The feel of warm, strong hands gently massaging his neck woke Yohji from his drug-induced sleep. Sniffling, he opened his eyes and dazedly reached for one of the hands. "Ran?" he asked, his voice nasal from a stuffed up nose.
"I’ll blame the fact that you even have to ask on your cold," Ran murmured in his left ear, breath warm and tickling. Yohji involuntarily shrugged his shoulder and then allowed his body to relax, to enjoy his lover’s ministrations.
"You’re supposed to be in the shop," he tried to explain as he glanced at the clock. His eyesight was a bit blurry and a box of tissues partially blocked the appliance, making it difficult for him to figure out the time. "Uhm, it’s not night yet, is it?" He hoped that he hadn’t slept the day away again, as he had yesterday.
Ran’s wonderful fingers slid from his neck into his hair, and moved in light, gentle scratches that made Yohji moan in pleasure. "It’s still daylight, Yotan," Ran assured him. "A little after lunch, in fact. Do you feel hungry?"
Shivering slightly with pleasure from the head massage, Yohji grunted and then forced his aching body to turn around so he could see his lover. He realized that Ran had slid beneath the blankets to lie next to him, his usual winter sweater gone and a loose black t-shirt in its place. "Shouldn’t you be in the shop?" he asked, his mind hampered both by the horrible cold and powerful medication that was supposed to help him breathe freely once more. It sure as hell weren’t working, he thought with annoyance while his right hand swept beneath his pillow in search of one of the tissues he’d stashed there. "It *is* still Valentine’s Day, isn’t it?"
Ran smiled and resumed the head massage, which made Yohji moan in enjoyment even as he held a tissue against his chaffed nose. "Yes, it is. Your fever seems to be gone but you still sound terrible." He tenderly brushed the fingers of his left hand along the right side of Yohji’s face. "Do you need more medicine? How about some tea?"
Yohji tried to shake his head in between blowing his nose. "Nah, not hungry." He felt too tired and achy to eat and he’d already swallowed several gallons of tea in the last two days. Right now he was just so happy to have Ran here beside him, to be able to see the look of concern and love on Ran’s face and enjoy the tingle-inducing head massage that actually made his headache a little better. Then his befuddled thoughts remembered about his question. "You shouldn’t be here," he mumbled, even though he really didn’t want Ran to leave. "What about the shop?"
"Hmmm, it’s okay." Ran’s fingers trailed along the side of Yohji’s face and began to knead into his shoulder muscles instead. "How about some soup? There’s a big pot on the stove just for-"
"No. Not hungry." Yohji glared briefly at his lover but the massage felt too good so he gave up and closed his eyes in joy and pleasure instead. "Oh yeah. My neck’s been stiff all day. That feels so nice." Without thinking, he reached for his lover, had his left hand tangled in Ran’s long hair before he realized that Ran was supposed to be staying away from him. "You’re not supposed to be here," he tried to explain as he pulled his hand back, which caused Ran to frown. "You have work and-"
It was his turn to be cut off, by a loud snort from Ran. "The pre-ordered arrangements are done for the day, Yotan." Exhaustion was plain in Ran’s voice as he spoke, and Yohji just then noticed that his lover’s eyes were shadowed by dark circles. "I finished them about half an hour ago." Ran let out a soft sigh and wriggled closer. "You’re hogging the bed, you know."
When the space between them dwindled, Yohji found himself reaching for Ran once more. "Yeah, well, I get tired of lying in the same spot all the time. Think I’m wearing out the mattress." His lips curled with pleasure at the feel of Ran’s thick hair sliding between his fingers. "And I didn’t expect to share it any time soon. Are you on a break from work?" he asked, curious as to how long he would be able to enjoy Ran’s presence.
Ran sighed and tilted his head so he could place a kiss against Yohji’s wrist. "I’m done for the day."
Yohji’s eyebrows arched in surprise at that statement and he almost began to cough from a quick, indrawn breath. "It’s Valentine’s Day and you’re already done with work? Are you feeling all right?" he asked as he pressed his left hand against Ran’s forehead. So far, his lover seemed to have avoided the nasty cold that had brought him down but maybe that had changed.
"I’m not sick, Yotan," Ran replied, his tired eyes sparking with amusement. "Like I said, the orders are finished. The staff can handle any new arrangements that come in. Besides, Ayumi’s down there, she’ll keep an eye on them."
Yohji shook his head when he realized that he’d forgotten about Ayumi’s presence. Thanks to the cold medicine, he kept thinking back to last year’s Valentine’s Day, his and Ran’s first in England. They hadn’t expected the day to be so busy, to have to deal with so many people needing flowers that they’d been overwhelmed. "Is it as bad as last year?" he asked, once again filled with guilt over the fact that thanks to the cold, he couldn’t help Ran today.
"I think we might have doubled our sales this year," Ran answered, the exhaustion back in his voice and his hands still on Yohji’s shoulders.
