Combeferre looked up when Enjolras entered the room and then set his coffee cup down very, very slowly.

"Uh oh," Courfeyrac muttered, sitting up extra-straight in his seat. "I think Joly was actually sick this time."

"It's fine," Enjolras said, waving a hand in annoyance as he crossed the room with uncommon slowness.

"It isn't," Combeferre said, more than making up for the lack of strength in Enjolras's voice with the hint of steel in his own. "How long have you been sick?"

"Just tired," Enjolras said, though his credibility was undermined by a crack in his voice.

"I'll say," Courfeyrac muttered. "You look even more exhausted than usual."

Enjolras's eyes narrowed in one of his trademark glares, but its efficacy was compromised by his shivering. "I never sleep before rallies," he said. "You know that."

"Perhaps you should start." Combeferre laid the back of his hand on Enjolras's forehead, and a low hum of disapproval resonated in his throat. "That's not all this is. Definitely a fever. What else?"

"I'm fine," Enjolras insisted through gritted teeth. "And I don't have time for this. Will you let me go so I can set up for the rally now, please?"

Combeferre's eyes softened with gentle disappointment. "You're not going anywhere," he said, shaking his head, "except back to your room."

Enjolras's eyes glittered, bright and hard with something that was 40% fever and 60% stubbornness. "You know how important this is. You have to let me—"

"I'll go," Courfeyrac volunteered. "I can set everything up for voter registration, and…" His gaze slid to Combeferre. "It'll all be ready when you get there," he finished uncertainly.

Enjolras opened his mouth to argue, but at Combeferre's warning hand on his shoulder, he silenced reflexively.

"Thank you," Combeferre said firmly.

Courfeyrac smiled, a little sadly. "Feel better, chief," he said, throwing a salute on his way out the door. He once again caught Combeferre's eye and a significant look passed between them.

"You can't decide this for me," Enjolras muttered, but it was rather half-hearted.

"I think I just did," Combeferre said, not unkindly.

Courfeyrac slipped out, shutting the door softly behind him.

Enjolras sighed, and his shoulders slumped. With Courfeyrac gone, he knew he'd been defeated, and the balloon of hope and bravado that had been propping him up deflated.

Combeferre took advantage of this uncharacteristic listlessness to guide him to a chair and tug his jacket off. "How long?"

"Just since last night." Enjolras closed his eyes and leaned his head back, allowing Combeferre to feel his glands.

"You've got a fever, chills, and fatigue. What else? Sore throat? Headache?" He brushed Enjolras's temple with his fingers.

It was too much. Enjolras glared. "I don't know why you insist on asking questions you already know the answers to. You've probably already diagnosed me."

Combeferre laughed softly. "The rally is in good hands with Courfeyrac."

Enjolras relaxed against the back of the chair. "I know. But I'm supposed to be there."

"You'd do no good breathing germs on everybody," Combeferre said, handing him two Tylenol and a glass of water. "Better to stay home and get well in time for the next one. And I'll make sure you do."

Enjolras frowned at the pills in his hand, but he did as he was bidden and swallowed them. "You should go. Supervise the rally. Courfeyrac needs a babysitter more than I do."

Combeferre leveled him with a Look born of many years' acquaintance. "Maybe," he said carefully. "But you might need a doctor more than Courfeyrac does."

"I'm not that sick. Please?" Enjolras asked. "There's no one I trust more than you."

"If only I could trust you as much," Combeferre chided. "If I thought you'd take care of yourself without reminding, I could leave with a clear conscience."

"I won't do anything stupid," Enjolras promised.

Combeferre raised an eyebrow. "Do you know what that word means?"

"Yes," Enjolras sighed. "I won't leave the apartment. I'll drink lots of water. I'll take a nap." He said the word nap as though it left a nasty taste in his mouth. "You're right, I don't feel well enough to get any work done. I'll just lie down and wait for it to be over."

Combeferre didn't look convinced. "And you'll take more Tylenol every four hours? And call me if you feel worse?"

"Yes, yes," Enjolras said wearily. "Honestly. I'm not a terminal case."

"I'm just trying to avoid a repeat of the Pneumonia Incident of 2011," Combeferre said. "But if it'll set your mind at ease, I can check on your rally. If you're really going straight back to bed."

"Thank you." Enjolras sipped his water. "I feel better knowing you'll be there."

