Title - Little Stars - 1/2
Author - Kourion
Summary: He never really spoke about his time in the hospital. Not until now - bundled up in my bed, delirious with fever. So I don't know if this really counts. If this really counts as trusting me. Jane hurt/comfort/angst. Feverish!Jane Protective!Lisbon
When he shall die
Take him and cut him out in little stars
And he will make the face of heav'n so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
~William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet
I know the moment that Jane trundles into the bullpen on Monday morning that he's...off.
At first it's nothing all too obvious. He's not sniffling, or coughing. His eyes aren't weeping... he doesn't look that bad.
But he almost limps into the office, heads straight for the couch, and as I approach - at first ready to bug him for not getting proper rest - I see a sheen of sweat covering the top of his lip, and notice that the blond curls near his temples are cloaked in sweat. Coming up even closer, I can see a faint flush across the bridge of his nose, and under his eyes, although the rest of his skin is strikingly pale.
"Jane?," I ask cautiously, at first not knowing if he's sweating because he's in pain or if he's merely feverish.
He's clenching his stomach, however, which throws me.
"Jane?," I ask again, this time a little bit more loudly - and am rewarded when his eyes open slightly, a muted, soft blue meeting my line of sight.
He makes no attempt to respond verbally, his hands now coming to wrap around his abdomen. I push down some sort of protective, mothering instinct - disturbed with the sudden bolt of fondness for the sick man before me.
This is Jane. Jain who pains you deliberately. Who baits everyone at the CBI...
Somehow, I find myself not really caring about his past offenses. Not as I catch his body shake - very lightly, very softly. The hapless creature.
He reaches over languidly, to pull the afghan throw (that I had placed there the week before, knowing just how much he relied on the couch to actually sleep) over his body.
"You shouldn't be here, Jane. You're obviously sick."
He shakes his head wearily, in argument.
"No, I'm fine. I just need to wait for the Tylenol to kick in. Just 15 minutes."
His voice holds an edge of pleading, and I know he must feel like crap.
"No, Jane. Get up. I'm driving you home. You're no good to anyone sick, and I will kill you myself if you argue with me on this and get sicker."
Another wrack of chills assaults his body.
"Lisbon - I'll be fine, I-"
I reach out and push the slightly damp bangs away from his forehead, placing my hand on his skin.
"You're burning up, Jane! How long have you had a fever?"
He just stares at me - giving me this pathetically (adorable) aggravating lost little boy look. I find myself running the back of my hand over his hair, moving some of the wet locks away from his eyes, stopping when a more violent chill grips him.
"That feels nice - nice when you do that," he mumbles into his jacket, burrowing his face under the green throw, "but you're cold."
"I'm not cold, Jane. You have a fever."
"Cold, still, feels cold. You do that later? Yeah, later," he breathes out into the couch. And it's then that I realize he's feverish to the point of delirium. Obviously so - if he thinks I'm going to stroke his head for any other reason than gaging his temperature.
Biting my lip, I make a very quick decision.
"Stay here. Don't move. I'll be right back."
His temperature is way too high - and frankly, the glassy gaze he gave me just a few moments back is concerning me. Jane could have been sick all weekend long and probably wouldn't have thought twice to take his temperature, never mind to monitor his temperature and when I catch his eyes starting to close, I jet to my locker, looking for some sort of antipyretic. I find a bottle of aspirin, and then get some ice from the fridge, but I can't for the life of me find a thermometer.
A few moments later, I'm back at the couch.
Pulling the blanket away from Jane's face, I can immediately sense how damp it has become with sweat.
I hand him a glass of tepid water and the aspirin.
"Take this," I say impatiently, nudging the pill into his mouth.
He looks at me groggily.
"Lis-, no, took ibuprofin a'redy...," he mutters, his voice dropping off into a whisper.
Yeah, Jane. 15 minutes and you'll be good as new. Right as rain. Surrre.
"I thought you said you took tylenoyl. That would be acetominophin. Do you even know what you took? Or are you taking random pills now?"
He makes a waving motion with his hand. "Wha'mever, something. Stomach hurts, bit, little bit."
