It was late in the morning. The sun was already inching towards the center of the pale blue London skies, and most everyone had started their day.
Everyone, that is, except for two cats.
Bombalurina woke up in a tangle of limbs and blankets on her tomfriend's bed.
The red queen yawned and sat up, curling her tongue.
Tugger was completely out cold beside her, his chest steadily fluctuating.
Bombalurina smiled at him, tilting her head to one side, and nudged him. "Tugger."
He didn't wake up. She rolled her eyes, thinking he was just being stubborn, as usual.
"Tugger." Bombalurina repeated, giving him a harder shove.
Tugger woke slowly, blinking a couple times. "Five more minutes." He grunted. "I'm feeling off this morning."
Bombalurina noticed his usually honey rich voice was hoarse and reached to touch his cheek. It was flushed and hot. She pursed her lips, concerned, and touched is other cheek, then his forehead.
"You're running a little hot, dearest." Bombalurina mused. "I think you're sick."
Tugger coughed a little. "I'm fine. Just let me sleep in a little." He insisted. "We're going to Hyde Park together this afternoon, don't forget."
Bombalurina had forgotten about the date that was intended for this afternoon, and was touched her tomfriend had remembered. But there was no way that they could go if he was ill.
Bombalurina shook her head. "Mmm, I don't think so. You're definitely sick." She replied.
Tugger frowned, struggling to sit up. "But our date." He pointed out.
The red queen rolled her wide brown eyes. "We can reschedule, Tugger. But for now you need to stay in bed." She chastised gently, pushing him back down.
The Maine coon tom scowled, but obeyed.
Bombalurina clicked her tongue and went to get something for breakfast.
A few moments later, the red queen returned with a tray balanced on her hip, crowded precariously with a teapot, a package of cough drops, a mug, a teacup, and Jennyanydots' famous raspberry tarts.
Bombalurina set the tray down at the foot of the bed and sat down next to her tomcat. "Do you want anything to eat?"
Tugger shrugged his powerful shoulders and sneezed.
Bombalurina stifled a giggle and handed him a slightly more resilient mug of mint tea. He took a grateful sip.
She took the teacup and poured some tea for herself, stirring in some sugar. "You're welcome." She replied, lips twitching with amusement.
Tugger cleared his throat. "Maybe you shouldn't be in here. I wouldn't want to get you sick, too." He rasped, voice more hoarse than before.
Bombalurina chuckled. "My love, we were in the same bed for over nine hours. I'll come down with something in a few days whether I stay with you or not." She pointed out, taking a bite of one of the tarts and handing one to Tugger.
He smiled a little and bit into it himself. No matter how on and off they were as a couple, the fact remained: no one in the world could take care of him like Bombalurina.
The two sat in silence for a moment, listening to the hustle of late morning in the junkyard.
"Cough drop?" Bombalurina offered the small candy to her tomfriend.
Tugger took it and popped it into his mouth. "Thank you, darling." He purred as well as he could with a sore throat. Even while ill, his charm never deserted him.
Bombalurina scooted closer to him, leaning her head on his shoulder. The truth was that he could be ten times as sick and she would still want to spend time with him.
Tugger put his arm around her, leaning heavily against her side. "I love you, baby," He said drowsily.
Bombalurina snuggled against his chest, running her claws through his mane. "I love you too." A little smile twitched at the corner of her mouth.
"Even if I end up sick next week."