It was a Tuseday. You were working late, as usual. You worked at a restaruant in downtown LA, a small but popular place. The place had gained popularity due to some youtuber praising your hamburgers over twitter a year ago, and since then your boss had decided that it would be a good idea to close the restaurant at a later time than before. And since most people tended to come during the evenings, this meant he needed more starff at night. Which lead to you having to work the late shifts or no shifts at all. And since you had to pay rent in order to have a place to live there really was no choice.
You hated working late. Your boyfriend had a busy scehdule during the day, and since you usually wouldn’t stumble inside your own apartment until past midnight there were barely any time to see him. Your schedules seemed to constantly collide. When you had a weekend off he was out of town. When you had a night off he had a concert or some other fancy event he needed to attend. Nights used to be the time you could spend together, but work pulled you away.
There were only a few costumers left, and you were cleaning some empty tables at the back as the clock seemed to have stopped at 11.01. You sighed. The last hour always went by in such a slow pase. Twentynine minutes and you could go home. If you were lucky and the traffic were light you could be home and cuddled down in your bed before the clock had even struck 12.
“Y/N!” your coworker and best friend Anna shouted from across the restaurant. You looked up. She leaned over the bar where she was situated and waved furiously with her arms. In one hand a phone dangled, dangerously close to slip from her clumsy fingers. “You have a call!”
You frowned. The phone by the bar were there for emergencies and emergencies only. Who could possibly be in such a desperate need for you that they would call the work phone twentyseven minutes before the end of your day?
You threw the towel you had used to clean over a chair and made your way across the maze of tables and grabbed the phone from Anna. She gave you a look filled with concern before going back to place new and clean glasses at the shelves behind her.
You pressed the phone against your ear and breathed out a soft, “Hello?”
“Y/N?” Ashton whined in relief from the other end of the phone. “Thank god. When do you end?”
“Ashton?” You sank down on a chair and waved your hand at Anna when she raised an eyebrow as if to swat away her worries. “This phone is for emergencies. You can’t call me to ask when I end. If you’d just ask Cal then you’d-”
“But that’s the thing!” Ashton interrupted you before you had any chance to finish your upset rambling. “It is an emergency.”
“If this is about you losing Luke’s key again so you can’t get to Petunia I will never speak to you again.”
Your heart sank at the sound of your boyfriend’s name. “What happened? Is he okay?”
You heard some incoherent yelling that sounded suspiciously much like Michael from Ashton’s side of the phone. “Not really. How fast can you get here?”
You hadn’t gotten any specifics on why exactly Calum was not okay. Not that it really mattered, if Calum was anything but fine you’d come running no matter what. Your boss had allowed you to leave as you had rambled on about an emergency whilst grabbing all your things, and you were soon in your car driving towards Calum’s apartment. You were worried. You hadn’t seen your boyfriend since the beginning of last week due to the band leaving LA for a few days and then practically living in the studio for another few. You had barely spoken besides the texts you both made sure to squeeze in each day.
What if’s of all kinds crossed your mind in a dangerous speed as you slowly got closer and closer to your destination. Scenarios filled with tragedy and accidents flashed before your eyes as you parked your car and threw yourself out. The key to Calum’s apartment felt heavy in your palm as you climbed the familiar stairs that eventually lead you to his door. You let yourself in, prepared for a crime scene of some sort.
Ashton bounced up from a chair in the kitchen, throwing himself in your arms before you even had a chance to close the door. “Thank god.”
“What’s wrong, Ash?” You pried his fingers away from your arms. “You’re scarying me. Where’s Cal?”
“He’s in his room.” Ashton pulled a few golden curls away from his eyes. “He won’t stop throwing up and I don’t know what to do. Michael had to leave and I have to leave soon and oh god, he’s so sick, Y/N. I don’t know what happened, he woke up like that but he’s just gotten worse, Michael and I tried some medicine and we facetimed Luke and his mom told us to just let him sleep but he has been sleeping forever and he isn’t getting any better and ,oh god, I don’t know what to do.”
“Ashton, breath!” You shrugged your jacket off and kicked your shoes off. “He’s sick?”
During the two years of dating Calum he had only had a fever once. He never got sick, but when he did he got really sick. No wonder Ashton had panicked.
