Written By: Mel
This is an answer to the DP Philosophy question posted by Jodie: Have you ever had trouble getting your Brat to obey doctor’s orders?
WARNING: I know most of you are mature enough not to do this. DO NOT READ THE ENDING FIRST. You’ll really ruin the whole thing.
Hi, my name is William. When I saw this question posted to the list, I decided it would be the thing that could turn me from lurker to writer. I have been partnered with my Brat, Chris, for a long time. Now, most folks who know the two of us would think that Chris would be the so-called senior partner. He’s a bit older than me and he runs a big manufacturing facility in the village we live in and me, while I own and operate the village bakery.
When I first met Chris, his sister was living with him. And even after I moved in to his house, Mary stayed on. She manages the household and keeps up appearances. You see, at the time when Chris and I were first together, people were not as accepting as they are today of same sex relationships. So if a lot of the general public thought that Mary was Chris’ wife, well we didn’t bother to tell them different. Don’t get me wrong here, Chris and I are very open with all of our friends and family and have agreed that if it becomes public, we’ll be quite happy to let the world know we are two men very much in love with each other.
In the early part of our relationship Chris and I fought a lot and for a while I wondered if we would last. He worked long hours, didn’t take care of himself, and his eating habits were atrocious as he could live on cookies alone. All in all he just seemed to be spinning out of control. However, when we started using discipline things changed for the better. We stopped fighting and started talking; working together to build a life-long partnership. Now that doesn’t mean life’s a continual bowl of cherries, but we both know at the end of the day, we have each other to depend on and that makes it all worth while.
The people around here look up to Chris as a leader and he has earned the respect of the whole community which is wonderful, but that puts a lot of pressure on him. Our type of relationship allows Chris to shed the heavy burden of responsibility he bears publicly and give in to his deep need to be cared for and loved.
All of our years together have made me something of an expert on the man Chris is, including all of his strengths and his weaknesses. So when I say he makes a horrible patient, you can believe I know what I’m talking about. Chris a very busy guy, like I said he has lots of responsibilities, but when you get sick you need to stop and take the time to take care of yourself, do as your doctor tells you and give your body the chance to heal. However, this philosophy seems to escape Chris’ understanding.
Chris’ business is pretty seasonal. Though he works hard all year, when the busy season hits he goes flat out; no stops. Of course that’s the time he allows himself to become run down and susceptible to whatever bug is going around. This year he got hit with a bad one. Started out as a cold with a cough, but within a few short days he was really ill. Now Chris, being who he is, tried to hide just how sick he was from me. He knew if I was aware of this, he’d be confined to his bed before you could say Jack Frost.
Running a bakery means I’m gone to work most mornings long before Chris is even awake, so I didn’t realize the condition he was in that morning. Though I’d been concerned about his health the evening before, he had assured me it was nothing more than a cold. Fortunately Mary was on my side and she called me at the bakery in the afternoon to tell me that when she dropped by the factory with his lunch, Chris was looking feverish and his cough had worsened. Knowing my partner as I did, I called our doctor and arranged for him to meet us at our home. I then proceeded to his office to drag my partner home. I knew from experience it would likely be kicking and screaming all the way but I was not going to take chances with his health.
It took some effort to get him to go home. Though I wouldn’t give him a serious spanking when he was so sick, I did land a couple of swats that had his backside nearly as red as that damn winter jacket he’s so fond of.
Seriously though, I was really worried about him. His normally ruddy complexion was pale and pasty looking. His cough was so bad it was leaving him breathless to the point he was no longer trying to argue with me as I tucked him under the covers of our oversized sleigh bed.
Mary showed Dr. Harvey Winters into our bedroom just in time to hear Chris’ rattling cough.
“Well, old friend, that’s not a very healthy sound. How long has this been going on?” he asked.
“It’s not that bad, Harvey. Can you just give me some cough syrup so I can get back to work?” Chris requested. Of course the wind was knocked out of his ‘it’s not that bad’ argument when he began to cough again, this time bringing up heavy phlegm. I gently held him while I gave Harvey a worried glance.
