LOVE AFTER LOVE DRABBLES
Intermission 5: Prize Fic for Jessica499499
"One-oh-one," Ben said aloud, reading the thermometer he'd just pulled from Rook's mouth. "It's official: you have a cold."
At this Rook sneezed violently before taking a wad of tissue to his nose and blowing. Ben couldn't help but giggle at how utterly undignified his partner looked. The usually proud revonnahgander was now reduced to a sniveling, sneezing lump of misery. Lucky for him, though, Ben knew just what to do. He'd hurried over to Rook's apartment to find the revonnahgander lying in bed, carrying with him two extra blankets and pillows as well as a large tupperware container of soup.
"I do not understand," Rook said, his voice distorted by his swollen nasal passages, "I have always practiced good-hygiene. It is simply impossible for me to have gotten a cold!"
"You're forgetting one thing, Rook," Ben replied with a teasing smile.
Rook frowned, and in an incensed tone asked, "And what, exactly, would that be?"
"You're not from Earth," Ben answered. "According to Grandpa Max, most aliens usually get sick within the first month of their being here. Your body doesn't have the necessary immunities to combat our native bacteria and viruses. The only reason you didn't get sick at the Plumber's Academy is because it's a freaking space station; a totally sterile environment."
Rook pouted and turned away from Ben. Ben just rolled his eyes and smiled in understanding. Rook was used to watching out for Ben, and pulling his butt out of trouble. Now that the shoe was on the other foot, and not by choice, Rook felt lost...out of his element.
"Rook, don't sweat it," Ben. "I am gonna do whatever it takes to make you feel more comfortable. I'll make you chicken noodle soup, I'll give you a quiet space to rest, and I'll keep you well supplied with tissue and cold medicine."
"Thank you, Ben," Rook said with a smile, unable to stop the blush that rose to his face. The undivided attention and care Ben was displaying was quite nice, and felt a bit beyond the role of a work partner and friend.
Of course, he could have just been over analyzing the human's intent.
Rook's thoughts were then interrupted by his stomach grumbling ever so slightly, causing Ben to chuckle at yet another mark against Rook's former dignified visage.
With a grin, Ben exited the bedroom and made his way over to the small kitchen. He pulled the tupperware he'd brought and poured it into a pot which he then placed on the stove. Setting it to a low temperature, he gave the soup ten minutes to re-heat before brandishing a ladle and scooping out some soup into a bowl.
Bowl of soup in hand, Ben proceeded back to the bedroom to find that Rook had managed to sit himself up.
When Rook saw that Ben had neglected to use the bed tray, Rook gently admonished, "Ben, did I not tell you where the bed tray could be found?"
Ben grinned impishly before scoffing and replying, "I will be feeding you myself, as you are sick and need to be taken care of."
Rook rolled his eyes at the childishness of it all, thinking Ben was joking and would go back and get the bed tray. However, when Ben sat with the bowl of soup in his lap and brought a spoonful to Rook's lips expectantly, Rook knew this was not a joke. "Ben," he chastised, "I am not an invalid. I am very much capable of feeding myself."
"Ah, ah, ah, I will hear none of it," Ben answered imperiously. "I will feed you myself, and that is final. The Savior of the Galaxy has spoken!"
Rook raised a single brow, but acquiesced. Opening his mouth, he gladly accepted the spoonful of chicken noodle.
Unbeknownst to Rook, though, Ben had a reason for his treatment of Rook. About a week after first meeting the revonnahgander, Ben realized he was developing a crush on his partner. After all, how could he not? Rook was always calm, cool, and collected, even in the most trying of circumstances. He helped keep Ben's head level, and didn't mind one bit how silly Ben could behave at times.
Not to mention, Rook Blonko was drop-dead gorgeous!
And so when Ben got the call from Rook that he was ill, Ben figured that this would be as good a time as any to slowly ease Rook into seeing just how much affection Ben felt towards him. And so far, it seemed to be working.
As the day wore on, Ben volunteered himself towards any and every task aimed at making Rook as comfortable as possible, including a back massage that left Rook a purring mess. Ben even went so far as to brush Rook's fur, which Rook had nearly drawn the line at, but allowed in the end due in part to the sad face Ben made.
When the day came to a close, and Ben made to leave for the day, Rook was saddened to see his friend go...perhaps more than he should have. And when Ben's farewell included a far too casual, "Love ya!" Rook began to feel that a puzzle had just been laid in front of him, and that if he could just put all the pieces together he would be handsomely rewarded.
Over the next three days Ben and Rook continued a habit of Ben coming over to Rook's apartment in the morning and staying with him the entire day. During that time, they got to know each other more and more. They both shared more of their history, as well as their personality. Rook enjoyed how easy and comfortable this companionship was. Back on Revonnah, everyone was so stuffy and formal; their dedication to tradition left practically no surprises in the equation.
Maybe he had indeed become corrupted by Earth ways, but that lack of uncertainty was no longer appealing. He enjoyed the risk he was taking in getting closer and closer to Ben. Their friendship and camaraderie were quickly evolving into something else...something impossible, but that seemed to fit the pieces of his puzzle.
And so, on the fourth day, when Ben came over to Rook's apartment, the young human was surprised to find Rook up and at 'em.
"Looks like your immune system finally got the message," Ben teased.
"Indeed," Rook answered with an easy smile. "I was about to report for duty."
"Don't bother," Ben said with a conspiratorial grin, "I already told Grandpa Max to give you till the end of the week."
Rook smirked and sound in a mock reproachful tone, "Ben..."
"What?" Ben cried, blushing a little. "I didn't know how much time you needed to get better, and I was having fun taking care of you..."
A single brow rose on Rook's face. "You enjoyed taking care of me?"
Ben's blush deepened as he said, "Um, well, yeah. I mean, you're my best friend, and my partner, and we got to spend a lot of off-the-clock time with each other and-"
"I enjoyed our time together as well," Rook said, cutting Ben off. He began to slowly walk toward Ben, as though moving cautiously towards a skittish animal. "In fact, this time we've spent together has made me see things differently."
"Uh, what kinds of things?" Ben asked, unconsciously stepping back.
"Us," Rook answered simply. "Our friendship...our working relationship...perhaps the possibility of something more."
"More?" Ben asked, not willing to believe his ears.
By this point, Rook had managed to back Ben up into a corner. Ben had nowhere to go as Rook reached out and gently lifted Ben's chin up, forcing them to look each other in the eye. As Rook began to lower his lips upon Ben's, Ben began to realize this was no dream...his dreams never made it this far! And when their lips finally met, it was such a soft and fleeting sensation, like a feather being lightly brushed against your skin.
When Rook pulled back, Ben found himself unconsciously moving forward, desperate not to lose contact. Rook chuckled before saying, "I am pleased I did not misinterpret your signs."
"I'm just pleased my plan actually worked," Ben replied. "Now can we kiss some more?"