title:               flu-fic

author:            Lady Charena

fandom:          Kung Fu – the legend continues

codes:            P/P, PG15, humor

archive:           TOSTwins – others just ask

 

sum:               Pop’s ill and gives Peter a tad of a hard time. Well, you know what they say: no worse patient than a healer…

 

Disclaimer: This story’s mine, but I do not intend to touch the rights of the owner of the characters from KF-TLC I’ve used. No moneymaking, no offence meant.

 

More P/P stories from me and my friends at the Dragon’s lair à http://tostwins.slashcity.net

 

 

 

“Pop? Pop, you there?”

 

I receive no answer, but then I don’t expect one. Pop seldom responds, heaven beware my dad to disturb the peace and harmony of his home with unnecessary noise. Not even for his particularly noisy son…

 

Moving into the main room I sniff and wriggle my nose in distaste. I put down my jacket and lay it across the back of a chair. At least its decently warm in here. There is an unpleasant scent in the air, permeating even the ever-present aroma of incense and hot wax, nasty but slightly familiar. I’ve smelled it before, just don’t know when… A wooden bowl stands at the workbench and as I approach it, the odor even gets worse. Yuck. Little white curls of steam rise from something that looks like a thick brownish soup made of little stems and leaves. I touch the rim of the bowl and it’s very warm. So Pop must be here. I pity the poor soul who’s gonna to have to drink that stuff…

 

A cough behind me startles me and interrupts my train of thoughts. I swirl around to face my father, standing in the doorframe. My father… wearing a big… pink… scarf around his neck? I feel my eyes go wide. “Pop?” He returns my gaze levelly, giving me one of his infuriating shrugs. Closing my mouth, I just realized hanging open, I cross the room to stand next to him. “What’s this?” I ask grinning, tugging at one end of the scarf. “You’re not trying to be a fashion designer again?”

 

“It is a present from Cheryl.”

 

I forget my usual pretence of being jealous about Cheryl as I register how rough his voice sounds. I take a closer look at him and find he is paler than unsual and there is a small sheet of moisture on his forehead. Reaching out for him, I touch his heaving chest and feel his skin burn through the gray silken shirt with the crane on its back. “Pop, you’re ill?”

 

I see the answer in his gaze to the concern mingled with disbelief in my eyes, but before he can say a word, a violent cough causes him to double over. “Whoa, easy. Let me help you.” I take his arm and steer him towards the sleeping platform. At least this is where I’m aiming at, but he stubbornly frees himself from my grasp to pick up the still steaming bowl from the workbench. No way to move a Shaolin if he’s not ready to go. He starts to inhale the stuff and finally my brain connects the two pictures. Ricky. The day before our trip to France. “You’ve caught a bug?” I can’t help myself but grin. It’s unbelievable. My father never gets ill like we lesser mortals, never catches the flu or even a minor cold. Even the plague that ailed the half town didn’t bring him down.

 

Pop sends me a scolding gaze, but I don’t feel intimidated. However, the smell of this brew seems still getting worse and I back down a step or two. I look to the floor to hide my grin.

 

“I am pleased to be still able to… entertain my… son.”

 

There is no expression in his raspy voice and I hastily look at him – only to catch the sparkle of mirth in Pop’s eyes. “I’m sorry, Pop… I know it’s not funny to be ill. It’s just… you look ridiculous with that thing around your neck!” I lose the battle with myself and succumb to helpless laughter. “Pink’s just not your color, I fear.”

 

He gives me one of his shrugs and puts the bowl aside only to tug at the scarf. Seconds later one of his hands sneak beneath the woolen material to rub the skin beneath. Pop’s irritated appearance sends me headlong into another burst of laughter.

 

“Let me guess,” I say, putting a serious expression onto my face with enormous effort. “Cheryl made it herself.” I receive a second scolding glance. “And she made you promise to wear it.” Now Pop looks at me with open surprise and a little suspicion.

