Sweetest Day Sniffles by evergreenwriter83
Story Notes:
Runner Up: Best Short - 2010 Felix Awards
Chapter 1 by evergreenwriter83

Playing Doctor Challenge: Sweetest Day Sniffles

Saturday, October 16

It was Sweetest Day. As I drove up our winding driveway, I couldn’t wait to see what Brian had up his sleeve. Earlier that morning, he had sent Baylee and me out shopping, whispering in my ear that he had a ‘surprise’ for me later that evening. Baylee and I had spent the morning deciding on costumes for AJ’s upcoming wedding rehearsal dinner. Even though Baylee had fallen in love with a ‘dead guy’ costume (yuck), I had talked him into being a puppy dog. I had a feeling my chances of coercing him into wearing cute costumes were getting limited.

After lunch at McDonald’s, I had dropped Baylee off at my sister’s house for a sleepover with his cousins. Then I went back to the mall for a little personal shopping: Victoria’s Secret and Frederick’s of Hollywood. Looking forward to a night with just the two of us, I headed back home. I took a moment to admire the ivy dancing up the front of the house and the rose bushes exploding in fall bloom. It was going to be a wonderful evening.

I had to jostle my shopping bags from one arm to the other as I unlocked the front door. In ten years of marriage, Brian had never tired of doing romantic things. I knew I had something rare; most women would kill to have a man like Brian Littrell.

As I walked through the quiet foyer, one particular romantic surprise came to my mind. It had been our five year anniversary; Baylee had been so small. Brian had brought me out on stage and had declared his undying love for me in front of a sold-out crowd. Then, he had Kevin, Nick, Brian, Howie, and a stage hand bring out five huge bouquets of flowers.

That was the type of moment most girls could only dream of.

I was living the dream. God had truly blessed me with a living angel.

“Anyone home?” I called as I set my bags down on one of the long tables in our entranceway. There was no response. I peeked in the kitchen.

No Brian.

I went down to the basement and peeked into his studio.

No Brian.

It wouldn’t have been the first time I had gone on a scavenger hunt, but usually I had notes or rose petals to follow. This just seemed…off.

I climbed the stairs back to the main level and then headed up the staircase towards the bedrooms. I peeked in rooms along my way to our suite. All rooms were empty.

The room to our suite was closed. Sliding off my shoes and pulling my hair out of its sloppy ponytail, I pushed the door open, my heart thumping with excitement and a smile growing on my face.

My smile fell once I saw the huge lump underneath our white comforter and wads of tissues gathered on Brian’s nightstand.

“Bri?” I whispered.

He pulled the covers from over his head. His hair was sticking to his forehead in a sweaty mess.

He was sick. I stifled a groan.

As sweet and kind-hearted as my husband was, he made a horrible patient. Baylee handled being sick so much better than his dad.

“Leigh, I’m so sorry,” Brian croaked. “I took a nap and woke up like this.”

“Hey, don’t worry about it,” I said sweetly. I walked over and touched his forehead. He was warm.

“I feel horrible,” he whined. Drowsy blue eyes looked up at me. “I hate to ask…but could you bring me some orange juice?”

I smiled. “Of course, I can.”

Before I left, I scooped his used tissues in a trash can. He gave me a weak little smile.


I headed back down to the kitchen and rooted through the refrigerator for the orange juice. Having been through this before, I knew the perfect orange juice equation to meet Brian’s needs – four ice cubes, a spoonful of sugar, and no pulp orange juice. Once his drink was “to consistency” I took it up.

“Here we go,” I said as I walked back into the room. He reached out and I placed the glass in his hand. He took a sip and let his head fall back onto the pillow.

“Perfect,” he said. I sat down on the corner of the bed.

“Have you felt bad at all these last few days?” I asked. Brian put the glass on the nightstand and nodded.

“I’ve had a sore throat for a few days. I just thought it was from working on the solo record.”

“Yeah, you’ve been straining those vocal chords pretty well,” I said. He began to laugh, then paused. He let out a huge sneeze. I grabbed a Kleenex and handed it to him. He blew so loudly that it sounded like a truck horn. When he was done, he put the used tissue on the nightstand.

