Chapter 15- Cooling Off

True to the inters word x-ray and labs came by in short order. Thankfully they were all the portable variety and Ryan was not required to leave the room for any of them. By the time they left he still felt exhausted though as if he had run a full marathon.

"Hanging in there kid?" Sandy questioned gently.

"I guess." Ryan huffed out.

A few minutes passed and then Sean came back in.

"Well Ryan I'm back to get another temp on you-let's see if we can avoid the cooling blanket."

The three men waited anxiously for the beep of the thermometer to give its verdict and when it did the frown on Sean's face indicated the sentence before his lips could."

"Sorry kid still 104- meds should have brought it down a bit and since they haven't we are gonna give your body some help. I'll be back in a sec with the chilly blanket." Sean remarked trying to add a bit of humor to the announcement.

Sean was true to his word and with in minutes the shivering of Ryan's body was no longer indicative of merely a high temperature.

"Try and get some rest kid that's really the best thing for you right now." Sean remarked as he left. "Remember to ring if you need anything else."

Sandy nodded in gratitude to the kind male nurse and then returned to slowly stroking Ryan's hand as the boy shivered beneath the cooling blanket.

"I ever tell you about the time Nan caught me trying to get out of school by faking an illness. Sandy began in hopesof distracting his foster son.

Ryan shook his head ever so slightly in reply his glassy eyes moving to track Sandy's words.

"Well it was once more in my freshman year not to long after the other incident I mentioned. I was sick of the bullying and though by now my nana had put a stop to some of it – it was by no means over. I also had failed to study for a math test. I hated math. Something Seth and I still bond over unlike you and Kirsten. Anyway I decided to try and take a sick day in hopes of a short break and an extra study day. So I set my alarm about twenty minutes before I knew Nana would be up. Then I went to the bathroom and made sounds like I was getting sick. Locking the door of course so there was no chance of anyone checking up on me. I knew Nana was a light sleeper and expected she'd hear me. I also ran so hot water over my cheeks to make myself looked flushed. Sure enough Nana heard me and knocked on the door to check on me. I let her in and perceeded to tell her I was not feeling well. I probably would have gotten away with it too except I decided my performance needed more drama so I tried to moan as a sign of illness. Apparently my acting face needs a lot of work. Needless to say I was soon on my way to school with red cheeks of a different variety also not caused by fever."

"Sucks…" Ryan whispered his teeth not chattering quite as much as before and his eyelids starting to droop in exhaustion.

"Well that's story time for the day- stop fighting sleep kid."

"K…" Ryan whispered letting his eyelids drift closed and stay that way.

Around five minutes later Sean walked in and whispered quietly to Sandy. "Glad to see he fell asleep- I'm gonna use the aural thermometer to check him and see if we can get rid of the blanket."

Sandy nodded and watched as Sean did what he had said.

"Looks a bit better its down to 103.5 we can get rid of the blanket for now. I'll be back in an hour to check again. Your wife and son are out in the hall."

"Thanks I'll check in on them." Sandy stepped out quietly with Sean his eyes falling once more on Ryan before leaving the room just to make sure everything looked relatively peaceful.

"Hey Seth- you okay?" Sandy asked seeing his son for the first time since the accidental run in with Ryan's fist.

"Yeah- nothings broken. Mom thinks I might get a shiner though but I figure that could help my street cred."

"What street cred?" Sandy asked with a laugh.

"Thanks Pops way to boost my ego."

"Please son- ego boosting is not in my job description."

"Whatever… I'm gonna go back in and sit with Ryan."

"Ok son, he's sleeping though so keep it down."


Sandy and Kirsten waited till Seth had closed the door to Ryan's room before continuing their conversation.

"How is he Sandy?"

"Sick but hanging tough. They had him on a cooling blanket for a bit but it seemed to help. Still waiting for word on his labs and x-rays."

"he just can't catch a break can he."

"Doesn't seem like it."

"well why don't you run home and shower and Seth and I will take the next watch for a while."

"Ok- call if anything changes."

"I will."

With those parting words Sandy gave his wife a kiss and headed out of the hospital and Kirsten turned to join her sons in the hospital room.