[identity profile] next-mas-mods.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] nextgen_mas
Title: One Day I Will Wake Up, And It Will All Fit Together
Author: [livejournal.com profile] hollys_tree
Prompt Number: 44
Rating: PG-13
Pairing/characters: Teddy/James
Warnings/content: Highlight to read *none; this is romantic, Christmas-y hurt/comfort*
Medium or word count: 3,100
Summary: Teddy has dragon pox. James doesn't mind the spots and green skin all that much.
Notes: How could I resist a prompt like this, when "caring for one who's sick" is one of my favourite tropes. I hope you like it too. :)
Disclaimer: Harry Potter belongs to JK Rowling. All works posted at this community were created entirely for fun without making any profit. No copyright infringement is intended.




James stood at the huge wooden table in the kitchen of the Burrow --up to his elbows in a mix of flour, sugar and eggs-- when his grandmother bustled into the room.

"Oh, that poor boy," Gran said. "Just before Christmas!"

"What boy?" Rose asked while she measured ground almonds and hazelnuts onto several different plates with her wand.

"Teddy! I just spoke to him on the Floo."

James looked up and paused what he was doing with the pastry dough. "What is wrong with Teddy?"

Gran summoned an apron and busied herself at the stove. "Apparently he's got dragon pox. I've always said it's unnatural if children don't get it in their early years, and see? Now he's caught it on that case last week. You know, the one where the kid accidentally locked all entries to the primary school? What a mess that was, it made the front page of the Prophet... The poor parents, couldn't get to their children for an entire day."

"Granny. You were talking about Teddy?" Rose said with a sideways glance to James.

"Ah yes. Well, he was at St Mungo's this morning but they gave him his potions and discharged him right away. It's gonna take a few weeks for him to get well again though. And of course he cannot come here when Lucy and Roxanne hadn't had the pox yet either. Oh, what a shame. And the boy was all green in the face and I don't think that was just due to the Floo connection."

James bit his tongue to keep from noticing that at the age of twenty-eight and as a member of the Auror corps, Teddy was hardly a boy anymore.

"I will make a batch of chicken soup now, can one of you bring it over to Teddy's flat later?" Gran asked. "He needs something to soothe his stomach."

"Yeah," James said quickly. "I had the pox when I was two, I can go over there. No problem."

"Ah, you're a darling!" Gran pressed a kiss to James' cheek and her eyes were suspiciously teary. Then she turned around, waved her wand and several carrots and potatoes came flying from a basket on the counter; they hovered in the air before another flick of the wand caused them to peel themselves.

Rose leaned over to James and lowered her voice, "She always goes completely crazy before Christmas. Yesterday she burst out in tears when dad asked her if there was anything he could help her with." She emptied one of the small plates with nuts into James bowl. "So..." she said. "You were quick to volunteer."

James smiled and flicked his sticky hands at Rose; she shrieked when a piece of pastry dough got caught in her thick hair.

+++

"Hello?" James called into the flat and closed the door behind him.

There was no answer. He crossed the small hallway and went into the living room. On the table lay a paper bag with St Mungo's label on it; next to it stood several different glass vials. James picked on of them up and peered at the label. It just said Dragon Pox Cure. He set it down again and made his way over to the tiny kitchen. He put the pot of chicken soup on the stove and lit it before he walked into the direction of Teddy's bedroom.

The door was ajar and James slowly opened it.

Teddy was asleep in his bed. He lay sprawled on his back; the sheets were kicked back. Teddy's skin had a sickly greenish tint and was covered with spots of a deeper shade of green. His normally shiny hair was dull black and there was sheen of sweat on his forehead.

James walked over to the bed and sat down on the edge. As he smoothed away the dark strands of hair from Teddy's forehead, Teddy opened his eyes.

"Hey," he croaked.

"Hey," James said quietly. "I brought you chicken soup."

Teddy tried to smile. "Molly?"

"Who else? She's concerned." James paused. "We all are."

"I'm fine."

James raised an eyebrow.

"Ok, maybe not fine. But I'm not dying. At least I hope so because—damn Jamie, I'm not sure I've ever felt this bad." Teddy's head sank deeper into the pillow and a shiver ran through his body. When James tried to pull up the covers, Teddy stopped him with a weak hand. "No. I'm burning up."

James frowned. "Have you taken your potions? They need to be administered regularly."

"Yeah," Teddy answered but he sounded half unconscious again already.

James wand vibrated up his sleeve to alert him that the soup should be hot by now. He took a plate of it to the bedroom and helped Teddy sit up. Teddy's hands shook too much to hold the spoon himself, so James had to feed him. Teddy didn't even protest and that –more than anything– was a sign for how sick Teddy really felt.

