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Not So Oblivious


sprinkles287

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Short snippet of McHotPants getting sick just prior to meeting Bea.  Enjoy.

Jake woke up to the incessant beep-beep beep-beep of his alarm clock.  Groaning, he slapped the snooze button for the 3rd time that morning and rolled over, pulling the blankets over his head to block the sunlight.  He'd gone to bed early the night before, but still felt tired.  He'd recently increased his training for the Boston Marathon and it was starting to take its toll.  The day before, he and Pete had gone for their run together, in the freezing rain, for an hour and half.  It'd felt good and freeing at the time, but might not have been the best idea, what with the nagging fatigue Jake'd been fighting for the better part of the week.

Beep-beep.  Beep-beep.

The damn alarm again.  Already.  Jake grunted, pushing himself to a seated position and rubbed his eyes.  He yawned, climbing out of bed and heading to the bathroom.  He'd have to hurry to be on time.  Jake worked at the sports medicine clinic down the road, a podiatrist.  Thanking his lucky stars yet again for his foresight in renting an apartment within walking distance to his office, hopped in the shower.

The warmth of the water soothed his aching muscles, releasing the lingering soreness from the day before.  Too soon, Jake forced himself to turn off the shower, shivering at the cold air of the bathroom.  At least it'll wake me up, he thought to himself, annoyed at the fuzzy feeling in his head that hadn't gone away yet.

But the feeling was still there as Jake finished his first cup of coffee, hastily walking through the clinic doors and heading to the back.  He was on time, with just enough time to read through his schedule and prepare for the first patient of the day.  Day, the receptionist, greeted him with a smile. 

"Cutting it close today, are we?"  She quirked an eyebrow when Jake simply nodded and moved past.  Jake almost always stopped to chat, seeming to enjoy her stories about her children's antics.  He had a soft spot for kids.  She swiveled in her chair to watch him leave, narrowing her eyes when she noticed him muffling a series of coughs in his jacket.

As the day crept by, Jake was unable to ignore his increasing discomfort.  His eyes felt heavy, and a headache was brewing.  Adding that to his sore throat and tickling nose, it was clear that he'd caught something.  Pausing before entering the exam room to review the x-ray results of his current patient, he looked up at the light, forcing out a couple quick sneezes.  "Hih'Eshoo!  Ha'Eshoo!"  Sniffling sharply once, he opened the door and washed his hands thoroughly before talking the patient through his diagnosis and care instructions.  He managed to hold back another sneeze while in the exam room, although he was sure he looked ridiculous, wrinkling his nose and interrupting himself with hitching breaths.  Thankfully the patient didn't have a lot of follow-up questions and he was able to escape and hightail it to the restroom before heading to the break room for his daily lunch with Daya.

In the bathroom, Jake glared at his reflection in the mirror.  "Damn it, Jake.  This is just embarrassing.  Pull yourself together and j-just hehh... hih'hhh...Heashoo!  Stop.  Snee-hiih'heyEshoo! Fuck.  Sneezing.  Heh'Atchoo! uhh.. Heh...hhh'ihh...snf."  Blinking his watery eyes, Jake looked up at the lights, trying to encourage the sneeze to come out.  "Huh'hehh...hehhh...Heh'ehTschoo!"  The remaining sneeze returned with a vengeance, exploding out of him.  Jake barely snapped his hands up in time to cover, caught off guard by its violence.  Groaning softly in the aftermath, he grabbed a paper towel and blew his nose several times, wincing as the roughness chafed his nose.  Washing his hands once more, he sighed at the pink tint to his nostrils and knew he wouldn't be able to hide his symptoms for much longer.  Maybe if he admitted to not feeling well, Daya would have some medicine he could take to get him through the rest of the day.  

Grabbing his lunch from the refrigerator, Jake sat down at an empty table and waited for Dyaa to join him.  Every Monday they had a standing lunch date, a time when they caught up on everything that'd happened over the weekend, and, as Day put it, allowed her to live vicariously through him while serving as a deterrent to any of the other girls on staff who were a little too interested in the young, attractive doctor.  Jake was pleased by the arrangement.  He'd learned early on that workplace romances tended to end badly, and that the safest way to field unwanted advances was to either be married, gay, or to stick like glue too Daya.  Seeing as he was neither married nor gay, sticking to Daya was his best strategy.  Besides, Daya was like the big sister he never had.  Funny, tough, and insightful, she never ceased to amuse him.

