Title: Reciprocating.
Author/pseudonym: Voracity
Email address: voracitys@hotmail.com
Rating: A very 'aahhh' G
Pairings: Nick/Derek
Archive: Sure, if we're still doing this.
Other website: Voracity.tripod.com
Disclaimers: If I owned them, don't you think I'd be living in an apartment with real furniture instead of things scrounged out of the trash? And wouldn't my kittens be on drugs (or me, one of the four of us needs it)
Summary: Someone's sick and someone's stubborn.
Notes: just a bit of fluff i found in my backlogged handwritten stories. Not beta'd, but grammer checked (like that's *so* useful - i didn't know laugh was a plural verb). enjoy.

by Voracity

Derek looked up in irritation as the overhead light came on but his head quickly fell back to the pillow.

"Hey," Nick said softly as he set the filled bedtray beside him. "Get any rest?" The older man mumbled something that sounded vaguely profane in Dutch, making him laugh. "I guess not. I brought you some of my infamous chicken noodle soup, a thermos of tea, and the new journal that came today." That got a small, tired smile. He made himself more comfortable on the soft covers. "Alex wanted to know if she should send Rachel up to give you a bed bath."

"Got, no. Please not that," Derek said with the most horrified expression on his face.

"Shh." He ran his hand over the fevered forehead."I told her I'd do it if you needed that level of care." He grinned. "Or I could help you take a real shower."

Derek relaxed under the soothing hand. "Thank you." He pulled the hand down to kiss the palm of it. "Maybe when I wake next time." His eyes started to feel heavy, but he held it off.

Nick brought his other hand up to run through the sweaty hair. "Sleep, Der, I'll stay here." He watched the deep, all-seeing eyes close again, the hand holding his not letting go. He shifted the tray to the floor so he could lay next to his love, using his chest as a holder for his car magazine. He grinned as the congested snoring started, pressing his body in a little closer.

Nick withheld his own sniffling so the sleeping man wouldn't hear it and wake up.


Derek walked into the kitchen for the first time in five days in fairly good spirits. He'd woken beside Nick this morning and he was feeling more human than not, as opposed to the slug-feeling thing he'd been the last few days. He smiled at the butler as he took his plate, sitting at the table. "Goot morning," he told the two worried ladies after taking his first bite.

"How are you feeling?" Rachel asked, leaning over to touch his forehead. He didn't even duck away from her touch, a definite improvement. "Normal again."

"Just a few residual sniffles," he assured her. He glanced at his watch. "Where's Nick?"

The women looked at each other then out at the cold drizzle outside. "You don't think . . . " Alex let her question dangle before shaking her head. "No, not even he's that stubborn." Rachel snorted as she picked up her coffee cup to take a sip. "Okay, maybe he is." She got up to walk over to the door and look out at the woods.

Derek looked at the dreary weather. "You think he went running?" Both women nodded, making him frown. "I'll talk to him when he gets back."

The butler walked into the room, and overheard the conversation. "Mr. Boyle is upstairs, sir. He got back almost ten minutes ago, saying something about cutting his run short." He started a new pot of coffee. "He was showering while I instructed the maid and thought I was you."

Derek took one last bite before wiping his mouth and tossing the napkin on the table. "I'll go check on him." He slid the chair back, getting up to go upstairs. He took the time to knock before walking in, not wanting to advertise their relationship to whomever might be on that floor. His small smile turned to a frown as he heard the hacking, phlegm-filled coughs overwhelming the sound of the shower. He walked into the wall of steam that filled the bathroom, kicking the door shut behind himself before a draft made its way inside with him. He got into the shower, heedless of his clothes, to steady the younger man as he coughed up more off-color stuff. "Nick," he whispered, kissing the back of his neck. The coughing stopped with a few gasps for breath. "Come, lets get you dried off and into bed."

Nick nodded, accepting the steadying hands as he got out, not as able to be stubborn this one time. He took the towel, turning his back to the older man so he could dry off. "Derek," he whispered hoarsely, "I don't need this much help." He wrapped the towel around his waist before turning around. "I'm fine." He got the scowl that sent most people into hiding, but he didn't flinch away from the heat of it. "I am," he insisted weakly.

"Bed," Derek ordered, pointing the way. He got the younger man settled under the thick, fluffy, clean covers and sat beside him, looking down into the flushed face. He stared for a few minutes, gathering his thoughts. "Why are you trying to leave me?" was what slipped out, past all the gentler concerns and worries he had about this young man that he loved. When all he got was a confused look, he leaned down to kiss the warm forehead. "Why ignore your own health to take care of me, Nick? I don't like seeing you ill." He stroked through the wet hair.

"You care?" He looked amazed by the concept, even more so when the soothing fingers gently tugged on his hair.

"Of course I care," Derek whispered, leaning down to kiss him, frowning at averted face. "But apparently not like you do to me." He started to get up but a shaky hand on his thigh stopped him.

"No kissing me until I'm not sick. Otherwise we'll just keep passing it back and forth." He smiled at the relieved look the older man got. "Can I have some juice?"

"Of course." Derek gave him a smile and a pat to the hand before heading downstairs. He packed a full tray, carrying it back up to sit with Nick as he had for him, pure care and love evident.