3 for Alistair please. (He's my favorite)
Okay, time for another fic that is sorta moving the plot ahead. Alistair goes back home with Julius as a boyfriend for the first time! And he’s sick, of course. I had a lot of fun with this, I hope you guys enjoy it.
Warning: graphic descriptions of vomit below
“You ready? I don’t know why you look so nervous. You’ve met my mum lots of times,” Julius said cheerily. He was beaming brightly, so happy to be holding Alistair’s hand and taking him home as a boyfriend. He was a complete contrast to Alistair himself, who was pale and frowning, biting his nails.
“That’s why I’m nervous. You know what your mother is like. She’ll probably be waiting to assault me with the kitchen knife for taking her little Julius away,” Alistair muttered, only half joking. Julius giggled.
“Oh, mum likes you well enough. She just thinks it’s funny to tease you. Come on, you’ll be fine,” Julius said, grabbing Alistair’s hand and pulling him in through the door, breathing in the familiar smells of cooking and detergent and vanilla candles.
Poppy was the first to greet them. She came running, her eyes gleaming, her blond hair streaming behind her like a flag. She stopped in front of Alistair and grinned mischievously.
“Mum says Juli’s your boyfriend!” she declared, giggling. Alistair frowned at her.
“Yeah… So what?”
“You love each other!” she squealed, and started the old playground chant: “Alistair and Julius sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G!”
“Are you done?” Alistair asked her irritably, blushing, and Poppy giggled and tried to pull the two boys into the living room.
Blaise and Carol were sitting on the sofa, Carol watching the tv, Blaise hunched over a book. His sharp eyes caught the movement of his sister dashing across the room, and he flicked his chin length black hair out of his eyes and nodded at Alistair and Julius. Alistair nodded back awkwardly as Julius gave his brother a warm greeting, alternating between signing and talking.
Alistair liked Blaise, but it was difficult to build a true rapport with someone when you didn’t have a clue what they were saying. So until Alistair learned sign language he had to use Julius as a translator, and frequently felt out of the loop when even ten year old Poppy could sign at an extraordinary pace. Alistair was just relieved Blaise could read lips, otherwise they’d be forced to communicate through text messages or something.
Carol had stood up, stout and formidable, her shoulders as strong and broad as a man’s. She clasped Julius tight and kissed his flushed cheeks, but then she turned her firm gaze to Alistair.
“Well well well, Alistair Renfrew! You certainly kept my poor Juli waiting a long time. Six years! I used to see the way you looked at him and I knew your feelings went further than friendship, anyone with eyes could see that. Anyone but you. Sometimes I just wanted to shake you - but I knew it was something you had to work out for yourself. No matter how long it took,” Carol said grimly.
Blaise had been watching her lips, and he smirked now. He knew Alistair couldn’t sign, so he made a love heart with his thumbs and index fingers and pulled a face, all big eyes and pouting, trying to look lovestruck. Alistair scowled at him, flushing red. He waited until Carol had turned away and nudged Blaise.
“Hey Blaise, here’s a sign I do recognise,” he muttered, sticking up his middle finger. Blaise grinned and went back to his book, tapping his black painted nails on the pages.
Alistair found the entire evening was like that - cosy and domestic and fond. Nobody hit each other, nobody threw any tantrums, and there was only one small argument between Blaise and Poppy over the tv remote.
Alistair had spent time with Julius’s family before - hell, he’d gone so far as to holiday with them - but it still seemed strange to him. He’d grown up in such a volatile household, where his parents had daily arguments and he could be hit for something tiny like sneezing at the dinner table or not taking off his shoes. Julius’s house seemed like a different world entirely.
Alistair would have been perfectly happy if he wasn’t starting to feel a little strange. He’d been feeling a little off since that morning, but he’d chalked it down to nerves - he usually got a mild headache and a stomach ache when he was anxious. But now the headache was intensifying, leaving him frowning against the pain, and the nausea increased until he could barely choke down the dinner Carol made.
Alistair’s head was spinning by the time the evening rolled around, and all he wanted to do was crawl into bed - but Poppy started clamouring for Alistair to come into her bedroom and play hairdressers (which was just an excuse to tie Alistair’s hair in bunches or braids and call him her big sister to annoy him). Alistair followed her meekly without his usual arguing, blinking black spots out of his vision.
Julius and Carol were chatting in the kitchen, making up for all those long weeks apart, when they both heard Poppy give a high-pitched squeal.
Both Carol and Julius ran to her, looking frantic. Poppy was stood in the hall, staring with wide, frightened eyes at Alistair. The red-head was sprawled across the carpet, his face white, though there was a deep red fever flush across his cheeks. Julius cried out and knelt beside his boyfriend, cupping his forehead.
