A/N* This is an outtake from 'Worthy of Love' -I had always wanted to write this in and it never was a good time. I wrote it one day for a friend and she encouraged me to share it. :)
It is quite fluffy, but if you like hurt/comfort then you may enjoy. This is in keeping with WOL if you have read it. It could have been a somewhat alternative for chapter 35. For those who haven't read my fan fiction, WOL...Amanda is a human girl living with the Cullens. She calls Carlisle her Uncle (sorta...their relationship is strained). I won't give away more...if you want to read WOL, by my guest...it will explain the rest if you are interested.
"How was practice, my dear?" Carlisle asked Amanda as she climbed into the passenger seat of his car. She shrugged and didn't bother to tell him that she had left practice early because she had been feeling dizzy. She had a slight headache behind her right ear as well.
"Good." She replied as she shivered. Her hair was wet and the icy winter breeze had only worsened her aching head. She had forgotten to bring a hat and the walk from the Rec Center to Carlisle's car had left her feeling even worse now.
Carlisle noted how rose her cheeks were from the cold air outside. He turned up the heat and the fan so warm air was blowing on Amanda. "You should really be wearing something warmer if you are not going to blow dry your hair, darling. You could catch quite a chill out in this weather. The temperature is supposed to drop tonight to minus six degrees. There will be some snow."
"I hate snow," she said sadly. Then she pursed her lips in thought and added, "Unless there is a snow day and school gets cancelled. That would be cool."
He drove her home and dropped her off at the house. Then he went back to work for the evening.
All of his patients for the next day had called in and changed their appointments due to the prediction of snow. A prediction Carlisle had insisted was a certainty since Alice has already planned a snow day hunting trip up to the north side of the Island. The only one not going was Carlisle, who needed to stay close to take Amanda to and from school if need be. He had encouraged all his clients to make arrangements to stay off the roads after the icy lows and heavy snowfall hit Port Alberni. There was bound to be black ice and not every driver was prepared to drive in the dangerous conditions.
Not long after arriving home Amanda was feeling worse. She didn't want to make a fuss so she hurried off to get changed into her pyjamas and then came downstairs for dinner.
She only ate about half the bowl of soup, complaining it was too salty. When asked if she wanted anything else, Amanda declined. She was not feeling up to eating.
Sluggishly she cleaned up her bowl and spoon.
"You look tired, Amanda. Perhaps you should get to bed early tonight if you are done with your homework." Elizabeth suggested closing the door of the dishwasher after Amanda was done with it.
"Ya, okay." Immediately Amanda added, "Swim practice was brutal tonight," to avoid twenty questions as to why she was being so complaisant.
"I sure hope you drank enough water. You have a tendency to forget to bring your water bottle with you to practice I've noticed," Esme suggested the reason for Amanda's exhaustion was likely due to dehydration. "Remember what Carlisle told you about keeping hydrated, even if you are in the water."
"I'm not an idiot!" Amanda snapped back. All she wanted to do was to go to bed. She didn't feel like a lecture.
Esme looked hurt.
"I don't like your tone, Amanda," Elizabeth chastised. "Esme was not insinuating incompetence. It was only a lovely reminder."
"I'm sorry," Amanda obliged, facing Esme. Her tone was placid. "I drank a whole bottle full. I think I drank too much water actually." She felt like she was uncomfortably full, her head fuzzy.
"Sometimes they work you too hard at practice," Esme decided. "You come home so tired you have trouble staying up to do homework most nights. It is too much for your age group, perhaps. Maybe I should have a talk with your coach about-"
"No!" Amanda blurted out. "I mean... It is fine. I like the practices the way they are and I can't be the kid whose parent comes and ruins it for the rest of the team!"
"Alright, dear. I you are sure."
"Yes. I'm very sure," Amanda told Esme who had come nearer for a hug. She embraced Esme and then did the same for Elizabeth. "G'night."
Amanda was thankful she had no homework because she was a wreck. As soon as her head hit the pillow she was out like a light.
Amanda tossed and turned all night long, not realizing it until she woke up in a tangle of her sheets and comforter. Her head pounded as she lifted it from her pillow to see what was constricting her will to move her arms and legs. She was sticky with sweat. A deep ache clenched in her right ear now. The blood pulsed mercilessly in her temples and it echoed and magnified on her eardrum.
She flopped her head down in defeat and rubbed her face into the pillow to ease the pain. It didn't do much to help, but with her head down the throbbing was not nearly so bad.
