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i just might have a problem that you'll understand

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Dave stares at Klaus and his puffy smudge-lined eyes, scans down his face and rubs his thumb horizontally across his cheekbone. Klaus frowns and Dave kisses the spot just below his pulsating temple. Klaus blinks hard and breathes through his mouth.

"Sorry you don't feel good, sunshine," he says, voice glowing angelically with authenticity. Having his own discomfort acknowledged make Klaus feel so taken care of that he could crumple into a heap on the floor without the risk of being stepped on, or throw himself off a cliff and know that he has a net down below. "You want to stay home today? You look like you could use the rest."

"No, no…" Klaus says through the pressurized sludge inside of his face. "The moms want me to help out with that Halloween costume thing at Nancy's. I think they think I'm one of them."

"I think they have a crush on you."

"Can you blame them?"

A tree outside sheds its leaves. They rustle together as they clack against the bedroom window.

When Dave kisses him, Klaus rolls over to his side so he can get a better angle and nuzzle into him properly. It lasts less than a minute before Klaus needs to break the kiss just so he can breathe, and he dips his head down and tucks it underneath Dave's chin once he's come up for air, nose against Dave's clavicle. He sniffles while Dave soothingly hushes him and rubs his back.

"You're running a fever, Klaus," he says, sounding like he's disappointed in the world for doing this to them. So is Klaus. He groans.

"You're just used to me being freezing cold," he says, "but my lover is a furnace and I just spent ten hours cuddled up next to him under a pile of hideous quilts, so…"

"I wake up next to you every day," Dave says. "I know what temperature you're supposed to be."

Klaus doesn't argue, but he does slip a hand in between Dave's chin and his own face to catch a sneeze.

Instead of recoiling or acting grossed out or even offering a cordial 'God bless you', Dave kisses the top of his head and says, "You poor thing."

"Maybe I should stay home," Klaus says, and then he decides, "no, fuck, sorry, no I shouldn't. That's going to be so boring."

"I could call in, too," Dave offers.

"No, I need to be out today," Klaus says. "I'll be fine, I just need to do something. It's…"

A hard month for him, he doesn't say. October's rough for a lot of reasons, but as it nears Halloween, Klaus knows he needs to brace himself.

"Okay," Dave says, infallibly void of judgment. He believes Klaus without needing to understand. "It's okay."

Klaus barely has to do anything. Maybe Dave is the real psychic, sensing tension and apprehension and self-consciousness in Klaus before he even has the opportunity to express himself. He squeezes Klaus in closer and reaches over to tuck the blanket around his shoulders. Klaus has never met anyone like him.

"Will you let me get you some medicine, at least?" Dave asks. "You liked the Pertussin last night."

"Did I ever," Klaus agrees. "Fill me up, Daddy-o."

Dave laughs, finally. "You don't have to talk like the locals, Klaus. It sounds wrong on you."

"Well, excuse me for trying to fit in."

"Just be yourself." Dave kisses Klaus near the corner of his mouth before he rolls out of bed, then leans down to kiss him again. One more time does the trick, because sometimes it feels like neither one of them will ever possibly be able to have enough. "You're fitting in just fine."