Disclaimer: They're not mine. Sad as I am to admit it, it's true. They belong to the acid-tripping producer we all know as Joss Whedon. And he's not sharing. So I have to play with them behind his back. Shh...don't tell him! Or Mutant Enemy and Twentieth Century Fox. They're kinda possessive...
Author's Notes: This is the ::gasp:: 8th story in the fluff series. Aren't you all so proud???? I thought so!! It occurred to me that Angel hasn't had the flu in 242 years. So I decided to give it to him. Feedback is a must, my creative slump is slowly being left behind but any nice things you have to say will only encourage me more. E-mail me!!
Angel sighed, rubbing his temples with the pads of his pointer fingers. He had a splitting headache and a ton of work to get done. Report cards were being sent out that day and he'd finally be able to breath. Between getting everyone's grades straight and typing them up and printing them out and getting them stuffed in envelopes he'd barely had time to breathe. It *had* been his brilliant idea to get a job, though...
Trying desperately to concentrate on his task, he shivered and gave up working for the moment. Taking a sip of some tea Giles had dropped off for him, he moved to pull on his heavy sweater. Despite the fact, of course, that it was t-shirt and shorts weather. One minute he was boiling hot and the next he felt like ice. And he had no clue what was wrong with him.
"Hey, Angel, how's it coming?" Ms. Corrigan, the guidance counselor, asked as she entered from the empty hall, sipping coffee from a styrofoam cup. He tried to smile at his boss but felt too icky to. She looked at him with a critical eye.
"Slowly," he said. His throat felt all scratchy.
"You don't look too good, honey," she said kindly. "Is it the fault of that beautiful girlfriend of yours?"
Angel smiled faintly at her mention of Buffy. It was common knowledge around campus that the guidance counselor's secretary was dating a junior at the school. He was either teased or given strange looks. Ms. Corrigan found it totally adorable and always turned the blind eye when Buffy would sneak in for a kiss or two. She would try at every chance she got to tell Angel how cute it was and how obvious it was that they loved each other.
"No, she's not to blame for this one. I think I'm a little burnt out, I haven't really fully adjusted yet," Angel said. "It's kinda hectic now especially."
"Don't worry," she said soothingly, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder. "After tomorrow it'll be back to normal, you know, students coming in to drop classes, regardless of the fact it's already almost May, students coming in to complain about their grades... Just another day at Sunnydale High."
Angel smiled again at her before returning to his work. His vision was swimming and he felt the urge to lie down. After work he planned to go home and catch up on his sleep, which he seemed to be deprived from lately. *That* was the fault of his beautiful girlfriend. She had gone shopping again...
Angel never got to go right home after school. Giles and Katrina--who had been hired as his assistant librarian, God knew why--had needed to speak with the entire Scooby Gang after classes were dismissed. As they waited for Willow and Oz, Xander grilled Katrina on her new position.
"Assistant librarian? Giles isn't even used that much. What does he need an assistant for?" Xander asked. Katrina smiled at him.
"I think Principal Snyder was more worried about the phone call he had gotten from the Mayor than hiring another librarian," Katrina told him. "I just went in and got the job."
"And it's a good," Buffy said from her spot on Angel's lap. "Now Giles doesn't have to talk to his books. He can talk to an actual person again."
Giles gave her a look. Angel's eyelids felt extremely heavy and he fought to stay awake as the others chatted. He was hot again and shifted in the chair. His whole body ached and he just wanted to crawl into bed and sleep for a year.
"Achoo!" he sneezed. Buffy turned to him, surprise on her pretty face. Angel sniffled and gave her an apologetic grin.
"Angel, are you okay?" she asked, concerned. He nodded, his head feeling heavy as well. He felt like he was underwater, his movements were slowed. Not buying it, Buffy raised a hand to his forehead and gasped as her cool wrist came in contact with his hot flesh. "You're burning up!"
"Is the heat on in here or something?" he asked. Buffy gave him a sympathetic look and kissed his forehead.
"My baby's sick. When we get home you get straight in bed," she told him.
"A-Angel, everything alright?" Giles asked as he looked up from the book he had been reading. Buffy frowned.
"He's got a fever," Buffy said.
"You know, Angel, you look pretty gross," Cordelia told him in normal Cordy-tactless-fashion. Buffy shot her a look as Angel coughed.
"Looks like you picked up that bug that's been going around," Xander said rather cheerfully. Cordelia hit him on the arm. "What?" he asked defensively. "I just think it's funny that Ex-Dead Boy over there has gotten his first cold in two and a half centuries."
