A/N: Well, this took a lot longer than expected. (Blame my heavy writing-based curriculum this semester lol). But here it is, the final chapter. I'll leave a little note at the end to wrap it up and make some announcements.

Enjoy! xx

Update: Thanks to everyone who let me know about the issues with the upload! I have no idea what's wrong with the website but wow, this was a bitch to fix.

x-x-x

"Ali, I seriously can't."

"Come on, sweetie, just a little bit more?"

Emily laughed at the frustratingly adorable, puppy dog look Alison pulled on her. Her lower lip jutted out and blue eyes suddenly turned pleading, fluttering in the most innocent look she could muster. "Babe, I'm literally going to throw up if I eat any more."

Alison glanced down at bowl of soup Emily was pushing into her hand and sighed in defeat, dropping the spoon in her hand back into the nearly empty bowl. Even with some gentle coaxing, it had taken no less than an hour for Emily to nearly reach the bottom of the bowl Alison had given her. The last thing she wanted was to push Emily's boundaries too far, but the fact that the brunette had barely eaten in the last week was evident and weighed heavy on Alison's already worried conscience.

"Alright," the blonde finally conceded, placing the bowl on the coffee table.

"I ate a lot, though." Emily offered.

Alison chuckled. "Not nearly enough," she countered teasingly, leaning forward to press a kiss to her girl's forehead. "But yes. You did good, baby."

Emily sighed in relief and finally allowed herself to relax against the pillows propped up against her back. Alison rolled her eyes playfully at her girl's dramatics as she stood.

"Where are you going?"

The question was almost a whine and Alison couldn't help but laugh as she walked into the kitchen. She didn't bother throwing out an answer even as Emily called out her name, letting the girl wait the few moments it would take her to see for herself. She headed back in just as quickly, rattling a bottle of Emily's pills in her hand, but as she walked into the living room she nearly ran straight into the brunette as Emily made her own way out of the room.

"Can't be away from me for one second, can you?" Alison teased.

"Uh, sure…and also, I really have to pee." Emily replied with a cheeky grin.

Alison laughed softly. "Alright. Take two of these while you're at it." She put the pills in Emily's hand and closed the brunette's fingers around the bottle before she pulled the hand up to her lips and kissed Emily's knuckles.

Emily smiled at the gesture and nodded obediently. "Yes, ma'am." She kissed Alison's cheek and nipped at her jaw before she slipped around her and sauntered off to the bathroom.

Alison laughed again at the playful display as Emily disappeared up the stairs. "Someone seems to be feeling better." she called out loud enough for Emily to hear.

Alison grabbed the dirty dishes from the coffee table and headed back into the kitchen, opting to put them in the dishwasher instead of washing them herself as her stomach growled. She paused for a moment, considering the idea of eating the soup Paige had brought for Emily (Paige would no doubt get a kick out of that), but finally decided against it as the thought of Paige's intentions made her stomach churn unpleasantly.

"Don't get too excited." she heard Emily call back. "I usually feel a little better during the day and crash again at night."

"Well hopefully this is you actually getting better." Alison said as she opened the fridge and started pulling out ingredients to make herself a sandwich. She opened a random cupboard, looking for plates, pursing her lips as she was met with glasses and mugs instead. She reached for a glass and set it down on the counter as she moved to open the next set of cupboards, having to stand on the tips of her toes to reach the plates at the back of the cabinet. "It would really suck if –" Her balance shifted as she finally got her fingers wrapped around a plate and her free hand reached out to steady herself on the counter. Her hand swung out aimlessly to avoid tipping forward and collided with the glass precariously perched on the edge of the counter, sending it flying out into the air and to the floor with a loud crash, the glass splintering into shards that flew all over the kitchen floor. "Fuck."

"What happened?!"

In the distance Alison heard the bathroom door open and slam and quick footsteps pound down the stairs before Emily appeared around the corner, expression frantic.

Alison threw a hand out for her to stop, panic seizing her chest at the thought of Emily running through the shards of glass, and sighed in relief when the brunette immediately stopped in her tracks. "Don't come in. You don't have shoes on, I don't want you to step on anything and cut yourself."

Emily nodded, quickly surveying the damage from where she stood. Her eyes suddenly snapped up to Alison, scanning over the blonde's body. "Are you okay though?"

