A/N: So, first off, apologies for this taking me so long to finish up. It's been half finished for like a week, but I've had horrible mirgraines most of the week, and writing has been...difficult. I managed to finish this up today, and I went a little overboard again, not that you guys mind, haha! Also, for anyone wondering, the puposed nickname for Graham in this chapter is what I actually refer to Graham/Jamie Dornan as. In fact, I say it so much that my friends actually have started to refer to him by the nickname. I can't remember who, but I got the name from someone on YT. So, by all means if you guys want to start using the nickname, go for it. Now that I'm done rambling, go on and enjoy this last installment.
Graham sighed and stretched out his back as he walked toward the station doors. Emma had told him to take a few days off, to make sure that he was truly getting well, but he had hated burdening her with the station work all alone for a full day. So, he had only taken one extra day off, big deal. The way he figured it, Emma would probably be so happy that he decided to come in today that she wouldn't even attempt to scold him for not listening to her.
He hadn't ran a temperature for a full twenty-four hours and he felt nearly normal. His throat was still a bit raw and his stomach was still a little queasy, but he was able to hold down food now. The way he saw it, he was good as new.
He pushed the door open and sauntered inside. As he stood at the cusp of the hallway he heard a wall shaking sneeze erupt from inside the building. Rushing forward, Graham stopping dead in his tracks. Guilt hit him like a ton of bricks when Emma turned her bleary gaze in his direction.
Her face was pale white, except for her cheeks which were rosy red, from what Graham guessed to be a pretty high temperature. Her eyes were bloodshot and drooped close. The tip of her nose held a shiny, redness to it that said that she had been blowing her nose frequently.
"Oh, Emma." Graham sighed, as he slowly stalked forward. Kneeling in front of her, Graham pressed the back of his forearm to her forehead and shook his head. "You're burning up. Why did you come in today?" he asked, his eyes full of worry.
Emma attempted nonchalance by shrugging, but it took nearly every ounce of energy she had to lift her shoulders halfway into a shrugging motion. "Probably not my smartest idea." She rasped, and Graham's nose wrinkled.
He knew how bad the sore throat thing sucked, he was still battling his own. "Well, Deputy Swan, I'm relieving you of your duty. Go home and go to bed."
Emma stared at him, her eyes glassy. If she was honest with herself, she had wanted to leave the moment she arrived at the station. Her bed had been calling her name as soon as she had dragged her half-lead body from it this morning. However, it had taken everything in her to make it to the station in one piece. She couldn't count on one hand how many times her eyes had drifted close on the short drive from her shared apartment to the station. Once she had found herself nearly in the ditch because of it. Since she didn't trust herself to attempt to drive back to the apartment, she had decided to stay at the station until school let out so that Mary Margaret could come pick her up.
"Not sure that's the best idea, Sheriff Humbert." Emma rasped out.
Graham nodded, of course it wasn't. Emma didn't look like she could hold up her own weight, let alone drive herself home safely. He made a decision, since it was his fault that Emma was sick, then he was going to take her home and take care of her. She had done the same for him, it was only fair that he return the favor.
"Emma, listen to me." Graham prodded, as she lifted her head to look at him. "I'm going to reroute the calls to my cell. Then I'm going to take you back to my apartment and let you get some sleep."
Her eyebrow arched, "Are you trying to seduce me, Sheriff?"
Graham chuckled lightly, "No, Emma. I'm trying to help you out. Like you did with me." He paused for a moment when she got a look of confusion on her face. "This is all my fault. You didn't have to take care of me, but you did and now you're sick. So I'm going to take care of you."
Emma made a move to nod but felt her stomach starting to lurch. She tipped her head toward the garbage can, which Graham quickly nabbed and held under her chin as her stomach rebelled. It had never been in her game plan for Graham to ever see her throw up. Even if she had no intention of dating him, that didn't take meaningless sex off the table—however, watching someone heave their guts into a trash can tended to take a toll on any attempt at passion or heat.
"So, now we've both thrown up in the station." Graham pointed out, as Emma lifted her head from the can and wiped her mouth, she rolled her eyes. "Probably not something that needed to be pointed out. I see that now." Graham muttered softly. "Let's get you back to my place so you can sleep."
Emma groaned, "No. Just take me to my apartment. You can watch me there. I want to get into my bed. Put on my pajamas. Please."
Graham sighed, he couldn't deny her. "Okay, hand over your keys though. I don't want to try to wrestle them out of your pocket when we get to your apartment."
