Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Temperature Rising

When I first posted "The Ride,” the question arose as to why Joey had taken Michael's temperature rectally...

"Temperature Rising" is a response to that question.

Title: Temperature Rising
Author: Tarabeth
Pairing: Joey and Michael

“Please don’t,” I pleaded, to no avail, as Joey separated my sore, and I am sure oh too rosy cheeks, exposing my anus. “I am so sorry. I promise. I won’t ever do it again.”

I felt the tip of thermometer pressing into my bottom, and let out a whimper, “Too late, Love, you had ample warning of the consequences, should you do it again,” Joey lectured.

I cried, the whole time his hand rested against my cheeks, holding the invader in place for a full five minutes. What had I done? I knew the consequences should I attempt it again, and I did it any way.

It all came flooding back to me; it had been several years since he had issued the ultimatum, I wish at the time I had remembered it with the clarity I did now.

(Three years previous)

I was feeling pretty miserable. Allergy season was not being kind to me this year. Not only was I miserable from the itchy, sneezy, wheeziness of Spring but, this year my body didn’t seem to be responding to allergy meds, so, the symptoms brought on by this year’s high pollen counts were increasing in severity and for the third time in two months had progressed well past basic allergy misery.

The first time, my Eustachian tubes blocked causing a horrid ear infection, and the imbalance caused by blockage in my inner ear left me constantly nauseous.

The second bout traveled to my chest and caused a lovely case of bronchitis.

When I woke up this morning, my ears were all tickly tingly, I wanted to shove a wire in there to get rid of the itch and clear the blockage. I plugged my nose, held my breath and gave a big blow to try and get the air to force my ears to open. No, luck.

Joey was exiting the bathroom glancing at my blowfish impression and replied, “You don’t look very well, boy o’.”

“Just allergies, I’ll be okay once I get moving,” I replied. My husband is an over protective physician’s assistant, and my bodies main response to stress it to get sick, so I have found that sometimes life is actually easier if my dear Joey thinks I am healthy.

“Are you sure, you sound miserable?” He commented.

“Yeah, I’ll be good as new after a shower.”

“If your not, I think you need to stay home today, we don’t want this progressing into another infection.”

Crap, that was exactly what I didn’t need to hear. I knew this was more than allergies, I was miserable; my ears were clogged, and just trying to stand straight, sent a huge wave of nausea over me.

I had to be at work today, we had auditors coming in. I was going to have to suck up my misery and make Joey think I was feeling fine. As far as Joe was concerned, if I was sick, I was not allowed at work, even if my absence could cause the eruption of world war three.

I entered the shower, with the hope, that there really was a possibility of exiting feeling better. The steam in the shower felt great, until it loosened up just enough phlegm to make me nearly cough up a lung. By the time I finished coughing, I was a dizzy, nauseous to the point that I had to make a concerted effort not to vomit, and was a teary mess. It was going to be hard, if not impossible, to convince Joey it was just allergies.

There are few things I have ever gotten past Joey, without him catching on that I was lying to him; those that have worked must be saved for true emergencies, because the more I use them, the more likely I am to get caught.

I had only done it twice before, but I had a feeling today was going to be number three.

When I emerged from the shower, Joey was waiting for me with a towel. He quickly dried me off, slipped me into my robe, and ushered me to the bed.

“Joe, really I am sure it is just allergies, and the auditors are in today. I have to go into the office.” I pleaded with him as he pulled the covers over me.

“I am sure your accounting and program staff will be able to handle the auditors, you will be of no help to anyone if you end up with another bad infection.” He said as he was shaking down the thermometer.

“Joe,” I pleaded again, “If I don’t have a temperature, will you let me go in?”

“Michael, I can tell just by touching your skin you have a fever. You are staying home today.”

“I don’t feel feverish, I’m sure my skin is just warm because of the shower. Please, this is important. If I don’t have a fever, can I just go in and meet with the auditors and then I will come right home?” I asked.

Joey, let out a long sigh, “Okay, if there is no fever, you may go in just to meet the auditors, but when this thermometer registers your fever, as I expect it to, I want no arguing from you. You will call the office and explain that you can’t make it. Understand?”

I nodded in agreement and the next thing I knew, he was checking my pulse, and inserting the thermometer into my mouth. In order for this to work, I was going to have to hope the stars would align and give me a little break. When Joe’s cell phone went off, I said a little thank you to the heavens.

Joey left the bedroom to take the call, and I quickly removed the thermometer; I had only had it in my mouth for a couple of minutes, but it was already registering 99.5…CRAP.

I gave the thermometer a little shake to get the mercury to drop…down to 99.2…another shake…99…I heard Joey outside the door…and gave it one more quick shake before inserting the thermometer back in my mouth.

Joey had been gone for about five minutes, so he walked straight over to me to check my temperature. “Hmm. 98.6,” he said. I started to get out of bed to finish getting ready for work. “Where do you think you’re going?” Joey inquired.

“You said I could go to work if I didn’t have a fever. I am going to finish getting ready.”

“Your right, I did say you could go to work if you didn’t have a fever, I did not say you could work if you had a fever, and shook the thermometer down to register a normal temperature, with the intent of deceiving me,” Joey went over to the medicine cabinet retrieved the “other” thermometer and a tube of KY.

Ugg. How did he know? I thought I had been so careful. Joey sat down next to me on the bed, “Now,” he said pulling me over his lap, “I would like to know what your actual temperature is,” he raised my robe, to supply him access to my rear. This had gone terribly wrong.

“I’m sorry, Joe,” I said.

“Yes, Babe, I am sure you are sorry you got caught,” with that he landed three swift and hard smacks to my bottom. “Is this something you have done before, Michael?”

I didn’t think I could answer; I had been caught this time, but to admit I had done it before, could lead to real trouble. Another sharp slap landed, “Michael, I asked you a question.”

I began to cry, “Yes,” I answered, “but only twice.” Two more swats landed.

“We will discuss this in much more detail when you are feeling better,” he stated. “Michael, you do not fool around with your health,” he separated my cheeks and inserted the glass rod into my rectum. “If you ever do this again, you will no longer have the option of having your temperature taken orally, we will just ALWAYS do it this way.”

I let out a groan. “Understand, boy o’?” He questioned.

“Yes,” I whispered.

Five minutes later the thermometer was removed, “101.3,” Joey announced. He gently helped me back under the covers and handed me the phone, so I could call the office.

(Present Day)

“102,” he announced, he gently returned my pajama bottoms to their rightful place, pulled the covers back over me, and placed a kiss on my forehead. “It will be alright, love,” Joey handed me the phone, so I could call the office and inform them I wouldn’t be in.

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