katmarajade: Woman drinking coffee with words "wake up" over her face (xmas chulu)
[personal profile] katmarajade
Title:No Place Like Sickbay for the Holidays
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katmarajade
Written for: [livejournal.com profile] mercaque
Pairing: Sulu/Chekov
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2168
Prompt: sick!fic
Summary: Chekov contracts Andorrian Bicorn Pox, develops rainbow-colored spots, and lands himself in quarantine for weeks. Sulu manages as best he can.
Notes: Just like you wanted, this is pure, unadulterated, standard, adorable, h/c sick!fic in all its glory. I love these two and, because of that, this wound up a bit longer than anticipated! Enjoy!

It should have been a red flag when Chekov skipped his morning run to sleep in, but Sulu had been distracted and hadn't thought much about it. However, when Chekov arrives on the bridge with bleary eyes and too-red cheeks, Sulu realizes his mistake. He assesses Chekov with quiet alarm but Spock unceremoniously dismisses Chekov before Sulu has a chance to say anything. From the appalled shock on Chekov's face, one would think he had been ordered to the brig for interrogation instead of merely to sickbay.

Sulu is grateful that nothing out of the norm happens during his shift, because he's operating on autopilot, his mind across the ship with a flush-faced blond navigator. When the Beta crew arrives to relieve them, Sulu quickly extricates himself from Kirk and Uhura's friendly bickering, walking briskly to the medical wing.

But when he reaches sickbay, Chekov isn't in any of the usual beds. He asks Nurse Chapel, who smiles at him from the next bed over. She's trying to administer a hypo to a fidgeting security officer who's not too keen on the prospect.

"He's in quarantine," she whispers apologetically.

Sulu finally sees him an hour later, after getting three preventative hyposprays and a booster vaccine. Dr. McCoy swipes open the Quarantine Block for him, grumbling about disturbing his patients but looking faintly pleased underneath the scowl. They walk into the observation room, which overlooks the various quarantine chambers.

Chekov is curled up on a cot under three blankets, shivering slightly and when Sulu gets in far enough to see Chekov's face, his eyebrows shoot up in alarm. Chekov's face is covered in spots -- red, green, purple, blue. All over every centimeter of skin that Sulu can see.

"Good gracious! What is wrong with him?"

"Andorrian Bicorn Pox," says McCoy flatly. "Haven't seen a case this bad since med school."

"Is he going to be okay?" Sulu asks, his worry obvious.

"We caught it before the spots appeared in earnest, which means he's one lucky kid. It can be deadly if not treated in time. He should be all right, but as long as he's still got the blue and purple spots he's more contagious than a biological time bomb."

"So he has to stay in there? By himself? No visitors?"

"For the time being, absolutely no face-to-face visits. It's too dangerous. You can visit with him from across this wall, though. You just can't be in there with him until this initial stage passes. Like I said, it's the blue and purple spots that you've got to look out for. Red and green look a fright, but those are just for show."

Sulu purses his lips in worry and watches Chekov's expression, miserable even in sleep. McCoy puts a comforting hand on his shoulder for a moment then leaves Sulu alone in the antechamber.

By the time Sulu gets back to his quarters, which Chekov practically lives in as well, there are security officers in hazmat gear pulling off sheets and grabbing all his uniforms, stuffing everything in a bag labeled Hazardous: For Space Disintegration Only.

"Hey," he exclaims. "I need those for my next shift!"

"Starfleet's issuing new uniforms and everything else. They'll be delivered as soon as the room is properly sanitized." The voice is tinny and echoes through the mask. One of the officers begins stripping off the uniform that Sulu is wearing, but Sulu can barely muster an argument. He lets them strip him down and push him into the sonic shower, retrofitted with anti-microbial sanitizer packs. Once he's been cleaned thoroughly enough for the overseeing security officer's satisfaction, he's given a sealed packet of clothing and escorted away from his room. Sulu glances around the disaster area that uses to be his very tidy quarters and sighs.