"Yeah, I'm fine." Alison sighed, cursing under her breath at the mess. "Sorry about that, I had it down too close to the edge."

"It's fine, as long as you're okay. Let me go get the broom."

Alison waved her off. "You get back to bed. I'll handle this."

"Ali, I can –"

Alison threw a stern look. "Babe, it's fine. I don't want you overexerting yourself."

Emily wanted to argue, if only for the sake of arguing, but Alison's expression remained stern. Emily sighed, rolled her eyes in an expression she surely picked up from the blonde herself, and relented. "Fine. I'm going."

Alison waited for a moment until she heard the volume on the TV turn up before she turned to the mess at her feet.

"Fuck me," she groaned as she went to grab the broom.

x-x-x

Alison came back into the living room a little while later, sandwich in hand, to find Emily curled up in her previous position on the couch watching some old family sitcom on TV.

"Everything okay?" Emily asked.

Alison nodded as she plopped down onto the love seat. "Got it all cleaned up." She took a bite out of her sandwich as she rolled her eyes at herself, muttering as she chewed, "I'm such a klutz sometimes, I swear to God."

Emily chuckled fondly. It was only now in recent months that she had been able to start seeing Alison relax into herself now that she'd dropped the queen bee act for good, but every time felt like a new revelation. The blonde's true persona was finally coming out into the light and god, was it a sight to see. Alison was exactly the person Emily had always known she was deep down: beautiful, kind, and infinitely caring, and though they'd been in a relationship for months now, Emily still found herself in awe whenever she caught a glimpse of those sides of Alison she'd usually kept hidden.

"What?"

Realizing she'd been caught staring, Emily smiled softly before turning the expression into a playful pout. "You're too far away."

Alison chuckled, covering her mouth daintily as she finished chewing her mouthful. "I didn't want to get crumbs all over you."

Emily raised an eyebrow. "You've gotten a lot worse than crumbs all over me before."

Alison grinned, proud of her girl for the quick jab. "Touché." She finished her sandwich within a few more bites and brushed off any lingering crumbs as she stood.

Emily shifted onto her side as Alison slipped into the blankets next to her. When the blonde settled comfortably on her back, Emily curled into her side and nestled her head into the crook of Alison's shoulder, sighing as the blonde's arm wrapped around her.

"Better?" Alison asked, dropping a lingering kiss to Emily's hair.

"Mhmm." The brunette nodded, letting her attention fall back to the TV as they settled into a comfortable silence.

It was a few minutes later when Alison glanced down and caught Emily's eyes fluttering, struggling against the fatigue that was no doubt overwhelming her body. Her eyes would close for the briefest of moments before she'd catch herself and snap them open again, blinking groggily at the TV.

Alison's lips quirked in amusement as she pressed her lips to the girl's forehead. "Tired?"

"Little bit," Emily murmured, the exhausted evident even in her voice.

"Take a nap," the blonde offered. "I'm not going anywhere."

Emily sighed deeply, a quiet "okay" breathed in there somewhere, and soon enough her warm breaths steadied enough for Alison to know she was fast asleep.

x-x-x

Two hours later

Alison groaned quietly as she stretched as best as she could with Emily curled into her side. She'd been out for a good few hours, time that Alison spent comfortably catching up on the novelties that had been added on Netflix. She couldn't remember the last time she'd watched so much uninterrupted TV now that her schedule was so busy between normal school and trying to catch up on her credits to graduate with the girls. Granted, many of her dates with Emily were spent in front of the television, but usually they'd be quick to lose interest in whatever they were watching once hands began to wander under the blankets.

With a huff, Alison carefully pried the blankets off her body, the blonde having grown uncomfortably hot under the layers of warmth. Emily had started shivering in her sleep a few minutes ago, so she was mindful to keep the brunette wrapped up in the sheets, though how Emily could still be cold was a mystery to her. She was literally sweating.

"Ali."

Alison grimaced to herself, thinking she'd woken the brunette with her shuffling. She ran her hand through Emily's hair, shushing her softly. "Go back to sleep, Em. I'm sorry I woke you."

"You didn't." Emily shook her head, her voice low and rough.

Alison twirled a lock of Emily's hair around her finger absently, her eyes glued to the TV as the end of the episode played out on screen. "Did you sleep well, baby?"

There was a moment where Emily paused, and Alison could feel her breaths fanning across her neck as the brunette breathed in deeply.