Good God, he's not even speaking in complete or intelligible sentences anymore. Jane! Jane who isn't quiet for a 5 minute period in an entire day!
I catch Rigsby enter the office out of the corner of my eye - his satchel slung low and loosely over his shoulder. He gives me a questioning smirk.
"You're early," I say - sounding more sour than intended.
The agent gives me a 'well, just shoot me!' expression, then jerks his thumb towards Jane in confusion.
"Jane's sick," I inform him flatly - trying not to bark because Rigsby seems to find the whole scene before him amusing.
"Can you do me a favor and locate a thermometer?"
His eyes dart around the room at the suggestion - as if a thermometer will materialize out of thin air.
"Where am I going to find a thermometer? I mean, if you don't have one - I don't have one."
I pinch the bridge of my nose, and make a snap decision, sighing in regret.
"You can help me to my car with him, right? I'm going to take him home."
Rigsby nods, now looking a little less amused. He's come close enough to Jane to see just how limp and sweaty our consultant has become. Shaking Jane slightly, just to rouse him, we both hear a hiss, as Jane's arm snakes back under the blanket.
"Stop that. Hurts."
"I think he has a flu. Not stomach flu. Actual flu," and a little more loudly I inquire, "Jane, does it hurt when someone touches your skin?"
He nods, and we both hear a muffled yeah. "An' my eyes hurt. Inside my head." He taps at his closed eyes with one hand softly, while I bite back something along the lines of 'well, of course inside your head!' - but stop myself before proceeding when he wearily intones, "Don' feel very well, no."
Something soft swells up in my heart.
I push it away.
Rigsby helps Jane to my car. This prompts Jane to mutter that he needs to collect his car.
I shudder to think that he actually drove that thing to work in his state.
"What the hell were you thinking, Jane? Driving to work? You can barely keep your eyes open!," I say more softly than I feel.
I'm not really...angry at him. A little alarmed that he wouldn't have the self-preservation of a gnat. But not angry, per se.
"Need my car," he argues, but there's no fight in his words, no insistence.
"Don't worry about your car. I'll clear it with Mike - he'll let you keep it here overnight, okay? Or else I'll have Cho or Van Pelt drive it to your place later, alright?"
At this, I see him pat his jacket, shakily retrieve the keys to his Citron, and hand them over to the taller man whose currently helping Jane buckle up.
I mouth a thank you to Risby, who nods, smiles, and turns back to Jane.
"You better rest up, man. And don't argue with boss. Got it?"
Somehow...even Rigsby has taken pity on a bedraggled Jane, whose barely half awake now, nodding in exhaustion against the shoulder harness which is currently cutting into his throat.
Rigsby smirks, bites his lip.
"Good luck boss. I don't envy you."
I stiffle a groan, and make a mental note to call Hightower once I stop in at the pharmacy.
I pull my car up into the CVS parking lot, and reach across to crack open the window on Jane's side, noting that he's finally fallen asleep.
Bending down, I turn the adjustor wheel until the seat reclines by more than a 45 degree angle. Little bit more comfortable at least.
He doesn't wake up, merely rolls to his right side, against the door and - yes - tucks a curled fist under his chin, firmly solidifying my belief that his latent emotional age is somewhere in the neighbourhood of 4 years, not 40.
Making sure all doors are locked, I semi-jog on over to the automated doors, and wait impatiently as they swoosh open, before retrieving my cellphone and calling Hightower.
Apparently, Patrick-Jane-the-consultant is worth more to the team than Senior Agent Teresa Lisbon.
Not that this comes as any surprise to me...
But I try not to feel hurt or devalued as Hightower rambles on about me "making sure" he gets better, some distant threat lacing her words, I'm sure.
Yadda, yadda, yadda.
And how typical is this, really? Just like Jane to run himself into the ground and leave me to put the pieces back together again.
Wait, mixed references there...