Daya stood in the doorway, taking the opportunity to look over Jake closely before he noticed her.  He looked run-down, slouching slightly and moving slowly as he pulled items from his lunchbox.  She noticed he'd put on his jacket, and that his cheeks were flushed and the tip of his nose was pink.  While she watched, he held his napkin to his nose and mouth, frozen for a few second before flinching forward with a set of pinched-off sneezes. "Heh'gnxt!  Gnxt-choo!"

"Bless you."  She said casually, pulling her own lunch from the fridge and moving to join him.  Before she could sit down, Jake held up a hand and said, "Don't get too close to me - I think I'm coming down with a cold.  I don't want to get you sick."

"You sound like it.  Look like it too."

"Yeah, I know."  Jake sighed.  "It snuck up on me.  You don't happen to have any Tylenol or Ibuprofen, do you?"

"Not on me, but - "

"Wait - I'm gonna sneeze again."  Jake interrupted, turning as far away from her as he could, muffling two sneezes into his napkin again.

"Bless you."  Daya said sympathetically.  Let me grab some medicine from my desk.  If you take it now, you should feel better by the time you have to see patients again."

"You're a life-saver, Daya.  Thank you."

***

3 hours later, Jake was more than ready to call it a day.  Even with the ibuprofen Daya had scrounged up, he still had a nagging headache and a suspicion that he was starting to run a fever.  He usually did with a cold, and this was proving to be a bad one.  About an hour after lunch, Daya had tossed him a few pocket packets of tissues that she'd collected from the other staff members on his behalf and had snuck him a dose of DayQuil that one of the other receptionists had squirreled away in her desk.  It hadn't been enough.  He was leaving a couple hours early and had no plans to come in the next day.  Everyone he'd seen knew he was sick.  He'd begun announcing it to the patients as he'd entered the exam rooms, since they'd all seemed to ask if he was feeling ok anyway, with varying levels of concern or disgust.  When he'd rushed out of his 3:00 appointment unable to stop coughing, Daya had stared him down and sent him home, promising to cancel the rest of his appointments for the afternoon and the next day, with strict instructions to rest and a promise that she'd stop by after work with extra tissues and medicine, as she was "certain that he did not know how to care for himself, as he'd not had the sense to stay home today."  When he'd protested that he was a doctor after all, and that he knew how to take it easy, she'd merely snorted and walked away.  Shivering, Jake shrugged on his coat and began the short walk home, secretly glad to have someone looking out for him.

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Adorable.   I love that a) he finally has a name and b) he’s photic.   So cute.   And of course he doesn’t know how to take care of himself; he knows how to take care of other people.   
I feel for him though.... hate working with patients when I’m sick.  

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Thank you for sharing this story. I like that it's close to reality - it feels like it could have happened in real life. Now I need to read more about this doctor 😊

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 2/29/2020 at 5:52 AM, Feo said:

Thank you for sharing this story. I like that it's close to reality - it feels like it could have happened in real life. Now I need to read more about this doctor 😊

I'm so glad it's coming off as real! 

On 2/26/2020 at 12:58 PM, aggedy_ann said:

Adorable.   I love that a) he finally has a name and b) he’s photic.   So cute.   And of course he doesn’t know how to take care of himself; he knows how to take care of other people.   
I feel for him though.... hate working with patients when I’m sick.  

I'm relieved that he decided to name himself.  I have such a weak spot for photic sneezers.  It's just extra adorable.

On 2/25/2020 at 6:56 PM, Puzzle said:

AaaAaaahhhh this is so cute! I hope you can continue it! 

It took a while, but I'm pleased to bring you another part!

Part 2

A knock on the door startled Jake awake.  It was followed by a ding from his phone.  Frowning, he read the message.

Daya:  *I brought you meds.  And food.  And tissues.  Let me in!*

Grunting, Jake pushed himself to his feet, swaying slightly.  He wondered briefly if he was running a fever, surprised by how groggy he felt.  Shaking himself in an effort to wake up more fully, he headed toward the door and opened it to reveal Daya, impatiently shifting a bag in her arms.

She pushed past him, pausing in the entryway to get her bearings, then headed swiftly to the kitchen counter to put down the bag.  Jake followed her slowly, sniffling and rubbing at his nose as he felt a sneeze brewing.

