You were my strength when I was weak
from Celine Dion's Because You Loved Me
"They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. To hell with that statement! I think a little Tender Loving Care does just as much. Take that time Lucca got sick, for example "
June 3, 2006
Hot. She felt as if she was on fire and her whole body ached with stiffness. She felt weak, her head pounded with every heartbeat, and her mouth couldn't get any drier. Her throat was sore, and her nosed stuff. In short, she didn't feel too well. Lucca stirred from her rest, dreading it immediately. She could hardly think straight, and leaving the bed didn't appear to be an option, though it was something she wished were possible.
She let out a moan, rubbing her eyes and finally noticing the slight hiss of a humidifier as it spread light water molecules throughout the room. "What hit me anyway?" she said with hoarseness in her voice.
A voice suddenly informed her that she was not alone in her bedroom. "You silly girl. The floor hit you as you landed on it."
Lucca closed her eyes and slight smirk came to her lips despite the pain she felt all over. Lucca had used a similar phrase on Patrick's Birthday when he had fallen down the steps from the initial surprise. As she recalled that day, she suddenly felt something cold and damp on her forehead. She opened her eyes to see Patrick's eyes looking down on her with a gentle smile. He had a damp cloth which he was using to dab and cool off her forehead. For Lucca it felt like a piece of heaven.
"So," Patrick paused for a moment but continued, "I hear you got this from a kid in the mall while shopping on my birthday?"
"You're birthday," she moaned as a question. "That was too long ago, I can't think too well though I do remember some kid sneezing on me."
Patrick nodded, "Damn kid, and he didn't even cover his mouth."
Lucca started to sit up, but regretted it immediately. It hurt to move her back so she moved slowly and went back to lying down on the bed. She pulled the covers up and tried to snuggle up in the bed, coughing, making sure to cover her mouth with her hand. "How do you know about that anyway? I never told you about that." Her voice became slightly peeved. "Did you read my mind or something?"
Patrick brought his hands up in defense as though she would suddenly spring from the bed and begin beating him. "No, no I didn't read your mind so please don't hurt me almighty Lucca Kepler." Lucca groaned in response, and Patrick continued. "Actually Marle told me right after you passed out and I brought you here."
Earlier that day
Crono held a finger up, "Now tell us why we can't see Lucca."
Patrick sat down in one of the living room chairs. "Lucca came down with something. I don't know what it is, but my guess is some cold or flu. When she comes around, I'll be sure to ask her about her symptoms, though. Any other questions?"
Marle put herself into a thoughtful pose, thinking about a few days prior.
Crono shrugged his shoulders, "I got one more on the top of my mind. I've been playing our game for a couple of days now, and I have one question. I'm not a mute. I speak rather well, but why haven't I said a single line in Chrono Trigger? I mean, all I do is nod or shake my head."
Patrick's lips became a smile, "To be technical, you do have a line or two in a certain ending of the game which never happened in your world. In addition, you also look surprised, go into a thinking position, and laugh all crazy like. There's probably a couple of other poses that I'm not thinking of at the moment, though."
Crono rolled his eyes. "Figures coming from, you smart ass. So, I understand that you don't want us to see her so we don't get sick, but how did she get sick? I mean, we're all pretty healthy."
"Hard to tell. She could have gotten sick from me or Michelle or Chris and not know it."
Marle looked up, "I think I know how she got sick."
The two men looked at her expectantly. "Do tell," Patrick said.
Placing a finger to her chin, she replied, "While we were shopping, Lucca bumped into a little boy who sneezed on her when she knelt down to apologize. Maybe she got it from the little boy." Marle wrinkled her nose. "You know he didn't even cover his mouth."
Crono's face wrinkled in disgust, "That's just not right, you know?"
Patrick didn't hear him for he had his arms crossed, with a woman and her health on his mind.
"Wow," was all Lucca could weakly manage and let out a cough.
Patrick nodded his head, "Yep, that's how I learned everything about your shopping trip."
Lucca smiled, "I don't mean that. I mean "wow" that Crono doesn't have but a single line in the whole game."
"Oi," Patrick said as he face palmed, "Look, it's not that he doesn't speak because his speech isn't explicit, just implicitly suggested."
"Whatever you say, game master."
Patrick laughed, "About time I get some respect around here. Then he remembered Lucca's condition and made sure to keep his voice tone reasonable. "So, what hurts?"
Lucca went back into sick mode, the temporary pleasure of comedy dying with the mood. "Everything hurts, if that helps."
