Kim was downstairs in the office paying bills online and left the door ajar in case Jordan needed something. 'I need to figure out what I'm wearing to the ACS benefit tonight.' she thought while paying a credit card bill. Come to think of it, she hadn't heard AJ come downstairs yet. 'I swear, that man would sleep all day if he could.' Kim thought as she chuckled to herself. She got up from the computer desk and went upstairs to see if he was awake.
She entered their bedroom to find AJ rolled over with his back facing the door, wrapped in blankets like a cocoon. She walked over to his side of the bed and took a look at her sleeping husband. He was surprisingly pale and looked flushed. She gently prodded him awake.
"Mmmm..." he moaned.
"Baby? You need to wake up."
"Why? What time's it?" he slurred, barely opening his eyes.
"It's almost one in the afternoon. I didn't honestly think you'd take 'catching up on sleep' this seriously."
"I'm not. I'll get up right now. Whoa," he said attempting to sit up.
"Nothing, just got...a little dizzy." He lay back down and closed his eyes, hoping that the room would stop spinning.
Kim noticed the sweat on AJ's face and felt his forehead. "Alex, you're burning up."
"Really? 'Cause I feel like I'm freezing to death." He shivered, despite still being wrapped up in blankets.
"No. No, no, no, no, no..." Kim repeated in disbelief.
"What, babe?" AJ said through chattering teeth.
"The ACS benefit is tonight and you're sick! You know how important it is to me!" she said loudly, frustrated.
AJ did know how important it was to Kim. Ever since she lost her father to colon cancer almost four years ago, she'd taken a more active interest in finding a cure for the horrible disease. She supported as many cancer charities as she could and tonight's dinner was one of the most important fundraisers of the year. He felt so guilty for being the reason that she would have to go to it without him or worse: not go at all.
"I know, I know, baby. I'm so sorry, Kim." he apologized, then stifled a few coughs into the blankets. He groaned.
"Do you think it's the flu?" Kim asked, hoping that he would say no.
"What do you think?" he replied sharply, then coughed into the blankets again.
Kim bit her lip, unsure of what to do or say. She knew that AJ always got moody when he was sick, or maybe he was just frustrated about the situation at hand. She knew that she was.
She went to the bathroom to get the thermometer and some Tylenol for AJ. She came back and set the pill bottle on the nightstand and sat on the edge of the bed. She cleaned the end of the thermometer with an alcohol wipe and said, "Baby, let me take your temperature. I wanna see how high your fever is. Can you sit up for me?"
AJ did so slowly and he looked to be in pain from what Kim could tell. 'Men are such babies when they're sick. When I get sick you never see me trying to lap up all of his attention.' she thought to herself in disgust.
When he finally sat up, Kim really took in AJ's appearance and was shocked, repulsed by her previous thoughts. Besides his pale complexion and sweaty face, he had bags under his eyes and looked exhausted. He looked up at her with sad, tired eyes and she could tell that all he wanted to do was fall into a medicine-induced sleep.
"Oh, poor baby." she said quietly as she stroked his cheek. AJ sniffled. She gently put the thermometer in his ear and it beeped a few seconds later, reading 102.6 degrees. 'No wonder he feels horrible.'
"That's nice. Can I lay back down now?"
"Not yet, take some Tylenol for that. Are you feeling achy?"
"Yes, very. Is Jordan downstairs?" he asked before coughing again, a little more harsh than last time.
"Yeah, he's—" Just then, Jordan appeared in the doorway.
"Hi, J. Do you need something?" Kim asked him.
"I'm hungry," he said simply.
"Okay, let me finish up with Daddy and I'll be down in a minute to make you something. I forgot that it's lunch time."
Jordan instead walked up to the bed and stood next to Kim.
"Hey, buddy." AJ said tiredly, giving him a half-hearted wave.
"Jordan, don't go too close to Daddy, okay? He's not feeling good," Kim warned him, knowing that it was an understatement to how AJ was really feeling.
"Daddy's sick?" Jordan asked Kim innocently.
AJ spoke up. "Yes, daddy's sick. But Mommy's gonna make me feel all better, just like she and Dr. 'Lyssa do for you. Go downstairs and wait for Mommy in the kitchen to make you some lunch please."
