It burned. Everything burned. Sweat dripped down his face as he panted, lightheaded from the lack of oxygen. And yet, he was shivering. He couldn’t think straight. He was in a state between consciousness and unconsciousness and could just barely feel a cool hand on his forehead.
“This isn’t good...he’s burning up like crazy....” a voice that seemed so distant said. Another person sighed. There were others in the room? “I don’t understand how this happened. We’re his siblings, shouldn’t we have been able to tell he was getting sick?” the voice that sighed said.
He tried to listen to the conversation more, or at least try to understand what was happening, but a chill ran up his spine. Immediately he tried reaching for a blanket, or anything at all that could warm him. His hand grazed something that seemed like a blanket, but whatever he had touched was yanked away from him. He made a whiney noise, but it could just barely be heard.
“I’m sorry Tsukasa. I know you feel cold, but right now you’re overheating. We can’t risk your fever getting any higher by putting blankets on you.” one of the voices said. Tsukasa slowly cracked an eye open to see who was preventing him from getting warm, and could just barely make out the blurry shadows of Arashi and Izumi. He managed one weak, sleepy glare before his eye fell closed again. Keeping it open was draining his energy and he was already so, so tired...
“Onii-chaann...!” Kid Tsukasa whined. Footsteps came rushing toward him. “Tsukasa! Are you okay!? How do you feel!?” Arashi exclaimed, extremely worried. It wasn’t just her there though. Izumi, Ritsu, and Leo were there too, staring down at him with worry.
“Onii-chaann…” Tsukasa whined again, attempting to sit up. The second he managed it, he started feeling so dizzy that he almost fell off the bed. Luckily, Izumi caught him before he could hurt himself. “Woah there! Be careful! You don’t have to sit up if you’re not up to it.
Izumi tried to lay him back down, but Tsukasa had grabbed onto the front of his shirt. He then reached out a hand in the direction of his other siblings, with tears in his eyes. The others climbed onto the bed and engulfed him in a hug. “Don’t worry Suu-chan,” Ritsu had said, “We’ll always be here for you whenever you need us.”
“Yeah. So don’t cry.” Leo added. They all stayed like that for a while until Tsukasa finally fell asleep in their arms.
When Tsukasa next awoke, a blinding light shone, hurting his eyes. He hissed and immediately held his hand over his eyes. “Oh, sorry, I’ll close the curtains and dim the lights.” a voice said.
Tsukasa heard the noise of curtains shutting. “You can open your eyes now.” the voice said. So he removed his hand and slowly opened his eyes to find Ritsu sitting by his bed. “Ritsu-oniichan?” he asked when his brain had processed who it was.
“Yeah, it’s me,” he replied. Then he moved his hand and placed it on Tsukasa’s forehead. He frowned. “You’re still burning up…” he said.
“Am I...?” Tsukasa asked. He just barely remembered having a little cold and a cough. When had it turned into a fever? Ritsu nodded. “Mmh. We were waiting on you for breakfast and heard a thump from your room, so we ran up here and found you in a heap on the floor with a raging fever.”
His eyes widened when he heard what Ritsu had said. “Y-Y-You guys missed breakfast..? Oh my god, I’m so sorry! It’s all my fault for being stupid and getting sick...you must be starving! I’ll make you something now!” He stammered, trying to sit up and get out of bed.
“It’s alright, we had Natchan’s boyfriend Mikarin come over and cook.” he said calmly, lowering Tsukasa back into a lying down position. “Kagehira-senpai..? I’ll have to apologize to him later....” he said.
“I’ll be right back. I’m going to get a cold strip for your fever, alright?” he said. Tsukasa nodded and Ritsu stood up and walked out of the room.
Tsukasa waited for him to get back, and as he did, he started thinking. ‘I wonder where the others are…’
He wasn’t about to admit it, but he was feeling a little lonely. Fevers always made him clingy. He had gotten better at controlling it over the years, but sooner or later he’d always end up begging for his brothers. Especially if he was really out of it.
