Joey was extremely quiet that evening so much so Jack was starting to worry about her. He looked up from his paper, "Are you sure there's nothing wrong?" he inquired for what seemed like the 10th time.
"Positive," said Joey with a grin. "I'm thrilled to the back teeth that Grizel is engaged to Neil Sheperd."
Jack nodded not really satisfied. His experienced doctors eyes examined Joey subconsciously and decided that perhaps he should put a small dose in Joey's drink that evening, she did seem unusually excited and restless and her normally pale cheeks were flushed a brilliant red.
Almost as though Joey could read Jack's thoughts she stretched and said, "I'd love a coffee, if you don't mind making one? I feel a little done in with all the excitement and everything."
Jack nodded and stood up immediately. "I'll go make them," he said.
"Thanks Jack," cooed Joey sweetly. "I do feel a nice cup of coffee is exactly what I need, especially one of your patent brews."
She gave a quiet chuckle after Jack left the room and steadied herself almost immediately. She couldn't laugh or Jack would get suspicious she reminded herself. Jack soon returned with a tray of two steaming coffees and handed Joey's cup to her.
"There you go," he said cheerfully.
"Thanks Jack," said Joey taking the cup, "Where are Anna's lemon biscuits? You're still up, so you can get them," she said casually.
Jack went back goodnaturedly, "anything else, your majesty," he called back.
"No I think that's all replied Joey quietly switching her's and Jack's coffee cups and started to drink her coffee.
Jack quickly returned with the biscuits and was pleased to see Joey nearly finished with her coffee. He sat down with a sigh of relief and started on his own.
Jack and Joey retired to bed and Joey tried not laugh when Jack fell asleep straight away, snoring deeply.
Her chuckles turned into groans of despair when she realised she would never be able to sleep with the racket Jack was making with his snores.
'Maybe this wasn't such a great idea,' she thought resignedly as she eventually tossed down her pillow she had had over her head in an attempt to drown out the snoring.
'No I won't,' she thought determinedly, I'll sleep in one of the girls' beds,' and suiting action to words, was soon snuggled in Len's bed.
She arose early as usual and slipped back in beside Jack and was sitting watching him when Jack finally awoke feeling extremely groggy.
"What time is it?" he grunted half asleep.
"A little after seven said Joey, I had the loveliest sleep, Jack. I don't know what you put in the coffee but it does seem to give me the best sleep. How did you sleep, dear? You don't look so good." added Joey with a concerned look.
"I feel awful," said Jack groggily. "I had the most vivid dreams and I just feel like I've been hit by a train."
"I'll get you breakfast," said Joey slipping out of bed and once in her kitchen she let herself go laughing.
"Oh Jack, I don't know how I'm going to keep a straight face for long," she said quietly to herself.
For the next few weeks Joey put on what she termed her "feverish" look and Jack continued to try and dose her unsuccessfully. Jack continued to have vivid dreams and feel extremely groggy and moved like he was in a fog.
"You look terrible Jack," exclaimed Joey one day when Jack got home from work. "I think one of the doctors should have a look at you."
Jack was too tired to argue. He couldn't remember the last time he had felt so exhausted.
"I don't feel like I've slept well for the past few weeks," he said wearily.
"You don't look like you have," agreed Joey with a concerned look, "how about we ask Neil to take a look at you here. We can invite Grizel and Neil over for coffee and ask Neil to check you over. That way you can maintain you dignity as Herr Doktor Maynard, Head of the Sanatorium," said Joey with a saucy grin.
"Thanks Joey," said Jack with a tired smile and sat down in his favourite armchair, while Joey bustled off and rang to invite Grizel and Neil over for coffee.
Later that evening, Joey quietly asked Neil to check Jack out. What seems to be the problem he asked Jack genially.
"I just feel so tired," admitted Jack. "I haven't been sleeping well for the past few weeks and seem to dream or toss and turn."
Neil gave him a quick check and said, "how about something help you sleep. A few days of these will probably see you right and you probably won't need to take them after you get back into the habit of sleeping well. You've been working hard and are bound to feel tired."
"Thanks Neil," said Jack gratefully.
"No problem," said Neil cheerfully. "Do you have these tablets here or should I get you some?"
Joey stretched out her hand for the script. "I'll go check," she said. "You entertain our guests."
Neil winked at Joey as she left the room. He held her and his fiance in wholesome awe and didn't dare refuse Joey's request especially after her reaction to Grizel hitting him over the head with a teapot when his proposal didn't come up to scratch.
Joey soon returned with the tablets. "We have some," she said waving them about.
"We'll go and let you have an early night," said Grizel who was in on the whole scheme and heartily approved of Joey's idea.
"Thanks Grizel," said Joey. "We'll have you and Neil over when Jack isn't so tired. Thanks for everything Neil."
For the next few nights Jack had his tablets faithfully, to no avail. He still felt tired and felt continuously groggy, "Though it is a little better, the longer I've had them," he said with a sigh, one night when he and Joey had gone to bed.
Joey simply smiled sweetly at him until finally she could bear it no more and burst out laughing. She laughed until the tears streamed down her cheeks.
"What on earth is so funny?" asked Jack crossly feeling a little at the end of his tether.
Joey controlled herself. "You've been on those tablets for quite a few weeks now," she said. You only started feeling tired after you started taking them."
"What on earth do you mean?" exclaimed Jack sitting bolt upright.
"Jack," began Joey quietly, "I was sick of you dosing me any time you thought I needed it, so I decided if you were going to dose me on the sly then you would have the dose not me. I started swapping any drink you gave me with yours so you ended up with the dose. You've been on those tablets for the past few weeks."
Jack, fell back on his pillow with a thud and groaned. "But, you need it," he tried to say, being the only argument he felt he could say.
"No, I don't," said Joey starting to get the look in her eyes that reminded Jack of when Joey was Head Girl.
"Jack, I'm not a spineless jellyfish and how can I learn to cope with anything if you are continually dosing me for the smallest thing. And she added with genuine sadness in her voice, "how can I trust you if I don't even know if the drink you give me has a dose in it or not? We try to teach our children about being honest but you're not being honest with me when you do this behind my back."
Jack was silenced. "I don't know what to say," he finally said in a small voice. "I'm really sorry, Joey. I'll promise not to dose you on the sly if you promise to look after yourself and not get worked up, but, added Jack, "you do need to ask for help when you need it and you do need to rest when you need it, not insist you're all right when every doctor is telling you to rest."
"Deal," said Joey with a grin breaking the sudden tension between them, "so long as you promise not to hold it against Neil for prescribing the same tablets that I was giving you. The poor man was too terrified to go against me and Grizel at the same time."
"Okay," agreed Jack, kissing Joey lightly on her nose. I'll just put him on cleaning bedpans for one week not two. I'm sure the nurses will love that.