"Ali, I don't feel well."

Alison's head snapped around instantly, the television now forgotten as she glanced down at her girlfriend. "What is it, baby? What do you feel?"

Emily's eyes drooped, every blink seeming as if it was taking her whole effort to open them again. She swallowed hard as her eyes struggled to focus. "I d-don't know. I –"

Alison sat up, careful not to jostle Emily too much as she untangled herself from the brunette's arms. "Em, look at me." She reached out to cradle Emily's face in her hands and reeled back in shock when she made contact with the girl's skin. "Holy shit."

The brunette was literally burning up. With a closer look, the blonde could see the flush tainting Emily's face, the girl's tanned skin tinted pink from the heat emanating from her own body. Alison ran her hands over Emily's face and neck, partially in shock because holy shit, she'd never felt a fever like this before.

"Your hands feel nice," Emily sighed, eyes fluttering under Alison's touch.

"You've got one hell of a fever, Em." Alison said, trying to keep the panic out of her voice. "I'm going to go get the thermometer, okay?"

Emily nodded. "It's in the kitchen."

Alison would have sprinted to the kitchen had she allowed herself to panic, but she took it in stride for Emily's sake and strode as calmly as she could manage, quickly grabbing the thermometer from behind the stack of pills Mrs. Fields had left for Emily. She had to bite her tongue to ward off the dread building in her chest as she watched Emily shiver violently as she came back into the room.

"Here we go," She sat down at the edge of the couch, holding the thermometer to the brunette's lips. "Open up."

Eyes still closed, Emily parted her lips just enough to let Alison slip the thermometer into her mouth and under her tongue. Alison let her hand linger for a moment, making sure the thermometer would hold, before pressing both palms to Emily's overheated cheeks, running her cooler hands gently over the contours of her face and neck. Emily hummed softly in gratitude.

Alison smiled fondly and murmured, "You're going to be okay, hmm? Just hold on."

The thermometer started beeping after a moment, and Alison pulled it gently out of Emily's mouth. Her heart sunk to her stomach at the temperature reflected on the tiny screen, her eyes falling sadly to the shivering girl curled into her side. Emily had taken her medicine nearly two hour ago, there was no way her temperature should be this high.

"What it is?" Emily croaked.

"It's almost 105°." Alison sighed and pressed a long kiss to Emily's overheated forehead to soothe her next words even as her own chest tightened. "We might need to consider a hospital, sweetie."

"No," Emily's eyes widened, her voice surprisingly strong. "No hospital. I'm fine, I don't –"

"Em," Alison's voice was sharp, her stress beginning to get the best of her. She paused and took a deep breath. Emily would freak out if she started to panic and she needed the brunette calm if she wanted her to get better. "This fever is so not normal, babe, I am way out of my league here."

"Call Mrs. Marin," Emily suggested. "Or Spencer, or Jason. I don't know, but please don't take me to the hospital."

Alison knew Emily hated hospitals – they'd all been in so many throughout the years dealing with A that the brunette had come to develop an aversion that was borderline pathological. But this flu was clearly getting out of hand and honestly Alison didn't see much choice. Though calling Mrs. Marin was a good idea – she remembered Mrs. Fields saying she'd left the number for any emergencies somewhere in the kitchen. Maybe Hanna's mom would have something that could help – or at least something that would buy them some time and keep Emily from going to the hospital right away.

"Okay," she agreed. "Let me call Hanna's mom."

Alison reached for her phone on the coffee table and went to stand up to get the number from the kitchen, but a warm hand on her arm stopped her in her tracks.

"Just call Hanna." Emily croaked. "She said she was going to be home today."

Alison eyed her warily, wondering if it was another ploy to keep the hospital out of their plans, since Hanna would probably sympathize with her and keep the hospital as a last resort – but as Emily's grasp on her arm tightened and her eyes fluttered closed against the heaviness of her eyelids, Alison realized the brunette was just trying to keep her close for comfort. Her heart ached at the thought of how horrible Emily must be feeling, all suspicion vanishing from her head as she reached out and stroked the back of her hand over Emily's cheek.

"Okay." Alison murmured. With a swipe of her thumb she unlocked her phone and quickly dialed Hanna's number, distracting herself by running her fingers through Emily's hair as the phone rang. Just when Alison expected the voicemail to cut in, Hanna's voice cut through the line.