A few minutes later, Ritsu came back and gently placed the cold strip onto Tsukasa’s forehead, then re-took his seat beside his bed. “Ritsu onii-chan?” Tsukasa asked.
“Hm?” Ritsu replied. “Where are the others...?” he asked. Ritsu didn’t look surprised that Tsukasa asked that. He had a feeling sooner or later he’d want to know.
“They’re at school.” he said. School...School? Wait....School!?
“Oh no, school! I completely forgot!” Tsukasa exclaimed, sitting up, the cold strip falling off of his forehead. “I need to go get ready! I can’t miss schoo-!” his sentence was interrupted by a coughing fit.
Ritsu rubbed his back, worry in his eyes. “It’s fine, Suu-chan. You have a fever, so you don’t have to go to school today. The others probably already told the faculty.” he said.
“B-but-!” Cough. “I have to go-!” Another cough. Ritsu continued rubbing his back. “No you don’t. It’s fine for you to take a day off every once in a while. Especially if you’re sick. So don’t worry. Now stay here, I’m going to get you some water.” he said, and walked out of the room.
Tsukasa continued coughing for a few more seconds and finally managed to stop. His throat hurt insanely though, and the lack of air from coughing was giving him a headache.
Many shivers ran up his spine and he sneezed. Once. Twice. Three times. Four times. Five times. He groaned and rubbed his nose, sniffling. Suddenly he felt dizzy and fell back into a laying down position. The room was spinning. His head hurt and he felt nauseous. He wanted to cry. Had his fever risin?
He moved a hand to his forehead. It was all sweaty. The room continued spinning and he moved his hand. His intention was to place it on his eyes but his arm had fallen limp and ended up drooping over his eyes instead of his hand. Whatever. This worked too. However, it did nothing to soothe his aching head.
Ritsu returned about two minutes later with a glass of water to see Tsukasa in that condition. “Suu-chan, are you okay?” his voice had a hint of urgency and worry and he sped walked over to the bed, placing the glass of water on the bedside table.
“No....my head hurts and the room won’t stop spinning....and I feel nauseous...” Tsukasa replied in a quiet voice. Ritsu removed Tsukasa’s arm from his face so he could place a hand on his forehead. It felt warmer than before, but Ritsu couldn’t be sure of his temperature until he used a thermometer.
Luckily, there was one on the bedside table that the others had left in case they needed to check Tsukasa’s temperature. “Suu-chan open your mouth for me. I need to take your temperature.” Ritsu said. Tsukasa complied, but just barely. He was starting to become out of it and almost unresponsive, like this morning. Ritsu put the thermometer under his tongue and told Tsukasa to keep it there until it beeped. There was silence for a few minutes until beep beep beep. He took the thermometer out of Tsukasa’s mouth and looked at it. 39.1 degrees celsius.
Ritsu frowned. ‘ That’s higher than this morning… ’ he thought. He looked at the red head and only just realized that the cold strip was missing. He took another one out of the package and placed it gently on the feverish boy’s forehead.
All of a sudden Tsukasa’s face paled. “Suu-chan? What’s wrong?” Ritsu asked. “Gonna be sick..” he replied in a quiet voice.
Ritsu sprang into action and quickly grabbed a bucket the others had placed in the room in case this happened, and brought it to Tsukasa. He helped him sit up just in time for him to throw up. Except, nothing really came up except for stomach acid because he hadn’t eaten anything all day.
For the next few minutes, all Tsukasa did was dry heave and cough. There were tears in his eyes that were threatening to come out. All Ritsu could do was rub his back and say encouraging things to his younger brother.
A few minutes later he stopped, but he was trembling. Ritsu took the bucket away and then pulled Tsukasa, who was on the verge of crying, into a hug, gently stroking the younger one’s head.
“It’s okay. I know you don’t feel good right now, but it won’t last forever. Just get some rest. Nobody’s going to get mad at you for giving your body what it needs.” he said softly to him. This treatment continued for a few more minutes, until Ritsu heard Tsukasa’s breathing slow down as he fell asleep.
