Jess yawned widely as she walked into the bathroom, her eyes closed just long enough that she didn't see the feet sticking out of the stall until she'd tripped over them.
With an ‘eep’, she caught herself on the sink and turned around. "Oh my god! Nick!" She rushed over and looked inside the stall. Nick was sitting in front of the toilet, his legs stretched out and his head resting on his arms, which were resting on the bowl.
"Ewww," she whispered, because even her tripping over his feet hadn't woken him up. She leaned in and sniffed. It didn't smell like a bender. Whatever it was, he had to move. She was not using the urinal.
"Nick." Nothing. She nudged his foot. "Nicholas!"
Nick stirred enough to lift his head, and looked blearily at her with bloodshot eyes. He coughed and rasped out, "'Sup, Jess." And with that his head fell back down to his arms.
"Nick, wake up. Are you okay?" She'd just noticed the ashen complexion beneath his normal covering of face-fur. Stepping gingerly, she leaned in to touch his forehead and gasped. "You are burning up! Get up. You should be in bed!"
She started to tug on his arm, but he wrapped his arms around the basin. "No! Only the toilet understands my pain! He stayed by my side all night."
Winston walked in to find Jessica using her teacher’s voice to explain why Nick should let go of the toilet. When Nick pushed her away and started to gag, both Jess and Winston jumped back.
"Whoa," Winston backed away. "Is he sick?"
Jess rang her hands as she watched Nick find a comfortable spot once more. "I think so. It sounds like he's been here all night. We have to get him into bed."
She looked to Winston and found him gone. "Winston!" She stormed out the restroom and ran into Schmidt. "Hey." She stopped him and pointed into the restroom. "Nick's sick and Winston just ran!"
Schmidt looked at her for a moment and then glanced at the restroom. "Nick's in there?"
"Yes!" She turned back towards the restroom, relieved. "What was with Winston? His friend needs him..." She stopped walking and slowly turned around to an empty hallway.
"What is wrong with you two?" She yelled.
Schmidt opened his door a crack. "We love him, Jess. We do. But you've never dealt with a sick Nick before."
Winston opened his door holding a bandana across his mouth. "He refuses to take medicine. The man gets sick once every 3 or 4 years and he never knows how to deal with it. There's crying, whining..."
"And the phlegm!" Schmidt chimed in with fear in his voice. "Don't forget the phlegm."
"You are his friends and his roommates!" She stomped a slippered foot. "And I have to use the restroom, so one or both of you help me move him. Now!"
Schmidt's door closed a fraction more. "Did you see where he's been laying? Not happening." His door closed with a snap.
Jess' mouth was pursed in anger as she stared at Winston.
He stared back until he finally broke. "Fine!" He pointed at her in warning. "But my voice is my job, Jessica. I will do horrible things to both Nick and you if I get sick."
She rolled her eyes. "Just help me."
"Come on, Nick," she conjoled. "Upsie-daisie."
She grabbed one arm while Winston, wearing the bandana across his face and plastic bags on his hands, grabbed the other. They didn't get much cooperation from Nick as they lifted him to his feet.
Nick's head lolled a bit then focused on Winston. "Dude," he whispered. "Are we playing cops and robbers again?"
Jess made a disappointed sound as they maneuvered Nick into his bedroom. "Do you guys wait until I'm not here to play these things?" They lowered him onto his bed. "I would be an amazing damsel in distress."
They stood back and looked at Nick. He was positioned face down with his legs still mostly off the bed. It appeared that he'd gone right back to sleep until the racking coughing started and he curled up in the middle of his comforter with a groan.
Winston looked at her and gave her a salute with a plastic covered hand. "He's all yours."
"But...," she sighed and looked back at her new charge. She squared her shoulders. She'd dealt with her students when they were sick, she'd handled Spencer, and once, even a sick hamster. She pushed up her pajama sleeves and took a step towards the bed.
She could handle a sick Nick Miller.