Characters: Namiashi Raidou, Shiranui Genma
Notes: Another in the Perfect Trust series, this takes place the November of Genma and Raidou’s sophomore year of high school. That means Rai’s face is still intact, and Genma doesn’t limp. This is the second time that Genma’s ever had the flu, and he doesn’t remember the first time.
If there was one thing that was pretty definite about Genma, it was that he didn’t ditch class unless something really significant was going on, like his mother coming home just for a couple hours in the middle of one day, and leaving for another two or three weeks, right after. Even then, he didn’t usually skip classes. He’d see his mother when they happened to be in the same place at the same time. So when Genma didn’t show up for an entire day of school, Raidou knew something was wrong. By three thirty, he was standing outside Genma’s apartment, not getting an answer to the truly ridiculous amount of pounding on the door he was doing. That was a bad sign. On the bright side, though, Genma had given him a key, recognising that perhaps not having family meant that someone should be able to let him in when he locked himself out of the house.
Raidou figured that Genma wouldn’t be all that upset if he just ducked in and made sure nothing was wrong. And if something was wrong, then Genma could just shut the fuck up and be glad someone was there to handle it. Through all this, it never once occurred to Raidou that what was wrong might be something he couldn’t handle. He had yet to meet such a situation.
Stepping into the apartment, Raidou called out. "Genma? You home? It’s me. I’ve got your homework."
There was no answer, which in Raidou’s mind meant Genma probably wasn’t home. Just the same, he figured he should have a look around — make sure Genma hadn’t gotten drunk and passed out in the shower or something — it was the kind of thing that stupid bastard was going to do, eventually, Rai was certain. The bathroom was empty, though, and he moved on to the next door: Genma’s bedroom.
And suddenly Raidou was extremely glad that he’d stopped by. There was Genma, the human furnace, under most circumstances, sitting slumped against the corner of the room on his bed with every blanket in the house piled on top of him, grey-faced and shivering, soaked in sweat. Raidou dropped his backpack and sat down on the bed, tugging blankets off his unconscious best friend. "Genma? Come on, man. Wake up. Fucking wake up, Genma. This isn’t cool. Don’t do this to me, man."
Genma finally began to stir as the last of the blankets came off and the air started to cool his sweat-soaked clothes. As he opened his eyes, he coughed wetly and pulled his knees up, still shivering. "Rai?" he rasped. "What are you — What time is it?" The coughing started again, this time accompanied by his nose beginning to run.
"Oh, for fucksake." Raidou sighed with relief and looked disgustedly at his friend. "You caught the fucking flu, didn’t you? Shit. Don’t breathe on me." Raidou stood up. "Fucking moron," he breathed. "Stay put. I’m going to go get you some water and then I’ll call mom. You’re probably staying with us, until you stop playing dead."
"I’m fine. Fuck right off. I’m just a little cold." Genma clutched at his legs, coughing. "I thought I saw mom — I mean mine, not yours. Did you see her on your way in?"
That was when Raidou got scared, and started to look it. Genma’s mother wasn’t due home for another two weeks, at least. "Do. Not. Move. Not an inch. I will be right back." The glass of water was the easy part, but finding a thermometer involved tearing the bathroom apart, because he had no idea where it would be or if Genma even owned one. Luckily, he did, even if it was stuck behind the second shelf of the medicine cabinet.
Raidou was unmistakably his mother’s son as he hurried back into Genma’s room looking both worried and moderately pissed off. He wiped off the thermometer and handed it to Genma. "Under your tongue. Now. Do not argue with me or you’ll be doing this the hard way."
Genma opened his mouth to say something sassy, but the sickness had knocked the sass right out of him, and he couldn’t quite put together a suitably witty sentence. Instead, he stuck the thermometer in his mouth and waited, glaring at Raidou in childish petulance.
"I don’t care what you think. Mom’s going to ask, and if I can’t tell her, we’re both going to hear about it. You’d rather hear it from me, and you know it." Raidou shook his head irritatedly. "Why didn’t you call me when you started getting sick? You know that’s what you’re supposed to do. That’s what I’m there for, you stupid bastard."
Genma really didn’t feel like answering the question. He hadn’t called because he hadn’t realised how sick he was, and even if he had, he was fifteen, and damn well old enough to take care of himself. He just rolled his eyes and pointed at the thermometer. Maybe there was a reason to have the damn thing in his mouth after all.
After another few seconds of staring at his watch, Raidou reached forward and yanked the thermometer out of Genma’s mouth. He tipped it and tilted it, finally getting an angle he could read, and with a look of pure disbelief, nearly dropped the thing. "Drink the water. Now." Raidou pointed to the glass on the nightstand. "I do not understand how in the hell you keep surviving your own stupidity. A hundred and fucking two and a half. You’re lucky I’m here."
Genma guzzled the water, thirstily and then held out the glass with a dim, but cheery smile. "I am lucky you’re here," he wheezed around the swelling and phlegm in his throat, "otherwise I’d have to get my own water."
Raidou just glared, pointedly, snatched the glass, and brought it back, full. Genma emptied it, again, panting and shaking. "I’m fine, Rai. Lay off. So, I have a little fever. So what? Lemme sleep it off."
"God preserve you from my sudden urge to break your face. I swear I will carry you out if I have to. There’s no way I can stay here long enough to keep you out of trouble. I hope like hell you’re only that warm because of the blankets." Raidou rubbed his face in frustration. "Okay, now that you’re coherent? You thought your mother was here when I woke you up. You’re hallucinating. I can’t — You won’t — You’re my best fucking friend, you stupid bastard, and I don’t want you to drop dead because you can’t be bothered to take care of yourself!"
"I’m not going to die from it. It’s just a cold or something. It’s not serious." Genma shivered and pulled up one of the blankets.
"It’s probably the fucking flu, you idiot! People do die from that! Hello, Yellow Plague? The influenza epidemic of 1890? The even worse one of 1918? Modern medicine’s not worth a damn if you don’t get off your sorry ass and get it." Raidou held out his hand. "Please? Come on. You know my mom will take good care of you. And she’s actually home. You know I can’t ditch a week for you. Let me put it like this: When was the last time you ate?"
"I don’t fucking know. Yesterday?" Genma looked pitiful at the thought of food, and his stomach finally protested its emptiness, loudly.
"Dumbass." Raidou leaned over the bed and pulled Genma toward him. "You don’t have to walk, but you do have to lock the door. Do you know where your keys are?"
"In my pocket, where they belong, I’m sure. I can walk, you know," Genma grumbled, but slung an arm around Raidou’s neck.
"Yeah, but I’m not letting you. Shut the fuck up. You’re not that heavy and I don’t want you falling down the stairs." As Genma grumbled his discontent and pulled out his keys, Raidou scooped him up and carried him out. "You are one lucky bastard."