Anderson coughed. The fluid in his lungs was horrible, but then it would be. He sat in the ICU, feverish and miserable and with an oxygen tube in his nose. His wife was on the other side of the protective window (thank goodness she'd come back, even if just to gloat).

This all started because of that stupid seal on his biohazard suit. They didn't know it had failed as they entered Moriarty's bioweapons laboratory. The mere act of opening the door had blown a misty powder into the air, and it hovered as they walked through it, gathering forensic evidence. The room was a horrorshow, considering what Moriarty did to earn a living, and that any of these vials could contain a potential weapon that could slaughter millions. And Anderson was unknowingly breathing it in.

It had taken only a day for the symptoms to start. A tickle in his throat. A bit of sinus drainage. Oversleeping. Lack of energy. Then came the fever and the difficulty breathing. After that came the nausea and vertigo.

They didn't know how lethal this disease was. Anderson might recover or he might die tonight. He was frightened, of course, but beyond that, he was yearning for some sort of attention. Not from the nurses, but from his coworkers or his friends.

"Oh, God," he said, seeing his wife catch Sally Donovan's eye. This was going to be trouble. The two of them started bickering, and there was nothing he could do about it but cough in the most miserable way he could manage. The sympathy-getting cough triggered a bout of genuine coughs and soon, he was spewing mucus. This at least got the two women to stop arguing, though it did mean he couldn't appreciate it because he was too busy focusing on breathing.

He shuddered in his fever and cursed what had happened, all because of that stupid seal.