Patrick went searching through a bag he just opened up, "Can you be more specific?"
Lucca rolled her eyes, "Yeah, let me describe my misery." Patrick could not help but to chuckle at her still strong and wise-crack spirit. "Well, I feel chilly; though I know I can't be cold in here. My head feels like a couple of Mega Bombs are going off in it. The muscles in my body ache all over. I feel weak as well, and I have this stuffy nose and sore throat." She coughed, covering her mouth as she did so, and said, "Then there's this cough and slight chest discomfort of mine. Yeah I'm feeling just peachy."
"I see," Patrick said in a monotonous tone, as if in deep though, as he pulled out a thermometer from the bag. "Well, I think I know what it is, but I want to take your temperature."
Lucca snuggled deeper into her bed. "Where?"
Patrick chuckled, "Open your mouth, and I will show you." She did so and Patrick plopped the thermometer into her mouth. After a minute, a light beeping came from her mouth, and she opened it so Patrick could retrieve the device. Patrick made several confirmative hums as well as a light nodding of his head.
"Well?" she groaned.
"You're definitely sick." Lucca was about to throw her pillow at him when he clarified, "You have a temperature of 102.2. I'd say you have a flu." Patrick tucked her into the bed. "I'm going to get some soup for you and some juice. We need to keep you hydrated and break that fever as well." His tone of voice was straight forward, like some official command he was going to execute, but his eyes showed kindness. "I'll be back in a bit. Just rest."
Lucca blinked as Patrick was about to close the door, and she called out, "Hey, Patrick!"
Patrick stuck his head back through the door with a smile, "May I be of service, Lady Lucca?"
Lucca pouted, "I was going to say 'thanks' but you know I don't like formal titles so I'll just forget it for now."
Patrick only smiled as he shut the door.
"Use Luminaire, Crono," Marle commanded as Crono faced up against Zombor on Zenan Bridge. Along with Crono was Marle (upon request) and Lucca (out of respect for a sick friend).
"I don't have it in the game just yet, Marle. I didn't have it when we faced Zombor for real, remember?" His tone was one of slight annoyance as he focused all he had on the game.
Patrick stared as he came into the living room to see Crono and Marle playing together. They were having more fun with that game than he did. "Use some strong Shadow against the top and fire against the bottom," he reminded them. "You know, Antipode and Fire Sword. Oh yeah, be sure to use an ether after you lose some MP, and-"
"We were there! We know, already," Crono snapped, his concentration focused on the game."
Patrick merely smiled knowingly, as he prepared something to take Lucca's pain away. He searched the house for some IB Profin for her fever while he waited on the soup to warm, every bone in his body feeling slightly protective of her at the moment.
June 4, 2006
Where is this place? Where am I?
It was dark, wherever she was. That's all there was. It was just blackness. It wasn't the type of blackness you get when you close your eyes before you sleep. This blackness felt different. It felt evil, and Lucca was scared. She was all by herself. Her attempts to call Crono, Marle, Robo, Frog, Ayla, Magus, and even Patrick Simmons failed her.
Where are you guys? Why won't you answer me? ANYBODY!
In the blink of an eye, light surrounded her. It wasn't bright, but soft, so she didn't have to squint her eyes. She reached up to her face, pushing up her glasses, and looking around. It was just a bluish surrounding. There was a type of blue mist or fog hovering in the air, and she dreaded the moment she opened her eyes for as she turned around, Lucca saw the beast who had been the target for doom by her friends.
Oh, God, Patrick I mean Crono, where are you? I need someone. I can't beat him myself.
Lavos, in all his glory stared at her. It just sat, or stood, or whatever Lavoids did on the weekend. It didn't need to say a thing, though because its presence was enough to scare Lucca witless. She couldn't move, and Lavos stood right in front of her.
This isn't possible. We destroyed you, but where is everyone else?.
Then Lavos was gone, and she was alone, but the darkness didn't last long this time. She was on a field of well-kept grass, surrounded by metal, like a stadium. She saw herself, Crono, and Marle off to the side and two warriors in black armor, one wearing a red cape, fighting with their all. Lucca blinked in confusion. This was nothing of her past, so was this something of the future?
Why do I feel I know them both?
The darkness surrounded her once again. Soon, several beams of light shot forward, and Lucca saw a scene she would remember for many days. The beams of light surrounding here came from the darkness, while something cold was falling on her-rain. They were headlights, and she was getting soaked during a cold night. Then she saw them.
