Disclaimer: If they were mine, the vampires would have lived in the mid-Atlanic. We've got clouds and rain! I own ummm…seven umbrellas now, I think…
Summary: Bella Swan gets sick and our beloved vampires try to get her better soon! Total Bella X Cullen Family fluff.
Author's Note: I really can't write another chapter of the serious story without some balance in the form of fluff. Writing in 17th c English is fun (or at least attempting it) but I need something normal to balance it out. So, this time around, I give you Sick.
I woke up by my lungs wrenching out air like I swallowed a dustball in the middle of the night. My throat felt like it had a thousand paper cuts and my lungs didn't feel much better. It was almost as bad as when I went cliff diving except my stomach wasn't ready to do backflips then and my head didn't have this groggy feeling. Once I was finished coughing, I groaned and lied back down, burying my head in the familiar cold chest I knew was right behind me.
"Bella? Love? What's wrong?" Edward asked me worriedly. I just clutched to his grey t-shirt and groaned in response. I was trying very hard to convince myself that I wasn't really sick and this feeling of sluggishness and pain would pass by in a couple of minutes. I just wasn't awake yet.
"Bella?" he asked me more frantically now, gently pulling my hands away from his shirt. I pouted in response which brought on a new wave of coughing. I was really glad that vampire fiancé's couldn't get sick or else he'd be just a miserable as me right now. Gently, Edward held me and brushed back my hair. I didn't even have to look at him to know he was still worried.
"I'm fine, Edward," I croaked, followed by a grimace.
"No, you aren't," he stated. Before I could even really register what was happening, I found myself in his arms being carried towards my bedroom door. "I'm taking you to Carlisle," he further informed me, attempting to dazzle me with a smile. . Unfortunately, it worked.
I wasn't even sure what I was so worried about until another cough racked through my body. I was glad that Charlie was already at work and it was summer vacation. He'd have no reason to question why Edward was carrying me down the stairs right now or how Edward got in the house in the first place. I groaned again and placed my head against his shoulder. His ice cold skin felt good against my forehead even if a piece of fabric did separate us.
Edward started to pull me away from him and I whimpered at the loss of contact until I opened my eyes and realized he was putting me in my new car. I really, truly, didn't like the new car given that it was so showy but I right now I didn't care. I was too out of it to care about much more than Edward being near me and the fact my head hurt like Emmett was bouncing a basketball off of it. Actually, all my joints ached and I just curled up into a ball in the passenger seat.
I saw Edward leave, and I thought it was to get into the driver's side so I went to pull my door closed but was stopped once I managed to grab the door by something stronger than me. Not that it would take much in my current state, really. I think most five year olds were stronger than me right now. I could probably ask Angela to bring the Weber twins over for an experiment but decided against it. I didn't want to spread my germs.
Edward was standing there in my passenger door again, this time with a blanket. He carefully wrapped me up in it and kissed me on my forehead. "I'll call Carlisle on the way so he'll meet us down in the ER," he whispered. I nodded and grimaced at the pain it caused just to nod.
"It's just a bad cold, Edward," I told him. Okay, so it was probably the flu but even then, that was nothing. I'd be fine in a couple more days. There wasn't any reason to go to the ER with a simple virus when all Carlisle would probably tell me is to eat a lot of chicken soup.
"Just the same, love," he said as he closed the door and was in the driver's side so fast it made my head spin a bit too literally. I shut my eyes tight and curled into a tighter ball, clutching my knees.
I felt the car stop at the hospital only a few minutes later. I moved, slowly, to pull myself from my fetal position and walk under my own power into the ER. It would be a change from the stretcher that normally brings me here.
Before I could even think about opening the door, I felt a cool burst of air and the smell of wet concrete assault my nose. The sudden mixture caused me into yet another coughing fit which only made my throat feel like it was on fire. I felt more than saw Edward pull me into his arms. I started to protest but he cut that off with a single kiss. "Rest, Bella," he gently ordered.