"Hello?"

"Hey, Hanna." Alison cleared her throat at the greeting, her heart suddenly starting to race as she grew nervous. What if Mrs. Marin said something worse was wrong with Emily? "I-is your mom there?"

"Yeah, she's here. She's – no, Spencer. I am not going through that one more time. We've got that chapter covered."

"Spencer's there too?" Alison perked up at that. Spencer, not surprisingly, knew quite a bit about medicine – more than any normal high school senior should know, anyways. Maybe she'd be able to say why Emily's fever had spiked.

"Yeah, she came to study for the Chem test. She's obsessing over chapter 4 when there's a whole two chapters left to cover." Hanna's voice was beyond annoyed, no doubt speaking pointedly at Spencer on the other line, and Alison could just picture the blonde rolling her eyes.

"Because you keep saying acidification for oxidation, Hanna." Spencer's voice sounded from the back. "If you don't have that term down, you're going to flunk."

"I know what it means, I just mess up the word. You don't –"

"Hanna. Hanna." Alison snapped, seeing where this little exchange was going. "Can I talk to your – actually, no. Can you put me on speaker?"

"Yeah, sure." A quick shuffling came through the speakers before Hanna spoke again. "Okay, you're on speaker. Mom, Ali wants to – wait. Is Emily okay?"

"No," Alison breathed as she glanced at Emily. "That's the thing. Her fever spiked out of nowhere and it's really high."

"How high is high?" Mrs. Marin's asked, having joined the conversation.

"104.6°." Alison answered, chewing her lip in worry.

"Oh, shit." Hanna exclaimed.

"Hanna," Mrs. Marin scolded, before her voice turned soft. "Has she taken anything for it today?"

Alison glanced at her watch. "She took a dose about two hours ago, I think. And she's been sleeping since then."

"Hmmm…that's – no. That's not normal at all." Mrs. Marin's voice sounded concerned, much to Alison's worry. "If it was going to spike regardless, the medicine should have kept it from going that high. Has she been outside lately? Her defenses are probably low – the cold might have spiked the fever."

"Not really." Alison said, her eyes glancing towards the doorway as she thought back during the day. "I mean, she was by the front door for a little bit when Paige stopped by, but that was only for a few minutes."

"Paige stopped by?" Hanna inquired eagerly. "Oh, that must have been fun."

"Shut up, Hanna." Spencer hissed as Alison rolled her eyes. "The draft might not have been any good for her, but I don't see how that would be enough to spike her fever like that. Has she been moving around a lot? Maybe she overexerted herself or something. Expending too much energy can aggravate her symptoms if she's not careful."

"I don't think so…she was feeling a little better earlier so she did move around a little more than usual but nothing extreme. I made sure she laid down again pretty quickly."

"Honestly, it doesn't really matter why it spiked." Spencer replied. "But you'll have to take her to the hospital if it keeps rising. It's already dangerously high."

Alison bit her lip. "I know, that's what I thought."

"Well, not necessarily." Mrs. Marin countered. "Hanna went through something like this when she was little. You can keep her home as long as you keep her fever down."

Alison sat up at that, suddenly desperately anxious for information. "And how do I do that?"

"See if Pam has any cold compresses in the bathroom."

Alison carefully stood up from the couch, shooting Emily a smile when the brunette's eyes fluttered open. "I'll be back in a second, baby." She bent down and kissed the brunette's head before she hurried towards the stairs. "Where should I put the compresses?"

"Grab a few if you can find them." Mrs. Marin answered. "Put one on her forehead and one on the back of her neck. That should help at least keep the fever from rising, but I wouldn't go past giving her another dose of ibuprofen."

"Okay." Alison took the stairs two at a time and reached the bathroom door in three quick strides. "And if that doesn't –" Her voice cut off as she switched on the bathroom light and caught sight of the countertop. By the sink, next to their toothbrushes, was the uncapped bottle of medicine Alison had handed Emily earlier. Two green pills sat next to it, clearly left forgotten. "Oh, I'm going to kill her."

"What?" all three women on the phone asked.

"She didn't take the pills." Alison inhaled deeply as a conflicting mixture of relief and frustration rose in her body, the urge to throttle her girlfriend suddenly fierce and quite feasible. "Oh, she's so dead."

"Remind me never to let you take care of me," Hanna joked as she snorted.

