In Sickness and In Health

Co-written by: Brad and LJ

A very special thank-you to our betas, Mel & Sean.

Callum contemplated the young man leaning into the corner of his study. Travis had been standing there a little longer than was normal for this type of situation, because Callum had been held up by a call from his agent.

Once again, the older man found himself believing in miracles. Just the fact that he had not wrung his partner’s neck at some point in time over this past week, was nothing short of miraculous. He figured the only saving grace was that his Brat had not thrown one single all-out paddy.

Quietly entering the room and taking a seat on the sofa, Callum shook his head in mild exasperation at the antics his obviously bored Brat had been up to in his absence. He chose for the time being to ignore the multiple small curls of paper at Travis’ feet and patiently summoned his partner.

Pushing himself away from wall with a long drawn-out sigh of relief, Travis trudged over to the sofa and dropped down where the older man had been patting it.

“I’m sorry, Callum,” he murmured sincerely as he leaned forward to hold his head in the palms of his hands. “I know I blew it. I was just so pissed off with all that’s gone on in the past couple of weeks. I felt like I was on a runaway train and had to do something, anything to take control.”

Two weeks ago, Travis had insisted on working through the misery of a bad cold. He had sneezed, sniffled, wheezed and coughed his way through his shifts at the post office, living on antihistamines and cough syrup. He was just starting to feel better, when what they thought was merely a cold sore appeared in one corner of his mouth. Within in a couple of days, it had not only spread rapidly across the top of his entire lip but was also rather unpleasant to look at.

“Like what the hell was that anyway? I’m twenty-eight years old for shit’s sake; too damn old to be getting monkey pox. That’s a kid’s thing!” Travis complained, irritation clearly written on his face. He ran his hands through his hair and pulled on it in total frustration. “God, it was so embarrassing!”

“I can sympathize with how you felt, Travis; it is your conduct when it came to taking your meds that I have a problem with. And it is what we are going to deal with now.” Callum was not angry, but the sternness in his voice made it clear he meant business. “And the medical term for what you are just getting over is not ‘monkey pox’. Dr. Dean confirmed you’d somehow been infected with Impetigo and that it was highly contagious. Patrick prescribed a seven-day course of oral antibiotic and an ointment. Both the doctor and Mr. Pierce, the pharmacist, carefully explained how the pills were to be taken. Both told you the body responds better to medication when it is administered at regular intervals. It does not respond as well to your ‘feast and famine’ method.”

“It’s not my fault; I just kept forgetting to take the pills on time. Why didn’t you take over once you knew I was doing it wrong?” In spite of his aggravation, Travis managed to keep any accusations out of his question.

“Nellie and I tried to help by reminding you, luv. Although I warned you what would happen if you continued taking the meds in the wrong manner, it was not my place to arbitrarily take control. However, had you asked me to I would have done so. And I think you know that, right?” Callum placed a hand on his Brat’s knee and gave it a slight shake. “Let’s get this over with, Travis.”

The younger man sighed and getting to his feet, he reluctantly fetched the paddle from its’ hiding place in the desk drawer. He handed it over and accepted his Top’s assistance in settling over the older man’s lap.

Travis squirmed uncomfortably when a couple of fingers were inserted into the waistband of his sleeping pants and they were pulled down to mid-thigh along with his boxers. He relaxed somewhat when a warm hand slowly rubbed over his bared bottom, then groaned when he heard the inevitable inquiry.

“Why, Pup?” The soothing hand carried on the gentle caress.

“I forget to take my meds according to the schedule a couple of times,” Travis eventually answered. “But it can’t be that serious, Callum. I’ve caught up and the scabs are all but gone.” He quickly realized he may have given the wrong response when the warm hand resting on his butt disappeared only to return with a hard swat.

Callum’s hand came down with a steady barrage of painful slaps to his Brat’s bottom. He slowed the tempo slightly as he spoke. “This isn’t how I wanted to start this weekend, but I feel you’ve left me no choice. Your lack of care where your health is concerned really disturbs me.” As the events of the past week played over in his head, the swats increased in speed and strength until Travis’ bottom was a rosy red and Callum’s hand had a healthy sting in it. “I love you, and it’s unfortunate that this is the way you’re making me show it.” Another heavy swat and the spanking stopped.

Travis had been rather stoic up to this point, only grunting and moaning a bit as the burn increased. But at his Top’s words, his view of the sofa blurred and he felt tears forming in his eyes as his throat tightened. The first slap of the paddle made him jerk and yelp in response to the pain as well as the unexpectedness of it.

As Callum continued to reign down a dozen hard smacks on his Brat’s upturned bottom, Travis felt the first tears slide down his flushed cheeks. “Please... I get it. Please stop.” His butt was burning and each new swat only added to the throbbing pain. He almost choked out his relief when the paddle stopped falling.

With tears rolling down his face and his voice unsteady, Travis said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry for not taking better care of myself.” He continued to cry for a several more moments, big shuttering breaths shaking his frame as he remained draped over his chastiser’s thighs.

