Author: Paladin Steelbreaker

Title: In Sickness and Health

Copyright: October 2007

Rating: K+

Spoilers: It is best to read my other Relic Hunter stories first.

Keywords: The Flu

Summary: Nigel takes care of Sydney while she is sick.

Legalese: All characters except those noted below with their respective rights, properties and copyrights are the property of their respective creators, authors, owners, producers and agencies. These characters are used without permission. No copyright infringement is intended or meant, and no money will be made from this story. This story may be copied in its entirety, and may be distributed as long as all copyright information remains.

Author's Note: I want to warn all readers. I am taking our two favourite Relic Hunters far out of character here. But this was the way my muse wanted it. Sue her not me, okay?

Author's Note 2: Especially in the start I have some intentional misspellings. Some may be annoyed by that. Please bear over with me, as it is my attempt at portraying a person with the flu. As the story goes, and Syd gets better, so does her pronunciation.

If you want to comment on my story.(please, please, PLEASE!!) Compliments, or fire spitting criticism, you are welcome to mail me at this address: pal-o-loonline.no

And now finally on with the story:

In Sickness and Health.

Nigel Bailey's diary

August 12nd. 1996

Dear diary.

I am so tired, I can barely see to write in you. I will remember this day if I live to se another hundred years. I have never experienced anything like it. She is just, just. Words fail me. She warned me she would come up with something special to thank me for helping her when she was sick. And whoa, she did! I got my suspicions she was up to something big four days ago, when she just locked herself in her office. Claudia and I could hear her all day talking to various people on the phone. And for the following three days, she only let down her phone, to go to her classes, and to disappear on mystery missions somewhere not on campus. And then last night when we went home from work, she told me that today we would take the day off. She told me to be ready at seven o'clock, and so I was……..snoooorrrrrrkkkkkk!!!!!!!

Okay, Nigel's diary here; the lucky fellow fell asleep face first down on me. Guess who will have a bad back ache tomorrow. Yep, that's me. All right, all right, we will both have a bad back ache tomorrow. But enough about that; I thought you might want to hear a more detailed account of the latest events In Nigel Bailey's life. I thought so. But let me start where it really began. Sydney's apartment, Sydney's bed… He, he.

Day one.

Beeep, beeep, beeep, beeep. Beeep, CRASH!!!

Sydney growled in irritation as she realised that she had smashed yet another alarm clock to pieces. She growled again and promptly broke out in a violent fit of coughing. In a flash it felt as if she had been sleeping besides the opened Pandora's Box. Her throat hurt like hell, and so did the rest of her body, especially her head. Her nose felt as if it was sealed with grouting, and everything seemed to swim around inside her head. She tried to open her eyes, but gave it up, as she immediately felt nauseous. And to top it off, she was freezing as if she was but naked in the Antarctica. With a groan of misery she dug under covers, and accepted the fact that she had gotten the Influenza.

At the University, Nigel was starting to worry. Since he started working for her, not once had Sydney been late for work, unless of cause of an injury she had gained on one of their more insane Relic hunts. He was currently pacing the floor, when the phone rang. "Hello, this is the phone of Sydney Fox, how may I help you?"

"Niged is dat you?"

"Yes Sydney, why aren't you here, your lesson on the dark ages is in 20 minutes."

"I amb sorry Nigedh, I'mb sick. AaAATCHHOO! I cand not comb. I habve got the flu. COUGH COUGH COUGH!!! Click!!!"

For exactly 10 seconds Nigel stood there as rooted to the ground. Then he hightailed it out of the university fast enough to leave Roadrunner in the wake, just barely taking time to notify the principal of his leaving.

15 minutes later he screeched to a halt outside Sydney's apartment after a parking worthy of a stunt driver. Using the key Syd had given him just the week before, he locked himself inn, and ran to the bedroom.

Sydney opened her eyes and looked blearily at her guest. "Nige, cough, cough; why are you here?"

"I am going to take care of you until you are well."

"It is really sweet of you, but I amb a big girl, I tink I can managhe a flu by myhself."

"Not this time you are, stop being so stubbornly independent. You know you need me." Nigel said, like talking to a child. He had had it with her extreme need for independence.

It was a testament to how ill she was that her only reply to his bossiness was a mumbled "Okay Nigedh, sniff, cough….. snooooork!!!"

Day two

"Watch the sill," Nigel warned as he half carried Sydney back from the bathroom. He deeply thanked his months of gruelling training under Anne. If not for them, his back would probably be broken by now. Sydney was not by any means fat, not even chubby, but she had a fairly good muscle mass and was high for a woman, meaning she weighed more than she seemed to.

