by tarotgal
Rating: G/PG
Fandom: Harry Potter
Pairing: Sirius/Remus (very early into relationship)
Warning: Again, mentions of stomach flu symptoms and some discussion about it (a little more than in Hot) but no actual 'getting sick'.
Disclaimer: JKR's boys. My playing. Only playing.
Author's Notes: Written for the 132 Moods of Sneezefic challenge. This is a prequel of sorts to Hot.

Remus came awake to the sound of the doorknob jiggling and stayed awake as loud knocks followed. "Remus?"

"Mmmm?" In the few seconds that had taken, Remus felt the illness rush back over him again. He frowned and swallowed hard as he slowly sat upright.

"Remus, open up!"

Feeling almost too tired to do so, Remus opened his eyes and the soft light struck him. As he took in the white bathroom surrounding him, he slowly remembered how he'd spent the night there. He checked his watch to confirm the fact that the night was actually over. Then he shivered and pulled the blanket around himself more tightly. The bathroom wasn't the only thing he'd been forced to notice. He also saw the mounds of tissues surrounding him on both sides, and the pile around the wastebasket where he'd tried to toss them in but missed. And he noticed the thermometer on the side of the sink basin, the collection of used washcloths and hand towels on the towel rack, and the bottle of mouth rinse with levels decreased by half since this time yesterday.

"Remus, please open the door. You've been in here all morning. And I've really got to use the loo!"

Not wanting to feel guilty on top of sick, Remus went to go open the door, but his limbs all felt too heavy to move and fatigue filled his whole body from head to toe. Remus managed to dig his wand out from beneath tissues. He aimed it at the door. "Alohomora!" The lock clicked open and Sirius quickly barged right in and went straight for the toilet.

"Thanks, Moony. I couldn't have held out much longer." The toilet seat was already up and Sirius pulled himself out as he approached. He acted as though it were perfectly normal for Remus to be sitting in a blanket on the floor of the bathroom while he used the toilet.

Remus tried his best to get up, but couldn't seem to gather the energy required to do so. Sweaty palms pressed against the cold tile floor, elbows locked, but he couldn't push himself up. One hand slipped and he gave up on trying with a grunt.

"It's all right. Stay put," Sirius said, holding his hand up. Remus nonetheless covered his eyes to give Sirius privacy. Sirius laughed. "You're welcome to look at me and enjoy me any time," he said.

"Not right now," Remus replied weakly, reaching around blindly for a tissue he could use, be it a new one or one not so used. He located one and covered his nose just in time for a sneeze. "Hetchoo!" He felt his stomach lurch at the movement and he wrapped his arms around it tightly.

He opened his eyes after the toilet flushed to find Sirius undressing. Remus' reaction wasn't his usual one when faced with Sirius undressing in front of him. Sickness overpowered his arousal, as it was doing to practically every other emotion. With Sirius done with the toilet and sitting a few feet away now, Remus inched closer to the toilet, just in case. The porcelain was cold to the touch and it made him shiver, but he still pressed his cheek to the side of the tank, enjoying the feel of it against his skin which burned with fever.

Now completely naked, Sirius bent over and ran the water in the tub, testing it with two fingers to wait for it to warm to the right temperature. "You don't mind, do you? Me taking a shower before I head off to Auror training?"

"Of course I don't," said Remus wearily. "Would you prefer I leave, though?" He looked worried about trying to get up again, and worried about where he would go once he did. Remus had a bowl by his bedside in case of emergency, but his stomach didn't feel strong enough for him to confidently leave the safety of the bathroom.

"Nah," said Sirius, sliding back the three-part sliding door so that he could step into the shower. "If you don't mind me here, I don't mind you."

Remus sniffled hard. "I think it might actually help my congestion." Sirius did not answer, or if he did, it was drowned out by the sound of the water rushing down from the shower head as he switched it from bath to shower mode.

Despite the fact that Sirius was only on the other side of the bathroom, Remus suddenly felt alone again. At the beginning of his illness late the night before, his immediate concern had been to make it to the bathroom before he was sick all over the bedroom or hallway. But after a while, he'd thought of getting up to ask Sirius to sit with him a while and keep him company. Sitting in a bathroom for hours on end with nothing to do and no one to keep him company only made things worse. It let him dwell on how horrible he was feeling. But he didn't have the heart to wake Sirius up and explain he was feeling sick and needed help. He'd secretly hoped Sirius might know what was needed and go to him. But now that Sirius was here, Remus was feeling just as alone as he'd felt all night long.