Callum gently laid his hand on the scorched bum, softly caressing in small circles to comfort the abused flesh as he murmured words of love and forgiveness. When the sobbing had quieted a little, he lifted his young lover to hold him on his lap. He kissed him on the forehead and smoothed his disheveled hair back from his teary-streaked face.

“You okay, Pup?”

“Uh-huh; as okay as can be expected, I guess.” Travis shifted to take some of the weight off his sore butt. “I think you should be responsible for medicating me from now on, if you don’t mind.”

“You only have one pill left to take.” The older man bit back a grin.

“I kinda meant for the rest of my life, Callum,” Travis muttered, hiding his face against his Top’s shoulder.

“I can do that for you, luv. Just one more question, if you don’t mind. What’s with all the scraps of wallpaper on the floor?”

Travis raised his head and looked towards the corner where he had been standing. “It’s not my fault, Callum. You kept me waiting too long and my ‘bored’ gene went into overdrive. I started picking where it was peeling away at one side and then I couldn’t stop myself. Besides, that pig-shit-green striped Harlequin design is just so gross.”

“I have to agree; it is atrociously ugly. But the previous owners of this house must have liked it. Still, there’s no accounting for taste. This is really the only room we planned to redecorate and now might be the perfect time to do so, what with the Brickermans away for the weekend. And seeing as you’ve started the job, I am going to let you finish it.”

“What?” Travis sat up, wincing at the pressure put on the one part of his anatomy that could do without the added discomfort. “You expect me to redo the whole room by myself?” He stared at his partner as if the man had grown a second head.

“No, just strip off the old wallpaper. There’s not all that much to do, Travis, once you eliminate the one wall with ceiling to floor bookshelves, the one with the large picture window and another with the French doors. Plus the fact that there’s wainscoting half-way up three of the walls, leave relatively little to do.”

Travis glanced around and admitted that the older man was absolutely correct. It probably wouldn’t take more than an hour. “Okay, I’m game. What are you going to be doing while I’m getting rid of that hideous paper? And what are we going to be replacing it with?”

“I’ll be masking off the woodwork in preparation for painting. But first, we’ll need to get the lighter pieces of furniture out of the room and the heavier pieces covered. Then you’ll peel while I mask. After lunch, we’ll head down the street to pick out the paint and if we find a colour we can both live with, we’ll purchase what we need. How is that for a plan?”

Travis had painted with his partner before and had enjoyed the experience very much. He always appreciated any opportunity to spend time with the older man. The addition of a heady sense of accomplishment was icing on the cake as far as Travis was concerned. “Let’s get a move on then,” he enthusiastically suggested as he pushed himself off Callum’s lap and adjusted his clothing.

It wasn’t long before Travis was merrily humming and enjoying a job that had a feeling of naughtiness to it. He didn’t often get the chance to demolish things in their home. He used a spray bottle to water down the paper, making it easier to remove; then tried to see how large a piece he could pull off the wall before ripping it.

“Peelings,” he sang. “Nothing more than peelings….” He was gathering up the last of the soggy strips of wallpaper and stuffing them into a large clear plastic garbage bag.

Callum had been listening to Travis singing throughout the morning as they worked side by side. He chuckled and challenged the younger man. “Aren’t the correct lyrics ‘Feelings, nothing more than feelings’, Pup?

“Yes, but my version seems to better suit the situation.” Travis straightened up, tied up the bag of trash and slung it over his shoulder. “I’m finished and famished,” he announced.

“Go get some clothes on, Travis, while I set out some lunch. We’ll do our shopping while waiting for the walls to dry.”

“I really not up to changing. I’ll just throw on a jacket over what I have on.”

“You’re wearing sleep pants for heaven’s sake. I think Home Depot has a dress code. I know I certainly do. Now go do as you’re told.” Callum took a swing at his partner’s backside, but Travis managed to skip out of the way and run up stairs.

Travis entered the kitchen properly dressed several minutes later and gingerly took his seat at the table. He picked up a sandwich and took a large bite. “Nellie sure left us a lot of food,” he commented after swallowing. “She spent most of this past week cooking and baking. You’d think she and Robert were going away for three weeks instead of three days. I don’t know how she expects us to eat it all.”

“There will be plenty of leftovers, saving her some work when she gets back. Although I have confidence that if we put our minds to it, we’ll be able to make quite a dent in the amount of goodies she prepared for us. If I keep you busy and out of trouble, I may also be able to keep you hungry.” Callum was well aware of his partner’s healthy appetite. He had often wondered at how the younger man remained so slim while packing away so much food. He laughed to himself when he saw Travis reach for his third sandwich.

“Nellie is going to be surprised when she sees what we’ve done to the study. But she’d be even happier if we re-did in here where she spends the better part of her day. I happen to know she’s not too fond of this pale green; she’d much rather it be a bright yellow,” Travis informed the man sitting across from him. “Maybe next month when they’re gone for a couple of weeks to visit with family, we can completely redecorate for her. Even with having missed work last week, I still have some time coming to me. Whadaya think, Callum? Can we do it?”

“It’s a big job, luv, but if you’re willing to give up some of your summer vacation to do this for Nellie, then we’ll do it. But that’s the last room we’re re-modeling this year,” Callum adamantly decreed.