"Laugh it up, Xander," Angel growled, promptly sneezing again. Buffy laughed and wrapped her arms around his neck. Willow and Oz entered at that moment and took seats as Giles began to speak.
"Well, it-it seems the lull on the Hellmouth is coming to an end. There seems to be a new demon in town," he said after clearing his throat. "Cukichi--"
"Bless you," Xander said. Giles ignored him and continued.
"Cukichi is supposedly looking for an important book that robs people of their knowledge, leaving them virtually vegetables. It's buried at the Falore family crypt, Buffy. We feel need you to get possession of the book before him and kill him," Giles said.
"No, I was going to invite him over for milk and cookies," Buffy said sarcastically. "Falore crypt, huh? I think I can patrol there tonight. Haven't seen any action in weeks."
"Really?" Cordelia said with an arched brow. "That's not what you told me yesterday."
"Not *that* kind of action, Cor," Buffy said, glowing bright red. Giles diverted his eyes suddenly when he realized what she had just implied and began stuttering.
"Ye-yes, w...well, patrol tonight, Buffy?" he asked. Buffy nodded then gazed at Angel.
"You'll be okay, right?" she asked worriedly. Angel nodded weakly.
"Just let me sleep for about a week," he begged. She smiled and took his hand as she stood, pulling him up with her.
"Does this mean I get to drive home?" she asked excitedly. She had gotten her permit a few weeks ago and her mother had refused to teach her how to drive. Joyce had claimed it would be too stressful and Angel had filled in for her. He immediately saw what she meant. Angel sighed.
"I guess, I'm not in any shape to drive. Just try not to kill me?" he pleaded. She laughed at his expression and took the keys he dangled from his fingertips.
"Pedestrians beware," Xander said. "Buffy's on the road."
"I'm not as bad as Cordy," Buffy retorted. Cordelia gave her a mean look.
"I'm not reckless or anything..."
"Buffy, your mother said she'd be stopping by later on," Katrina said, changing the conversation. Buffy nodded.
"Yeah, she told me that too. You can come if you want," she said as they left.
"You don't seem to be wigging about this demon, Giles," Willow said. "Need any help with research?" Giles shook his head.
"Katrina and I have it covered. This demon is known for his lack of smarts. She should have no trouble."
"Famous last words," Xander muttered.
"Bronzing it again?" Cordy asked. Willow and Oz nodded.
"It's either that or hang out in creepy graveyards and shove sticks into dead people's hearts," Xander said cheerfully. The others looked at him. "What? We have to make our own fun. No cable, remember?"
Buffy managed to get them home in one piece. She made Angel change into a t-shirt and boxers. Once he was settled on the couch, remote in one hand, warm blanket wrapped around him, she sat back and laughed, taking in his flushed face.
"What?" he demanded. She shook her head.
"Nothing," she said, gasping slightly for air. "It's just kinda funny. When was the last time you had the flu, Angel?"
He thought for a few moments. "I don't remember. I was pretty lucky, a lot of kids were dying of all sorts of diseases. But I never got sick."
"Lucky," she grumbled. Adia wandered into the room, having grown in leaps and bounds. She jumped up onto the couch and settled into Angel's lap. The timer on the stove went off, signaling Angel's chicken broth was done. Buffy jumped up and rushed into the kitchen, returning a minute later with the steaming liquid in a bowl in one hand and a tall glass of juice in the other. She gave him the soup and placed the juice on the end table before snuggling in near him, not getting too close. The last thing she needed was to get sick.
"Thanks," Angel said as he slowly sipped the broth. It soothed his scratchy throat and warmed his suddenly chilled body. She smiled at him.
"Anything for the man I love," she said. They sat in silence, the TV on in the background. Angel ate slowly, not sure if he'd be able to keep anything down. Buffy had given him two Advils for his headache and they were beginning to have an effect on him. His eyes drooped and before he knew it he was out cold. Buffy smiled at the sight and tucked her boyfriend in, placing a soft kiss on his closed eyes.
Glancing at her watch, she realized it was time to go kill the train guy or whatever his name was. Choo-something. Blowing her boyfriend a kiss, she picked up her light sweater and headed out, leaving Angel and Adia sleeping soundly on the couch.
She returned an hour later feeling extremely grimy. The demon had put up a hell of a fight, he had been pretty stupid but quite big. She rubbed her sore back muscles and stretched her aching shoulder. Tiptoeing in, she saw the couch empty. Rushing up to the bedroom, she was greeted with the sight of Angel and Adia asleep on the bed. Angel coughed in his sleep and Buffy was careful not to disturb him as she took her shower and went downstairs to make herself dinner.
