It was typical of Daniel's luck that he contracted the flu during the week Lewicki was away.
Not that he needed anyone's help. He could take care of himself; he was a grown man after all.
Still... it would have been nice.
For the first two days, Daniel could hardly move. He kept a stack of crossword puzzles next to his bed, rising only to use the bathroom and to try and force some nourishment into his frail body.
He was dozing at about noon on the third day when he heard a knock on his bedroom door. Apprehensively, he called out, "Come in?" The door swung open to reveal a smiling Kate, holding a bowl of something warm and a tall glass of water.
"Well, hey there!" she said brightly.
"Kate? What are you-what are you doing here?" Daniel sat up straight, confused.
Kate walked into the room and settled on the edge of Daniel's bed. "Max called and asked me to check up on you. He said it seemed like you were coming down with something before he left. I guess he was right; you look like hell. Here, I brought you some soup," she added, handing him the steaming bowl.
Daniel rolled his eyes. "I will never understand why the two of you insist on treating me like a child," he grumbled. However, he accepted the dish and settled back against the pillows. "I didn't know you cooked," he said.
Kate smiled. "I'm just full of surprises." She met his eyes, then blushed and looked down. "Anyway, I've got the week off, and I'm going to stay here until you get better. No, no arguing," she added as Daniel opened his mouth to protest. "I want to help. Plus, I've got nothing to do and I refuse to sit at home all day."
"You're just going to wind up catching the flu as well," Daniel pointed out, trying to hide how desperately he wanted her to stay.
"No, Daniel, some people actually get their flu shots," she teased.
Daniel made a face at her and took another spoonful of her cooking. "Yes, well, studies have shown..." he muttered.
They bantered back and forth or a while longer, but Daniel must have fallen asleep at one point, because the next thing he knew, he was lying in bed the next morning, the blanket tucked snugly around him.
He yawned, glancing around- and jumped at the sight of Kate stretched out next to him, head propped up on her hand, looking at him with a smile playing on her lips.
"Good morning, sunshine!" she said with a laugh.
"Why, Agent Moretti, were you watching me sleep?" Daniel asked, faux-incredulously.
Kate blushed again, but, this time, did not drop her gaze. "Why, yes, in fact, I was," she quipped. Her smile faltered. "I'm sorry... do you mind?"
Reaching out to tuck a lock of hair behind Kate's ear, Daniel assured her that he didn't. "Waking up to you..." he said, shaking his head. "I would never mind."
Kate looked taken aback by his words, but smiled at him, touching the hand that was still framing her face.
There were a few moments of silence, moments when smiles faded, replaced with pensive looks of deliberation, when souls inched closer together, closing the spaces that had been separating them for far too long. Moments that stretched before Daniel and Kate like a vast, impassable ocean. But they had found their life boats.
And then, there they were, kissing in the middle of the water, caressing one another, finally breathing as one.
Perhaps the flu wasn't as bad as it seemed.