melissa_42: drawn woman in a sweater (tea)
[personal profile] melissa_42
untitled because I'm lazy
Fandom: Hetalia/Latin Hetalia
Characters: England (Arthur Kirkland)/Argentina (Martín Hernandez)
Rating PG, with a few instances of naughty language (but not too naughty)
Word count: 1700~
Summary: Martín can get over this cold on his own without Arthur's silly panacea, thank you very much.

Notes: Written for [livejournal.com profile] galatea_dnegro for Evento de Invierno at [livejournal.com profile] latin_hetalia /[livejournal.com profile] hetalia_latina , who requested England/Argentina: comfort/fluff. Also, I've never written anything but Reborn! written these characters before, so let me know what worked and what didn't.

Martín Hernandez (Argentina) belongs to [livejournal.com profile] rowein and [info]latin_hetalia.

ETA: DIE IN A FIRE, LJ    >:|





When Martín answered the door and greeted his unsuspecting guest with a barking cough reminiscent of a dying sea lion, it took him a mere three minutes to find himself dressed in fresh pajamas and tucked neatly under the plush covers of his bed.

"What the bloody hell do you think you're doing up and about when you're poorly?" Arthur muttered as he brushed Martín's hair out of the way to rest the back of his hand against his forehead.

"I'm not 'poorly'," Martín replied, flushing, "and who the hell do you think you are, putting me to bed like this?" Or he would have replied, had he not been too busy hacking up a lung in Arthur's face. It was really just a small bug, a dip in the stock market, but was just enough to make his head feel as foggy as Puerto Madero on a particularly muggy morning. It also felt as if there was a small child sitting on his chest, but it was nothing for anyone to concern themselves over. Nothing at all. Really.

He tried to sit up, but Arthur ignored his protests by simply pushing him back to the pillows.

"Stay," Arthur commanded. "If I see you up..." He left the room with the idle threat left unfinished.

What nerve. Seriously, who did he think he was, ordering Martín around like tha—in his own home of all places? Martín wouldn't stand for such arrogance. He huffed, then sniffled. He'd really need to show Arthur who was boss around here.

Later. The bed did feel pretty comfortable, and he was just a little under the weather, not that he'd ever let a mere cold keep him down. He coughed again and wriggled about until only his head peeked out from under the comforter.

From the kitchen he could hear Arthur banging about, a sound that made his stomach churn.

"You're not cooking in there, are you?" he tried to croak out, repeating the question after clearing his throat a few times. When he received no response, he assumed that his guest had either not heard him or was ignoring him. Both options were unacceptable.

His joints groaned in protest as he rolled out of bed. A nap was sounding more and more enticing, but great nations such as Martín didn't have the time to nap. He had more important things to do with his precious time, like serving as a role model for the rest of the Americas, spreading the good news of his glory around the world, and showing that asshole Luciano who was better at football. No, he didn't have time to be sick and take naps. This was nothing a little mate wouldn't snap him out of.

And what was Arthur doing in the kitchen?

Well, whatever it was wasn't engrossing too much of his attention because as soon as Martín set foot in the hallway, Arthur called out, "Back to bed. Now."

"How do you know I'm not in bed?" Martín demanded. "You can't even see me."

Arthur's head popped around the corner. "You don't exactly try to hide your presence," he said. "Besides, I'm not daft enough to expect you to listen to me the first time."

As much as he'd have liked to, Martín couldn't deny the truth in those statements. Then again, he couldn't just agree with Arthur, so he settled for holding his chin at a proud angle and frowning. He might have pouted a bit too, not that it mattered since a cough ruined the entire effect.

"You're going to make me ill if you continue coughing on me like that," Arthur said with a frown.

"And yet you stayed," Martín replied. One corner of his mouth rose, and his eyes glittered above his ruddy cheeks. "A testament to my inherent magnetism."

"A testament to your inherent idiocy," Arthur countered. "If I left you alone, you'd let yourself spiral into pneumonia." He sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Look, just go have a lie-down. I'll check on you in a bit."

Martín didn't listen to him. Well, fine, he did end up padding sullenly down the hall to slip back into bed, but not because anyone had told him to do so. He was just a little tired, and the bed was warm, and...






When he blearily blinked his eyes open next, he could feel Arthur's weight dipping the edge of the bed, and he rolled over when a hand gently shook his shoulder.

"Drink this," Arthur told him, giving Martín a chance to sit up against the head board before gesturing to the steaming cup in his grasp.

"What is it?" Martín asked, eying the mug as if it might explode at any moment.

Arthur shoved the drink into Martín's hands. "You are in no position to be asking questions," he huffed. "Just drink it."

