SERIES: Elements #4
RATINGS: PG-13, ESF, EJF, EMF, S/M, SamPoV
SUMMARY: Sometimes new challenges confront us...sometimes we confront them...
Everything was precisely as bad as I remembered. The hovering and worrying
The drugs were worse than I'd remembered. I guess 23 years had numbed the
Mallory had insisted on coming along for support and she sat a little
Now, most people would say I've got a fairly strong stomach. I go sailing
I was emptying my stomach into a plastic tub by 7:45.
By the time I was done at a little after 9, I was shaking and exhausted.
I had to give the girl credit - she was handling all the shit without
Mallory helped me to my bed. "Do you want anything?"
"There's, uh...a box of crackers by the fridge..."
"And some Ginger Ale on the counter..." I'd stocked up the previous day,
"Be right back," she said and returned a few minutes later with the crackers
"If ya don't mind," I said in my best (which, at that moment, wasn't very
"Hello?...Hey, Josh," I heard her say. "Yeah...a little bit ago, he's
"Sure," I said, picking up the extension on the bed table. "Hey," I
"How ya doin'?"
"I thought you might be. You should sleep."
"It's not even 10 yet, Josh, I don't need to sleep."
"You should anyway."
"I'm too nauseous to sleep," I muttered.
"I'll be fine. By tomorrow night, probably. That's always how it was when I
"Is Mal staying there tonight?"
"Probably not, I was gonna send her home."
"Someone should be there."
I sighed. "I don't need a baby sitter."
"Would you rather I come over?"
"No, Josh, I'll...I'll be fine."
"So what's going on at work?"
"Don't worry about it."
"You were here 3 hours ago."
"Fine." I sighed. "Go back to what you were doing."
"Get some sleep."
"Yeah, yeah, you too," I said with a grin, knowing fully well he wouldn't.
"G'night." I hung up the phone and Mallory entered the room. "Hey," I
"A little," I said, even though I still felt like at any second, my stomach
"Do you need anything else?"
"No...Thank you, Mallory, I'm fine. You can go home..."
"Are you sure?"
"Yeah - go home and sleep."
"Okay," she said quietly. She came to my side of the bed and helped me lie
The next morning I was feeling better...a little bit, at least. I managed to
The west wing was quiet, as it usually is on Saturday mornings. I hadn't
"You're at work, aren't you!"
"You went to work!"
"You were supposed to take the weekends off!"
"I feel a lot better, Mallory, I'm fine to work."
"You're not supposed to."
"But I'm gonna anyway."
"Why?" she demanded.
That was a good question. Why did I want so badly to keep working? Why,
Because it was what I was supposed to do the rest of the time.
Because it was what I did when I wasn't sick.
Being sick - I mean very sick, not like a flu or something you get over in a
That's why I kept going to work. For normalcy. Because I wanted to be able
Because I WAS essentially the same person I was before I found out I was sick
It's just there are certain things you know to be establishments in your life
I just wasn't sure how to explain that to Mallory.