Even the family doctor is not immune to denial.
"Damn." Hatori said under his breath. He sat up, coughing. "Ah, Haa-san! You're awake!" Shigure chirped as he entered the room. "Here, put this on so Tohru-kun can come in and see you!" Shigure tossed one of his sleeping yukatas onto the bed. "Poor thing is so worried about you..."
Sighing, Hatori did as he was told, as Shigure babbled on about how Tohru would make someone a good wife. Hatori quickly got back under the covers. "Wait, Shigure." Hatori called as Shigure started for the door. "I don't want Tohru to get a relapse....she's only just recovered."
"Well, then, Doctor, maybe you should have thought about that before you fainted into her lap."
"I did not faint into Tohru's lap. Did I?" Hatori's face, already flushed with fever, turned an even deeper red, seemingly amusing Shigure to no end.
"It was close enough, Haa-san...anyway, Tohru is the one who carried you to bed after you transformed. You should be glad she remembered not to throw you into the nearest body of water. I wouldn't like to think what might have happened if somebody flushed!"
"Shigure..." Hatori began, intending to change the subject, but he felt a bit light headed and decided to lay back and try to recall the events leading up to his predicament.
Lately it seemed that the entire family, cursed or not, was in need of medical attention. This meant that Hatori, in his capacity as family physician, was going to be spread very thin. As soon as one Sohma was on the mend, another would require his services. It was a nasty bug that was going around, but so far, Hatori had managed to avoid catching it himself, even after Momiji came down with it a couple weeks ago. Of course that meant the illness was in the school, and sure enough, Haru, Yuki, Kyo, and finally Tohru would be suffering. Even so, Hatori tended them without getting sick himself. He felt pretty good about that, though to say as much would certainly be too obnoxious. He kept his mouth shut.
Just when Hatori thought the worst was over, Akito got sick. She'd come down with the dreaded bug as well, rather than her usual illness, which Hatori suspected was her favourite way of exerting control over her pet dragon.
Akito had a fever, chills, sinus symptoms and body aches -- even a touch of nausea, which was particularly disturbing, since most of the others didn't get that. If Akito was a terrible patient when she was merely acting the part, when she was truly sick, she was nearly unmanageable...when she felt strong enough to care.
For three days, Hatori and Kureno took shifts at her bedside, with Shigure taking over whenever Akito requested his presence. Shigure was lucky enough not to get sick, even after Akito kissed him -- and after he kissed her back, not that anyone knew about it but the two of them. Hatori would have had a fit...especially since Shigure still didn't come down with anything.
As soon as Akito was feeling better, Kureno started to feel worse...but as a patient, Kureno was not at all difficult, and he followed doctor's orders without whining or constantly questioning...
Hatori was glad that Ayame had stayed away all this time, because he just didn't have the energy to deal with Ayame in perfect health, let alone if he'd gotten sick. "Shall I come over today, Tori-san?" Ayame asked daily over the phone. "Do you want to get sick, Ayame?" Hatori responded daily. It seemed to work, even if Ayame sounded like he would burst into tears, thinking the dragon didn't want him around. "I'll let you know when it's safe to drop by, OK?" Hatori placated the snake before he turned off his cell phone.
"Now you see, if everyone had been taking Wada Calcium CD3 like I've been all along, they wouldn't have gotten sick, and you wouldn't be in such a rotten mood, Haa-san!" Shigure bragged later when Hatori came by at Tohru's invitation.
"That has nothing to do with it, Shigure!" Hatori grumbled. "You're such an idiot! Calcium supplements don't prevent this kind of sickness! You don't need a calcium supplement anyway!"
"I'm not sick, am I?"
"See! I told you it was the Wada pill!"
"No, it wasn't."
"Ah! Hatori-san!" Tohru cried, "I didn't hear you come in! Let me get you some tea...dinner's almost ready!"
"You really didn't have to bother, Tohru...in fact, you should still be taking it easy. Don't overwork yourself..." Hatori said, as Tohru continued to fuss over her task, pouring tea for Hatori and Shigure, and quickly returning to the kitchen to finish her preparations.
"Isn't she such a darling little bride, Haa-san?" Shigure beamed, drawing evil glares from Yuki and Kyo, who had just bothered to come down in time for dinner.
"Nothing ever changes around here." Hatori mused. He felt a headache coming on, but he ignored it and attributed it to his cousins.
Soon, dinner was served. The conversation had its ups and downs, ranging from companionable silence to slightly heated arguments, good natured ribbing and back. Shigure and the boys did most of the talking, while Hatori and Tohru mostly listened...or pretended to, in Hatori's case, when the chatter became too inane. Tohru sat as close to Hatori as she could without arousing anyone's suspicion, except maybe Shigure's, though she figured he was only teasing. By now, Tohru was so used to Shigure's playful flirting that it truly didn't bother her personally, but the fact that Yuki, Kyo, and especially Hatori were uncomfortable with it, made her blush and fluster a lot more than necessary. Which, of course, made them even more uncomfortable. Is that why Hatori's picking at his food? Or maybe he doesn't like it and he's just trying to be polite! Tohru's insecurity won out, and she said, a bit more timidly than she wanted, "I'm sorry, Hatori-san! You don't have to eat it if you don't like it..."
Hatori looked up, just a little confused. It was true, he hadn't been eating much...it didn't make sense that he wasn't hungry, since he really hadn't eaten since breakfast...he noticed Tohru's expression, and quickly responded, "No, no...it's fine, Tohru...I'm...just a little tired, that's all..." Well, it wasn't quite all -- along with the headache, he'd been feeling vaguely unwell all day, but even the Sohma family physician was not immune to denial. No longer able to ignore how terrible he was feeling, Hatori rose from the table. "I think I'd better go home now..." He disappeared in a puff of smoke.
Hatori felt a cool cloth being placed on his forehead. It felt good. He reveled in the sensation for a moment before he opened his eyes. "Tohru?"
"Oh, Hatori-san! Are you feeling any better? I wish you'd told me you weren't feeling well."
"I didn't want to be a bother..."
"Oh no! You could never be a bother! I was so worried when you transformed, and when I saw you'd fainted..."
"I didn't end up in your lap when I fainted...did I?" Hatori whispered.
"Eh?!" Tohru didn't think she'd heard him right. That sounded more like something Shigure-san would say.
"Never mind." Hatori murmured, relieved. "I hope Shigure doesn't mind sleeping on the floor for a couple of nights. I probably shouldn't be moved for awhile. I'd go home, but I wouldn't want to trouble Shigure for a ride...especially considering his driver's license probably expired a long time ago...but maybe he can send Yuki or Kyo to pick up a prescription..."
"I could go!" Tohru responded. "It's no trouble..."
"I know." Hatori looked suddenly vulnerable. "But I'd rather you kept me company instead...if it's not too much trouble..."
Tohru blushed. "Oh no! It's no trouble at all -- in fact, I'm glad...not that you're sick, but I'm glad that I get to be the one to take care of you, since you're always so busy taking care of us! I hope I can always be there to take care of you, Hatori-san!"
Before she went to ask Shigure about picking up the prescription, she gave Hatori a gentle kiss on the cheek. Hatori smiled. If he had to get sick, this was the way to do it. He made a mental note to do a little more research on those damn Wada Calcium CD3 pills when he was feeling better -- just in case.