For the record, flying with a bad cold is not only a poor idea, it's an agonizing experience people should forgo entirely if they can.
Ben? Staggered down the stairs at arrivals holding his head in both hands and trying to smile for me. He let go of his head long enough to give me a quick hug and then when we got to the truck he let his head roll back on the headrest and swore in a whisper, a string of epithets that I don't think I've ever heard put together in a more creative way.
I got him home, made him a bowl of soup and he gave up halfway through and went to bed. At nine thirty or so last night he came lumbering back out into the kitchen and started making more soup and said he felt better and did I want some food? No, I said but he made enough for two anyway and we each had a bowl and then he asked how I was doing and I said fine and coughed and he laughed and I pointed out I wasn't jet-setting around the continent. He said he had to come back because he owed rent and wanted to make sure he paid in advance. I frowned and he poked me and grinned.
I rubbed the sore spot and he laughed and asked if I thought he was serious. I nodded and stuck out my tongue and he said dead-seriously that he had assumed he was free to pay his rent with sexual favors and if anything, I owed him.
I almost threw the bowl at his head but there was that killer smile once more.
He asked if I was planning to hit the illegal Nyquil (it's only illegal because it doesn't go so well with my medications but when you feel as bad as that sometimes you really don't care) and I said no and he said good because he really needed to take some and if I took advantage of him in his drugged state he'd be really glad.
It never happened. I think we were both asleep before we could make a move. Me crushed into his arms and him on his side, breathing heavily into my hair, still as stone. He doesn't move when he sleeps, not an inch.
He's gone already, loaded up on decongestants and soup for breakfast and the kind of sleep you can only have when you're completely wrapped around someone you love.