"Urgh! Blurrrghhh!" Sydney shook in convulsions as she threw up again. Unfortunatelly the sudden jet of vomit hit dead centre on Nigel's chest, and ricocheted back on her. "Uhuuuhh, she sobbed. I'm sorry, I'm so sorry," she cried as he tried to clean then both.

"Hush, it's all right, Syd, its all right," he said as he stripped off their soaked through T-shirts and replaced them with fresh ones, while trying not to look at her breasts. He then tucked her inn and softly stroked her over her forehead. "Now, isn't this better," he murmured as he tucked her in. "Try to sleep a little and you will soon get better."

She seemed to for a moment wake up from her fever induced stupor, as she looked straight at him. Then her eyes became shadowy again. "Don'th let the flying blankhet get mhe," she mumbled, and then were off to lala land.

Nigel gave a tired sigh. When Sydney decided to get sick, she got really sick. She was throwing up or going to the bathroom all the time, and her fever was worryingly high. What more, she was not an easy patient. That's for sure. As he turned to go out of the room, she suddenly yelled after him.

"NIGEDH! YOU NO GOD LOUSY GOODH FOR NOTING CHARLATAN, WHY ARE DERE STILL PINHKH ELEPHAHNTS IN MYH BEDH! GED DEM ABWAY!!!"

Day three.

"Uhhh! Please God, just kill me right now. I can not take this anymore." Sydney banged her head against the wall. She was decidedly not having a good time. Her whole body ached, her nose was swollen shut, yet it was running like a water tap. It felt as if someone were blowing up a weather balloon between each of her eyes, and her throat felt as if it had been rubbed with shark skin. And finally it was that annoying rabbit that was sitting in the foot end of her bed.

"Are you stupidh, Roger? AATCHOOOOHH!!!!!! You can't make a nuclear reactor from a shoe box and some rubber bands! Everybody with half a brain knows that you need at least 50 kilograms of Camembert! Not to mention you need 4 gallons of craneberry juice as cooling liquid."

Nigel was getting really worried. She was getting increasingly less lucid. If not the fever went down soon, he needed to talk to the doctor again. It hadn't helped that much last time. The dimwit had just told him to give her plenty of liquid, and make sure she didn't freeze. But this was getting out of hand.

"Nigel! Get the fuck in here!! I need my bloody coughing medicine!!!"

Day four.

"GET OUT OF MY BEDROOM, YOU GOD DAMNED FUCKING BLOODY OLD PERVERT!!! AAATCHHHOOOOOOHH!!!"

Came the impressively forceful shout from Sydney's bedroom, The result being that Nigel who was sleeping on the living room sofa, fell painfully to the floor, and when trying to sitting up, smacked his head against the underside of the table.

"NIGEL!!! I NEED YOUR DIM MAK SKILLS!!! DARTH VADER, THAT SICK WHEEZING BASTARD ARE LOOKING AT MY BOOBS!!!!"

Well here we go again , Nigel thought as he walked into her bedroom, only to be rooted to the floor by the sight that met her. She had obviously been warm, because she had taken off her T-shirt, giving him an eyeful of her magnificent breasts. Nigel moaned inwards, as once again his self control was stretched to its limits.

Well, well just put on your T-shirt again, he said.

"Why? Don't you like my boobs?" She said in a childishly singsong quality.

"Well, of cause I like them. I love them. But I thought you didn't want him to look at them."

"Who"? Sydney looked like a question mark.

"Darth Vader."

"Darth Vader?, oh yes, the old tin can, the bloody coward left when he heard that you mastered Dim Mak. You on the other side, can look at them as much as you want," she said in a seductive whisper, and thrust out her chest. "Wanna touch them?"

Nigel swallowed. Do not take her up on her offer. She is sick, she is sick you pervert! How can you be thinking of sex, when she is sick! , he mentally chastised himself. With an effort he controlled his hands. "Maybe later," he said and quickly snatched the T-shirt from the floor and gave it to her. But put on the T-shirt again, and try to sleep.

She did as he said, but her lips quivered. "You don't like them, I knew it, you don't like them." She looked like she was going to cry.

"Yes I love them very much, I love you, period. But it is night and you need your sleep if you are going to get well." She smiled flirtatiously and inched closer. In desperation he used the only weapon left to his desposal. "You know, If you don't sleep well, then you may not get well, and we will have to go to the hospital."

Her eyes grew wide with horror. "No, no! Not the hospital! I'll be a good girl. See I am already sleeping;" she said and buried herself under the blanket.

"Sleep well Syd, see you to morrow."

"G'night, came the muffled reply."

With a silent breath of relief, he with some difficulty walked back to the living room. He stopped by the door when she spoke again.

