The two agents could hear the nurses giggling in the hall after leaving Napoleon’s room. They had worked together to spread the cream all over his body spending extra time on certain parts of his anatomy and seemed to have enjoyed it just a bit too much.
“This is so embarrassing,” Napoleon pouted, his speech slightly slurred from the temporary paresthesia of his mouth muscles. “Tell me again why we had to go into a building that had quarantine signs all over it.”
“Waverly gave us an assignment and to complete it, we needed to enter. The researcher held there was critical to world security.” Illya answered looking at his partner, a grin playing on his face.
“I’m glad you find this so funny. I look like a peeling ripe tomato.”
“Really, it is not that bad,” he assured him trying not to laugh.
Alternating between chills and fevers, a constant headache, his face, lips and eyes puffed up, Napoleon’s whole body was beet red, skin peeling, and itchy. To prevent infection from scratching the rash, he was wearing white cotton gloves.
“You will be out of medical in a week or so.”
“We’ll see about that! Why aren’t you in here with me? You also went into the area that had the infective materials flying around in it.”
“It is not from the elements we inhaled that caused the rash, it the Vancomycin they gave us quickly to counteract the substance Thrush had released. You are reacting to the fast infusion of it.”
“People react differently to drugs.”
“But why me?”
“This is one medication your system cannot handle if infused quickly.”
“But why didn’t this happen to you?”
“Really Napoleon you are acting like a two year old. Why, Why, Why. It is the way it is. I did not have a problem with it, you did, and the result is called the Red Man’s syndrome.”
Napoleon pushed off the covers, swinging his legs over the side of the bed attempting to stand up but became dizzy almost falling.
Illya caught him, putting him back in bed and covering him up.
“Where do you think you are going?”
“I need to get out of here, now!”
“My friend, you had a severe reaction to the medication. Your blood pressure is low enough to cause weakness and dizziness. Now lay back and let your body heal.”
“Since when do you advise staying in medical? Come on Illya, get me out of here.”
“I will make you a deal. When your legs do not turn to jelly, your body is not quite a Beefsteak, and your skin is done peeling, I will take you home.”
“You’re a very funny man, aren’t you? Any other references to tomatoes you want to throw at me?” Napoleon said sarcastically pulling up his covers to his chin.
“Now there really is no reason to be saucy, my friend. I am just trying to help, besides follow the doctor’s directions and in no time you will be able to do the salsa.”
“Out!” Napoleon yelled grabbing his pillow.
“See you tomorrow. Enjoy the tomatoes taking care of you,” Illya called back over his shoulder, laughing as he closed the door just before the pillow hit it.
In the quiet hospital room, Napoleon smiled then chuckled. Although it was irritating lying in medical looking like an overripe tomato, his partner did manage to cheer him up.