I agree! More Med Student Shenanigans are needed.
Med School is hard you gotta stick together (and not get your slacker Law School pals sick), Quarantine Cram Session Time:
Thunk, went the ball against the wall. It bounced back to Bahorel, who caught it neatly, and flung it against the wall again. Thunk. And again, thunk. If he was confined to his bed by the fatal combination of influenza and two despotic medical students–who, in his weakened state, were more than capable of pinning him down when they came to check up on him, as they all too frequently did–then he might as well have the feeble satisfaction of hurling the ball against the wall, and hearing the thunk.
The thunk-thunk-thunk was interrupted by a rap-rap-rap, a very recognizable sort of rap, like the sound of a schoolmaster rapping some unruly pupil’s knuckles–but that comparison was unfair to Combeferre, who believed in instruction through appeal to reason and conscience, not fear or pain. “Oh, come in, damn you,” Bahorel called out.
Combeferre came in, poking his head in through the door first, and the rest of him sliding in after, like a snake emerging from its hole. “How are you feeling?” He set down his bag and felt Bahorel’s forehead.
“Like hell,” Bahorel said. “I will probably die from this. You may as well let me get up and fight someone, Combeferre, the end result will be the same, and the process much more enjoyable.”
“You will not die,” said Combeferre, taking Bahorel’s wrist to feel his pulse. “You should–” But what Bahorel should do, he never learned, because Combeferre interrupted himself by falling into a coughing fit.
“You’re sick, too!” Bahorel said, with the mingled concern and self-righteous glee of a true friend. “Ha! You’ve worn yourself out, worrying about me like a mother. Except my mother never worried like this–she would send me out to milk the cows if she saw me now. Sit down.”
Combeferre allowed himself to be pulled down, which said something about his condition in itself, but he still protested: “I don’t think I’m sick, and I have work to do.”
“Stay for a while, and rest,” Bahorel said. “Or if you don’t think you need a rest, then keep me company. I’m a poor helpless invalid, see?” He made his eyes very big and pitiable. Combeferre snorted, but sat back. “Good boy. Here, let’s play a game–I’ve drawn a target on the wall, and I’ve been trying to hit it. I bet you can’t, from here.”
He handed Combeferre the ball, confident this challenge would hold him for some time.
Hurt/Comfort is such an interesting thing. It’s basically an entire genre of fanfiction. I’d argue it satisfies a very basic, vital need–the same way that horror satisfies the basic need to be scared in a safe, controllable space.
And yet it doesn’t really have an equivalent outside of fan culture. "Tearjerkers” can sometimes come close, they’re probably the closest thing to a mainstream hurt/comfort genre that there is. But those types of books and movies don’t usually focus on the “comfort” aspect in the same way, and don’t make use of tension and release.
I think every good hurt/comfort fic makes use of tension and release just as horror does,
whether the writer is consciously aware of it or not. Though of course the tension and release in h/c comes from different sources than in horror. Instead of anticipating something frightening, you anticipate the intimacy and/or validation that comes from the “comfort” part you know is eventually coming. That’s what provides release of the tension built up during the “hurt” scenes.
I could write a goddamned essay about this it’s so fascinating.
SICK FIC IS MY FAVOURITE 😀
Courfeyrac, when sick, is kind of a handful – in the best and worst possible ways. He’s still his charming, loveable self, because he knows no one can resist the puppy eyes – and they really, really can’t, even when he’s being a little more difficult and dramatic than usual.
He likes the attention, of course, because he’s Courfeyrac and he hates being alone when he’s sick, but he doesn’t like being fussed over, feeling like a burden on his friends.
Courfeyrac can activate Enjolras’ mother hen mode like few of their friends can; they’ll be sitting there, studying, and if Courf sniffs or cough Enjolras’ will immediately starts to ask questions. “Are you alright”, ‘If you’re sick you should rest”, “I’ll make you some tea”. It becomes Enjolras’ personal mission to make Courfeyrac feel better, which Courf kinda feels bad about, because really, it’s okay, Enjolras should focus on his work. “No,” Enjolras stares at him intensely. “You will get better. I’ll make sure of it.” It’s a little scary.