Combeferre smiled and brushed his hair off his forehead. "Then I guess I'm a good doctor after all."

Enjolras looked up at him. "When will you leave?"

Combeferre laughed. "As soon as you're in bed," he promised.

"Okay." Enjolras stood shakily. "I'm going."

"Rest well," Combeferre said. "And call me if you need anything. If you even think you might need something."

"Okay."

"And check your temperature when you wake up."

"Okay."

"And—"

"Look, I'm going to bed. That means you leave. Goodbye."

"Goodbye."


The buzzing of Enjolras's phone woke him up.

Courfeyrac (10:13 AM): Don't be mad at me.

Enjolras rubbed his itchy eyes with one hand.

You (10:14 AM): What did you do?

You (10:14 AM): Is something on fire?

Courfeyrac (10:14 AM): No.

Courfeyrac (10:14 AM): This might be worse than the time with the fire.

You (10:15 AM): You're scaring me. Do I need to come down there?

Courfeyrac (10:15 AM): Stay where you are. The rally is fine. Everything according to plan. Don't worry about that while you're sick.

You (10:15 AM): Then I'm sure I'm not mad at you. Just leave me alone.

Courfeyrac (10:16 AM): Grantaire might be on his way over.

Courfeyrac (10:17 AM): Enjolras?

You (10:17 AM): I am going to breathe on everything in your room. Especially the doorknobs. And your pillow.

Courfeyrac (10:17 AM): I knew you'd be mad.

You (10:17 AM): When I'm healthy again, I will get you. You will not know what I am planning until it is too late. You will not see or hear me coming. And, unlike me, you will never recover.

Courfeyrac (10:18 AM): I'm joining witness protection.

Courfeyrac (10:18 AM): Btw Combeferre wants to know how you're feeling. Since you're threatening biological warfare, I'm guessing not good.

Courfeyrac (10:18 AM): Feel better!

You (10:19 AM): Die in a fire.

Courfeyrac (10:19 AM): Told you. No fire. Got to go, rally heating up!

Enjolras pulled himself dizzily out of bed just as there was a knock at the door.

"Fuck," he whispered. The door was so far away. He raised his voice to croak "Go away!" in as threatening a voice as he could muster. He collapsed onto the couch.

"I don't need your permission," Grantaire's voice came through the door. "I'm not a vampire, and Combeferre gave me his key."

"Perfect," Enjolras said. "Another friend I have to exact revenge upon." He smothered a cough into his fist. "You might as well let yourself in."

The door swung open. "I was going to anyway, but I'm glad I have your blessing." Grantaire eyed him critically. "You look like shit."

"Very kind of you to say," Enjolras sighed, choking back another cough.

Grantaire frowned. "They didn't say you were coughing."

"I wasn't," Enjolras said sourly. "Why are you here?"

"To make sure you aren't dead," Grantaire said casually.

"Well, I'm not." He crossed his arms. "You can go now."

"Who'd have known you'd find a way to be even less pleasant?" Grantaire settled himself on the far end of the couch, far enough away that he wouldn't be able to touch Enjolras without permission. Which was also too far for Enjolras to hit him without a lot of effort.

"Joly was beside himself at the thought of you at home by yourself," Grantaire said. "Combeferre didn't seem very sure you weren't going to try to show up later. I think I'm more worried by the fact that you seem to have actually been asleep."

Enjolras's phone buzzed again. He groaned.

"I'm going to have to ask you to check that," Grantaire said mildly. "I'm not sure I won't be blamed for killing you if you don't answer."

Combeferre (10:29 AM): You're due for more Tylenol. Please take it. Did Grantaire get there? He said he wanted to check on you.

Enjolras considered throwing his phone out the window, but he decided to respond instead.

You (10:30 AM): Yes

You (10:30 AM): I'll take the Tylenol but I'm not speaking to you.

You (10:30 AM): You know what you did.

"Combeferre was worried about your temperature," Grantaire said. His face called into question exactly who was worried. "Can I-?"

Enjolras shrank away from his extended hand. "Don't touch me," he complained.

Grantaire froze. "Okay," he said carefully. "Sorry. Do you have a thermometer somewhere?" At Enjolras's moody silence, he sighed. "I promised Combeferre I'd report back. Can you please not make me a liar?"

"Bathroom cabinet, behind the mirror," Enjolras said. "There's Tylenol there too, I think."

