Sick as an Underdog

"Nate, wakey wakey, we gotta show to do," Shane called across the room to his youngest brother, as he slid out from under the warm hotel room covers.

Nate erupted in a series of coughs before throwing his pillow at his older brother. "no" he wheezed out, his voice muffled by the layers of blankets that were covering his body.

A brief look of concern crossed Shane's face as he walked over to the wall and rapped on it rapidly, hoping to get Jason's attention.

It worked.

Within seconds a solid rapping came from the middle Gray' hotel door. "Shane shut up!" Nate moaned, thinking it was Shane making the noise.

Shane rolled his eyes, but quickly went to the door and opened it.

Jason stood there, still in his pajamas, toothbrush in hand and toothpaste foam leaking from his mouth.

"This better be good," Jason talked, spraying the white mess all over the floor.

Shane didn't have to answer, another cough attack hit Nate he started hacking, fighting for his breath. Jason and Shane were next to him quickly, standing next to him trying to figure out what to do.

"Mom?" Shane asked, wondering if this was serious enough to bring the 'mom factor' into it.

"Mom," Jason confirmed, resting his hand on Nate's forehead. Shane quickly turned on his heels and exited the room while Jason moved his hand comfortably through Nate's hair.

"You have great timing Nate," he said sarcastically and the younger Gray groaned.

"SHANE!" Nate yelled, ignoring Jason.

Jason took his hand away in shock as the youngest band member threw the covers off his body and ran out the door into the hallway where Shane was hurrying to their parents room. Shane turned around to look at Nate, right as Nate crashed into him, throwing both of them onto the floor.

"Nate!" Shane hissed as the younger brother grinned sheepishly, getting off of his brother. By then a confused Jason had made his way into the hall and was glancing at his brother as if his fever had made him a lunatic.

"What was that-"

"You can't tell mom," Nate interrupted looking at both his brothers with pleading eyes. Jason and Shane sent each other a quick glance before shepherding Nate back into his room and sitting him down on the bed.

"We can't tell mom that you sick?" Shane interrogated.

"Yep"

"We can't tell mom that your running a high fever" Jason asked.

"Right"

"We can't tell mom that your voice sounds like a dying frog?" Shane asked.

"Correct" Nate croaked and both the older brothers scoffed.

"No offense Nate, but one, I think your quite possibly delusional if you think mom won't recognize the dieing noises that escape your throat. And two, I think you are delusional for wanting to keep this from mom. You do know what she'll do if she finds out you kept this from her…right?" Shane asked, bending down to Nate's level.

"Right," Nate said simply, nodding, looking Shane straight in the eye.

Shane cocked an eyebrow, straightening back up and giving Jason a helpless look. So he stepped in.

"Why would you want to keep this from mom?" Jason asked, sitting across from Nate on the other bed.

"Because, she'll say that I shouldn't perform-"

"Which you shouldn't" Shane added.

Nick glared at Joe before continuing.

"And then we'll miss our first radio show in Austin-"

"Which could be rescheduled until our next trip here" Kevin added.

"And then I'll throw a fight, and put everyone in a bad mood, and everyone will despise you" Nick said, smirking at his brothers. "For causing this"

Joe paused, contemplating the situation, while Kevin quickly worked through it. "That's like blackmail…isn't it?"

Nate shrugged.

"If you want it to be," he said, grinning.

Jason sighed, running a hand through his hair and Shane rubbed his temples.

"You'll rest until we have to leave?" Jason finally asked.

"Sure" Nate replied hopefully.

"And you won't say a word until we're on stage?" Shane added and Nate nodded energetically.

"Of course"

"And when mom gets her hands on you tonight, you won't blame us for 'making you' perform?"

"Never"

Jason and Shane sighed at the exact same time before each nodding. "Fine, we leave for the studio in 2 hours, you don't leave that bed until then," Jason confirmed, before taking his toothbrush and walking into Shane and Nate's bathroom.

Nate smiled happily to himself, as a wave of ickyness washed over him. His smile dropped as he climbed into bed, his adrenaline gone, his flu taking over. He coughed himself sore and moaned to himself, knowing that he was just making his brothers more and more anxious to tell mom.

"You made a deal," he reminded the oldest two Gray' , not opening his eyes, as he drifted off into a light slumber.