Patients Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Summary: Jim's sick.
Disclaimer: Some of the characters in this story belong to the UPN Network and Pet Fly Productions as part of the television show The Sentinel. I do not claim these characters as my own. No money has changed hands.
Notes: Thank you, oh Beta Beast Jen! I will try to leave you alone for awhile so you can work on some of your own stories. <VBEG> Okay, picture this ... We're on vacation in Kodiak, Alaska. It's storming big time. Thirty mph winds with 60 mph gusts and it's raining sideways! I'm bored sh**less! Since I have my laptop with me, what do you think I do that afternoon? <VBG>
Jim opened his eyes and squinted up at the ceiling; things were out of focus, his head felt like it was stuffed with cotton, and his right ear ached. Nothing had changed since he went to bed. Rolling onto his side, Jim moved slowly and groaned as he sat up on the edge of the bed. "Sandburg, are you home?" he called , then regretted it and held his head in both hands, groaning at the hoarse sound of his own voice.
"Jim, how are you feeling, man?" Blair asked, sitting carefully on the bed next to his friend.
Jim hadn't heard Blair come up the stairs and started slightly. “Damnit, don’t sneak around like that.”
"Sorry, Jim. No better, huh?"
Jim managed a slight shake of his head, then croaked, "Bathroom ... please."
Blair supported his sick Sentinel down the stairs and into the bathroom, then stood just outside the door while Jim took care of business.
When Jim was finished, Blair again steadied the big man as they moved slowly across the dining room.
"Do you want to lay on the sofa for a little while?" Blair asked softly.
"Bed ... please," Jim answered in a strained voice.
Blair pulled the sheet up over Jim, and picked the thermometer up off the bedside table, before carefully sitting down on the edge of the bed.
“I don’t need that to know I have a fever,” Jim groused.
Blair leaned slightly forward. “Open your mouth.”
With a grunt of displeasure, Jim complied.
“Colds and the flu always play havoc with your senses, man, but this ear infection is making it worse. The last thing we need is for your fever to get too high,” Blair said in his most placating voice.
Jim mumbled around the thermometer ~ something about not needing or wanting a nurse ~ before rolling onto his side.
“Yeah, I know, but you’re stuck with me.” Blair reached for the bottle of drops and let several fall into Jim’s infected ear. “There now, that should help.” He took the thermometer and looked at it. “It’s down slightly.”
Jim grabbed Blair’s wrist and pulled the thermometer down so he could look at it, but had trouble focusing on the electronic display.
“It says 101.”
Jim sighed and released Blair’s arm.
“I know you feel lousy, Jim, and you hate being stuck in bed,” Blair said quietly. “The doctor said it would be a few days before you would start feeling better.”
Jim only pouted.
“You want anything?”
Blair smiled, “Sure, no problem. You going to be okay if I leave for a little bit to go to the store?”
“Just gonna sleep.”
“Okay, I won’t be gone too long.”
After making sure that Jim was as comfortable as possible, Blair grabbed his keys and quietly left the loft.
Jim didn’t sleep though, and a short time later started feeling restless and uncomfortable. His entire body seemed to ache, his ear was hurting, and the dial still wouldn’t work. “Damn senses,” Jim mumbled. “Why is it when I need to use them I can’t get anything to work?” Then called, “Blair, are you home?”
Finally, after spending what seemed like an hour tossing and turning, Jim slowly sat up. Wrapping himself in his robe, and slipping his stocking feet into slippers, he slowly made his way downstairs. He had to stop halfway down to let a dizzy spell pass. By the time he'd made his way down and was standing in the kitchen, Jim was exhausted and out of breath. He was leaning against the counter, trying to catch his breath, when Blair came home.
“Jim?!” Blair frowned when he saw the big man. “What are you doing down here?” He quickly set the two bags he was carrying on the counter and wrapped his arms around Jim. “C’mon, let’s get you onto the sofa.”
“I couldn’t sleep, and I just couldn’t lay there anymore,” Jim croaked, letting Blair take the lead. “Thought I’d get some juice and watch a little TV.”
“You know that infection has your balance messed up. You’re lucky you didn’t fall down the stairs,” Blair scolded as he helped Jim lower himself onto the sofa. “How’s your ear feel?”
Blair sighed and pressed the TV remote into Jim’s hand. “I’ll be in the kitchen.”
“Can I have some juice?”
“Yeah, I’ll get it.”
“Thank you,” Jim said, trying to smile just a little.
The attempt wasn’t lost on his friend, who simply chuckled at his forlorn looking Sentinel. A few minutes later, Blair returned with a glass of apple juice, aspirin, and a warm, moist towel for Jim’s ear.
Waiting until after Jim swallowed the aspirin, Blair gently pressed the towel against Jim’s sore ear. “Here, hold this against your ear. It will help with the pain.”
Jim glanced up at Blair for a moment, then said, "I suppose you're still busy grading those papers?"
“No, I finished that this morning,” Blair answered. “But I will have to go to the university tomorrow to post the grades. I promised my students they’d have their grades Friday. Why? You need me to run some errands?”
“No … I just thought … maybe …,” Jim shrugged and gestured towards the TV.
Blair smiled with understanding. Jim wanted some company. “Just let me put a few things away and we can watch a movie, okay?”
Jim looked up at his Guide and smiled tiredly.
A few minutes later, Blair sat down on the sofa next to Jim. “Here ya go, big guy,” he said, handing over an orange creamcicle.
Jim grinned as he took the frozen treat. “Thanks, Chief.”
“No problem, Jim,” Blair smiled.
Jim hesitated a moment, then said, “I don’t mean just for the creamcicle.” He looked over into Blair’s clear blue eyes. “I know I’ve been more than a little cranky the last couple of days. Thanks for being here and putting up with me.”
Blair smiled shyly and said, “Since we’ve known each other, you’ve taken care of me more than a few times. I know I’m no easy patient to get along with, but you’ve *always* stuck by me, man. It’s the least I can do, Jim. It’s what friends do.”
Jim didn’t really know what to say. He stared at Blair trying to find the words that would express his feelings, but he couldn’t think of anything other than, “Thank you.”
Blair simply smiled. He took the cooling towel from Jim and got up to rewarm it in the microwave. Then he sat down and placed a pillow on his lap. "Lay your head down here," he told his Sentinel.
Jim only hesitated a second before lowering himself down and resting his head on the offered pillowed lap.
It was a Kodak moment. Jim lying on the sofa, his head resting in Blair's lap, as he licked at the orange creamcicle he held. Blair gently held the warm towel against Jim's ear as he let the fingers of his other hand run absently through short-cropped hair while they watched “Predator” on HBO.