Grantaire smiled. "Okay. Good. Thank you."

He returned moments later with not just the thermometer and Tylenol, but also a damp cloth and a bottle of cough syrup.

Enjolras frowned. "I'm not—"

"At least take your temperature before you start arguing with me," Grantaire said, holding out the thermometer. "Jesus, I should have figured you'd be difficult as fuck when you're sick."

Enjolras's cheeks burned with both embarrassment and fever as he took the thermometer and slid it under his tongue. They sat in tense silence until it beeped, and Enjolras pulled it out and grimaced at the number.

"Not good?" asked Grantaire, though he had figured as much.

Enjolras coughed into his elbow and held the thermometer out for Grantaire to see for himself.

"Christ," Grantaire muttered, setting the thermometer on the table. "You must feel terrible."

Enjolras shrugged.

"Do you need anything?" Grantaire asked, eagerness coloring his eyes.

"Water," Enjolras said. "Can't take pills without water."

"You got it," Grantaire said, charging off to the kitchen. When he came back, he handed the glass to Enjolras and counted three Tylenol into his palm.

Enjolras took two and gave one back. "I don't take three."

"If ever there was a time for excess—" Grantaire started, but cut himself off. "All right. Will you let me give you something for that cough, too?"

"I don't like it," Enjolras said. "It's foul, and it never helps. Just makes me sleep."

"You need to sleep," Grantaire said. "No one has ever needed sleep more than—do you know how pathetic you look right now?" He reached one callused hand to flick a stray piece of wavy blond hair off Enjolras's flushed cheek.

"Not yet," Enjolras begged. "Please? I'll take some later."

Grantaire bit his lip, but he seemed mollified by the compromise. "Okay. I brought you a cool cloth for your head. Should help with the headache."

"How much did Combeferre tell you about this morning?" Enjolras grumbled, accepting the cloth with grudging gratitude.

"He didn't have to," Grantaire said. "I could tell. Your eyes get small when you have a headache."

Enjolras frowned and said nothing.

"I pay attention to you, you know." Grantaire said, voice low and serious with some kind of tension.

"I never said—" Enjolras broke off to cough.

"I know. Relax. Rest your voice. You sound awful." Grantaire smiled sadly. "You want to be back on tabletops giving speeches before you're thirty, don't you?"

Enjolras huffed a displeased noise, but he didn't try to talk.

"Are you hungry? I could make you something."

Enjolras raised his eyebrows.

"Okay, I could get you something."

He just shook his head.

"No? Not hungry?" Grantaire paused thoughtfully. "How about tea, then? With honey, for your throat?"

Enjolras sighed heavily.

"You're one of those people who just wants to be left alone when they're sick," Grantaire said. "You wish I'd leave you to die in peace. But I can't let that happen. The world would be worse off without you."

"I'm not dy—"

"Ah, ah, I thought we decided you weren't talking." Grantaire grinned. "I could get used to this quiet you." He adjusted the cloth on Enjolras's forehead. "How about it, then? Tea? Then I'll leave you alone so you can sleep."

Enjolras lifted one shoulder in resignation.

"You know," Grantaire said, standing to go to the kitchen. "I never thought I'd say this, but I wish you'd put up more of a fight. Meek acquiescence isn't a good color on you."

Enjolras cracked a smile.

"Back in a jiff," Grantaire said.

When Grantaire brought the steaming mug into the room, he set it on the table rather than handing it to Enjolras.

Enjolras picked up the mug and inhaled the steam. It burned all the way into his chest. He looked up in surprise. "I thought you were making tea," he rasped.

Grantaire shrugged. "There's tea in it," he said. "And honey, like I promised. It's something my nana used to make when we were sick."

"Did CPS ever visit your nana?" Enjolras muttered, but he took a tentative sip. Followed by another.

Grantaire grinned. "Helping?"

Enjolras swallowed. "Shut up." He started coughing, and it wasn't as easily stopped this time. He could no sooner suck in a breath than it was scraping back out of him. The weight of the mug lifted out of his hands and he felt a supportive presence at his back.

When it was done, he wiped the tears from his eyes and turned to look at Grantaire, whose hand retreated from his back.

Grantaire offered the mug back to him.

"Thanks," he murmured.

"Will you take some cough medicine now?" Grantaire wheedled. "I'm not trying to limit your free will, but I think you're exercising it stupidly."

