Author's Note: So. It has happened. I have been struck down! That is to say...I'm sick. Which is bad. It feels like there is an invisible elf sitting on my shoulders, pounding a hammer into the back of my skull. I am coughing up God-knows-what, which does wonders for my headache. However, had I not gotten sick, then I never would have gotten this idea. Which is good. (Or at least, I think it is.) Anyway, I'm publishing this without a Beta, so I apologize for any spelling or grammar mistakes. Hope you like it!
Summary: Claire gets sick, and Myrnin can't stand to leave his assistant alone, ill, and miserable. So what does he do? Why, take care of her, of course!
Claire Danvers glared at her reflection in the mirror. She looked like hell. No, worse than hell. She looked like hell had chewed her up, spit her out, then run her over with a Mack truck.
She gave a little sniffle, which made her nose tickle, which in turn made her sneeze. Ugh.
Her nose was stuffy, her throat hurt, her ears hurt, her head felt fuzzy, and she looked like crap. Wonderful. She sighed and stared at the make-up on the bathroom counter. Screw it, she thought. There's not enough cover-up in the world to fix this.
That settled, she looked at her watch and groaned. She had half an hour to get to class.
She gave her reflection one last look of annoyance (which she noticed simply looked like a miserable, sick teenaged girl), then marched out of the bathroom and down the stairs to the kitchen.
Eve and Shane had apparently already left for work. Michael was the only one in the kitchen, and he was leisurely drinking a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper. He looked up when Claire walked in.
"Going to be late, taking my coffee to go." she said, pouring herself some in the hope the caffeine would help perk her up.
"You look like death warmed over," he said, eyes wide as he took in her appearance. "What's wrong?"
She sighed. "I think I'm coming down with something," she said. "And I thank you for noticing how good I look."
He blanched. "Sorry, I didn't mean it to come out that way. But no kidding, you look..." he noticed the look she was giving him, and seemed to come up with a new choice of words. "Unwell. Are you sure you should be heading out?"
"I'm fine, I just have a few quick classes, and I promised Myrnin I'd come in today. No big deal." she said, popping the top on her to-go cup. "It's just a little cold, I can handle it." She took a sip of her drink. The hot liquid felt good going down her throat.
"Okay..." Michael said, not sounding convinced. "I'm going to work in little while, but if you need anything, just call, alright?"
Claire nodded, knowing she wouldn't unless it was an emergency, but it was still nice to hear. And sweet of him to say. She gave him a thumbs up as she took another sip of coffee, then waved and headed out the door.
Classes dragged on. Claire dozed off during two of them, and was feeling horrible by the time the last one was finished. Her head was pounding, and she was finding it hard to concentrate on anything. It took her twice as long to walk to the lab, and when she finally got to the run-down old shack at the end of the alley, she was wheezing.
Once she had caught her breath, she made her way down the stairs to Myrnin's lair. She shivered, wishing she'd had the presence of mind to bring a jacket. She had started feeling a little cold on the way over, but being down in the lab without the sun made her feel even colder.
"Ah, there you are, I've been waiting for you." said Myrnin, popping up out of nowhere. "I have several things we can work on today, but first of all, I think I finally worked all the bugs out of my Thermal Ray and-" he continued to prattle on for a few minutes, while Claire stared at him, trying to comprehend what he was saying, but unable to with the throbbing in her head.
He must have noticed something was amiss, or wondered why she hadn't spoken yet, because he suddenly stopped and stared at her, eyes wide. "Claire, are you all right?" he asked, taking a tentative step towards her. "You don't look well. Is everything okay?"
She started to answer him, and found she had to clear her throat twice so he could understand her. "I think I'm sick," she said, her voice still sounding rough and hoarse. She hadn't spoken in hours, and her throat felt like she had swallowed glass.
Myrnin's brow furrowed when she spoke. "I should think so, you sound terrible." he said, reaching out and putting his cool hand to her forehead. "Ah, and you're running a fever, as well."
"Am I?" Claire asked. She felt a little dizzy, too, now that she thought about it. Her ears were really hurting her. She was going to tell Myrnin this, but it she didn't feel like talking again.
"Claire?" He sounded worried. Had he been talking to her? She took a step back and started to answer him when another wave of dizziness came over her, making her wobble and stumble sideways. He grabbed her and steadied her, gently leading her over to a chair.
"If you were this sick, what were you thinking, walking here?" Myrnin scolded, helping her sit down. Claire wanted to point out she hadn't felt this bad earlier, but again, she didn't feel like talking around her throat, and Myrnin didn't seem to expect an answer from her, anyway. "You're burning up, and I bet you're dehydrated, as well. When was the last time you had anything to drink?"
