“Geno. Geno, hey, G.”
Geno buries his face into the crook of his arm and pulls the pillow over his head.
He’s not sure what time it is but the alarm hasn’t gone off so he knows it’s too early.
Sid quiets for a moment and Geno starts to drift off but then Sid is poking him between the shoulder blades like he pokes at the screen of his phone.
“Geno,” he whispers, “we should get married.”
Geno huffs and flips over so they’re face to face.
Sid’s eyes look bright even in the dim light of the room and he’s smiling. If he didn’t rudely wake him up Geno would feel a little bad for what he’s about to do.
“Sid,” he says, “can’t marry you.”
Sid’s face falls and Geno pats around on the mattress between them until he finds Sid’s left hand.
He holds it up to Sid’s face and Sid’s eyes almost cross looking at it.
“Can’t get married because we already married.” He taps his index finger against the wedding band Sid’s ring finger and then shows him his own matching ring. “You take too much cold medicine last night. Hasn’t worn off yet.”
Sid looks away from their hands. “But I feel fine.”
His words are undermined by foggy sound of his voice and the way he keeps sniffling and Geno nods and rolls a little closer to him.
He puts his hand on the back of Sid’s neck and pulls him down so he’s tucked beneath his chin.
Sid sniffles and Geno rubs his hand down his back.
“Go back to sleep. Feel even better when you wake up.”
Sid makes a disagreeable sound but doesn’t try to move out of the embrace.
Geno closes his eyes and the alarm blares.
When Geno thinks about it, it’s really his own fault.
He takes another bite of his scrambled eggs and watches Sid pour himself a glass of orange juice. He puts down the carton, picks up the glass, then walks across the kitchen to the fridge and puts the glass on the top shelf.
Then he goes back to the carton and stares at it.
“Oh,” he says quietly and turns right back around towards the fridge, stopping halfway to turn around again and retrieve the carton.
He wipes his nose on his sleeve as he’s walking and Geno grimaces and pushes his plate away.
Sid’s been fighting a head cold for the better part of a week now and he refuses to accept that it’s actually happening.
He keeps insisting that he’s fine even though he’s stuffed up one minute and dripping like a faucet the next. He’s eating cough drops like they’re candy and constantly clearing his throat to get rid of the tickle there. He sneezes six times in a row and his eyes water so badly he can barely see.
But he swears up and down that he doesn’t need to see the doctor and he doesn’t need to take medication even though Geno has caught him on three separate occasions googling home remedies on his phone and gulping down hot water with honey and lemon when he thinks no one is looking.
Last night had been the final straw.
Geno had spent the two prior nights staring at the numbers on the clock click by as he listened to Sid try not to cough and then cough anyways.
Neither of them were getting any sleep and he couldn’t go a third night without it so he dug the half empty bottle of Robitussin out of the medicine cabinet and stood at the foot of the bed.
Sid looked up from his book and shook his head.
“I don’t need that.”
“You do,” Geno had said as he climbed onto the bed and shuffled up Sid’s body with his knees on either side of his thighs. “You cough all night. Know you’re exhausted. Know I’m exhausted. It’ll help you sleep, it’s for nighttime. It’ll make you feel better.”
“I don’t need to feel better, I’m fine,” he said. The congestion in his chest made his accent even more ridiculous and Geno threw his head back with a dramatic groan as he popped open the child safe cap and poured the proper amount into the plastic cup then held it.
“You are sick, just admit it. Doesn’t mean you’re weak. Just mean you’re human.”
He held the cup against Sid’s lips and Sid pressed them together.
“Know you have to open your mouth to breathe, Sid,” Geno said, “nose all stuffed up.” Sid pressed his lips together harder and tried to breath in through his nose. It didn’t work and he ended up coughing into the bend of his arm.
Geno sat back against his thighs.
“C’mon sweetheart, don’t like seeing you sick.”
