana informed. 

Connor glared at her menacingly. 

She gulped. "But I mean, someone else can scratch it! That's a thing people do, right? Right Evan?" She turned to him.

"D-Don't look at me! I don't want- want to do that..." he trailed off. He stared at Connor awkwardly before adding, "I mean, unless you wanted me to. But pro-probably not."

"That's... gross."

"You know what's gross? This goddamn sexual tension between you two! I can smell it," Jared pursed his face. "Make out, will ya?"

Connor and Evan both turned completely red. "What the hell!!? Evan's probably not even gay, you asshole!" Connor screamed at him. "What's your goddamn deal!?"

"R-Relax, man. I was just kidding," Jared muttered. "I'm really sorry, I- Wait! So does that you're gay?"

Connor paled, realizing what he had said. "Shit. Um..."

"Connor, I'm sorry. We didn't know," Alana sighed. "I-If you want, we can-"

"Can it, Beck!" Connor growled, which shut her up immediately. "Ah, I was planning to tell you guys pretty soon anyways. I'm... Yeah. I'm gay. I like guys, whatever."

Everyone was quiet, not knowing what to say. Until a small voice chimed in...

"I me-mean... now's a good-a good time as ever..." Evan stammered, rocking back and forth on his heels. "I'm-I'm b-bi-bise-bisexual... so there's that."

Everyone was silent yet again, this time all staring at Evan.

He cleared his throat. "Well... sorry. I guess that kinda took you... bi surprise..."

Connor giggled after a couple second. "Hehe, that's... that's pretty good actually," he chuckled.

Evan smiled. "Tha-Thanks... Do you want... want to go out?" He asked, with his newfound spike of confidence. "After you're done healing, of course."

Connor blushed. "Oh! Um, that'd actually be really... really great. I'd love to, Evan."

"...Wow. That was fast," Zoe gaped. The others nodded in agreement. 

The longer haired teen smiled. "I, uh... I think I'm gonna take a nap now. I should process..."

The others nodded, deciding to leave him alone.He snuggled into his bed and sighed in content.

All this that happened today, and all he had to do is contract a virus.

Funny how the world works sometimes.