Cherry Flavored Cure All
Post Ep for Process Stories
I lean my head against the back of my chair and sigh. Ow. My throat is killing me. Amy just left. Thank God. Yeah, we’re still friends, but now she just sort of gets on my nerves. My ex-girlfriend, the bookie. Great. I scrub my hands over my face and move to stand. Ow. Fantastic. I’m achy all over. This is not a good sign.
“Donna?!” No answer. Crap. Where is she? I leave my office and walk back through the bullpen to the party. She must have gone back to talk to Margaret. I push through the double doors and scan the room. I see Margaret’s red hair moving through the crowd. I weave in and out of people until I can grab her arm.
“Hey. Have you seen Donna?” She grins at me and I can’t help but be a little worried about that. She points over my shoulder and her grin spreads into a broad smile. I turn to look where she’s pointing and I finally see Donna. She’s…..she’s…..who the hell is that?
I think Margaret just laughed as she walked away and left me standing in the middle of the room gawking at the sight of my assistant huddled in a corner chatting it up with some sailor. Great. Another gomer I’m gonna have to hear about for the next week and half until he moves on to the next port. I push my way past a very drunk intern and move to where they are sitting. Just when I get within earshot Donna starts to laugh. Dammit.
“Hey. Did you find Leo?” She looks up and smiles at me.
“Yeah. Um…..” Great, I’m stuttering. Donna takes this moment of idiocy to introduce Rico Suave.
“Josh, I’d like you to meet Lt. Commander Jack Reese. He’s been assigned to Nancy’s office.” He stands and extends his hand. Woopee fuckin’ shit. He’s working in the White House.
“Pleasure. Today your first day?”
“Yes. Donna was kind enough to navigate me through to my office.”
“She’s nice like that.” Donna stands and moves to stand beside him.
“I was just returning a favor.”
“Favor?” Why’d I even ask? I probably don’t want to know.
“This is the guy that swapped votes.”
“This is the guy?”
“Why were you gonna vote for Ritchie?” Donna pulls on my arm and laughs.
“Don’t ask. He can’t afford another ashtray.” They both share a laugh and I know I’m looking at him like he’s an idiot.
“Yeah, okay. Um, Donna can I talk to you for a sec?”
“Sure.” Ah hell. She’s giving him the moony-eyes. That is nothing but trouble. We start to walk to the doors and I slip my hand to the small of her back.
“Are you okay?” I look over at her and she’s got that worried look on her face.
“I…I think I’m sick.” Gee, that sounded a lot more pitiful than I really wanted. I push the door open and allow her to pass through. She turns to look at me and before I can stop her, she’s pressed the back of her hand against my forehead. I feel like a freaking five year old.
“Donna.” Yes, I whined. I don’t feel well. I thought we covered that.
“Come on.” She tugs on my sleeve and leads the way back to my office. Don’t think the fact that she left Popeye the Sailorman hanging back there escaped me. Oh no, she still loves me best. I mean….hell. She holds out her hand for my key and unlocks the door. She steps inside and waits for me to drag myself through the door.
“Lean down a little.”
“Lean down a little, Josh.” I lean down a little and Donna grabs the sides of my head before pressing her lips to my forehead.
“Uh Donna? Is this like the kiss of death or something? Cause I gotta tell ya, Al Pacino kissed the guy on the mouth. You’re not doing it right.” I can feel her lips turn up in a smile before she pulls away.
“My hands were cold. I couldn’t tell if you were running a fever or not. This is how my mom checks for a fever. Besides, you’re sick so no kisses for you.”
“Well then, I better get better soon.” I smirk at her but the effect is ruined by a sudden coughing attack. Donna grabs some tissues from the corner of my desk and hands them to me.
“Have you been sucking on the cough drops I gave you?”
“I just finished one.”
“They’re not helping?”
“Okay, I’m taking you home.”
“But…..” Before I can whine some more, she grabs my coat from the hook.
“Home. Now. The parties winding down anyway.”
“What about Captain Ahab out there?”
“Don’t start Josh.”
“What? I was just…..” She stops and gives me a serious look.
“Was that Amy I saw earlier? She must be freezing to death by now or is she keeping warm collecting all her markers?” I grin at her. She hates Amy as much as I’m starting to hate what’s his name.
“Are you going to make me soup?”
“No. I’ll order us some soup. We’ve got to stop by the drug store for some cough medicine. I used the last of yours a few months ago.” Oh yeah. She fell asleep in the floor on top of the budget summary.
“You’re not going to rub that stuff on my chest or anything are you? I hate that stuff.”
“Maybe.” She smirks as we walk through the bullpen. “If you’re lucky.”
She leads the way through the bullpen and to the party. She puts her hand on my chest so I won’t follow her over to Gomer Pyle. Yeah, I know he was a marine. Who cares? She smiles at him and must be explaining that I’m more important than he is. Soon she’s pulling on my arm again leading us me to the parking lot.
Donna guides me through the front door of my apartment. I try to steer toward the couch, but she pulls me in the other direction toward the bedroom.
“Nope, you’re going to bed.”