Is this a prediction?
It was herself she saw and Patrick was kneeling behind her, obviously beat up a bit. The other Lucca was in a pair of jean shorts and a loose fitting shirt with a baseball cap on her while Patrick was in a wet and dirty pair of jeans and black shirt. The other Lucca looked exhausted, like the present one felt. She was facing a group of fifteen or twenty thugs, with everything going on, she didn't bother counting. The other Lucca turned around as Patrick said something that Lucca Kepler could not understand.
What is going on! Why can't I hear them?
Suddenly, Patrick stood up and ran forward with all his strength, launching himself into the air, aiming for one of the thugs, who, with a smirk, raised his hand, which held a gun of some sort. The thug aimed as Patrick curled himself into a ball, gaining momentum for the attack, and then shot. Before the darkness ensued once again, Patrick had straightened out, screaming silently into the night.
Lucca awoke in a cold sweat, screaming. Her pulse was racing. Her breathe came in gasps. She felt like she was still wherever she was before since it all felt so real. Was she still there? Did she manage to escape? She noticed some light enter the dark room, and she kept screaming. Something was about to happen, she was sure, and then, she wasn't so sure anymore.
A pair of arms wrapped around her and pulled her to some source of warmth. It felt like another person, comforting her. A voice then spoke comforted her further. It was an escape from the darkness she had felt herself in. "Shh. It's alright, Lucca, it was only a dream. It's alright now. Don't be afraid."
Lucca felt herself coming to her senses, and her body responded as it should. Her pulse slowed. Her breathe became steady. She was feeling at ease. She didn't have to look. She could tell by the voice that it was Patrick Simmons who was there. He had come in when he woke up to her screaming. He leaned her back slightly, and put a glass of water in her hand. Lucca realized that her lips were dry and throat parched. She looked up to him, wondering how he could have known, but decided not to ask at the moment.
Barely a paragraph was exchanged that night. Only a few words needed to be said as Lucca downed her water, brought to ease by the liquid that went down her throat. She lay back onto the bed, taking in a deep breath, and before she could give her thanks, her body demanded that she rest, and she closed her eyes and fell fast asleep.
June 5, 2006
Lucca opened her eyes near the early noon. The sun was shining into her room, and she noticed a slight bit of relief from the pain. Her fever was there, she could tell, but her body just seemed to be more relaxed, a definite plus. She sat up slowly, noticing her back muscles were still achy, but sat up nonetheless. She looked to her right and had to do a double take for what her eyes told her shocked her.
I can't believe it Lucca thought.
Patrick was next to the bed, sitting in one of the wooden chairs. He had covered himself with a green blanket, and was sleeping in a rather uncomfortable position. The blanket was coming off at a corner. From the looks of it, he had been there through the night. His head nodded up and down as he snored lightly.
He was there watching me? The whole night? She then remembered her nightmares and how he had been there to comfort her. He's been so good to me, though we fight so much, and he looked after me last night.
Lucca eased her way out of the bed and walked slowly to the chair Patrick slept in. She smiled softly and pulled the blanket up and made sure it was snug and would not fall. Content with her work, she went back to her bed, tired from getting up. She wanted so much to walk on the beach like she did back home, but for now, she would have to recover her strength until she was totally better.
June 13, 2006
"I'm back!" Michelle yelled, brining two bags of groceries into the house. "Can someone grab one of these? My arm's about to fall off!"
"Coming," Patrick called, coming from the kitchen, "you got that Ramen for me?"
Michelle motioned to the bag on her right. "It's that one, but can you grab the other. I've got tons of canned vegetables which are killing my muscles."
Chuckling, Patrick took the other bag, and Michelle breathed a sigh in relief. "Thanks. Now, how's Lucca?"
Patrick took the bag to the kitchen with Michelle behind him. "First, thanks for shopping. Second, Lucca's been feeling a lot better. She still has some aches, but the fever is gone totally, and she is regaining her appetite. That's why I asked for all the Ramen. I want to start her off slowly."
Michelle laughed, shaking head. "I swear, Patrick, you got your doctoring skills from Miss Ellerbee. You're just as overprotective, too."
He pouted while preparing some noodles. "I am not over protective. I just happen to be rather caring of my patients."
The secretary grinned mischievously, "So that's what you call it, eh? She's the patient, and you are the doctor?"
He shook his head, rubbing his forehead at the same time. "You scare me sometimes, Michelle. I mean it, you really do."
