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“Double Dee. Hey, Double Dee, wake up.”
Feeling himself being jostled awake, Edd opened his eyes. It was a lot tougher from this morning. Even though the lights were turned off in the little room it felt as if thousands of stage lights used for Broadway shows beaming in his eyes. Edd moaned, feeling that burdensome churn in his stomach once more. Not only that, but the pain in his cranium was worse.
“Feel like going home?”
Home. That question was an understatement. “Yes.”
He was gently lifted from the pillow. Edd still couldn’t open his eyes all the way to look at Ed. Falling against his shoulder Ed’s scent entered Edd’s nose.
Ed wore cologne now? He didn’t smell the usual demented dried sweat, or lingering fifth from when he’d roll around the grass with his kids.
Edd started becoming more aware of his surrounding when a jacket was wrapped around his shoulders.
“You look like you’ve seen better days, sockhead.” Seeing Eddy next to him was like seeing an angel. Still, seeing his husband made Edd jump.
“Eddy? What are you doing here?” Edd asked, recoiling.
“The school called me saying you were as sick as dog. I’m here to take you home.” Eddy answered, confused about why Edd was acting this way. He was concerned about his pale cheeks. Eddy swore his heart dropped into his stomach when he first stepped into the room. How could he ignore him this morning?
“Where’s Ed?” Edd asked.
“No one could get a hold of him or May. They must be busy at work.” Eddy explained, lightly rubbing his hand against his lanky spine. They enjoyed the solitude of the little room as distant voices conversed with one another in the main office.
“You should be at work?” Edd said brokenly looking away from Eddy.
Eddy touched his cheek making the man look at him. “Trust me, sockhead, you’re way more important then having people harass me over things I’m not in charge of.” That statement made Edd’s heart feel all warm inside.
Then Eddy gently lifted up his hat to feel Edd's forehead. This only caused Eddy to worry further. “Man, you’re warm. Let’s get you home.”
“H-How are we getting home?” Edd asked upon being lifted to his face. He felt dizzy as his headache worsened.
“I got us a taxi,” Eddy answered, taking Edd’s satchel for him.
Edd’s eyes skyrocketed briefly drawing back as Eddy’s hand fell on the door. “Oh no, Eddy. I don’t believe that’s such a good idea.”
“Why not?” Eddy took his hand away from the door. He touched his arm in comfort. Edd’s fragile state was breaking Eddy further. How did he have the strength to stand?
“Taxi’s are too expensive to regurgitate inside of,” Edd answered, guiltily looking away from Eddy. He pressed a hand to his stomach.
Eddy’s eyes never shamed him, instead looked at him in half pity, but pure love overpowering them making Edd feel so lucky. Suddenly, he liked the idea of being sick. Eddy nursing him and answering any of his requests. “I think taxi drivers are used to that kind of thing. Come on,” With that he stood on his toes to kiss Edd on his forehead. “Let’s take our chances.”
And they exited the room, Eddy arm comfortingly around Eddy’s waist as they left the office,
“Goodbye, Eddward. Feel better!” Mrs. Alliston called out from her office.
All the teachers present in the office said goodbye to him, even saying they’ll miss him. Miss him? What did that mean?
His stomach started making those gurgling noises as the fresh breeze hit Edd’s face.
The yellow taxi came into view. A taxi. When did he ever ride in one? It’s too bad Edd had to experience it feeling this way and constantly on edge that the most dreadful thing may happen.
Eddy opened the door for him, letting Edd slide in first.
The driver was a middle aged man who looked him over. It was evident by the fermenting smell in the car that this taxi had a history of car sickness. Edd grasped his stomach praying to anyone who could hear that everything to stay down.
Eddy gently descended his husband to lay down on his side. Edd used Eddy’s thigh as a pillow gently grooming his hand through his hair.
Three blocks. It was just three blocks. That felt like hours.
Eddy rubbed his hand along Edd’s back. Edd touched Eddy’s knee, practically gripping it. He closed his eyes to take his mind off the moving car. Eddy also opened the window to the let the fresh air take the filthy smell out from the car. As his stomach started churning even more Edd’s students horrified disgusted faces haunted his mind.
And the principal. Was she angry? Yes, she and the nurse had to take care of a teacher who came into work to pass around germs. They were already talking about why they should fire him.
The car stopped. Oh no, traffic? No, they were home. The site of their apartment was heaven in Edd’s eyes.
Now Edd could hardly stand, leaning against the car, waiting for Eddy to pay the cab driver. Edd wrapped the jacket tighter around his shivering body. How were his hands ice when the sun was shining.
That churning feeling returning. It showed no signs of subsiding, gurgling and ready to make it’s journey venturing of to its destination. At least it was rewarding in the end.
“Eddy…” his voice was so weak, but he was able to make it sound panicked.
“You know what keep the change! Thank you!” Eddy rushed having heard Edd’s voice. He took Edd around the waist and lead him up the walkway.
“Feel better, sir!” The driver called out.
Why couldn’t they live on the first floor? He made his way up each step feeling it come closer and closer. His surroundings wouldn’t connect as one image briefly falling against Eddy’s shoulder. Eddy stayed by his side the whole time leading the way every step never letting Edd give up.
“Eddy…” Edd moaned once more.
“Just a few more steps, Dee.”
Edd was able to wait until he was in his own bathroom. Eddy stayed by his side holding his hat and rubbing his back.
Eddy helped Edd to his feet leading him towards the bedroom. “Jeez, your hands are like ice and yet you’re burning up. What should I do, put you half in Hawaii and the other in Antarctica?”
Edd smiled at Eddy’s efforts to cheer him up.
He dressed back into his comfortable jammies. The soft fabric felt so nice on his skin then the suit he he sweat through. Edd realized that he never put on a tie that morning. He was too sick to care as he lied his head into his pillow. Immediately he felt so much better.
Eddy pulled the covers up to his chin and sat on the edge of the bed patting Edd’s knee under the blankets.
Edd felt a straw peck at his lips.
“Here. Gingerail. It’ll make your stomach feel better.”
Edd’s nose itched when he sipped the bubbly liquid.
“Not too much, now. You don’t want to get sick again.”
Tears leaked out from Edd’s eyes. Eddy was being so loving, so caring. Like everyone else. He was such a burden. He ruined everything. His students were trapped in a room with an awful smell fermenting the air, a substitute had to be called in, and Eddy had to leave work.
“Oh Eddy, I’m sorry…” Edd cried rolling over to his side.
“Hey, don’t be sorry. I know how you feel,” Eddy sighed squeezing his husband’s arm. “I wish I wasn’t so busy this morning. I would never have let you go to school.”
Edd was too sick to plead his case any further. Sleep was already taking over.
“You just sleep, Edd. I’m here if you need me.”