A/N: Whoo! First thing I've written in ages, feels like. I just loved the first episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil, and I'm already a major starco shipper. So, I had to write something! Not to mention, thanks to tumblr, I've got some other ideas in the works
There are slight spoilers for the first ep. Marco is also a little ooc. I have my excuse though, poor as they are. Anyway, on with the story!
Marco woke slowly, his head feeling like it was stuffed with cotton, throat itching like it was lined with sand paper, muscles achey and sluggish.
He knew right then, he was sick. And, this being nearly summer, he could guess why, too.
A week ago, as angry as he was with himself to say it, he might have taken advantage of the situation, taken the slightest bit of pleasure in a certain princess' guilt. But, things were different now. Sure, Star was a little crazy. Sure, her constant mishaps with her wand could get on his nerves. But, she was also sweet and kind and…
Marco's thoughts came to a screeching halt. Where had that come from? Fever must be making him delusional. Yeah, that was it.
In any case, though, he didn't want Star feeling guilty. The fact that he had spent half that day under his own personal rain cloud, getting soaked to the bone, wasn't her fault, not really.
Today was a Saturday, he reminded himself. That meant no school. But, this was both a blessing and a curse, as it meant Star would be home all day, around him all day, wanting to walk the puppies or chase monsters, or go dimension-hopping. The mere thought made him feel bone-tired.
Well, if he was to have even a chance of keeping this a secret, he was going to have to get up, lest Star get suspicious. With a groan, he pushed himself to his feet.
And immediately began shivering without his warm blankets.
Pulling on a robe, Marco slowly shuffled toward the kitchen.
"Buenos Diaz, Marco," Star gave her usual cheerful greeting, giggling at her own joke.
Marco only managed to summon a weak smile. But if there was one thing Star had learned so far, it was that Marco was not a morning person. So, she didn't suspect anything.
However, it was only after he flopped into a chair next to her at the table, that Marco realized the mere thought of food made his stomach twist sickeningly.
Marco's mother laughed with their houseguest as she placed a heaping plate of pancakes in from of him. That was another thing. His mother always cooked huge breakfasts on Saturdays. Marco's stomach churned again.
He tried to eat. He really did. Pancakes were one of his favorite foods after all. So, if he didn't, both Star and his mother were sure to get suspicious.
He had only taken a few bites when he had to run for the bathroom.
Having emptied the meager contents of his stomach, Marco was content to lie on the bathroom floor, until there was a knock on the door he had somehow managed to pull shut.
"Marco?" Star's voice was surprisingly soft, as if she could sense that any loud noise would make the pounding behind his eyes worse. "Are you ok?"
The noise that emerged from his throat was definitely not the "fine" he had meant it to be.
Without another word, Star pulled the door open and took in the scene with a gasp. "Marco!"
The princess immediately slapped a hand over her mouth when her friend winced at the noise.
Instead, she fell to her knees beside him, helping him sit up and scanning him as if searching for some injury. When she found none, she demanded, though in a quieter voice, "What's wrong? What happened?"
Marco gave a weak laugh, though it made his throat sting. "Nothing, Star. It's just a cold or something."
The princess' face scrunched up. "You're lying on the bathroom floor because you're cold?"
Marco couldn't help but laugh again. "No, no. Though I am cold," he added, drawing his knees to his chest and wrapping his arms around them. "Haven't you ever had a cold?"
Star still looked confused.
She seemed to think about it. "Well, one time, I did get stung by a poisonous puffle bug. Mother said I was delirious for days." The princess continued to grin, as if this were the most common, unimportant thing in the world.
Now it was Marco's turn to look confused. And a bit frightened. "Welll…" he said slowly, trying to process the statement and clear his fuzzy head. "A cold is a sickness people sometimes get on Earth."
Star got to her feet and extended a hand to her friend as she asked, "What's it like when you get a cold?"
Marco sighed and took her offered hand. He was already used to Star's nearly endless stream of questions. But, he wasn't so sure he was up to answering them right now.
"You sneeze, you cough, you throw up. You're hot, you're cold, and everything hurts. Your head, your throat, and every other muscle in your body." there was an irritated edge to this rapid summation that Marco hadn't really intended.
Star's smile had dimmed all throughout his speech, until it was replaced by a deep frown. Marco could have slapped himself. What had happened to trying to keep her from knowing all this and feeling guilty? He might as well add. 'And oh, you can catch a cold from being too wet or cold, say from, oh, I don't know, having your own personal raincloud dump on you all day?'.
Fortunately, he managed to keep his mouth soundly shut.
Star was the one to break the silence. "Isn't there a cure?"
He sighed again. "Nope. Just rest and fluids."
At that, Star's eyes flared with determination. "Then what are we standing around here for? You should be in bed! Oops, sorry," she added quietly when Marco winced.
The princess half dragged, half walked her friend to his room, (She had managed to fix it after only a couple of tries.) and made sure he laid down and pulled the covers up. She gave a nod and muttered to herself, "Rest…and fluids!"
In an instant, she had dashed from the room. Moments later, she returned, bearing a whole pitcher of water.
Mrs. Diaz was at her heels, bringing a glass, a thermometer and some medicine. With one foot, she also pushed the trash bin that sat beside his desk to his bedside, just in case. "Marco," she scolded lightly, smoothing a hand over his hair as she took his temperature. "why didn't you tell me you weren't feeling well?"
"Mom!" Marco protested the attention in a slightly slurred voice, having a thermometer in his mouth. He was suddenly painfully aware of Star's presence in the room.
Soon, Mrs. Diaz removed the thermometer, tsked at what she saw, and helped her son sit up to take the pills she had brought.
Star, meanwhile, had used her wand to make flowers and boxes of chocolates appear all over the room. "People brought me presents when I was sick," she said. "Does it help?"
She looked at him so hopefully, Marco couldn't help but nod. "Sure, Star."
"Oh, how sweet!" Mrs. Diaz cooed.
"Mom!" Marco shouted, suddenly feeling very hot.
"Alright, alright, I'm going. I'm sure Star will take excellent care of you."
As a matter of fact, Star left his room shortly after his mother. But, not before sternly commanding him to rest and drink lots of water.
But, the fact was, with his head and throat aching, and his stomach still twisting occasionally, he couldn't sleep. He lay awake, staring at the ceiling, until Star poked her head into his room.
"Marco!" Her eyes widened in surprise and…wait, was she…blushing? "You're still awake. Why are you still awake? You're supposed to be sleeping!"
Marco's fever-addled brain had simply stuttered to a halt. He was almost sure… But, it couldn't have been. He must have been seeing things. All the same, was she checking on him?
He cast the thoughts aside for now. He was too tired to think. Instead, he found himself muttering, "Couldn't sleep."
Star came slowly into the room, saying, "Whenever I couldn't sleep, Father used to tell me stories." She gave him a questioning look.
Why not? He nodded.
With a grin, the princess plopped herself into his desk chair, rolled it closer to his bed, thought for a moment, and then began. "Once upon a time, in the land of Mewni, there was a princess…who liked to fight monsters! One day…"
Marco grinned back as his friend continued, already feeling more relaxed. A ray of sunshine in human form had been the one to banish his little raincloud. (Never mind that she was the one to put it there.) No doubt she would help get rid of the aftereffects, too.
Marco started slightly. Why did he keep thinking things like that? 'Probably just the fever,' his mind repeated. He relaxed once more, eyes drifting closed. Yep, that had to be it…