Despite my wanting to walk under my own power, I realized I didn't have the strength to pull myself from the car let alone fight off Edward to let me just walk in and see Carlisle. I rested my head back against his shoulder again, thankful for the coolness. I kept my eyes closed and just listened.
I could hear the doors automatically open as he brought us into the waiting area of the ER. The change in temperature from outdoors to indoors was readily apparent and I knew from the sounds of people muttering and papers being shuffled that we had entered into the main waiting area of the ER.
"How is she?" I heard Carlisle ask. I opened my mouth to say that it was just the flu and that Edward was overreacting but all that came out was another hacking sound and me groaning as I laid back against Edward's shoulder.
"There is a bed ready in room 3 just down the hall to your right," Carlisle said. I felt the air move around me as soon as Carlisle said "there is". Edward probably already saw it in his mind.
I listened to the sounds of monitors beeping, other people coughing and sneezing, a child crying, and the phones ringing at what I guessed was the nurses' station as Edward took me to the room. I only opened my eyes when I felt the thin hospital bed mattress beneath me and not the safety of Edward's arms. Carlisle was standing to one side and Edward to the other, both looking very concerned.
"It's just a virus," I croaked and tried to choke back another cough without much success. "I'm fine, really," I informed the two vampires. Carlisle didn't bother with the stethoscope around his neck, since he could probably hear perfectly fine without it. The room was closed off by a thin curtain which probably allowed a little bit more freedom for my vampires to move quickly and not be noticed.
I put my hand up to my mouth as I started coughing again. I saw Edward flinch and knew they were having another one of their silent conversations. I grumbled and crossed my arms over my chest which at least made Carlisle smile.
"Sorry, Bella," he apologized as he put the pressure cuff on my arm. Carlisle also grabbed the ear thermometer and took my temperature quickly. His brow knitted a bit when the contraption beeped at him and he stole a glance at Edward who collapsed in a chair and groaned.
"What?" I asked, trying to demand an answer as to what was wrong. It was just the stupid flu, right?
"Bella, do you feel dizzy? Disoriented?" Carlisle asked as he took out his pin light to check my eyes. I was half tempted to make a sarcastic reply regarding me and hitting my head but my coughing thought differently. I only managed to shake my head no as Carlisle put his pin light away.
"I'm going to put you on an IV and do some tests, alright?" he asked. I looked at my soon to be father in law, curious as to why he didn't answer my question.
"Um, sure. But what's wrong? Isn't it…?" I started when another coughing fit hit me. I glared at Edward when he elicited another groan. I saw him with his head in his hands looking positively helpless which made my heart break right there. I turned my attention back to Carlisle who had a hand on my back and looked worried.
"Your temperature is a bit too high. I want to make sure that we are dealing with something viral and get you on some medication quickly. For now, I'm going to give you a fever reducer," he said as he moved to gather whatever he needed. At the door he stopped and turned to me. Edward's head shot up and looked at me as well. I rolled my eyes at them and crossed my arms. A little bit of a temperature and a coughing fit were normal for the flu!
"Would you like me to call Charlie?" Carlisle asked me. If he called Charlie – the police chief- then the entire town of forks would know I was in the ER and I still remember the last time when half the school was in the waiting room. I wasn't sure, but I didn't want any chance of that kind of re-enactment to go on. On the other hand, I didn't want to leave my dad in the dark as to where I was and that I was sick. I bit my lip, thinking about whether or not to call him.
"Call him," Edward told Carlisle exasperatedly. "Or I can, if you would like," he continued. Carlisle gave his son a disapproving look but Edward just shrugged and said something so low that I couldn't hear it despite the fact I could see his lips moving. Carlisle nodded before turning back to me.
"I'll make sure to call him and keep him up to date while he is at work, Bella," Carlisle told me. I continued to bite my lip in thought.
"Can you," I started but coughed again. Luckily, Carlisle waited for me to finish my sentence. "Not tell him about the ER?" I managed to get out. Carlisle smiled at me and I think I even heard a small chuckle escape his lips.
