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A helping hand

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Dio knew something was off in the Joestar manor today.

By now, he was used with Jonathan's cheerful voice ranging in the air on mornings, be either to greet him or a exchanging a chatter with the family’s old butler, James.

Today, he heard neither of these. 

Usually, Jonathan would be waking up by the time Dio was ready to eat breakfast with George or he would already be knocking on Dio's door inviting him to get ready. 

Today, he wasn't there at the table, only George Joestar.

 

Dio didn't decide to comment about it, brushing it off as one atypical morning where Jonathan probably slept a bit more or possibly taking his sweet time to wash himself and get ready for the day. It's not like this kind of event has never happened before: Jonathan had been previously a heavy sleeper and sometimes would sleep more than the necessary, but in the following years growing up with Dio, being compared to him, and specially the last season when both boys grew closer , Jonathan had changed his schedule and lifestyle to work hard on being the gentleman and a role model his father wished him to be.

Speaking of, looking at Lord Joestar on the breakfast table, George somehow had some traits Jonathan inherited from, as Dio noted: while the gentleman wasn't a messy eater, George was engrossed reading some newspaper, focusing his eyes on the trading section, checking out news about routes and wars among colonies of the British empire, all while sipping his earl grey tea. It wasn't the finest kind of behaviour, Dio’s mother said once while teaching the boy table manners, but George Joestar was a busy man, and there was nothing harmful in keeping oneself informed about everyday news.

Said man lowered his paper a few inches, noticing Dio's appearance, and muttered his morning greetings with a smile.

Breakfast went on quietly for a few minutes, with Dio eating his fill with elegance, until the older Joestar folded his newspaper and resumed eating his meat and eggs, finally acknowledging the eerie silence on the table. 

"Dio, did Jojo have his breakfast already?"

Dio finished his tea. "No, Mr. Joestar, he hasn't gone out of his room yet, nor I have seen him talking with James…"

"Hm, that's odd. Has he been sleeping later than appropriate?"

Dio shrugged. "Who knows, maybe Jojo was so enraptured reading a good book he forgot to sleep early. He told me he's been amassing quite a collection of volumes in his room."

At this part, Dio didn't lie, he didn't have the reason to craft something to crumble Jonathan's image - as of lately, Dio's been getting rather soft with the closer proximity to Jonathan he's been having since summer. "When you have a good book to read, you lose track of time."

 

"Hmmm, I appreciate he's been getting more acquainted with literature lately, but he has to pay attention to the time…" The older man mused, craning his head to the side. "Madeleine", he called the maid in charge of waking the boys up. "Did Jojo wake up?"

"I've knocked several times, Lord Joestar, but he only answered some fifteen minutes ago… he said he'd be ready soon but nothing yet." 

"Hmph. Seems like I will need to wake him up after I finish my breakfast then." And with that, George fiddled with his mustache, lowering the newspaper he's been reading and folding it neatly.

 

"If you don't mind, Mr. Joestar, I can check on him now. I've finished breakfast and I'm sure JoJo would let me in his room." Dio said with a sly smile, playing his charms. He knew George had plenty of confidence placed on Dio and that the boy brought forward the best in Jonathan's attitude, challenging him all the time. He’s noticed how Jonathan grew from a boy with clumsy table manners and terrible grades to a budding hard-working and polished gentleman at sixteen years old, all with the help of what he could say “healthy” competition with Dio. 

 "Alright then, my boy, you can go and try to drag him downstairs for breakfast." He chuckled, thinking of a silly brawl between two growing youngsters, as he knew Dio had a penchant to tease Jonathan, even if Dio didn't show in front of George. 



At the front door to Jonathan's room, Dio knocked faintly twice, calling for the brunet's name, to no avail. He tried again, knocks a little more insistent this time and again, no response. That was weird, as Madeleine said he'd answered her before. No fuss, he thought, as he could always use a hidden pin inside his pockets to pick the lock. It never stopped him before, and it definitely wouldn't stop him now.

 

When the door was opened, Dio expected to see a clumsy Jonathan hurrying up to get dressed, maybe putting on his shoes, or him even in bed still, in his sleeping chemise and covered with the duvet from neck to toes.

It was neither of those.

 

It seemed that Jonathan has fainted, his upper body halfway through the bed, lower part and legs on the floor. From the looks of it, he was getting ready when he fell, socks and gathers on his legs already, his knee-length breeches in place and wearing a white crisp shirt still to be tucked underneath, his characteristic blue vest and pink ribbon placed on top of the mattress ready to be worn.

"Jojo!" Dio ran to help Jonathan, kneeling on the floor to check his pulse. When he saw Jonathan's face, he also noticed how drowsy the boy felt and how red his cheeks were. His skin was scorching hot under Dio's palm. Jonathan blinked, as if woken up from a dream, eyes trying hard to focus on the blond before him. 

"Dio…?" 

"Jojo, you have a fever." Dio muttered, a little worried. "You missed breakfast so I went here to check up on you. Come, get up, let's put you in bed again, I see you can't even stand, let alone walk downstairs." He slung Jonathan's arm over his neck and hugged his waist to prop him up on the bed.

Right as Jonathan was being held to lay down in bed, the old butler appeared at the room's door frame. "Master Dio, is there something-- Master JoJo??"

"James!" Dio turned his head, splaying his hand against Jonathan's feverish chest. "My brother had just fainted. Come get Lord Joestar right now!"