"You talk of free will like you listen to my speeches," Enjolras sniffled, setting the mug down and pulling his knees to his chest.

"Be fair," Grantaire said. "How could I argue with you if I weren't listening?"

Enjolras rubbed his eyes. "Okay."

"Okay, you'll take the cough medicine or okay, you're too tired to fight with me?"

"Both maybe. I don't know."

"Good enough for me."

Enjolras rested his chin on his knees and watched as Grantaire measured out the appropriate dose in the little plastic cup.

"I usually take it straight from the bottle," Grantaire said, "but I thought you'd appreciate precision more. Combeferre would be rather upset with me if I got you stoned on Robitussin." He nudged Enjolras with the cup. "Courfeyrac would probably high five me, though."

Enjolras knocked back the medicine as if it were a shot. He wrinkled his nose as he leaned forward to set the empty cup on the table. He drained his water glass. "They should prosecute whoever made that stuff taste so bad. Should force them to drink it as punishment."

Grantaire raised his eyebrows. "Wouldn't that be cruel and unusual?"

"It would befit the crime committed," Enjolras sighed, closing his eyes.

"Need help getting back to bed?" Grantaire asked.

"No," he said. "I can do it." It wasn't impossible to convince someone of something you didn't fully believe yourself; Enjolras knew that, but he thought he read doubt on Grantaire's face.

When wasn't there doubt on Grantaire's face?

"Lock the door on your way out." Enjolras got to his feet and made unsteady progress across the room, conscious of the weight of Grantaire's eyes on him until he shut the door between them and fell into bed.


There were noises in the kitchen.

Enjolras pulled himself from bed, rubbing at his cheekbones, and lumbered haltingly through the apartment until he could lean against the doorframe to the kitchen.

Grantaire had his back to him, humming quietly as he stirred something on the stove.

Unfortunately, his breath chose that moment to get stuck in his throat again, and he had to grip the doorframe to remain upright as the coughs tore through him.

Grantaire turned and was at his elbow in an instant, helping him into a chair at the table. "I thought you'd be awake soon," he said. "Combeferre's been texting me for the last hour to remind me to give you more Tylenol, but I didn't want to wake you up."

"You're still here," Enjolras gasped, looking up at him through watery eyes.

"Course I am," Grantaire said. "You didn't think I'd abandon you, did you? Who would heat up lentil soup from a can for you if I went home?"

"I thought Combeferre might have come home," Enjolras mumbled.

"It's only three. They won't be home for hours."

"I should be with them," Enjolras said. "I'm supposed to be there."

"They wouldn't want you to worry about that. They're taking good care of it. You just need to take good care of you." Grantaire's hand crept to feel the heat at Enjolras's cheek; this time, Enjolras made no move to stop him. He frowned. "Fever's back up. Better get that Tylenol in you or your roommates will have me skinned."

Enjolras spent the time Grantaire was out of the room trying to clear his throat satisfactorily. He only succeeded in triggering a few anemic coughs, but thankfully none of them blossomed into a fit like before.

Grantaire set a glass of water in front of him and shook the Tylenol bottle. "Two, right?"

"I'll take three," Enjolras said. "This once."

Grantaire made no comment, just handed him the pills. "I guess your nap didn't leave you feeling any better."

"It did," Enjolras said. "Just. Not very much." He scrubbed at the back of his neck. "I'm hot."

"I'll say," Grantaire said, and Enjolras couldn't tell from his face whether it was a joke. "Hungry?"

He was rather emphatically not hungry, but he shrugged.

"You should eat," Grantaire said. "I bet you haven't today."

"You sound like Combeferre."

"Combeferre's always been the smartest of us all, but I hardly think I've been anywhere near that sensible. I've just reminded you to take your medicine and eat a meal and get enough sleep and—oh, God, I do sound like Combeferre," Grantaire teased. "Next thing I'll be proofreading for you and you'll have three mothers. Better nip that in the bud. What's something irresponsible I can do, really quick?"

Grantaire set a small bowl of lentil soup in front of Enjolras. "I didn't do anything to it except open the can and warm it up," he promised. "It's safe. You eat that and I'm going to find something stupid to do to get the reek of responsibility off me."

Enjolras picked at the soup with grim determination for a few minutes.