 

I deliberately imitate his shrug. No way I’m gonna tell him I had to put up with two! scarves in my first year with the Blaisdell’s, after both Carolyn and Kelly decided to take a course on knitting. I received the results as Christmas gifts and they both made me swear to wear them all winter, before I was allowed to open the parcels. Well, I flipped some guys, threatened others with bloody noses and distributed lots of well-worded intimidations. So I made it through winter, wearing by turns a green-yellow-orange-colored cap and a purple-white-striped scarf I’ve got from Kelly and a yellow-black-striped cap combined with a blue-orange scarf, Carolyn made. I guess they choose the colors deliberately, testing just as much their “new” brother could stand. Maybe Mom would have stopped them, if she could have seen it, but I never complained. Not even about the wool starting to itch after a few minutes of wearing. At the outside I scowled at Kelly and Carolyn, causing them to burst into fits of giggle every time they saw me – but inside I felt warmed that they cared so much about me. And at this time I needed all the affection I could get…

 

Pop’s mouth, blowing warm air into my ear, startles me from my memories before they get gloomy. I lean back into his embrace and feel a familiar stirring of passion as he gives a little push against my ass. We’ve been both busy lately… I’m working on a wagonload of cases, busting a ring of thieves, picking up homeless, underage kids form the streets to train them to steal cars. Several of them died in accidents or races, before we could nail down the bosses and stop the whole thing. Pop’s been down with business of his own, taking over Lo Si’s patients, cause the Ancient left to visit his family and extended meetings with Dr. Sabourin at the hospital. I guess, even a Shaolin… even my father… can overdo himself…

 

I hum encouragingly as I feel his teeth graze my neck, but a series of coughs destroys my hope of a little fooling around. I turn my head to look at Pop. He doesn’t like being ill more than I do –but at least he seems to take it better than I do, giving everyone hell. “Why don’t you lie down and get some rest?” I suggest. “Want me to check if Lo Si’s back? Might be better he’s having a look at you.”

 

Pop scowls at me, but I see a hint of regret in his eyes and vow to myself to make more time for him in future. “Why don’t you drink one of your fabulous teas? The stuff you gave me last month cured me in two days.” Even if the taste almost killed me. I guess it couldn’t harm him to get a taste of his own medicine.

 

“A… worthwhile suggestion, my son.”

 

I’m relieved to hear the dry wit in his words. The last weeks he’s been too serious for my taste. I love him anyway, but I’m greedy – I want all of him: the humble priest, the proud warrior, the gentle healer, the loving father, the wise teacher. And the passionate lover I recently discovered… All wrapped up in one wondrous man.

 

“What’cha say if I… make tea… for you? Kinda for a change care for you,” I dare him and earn an incredulous look. “Hey, I can do it. You taught me, remember.” I know I’m acting like a little boy again, fervently wanting to show I’ve got the lesson. Besides, it’s nothing in making tea, everybody can do it.

 

I tug at the end of his scarf and Pop obediently bends closer to me so I can kiss him, brushing his dry lips lightly. “Be a good patient, Pop and lay down.”

 

“Yes… Master,” he says with a wicked smile, before capturing my mouth with his, plunging me headlong into a kiss that leaves me gasping for air when he withdraws.

 

My heart beating like a drum, I grasp his shoulders with both hands. “You never cease to amaze me, Pop, ya’ know?”

 

He cups my chin and nips playfully at my nose. “I am not that ill, Peter.”

 

Softer than a feather his lips brush the corner of my mouth.

 

“And you have been very busy recently…”

 

His hands dart down my back, leaving little fiery trails in their wake. “If you don’t stop now, you won’t ever get that tea…” I whisper against his lips, wanting no more than to unleash his passion, I’ve learned to hunger for. But for once, reason wins over desire and I back down a little. Seeing the fine layer of sweat on his forehead and the dark circles beneath my eyes only serves to resolve my demur.

 

With a sigh Pop lets go of me. I hook my arm around his waist and steer him toward his bed. This time he complies.

 

When he’s all settled down I turn toward the little room he uses as a kitchen. At the doorframe a thought hits me. “Uh… where’s the tea?” I ask, feeling just a little stupid.

 

I don’t turn to look at him, but there’s something close to amusement in his voice. “You will find a container sitting next to the kettle on the oven.”

 

“You’ve just been about to make the tea when I came, true?” I don’t wait for him to answer, but leave. Well, as soon as I’m in the kitchen I see the open container and the boiling kettle. I cautiously sniffle at what looks like the remains of a madman’s ransack of a flower-bed. Surprisingly it doesn’t smell too bad. Actually better than any stuff he’d ever gave me. Poking around in the box I manage to identify at least the some shreds of Eucalyptus and something that could be sweet root. That’s where my knowledge falls apart. Maybe I’d better pay more attention next time Pop’s going apothecary on me again. Couldn’t hurt and Pop’s gonna to be pleased with me. And if he’s pleased with me… yeah, I start grinning thinking of my reward.

 

“It is unlikely that the water will get even hotter.”