"Okay." He ran out of the room and downstairs like AJ said to.
AJ turned away from Kim and coughed into his fist several times, it sounded like it hurt.
"Maybe I should make you an appointment with the doctor, that doesn't sound good, baby." Kim said sadly.
AJ shook his head emphatically and replied, "It's just the flu, I don't need a doctor—ah'SHOO! ... ah'SHOO!" He looked up at her with his hands cupped around his nose and mouth.
"Bless you. Well, those sneezes and that cough beg to differ. I'm making you an appointment for this afternoon whether you like it or not." she said as she passed him the tissue box from the nightstand.
"Thanks." He pulled a couple and wiped his nose and sniffled.
"Alex, blow your nose," Kim said.
"Kim, you know how I feel about doing that," he replied stuffily.
"I've never seen a man so grossed out by his own snot..." she said chuckling to herself.
"Ugh, don't even say it. You'll make me more nauseated than I already am," AJ said.
"Just do it, babe, at least I'll be able to understand you better afterward."
"Fine." AJ begrudgingly did so and weakly tossed the used tissues in the small trashcan beside the bed, sniffling pathetically.
"Yeah, I guess."
"Do you need anything else before I go downstairs?" she asked.
"Some water and NyQuil would be nice."
"Right, just a second." Kim went back to the bathroom to get them and AJ was shaking out two pills to take with the water as she came back to the bed.
She handed him the water. "Here you go." She began to pour him a dose of the NyQuil while he took the Tylenol. "Drink up," she said as he swallowed the red liquid and drank more water to wash it down.
"Can I have another blanket please?" he asked, shivering a little as he laid back down and got comfortable.
"Sure, but don't get too wrapped up, okay? I don't want your fever to get too high," she told him as she went to their walk-in closet to get an extra blanket. She came back and draped it over him, easing his chills somewhat. She kissed his forehead and said, "Try and get some sleep. I'll wake you up when it's time to get ready to go."
AJ coughed weakly. "What about Jordan? My mom's busy today and can't watch him."
"I'll see if Nick can. Don't worry, you just rest, okay?"
"'Kay..." he said drowsily.
Kim walked out of the room, shut the door quietly behind her and went downstairs to make Jordan some lunch. Then she called AJ's doctor's office to get an appointment set up. They had to go in at 4:45. After that, she called Nick to see if he could watch Jordan while they were at the doctor:
"Hey, bro, what's up?" Nick answered, thinking it was AJ calling him.
"Sorry, Nick, wrong McLean," Kim smirked.
"Oh, hey, Kim. What's up?"
"Are you free this afternoon by any chance?" she asked.
"Yeah, until 7 when I'm gonna go out to dinner with some friends. Do you need something?"
"Yeah, I do actually. Um...would you mind coming over around 4? Alex is sick—"
Nick interrupted her. "Wait. Don't tell me, he got sick from Brian, didn't he?"
"Well, yeah. It looks like it."
"Great, now two-fourths of the Backstreet Boys are out of commission. I just got off the phone with Brian, he said that AJ came over yesterday while Leighanne was out to bring him some stuff he needed and took Baylee for the day so he could rest," he explained.
"Right, how's he feeling?"
"About the same as yesterday. He went to his doctor this morning and got some Tamiflu, but said that he's gonna have to be on bed rest for three or four days and let it run its course. Can you believe it?" Nick was beside himself, one of them always got sick at the worst possible moment and it was frustrating.
"So it is the flu then. Well, just be glad that it's not you this time, Nicky," Kim said in an effort to try and console him.
"Yeah, right." Nick said bitterly. "Sorry...what was it that you wanted again?" he asked as he ran a hand through his hair.
"Can you come over around 4 and watch Jordan for us while I take Alex to the doctor?"
"Sure, anything for you guys. Is he okay?"
"Yeah, besides it being 'the flu' and his fever and cough. I want him looked at in case it could develop into something more serious. It seems like it's hit him pretty hard," she said.
"The flu does tend to do that you know," Nick replied dryly.
"Right...so I'll see you later. Thanks."
Kim hung up and went back into the kitchen to eat with Jordan and keep herself busy around the house until Nick came over in a few hours.