He laid Tsukasa back down and covered him with the blankets. He slightly smiled. “Get well soon, okay?” he said, holding Tsukasa’s hand, knowing he wouldn’t get a response. He sat there staring at Tsukasa’s sleeping figure, and slowly fell asleep himself.
Tsukasa awoke to some hushed voices around him but he didn’t open his eyes because they felt too heavy and he was still tired. “How’s he doing?” a voice asked.
“Still not very well...I re-checked his fever a few minutes ago, but there was no change....” someone replied. Tsukasa felt someone putting a hand on his forehead. “Yeah, he’s still pretty warm...do we have any more cold strips?” a person said, removing their hand.
“No...we ran out an hour ago.” Silence. “Alright then. I'll wet a towel so we can use that instead.” someone else said, and he could hear footsteps walking away. Finally, Tsukasa decided to wake up more, and cracked open an eye to see Ritsu, Izumi, and Leo in the room.
“O-Onii-chans...?” he asked in a quiet voice. 3 pairs of eyes shot toward him immediately. “Hey Kasa. How’re you feeling?” Izumi asked softly, gently caressing Tsukasa’s head.
“Not very good, if I’m being honest....” he replied, leaning into Izumi’s touch. Just then, Arashi walked back in with a small bucket of ice water and a folded towel. “Ah, Tsukasa-chan, you’re awake!” she said and walked up to his bedside.
She put the bucket down on the bedside table and dipped the towel into it, wringing it out before placing it on Tsukasa’s forehead. Tsukasa’s mouth formed into a small smile. “That feels nice....” his eyes closing. Before he knew it, he was asleep again.
Tsukasa woke up in a coughing fit and a sweating mess. Someone sat him up and rubbed his back as he coughed hard into his fist. When his coughing fit subsided, he opened a teary eye to see Leo handing him a glass of water.
He took it gratefully and drained half the cup in one go, sighing. He hadn’t realized how dry his throat was until now. “Slow down little bro, you’ll choke!” Leo said, taking the glass of water and putting it back on the bedside table when he realized Tsukasa was done for now.
Tsukasa turned his head to look at the clock but found that he couldn’t read the numbers, his fever making his vision hazy. He squinted, but still no luck. “It’s 5:40 if you’re wondering.” Leo told him.
Tsukasa looked back at Leo. 5:40...wait…”That means it’s almost dinner time!” he exclaimed, and started coughing again. Leo handed him the rest of the water and he drained the glass before panicking again. “I need to make dinner!” he said, and started to get up. Before Leo could stop him, he was already out of bed. He took one step though and he started feeling dizzy, his vision swimming. His eyes closed.
He’s sure he blacked out because when he opens his eyes again, he’s on the ground in Leo’s arms, Leo calling his name. “...ukasa..! ...Tsukasa! Can you hear me!? Tsukasa!” he’s shouting.
“Did I just....pass out...?” Tsukasa asked quietly. “Tsukasa, oh thank god! You nearly gave me a heart attack!” Leo replied, pulling him into a hug and squeezing tightly. “L-Leo-oniichan, I can’t breathe…” the younger of the two rasped out, his oxygen getting cut off.
“Sorry.” Leo said and loosened his grip. Suddenly, Izumi walked into the room. “Is everything okay in here? I thought I heard a thump.” he said, and then saw them on the floor.
“He tried to get up and passed out.” Leo said to him. Izumi’s expression immediately turned to one of worry and shock and he walked over to them and crouched down. “Kasa, why did you do that? You know you’re in no condition to be up. And look at you, you’re all sweaty.” he said, without letting Tsukasa get a word in.
He stood up and walked over to the bed. “Looks like your sheets are soaked through too. We should move you downstairs for now and wash them.”
“Good idea.” Leo said. “Tsukasa, can you stand?” Tsukasa felt weak. Really weak. So he shook his head. That was a bad idea though because it just made him dizzier than before. He clasped a hand to his head to try and keep himself steady because it seemed like the world was spinning. He would’ve fallen to the side if Leo hadn’t been holding him.
