DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TSWOAM. They belong to Ken Lipman. I do however own Carly and anyone else you don't' recognize.
A/N: I'm so sorry it took me so long to update this story! I hope everyone enjoys this next chapter.
Two weeks flew by in a rush. Before Annie knew it, she was taking her first exam and she and Carly had become really good friends. They had gone out to lunch a few times together and had explored the campus.
A week later, Annie was working on a paper when Carly came into their room.
"Hey," Annie greeted. She glanced up when Carly didn't answer her at first. She raised her eyebrows in concern when she saw the expression on her friend's face. "Are you okay?"
"No," Carly replied. "I'm really tired, actually. I've been feeling tired all day."
"Take a nap then," Annie suggested.
Carly didn't need much coaxing. She walked over to her bed, picked up Abby's bear and laid down.
Annie took one look at her friend's slightly flushed face and had pity on her. Getting up, she walked over to her bed and tucked her in.
"Thanks," Carly mumbled.
"It's okay," Annie replied, "I'm used to do in that for Alex. I don't mind. "
"You miss her, don't you?"
"Yeah. A lot more than I Thought I would," Annie admitted.
"Why don't you invite her to-"
"Shh, sleep," Annie ordered gently, the corners of her mouth twitching.
"You really are a big sister," she said with a small smile of her own.
"You know it," Annie replied.
Just then, Annie's cell phone rang.
"Hey, my AL," she said automatically when she saw Alex's name come up on the display. "How was your day?"
"Annie, you got to help me!"
"What happened now? Where are you?" Annie asked.
"Okay. This is bad. What happened?"
As Alex went onto explain what trouble Ray had gotten them into this time, Annie tried hard not to loose her temper at Ray's idiocy. She also fought against the urge to buy a ticket home. She had a feeling leaving him in charge of her little sister where her powers were concerned was just asking for trouble.
"I'm going to kill him," Annie said.
As Annie listened to Alex explain the rest of the story, she couldn't help but glance over at Carly in concern.
Walking over to her bed, Annie put the back of her hand to Carly's forehead to check her for a fever. She frowned when she realized she felt warm.
"I hate to say it, my Al, but you got yourself into this mess. Actually, Ray got you into this mess. You gotta get yourself out."
"Would I be selfish if I said I wanted you home?"
"No. But I can't be there right now. I'm coming home for spring break in two weeks. You'll be fine. I love you."
"Annie, I need your help!" Alex insisted.
Annie sighed as she tried to come up with a solution. She and Alex talked for a few more minutes before Annie told her she had to go. After the phone call ended, Annie heaved a sigh and sat back down at her desk. She had a paper due in Women's history. But the more she tried to concentrate, the more her mind floated to her little sister and Carly. She knew Alex would be okay once she calmed down and realized she could figure this one out for herself. As for Carly, Annie prayed she would let her help her when the time came. Heaving another sigh, she continued to work on her paper while glancing over at Carly every few minutes.
A few hours later, Annie entered the room with a tray of soup and Ginger ale. She set it on the nightstand and went over to wake Carly up. She was going to get her to eat something, even if she had to feed her. Turning on the TV and setting the volume low, Annie flipped until she found Garfield and Friends and decided it would do. They weren't really watching it anyway.
"Carly?" Annie whispered, shaking her al little. "Come on. It's time to eat."
Carly swatted at her hand and mumbled something untelegiatble.
Annie grinned. She reminded her of Alex.
Opening her eyes, Carly glanced up to see Annie sitting by her bed.
"Hey," she whispered.
Annie winced when she heard how scratchy her friend's voice sounded.
"Hey yourself," she replied. "Come on. I got us some dinner. Why don't we split it?"
"I'm not hungry," Carly said.
"Well I am. I got us some soup. If you're not up for holding for the spoon, I have a different way." She smiled as she poured some of the soup into a cup and put a straw in it. "Ta-da! I did this for Alex when she had strep throat back when she was twelve. It does wonders, trust me. Now drink."
"Yes, ma'am," Carly replied.
Annie smiled at her as she began to eat her own meal. As they watched the Buddy bears torture Garfield, Annie snuck glances at Carly every so often to make sure she was eating. At
Once Carly was done, Annie set he cup aside and took an ear thermometer out of her first aid kit. She made a mental note to thank her mother for giving it to her. She put it in Carly's left ear and waited for it to beep. When it did, she took it out of Carly's mouth and read the results.
"You have a fever," she announced.
Carly nodded, even though it hurt to do so.
"I'm gonna try and bring it down," Annie informed her, "will you let me help you?"
"Uh-huh," she replied.
"Good," Annie smiled at her warmly while going about her task. She got a wash cloth out of her shower bag and went into the bathroom. She returned and draped it across her friend's forehead in hopes it would cool her off and decrease her temperature.
"Thanks," Carly whispered.
"You don't have to thank me," Annie said, "I don't mind, really."
"You're sweet," Carly commented, giving Annie a tiny smile, "I'm beginning to see why Alex misses you so much."
Annie nodded. She flipped the channel on the TV and stopped on Toon Disney. She half recognized Princess Jasmine's voice as she argued with Iago, but Annie was mostly focused on taking care of Carly. As she glanced down at her friend's tired face and slightly pale complexion, she had a feeling that the night was about to get very long…