Title: R. I. C. E.
Characters: Rob and Tim
Author's Note: Sorry to say, the details of school uniform are accurate, save that I was in an itchy tartan skirt. Still can't stand maroon all these years later....Just a tentative little story, so here goes. ************* "Rob!" Dropping my bag by the door, not caring as my class's school work slid out onto the damp tiles, I shouted again, seriously in need of some comforting noises and general fussing. What a shit day. I peeled off my sodden windbreaker, which muffled some of my swearing as it got tangled over my head and arms, before it was flung in the general direction of the coat hooks. I heard the back door slam and moments later Rob was rushing down the passage way to me. Resisting the urge to draw my injured foot up and look all the more pathetic, I settled on a gentle whimper of dismay. I wasn't that surprised when it was matched by Rob's and was quite happy to abandon the stoic expression I had attempted to pull off whilst hobbling home and gave into his embrace as he helped me to the lounge room and onto the couch, before he dashed into the kitchen. My fingers were numb and the wet laces were refusing to co-operate and I twisted my mouth in agitation at my stupidity. Returning armed with supplies, Rob settled on the edge of the coffee table, putting the bandage and ice pack in easy reach. Batting my hands out of the way, he divested me of my shoes and socks, all the while watching my face for signs of pain. Frankly, I would have thought my gasping and twitching would have given the game away. Rob cradled my foot in his lap and began his examination. Carefully manipulating my ankle, he pressed gentle fingers against the swelling and tutted over the emerging bruise colouring my aching foot. "Well I don't think you've broken anything, but it is going to be sore for a good few days. How'd this happen?" Yeah, I really would have rathered not elaborate on that and hoped my muttered, "You know" would have sufficed. Rob's pointed look told me the gambit had been wasted. God, I felt such a twat. Clumsy Tim strikes again. Well, to be fair, Rob never said that. "Slipped on the tram tracks in Robertson Road. It is so wet out there. Have you been in the workshop all day?" "It happens, never mind. Wait – tram? Where's your car?" "I lent it to Steve. His wouldn't start and he's too far out for public transport. It's too crap a night to be trying to get home that way." "That was nice of you. I'll drop you in in the morning, no problem. I'll get you after, too, if needed." My breath caught in mild shock as he pressed the ice pack to me and I instinctively tried to pull back. "Shh, you need this. Twenty minutes. R.I.C.E: rest, ice, compression, elevation. You'll have it all, so settle. I'll wrap it after this." "Price", I murmured distractedly, watching his fingers in their soothing motion up and down my shin. "Huh?" "Price. At school, in sport, we were taught P.R.I.C.E. Prayer. Rest. Ice. Compression. Elevation. Prayer came before anything." Rob snorted and shook his head, "Jeez, your school." I smiled and sank back into the couch, letting my bum scoot forward, flexing my knee and trusting him enough not to watch what he was doing to my foot. "Yeah well, it was a tiny school. My P.E. teacher was also my math and Bible Studies teacher." "I would have liked to see you at school, all trussed up in that uniform. " I laughed, recalling the unappetising sight of me clad in maroon blazer, grey shorts and tartan tie. Oh yeah, dead sexy. "I looked like a pimply Angus Young", I said. "Only far less skilled on guitar." Lifting my leg slightly, he stood up and stuffed a cushion under my foot before heading into the kitchen. I could hear him belatedly kick off his work boots – he never wears them in from the workshop out back, but I guess I did kind of yell- and scratch around in the junk drawer by the phone until he came up with what he was after. I was just relaxing, getting used to the throbbing ache and its accompanying burn from the ice pack when Rob prodded me on the shoulder and held a glass in front of my face. "Tim. Take these", he said. Lazily I opened my mouth and he grinned as he popped two ibuprofen into my waiting mouth. "I'm going to make some dinner, you rest. I mean it, you move off that couch and your ankle won't be the only thing aching. Got it? And -" he glared, as I sat forward and reached a hand toward my foot, "Leave that ice on!" Yes, Boss. "Rob!" He popped his head around the door frame, tea towel in hand. "What?" "I love you." He shook his head and smiled. "Dinner'll be ready soon. Rest." The End