"Hey, look, I'm Courfeyrac," Grantaire said. He'd dressed in a pair of Courfeyrac's red skinny jeans and tight cardigan, with bright yellow Ray Bans on.

Enjolras smiled weakly. "Courfeyrac is going to kill you for touching those sunglasses. He loves them more than he loves his car. Doesn't he keep them locked up in his safe?"

"He has the easiest password to guess in the whole world." Grantaire grinned wickedly. "Want to lick them and infect them with the plague before I put them back?"

Enjolras laughed, which turned into a slight cough at the end. "Tempting," he said. "Very tempting. But I don't like the idea of what he'd do to me. Which he'll also do to you."

Grantaire's smile deepened and he pushed the sunglasses on top of his head. "Worth it to hear you laugh."

Enjolras felt his temperature crawling up another degree. He was saved having to formulate a response by a well-timed cough.

Grantaire stood beside him and ran his fingers lightly down Enjolras's back. "You're still so warm," he said. "Shouldn't the Tylenol have kicked in by now?"

Enjolras shook him off. "From moving around too much," he said. "Combeferre always says I'm not still enough when I'm sick."

"Maybe we should relocate, then," Grantaire said. "Get you lying down."

"Head feels better sitting up," Enjolras protested. "And I'll cough less."

"Always got to argue, don't you?" But he said it with a smile. "Okay. You can sit. But on the couch, under some blankets. If you promise to be good I'll put CSPAN on for you."

"I can't promise to be good if CSPAN is on," Enjolras complained. "You're asking too much of me."

"PBS, then. You like to support public media, don't you? And I think they're still doing children's programs at this hour, so it'll be nice and restful for you." Grantaire brushed Enjolras's hair off his face. "You didn't eat much."

Enjolras shrugged. "Not much of an appetite," he said apologetically. "It was nice of you, though."

"Don't be nice to me," Grantaire said. "It's freaking me out."

"I thought you didn't like that I was snapping," Enjolras said irritably. "Now you don't like that I'm not. I don't think you'll be pleased by anything I do."

"I'll be pleased if you get better," Grantaire said with unaccustomed gentleness. "You're not yourself, is all I meant."

Enjolras frowned. "Is being nice to you so unlike me that you think it has to be a symptom?"

"It was a joke," Grantaire said firmly. "I should know better than to make them by now." He looked away. "Can we please not quarrel? You'll lose your voice if you don't rest it."

"Sorry," Enjolras mumbled, looking at his hands in his lap.

"You don't have to be sorry, Enjolras, just—" Grantaire sighed. "Never mind. Go relax on the couch and I'll make you more of my nana's tea."

"You just want to get me drunk again so I sleep for five more hours," Enjolras said when Grantaire handed him the mug.

Grantaire smiled. "I plead the Fifth."

Enjolras shifted the blanket he was wrapped in. "You can sit, too, if you want," he said.

"I thought I might go," Grantaire said. "I don't think you're going to drop dead before Combeferre comes home. I can leave you alone with a clear conscience."

"Oh." Enjolras sipped his tea. On the TV, some kind of puppet was chasing a small child.

"Of course," Grantaire said thoughtfully, "when Combeferre sees you looking like this, he's going to want to drag you to a doctor's office. He might need an extra pair of hands. We all know what a stubborn bastard you can be."

"No, that's you," Enjolras said, with a little smile.

Grantaire settled on the couch very carefully. "What are we watching?"

"I don't know." Enjolras shook his head, suddenly very tired. He handed Grantaire the remote. "Whatever you want."

By the time Grantaire had selected a documentary about lions and hyenas, Enjolras had allowed his head to drop to Grantaire's shoulder.

"Poor thing," Grantaire tutted, stroking Enjolras's hair.

"Don't fuss," Enjolras warned, "or I'll take it back."

Grantaire smiled to himself and turned the volume down a few clicks.


"And the girl who took extra flyers to take to her sorority house," Courfeyrac said excitedly. "Enjolras is going to love hearing about that."

"He will," Combeferre agreed, unlocking the door.

"And—"

"Shh," Combeferre said, handing Courfeyrac back his key. "They're asleep."

They were still sitting up, after a fashion. Enjolras was slumped over onto Grantaire's shoulder, and Grantaire's head rested atop Enjolras's. Grantaire had his arm curled protectively around Enjolras even as he snored softly.