“Oh, he’s burning hot! I didn’t even notice!” he wailed, feeling horribly guilty. He brushed Alistair’s hair off his forehead gently, and the contact made Alistair’s eyes flutter open, though he seemed dazed.
“J-Jules..?” he muttered, and then shakily propped himself up on one elbow. Julius blinked.
“No, Star, don’t get up y-”
He was cut off when Alistair made a choked gurgling sound and suddenly vomited violently all over the carpet. Julius gasped and tried to snatch Alistair’s red hair back, but some of the ends were coated in sick. Poppy pulled a disgusted face.
“Ewww, yuck!” she squealed, and Julius glared at her with surprising malice as he held Alistair upright. Carol caught the look and jerked her head at Poppy.
“You, out of here,” she ordered, and Poppy dashed off obediently. Carol moved closer to the two boys, putting a hand on Alistair’s heaving back.
“Come on now, try to breathe. You’re okay,” she said, her voice surprisingly soft. Alistair coughed up another mouthful of puke onto the floor, groaning.
“H-hurts - urrrgh!”
Carol nodded. “I know, I know. We’ll get you in bed soon. Why didn’t you say you felt ill? You never did have any sense, Alistair Renfrew,” she scolded, though there was a warm, fond note in her voice.
When Alistair had finally finished throwing up, he was white and shaking and whimpering, leaning against Julius heavily. He kept glancing fearfully at the mess he’d made in the floor, his eyes filling with tears - and when Carol raised a hand to check his temperature herself, he flinched away, clinging to Julius.
“Don’t! I’ll clean it up, I swear!” he cried, shaking. Julius looked shocked, then terribly sad. He hugged Alistair close, tears in his own eyes.
Carol was too stunned to move for a moment. The poor kid thought she was going to hit him! It nearly broke her heart to think that those dreadful parents of Alistair’s had beaten him so often that he’d come to expect it, even for something as insignificant as making a mess on the carpet.
“Hey now… Don’t you worry, nobody gets hit in my house - unless Blaise and Poppy decide to play up and bash each other around, but that doesn’t happen too often now. And I’d never hit anybody, and I certainly wouldn’t hit you for being sick, it’s not as if you can help it,” Carol said, looking right into Alistair’s feverish eyes. She lifted his chin with her fingertips.
“You’re not well. Juli, take him to bed. You’ll have to bunk in your old bedroom like you did as teenagers. I’ll be right in after I clean this up,” she finished, ruffling Julius’s curls as if he was still a little boy - which, of course, he was to her. Julius smiled at her gratefully and hauled Alistair upright, pulling him into his bedroom.
Julius’s bedroom hadn’t changed from when the boy was a teenager - it made Alistair and Julius catch their breath to see the familiar mapped constellations stuck up on the wall, the line of moth eaten stuffed animals on the windowsill, the little model of the solar system dangling from the ceiling. Alistair stumbled up to this and flicked it, making the planets sway and spin.
“Remember how you wouldn’t get one of these models that didn’t have a Pluto? Because you felt bad that it wasn’t a planet anymore,” he whispered. Julius smiled.
“Yeah. It can’t help being small, can it?” he said.
Julius paused, looking around. The bedroom was so familiar, yet he didn’t feel like he belonged there anymore. He was out of place here. He knew who did fit - it was a fourteen year old Alistair and Julius, huddled up together on the carpet. Back then all their problems had disappeared when they had come into this room - it was their sanctuary, and Alistair’s bruises, the boys who yelled horrible insults after Julius at school, they were insignificant.
“We had some good times in here, didn’t we?” Julius said, leading Alistair over to the bed. He was whispering too, though he wasn’t exactly sure why. Alistair nodded, climbing into bed and trying to pull Julius in after him.
“Only good times of my whole childhood.”
Julius smiled weakly, getting into bed and pulling Alistair’s poor hot head onto his chest, stroking his hair. Alistair wrinkled his nose as his bangs fell in his eyes, pulling them back in disgust.
“Yuck, it’s in my hair…”
Julius chuckled softly. “Thanks for putting your head on me then!” he joked. “I’ll tell mum to get a cloth to clean it out when she comes back.”
Alistair nodded, clutching onto Julius tightly, as if he thought someone might try to pry them apart.
“You won’t leave me, will you?” Alistair suddenly asked, making Julius blink in surprise.
“Why would I?”
Alistair shrugged. “Because I’m a fucking mess.”
“I love you,” Julius said, as if it was that simple. “All the messy parts of you. And all the good stuff too. There’s so much more good in you than you see.”
Alistair paused. He didn’t usually say that he loved Julius aloud - he’d write him a note or send him a text, where Julius couldn’t see him blushing. If he did say it, it was usually in a whisper, right in Julius’s ear before they went to sleep. But now Alistair, in his feverish state, nuzzled into Julius and spoke out proudly.
“I really do love you more than anyone else in the world.”