Yuuri paced the room, bottom lip worried red by his teeth. His hands were fisted, nails digging into the meat of his own palms.
Across the room, Emil was henched over Victor’s bedridden form. The ship’s doctor let a damp cloth rest on Victor’s forehead, in hopes of soaking up the heat of his fever.
“Yuuri, come here.”
Yuuri rushed to the bedside, rather helpless in his abilities. Victor had barely stirred in over a day, his skin burning against Yuuri’s when touched. Emil had made a light joke about Yuuri potentially commanding Victor to get better, but the siren had not found it amusing. Because he had already tried and it had not worked, to his ultimate frustration.
“Wait here with him. I’m going to grab my medicine chest. If you can make him eat a little, do so.”
When Emil left, the cabin settled into uneasy silence, save for the steadiness of Victor’s breathing. Yuuri sat beside him, at the edge of the bed, his fingers curling around one of Victor’s hands. Too warm to be comfortable.
A minute passed and the silver of Victor’s lashes fluttered, his thumb stroking over Yuuri’s delicate hold. “Oh… I must be feverish, because I see an angel beside me…” Victor’s voice was hoarse, lacking its usual commanding strength and spirit. But a weak smile twitched to his lips as Yuuri scowled at his words. “No? You didn’t like that?”
Yuuri snatched up the salted meat that Emil had left behind, holding it to Victor’s mouth in lieu of a response. The pirate did not take it, even when Yuuri pushed it closer.
“…Not now, Yuuri.”
As if Yuuri was going to let him refuse. He tore a chunk off with his teeth and chewed it, swooping down with his fingers pinching at Victor’s jaw. Lips pressed together, he pushed the food into Victor’s mouth with his tongue, determined to follow doctor’s orders.
Victor promptly choked, coughing and sputtering it out onto the floor. “Ohhh, Yuuri, noooo, that’s disgusting,” he protested, sticking out his tongue. “You’re making this worse.”
Not amused, Yuuri prodded at the blankets covering Victor’s chest, tracing words into it.
Victor’s expression remained unchanged, unable to keep up with Yuuri’s quick scolding through his fever. When the siren rewrote it slower, Victor chuckled weakly. “I wouldn’t say that, lovebird, I very much enjoy having those parts of you in my mouth.”
Cheeks flushing unfairly pink, Yuuri made to speak, stopping because Emil re-entered the room. Both Victor and Yuuri gave him sheepish looks when Emil eyed the spat out meat on the floor, but he said nothing, rolling his eyes as he handed Yuuri something resembling bark to hold.
The siren examined it curiously.
“It’s supposed to reduce fever,” Victor explained, scrunching his nose in displeasure. “You need to–” He cut himself off as Yuuri bit off a piece, laughing when the siren jerked back, repulsed at the bitter tease flooding his mouth.
“That is not the best way of doing that,” Emil said, taking it back from Yuuri to grind some of the bark with a mortar and pestle.
“I think he’s trying to mama-bird me everything.”
Yuuri watched, curious, as Emil then mixed the powder into some wine.
“Help me get him up.”
Yuuri supported Victor’s back, aiding him to sit forward so Emil could tip the cup to his lips without fear of choking. Victor drank, leaning back into Yuuri’s arms when Emil seemed satisfied with the dosage.
“Stay with him until the fever breaks.” Emil instructed Yuuri, setting the medicine aside once finished. “If you’re here, maybe he won’t be so foolish as to try getting out before he’s recovered.”
Nodding, Yuuri laid Victor back down and smiled when Victor turned to rest his head against Yuuri’s lap. Yuuri was happy enough to curl up with his sick captain, giving a command of “stay” when Victor did indeed attempt to leave before his skin had cooled.