"Oh my god," Courfeyrac breathed. "It's precious. I have to get a picture." He fumbled for his phone, but Combeferre's long fingers on his wrist stopped him.

"No," he said. "It's not fair when he's sick. Just let it be." But his eyes, too, sparkled merrily at the sight of their two friends napping peacefully on the couch.

Courfeyrac draped his arm around Combeferre's shoulders. "Looks like they had an okay day. Neither one of them killed the other."

"I don't like Enjolras's coloring," Combeferre murmured. "If he's still this bad tomorrow, I'll have to see about getting him to a doctor."

"You know R's going to get sick, too, now," Courfeyrac said. "He's let Enjolras drool on him. How do you think he managed that? You know how prickly Enjolras can be when he's sick. Like a cactus bred with a porcupine."

Combeferre hummed. "Maybe he has a way with him."

"Maybe." Courfeyrac squinted. "Is he wearing my clothes?"

"You know, I think he is." Combeferre laughed softly. "Come on, let's sneak out so they can—"

"Are those my Ray Bans?"

Grantaire and Enjolras started awake at once, blinking rapidly in the dimming evening light.

"Wassamatter?" Grantaire slurred. His arm tightened around Enjolras, who was busy coughing into Grantaire's shoulder.

"You're a dead man, Grantaire," Courfeyrac hissed. "And you're buying me a new sweater, because I have to burn that one."

"What are you talking about?" Grantaire asked.

"It's infected," Courfeyrac wailed.

"I don't have the same thing as the boy in the Velveteen Rabbit, Courfeyrac," Enjolras said, his voice noticeably hoarser than it had been that morning.

"Scarlet fever," Combeferre supplied.

"Right. This is just the flu or something." Enjolras dragged a hand across his aching forehead as he pulled away from Grantaire. "A round in the washing machine should take care of your stupid sweater." He directed another round of harsh coughs into his elbow.

Grantaire rubbed circles on his back absently.

Combeferre frowned. "That doesn't sound very good."

"I told you," Grantaire crooned. "He wants you to go to a doctor. I can see it in his eyes."

"Don't start," Enjolras sighed. "Either one of you."

"He might be on to something," Combeferre began, but Enjolras stopped him.

"You're starting to sound like Joly with that fretting. Leave it. I'm resting like you asked." He glared at Courfeyrac. "No thanks to you."

Courfeyrac leaned over to kiss the top of Enjolras's head. "Sorry, mon ami. I know how you need your beauty rest."

"Don't antagonize him," Combeferre sighed. "I don't want him riled up."

"Who's riling him up?" Courfeyrac asked, sounding affronted. "I was apologizing for waking him from his nap."

"Riling up is my job," Grantaire said, grinning up at Courfeyrac.

Courfeyrac's eyes narrowed. "You're going to catch his death-flu, and I am not going to send anyone to look after you," he warned. "You'll be fetching your own water and you'll say oh, I wish I'd been kinder to my friend Courfeyrac, because then I'd have someone to take care of me in my time of need, but it will be too late, because you will already have touched my Ray Bans, and that cannot be taken back."

"I feel confident that that will never happen," Grantaire said.

"Just watch." Courfeyrac threatened.

"How was the rally?" Enjolras asked.

"It was great," Courfeyrac assured him. "Tons of flyers given out, fifty new people on the mailing list, and we registered over three hundred voters today."

"Everyone asked about you," Combeferre said. "They send their love and want you better soon. You were missed."

"Wish I'd been there." Enjolras smiled faintly and pillowed his head back on Grantaire's shoulder. "Watch the Discovery Channel with us," he yawned. "You love the Discovery Channel."

Combeferre bit his lip to keep from smiling. "All right," he said, settling on the arm of the couch where he could rest a hand on Enjolras's shoulder. "Courfeyrac?"

"I'm game. What is this, elephants? I love elephants." Courfeyrac dropped onto the couch on Grantaire's other side.

The four of them passed a long evening in this way. Enjolras slid in and out of sleep surrounded by the warmth of his friends; the others took turns bringing him cool cloths and medicine. Grantaire, mostly, stayed in place as his pillow, and there was no place he would rather have been.


Author's Note: This was originally written as part of a prompting challenge, where a few lovely ladies I met on AO3 took the same prompt and each wrote a fic based on it. There is a follow-up to this piece currently in the works.