Emma chuckled lightly as she dug into her pocket for her keys before handing them over to Graham. "Onward, Sheriff Graham!"
Graham rolled his eyes, as he pulled Emma into a standing position. She lost her balance quickly, falling against his chest. He knew that dragging Emma up the numerous stairs at Mary Margaret's place was going to be a chore.
Graham groaned as he leaned Emma against the couch, before shutting the door. He breathed deeply for a few moments, his vision blurring for a minute. Wheezing out a cough, Graham was quickly reminded that he wasn't fully well himself. Sighing softly, he guided Emma around to the front of the couch and eased her down onto it. He grumbled softly, before turning around and locating the bathroom. He scrounge around for a little bit before locating a half empty box of cold medicine and a thermometer. Walking back toward the living, Graham made a quick stop off at the kitchen for a small glass of water.
He lowered himself down onto the couch next to Emma, before holding out the thermometer. As he waited for the device to beep, he dislodged two pills from the box and sat them beside the glass of water. Shortly after the device beeped, and Graham pulled the thermometer from her mouth. He eyed it and groaned.
"102.9." He mumbled, before shoving the two pills and the glass of water into her hands.
She took them and grimaced at the pain that erupted in her throat. Her eyes slowly started to droop close. Graham looked at Emma and the stairs. Standing up, he placed one arm under her knees and the other behind her back, effectively pulling Emma into his arms. He grunted at the added weight, waiting a moment to regain his balance, before stalking off toward the stairs. He took them slowly and after what felt like a century he made it to the top and shoved Emma's bedroom door open with his foot.
He sat her down on her bed and stared at her dresser. Graham knew that once Emma was back to herself, that she would kill him for what he was about to do, but he also knew that Emma didn't have the ability to do it herself. He pulled open a couple of different dresser drawers before locating a pair of pajama pants and one of her white tank tops.
"Emma. Em." He prodded softly and waited as she groaned and cracked an eyelid open. "Let's get you dressed." Graham held up the tank top and pajama pants.
Emma struggled to pull herself into a sitting position. She eyed him, "I got it." She mumbled, blindly reaching for her clothes.
"At least let me help you with the shirt. I don't want to risk you falling down."
Emma shook her head, "Not gonna happen, Sheriff."
Graham sighed, he knew that he'd never win this argument. Not while Emma was at least half way in her right mind. "Fine. I'll be downstairs, shout if you need me."
"Got ya." Emma grumbled, snatching the clothes from his hand and watching him stalk away from her and toward the door.
Graham jerked awake, he eyed the clock on the way and groaned. He had promised himself that he would stay awake, that he needed to check on Emma every hour and a half, to monitor her temperature. Yet, he had fallen asleep on the job. He swallowed thickly, the burn in his throat still plaguing him. Graham scratched at his head as he realized that something had woken him up. He made a move to sit up, when a scream filled the air. Without a second thought, Graham jumped to his feet. His boots slapped against the hard wood floor as he stomped his way to the stairs that led up to the loft bedroom. He climbed the stairs two at a time, only pausing briefly at the top to catch his breath before running toward Emma's room. He slid to a stop as he yanked the door open.
He sighed in relief when he noted that Emma was sound asleep. Her body was strewn sideways, taking up the entire full size bed. Her comforter hung off the side of the bed, barely covering her shivering body. Running a shaky hand through his hair, Graham walked forward and stooped to pick up the comforter and cover Emma back up with it. It was when he was on his way back to a standing position that another ear-splitting scream broke out from Emma's mouth. Graham nearly fell backward, but caught himself. He haphazardly tossed the blanket onto Emma before moving around to the opposite side of the bed. He quickly stripped his boots from his feet, before climbing up into Emma's bed. Her back was to him, and Graham had to shove her feet over to her side of the bed before he could lie down.
Once he was comfortably onto the bed, Graham pulled Emma against his chest. He put on arm around her waist to hold her in place, while he softly brushed back the blonde curls that were currently stuck to Emma's face. He groaned at the heat that seemed to still be radiating off of her body. He knew that he needed to get her another dose of medication, but at that moment he just wanted to calm what appeared to be a horrific nightmare, most likely brought on by her high temperature. Emma started to whimper. It was soft, and it broke Graham's heart. All he wanted to do was protect her.