“I sleep in the spare room tonight if you don’t take,” he interrupted. He didn't want it to come down to that but sleepless nights had made him cranky. “Very chilly in here all alone and I know you’re always cold because you have a fever. You wear three sweatshirts all the time. That’s a lot of Penguins gear even for you.”
Sid had eyed the bright green liquid before he grabbed the cup and downed it, pulling a face as he swallowed.
“Good,” Geno said as he leaned forward and pressed a kiss to his forehead and climbed off his lap. “Sleep now. Be both sleep.”
The medicine had worked. Geno didn’t hear a sound out of him until Sid woke him up this morning but now he’s dealing with the lingering side effects.
He watches Sid putter around the kitchen in track pants that clearly do not belong to him (too long and too tight across the ass) and a long sleeved shirt that’s both backwards and inside out.
“Sid,” Geno prompts when he puts his instant oatmeal into the microwave without any water.
“Right,” he says as he brings the bowl over to the sink. He adds the water then stirs it with a spoon then proceeds to stick everything, spoon included, in the microwave.
“Sidney.” He’s halfway out of his chair when Sid opens the door of the microwave and pulls the spoon out.
“I got it, I got it, sit down, it’s fine.”
Geno slowly lowers himself back into his seat as Sid leans on the counter and waits for the microwave to ding.
Sid puts salt in his coffee and bites into an orange without peeling it first.
He asks Geno if he knows where his phone is so he can call his mother as he’s scrolling through an article on his phone.
He looks Geno right in the eyes and says “we have to get going, we’re going to be late for practice,” and Geno laughs.
“Who is we? I go to practice. You go back to bed.”
“I have to go. I’m the captain.”
“You’re sick. And you’re high on medicine.”
Sid shakes his head and gets up from the table. “I have to practice.”
“You’re going to get everyone sick.”
“You’re not sick.” He stops then turns and points his finger at Geno’s chest. “I’m not sick. Stop putting words in my mouth. Now hurry up. I just have to find my shoes and we can go.”
Geno leans heavily against the banister and rubs his hand over his eyes as Sid goes up the stairs.
“Already wearing your shoes, Sid.”
“What is he doing here,” Tanger asks as he skates up to Geno. He steals the puck away from Jake and shoots it across the ice at Tristan.
Geno looks over to Sid. He’s talking to the team’s doctor and Sully.
“You know how Sid is, have to be on the ice no matter what.”
“He’s going to get everyone sick.”
“Is what I tell him,” Geno says with a shrug. The doctor has gotten Sid to sit down on the bench but he doesn’t look happy about it. He sneezes three times and then goes right back to complaining. “He doesn’t think he’s sick. He’s impossible.”
“You should have left him home.”
Geno shakes his head. “Can’t. Too much risk.”
“What do you mean by that,” Jake asks.
“What if he puts socks in the oven instead of the washing machine and burns the house down?” “Why would he do that?”
“You don’t know the morning I’ve had. All kinds of crazy stuff. Took cold medicine last night and woke me up this morning to ask me to marry him.”
“Aww,” Jake coos.
“No, not aww. He wake me up early. He forgot we were already married. Four years we’ve been married.”
“Still, it’s kind of sweet isn’t it? The very first thing he thought about when he woke up was marrying you.”
Geno knocks his shoulder into Jake. “Know idea you were such a romantic.”
Jake’s cheeks burn red and Tanger laughs. “He just wants his two dads to be happy together.”
“Shut up,” Jake mumbles and Geno taps his helmet before Jake skates off to join the group.
Tanger grins after him then nods towards Sid. “Does he think he’s actually going to skate?”
Sid’s standing up and shaking his head but the doctor’s arms are crossed over his chest.
“He gonna try.”
“His skates are on the wrong feet.”
Geno tips his head back and looks up at the banners hanging from the rafters and says a little prayer for his husband.
Sid pouts on the bench during practice.
