“Yer burnin’ up, shortcake,” Keith said with syrup-thick sympathy, fingers previously pressed over his lover’s sweat-clammy forehead sweeping up to push tangled curls away from Ellis’s pain-clenched eyes. Keith had stood in the hall as Ellis heaved, patiently ignoring the chunky splattering noises until his shortcake had mumbled his name; the younger male had only just ceased throwing up, groaning miserably as he clutched the toilet bowl, cheek pillowed by the seat and lips still slack with uneven breaths taken with considerable effort. Keith sat behind the brunette, letting Ellis’s exhausted frame lean back into his chest while Keith petted his face and stomach in gentle adoration.
“Tell me uh story, babe?” mumbled the younger survivor in a soft, raw-voiced sort of chuckle, finally easing up entirely to be cradled back in Keith’s arms, letting his untamed hair brush against the underside of Keith’s chin.
“Yeah, a’course, darlin’,” the guitarist assured his lover in an affectionate drawl, long fingers smoothing over Ellis’s over-warm skin just beneath the hem of his t-shirt, letting the rise and fall of his chest ease Ellis into steadier breaths as well, “I ever tell yew ‘bout th’time…”