"Don't worry, Bella. I will not inform him of your current location, if you prefer," he told me. I nodded at that, not trusting myself to take air through my mouth again to speak without coughing.
As soon as Carlisle left, Edward moved to stand right next to me, holding my hand in one of his while his other hand brushed a few stray strands of hair out of my face. I relished the contact of his cold hand against my warm forehead and closed my eyes. When I opened them again, Edward still looked worried.
"It's just the flu, Edward. I'll be…fine," I got out before hacking up my right lung.
"It's not the flu, Bella," he said with a sigh. I just looked at him as he moved to sit facing me on the small hospital bed, still holding my hand. "It's pneumonia most likely," he said quietly. Well, that would explain the lack of lungs right now. But still, it wasn't that serious. Okay, more serious that the flu but I'm sure Carlisle would send me home after he got an IV in me. It's not like he couldn't check on me on his way to work or something.
"I'll be fine," I muttered. Edward's eyes grew wider for a second and then narrowed at me.
"Don't say that, Bella. You are ill. Do not pretend that this is nothing more than the common cold!" he said a bit loudly. One of the nurses came in with an IV rack right then, followed by Carlisle who admonished Edward with a single look. Edward turned away from his father and went back to sit in the chair.
"Now, Bella, this might pinch," Carlisle said as he prepared my arm for the IV. I had to look away and hold my breath so I wouldn't faint. I can't wait until I'm a vampire and blood smells good rather than causing me to get even more light headed than I am now.
I could feel Carlisle taking a couple of vials before hooking up the IV and taping the needle down. Once I was sure the needle was taped down, I tried to breathe again only to start coughing again. I groaned and leaned back against the raised up part of the bed. Carlisle chuckled at me and I could see the nurse smiling too as she carted out all the supplies and the two vials. I managed to at least attempt a glare at my second Dad.
"Take some rest, Bella," he gently ordered me. I pouted a bit at that. I had been sleeping until an hour ago!
"I'll come back in an hour or two to see about admitting you," he said off-handedly.
"Admitting?" I gasped. I did NOT want to be in the hospital for any longer than absolutely necessary. I didn't even want to come in the first place! This was Edward's idea and now I was going to have to be stuck here?
Carlisle nodded and took a quick glance at Edward. Another silent conversation. I could only cross my arms in a haphazard fashion across my chest this time. I watched as Edward's eyes pleaded with Carlisle and Carlisle only raised an eyebrow at whatever Edward's idea was. I had seen his lips move but I couldn't hear it.
"I suppose that would work but I'm not sure what Charlie would think upon it," Carlisle mused.
"He'll agree. He has to," Edward stated before giving me a half hearted grin. It was the first attempt at a smile I'd seen since we left the house. "It's as much for his sanity as it is mine," he informed his father.
Carlisle smiled at that. "I suppose you are right in that regard," he stated before looking at me. "Rather than admitting you to the hospital, I may be able to simply take you back to our house where I do have the necessary medical equipment for anything that may arise," he informed me.
I nearly jumped at the chance. "Really? I wouldn't have to stay here?" I asked excitedly. I could feel the cough building in my lungs but I chose to ignore it. Getting a chance to spend the night over at the Cullens, again, was far better than staying overnight in the hospital.
"Yes," Carlisle smiled as he patted my shoulder. "I'll discuss it with your father," he said sympathetically as I started to cough again.
"Thanks," I managed to mutter out. Before I knew it, Carlisle had left again, leaving me and Edward in the ER room I hoped I wouldn't have to stay in much longer.
Author's note: Good? Bad? Indifferent? I promise it will get funny. After all, Bella sick in a house full of vampires? Since they know she will get better (stupid pneumonia. I get it about once a year myself and it's NOT fun), can you imagine how Emmett will tease her? Or all the different kinds of chicken soup Esme will make? ;-)