"At least you were smart enough to get some rest."  She observed, critically assessing him as he shuffled into the room.  "You look like shit."

"You're too kind, Daya, really."  He said, surprised when his voice cracked and rasped.

"And you sound like it too.  Doctors always do make the worst patients, wearing themselves out caring for others."

"I'm ok, I promise."  The need to sneeze was growing stronger.  Jake's mouth fell open and his eyebrows drew together.  "Hhh'Mmmpt!"  He held it in, gripping his nose firmly between his thumb and index finger as his head bobbed forward with the strength of the sneeze.

"Uh-huh.  Bless."

"Thanks."  Jake sniffled, raising his head and releasing his nose only once he was sure no more sneezes were on their way.  "What did you bring me?"  He asked, curious.

"Tissues, Ibuprofen, Sudafed, Vick's, and my famous, fabulous chicken soup."

"Wow.  That's...wow.  Thank you Daya."

"What are friends for?  Now go sit down and get comfortable.  You look like you're ready to fall over."

Not bothering to argue, Jake did as he was told.  He did feel like he might fall over.  Sighing in relief, he sat down on the couch and grabbed a blanket.  Spreading it over himself, he shivered, again suspecting that he might be feverish.  He could hear Daya humming to herself in the kitchen, clearly making herself at home.  God, he was lucky to have her as a friend.  She must be one hell of a mom, he thought, letting his eyes close.

"Oh no you don't!"  Daya called from the other room.  "Not until you get some medicine in you and take your temperature."

He jerked awake, embarrassed at having dozed off so quickly.  He scrubbed at his nose, annoyed that the itch had already returned.  "Heh'etshoo! 'Ngxtshoo!"  The itch was still there.  Looking up at the light, he lurched forward with a forceful. "Hhhr'tshoo!"  He wiped his nose on his wrist, belatedly realizing he didn't have any tissues nearby.

"Daya?  Could I have those tissues?"

"Just a sec.  Almost got everything ready here."

Sniffling, Jake sighed and ran his hands through his hair.  He picked up the book he'd left by the side of the couch earlier that week and thumbed to where he'd left off.  Muffling a cough into his shoulder, he settled in to wait for Daya.

"Whatcha reading?"  Daya questioned as she walked into the room, tissue box tucked under one arm, glass of water and bowl of soup in her hands.

"Ahhmmm."  He cleared his throat. "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss.  It's amazing.  Fantasy book - not sure if it's your thing."

"Probably not."  She said as she set down the water and soup on the coffee table and handed him the tissues.  "Where's your thermometer?  I'll have the medicine ready for you in a minute.  You allergic to anything I should know about?"

Jake gratefully took the tissue box and pulled out a handful, holding them to his nose.  "Um, in the cabinet above the bathroom sink, I think.  No allergies to medication.  Just pollen and cats."

"Good to know.  Now I know why you never bring me flowers."  Daya teased.

Jake laughed, folding over into a coughing fit.

"Lord above, none of that now.  Take a drink."  She placed a hand on his shoulder and pushed the water into his hands.  He took a sip, and managed to regain control after a moment.

"You really shouldn't get so close.  I don't want you to catch this."

"Pretty sure I'm impervious to germs by now."  Daya said dismissively.  "I'll be right back.  No sleeping!"

Jake shook his head and raise the tissues to his face again as she left, presumably in search of the thermometer.  He took advantage of the privacy to blow his nose, tucking the used tissues into his sweatshirt pocket.  He had just picked up the book again when Daya bustled back in.

"Open up."

He did as she asked, and she placed the thermometer under his tongue, laying out the medicines on the table along with a pen and paper while she waited fo ritz's to beep.  The moment it did, Jake pulled it out of his mouth, bending to the side with an urgent "Heh'mmmgnxt'choo!" that he tried to muffle into his elbow.

"God bless."  Daya took the thermometer.  "Not too bad.  Just a bit higher than normal.  So that's one less thing you'll need to keep an eye on."  She handed over the Ibuprofen and Sudafed.  "I assume you know how to take these.  This paper is for keeping track of when you take the meds, so you know when you can have more.  Use it.  You're not coming into work tomorrow, I will send you home if you try.  Be sure to eat your soup before going to bed and call me if you need anything."

