For the eight years the character Michonne was a part of the TWD world the character was never ill. I wanted to see how she would react so I wrote this short.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
The woman whose family, friends, and enemies often labeled "warrior," "killer," "strongest woman I know," "ball buster," and "willing ear," sat on the side of her bed, elbows digging into her thighs, fingers rubbing deep dents into her temples. She had been awake long enough to realize that she was feeling worse than she had when her co-constable had sent her home from watch at the front gate. Her head throbbed, and all of her ached from bouts of chills so deep she felt she would never be warm.
She was up because she had felt the need to shower, brush her teeth, and walk outside into the sunshine she'd felt lighting up the room, but the urge had died the moment her feet touched the floor. Too tired to raise her head, she growled, "what?" in answer to the sound of the door opening. She cringed at the draft of air from the open door.
"Feeling any better than yesterday?"
"Go away Rick both of us can't have whatever this is."
Instead of heeding her words, her housemate walked farther into the room, both hands buried deep in the pockets of his jacket.
"Denise is on her way to see you; the herbs are not working."
Rick chuckled, "thought I'd have a harder time getting you to cooperate."
"Too tired, too cold," Michonne grunted, the air from the open door seeming to intensify how bad she felt, making her regret using the little energy she had. Unable to remain upright any longer she flopped forward instead of the sideways she intended. Her body moving toward the floor.
"Don't," she said weakly, feeling the fabric of Rick's clothing against her face as he lifted her upward preparing to place her into a more comfortable position on the bed. "I hate this," she mumbled, trying to withdraw from him and the weakness overtaking her body.
Rick tightened his grip on her. The heat from her fever filled the spaces between them and the tang of sickness fills his nose. "It happens to the best of us," he said, lowering her to the sheet he managed to quickly straighten. Sure, that she was centered on the bed he covered her with the light blanket that had been half on the bed and half on the floor. He sat at the end of the bed watching her move restlessly trying to become comfortable. He shifts the faces in his mental Rolodex for whom he should tap to take over for them until Michonne is feeling better.
"Dr. Denise is here!"
Leaving the room at his son's call, Rick quick marched down the stairs leading to the house's open living area. He meets the surrogate physician in the middle of the room with a grateful smile. "Thanks for coming."
"Rick?" His smile disappears as he watches the settlement's physician shuffle her feet and stare at something past his shoulder. Her behavior, telling him he is not going to like whatever she is about to say. "I can't stay."
At the look of frustration on his face, the used to be shy, now somewhat fierce doctor-in-training hurriedly continues, "accident at the fence...south end of town. This will help." She pushes a rectangular case in to his hand. "You can do it."
As Denise backs toward the front door Rick opens the case. "You expect me to..." He stares at the woman, eyes narrowed. Holding the case out towards her.
"I don't have time for niceties. I've filled the syringe and you have my written instructions. If you need help take Carl with you." The last words Denise throws at him as she exits the house.
Rick looks away from the empty doorway to his son who with a tiny smile that says good luck follows the physician out the door.
Rick remained in the empty room, med case in hand, his mind's eye visualizing the many ways a healthy Michonne would pay him back for his violation of her body with the hypodermic, and his need for self-preservation kicked in. He leaves the house determined to find someone other than him to medicate her. Thirty minutes later he walks back into the house face flushed from having walked around the settlement and a good dose of embarrassment.
He is so deep into his thoughts that he almost plows into the lone family member standing between the kitchen and living area removing a triangle of cloth from his face. Rick consciously forces his shoulders to lower and his fingers to let go of the handle of his revolver.
"You're here to..." He starts eagerly.
"No." Glen smiles back at him.
"Why not?" Rick huffs in frustration.
"I was told... it... is... not... my job. I was instructed to only check on her until you returned and now I'm going home to fix Maggie's lunch."
"How is she?" Rick asks as he takes off his uniform jacket and throws it at the closest piece of furniture.
"Feverish and cranky," Glen answers watching the wadded garment land somewhat on and off the intended piece of furniture.
"Not one person I've asked is willing to give her a little shot. They all acted like they're scared of her and not me."
Glen's smile grew as he listened to his friend's complaint, thinking that Rick was only a few octaves from whining. He wouldn't tell him that though. "Who wouldn't be scared of a woman that's sleeping with a sword in her bed. The same woman who is an expert at using said weapon."
Rick looked past Glen to the second floor of the house. "How? When I checked on her this morning it was lying across the ottoman across the room, and she wasn't feeling well enough to sit up besides walking."
