Word Count 361
Disclaimer Not mine
Something was so wrong.
There had been a pain in his back. He remembered that. He had been wet, and sleepy, and Archie had rubbed his back, and the cold had gone away.
The cold had come back, differently now. It had come back angry and punishing. It came with shudders he could not stop, and it stung him with sweat, and he was burning under his face. The pain in his back was all down his legs. He was weak with it. It hurt in his head too. Why did his head hurt? He must have done something wrong. He had done something wrong, and he could not remember what.
He was thirsty so thirsty. He tried to open his eyes, but the light hurt his head. He tried to speak, but it made him cough. It hurt where he breathed, inside. Coughing hurt in his back, soaked him with sweat again.
He could feel tears coming from his sore eyes. They sneaked out beneath the lids, and burned his face. He didn't want to cry, but he could not help it.
Something moved, out beyond Horatio. He tried to speak, again, and this time someone was there. A hand touched his face, large and impossibly cool. It brought a smooth palm over his brow, his scorching cheeks, it wiped the tears away.
“Archie? Archie, I'm wrong.”
He dared to open his eyes. There was an Archie and a half, in front of him, blurry and wavering, shining in a nimbus of gleam.
“I'm wrong.” He had to explain.
“No, shh, shh. It's all right Horatio. No, don't get up. You are ill, Honeybee. You have a fever. The doctor has been. You're on the sick-list.”
Archie had a cup, and the water was cold, and he swallowed greedily, but it slipped, and some spilled down the front of Horatio. He could feel the little drops of wet, on his chest, bigger than anything else. It seemed to Horatio that the heat would burn them away, but they were still there, after all, when he fell asleep.