"Yes ma'am."  Jake murmured, amused and touched by her mothering.

She shot him a stern look.  "Do I look like an old lady to you?  Watch yourself.  Just because you're sick doesn't mean you can get away with that nonsense."  She softened a bit.  "Feel better, Jake.  Take good care of yourself.  We'll miss you tomorrow."

Jake nodded, fighting off another sneeze and losing.  "Ht'ngxt'choo! 'Ngxch!  Thanks for everything.  You're the best."

"Bless you.  Good night, Jake."

"'Night."

Daya let herself out, and Jake smiled wearily.  He ate the soup, read a few more chapters, and headed back to his bed.  Daya would be so pleased, he thought as he drifted off into a deep dreamless sleep, relieved he wouldn't have to head in to work the next day.

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@Privatedancer @Puzzle Thank you for the kind words.  I'm glad you are enjoying it.  Here's some more for you.

Part 3

The next morning, Jake woke up feeling less than rested.  He'd been so congested that he'd had trouble falling asleep, and kept waking up.  Every time he'd changed position, he'd been hit with a coughing fit or a series of sneezes that only served to exacerbate his discomfort.  When 7 AM hit he accepted the inevitability of getting up and made himself a giant cup of coffee.  While it was brewing, he showered and got dressed, knowing that he owed Rory, his dog, a long walk after he'd spent the previous day lazing about.  He put on his warmest sweats and sweatshirt, and completed the ensemble with a pair of gloves and a hat.  Muffling a cough into his gloved hand, he clipped the leash to Rory's collar and set out at a brisk pace, planning to jog once around the park down the street.  5 minutes into the walk, he immediately regretted not bringing tissues. And he wanted a coat.  His nose was both clogged and running, and he started coughing anytime he tried to move faster than a walk.  He shivered as Rory paused to sniff the ground, and jumped as he felt a hand on his arm.

"Jake?  Shouldn't you be at work?"

Rory looked up at the voice and bounded over joyously to greet Clara, the fiancé of Jake's best friend, Pete.  She knelt down and patted his head, scratching his ears as he did a full body wiggle, tail wagging so hard that he had to prance about to keep his balance.  She laughed as he licked her face.

"Hey Clara.  Nah, I took the day off.  Hh..Heh'gnxch'oo!"

"Salud.  I can't believe you're walking, not running.  You and Pete are crazy, training through the winter.  Mind if I join you?  I'm trying this new thing, called 'waking up early' and it's hell."

Jake sniffled, nodding.  "Of course you can."

They walked on, chatting about the new things in their lives.  Clara was in the midst of planning a party to celebrate her recent engagement to Pete, and was pleased to get Jake's opinion on food and drinks.  She'd just asked him what his favorite beer was when he twisted away and sneezed into his elbow, body shuddering with the force of the sneeze.  "Hheh..eh'gnxch!"  He stayed bent over for a moment before sneezing once more.  "Hh'gnxch'oo!"

"Ble-"  Clara started, but Jake stopped her, stuttering out "W-wait.  I'm ahh gonna sn-sneeze again hh'hhh..."  He stood still, breath hitching as the sneeze toyed with him.

"Again?  Are you feeling ok?"

Jake didn't respond.  He looked up at the sun, forcing the itch to blossom before doubling over, sneezing two more times.  He sniffled deeply as he straightened up, wiping his nose against his gloved hand.

"M'sorry."  He mumbled.  "I think I'm coming down with something."

Clara stared at him.  "Mmhmm.  Or maybe you're home today because you've already come down sick.  I'm an idiot - that's why you're walking instead of running, isn't it.

Jake just nodded, resigned.  

"Well, shit.  Do you need anything?  I could stop over after work."

"No, I'm good.  Really.  Daya's a saint and already hooked me up with everything after she sent me home from work yesterday."

"I love Daya."

"Me too."  Jake agreed fervently.  "She's like the big sister I never had but always wanted."

Clara smiled as they reached the entrance to the park.  "Feel better, Jake.  Let me know about that beer."

Jake walked away, a smile on his face.  Clara was a great match for Pete.  He was looking forward to the party Friday.  He'd just need to rest up and be better by then.