“Yes! And I feel awful for calling on you when you were working but I really need to go and I-”
“It’s fine. Don’t worry.” you shook your head. “I’m glad you called. I’ll stay the night, don’t worry. I have the day off tomorrow.”
“You’re an angel, Y/N.” Ashton grabbed his jacket from behind you, glancing at the clock. “Call me or Michael if you need anything. Again, I’m so sorry, but I really need to leave.”
“Go! I’ve got this!”
After locking the door behind Ashto you prepared a tall glass of water for your boyfriend and made your way to his room. The lights were out and you could see the sillhouette of a body on top of the bed. After putting down the glass you began searching for a pair of Calum’s basketball shorts for you to wear. After chaning out of your jeans and into the soft material you placed tha glass on the bedside table and climbed into the bed. Your heart sank at the sound of Calum’s heavy breathing.
You ran your fingers through Calum’s thick curls, a soft gasp escaping as your skin came in contact with his heated forehead. “Baby? It’s me. Are you awake?”
After a few seconds of complete silence Calum managed a low grunt. You leaned down to drop a kiss on his cheek and was surprised to be met with two deep brown eyes when pulling away. His big eyes looked tired and glossy with fever. You felt yourself melt at the look of him.
Calum slowly raised a hot hand in order to stroke a finger down your nose. As he opened his mouth his voice was raspy, sleep still tugging at it. “Watcha doing here?”
“I heard my boyfriend was awfully sick,” you mumbled, pressing a soft kiss to his finger as it left your nose and travelled across your lips. “so I came to take care of him.”
“I’m not awfully sick.” Calum shook his head stubbornly. “It’s just a cold.”
“Stop acting like you’re all strong and invincible. You’re sick,” you softly pushed away his hand from your face and sat up. “let me make you feel better.”
Calum closed his eyes, dark circles clinging to his face like bruises. And it was when he softly breathed out an “okay” that you knew he truly wasn’t feeling himself. Calum usually dismissed every little cold and refused to admit when he wasn’t feeling his best.
You settled down and curled your arms around Calum and sighed softly as he nuzzled his face against your neck. You pressed your lips against his temple. “God, baby, you’re burning up.”
That’s how you spent the night. With Calum craddled in your arms. Every now and then he would rush up, heading for the bathroom with his palm covering his mouth. You’d then spend a good ten minutes stroking his hair on the bathroom floor, whispering reassuring words as he sobbed of exhaustion.
When Calum’s laid his forehead on the cold floor for the fifth time that night you softly patted his back. “Lets give you a bath. You will feel much better.”
You prepared a bath, helping Calum up on two wobbly legs before softly removing his sweaty t-shirt, his warm sweatpants. He sank into the water with the help of your shoulder under his arm. He sat there for a while with closed eyes as you replaced the damp sheets in the bed with new and cold ones and brought in a pair of fresh shorts and a clean t-shirt.
Humming quietly you grabbed a bottle of shampoo, your fingers scratching Calum’s scalp. An approving groan escaped your boyfriend. You worked your fingers over the wet skin of his shoulder, relief flooded through your body as the tension in his muscles finally softened. You slowly helped Calum clean, and then you just sat there, your arms around his torso and your lips against his back. His heartbeat finally slowed down under your fingers as parts of the hot fever seemed to seep out from him and into the water along with the sweat in his damp curls.
After what felt like forever you helped him get dressed. His big body leaned against yours for support as you shuffled towards his bed. Calum fell down with a deep sigh, his body curling into a ball the moment his head hit the pillow. Your heart swelled at the sight of him: damp curls, puffy face and feverish limbs. He struggled to keep his eyes on you as you climbed up next to him, but sleep pulled at his eyelids.
You pressed a kiss on his forehead before pulling his body close to yours, your legs trapping his. “Get some sleep, babe. You will feel better tomorrow.”
The room grew quiet for a few long minutes. The only sound coming from Calum’s heavy breaths as your fingers in his hair lulled him to sleep.
Calum eventually broke the silence with his whispered words. “Y/N?”
“Hm?” you closed your own eyes as his nose pressed against your neck.
You smiled to yourself, twirling a strand of his hair between your fingers. “Don’t thank me, Cal.”
Silence. And then, a breath against your neck, barely audible. “I love you so much.”
“I love you, too.”