Sick Mornings

He wakes to her shivering against him. He's lying on his side, spooned against her, one arm over her waist and his hand up near her chest. Her hands are tucked inside his and he can feel the coldness of her fingertips. She hadn't been feeling well when they landed in bed after a long day chasing leads in pouring rain and chilly New York winds. She'd taken some Tylenol as soon as they'd got home, but it looks like she's not going to be going in to work today …. and he isn't going to back down on that.

He raises himself on his elbow so he can lean over her shoulder to get a look at her face. He tries moving his hand up to check her temperature but she groans and her fingers grab at his hand. He leans down and brushes a kiss against her shoulder "You awake?"

"Hmmm" comes her reply, followed by "cold".

"I know, that's why I need to do a couple of things, like phone in to let them know you won't be in today. You also need to get some fluids into you if you want to be back at work anytime soon"

She turns within his arms, wincing in pain and tries giving him a Beckett glare "Since when do you tell me when I can or can't go to work?" she growls at him … well at least she tries growling, but neither the glare nor the growl are anywhere near Beckett standards and he just smiles at her.

He leans down to plant a kiss on her forehead, taking the opportunity to gauge her temperature. She's running a fever he reckons though he doesn't really need to guess; one look at her face and he knows she's not going anywhere for at least the next twenty-four hours.

Looking down at her he tries desperately to smother a laugh. Here is Detective Katherine Beckett, kick-ass cop, survivor of exploding bombs, shootings, open heart surgery, freezing, a beating and being thrown off a rooftop to name just a few near-death instances, moaning because of a dose of flu …. If she wasn't so cute he would laugh. But he won't. Just because her nose is all red, her eyes puffed and she's lying there pouting …. he really needs a picture of this; the guys at the precinct would love it.

On the other hand, he doesn't want to be shot out of hand and he has no doubt that if he were to take a picture of her right now she would probably pull her gun out from under the pillow and drill him right between the eyes … or somewhere else even more painful.

Noooo ….. so he will put his sense of fun and mischief away for now and make sure his little Kate the Red Nosed Cop is looked after as befits her. Not to mention that the glare she is now directing his way probably means he has been grinning at her for much too long now.

He pulls away from her and she resignedly rolls back over onto her side, pulling the duvet up over her head. Oh boy … am I going to have a sulky Kate? That's a new one! …. He gets up and goes to the bathroom to grab his bathrobe whilst texting Espo to let him know the situation. He'll call Gates later, once he has a bit more information to argue with, should the need arise.

He finds the old thermometer in the bathroom cabinet (the new digital one must be up in Alexis' room he thinks), slips it into the pocket of the bathrobe along with the Tylenol and wets a washcloth in cold water before wringing it out. Back in the bedroom he pulls at the duvet and gets an answering groan of protest and a clutching at the cover, but he insists and she allows him to uncover her head. Carefully he places the damp cloth on her forehead and she gives him a grateful sigh, her hands coming up to pull his down between hers.

"Ok Kate, we can cuddle in a moment, but first I need to take your temperature, ok?"

She gives him a pathetically weak look of disgust and reluctantly opens her mouth for him to pop the thermometer in. "Good job it's not a rectal one" he comments, and then bites his knuckles at the look she throws his way. For a moment he thinks she's going to spit it out right in his face. He waits a bit, lightly patting the washcloth over her brow and round her neck. Eventually he removes the thermometer and checks. He shows it to her and she closes her eyes in resignation.

"Sore throat?" he asks. She shakes her head.

"Headache, body ache?"

She nods.

"Both, or one or the other?" he insists.

"Body" she grunts.


She shakes her head.

"Ok, well I already know you've got chills, and I know you're fatigued or I'd be dead by now, so give me a few moments to get things ready and I'll be back to cuddle you, ok?"

She just nods and pulls the duvet back up to her chin before closing her eyes. The washcloth falls onto the pillow so he picks it up and places it on the nightstand next to the thermometer before getting to his feet and heading for the kitchen.

He phones the precinct and asks to be put through to the Captain. Once she's on the line he informs her of Kate's current status as well as the fact that Esposito and Ryan have been informed and claim they can cover for her. Agreeing to keep her informed if there should be any changes to Kate's condition, he thankfully hangs up. One obstacle met and successfully negotiated … now just the biggest one to deal with … Beckett herself.

Whilst getting himself a coffee he pulls a bottle of water and an isotonic drink from the fridge and briefly runs both under the warm water to remove the chill. Since when did they have isotonic drinks in their fridge? .… must be Kate's, it certainly wasn't a Castle thing …. Just as well though. He pours it into a glass and makes himself some toast whilst he finishes his coffee. He'd really love some pancakes but he doesn't want to spend too much time away from his patient and the toast is quickly eaten.

Carrying the glass and the bottle of water he heads back to the bedroom and places both on the nightstand, fishes out the Tylenol, sits down on the bed next to her and pours out a dose into the cup. Helping her to sit up, he passes it to her and watches her take it before passing her the glass of isotonic drink.

"Now get this down you so you can fight the little beggars".

She glares at him "I'm not a two year-old!"

"Well then, stop behaving like one!"

With a huff she swallows the drink and hands him the empty glass.

"Would you like some tea? Soup? A T-bone steak? Your gun?" he asks her. She shakes her head and gives a little laugh at the last one, so he helps her settle back down before refilling her glass with water.

"Be back in a minute, love" he says and heads into the study. He's soon back, laptop in hand and climbs into bed beside her, back propped up against the headboard. As soon as he's settled she rolls over and cuddles right up to him, wrapping her arms round his waist and laying her head in his lap, closing her eyes as a sigh escapes her lips.

He looks down at her, running his hand through her hair and forgets all about the laptop …. This is much better! ….

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