Combeferre is an entirely different thing. They love teasing each other, so Combeferre will roll his eyes fondly at Courfeyrac and Courf will exaggerate his symptoms to make Combeferre smile. If Courf’s really feeling miserable, though, and he can’t bring himself to make light of it, Combeferre will immediately be able to tell and he won’t let Courf out of his sight until he’s feeling better.
Prouvaire always looks slightly disappointed when Courfeyrac’s sick; Courf doesn’t really understand why. Maybe it’s because he’s feeling guilty for having kept Courfeyrac outside in the pouring rain for hours when they went on a walk around the city the night before; but really, Courfeyrac has zero regrets. Prouvaire makes him drink a lot of tea, most of it smelling, well, bad, to be honest, but surprisingly, it works!
With Feuilly, it’s a little like Enjolras. It’s harder to play it like with some of the others, because Feuilly will be so earnest about wanting to make sure Courfeyrac is okay, going out of his way to look after him even though he’s pretty busy himself. So Courfeyrac tries to hide it, even though it’s hypocritical of him (he’ll be the first to berate Feuilly for hiding when he’s the one who’s sick) and fails spectacularly every time. “It was a good effort,” Feuilly says, smiling, as he hands a sniffling Courfeyrac a bowl of soup. “But you’re easier to read than you think you are, especially when you don’t even have the energy to tease your friends for fussing over you.”
Bahorel has a ton of home remedies from his family, ready to help in case of illness. Which is why Courfeyrac avoids him as much as he can. He’s still convinced the last one made him even sicker.
Joly – well – Joly always fusses, but he’s so good about it, and he knows what helps, and he’s so happy to help that Courfeyrac doesn’t even feel bad for making him take care of him. Plus, they never get to spend enough time together, so it’s a good opportunity – “Not that I’m happy you’re feeling sick, of course! Of course you know what I mean, right? Right.”
Bossuet will never be too far, either, and while his bedside’s manner’s not as professionnal as Joly’s and he is bound to catch whatever was ailing Courfeyrac, he’s definitely of the opinion that the mind heals the body and all that, and makes it is missing to also spend time with Courfeyrac, make him forget about how terrible he’s feeling until he’s actually better! This also works very well.
Grantaire throws in hands in the air. “I can’t even take care of myself,” he sighs. “It’s really not necessary,” Courfeyrac frowns, but Grantaire pulls him close. “How many times have you done this for me? Come on, just take my blankets and we’ll watch a movie or something. You’re not going to get me sick, i’m never sick.” He’ll drive Courfeyrac to any doctor’s appointment, and go get him all the medicine he doesn’t already have in his cabinet. He waves off every one of Courfeyrac’s attempts at thanking him.
Cosette and Marius are, like Joly and Bossuet, two of the ones that he feels the most comfortable being vulnerable around. They’ll both cuddle with him on the couch and feed him what he can eat and pretty much baby him for the entire time. It would be embarrassing, except that they look happy to do it, and it feels natural for Courfeyrac to let himself be taken care off by them. They care so much about him and Courfeyrac cries a little when they’re not watching because he loves these two so much and he’s so glad and proud of them. He ends up staying with them for a week, eh.
OH GOSH, HOW DID I NOT REBLOG THIS??? D: Must’ve been on mobile or something when I liked it and I’ve been lax about refilling my queue lately. I AM VERY SORRY, BECAUSE THIS IS GLORIOUSNESS THAT SHOULD BE SHARED. I HAVE BEEN REMISS.
*ahem* Anyway, I absolutely adore every single one of these and thank you SO much for indulging me! 😀 I was going to name favorites, but they’re all so perfect, I can’t really pick? ^_^ (But, OMG, COURFEYRAC CRYING OVER COSETTE AND MARIUS AND FEELING LIKE A BURDEN TO EVERYONE FOR MAKING THEM TAKE CARE OF HIM AND COME ON. (TT^TT ILU COURFEYRAC, YOU PRECIOUS BB. TT^TT)
Thank you so much!! 😀
I looove h/c you know I do. 😉
“No..!” Courfeyrac whined through his painfully rough throat, watching from the couch as Combeferre began unbuttoning his coat. “No. You’re not staying. Go, please. Pretty please?”