“I love it when you’re forceful.” She laughs as she pushes me down on the bed. I flop backwards on my back and immediately regret the action. Now all the fluid in my nasal passages has decided to flow into my brain. Donna rummages through the bag from the drugstore before pulling out the bottle of cherry flavored Nyquil. According to her, Nyquil cures everything if you drink enough of it. She opens it right over the bed and pours the little plastic cup to the rim.
“I think that’s too much.”
“It won’t kill you.”
“You just want to get me drunk.”
“Do you want to feel better or not?” She’s grinning at me as she hands me the cup.
“Can’t I have some water or something?”
“To wash it down with.” I’m whining. I know. Shut up.
“It’s cherry. You’ll live. Take it.” While I take the shot of alcohol disguised as cough medicine, she rummages through the bag some more and pulls out a box of Kleenex and a bag of cough drops. Oh no. She tries to hide the bottle of Vick’s Vaporub behind the Kleenex, but I see it.
“No, you’re not putting that stuff on me. I hate that stuff.”
“But it works, Josh. Just put a little under your nose.”
“I’ll just wait until you fall asleep and do it then.”
“No you won’t!” I screech. OW! Not good on the throat.
“You won’t know. You’ll be out cold in another ten minutes, tops.”
“Why are you so mean to me?” More whining. I know.
Taking your plague ridden ass home and nursing you back to health is mean?! You
don’t want to see mean.” She’s smirking at me. This can’t be good.
”Donna….” Before I can get the warning out, she unscrews the cap of the navy blue bottle and shoves it at my face. Now I have Vick’s VaporRub all over the end of my nose.
“Now, that was mean.” She laughs as she rubs the sticky, foul smelling goop under my nose and across my upper lip.
“I hate you.”
“Like I believe that.” She feels my forehead again and points as my shoes.
“You could at least buy me dinner first.”
“You’re funny. Ouch, was that my side splitting? Now get undressed.” She holds out her hands to pull me to a sitting position. Another big mistake. I grab a hand full of Kleenex and proceed to blow my nose. I toss the wadded up Kleenex on the floor before I start to unbutton my shirt. She pulls a fresh t-shirt and boxers from my drawer before she returns to my side of the bed.
“Actually throwing your snot rags in the trash a little too hard?”
“You love me.”
“That’s beside the point. Here, put this on while I get you a glass of water.”
“Yes, dear.” Wait a minute. Donna just said….I said…and then she said. Wait. No, I’m not going to think about it. She was just kidding. Like I was just kidding, right? Right. That’s it. I strip the t-shirt over my head and start to unbuckle my pants when I hear Donna walking down the hall.
“Well hurry up.” I quickly push my pants, boxers and all down my legs and yank my shoes off in the process. I slide the boxers she gave me on and sigh. I think that wore me out.
“Okay. I’m decent. Kinda.” I mumble as she makes her way through the door with a tray of juice and water. I pull the t-shirt over my head as she sets the tray on the nightstand.
“Okay, under the covers.”
“You’re bossing me.”
“What else is new?” I start coughing again and I think I’m going to die. She reaches for the Vicks again and I make a face and shake my head while I hack up a lung. Donna hands me the glass of water and I manage to take a few sips. I hand the glass back to her and settle down under the blankets. Ahhhh. That’s better. Donna walks around the other side of the bed and sits down.
“Are you staying?” I think I whined that a little more than I needed to.
“Do you want me to?”
“It’s four in the morning Donna. You might as well sleep here.”
“Are your navy sweats clean?”
“I think. Look in the bottom drawer.” I motion in the general direction of my bureau before collapsing against my pillow. I feel the bed shift as she gets up to check the bottom drawer. The Nyquil must be starting to work because I think the room has started to tilt a little. The bed shifts again as Donna sits back down.
“Yeah.” I open one eye to see her pulling on a pair of my socks.
“It’s always cold over here Josh. That’s probably why you’re sick. You gotta learn what heat is.”
“You’re just cold natured.”
“I know. Go to sleep. I’m gonna grab a blanket and sleep on the couch.”
“Don’t go yet.” Oh God. I said that out loud. I roll over on my side to face her and she’s grinning at me.
“Okay.” I start coughing again which causes her to start rubbing my hair. I can live with that.
“I feel like shit.”
“You’re sick Josh. That’s what sick feels like.”
“You’re still being mean to me.”
“No I’m not.”
“I know.” She scoots down the bed so she’s lying on her back with her head on the pillow. I don’t know why, maybe it’s because I’m sick and drunk on Nyquil, but I slide over and slip my arm around her waist. She lifts her arm for me to rest my head on her shoulder. Who am I to argue? She brings her hand up to rest on my forehead and the other to my arm.
“Goodnight, Joshua.” I feel her place a kiss on the top of my head. I lift my face to look at her and whisper.
“Goodnight, Donnatella.” She must have overmedicated me because I place a gentle kiss on her lips before settling back against her. She tightens her grip on my arm and I hold her a little tighter than before. That’s the last thing I remember before the Nyquil kicks in and I pass out.
feedback is appreciated. :)