“Mike with a man cold and Ginny being on Lawson duty.”
Mike opened an eye and groaned, shoving his face into his pillows. The cough medicine he’d drunk was definitely taking effect because he was hallucinating. “What the hell are you doing here, rookie?”
“Apparently you have the plague.” Ginny walked over to the wall and opened the curtains. Mike whimpered as the light hit his eyes, then fell into a coughing fit. “Out of bed.” Ginny ordered.
“No.” Mike replied. “I’ve earned my rest.” He covered his eyes with his arm. “Whaddya want?”
“Out of bed. You’re taking a shower, changing clothes and eating this soup that Evelyn made.” She said.
Mike let out another groan, pressing his face into the pillow. “No.”
“Mike,” Ginny sounded like she was trying to be patient. “That bed is covered in your germs. So while you’re showering and changing, I’ll strip the bed and put on new clean sheet.” She grabbed his comforter and pulled. Mike curled into a ball, shivering. “Out. Come on; it’ll make you feel better.”
Making sure to make a lot of complaints and grumbling, Mike swung his legs out of bed and slowly got to his feet. “Now I know this isn’t a hallucination.” He muttered as he opened the bathroom.
“Oh?” Ginny asked.
“Because hallucination nurse Ginny would have been nicer to me.” He shot back, squinting at Ginny’s sweater and leggings “And would have been wearing-”
“I’m going to assume that’s the cold medicine talking.” Ginny cut him off. “And not let you finish that sentence.”
Mike nodded solemnly. “Probably for the best.” He mumbled, going to the bathroom. Then he stuck his head back into the room. “Wait, how did you get in?”
“Evelyn.” Ginny replied, grabbing his pillow and pulling the pillow case off.
“How does Ev-” Mike trailed off. “Nevermind.” Evelyn was in league with powerful forces that Mike knew better than to question.
When he came out of the shower, Ginny was holding a tray table with a bowl of soup. She also had a huge smirk on her face that made him nervous.
“Nothing,” Ginny grinned. “Just got myself acquainted with your linen closet.” Mike’s widened. Surely she hadn’t…
Then she pulled off the comforter, revealing his Star Wars bed set. “I found this in with your ridiculously large collection of silk sheets.”
“Well when a person entertains as much as I do, you have to keep the ladies happy.” Mike snapped. She was never going to let him live this down. Climbing into bed, he reached for the tray table. “Gimme the soup.”
She handed him the tray table and sat on the bed next to him. “So what’s the story?” She asked, watching him as he blew on his spoon.
“What story?” He asked, swallowing a mouthful of soup. It was delicious, he definitely owed Evelyn big time.
“Why does a grown man have Star Wars sheets?”
Mike stirred his soup slowly, trying to come up with a response. “Answer’s not as funny as you think it is.” He mumbled, looking at the bowl. He could feel Ginny’s eyes on him and she shifted closer to him. It was probably the cough medicine talking, but he felt nothing wrong with telling her. In fact he wanted to tell her. “I liked Star Wars when I was kid. I’d save up pocket money and…and hide it from my mom so I could rent the videoes.”
“Why didn’t you go to the library?”
Mike let out a humorless laugh that turned into a couch. Her hand went to his back, rubbing small smoothing circles. Mike swallowed and leaned back.
Never had an address that was permanent enough to get a library card.“ He mumbled. "I even had a dog named Jedi at one point…” He grimaced. “But I…I wanted to be like the other kids who had action figures and bedspreads and lunch boxes…”
“Stuff that made it seem like you had a home.” Ginny whispered. He nodded.
“After Rachel and I split up…” He sighed. “I just…I was doing some online shopping and saw it and thought, why the hell not?” He coughed, clearing his throat as he ate a spoonful of soup. They sat in silence, the only sound was his spoon in the bowl. Mike fidgeted, suddenly uncomfortable with being so vulnerable in front of her.
“I didn’t have…many personal things in my room either.” Ginny said, breaking the quiet. She moved so she was next to him, her body inches from him. “My dad didn’t like me having distractions. If it wasn’t baseball…” She flexed her fingers slightly and let out a humorless laugh. “You should have seen him when he found out my mom had taken me to get my ears pierced.”
She understood. The relief that rushed through him left him drained. Mike leaned his head on her shoulder sighing with relief as she pressed her cool fingers to his forehead. “You’re burning up.” She said.
Mike nodded. “I’m sick, Baker.” He whined. It felt nice to have someone comforting him when he was sick. In fact, he couldn’t remember when the last time was.
“Shut up, Lawson.” Ginny said, rubbing his back again. “It’s just a cold.”
“mmmmm.” Mike said.
“Eat.” She urged, pointing to his bowl.
“I’m weak.” Mike whined. Ginny arched an eyebrow.
“I suppose in your advanced years, a cold could be fatal.” She said, taking the spoon. “Open up.”
“Baker?” Mike asked a few hours later. They were watching A New Hope, Mike shamelessly curled around Ginny. (It wasn’t his fault; he’d been shivering and she’d climbed under the blankets and pulled him closer).
“Yeah?” She asked, her eyes glued to the screen.
“What types of personal things did you have as a kid?” He asked. Ginny chuckled, shaking her head.
“There was no poster, Lawson.”
“I’m on my death bed and you’re lying to me?” Mike said. Ginny laughed. “Not cool, Baker.” He smirked up at her. “I almost had you, though.” He said.
“Nothing to get.” Ginny retorted. “Now hush. I’m trying to watch this movie.”