He was freezing by the time he reached his apartment.  He stumbled up the stairs, unlocking the door with shaking fingers.  Not grabbing a jacket had been a mistake.  His nose was running and itching incessantly and he sneezed yet again, dropping his keys in the process.  Sniffling, holding his wrist to his nose, he picked up the keys and hurried to the living room, in urgent need of the tissues.  "Heh'etshoo!  Hhhr'tshoo!"  "Hh'hhh...Haetch'shoo! Nngh..."  He groaned softly.

Kicking off his shoes, Jake flopped onto the couch, wrapping himself in a blanket.  Rory curled up next to him, a snuggly bundle of warmth that was much appreciated.  Dozing off, Jake realized he'd forgotten all about medicine.  Too warm and sleepy to care, he fell asleep.

***

He woke to a loud banging on his door.  Confused, he shot upright, and immediately regretted it.  "Huh'etschoo!  Hheh'tschoo!"  He sneezed heavily, too disoriented to cover.  Sniffling, he stood up carefully, clearing his throat and grimacing as the ache in his throat became more pronounced.  He must have been snoring, something he only did when sick.

His phone dinged and he glanced at it, realizing he had three missed calls and a handful of text messages.  He ignored them for the moment as the person on the other side of his door knocked again, loudly.

Pulling it open, Jake stifled a series of coughs into his shoulder before turning to face his visitor.  Pete stood there, holding what looked to be a casserole, a worried look on his face.

"Hey man, you ok?"

"Been better."

"Clara told me you'd caught something and was worried when you didn't answer the phone or her texts all day."

"All day?  What time is it?  H'mmgnxt!"

"Bless you.  6-ish."

"Fuck."  Jake ran his hands through his hair and down his face, sighing.  "I slept all day.  Didn't look at my phone until I heard you at the door.  Didn't even wake up to eat."

"Good thing I brought food then.  I hate cooking when I'm sick."

Jake stepped aside and let Pete in, following him to the kitchen.  Pete helped himself to a couple of plates and filled a couple glasses of water while Jake sat at the table, still feeling worn out.

"When did you last take medicine?"

"I... um.  Didn't."  Jake said sheepishly.

"Ha!  I was right.  I told Clara you were shit at taking care of yourself."  Pete set a plate of lasagna in front of Jake.  "Clara's specialty."

"Im fine.  I would've woken up and taken some eventually."  Jake said defensively.

"Mmmhmm. Yep, and she said you were out without a jacket this morning."  Pete continued, ignoring him entirely.  "What's up with that? It's the middle of winter, man."

"I was planning on running."  Jake muttered.  His nose twitched.

"And that proves my point.  You, my friend, do not do sick well."

"Hh..heh...H'ngxt'choo!  Heh'tschoo!" Jake caught the sneezes in his elbow, glad to have the excuse not to respond.

"Bless you.  Do you have any medicine here, or should I text Clara to drop some off?

"I have some.  Daya brought some supplies over last night."

"Where is it?  I'll get you a dose."

Jake gestured vaguely towards the cabinet to the left of the fridge.  Pete pulled it down, and plunked it on the table in front of him.

"Go on.  Take it now so I can report back to Clara that you are fully medicated and resting.  She worries."

Jake sighed, and took the medicine, washing it down with the rest of his water.  Picking up his fork, he took a tentative bite of the lasagna.

"This is good.  Really good."  He said, surprised.

Pete laughed.  "Clara knows what she's doing when it comes to food.  It's not exactly sick-person food, but it's what we were having for dinner and she figured it'd be easy enough to freeze if you weren't hungry enough to eat it all."

"If? There's enough food here for a family of five."  Jake said in astonishment.

"So eat up.  We'll run it off once you're better.  And speaking of running, can I take Rory out for a jog?  So he doesn't drive you crazy all night?"

"Thanks, man.  I wasn't looking forward to going out again."

"No problem.  You better be done eating and lying down by the time I get back."

"Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Get out of here already."  Jake said with a smile, shooing him away with one hand while he shoveled food into his mouth with the other.

By the time Pete came back, Jake was in bed, already fast asleep.  Pete fed Rory before he left and locked up behind him.  He sent Jake a text, letting him know that he'd hidden the key under his mat and that he or Clara would check in again tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

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This is just cute! I loved this part! Thank you for updating us again! I hope there will still be more!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I just love all the interaction with his friends 💓 And that he is a bit shy about being sick, but has too much symptoms to be able to hide it 👌

Edited by Feo
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