Characters/Pairings: Jo, Zane, Allison, Jo/Zane, Carter/Allison
Word Count: 1,121
Spoilers: For Just Another Day
Author's Note: Written for the hc_bingo prompt, fever/delirium.
Summary: Future fic. Jo comes home from work to find her family sick. She takes care of them.
When Jo Donovan walked through the door with take-out from Café Diem, she stopped dead in her tracks because the house was unusually quiet. Usually the TV was blaring or the kids were fighting or the baby was crying. The quiet worried her so she went to investigate what the problem was, and found it quickly – Zane was passed out on the couch, the baby asleep on his chest, and he was flush. Jo felt his forehead and found he was warm. She picked up Penelope, careful not to wake either her husband or the five month old, and then headed to the nursery.
After depositing her youngest child in the crib, Jo went to hunt for her oldest children. She ended up finding five year old Josh and three year old Isabelle in her and Zane’s bedroom, asleep in their bed. Like Zane, they were both warm from fever.
Josh stirred awake. “Mommy?”
“Hey, baby. Aren’t you feeling well?”
He shook his head. “No. I’m cold and hot at the same time and my head hurts. Belle throwed up, so Daddy put us in here so he could be with Pen Pen.”
Jo smiled at her son’s nickname for his sister. “Did your daddy take your temperature?” She checked on Isabelle, too, and then went to find the thermometer. Both kids had a low grade fever, while Zane’s was slightly higher than theirs.
“I didn’t mean to fall asleep, Jo Jo. I came in here to calm Penelope down so she didn’t wake up Josh and Belle, and I must have been more tired than I thought. Sorry.” Zane felt guilty that he hadn’t stayed awake.
“Hey, it’s okay. You’re sick, too, and they were still sleeping when I got home. Pen’s taken care of and is in her crib. I gave Josh and Belle some ginger ale, and they’re passed out in our bed again. Figured I’d keep them together so it’s easier to watch them. Why don’t you go to bed, too? You don’t need to be on the couch.” Jo had already decided that she was going to call off work the next day because her husband and kids needed her. She had a feeling that by the end of this she was going to end up sick, too. That was the way it always worked.
“I’ll try to move.” Zane stood up slowly and tried not to wince at the pain. With his wife behind him, he slowly made his way to his bedroom. He paused when he saw his son and daughter in the bed, having forgotten they were there.
“You three might as well be together so I can keep an eye on you easier and not have to keep jumping around.” Jo figured she’d cut some of the work out so she wouldn’t be as exhausted once this was all over.
Zane didn’t protest and just slid under the covers, careful not to jostle Josh and Isabelle. Luckily for him, they both stayed asleep. “Love you, babe,” he murmured.
“Love you, too.” Jo smiled at him then left to go check on the baby. She called Allison to see if the same thing was happening at her house.
Allison informed her that no one was sick, but it was probably coming soon. “Jenna’s talking about how a lot of her classmates are absent because they’re sick, so it’ll hit us at one point. Andrew brings home everything.” She laughed at that. Between Jenna and Andrew, she and Jack were sick every other month or so. Such was the life with kids, however.
“Hopefully, I’ll have the patience to get through this. And I just know Penelope’s going to get whatever this is, too so I’ll have four people to take care of.” She didn’t mind, though. As exhausting as it was, Jo loved being a mom. It was rewarding and fun, even on days like this.
“You will. Anyway, I’m sure you’ll have someone vying for your attention in a few minutes, so I’m going to go. Good luck!” Jo laughed as she and Allison hung up their phones. She grabbed some more ginger ale and then returned to her bedroom. Zane, Josh, and Belle were watching TV and none of them were paying attention at all.
“I can’t even think straight.” Zane hated to admit that, but it was the truth. His mind was all over the place and he couldn’t focus on anything. If he had the energy, it would be driving him nuts.
“I know and that sucks.” Jo grabbed his hand and squeezed it, wishing she hadn’t since it was so clammy. Before she could check his temperature again, Zane paled and then bolted towards their bedroom. She rushed in after him and rubbed his back as he emptied the dinner he had eaten earlier. Jo winced in sympathy.
“The flu can go fuck itself.” Zane wished the cure for it didn’t have worse side effects. Stupid scientific breakthroughs that should have worked.
Jo tried to stifle a giggle. She loved how whiny her husband got when he was sick. It was adorable. “It definitely can. You feeling well enough to go back to bed? I’ll get a bucket because I know the kids aren’t going to make it in here on time.”
Zane nodded and then groaned, regretting that action the moment he did it. “Yeah, let’s go.” Jo helped him up and he slowly got back into bed. She checked on the baby again and then returned with a bucket. After getting into comfortable pajamas (which she knew would have to go into the wash because she’d get thrown up on eventually), Jo slid into bed with the three of them. Josh and Belle were in the middle of her and Zane.
“You know, I never imagined this would be my life when I moved to Eureka, but I’m glad it is. I don’t even mind cleaning up the puke and changing dirty diapers. Well, sometimes.” Jo still loved her job at GD and wouldn’t give it up for anything, not even her family. She loved having both in her life.
“Same here.” He had never expected to fall in love with Jo, but was glad that it had happened after the timeline switch. He honestly couldn’t think about his life would be like without her.
Jo reached across the bed – and the kids – and grabbed Zane’s hand again. The two beamed at each other. This moment in time was the “in sickness and in health” part of their vows.
Neither Jo nor Zane would trade their life together for anything, even on days like this when everything went wrong. The good days always outnumbered the bad.