Ted lay helpless in bed, chest heaving, utterly spent. "Oh God, Dougal," he cried, wiping the sweat from his brow. "Was it this bad when you had it?"

"Yes, Ted," said Dougal, standing at Ted's bedside. Suddenly, Ted sneezed loudly, catching it in a handkerchief. "Do you feel as though you've been hit by a tractor?" Dougal asked.


"That's the one," agreed Dougal. "But don't worry, Ted. It will go away in a day or two."

"That's good," said Ted, sitting up and sipping from a glass of water. "Dougal, I have to ask."

Dougal looked bewildered. "What do you have to ask? Are there a lot of questions? Should I sit down?"

Ted cleared his throat. "When we… you know… the other night…"

"Yes," nodded Dougal.

"You did want to, didn't you?"

"Of course, I did," said Dougal, sitting down on the side of Ted's bed. "Now you know why I like touching my willy so much."

"Yes, I can imagine," smiled Ted. "But you didn't think I was Father Damo, did you? You were pretty out of it."

"No, don't you remember, I kept saying your name over and over and over. Oh Ted, Ted, Ted," said Dougal, imitating himself from that night.

"Yes, Dougal," Ted interjected. "Yes, I remember. So, would you like to do it again sometime?"

"I'd like that very much," agreed Dougal. "And now I don't need Father Damo to touch my willy. You can do it, Ted."

"And sometimes you can do it too, Dougal."

"That's a grand idea, Ted. In fact, I might do it now," he said, hands delving into his trousers.

"No, no, Dougal, not now. Save it for later, okay?"

"Oh, right," replied Dougal, with a nod. "Which reminds me, we better get some more tissues. I'll pop out and get some. I think it counts as an essential item."

"It's not an essential item."

"It is for us if we're going to – you know."

"Dougal," Ted laughed. "There's some in the living room." Dougal walked towards the door. "Dougal," Ted said, stopping him. "When you get back can you… you know…" he shrugged shyly.

"Use my mouth? Father Damo liked that too sometimes."

"No, Dougal," sighed Ted. "Can you get in bed with me?"

Dougal grinned, his eyes wide and excited. "Oh, yes, Ted. I will. But… aren't we supposed to be social distancing?"

"Not anymore Dougal, we're in a bubble now, you see," explained Ted. "It means we don't have to social distance."

Dougal folded his arms. "Now is that something you've just made up because you'd like a cuddle, Ted," smirked Dougal.

"No!" cried Ted. "No, Dougal, it's real."

"Okay, Ted," Dougal laughed and rolled his eyes. "Whatever you say."

Dougal closed the bedroom door behind him and skipped along the landing. He felt so much better now he was over his cold. He practically jumped down the stairs and into the living room.

"Hello Father Jack, hello Mrs Doyle," Dougal said, cheerfully.

"FECK OFF!" cried Jack.

"How is he, Father?" asked Mrs Doyle, who was knitting a hat on the sofa. "How is our Father Ted? Is he quite unwell?"

"He's very woozy, Mrs Doyle," said Dougal, gravely. "Keeps saying we're in a bubble. Never heard of anything so ridiculous."

"Oh no, he's right, Father. We are in a bubble," insisted Mrs Doyle. "The President has just brought it in to help with the lockdown. We're one household, so that means we're in a bubble."

"Oh no," cried Dougal, panic setting in, looking around helplessly. Then, as if finding a resolution, standing very still.

"What are you doing, Father?" asked Mrs Doyle, looking at him.

"If we're in a bubble, Mrs Doyle, we've got to make sure we don't pop it," said Dougal, grinning to himself.