“Hey Leigh?”

“Yeah?” I was trying to refrain from scooping the tissue up and throwing it in the trash where it belonged.

“Can I have some toast?”

“Sure honey,” I said. Before I stepped out of the bedroom I turned and looked back at him. “Anything else you need from the kitchen?”

He shook his head. “Nope just toast.” I headed out into the hall.

“Two pieces!” he called out after me.

I headed back down to the kitchen and put two pieces of wheat toast in the toaster. As it toasted, I rooted around for butter, honey, and jam. When the pieces finally popped back up a golden brown, I put them on a plate. The plate then went on a tray with the butter, honey, and jam. I added another glass of orange juice for good measure and headed back up to the bedroom.

I walked back into the bedroom just in time to see Brian, his head tipped back, gargling orange juice. I stopped and watched him for a few moments. When he finally swallowed, he winced. Then he noticed me in the doorway.

“Is that the toast?” he said hopefully.

“Yep. You’ve got toast, honey, jam, and butter. And I brought more juice.”

He grinned and pointed to the empty glass. “Good thinking.”

I set the tray across his lap. I had just picked up the empty glass when I heard a soft, ‘Ahem.’

“What’s up?” I asked. He pointed behind him sheepishly.

“Could you fluff my pillows?”

With a little sigh I set the glass down and plumped up the pillows behind his back. When he gave a happy nod, I watched him sink back and begin to fix his toast. I headed back to the kitchen to wash the glass and put it away. On my way back to the bedroom, my eyes caught sight of the bags in the foyer. I grabbed them and brought them up with me.

Brian was licking honey off the butter knife as I entered the room a third time. He smiled drowsily in my direction.

“What’s all that?” he croaked.

I smiled. “These?” I shook the bags. “Nothing.”

Brian squinted. “They don’t look like nothing. I see two important names – Victoria and Frederick.”

“Well when you’re better, I’ll make sure you get together with them,” I teased. I opened the doors to my walk-in closet.

“Can’t I at least see what you bought?” he asked.

Not daring to upset my patient, I turned around and held up a white lacey bustier and matching hosiery. A soft pink silk nightie came out of the other bag.

“They look nice, but maybe you should model them.”

“Maybe you should take some Nyquil and get some more sleep,” I said gently.

Brian opened his mouth to argue, but a loud gravely cough erupted from his mouth instead. By the time he caught his breath, I had already put the lingerie away. He groaned and put a hand to his forehead.

“Could you get me some?”

“Some what?”

"Nyquil. Cherry, please.”

I closed the doors to my closet and headed to the bathroom. I sorted through various children’s cough tablets and syrups until I found the cherry Nyquil. I dispensed the appropriate amount in the plastic cup and walked back into the bedroom.

Brian had stuck wads of tissue up his nostrils. I stopped in my tracks.

“What…?” I didn’t know what else to say.

“It’s to stop the drips,” he said. I saw the tissue suck up farther as he sniffled.

With a little shake of my head I walked over to the bedside and held out the cup. Instead of reaching for it, Bri opened his mouth.

I reconfirmed my previous thought; Baylee was definitely a better patient.

Biting my tongue, I tipped the liquid in his mouth. He made a face as the bitter cherry filled his mouth. When he swallowed, his whole body shook.

“Are you running a temperature?” I asked.

“I didn’t take it,” he said. I followed his line of sight. He was staring at the bathroom.

“Do you want me to get the thermometer?” I guessed. He nodded.

I headed back to the bathroom. I rinsed out the plastic Nyquil cup and put the bottle back into the medicine cabinet. I pulled out the thermometer and walked back to the room.

Brian opened his mouth; I placed the thermometer under his tongue. His nose tissues flew out as the thermometer took its sweet time in relaying a temperature. I held out the waste basket as he picked up the soggy tissues and tossed them in the trash can.

Finally, the thermometer beeped. I checked the display; 99.0.

“You don’t really have a temperature,” I said.

Brian tossed his head from side to side and moaned. “I’m just congested, he complained. I leaned over and kissed his forehead.

“You know what might help?” he said as I pulled away. I put my hands on my hips.