It wasn't that the thought of feeding Teddy had never entered James' head... but normally this particular kind of daydreaming involved chocolate sauce, strawberries and Teddy as an active participant.

James handed Teddy his potions and watched as Teddy grimaced after he swallowed both the bright green and the purple liquid. Shortly after Teddy sank into a restless sleep.

James went back to the living room. He contemplated the couch for a moment then he went over to the fireplace and threw a hand of Floo powder into the flames.

+++

A touch on his shoulder woke James up. He was disoriented for a second before he recognised the pattern of his mattress as Teddy's couch.

He sat up and looked at Teddy standing in front of him. "Morning," he said.

"Good morning." Teddy had draped a blanket around him. His skin looked even greener than the evening before, now that the morning sun lit up the room. "You slept on my couch."

"Yeah." James ran a hand through his unruly hair. He could feel it stick up on one side, while the other was flat from sleeping on it. "I just thought there should be someone here."

"Hm. Albus says this couch is the most uncomfortable he's ever slept on."

"Albus is a spoiled princess. The couch is fine. Really." James tried not let on how stiff his neck felt. "What are you doing out of bed anyway? I'll bring you your food and medicine."

Teddy shrugged. "Nature calls."

"Do you need help?" As soon as the words left his mouth, James realised what he'd just implied. He felt his face heat up. "I mean–"

"Thanks Jamie, but I think I've got that covered." Teddy smiled and for a moment he didn't look sick anymore.

"Right. Sure." James peeled away the blanket only to see that he had slept in only his pants. "Um... I'll heat another bowl of soup?"

"Yeah, fine," Teddy said. "I'm not really hungry though." He turned towards the bathroom. "I'll be quick."

James dragged on his trousers and a clean t-shirt his mother had send him through the Floo the day before, and re-heated the rest of the chicken soup.

Teddy lay in bed again; looking pale. "Wow. Walking to the bathroom and taking a piss apparently drains all my energy." He closed his eyes. "Not necessarily how I want you to see me, to be honest."

"You're sick," James said and sat down on the bed. He placed the bowl on Teddy's nightstand to let it cool a little. "I'm sure I looked the same, when I had it."

"I'm actually green now, and I don't even have the energy to metamorph it away."

James shrugged and felt Teddy's forehead. Still warm but not as hot as the day before. He let his hand slide over Teddy's cheek and left it there. The tips of his fingers rested against Teddy's neck. Teddy turned his head a fraction; leaning into the touch.

"I like green," James said.

"I'm also aware that I'm smelly and oozing disgusting body fluids."

"You can take a bath later."

Teddy gave him a weak smile. "With your help?"

James flushed again, but didn't take away his hand from Teddy's neck; instead he started to slowly massage the muscles under his fingertips. "If you want."

James didn't look at Teddy but he could feel his eyes on him.

"God, Jamie. I really hope I'm not hallucinating all of this. You being..." Teddy hesitated. "I can't really think clearly right now, but promise you won't take it all back, when I'm well again."

James shook his head and swallowed. "I won't."

+++

The next several days passed in a similar fashion. James stayed on Teddy's couch –and Merlin, was that a monstrosity! James had the feeling he was doing irreparable damage to his back every single night– while Gran send new bowls of soup every day. On the third day Teddy protested against more of it and James made a tomato soup, which wasn't nearly as good as Gran's but still a welcome change.

James also helped Teddy with taking a bath but that was a lot less sexy than it had sounded before. He let hot water in the tub –adding enough foam, so he wouldn't be able to see anything interesting– and made sure that Teddy didn't fall asleep and drown himself by sitting on the toilet seat. James did get to wash Teddy's hair though and it felt so soft between his fingers that he washed it extra carefully and extra long.

Teddy always felt a little better in the mornings while the fever rose again towards the afternoon. He slept a lot and James took the time to study for his entry-level test for the cursebreaking program.

One evening Teddy walked into the living room and fell down next to James on the couch. His hair was still damp and smelled like shampoo. "I'm bored. Reading gives me a headache. There's nothing on the wireless. I have already slept fourteen hours and I'm so sick of staring at the ceiling over my bed." He turned his head and looked at James. "What are you reading?"

James held up the book and showed Teddy the cover. It was a book he'd read before and more suited for a younger audience but the last time he'd been home to grab a few fresh clothes, he'd thrown it into his bag on a whim. "It's an adventure tale about these group of Romanian orphan kids who want to steal a dragon." He shrugged. "Nothing fancy."

An hour later James' voice was hoarse from reading out loud and Teddy was asleep with his head in James' lap. James ran his hand through Teddy's dark hair; it had gotten a lot of it's old shine back. Maybe it had been the scalp massages. James smiled and woke Teddy with a careful touch to his shoulder. "Hey. Come on, big boy. Off to bed. Believe me, you don't want to sleep here."