Spencer chuckled along as she said, "That explains a lot though. She didn't have anything fighting the fever so the cold and the expended energy probably just set it into gear again. Just give her three ibuprofen instead of two and she'll probably be fine."

Alison sighed as she leaned against the sink, almost weak with relief. "Thank God."

"Well, I wouldn't quite say that." Mrs. Marin added. "Spencer's right, you should give her a higher dose but I would try to get that fever down as quickly as possible. What I used to do when Hanna was sick was put her into lukewarm baths to bring down her body temperature."

"Oh God, I remember that." Hanna quipped in a disgusted tone.

"She won't enjoy it," Mrs. Marin continued, her voice turned amused. "But it'll be effective. Between that and the ibuprofen, she'll be just fine. Just make sure she keeps taking her medicine every couple of hours so she doesn't regress."

"Thank you," Alison breathed. "Seriously, thank you so much. I was about to freak out here."

"No problem, Alison." Mrs. Marin said warmly. "Let me know how it goes, and call me if you need anything else."

"Thank you, Mrs. Marin." Alison said wholeheartedly.

"Hanna and I are making reviews for the Chem test," Spencer said. "We can drop it by tomorrow if you guys want."

"Seriously, Spencer." Hanna groaned. "Emily's, like, dying over there. I seriously doubt she'll want anything to do with Chemistry anywhere near her."

"I'm just saying," Spencer said, exasperated. "She'll probably want to catch up at some point."

Alison smiled fondly with a roll of her eyes. "She'll appreciate that, Spence. Thank you. I'll text you guys later, okay?"

"Sounds good. Let us know how she's doing." Hanna answered.

"Bye, girls."

x-x-x

Emily's eyes fluttered open as Alison sat down on the edge of the couch, glass of water in one hand and three pills in the other.

"What did Mrs. Marin say?" Emily mumbled.

Alison shot her a displeased look as she placed the pills into Emily's hand. "You're an idiot."

Emily blinked in surprise. "Why?" Her fingers curled around the pills in her hand, and as she brought them to her mouth without question she froze, realization dawning on her face. She closed her eyes momentarily and sighed, mumbling, "Shit" before she glanced at Alison guiltily.

"Yeah. Shit." Alison replied dryly.

Emily groaned under her breath as she popped the pills into her mouth and downed them quickly with the water Alison had brought. "I heard the glass crash and I ran out, I totally forgot to take them."

"I realized," Alison drawled.

"I'm sorry," the brunette murmured honestly, and all of Alison's irritation dissipated at the regretful expression on Emily's face.

Alison's expression softened. "At least there's a logical explanation," she said as she kissed Emily's forehead. "No need for any hospitals today."

"Good," Emily sighed, her eyes falling shut again. "So what, I just keep taking the medicine and I'll be fine?"

Alison bit the inside of her cheek, knowing Emily wasn't going to like what was about to come. Emily caught the moment of hesitation and opened her eyes, her expression as wary as her body would allow.

"Not exactly." Alison replied slowly.

x-x-x

"Please don't make me do this." Emily whined from where she leaned against the door

Emily's pathetically weak tone tore at Alison's heart, but the blonde knew she couldn't budge. This was the only way of truly getting Emily out of going to the hospital. Alison finished setting the water temperature and turned to her girl, reaching to pull Emily into her arms.

"I'm sorry, love, I have to." Alison murmured softly, dropping a kiss to the side of Emily's head as her hands slid down to grasp the bottom of the girl's shirt. "Your fever's way too high, but I promise it'll be quick, okay? Just long enough to get your fever down."

Emily whimpered but didn't fight her as Alison pulled her shirt over her head. The bathroom's slightly cooler, humid air made her shiver violently as Alison stripped her of her layers until she stood bare before her. She had to wrap her arms around herself as her teeth began to chatter, her body instinctively leaning into Alison's for warmth.

"I-I thought the ibuprofen would take c-care of that."

"Not fast enough," the blonde replied with a sad smile.

Alison reached out to yank the curtains aside and hesitated at the last moment, an idea popping into her head. Maybe she could make this a little easier for Emily, even if she had to suffer a little in the process.

"W-what are you d-doing?" Emily asked, brow furrowed in confusion as Alison began to strip.

