Summary: Vin falls sick and learns the true meaning of family.
Thanks to Blackraptor for housing these tales for us.
Vin woke, yawned, and started to stretch. Every muscle he had ached, stopping his stretch immediately. He swallowed and grimaced at the pain. Getting up, he immediately lay back down. His head and ears had gone on strike. Great, his yearly flu type thing was here with a vengeance.
Reaching for his cell phone, he called in to work.
Sighing, he got to his feet and lurched his way to the bathroom.
"Aw, hell!" he muttered as his feet hit cold standing water.
Slowly, he walked back into the bedroom and checked his closet, which backed up to the bathroom. Sopping wet.
Hanging his head, he returned to his bedside table and picked up his cell phone.
"Great, he'll try for sometime today and I got a flood," Vin grumbled as he got off the phone.
"Might as well get at it, ain't no one else gonna do it," Vin told himself as he thought about all the things that now needed to be moved.
By the second load of things on the book case, he had collapsed on the bed.
Why, oh why had the bathroom had to flood at the same time his yearly flu fight hit? Vin thought as he fell into the sweet oblivion of sleep.
Chris collected his coffee in the break room and headed to his office. Since a spoon would not dissolve in it, Vin had evidently not made this batch.
Sipping the elixir of life, he picked up his phone and listened to his messages. Meeting with Travis tomorrow, reminder of a dental appointment he wanted to forget, and lastly, it sounded like Vin wasn't coming in, although, it was hard to be certain through that barking cough.
He looked at his watch, Vin had called two hours ago. He really had sounded bad. Chris stared at the phone and debated calling to check on his friend. If he was asleep he would hate to wake him, but if he was needed something he wanted to help.
While debating this, he sent out the e-mail alerting the team that Vin was out.
Nathan popped his head in Chris's office a few minutes later.
"How did he sound?" he asked, in full medic mode.
"Terrible, I could barely make it out."
Nathan smiled at him. "You mind me tagging along when you check on him?"
Chris leaned back in his chair. "What makes you think I'm gonna check on him?"
"He's sick, alone, and a friend," Nathan responded.
Chris debated another half second and then grabbed his jacket, and the spare keys to Vin's apartment.
Nathan followed as they left. Buck waved, he had known it was only a matter of time before Chris checked on Vin, and Nathan, being a medic, would go with him. It was what family did for one another.
Vin blinked as he snuggled deep into the down comforter on his bed. He could have sworn that he had put that away for the year in favor of the blankets. He felt around, the comforter was on top of the blankets and a space heater was next to the bed. One of the really good ones that cost an arm and a leg.
"Come on, I need you sit up so I can check your lungs again," Nathan was saying.
Nathan? What was he doing here?
Vin opened one eye, the room was darkened and he opened the other. A thermometer was shoved in his ear.
One look from Nathan and Vin decided that it was just fine in there.
"Looks like your temp is at least evening out, even if it's not going down."
"What are you doing here?" Vin managed to rasp out.
"Chris was worried about you being sick and alone so came to check on you. I came with him to see what I could do and if you needed a hospital or not," Nathan answered.
"I ain't going to the hospital fer the flu. Get it every year, a week and a half to two weeks and I'll be fine." Vin growled, but if came out as a whisper.
"If Nathan says you need the hospital, you're going to the hospital, cowboy," Chris growled from the door.
Looking over at his friend, Vin blinked. Everything but the bed had been moved out of the room. The carpeting was lifted in the corner and a dehumidifier was humming away. Again, a top of the line quiet one as opposed to his noisy one.
Vin lay back down and grinned. "Ezra."
"The idea of convalescing with that thunderous contraption you had was abhorrent, Mr. Tanner," Ezra explained from just behind Chris.
"My pleasure, I assure you."
"Whole team here?" Vin asked Chris.
"Josiah's making matzo ball soup, Buck's fixing the leak in the bathroom, and JD is running errands and helping where hands are needed," Chris replied.
"Why? Grown man, don't need this babyin'?" Vin got out between coughs.
"We're not babying you. You're our friend and needing some help, so we're helping," Nathan said.
"You're family. This is how families work," Chris smiled.
Vin said nothing, as he sank back into bed, asleep. This time, knowing that he was not alone like he had been in the past when he would finally land in the hospital because he was too exhausted to care for himself. The last thing he knew was someone tucking the warm comforter and blankets around him, and a chair squeaked slightly as someone settled in to stand watch.