He looked over at the shower. The glass door panels had frosted stripes running from side to side. Remus could make out Sirius' shape behind the far right one but could see no details for the stripes. It made him feel terrible to watch Sirius but not be able to go to him or have his usual reactions. And he felt terrible to need Sirius' help but not want to ask for it. But Sirius was too busy with his own things right now. He'd barely noticed Remus.

Remus shivered again and closed his eyes, but not to go to sleep, no matter how much his body told him he needed rest. "hehhh...h... hehChoo! hahhKShhhh! huhhShuhhh!" He felt around, locating the tissue box and pulling out a few tissues. "hehhh... hehhhh... H'Schhhhhhh!" He rubbed his dripping nose into the handful but didn't have time to blow. "hahhh-TChhhhh! Hehh-yehhh-HIHShhhhhh!" He was glad that the water covered the sound of the sneezes for the most part. Not that Sirius didn't know he was sick, of course, but because Sirius didn't know exactly how bad.

And the tickle in his nose was most assuredly bad at the moment. "ehhhShuhhhh! hehhhChooo! Heh-hehh-EHHHChooo!" He crumpled up his handful of tissues and went for another with his eyes closed and mouth hanging open. "hehh... hehhh..." He leaned back against the wall and nuzzled into the dry tissues. "hahhh... ahhhShmphhh! uhhhShphhhh!"

When the sneezes finally stopped, Remus realized the water had also stopped running. Sirius stood, dripping, on the bathmat. There was a towel wrapped around his waist but he was in the process of changing into his robes.

After Remus had the chance to blow his nose thoroughly, a fully-dressed Sirius squatted down beside him. "You look just awful, Remus." Remus nodded, having guessed as much from the few glances he'd had while visiting the sink. "So you spent the whole night here on the floor of the bathroom?"

Remus nodded again. "Every time I even thought about getting up and going back to bed I felt too tired to move and too sick to my stomach."

"Maybe it's best you stay here, then. I mean, I remember last night you saying you thought you might be coming down with something but I didn't know you spent the night here v-"

"Please don't say that word," Remus quickly said, wincing. He slouched down a little more, fidgeting, hugging his stomach with both arms. "I'm too suggestible right now. It makes me feel like I'm going to-"


"Padfoot!" Remus pleaded, trying to control the urge to cough, not wanting that to lead into getting sick. The way he was feeling at the moment, however, made him wasn't to lean over the toilet bowl again.

"Hey..." Sirius put a hand on Remus' cheek, then kissed his forehead softly. "You won't get sick. Not while I'm around. I promise." Sirius gently stroked Remus' stomach through the pajamas. After a few moments, Remus' stomach calmed and the nausea backed off. He slowly smiled, feeling comforted for a change.

Before Remus could thank him, Sirius suddenly sprang to his feet. "All right. I'm off to training!"

Remus groaned to himself and rolled his eyes.

"Try to get some rest, though," Sirius told him. "Even if it's just napping here. Oh, and you should make yourself some tea."

Remus nodded, disbelief melting into amusement. "hehh-UhShhhhh! HahhShuhhh!" He hugged his blanket around his shoulders more tightly. "I think the worst is behind me." He hoped, after the horrors of last night, that he was telling the truth.

"Good." Sirius ran a comb through his hair and gave himself a look-over in the mirror before heading out of the bathroom with a "Take care, Remus!"

Remus sighed. "No... hahShuhhhhh!" Talking sarcastically to no one except himself, "No, no. Don't worry about me. I've only got the flu. I'll be fine alone here." His arm felt heavy as he picked it up to retrieve another tissue and rub it at his nose.

"Hey Moony?"

Surprised and startled, Remus looked over to the doorway where Sirius had reappeared. Sirius set down the wizarding wireless radio and a small stack of books that Remus recognized as the ones from his nightstand. Remus smiled back at him. "Thanks."

"I'll look in on you when I get home. And if you're still here but feeling up to moving, I'll help you get back to bed, okay? No need to worry about using your energy to do anything but get better."

Remus nodded, resting his cheek against the toilet seat now, using it as a pillow. "Okay." He kept his eyes open long enough to see Sirius blow a kiss. He certainly hoped he would feel up to moving later, because right now he didn't feel like doing anything except for sitting there and waiting for the sickness to pass.

He reached over, straining, but managing to grab hold of a book. Then he lay back down on his back and propped the book up against bent legs. At least he had something to do now and something to keep him company.

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