“Hey,” Josh whispered, fingers tracing Donna’s arm until she woke up.
"Hey.” She brushed damp hair away from her eyes to blink at him. “When did you get in?”
“A little while ago.” He kicked off his shoes and settled on top of their blankets. “You look terrible.”
“Well, it’s nice to see you too,” she replied, groaning when she sat up.
“I just meant you look flushed.”
Josh leaned in to press his lips to her forehead. “Yeah, you’re really warm.”
“It’s the flu, it’s going around. The First Lady sent me home early yesterday.”
“Well, that sounds like a smart call.”
“I was trying to sort out that thing with the Peruvian minister’s wife. Fox is blowing it way out of proportion, and if we don’t get it under control the rest of the press is going to pick it up and before you know it, it’ll be the Poutine Scandal of 2009 all over again.”
“They can figure it out without you, Donna. This is why you have sick days.”
“I hate taking sick days.”
“I hate being sick.”
Josh smiled. “I know.”
“Wait, you should get away from me,” she realized. “The First Lady is already out a Chief of Staff--the last thing the White House needs is to lose its COS too.”
“I’ll be fine. I got my flu shot this year, remember?”
“That’s no guarantee, Josh. I got mine too.”
“Good point. Why do we get flu shots if we’re just going to get the flu?” he wondered, ignoring her protests and stretching out so his shoulder was pressed against her hip.
“They work most of the time.”
“Tell that to your fever.”
“Well, fever or not, I have things to do. I guess it’ll have to be a remote work kind of day.”
Josh’s arm snaked around her back and held on. “Not so fast. You got sent home, Donna. Be home. Rest.”
She narrowed her eyes at him. “This feels like a real role reversal, and I’m not sure I like it. Since when are you the one telling me to be more responsible?”
“Since I earned that privilege and a whole lot of others, when we got married.” Josh grinned, kissing the fingers that were closest to his face.
“Think of it this way,” he added. “The sooner you get better, the sooner you’re back at work--and you’ll get better faster if you do nothing but lie around for a couple of days.”
“Yeah, yeah.” She could’ve protested more--Donna was a champion whiner when she was sick and being bossed around--but the truth was, all her arguments would’ve reminded her of Josh, the way he used to make it difficult to take care of him while she was his assistant.
She knew from experience that was not a great look.
Sighing, she patted his hand. “Alright. I do need to get myself some breakfast though, and see if we have any juice.”
“You stay here. I got it.”
“You just got home,” Donna protested, but Josh was already sitting back up. His fingers looped around her wrist as though he expected her to bolt, though the fuzzy state of her head made Donna think she would wobble if she tried to stand. She wasn’t going anywhere.
“I did, but it’s fine. I’ll see what I can heat up for you, no big deal. And I’ll look for juice.”
“Oh god,” Donna said before he stepped away. Josh froze.
“What? What is it?”
“Sorry, nothing scary. I just remembered what a disaster the kitchen is. With everything at the office, and the way I’d been feeling all week, the dishes weren’t a priority and they kind of took on a life of their own. Mountain status. I meant to get to them before you came back.”
She aimed an apologetic smile his way. “Even if you do find decent leftovers in the fridge, I don’t think you’ll find a clean dish to put them on.”
“Is that what you’re worried about?”
“Not worried, exactly, but it’s going to be a while before I can--”
Josh leaned in, ignoring the clamminess of her skin and how pink it was, and folded her into a careful hug.
“I already saw the kitchen when I got home, Donna, before I woke you up.”
He kissed the top of her head. “I did the dishes.”