+++

When Christmas day came closer it became obvious that Teddy wouldn't be well enough to attend the annual Weasley-Potter dinner at the Burrow. Uncle Percy was especially vocal about protecting his daughter from this "vile disease".

The green spots had faded almost completely from but Teddy's skin was still undeniably greenish. Teddy had tried to give himself a tan to cover it, but had almost passed out exertion. James had forbidden him to do any morphing after that.

"I can stay here, it's really not a problem. I want to be here," James said for what felt like the hundred time. "I can miss one single Christmas dinner."

"Molly will have you there, you know how important it is for her."

"Yeah well, I don't think it's very nice to celebrate while you sit here alone and sick."

"I'm much better, I can take care of myself."

"You still sleep an average of twelve hours per night and doze the rest of the day."

"So, I won't even recognise when you're gone."

"Merlin, Teddy! I'm not going to the Burrow."

+++

"You have to come to the stupid dinner, Jamie," Albus said, his face flickering in the flames of the Floo. "Gran is going nuts as always around this time of the year and we're really sick of the drama. Of course you don't see any of it, because you're hiding at Teddy's flat but I have to take the full force of it, and frankly: I've had enough."

"What is it with you people? You all want to have a party while Teddy is lying in his bed and–"

"No-one said that! I will find a solution for it, ok? Just say you're coming here tomorrow for an hours or two. I will resort to blackmail if I have to."

"You wouldn't."

"Try me."

James ground his teeth. "Fine. I'll come."

"Good. It was nice talking to you, my dear brother." Al waved and his face vanished as the flames turned yellow again.

+++

In the end Albus, Lily, Rose and Hugo Floo'ed over on Christmas Eve with several bottles of spiced wine.

"We all have to shower and changed clothes when we get home –Percy's orders," Lily said as she sat down gracefully on one of the cushions on the floor. "And we promised Gran we wouldn't eat before dinner."

James laughed. "So we just get drunk."

"Yup," Albus said.

A couple mugs of hot wine later, James felt pleasantly tipsy. He sat on the couch, sandwiched between Rose and Teddy, and felt the heat of Teddy's body all over his right side from shoulder to thigh. Or maybe he imagined it, because Rose didn't feel the same way on his left side, even though she sat just as close.

Teddy was pretty quiet, but still listening and laughing at Hugo's stories. Only when he started to yawn, Rose took a look at her watch and said, "We should go now."

Albus and Hugo took the empty bottles and mugs to the kitchen while the girls went ahead. "If they have to shower and style themselves again, we will have dinner at midnight," Albus complained when they came back into the living room.

Hugo slapped him on the back of his head. "They are a lot faster than you in the bathroom." He grabbed a handful of Floo powder. "See you on New Year's Eve, Teddy!" He vanished and Albus followed him shortly after.

James hadn't moved from his spot on the couch and neither had Teddy. The flat was suddenly very still.

"This was nice," Teddy murmured; eyes already half closed.

"Yeah," James said. He manoeuvred Teddy, so he was lying on the couch and covered him with a blanket. Then he leaned down and pressed his lips to Teddy's cheek. When he leaned back his face was warm and Teddy watched him with an amused expression.

"Really, Jamie? On the cheek?"

"Shut up," James muttered but he couldn't stop the smile on his lips. "I'll do it properly when you're fully conscious again."

Teddy laughed quietly. "I'll hold you to that." Then he closed his eyes and drifted to sleep.

+++

The next morning James was awakened by the persistent knocking of an owl, outside the window of his mother's old room at the Burrow.

I can't believe you let me sleep on this sorry excuse for a sofa last night. And how did you manage for two weeks?! I'll get a new one ASAP!

T


+++

James bit his lip and checked his watch again. It was five minutes to midnight and Teddy was still caught on the other side of the room filled of people. They hadn't exchanged more than two sentences, but James hadn't been able to take his eyes off Teddy for longer than a few minutes the whole evening. Judging from how often his gaze had found Teddy's, he wasn't alone in his frustration.

Merlin, Teddy looked good. He was back to normal skin colour, the black hair streaked with blue and he was laughing a lot. No trace of fatigue.

James took a sip of his champagne. Three minutes to midnight.

After Christmas Eve James had planned to go back to Teddy's flat, but he hadn't considered his mother pulling the 'Mother Card'. She made clear that he'd wasted enough time now and she would be taking over care for Teddy herself for as long as it was necessary and James better stay at home and study for his test, otherwise she would rethink her stance on supporting him with financing his own flat.

James had written a letter to Teddy to explain, and Teddy had just answered with I'll be fully conscious on New Year's Eve.