Alison pulled off the rest of her clothes and kicked them aside as she pulled the shower curtain open. "Trying to make this a little better for you." She pulled her hair up into a quick, messy knot before she stepped into the shower.

"You're a masochist." Emily muttered as she climbed in after her, and Alison almost laughed at the dumbfounded look on the brunette's face.

"Like that's anything new," she replied teasingly.

Alison grabbed Emily by the waist as the brunette closed the curtains and slowly started pulling her under the spray. She grit her teeth as the water hit her back - the water was lukewarm, nothing like the liquid ice that poured from the normal faucet now during the winter, but it had her cringing from the cold as her skin was only ever used to the steaming hot water she'd use in her showers.

Emily whined as the overflow pouring down Alison's body started wetting her own overheated skin. She lurched away on instinct, but Alison's hands on her waist kept her firmly in place.

"Ali," Emily whimpered.

"I know, baby, I know." Alison murmured. She wrapped her arms around the brunette's waist, pulling her flush against her chest as she craned her neck to the side, letting more of the spray hit Emily's body while keeping her hair out of the water. Emily's skin felt like literal fire compared to the tepid water cascading down her back, the contrast steeling her resolve to do this even as her girlfriend continued to whimper in her arms.

"It'll get better," Alison soothed as she ran her hands over Emily's back. "Focus on me, okay? Just feel me, Em. It'll get better soon."

x-x-x

The shower turned out to be every bit the struggle Alison had imagined it would be. Emily had squirmed and whimpered and cried as Alison grew colder and colder under the water, but eventually the brunette's body grew accustomed to the temperature and she settled comfortably into the spray, letting her body come back down to its normal temperature.

Alison had gotten them both out of the shower after a while and she made sure to dry Emily off as much as possible before they both slipped on their warmest clothes and Alison tucked an exhausted Emily into her bed, the brunette undoubtedly needing rest after the strain the fever had put on her body.

The blonde had then let Emily sleep while she had gone downstairs to tidy up. She'd taken the time to order delivery as their dinner and had stored the food away for that evening, finally trudging upstairs and collapsing next to Emily as the day finally caught up with her. She didn't sleep, however, too worried that somehow the fever would spike again or something else would go wrong and Emily would regress. Instead, she busied herself with her phone, texting the girls an update on the day and scrolling through her social media as she kept a close eye on the slumbering girl beside her.

It was finally towards the late afternoon when Emily stirred. Alison could feel nothing but relief as Emily rolled towards her, looking alert and much more herself than she had a few hours before.

"Feeling better?" she asked as she let the phone drop onto the bed. She shifted onto her side, letting her head rest on the same pillow as Emily's as they faced each other.

Emily groaned softly as she stretched her limbs. "Much."

Alison couldn't help but smile at the cuteness in the act. She reached for the girl and cupped Emily's cheek, letting her hand run over the smooth skin down to her neck and slip slightly under the neck of Emily's shirt to feel the cool skin of her chest.

"Cool as a cucumber," she finally declared, Emily snorting her amusement in response.

"I'm sorry I forgot to take the ibuprofen," Emily repeated, her eyes falling shut in contentment as Alison started running her hand through brown hair. "That was really stupid of me."

"I won't argue with that," Alison teased, smiling at the wry look Emily shot her way. "I'm just glad you're okay. You really scared me there."

Emily's expression softened. "I'm sorry." She grabbed Alison's hand and pulled it to her lips, pressing a firm kiss to the blonde's palm. "You didn't look scared, if it makes you feel any better. You seemed pretty calm."

Alison scoffed. "That goes to show how out of it you were. I was far from calm."

"I'm serious." Emily smiled. "You're really good at taking care of people."

The blonde snorted in disbelief. "Yeah, right." She curled a lock of brown hair behind Emily's ear and stroked her fingers down Emily's cheek. "I'm just good with the people I care about."

"I guess makes me one of the lucky ones." Emily teased, chuckling when Alison shoved at her shoulder playfully, though they both knew there was nothing but truth behind that statement. Her expression turned earnest as she gazed into Alison's eyes. "Thanks for taking care of me, Ali."

Alison smiled genuinely. "Always, baby." She leaned forward to kiss Emily's forehead, but the brunette tilted her head back and caught Alison's gaze before her eyes fell to her lips.

The blonde caught the insinuation and smirked. "What happened to not getting me sick?"

