Title: Sick Days
Author: Takada Saiko
Notes: So, I started this last night, sick as a dog after getting a root canal done. Apparently the meds didn't set well with me or something. I'm much better today, but it did set back my return to school. Thankfully classes don't begin until Monday. That is a good thing =) Anyway, Little bit of an excuse for AA fluff. Not that an excuse is ever needed for that, but hey.. enjoy!
He'd spent the better part of the day sneezing, coughing, and sniffling, but he swore to everyone that asked that he was okay. Just an allergy attack. It had caused him to begrudgingly skip drinks with co-works (aka with Annie), and by the time Auggie Anderson paid the cabbie and made his way up to his apartment, he felt like death warmed over.
His routines were, for the most part, so that he could move through life as if he could see it unfolding before him. If he'd been able to see anything that night, he knew it would have been swaying and spinning. His hands were shaking and his stomach gave a violent lurch as he sank down against the front door after locking it. Silence met him and he heard his own pitiful groan as he laid his head in his hands. He dug the heels of his hands hard against his eyes, hoping to elevate – what he hoped was – the sinus headache building up with a vengeance. He hadn't been truly sick in well over a year and he supposed he was due for it.
His phone buzzed in his pocket and he growled out a low cruse at it as the shrill ring sang through his silent apartment. All restraint gone, Auggie dug it out and flung it across the room. He heard it hit something that might have been the bookshelf, and he made a mental to look there when he was on his feet. Or when he had to call Joan in the morning and tell her that there was no way he was making it out of bed.
After several long moments Auggie made his way to his feet. Everything felt weak and shaky as he groped for his pathway of furniture. He rarely used any sort of walking stick in his own home as he had quickly become a creature of habit after his injury, but now it wasn't being used to give him a sense of direction, but simply to keep him on his feet. It was everything he could do to simply make it to the couch and collapse on it.
Auggie wasn't sure how much time passed between then and when a loud knock came at his door. He groaned to himself, the sound echoing all through the room and his throbbing head. Aspirin. He needed aspirin.
The knock came again and the tech agent pushed himself up from the couch and stumbled for the door. His fingers ungracefully shifted the locks until he could crack it open. He couldn't smell a damn thing.
The voice was feminine, pretty. He could hear her shift almost uncomfortably as she stood and waited for a response. Finally, after what may have been several moments, he responded. "Annie?"
"Liar," she grumbled. "You mind if I come in?"
"Liar about what?" he asked through a stuffy nose, moving back so that she had room to enter. He heard her shuffle past him and shut the door. Locks? Yes, he'd put them back in place. What was next? Annie was there. In his apartment. He should probably offer her something. He had beer in the fridge, surely. It had been a bit since he'd been to the grocery store, but not that long. He turned as he might have any other day, but his equilibrium was thrown way off and he felt as if the floor shifted under him.
Annie was by his side in an instant, helping him off the floor. "Liar that it's just allergies," she answered his earlier question.
"Oh." He felt a hand on his elbow and perhaps even one hovering behind his arm should he decide to tilt again. Annie was carefully leading him back to the couch – much closer than the bedroom – and settled him back on it. Auggie felt himself sink into the cushions and Annie hovered over him, as if she weren't entirely sure what to do now. "Maybe it's a cold," he offered.
"Do you need anything?" she asked at last, eying him carefully. He was pale and looked exhausted. She didn't want to overstep her boundaries as a friend, but she also couldn't bear to leave him alone. Not like this.
Auggie thought about it a moment. There had been something…. "Aspirin. Bathroom's back that way-" he motioned in a general direction – "if you don't mind."
"Not at all," she promised. She was there and back before he ever heard her footsteps leave, and a bottle of pills was set very particularly into his outreached hand.
"Thought you were going to the Tavern," Auggie murmured after dry swallowing the pills.
"I was," she answered and he felt her cool hand press lightly against his forehead. He could almost hear her frowning. "Then I picked up your voicemail and you sounded like the walking dead. Stu had mentioned you looked a bit peeked this morning."
"You skipped the Tavern just to come check on me?"
Annie paused, hand dropping away from him. This could go two ways, and she wouldn't blame him for either. He could feel grateful for the action, as she had ditched the rest of her friends to spend her night out taking care of him, or he could be irritated and feel treaded upon by the overly nosy CIA field agent that might appear to be babying her blind best friend. His tone gave nothing away, so her "Yes" sounded rather meek.
Auggie's muscles seemed to relax and he sought her hand out. "You shouldn't have," he murmured, voice very horse.
"If you'd like me to go-"
Auggie realized, even with the sluggishness of his mind, that she'd mistaken his gruff voice for irritation instead of cough-induced. He grabbed for her hand as she shifted to move. She felt so cool, so welcoming to his fevered skin. "Sorry," he managed before coughing harshly into the crook of his elbow. "I'm terrible when I'm sick. Thank you."
Annie felt herself melt and she squatted down against her heels so that he wasn't having to reach up for her. "You mind if I stay then? Just for a little bit? I know you can take care of yourself and everything, but you know me-"
"You want to spend your Friday night like this?" he asked tentatively, sure that he should know the answer. She was just trying to be kind.
Surprise, surprise. A smile perked his lips and he laid himself out on the couch. "My own personal nurse Annie, huh?"
She grinned and chuckled at him. "Well, I'm not dressing up or anything."
"S'okay, I have a great imagination," he assured her.
She swatted at him. After a few moments she'd gotten everything set up and Auggie was settled on the couch with a blanket draped over him and a cool cloth against his fevered face. Annie sat herself down in a chair at the other end of the couch, watching his chest move up and down evenly and his eyelids twitch as he dreamed. A smile tugged at her lips and she realized that there really was no other way to spend this particular Friday night than right where she was at.
R&R please! I am a review addict like none other! =P