Title: Leader Down!
Rating: K+ (Occasional Curses)
Summary: When Elder McKinley is sick, all of the Elders try their hardest to not mess anything up. However, Arnold has never been good at staying out of trouble… Based on a post from the AskTheElders Tumblr
Ever since he was a child, Connor McKinley hated being stuck in bed. He had never been one to fane sickness in order to stay home and sleep all day. When he had gotten his appendix taken out in fifth grade, Mrs. McKinley still had to wake up at six in the morning in order to stop him from sneaking to the bus stop. How he managed to get dressed and stumble down the stairs each day was still unknown.
So when Elder McKinley woke up early in order to throw up last night's dinner, he ignored his nausea, took a shower, and tried to make breakfast without puking again. When the other Elders asked why he looked paler than his usual self, he shrugged and claimed that he had been doing most of his missionary work indoors. He even convinced himself that the reason he felt warmer than usual was due to the fact that he was just being paranoid. In other words, Connor was turning off his illness.
That is, until Elder Price caught him throwing up in the middle of the night, his eyes practically bulging out of their sockets in fear and his breathing heavy.
"Damn it, Connor," Kevin frowned as he helped the sick Elder to his room the next morning after a visit to Gotswana's hut. "You nearly gave us all a heart attack."
"I just didn't want to worry anyone," Connor replied. He flopped down on his bed, the sheets as crisp and fresh as he had left them. Although they were usually uncomfortable and constraining in the Ugandan heat, they now felt cool against his damp and clammy skin.
"Well, keeping it a secret sure didn't help; you had half the house thinking that you were going to die from some crazy African disease."
"Kevin! Is Connor going to be-"
"Yes, he'll be fine!" Kevin yelled back to his mission companion, Arnold. Connor flinched in response as he put a hand to his forehead, his head throbbing from their yelling. "See? I still have to convince them otherwise." He shook his head at the other Elder and sighed. "For a mission leader, you sure do cause a lot of trouble." Kevin received a pout in response to his scolding.
"I'm sorry," Connor mumbled, his eyes still closed as he tried to block the light coming into the room. Usually, he would argue that he was a fantastic leader, but he was currently too ill to bother.
"You should be!" exclaimed Elder Thomas as he trotted into the room, a glass of water in his hand. "You had us all worried sick!"
"We already discussed that, Pop Tarts," replied Kevin as he shuffled through his pocket and took out a bottle of pills. He opened the bottle and placed two of the small, blue pills in Conner's hand.
"You two sound like my mother giving me a guilt trip about Steve," Connor grumbled. He swallowed the pills and took a sip of the water that was handed to him by Pop Tarts. As soon as he finished, he fell back onto his pillow. "Can I just sleep now?" Kevin couldn't help but smile a bit.
"Get some rest, pal. And don't forget, Gotswana said you're supposed to stay in bed."
"If I must," the sick Elder let out a sigh as Kevin left. Elder Pop Tarts rushed to the other side of the room to close the shades before letting out a muffled "Sleep well, Connor" and exiting as well, quietly closing the door behind him.
About three hours later, Connor quickly sat up; now awake from an extremely loud noise. He soon regretted the fast movement and groaned, rubbing his temples as the room spun.
"What in the name of Heavenly Father was that?" he said aloud to himself as he tried to listen to whatever was going on in the house. After a few seconds, he began to focus and could hear the muffled voices of the other Elders.
"My Pop Tarts!"
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to! The bananas were just so high up and-"
"Oh gosh, there are coffee beans everywhere! There shouldn't even be any in the house!"
"Elder Price, when Elder McKinley finds out you've been drinking coffee again-"
"He's not going to find out about it, Schrader, especially since he should be sleeping!"
By this point in the conversation, Connor had slowly opened the door and was eavesdropping. It wasn't even lunch time, and the house was already in utter chaos without him!
"Kevin, how much coffee did you buy?" Elder Davis exclaimed.
"The woman at the market gave me a good deal; it's Starbucks for crying out loud!"
"Why would they have coffee shipped to them when they have their own?" Elder Thomas asked curiously.
"That's not the point; the entire kitchen is a mess now!" groaned Elder Schrader as he grabbed a broom from the small closet.
"Why is the floor all wet and sticky?"
"A box of Pop Tarts might have knocked down the jug of pineapple juice…" Arnold chuckled nervously. The other Elders let out a rather loud sound of displeasure.
Connor couldn't hold it in any longer; he laughed as he walked down the hall to get a better look at the small catastrophe. Yes, there were coffee beans stuck to the floor, and boxes of Pop Tarts were bent in nearly impossible positions, but it was nowhere near as bad as their complaining made it out to be. It was also nowhere near as bad as the scowl Kevin gave him when he was caught sneaking out of his room.
"Connor, you're supposed to be resting!" he reprimanded.
"Sorry, it's just kind of hard to sleep through an angry mob," he smirked, still failing at trying to hold in all of his chuckles.
"We're sorry, Connor!" Elder Church replied.
"Yeah, we got too out of hand without you!"
"I guess that's why you're our mission leader," Pop Tarts smiled. "Without you we'd be…" he gestured to the floor, "…well, a mess!"
"Which is why I should be resting then, huh?" Connor wrapped an arm around Elder Thomas and gave his shoulders a slight squeeze to show his appreciation. "The faster I get back to full health, the sooner you'll all stop driving me up the wall!"
All of the Elders jumped as another box of Pop Tarts fell out of the open cupboard, followed by an even larger avalanche of coffee beans.
"And the sooner you'll be able to help us clean all of Arnold's messes!" Elder Davis mumbled, handing the healthy Elders mops and dust pans.
The next few days were going to be incredibly long.