He stops by sick bay again while he waits for the team to finish their procedures. Chekov is still sleeping fitfully, sleep that McCoy tells him is induced to help him heal during these critical hours. It's strange to watch his best friend, his love, his crazy and brilliant shining star of a comrade so weak. He looks ridiculous, covered in rainbow spots. It would be something to laugh about if Sulu weren't all too aware of how dangerous it was. It's terrifying to watch someone who is usually so full of life, energy, and excitement lying so still, but Sulu can't turn away.

He reports for his next shift and talks to Captain Kirk about his quarters, which supposedly are cleaned and ready for rehabitation. Kirk promises to check on the reissuing of uniforms and bedding, and he calls in a replacement halfway through the shift so that Sulu can get his quarters sorted out. Kirk winks at him as he leaves,

"Be sure to give Mr. Chekov my best wishes for a speedy recovery, Mr. Sulu."

"Aye, Captain," Sulu responds automatically, a brief smile gracing his face. The smile feels unfamiliar and he realizes it's been more than 24 hours since his mouth has made the expression.

Rushing through the corridors, he reaches his quarters quickly, but he hesitates outside the door before keying in the entry code. The sight of his quarters, their quarters, is like a punch to the gut. The bed is stripped clean of everything. A new mattress and pillows in plastic casing are sitting atop the frame. His closet is practically empty. All his clothes are gone. There's a note promising that his personal clothing items will be returned after they've been properly cleaned and that new uniforms will be arriving shortly. He takes a moment to mourn his boots, which he's spent months breaking in, and the uniform shirt with the tiny hole in the sleeve from the Narada mission.

He gingerly touches a few of his plants. Most are beyond reviving, but there are a few that look like they'll recover with a little TLC. He's grateful that most of his most delicate specimens are in the botany lab. Frowning, he pulls his shirt over his hand enough to polish a spot on his katana, which looks dull and dingy after being blasted with sanitizers. It's obviously a big job, so he leaves it for later, making a mental note to pick up an extra cleaning cloth, as his seems to have been commandeered along with most everything else.

With a sigh, he grabs a few of Chekov's books and brings them with him down to sick bay. Perhaps they'll help pass the time. He starts back towards sick bay, pausing only to grab a snack from the officers' mess on the way so that he won't need to leave for dinner.

Chekov is awake when McCoy lets him into the quarantine chamber this time, and Sulu can't help the relieved grin from flooding over his face.

"Hey, you," he says quietly. Chekov blinks up at him, still a bit bleary-eyed. "You look a little less polka-dotted than last night."

"You always were so smooth with the compliments, Hikaru. That's just what I've always wanted to hear," Chekov replies, looking happy to see him.

"I think most of the purple spots are gone, actually," Sulu observes, squinting and pushing closer to the glass panel. Chekov examines his arm carefully and shrugs.

"Are you feeling any better?"

"I feel ... I don't feel well," Chekov sighs, closing his eyes for a moment and leaning against the pillow.

"I'm sorry. Dr. McCoy says I can't come in there until all the blue and purple spots fade. Once those are gone, you won't be contagious anymore."

"All these colored spots ... I look ridiculous."

"You look sick, Pavel. You need to rest and get better."

Pavel grumbles under his breath, so Sulu tries a new tactic.
"I brought some reading material for you!" Chekov's face brightens slightly. "Let's see, there is incomprehensible Russian literature or astrophysical mechanics journal articles."

"I won't make you try to speak Russian, Hikaru," Chekov says, letting out what is either a laugh or a cough or possibly both.

Sulu grabs the journal and begins to read aloud. Chekov listens, a slight smile on his lips. He's lying down, eyes closed, but from the nods of agreement and snorts of disdain, Sulu can tell he's listening.

A new routine is born. Every day after his shift Sulu brings new reading material to sickbay, where Chekov is veritably quivering with pent-up energy and boredom, and snapping at everyone, even Nurse Chapel who tries to sneak him treats with his meals. He's properly apologetic afterward, and he looks so pathetic with his squished blond curls and ridiculous, colorful spots that it's hard for anyone to stay angry.

