Scott considered time to be a mere concept when Mitch was sick.
Days would have no rhythm or plan, and they would end up eating lunch at midnight or something, and Mitch would stay completely unfazed. Scott noticed that he tended to have a rather disorderly sleep schedule, like a small child would when ill. Thankfully, Scott was always generally well rested with and had too much energy— he was always ready to keep up with things like having coddle Mitch in the middle of the night. In sick days like those, Scott was awake when Mitch was awake, and they would only sleep when it was possible. Or, whenever a stomach ache wasn’t protesting.
Scott didn’t mind this unpredictable routine for a few days, or for forever. He didn’t mind doing anything for his baby. Also, as frequently as colds came for Mitch, they usually didn’t last long.
Except this time, as they sat propped up on their headboard in the dim light, having stayed up into early morning, Mitch didn’t have anything mild. He had the flu. Badly.
It was the middle of Spring, which didn’t seem to make sense. And, even though it was annoying as shit, they knew to just to brace for it. It happened to be a Monday, and Scott was sipping a coffee at 5 am to be able to stay up during a particularly rough patch of the night (morning?). It was a strange frame of time, where Scott admired the stillness and passivity of the sunrise over the balcony. He glanced up at the view glowing from the glass doors when he wasn't busy rubbing Mitch's back as he coughed up into an empty ice bucket.
The nausea was hitting bad; Mitch was breaking out in a cold sweat that made his little bangs stick to his forehead, had a headache, and had vomited three times in the past hour. Three times too many, Scott decided, for his little frame to have to endure, or to even be able to produce. An hour of the sickness passed in a slow daze. Less and less was Mitch leaning over the bed, hands gripping the white blanket with knuckles just as pale. Soon enough it 6 am-- the sun was up, cueing another day of unpredictability, and Scott figured the nausea was slowing to a stop.
It was silent now. Mitch was a little less squirmish in his lap, but still stiff. Scott reached to uncurl one of his fists, which was tightly clenched by his face. He pulled at his fingers and they slackened. Scott tapped his fingertips softly to his boyfriend's smaller ones and breathed out a sigh that weaved into the quietness for a moment. With it, he hoped; he wasn’t sure what for, but he knew it had to do with the stinging he felt seeing Mitch curled up into himself, eyelids trembling, quick breaths on his lips and not being able to do anything about it.
It was a little scary. Mitch hadn't said much in an hour. Scott threaded their fingers together and realized that for them, words were always grounding in any situation. Currently, with the absence of verbal expression, he was a little lost.
Still, deep down, Scott sort of sensed of his needs. He wasn't a doctor, and Mitch probably didn't want him trying to be; so he was simply there, always with him. It was, at that moment, the only option, although Scott wasn't satisfied in being of help. They would have to wait the rest out. But now, as his baby tensed in pain and unease, he rubbed his back and whispered comforts and attempted with all his willpower to expel any of it.
“My love,” he cooed, just to check in, gently pressing his knuckles to his cheekbone gleaming with sweat. Mitch shifted around a bit in response. His eyes kept closed. Scott reached over to the bedside, grabbing a washcloth to swipe away the sweat from under his baby bangs and around his face and neck. Mitch tilted his chin up to chase the warmth, eyes beginning to flutter open. Scott returned the cloth to the table and picked up a cotton ball that lay next to it. “Put this under your nose, please, baby. I want your headache to go away so you can sleep soon.”
He had placed drops of lavender oil in it-- he watched as Mitch took it and lifted it to his nose. He shuffled himself tighter into a ball.
Scott repositioned himself to cocoon him again. Mitch moved to look up at him, his eyes large and watery. Scott cupped his pale face and waited for him to say anything.
"I'm feeling better," Mitch said softly, and after a moment, "can I have a blanket now?"
"Nice try, but no," Scott murmured. "You're burning up."
"I'll sweat it out though. I'm cold."
"I'm sorry. Your fever needs to break out. That won't work."
Mitch frowned. He kept their gaze for a second before dipping down to burrow himself into Scott's chest.
Scott knew Mitch was chasing the warmth, but let him rest there anyway.