Summary: (Based off of a request from a precious anon for a feverish pukey Noam and Ellis being the mommy he basically is <3)
Noam had the type of obedience that overruled his feelings. So when Ellis told him to eat more soup, he ate more soup…
It was around 11pm when Noam appeared in the living room. Ellis wondered how long he’d been standing there. Noam had his comforter bunched up under his arm and a pillow hanging from his hand. Ever since he was as little as four years old, Noam could find Ellis up late at night watching tv. The eldest would gather Noam’s small body up in his arms, put him over his lap and rub his back. Even now, at 17, as tall and as lanky as he was, Noam would still bunch his body over his brother’s lap for the comfort.
For most of the night, Ellis had been alone lounging on the couch watching movies. No one seemed to want to join him tonight; Gideon could be heard singing with his guitar upstairs in his room. And Noam was supposed to be asleep.
When Ellis finally noticed Noam standing at the doorway, he frowned a little. He watched Noam plop himself next to him, a little sweaty and pale, with the collar of his loose cotton tee drooping a bit off his shoulder. His lips were pressed together and turned up in a sour grimace right as Ellis heard his stomach suddenly turn with a low squelch.
Noam could feel Ellis’s hand rest on his head. “Stomach still bothering you?”
He only answered with a nod. His stomach was knotting itself into a cramp. He had to bring his knees to his chest for some relief. It moved through him so slowly that it was nauseating to breathe through. He could feel Ellis crouching over him in concern, lightly brushing grazing circlers on his back.
When the cramp finally eased off, Noam lifted his head and puffed out a shaky exhale. With a dry swallow, he pressed a hand on his stomach. It was tight, full of the liquids he’d been forcing himself to consume all day despite his nonexistent appetite. His stomach was giving him problems all afternoon at work earlier. He figured it was just the result of indigestion from eating pizza late the previous night, an indulgence he rarely took part in; Noam’s stomach had proven to be more sensitive than his brothers. Ellis had made his baby brother soup with plenty of greens and veggies when he returned home that afternoon, said it would help his digestion. Noam had nothing but bowls of that and Gatorade for the rest of the day.
Noam had the type of obedience that overruled his feelings. So when Ellis told him to eat more soup, he ate more soup; Ellis always had Noam’s best interest in mind, after all. He was so sure the soup would work.
“I feel worse than this morning.” Noam mumbled. He leaned against the sofa cushions and let his head fall back, blowing up at his bangs to get them out of his face. Ellis pushed them out of the way for him, passing his hand through coffee brown hair a few times.
“I’m sorry to hear that, nono.” Ellis said, pecking Noam’s clammy temple. Noam flinched a little, his stomach emitting another low rumble. Ellis stayed close, calmly unfazed.
“I’m pretty sure this isn’t indigestion anymore.” Noam moaned, his Adam’s apple exposed and bobbing.
“I’d have to agree with you on that, unfortunately.” He touched his neck, then his forehead, but the warmth coming off his body was enough to confirm he was feverish. Whenever Noam got hot or had a fever, color rose in his cheeks and ran across his nose. Gideon often teased him by saying he looked like a bunny, which irritated Noam to no end, since he’d been trying to grow out of his naturally baby-like face since he hit puberty.
“It’s probably not smart to be so close then.”
“Eh, probably not,” Ellis said, but he wrapped his arms around his brother’s shoulders and gave him a squeeze. “I’m pretty sure I’m immune to you by now. You’re basically my child.” This made Noam laugh a little, but then he swallowed convulsively when a wave of nausea rudely washed through him. A sour burp gurgled up his chest and he turned away so it wouldn’t blow in Ellis’s face. And then another one tore through him, all wet and heavy, and it brought up some acidic Gatorade that he had to swallow down. Ellis kept him steady, giving his shoulders a squeeze.
“You okay?” Which, at this point, meant you’re not about to throw up, are you?
Noam nodded again, keeping his lips pressed together. He swallowed hard with a grimace. “Yeah, I think I’m good.” He weakly said through his teeth. Ellis started to get up.
“Let me get you some water. And probably some Pepto too, right?”
“I’ll get it. I can’t stay still right now,” Noam said, using Ellis’s shoulder to push himself up. “Stomach’s cramping and stuff.” Ellis could hear the heavy pattern of his breathing. Sounded like he was struggling to keep his stomach out of his throat. Noam stuck a hand up his shirt and Ellis caught a glimpse of his brother’s swollen middle before he wobbled out of sight to the kitchen.
“Jeezis, that looks like it hurts, Nono,” Ellis exclaimed, his eyebrows knitting together in surprise. He twisted himself around so he could keep his brother in sight as he fished around the fridge for a tall water bottle.
“Take a full cap of it.” Ellis instructed, once he told Noam where to find the Pepto.
Noam drank more than half of the bottle of water with the Pepto, which did nothing but seem to rile his insides even more. His intestines were downright angry with him. He’d spent the next 15 minutes pacing from the kitchen to the living room, stopping to bend over the nearest surface or curl over himself each time a cramp rippled through him. They’d become so frequent that he was becoming uncharacteristically vocal about it, panting harshly and moaning deep in his throat from the pain. Ellis could only helplessly hover, since Noam seemed so irritable with how he was feeling, he didn’t want to be touched.
“God.” Ellis heard Noam hiss before he disappeared into the bathroom down the hall. Ellis hurried after him, but Noam had quickly locked the door.
Liquid could be heard pouring into the toilet bowl, splashing and plopping after short pauses. Noam was groaning, whispering words of distress to himself. He sounded muffled, like he might be biting his hand or something. Ellis tried the door again.
“Hey, Noam?” Noam’s trembling panting was putting his older brother in a panic. He hoped it hadn’t shown in his voice. That was the last thing Noam needed.
