Sickness does strange things to him.
When they woke up that morning, he looked a little glassy eyed and feverish but he seemed himself so she wrote it off as maybe the room was too hot (their flat was forever too hot or too cold) and he was normal during breakfast so she didn’t see the point in worrying herself. He was fine.
Only by lunch he was definitely more flushed and he babbled incoherently about the murderous nature of chickens for a moment before shaking his head. When she asked him what he was going on about, he cleared his throat and said “My throat is a little scratchy. Maybe I should just have some soup for lunch.”
But not chicken noodle.
So she fixed him some tomato soup with oyster crackers, just the way he liked it, but he only ate half and by then he was shivering and she knew she was in for a long night because sickness turned her sweet, quiet, serious Finn into a babbling idiot.
“You should take a nap.” She tells him, trying to coax him into their bedroom but he’s having none of that and insists that he’s fine and only wants to spend the day with her (she doesn’t object too hard because it’s their first Saturday off together in such a long time). He fusses when she makes him put on an extra jumper (“Why do you always pick the itchy wool one?” “Because it’s the warmest.” “You hate me.” “A little more every day.”) and huffs when she puts their duvet over him but declines to snuggle in with him.
“Rae,” he whines. “Come lay with me.”
She shakes her head. “You’re the one with a fever. I’d burn up under that thing.”
But when he pokes his bottom lip out in a pout, pulling the blanket under his chin, refusing to acknowledge her or answer her when she questions how he’s feeling, she heaves a great sigh and moves over to the couch only to be met with a cold stare.
“Thought you’d be too hot under the blanket?”
“I will be but I suppose it’s better than having to hear you huff and puff like a baby.”
He opens his mouth to say something snarky back but words fail him and he ends up mumbling “You’re a baby” before scooting over so that when she sits down, he can wiggle into the proper position to have his hair petted, baby comment be damned.
She was right; it was too hot for them to lay together. Finn realizes this when he wakes up from his nap and they’re both damp. She doesn’t say anything, not even an I-told-you-so, and pushes him to take a cool shower (he doesn’t have the strength to even whine when she declines to join him) and he comes out with his teeth chattering and this time, he doesn’t mind the extra jumper she forces on him.
“I’m going to the market to get you something for your fever and something to eat. What do you feel like having?”
If he were up to par and in a right state of mind, he would probably give her a cheeky smile and say “You” just too watch her blush. But the fever was already crowding his brain and he couldn’t think of anything he wanted to eat but he could think about the time that horse squirrel tried to kill him. She listens to him intently, hiding a smile behind her hand as he regales her with the harrowing story of life and near death and the squirrel that tripled in size every time he retold the store. Pretty soon it would be a dinosaur sized squirrel. When he had tired himself out and his eyes were heavy again, brow shimmering with fever, she tucked him in properly on the couch and left as quietly as she could because if she had to listen to another half hour of his fevered tales, she would smother him with a couch cushion.
Her trip to the store is brief. Some fever reducer and something for the rattle in his chest, some more soup (but nothing with the word chicken in case he still thought they were trying to murder him), a bit of juice, and a new paperback for herself (since any chance they had at going out tonight had been shut down). On her way to the register, she passes a bin of bargain movies and while she’s not one to usually look through them (Finn is much more the film buff in the relationship), the top movie catches her eye. Pet Sematary. She’s just finished the book (and stopped having nightmares about zombie babies) and she’s always liked a good scare… Finn would definitely be out for the night (at least, she hoped) so she might as well have a little extra something to keep her entertained. And when he was feeling better, Finn would watch it as well (and rip it to shreds seeing as how he was not a Stephen King fan).
But Finn is strangely wide awake when she gets back. In fact, when she turns on the living room lights, he’s perched in the recliner with his knees pulled up to his chest. It gives her a jolt and she puffs out a laugh, clutching her chest. “You scared me! I thought you’d be asleep.” Well, she had vehemently hoped he would be asleep. “Want some soup? I’ve got vegetable, tomato-“
“Did you know that the Mona Lisa has no eyebrows?”
Right. “Vegetable it is. You want some orange juice or is your throat too sore still?”
He waved her off with a flick of his hand. “I don’t want anything. She didn’t have any eyebrows because it was like Renaissance fashion to shave them off.”
“Maybe we should shave yours off,” she tells him, kissing his forehead (which is burning up).
Take note to hide all the razors tonight. She shook her head and waggled the bags at him. “You do have to eat, though. And take something for your fever.”