A knock on the door made her put her fork down. Her mother and Katrina stood on the step, Joyce baring tissues and a container of some sort. Buffy smiled and moved aside to let them enter.
"Where is he? Kat told me Angel caught that nasty flu bug," Joyce said as they followed Buffy into the kitchen.
"Upstairs sleeping with Adia," Buffy answered as she accepted the tubberware container. She opened it to reveal homemade chicken noodle soup. Smiling, she placed it in the fridge.
"I figured Angel would like something homemade," Joyce said as she took a seat at the table.
"Did you have any trouble tonight, Buffy?" Katrina asked. Buffy shook her head.
"I only have some gross bruises and am extremely sore. Didn't see anything in the graveyard, either. It was pretty early, though," she said. Katrina nodded as Buffy handed her the book.
"Thanks," she replied. Buffy smiled.
The three women talked for about an hour. When Buffy hinted she had a ton of homework to do, Joyce and Katrina got up to leave.
"I hope your report card is better than your last one," Joyce teased. "Or else Kat's going to be looking for a new place to stay."
"I've been doing a lot better, Mom. Angel's been helping," Buffy argued. Joyce smiled and kissed her daughter.
"I know, I know. It's fun to tease, though."
After they had left Buffy checked on Angel again. He was coughing and had changed positions, but was still asleep. It wouldn't hurt him to catch up on his rest and she had a feeling he wasn't going to work the next morning. She did her homework silently in the quiet of their bedroom, spending quiet time with her sleeping love. She yawned as she scribbled out the last math problem and decided to turn in early. Changing and climbing into bed, she shifted around before curling next to Angel and Adia, falling quickly into a dreamless sleep.
Angel was bored. He felt horrible, his eyes were scratchy from lack of sleep the night before, his throat was killing him, his nose was running and he had a fever. He sat on the couch channel surfing. He had called in sick and been downstairs since Buffy had left for school. There was nothing on but those annoying talk shows that all had different themes but ultimately exposed the same thing--someone was cheating on someone with their aunt or grandmother or whatever. It was either that or watch some stupid infomercial about a food processor.
He stood, shaking off the dizziness he felt, and walked slowly into the kitchen. He hated feeling so horrible. Warming some of Joyce's soup, he fed the kitten before returning to the couch. Adia strolled in as Angel grew desperate and shoved in Buffy's old copy of Beauty and the Beast, grumbling about daytime television. She played with her mouse, ignorant of her owner's turmoil.
He spent his afternoon alternating watching old Disney movies and sleeping. When Buffy came home he was on The Lion King and she laughed when she saw what he was watching.
"Miss me?" she asked as she plopped down next to him.
"Always," he said, slipping his arm around her shoulder and kissing her forehead.
"How do you feel?"
"Like I've been hit by a Mack truck," Angel said honestly.
"Snyder was giving me weird looks all day, like I had something to do with you getting sick. Stupid troll probably thought little old Juvenile Delinquent me maimed you or something," she said was a frown. Angel laughed and promptly broke out into a coughing fit. When it passed he looked at her with watery eyes. She reached out her wrist to feel his forehead, delighting in the fact that he felt cooler. "Looks like your fever's breaking."
"Great, now if I could just swallow without feeling gross and stop my nose from running I'll be in great shape," he said. She grinned at him.
"Being sick sucks, doesn't it?"
"You can say that again," Angel agreed. Buffy ran a hand through his dark hair and he closed his eyes, loving the sensation. He dipped his head, silently begging for more. She obliged and combed his thick hair, her fingers dancing over his scalp. Angel's head drooped until it rested in her lap.
"I love you," he muttered as sleep threatened to consume him again.
"I love you more," she said playfully. Angel yawned and sneezed.
"Somehow I doubt that..."
A coughing fit woke Angel up. The glowing numbers of Buffy's alarm clock told him it was well past three in the morning. He turned onto his side and coughed into his pillow, not wanting to wake his girlfriend up. Taking a sip of the water she had placed on his night table, he turned over and fell back asleep, his arm draped across Buffy's stomach.
Being sick sucks, he thought as he slipped back into a peaceful slumber. Beside him, Buffy coughed slightly.
"Angel, can I hab de Adbil?" Buffy asked, her stuffed nose making her words funny. They were lying on the couch, sick together. Angel passed her the bottle and she fumbled to open it, sneezing in the process.
"At least we get to spend some time together," Angel said. Buffy smiled.
"Ad watch sappy movies togever," she replied before blowing her nose. Romeo and Juliet was playing as the two cuddled together, sharing germs by kissing. They were both sick anyway.
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