So this was actually supposed to be the original draft of 'Sick Days', my other sick fic where Alonzo is the one who's ill. I left this version on the shelf and finished that one instead, but now I'm back to finish this one.

This is technically a sequel to 'Sick Days' and will briefly reference that story but you do not need to have read it to enjoy this one. Although if you like this one then you should definitely read that one.


It was a good start to the day. Hopefully it was a start that would continue through the morning and lead to an unexciting, lazy afternoon. Alonzo could only hope. So far he had taken up residence on the tire at Munkustrap's side and was planning on spending the rest of his day lazily watching the world go by. If he could keep a certain silver tabby from working himself to death then that would be a bonus.

To top things off there was even an impromptu performance to watch, courtesy of Tumblebrutus. The tabby kitten had gathered up Pouncival and Jemima to watch him practice his tumbling, although he was spending most of the time talking with Jemima instead of actually practicing. Alonzo suspected that the conversation with the queen had been the real part of Tumble's plan.

"Are you gonna spend the whole time talking or actually do something?" Pouncival complained. "You woke me up early for this."

"Oh, just wait. Prepare to be amazed by the Terrible and Mighty Tumblebrutus!" Tumble bowed, winking at Jemima before trotting away to take up his position.

"I can't wait!" Jemima bounced up and down, grabbing Pounce's arm in excitement. "He's so good, isn't he?"

"Yeah, sure." Pounce rolled his eyes but settled in to watch.

Tumble sneezed once, twice, then took off at a running start.

"Do you think the sneezing is part of a secret method to his tumbling?" Munkustrap murmured, low enough so only Alonzo could hear.

"We'd better hope not. Otherwise it's going to be a disgusting Jellicle Ball." Alonzo replied, trying to decide if he wanted to laugh or cringe.

The series of flips started off impressively enough. Too bad they did not end on the same note. Tumble's body went oddly limp in the air, resulting him landing flat on his face with a painful 'whump'. Immediately Pouncival and Jemima were upon him.

Munk straightened a little, focus snapping to the kittens. While kittens were generally known to be uncoordinated, it was unusual for Tumblebrutus to falter during his signature series of black flips and, well, tumbling. It was his namesake after all.

When the patched kitten did not get up Munk and Alonzo both hurried over. Pounce and Jemima crowded around him, the two managing to roll him onto his back so he could at least breathe.

"Here, let me help you. That was quite a slip." Munk said, gently helping Tumble sit up.

Tumble agreed by sneezing directly in Munk's face.

It was by the sheer grace of Munkustrap's will as the Jellicle Protector that he did not recoil or push Tumble back to the ground in disgust. Alonzo doubted he would have remained so calm.

"Ew, Tumble, that's gross." Pounce said unhelpfully as his brother coughed and wiped his nose on his arm.

"Shut up. Don't feel good." Tumble miserably leaned up against Munk.

To his credit Munk did not try to move away, merely putting his arm around the kitten's shoulders and helping him to stand, staying close to him as he swayed on his feet.

"Tumble, what's wrong?" Jemima asked, eyes wide with worry.

"Dunno. Feel- feel dizzy." Another violent sneeze rocked Tumble's body. It would have sent the kitten flying to the ground if Munk hadn't been holding on to him. "Head hurts."

"We'll go see what Jenny says about this." Munk started to slowly walk them across the junkyard over to Jenny's den.

"Why? He's not sick, right?" Pounce asked, trotting along next to them. Jemima made to follow but Alonzo held her back.

"Hold on." Alonzo said.

"But I want to see what's wrong." Jemima watched the three go.

"Munk will let us know what's wrong. Best not to crowd Tumble for now." Alonzo gently steered her away from the sight.

It was plain to see that Tumble was ill. What he was ill with was still yet to be discovered. Best to keep Jemima away until Jenny could say just how contagious it was. Of course, Munk took a sneeze head on, so there was a good chance that if it was contagious, then it was only a matter of time before the Jellicle Protector got it too.

As soon as Alonzo persuaded Jemima that everyone would be fine he made a beeline for Jenny's den. To his surprise he was met halfway by a freshly disinfected Munk.

