“Now before you start worrying too much,” the doctor told Jerry, “I’m still going with my original diagnosis of bronchitis. It’s gotten a bit worse, undoubtedly because of your living conditions. Unfortunately I can’t give you a stronger dose of pills as we’re not allowed to keep them here.”
“Write him a prescription for what he needs,” Tad said.
“And just how will he, or you, pay for it?” the doctor asked, eyeing Tad.
“I’ll steal the money?” Tad replied with a straight face.
“Young man, that is not an acceptable option,” the doctor told him firmly.
Tad smiled. “I know. I have the money. I’m their friend but I don’t live on the streets.”
The doctor nodded. “If you’re their friend and are willing to do that…” He began writing out the prescription then looked back at Tad. “Friend enough to let Jerry crash at your place until he starts to improve?”
“Already in the works.”
“Very good.” The doctor handed him the script. “I’ll ease the hit to your wallet a bit and get him a couple of bottles of cough syrup from the dispensary.”
As soon as the doctor left the room Roy said tightly, “We haven’t agreed to stay on with you.”
“Now you don’t have a choice,” Tad told him with a bit of a grin. “Doctor’s orders so you have to.”
“Please, Roy,” Jerry put in, his look hopeful.
“I…well…Okay but just until you’re not coughing out a lung every time you turn around.”
“That works,” Tad told them, admonishing himself severely because his next thought was that he hoped it would be a while before that happened.