Sorry I've been gone for a while, but I had surgery about five days ago. Doing better though, except for the lingering pain of my stitches. I'm off school though! Got a buttload of make-up work sitting in my backpack that I've supposed to have been doing while I was recovering, but I'll get it done... somehow...

I actually had this done BEFORE my surgery, but I was nervous and everytime I thought about posting it, I was distracted by something else. Sorry! But here's this chapter.

Hope y'all enjoy!

It was a chore getting Thrax into the kitchen to eat once the food arrived, but somehow Mikaela found a way to do it. She got him propped up in the chair, and he could sit relatively straight. He was still hunching over the table a little though, thanks to the pain in his side.

Apparently being shot certainly hadn't hindered his appetite any. Granted, he probably hadn't eaten in a while either, but he didn't have to be so messy. She had to nudge his shoulder a few times to make him slow down, mumbling that if he didn't he was gonna choke. She was actually surprised at how fast he ate, his condition being what it was.

Once they were all done, Ozzy dumped all the dishes in the sink and started putting the leftovers in the fridge. "Y'all can go anytime now," he muttered, grabbing another container. "You know, 'cause I gotta call Leah again. You know, my girl that Thrax just about traumatized? Yeah. There's gonna be some drama, and y'all don't need drama. Way too much drama goin' on in this house already, Frank damn it..."

Mikaela just shook her head at her rambling cousin. "Alright, we'll just ignore him, okay, Thrax? He's just mad 'cause for once, I win. You ready to get back to bed?"

"Yeah, baby." He gripped the edge of the table and pushed down on it - rather forcefully, if the wild shaking his hand displayed was any indication. "I think I can get there by myself, now that I got some food in me."

"Are you sure, Thrax?" Mikaela bit her lip as she watched him get up, stumble a little, and regain his balance by just barely getting a hold of the table again. "You look like you're still a little-"

"I said I can do it, baby," he insisted. "I'm good now. Trust me."

"Well... okay. I'm gonna start ahead, you just shout if you start needing my help."

"Check that."

She gave one last glance, then took a few steps until she was in the living room. She stopped to lean over the couch and look at the TV, which was announcing a new episode of Frank Idol tomorrow night. Maybe she'd have to watch that sometime-


Mikaela spun around, and immediately felt like slapping Thrax. He was on his stomach, his legs still in the kitchen, the rest of him on the carpet. Ozzy was peering over the refrigerator door, and his face clearly said he thought the virus was pretty stupid right now.

"Ugh, Thrax." Mikaela stalked over and got to her knees beside him, giving his visible cheek a few light taps with her palm. "I told you so! Wake up, come on. You can't sleep like that."

After a few seconds, his gold eyes fluttered open. A moment passed of him just staring into space before he finally focused on her and lifted his head. "... Baby?"

She rolled her eyes. "Yeah?"

"... I, uh... I only made it to the floor, didn't I?"

She giggled. "Yup. Let's get you back to bed before you pass out." She carefully slid her arm under his chest, slinging his arm around her shoulder. She pulled him up, sucking in a breath. "Come on, baby, you gotta help me out a little here."

She felt Thrax rest his head against her shoulder, and he chuckled. "Oh, so you callin' me 'baby' now, huh? I ain't said you could do that... heh... but hey, I don't mind."

Mikaela turned around from the computer to check how Thrax was doing. She'd let him have the TV on for a while, and she still heard it, so she was about to tell him that it was getting late and he really ought to get some more sleep so he would be okay to walk tomorrow.

When she rotated herself and looked over, she was surprised to see that he was fast asleep. He was lying on his stomach, one arm around his waist, and the other hand (his left) on the pillow. He was also snoring - probably nothing compared to Ozzy, but she wouldn't have expected it from him.

She got up and walked over to him, staring down at him for a minute. He definitely looked like he still needed sleep, and she noticed that he never quite looked relaxed even when he was sleeping. He still looked like everything was troubling him, like he wanted to just be done with the world.

Carefully, she pulled the blanket over his body and lightly tucked it in around his neck and shoulders. "Goodnight, Thrax," she murmured, hesitantly running her fingers through his dreads. "You better not have any nightmares - you hear me? You got enough to worry about."

She chuckled and turned away, opening the door. She walked out, leaving the door open, and found Ozzy sitting on the couch, looking through a folder.

She swallowed, then leaned over the back of the couch, resting her head on his shoulder. "Hey Ozzy. It's getting pretty late - you going to bed soon?"

"Gotta get this case report finished," he sighed, jotting something else down on the paper. "Then I'm gonna give Leah another call and get some sleep."

"I'm probably going now," she told him, nuzzling his cheek. "Thrax is already in there all zonked out."

Ozzy offered a mirthless chuckle. "Don't surprise me. From what he told us I guess life ain't been what he's used to. He got shot, for Frank's sake, I ain't surprised he's tired."

"Yeah. I hope he feels better in the morning so he can go to the station with us. The sooner the Chief meets him, the better."

"I guess."

Mikaela sighed, closing her eyes. "Ozzy, I know you don't like Thrax being here. I know you're just trying to be rational and stuff and protect your family and Frank. So it... really means a lot to me that you're giving him a chance."

Ozzy returned with a sigh of his own. "Yeah. Well, I figure I oughta give him a shot." He reached up and ran a hand through her hair. "You remember my mom?"

"Yeah. She was great."

"She was. She always told me, everyone deserves a second chance. And I guess that means viruses too. Even big ole nasty ones like Thrax."

She giggled and wrapped her arms around his neck. "Hey, he's not that bad, I promise. He's just a softie."

"Yeah yeah, I'll believe it when I see it, Mikaela."

"Did I ever tell you that you're the best cousin ever?"

"I think you mentioned it a couple times." He tugged on her ponytail. "Now get yourself to bed, girl, or I'ma smack the cytoplasm offa you."

"Got it. See you in the morning. And don't you stay up too late either."

"Yeah yeah. Goodnight."

Mikaela grinned before nuzzling his cheek again and flouncing back to the guest room to get some shut-eye.

Hehe. The whole "I only made it to the floor, didn't I?" bit was something I had in my original story, before I decided to rewrite it here. And I thought it was clever, especially for me to have come up with like what, three years ago? So I just had to use it here. It was funny, no?

Reviews are always appreciated! Thanks for reading! ^^