"How's Tumble?"

"Sick. Apparently there's a bug going around."

"It's not the same thing I had, is it?" Alonzo remembered just how terrible he felt when he was ill. Although it worked out in the end since it did lead to him and Munkustrap becoming an item, so he couldn't complain too much.

"It's too early to tell. Jenny hustled me out of there as quick as she could after she cleaned me up."

"I did notice that you smell like lemon." Alonzo wrinkled his nose sympathetically. "Are you sure you're alright?"

"I'll be fine. It'll take more than a little sneeze to bring me down." Munk gave him an affectionate nuzzle before returning to the tire.

"Right." The gesture did little to pacify him.

With more than just a little suspicion Alonzo returned to the tire, keeping a close eye on the silver tabby. He needn't have worried. Beyond the lemony scent (which Alonzo did his best to remove through vigorously bouts of bathing) Munk seemed perfectly fine. The day passed as lazily as anyone would want it to without any further upsets.

The next day, however, was a different story.

Alonzo knew as soon as he woke up that something was wrong. To start with, a certain silver tabby he frequently used as a pillow was still asleep. For a brief moment Alonzo assumed that he had woken up in the middle of the night but no, the sun was up, signaling the start of a new day. A new day that Munkustrap would normally already be awake for.

"Munk?" Hesitantly Alonzo rested his head back down on Munk's chest. Yes, there was a heartbeat. He was still alive.

"Mnugh?" It was a less than elegant awakening for the Jellicle Protector. "'s on fire?"

"Nothing's on fire."

"Oh." Munk sniffed and threw an arm over his face. "Felt… felt hot."

"Feeling alright?"

"'m fine." The words came out small and rather pitiful.

Alonzo rested his head on Munk's fur again. It was difficult to tell if he was running a fever, since the tabby usually ran hot, but combined with the lethargy and sniffling Alonzo was rapidly becoming sure that Munk was, in fact, not fine at all.

"You're warm." Munk purred, wrapping an arm around him to bring him closer.

"I thought you said you were hot."

"Felt hot. But now 'm cold." Never had Alonzo heard the cat speak so ineloquently. At the very least he always spoke in complete sentences.

"Munk, I love you and all, but you're sick." Alonzo said as delicately as he could. "You need to go see Jenny."

Those seemed to be the magic words. Instantly Munk was sitting up, eyes wide and fur standing up in every direction. It was an impressive amount of bed head for a cat that was usually well groomed.

"I'm not sick." To prove the point Munk stretched and began to groom himself in a hurried version of his morning routine.

"Right." Alonzo watched him carefully. "And you just decided to sleep in."

"I was not aware of the time."

"Because you were asleep."

This remark earned him a long suffering look from the tabby. It was normally a look reserved for Tugger or one of the kittens. It was a look that carried enough disappointment and exasperation for an entire tribe of cats.

"I'm sorry." Alonzo soothed his mate with an affectionate rub of the shoulders. "But I'm concerned about your health."

"I appreciate it but-" Munk's words were lost in a pained groan as he stepped outside and was met by the bright morning. Immediately he threw his head down into Alonzo's shoulder, nearly knocking them both over.

"Munk?"

A tiny intake of pained breath was his only answer. Coming from Munk it might as well have been a wail of agony.

"That's it, we're going to Jenny's."

"No, no, I'm fine."Munk pulled away and rubbed his eyes with a little more vigor than he normally did. "It's just very bright out here."

"It's the sun."

"Well, it's bright." Stubbornly he stepped out into the sun, unable to hide a wince as he forced himself to face the day.

Alonzo sighed, mentally counting to five before following his lovingly, infuriatingly strong- willed lover. What a start to the morning. Things could only get worse from here.

Shockingly it did not get worse, although there was a definite tilt to Munk's posture as the morning went on. The Jellicle Protector had situated himself on top of the tire and allowed the day's problems to come to him, which, thankfully, there were few. Alonzo had situated himself slightly behind Munk to prop him up as he started to involuntarily lean backwards. This also allowed him to properly glare at any cats who dared approach, making several of them abruptly turn and leave at the sight of the hostile black and white cat.