Whatever was in the mug was potent enough to make Martín's eyes water and his nose twitch in a valiant effort to escape the stench.

"I'm not trying to poison you," Arthur reassured him, which was no reassurance at all. "I make the exact same remedy for myself when I am ill."

When Martín hesitated a few seconds longer, Arthur clasped his hands around Martín's on the cup, using the brief moment of surprise to lift the drink to Martín's parted lips.

"Drink," Arthur ordered, which was really not fair because Martín couldn't focus on being angry at him when all he could think about was how his hands seemed to be burning, trapped between the insulating ceramic and Arthur's too hot skin. Without thinking, Martín took a large swig.

Holy Hell.

By some stroke of luck, he managed to spit most of the steaming liquid back into the mug instead of all over the bed, though a little bit dribbled down his chin, leaving his skin sticky and tingling, and an even smaller amount was actually swallowed, burning his throat on the way down. His chest began heaving in a painful coughing fit, clenching in tight spasms and leaving his throat raw. With a firm tug, Arthur pulled the mug from Martín's grasp and set it on the nightstand before helping Martín lean forward and rubbing smooth, wide circles against his tense back.

Once the worst of the spell was over and Martín caught his breath, he asked, "What the hell was that?"

"It's a hot toddy. Black tea, lemon, cloves, and honey," Arthur clarified, stilling his hand's movement. "And whiskey. You're supposed to sip it slowly."

"I hate you," Martín moaned.

"Of course, dear. Now drink it while it's still hot. It tastes worse when cold."

"You're kidding me."

Arthur ignored him. "Your throat hurts, right? And you're congested. This will clear you out and soothe you. Trust me, it works."

Martín let his head fall to Arthur's shoulder—not of his own will, of course. It was just heavy.

"Let me sleep," he said.

"No," Arthur replied, slipping the mug back into his hands. "Drink this and then you can sleep."

"I really do hate you," Martín said with a glare as he brought the drink to his lips again. "Half?"

"We'll see."

The second, tentative sip went down much more smoothly than the first draught had, but it still tasted like fermented goat piss, though Martín admitted to himself that it did feel kind of nice on his throat this time, not that he'd ever say it out loud. The third went down even easier. Arthur's hand returned to its job of rubbing his back, venturing every fourth or fifth swipe to knead stiffly at the soft skin at the nape of his neck. He couldn't tell if that or the heat of the drink was more soothing, or maybe it was actually the source of both. Though when Arthur's murmured See, it's not that bad was tinged with snobby undertones of I told you so, Martín still wanted to punch him. After he had a chance to sleep, of course.

He hadn't wanted to give Arthur the satisfaction of finishing the entire drink, so it came as a surprise when the next sip filled his mouth with the last grainy dregs. Leaning over Arthur, he set the mug on his nightstand before scooting out of his nursemaid's hold to lie down again. His lips pursed in frustration and squirmed about when Arthur tried to push him over using his shoulder as leverage.

"I thought you said I could sleep after I finished your stupid 'hot titty'," he grumbled, failing to suppress a smirk when Arthur blanched at his blatant mispronunciation.

"You shouldn't sleep on your back when you have a cold," Arthur explained once he'd finally managed to forcibly roll Martín onto his side despite the other man's valiant struggle. "Otherwise everything will settle back into your chest."

Well, that made a little sense, so Martín put up a token protest but settled into the position, sighing as he relaxed into the mattress. Arthur's hand squeezed his shoulder, and then the weight at Martín's back lifted.

"Wait—" Martín pushed himself up on one arm to watch Arthur pause at the edge of the bed. "Where are you going?" He gnawed at this lip as he waited for an answer.

Arthur sat back down, eyes wide and still, and rested his hand on the blanket next to Martín's so the tips of their pinkies were a whisper apart. "Would you rather I stayed?" he asked, holding Martín's gaze.

Martín shrugged as best he could with his weight on one hand. "Do what you want, I mean, I'm not forcing you to stay..." He trailed off in a few soft coughs.

"Lie back down," Arthur said.

Martín did so, and he immediately felt that warm, heavy hand on his back again, rubbing in slow, sweeping strokes. The bed was comfortable, and the haze in his head had taken on a pleasant edge, and then Arthur was stroking his hair, threading his fingers between the locks. He heard him murmur something, but Martín's mind was already too far from the edge of consciousness to care whether he could hear or not. It felt like the whole world had turned into thick syrup, languid and heavy around him, and Martín wondered whether Arthur would still be there when he woke up, or even if he'd stay until Martín felt better. After that, his thoughts refused to follow any logical thread, and he was left with dreams of elixirs and the weight of hands and warmth.



---

If you're curious, here's a recipe for a hot toddy.
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January 2012

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