Status: completed.

Baby, It's You & No One Else

miles apart

Thursday morning came around a lot faster than I would have liked. Today was the day that Eric would be heading to Pennsylvania to take on Penn State in a Big 10 conference match up. I had watched the tension build inside Eric the whole week, pumped to be facing a challenging opponent. I, however, had dreaded the day.

I slowly walked along the sidewalk that was covered in snow thanks to the random snow storm that had passed through Minnesota a couple days ago. We usually got a lot of snow but for it to come this early, in the hearty amount of 5 inches, was rare. But I had to admit it was beautiful. The snow always made everything brighter and absorb the sounds that normally bounced off the hard ground and pavement. It helped create a blissful world, where happiness and serenity only existed.

I kept staring at my feet as I moved towards the athletic office parking lot where the players were supposed to rendezvous to take a bus to the airport. My hands were stuffed in my North Face jacket and my head bent as I waited for the light to tell me I could walk across the street. I pulled my phone out, barely exposing it to the frigged air to check how much time I would have with Eric. My frown deepened when I realized I only had ten minutes to hold him before he left for three days. I huffed out a defeated sigh and crossed the street.

The second I put my phone back in my pocket, it vibrated against my hand, signaling I had a new text. I pulled it out, a small smile forming on my face when I took in Kara.

Give my boyfriend a hug and a kiss for me, Lubby. Love and Miss you mucho!

I smiled and replied that I would and she should come see me soon. No Blake, just me. I had just finished typing the message when I was forcefully pulled into a strong, warm body. I wrapped my arms around Eric's waist, not even having to question who the person was. Everyone knew I was Eric Decker's and everyone also knew, not to touch the football star's girl.

"How's my favorite girl?" He asked, kissing my forehead while I closed my eyes, savoring the moment.

"I'm okay," I gave him a weak attempt at a smile. Eric's nose crinkled a bit at my answer, a cute little line forming on his nose.

"I don't like that response," he told me, puckering his lips at me. I giggled and grabbed his chin lightly, knowing his chin was still tender after a hit a couple weeks earlier in the California game. He got completely annihilated and needed stitches in his chin.

"And I don't like that you're leaving," I pouted.

""Touche." He nodded, leaning down to rest his head on my shoulder like he was a little boy.

"I wish I could do that with my girlfriend," Blake grumbled, walking by Eric and I from behind me. I burst out laugh at his pout, knowing he meant what he had just said.

"God, Blake, how do you even make it through the day?" I joked, shaking me head at his glare.

"I manage." He huffed before walking towards the bus.

"Poor kid, never gets to hold his girl like I do," Eric smiled, kissing the side of my neck a couple times before pulling me into his side and walking me to where Katie and Adam stood saying goodbye. "Take good care of her?" Eric asked Katie.

Katie gave him an amused look, "sure, I'll make sure to take her clubbing, get her wasted, and send her home in a taxi with a random drug dealer." She gave him a sarcastic grin to which Eric gave her the finger. Obviously they have that brother-sister relationship.

"You do that, and we'll see if Adam comes back able to walk." Eric warned.

"Really Eric? Retorting to rape?" Adam asked casually to which him and Eric started laughing.

"Alright boys, it's time to get moving," Coach Brewster called as he walked from the office building and immediately climbed onto the bus. I watched, my heart sinking in my chest, as Eric reluctantly pulled me in for one last hug. I buried my face in his chest, not sure why all of a sudden I didn't want him to leave me. I never liked it when he left but for some reason I just really didn't want him to leave me.

"Is something wrong?" Eric asked, rocking me slightly.

"I don't know what's wrong. I just don't want you to go," I mumbled into his chest.

"Baby, it's only a couple days. I'll be back before you even have time to miss me," he assured me while he ran his hands up and down my arms, generating heat against the slight chill that had started to fall into the air.

"I doubt that," I replied flatly.

"I don't want to leave you like this. Can you at least try and give me a smile?" He asked, his lips pursing slightly and I could tell he was slightly irritated with me, not that he would ever admit it. But just the thought of what was probably going through Eric's head, how much he really wanted to roll his eyes at me, caused a full grin to spread across my face. "That's my girl," Eric returned my grin before pulling me into him once more and dipping me while his lips pressed against mine. I giggled against his mouth and balled his shirt up into my fists. He shifted us upright again and I smiled at the boyish glint in his eye.

