It’s a serious code blue, probably the most severe code blue Rebecca has ever had. She wakes up in the middle of the night to throw up, her breasts feel like iron weights on her chest, and her back aches unspeakably, though that also may have something to do with the position she and Nathaniel experimented with the day before. Rebecca can barely move, much less work, so she texts Nathaniel, unaware that it’s 3:30 in the morning, to tell him she’s not coming in today but doesn’t explain why. Paula gets a text shortly after with code blue in all capital letters and says she won’t be at work. When Paula asks if she needs anything, Rebecca respectfully declines and drifts back to sleep.
A few hours later, her stomach is still uneasy, though she doesn’t feel the urge to vomit every three minutes. It’s a start. She sips on a Sprite as she checks her inbox, switching tabs between her emails and Netflix currently streaming episodes of Friends that she’s seen a thousand times over. Ross and Rachel are “on a break,” and Chandler and Joey are getting themselves in trouble as usual. Rebecca lets herself relax after answering a few emails, and though it doesn’t do much for the pain in her uterus, at least it helps take her mind off of it.
Back at the office, Nathaniel sits at his desk missing the sunny face of his office mate. She makes the hard days better because he knows if he’s feeling stressed or anxious or angry, he can look up and find beauty in the concentration of her gaze on a case file and the warmth in her smile when she finally takes notice of him staring at her. Today is one of those days that he wishes she were there. Nathaniel takes his lunch earlier than usual and steps out to call Rebecca.
“Hello,” she answers groggily, her voice cracking slightly. She doesn’t bother to look at the caller ID since she’s been pulled out of sleep by her obnoxious ringtone.
“Well, hi there, sunshine.” Rebecca hums at the sound of Nathaniel’s teasing voice over the phone. “How are you feeling? Any better?”
“Not really. I don’t have to throw up every five minutes anymore, but I still can’t eat anything. Just trying to sleep and make the pain go away.”
“Did you take any medicine?”
“Medicine is for the weak, and I am a strong, fierce, independent woman who don’t need no meds.” Nathaniel laughs. “Plus nothing would touch it anyway.”
“Even when you’re sick, you’re still stubborn as hell. Tell you what, why don’t I come over later? We don’t have to do anything, but some company might make you feel better.”
“Mmmkay,” Rebecca answers tiredly. She yawns quietly and snuggles further into her pillow. “I could definitely use a back rub right now. You give good back rubs.”
“Why, thank you. One Plimpton-certified back rub, coming right up. I’ll see you tonight.”
Later in the afternoon, Rebecca cautiously tries to eat something. The lightly buttered plain bagel surprisingly stays in her stomach as she mindlessly flips through the TV channels on the couch. She brings Ruth Gator Ginsberg with her as a body pillow, and she at least has Ruth to cling to as knife-like cramps pierce her stomach. Rebecca dozes off midway through reruns of Bones, and that’s how Nathaniel finds her a few hours later.
She’s clinging to Ruth Gator Ginsberg as she lies on her side on the couch, lightly snoring in some sort of pleasant dream. The door’s unlocked, and when Nathaniel catches sight of Rebecca, he quietly closes the door and locks it behind him, tiptoeing his way over to her. Rebecca’s sleeping so peacefully that he doesn’t want to disturb her, but he can’t help but readjust the blanket that’s fallen off her shoulder and keep a reassuring hand there absently drawing circles over her arm. She must have sensed his presence there because she stirs, rapidly blinking her eyes, and searching for him.
“Hey, I’m right here. Sleep okay?” Rebecca nods slowly and finds his hand to lace her fingers with. “What’s going on? You’re not looking so great.”
“You don’t look so hot yourself either, mister,” Rebecca sasses, though it comes out weaker than she’d hoped. Nathaniel lightly presses the back of his hand to her forehead to check her temperature but doesn’t feel a fever.
“It was a rough day today, especially because I missed out on seeing a certain brunette with gorgeous eyes looking at me all day.” Nathaniel strokes her hair and twirls a strand around his finger.
“God, I always suspected you and George had a secret fling going on, so thanks for confirming it.” Playfully, Nathaniel pokes her nose as Rebecca giggles.
“Shut up, I was trying to be cute and sexy, but now it’s ruined because you mentioned George, so thanks a lot, Rebecca.” Rebecca catches Nathaniel’s hand and pulls him closer.
“No, go back to being cute and sexy. You’re so good at it. I like it when you’re cute and sexy, which is almost always, but still,” Rebecca whines as she squeezes his hand and pouts out her lower lip. Nathaniel seizes the moment to reach and pull that lip between his teeth and take his other hand to her messy hair. Rebecca urges him onto the couch to lie on top of her, but Nathaniel pulls away before she can drag him up onto the couch.
“So, I guess you, me, and Ruth Gator Ginsberg are going to have a threesome, huh?” Rebecca rolls her eyes and gently sets her stuffed alligator on the ground, swapping the plush for Nathaniel’s warm body on top of her.
“You know I don’t like sharing you, especially not with my alligator, who I know you happen to be quite fond of already.” Rebecca cups Nathaniel’s face in her hands and kisses him, opening her mouth to let his tongue explore inside. It seems like teenage play, but it feels so good to just make out with him on her couch with all of their clothes on. Nathaniel’s hand starts to drift to her breasts, sore as they were, though the way his fingers brush her nipples ignites a pleasurable flame within her, and suddenly, she’s not all that tired anymore.
