I'm exhausted. Yet again I've been writing this when I should have been sleeping.
Disclaimer- I own nothing to do with Relic hunter. Especially not Nigel. Which is unfair.
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Nigel glared at the nurse as she changed his bandages. She was taking an awfully long time over the task, and he was starting to get suspicious. "I can do it myself, you know."
"No, you can't." The nurse carried on working, with a smug grin on her face.
He sighed. Women. Why couldn't they just leave him alone? He didn't want to be fussed over, and have them poking and prodding him at all hours of the day. Actually, that was probably just hospital nurses. But anyway, he wished they would leave him alone.
Only Sydney would ever leave him alone, but she was the only one he didn't want to-
Ok, Nigel Bailey, stop that thought right now, he told himself firmly. She's your boss, so it would be unprofessional. Plus, she has hundreds of other men doting on her already. No, Sydney Fox is definitely out of my league.
As the nurse grinned, blew him a kiss, and left, Sydney entered, and Nigel blushed red to the tips of his hair.
"Hey, Nigel. How're you feeling?"
"Better, thank you. How are the classes going?"
Sydney pulled a face. "The Nigel Bailey Appreciation Society (A/N- I pinched this from someone else's fic, but I can't remember who it belonged to. Please don't sue me?) are missing you. Every second question they ask is about you. Oh, and a couple of them wanted to come and see you. I checked it out with the nurse. They can come in."
Nigel paled in horror. "Sydney! They'll eat me alive!"
Sydney grinned, and stepped back from the entrance to the curtain. "Girls…"
Nigel yelped and pulled the covers over his head in a vain attempt to hide from the students as they swarmed in, every single one of them clutching a gift.
There were about twelve of them, and in moments they had surrounded Nigel. He was doomed.
Sydney's grin widened, and she waved slightly at Nigel. "This is revenge for your threatened resignation. There's more at the college, but they couldn't come. Bye, Nigel."
"Sydney!" Nigel cried, but she had already left, laughing to herself. One of the girls, quicker than the others, planted a kiss on his forehead and handed over a present – a large box of chocolates. "Oh, dear. Thank you very much." Etiquette required that he thank each girl for what they had bought him, but that meant that he was going to get kisses from each of them. "Oh no…" He moaned, diving back under the bedcovers as the very much in love American girls jabbered away above him.
An hour or so later, they were ushered out by one of the nurses, leaving behind a heavily traumatised Nigel. "Excuse me," he whispered to a nurse, "Can I use the phone?"
The nurse agreed, and helped Nigel to a phone. He had rather a lot of trouble dialling the number and holding the phone- with one arm in a sling, it was understandable- but finally managed to do it. A few minutes later, at the other end of the phone, Claudia picked up.
"Hello? Ancient Studies department, Claudia speaking, how may I help?"
Nigel sighed with relief. Now he only had one lovesick girl to deal with. "Claudia, its me. Nigel. Is Sydney around?"
"Nigel!" she squealed. "How are you? How's your arm? Can I come and see you? Sydney wouldn't let me, she said you already had too many visitors. When are you coming back?"
"Uh… I'm very well, thank you, Claudia, my arm's fine, don't come and see me, I'll be out of here today, if I can manage it. Is Sydney around, or have I missed her?"
"She's teaching at the moment, but I can go give her the phone, if you want?"
"Yes, Claudia, that would be great." Nigel sighed, and leant against the wall. He hated hospitals. They smelt of antiseptic. Nasty smell.
If he could manage to discharge himself, and if he could arrange a taxi, he could be back at work for the afternoon. That is, if he could get permission from Sydney to return to work…
At the other end of the phone, he could hear Claudia saying, "Sorry to interrupt you, professor, but it's Nigel on the phone. He wants to speak to you."
"Oh, Right. I'll be back in a minute." That was Sydney, and now she spoke to him.
"Yes? I'm in the middle of a lecture right now, Nigel, so this had better be important."
"Sydney, I have to come back to work – the nurses are attacking me, and every time I turn round they're standing there giggling at me; now I've finally got rid of the students, I keep receiving gifts sent by the ones who didn't come, thanks to reception; plus, I'm bored. I don't have my laptop because I left it at the office, and I can't really ask anyone to get it because everyone I know is busy. So can I please come back?"
Sydney hid a smile. "I thought you wanted to resign?"
"Well… I did then, but… Stop laughing! Don't tease me like that! It's not nice! So, can I come back today?"
"Nigel, you're staying there for at least another week. You've only been there for a day and a half."
"Please, Syd? I'm really, really bored, and the nurses are starting to scare me."
"Oh, fine; if you can get permission to leave. And wait till tomorrow, at least – there're only two classes left today for you, and they're already covered. I'll come and pick you up tomorrow, as you can't drive. Nine o'clock, if you can get discharged. Ok?"
