2007-11-23: Cold Fever


Cam_icon.gif Niki_icon.gif

Summary: Niki wakes up to an ice cold house and finds the reason: Cam, battling a fever.

Date It Happened: November 23rd, 2007

Cold Fever

Sanders-Dawson Residence

Queens, New York

Saturday night, Cam was starting to feel a little sick. He went to bed early though, and everybody probably assumed it was just a cold. It's Sunday morning now, very early. Early enough that Micah isn't up yet. The house is *freezing*. A quick check would show why, though. First, the thermostat's been lowered all the way, and second Cam, dressed for bed still in t-shirt and underwear, is sitting just inside the front door, with the door wide open letting in the winter air. Where he's sitting he can't be seen from the street, but still any normal person would be freezing.

A morning without kids going to school is a morning to sleep. A lot. Every sheet and blanket on her bed drawn up around her, Niki unknowingly hugs the bedclothes tight in her sleep. She tosses and turns, ill-at-ease as the wintry air creeps through the room. The cold drags her out of sleep in confusion, and she spends a minute eyeing the bedroom window as if it might tell her something (it's closed; it doesn't) before getting out of bed. Niki, not having any particular ties to all things icy and cold as some do, is accosted by the cold floor. Key things like slippers and a bathrobe are gathered in a rush before she sneaks out. She's still putting the purple robe on — thin, and little help — when she sees the source of the freeze. "…Cam?"

Cam looks up to Niki and gives his usual little wave, if a bit less energetic than normal. He looks quite pale too. "Hi. Something must be wrong with the heater, felt like an oven when I woke up." A closer look shows his t-shirt is literally soaked from sweat, and he's still looking a little damp overall.

It's so early, and so late in the year, that the world — as far as this corner of Queens is concerned — is still dim. Niki doesn't notice, instantly, the state Cam is in, but when she does, she rushes over. "An oven … sweetie, it's freezing in here," she says, stepping just past Cam and moving with the door 'til it clicks shut and cuts off the chilly early morning breeze. Tying the belt of her robe around her waist, she knees in front of the boy and touches his face with the back of her hand. "You're burning up," she murmurs, concerned eyes searching all over. For Cam, this is all wrong.

Cam complains as the door's shut, "No, it'll get too hot again…" He doesn't move to open it again yet, though. He almost gets up, but then stops himself, just about as Niki says he's burning up. Yeah, he knows this is wrong too. "When I'm sick, I feel the cold more. Just a little dizzy is all. And hot."

Niki keeps her hand on Cam's face, feeling his cheek. Her own hands are freezing cold — maybe they'll be of some comfort. Her worry rises as fast as his fever. "You just started to feel sick last night?"

Cam nods a tiny bit to the question, though he asks, "How can your hands be nice and cool when it's so hot in here?" Yeah, he still doesn't quite get it. Severe fevers aren't exactly conductive to thinking straight, though he isn't that bad yet.

"It just feels that way right now. Think of it like everything's switched around 'cause you don't feel good," Niki explains with a gentle smile. "Here, let's get you to bed," she says, wrapping an arm around Cam to guide him up. "I'll get you a cold cloth."

Cam stands up shakily, and he's dizzy enough that he'd have trouble if not for Niki's arm. Once he's up, moving slowly, he seems alright though. "It's too hot in there… and I'll wake up Micah."

"Over here, then. Easy." Side-by-side with Cam, Niki leads him to the living room couch; even though he walks okay, she makes sure he gets there nice and safe. "You can hang out here on the couch and get some rest. I'll be right back."

Cam seems happy enough with that alternative. He nods a little and sits on the couch, and a moment after Niki steps away he takes the TV remote and he's lying down, turning the TV on with the sound down.

Niki is busy in the short couple of minutes she takes to get on top of things. She wakes up fast this morning. While running the faucet in the bathroom sink to make sure the water gets cold enough, she sneaks in Micah's bedroom to lay an extra blanket on him and turn up his room's individual thermostat. Then, cloth in hand a moment later, she whisks past Cam behind the couch only to return with a glass of ice water. She sets it on the coffee table and crouches in front of him. "I'm gonna take your temperature. Take this," she offers a thermometer.

Cam is about to reach for the water when he sees it, but then Niki's crouching there with the thermometer. Biting his lip a moment he nods a little, and puts it in his mouth, leaning back again. Once she's taken it back to read his temperature, he says, "Sorry if the cold woke you up." He gets what's happening now, at least. Just took him a little while.

Beep beep beep beep — the thermometer is insistent. "Don't worry about it," Niki smiles warmly as she takes the thermometer back and eyes it. Her smile starts to fade on seeing the tiny digital readout, but settles easily back into place as she goes on to reassure him, "I have lots of stuff to do this morning anyway. Like take care of you." She hands him the glass of water.

Cam smiles a bit back up to Niki and says, "Thanks." Like when he was hurt with the acid, he isn't objecting to being looked after like he might usually. He's starting to realize how sick he is, and it's scaring him just a little. When he's given the water, he takes a big drink of it. Then he asks, "What if I need to see a doctor? Can't tell him about the freezing stuff."

"I know a special doctor who helps people like us," Niki says with a cheerfully encouraging tone. She pushes from her crouch on the floor to sit on the edge of the couch near Cam and pats at his face with the cool, damp cloth she brought with her. "And Cass, she has a clinic. And, you remember Peter? Well, he used to be a nurse. Don't worry, kiddo. You're all set."

Cam relaxes a little again at that and nods. Any drops of water from the damp cloth freeze on his skin. He seems to be doing it on purpose, though, for the extra cooling effect. At least that part of his power's working normally.

Niki lays the cloth across Cam's forehead and spends a moment watching the droplets of moisture freeze. She brushes his hair aside where it's damp from fevered sweat or ice, little, motherly gestures that show her fondness for the stray boy. "You need anything else?"

Cam smiles a little more up to Niki and then shakes his head a little, "I'm ok. Long as it don't get much hotter." And as long as he has the TV to watch, of course. He then says, "Thanks."

"Okay. Just lemme know." Niki gives Cam's shoulder a squeeze and stands up, the thermometer they used to check his temperature — his too high temperature — dropped within the pocket of her robe without a second thought. Away from Cam, her expression is a little more troubled, particularly as she passes the kitchen table with yesterday's newspaper on it, headline bold: Outbreak Sparks City-Wide Scare.

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