"Hm." Munk rubbed at his eyes again as Skimble ventured closer, abruptly stopped, turned on a dime and all but ran off. "Wonder what he wanted."

"Couldn't tell you." Alonzo kept his icy glare trained on the Railway Cat until he was sure he had made it all the way back to the station.

"Seems to be happening a lot today." Munk leaned back a fraction of an inch to rest on Alonzo, which meant that if the cat hadn't been sitting at his back he would have been laid flat out on the tire.

"Must be the weather." Alonzo caught Etcetera's eye as she poked her head around the corner, muting his stare only by a fraction. She took the hint and vanished before Munk even noticed she was there.

"Hm." Munk hummed again, eyes half closed. His fur was hot to the touch and Alonzo suspected that it wasn't from the heat of the sun.

"How are you feeling?" It was going to become a frequent question of the day.

"Fine. Stop worrying about me."

Alonzo sighed and settled down, resigned to the fact that it would take an act of god to move the stubborn cat. At the present moment all he could do was stick close to his mate and glare at anyone who tried to approach them. So far that approach seemed to be the most effective.

Unfortunately there was one specific cat in the junkyard that never heeded any glare thrown their way, mainly because they didn't have enough focus to notice.

"Hey, Munk!" Pounce waved, literally bouncing on the balls of his feet as he drew closer. "How're you- oh, hey, Lonz, didn't see you there. Got something in your eye?"

"No." Alonzo sighed, retiring his glare for the time being.

"Oh. Hey, Munk, Tumble's sick." Pounce turned his attention back to the Jellicle Protector, apparently completely unaware that said Protector was also feeling poorly.

"Yes, I was there for that." Munk replied as plainly as he could.

"Oh, right. Uh, well, he promised he'd help me with some stuff but now he can't 'cause he's sneezing all over the place and Jenny won't let him go outside."

"What kind of 'stuff' is he supposed to help you with?" Alonzo asked suspiciously.

"Um, just moving around some stuff to make a fort. We found a cool place at the edge of the junkyard and want to make it like a secret clubhouse or something."

Munk and Alonzo exchanged a glance with one another. No matter the context the word 'secret' in the vicinity of Pouncival or Tumblebrutus was never a good thing. Any other time and Alonzo would be one hundred percent behind Munk investigating the 'secret clubhouse', but today of all days was not a good time for the tabby to go gallivanting across the junkyard.

"Pounce, I'm sure it can wait. Munk's got a lot going on right now." Alonzo's attempt at deflecting the task was sadly ignored.

"No, I can help." Munk stood tall and confident, the very picture of grace and support. "I just need… need to…."

Alonzo realized half a second too late that Munkustrap was going down, only having enough time to throw himself forward and slide under the tabby as he careened towards the ground. Their descent was an ungraceful whirl of limbs and fur, resulting in Alonzo landing face down in the dirt with Munk's body splayed across his back, head resting on an outstretched arm.

"Umph." Alonzo spat out some dirt. At least Munk didn't hit his head.

"Oh." Pounce stared at the downed Jellicle Protector. "Um."

Munk's body was a dead weight. Normally Alonzo wouldn't mind having the silver tabby on top of him but now was not the time. Things were moving quickly into serious territory.

"Is he dead?" Pounce asked, prodding Munk with a hesitant foot.

"No, Pounce. Help me." Alonzo gently rolled Munk off of himself and scanned the area for someone, anyone who could lend some assistance. He was met with only Pounce.

Of course there wasn't anyone else around because Alonzo had spent the morning glaring at anyone who had dared to come close. Briefly he wondered if the universe had something against him, but he couldn't imagine what he could have done to deserve such punishment.

At their feet Munk groaned and curled up into a sad silver ball, body visibly shivering. Things had gone from 'inconveniently under the weather' to 'dangerously ill' in a matter of moments.

"I don't like this, what did you do to him?" Pounce backed away to hide behind Alonzo. "Did you break him?"

"He's sick, Pounce, not broken. And I need your help."