"I love you Riley," He told me, pressing random, fast kisses all over my face.

"I love you too. Have a safe trip," I told him, wrapping my arms around his neck for one final hug.

"I will, you be safe too." He parted, before grabbing my hand and taking a couple steps backwards. Our hands dropped after four steps and I immediately felt cold without him. But I gave him another smile and leaned my head against Katie's shoulder.

"I think it's hilarious that you make fun of Blake for being so in love when you act the same way with Eric." She giggled at my appalled expression.

"Whatever! You're not going to see me moping around campus like a lovesick puppy," I retorted, crossing my arms over my chest as the bus fired up it's engine.

Katie and I fell silent as we watched the bus pull away, waving to our boyfriends before it disappeared down the street. We turned and looked at each other, the mood suddenly very heavy.

"Let's go get some coffee," I suggested, suddenly needing to occupy my time.

Katie and I walked to the Starbucks, located in Coffman Union where a majority of the food places and the big campus bookstore was located. The line was surprisingly short on a cold day like today so we both got our mochas and sat down at a table rather quickly. We talked about everything and anything besides the fact that the boys were gone.

"Do you have your morning class tomorrow?" Katie asked, referring to my sports psychology class.

"No, we were supposed to have a guest speaker and the professor was all, well just don't come since they canceled. He is the laziest teacher I have ever had, not that I'm complaining." I laughed.

"Good, we should go shopping at MOA tomorrow. I haven't been there in a while and shopping is always good for distractions." Katie concluded, finishing the rest of her coffee and standing up, feeling a sudden wave of dizziness come and then pass. I did the same and we both walked towards the trash before slipping back out into the cold air.

"I think I'm going to go pick some stuff up from the grocery store," Katie told me as we neared the intersection to turn down the street our house was on. "Do you want to come with?"

"No, I'm really tired. I think I'm just going to go sleep." I told her, not feeling very well all of a sudden.

"Alright. Do you want me to pick anything up for you?" She asked.

"Um, no, I can't remember if I need anything or not. I'll just get it if I need it," I told her, really wanting to get home and lay down. I started to walk towards the left but Katie's hand on my arm halted me from walking any further.

"Riley, you don't look too good." She pointed out, concern etched on her face.

"I'm fine. I just need to get some sleep," I told her, my eye lids fluttering in effect.

"Okay," Katie said, still skeptical, "text me when you get home." She made me promise before she let me go again and I continued to walk down the street.

For some reason, I suddenly felt very sick. My body ached all over and I shook more forcefully than I should from the cold air that wrapped around me. I knew that these were signs of a fever but I just couldn't drag myself to the medicine cabinet. Instead, I hightailed it up the stairs and dove under my covers. My phone, still in my jacket, vibrated against my rib cage. I reluctantly reached for it, pulling it from my pocket.

Hey baby, we just boarded the plane. I love you and miss you already. I'll call you when we land.

I smiled faintly despite the protesting of my muscles and flipped my phone closed. I fell into a fever haze where I wasn't really awake but I wasn't fully asleep. It was like being in a different world, where I could become aware of what was happening one minute, and then be oblivious the next. But when Katie came home, she shook me forcefully, her phone pressed against her ear as she looked down at me with a very worried expression.

"Adam, I think she's really sick," Katie said into the phone, her hand touching my forehead and I immediately winced away from her chilly touch. She tried to place it against my clammy skin again but I slapped at her hand weakly, not letting her get close again.

"Put Eric on the phone," Katie snapped at Adam who responded immediately. "No, this is his girlfriend. He needs to know that she's sick. It will not be a distraction, your game is in two days," She growled at him, upset that he wouldn't let her talk to him. "Fine, then I'll just call Eric myself," She snapped, hanging up on him.

I tried to open my mouth and tell her not to call Eric because he would worry about me and Adam was right, it would be a distraction until he could make sure I was okay. But my mouth wouldn't open and my body couldn't do anything except shake.

"Eric, Riley's sick and I have no idea what I should do with her," Katie confessed, sitting next to me on the bed.

"What's wrong with her?" I heard Eric ask, panic seeping into his voice.

"She has a really high fever and is paler than a ghost." Katie informed him, placing a hand on my forehead again. I wanted to smack it away but I couldn't find the strength to move any of my aching limbs.