I say my goodbyes to my superior, hopefully concealing my relief at being able to hang up, and take in the mega-pharmacy. I haven't been here for awhile - normally opting for whatever remedies I can raid from my local 7-11 on my way to work. But Jane is obviously very sick, and I really don't think I have a thermometer at home, either. Maybe years back. Probably stuck in a box that I still haven't unpacked yet.
Oh well, you only moved two years back, Teresa. Not like boxes should be unpacked already...
Meandering through the aisles, I deposit some grape electrolyte mix into my cart. It's supposedly for little kids - but Jane acts like a little kid, and that's close enough. Plus, if he does have a stomach bug and vomits, this stuff will come in handy. I read over the list of age and weight charts, smirking when I see that it's for kids 1 to 10.
Next I drop some sugar-free popsicles into the cart, a bag of ice, a beany pack...thing, and an electric thermometer that can take a body temperature through the ear. Last thing I need is Jane to stubbornly ignore my requests. This way, I can take his temp in the car - hopefully without waking him up.
But the box does picture a toddler. So I sort of wonder if this thermometer can be used on...chronological adults as well.
Feeling like I shouldn't mess around with something like this, and not feeling up to explaining the situation to a pharmacist, I put the BraunThermascan back on the shelf and pick up a digital oral thermometer that reads "fast acting."
Finally, I throw some lemon flu drink mix stuff into the cart. I'm sure it tastes awful, but the bold red letters loudly proclaim it to be for "flu."
I unwrap the thermometer from it's plastic container on the way back to the car, catching the sight of a completely still blond head, a slumped figure.
Stashing the rest of the items in the trunk, I turn the thermometer on, open my door, and firmly settle in before nudging Jane to rouse.
He gives a pitiful little moan, still more asleep than awake, and bats me away with his hand.
"M'tired. Wanna sleep."
I try not to roll my eyes.
"Come on, Patrick - I need to take your temp."
He's still out of it.
"Mmm, cold Daddy."
Jane's either playing me for a fool - or else has a much higher fever than I previously thought.
I shake him a little bit more forcefully, and at long last, his eyes open up.
"Lisbon?," and he sort of half holds his head up, "we're in your car."
He looks dazed.
"Yes, Sherlock, we are. Now open up. Come on. I want to see just how poorly you took care of yourself this weekend."
He blinks at me dumbly, before reaching out and taking the thermometer from my grasp, staring at it as if it's an alien artifact.
"Where'd you get this?"
This time I do roll my eyes.
"Just stick it under your tongue and shut up, buster."
He does so, and a minute later he flinches as a trilling beep-beep-beep-beep emits from the device.
"Hand it over. Judgment time."
He does so - hesitant to relinquish the thing, before prompting himself up on his forearms, trying to read the results from the side.
"Put your seat belt back on, Jane. I'm taking you home. And you WILL sleep or I'll take you to the hospital and they can figure out what to do with you."
He nods, probably not thinking that I'm serious in my threat - then slumps back down, while I try to quash down a slight anxiety. I mean, it could be worse - but the reading is nothing to sneeze at either. I know that for a fact, because when my youngest brother was a little kid, his temperature spiked and I had to take him to the ER. I learned then that brain damage, mild - but still, damage - starts to occur at around temperatures of 104.
Or maybe, just maybe - mild brain damage starts to occur at around 103.4 - because we're half way to my condo before Jane even notices where I'm taking him. And this is a guy who can usually determine if someone is lying based on pupil dilation, or how you parse your sentences.
Nevermind the fact that the proverbial cherry on top of this mess...is that he doesn't even squabble about not being taken to his own home.
Instead he curls up into a semi-squished ball, almost instantaneously, and proceeds to go back to sleep. I even hear him mutter something about letting him know when we're "home" - almost...contentedly!
Not "your place" or "your apartment" - but "home." As if he cohabits the place with me.
Of course...he does have a fever. I'm going to have to keep that in mind for the next while.
After all, I did promise Hightower I'd bring him back in one, working-marvel piece.
A/N - I needed a break from the angst!fests that are Redress and Signal to Noise.
Of course, part 2 is likely to lapse back into the angst-realm a bit more, anyway. But I couldn't help myself. And writing a sick!Jane is oddly quite fun.