Max gets stomach flu but tries to downplay it and deny it (even to himself) but Joel recognises the signs of nausea and knows something's up. Max is trying to do stuff but Joel can see he's gradually loosing it until Max can't take it anymore and they end up in the bathroom with Max collapsed and shaky with blankets pillows and cuddles, camping out on the bathroom floor, Joel stroking his soft hair when he cries in pain b/c poor bbs so weak and shivery and his tummy hurts ❤️
Hey thanks!! Such a cute prompt. Hope you enjoy!
“Hey, Max?” Joel asked the sleeping boy. Max was laying on his belly, his face in the pillow. It was well past the time Max usually woke up.
“Max, babe, you okay?” Joel asked, sitting on the edge of the bed. He held a spatula in his hand, he’d been flipping pancakes all morning.
Max stirred, blinking for a moment before giving Joel a confused glance.
“You alright, Max?”
Max felt bad. His stomach was turning as soon as he opened his eyes. Nevertheless, he had an art project to finish up. He sat up, rubbing his eyes. Joel smirked at how little he looked – like a child waking from a nap.
“I’m fine, I need to work on my project,” Max said.
He pulled the covers back and got up. He stood still for a moment, dangerously swaying as he tried to keep his balance.
“Whoa, Max, you sure you’re okay?” Joel asked, placing a gentle hand on Max’s back. He was sweating a bit.
“I’m okay, really… I’m sorry for oversleeping,” Max said swallowing. He ran a hand over his face and padded across the bedroom floor. He pulled his easel out and sat his drawing back up, glancing at it with tired eyes. The lines were making him dizzy. He furrowed his brow and closed his eyes for a second, trying to make everything stay still. Joel watched on at a distance.
“I made pancakes, Max. Don’t you want to eat something before you get to work?” Joel asked.
Max groaned internally. He couldn’t fathom eating.
“I’m not really hungry,” Max offered, but Joel frowned.
“Ugh. Why do you always pull that face!” Max huffed, and Joel smiled.
“Come on, in the kitchen with you,” Joel said, grabbing Max’s shoulders and pushing from behind as he walked to the kitchen.
Max sat at the bar, the sight of the pancakes and syrup made him want to gag. He didn’t know why. Maybe he just really wasn’t hungry at all. He thought perhaps he was just nervous about his project.
Joel slid a plate of pancakes in front of Max and he pulled a face.
“They don’t look good?” Joel asked, noticing Max’s pale face.
“No, they do… they look great,” Max said.
Joel cocked his head to the side. He knew how much Max hated nagging.
“Max, are you sure you’re feeling okay?”
Max sighed, releasing a tiny burp into his fist.
“I’m okay, Joel, really. Just nervous about this final is all,” Max said, sticking an obligatory forkful of pancakes in his mouth, as if to prove a point. He did his best to hide the grimace he wanted to pull.
Max made his way through the pancakes and pushed the plate away from himself. He felt terrible now. The pancakes were sitting in his stomach like a rock.
“I’m gonna go work on my project now,” Max said, sliding off the barstool. Joel nodded. He cleaned up the dishes and wiped down the counters.
By the time he finished, Max was sitting on his stool again in front of his easel, painstakingly working on dark lines and light shading. He looked terrible. Joel sat on the chair across the bedroom and pulled out a book to read for class.
Every so often he glanced over at his boyfriend who would swallow periodically. Joel knew exactly what was wrong with Max – he’d seen it enough times in himself to know that Max was feeling nauseous.
Still, he didn’t want to nag Max. It wouldn’t help anything. Max had to get to the point where he admitted to feeling bad on his own – that was the only way he’d let anyone help.
A few minutes later, Joel caught Max looking positively green, his mouth slightly open and his eyes unfocused. His eyelids fluttered for a second and he swallowed, his face looking a bit pained.
“Max…” Joel said, and Max shook his head, sticking a hand up.
“I have to finish this…” Max said, going back to his lines.
Joel sighed, opening his book back up.
Several moments later, Joel looked back up at Max, whose head was in his hands. He swallowed sharply and jerked back a bit, as if a hiccup jolted him.
Joel said nothing, but continued to watch.
Soon, a wet belch broke the silence of the room, and Joel finally had enough. He stood and walked over to Max.
“Come on, babe, get to the bathroom, okay?” Joel asked. Finally Max relented, nodding shakily. He stood, his knees feeling a bit weak. Joel helped him to the bathroom and he looked at the toilet sadly.
“I can’t be sick, Joel,” Max whined, swallowing rapidly.
“It’s okay, Max, you’ll feel better soon. Your project will be fine,” Joel said.
Max hiccupped again sharply, and Joel pulled him towards the toilet.
Max landed on the floor on his knees, he gripped the sides of the toilet seat.
A queasy belch came up and Max’s mouth pooled with watery spit which ran off his bottom lip freely. Joel frowned, crouching on the floor beside him. He rubbed his back gently and Max groaned miserably before another belch came up – this time a thin stream of sick coming up with it. Max spat, his face turning a bit red with exertion. Then he belched again, this time a thick, large wave of sick coming up. His back arched as he retched. Pancakes, acidic orange juice which had upset his stomach further, last night’s dinner, all made a reappearance. Joel continued to rub his back as he spat. He sat back on his heels, his face looking positively sick.
“I don’t think I can move yet,” Max said, his eyes closed still.
Joel grabbed a rag and wet it, bending over and wiping Max’s mouth and nose.
“You okay for a second?” Joel asked, and Max nodded shortly.
Joel went away briefly and returned with a comforter and two pillows. Max looked pitiful, he was shivering relentlessly. Joel bent over and wrapped the comforter around Max’s shoulders.
“I’m gonna throw up again,” Max declared, and then he did. This time his retches sounded painful, and more sick came up.
Joel sat on one of the pillows, dutifully rubbing Max’s back as he was sick. After several more heaves, Max sat back.
“I feel terrible,” he said through his chattering teeth.
“Come here, Max,” Joel said, flushing the toilet for Max.
Max laid down on the rug, curling in on his sick stomach. His head rested in Joel’s lap on a pillow.
Max was shaking terribly, and Joel was doing his best to warm him up.
“It’s okay, Max… It’s okay,” he soothed. Max continued to shiver.
“My stomach hurts so bad… I feel so bad…” Max said, pressing the heels of his hands into his eyes.
“It’s okay, Max,” Joel said, rubbing Max’s slightly sweaty hair out of his face. He continued to play with it, trying to offer some comfort to the poor boy. He was weak and a bit dizzy.
“I feel so sick… there’s nothing left… I know there’s nothing left,” Max said, his eyes filling with tears.
“I’m sorry you don’t feel good baby,” Joel said, biting the inside of his cheek.
Max was silent for a bit, and then finally sighed, his breaths a bit shaky. He was starting to doze off by now.
“I’m glad I have you to take care of me, though,” Max said.
Joel knew he was probably a bit delirious and out of it, but he smiled, deciding he would take it.