Title: The Rewards of Revenge
Author: Dusk (dusk@goldserve.net)
Pairing: Tu/K
Rating: PG
Disclaimer: These boys are unlawfully borrowed from their true masters, TPTB at Paramount. I make no profit off of this minor infraction.
Summary: Bad patients make worse nurses... sequel to 'Sharing the Misery'.

***

Playing nurse was fun, when you knew it was only for a limited time. But Harry had no intention of making a career out of it, and that's what it looked like was going to happen.

He tried again.

"You absolutely, positively, *definitely* cannot still be ill."

Nothing happened.

Annoyed, he pulled away one of the blankets - now numbering six - that made up the cocoon. Tuvok glared at him with heavy-lidded eyes and pulled the blanket back over his head in silence.

"Man, I was *never* this bad," Harry muttered under his breath. "Tuvok, it's been..." - he checked the chronometer - "... 38 hours since you were diagnosed with an illness that first of all should only last 24, and second, is *totally* unknown in your species. I need to check and see how you're doing!"

"If you cannot be quiet, go elsewhere." Tuvok's voice was slightly muffled by the blanket, but Harry didn't need to hear to understand. Tuvok had been saying very little else for the past six hours, other than chilly requests for another blanket, or occasionally for a blanket to be removed.

"I'm not going anywhere. You could be extremely ill under there."

"I *am* severely ill, but it will pass in time."

"The last time I got close enough to take your temperature it was 2 degrees *below* normal, and the time before that it was one above. And frankly, I find that just a little suspect. I have to take another reading, whether you like it or not."

"If you bring that thing near me again, I will not be responsible for my actions."

"Well, what am I supposed to do, then?"

"Do as you are told and sit both still and *quietly*."

"That won't help."

"It will help me."

"I've apologised a hundred times. Will you just get *over* it already!"

Pause.

"There is nothing to be 'over'. It is certainly not your fault you infected me with a debilitating alien disease while I was attempting to alleviate your suffering."

Time for a different approach.

"Hypochondriac! There's nothing wrong with you, and if you'll just let me get close enough, I'll prove it!"

"Stay away from me or suffer the consequences."

"I can't catch it again, I just got over it."

"I was not referring to this... disease." The veiled threat would have carried more weight if Tuvok hadn't been curled up around a pillow at the time, but it was sufficient.

Harry changed track again and sat down on the bed, stroking the section of the giant nest that he was pretty sure concealed Tuvok's arm.

"You're allowed to be grumpy when you're ill. I know I was. But I'm not going to just leave you while you're in such a delicate condition. Please, at least let me scan you and reassure myself you're not in danger."

What sounded suspiciously like a snort sounded from the general vicinity of Tuvok's head.

"Well, shall I take away a couple of these blankets?"

There was a rustling noise as Tuvok tucked the blankets even more securely around himself.

"I could get you a drink?"

"I do not require anything."

"How about I join you in there, then? Looks cosy...."

"Touch me and die."

Harry stood up and beat the stuffing out of an unsuspecting spare pillow. "That's it. I've had enough. No more. I'm getting the Doc in, and you will allow him to see you. No arguments." He stormed out, wishing it was easier to slam doors on a starship.

Tuvok dug his way out of his nest just enough to make a vague but obscene gesture which, if his calculations were correct, Harry should just have seen as the door closed.

***

In Sickbay:

"What is it now, Ensign?"

"It's 38 hours, that's what! Why the hell isn't he better yet?"

The EMH put down the instrument he was calibrating with a long suffering sigh.

"I don't know, Mr. Kim. There - is - no - precedent - for - this - situation. That means that I don't know what to expect. Didn't we go over this already?"

"He's in a mood with me. You have to fix him, and soon."

"'Fix him'? He's a broken conduit or bulkhead now? Besides, you're being paranoid. Vulcans don't make emotional decisions, and there's no logical reason for him to be annoyed with you. It's hardly your fault the virus spontaneously mutated, and he knows that, even if you don't. You're probably sublimating your own guilt and transforming it into an imagined...."