"Have you taken her temperature?" He asked.

"No, I'm about to though, as long as she cooperates." Katie told him, reaching for the ear thermometer. I closed my eyes as she took my temp and groaned weakly when she relayed the 104 temp to Eric.

"No wonder I feel like shit," I muttered very quietly, not able to raise my voice.

Katie smiled lightly down at me and listened as Eric instructed her to take me to the hospital. I immediately started to object, hospitals not one of my favorite places, but Eric heard me and told me to stop arguing. I obliged, hearing the tone of his voice despite the buzzing in my ears as Katie helped me into a sitting position.

"Alright I'm going to get her ready and bring her. Do you think I should call her parents?" Katie asked Eric who informed her that they were currently out of town, visiting relatives in Wisconsin. Katie huffed, "well then who am I supposed to call for the insurance information?"

"Bring her to the emergency room at HCMC, my mom works there and will take care of it. I'm going to call her and tell her that Riley is coming. She'll be waiting for you." Eric told her, "Let me talk to Riley."

Katie handed me the phone and I placed it to my ear, "Er?"

"Baby, why did you get sick while I'm not there," Eric groaned. I could just picture him pacing in his hotel room, tugging at his hair in an attempt to distract him from my illness.

"I didn't plan this," I told him.

"I know, I'm mostly asking the fates," Eric muttered, "I'm going to have my mom watch over you okay?"

"I heard," I told him as Katie helped me stand up. My head instantly felt like a pound of lead that swung uneasily from a tree. "Fuck."

"Riley?" Eric asked, his voice filled with alarm as the warning bells flared in his head.

"'m fine," I mumbled, trying to get him to calm down.

"You need to hurry the hell up and get to the hospital," Eric stressed, "I'm calling my mom and I will call you right back. Please don't freak me out by not picking up."

"Okay," I groaned as I stuffed my feet in my Ugg slippers, my body protesting with even the little movements. I pressed end and handed the phone back to Katie and we slowly walked out to her car. I hoped in and immediately started blasting the heat.

We were 5 minutes from the hospital when Eric called back, telling us that his mom was ready and waiting for us to arrive. He also mentioned that I would have my own room and basically a whole team of doctors waiting to examine me.

"Eric, that is completely unnecessary," I told him, shaking my head at how much he was over exaggerating .

"I need to make sure you are going to be okay," he told me, "I am half way across the country from you. I need some fucking reassurance so don't tell me what is and isn't necessary." I could tell his patience was wearing thin and I just took the verbal scolding in stride.

"I'm sorry but it's my body and I don't think anything is seriously wrong with me."

"You never do," Eric pointed out.

"Either do you Mr. I have stitches and got knocked out but I'm going to go back out and play." I retorted at him.

"That's different," He argued.

"No, actually it isn't. And we just got to the hospital, so I have to go," I told him, hanging up without saying goodbye. I knew Eric would understand. I was sick, frustrated, tired, and not myself. It wasn't anything personal but he was irritating my already frazzled mind.

We hadn't even stepped foot inside the hospital before Eric's mom, Sue, wrapped an arm around me and lead my down several hallways into my room. She strapped the hospital bracelet to my wrist and gave me a hospital gown to change into while she went to help Katie with the paperwork. I wrinkled my nose at it and she laughed, "just put it on and lay down." Her pager went off and I gave her a small smile, knowing exactly who it was.

"Tell him I'm fine and that I love him."

"Will do," she grinned at me before exiting the room with Katie,

I slowly pulled my clothes on, being careful of my aching muscles and the fact that I felt as if I would topple over any minute from exhausting and because the room was spinning slightly. I tied the back of the gown as best I could and slid into the hospital bed, wishing Eric was here and we were in my own bed. I closed my eyes, trying to imagine his warmth surrounding me and the feel of his hand rubbing circles into my back. It worked because a minute later, I was out like a light.

It was now Saturday morning and I had just been discharged from the hospital about an hour ago. I was so thankful to be out of there that when I got home, I actually contemplated throwing myself on the floor and kissing it. But I didn't have time to because I was ushered to the couch immediately by Katie and Travis Bush, a Gopher basketball player and a good friend of the boys. Eric had recruited him to help Katie take care of me, much to my dismay.

