Title: Chicken Soup for the Speech Writer's...Whatever
Archive: wherever, just let me know.
Notes: This story is dedicated to my sinus infection...which I hope will clear up soon.
Chicken Soup for the Speech Writer's...Whatever by Nomi
3:00 AM, and I'm suddenly awake. For a second, I'm not sure what woke me, but then I hear the noise again. It sounds like a wheeze crossed with a snort, and it's coming from the man next to me. It doesn't sound good.
"Sam?" I call his name softly.
The wheezing comes again, followed by a muted cough. Still asleep, Sam groans as he shifts his long body, seeking a more comfortable position.
"Sam? Love?" He's usually a light sleeper; calling his name usually brings him to total wakefulness in seconds. The fact that he's still asleep makes me worry.
I reach out my hand to shake him lightly. I can feel waves of heat coming off his naked shoulders and chest. He'd been complaining of a bit of a headache when we got home tonight, but he felt better after dinner, and he was full of energy when we...well, he was fine earlier. But I could tell now that he was running what must be a considerable fever.
Getting out of bed, I go to the kitchen for a large bowl, fill it with cold water, and grab a washcloth from the linen closet on my way back to the bedroom.
By now, Sam is thrashing in the bed and moaning when he's not wheezing. I need to wake him to be sure he's coherent.
Putting the bowl and washcloth on the bedside table, I climb back into the bed. Leaning over Sam, I press my lips to his forehead. He's so warm it almost hurts me. Finally, he opens his eyes. They're bloodshot and unfocused.
"Hey," he says weakly.
"Sh....don't talk. Just lie there. I'm gonna try to cool you down."
Pulling the covers down, I uncover him completely. He's already totally nude, so I don't have to undress him, and - glutton for punishment that I am - I take a moment to gaze at his gorgeous - if somewhat flushed - body. But then I remember my mission. I grab the washcloth and dunk it into the bowl, soaking it completely. After wringing out the excess water, I start giving Sam a sponge bath, trying to lower his skin temperature. He seems to calm a bit under my ministrations, and while his wheezing doesn't stop, the moaning does.
For a few minutes, the room is silent except for Sam's labored breathing.
"J?" he says in almost a whisper. I lean closer to hear him better.
"Can you do that again some time, when I feel less crappy?"
"Yes, love. We'll do this again soon."
As I finish his bath, I can hear the tempo of his breathing changing. He's falling back asleep, and I let him drift off. Despite the dampness of the washcloth, the water has almost totally evaporated off his skin.
With a final kiss on his forehead, I pull the covers back up and tuck them around Sam. I bring the bowl back into the kitchen and grab some decongestant and a glass of water to leave by Sam's bedside. If he wakes up again in the middle of the night, maybe he'll take it.
Maybe tomorrow I'll make him a chicken soup. My mom always used to make me one when I was sick...
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