"Ssh, Emma." Graham whispered softly into her ear. "I'm here. No one is going to hurt you. I promise." He closed his eyes as he wrapped his other arm around her and cradled her closer to his chest. Slowly, softly, he rocked both of them side to side.
Slowly, Emma became less agitated and after a few minutes of the gentle rocking, Emma's body fell still and the whimpers that were constantly flowing from her mouth stopped. Graham sighed in relief. Carefully he raised himself up and reached over Emma's body to grab a hold of the thermometer and the box of cold medicine. He hated the thought of waking her up after he had just got her calmed down.
Sighing, Graham softly nudged her arm. Emma groaned, but didn't open her eyes. Graham nudged her arm with a little bit more force. "Emma, I need to take your temperature. You don't have to wake up, just open your mouth." Graham prodded.
Another groan escaped from her mouth, but she obeyed his demand and dropped her mouth open. Graham stuck the device in her mouth, and waited as she closed her mouth around it. He waited the couple of minutes until it beeped before removing it from her mouth. His nose wrinkled. 103.5. Her temperature was definitely edging closer to the danger zone. Nudging her with his elbow, Graham heard a moan, as Emma flopped onto her back. One eyelid cracked open as she glared at Graham.
"You are bothersome." Emma muttered. Slowly she sat up before screwing her eyes closed. Her vision started to swim at the small amount of movement. She knew that meant that her temperature had gone in the wrong direction. "What do you want?" Emma said, with her eyes still closed.
"Your temperature went up, you need more medicine."
"Ugh." Emma muttered, before holding out her palm.
Graham shoved two pills into her palm, as he watched with curiosity as she cracked an eyelid and located the glass of water from earlier. She shoved the two pills in her mouth before grabbing hold of the glass and downing the rest of the water in glass. She groaned as her face screwed up as she swallowed.
Emma slowly cocked her head and fixed Graham with a glare. "Thank you, Sherlock Holmes." Emma muttered.
"Man, you're even more grumpy when your sick." Graham said, a pout on his face.
Emma's nose wrinkled as a thought came over her. "Graham. Why are you in bed with me?"
A sheepish grin came over his face, as he awkwardly shrugged his shoulders. "You were having a nightmare, a bad one. I wanted to make you feel better."
Emma didn't know how to feel about that. On one hand she was a little creeped out by the fact that her boss, no matter how dangerously handsome he was, had laid down with her and calmed her fever-induced nightmare. Yet, on the other hand, she was thankful and taken aback by the gesture. No one had ever been willing to do that for her before. She had just kind of toughed out the fever-induced nightmares on her own.
"Thank you." Emma muttered.
Graham shrugged, "It was the least I could do. I mean, you being sick, that's my fault."
Emma attempted to roll her eyes, but the movement caused her to get dizzy again. "You didn't ask for the flu, Graham. You didn't ask me to take care of you. I decided to do that, knowing that I was putting myself at risk. No sense in you blaming yourself." Emma spoke, before a yawn broke out.
"Lay back down, Emma. You need rest."
She eyed him wearily, before obeying his order. She curled up on her side. "You don't have to stay in here, ya know."
Graham smiled, even though he knew that she couldn't see him. "Figure I might as well. You're likely to have another nightmare, and I won't let you suffer alone. The least I can do is help you fight off those nasty nightmares."
Emma didn't say anything, but she smiled softly. As weird as it was, having Graham watching her sleep, she felt oddly at peace knowing that he was looking out for her. Emma knew she would never be able to describe the safe feeling that Graham gave her, nor would she ever try and after she was well again, Emma knew she would give him a hard time about it. Especially since her walls will be firmly back in place once she's won the battle over the flu.
Graham watched as Emma's body stilled and her breathing evened out. Slowly, he slid down into a lying down position, his eyes drifting close and his battle against sleep was lost quickly.
Graham slowly woke up, a smile on his lips as he turned his slightly aching head toward Emma's still unconscious form. She had curled up again his side, her head resting against his arm with one of her arms hanging over his midsection. He threw his free arm around her and clutched her a little tighter to him. He couldn't quite explain it, but he loved the feeling of Emma lying next to him, curled up. It felt right, like he was finally at peace.
"Mmhmm." Emma moaned out, before blinking her eyes open. Noting her closeness to Graham, she blushed. "Sorry. You probably don't want some sweaty woman clinging to you." She muttered, before shifting on the bed. She pulled herself into a sitting position and felt extremely glad that her head didn't spin at the sudden movement.