Combeferre stared down at him, unimpressed.
“I am staying, though. I’m going to take care of you,” he said it like he said everything else; as if it was fact, pure and simple fact, and he was slightly shocked, if not offended, that Courfeyrac would even doubt it.
Courfeyrac shook his head as much as his sore muscles and his position, lying on his side, would allow. It hurt, and he felt sick. He could breathe easier now, but his limbs felt like lead and his heart like a heavy, ugly stone between his ribs. He knew it would feel this way for at least a couple of days, days he’d rather spend sleeping, hiding from the world, pretending he didn’t have to exist. He didn’t feel like arguing. He especially didn’t feel like arguing with Combeferre.
“You’ve been looking forward to this for weeks,” Courfeyrac murmured, trying to will his eyes dry so he could meet his friend’s gaze. “Go and enjoy it. Please. For me?”
His begging – his sad, pathetic begging – had no effect.
“I’d rather spend the night with you,” Combeferre said, voice soft and steady and utterly devoid of bitterness.
To be honest, Courfeyrac didn’t want to be alone either. it was a miracle Combeferre had decided to drop by before going to his show, because Courfeyrac didn’t think he had the energy to text – much less call – anyone else. But still. He couldn’t reconciliate keeping his friend from his plans, not at the last minute like this, not for something as useless and pathetic-
“You shouldn’t,” he laughed desperately, trying to sound a least close to normal. It didn’t work; a tear escaped from behind his eye and ran down his cheek, and his voice broke. He closed his eyes, unable to bear the way he knew Combeferre would look at him. “I’m no fun at all like this.”
He felt the cushion of the couch dip as Combeferre sat down next to him. Good, Courfeyrac thought. Maybe the cushion would keep dipping and dipping and swallow him whole until he could feel nothing and be nothing-
Warm, dry fingers started threading through his hair, gently messaging his scalp.
“I don’t care,” Combeferre’s tone was as steady and no-nonsense as ever and Courfeyrac felt himself tear up again. “Courfeyrac. I really don’t care. I’m not your friend because you’re fun. Which you are, of course. But you being fun is not a condition for my friendship. It’s not why I love you. It’s not why we all love you.”
When Courfeyrac failed to respond after a moment, he continued, still running his long fingers through the dark curls.
“We love you because you’re you, Courfeyrac. You, as a person. Because you’re generous, and kind, and warm. Because you’re impulsive and stubborn, because you give us everything to make sure we’re happy, even when you aren’t happy yourself,” he reached down to kiss Courfeyrac’s cheek. “We love you for who you are, everything, good and bad. Alright? So I can leave you be tonight, if you’d rather be alone. But a night spent with you, especially when you need it, is never wasted. You’re never a waste of time. Never.”
“Combeferre,” Courfeyrac was crying in earnest now, hiding his face against Combeferre’s leg. “Thank you.”
“Do you want me to stay?” Courfeyrac could feel Combeferre’s smile, the quiet warmth radiating off it.
“Yeah. Yeah, please.”
“Good,” Combeferre squeezed his shoulder. “We can order something to eat then we can watch a DVD, would you like that?”
“I’d love that.”
EEEEEEEEEEEP. LOOK WHAT VE WROTE FOR ME. LOOK AT IT. 😀 TT^TT 😀 TT^TT 😀
This is so perfect and it’s exactly what I was looking for and you are the BEST. ^____________^ That is so nice of Combeferre to stay and so perfectly Courfeyrac to try to get him to leave anyway. And just… OH COURFEYRAC. TT^TT Always thinking of everyone else before himself and I CAN’T.
This is lovely and I wish I was more coherent but I LIKE THIS VERY MUCH, THANK YOU. ^_____________^