"It's definitely too late for that," Emily replied, teasingly solemn, but the smile playing at the corners of her lips pulled any seriousness out of the statement.

Brown eyes flickered between crystal blue orbs and pink, plump limps, until Alison's smirk finally shifted into a fond smile and she gave in because honestly, she could never deny the brunette anything. The love and want she saw in those brown eyes never failed to make her go weak - it was always there, a love unlike any other she'd ever experienced offered to her on a silver platter; a love that, though a heavy statement to say at their age, she was sure she never wanted to experience with anyone else. They both sighed as their lips met, the kiss nothing but gentle sips of each other's lips as they parted and retreated, always going back for more.

"I love you," Alison murmured into the kiss. Her heart leaped and fluttered like it always did when Emily kissed her harder and whispered her love in return.

x-x-x

A week later

Emily pushed out into the hall as the bell signaling the end of first period finished ringing. Through the crowd of students flooding into the hallway, she spotted Aria and Spencer walking to join Hanna by the blonde's locker. Emily shifted her backpack higher on her shoulder and made her way over to join them, frowning as she realized Alison was nowhere in sight. She hadn't heard from her that morning but Emily had just assumed she'd been running late.

"Hey, Em." Aria greeted.

"Hey," Emily smiled. "Have you guys seen Ali?"

"I was just about to ask you the same thing," Spencer said. "She wasn't in History just now."

"I'd assumed you'd both skipped first period," Hanna added, her attention on the mirror in her locker as she fixed her hair.

Emily gave her an odd look. "You saw me this morning, Hanna."

Hanna froze for a moment, confusion settling over her face before she quickly brushed it off and shrugged. "I don't know, whatever. Call her and see where she is."

Emily rolled her eyes, tuning out the rest of the conversation as she pulled out her phone to do just that. She dialed Alison's number and turned towards the hall, scanning over the crowd to see if she could catch any sight of her girlfriend.

"Hello?"

The voice on the other end of the phone sounded low and raspy, odd enough to make Emily glance at the screen to double check she'd called the right number. "Alison? Are you okay? Where are you?"

"I'm at home." The speakers crackled as loud coughing boomed through the line. "Dying."

"You're sick?"

Alison sniffled loudly. "I'm dying."

Emily pressed her lips together, suppressing a smile at her girlfriend's dramatics. "Why didn't you call me?"

"You've missed enough class already, Em," the blonde croaked. "I knew you'd skip if I called you."

"Is there anyone there with you?"

There was a pause on the line where Alison hesitated, telling Emily everything she needed to know.

"I'm coming over."

"No, Em, it's fine." Alison insisted.

Emily rolled her eyes. "Ali –"

"Seriously, I'm fine. My dad left me with some medicine and water before he left and Jason said he'd come back with food later. Don't leave school."

Emily sighed. She knew Alison was right. She'd missed enough classes to have fallen slightly behind – any more and she'd risk having her grades drop – but she didn't feel right leaving Alison to fend for herself. Her family was the last people she trusted to take care of Ali.

"Fine, I'll stay until lunch." she finally relented. "I can leave then, I have a free period after."

More coughing rung through the phone before Alison finally spoke. "Okay."

"Text me whatever you think you'll need and I'll stop by the store to pick it up on my way over."

"Thanks, baby. Love you."

Emily smiled. "I love you too. Feel better, okay? I'll see you soon." She hung up the call and slipped her phone back into her pocket, already making a mental list of the things she should by before stopping by Alison's.

"Was that Ali?" Aria asked as Emily turned back to them. "What did she say?"

"She's at home, sick."

All three girls exchanged a knowing look before Hanna snorted as she closed her locker. "I wonder why."

x-x-x

A/N: Thank you so much to everyone who very patiently kept up with this story despite my lack of updates, but hey. I promised I'd get it done and I did! Now, on to the next one!

I'll be working on the second one shot for that three-shot series. It's a Christmas one-shot, so I'll be trying as HARD as I can to get it finished and uploaded by Christmas. Then the third one-shot to finish that off, maybe a random one shot here and there, and finally a little something I'm just starting to cook up. I haven't written anything with an actual plot in so long, I want to get back into it. I won't say much yet, it's still in its very very beginning stages, but you guys will hopefully enjoy it.

Thanks for reading my random ramblings! Drop a review and let me know what you thought, and, as always, I'll be back soon!