I entered this story in round one of OLC's ficathon. It was based on the prompt of: New York, Summer, any Disney movie, and any famous person. I'm working on the next chapter of Meetings in a Subway Car, so this will hopefully tide you all over until I get back to Boston from Maine tomorrow.
This will be a one shot, but I enjoyed writing this style story. Perhaps there will be something related to it eventually.
Disclaimer: Highly unnecessary. Anything familiar belongs to someone who isn't me.
Rory hit the pause button on the remote control as she heard footsteps in the hallway. "Jess?" she asked cautiously.
"Hey," Jess responded, peeking in the doorway. "I didn't think you were awake yet." He fully entered the room and kicked off his battered black shoes. "How are you feeling?" Jess asked as he loosened his blue tie. Rory watched him intently from her place in the king sized bed while he undid the top two buttons on his oxford.
"Hungry," she answered, jutting out her lower lip and pulling the covers up to her chin. Her eyes darted back to her private showing of The Little Mermaid that was paused on the television screen.
Jess noticed her eyes leaving his collar and glanced at the screen. "The Little Mermaid again?" he asked with a subtle roll of his eyes. "You've watched that ten times this week already." Jess smirked and leaned against the wall next to the television.
"I like The Little Mermaid," Rory said, sinking back down in bed.
Pushing off the wall, Jess flipped back the bed sheets and climbed in next to Rory. As soon as he snuggled his warm body against hers, Rory hit the play button and Ariel sprung to life on the tiny screen. "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat? Wouldn't you think my collection's complete?" the redheaded princess started to sing as Rory tucked herself closer to Jess.
"I thought you hated The Little Mermaid," she mumbled as he rubbed her shoulder.
"I'm not watching The Little Mermaid," he replied, slipping his arm behind her. "I'm getting comfortable with my wife after a long day at the office."
Rory smiled and cuddled against Jess, the warmth of his body sending chills up her spine. "Don't get too comfortable;" she teased as his eyelids closed, "I'm hungry."
"Five more minutes," he mumbled, latching onto her pillow. Rory allowed herself to smile at how boyish Jess looked while he drifted off to sleep. It wasn't as satisfying as a can of soup, but it would do.
"What are you reading?" Rory asked, her voice laced with sleep. Her fuzzy slippers shuffled against the floor as she approached the couch.
Jess slid a bookmark between the pages and set the novel on the coffee table. "Stephen King," he answered after clearing his throat.
Nodding, Rory tucked her legs under her behind as she sat next to him. "You don't usually read that kind of stuff," she said, eyeing him questioningly.
"Yeah." Jess rubbed the back of his neck and glanced at the thick book sitting on the coffee table. "I have to interview him- Stephen King- for the paper. New assignment." He nodded and glanced at the novel again. It was definitely not his type of literature, but he found himself not hating it.
"That's great," Rory said, clasping her hands together. "Stephen King is really famous." She glanced quickly at the time displayed on the cable box.
"You want that soup now?" Jess asked as he stood. Rory nodded and grabbed a tissue from the box on the coffee table.
"And some Goldfish?" she asked before blowing her nose.
"Rory. You finished the Goldfish last night. Do you really need them?" Jess sighed and reached for a can of soup in the top cabinet. Pulling back the tab, he noticed Rory nodding from the corner of his eye.
"Please?" she pleaded, drawing her knees up to her chest.
Sighing, Jess replaced the metal lid on the soup can and turned around. "Okay," he relented. There was no way he could deny his sick wife Goldfish crackers if she really wanted them. It was taxing for her to keep anything in her stomach the past two days, so if she wanted them, she got them.
"Where are you going?" Rory asked as she followed him into the bedroom. Jess undid the rest of the buttons on his oxford and tossed it carelessly on the bed.
"It's hot outside," Jess reasoned, grabbing a ratty tee shirt from the closet. He slipped it over his head and knelt down to locate his battered sneakers.
"Oh." Rory boosted herself back on the bed and watched Jess tie his sneakers.
"Do you need anything else at the market?" he asked, flipping through his wallet to make sure he had cash.
Rory shook her head and grabbed his hand before he could walk past her. "Hey," she whispered. Pouting, she pointed to her cheek and dragged Jess down to eye level.
He smirked before kissing her tenderly on the cheek. They had agreed that until Rory felt better, she wasn't going to openly spread her germs. "I'll be quick," he promised, handing her the box of tissues that sat on her dresser. "Get some more rest." Jess grabbed his keys on the way out and secured his wife in the apartment. It was cool inside, thanks to the air conditioner he had installed last weekend, but when Rory was sick, she was cold. Jess hated seeing her wrapped in blankets, but there was no way he would survive the heat without the AC on full blast. Stepping out in the humid summer air, he immediately regretted not stocking up on Goldfish crackers.
Luckily for Jess, he only had to walk a couple of blocks to the nearest market. It was one of the benefits of living in New York; everything they could possibly want was never far away. He walked as quickly as possible in the stifling city heat. Jess stepped into the market, scanned the aisles for the Goldfish crackers, and grabbed two bags off the shelf. As an after thought, he peeked around for Pedialyte in case Rory wasn't keeping food down. She hated the taste of it, but he was always looking out for her best interest.
After placing the Goldfish, Pedialyte, and two boxes of tissues on the counter, Jess figured he was set for at least that night. There was no way he was going back outside after collapsing in his air-conditioned living room.
As soon as he stepped foot in the apartment, Jess dropped the bag on the couch and stood in front of the air conditioner. Rory giggled as his hair flew in a thousand different directions with the cold air whipping though it. "Okay. I bought Goldfish," he said, placing one of the Goldfish bags on the table, "and tissues." He set a container of grape Pedialyte in front of Rory and watched her wrinkle her nose at him. "Rory, come on. I don't want you to get dehydrated." Rory shook her head and popped open the Goldfish bag. "You're impossible," he noted, pointing his finger at her.
"But you love me," she said with a grin and a cheek full of Goldfish crackers.
"For some reason, I do." Jess turned back to the can of soup he had opened earlier and poured the contents into a pan.
"When's the interview?" Rory asked as she popped a Goldfish cracker in her mouth.
"Friday." Jess stirred the soup with a wooden spoon. He joined Rory at the kitchen table and shoved his hand into the Goldfish bag. Since Rory had gotten sick, he had neglected to eat dinner. He hadn't planned to not eat in the evenings; it was just too much for him to cook two separate meals after working all day. The soup started to boil in the pan. Jess dumped the handful of snack crackers on a napkin and grabbed a bowl from the cabinet. After pouring the contents in her bowl with an ice cube to cool it, he headed back to the table. "Here you go." Jess set the soup bowl in front of Rory and handed her a spoon.
"Thank you," she said softly, kissing him on the cheek. She blew on the hot soup on her spoon while Jess lounged on the couch reading "Salem's Lot." This wasn't where Jess thought he would be at twenty-seven years old; it was better. He had a steady and rewarding job, a nice place to live, and a gorgeous wife, albeit sick and needy.
Marriage really was give and take, and Jess learned that within the next week.
His hair was sloppy and matted to one side of his head when Rory wandered into the bedroom with a lap tray. He smirked weakly and slid a mark between the pages of his book. "How are you feeling?" she asked as she handed him a spoon.
"Better now," he answered, tucking his wife close to him before dipping the spoon into the chicken soup.