"Hey, I'm just finishing up work. I should be over—"
" I'm so sorry, love, I can't make it tonight ," Gigi said as she boiled water to make tea. " The kids are sick. Olive has a fever and Eli seems to have a stomach bug. Nat has a work conference this weekend so they're here with me. I'm sorry, I know how much you were looking forward to tonight. I— "
"Hey, no. It's ok," Dani replied. She was looking forward to tonight, but she also understood. And felt bad for her girlfriend.
" I have to go, but we'll talk soon, ok? I love you ."
"I love you, too. Give my love to the kids"
" Of course. Bye. "
Dani furrowed her brows as she hung up the phone. She sat back in her chair and thought about her girlfriend and her sick children. She then looked at the pictures littered across her desk that were filled with said faces.
A small smile formed on her lips as a plan formulated in her head.
"Dani?" Gigi asked as she opened the front door. "What are you—"
"I came to help. Two sick kids seemed like a lot, I figured you could use it," Dani replied.
"You really didn't have to come over, I—"
Gigi was cut off by the kids yelling for her.
"Let me help," Dani said, holding up a brown bag. "I even brought soup."
Gigi gave Dani a thankful smile and nodded. "Ok."
As they made their way into the house, Dani put the bag down on the kitchen counter. When the kids simultaneously yelled for Gigi again, Dani looked up at her.
"I'm gonna go check on Eli," Gigi said, meeting her gaze. "Olive is in her room if you—"
"I can see what she needs."
With that, they both headed down the hallway. Gigi went to find Eli in her room, while Dani went into Olive's.
"Dani," Olive said as enthusiastically as she could in her current state. "I didn't know you were coming."
"I heard you weren't feeling well," Dani replied, walking over to her bedside and taking a seat. "I had to come check on you," she added, resting her hand on the girl's forehead. "You still feel pretty warm."
Olive nodded. "It's funny that my head is hot, but my body is cold," she responded, pulling her comforter up.
Dani nodded in return, wrapping her arm around Olive. "It is funny how that works."
"I'm glad you're here," Olive said, resting her head on Dani's shoulder. "I missed you… and I know mom is tired. You'll make sure she rests too?"
Dani gave her a small smile. "Of course I will."
Dani stayed with Olive for a few more minutes, until she fell asleep. She slowly and carefully shifted the little girl off of her so she could climb off of the bed and go back to check on her girlfriend.
"Hey, how is she?" Gigi asked, getting up from the couch.
"She's fine. Slight fever, but overall, pretty good."
"Thank you, again. Between her fever and his stomach," Gigi said, gesturing toward Eli on the couch, before continuing, "I don't know how I would have done it."
"You would have found a way," Dani replied, sliding her arms around Gigi's waist.
"You definitely make things a lot easier," Gigi said, leaning in and kissing her gently.
"Mom?" Eli softly called from the couch.
"Yes, baby?" Gigi answered, taking a seat next to him.
He slid his body closer to her and rested his head against her chest, snuggling into her.
Dani smiled while she watched Gigi wrap her arms around her son, rubbing her hand over his back. She took a seat on the other side of him.
"Hey, buddy," she said as she saw his little head peek up to see who had sat next to him.
He smiled softly, then laid back against Gigi. "Hi, Dani."
They put on a movie, Eli falling asleep within ten minutes. About halfway through the movie, Olive came out of her room and made her way into the living room to join the family on the couch.
Olive rested against Dani's shoulder, snuggling into her side. Dani grabbed a throw blanket from the back of the couch, draping it over the two of them.
Once the movie ended, Dani and Gigi moved slowly and carefully, letting the kids rest against the pillows on the couch.
They quietly made their way to the kitchen, leaving the kids sound asleep.
"Thank you for bringing soup," Gigi said, leaning against the counter. "That makes figuring out what to feed them a lot easier. I just hope Eli can keep it down."
Dani frowned, looking between the kids and Gigi. "How are you feeling?"
"I'm ok," Gigi replied, looking up at Dani, not expecting the question.
"Olive is worried that you're tired," Dani responded, walking over and wrapping her arms around her girlfriend's waist.
Gigi chuckled lightly, shaking her head. "That kid. I'm fine."
Dani nodded. "You can take a nap if you want, I'll be fine."
Gigi turned in Dani's arms to face her. "I'm good, I promise." She leaned in and kissed her softly.
"Dani?" They heard a soft voice from the couch.
Dani walked over and saw Olive shifting, trying to cover herself with the blanket. Eli stirred as well, but instead doing the opposite and kicking the blanket off of himself.
Dani pulled her hoodie off and held it out to her. "Here, this might help more than the blanket."
Olive smiled with a nod. "Thank you."
"Will you sit with us?" Eli asked, shifting to make room for her between them.
Dani smiled softly and took a seat between the two kids. Eli immediately snuggled into her right side while Olive rested her head on her left arm.
"You think you guys are up for trying to eat?" Gigi asked, taking a seat on the other side of Eli, brushing his hair out of his face.
He nodded softly.