"What do you want me to do?"

"Go to Jenny and tell her that I'm headed her way with Munk. Tell her that he has what Tumble has."

"But-"

"Pouncival! We don't have time to argue!" Alonzo let a little bit of a growl tinge his voice.

The tabby kitten bit his lip, giving them both one last anxious look before taking off as fast as he could. Alonzo turned his attention back to Munk, who was surprisingly sitting up and looking around, clearly dazed and confused as to how he ended up in such a state.

"Take it easy." Alonzo knelt down next to him and nuzzled the side of his head. "You fainted."

"I did not." The words were automatic.

"Okay." Alonzo would address that mindset in a moment. "Do you think you can stand?"

It took a bit of effort but between the two of them Munk was able to stand. Instantly he leaned up against Alonzo's side, shivering against the black and white fur.

"Come on, let's go." Alonzo started up a comforting purr, wrapping an arm around him and rubbing the fur in an attempt to warm him up.

"Where are we going?" Munk kept his eyes shut against the sun, fully trusting Alonzo to guide him. "I need to… to go back to the tire."

"We're going to Jenny's."

"I need-"

"You need to go to Jenny's and do whatever you need to get better." Alonzo forcefully pushed the silver tabby along. "I will take over for you until you can stand on your own feet without fainting."

"I didn't faint."

"You were unconscious."

"Look, I-"

"Don't make me drag you." Alonzo warned. "It's beneath both of us."

"But you don't know what needs to be done." Munk protested.

"Then tell me on the way and I'll take care of it."

Munk told him. It was a very long list. Alonzo wished he had brought something along to write it all down. No matter, it would all be fine. Right now taking care of Munk was most important. By the time the two made it to Jenny's he was practically carrying the sick cat over her doorstep.

"Bring him in, dear. I knew I shouldn't have let him out of my sight." Jenny ushered them over to a spare corner where a bed had already been set up. Gently Alonzo helped Munk onto the bed.

"Ugh." Munk let out the tiniest groan and curled up on his side, purposefully leaving room for Alonzo to join him.

The poor cat was trying not to show it but Alonzo could tell that he was hurting. Without even a second's thought he moved closer, fully intending on climbing up on the bed with him and-

"Thank you, now out you go." Jenny said, blocking any and all attempts at comfort. "We don't want you catching this too."

"Who's going to watch over him then?" Alonzo asked as he was rather forcefully shooed away from Munk's side.

"I've already asked Pouncival to help out." Jenny said, deliberately not making eye contact with the cat.

"What?" There was no way he heard that right.

"You heard me." Jenny busied herself with arranging some supplies on a nearby table. "I know that Pounce is a bit of a… well, an unusual choice-"

"Understatement of the century."

"Hush. I know that it's not the choice you would have made but he's really the best option we have."

Alonzo severely doubted that. "Aren't you worried about him getting sick as well?"

"Frankly, regarding his personal hygiene, he's... well…." Jenny trailed off as she sought out the best word.

"Disgusting?"

"I was going to say 'possesses awfully relaxed standards in regards to his own health and wellness'." Jenny said delicately. "As a result, his immune system is quite resilient."

"You're saying he's so gross that he's invincible to illness." Alonzo said flatly.

"Those are your words, dear, not mine. Also, I believe that Pounce might have already had this bug. He might have been the first."

"So you're going to have patient zero watch over Munk."

"Alonzo, I know you're apprehensive about the care of your mate, but you have to trust me. Give him a couple of days and he'll bounce back." Jenny said, kindly but firmly. "You can come back later and check on him but for now let me do my job."

Alonzo sighed. "I'm sorry."

"It's alright, I understand. Also, since Tumble will be here too, Pounce will be less inclined to stray off and get into trouble. Which should make your job a little easier."

Right. Alonzo was the new temporary Munkustrap. He had watched over the tribe before, but he had generally known he was going to be doing so ahead of time and it was because Munk was away on business.

This would be the first time where Alonzo would be stepping in as temporary, last minute Jellicle Protector while Munk was still within the Junkyard. No pressure.