“Why don’t I decide what you need?” the doctor suggested sarcastically as he pulled out his stethoscope. “Unbutton your shirt for me, please.” As Chris complied with the request, the doctor softly poked his rounded stomach. “Still enjoying too many sweets I see?” he teased and began the examination. He listened carefully to Chris’ chest both front and back, checked his temperature, his ears, nose and throat. “Well, my friend, from the sounds of those lungs I’d venture to say you’ve got yourself a case of pneumonia.”
“How bad is it?” I asked, concerned for my partner’s health.
“He’ll be fine if he does what he’s told!” Harvey replied with emphasis on the last half of the sentence. “I mean this, Chris. If you don’t want to end up in the hospital, you need to take care of yourself. I’m giving you some antibiotics and an inhaler to help with your breathing. You must follow the instructions carefully and most importantly, you need to rest. That means you stay in bed. Other than going to the bathroom, I want you on complete bed rest. Is that clear?” he asked.
Chris looked horrified. “Harv, this is my busy season; you know that. I haven’t got time to stay in bed!”
I interrupted his tirade before he could even start. “No worries, Doctor. He’ll stay in bed and do EXACTLY what he’s told. Won’t you Chris?” I said the last with such vehemence the meaning of my words were crystal clear.
“I’ll be back to check on you in two days. Behave yourself!” Harvey said with a grin as he packed away his instruments.
I threw Chris a look as I walked Harvey out. He knew better than to budge an inch until I returned. I carefully noted all the instructions for Chris’ meds and care then thanked the doctor for his help before letting him out into the cold. It seemed colder than normal for this time of year and I shivered slightly at the blast of frosty air that came in as I shut the door. Thinking of how chilled Chris had been, I turned the furnace up a bit; then went to the kitchen to collect a glass of water.
Mary met me as I was climbing back up the stairs to the master bedroom. I filled her in on the news of Chris’ condition.
“He’ll be harder to tie down than a bull moose in spring. You know how he is during the busy season,” she commented.
“Don’t I know it?” I replied with a laugh. “But we’ve got to keep him resting.”
“We will, William. It’s just going to take the two of us working round the clock. I’ll bring him up some soup.” And with that said, she headed for the kitchen.
When I re-entered our room, Chris was leaning back into his stack of pillows, his face pale against the crisp whiteness of the bedding. Even from the door you could here his breathing. He was far worst than he’d been last evening and I felt guilty for letting him get this ill without intervening sooner. His eyes opened a crack as he hear me approach. “Hey there, I got your meds here and Mary is going to bring you up some soup.”
I got nothing but a sour look as I handed him his pills and the glass of water. Once he had swallowed them and used the inhaler as instructed, he began chewing his lower lip in that thoughtful way of his. I knew he was trying to come up with a way to persuade me to allow him back to work.
“William, you know I…”
“Don’t start, Chris! Because it’s just not going to work,” I interrupted. “A few days of bed rest is not going to be the end of the earth. Bernie can handle things at the factory.”
“Bernie isn’t me,” he pleaded. “You know I have to oversee things at end. I’ve got lists and list of things to be checked. Please?”
“Absolutely not, sweetheart. I know how you worry about things, but you’ve been training Bernie for years and he’s capable of handling this. That little twerp is good at what he does even if he does drive me around the twist.” Bernard Bell was the bane of my existence. He was Chris’ right hand man at the factory and very good at keeping all the workers in line and production up to the highest standards, but lord how he could send me. He was always kissing up the Chris by singing and smiling whenever he was around. But the minute Chris’ back was turned, the little pip squeak would thumb his nose at me. God, what that idiot needed was a good Top; someone to knock him down a peg or two. Well I guess it would be hard to knock someone that short down much further.
Anyway, after much arguing a cajoling, I agreed to let Chris call Bernie and go through a few things on the phone with him. Then I made a point of unplugging the bedside phone and removing Chris’ cell from the room so he would be able to rest.
I spent the first day at home with my beloved, spooning soup and medication down his throat. The second morning Mary convinced me I should go the shop and she would look after our patient. That’s when it happened. Bernie arrived at the house, insisting on speaking with Chris. He promised Mary he would be in and out in ten minutes. Mary, for some reason I cannot fathom, is quite taken with the twerp and allowed him to visit with Chris unattended.
