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Iller than Ill

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Dirk shivered, just a little ball of misery on his bathroom floor. He knew Square was hiding because the little robot always absconded when he got sick; his circuits had never been able to process human behavior very well and he almost certainly didn't know what was going on or why. The cold, clammy tiles just made Dirk feel sicker, his body cycling through sweats and chills. He could barely move and his throat was raw with bile. Though he was so dehydrated his lip was splitting, he couldn't find it in himself to get up for some water. He was sure that even if he made it as far as his knees, dizziness and fatigue would have him down again almost instantly – and that was even without the nausea so crippling he was afraid to move.

He heard a soft metallic clank, clank, and his clouded brain is just thinking hell, that doesn't sound like Square. Maybe he's being quiet cause he's freaked out. Then he heard the hissss of hydraulics and his head shot up so fast he damn near hurled, because Square doesn't have those...

Sawtooth was crouching next to him, face obviously as unchanging as ever but head cocked inquisitively to the side. He was calculating, trying to figure out what was going on; and yeah he'd always been a little less stupid at it then Square but he was still a goddamn robot.

“... you cool, DiStri?” His voice was slow, deep and pedantic when he wasn't rapping. Dirk was too busy pressing his forehead to the floor to answer, fighting back a particularly intense wave of nausea that made him afraid to so much as open his mouth. He hadn't even known Saw was around, fuck...

“Y-yeah. Leave me be, dude...” When Dirk finally managed to open his mouth and speak, his voice was raspy and caught in his throat. He wasn't particularly keen on Saw seeing him like this.

“No luck, sparkplug.” The big robot sank from his haunches to a sitting position against the sink. “You look to be in some pretty serious straight-up distress.”

“Gastronomic distress,” Dirk mumbled, hissing and clutching his stomach as a sharp cramp shot through him.

“You oughtta get a tuneup.”

“Humans don't get th-” Dirk was cut off by his own gagging, and he shot upright, the wave of dizziness that caused making him up before he could get all the way over the toilet.

“Hell of an oil leak.” Sawtooth's cold hand closed around his bicep, dragging him over. Dirk was too weak to put up much resistance; and as humiliating as it was, he actually did want nothing more than something resembling comfort right now. The bot slid both arms around him, and Dirk went completely lax. Saw wasn't wearing his hoodie, so he was all cold hard metal all over – the fucking hallmark greeting card of safety and comfort. “How d'you fix a human oil leak? Am I capable?”

Dirk's lips twitched in some momentary semblance of a smile. Damn, Saw really was worried about him. He closed his eyes and put his head against a broad shoulder in the hopes it would calm his equilibrium. “Can't. Gotta wait this shit out.” More than once he'd been scared maybe he was dying; he couldn't look after himself and there was no one else to do it. No hospitals, no doctors, no big bro to pet his hair back while he heaves up his insides. But that was his little secret, a thought he only entertained in his darkest moments.

Sawtooth was stroking his hair.

It felt good as hell, even though stray hairs kept catching in between the little joints of his fingers. He couldn't fucking help that. Dirk heard the whining whirr as Sawtooth slowed his fan down, and soon enough, his torso was warm to the touch. Fuck, he hadn't done that for Dirk since he was younger and the bot was around more, those frequent nights when the kid couldn't sleep and both of them would end up in his bed.

Hard robotic limbs made Dirk feel better than any pillows; whirring fans and Square's soft little chirps and Saw's processor running down more soothing than lullabies. He was too old now, but sometimes Square still wanted in his bed. He never said no.

Another vicious cramp seized his belly, and that was all it took for him to give in completely. He snuggled against Sawtooth's warmth, limp and wracked with fever and chills and pain. He felt a little zap to the top of his head, and he was sure he must have imagined it. Only Square 'kissed' him like that.

Dirk was drifting in a haze of sickness, just trying to keep still, concentrating on not puking. Time became a background thing that he was largely unaware of. Occasionally, Sawtooth would rap to him softly, but it wasn't something Dirk focused on.

An unstoppable wave of nausea rushed over him like a tidal wave, and he swallowed once, twice, desperate to fight it down before he accepted the inevitable and twisted violently towards the toilet. Sawtooth held him tight with a worried bzzt more characteristic of Square, and Dirk really didn't have the luxury of explaining to him why he needed to get away. He puked the second he opened his mouth, mostly on the bot's arm and side. Fortunately it didn't seem like there was much left in him.

Dirk tried to choke out an apology, but just collapsed; exhausted and shaking. Sawtooth calmly wiped himself clean with the nearby toilet paper, before just as calmly scooping Dirk into his arms. The boy made a groan of protest, stomach churning with the movement as Saw stood up.

“No luck, sparkplug. Your fucked up ass needs a recharge.”

Each step was torture for Dirk's head and stomach, but holy shit bed felt good when he got there. There was only one thing that could make him feel less like shit in his current state.

“Water?” He managed to croak as Sawtooth pulled the blanket up over his trembling body. The bot nodded. Dirk let his eyes slip closed, feeling the throb of his entire piece of shit body. His stomach was still killing him, his head pounding, his throat raw from bile and his joints ached. Closing his eyes just made everything feel like it was spinning a thousand miles an hour, so he opened them again.

Sawtooth was there, and the beautiful fucking asshole had a glass of water. As Dirk let the bot drag him semi-upright, he heard a familiar series of distressed beeps and squeaks. The bed dipped, and Squarewave crawled onto it to sit near his feet, still sparking a little and clutching nervously to Saw's hand.

“Hey Saw, I know I'm barely peekin, but it don't look like he's leakin. He act all out a whack, I don't take that back!”

“Listen, got a bug in his system, just that he's a living organism. Told you so, now listen cause I know – Di's in a bit of a mess, distress, this ain't time to test.”

Dirk was taking careful sips of water, paying only the vaguest attention to the bots rapping back and forth. It was pretty much how they communicated with each other, after all. As soon as he put the cup down with a shaky hand, Square crawled up between his arms. The bot was emitting more concerned pings and blips, but he settled as soon as Saw climbed gracefully over both of them to press up against Dirk's back. Before he knew it, he was sandwiched between two robots with their fans on low, a hell of a lot bigger than the last time he'd done this; though it felt no less awesome.

Not that he'd ever admit that. Even as sick as he was.