“You look tired,”
“Good morning to you too.”
Placing a coffee mug on the table, I flicked the switch on the kettle, leaning back against the counter. Sebastian looked at me from the counter, sipping his own coffee, as I huddled further into my hoodie.
“That hoodie’s too big for you.” He commented.
“I like big hoodies. They make me feel smaller, plus they don’t hurt my skin as much.” I replied.
The kettle clicked as it boiled, and I poured the coffee – black, two sugars. No cream needed, not for me anyway.
“Coffee isn’t breakfast.”
“Do you want to be the pot or the kettle?” I retorted, looking at him.
The sniped smirked, before pointing with his thumb at the crumb covered plate and empty yogurt pot.
“Shut up,” I sighed.
“Someone got up on the wrong side of the bed,”
“Every side of the bed felt wrong, I hurt.”
I slumped onto the stool next to him, sipping my coffee. His eyes scanned me – not that he knew I had noticed – and his eyebrows furrowed.
“You do look exhausted.”
“It’s call Chronic Fatigue for a reason.” I replied, sipping the coffee I knew would not work, but I had to try.
I winced slightly as my brother came waltzing into the room – how someone had so much energy, never mind at half 8 in the morning, was a mystery to me – to parade to the kettle.
“Morning boss,” sighed Sebastian, me merely giving a small grunt of acknowledgment.
“Soo what’s the plan for you today? You two to still vehemently deny you like each other?” he sang.
“Fuck off, Jim, I am in no mood for your shit.” I mumbled into my arms.
“I’m sure you have jobs for me somewhere?” said Sebastian.
“Yes, I do actually. General Shan, leader of the Black Lotus Tong. She was meant to retrieve the Jade Lotus Hairpin, valued at £9 Million, but failed. I need her eliminating so she doesn’t cause, well, unwanted, attention.”
“Got it boss,” Sebatian drained his coffee, before taking the file that Moriarty held out, “any particular time?”
“I’ll be conversing with her tonight, at about half 9. Be ready to kill for then.”
Sebastian nodded, before leaving.
“I also have a job for you, my sister. Nothing too tasking, of course, something that you can do, get you out the house for a while. I took the liberty of booking you a doctors appointment with Dr John Watson, regarding your fibromyalgia and fatigue. He has your details of course, according to his system; you’ve been a patient of theirs for years. Under their records, you’re Jayne Heights, fake name, fake birthday, address, all that jazz. It’s all in here,” he placed a file in front of me, “I want you to go talk about some better pain meds than your current ones, but at the same time, gather as much information as you can.”
I nodded, knowing what Jim wanted.
“Your appointment is at 12:30pm – don’t be late.”
“So, Miss Heights, I understand that you’re here regarding your current medication?"
I nodded, watching as Watson peered into my face, inspecting me.
“Not getting a lot of sleep, are you?” he asked, “you have some very dark circles under your eyes.”
“No, the pain makes it hard to. Plus, my Chronic Fatigue means I’m always tired as well.”
“Ok, let me check my systems…” he started typing, as my eyes swept the room.
Clean… tidy.,, military like… highly organised… Watson himself was smartly dressed, sat up straight, thin but starting to fill out – his clothes hung loosely, but judging by the creases and such, not as loose as they used to – couldn’t be more than a few months old, so sudden weight loss and gain… skin on right palm was more worn that left, shape indicated previous use of walking stick, confirm by odd wear on left sole of shoe compared to right… but there was no stick in sight…
“Right, what I’m going to do is take you off your Co-Codamol and try you with some Astramorph instead, a low dosage, but we’ll see how it works. I’m also upping your Naproxen from 500mg to 750mg. We’ll try that for a few months or so, then we’ll review again, ok? Be warned, these can make you very drowsy, very quickly. I’m also prescribing some sleeping pills, just for a few days until the pain meds have chance to be fully absorbed into your system.” I was brought back by Watson handing me a prescription, and nodded.
“’Kay, thanks.” I whispered, trying to get up, but my spinning head made me sit down again rather quickly.
“Woah, hey, you ok?”
“Just, just tired.”
“Have you eaten yet today?”
“Not food. You need to take these with food. Go get something to eat, something solid so your stomach has some lining to take the meds.” Watson helped me up, before letting me leave.
Arriving home, I threw my coat on the sofa, sitting heavily down.
“That you, kiddo?”
“Yeah,” I replied, drowsily.
Sebastian came back into the room, shirtless, showing off those broad shoulders and well-defined chest. Sweet jesus, he never made life easy.
“Got your meds?” he asked, taking a seat next to me.
“And the info your brother wanted?"
“Ex Military, clean, sharp, organized, sudden weight loss and gain indicated he was suicidal for a while, but has since found reason to live again. Used to use a stick until very recently, can tell by skin on right palm and the way his shoes are worn. Something, or in this case, someone, has given him hope again.”
“Excellent,” Sebastian came over, picking my meds up, taking a look in the bag, “I best get you something to drink these with."
“Just water will do.” I mumbled, clutching my head, eyes shut.
I heard clanking of glass, the tap running and then footsteps again, before the sofa sank to my left.
“Here,” the meds were pressed into my palm, and I took then, Sebastian helping me to drink from the glass.
The water burned at my dry throat, making me cough and splutter, and I opened my eyes to see a pair of cobalt blue ones looking back at me.
“I’m ok,” I smiled weakly.
“These say to take with or after food, do you need me to grab something?” he asked, checking the back of the packet.
“No, I grabbed a sandwich on the way back.” I said.
He nodded, looking like he almost didn’t believe me, but he couldn’t say much.
“I can feel the drowsiness already,” I mumbled, leaning back.
