Chapter Notes: Written for the schmoop_bingo prompt "Birthday - celebrant is sick".

Chapter 23 :: Monica's Forty-Second Birthday
By A. Magiluna Stormwriter

++ Monica ++


Excerpt from the personal journal of Monica Reyes

I thought I was going to be lucky enough to miss out on the bug that the Farazell-Fraiser kids brought home from the daycare center earlier this week. I've never gotten sick in my life. Not that I remember at least. My mother was the same way. Papi got sick sometimes, but for the most part, we were a healthy family. And yes, I know that sounds pretty egotistical, but it's the truth.

So color me cranky as hell when I ended up going to bed not long after dinner last night. William went to bed later than I did. I'm not sure what it was, but I went from feeling just fine to feeling like a five foot spike was being pounded into my skull. It was the damnedest thing, too. Came right out of the blue. One minute I'm refilling my water glass, and the next I'm gripping the counter so hard to stay up that my knuckles went white. I honestly don't remember if I threw up in the kitchen or in the bathroom the first time, but Alexis somehow was holding me up when it happened. I do know that my vision went all funky and I saw those aura spots when I was in the kitchen.

I couldn't move for a while there, as the spots danced before my eyes in sickening waves, like watching those stupid strobe light effects used on website backgrounds that some people think are really cool. I'm not sure if it was that or the pain that made my stomach bottom out. I don't think it really matters in the long run, as the vomiting was pretty much a foregone conclusion. I could hear the fearful curiosity in William's voice as he stroked my leg. I remember his little hand touching my leg because it was probably the only thing that grounded me in the present. Dana's worried doctor voice was almost a background hum to me, and I know she was using it to help keep William from completely freaking out.

The next thing I remembered was Alexis standing behind me, arms around my waist to steady me until Dana could loosen my death grip on the counter. Alexis practically carried me into the bedroom and set me on the bed. I remember this because she was keening softly, a cross between maternal comforting and fearful whining. The confusion as to how she came to be in our apartment might have flitted across my mind, but it wasn't a conscious thought in the face of the pain.

Dana tells me that Alexis just showed up at our door with Tory, who had then gone to get Kerry. Kerry is my hero now as she apparently gave me some sort of heavy duty shot because I lost about sixteen hours to the blissful oblivion of sleep. Dana has also told me that I somehow agreed to go into the clinic to do a full battery of tests to see what might have happened to cause that migraine from hell.

I'm not even going to start on how utterly shitty I feel right now, though I will say that this is still better than those first terrifying minutes when this hit last night. What makes it worse is that I'm having to spend my birthday in bed, and not in the way that I'd prefer. This sucks big time.

A knock at the door pulls my attention from my journal with a sharp hiss as I lift my head too quickly. "Damn it!"

"Still not feeling all that great?" Dana asks softly as she slips into the room.

I shake my head gingerly, fearing a reprisal of the stabbing pains. "This sucks," I finally mutter, closing my journal.

Dana grabs my notebook and pen, setting them on the nightstand, and moves to sit next to me on the bed. She strokes my cheek and sighs softly. "I wish there was an easier way to get rid of this for you."

"More sleep will probably do it," I reply and shrug. "Maybe Kerry can give me another shot of whatever that knockout drug was that she gave me last night? That certainly helped."

This makes Dana chuckle. "Do you really want to lose the better part of another day to sleep?"

"If it means getting rid of this crap, you're damned right I do."

"Okay, okay," she says. "Don't go getting upset and making it worse. I'll go call Kerry and see if she can come back over."

She kisses my forehead and slips out of the bedroom to make her phone call. I honestly want to go back to sleep, but I should probably wait until Kerry gets here and gives me more of that blessedly magical drug. I don't even know what it is, but I don't care either; not when it makes me feel so much better. The tentative knock at the door has me wondering how quickly Kerry has actually gotten over here.

"Come on in," I call out softly.

The door opens carefully, but I don't see Kerry standing there. Or Dana, for that matter.

"Mami? I join you?"

"Hey, mi hijo. Of course, you can join me."

He comes into the bedroom, Thomas dragging behind him, and climbs up onto the bed next to me. He snuggles under the covers and scoots right next to me, setting Thomas in my lap. "You sick, Mami?"

"Unfortunately, yes. Mami's head hurt really bad last night."

"Still hurt?"

"A little bit. Auntie Kerry's hopefully going to give me some medicine to make it feel all better though. But I might have to take another really long nap when she does."

"S'okay. I nap, too."

That brings a smile to my face. "I would love it if you took a nap with me, Billy Bear. I like snuggling with you. You make me feel better, you know that?"

He smiles broadly and snuggles in closer. "S'pos, Mami."

"Te quiero, mi hijo."

The next knock at the door makes me look up in anticipation. Dana opens the door and grins at the sight of the two of us curled up together on the bed. "Okay, Kerry, you might as well just give her the shot. She and William have commandeered my bed, and I'd like to get a good night's sleep myself."

Kerry's amused laugh precedes her into the room, and she appraises me thoughtfully as she makes her way to the bed. William and I sit quietly as she checks me over. I answer all of her questions, and the answers must be what she wants to hear as she pulls out the syringe and vial of medicine.

"This is the last one, Monica," she warns. "And you're going into the clinic tomorrow for that full work up, right?"

"I'll take her in myself," Dana supplies happily. "Don't worry about that at all."

Kerry starts to prep me for the shot, but I find myself shaking my head. "You know what, Kerry? Let me see if I really need that before you give it to me."

"Are you sure?"

I glance at Dana, then at William, and smile as I meet Kerry's gaze again. "Iím sure. I'd rather not remember this birthday as having slept through all of it because of this damned migraine. If it gets bad, I'll have Dana call you."

As Kerry leaves the room, I hold my hand out to bring Dana into bed with the two of us, knowing I'll soon doze of pleasantly with my loves by my side. At least I'll have this snuggle fest to remember my birthday.