"Fuck, I’m sorry, Ran." Yohji brushed the back of his knuckles along his lover’s face and offered an apologetic smile. "Of all times for me to get sick."
Ran shook his head and resumed the massage, his lips twisted with a wry grin. "You really must be doped up if you didn’t hear what I said before that. We’re doing okay today, Yotan." His smile took on such a sharp, predatory edge that Yohji translated ‘okay’ into ‘we’re probably going to have money to afford a new car after all’. "The main work was in ordering the flowers and making the arrangements, and that’s all done now. Sana’s skilled enough to handle any new orders and Ayumi is like a general in charge of her own army." Ran’s smile softened into one of contentment and he closed his eyes. "All she needs is her own sword and she’ll be ready to take on anything."
Yohji gently tapped his fingers against Ran’s temple. "So you don’t have to go back down there?" he asked, just to be certain that he wasn’t going to get yelled at for letting his boyfriend get some much needed rest if Ran was meant to be working.
Ran batted Yohji’s hand aside and opened his eyes to give Yohji a faint scowl. "You must be overmedicated or something. No, I don’t need to go down there – in fact, Ayumi told me she’d hit me over the head with a flower pot and sell me to the first customer who offered if I return there today." His cheeks took on a hint of a flush and Yohji could very well imagine Ayumi chiding his lover in the middle of the store while Ran meekly hanging his head and doing as he was told.
"Good," was his succinct answer to Ran’s explanation, and he leaned forward for a kiss before he remembered about his cold. "Dammit, maybe you should go sleep in the spare bedroom again," he told his lover, even though he really missed Ran’s presence all last night. "You’ll get sick if you stay here."
Sighing, Ran tangled his fingers in Yohji’s hair and gently, insistently, pulled him closer for a kiss. "Idiot," he grumbled against Yohji’s lips a few seconds later. "We live together, Yohji, we work together and we sleep together." He gave Yohji a wicked grin and kissed him again, this time for more than just a few seconds, long enough for Yohji’s congested lungs to protest. "We *definitely* exchange bodily fluids on a daily basis so if you were going to infect me, I think it’s already too late. You’d have been contagious before you showed any symptoms."
"But I thought you were staying away from me because you didn’t want to get sick," Yohji said, feeling more than a little confused.
Ran stroked his left hand along Yohji’s face. "No, I just had a lot of work to do, Yotan. I slept in the guest room last night because I was up very late working on the flowers and had to get up early today. I didn’t want to disturb you while you slept." His fingers skimmed along Yohji’s lips and then dipped downward, once again began to massage Yohji’s sore neck.
Feeling relieved over the explanation, Yohji wrapped his arms around his lover and pulled him close for a hug. He didn’t think he could handle too many more kisses, not when he was lightheaded to begin with but it felt so good to hold Ran. "Then you better get some rest before you do fall sick. Just imagine what Ayumi could do to us if we’re both bedridden," he teased his lover. He felt a bit stupid for not thinking that Ran was probably twice as busy with work since he couldn’t help the last two days, and he definitely didn’t want Ran to become sick because the idiot overworked himself.
"Hmmm." Ran snuggled closer, tucked Yohji’s head beneath his chin and enveloped him in glorious warmth that made Yohji sigh in happiness. "Last chance for something to eat before I fall asleep," he mumbled, his body slowly relaxing against Yohji’s.
"We’ll eat later. I’m sure Ayumi will stuff us silly once she’s done with the shop." Yohji smiled and draped his arms over Ran’s waist, suddenly feeling better than he had in days even if his nose was still all stuffed up and his joints hurt. "Sleep, love."
"You’re just as bossy as her, you know." Ran’s words were slurred by exhaustion and Yohji counted down as his lover’s breathing slowed, as the arms around his shoulders went slack. He hoped that Ran didn’t catch his cold but he wasn’t about to kick the man out of their bed, not when he’d missed him so much. But even if Ran did become sick, then they’d at least get a couple of days together in bed.
"It’s pretty bad when we have to get sick in order to spend some time alone together," he complained to his sleeping lover. Ah well, at least things should slow down now that the holiday was almost over, and once he was well he could put his vast charms to use to convince Ran that a nice sports car would be the best way to spend the day’s earnings.
Maybe it would be a good thing if Ran got sick, he thought with wicked amusement. He was more than confident that he could sweet-talk a drugged Ran into agreeing to a new Jaguar coupe. At least he’d be able to drive away in a nice, fast car once Ran recovered enough to realize that he’d been tricked. Chuckling softly, Yohji decided that while it might be the easiest way to get what he wanted, that he wouldn’t do that even if Ran caught his cold. After all, it was much more enjoyable to try and ‘convince’ his intractable lover when Ran was well and open to a much more pleasurable form of persuasion.
But first he had to get over this damn cold, and that meant more rest and medicine and tea. Closing his eyes, Yohji allowed the cold and the medication to lull him to sleep once again.
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