“Gotcha!” Travis enthusiastically nodded his head. “But right now, we better get on with today’s agenda. We got lots to do before the day is over.” He pushed back and got up to clear the table.

“Bossy Brat!” Callum good-naturedly grumbled, getting to his feet and pitching in.


Travis stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror, examining his upper lip. They’d put in a productive day and all that was left to do before replacing the furniture in the study was the application of a second coat of paint.

“All’s good, Callum,” he mused, smiling at his lover’s reflection. He ran his eyes appreciatively down the older man’s well-toned body. “It felt grand getting outside after a week’s incarceration.”

“You were free to leave the house at any time, Pup. It was your choice to stay inside and lament,” Callum unsympathetically reminded him.

“There was no way I was going out in public with that repulsive monkey pox. Just having it was embarrassing enough without letting others see it.” His eyes lit up and he grinned broadly at his own reflection. “But it’s almost all gone now. You have to look real close to see the faint marks it left behind.”

Callum stepped closer, rubbed the front of his nude body against Travis’ bare back and wrapped his arms around his partner, savouring the feel of the warm body. He grinned over the young man’s shoulder and into the mirror. “Yes, my handsome boy has returned,” he teased as he reached down to pinch his Brat’s bum.

“Worse thing about this whole thing was my mouth being denied any contact with that gorgeous body of yours, Callum. But now that I am no longer contagious, I’m about to make up for lost time; starting with your lips.” Travis turned and reached up to pull the taller man’s head down in order to kiss him deeply while steadily pushing him across their en suite.

“Bring it on, my love,” Callum encouraged as he went along with his young lover shoving him into the shower stall.

With warm water gently cascading over them, Travis nipped at Callum’s neck and pressed the bigger man against the tiled wall, grinding their erections together before kissing him with more passion than Callum would have previously believed possible. The two parted for air and Travis nibbled Callum’s neck once again, making sure to keep their hips firmly gyrating together.

Travis’ touch was driving Callum wild as that busy mouth of his slowly moved down the older man’s body, licking and sucking on his nipples until they harden and Callum’s arousal was pulsing. Travis dropped to his knees and took Callum’s swollen shaft into his mouth. His tongue teased the slit and his teeth gently raked over the head.

Callum gasped and tried not to thrust into Travis’ mouth, even though he wanted desperately to find his release. Travis knew exactly what his partner was anticipating and began sucking harder, making Callum moan loudly. The feel of Travis’ tongue and throat torturing him was pushing Callum to the edge.

“Baby, stop!” he cried out and then shuddered as Travis pulled off him and slithered up his body.

“What’s wrong?” Travis asked worriedly.

“I want to cum inside you,” Callum croaked before turning his lover to the wall

Travis spread his legs to give Callum better access. He closed his eyes and moaned as he thrust his hips onto the lubed fingers working their way inside him one at a time.

Callum twisted his finger around before adding another, making sure his young lover was stretched and ready.

“Take me, Callum,” Travis pleaded incoherently.

The older man didn’t have to be asked twice. He lubed himself and pressed into his partner’s body. Looking down, he searched Travis’ face for any signs of discomfort. Finding none, he began plunging in and out of his lover, grazing over his prostate every other time.

Travis was moaning and writhing against the wet tiles, all the while thrusting back in an attempt to force Callum into him harder, deeper and faster. He loved the feeling of his strong lover moving inside of him, filling him over and over again. His moans were harsher than moments ago, the sounds coming from him almost guttural.

“Does that feel good, baby?”

“Yes!” Travis screamed out as Callum reached around to massage his leaking penis. “Oh, God, I’m so close!” His back was arched, his moans constant.

“Cum for me, baby!” The sound of Callum’s sexy voice in his ear and the massaging of his prostate together with the rhythmic stroking of his arousal sent Travis hurling over the edge and crying out as his cum splattered on the wall in front of him. His muscles contracted around Callum’s pulsing member and he rode his orgasm while Callum continued thrusting until he too climaxed.

The larger man groaned his lover’s name as he exploded before falling against the younger man’s back. The two men panted in unison for several moments, waiting for their breathing to return to near normal. Callum kissed the back of Travis’ neck and slowly pulled out. He chuckled when his Brat slid down to the shower stall floor.

“See what happens when I get my mouth on that body of yours?” Travis eyes were still slightly glazed over and his voice somewhat breathless; and the smirk on his beautiful face definitely had a hint of mischief on it.

“Let’s get finished up in here, Pup, and if you’re up to it, I’ll give you another opportunity to put your mouth’s talent to work.”

“No fear there, man. I’m always up for it.”

Sometime later, the two were snuggled up in bed, pleasantly exhausted after having made love for the second time. They petted and kissed; content in the knowledge that this lazy, easy-going activity was only a prelude for sleep.

“I’m glad we have this weekend alone, Callum. It’s been great reconnecting like this. But God, I hope I don’t get sick again for a long, long time…..if ever.”

“Don’t worry, luv. If you do, I’ll be here for you,” was the older man’s solemn promise.

The End