Author Notes: Sick Days Official on Tumblr is having a week-long party and I decided to join in.
Prompt: Stress. Let’s be real; holidays are a very stressful time. Suggestions: Stressing about a social gathering or plans or gift buying causing physical illness, being sick and stress making it worse, stress from overwork, a caretaker stressing over their sick patient, a sick person stressing about needing to be looked after.
David didn't realize anything was out of the ordinary until his boss, Todd, pulled him aside. “Take a break.”
But David shook his head. “No, I'm good for another hour at least.” A quick glance at his watch told him he'd been going nonstop for a lot longer than he probably should have, but the stream of customers hadn't stopped once. Flu shots. Prescription refills. Advice about the best over the counter vitamins. Or cough and cold medicine. Or joint pain. There were little bottles with child safety caps. Pill counters. Pill cutters. Gel capsules. Tablets. Syrup. Paper bags stapled at the top. Plastic bags arranged alphabetically by last name. Lists of side effects. Doctor's notes. Doctor's messy signatures. Questions. Consultations. Charges. There were too many people to help and too few pharmacists on staff today. It was best to keep going, keep working. “Really, I'm okay here,” David tried to reassure his boss and maybe himself a little as well.
“I know you are.” Todd patted his upper arm through the white coat. “But your boyfriend's here with your dinner, and he's been waiting for more than fifteen minutes. If you don't give him a few minutes of your time, you're going to lose him, just like the last one.”
David felt his cheeks go red. He didn't need to be lectured about his failed relationships by a man who'd been divorced twice. Or... maybe he did. He glanced around and spotted Lucas, blue eyes flashing and smile fixed on his face, holding two large insulated bags.
“See you in half an hour,” his boss said, patting his back and practically pushing him out of the pharmacy area.
David walked over, feeling excited but embarrassed. “Hi, um...” He ran his hand through his dark hair and then rubbed the back of his neck. “Thanks. Um, we can eat in the break room.”
Lucas nodded and followed him back through an Employees Only door. The break room was tiny—just a wall of lockers, a table with a few chairs, and a cart with a microwave teetering on top—but it was away from customers, which was a blessed relief David didn't realize he needed until he had it. And Lucas waited until they were alone and the bags were set down on the table to kiss him.
It wasn't just a quick peck hello either. It was a rich, deep kiss that made David's whole body tingle. He almost hated to pull away, but when he did, he caught the whiff of something spicy. “Mmmmmmm! What did you bring?”
Lucas unpacked the bags. There were plates and utensils, but also lots of food. “Iced tea, spinach and pecan salad with raspberry vinaigrette, squash pasta, homemade tomato sauce with meatballs... and the promise of special dessert if you get home before I fall asleep tonight.”
David gave a strangled laugh. “I'm not sure about that tonight... I'm pretty beat, baby. The second I get home, I plan on crashing hard.”
“Well then, let me give you something a little special now.” Lucas gestured at a chair and at the food. “Go on, help yourself.”
David sat down and started with the salad, surprised but rather pleased that Lucas remembered that the raspberry vinaigrette was his favorite. He couldn't believe Lucas had made all this for him; David had expected to just heat up and wolf down a TV dinner when he got home from work like usual. But this was above and beyond. After last week's audit and a tough cold and flu season so far meaning almost twice the number of customers at the pharmacy, work had been more than exhausting. This was the first time Lucas had showed up with food for him, though it couldn't have come at a better time. “Oh!”
Lucas' hands dug into David's shoulders. He pinched and rubbed, pulled and massaged. David went weak and boneless. He leaned back in the chair and closed his eyes, head rolling back. “Lucas... what...”
“Does that feel good?”
“Good? Good? You're amazing!”
“You should know by now that I'm good with my hands. Plus I've taken a course on physical therapy and sports medicine. I know how to attack tight muscles. And yours are definitely some of the tightest I've ever felt.”
David moaned, his head lolling forward and neck cracking a little. Lucas' thumbs dug into the back of his neck then worked their way down and outward. He hadn't realized how stiff and tense he had been, and he wondered how long he'd been like that. “That's it...” Lucas murmured approvingly. “Loosen up. Relax. Let all that tension out for me.” He leaned over and kissed David's cheek. “All this stress is going to make you sick if you don’t slow down and take care of yourself… or let me do it.”
David made a noncommittal noise and leaned forward a little more as Lucas’ hands kneaded away a particularly tight cluster in his back. “Too… busy here…”
Lucas gave his other cheek a kiss now. “Well then, one of these days I’m going to make you take a sick day and keep you in bed all day to pamper you. I’ll start with a morning massage and go from there.”
David didn’t think it very likely that he would call in sick for anything less than malaria, but the way Lucas was rubbing his back right now made him want to agree to anything.
“Hey, you’d better eat up before the food gets cold. Your boss only gave you half an hour.”
Composing himself enough to think straight, David slowly reached for the pasta and sauce. “If Todd comes looking for me, you might have to give him one of these back rubs to distract him while I finish eating.”
Let’s be real; holidays are a very stressful time.
Suggestions: Stressing about a social gathering or plans or gift buying causing physical illness, being sick and stress making it worse, stress from overwork, a caretaker stressing over their sick patient, a sick person stressing about needing to be looked after.