Better Than Fine
by Jain

"That was awesome!" Justin said, jumping up onto the bus.

"Yeah," Lance said, dragging his bag--and himself--up the steps after Justin.

"Awesome," Chris echoed, pulling himself up by the handrail. Usually he'd be as pumped after a concert as Justin, if not more so, but a recent cold was dragging him down. He collapsed on the sofa.

"I gotta call Brit!"

"Uh-huh," Chris said, waving a desultory hand at Justin's retreating back as Justin bounded to the bunks.

Lance shook his head. "We should really have just stuck him on the same bus with JC, let the two of them tire each other out."

"And the rest of us sleep," Chris concurred. "Only you know that they'd keep each other up all night, and they'd be bitches to deal with tomorrow."

"Yeah." Lance swayed gently.

"Bass, have a seat before you fall down. You're dead on your feet."

"Mmm," Lance said, and sat beside Chris.

The bus's wheels were purring over well-paved roads, and Chris could feel himself drifting. His hands and feet were floating away from him. The only problem...he tried to find a better way for his neck to rest on the back of the couch, gave up, and slid over to lie on Lance's lap.

One of Lance's hands came up to tangle in the hair at the back of Chris's neck, and Chris snuffled appreciatively into Lance's stomach. Lance made the best pillow, and not just for the obvious reasons.

A brief shiver of wakefulness ran through Lance and he started petting Chris's hair. "You need something to drink?" he asked. "Orange juice? Or I could make you some tea with honey."

"That's okay," Chris said.

"We've got hot chocolate with whipped cream, though I don't know how good that would be for your throat. It's warm, though."

"I'm fine. I'm not thirsty. All I need is to lie here and get good cuddle," Chris said, squeezing Lance's waist to emphasize his point.

"Mmm, okay," Lance said, relaxing again, his hands warm on Chris's back and in his hair.

The next morning, Chris woke to find himself and Lance lying full- length on the sofa, a blanket tucked up around their shoulders. Both their shoes were lying neatly on the floor. He laid his head back down on Lance's upper arm. Lance's face was smooth and placid in sleep, a trace of downy fuzz on his chin that Chris smoothed with one finger.

Lance's eyes blinked open and he smiled. "Hey." His voice was a rumble that Chris could feel to his toes.

This was the best part of being not-quite-well: sharing these quiet, peaceful moments with Lance.

"Chris?" Lance asked, puzzled, and he realized that he was still stroking Lance's face. He started to pull away, but then Lance's face cleared suddenly with comprehension and the very best part of not really being sick anymore was not being contagious, Chris thought, as Lance leaned in to kiss him.

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