Claire shrugged, and leaned back in the chair. She really just wanted to curl up and die somewhere, preferably under a warm blanket.
Myrnin's face softened as he stared at her. "You should be home in bed in any case. I'll open a portal."
Claire nodded and closed her eyes. She distantly heard Myrnin say something else to her, but she couldn't tell what. The next thing she knew, he was gently laying her on the couch in the Glass house, though she didn't remember him picking her up to begin with.
She looked around in confusion, and managed to mumble a hoarse "What happened?"
He sighed and looked around a minute, then picked up the blanket that was lying at the other end of the couch. He wrapped the blanket around her, then disappeared.
She blinked groggily at the ceiling. At least she had gotten that warm blanket she had wanted, that was something.
What may have been a few minutes (or hours, she really wasn't sure) later, she became vaguely aware of Myrnin standing over her again, a mug in his hand.
"Drink up," he told her, holding it out to her. "It's tea, it will help." She nodded, and took it from him, giving it a tentative sip. He'd put lots of sugar in it for her, which was thoughtful of him, and it felt soothing going down her sore throat.
"It seems as though your other house-mates are absent." he said, sitting on the arm of the sofa, watching her sip the tea. "I made some more, when you finish that cup, and I put some honey in it. I suppose you'll be needing some medication of some sort, as well. Have you eaten anything?"
It took her a minute for her foggy brain to catch up with what he was saying. Wait, was he planning on staying here with her?
"I'm okay, Myrnin. Thank you," she said, surprised at how much better her voice sounded. "You don't have to worry about that, I can handle myself."
He rolled his eyes at her. "Don't be ridiculous, I can't possibly leave you here by yourself. You can barely stand up, if I recall."
"I'll hear none of that. Now, where do you keep your medication, and when was the last time you ate anything?" he asked in a no-nonsense kind of tone. She sighed. It wasn't often he was the one being reasonable in an argument.
"Upstairs in the bathroom medicine cabinet. And I haven't had anything to eat all day, actually." she said in a resigned voice. He tsked, then looked at her almost empty tea-cup and raised an eyebrow. "More?" he asked. She nodded slightly and leaned back against the couch.
He left, then came back with a full cup, placed it down on the coffee table, then disappeared again. She distantly heard some crashing from upstairs, like the sound of a bunch of things falling out of the medicine cabinet, followed by Myrnin swearing in Welsh.
She closed her eyes and sighed warily.
Claire stared blankly at the space in front of her, trying to ignore the ominous sounds coming from the kitchen. She thought about turning the TV on, but it seemed like too much effort to reach all the way across the coffee table to pick up the remote. She couldn't even bring herself to sit up and take another sip of her tea.
She was eventually broken out of her reverie by Myrnin appearing in front of her with a tray. On it, there was a bowl of soup, some crackers, a glass of orange juice, and another cup of tea. She stared at it like it was some foreign object for a minute, before Myrnin made a sound of exasperation, and put the tray in her lap.
"Well, eat up. Then you can take your medicine." he said, sitting on the corner of the coffee table, watching her intently.
She nodded slowly, then spooned some soup into her mouth. Hmmm, chicken noodle. He gave her an encouraging nod. "More than one spoonful, if you will. You need to keep your strength up." He stared pointedly at her bowl.
She found herself nodding again, and complying under his scrutinizing gaze. Once she had finished the bowl of soup and drank the glass of orange juice, Myrnin gave her some medicine and a glass of water to take it with.
"We'll see if that helps your fever." he said, turning the TV on for her. She felt herself getting drowsy within a few minutes. He gently pried her tea-cup out of her hands as she started to nod off. She grabbed his sleeve.
"Thank you, Myrnin." she said sleepily. "For everything." She wondered if she imagined the slight coloring of his cheeks.
"Get some rest, Caridad." he said softly, leaning over and giving her a light kiss on the forehead. "I'll stay here while you're sleeping."
Feeling warm and safe and a little drugged, Claire obliged.
Myrnin chuckled a little, looking down at where Claire was still clutching his sleeve. He debated prying her hand loose, but decided to sit down by her side instead, gently placing his cool hand over her heated forehead. Which was how he stayed for hours, watching over his little Claire until her fever had gone down and her friends had returned home.
AN: I just wrote this with reckless abandon, without having a plan on the story like I usually do. You can take it as romance or friendship, whichever floats your boat; I hope it embodied the complicated relationship that is Myrnin and Claire. :)
For those of you waiting for me to update 12 Days, fear not! My illness should actually assure you get an update within the next few days. (I was actually working on it when this hit me, and I just had to get it out before I could continue with 12 Days.)
Anyway, if you liked this, I'd love to hear from you. Read and review, please! Thank you, and Happy New Year, everyone!