"Bull! When you've lived with a Vulcan, you get to know exactly how much of a smokescreen that 'pure logic' story is. Til then, don't feel you can lecture me, ok?"

"Calm yourself, Ensign. Naturally you'd be the expert on this particular Vulcan...."

"Yes, I am. And right now he is exacting his revenge with all the attention to detail they're famed for!"

"I hardly think so, but if it makes you feel any better, I'll come and talk to him myself."

"*Thank*you!"

***

"So, where is the patient?" The hologram surveyed the apparently empty room in confusion.

"Right there. Nesting." Harry pointed to the heap of blankets on the bed, which shifted slightly. The Doctor raised his eyebrow.

"I see."

"And he refuses to come out."

Recalibrating his tricorder to compensate for the multiple layers, he ran it over the heap.

"Hmm." He closed it and turned to the young man. "Harry, how long has it been since you ate?"

Harry thought back. "I don't know... I had some soup about 5 hours ago, when *he* refused to eat it."

"Why don't you go to the messhall and get something, then, while I run a few tests. I'm sure you could use the break."

"But...."

"I assure you, he'll be fine. It would do you good to get out of this room for a while."

Harry nodded, and the EMH watched him leave. Then he turned back to his patient.

"Well?"

Tuvok clawed his way out of his cocoon. "He insisted on calling you."

The Doctor sat down on a corner of the bed. "I know Vulcans are often accused of being hypochondriacs, but this is a new one on me, and most out of character, I might add. What exactly are you doing?"

Tuvok gazed at him levelly. "I am making a point."

"How long are you planning to keep it up?"

"I believe a few more hours should be sufficient."

"Really? Because it's been 38 hours now, as I'm sure you're aware..., and it took you, what, 6 hours to *actually* recover from the 'flu?"

Tuvok stretched. "Five and one third hours."

"If I were you, I'd plan to 'recover' soon. "

"Or?"

"I have no intention of giving you away, Mr. Tuvok. I'm well aware that he makes a terrible patient. It's simply a suggestion."

The Vulcan considered this. "I will take the matter under advisement."

Satisfied, the EMH stood. "Congratulations, by the way. To anyone other than a trained Doctor, your symptoms would be indistinguishable from the real thing. I wasn't aware that Vulcans could actually alter their body temperature at will."

"It is a little known but useful talent."

"Yes, so I see. I must update my records, if you'll excuse me...." he swept out of the room.

Tuvok watched him leave. And *smirked*.

***

Harry, feeling much better after a decent meal and a long bitching session with Tom, opened the door to their quarters and blinked when the door slid shut behind him and left him in total darkness.

This was new.

Keeping one hand on the wall to guide him, he made his way into the bedroom, which was equally dark.

There was no sound of movement, either. Tuvok must be asleep... his eyes were beginning to adjust as he approached the shadowy bed quietly.

"Tuvok?" he whispered.

An arm snaked around his waist and pulled him, screaming, into the warm nest. Another hand covered his mouth until he shut up, then Tuvok placed a finger against his lips in the universal gesture for silence.

Harry stared up at the suspiciously bright eyes. "You're supposed to be ill."

"I was. I recovered."

"When, exactly?"

Tuvok chose not to answer that and instead traced the younger man's lips lightly with his tongue.

"You're trying to distract me."

"Perhaps." Tuvok brushed his lips against Harry's for just a second.

"It's working."

"I know." He allowed Harry to deepen the kiss for a minute before drawing back again.

"You sneaky bastard."

"You wouldn't have me any other way." Tuvok raised one eyebrow smugly and casually began working on the fastenings to Harry's pants with one hand.

Agreeing wholeheartedly that nakedness would be a good thing, Harry pulled his shirt over his head and pushed it out of the way.

"And they say Vulcans are so honest...." He shifted and Tuvok removed the last offending items of clothing.

"It is all..." Tuvok ran a finger lightly down his lover's bare chest, "...for your benefit. All of it."

Harry breathed deeply. "Do you have any idea what that does to me?"

Tuvok settled himself between Harry's legs, met his eyes for a long moment and then bent and kissed him slowly and tenderly.

"Yes."

[end]





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