Prompt?: Lance comes down with an illness, and Keith is instructed to take care of him. At first, Lance is milking it for all it's worth, enjoying Keith having to do things for him and whatnot. But his condition quickly begins to worsen, and he really DOES need help, Keith just assumes he's faking it for more attention? I'm a sucker for the "don't believe them until it's too late" sickfic trope. :D
I’m drunk so don’t hate me if this sucks lol
“Keeeeith,” Lance whined, “I need you.” Keith rubbed a hand down his face.
“I’m going to kill him,” Keith confided in Pidge and Hunk. “I’m going to lose my shit, and there’s going to be a white-hot flash of light, and Lance will be dead, and I will feel nothing.”
“Oh, go easy on him,” Hunk smirked. “He’s sick.”
“He’s got a cold!”
“A space cold,” Pidge corrected, “and he’s lonely. He misses his family.”
Keith sighed. “I know that. I just wish I weren’t the one in charge of babysitting, you know? I’m so… not good at it.”
“That’s what you get, Typhoid Mary,” Pidge teased. Keith had been sick last week with a nasty cold, and Lance had been the only paladin brave enough to risk getting sick himself to care for Keith. He’d had to admit that it was nice, at the time. Lance was a good care-taker, even if it sometimes got a bit overwhelming. He’d been freaked, Keith could tell, about what might happen with this unidentified space virus, checking Keith’s temperature every hour and forcing him to drink water and eat soup. The attention ranged from much-needed, when Keith was awake and miserable, to downright suffocating, when Keith was trying to sleep or relax.
“You were pretty whiny, too,” Hunk reminded him, “But Lance never complained about it.”
“You’re right; you’re always right,” Keith admitted, throwing his hands up in mock surrender. The red paladin steeled himself and entered Lance’s room.
“What do you need?” he asked.
“Will you read to me?” Lance asked, looking suspiciously innocent.
“I’m out of here,” Keith decided, turning quickly on one heel.
“Wait,” Lance stopped him, “For real. I’ve got a really bad headache.”
“Go to sleep,” Keith suggested. He felt for his friend, he did. But there was no way in hell he’d read to him.
“It hurts too much,” he admitted. “My sisters always used to read to me, and it helped me relax enough to fall asleep.”
“It’s not going to happen, Lance.”
“Shiro said you were supposed to take care of me,” Lance definitely-did-not-whine.
“Yeah, he said I had to make sure you didn’t die. He said nothing about entertainment.”
Lance huffed, which turned into a fit of harsh coughing. “Fine. Can you grab me something for my head?”
“You just took it half an hour ago,” Keith said, feeling genuinely sympathetic now. “You can’t take anything more for another three and a half hours.”
Lance looked disappointed. “Oh, okay. Thanks anyway,” he muttered, rolling over in his bed to try to sleep. Keith turned his lights off on the way out.
Sitting down to the table once more, Keith let his body sag into the chair tiredly.
“How did Lance manage to do this for a whole week? It’s only been two days and I’m tired,” Keith said.
“Lance really cares about you,” Shiro joined from the doorway, having overheard Keith’s complaints.
“It’s not that I don’t care!”
“You wouldn’t even read to him,” Hunk argued. “Not even a little. He’s in there, in pain, unable to sleep, and you wouldn’t read him a story. He didn’t even ask you to do funny voices.”
“You know that he would have,” Keith fought weakly, but he knew that Hunk was right. He wasn’t as good a friend as Lance.
“Lance is just a natural caretaker,” Shiro offered. “That’s why he’s so sick now–he ran himself ragged looking after you, Keith. You complained that he woke you up every hour to check your fever, but have you considered that means he was up every hour, too?”
“And at least you were sleeping during the day,” Pidge added. “Lance still had to do paladin training.”
Keith was stunned silent.
And he wouldn’t even read to the kid.
Keith stood again and walked back into Lance’s room.
“Hey, Lance?” he tried softly from the doorway.
“Go ‘way,” Lance muttered. He was shivering violently enough that Keith could see it from the door.
“I’ll read to you, if you still want me to,” Keith offered. He had to physically lock his knees to prevent himself from sprinting away from how much he did not want to do this.
“No,” said the lump of covers that was the blue paladin. “Just leave me alone.”
“Come on, don’t be like that,” Keith tried.
“M’serious,” Lance insisted, “Fuck off, Keith.”
Keith bristled at the language.
“Look, I know you don’t feel well, but you’re being a baby,” Keith accused, stepping inside the room. “I’m trying my best.” He reached out and turned on a table lamp. Lance jerked away from even the dim light source, burying his face in the covers.
“Lance?” Keith called softly, uncertainly.
“Turnitoffturnitoffturnitoff,” Lance pleaded, and Keith did so faster than he’d ever done anything in his life. His heart was pounding.
“What’s the matter, Lance?”
“Head,” was seemingly all he could manage.
Keith leaned in close to feel Lance’s forehead with his hand, and cursed at the blistering heat and uncomfortable dryness of his skin. Why hadn’t he made sure Lance was drinking water, as Lance had done for him while he was sick?
But Keith hadn’t been this sick. Like Shiro had said, Lance had run himself into the ground trying to take care of both Keith and all his normal paladin duties, and this was the result–he’d crashed and now he was burning.
“I’m gonna get Shiro,” Keith promised. Lance was shivering desperately still, teeth chattering. He didn’t reply.
“Shiro,” Keith cried breathlessly, sprinting into the common room. “He’s really sick.”
“What do you mean?” Pidge asked. “It’s just a cold; you had it, too.”
“I don’t know what happened to him,” Keith admitted, a pinkish tinge of panic coloring his voice. “His fever’s through the roof and I don’t know what to do.”
Shiro and the others followed Keith to Lance’s room, quarantine be damned. Lance wasn’t in his bed.
“Where did he go?” Hunk asked to no one in particular.
“He’s in no condition to be wandering around,” Keith said.
“If his fever’s as high as you say it is, he might be hallucinating,” Shiro deduced. “Split up. Call the rest of us on the comms if you find him.”
Everyone took off in different directions in search of the blue paladin.
“He’s not in his lion,” Pidge supplied. “She seems really agitated.”
“She’s probably freaking out just as much as we are,” Hunk said. “He’s not in the kitchen.”
“Lance?” Shiro called. Where the hell had he hidden? “Come on out, buddy, we want to help you.”
“Guys, I’ve got him,” Keith finally announced. “He’s under my goddamn bed.” Lance was indeed sprawled halfway under Keith’s bed, looking like he’d passed out where he stood.
“What?” came a chorus of concerned voices.
“What’s he doing in there?” Shiro asked.
“He had a headache,” Keith said. “He asked me to give him something for it, but it was too early. The light hurt his eyes when I came into his room. I think he came in here because it’s dark and quiet.”
“Why yours?” Hunk asked.
“Lance?” Keith tried. “Lance, buddy, what are you doing out here?”
“Gotta check Keith’s fever,” Lace replied, a slurred, worrisome mess.
“I’m right here, remember?” Keith asked. “I’m all better now. You took good care of me.”
“I did?” Lance asked, blinking owlishly at the red paladin. He seemed barely able to keep his eyes open.
“Yeah, you did.”
Lance pressed the palms of his hands hard into his closed eyes, looking pitiful and pained. “My head hurts,” he admitted.
“I know, bud,” Keith soothed. “You’ve got a fever. I’m gonna take care of you now.”