I huffed as Travis pushed my down on the couch and placed a blanket over me while Katie set a huge cup of water on the coffee table. The whole reason I had to be in the hospital was because I was dehydrated. They told me that the amount of water in my body was dangerously low and that if I had waited even another day to come in, there could have been serious consequences. Of course all of this was relayed to Eric despite the whole Doctor-patient confidentiality thing, to which he immediately went all "I told you so" on me.

I smiled as Katie turned the game on and Eric's handsome face flashed across the screen. It was good to see him after being isolated in a hospital with nothing but the stark white walls. Hospitals were basically prisons. Travis picked my feet up and sat down at the end of the couch, replacing my feet in his lap. I giggled when he started rubbing them.

"Is Eric paying you extra for this?" I grinned at him.

"He better be," Travis joked, both of us knowing he was doing this because he cared about me and would not be getting paid by Eric.

I turned back to the TV, hearing the crowd roar as the opening kick off bounded down to Gopher territory, bouncing and eventually laying dead in the end zone. And that was the only play of the game I saw. My eyes begged to be shut and I closed them as the special teams players filed off the field. I passed out, sadly missing my only opportunity to see Eric.

I hadn't been able to sleep very well in the hospital despite the fact that my doctors told me I needed to in order to take some stress off my body. I had tried but I wasn't able to sleep for long periods of time and I just couldn't seem to get comfortable. But now that I was back home, my body had some much needed sleep to catch up on.

When my eyes fluttered open at about 11:30 that night, I immediately registered that I was in my room. I sighed contently as I sunk back into the mattress, enjoying the plushness compared to the hard springs of the couch. I pulled the comforter up to my chin, not because I was cold, but because I needed something to snuggle into. I felt myself drifting back to sleep, feeling tired almost instantly, but not able to get even a minute of sleep before light filled my room.

"How long has she been sleeping?" I heard Eric whispered. It took all my strength to stay in bed and not run to him. But I didn't need to because I could hear him move towards the bed as his feet padded against the wood floor.

"Since opening kick off at noon," Katie told him.

"Wow, she must be exhausted then," Eric responded from next to me. His hand smoothed some of my hair back from my face and I felt my whole body relax at his touch. It felt good for him to be near me again.

"Yeah, I'm sure your mom told you she didn't sleep well. Plus, when she did sleep, all she would do was toss and turn in the bed and call your name," Katie told him. I felt myself blushing. Did that really happen?

"That makes me feel bad," Eric confessed. "I should have been here."

"Eric, you didn't know she was sick when you left. She didn't even know she was sick." Katie soothed him.

"No, I should have noticed she was acting weird before I left." He argued.

"It's fine. She's okay now. Just climb into bed with her. I'm going to sleep. Night," Katie said, kissing his cheek before walking from the room.

I heard Eric sigh before the thunk of his bag hitting the floor. His shoes followed closely behind and then he was tucked into the bed with me, his arms pulling me close.

"Ry?" He whispered, rubbing my arms a bit.

"Hm?" I asked, my green eyes fluttering open to look into the dark chocolate of his. A smile immediately presented it's self on his face and I grinned right back, burying my face in his shoulder.

"It sucked to be away from you knowing you were sick," He mumbled into my hair.

"It wouldn't have been any different if you had been here, you couldn't do anything about it." I told him, pulling his face down to mine and pressing a hard kiss to his lips.

"Yes, it would have been. I can't just have people telling me you're okay. I need to see it for myself. I can't lose you," He whispered, stealing a couple more kisses from me. I smiled into our kiss, tugging on his lip playfully and running my hands down his body. They fluttered about under his shirt, tracing the defined muscles of his abdomen and then fingering the waistband of his boxers. He groaned as I slipped two fingers underneath the elastic, slowly hiking them down just to drive him crazy.

"Stop," he groaned at me through clenched teeth, "I can't handle your teasing."

"What teasing?" I asked, playfully.

"We can't have sex. You're still sick. You need to conserve your energy," He listed off all the reasons we couldn't proceed any further.

"The only thing I need to do is you," I growled before biting down roughly on his neck. The rest of the night, I made sure Eric Decker knew not only how much I missed him, but how much I appreciated him taking care of me from across the country. And by the time we both collapsed out of exhaustion, I'm pretty sure he got the message.
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If you are reading this, I'd really appreciate it if you comment.
I lovee this story and I want to make sure you do too :D

thanks to Karaboo again for helping with the plot and such <33 you boo!