“It doesn’t hurt.”
She comes up behind him, removes the hand that had been grasping his back and replaces it with her own. He groans a bit and then she takes the wooden spoon from his other hand.
“Amanda, I’m fine,” he says and reaches to grab the spoon back from her which elicits an involuntary moan from him.
“No, you’re not,” she says seriously and points at her couch, “Go lay down.”
“I’ve got this Rollins,” he says, yet the crinkles around his eyes betray the wince he’s trying to hold back.
“No, I’ve got this.”
“What, you suddenly know how to make chicken marsala?”
“You can instruct me.”
He points to the couch, “From over there?”
“But I just put the flour in there, it needs to be constantly stirred to make sure the sauce doesn’t –“
“Carisi, I’ll handle it. Now shoo.”
She turns her back on him to face the stove, touches a dial, and mumbles quietly, “Now what do I do with this . . .?”
“I heard that,” she hears him say as he hobbles to the other room. She hears him moaning again as he settles himself on the couch.
“That sounds bad.”
“Yeah, it is,” he breathes through a groan.
At the sound of sizzling Amanda jumps away from the stove. “What do I do? What do I do?”
“Let me help you,” Carisi says and tries to get up off of the couch.
“No!” she stops him. “You can tell me from over there. Alleviating that pain of yours is more important than some lousy meal.”
“It’s only going to be lousy because you’re cooking it.”
“Haha,” she says dryly and looks back at the stove. “What a mess.”
“That’s cause you’re letting the water boil over. Take the pan off of the burner, it’s too hot.”
She looks around for some kind of mitt since the hot water is streaming down the handle, too.
“Carisi, where is –“
He chuckles. She doesn’t even know her own kitchen.
“The wall to the right of the stove.”
“Got it.” She gets the big pan off the burner and tries to wipe up some of the water that has gotten all over.
But then she sees the congealing brown mess in the small saucepan.
“Now what do I do with this?” she mutters picking it up off the stove, swirling it around and poking at it with the wooden spoon. There are gelatinous clumps in the sauce that pop open to reveal a white powder when poked. “Eeew.”
“Eeew is right. I told you I was in the middle of something.”
“Can it be fixed?”
“Not likely, unless you want to start from scratch. But hey, at least the chicken’s done. Let’s just put all of this mess together and see how bad you did.”
She drains the pasta from the big pan, puts it on a couple of plates and tops it with the chicken. She makes an incredibly disgusted face as she spoons the “mushroom” sauce globules on top.
“Okay, dinner’s ready. But before we start, it’s time we take care of YOU.”
She heads back to the bathroom to grab a heating pad and a bottle of pills.
When she returns to the living room she finds him with his eyes shut tight in a grimace.
“Hey there,” she says quietly, rubbing his arm.
He opens his eyes. “Yeah, I guess I gotta break down and admit it - this is a bad one.”
“Well, I’ve got something for your pain. And I’ve got your best friend here,” she says wiggling the heating pad.
“Yeah, gimme that.”
She plugs it in and helps him to sit up so that she can place it under his back. Again, more involuntary groaning.
“Carisi, this is really bad. You should tell the Sarge. . .”
“Nah, I’ll be fine,” he says as she gently helps to lower him back down on the couch.
“Yeah, it was just a random sucker punch to my kidney. It will heal. Just give it time.” He grins.
“Okay . . .” she says with doubt.
“Hey look, I know what I’m doing.”
“Yeah, and I know how to cook.”
“We’ll see about that.”
“Let me get you some water for these pills first.”
“Those aren’t my muscle relaxants are they?”
“No, just Alleve. Wouldn’t want you to lose control of your motor skills too fast and spill food all over yourself.”
“That’s not going to happen anyway.” He gives her a sly look.
Amanda shakes her head and walks back to the kitchen to fill up a glass of water.
“Hey Rollins?” Carisi says from the couch.
“You know you’re going to have to feed me.”
She shuts off the tap and returns with the glass of water to the living room, ready to give him a sarcastic reply. But then she stands there and really looks at him for a bit before shaking her head. “You’re right. I don’t want to move you off that heating pad by making you sit up. It does wonders for you.”
“So like I said, you’ll have to feed me.” He gives her a seductive grin.
“Yeah, it’s not like that, Carisi.”
“Awww,” he whines and she hands him two pills.
“Head up.” She lifts just his head, bringing the rim of the glass to his mouth after he pops the pills into it.
“Good boy,” she says.
“Hey, I’m not a dog here. Just an injured man.”
Amanda chuckles as she heads back to the kitchen to grab the plates of dinner she had slopped together. She opens a drawer, meaning to get two sets of silverware but then realizes she doesn’t have to. If she’ll be feeding him herself why get two more utensils dirty? She only needs a fork and a knife. She grabs one of each and heads back the couch, setting the plates on the coffee table.
Then she sits down on the floor in front of the couch and picks up a fork. “Ready to give this a whirl?”
“I’m not sure I’m ready for your cooking Rollins.”
She tips her head to the side and looks at him sardonically, “You made most of it.”
“Yeah, but I saw you butcher the rest.”
“Are you gonna go hungry, or eat my food?”
“Well when you put it that way . . . “
“That’s what I thought.”
She cuts off a piece of chicken with that brown goo on it and spears some pieces of pasta onto the fork too for good measure. She turns towards him and waits for him to open his mouth. He’s there with a mock grimace on his face shaking head with his mouth closed, avoiding the fork.
“You’re as bad as Jesse.”
He laughs and that gives her the opportunity to get the fork in.
He chews a little bit, contemplating. After he swallows he says, “That tastes like shit Rollins.”
“No taste it. It’s really bad.”
She gives him a nasty look but proceeds to take a bite for herself. The pasta is crunchy, a lump of mushroom goo pops chalky powder into her mouth, and it takes all of her will just to swallow this mess down with a straight face.
Then she says to Carisi, “Well at least the chicken is cooked.”
“Yeah, I did that part.” He stares down at her. “Do you think I would even touch that chicken if you had prepared it?”