Glen's answer was to pat Rick's shoulder as he walked to the front door and left the house.
Feeling slightly guilty for playing chicken with Michonne's health Rick takes the case from the fireplace mantle and walks up the stairs, reading Denise's instructions. First, good luck. The hypodermic contains an antibiotic. Swab an area in the fleshy part of her hips. Pinch the flesh and insert the needle. Steady pressure on the plunger and you're through. Rick grunted thinking about how through he might end up. The brown vial contains Vitamin D. Give her a second shot of it sometime tomorrow or the day after if her fever lessens tonight. There's a thermometer in the case. "IF," her fever isn't gone by tonight or she reacts to the antibiotic bring her immediately to the infirmary.
In her room, Rick opens a window just enough to freshen the stale room but not enough, he hopes that will make her more uncomfortable. "Stop procrastinating Grimes and get it done," he chastised himself. Standing at the bed he, maps out his strategy. First, he carefully removes her Kanata from where it rests next to her and puts it inside her closet. Along with one dress and one pair of flats. Before stepping away from the closet, he promises himself that on his next run with Daryl that they would stop at one of the strip malls and visit a dress shop to find her something new, different than the vest, thermal shirts and stretch jeans that are her signature style. Perhaps another dress, something blue with a neckline that... he abruptly curtailed his wandering thoughts and continues to do what he needs to do.
As gently as possible he pulls and then pushes the light blanket to the foot of the bed. Sitting with his back into the curve of her lower stomach facing toward her feet, his hand about to push up the hem of the oversize tee she's wearing. He stops as Michonne tries to pull her knees closer to her body as she registers the cold. Instead, her body wraps itself against a warm Rick Grimes. He thinks hard about waking her and trying to explain what he is about to do, knowing she would want to know. But he also knows the way she's feeling he has a better chance of completing everything if he ambushes her. He can apologize later. He pulls open the package and removes the alcohol swab. Holding it in his dominate hand, he moves the tee aside with the other.
He grins for a moment, enjoying the opportunity to invade her imposed personal bubble. Quickly he rubs an area for the count noted in Denise's instructions. Dropping the swab on the open package near him, he then takes the syringe, pushes the plunger until a few drops formed at the tip, pinches as much flesh together as he can and pushes the needle into her flesh.
"Stop," Michonne gasps moving away from the pain her mind registered.
"Shh, it's okay," Rick says as he drops the syringe back into the case on the bed, manages to open a band-aid and place it over the small bead of blood, keep her from pushing him onto the floor and cover her with the blanket.
"I'm here. We're safe."
At the sound of his voice Michonne stops fighting letting herself relax. "Rick?"
"Yeah, it's me."
"What did... you... do?"
"I just gave you a shot. You should feel better soon."
"Yeah, will... I just needed you to get better." Shifting her away slightly Rick scoots backward until his back was resting against the wall at the head of the bed. He toes off his boots and lifts both legs onto the bed.
Rick wakes to the smell of food and the sounds of movement from downstairs. He recognizes the voices. Sitting forward he stretches, rubbing at the stiffness in his neck and shoulders. Feeling more comfortable he looks down at Michonne. Taking the thermometer from the case he places it under her arm. He notes that her breathing was less labored and she seems to be sleeping deeper. The face of his watch reads 2:00 p.m. That means that Eric, Francine, and Noah were on patrol duty. He wipes the thermometer with an alcohol swab and places it back in the case. Moving as softly as possible off the bed, he walks boots in hand out of the room. In his room, he drops the boots on the floor, pulls clean clothes from the dresser and throws them on his bed before heading to the bathroom with fresh underwear in hand.
An hour later Rick entered the kitchen and stood at the end of the counter watching his son pull a tureen, a towel wrapped loaf of bread and jar of what Rick thought could be applesauce from a basket and carefully lay them out on the smooth surface in front of him.
"Where's your sister?" He asked as he opens a cabinet drawer to pull out a knife.
"At Carol's. She thought it would be better if we stayed with them until Michonne is better. And the bread is already sliced."
Rick nods in agreement.
"How is she?" Carl faced his father. Noting his wet hair, bare feet, and no uniform. Taking it to mean his father would be staying at home until his partner was well.
"Better I think. What's in the dish?"
"Rabbit with garlic and noodles. The adult's consensus is...it will soothe a sore throat, or according to Daryl burn the fever out."