And now it was New Year's Eve, and Teddy was more than conscious, he was bloody gorgeous and James' still stood here with his lips most definitely not on Teddy's.

One minute.

Okay. This was it. James put his glass on the next table and marched in Teddy's direction. Just as he was squeezing himself between two of his father's colleagues, Teddy appeared in front of him out of nowhere. "Hi."

"Hi," James said.

Teddy grabbed his wrist and pulled him out onto a tiny balcony. James could hear people in the background starting to count down the last minute of the year.

It was freezing cold outside and their breath formed white clouds but James didn't really realise it. "You look good," he said. "Healthy."

"I had someone taking really good care of me." Teddy's hand slid from James' wrist to his fingers and Teddy entwined them with his own.

Inside the crowd started cheering.

"Happy New Year, Jamie," Teddy whispered and then he kissed James.

James made an embarrassing sound in the back of his throat, before he opened his mouth for Teddy's tongue. He slid his free hand in Teddy's hair and it was just as soft as he remembered.

They kissed and kissed until James' toes and the tip of his nose went numb. "Hmmm," he said and couldn't quite stop himself from pressing his lips to Teddy's jaw again to feel the faint traces of stubble there. Teddy's hand had already found their way under James' shirt and were roaming up and down his back. "We should–" he ran his lips along the shell of Teddy's ear and revelled in the shiver it send through Teddy "–we should go inside."

"Yeah." Teddy's voice was muffled because his mouth was currently busy sucking a mark on James' neck. "But not here."

James grinned. "You want to show me your new couch?"

"Actually, I'd much rather show you my bed. But the new couch is definitely an option, too."

James laugh trailed away in the night, as Teddy gripped him tighter and whisked them away.

Date: 2012-12-10 11:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mrs-jack-turner.livejournal.com
James is so sweet to look after Teddy <3 it sucks being sick, especially if you're alone. Loved it! Great fic :D

Date: 2012-12-24 12:53 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you so much for the lovely comment. And of course for organising the fest! ♥

Date: 2012-12-10 01:05 pm (UTC)
besamislabios: (beso en la frente)
From: [personal profile] besamislabios
Awwww! *squishes them* This was really sweet and lovely! :)

Date: 2012-12-24 12:54 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥

Date: 2012-12-10 03:20 pm (UTC)
torino10154: Cropped Hufflepuff crest (Teddy Lupin)
From: [personal profile] torino10154
Aw, that was really sweet. Loved James taking care of Teddy. Love the couch too! Great New Year's kiss. Well done.

Date: 2012-12-24 12:56 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥ And somehow the couch became my favourite thing in the fic. :)

Date: 2012-12-10 07:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] traintracks.livejournal.com
This was lovely and adorable. I love Teddy/James, and I adored the h/c and that kiss at the end. :-D

Date: 2012-12-24 12:57 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥ I'm glad you enjoyed it! :)

Date: 2012-12-10 08:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] charmed310.livejournal.com
Eeeeeee!!!!!! I love it!

Date: 2012-12-24 12:58 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥

Date: 2012-12-11 02:52 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] secretsolitaire.livejournal.com
Aw, this was sweet!

Date: 2012-12-24 12:58 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥

Date: 2012-12-14 03:13 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] susannah-wilde.livejournal.com
Very sweet of James to take care of a sick Teddy!

Date: 2012-12-24 12:59 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥ It's one of my favourite tropes (though I have a lot them). XD

Date: 2012-12-15 10:58 pm (UTC)
nerakrose: drawing of balfour from havemercy (teddy is a bottom)
From: [personal profile] nerakrose
adkgfds so adorable ♥ LOVE james taking care of teddy and teddy reassuring him he'll be fully conscious, aha XD i just want to hug him. <3

Date: 2012-12-24 01:00 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
I can never resist a hurt/comfort fic! ;) Thank you for the lovely comment! And for organising the fest too. ♥

Late, but heartfelt, praise.

Date: 2012-12-21 06:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] wemyss.livejournal.com
I had thought I'd a day left before reveals. Well, better late than never: Superbly paced and superlatively done.

Re: Late, but heartfelt, praise.

Date: 2012-12-24 01:02 pm (UTC)
hollys_tree: (Default)
From: [personal profile] hollys_tree
Thank you! ♥ I myself am woefully behind on reading in every fest I follow, but that's the charm of fandom in December. :)

Profile

nextgen_mas: (Default)
Next Gen Winter Fest

INFO

[community profile] nextgen_mas is a next-gen and cross-gen winter/holiday fest celebrating both the winter period and the next-gen characters that we all know and love.

Your mods are [personal profile] mrs_jack_turner and [personal profile] nerakrose.