"It wasn't horrible." Graham pointed out, before reaching out his arm and resting it against her forehead. He chuckled lightly when Emma groaned. "Not too warm." Graham noted, before pointing at the thermometer, "I'd like it if you'd take your temperature though, Deputy Swan." Graham joked.
Emma's eyes widen for a moment as she tried to understand how someone who told the world's lamest dad jokes, could mutter something half-way witty. After a moment, she shrugged, giving up her attempt at understanding Graham's odd wit, and reached for the thermometer. Emma cursed when her hand brushed against the glass that she had emptied, sending it and the thermometer tumbling to the floor.
"No harm, no foul." Graham muttered softly, as he pulled back the comforter from the lower half of his body.
Emma eyed him carefully, noting that he had removed his vest and had rolled up the sleeves on his dress shirt. He had also removed his shoes, which Emma was eternally grateful for. She'd hate to have to yell at him, when he had taken such good care of her. Graham came to a stop in front of her, and bent to pick up both the thermometer and the glass. Emma ended up with a very good view of Graham's ass, and was unable to stop herself ogling him. She coughed awkwardly, as he made a move to stand up.
"Here you go." Graham said after a moment, completely unaware of Emma's current level of discomfort. He thrust the thermometer at her, before he noticed the look on her face. It looked like she was having some kind of epic internal battle waging inside. He quirked an eyebrow, "What's wrong?"
Emma was fighting with herself. Since the day that she had met the infuriatingly, hot sheriff, Emma had wanted to say something to him to point out just how hot he was, on the off chance he didn't happen to know. She had fought with herself over it since day one, and she was currently losing the battle. Emma did have the fact that she was sick on her side, she could always blame the almost non-existent fever for causing her to lose her mind. Yet, it was the fact that she would have to face him at work after this that was keeping her mouth shut. At least she thought it was. That was until she felt her mouth open. She attempted to clamp her mouth shut, but it was a lost cause.
"I believe I've found a nickname for you, Sheriff Graham."
Graham's eyebrows cocked in confusion, wondering where this line of conversation was headed. Crossing his arms across his chest, he grinned at her. "What's that, Deputy Swan?"
Emma averted her eyes, as she spoke the words. "Sheriff Hotpants."
Graham's mouth dropped and hung open for a moment. He didn't know what to think. Sure he had seen the way the women in town stared at him. Especially Ruby who appeared to undress him with her eyes every time he walked into the diner, but he had never had anyone blatantly say anything to him about it. He never really ever saw his appeal to women. He was scruffy and rough around the edges. To him, there wasn't much that was appealing, but he didn't deny the effect that he appeared to have on women.
"Wow." Graham muttered finally. "And I thought I crossed a line by allowing myself to cuddle with you in bed." Graham chuckled, suddenly finding the absurd nickname hilarious.
"God, I feel like an idiot." Emma muttered, her eyes boring holes into the comforter covering her legs.
Graham crouched down in front of her. He placed his thumb under her chin, effectively lifting it up so that she was looking at him. "You're not an idiot, Emma. Granted, I haven't known you all that long, but from what I've learned about you..." he paused, raking his fingers through his unruly curls, "you are kind, sweet...a little off-putting, you have issues with letting others in, but you are an amazing woman, Emma Swan. So, you embarrassed yourself a little bit. It's not a big deal. If I remember correctly, I said some unflattering things to you when I was sick. It happens. No need to feel bad about it. I'll just take it as a compliment." Graham finished with a wink.
Emma blew out a breath she hadn't realized that she had been holding, which led to a coughing fit.
"You alright, Emma?" Graham asked, concern written on his features.
She nodded her head, "Apparently holding your breath isn't the smartest thing when your still battling the flu." Emma muttered.
Graham nodded, "Probably not." He attempted to hand her the thermometer again, and smiled when she took it without incident. He waited until it beeped, before examining it. "99.2. Very good." Graham rocked back on his heels, before pulling himself to his full height. "So, how does soup sound? I'm starving, I know you have to be too. I'll make a quick run to Granny's."
Emma smirked, "Soup sounds amazing."
Graham smiled back, before nodding. "I'll be back in a few." He muttered, before disappearing from her room.
Emma laid her head back against her pillow, a smile still on her face, realizing how thankful she was that Graham was there to take care of her.
A/N: So, lots of mushiness in this one. I couldn't help myself. I figure a sick Emma = an Emma with her walls at least partially down, which in turn means fluff and lots of it!