Sam jumped on her seat, startled by Philly who had just gone into another fit of coughs.
It had been the ninth time in the last half-hour and she was beginning to worry.
She had heard of illness when she was in Botica if course, but had never witnessed the phenomenon herself, as her homeland had technology advanced enough to prevent it (For the royal family at least). Until now.
- Philly, are you alright? She asked, leaning in his general direction.
- Yeah, yeah I'm fine. Stop staring at me.
- I think you might be ill, Philly, Sam insisted.
He glared at her, trying to keep his eyes on the road. Failing, obviously.
- I don't get sick. I'm immortal, remember? He said in a voice that was definitely rougher than usual. Besides, I'm feeling just peachy!
She could feel irritation creeping in his tone, so she let go, but she couldn't stop herself from flinching every time Philly coughed.
The bot couldn't help it, she was growing more and more worried as the day went and her friend's state worsened.
To the point where he couldn't keep his eyes open anymore, driving right into a big fucking rock that was nowhere near the road, giving a big turn of the wheel at the last second thus avoiding him another painful death as well as two broken robots and an undriveable Bessy.
Everyone was silent for a good ten seconds
but before any of the two robots could say anything, Philly was already rising from his seat and disappearing into the back of the car, mumbling something like :“I need to lay down, take the wheel. ” followed by the sound of something heavy falling on the floor.
Casey looked at her friend, now as worried as her. It didn’t take that much brain cell to notice that something was very wrong with the man.
Thinking about it for a good two seconds, Sam followed after him, intending on making sure her friend wasn’t dying again, discovering a passed out Philly who had not been fast enough to reach the couch.
- Philly? she asked, Philly are you alright? Are you dying again?
She reached for his face, her sensors telling her he was unusually hot. Deciding that the floor wasn’t the best place for him to be right now, she lifted him on the couch, getting a slurred “Fuck” from him.
Analysing him, she found his breath labored and a body temperature way higher than it was supposed to be. She anxiously stared at him, unsure about what to do.
Looking into the Caring part of her programming, she didn’t found much, except for "head pat" which she was not convinced would help this particular case, but she had to at least try it.
She took his head and placed it on her lap before carefully putting her hands around Philly's face, digging her fingers in his hair.
- So fluffy, she whispered, amazed that he was able to keep them so soft despise his atrocious hygiene.
She softly went through the locks, untangling them as she stroked the mass of hair. Her friend was still making vacuum sounds with each breathe he took and she could feel the heat coming from his skin, but she still felt this was somehow helping. This was a blissfully peaceful moment that regretfully was cut short when Casey hit a bump on the road. At the same moment, Sam had been trying to undo a knot at the base of Philly's head, accidentally pulling at it when the whole car suddenly shaked. The man jolted awake, his eyes shooting wide open as he tried to jump on his feet, nearly falling.
- What's going on?! He asked urgently, looking around for any potential threat.
- Nothing! Just some bump on the road, you should not worry, please. Lay down Philly, you need rest.
- Like hell I am! he grunted as Sam tried to put him back on the couch. Let go already!
Nevertheless, he sat himself, feeling dizzy just for standing up for a bit.
The bot helpfully put her hands on his head again, trying to calm him down with some nice pat.
Unfortunately, this did not seem to appease him in any way, but actually irritating him even more.
- What are you doing?
- Helping you feel better. It is part of my Caring protocol, please let me help Philly, she pleaded, keeping her hands close to his face.
- You're not doing shit to my hair, he warned, scooting away from her. You want me to rest? Fine! But leave me alone, you're creeping me out.
Sam's arms fell back to her sides in a defeated move as she watched her friend lay down again, visibly unable to stay up. He dropped on the couch with a huff, arms crossed.
The bot could actually see the tension in his shoulders, only motivating her further to help him, physically cringing seeing how over strained he was. She wondered when was the last time he had properly slept.
Exhausted, it didn't take him long to drift out of consciousness again. He was just enough out of it to not fully react when the stubborn blond chose to ignore what he said and started playing with his hair again.
- What're you doin'? he slurred, keeping his eyes closed. Told you t'leave me 'lone.
- You are ill Philly, you got a very high fever and this is part of my protocol to make you feel better.
He didn't protest as she went on, telling himself he was too tired to resist. Truth was, this was the most relaxed he had felt in god knew how long. And he didn't wanted it to stop.
All he wanted at this very moment was that Sam kept doing whatever kinda robot magic she was doing to his hair while he just laid there, pretending to not lean in the touch of Sam's hand. And for this short moment, somewhere in the middle of yet another desert, driving to yet another town, it was exactly what he needed.