"You know, Nigedh, you are awfully adoring when you are embarrassed. Aaatchooooo! That's it, I am cutting off that damned nose the first moment I get my hands on a knife, she then angrily muttered."

Nigel smiled. Now that sounded a bit more like the Sydney he knew. If she had the energy to flirt and being annoyed at her illness, then maybe she was getting better.

Day five

"Urggh!" For the nth time these last days, Nigel was cooling her forehead with a washcloth. "Please Nigel, just give me a shotgun."

"Are you going Pink Elephant hunting?"

"What! Have you gone around the bend? Cough, Cough!!!"

"No, it is just that you have been annoyed for days by these small pink elephants you insisted was living in your bed."

"I was that gone huh? Sniff, Cough!!!"

"Yes, you were. But if not pink elephants, then why the need for a shotgun?"

"So I can blow my bloody head off!!!" She wracked in a major bout of coughing. "I can't take this anymore, It feels like it is already going to explode!"

"I think this will be better," he said, reached over to the nightstand, and gave her a glass of water and two headache tablets.

"Thanks Nigel you are an angel."

"I do my best;" he replied and went to take care of some laundry. Thankfully the fever had receded and she seemed to have a firmer grasp of reality.

Day six

"Snoork, sniff, cough! But I am bored!!!" Sydney declared as Nigel helped her up from the floor were she had ended face first, after she tried to get out of the bed.

"Nevertheless don't try standing up on your own, just yet. You don't want to end up with a broken leg now that you are finally getting better."

"But Nigedh, I am going out of my mindh here?"

"Okay, I'll tell you what we'll do. I will help you into the living room, where you can watch the telly for a while. Is that okay?"

She sullenly nodded and let him lead her into the sofa. "Now here is the remote, and in a minute I will bring you some Orange Juice and something for your sore throat."

With that, peace enveloped the Fox apartment….. for exactly half an hour.

"God Damn it, I hate being sick!" Sydney agitatedly waved the remote around, with an expression on her face that could have made an entire battalion of Lamia run for their undead life.

"I can't watch this!!!! 80 channels and there is only crap!!!

NIGEL!!!!!!!"

Day seven.

Sydney walked carefully out of the shower and started to dry off. She was still a bit shaky in the legs, but she finally started to feel somewhat like her former self. Finished dressing, she walked into the living room, to see Nigel slumping in a chair. An empty bottle of Sprite was lying on the floor, right under his right arm that was hanging over the armrest in an uncomfortable angle. A soft snoring could be heard, almost like the purr of a large cat. And she couldn't keep herself for leaning down and kissing him. Instantly he was awake and alert. "Hi Syd, Do you need anything?"

"No, thanks Nigel; I am good. You were just so adoring that I had to steal a kiss. I didn't mean to wake you up." He gave a slight smile. "You can wake me anytime, if you want to kiss me, Syd."

"Thanks," she said and gave him a soft kiss, before she sat down on his lap. "You know, I owe you big for this last week. You have the patience of a saint. Somehow, I will find a way to make it up to you, just you see."

"There is no need for that, It's what any friend would do," he muttered.

"Not true, dear. I know no other person that could have put up with me this last week. But now it is time for you to go home."

"Are you sure," he looked worriedly at her.

"Yes I am. I am pretty much back to normal, and you my good man, look like death warmed over. Go home and get some sleep; that is an order. Tomorrow it is back to Trinity."

"Are you sure," he repeated.

"Yes Nigel, I am fine. Now, vamoose!"

"Well, if you are sure. I am rather knackered, I have to admit." He stood up and walked towards the door. Halfway there, he turned around, "are you su…."

He didn't get to finish, as she kissed him warmly. "Yes I am sure," she murmured, as they came up for air. "Now go home and take care of yourself," she said and slightly forcefully, led him to the door.

"Okay then, if you are sure…"

Suppressing her laughter, she answered again. "Yes, I am sure. Don't worry. Have a nice day" she kissed him again, and almost pushed him out the door. As she turned around and walked back into the living room, she shook her head. How she loved that man. It was incredible. She, who had sworn never to be emotionally attached to anyone, now couldn't imagine her life without him in it.

xxx

As Nigel walked down the pavement, a goofy grin spread on his face. It was a beautiful day, and he was heads over heals in love. Thinking back at the person he was when he first met her, the change was incredible. He had been rapidly becoming a Super Nerd; and now, while he certainly still had an inner nerd, she had taught him so much about the world, and himself. How he loved that woman, he couldn't imagine going back to the life he had led before he met her. Life without her would be meaningless.

THE END – FOR NOW.