Rick looks doubtfully at the floating pieces of cooked rabbit, root vegetables and square pieces of homemade noodles. He hopes that it tastes better than it looks and as good as it smells.
Carl held out a bottle. "Daryl said if you still had all your parts to give you your prize."
Rick grunts a small tight smile on his face as he takes the offering from Carl.
"What has he and Eugene cooked up this time?"
Carl shrugs his shoulders as he picks up the basket. "One done, one to go. I've been assigned to the armory. I'll check in after dinner." As he walks pass his father he bumps his shoulder. "Tell Michonne we miss her."
"I will." Rick watches his son walk out of the house, proud and slightly surprise that he had failed to notice how much Carl was beginning to look like his grandfather, and that he was no longer the angry child assuming the mantle of adulthood too soon. He was now that man he had told him he was after leaving the prison.
Carefully balancing a tray containing, utensils, a bowel of Carol's rabbit concoction, glasses of water, and bread Rick walks into Michonne's room expecting to have to wake her. Instead, he sees she was sitting in almost the same position as he had found her two days ago. No sword, he thinks after a glance at her then the bed and floor. He feels slightly more comfortable as he drags the only chair in the room closer to the bed and retrieves the tray from the top of the dresser and placing it on the chair. He sits on her bed as close as he thinks she'll let him.
"Go away, Grimes." Her voice is still deep and raspy but stronger.
"I brought food. Carol's soup."
"I'm too tired for her rabbit surprise."
Rick didn't laugh out loud, but the sound of a petulant Michonne amused him.
"Someone's feeling better. Just a few sips and I'll leave you alone."
"Pest," Michonne says as she slowly turns toward him to accept the bowl. Her hands and arms began to shake slightly so he supports her hands with his own. He smiles at the look of frustration on her face as he watches her carefully place the bowl against chapped lips.
Michonne swallows slowly enjoying the warmth of the lightly seasoned mixture, for Carol's cooking, coat her tender throat. After several swallows, she pushes the bowl toward Rick signaling she is finished. Her eyes open at the pressure of metal against her lips. This time it was a spoon filled with a milky substance. She started to keep her mouth closed but know it's childish behavior. The liquid coats her tongue and she is grateful for the glass Rick holds for her. She drinks deeply, the cool water washing away the medicinal taste.
Michonne carefully placed the empty tureen in the sink. "How are you?" Carol asked. Not quite satisfied that her friend and sometimes bane of her existence was fully functioning. Instead of answering Michonne reached out to her. They hugged each other tightly. Acknowledging what was deep-rooted in each of their certainties. The next moment in life is never a given. "Thank you for taking care of Judith and Carl," Michonne whispered into her friend's ear. Suddenly, feeling drained from the walk, Michonne let go of Carol and reach for the closes stool. She knows she is better, feeling stronger, but her energy levels are still fluctuating.
"No problem. We were worried. It's not like you to be ill."
"Yeah, Denise told Rick, totally ignoring me the patient, that I'd probably been run down for a while. It just took this long for something to catch up with me."
"Damn woman, can't you be still for a few moments?" Carol and Michonne looked at one another and then at the man standing in the doorway, one hand on the handle of his gun the other on his hip. "Don't give me that look, Eugene
"Eight days in bed are eight days too many. I needed fresh air and you're being rude," Michonne replied, looking at Carol instead of her annoyed housemate. "Who snitched?"
Moving further into the room Rick gave Michonne a look of fondness and frustration. "Hi, Carol. How has your morning been?"
Carol laughs as she glanced from one to the other. "Just fine Rick. Michonne just returning my favorite dish."
Rick walked to Michonne and taking her hand wrapped her arm through his holding it firmly against his side expecting her to contest. He waited as she slid off the stool. Once she was standing on both feet, he nodded to Carol and led her out of the room surprised by how compliant she was acting. Carol followed behind them until she reached the front porch.
"Backstabber, see you tomorrow." Michonne said from the street."
"Like you too," was Carol's answer.
"This may be you one day, Grimes," Michonne said as Rick took hold of her shoulders gently pushing her up the stairs and to her bedroom.
"No problem. I know you'll sit at my bedside no matter how long it takes to nurse me back to health."
"And I won't hesitate," Michonne paused, as she stretched out on the bed, then scooted over enough so that Rick who, had removed his jacket and shoes could join her. She waited until he was lying beside her before finishing, "to stick a needle in your ass as much as needed."
Rick smirked, "promise?"
Michonne's answer was a whispered, "only if you promise to continue to be here," and a kiss on his cheek.