Seb helped me lie down, my eyes falling shut, before he got up, his footsteps fading then getting louder. Something was pulled over my body, and I felt a pair of soft lips press themselves to my forehead.
“Oh, I only wish I could take this all away.” I think I heard as I fell asleep.
“Hey, you awake?”
“Am now,” I groaned, opening one eye to see Jim.
Sitting up carefully, Sebastian’s duvet fell from me, and I looked to see a hoodie left on the table – his hoodie – for me to wear, with a small note.
“You said you like to feel small in your hoodie. Your current one is in the wash, so here’s mine for a bit – Seb,”
“Did you get the information?” asked Jim, sitting next to me.
I relayed what I knew back to him, rubbing my forehead as I did.
“Good work. Now, would you mind eating something?” My eyebrows shot up as Jim said that, a serious look etched on his face.
“I ate earlier, Jim, plus you know I’m not hungry when I just wake up.” I grumbled.
“Lies. You might be able to hide it from the world, but maybe not from Sebastian, and certainly not from me. I can see it, your pale skin, your chapped lips, the cracked nails, the sunked cheeks. Why are you doing this to yourself?”
“Because… because…” my eyes glanced to the hoodie, and the final piece of the puzzle slotted into place in Jim’s mind.
“Because you don’t think you’re good enough for him. Because you think he wants a skinny girl. Because you don’t see yourself as worthy. Because you don’t notice how he looks at you. Because you don’t notice how his eyes trace your curves every morning. Because you don’t know how his face lights up and how he smiles whenever you get mentioned” my own eyes shot back to Jim as he smirked, “because you don’t know that he keeps a small picture of you and him in his wallet, from that time you accompanied him on one of his missions, on your last good day. Because you don’t know how he threw your old hoodie away just so you could wear his. Because you don’t know that he walked past three spare duvets just so he could get his for you. Because you don’t know that he keeps an inventory of your medication and orders your new meds because he knows you’ll forget. Because you don’t notice how you never run out of your favorite ice cream because he makes sure we always have some. Because he loves you so much, and you don’t notice because you’re so wrapped up trying to be healthy, and skinny, when he love you just the way you are, illness and all.”
Tears began to fall down my face, and I sighed.
“I’ve been such a fool. But, I just wanted to be pretty. He deserves that much.” I whispered.
“He doesn’t want that. He wants you.”
Jim clapped me softly on the shoulder, before getting up to bustle round the kitchen. I pulled Sebastian’s hoodie on, sighing softly as I took in his cologne.
A tub of my favorite ice cream was placed in front of me, along with a spoon, and Jim gently ruffled my head.
“I’m going to go talk to Shan. I’ll see you in a moment.”
He went back into the room, and I picked up the ice cream, peeling the tub back, and looking down at the last bit. Taking a small spoonful, I placed it in my mouth, and gave a small, content sigh as the flavors burst in my mouth and the creaminess melted over my tongue.
As I finished, I got up to place the tub in the bin, before pausing, and opening the freezer, smiling as I saw two more tubs tucked to the back.
As Jim came back in, I was on the sofa again, Seb’s duvet wrapped round me, nodding off again.
“Those meds really make you sleepy?”
“No, I got sleeping pills now, until the meds start to working.” I replied, taking them with some water.
“Kay. Seb is on his way back. He’ll want to see you,” Jim smirked.
“Jim, what did you do?”
“James Moriarty, I swear to every deity of every last religion the exists, unless you tell me what you did…”
Jim laughed, “those were the exact words that Sebastian used when he was called for Jury Duty – he didn’t want to miss the new Doctor Who episode. I hired him pretty on the spot when I heard that. Niiiiggghttt!”
He darted into his room. I grumbled, slumping back into the sofa, not having the energy to chase after him.
The door opened soon after that, and I craned my head to see Sebastian walk through the door, dumping his gear by the shoe rack.
“Sebby!” I smiled.
“Well, you seem more cheerful that you have done in a while,” he grinned, running his hand through his hair as he walked over.
“Yeah, guess the meds are working better.”
Sitting next to me on the sofa, he ruffled my hair, looking down at me, before his expression turned serious.
“Jim told me everything. What were you thinking?”
My own face fell, before I looked down at my hands, “I-I…”
“C’mon, kitten, you’re a genius, even more so than your brother, how come you didn’t notice?”
“I-I wasn’t in the right mind frame I guess… I was more concerned about what I could be than what I was.”
“Oh darling’, my darlin’….” My heart thumped as he called me that, before he pulled me into a hug, holding me close, safely, like he could protect me from it all with his embrace.
I nestled into him, breathing his cologne in softly.
“C’mon,” he said, kissing the top of my head, “let’s get you to bed.”
He scooped me up without a second thought, cradling me close to him. I snaked my arms round his neck, allowing myself to forget about my weight for a moment, as he carried me down the hall and to his own room.
Opening it with his elbow and pushing it with a shoulder, he gently deposited me on the bed, and helped me undress until we reached my underwear, before throwing me a t-shirt of his to sleep in.
Stripping himself to his underwear, he climbed under the duvet with me, pulling me close, one hand entangled in my hair, the other pulling me as close as he could to him, legs entwined.
“This isn’t hurting you, is it?” he whispered.
“No,” For all I cared, I could have been in agony at the moment and I wouldn’t have given a damn.
“Good,” he chuckled, tucking my head under his chin, resting it on his shoulder so my face was nuzzled in the crook of his neck.
There was a moments silence as I dropped off, before I whispered, “I love you, Sebby.”
And as I fell asleep, I heard the murmur back, “I love you too, darlin’.”