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A Spoonful of Sugar

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George doesn’t get sick often—in fact, Dream is the one that’s usually left tucked into bed with a cool washcloth draped over his forehead and a bowl of soup resting in his lap. However, the brunet is not perfect, and he certainly isn’t completely immune to every single thing out there.

So he comes down with a cold once and a while.

“Hey, woah, what’re you doing up?” Dream asks as he steps into George’s bedroom, where the latter is ever so gracefully stumbling around, seemingly searching for something in the massive mess he’s managed to create in only a few days. 

George sniffles, rummaging through a few loose magazines and papers strewn across his desk, opposite to his bed. “I can’t find this—this thing and it’s going to drive me crazy unless I do.”

“A thing?” Dream parrots, stepping over to the bedside table to set down the bowl of chicken noodle soup sitting snug in the palm of his hand. He gently moves behind George, taking the brunet by the hand and tugging him back towards the opposite end of the room. “C’mon, it can’t be more important than your health, babe.”

A quiet sigh, and George hesitantly allows himself to be pulled back and seated oh so carefully, tenderly, at the side of the bed. He slips his legs upward and underneath the blanket—a momentary flash of discomfort passes over his features at the overwhelming heat—before Dream leans down and presses a kiss to the side of his face. If the subtle beads of his remaining fever sweats bother him, the blond says nothing of it.

“It’s not more important,” George says after a second, just long enough to relish in the affection he’s received, “but it is important. I mean—I don’t know. I just wanted to find it for you.”

Dream hums and trails his fingers along the ends of George’s bangs, tucking away a few loose strands as his head settles backward into the pillow. “For me?” He asks, lips curling upward into a soft smile.

A burst of heat seeps red over George’s cheeks. “Forget it,” he says quickly. “It’s not important, after all.”

“What? George! C’mon, that’s so unfair.”

He grumbles and turns away from Dream, pulling the pillow up over his ears. “It’s stupid! It doesn’t matter.”

Dream frowns. “It matters to me,” he protests, placing a gentle hand over the brunet’s shoulder. He can feel the steady rise and fall of George’s body with his breath, every so often stuttering over itself on the intake. “It’s not stupid, George, I promise. I’m not gonna—I won’t make fun of you or whatever. If it’s something you want to give me, I will always appreciate it. One hundred percent.”

A beat of silence passes before George slowly turns his head back, uncovering himself from the pillow. “Promise?” He whispers, and his lips look glossy in the light, dampened by a nervous tongue. Dream has to stop himself from leaning closer and kissing the doubt off them.

“Promise,” he assures instead, trailing his hand up and ever so lightly brushing the pad of his thumb across George’s cheek. “But it can wait until you’re not running a fever, yeah?”

“Yeah,” George answers softly; he turns, pulls Dream into an embrace, and buries his head against the crook of Dream’s neck. Red gardenias bloom inside his chest when Dream physically relaxes under him (save for the initial surprise of being pulled closer), letting his arms slide closer and wrap around George’s fragile frame and caress him with the utmost gentleness. “You can hold me a little closer,” the brunet teases in one of the most miniscule of confidence surges that come with his illness.

Dream muffles his laugh in auburn hair, breathing in the domesticity and subtle almond warmth wafting off his boyfriend. “I’d squeeze the life out of you as you are right now,” he says, transitioning from resting his chin over it to peppering kisses into the top of George’s head.

“Maybe I want you to,” is grumbled into cotton fabric.

“You do not, George.”

“Maybe.”

“You’re so odd.”

“But you love me.”

Dream finds himself sighing, pushing the air out of his nostrils whilst his lips curve upwards into a sort of half-smile, one that he finds himself doing often despite how many times he’s been told that it makes him look like some kind of confused dog (he’d better be at least a cute confused dog). “Not enough to kill you, baby.”

George scoffs, bringing one arm up to hang loosely at Dream’s shirt sleeve, fingers curled into the material. “Rude.”

“I can’t put you out of your misery, unfortunately,” the blond says, pulling George up oh so gently and holding him upright by the shoulders, “but I can feed you the soup I just made you before it gets cold from sitting here waiting for you to quit stalling.”

George groans and throws his head back, shoulders going slack underneath Dream’s palms. “It’s too much work,” he protests, lolling his head back to the side with a grimace plastered across puffy pink lips. “And ‘m not stalling.”

Laughing lightly, Dream’s hand finds its way to George’s cheek, brushing the pad of his thumb across the hot, pale skin. “You totally are,” he grips the flesh between his thumb and forefinger, pinching just enough to get George to whimper and flinch away, “so c’mon, sit back. I’ll spoon feed you if it’s that bad.”

“I’m not a baby.”

“You’re my baby,” Dream coos, grinning as he watches the Brit begin to shuffle back nonetheless. “And you’re acting like one.”

George half-heartedly mutters a reply under his breath, leans back against the head of the bed, and crosses his arms across himself as Dream twists himself backward and carefully picks the bowl of soup back up and spoons out a small portion. His lips part, albeit hesitantly, and he feels as though his face is redder and hotter than ever before as the bottom of the metal spoon touches his tongue and his mouth clamps down over it.

“Good? Dream asks.

He fights the initial uncomfortableness that comes with the heat, but ultimately decides that it’s not as bad as he’s making it out to be. “Mhm,” and a slow nod. After a beat of silence passes, alongside another spoonful of soup, George licks his lips and pipes up, “It was—it was a poem, by the way.”

Dream blinks, spoon knocking noisily against the side of the bowl as he stirs it around. “A poem?”

“What I…was looking for,” George clarifies.

“You were looking for a poem? For me?”

He bites down on his lip and looks away, arms stiff and straight over his lap with knuckles brimming white from the tight nerves clinging to the bedsheets. “It’s not good,” he says hastily, “but I—I don’t know. I felt bad. About you having to take care of me, I mean. It was my way of…attempting to give something back to you or whatever.”

Dream is very clearly brimming with adoration for such a gesture of affection, so much so that his arm is shaking a little as he brings the next spoonful to George’s mouth. “Honey,” he melts, practically teary-eyed and looking nothing short of a dog begging for a treat dangled in front of its nose, “you are so fucking wonderful.”

“I wouldn’t—”

“No, no,” and he taps the end of the spoon against George’s top lip to shush him, “listen to me. I do things like this and whatever else for you because I love you. I absolutely adore you for writing me a fucking poem of all things, but truthfully, you could do nothing at all and I would still get it. I know you love me, too, okay? You don’t have to force yourself.”

George shakes his head and Dream’s hand falls away. “That’s not what I—I wasn’t trying to prove anything, really, I just…wanted to, I guess. I appreciate you, Dream. A whole lot more than you probably think you know.”

“And I love you for it,” Dream chirps, reaching up again to tap the spoon against the tip of George’s nose. He earns a breathy huff and another shake of his head, but they both share a look before descending into quiet laughter.

Finally, fighting away a smile from his face and a twinkle in his eyes, George leans his head against his own shoulder. “Thank you,” he says, and it’s earnest, affectionate, soft, and everything he could ever have to offer.

Equally soft, eyes crinkling at the corners where his cheeks press kisses up into them, Dream responds with nothing more than a “You’re welcome,” dripping in golden fondness.