He’s in full gear, helmet and all, as he leans forward so he can yell words of encouragement and corrections.
Sully keeps trying to stand in front of him to block his view but Sid keeps sliding down, coughing and sneezing and Geno shakes his head and tries to focus on the ice in front of him.
Sid’s comments slowly drop off and by the time Sully calls it a day he’s slumped against the boards, his helmet askew and his eyes closed.
“Take him home,” Sully says before stepping off the ice and down the tunnel.
Sid doesn’t open his eyes until Geno shakes off his glove and lays his hand on the side of his face.
Sid’s skin is warm and clammy and he looks miserable as he squints up at him.
“Geno,” he says and Geno leans down to get closer so Sid doesn’t have to strain his voice to be heard. “I don’t feel well.”
Sid shuts his eyes and nods his head. “Can you take me home?”
Geno rubs his thumb across Sid’s cheekbone and nods.
Sid doesn’t say a word in the car.
Geno turns the heat all the way up so he won’t be cold as he leans his head against the window and sniffles.
“Think a bath might feel better,” Geno says as he and Sid walk up to the house after he parks the car in the driveway. “But I think steam from the shower might be better for you, what you think?”
Sid shrugs and lets Geno herd him through the front door. “Shower is better I guess, that way you can come in with me.”
Geno hesitates with his hand on the doorknob. “Sid.”
“Not to do anything,” Sid explains, “I’m just so tired, I don't even know if I can stand up for that long.”
Geno’s heartbreaks as he watches Sid struggle to get out of his coat, his mind too foggy and his body too tired to be coordinated.
Geno helps him slide his arms free then kisses his forehead.
Sid sits on the closed toilet seat lid while Geno starts the shower.
His teeth chatter and Geno hurries to strip himself of his clothes before he helps Sid out of his.
“You’re not going to say I told you so,” Sid asks before they step into the shower. “You were right. I’m sick. Laugh it up.”
Geno puts his hand on the side of Sid’s face. “Why would I laugh? Never want to see you sick, it’s not funny. Love you so much, Sid. I don’t want you to be hurting.”
Sid’s eyes are red rimmed and watery from sneezing when he looks up at him. “When I stop feeling so gross I’m going to kiss you a lot,” he says and Geno gives a playful squeeze to his ass.
“Get better quick then. Get in shower.”
Sid leans heavily against Geno’s chest, his face pressed against his collarbone and his arms around his waist.
Geno washes Sid’s hair then carefully tips his head back into the spray to rinse the soap out.
After, Sid dresses in sweats and one of Geno’s oldest, softest sweatshirts and climbs into bed.
Geno pulls down extra blankets from the closet and tucks them around Sid.
Beneath the pile Sid reaches his hand out and pulls him across the mattress.
“Stay with me until I fall asleep, okay?”
“Stay for longer,” Geno says as he tucks himself around Sid.
Sid squirms around until he’s comfortable and ends up sharing Geno’s pillow and laying so close to him Geno can feel his eyelashes fluttering against his cheeks as he fights to keep his eyes open.
“You feeling any better?”
“The shower helped. I think the medicine is finally out of my system. It put me to sleep but it kind of made me crazy.”
“Was funny that you ask me to marry you though. Can’t believe you forget.”
Sid rolls his eyes. “I didn’t forget. I just woke up and saw you there and that was the first thing I thought about. I just wanted to marry you. I wanted you to know I wanted to share the rest of my life with you.”
Geno hums and squeezes Sid’s hip. “Jake was right. Is very sweet.”
“You told the team,” Sid whines and reaches up to pull the hood of the sweatshirt up over his head.
“Only Jake and Tanger.”
“He’s going to tell the whole team.”
“They only tease for a little while, is nothing to worry about. But I get to tease you for the rest of our lives. Gonna be so much fun.”
“Yeah,” Sid says with his hand over Geno’s heart. His voice is clear and strong when he adds, “I can’t wait.”