Title: Warmth

Author name: DocJorgensen
Category: Friendship, Hurt/Comfort, Angst.
Characters: James Herriot, Siegfried Farnon

Ships: None.

Rating: K
Spoilers: None.
Summary: James thinks about how nice it is to know Siegfried. One-Shot.

DISCLAIMER: I don't own anything, unfortunately.
Author Notes: I like James more than Tristan. Sue me.

Dedication: To toxophilate4, the brave soul who writes exquisite ACGAS fic and who is taking on "A Lamb To Slaughter".

Calls in the middle of night were the worst. But calls in the middle of a snowstorm, in the middle of the night, when I had to answer them, were absolute hell. The bring - bring of the telephone woke me from a sound sleep, and I rushed out to get the phone, my feet freezing on the flagstones.

A calving. Now, at 2 o'clock. What on earth was I doing, being a vet? Why not get a job that was warm and regular? I shook my head, and rushed to my room, dressing quickly. The Clayton farm was a long way off, and I could only hope to not get stuck in any snow drifts.

I shut my door quietly but to no avail. Siegfried opened his door, doubtless wakened by the noise.

"What was it, James?" His voice was warm with sleep, with just his dressing gown thrown over his pajamas.

"A calving, at the Clayton's." Siegfried frowned and looked as though he would step closer.

"In this weather?" I nodded. He stretched out one hand, and then rather awkwardly thrust it into his dressing gown pocket. "Well, be careful then, James."

"I will, Siegfried." I murmured quietly, and he returned to his room.

The calving took several hours, and I was frozen solid by the time it was done, caked in blood and dirt and God knows what else. The drive home was miserable and I was still stiff and blue with cold when I came in the house.

"Good God, James! You look awful." Siegfried cried as he saw me coming into the front entrance. I was in no mood to say anything at all. He took one of my arms and steered me to the parlor.

Quickly he wrapped me in an afghan, and shoving my shoulders, pushed me onto the couch. His grey eyes warm with concern, and worry, stared at me.

Several warm drinks later, I felt warmer, though Siegfried still watched me concernedly. He gently squeezed my knee, saying

"Better?"

"Yes, much thanks. I think I'll go run a bath." I got up, admittedly rather unsteadily, and staggered off to bathe.

I never told Siegfried that his waiting up for me, worrying about me even, was more warmth than an afghan, a warm drink or a bath could ever give.