“The Vick’s Vapo-Rub,” he said. “Y’know the white cream in the blue tub. It’s in the...”

“Medicine cabinet,” I finished for him. “I’ll be right back.”

I returned to the bathroom yet again. I put away the thermometer and picked up the Vick’s container.

In the time I had left the bedroom and returned, Brian had slipped off his t-shirt and tossed back the covers. I handed him the container; he looked at me sadly.

I closed my eyes. I would like to think I’m a fairly patient person, but he was testing my limits.

“Brian, can’t you put it on yourself?” I asked.

“It works better when someone else does it,” he whined.

I sat down on the bed beside him. He watched intently as I unscrewed the cap and dipped my fingers into the white cream.

As I smoothed the cream along his chest, his eyes fluttered closed. He smiled softly.

“That feels much better,” he said.

I rubbed the cream in until it was dissolved and began to screw on the cap.

“A little more, please?”

I stifled a growl of impatience as I sat the cap on my lap and scooped out another handful. Once again I rubbed it along his chest. He scooted closer to me. His hand came to rest above my knee.

“Thank you,” he murmured. His hand slid up to my thigh.

I gave one last rub and then screwed the cap back on. His hand slid up even farther; I sucked in a breath.

“What are you doing, Bri?” I asked.

“You’re a hot nurse,” he responded. His other hand slid up the back of my shirt to my bra. I felt his fingers quickly undo the clasp.

“You’re sick,” I reminded him. “You need rest.”

He slipped his hand under the loose bra, his fingers stretching to cover my breasts.

“I’ve heard you can sweat out sickness,” he murmured. His hands dropped their exploration to rest on my waist. With a deft movement, he swung me over so I was straddling him. Even through my clothes, I felt him harden as my thighs tightened against his hips.

“You’re crazy,” I said. His face was flushed; his nose bright red. He looked pathetic. I shouldn’t have found it a turn on; but somehow I did. Maybe it was the fact that I was so close to killing him for being a baby that I needed to let loose a little bit of frustration. If that meant ‘sick bed’ love-making, well…

His hands pulled my shirt up, exposing the flat plane of my stomach. I tossed it over my head, taking the unclasped bra with it. Brian moaned in satisfaction, the fingertips of his right hand brushing against my nipples. His left hand reached down to the breakfast tray that he had placed on the floor. When his hand returned to my skin, honey dripped between the fingers. With slow artistic strokes, he made honey trails from my breasts to my navel. Leaning forward he began to slowly lick it off. The sensual movement made me buck back, only for him to push me towards him once more. A warm rush of desire flowed through me. My fingers hooked the waistband of his boxers. He arched his hips as I maneuvered them off.

“I better not get sick,” I warned him as he aided in ditching my jeans and panties.

“I’ll take care of you like you’ve taken care of me,” he said sweetly as he pulled me against him. My hands snaked between our bodies as I took him in my hands. His breathing slowed as I stroked him; it was weird, but the smell of the Vick’s made things seem a little, well, kinky.

His body tensed more and more as I stroked and slid along him. His mouth parted; his hands came around to grasp my backside. With one last brush of my fingertips I let him go, easing onto him and closing my eyes as he filled me.

In all the time we’ve been married, I had never once had sex with Brian while he was sick. To some, it might seem odd to still feel attracted to someone who at any moment could break out into a sneezing fit, but there was a certain rush of power in being able to have the upper hand when the one you love is at their weakest. As we basked in mutual release, I rolled back over to my side of the bed as Brian remained in his ‘zone.’ After a moment his beautiful blue eyes fell upon me.

“That was a first,” he rasped. I smiled.

“Well, I’ve got to admit that the night wasn’t a complete bust,” I replied. He grinned.

“What do you mean?”

“Well,” I licked my lips. “You still managed to give me a surprise…cold and all.”

“Happy Sweetest Day,” Brian said. He took my hand in his.

“Happy Sweetest Day,” I replied. I let my eyes flutter closed; the medicinal smell still filled my nostrils.

Amazingly, I fell asleep even as Brian rattled and sniffled with every breath. I knew the morning would come soon enough, and with it would be more requests.

I was going to need a lot more orange juice.

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