Leo nodded, showing that he understood. “Izumi, can you help me get him onto my back?” he asked. Izumi nodded and walked over. He took Tsukasa from Leo’s grip and Leo turned around, crouching. Then Izumi gently placed Tsukasa onto Leo’s back.
Leo stood up, turned around, and started walking, Izumi in front to open doors and such. The world was swaying and it made him want to throw up, so Tsukasa closed his eyes. The next time he opened them, he was being placed on the couch and forced into a lying down position.
He could smell something being made in the kitchen. There wasn’t any smoke, and no fire. But how? All of his brothers sucked at making food. Whatever was being made smelled kind of good, but at the same time was making him feel queasy.
Without realizing it, he had closed his eyes, but he opened them slightly when he felt something cold on his forehead. Izumi had put another cold towel on his forehead. It felt nice, but the fever was starting to make his temperatures change. Now, he felt incredibly cold. When the towel was placed on him, a shiver ran up his spine and he sneezed.
He isn’t sure when he fell asleep, but he was being shaken awake. “Suu-chan...Suu-chan wake up.” a voice said. He opened his eyes a little and saw that it was Ritsu shaking him awake. “Ah, good, you’re awake. Can you sit up for me?” Ritsu asked.
Tsukasa sleepily obliged, and the now dried up towel fell off of his forehead. He still felt terrible and was still sweating profusely. “How long was I asleep...?” he asked, running a hand over his forehead. He felt really hot but also really cold.
“About 5 minutes.” Ritsu replied. He sat next to Tsukasa and started taking off his shirt. “R-Ritsu-oniichan!? W-What are you doing!?” he exclaims in embarrassment, resulting in him coughing.
“Relax Suu-chan. You’re sweating a lot so I need to wipe you down.” Ritsu explained. He dipped another cloth in some cold water, wrung it out, and started wiping him down. Tsukasa flinched at the touch. “T-That’s cold…” he said and shivered.
“I know, but it'll be over soon. Trust me, you’ll feel better if you’re not covered in sweat.” Ritsu said. “I-I guess you’re right…” Tsukasa replied and then sneezed. A few minutes later Ritsu was done. He then took another one of Tsukasa’s pajama shirts and put it on him. Staying in the same sweat drenched shirt would probably be a bad idea.
The second Ritsu finished, Tsukasa flopped back down into a lying down position. Ritsu took the towel that had previously been on Tsukasa’s forehead and dipped it in the ice water again, wrung it out, and placed it on Tsukasa’s forehead once more.
The redhead shivered again but stopped slightly when he felt a blanket being draped over him. He grabbed the blanket with one hand and pulled it even closer to him. He was about to drift off into slumber once more when a voice called out saying “Dinner’s ready!”
Izumi, Leo, and Arashi walked into the room. Strange. If none of them had been cooking, then who was? Certainly not Ritsu because he had been with Tsukasa the whole time.
Izumi walked over to Tsukasa and crouched down to make eye contact. “Kasa, do you feel like you can eat?” he asked. He thought about it for a second and then nodded. He wasn’t particularly hungry, but he knew he had to eat something seeing as he hadn’t all day.
He pushed himself into a sitting position, the towel falling off of him again, and tried to stand up, but almost toppled over. If it weren’t for Izumi and Ritsu, he would’ve hit the ground. “Woah there. Be careful Kasa. Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk, I’ll carry you.” Izumi said. Then he picked Tsukasa up and placed him on a chair in the dining room.
During that whole thing, his eyes had fallen closed, but he opened them again when he felt himself sitting down again. His vision was hazy and all he could see were colorful blobs, but he blinked a few times and his vision cleared. He looked around and saw in their house, Mika Kagehira.
“Hi there.” Mika said when he saw Tsukasa’s eyes fall on him. It took a second for Tsukasa’s brain to register the information, but then he realized who was there. “Kagehira...senpai...?” he asked.