Now, she’s ravenous. Something about Nathaniel always does that to her, even when she’s tired and sick, and she isn’t sure what it is that he just knows how to make her feel better.
“Period sex, period sex . . .”
“Whoa, wait, what?” Nathaniel pulls away from her mouth incredulously.
“What,” she answers quickly.
“Rebecca, what did you just say?”
“I—didn’t say anything. Did I?”
“You just said ‘period sex, period sex,’” Nathaniel repeats, copying her melody. “Rebecca, are you on your period right now?” Rebecca’s cheeks flush red, and she’s feeling embarrassed not only because she failed to tell Nathaniel she’s on her period, but she can’t believe she actually sang that song out loud while making out with him.
“I can’t believe I just said that out loud. Oh god, wow. That’s embarrassing,” she laughs nervously and looks up to find Nathaniel patiently waiting for an answer. “Okay, yes, I’m on my period right now, but I didn’t want to tell you because I didn’t know if it would be weird since we’re, like, not together, and I didn’t really think you’d care, or I thought you might think it’s gross, or—“
“Hey, hey. Stop, you’re overthinking.” Rebecca takes a breath when she realizes Nathaniel is right. “I don’t think it’s gross or weird or anything like that, trust me. I wish you would have told me though so I could have brought you some chocolate or a heating pad or something.”
“That’s really sweet of you, Nathaniel,” Rebecca smiles as she runs her fingers through his hair.
“Also, if you, you know, want to have some . . . period sex, I’m okay with it. We’ll just put down a towel, and it’ll be fine.”
“Are you sure you haven’t heard the song before,” Rebecca questions skeptically but tosses it out of her mind when Nathaniel sneaks his hand down to cup her over her pajama pants. Her needy moan and tightening grip on his shoulder tells him she needs this. Rebecca’s beautiful noises of pleasure make it hard for Nathaniel to break away from her, so he doesn’t for a while, content to let her enjoy this moment.
Suddenly, there’s a knock at the door. Both of them stop moving, and Nathaniel drops his voice down to a whisper.
“Are you expecting someone?” Rebecca shakes her head and lies still underneath Nathaniel waiting for the person to either introduce themselves or go away.
“Rebecca? Are you awake?” It’s Paula. Rebecca gasps and grips Nathaniel’s shoulder as tight as she can.
“Shit. Fuck. You can’t be here right now. If Paula sees you, she’ll kill you, and then me . . . and then probably you again.”
“Well, where am I supposed to go?”
“I don’t know, just . . . go, go in there,” Rebecca hisses, her voice rising in pitch, and she gestures to her bedroom. Quickly, Nathaniel moves off of her but not before twisting her nipple one last time for good measure. Her scathing glare makes him move faster and disappear behind her bedroom door. Rebecca reluctantly gets off of the couch and greets Paula at the door.
“Hi, honey. How are you feeling?”
“Still kind of gross, to be honest, but not as sick, so that’s good,” Rebecca says as she leans against the doorframe.
“That’s good. How about we watch a movie or something to take your mind off of it? I brought The Princess Bride and some dark chocolate.” Paula holds out her gifts to Rebecca, and Rebecca accepts them happily.
“You’re the best, Paula.” Rebecca smiles and invites her in as she gets the DVD set up. They’re about 15 minutes in when she realizes that there’s still a man in her bedroom who’s waiting for her to take care of his erection, and Rebecca feels bad for leaving him hanging like that, so she quickly texts him an apology and promises to make it up to him later.
The movie hits a lull, as does her coworker next to her leaning her head back on the couch. Rebecca is caught in the nostalgia of the movie that she doesn’t catch Nathaniel sneaking his way towards the front door. Rebecca makes a silent plea for him to stop by waving her hands back and forth, and when he does, she points him back towards her bedroom. He’s heading that way when a floorboard gives away his presence, and Rebecca’s eyes widen as big as saucers. Paula stirs next to her, quietly asking where Rebecca is. Trying not to let Paula see, Rebecca frantically charades to Nathaniel to hide under her bed, which takes him a few attempts to decipher, though he manages to get there unnoticed.
“Hey mama, you just dozed off a bit. Do you maybe want to do this a different night? I know you worked all day today, and I’m pretty tired myself.” That was a bald-faced lie. Rebecca’s still as horny as she was 45 minutes ago.
“Yeah, that sounds good. I’m sorry, honey. Here, whenever you feel like eating, the chocolate bar is for you. I’ll leave it on the table over here.” Paula stands up and gives Rebecca a hug before grabbing her purse and heading towards the door.
“Good night, Paula. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.” Rebecca closes and locks her door with a relieved sigh that she didn’t see Nathaniel. That was way too close for comfort.
Rebecca enters her bedroom clicking the lock behind her, and a whisper from under her bed startles her.
“Can I come out now?”
“Jesus Christ, yes, please come out.” Nathaniel crawls out from under her bed stretching his back out as Rebecca plops down on her bed. “I am so sorry about that.”
“It’s okay, really. I have some good news for you. Before I was about to sneak out, I got something for you.” Nathaniel reaches down and grabs the dark blue bath towel he swiped from Rebecca’s bathroom before his near miss in the hallway. He holds it up with a smirk. “Shall we pick up where we left off?”
If the way Rebecca eagerly straddles Nathaniel says anything, it’s that it must be summer because they’re about to slip and slide.