Soon, Amanda found the strength to roll over and wiggle her way free from all her covers. She kicked them off until they landed on the floor in a heap on the side of her bed. She felt the cool air escaping in through the glass windows. She noticed it was snowing outside — just like Carlisle had told her it would. She hoped that meant she didn't have to go to school. There was just no way she could manage if she could not even lift her head.
She did not fall back to sleep after this. She rolled from left to right, eventually growing cold and she was forced to lean over and get the comforter off the floor. The motion made her head rush with blood and she gasped. She held onto the blanket and rolled onto her back again and in near tears she pulled her blanket on top of her and she hugged it.
She was feeling very sorry for herself.
So sorry, that after another hour of constant pain — not dulled by staying motionless any more — she got up, able to see in the dim light of morning. She crept into the hallway and made her way to the door with the soft, warm light coming from underneath it.
Amanda didn't hesitate. She didn't even knock. She was too desperate.
When she opened the door, Carlisle was surprised by Amanda's visit. It wasn't that he had not heard her coming down the hallway, but he had not expected her intent was to find him. Usually if Amanda made her way passed his study at this time of early morning, it was to do with some heavy duty hair and makeup scheme Alice had planned. But it was just passed six am, and everyone had gone hunting already.
"Amanda..." Carlisle gasped at the sight of her sickly state. Her skin lacked color except in her flushed cheeks. He was right by her side to support her before she could respond. Tears glistened in her eyes as she struggled to say something. He wrapped one arm around her and held her up by under the elbow. His other hand lifted her delicate wrist and his concern grew when he found her pulse to be a bit tachy.
"I — I... It hurts," Amanda finally admitted in a tiny, pleading voice.
"Oh, dear. Come on in. Let's take a look," he murmured sweetly. Carlisle was sympathetically as sat her on one of his office chairs. He took the time to listen to her rapidly beating heart and was pleased that it sounded strong and steady even in its increased speed.
"Where does it hurt, sweetie?" He asked as she reached behind him and pulled up a chair for himself. He sat in front of her and placed his hand on her hot cheek and neck. He touched the back of his hand to her forehead next and sighed. She was, as he suspected, running a fever. He would need a more accurate measurement, but he listened intently to her response before he would retrieve his trusty black bag of instruments.
"M-my head," she squeaked as a few hot, rolling tears escaped her. She wiped them away with her hand.
"When did this start?"
"Yesterday..." Amanda said as more tears fell. "...at school and then at swimming it hurt more so I had to get out of the pool early!"
"Why didn't you tell me you were in pain when I was driving you home last night?" Carlisle asked, trying not to let his disappointment show. He had hoped that Amanda was over her mistrust of him by now.
"I — didn't want t-to make a big deal over it."
"Oh, sweetie, you should have told me. Perhaps I could have helped you to feel better... to sleep better." He felt silly for not picking up on the ruffling noised that had been coming from her bedroom early that morning. He has assumed she was just repositioning herself, as humans tend to do quite often.
Amanda didn't need to assess his tone to know she had made a mistake. She cried harder and hung her head, tears dropping into her lap. "I'm sorry," she said pitifully. "Please don't be mad." Amanda should have known better to think Carlisle would be cross with her when she was ill.
"Honey, please don't cry. I am not upset with you — not at all," he told her pleasantly. He eased her chin up with one finger so she could see how sincere he was. He forced a smile, which she accepted, and he could see her body relax and her pulse managed to slow down a little bit.
"Now," he said with a more professional tone, "let me take a look at you."
Amanda complied and sat up straight so he could conduct his exam. He got his black bag and set up open on the chair next to Amanda.
Carlisle reached up to her jaw and gently placed his cool fingers against her warm, clammy skin. She didn't jump or try to move away — she was used to the cold hands of her family members — but she shivered involuntarily.
Carlisle felt for any swelling in her lymph nodes. Amanda winced and he eased up, finding there was some minor swelling in the glands.
"Is that a little bit tender, darling?" He inquired.
Amanda nodded as much as she could with his hands still exploring underneath her jaw.
"I'm sorry," He apologized. He was still not sure where the source of infection was. He tapped her chin softly. "Open, please."
Amanda did as she was told and let Carlisle peer inside her mouth and at the back of her throat with his pen light. He didn't find anything abnormal so he retreated. Amanda closed her mouth, pressing her lips together so tightly some of the color drained out of them.
Carlisle took out an aural thermometer — the new one that Rosalie insisted he get for home because she could not stand waiting for the oral mercury one to rise — and placed it in Amanda's right ear. It beeped within seconds.
Amanda gasped and reached up to her ear in pain.
"Oh!" Carlisle said. A crease crept across his perfectly smooth, alabaster brow. "Did that hurt?"