“Yup! Nice to see you.” he said with a smile. “What are you doing here...?” Tsukasa asked. “Naru-chan asked me to come cook for all of you since you were down for the count, and I happily accepted.” Mika replied.
Tsukasa’s eyes widened at this. “I-I’m so sorry about the trouble! Please forgive me!” he stammered, quickly getting up and bowing repeatedly. Or, he tried to. He ended up just getting really dizzy and almost falling over. Izumi, who was sitting next to him, had to steady him and sit him back down.
“No, no, it’s fine! I was happy to help. Naru-chan’s family is like my own family.” Mika said with a smile, waving his hands in front of him. “A-Alright then…” Tsukasa said, calming down.
“Well, with that out of the way, let’s eat! Itadakimasu~!” Arashi said, clapping her hands together. The others did the same and began to eat. Well, everyone except for Tsukasa. He just kinda...stared at it. He wasn’t hungry at all and was actually feeling nauseous. He knew he had to eat but couldn’t bring himself to.
Ritsu noticed this and stopped eating. “Come on Suu-chan, you have to eat something .” he said. Tsukasa just made a little grumble and whiney noise. “Just one bite?” Izumi coaxed, adding to the conversation.
“Not hungry…” Tsukasa replied, continuing to stare at the rice porridge in front of him. “Come on little bro, it’s only rice porridge. You don’t have to chew much. And besides, Mika worked really hard on that for you.” Leo said.
Tsukasa thought about that. “Fine...but only because he worked so hard on it..” he grumbled. He picked up his bowl of rice porridge and took a few small bites. His hands were shaking, but luckily he didn’t spill anything. He started to feel even more nauseous than before and put the bowl down.
“Kasa, are you sure you can’t eat any more? You barely ate at all.” Izumi said. Tsukasa shook his head slowly. “Can’t anymore…” he said. Izumi sighed. “Alright then…”
Tsukasa took those words to mean that he was allowed to be excused, so he got up and slowly walked to the couch, his legs shaking as he did. He just barely had enough energy to do so before collapsing onto it.
He put an arm protectively around his stomach. Eating had made him feel even more nauseous than he already had, but he really didn’t want to throw up again. The red head did his best to take even breaths and make the nausea settle down, and after a few minutes, it had finally worked. Of course the others had no idea this was happening. If they did, then they would’ve dropped everything and tried to baby him, throwing off his concentration. Probably. Well, everyone except Mika.
Once he was sure he wasn’t going to throw up, he relaxed a bit. He closed his eyes and eventually fell asleep.
The next time Tsukasa woke up, he was back in bed and incredibly nauseous. He put a hand around his stomach and tried to even his breaths, but it didn’t help. He turned over, a hand still around his stomach, and looked at the clock. Unfortunately though, his vision was going in and out of focus, so he couldn’t read the numbers. Trying to read them was also making him feel like throwing up even more.
He closed his eyes and continued trying to even his breaths. A few minutes later he sat up very quickly and looked around. ‘No garbage can…’ he thought. Then with the little strength he had, he managed to run to the bathroom. Well, at the end he was just dragging himself on the ground because he had lost his strength, but he made it just in time to throw up into the toilet. He didn’t bother closing and/or locking the door behind him though.
He’s been in there for an hour. He’s dizzy and nauseous. It’s hot. He wants to cry. His stomach settles down for a little bit, but he’s still nauseous. So instead of leaving, he just continues to sit on the floor and rests a cheek against the toilet seat. It’s cold. It feels nice. He closes his eyes.
The red head feels a hand on his forehead from behind. He opens his eyes a little and looks to see who it is. He expects it to be one of his siblings, but instead it’s....Kagehira-senpai...?
Tsukasa was going to say something, when the nausea acted up again and he threw up in the toilet again. Mika is holding his bangs out of his face and rubbing his back, also trying to keep Tsukasa from falling forward and banging his head against the toilet seat.