Sulu asks around and tries to surprise Chekov with a variety of books, journals, and stories. Scotty recommends a few new articles on theoretical physics and transport theory; Kirk lends a few classic adventure novels; Uhura gives them a tiny old book of African poetry; Dr. McCoy rolls his eyes but thrusts a handful of surprisingly interesting medical journals into Sulu's arms; Gaila offers an Orion erotic novel (which Sulu reads out loud, face flaming, much to Chekov's delighted amusement). Sulu himself brings some of his childhood favorites and makes sure to find a few of Chekov's in the teetering stack of PaDDs that Chekov keeps on the floor.

Sulu doesn't feel like he's a particularly good narrator, but his skills improve as the weeks pass. Chekov enjoys the efforts, laughing good-naturedly when Sulu stumbles over convoluted passages or trips over technical jargon in a field he's unfamiliar with.

When Sulu has to leave, voice husky from overuse and legs stiff from sitting for hours in a chair in the bleak, unadorned antechamber to Chekov's quarantined quarters, Chekov gives him the rare, slow, appreciative smiles that make it worth every trouble. Sulu is used to Chekov's fast and frenetic smiles, his new-idea grins, his over-excited laughs, his exasperated scowls, his short-tempered glares, eye-flashing glowers, and all of Chekov's usual faces. He doesn't see the slow, quiet smiles very often, because Chekov never sits still long enough and never seems to have enough patience to smile slowly when he can smile quickly. He's not even sure if Chekov realizes that he's doing it, but Sulu memorizes each one and tucks them away in his memory, because these are the tiny moments he'll look back on and know that, no matter how many people Chekov talks to or flirts with in his typical Chekovian manner, Sulu's the only one who has these private smiles. He's special. Chekov thinks he's special. It's oddly freeing to have it confirmed like this, even if the circumstances are less than desirable.

It feels like it takes months for the blue and purple spots to fade. It's really more like two weeks. They do, ever so slowly, one by one. It's Christmas morning when Sulu gets a call down to sickbay, saying that he can visit Chekov, really visit him--not just through the wall. Kirk dismisses him with a jolly wave, citing the spirit of Christmas and calling in a back-up pilot to cover for him.

Dashing through the halls at top speed, he finds Chapel waiting for him when he reaches the medical wing. She smiles brightly and points him to the non-quarantined section, where Chekov is sitting on one of the bed, bouncing slightly in that manic, can't-sit-still sort of way of his. When he spies Sulu, an enormous grin lights up his face, and Sulu is pretty sure there isn't a star in the universe that shines brighter.

"Look at me! Out of that stupid glass-walled room! Free as a bird, well a speckled bird." Chekov is exclaiming all these things excitedly, most of his speech rambling and disjointed. Sulu understands--it's the novelty of being out of confinement after so long.

"No more blue and purple spots, I see!" Sulu notes.

"I woke up and the last few had faded. Dr. McCoy says I'll still have these red and green ones for at least another week, but I'm not contagious anymore!"

"You're just decorated for Christmas," grins Sulu, making Chekov let out a snort-laugh.

"Yes, I contracted this disease just so I could be covered with red and green dots for a holiday season that is meaningless in space. You know it's not truly Christmas, Hikaru."

"Yes, time, space, relativity, whatever. I like to think of this star date as Christmas. Besides, you're kind of proving my point, because having you out of that room finally is like a Christmas miracle."

"Well, that's good. I didn't get you anything else. I've been locked up for nearly a month," Chekov responds cheekily, with an easy grin that shows that he finds it endearing how delighted Sulu gets over a random block of twenty-four hours that Starfleet designates as holiday.

Sulu leans in for a kiss, their first in three weeks, and can't help but think this is a Christmas gift he'll never forget.


katmarajade: Woman drinking coffee with words "wake up" over her face (Default)

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