“Just gimme a minute, Ellis. Please, just—privacy please?”
“Oh, oh my god. Sorry, okay. Call for me if you need me. I’ll be on the couch.” Ellis had to wrench himself from the door, he felt so bad. It killed him to hear Noam in pain, but he forced himself to be calm.
30 minutes later, Noam finally came back to the couch, looking shaky and grey. His full lips were pale. Ellis had been itching to check on him, so the moment Noam sat back down, Ellis’s hands were busy examining him. He lifted Noam’s shirt, discouraged by how bloated he still was.
Noam bent over to get the water bottle on the floor, bringing it to his lips. The water cooled down the burning in his throat, but it added to the fullness he still felt. Ellis’s hand went back to Noam’s back gently.
“How’s your stomach?” In which Noam just shook his head and closed his eyes.
“Cramping stopped, but now I’m just nauseous. Like,” he swallowed dryly. “Really nauseous.“
“Better or worse?”
“Worse.” He answered with a pout. Ellis kissed the side of his head again.
“I’m so sorry, yobo.”
Noam whimpered a little and placed his pillow on Ellis’s lap. Ellis opened up expectedly and invited Noam to curl across him. The moment the pressure of the pillow was on his stomach, a belch rolled right out of him. His body shuddered; it can’t have felt good, but it was bringing up the trapped air. Ellis made a sympathetic noise and pushed up his brother’s shirt, working his hand over the expanse of his warm back. Periodically, he gave him a few pats, and Noam’s stomach would gurgle into the pillow before his spine would ripple and another sharp belch would hurtle out of him.
Ellis tried to distract Noam with a movie, but his brother was too nauseated to focus, throat too tight to even make a comment, so Ellis kept a soothing hand on Noam’s skin, dragging his fingers up and down his spine.
Gideon came downstairs for a snack right when Noam started getting noticeably worse. His hiccups were getting deeper and his burps were starting to bring up more than air that he was struggling to swallow down. He lifted himself from the pillow, breathing through his nose. Looking completely frustrated with himself, he looked sullenly at his brother with glazed over hazel eyes before pressing himself into Ellis and hiding his face into his chest.
“Oh my baby.” Ellis crooned, rocking Noam a little. He could feel Noam’s active stomach sloshing against his own. Noam audibly swallowed something that must’ve risen when his abdomen clenched. He let out a shallow gag and pressed his face into Ellis’s warm neck. He had Ellis’s shirt clenched in his fists.
“Ellis,” he gasped out. His voice was quaking. “I need—,” but then something gurgled up his chest and abruptly escaped him with a wet but unproductive heave. It was so violent, Noam’s body had lurched over the couch. Ellis grabbed him so he wouldn’t go falling on his face.
“Oh crap—Giddy, I need something now. Noam’s throwing up.”
Gideon knew Noam hadn’t been feeling well, but he was shocked to hear Ellis calling for him past Noam’s sudden retches that cut through the air.
With a burning belch, Noam heaved over the couch, sending a torrent of liquid splattering onto the ground. Ellis was rubbing his shoulder blades, doing what he could while still being pinned down by Noam’s shaking body. Gideon hurried over with a trashcan. Thank God, they had hardwood floors; a wide puddle of chunky broth and Gatorade now littered the floor, seeping under the couch.
“Shit, okay,” Gideon shoved the trashcan under Noam’s dripping lips, right before his head disappeared into the bin with a forceful heave. Gideon placed a steadying hand on Noam’s shoulder. It scared him a little. Noam’s heaves were hitting him so rapidly, he could barely take in a breath. His throat made a strangled whimper.
“Shh, it’s okay, Noam. You’re okay, yobo. Breathe when you can, you’re alright.” Ellis whispered, pressing kisses into his baby brother’s shoulder. Noam’s stomach was clenching relentlessly against Ellis’s.
“You’re okay. Just get it out. You’re alright.” Gideon added. He stayed close until Noam’s gagging had gone dry. Ellis gently coaxed Noam to get up so they could get him to the bathroom, holding Noam close to him while he turned him around. Gideon quickly came around the couch to lift one of Noam’s arms to get him to stand.
The moment he stood, Noam let out a sob before lurching forward yet again, more liquid pouring past his lips and into the trashcan. Both brothers stood with him, holding him as belches wracked his body. Ellis had a hand on Noam’s stomach. It had gone down some, but was still alarmingly puffy and it was writhing into his palm. He was still bringing up surprising amounts of vomit; the bin was getting heavy with how full it was getting.
Just when it seemed like Noam was done, lifting his head and looking ahead hazily, nose dripping with snot and eye’s red and tearful, he jolted with a hiccup and curled over with a retch so deep his ears turned red.
The convulsions made his knees buckle under him. Ellis followed him down while Noam held onto the bin with a shaking death grip. He was panting into it, his breathes agitating the plastic bag lining of the container. Gideon had taken to rubbing his back, eyes wide with concern, because now he was scared. Noam was alarmingly, violently sick. His skin was burning.
Ellis used his other hand to run his fingers through Noam’s now sweaty hair. Gideon watched as he asked Noam questions to see what he was feeling, what he might need from them, and he was completely unresponsive. All he seemed able to do was keep himself from falling over. A string of thick saliva dangled past his open mouth. His eyes looked vacant.
Ellis set his jaw and got up, urging Gideon to stay with Noam while he grabbed his keys, his wallet, put on his shoes. He shoved a baseball cap on his head and crouched down to have Gideon lift Noam onto his back.
“Call mom for me,” Ellis said, already heading to the front door. Gideon nodded, getting his shoes. “Tell her to meet us at the emergency room.”