He watched Amanda critically as she bobbed her head up and down, her hand cupping her ear protectively still. Up until now they headache had been so bad she had somewhat forgotten her ear pain. The pressure had all melded into one generalized area her senses had told her.
He read the reading on the thermometer and put it away with the knowledge that her fever was not dangerously high, but high enough that she would benefit with a fever reducer to lessen her discomfort. He would get her to take some when he was finished investigating the source of this infection — which he was sure he had now found.
"Do both of your ears hurt or just the one?" He asked as she quickly put away the thermometer and replaced it with his otoscope in his hand.
"Just this one," Amanda told him. She seemed reluctant to let him near that ear because of the pain now radiating from within.
"Let me take a look, sweetheart. I'll be gentle," He reassured Amanda as he leaned in and slipped the tip of his instrument into her ear canal. He felt her tense. "Hold still now, darling."
It was what he expected to find. Amanda's inner ear was angry red and slightly swollen right up to and surrounding her eardrum. He pulled the tool from her ear and asked her to turn her head so he could check her left one as well.
"Alright, sweetheart, all done," he said positively when he was satisfied that her left ear was healthy inside and he was sure of his diagnosis. "You have a middle ear infection."
He didn't bother to use the medical name, Otitis Media, because Amanda was feeling too poorly to share that bit of information with her. She would likely not care about that sort of detail, anyhow — she only wanted relief. Her eyes were dry from tears now, but they were wide in plea for him to make the pain go away.
"It is likely caused by some of the pool water not draining out of your ear properly after swimming. You'll have some mild discomfort for a couple more days, but I am going to give you some medication to help with that and you will need to take a few days off to rest and take it easy until your fever comes down."
"Okay," Amanda said meekly. She felt her eyes prickling with more tears as she realized she would have to miss swimming.
"I am going to have you take some Tylenol for the fever, honey. It will help with the pain as well," Carlisle said as he stood and went to unlock the medicine cabinet he kept stocked and her grabbed a few bottles before locking it back up again. He was impossibly fast and was back in front of Amanda in no time at all with a bottle of water and a white capsule in his open palm.
Amanda took it and the bottle from him and didn't ask questions. She swallowed the pill and took a few extra sips.
Carlisle was pleased because she needed to drink plenty of fluids, anyway. "Good girl. Now this one too," he insisted, handing her a long yellow capsule now. He looked at his watch to note the time.
Again, Amanda didn't argue. She took the pill and then took a swig of water to hastily wash it down with.
"It is an antibiotic," Carlisle explained. "It may take a few days to reveal its effect, but with the Tylenol and a cool compress we can eliminate your pain fairly well until it clears up the infection."
"Thanks," Amanda mumbled. Her eyes were growing heavy now from being overworked. She was very tired and felt like she could sleep, but the pain in her ear persisted and she worried she would not be able to. She hated the thought of going back to her lonely room. She frowned and placed her hand over her ear again and leaned her head and hand against her shoulder.
Carlisle swooped in and picked her up. It surprised her, but soon she was more comfortable as he place her lying down on his leather sofa so she didn't make a fuss. The material of the sofa was slightly cool and it soothed her when she pressed her ear against it.
"I will be right back, darling," Carlisle promised as he spread an afghan over her and tucked her feet in to keep them warm. Then he was gone.
Amanda sighed. Though she ached, she felt comfort in that she was not alone in her suffering anymore. Someone knew she was not well, and that someone cared for her very deeply. She wondered why she had not just told Carlisle she was sick in the first place.
"Are you comfortable enough in here?" Carlisle asked as she appeared again with a tiny ice pack wrapped in a towel. He knew how his study sometimes made Amanda anxious — so many of the times they had been in the room together had been to discuss her poor attitude. "If you would prefer your own bed... or perhaps the sofa in front of the television downstairs-"
"I like it in here!" Amanda interrupted. She felt her cheeks warm up and she was sure it was not the fever.
Carlisle smiled. "I'm glad," he told her with a genuinely pleased smile and he bent down and placed the cool compress over her right ear. Amanda replaced his hand with her own to hold the pack in place. He lingered and she wondered what it was he wanted.
He wiped some stray hairs off her forehead and then planted a sweet kiss there. He waited a whole two seconds until he let his lips leave her feverish skin. "It is a snow day. I don't have work and you don't have school... so I will be right here if you need me."
This made Amanda smile. It was not exactly what she had hoped for in a snow day, but at least she was going to be at home, safe inside, with someone looking after her... And she didn't mind at all that it was Carlisle.
Aw...she let him take care of her. Kinda a big step for Amanda...
Thank you for Reading. :)