Olive sat up and nodded as well.
Dani stood up and helped them both over to the table while Gigi warmed up the soup.
"Take it easy, ok? Slow bites," Gigi said as she put a bowl in front of Eli.
He nodded, picking up his spoon. He took a small bite of the soup, then waited a moment before taking another. Patience was not an easy thing for him, but he listened to his mother, hoping not to get sick again.
"Can we play a game after dinner?" Olive asked, looking up from her soup.
Gigi arched her brow. "What kind of game?"
"Maybe Go Fish?" Eli answered, sipping the tea his mother had placed in front of him.
"Dani, how are you so good at this?" Olive asked sleepily as they finished another round of Go Fish.
"It's mostly luck and the fact that you two aren't at your best, usually you kick my butt," she said, shuffling the cards in her hand.
"How are you feeling, Pook?" Gigi asked, placing her hand on her daughter's forehead.
"I'm ok," Olive replied. Her eyes were heavy and she was a little pale, but seemed to be doing better than she had been earlier that day.
"How are you feeling?" Dani asked Eli as she handed out cards for the next round.
"My belly feels better, but my throat is scratchy."
"Keep drinking your tea, it will help," Olive said, rubbing her brother's back.
Gigi's heart melted. She hated seeing her kids sick, but she was grateful for Dani's love and support and the way the kids were looking out for each other.
"Can we play Uno?" Olive asked, as they finished another round.
"I think we should take a break," Dani replied, gathering the cards. "You two need to rest."
"But I'm not even tired," Eli said mid-yawn, causing Gigi to laugh.
Dani and Gigi shared a look, then Gigi rolled her eyes. "Fine, one round."
"Push over," Dani laughed, walking past Gigi to swap the card games.
"We all know you'll be the one trying to convince me to play more than one round when they give you the puppy dog eyes," Gigi replied, getting up and following Dani to the games shelf.
"Is it my fault they're so hard to say no to?" Dani replied, looking at Gigi.
Gigi chuckled, then leaned in to kiss Dani. "I'm glad you're here."
"I know this isn't exactly the night we had planned," Gigi started.
"It's better," Dani replied, before kissing Gigi again. "I'm glad they seem to be feeling a little better."
"Me too," Gigi smiled. She looked over at the table, then back at her girlfriend. "Ready to get your ass kicked?"
"Oh, please, we all know Eli is the king of this game," Dani joked as they made their way back to the table.
Eli smiled triumphantly at her words, then looked at his sister. "Olive beat me last time though."
"But you do usually win," Olive said with a smile. "That's why it's your favorite."
Eli just shrugged, then took another sip of tea as he waited for Dani to deal the cards.
Five rounds of the game later, the family found themselves back on the couch. Dani and Gigi in the middle with Eli leaning against Dani's side and Olive against Gigi's.
"Mom?" Olive asked, looking up. "What if we get you and Dani sick?"
Gigi gave her a sad smile. "Then we'll take care of each other."
Olive frowned, looking between her mom and Dani. She was suddenly very aware of the fact that she and her brother had been so snuggly with both adults.
"Hey," Gigi said softly, getting her attention. "Don't worry about that, ok? We'll be fine. You just worry about resting and getting better."
Olive looked at her hesitantly for a moment, before nodding and leaning against her chest again.
"This is a funny part," Eli said, looking at the TV. He coughed between his laughs, which caused Dani to worry a bit. She kissed the top of his head and made a mental note to make sure they gave him cough medicine tonight before bed.
Eventually, Eli and Olive fell asleep watching the movie. Gigi was surprised they had lasted as long as they had considering how tired they were while they were playing games.
Dani rested her head against Gigi's shoulder, enjoying the quiet moment. Even with the kids sick, she loved being a part of this little family. She was happy she had decided to come over and help, even if it meant the possibility of her being sick in the near future.
"Should we get them in bed?" Dani whispered to Gigi.
"I can carry her, if you take him," Dani said as Gigi stood up and stretched from her position on the couch.
"Are you sure?" Gigi asked.
"I've carried you further," Dani replied, standing up and resting her hands on Gigi's waist. She pecked her lips, then continued, "I'll be fine."
Gigi shook her head. "Ok."
Gigi scooped Eli up in her arms and Dani did the same with Olive, both still sound asleep.
That was until Eli started to stir, whining into Gigi's chest. "I wanna sleep in your bed mama… please." He whined again.
Olive opened her eyes, hearing her brother. She was a little confused as to where she was at first, but then relaxed seeing Dani. "Can I sleep with you guys too?" she asked softly.
Dani nodded and continued down the hallway into Gigi's room. They laid the kids down, then started getting ready for bed themselves.
Dani and Gigi nudged the kids toward the middle of the bed, climbing in next to them.
"Thank you for being here with us," Gigi said softly.
Dani smiled. She looked at the sleeping children between them, then up at her girlfriend. "I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
"I love you," Gigi replied, reaching her hand out for Dani to take.
"I love you too." Dani smiled. She linked her fingers with Gigi's, then looked down at the kids again. "All of you."