Disclaimer: I don't own Pokémon or Rurouni Kenshin. I also no longer own any great grandparents…my great grandmother died this morning at the age of 94. So many deaths! *cry*
Chapter 19: Recuperation
Hiko knew it wouldn't be too much longer until his deshi's lungs recovered enough to have the Chansey heal his wound the rest of the way, but he was still anxious about the boy's well-being. His fever had run his course, but not without taxing the poor child's energy so that he was pretty much useless for days.
Hiko woke up and clutched his sword, only to realize he had woken up to the sound of sheets rustling. He opened his eyes to find his ward turning in his bed, face flushed with fever. "Kenshin? Are you awake, boy?"
The boy gave a feeble nod before coughing. Hiko sighed and pushed himself to his feet, leaving his sword by the chair he had been sleeping in. He put his hand on the boy's forehead then grunted before pulling it away.
It was the night after Kenshin awoke for the first time in three days and he was plagued with a fever more ferocious than before. But then again, when one was sick fevers usually increased during the night.
The man sat at the foot of the bed, running his hand up and down the boy's back as the coughing continued. Once it subsided, he reached towards the bedside table and took the cup full of MooMoo Milk mixed with Rawst berry juice that Nurse Joy had provided. When the boy protested at drinking the bitter liquid, Hiko shushed him gently.
"This will help you get better. Nurse Joy said it will help lower your fever. It's all right." The large man gently held Kenshin's small form in an upright position while pressing the cup to the boy's lips. Kenshin drank reluctantly, only to start coughing again.
"Kuso…Kenshin…" Hiko put down the cup and rubbed the boy's back again. He would have to make a point to ask Nurse Joy tomorrow on what berries to use to cure a cough. He knew Figy, Wiki, Mago, Aguav, and Iapapa berries would help more, but if they gave him the wrong kind it could cause harm to the boy's mind. Hiko cursed himself for not asking Officer Jenny for the boy's nature. He did seem to hate bitter berries, so he had something to work with…
The man was shaken out of his thoughts when the boy's cough worsened. Hiko winced at the small body convulsed in his arms with every harsh cough. He tried to get more Rawst berry juice into the boy, but it didn't work that time either.
He sat the boy up more to keep him from breathing in what he coughed up and put a cloth over the boy's mouth. The man looked down when he noticed Kenshin curling into his large frame for warmth and shivering. He grabbed the blanket and laid it over the small boy's frame, hoping that along with his own body heat would warm the boy enough.
"Shishou?" The boy croaked after the coughing subsided.
"Don't talk. Just rest." Hiko continued to gently rub the boy's back until he fell asleep again. He woke up again four more times that night and Hiko kept doing everything he could to help the boy's breathing.
"I just got his information transferred from Viridian City this morning. Kenshin has a Naïve nature, he likes sweet berries and not bitter. I'll start him on a regimen of Mago berries to help his cough, but keep giving him Rawst to help his fever." Nurse Joy spoke confidently that morning when Hiko inquired her about the boy's condition. When he felt sure he could do nothing else to help the boy, he left the nurse to take care of her other patients.
"Naïve, huh? No wonder he likes MooMoo Milk and ohagi so much…"
"Hiko-sama!" Kaoru exclaimed as the man entered the dining room where she was hanging out with Aiko, Hina, and Komako while eating lunch. Hina was gently licking the fur on Aiko's back while the Eevee purred in contentment. Kaoru was feeding Komako some Cheri berries, which the Ponyta seemed to really enjoy. "Ohayou!"
Hiko only smiled when Hina floated up to him and gently nuzzled his hand. It was an understatement to say the man look tired; his eyes were weighed down with dark circles and his movements were sluggish. "Good morning, Kaoru, Hina."
"And you too, Komako, Aiko." He added when said Pokémon scowled at him.
"How is Kenshin?" Kaoru asked as Hiko sat down across from her.
"He had a rough night. But he should be getting better soon." Hiko ordered some soba and Chesto berry juice when the waitress approached then went back to looking exhausted. He sipped the drink, already feeling more awake.
"Can I take Hina, Aiko, and Komako out to the beach again today? We really had a good time…"
Hiko nodded gruffly before Kaoru even stopped speaking, sipping his juice and cringing at the dry taste. Hina shot him a look for his shortness but did nothing else to aggravate the man before leading Kaoru and the other two Pokémon out.
When Hiko's soba came, he didn't feel like eating much. The noodles tasted like cardboard in his mouth and the juice definitely wasn't something he enjoyed. No, he much preferred Cheri and Figy, or his usual sake, but he needed the extra boost.
He returned to Kenshin's room with some warm miso broth that he ordered and some Mago and Rawst berry mixture along with a little surprise for Kenshin. He put the bowl and cups down and gently shook the boy awake. He hated waking the boy up so soon, but he knew the small body needed nourishment in order to recover.
"Wake up, Kenshin." When the boy groaned and started coughing again, Hiko hoisted him into a sitting position and rubbed his back just as he had that night.
"Shishou…?" Kenshin asked through his sand paper windpipe. Hiko smiled and took the Mago berry juice from the side table.
"I'm right here, Kenshin. Try to drink this." He pressed the cup to the boy's lips and tilted it back a little so the boy could swallow some of the juice. He noticed Kenshin didn't cringe as soon as the liquid hit his tongue, but instead he saw a smile forming on the boy's face.
"This will help your throat and lungs feel better, so you won't cough as much." Hiko helped him finish the drink before adjusting his hold on the boy so he was leaning on the large man's chest and Hiko had both of his hands free. He picked up the bowl of hot miso broth and started spoon-feeding the boy.
At first, Kenshin was reluctant to eat. But with a little coaxing from Hiko (the man threatening to force the soup down his throat if he didn't cooperate), he accepted the food. After a few bites, Hiko was relieved to see a little bit of color returning to the boy's pale face. By the time there was no soup left, Kenshin had relaxed visibly.
Predictably, the boy tensed up when Hiko moved to give him some more of the Rawst berry juice though it was once again mixed with MooMoo Milk. "It's all right. Drink this then you can have some MooMoo Milk, how's that?"
Kenshin relaxed and quickly consumed the Rawst berry juice. Hiko kept his promise and gave the boy the large glass of pure MooMoo Milk and let him sip it slowly from a straw as he continued to rub his back. "There, feeling better?"
Kenshin nodded slowly, still drinking his milk. Hiko smiled and supported the boy's small form as he drank. It amused the man to no end how the boy became so docile if you gave him something sweet. It wasn't too long before even the milk was finished and the boy's eyes were starting to close.
"Get some rest, Kenshin." He ran his hand through the boy's crimson hair once and lightly brushed over his forehead. Thankfully, the child's fever had gone down and he wasn't as clammy as before.
"Shishou? Shishou!" Kenshin called louder, alarmed at his master's trance-like state.
"What is it, Kenshin?" Hiko was once again sitting in the chair by Kenshin's bed.
"I was wondering…when can the Chansey come so I can start training again?" The man couldn't help but chuckle. "So anxious to get back to training, huh?"
When the boy nodded, Hiko smiled and promised to ask Nurse Joy about it that very afternoon.