"Thank you Sydney! That's great! And I won't resign, I promise you! Well, not this year, at any rate. Um… how would I go about getting myself discharged for tomorrow morning?"
"Well, Nigel, I think that to get discharged, you should go and give those nasty, evil nurses some of your wonderfully good looks. They won't be able to resist anything you want."
"Sydney! I'm serious!"
"So am I. Now all you have to do is survive them until tomorrow morning." With an evil laugh, Sydney hung up.
"Right…" Nigel muttered, replacing the phone and turning to face the three nurses that had turned up to escort him back to his bed. "That's easier said that done."
"Uh… ladies," The three of them giggled – very rarely were they addressed as 'ladies'– and Nigel mentally cringed. "Well, I was wondering if you could find it in your heart to discharge me, tomorrow morning. Would that be ok?" He smiled slightly, hating himself for doing so. The nurses' knees wobbled at the sight of his smile, as most females' did.
One of them spoke, breathlessly, "That would be fine, I think… Do you need anything? Can we help you with anything?"
"No, thank you, I'm fine. And how are you?" Nigel felt he really should make it up to them. They were nearly as badly lovelorn as the students at Trinity College were. He'd led them on, so he should really try and make it up to them.
The three of them giggled in unison, and led him back to his bed, starting to yatter away about how they were doing, and whether Nigel was married.
The next morning, Nigel awoke to one of those three nurses – Alexia – tidying his pillows. "Morning, Nigel!" She chirped, them smiled. "You can go today. We sorted out all the paper work. All you have to do is sign. I think Mari has the papers. Lisa's getting you breakfast."
"This is really all too kind of you," Nigel smiled. "You must have to work really hard here. I appreciate it tremendously."
Alexia blushed. "No trouble, Nigel. We're all happy to help."
"Well, all the same, I do appreciate it. What's the time?"
"Eight fifteen. Only forty five minutes to go."
"Mm… I hope I get to see you again, Alexia. And not in the hospital. But, I can't. I'm really sorry, but my work takes up too much of my time. Otherwise, I'd happily take you on a date. You're a beautiful person." It wasn't quite the truth, but she was beautiful, and though Nigel wouldn't take her on a date – he hated dates – it was nice for her to know she was pretty.
She blushed even harder, and made a shushing motion as one of the other people in the room stirred. Nigel nodded in understanding. It would be embarrassing for them to be overheard.
Just then, Lisa called a greeting and pushed through the curtain, loaded down with a tray covered in a full English breakfast, several pieces of toast and a glass of orange juice. Nigel stared at the plate. "There is no way I'm ever going to be able to eat all that!"
"Don't worry, you don't have to. The chef just got a pay rise – he's giving everyone this much. I doubt he'll be offended if you don't eat it all." Lisa smiled, and put the tray down on Nigel's bedside table, where he could reach it. "We'll come back in twenty minutes, to see if you've finished." The two of them left.
Nigel leaned back on the bed with a sigh of relief. They had so much energy! How could they keep it up? Now… to tackle the breakfast…
Twenty minutes later, Nigel decided he was beaten. There were still three slices of bread left, and half the bacon. He could have finished it, usually, but the antiseptic smell of the hospital had put him off his food.
All three of the nurses entered this time, Mari clutching a form and a pen. "Morning, Nigel. Here's the form. All you have to do is sign at the bottom there, saying that you chose to leave, and we didn't throw you out."
"You wouldn't do that!" Nigel was appalled that the notion was even considered.
"I know, but the superiors have to have the evidence before they'll even consider letting you go. We've already put our signatures, to say that we consider you alright to leave."
"OK." Nigel took the pen, scrawled a signature, and handed the form back to Mari. "Done?"
"Yep. Now all we have to do is get you into your own clothes. Can you do that, or do you want a hand?"
"Uh, no, I think I can manage that." Nigel blushed, seeing how eagerly the women were waiting for him to say he needed a hand.
"Your friend, Sydney, she brought you a change of clothes. You're not dating each other, are you?"
"What? No, no, nothing like that!" Nigel thought wistfully, If only. "No, she's my boss, at the college where I work."
"She's missing out on something, then." Mari commented, making Nigel blush again. "We'll wait outside, till you say you're done."
Without waiting for an answer, the three of them hurried out of the area, grinning. Lisa grabbed a bag from outside and placed it on Nigel's bed. "This is the stuff she bought you. If it's not ok, your change of clothes from yesterday are under the table."
"Thanks, Lisa." She also left the curtained off room.
Nigel sighed. How on Earth was he going to manage this? And still keep his dignity, that is. Dragging open the bag with one hand, Nigel smiled. Trust Sydney to bring his favourite clothes. Even his lucky socks.
Ten minutes later, Nigel had managed to get his underwear and trousers on – entirely unaware that the three girls were watching his every move through a gap in the curtain – but was having a bit of trouble with his shirt. He couldn't manage to keep it on one shoulder and pull it over to the other with only one functional arm. Finally he was reduced to, "Um, girls? Could I have a bit of help?"
