Rating: T but it's pretty mild.
Plot line:Sanchez comes into work when she really should have stayed home, of course Fitch makes it his job to make sure she's okay.
Disclaimer:Not mine although I did have a dream last night that I was Michael Imperioli's wife.
Beta'd by: I don't use a Beta reader, all mistakes are my own.
Let me know if you think I got Fitch or Sanchez out of character.
Fitch looked up from his desk as Sanchez entered the bullpen with a loud sneeze. By looking at her he could immediately tell she wasn't well, her eyes seemed glassed over and her normally glossy hair looked dull and flat. She smiled when she saw him, but even that looked tired and sickly.
"Hey," Sanchez offered as a greeting.
Fitch was about to return the greeting and comment on how sickly she looked when Detective Damon Washington walked in and beat him to it. "You don't look so well." he commented.
"It's just a cold." she tried on another smile.
Fitch was about to try to speak again when this time he was interrupted by Detective John Stone walking in "We've got a body downtown."
Washington grabbed his jacket expecting Fitch to follow, he knew the drill, they scoped out the crime scene and called Stone and Sanchez when they needed their help, however not today.
"Why don't you take Stone today, I'll stay back at the precinct with Sanchez this time." Fitch instructed.
Stone looked utterly pissed at Fitch's words "Look, you can't act like you get control over everybody. You've disliked me from day one, but keeping me from working with my partner is over the top!"
Washington wasn't quite as mad, knowing Fitch's quirks somewhat, but was more confused than anything "Yeah, what's this about?"
Sanchez normally one to at least try to put her two cents in just sat quiet at her desk sipping her coffee.
Lieutenant Maureen Mason who had been talking with Prosecutor Alice Williams in her office walked out to see what all the yelling was about. "Detectives, what is all the commotion about?"
"Fitch is trying to switch partners!" Stone yelled.
Mason turned to Fitch to try to get his side of the story "Detective, is..." before she could even get her question out another sneeze from Sanchez cut off her speech.
As all eyes turned to her, the Hispanic woman sunk down into her chair looking slightly flushed either from embarrassment or a fever. "Sorry."
Mason was one of the few people who actually noticed how much Fitch really cared for Sanchez and immediately understood what he was up to. She turned back to Stone "Just for this one case, a change might be good Detective."
Stone looked shocked, but didn't fight with Mason's verdict.
As soon as Washington and Stone left for the crime scene, Fitch sat back down at his desk and tried to look like he was fully focused on his papers, secretly looking up every few minutes to judge Sanchez's condition, by lunchtime he thought she looked infinitely worse. He had to get her to go home somehow, even if it meant he had to allow her into his personal space and take her by force.
He quickly penned at note to leave for Washington, he at least owed the younger detective that much, and left it as a post it on Washington's computer. He was about to call Sanchez up, but he decided she looked too tired for him to waste her time with a phone call. He walked over to her desk. "How are you feeling?" it was meant to get her attention even though he already knew the answer.
She looked up from her paperwork, not worrying that eye contact would scare him away. "It's just a cold." a violent chill struck her, Fitch of course noticed.
"I don't think you should be here today," he reached behind her chair to grab her jacket, "C'mon, I'll drive you home."
She was extremely suprised by his offer and when she tried to stand up she realized how weak she really felt, he caught her and quickly tried to set her back on her feet the best he could, unfortunately this consisted of a good deal of her wobbling and having to grab onto him for support.
Once they got out to the car she insisted on at least retaining some dignity and hooked her own seat belt.
The drive was fairly short and Fitch refrained from making conversation, so it wasn't a overly huge surprise for him when he pulled up in front of her apartment to find her actually asleep in the passenger seat. He debated briefly whether to wake her up so he could avoid having to carry her up to her apartment, but finally decided to let a charitable nature win over his contact phobia and anyway from her leaning into him so much at the precinct he already pretty much smelled like her so it wouldn't be that bad.
Just as he was about to unbuckle her seat belt and lift her out of the car, she awoke.
"Thanks for driving me home, but I can probably take it from here."
He judged her condition quickly "At least let me help you up to your apartment."
She attempted to protest, "Fitch I'm fine really, I should probably be back at the precinct anyway. Stone will probably be back soon and he'll throw a fit if I'm not there."
Fitch turned away from her, unwilling to let her see the anger that simple comment bought to him, it was obvious Stone had her played like a marionette and she was so incredibly blind to it.
The pair had almost lapsed into silence again when Sanchez started to shiver even inside her heavy coat. Without thinking Fitch took off his own coat and wrapped it around her. Despite her attempts to remain strong, it was obvious she was grateful.
They made their way up to her apartment, and he had to take the key from her because her hands were still trembling too much to open the door.
She turned to him as she entered her apartment "Thank you."
Normally Fitch would have left right away, but he had a feeling, knowing the hard worker she was, that she wouldn't try to rest and might even try to work from home. On top of that he had no desire to face Stone who was likely now stringing off every obscenity under the sun for the loss of his partner.
He stood in the doorway a moment before entering, "I'll just stay long enough to make sure you get settled in, before I head back to the precinct."
She made her way over to the couch before collapsing into a heap on it. Soon, she managed to get out of thelayers of coats, insisting that Fitch did not need to help her. He did however, despite her best protests insist on finding blankets for her. He disappeared into the hallway only to return a few minutes later, arms laden with blankets from her guest room.
After she was settled on the couch, he asked "Do you need anything else, maybe from the convenience store down the street?"
Sanchez briefly wondered if he was stalling for time, but quickly brushed that thought aside. "Maybe some broth?"
When Fitch returned twenty minutes later, Sanchez was asleep, snoring loudly on the couch which he found incredibly endearing. He put the broth in the pantry and chose a chair near the couch, telling himself it was solely to make sure she actually rested. At one point she accidentally kicked her blankets off and he had to replace them, but other wise things seemed to be going smoothly, to the point where he didn't catch himself dozing off.
When Sanchez awoke, she could tell it was evening, she was on her couch like she remembered and Fitch was asleep in her favorite chair, the thought briefly entered her mind that if this were to become a regular event, she might learn to love the chair even more. "You're still here." she spoke softly managing to wake up Fitch.
"If you're okay, I should probably be going."
It surrised her how much she didn't want him to leave "What if I'm not okay?" she stalled for time, seeing that despite his best efforts to hide it, worry showed on his face.
"Alright, you need anything to eat?" he got up and walked into the kitchen, took one of the cans of broth from the pantry and began to boil it. Soon comforting smells filled the apartment. After a while he bought the bowl into the living room, Sanchez was a bit suprised that he wasn't going to eat anything, but he didn't offer an explanation for it and finding a card table sat the bowl down on it.
He helped her into a sitting position, and warned her to let the soup cool, but after that he was quiet, observing as usual.
When she had finished eating, he took the bowl back into the kitchen, "You've got a nice set up here." he commented admiring the layout of the room.
"Yeah," she agreed then without his knowledge, tenativekly just like a baby taking it's first steps she got up from the couch and coming up behind him wrapped her arms around his waist.
If he was shocked, which he most likely was he didn't let it show. "You're strength is returning, he observed trying to be as casual as possible.
They stood like this for quite some time, as he washed the dishes, finally able to simply enjoy eachother's company.
I hate the ending, but I wanted to get it finished before Thanksgiving break so I rusehed a little.