There was a light knock on the door. “Come in!” Jenny yelled, expecting him. Peter walked in, dropping his backpack almost immediately, smiling back at her as she greeted him, “Hey Champ. How's it going?”

            “I dunno. Lots of work. Do you mind?”

            She shrugged. “Go for it, darling. Join me in bed when you finish, all right?”

            Peter nodded and parked himself down on her floor with his books. “All right.”


            He finished his work around midnight, changed, and climbed into bed. His body gave way happily to the comfort of the soft blankets and mattress. And he warmed against her body, spooning her lightly as he fell to sleep beside her.


            The alarm went off around seven thirty, and he smacked it hard, hitting the off button he also hit it to the floor.

            “Mmmmmph…” Jenny mumbled, pushing the covers down and sitting up, leaning over to give him a kiss. He pulled back, lifting a fist to his mouth, and coughed a few times, roughly. Then he made a grab for the blankets, pulling them back up and over his shivering body. She leaned to him again, going for his lips, but he turned his head, coughing again, eyes closed, body shaking.  She frowned. “And a good morning to you, too.”  He grumbled and pulled blankets over his head. He was well-known to be an anti morning person.

            So she got up, dressing, brushing her teeth, doing her hair. “Honey, it's time to get up,” she called to him.

            He coughed again, from under the blankets. “I don't want to.”

            She rolled her eyes, looking at her tired reflection in the mirror. “I know. I'm just as tired. But you need to. Class starts in an hour and you need some breakfast in you.”

            Peter moaned and pulled blankets tighter around himself. “I'll cough skip breakfast. Just want to sleep a little longer…”

            “Suit yourself,” she said, filling her pockets with keys, wallet, id card. “I'm heading to the bus stop to campus now. See you here later today?”

            The blankets moved, he coughed, then “Yeah.”

            So she left for breakfast and Friday morning classes, thinking of their plans for the weekend.



            Jenny returned home around three, finding the apartment empty. Her roommate had class until two, then worked a job until the evening, and she had sensed that Peter's lazy rear wouldn't be as punctual as hers was. So she put away her things and headed to her bedroom and her computer. She e-mailed a few friends, and surfed for a few minutes until she heard the door open and close. Her heart skipped a beat. She stood and turned just in time to see him enter the room. He dropped his backpack to the ground carelessly, kicked off his shoes, and fell upon her bed, jacket still on, eyes closed.

            She sighed. “Peter, you're trying my patience. First no good morning kiss, then no hello hug…”

            He made no reply.

            “Oh good, fine, don't answer me! See if I care!”

            Snxxxttt!” was his answer, and Jenny suddenly realized that he was actually already asleep and snoring.

She shook her head. “Poor little tired Pete…” Lovingly, she reached down and pulled up the blankets, covering him up and turning out the lights of the room as she left to give him more peace and quiet.




            The sound shook her from the television she was dozing in front of. She head her bedroom door click and squeak open.

            “huhAhhhhhshhoo!” came a second powerful sneeze. Then a snuffed, deep voice, “Hodey, do you hab ady asbirid?”

            She sat up, looking back to see Peter rubbing at his nose and looking generally unwell. His face was sallow save for flushed cheeks, and his hair was matted to one side. His eyes were tired, big bags beneath them. “Um… try the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. Left side.”

            He nodded and headed over, stopping a moment. His hands gripped the sides of the doorway and his body lurched forward with another sneeze. “huhAAhhhhSHISHH!” He sniffed and disappeared inside. Jenny heard a few pill bottles rattling. Then she heard water running. He reappeared, his face dripping wet.

            Jenny stood up and went to him, drying his face with the long sleeves of her shirt. “Are you all right, Peter?” she asked.

            He nodded, rubbing at his nose. Then he leaned against her, nuzzling his face into her shoulder. “Cub to bed wid be?”

            She laughed loudly, “Sopping wet, sniffling and sleepy. The perfect bed companion you are.”

            He stifled a cough into his fist and rubbed his forehead with his hand. “I deed sub warbth. The roob is soooo cold, babe.”

            Feeling his forehead, she nodded. “You sure you're feeling all—“

            Quickly he snapped his head to the side. “huhEAahhshhhh! hih… huh-AhhShoooo!” He sniffed strongly, rubbing a finger beneath his nose. “I, uh…”

            “Uh-huh. I think bed is sounding better and better. Come on, Champ.” With a hand on his back, she guided him to bed and pulled he covers up to his chin. Then she lay down on top of the covers, spooning him from behind.

            He tightened up. “huh… huh-Kashhhooo! huhAshhhhooo! huhAhhhshooo!” he sneezed into the pillow, pulling out with sniffles. “Ub, sniff, sniff, Jeddy?”


            “I, uh, deed sniff, sniff, sub tissues.”

            She sighed, reaching over to the bed stand. “They're right here, Pete.”

            He took them loosely in his hand, blowing weakly into them. “Thags, sniff, sniff. I'b dot sick, you dow. Sniff, sniff. It's just by doze… hihAhhshhhhh! Sniff! I'b dot sick.”

            Jenny kissed his cheek. “I know. Just get to sleep, honey.”

            He nodded, sniffling. “I'll be fide…”

            “I know, I know.” She guided his eyes closed by passing her hand over his eyes. “Now sleep.”