It’s been three more hours and neither have moved from their spots on the floor. Tsukasa has stopped throwing up, but he’s still gagging. He’s also crying. The crying is probably making it worse.
“It’s okay...just calm down. You’ll be okay…” Mika soothed and he continued to rub the sick ones back. He does this for a few more minutes, and Tsukasa eventually stops gagging. There are still tears in his eyes, but at least he’s not having a meltdown.
Through that, Mika never stopped rubbing the other’s back and saying nice things in a soothing voice until he felt the younger one’s body weight sink into him, signaling that the other had fallen asleep/passed out from exhaustion.
Later, Mika was in the kitchen making breakfast when everyone came down and they sat down at the table. Ritsu was yawning and trying not to fall back asleep, Arashi was filing her nails, Izumi was scrolling on his phone, and Leo was stretching. Mika looked up from what he was doing.
“Uh, everyone? We have an issue…” he said to them. They looked up from what they were doing. “What’s wrong Mika-chan?” Arashi asked.
“It’s Tsukasa...I don’t think what he has is just a bad cold. I’m pretty sure it’s closer to the flu.” he replied.
“What makes you say that?” Leo asked. “Last night I got up to use the bathroom at around 10:00 and saw him leaning over the toilet from the floor. He was in there until about 4:00 AM vomiting…” Mika said.
The others looked really worried about this. “That’s terrible! Wait, 4:00 AM? That means you were in there until 2 hours ago! Mika-chan, you should go back to sleep. We all went to sleep at 9:00. If you got up at 10:00 and were with Tsukasa until 4:00, that means you got about 2 hours of sleep! That’s not healthy!” Arashi said.
“It’s fine, I’m not that tired. I can still make it through the day. Besides, tomorrow is the weekend. I’ll have plenty of time to sleep.”
Arashi shook her head. “No! Mika-chan, as your loving girlfriend that loves you to death, I ask you to please go back to sleep! Besides, after hearing that Tsukasa-chan was throwing up all night, I was thinking that we should all stay home.”
Mika contemplated this and then looked Arashi in the face. After a 5 minute staring match, Mika sighed. “Oh, all right. Just this once though, okay?” he said. Arashi smiled and walked over to him, giving him a kiss on the cheek. “Great! Now, go and get some rest.”
Mika nodded and put breakfast on the table before walking upstairs, yawning a little.
The next time Tsukasa opens his eyes, he’s back in bed. He turns over slowly and tries to read the time, but finds out that he still can’t. He groans in frustration, but that groan turns into a series of coughs. Coughs that are forceful enough to make him sit up. The second he’s done, he has a sudden urge to go to his brothers. Specifically Izumi.
He gets up and tries to make it out of his room, but falls over. He ends up crawling the rest of the way. When he gets past the stairs, he stands up again and walks over to Izumi, who is looking at his phone and not paying attention to anything else. It’s only when he feels a sudden weight on his stomach and arms around his middle that he looks up, or rather, down, and sees Tsukasa with his head on Izumi’s stomach.
“K-Kasa!? What are you doing? You should be in bed!” Izumi said in surprise. “Noooooo! I wanna stay with Izumi-oniichaaaaan!” Tsukasa whined, trying to tighten his grip on Izumi.
Izumi sighed. “Oh, alright...let’s just move to the other couch so you can lay on my lap. I’m sure it would feel better than what you’re doing right now.”
Tsukasa wouldn’t move, so Izumi had to carry him onto the couch and put him in a laying down position. Then he sat down and put Tsukasa’s head on his lap. He looked back at his phone and absentmindedly petted Tsukasa’s head. The red head fell asleep again.
A few days passed and Tsukasa was practically all better. His fever had broken the night before too. The next day, he was finally allowed to get out of bed, and what sight was he greeted with? His brothers plus Mika all collapsed in a chair or on the floor, looking like death himself had visited them. Tsukasa sighed but then smiled slightly.
Oh well. Taking care of 5 people at the same time might be bothersome, but everyone had done their best to make him feel better. So he would do the same!