Finn makes an impatient noise in the back of his throat. “I’m not hungry. Can you imagine having no eyebrows at all?”
She decides to respond because responding only seems to fuel his fever induced madness. He’ll eat the soup if she has to pour it down his throat and he’ll take the aspirin whether he wants to or not. She only wishes she still had a few more of those sleeping pills the doctor gave her after exams so she could make sure he would go to sleep. Because as much as she loves him, she also thinks about killing him when he’s spouting of useless facts.
Some higher power must be smiling down on her because she doesn’t have to force the soup or the aspirin on him. He takes the pills without complaint and is half-way through his soup before he makes a face and launches into a tirade about DDT usage in America. She lets him talk, making little noises of consent or disapproval, hoping he will tire himself out.
It doesn’t happen though (obviously whatever higher power doesn’t like her THAT much) and he’s just finished telling her how it takes glass one million years to decompose and isn’t that just awesome Rae because it’s like you can never wear it out and it can be reused over and-
“How about a movie?” She asks a little too loudly.
He shifts uncomfortably (the sweater is officially too itchy again) against the couch and gives her a sullen look. “What movie?”
“Pet Sematary. Bought it at the store earlier.”
He makes a face, his mouth twisting to one side. “Stephen King?”
“Yes, Stephen King. You don’t have to watch it. Go upstairs and get some sleep.”
But he’s having none of that and proceeds to flop into her lap the moment she sits down, blanket bunched around his shoulders, demanding that she pet his hair if he’s too endure this “trash” movie.
(It takes a lot of self-restraint to keep herself from slapping him.)
She’s surprised that he’s quiet. In fact, he’s so quiet that she thinks he must have fallen asleep but when she dares to move enough to get a peak at him, he’s awake, eyes fixed on the telly.
He doesn’t say anything until the movie is over and she’s washed their dinner dishes and given him another aspirin and something for the rattle in his chest. He doesn’t utter a peep until she’s got him tucked in to their bed, turned away from her little bedside lamp so it doesn’t disturb him while she starts reading her next book.
“Rae?” He murmurs, rolling over to face her, eyes squinting in the dim light.
“I think I’m dying.”
“You aren’t dying,” she reaches a hand out, idly patting his face before returning all of her attention to her book.
“I feel like I am.”
“But you aren’t. You’ll be better in the morning and if you aren’t, we’ll go to the doctor.”
“But what if I die during the night?”
“Don’t do it in the bed.”
He doesn’t seem to enjoy her attempted joke and frowns deeply before pushing his head under her arm (much like a puppy does when it’s seeking attention) his fingers trying to snag her book. “What if I died and you knew where an ancient burial ground was? One that could bring me back to life. Would you take me there?”
“What if you knew I’d come back and kill our neighbors.”
With a sigh, she gives up trying to read and marks the page in her book, tossing it on her bedside table. “Well, if I knew that, I’d kill you right now and have you resurrected.”
He nods thoughtfully. “But what if you knew I’d try to kill you?”
Giving into his increasing insanity, she mulls the thought over. In her silence, his hand starts creeping up her thigh and she figures his fever must be dwindling if he’s up to his up pervy tricks again. She swats his hand away. “I reckon I would because I could always just lock you up in the spare room.” His hands won’t be deterred and she laughs, pushing him away as he tries to get a little over the shirt feel. “Stop that. You’re sick and you need sleep.”
“How would you get me there, though?”
“I’d put you in the car.”
“We’re you not watching the movie?” He asks impatiently. “Clearly an ancient burial ground isn’t going to be right off the road. You’d have to carry my cold dead body up some hill and through some woods. I don’t think you could carry me, though, Rae. That’s the problem.”
“I’d figure out something.”
“But what?” He pressed.
“I’d wrap you in a tarp and pull you along with some rope and if you don’t go the fuck to sleep, Finley Nelson, I’m going to do that anyways- dead or not.”
He lets her roll him back over (although she’s 100% sure he’s pushing back against her hand just to make things harder) and flops around on his pillow before settling down. She flicks the lamp off and scoots close to his back, enjoying being the big spoon for once.
“I wouldn’t kill you,” he mumbles. “Love ya too much to kill you.”
Her lips press against the back of his neck and she shushes him, tells him she loves him as well but it’s time for sleep.
And he’s almost there when he mumbles “But I would kill the neighbors. And Chop. Maybe.”