From the account I later dragged out of Chris, Bernie brought him news of problems with the transportation end of things. Seems the lead guy, Rudy, had been sticking his big nose in where it didn’t belong and causing problems with the other guys. Chris figured that since Rudy had little respect for Bernard (I knew liked that guy), he’d have to handle the situation himself. So defying both the doctor’s and my orders, he got out of bed and stuffed some pillows under the blankets to look like he was sleeping. Next he got dressed and snuck out of the house with Bernard.
I got a panicked call from Mary who had apparently fallen for the rouse and only discovered Chris’ absence when she went to give him his meds some three hours later.
I found Chris fifteen minutes later standing in the freezing cold outbuilding they use for the vehicles. He was talking to Rudy who had his head held down looking rather ashamed of himself with those big doe eyes of his blinking sadly. I could hear the rattle in his chest as Chris wheezed out the gently chastising words.
He saw me approach and I could see by the momentary look of panic in his eyes, he knew he was in a great deal of trouble with me. Though I was furious with him for leaving the house, I would never do anything to embarrass Chris in front of his staff, but neither would I allow him to stand out there any longer.
“Chris, if you are done here, I’d appreciate some of your time.” He knew I was just being polite and that he was done here whether he wanted to be or not.
“Umm..yes, I think Rudy and I have reached an understanding. I’ll talk to you later, Rudy. Please remember what we discussed.” Chris admonished. Rudy’s only reply was to nod his head and make tracks out of my sight.
I wrapped my arm around Chris’ waist. He’d dropped a bit of weight this last few days being sick and though he was no where near skin and bone, I didn’t like him being any less the man he normally was. I never minded the extra weight he carried as it just seemed to suit him.
“You are going back home to bed this instant, my lad,” I told him firmly as I lead him out to my warm Land Rover. “We are going to have a LONG discussion about defiance when we get there.”
Chris knew better than to argue and sat quietly staring out the window during the drive. Snow was falling and the seasonal lights lit all the streets with gay colour (pun intended) but neither Chris nor I were feeling very merry. We both knew the kind of discussion we had coming. Something neither of us relished but it was an integral part of our relationship and it had to be taken care of.
Mary met us at the front door, fussing over and gently scolding her beloved brother for leaving as he had. Chris’ colour was a bit better, though he was still coughing frequently. I got him upstairs and helped him out of his fir-trimmed coat and outer wear. “Into bed right now,” I ordered. “Not a word out of you either.”
“But, William, I…”
“You are in enough trouble with me right now. Do not add to it by talking when you were told not to. Every word you speak between now and the time I am finished will add another swat with the paddle. I am truly furious with you right now, Chris. If it were not for your current condition, you’d be over my lap right now getting you backside paddled but good. You think you are so important to the operations that they cannot manage without you when you are sick? What do you think they would do if you were in the hospital for a few days when you’re really needed, hmm? And what about me and your sister; do we not count? Don’t you think you are important to us? What would we or everyone who is counting on you do if we lost you because you would not obey doctor’s orders and get the rest you need to get well again?” I blasted. “Well, let me tell you what’s going to happen here. You are going to stay in that bed for the next three days. If you venture from it for so much as two seconds beyond the need to use the bathroom, I will add so many swats to your punishment you won’t be able to sit until next Christmas! You will follow all of the doctor’s and my orders EXACTLY, without one single word of complaint. If, and ONLY if he agrees, you will be allowed out of bed by the day before Christmas Eve. At which point you will receive the punishment you have earned today. I warn you, you’re going to need that large fluffy pillow to sit on in that sleigh. Christmas Eve is going to be one long, sore night for you!”
Large tears escaped Chris’ eyes and ran into his beard as I spoke. I had to steel myself to be strong. It’s not easy being married to Chris Kringle, aka Santa Claus. But it is worth it. He is the most generous, lovable Brat in the world.
Do me a favour though, will you guys? Next Christmas put out some fruit or veggies with the milk. He doesn’t need any more cookies.