 

I almost drop the box as I jerk round to see Pop standing at the doorframe. “What do I have to do to get you stay put? Nail your feet to the floor?” I call in exasperation. I hate being caught with my fingers in the cookie jar…

 

“I… thought you might need help.” Pop crosses his arms in front of his chest, unruffled.

 

“I said I can do it.” Determinedly I turn to look for a cup. Hell, I’ve seen him doing this a thousand times. The herbs go into the cup, then the boiling water and the mixture had to seep some minutes and then… hmhm… just how do I get that stuff out? There must be a sieve somewhere. But first, how much of the herbs are needed for one cup? Silently I declare my surrender and turn to look at Pop.

 

There’s a faint smile on his lips but I read only gentleness in his eyes. With a grin I lift my shoulders and hold up my hands. “Got me.”

 

I expect him to finish the tea by himself, but instead he stays where he is. “You need one of the cups from the shelve to your right,” he instructs, his voice still rough, but at least the coughing stopped.

 

Okay. Looks more like the thing I need. I get one of the cups and see that its lid is dotted with small holes at one side.

 

I reach for a spoon, but Pop stops me. “The amount of herbs needed for one cup is that you can grasp with three fingers.”

 

I dig around in the tea box, scooping up what I believe to be enough and drop it into the cup. “Isn’t that a kind of… you know… imprecise measuring?”

 

“You are right… other herbs or ingredients have to be measured more exactly. But this is a simple infusion.”

 

I pour the water over the herbs and watch it turn into a green-brown soup.

 

“You have to cover it.”

 

So I do and then turn to look at him. “What else?”

 

Pop shrugs. “Now we have to wait.”

 

I cross the room to stand in front of him. “Just… how long?” I ask, slipping my arms around his waist to pull him closer to me. His body still radiates heat but I think he’s less hotter than when I first touched him.

 

“Long enough for…”

 

Catching the intend behind the words I bend forward to kiss him. I really don’t mind if I’ll get sick, too. I love him taking care of me. I would have to stay with him for a few days… no pain in the ass criminals, no reports, no… his fingers gently digging into my hair, steadying my head, stops my thinking.

 

When he pulls back I return to reality from my private little heaven. “The tea is ready,” he murmurs against my lips and with a sigh I let go of him to return to the counter. I touch the cup without thinking. “Ouch!” It’s burning hot.

 

Moving around me, Pop takes the cup, as if it’s only lukewarm and starts to pour the tea into a second cup he’d snatched from the shelve, while I blow at my stinging fingers. The lid holds back the herbs, the tea gets through the little holes in it. Seems I missed something watching Pop making tea. But then I’ve never been in best condition…

 

I wonder if he doesn’t feel the heat, his calloused hands gotten insensitive over the years… or simply doesn’t acknowledge the pain.

 

“No sweeteners?” I ask, feeling a little sassy.

 

He turns and smiles at me, but leaves the kitchen without answering me. I trail behind. Pop’s already sitting cross-legged on the thin mat, sipping his tea. I join him on the platform. “You know that’s actually smells good. Unlike the stuff you fed me last time.”

 

Pop shrugs. “It is one of Lo Si’s recipes.”

 

I shift a little close to him, my hand going to his thigh, slowly traveling up and down. “So… I’ve got to ask Lo Si for help next time I’m ill.”

 

“Ah.” Pop puts down the empty cup. “Of course you will find his… bedside manners… somehow… lacking.”

 

“Lacking?” I ask with an innocuous look.

 

“Yes. He might not be able to… tend… to your… special requirements.” Pop’s hand sneak around my hips to pull me closer to him.

 

My heartbeat speeds up again. “I love your… bedside manners…” I whisper before he covers my mouth.

 

Like two playful kittens we roll across the platform until Pop pins me beneath his body and we settle for some serious kissing. Clever fingers undo the buttons on my shirt in no time. I didn’t know who much I missed him. Missed being in his arms, feeling his mouth upon my skin… suddenly something nags at the corner of my awareness. I slip my hand up and tug at the scarf, still around Pop’s neck. It itches against my skin. I get it off and send it flying across the room with a grin. Bye, bye, Cheryl. Pop’s obviously reading my thoughts again, for he shakes his head with a smile.

 

“I get it you’re feeling better?” I whisper, starting to unbutton his shirt.

 

Wordless he bends his mouth to lightly bite into a soft patch of flesh below my collar-bone. Yeah, he’s definitely feeling better. I run my hands down his back, pulling him even closer to me, feeling his erection poking my thigh. Looks like love is the best medicine after all…

 

end