The Healthy Food Five Star Dinner
Jim had the grace to look suitably chastened as Blair glared at him from the sofa. "What?" he asked. "Don't give me that 'it's all your fault, Ellison' look. You were the one who wanted healthy food."
"Healthy food doesn't make you feel this sick, Jim. I think maybe we should report that place to the Department of Health. Get them to check it out. I'm sure I've got food poisoning."
"Come on, Chief. It's a five star restaurant. It looked and smelt clean to me. Anyway, I feel fine and we ate the same food."
"Well, maybe they only poisoned *my* food, Jim. Maybe they don't like long-haired police observers in their shiny new five star restaurant." Blair laced the words with as much sarcasm as he could, given the fact that he felt as if his stomach was being tossed around inside some internal mixing machine. Added to that gutchurning sensation was the sharp pain that seemed to wrap itself around his abdomen and clench down with sharp teeth every time he tried to move.
He felt himself grow hot then cold and knew that if he didn't get up and run for the bathroom right this minute, he'd end up decorating the loft's pristine polished wood floors with what was left of Hedy's grilled salmon trout with lemon sauce. He bit back the groan that accompanied the thought and managed to lurch to his feet. He had a vague impression of Jim shadowing him as he rebounded off the wall next to the bathroom door and then he was on his knees in front of the toilet, emptying himself of Hedy's gourmet meal and fine wine and from the feel of it, every meal he'd had in the last six months.
He sagged back onto his haunches as the vomiting abated and felt a cool, damp cloth wipe gently over his face. A glass was held to his lips and he pulled away, just the thought of drinking threatening to send him bowing to the porcelain god once more.
"You need to drink something, Blair. At least rinse your mouth out."
Jim sounded worried now and had he been feeling better, Blair thought he might have been able to take some small measure of pleasure in that. Instead he took in a small mouthful, swished it around and spat it into the bowl.
"Take it easy, Chief." Jim was rubbing his back now and that felt good so Blair relaxed against the warm presence at his back and sighed with relief.
In the next instant, he was doubled up on the floor, his arms wrapped around his belly as agonizing pain ripped through him. He felt his knees come up to cradle his pain-filled stomach as he curled up tight and began to rock.
"Hospital," Jim said firmly and Blair began to shake his head then thought better of it as the pain increased. "Okay," he whispered.
"Shit! That tells me just how bad this is, Chief."
Blair felt Jim stand up and move away. The moment he did, the cold of the tiled floor seemed to leach into his body and he felt himself start to shiver. Then Jim was back and Blair was being wrapped in the quilt from their bed upstairs.
"You think you need an ambulance?" Jim asked, each word sounding weighted with worry.
"No, don't want to wait. Take me in the truck, Jim, please."
The words were barely out of his mouth before he felt himself scooped up, Jim grunting with the effort, and then he was hoisted against Jim's chest, his head dropping forward to rest against the broad expanse.
By the time they got to the truck, Jim was panting but he managed to open the door, after propping Blair against the truck and holding him there with one hand while he manipulated the keys.
Then Blair felt himself lifted into the seat, the seatbelt was clipped in place and Jim was racing around and hauling himself into the driver's seat.
Blair flopped his head against the seat back and rolled his head so he could see Jim. His lover's face looked tense and drawn and Blair felt a momentary pang of guilt for being the cause of that look. But then Jim gave him a reassuring smile and reached out to run a hand gently down Blair's cheek. "Hang on, Chief. We're gonna do this with lights and sirens, okay?"
Blair nodded, then groaned and bent forward as the assault on his abused belly began again. He heard Jim curse and then the engine roared, the siren began wailing and the interior of the cab lit up with the red and blue strobe of the mars light on the dash. Blair closed his eyes as the forward momentum caused the nausea to rise again. He took short, shallow breaths and managed to keep himself from hurling all over his shoes. In what seemed like only minutes, he felt the truck come to a stop and then Jim was at his side again, pulling him out of the seat and into his arms.
After that it all got a little blurry. Blair had vague memories of being poked and prodded, which caused the pain in his gut to flare to previously unknown heights of agony. There were several needle-sharp pricks in his arm, the last of which brought blessed surcease from the pain and a slow sliding down into oblivion.
It was the sensation of warm lips on his forehead that woke him and he blinked open heavy eyes that took a moment to bring the world around him into focus.
"Hey, sleepyhead." Jim's voice was a welcome sound and he turned his head till he could see his lover seated next to his bed.
"Hey." He choked a little on the word and swallowed down on the dryness in his throat.
"Here." Jim held a straw to his lips and Blair sipped eagerly, slowing only when Jim cautioned him to take it easy.
Finally Blair nodded that he'd had enough and Jim moved the glass to the bedside table.
"What happened?" Blair managed to get out. He moved his hand down to his vaguely sore abdomen under the blankets and felt the padding of a bandage of some sort. "Not food poisoning?" he guessed.
Jim shook his head and smiled ruefully at him. "Appendicitis," he said. "It was just bad luck that it happened on the night I took you to that new health-food restaurant you've been begging to go to."
"Doesn't matter," Blair said. "You're not going to pull the guilt thing, are you? Even Sentinels can't predict appendicitis."
Jim shook his head and fumbled in his shirt pocket, pulling out something small which he placed in Blair's hand. "No guilt," he said solemnly, then he grinned. "At least you being here gave me the chance to go out and get this engraved. I was going to give it to you last night when we got back from the restaurant but "
Blair moved his hand up and looked at the small silver medallion that rested in his palm.
Jim leaned forward and turned it over and Blair squinted to read the words.
Laughing, Jim closed his fingers around it, his own hand staying warm and strong around Blair's. "It says, 'Always, Jim'" he said. "Happy anniversary, Blair."