for the prompt maybe smth cute like arin taking care of dan when he's sick??
FYI: I don’t know if flight attendants are aware of barotrauma but when I was a kid my eardrum burst and it’s the worst pain I have ever fucking felt.
Arin is sitting next to Dan on the plane when they head back from Austin after SXSW is done. Brian is several rows behind them. Dan had caught con funk™ almost the second that they had landed, thankfully not getting phlegmy until after their concert. Dan grumbles about his head feeling super full while they’re in the air, and Arin let’s him use his shoulder as a pillow in an attempt to make him more comfortable. When they land he’s planning on taking him to the clinic to get antibiotics. Everything is alright until they begin descent into LAX.
That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Dan suddenly wails at the top of his lungs, clutching the sides of his head. A flight attendant rushes over even though she’s supposed to be strapped into her seat near the cockpit.
People are staring and some look like they’re ready to panic.
“Arin, make it stop!” he cries. There are tears rolling down his face and he’s shaking.
“What’s wrong?” Arin is understandably panicked and he can’t imagine how Brian feels, not able to get up and see what the fuck is going on.
“My ears!” Dan feels like he has white hot brands being shoved into his ears. The pain is so bad that he’s ready to vomit. “Arin!”
“Sir,” the flight attendant begins again, this time directing it towards Arin, “does he have any sort of illness like a head cold or ear infection?” Arin nods in confirmation and the woman winces. “When we land you need to get him to the doctor as soon as possible, okay? His eardrums may have ruptured.”
Fear jolts in Arin’s stomach. Nate had had one of his eardrums rupture when they were kids and it had seemed fucking terrible.
Dan continues to cry while clutching his head. Somewhere beyond the white hot pain he can feel Arin’s reassuring hand around him. He can hear the timbre of Arin’s voice but it sounds like he’s underwater and that ratchets up the panic inside of him even more. “Arin, it hurts,” he says through the sobs. The plane jolts when the tires hit the runway and he struggles to hold onto what little there is in his stomach. Arin rocks him back and forth while they wait for the plane to taxi up to the terminal, and once they can get off the plane, they’re ushered off before anyone else. Arin tells the flight attendant to get Brian, too, since they’re all together.
Dan is sagging against Arin, his entire body shaking badly enough that Arin has to hold him up. Brian looks fucking terrified, which is beyond unsettling since Brian is the one that’s always calm and collected. Arin tells him to collect his and Dan’s luggage and to drop it off at his house when he can. Arin manages to get his hands on a wheelchair since Dan is in medical distress, and he hurries out to where the taxis and übers are waiting for fares. He tells the driver of the über to go to the closest clinic that he can find, assuring the man that Dan isn’t going to bleed all over the vehicle and he isn’t contagious with some zombie bacteria or something.
Dan’s tears have subsided to pained whining, and he still hasn’t stopped clutching his head. He can’t do anything to dull the pain and it’s fucking excruciating. If it was a cut he could apply pressure and he could elevate a sprain or break but this is internal and it hurts like a motherfucker. He’s curled up against Arin’s chest. Arin’s name escapes him every few minutes because it’s all he can think of to try and lessen the pain even though that makes no fucking sense. Arin murmurs softly to him and he can feel the rumble against his broad chest, and even though he can’t hear what Arin is saying, just knowing he’s saying something makes him feel safer.
It feels like an eternity before they get to a clinic but in reality it’s only around thirty minutes. Since it’s a Monday and it’s still pretty early, they get in quickly. Dan refuses to let Arin leave while they examine him.
The doctor diagnoses him with barotrauma, bad enough that if he had been just a tiny bit more stuffed up his eardrums would have ruptured. He’s also got one hell of a head cold, and he gets prescribed a shitload of stuff: Hydrocodone, amoxicillin, Afrin, Q-Nasal, and a Netti Pot treatment. The doctor says that if Dan’s hearing hasn’t improved in the next few days for them to come back. The second Arin has Dan’s prescriptions, Dan pops two hydrocodone, opting to swallow them dry if it means the pain will stop soon.
Suzy is out of town at a convention with Kati, and even though Arin trusts Barry with his life, he feels better with Dan staying at his house with him. He fires off a group text to let everyone know what’s going on. Brian says he’ll bring by the luggage later on, along with homemade soup from Rachel.
The hydrocodone has begun to kick in once Arin gets Dan into his kitchen where he then helps him take his medication. Dan looks at Arin blearily, and Arin has the fleeting thought that maybe this is what Dan looked like when stoned, glazed expression and all.
“Arin,” Dan says, and the words feel round when they come out of his mouth, filling the space around them. It still sounds kind of like he’s underwater but it’s already improving slightly.
“Yeah, buddy?” Arin brushes Danny’s wild mane away from his face and ties it back with the hair elastic that’s around his wrist.
“Can I take a bath?”
“I’m pretty sure that if you did that you would drown, buddy,” Arin says. He’s going to have a hard enough time getting Dan up the stairs as it is.
“Can you help?” Dan still has enough cognizance to blush, but the steam would help open his sinuses and everything ached.
“If… if you’re okay with that, yeah,” Arin says. Dan nods and after a lot of careful maneuvers, Arin gets Dan upstairs into the bathroom. He draws the bath and adds in some of the eucalyptus/mint/menthol bath salts he has, knowing they’ll help Dan relax and breathe better.
Undressing him is awkward, as can only be expected. Dan refuses to meet his eye when he steps out of his boxers, and he only looks at him again when he’s submerged in the water.
Dan hums nonsense notes to himself while Arin washes his back and chest with a soft loofah, making a point to not touch anything that isn’t already exposed to the air.
“I love you,” Dan says, his words slurring and breaking through the sound of water splashing as Arin rinses the suds from his shoulders.
“I love you, too,” Arin replies.
“’M'sorry about all this,” Dan tells him, waving his hand absentmindedly as if that encompasses the whole situation.
“Dude, don’t apologize for getting sick. Lord knows I’ve caught enough con funk™ to infect five hundred people.” Arin jumps in surprise when one of Dan’s large hands, wet and arm from the water, rests against his cheek.
“Don’t ever leave, okay?” Arin is positive that Dan has no idea what he’s saying at this point, so he just nods.
Arin realizes that he forgot to grab clothes before putting Dan in the bath, and he refuses to leave him alone for even a second, so when he finally fishes Dan out of the tub, he awkwardly drapes a towel around his (surprisingly) curvy hips, all the while pretending he can’t see his friend’s cock hanging limply between his legs.
Dan didn’t lie when he said how big he was, that’s for sure.
Arin helps Dan to his and Suzy’s room, and he digs up the smallest pair of his pajama pants he can find. Dan waves off the offer of a pair of Arin’s boxer briefs, and seeing his Sailor Moon pajama bottoms hang dangerously low on Dan’s waist while knowing he’s not wearing anything underneath is much more distracting than it has any right to be. The t-shirt he grabs hangs off of one of Dan’s shoulders, and Arin valiantly tries to not think about the warm twist in his gut at the sight of Dan in his clothing.
He, too, changes into pajamas and tucks Dan into the bed, knowing Suzy won’t mind. He climbs in next to Dan, who automatically octopusses his limbs across Arin.
“I love you,” Dan murmurs, already on the brink of sleep.
“I love you, too, Danny.”
Boy, does he ever. He’s so fucked.