Sometimes things that fall apart are actually falling into place
There was a mild disappointment is seeing Percy rise to his feet, leaving him for the kitchen. Leon really did love his hair. When they befriended each other at the Singles event, he recalled telling him that it was his hair that he found most attractive. Or maybe he said his eyes? In any case, both were equally stunning, and Leon ended up acting on his most suppressed impulses by touching it like that. What he didn't know, however, was that the events that followed Percy's departure brought on a bout of emotional distress and second-hand embarrassment by the likes in which he had never felt before—cooking.
With how optimistic Percy sounded about the soup, Leon initially took his word for it and watched him with the firm understanding that hearty soup was being prepared for him. The semi-redhead was right, after all, soups were a famously simple thing to create. Easy, simple, and delicious if you really got the seasoning right. Leon leaned back and slunk into the couch cushions with his mind at ease knowing that he was going to be fed soon. He was wrong to feel such security.
Watching Percy cook was like looking at evidence that natural selection was still needed. Vegetables were burnt, fingers were cut, and Leon could've sworn he saw Percy put raw chicken in the soup at some point before discarding it for a redo. Instead of prepping everything before cooking it all, he seemed to do it as he went, and everything fell apart over and over again. Leon had never heard or seen Percy use such language except when venting about problems in his inventions, but unlike how it felt in the lab, Leon was beginning to fear for both his life and Percy's as he watched all hell break loose in the kitchen.
There were points where Leon felt obligated to go and help him, or to use what little energy he had to yell instructions at him from across the room, but he didn't have the ability to do either of these things in his current condition. All he could do was sit there on the couch, helplessly watching his friend conjure up a pot of food poison for them to feast on. He stared at the scene, eyes wide with horror and shock as if he were watching a car wreck—he couldn't take his eyes off of the inevitable tragedy. Wait, was that smoke?!
By the end of it all, there was soup. Nothing more. Nothing less. Leon wasn't religious, but as Percy placed the tray of food on his lap, he closed his eyes and prayed. He didn't know who or what was listening, but he was offering his worship if it meant he could leave this meal without a trip to the hospital to get his stomach pumped. Please.
Leon opened his eyes after his sincere and small prayer, blowing off a spoonful of Percy's soup before eating it. The sickly expression on his face didn't change, but he internally confirmed it—it was terrible. His lack of taste aside, the texture was all over the place and the only thing that seemed to make the meal enjoyable were the glasses of water and platter of crackers. He was careful to not let his severe disappointment and terrible anxiety show on his face, though."It's the thought that counts. But, Percy, in the future..."
Leon looked at him, forcing as warm a smile as he could, his voice still quiet and raspy, "I'll be cooking our meals. All of them... so, can you have someone deliver groceries until this is over?"
It was for both of their sake.
Several Days Later
About a week had passed since the beginnings of Leon's boronavirus diagnosis, and at this point, the worst had passed. The first few days consisted of relentless vomiting, violent coughing fits, a fever that would break and rise time and time again, and slumber so deep that even a Pergranden invasion wouldn't rouse him. But since yesterday, that was no longer the case.
Leon, albeit still very ill, was well enough to move around without help. He still couldn't smell or taste anything, but that wasn't so bad now that he had forcefully taken over the kitchen the instant he could. While he still had nasty coughing fits, fatigue that he simply couldn't shake off, and weakness all over, he was still doing better than he was a few days ago. Percy, however, was anything but.
Tap, tap."Perce? You awake?"
Leon gave two obligatory knocks on his bedroom door before letting himself in. For one reason or another, he ended up using the simple nickname and continued to use it during his care. Sometimes it felt easier to say that, and more endearing.
In his hands was a tray complete with a platter of food fit for eating: chicken noodle soup (done right), a glass of water, a smaller mug of hot tea with honey and ginger, and crackers to complete the meal. Compared to Percy's cooking, Leon's was leagues apart. Even though neither of them could smell or taste anything, he took the liberty of seasoning it to perfection anyway since he ended up feeling irritated if he didn't try to make good food regardless of their condition.
Inevitably so, Percy ended up snagging a nasty case of the boronavirus just like him, and while Leon was transitioning into a rocky recovery, Percy was entering the worst of it all. Funnily enough, it seemed as if their roles had swapped and it was now Leon's turn to be the caretaker while also tending to his own unwellness. It was probably nothing compared to what Percy was feeling right about now. "I ordered something for us to do if you feel well enough for it,"
Leon begun with his scratchy voice. It wasn't at such a sickeningly low octave like before, but the tenderness was still prevalent. He placed the tray on a nightstand and sat on the side of Percy's bed, turning over to look at him with his wild black hair dangling from his head—it was beginning to grow out. "You listening?"
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