The three of them giggled, and entered, gladly. "What's wrong, Nigel?" Lisa asked, innocently.
"I, uh, can't get my shirt on. Could you help me? Please?" Nigel blushed. He didn't like the way the women were eyeing up his bare chest.
Alexia stepped forwards and pulled his shirt off the floor. As she did, she managed to stare at Nigel's chest muscles. This made Nigel blush even redder. That was why he usually wore loose clothes.
"Do you want to have your arm through the sleeve, or leave it inside your shirt? It'll be more comfortable in the long term if you have it outside, but it'll hurt getting it there." Lisa did her best to keep a professional tone, but it was rather difficult.
"Uh… outside, I think. Then I can hold books and things."
"OK…" Lisa glanced at her colleagues. "This might need a bit of work, girls."
Nigel gulped. Not good. Definitely not good.
And it was not. Ten minutes and several painkillers later, a very pale Nigel was sitting on his bed with his arm back in its sling, sipping a cup of coffee that Alexia had kindly fetched for him.
"I guess you'd better go now, Nigel. Only five minutes left. It'll take us that long to get you signed out. Reception isn't usually that busy at this time, but it's at the other end of the hospital."
Nigel nodded, and let Alexia help him to his feet. Her and Mari helped him to the reception, with Lisa holding Nigel's bag.
On the way to reception, the three girls told Nigel exactly how to look after his wound, and gave him a handful of bandages, which they placed in his bag.
Mari signed him out, and the four of them traipsed out to the entranceway, avoiding other people coming in, as Alexia sniffed back tears.
Once Lisa had placed his bags on the floor, Nigel pulled free of the girls' support and turned to face them. "You have been extremely kind to me, above and beyond your call of duty. I thank you for that."
All three of the girls blushed, and Mari spoke. "Oh, it's no problem."
"I'm sure it was." He leant forwards, and embraced the three women gently with his one good arm. "Goodbye."
Sydney pulled up outside the hospital, and smiled at the sight of Nigel and the three women.
He turned away with a wave, and slung his bag on his good shoulder. "I'll miss you!"
Sliding carefully into the car, Nigel attempted to do up his seatbelt, but found it impossible. Sydney drove away, then parked round the corner, next to the park.
"Aw… always the ladies man, huh, Nige'?" Sydney snickered and did up the younger man's seatbelt, as he blushed.
"Yeah… well… I, uh…" He watched the woman as she sat back with a peculiar look on her face.
"God, I missed you so much!" Sydney embraced Nigel, and he stared at her.
"Sydney? What's wrong?"
"I thought you were going to die! But now you're safe, you're ok, you're alive…" She started to cry, and Nigel slung his good arm round her shoulders.
"Shh… it's ok, it's ok. Don't cry, Syd, please. You'll only set me off. Come on, cheer up!" Nigel comforted his friend until her tears slowed.
Sydney pulled away, wiping her eyes. "Sorry, Nigel. I just… well, when I saw you fall to the ground, all covered in blood, I thought you were dead! But now you're not, and it's ok, and you're safe. How do you feel? Is it still painful?"
Nigel smiled, glad to see that Sydney had recovered from her bout of tears, and said, "I'm fine, thank you. My arm only hurts a bit now, and when I move it. Can't wait to get back to work!"
"Nigel! You should be making the most of this and getting sick leave! You're injured, you have an excuse!"
"I like work. And I'm not that badly shot. Plus, as I said, I get bored when I'm not doing things. What class am I taking first?"
"B4, I think. Nice and quiet." Both of them laughed. B4 was the noisiest class they took, and it didn't quiet down for anything. "Well, I hoped that the sight of you with your arm in a sling would be enough to keep them quiet."
"Hmm… If you say so. Hadn't we better go now? Because you're holding up a load of traffic."
It was true. Sydney cursed and threw the car into second gear, pressed the accelerator pedal, then whacked the gear stick into first, and the car horns abated.
They pulled up outside Trinity College just in time to hear the first bell ring. Sydney helped Nigel out of the car, and took his bag. "Now, you know where you're going, right?"
"Sydney, there is absolutely no reason to worry. Go on. I'll meet you at lunchtime, alright?" Nigel ushered his friend off, forgetting that she had his bag.
"Fine. And if you're not in the office at lunch time, you will be in deep, deep trouble!" Sydney threatened, then laughed, and made her way to the west wing of the college-where their office was- avoiding the students as she went.
"No worries, Syd!" Nigel called, then shook his head and walked towards the east wing, where he would be teaching, muttering under his breath. "Well, not for you, at any rate."
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There. Done. How was it? I personally thought that this chapter was funnier that the last, but it wasn't supposed to be funny, which is a problem. Or maybe it's just me, with my weird sense of humour.
Any spelling mistakes are my own and the spellcheckers' fault, as I have no Beta reader.