Kasim is in the kitchen. It’s cool around him, he knows, but he feels heat surrounding him like a haze. Everything, really, feels all hazy, but he’s swaying at the stove, soup in pot, waiting for it to heat. He can do this. It’s soup. He can make himself soup.
The hand laid on his back is gentle enough not to startle him. Kasim hadn’t realised Dallas was near until that moment. “Kasim,” they say in that same half-amused, half-concerned tone they’ve had the past few days, “please lay back down.”
Kasim needs to turn more than he wanted to to see them, but he continued to stir the soup. “I’m not going to lay in bed and wait for soup that I can make perfectly well myself.”
Dallas tugs at his arm gently with their other hand, their hand cool against him. “I know you can sweetheart, but you don’t have to. You’re sick! I want to take care of you.” The tremble at the end of their words makes Kaism glance up from their hand, and out of his doubled eyesight he sees that they’ve flushed and looked away.
That causes Kasim to try to hold down a grin. He covers it up with a grumble as Dallas weaves their fingers between his. Their hand is so small in his. “I can make you soup, Kas. Please lay down.” Their voice is soft, and they move their other hand from his back to his cheek.
Kasim leans into their touch and turns his face into their hand. He kisses their palm and mumbles, “But then you won’t be near me…”
It takes a minute for Kasim to feel the change, but he feels the warmth bubble up on Dallas’ skin. He could see Dallas’ blush, too. They press their face into the side of his arm. “K-Kasim…” they whine, muffled.
The laugh mostly stuck in his throat is breathy and flemmy, and Kasim pats their head while continuing to stir the soup. Dallas takes a minute to compose themself before removing their face. They look pointedly at the ground. “Th-that’s very sweet, but you really shouldn't be up.”
They fidget, flustered, in a way that Kasim finds very cute, and he hums as they breathe a bit, trying to calm down. Then he sees Dallas straighten, and push their hair back. They step away towards the dining room, pausing when he squeezes their hand. “Ah-” Dallas wiggles their hand loose. “I’ll be back in a minute.”
Kasim frowns as they leave. He was able to make his own soup, yes, but he didn’t want Dallas to leave. A few seconds later, though, they return with a chair. They set it near the stove, and lean on its back, resting their crossed arms. “There,” they say, grinning a little smugly. “Now, you can rest and be nearby.”
For a few seconds, Kasim sways at the stove and clenches the pot’s handle. He almost pulls out an argument because it’s just soup that he is just heating up, but then his legs feel like cotton, and he has to grip the nearby counter, and his hands are trembling, and he sees nothing for a second before seeing Dallas shoot up and stand alert near him, hands just a few inches away from him. He really didn’t have the energy to resist it anymore. “Alright…” He slumps a little too roughly into the chair, and closes his heavy eyes.
He almost dozes off before whisper-singing catches his attention. He peeks through his eyelashes and sees Dallas was looking off to the side, stirring slowly. They glance affectionately at Kasim for a moment and rest their free hand on his cheek with a soft smile. Kasim leans into their touch, the coolness of their hand soothing him, and letting him rest.
Kasim’ mind drifts through what feels like a thick soup of nothing. It’s hard for him to hold onto thoughts, and the only things grounding him are Dallas’ touch and voice. Then, he feels their hand remove itself. He whines softly before shakily lifting his head. Dallas is taking off the soup from the heat. Kasim slouches forward to lean against them as they do, startling them and making them squeak in surprise, before laughing a little at themself and relaxing. They turn to him. “Okay honey, let’s get you back to bed.”
Dallas supported Kasim as he stood wobbly and drowsy, stabilizing him with a hand on his back. The two walk down the hall and Kasim lays onto the bed, dazed. He curls up loosely, face turned up to Dallas’, and grasps at their hand as they pull a thin sheet over him. They softly push his hands away, and press a kiss to his cheek. “I’m going to get you some soup now. I’ll only be gone for a minute, dear.”
“Mmm…” Kasim lets his eyes shut sluggishly, and grips their hand tightly before returning to drifting. He just barely felt their hand leave his. When he makes a noise of complaint, he realises he has no idea how long they’ve been gone. But then they’re back, hand on his. Dallas sits next to him and helps him up. His eyes and the room are bleary, and the soup smells weird, but they’re next to him again. They murmur something and he rests his head against their shoulder. He feels their body shake from gentle laughter, and his breath bouncing off against their skin. They say something softly and lift a small amount of soup to his mouth. He presses his lips together for a second, dislike of the smell overriding his other thought, but he hears their voice again, gentle but insistent. Kasim drinks the soup.
He has half the bowl before he presses his face to their neck, full. They rub circles in his forehead with their thumb and lean away for a minute, putting the soup to the side, before leaning back, and shifting them both to be able to lay. They cup his face and he clings to them, holding them close in his arms. They’re small in his arms, and he likes feeling their weight against him. He presses a kiss to their neck and drifts off.