Michelle lost her grin, but kept a small smile on her lips, leaning against the counter. "So where are Crono and Marle? I'm surprised they're not playing video games."
Patrick pointed to the room where Lucca was at. "Visiting hours. I figured that since Lucca doesn't have a fever, she isn't contagious. She still needs her rest, but soon her stamina will completely return. For now, she's going to be restless unless she stays busy so I hooked her up with some crossword puzzles as well as some old calculus books of mine. There are also those copies of Popular Mechanic I set her up with. She has a TV if she needs it as well."
Michelle took a seat at the kitchen table. "Well aren't we prepared? You seem like you have the situation under control."
"He does," Lucca said, walking slowly from her bedroom with Crono and Marle behind. She sat at the table with Michelle and Crono and Marle followed suit.
Patrick stared at the sudden comers and moaned. "I guess all of you want noodles?"
"Yes please!" Michelle, Crono, and Marle said together. Lucca gave a silent nod. It was all she needed to do.
Patrick gave a shrug. He was the homeowner and all. He faced the bag with the ramen, and five packages of noodles levitated out of the bag and into Patrick's hand. "Well, then, I better get to work then. I won't rush, though. You see, a good cook must take his time."
Lucca gave a grin and said loud enough to be heard, "Cook? You're just boiling water and putting a package of dry noodles in the said water. I don't call that cooking."
Patrick matched her grin, placing his hands on his hips. "So what do you call it, then?"
Lucca looked to the others who nodded, and they all faced Patrick, saying in one voice. "Plastic food!"
He shook his head, a half smile on his face. If anything, he knew one truth from the previous comments, and he let it be known by a telepathic reply directly to Lucca Kepler herself. "Glad to see you are feeling better. Keep this up and you might be my match at the battle of wits."
June 20, 2006
Lucca slammed her fist into the palm of her hand. She felt pretty good today, and she planned on feeling as good during later days. Lucca was in a pair of jean shorts and a loose fitting shirt with a baseball cap. "So, when are we going? This is going to be great!"
Patrick sat on the couch in the living room, looking up to Lucca's energetic form. He wore a pair of blue jeans and a comfortable black shirt. "Jeez, Lucca, you are feeling better. I wouldn't be able to tell you weren't feeling a matter of days ago. You shouldn't stress yourself too much anyway, considering you had the flu and all."
"I'm fine," she said with confidence. Now where's Crono? We gotta get going if we're going to make the game. Besides, I don't think Marle wants to miss the game."
Patrick raised an eyebrow, "I thought Marle was going because Crono was going?"
Lucca smiled and veed her fingers. "Hey, it's girl power and all that. I thought Crono was going because Marle was going."
Patrick smiled, showing her he was definitely hiding something. That's a secret. Besides, baseball is a game I'm sure Crono will enjoy, and I know he'll love tonight's game."
Lucca got in Patrick's face, obviously knowing something was up. "Alright, Simmons. What are you and Crono going to do tonight at that game?"
Patrick wagged his finger in front of her face with a quick reply, "The same thing we do every night, Lucca. Try to take over the world!" Patrick could not contain himself, and he burst into a fit of laughter. "Oh that was perfect! I've been waiting forever to use that line!"
Lucca looked upon him looking almost sorry for him. Shortly afterwards, Crono and Marle came out, both looking nervous. Patrick calmed down and drew Crono aside and Lucca drew Marle aside.
Crono digged into his pockets, just as he did in the past, "I don't know if I can do this, man. Nine years I tried, and now tonight?"
"Crono, you're nervous, but don't worry about this. It'll be alright. I made some calls, and it's all set," Patrick said keeping his voice down.
Marle glanced over to Crono. "Lucca, are you sure I should? It would feel out of place. Crono should be the one doing this."
"Marle, I promise you that it is fine. I set it all up after talking to Michelle." Lucca said, making sure the boys weren't listening.
The four stood up and smiled, a period of silence until Lucca said to the group. "Well, let's not be late. We have a game to attend!" Crono and Marle looked to each other, smiling and quietly went through the door while holding each other's hands.
Patrick held the door open for Lucca, "Ladies first."
She grinned, taking the door in a hand, "You're right. Ladies first then Real Women."
He humored her and went out, mumbling under his breathe, "Yep, she's better alright."
Watching the four, a Black Widow watched the car leaving the driveway and reported in. "Sir I've just spotted them. They're leaving, just like he said."