Chapter 35: An Emergency
I want thank my daughter, LadyLaran on AO3, for the time she takes to beta my stories. We beta each others and cover each others weaknesses. She is writing a Hobbit/Supernatural crossover that is really good. Its called Hunting Erebor. It’s very unique.
(See the end of the chapter for more notes.)
Sherry drove Jensen to the college Monday morning. Gus sat in the middle seat, belted in with a special dog harness for vehicles. She pulled up to the Arts Building and turned to the young man next to her.
“You have your lunch?
“It’s in my briefcase. Thank you for making it for me.”
“You’re welcome, hon. If you need me, call my cell. If we go out, I’ll still get your call.”
Jensen and Gus exited the van and headed towards the Arts Building. Going towards his classroom, his mind wandered back to the night before. He’d slept alone; he knew it shouldn’t matter. Sometimes he slept in his own room, but this time was different. Jared had left for the bus trip last night. Shrugging it off, he entered his classroom. Turning on the lights, he walked over to his office and set his briefcase on his desk. Getting the graded papers from a folder in the case, he sat down at his desk.
Someone knocked on his door and he looked up and said, “Come in.”
Ellen walked in with two cups of coffee. She set one on his desk and sat in the chair across from him.
“How did the weekend go,” she asked softly.
“Jared’s family is very nice. I like them.”
Ellen smiled, knowing there was something bothering him. “But?”
“Jared left last night for a two day tournament. I’m not used to him not being there.”
“Jensen, he’s a basketball coach. You’ll have to learn to handle it.”
“I know. Sherri said the same thing.”
“Well, it’s only two days.”
“But it’s three nights,” the professor replied back.
Smiling, Ellen had a good idea of just how far things were going. Her sculptor was most likely still a virgin, but he was definitely not sleeping alone.
“Get something with his scent on it and sleep with it. It will help; I guarantee it.”
The department head went back to her office. Finishing his coffee, the sculptor picked up the graded papers and walked into his classroom to find it only half full. When he commented on it, one of his students mentioned that everyone was sick.
After class was over, Jensen walked back to his office and called the school clinic to verify his student’s claim. They confirmed the report that a lot of the student population was out due to a serious strain of the flu, and he was asked if he’d had a flu shot. He was quiet, knowing he had not done so. Because of his silence, the nurse asked him to come by during lunch.
At 11:30, the professor walked over to medical and got the shot. He was told it was most likely too late as half his class was out with it, but the inoculation should keep him from catching it again.
“How bad is it?”
“It’s virulent. The hospital has fifteen cases so far. If you start feeling bad, go home. Any side effects from the shot would not occur for at least twenty-four hours so if you feel bad today, it’s not the shot. ”
Walking back to the Arts building, he hoped he did not catch the bug and that the vaccine would have time to do its work.
Jensen handed out the papers to his afternoon class, noting that a third of the class was absent. As he worked with his students on their projects, he felt dizzy. The sculptor sat on the stool at the front to help with the dizziness and noticed his head had started hurting.
‘God, no,’ he thought as he got back up to help a student. An hour into the class, his body started aching and felt nauseated.
“Prof? You don’t look so good,” one of the girls mentioned. “You’re flushed.”
“Someone go get Ms. Harvelle, please,” Jensen whispered as he hurried to the restroom where he became violently sick.
One of his students walked in and leaned out the door to call out to the woman waiting in the hallway. “He’s the only one in here, Ma’am.”
“Thank you,” Ellen’s voice was heard through the door.
A few minutes later a cool paper towel wiped his face. Ellen took him back to his office, reached for his cell phone on the desk and dialed Sherri’s number. She told her about the flu outbreak and asked her to come get Jensen.
Jensen barely remembered arms taking hold of his and people helping him get out of the building.
“I’ve got him,” Megan responded, reassuring him.
Sherri and Jeff helped the young man lie in the middle seat with the dog on the floor next to him. Jared’s sister got in the back, looking worried. While Jeff drove, Sherrie kept turning to make sure Jensen was all right.
The van pulled up next to the garage. Jensen was weak, with a burning fever. Jeff reached in and pulled him into his arms, carrying the sick man into the house and the professor’s bedroom. Sherri pulled the covers down, and she and her son began to undress him and put some pajamas on him.
Going into Jared’s office, she looked into his rolodex and was relieved to find Doctor Turner’s name and number. She dialed and asked his nurse if the man still practiced house calls. When the answer was affirmative, she told the woman who she was and explained Jensen’s health issue. The nurse put her on hold and returned in a few minutes, informing Jared’s mom that the doctor could be there around 4:30
The next two hours were difficult. Jensen could hold nothing down so they couldn’t give him medication to bring his temperature down. They tried bathing his body with a cool damp cloth, but the fever kept climbing.
When Doctor Turner arrived, Jensen was delirious. He kept whimpering and crying for Jared. He was in pain. The doctor took his vitals before opening his cell phone and dialing a number.
“Meg? I need you at the Padalecki Ranch. Stat.” Turner listened. “Plan on staying so pack a bag. This one has very bad case of the new flu bug. Yes, as soon you can get here.”
Turning to Sherri, Turner took control of the room. “Keep the lights dim. His head is pounding right now, and bright light will only intensify the pain. Let’s strip him down and into a lukewarm tub.”
Jeff and Turner stripped the young man down and carefully moved him to the bathroom where Sherri had drawn a bath in the whirlpool tub. When they placed the sculptor into the lukewarm water, he cried out.
“No! No! It’s cold!
“I know, son, but we have to get your fever down,” the physician said softly as he continued to push the young man back into the water. Every few minutes, he put the ear thermometer into his patient’s left ear. Slowly, the temperature lowered.
“All right, let’s get him out of this water.”
Jeff kept Jensen on his feet while Turner briskly dried his body. Jared’s brother pulled the professor back into his arms, and the two men headed to Jensen’s room.
“Has he had diarrhea,” the doctor asked as the dressed the young man.
“No, he hasn’t,” Jared’s mom answered softly.
“Good. I’m going to give him a suppository for the vomiting. I’m going to put him on an I.V. to keep fluids in his system so he doesn’t dehydrate. He should be in the hospital, but it’s almost full right now. We’ll be able to prevent another infection from occurring. Meg Masters is my home nurse. She’ll take care of whatever is needed. I’ll check in on him in the mornings, during lunch, and in the evenings
Sherrie nodded, taking a sheet of paper the doctor handed to her with instructions on it.
“He’s at a basketball tournament.”
“Jensen is asleep right now, but his system doesn’t seem to handle fever very well. His was 102.8, and he was delirious. It will go up again until we get a handle on this. If it goes up again, we need to keep him calm and get the fever down quickly.
“Is he Jared’s lover?”
“I wouldn’t go that far yet, Dr. Turner. In love? Yes. Lovers? Not yet.”
“Well he’s calling for Jared when the fever goes up and aggravates the pain. You may need to get Jared to come home early.”
“He rode the bus with the students. His truck is at the school.”
Jared’s brother interrupted, “His truck is in the garage.”
Turner looked at Jeff. “Would you go get him?”
“Yes, I will,” Jeff responded, giving his mother a kiss and leaving the room.
Sherri followed her son to the back door, and seeing her youngest son’s key chain on the rack, said, “Jeff? Jared left his keys. Take his truck.”
The older Padalecki boy grabbed the keys and was gone.
Flu vaccines take at least 24 hours before any reaction would occur from one. Jensen was already sick before the vaccine was given to him.