A/N: I have a bit of weakness for sick/comfort fics, and I wrote these one shots when I was sick a few weeks ago. All five chapters are written and ready to go, I'll post close to one a day, depending on my internet access.
"She's coming round." Kate blinked and squeezed her eyes closed again, turning her head away from the sound. "Katie," continued the voice, and Kate realised it was her dad. He sounded far away. "Hey, Katie."
"It all went very well," an unfamiliar male voice said, and Kate blinked again, opening her eyes properly this time and looking around.
"Katie," her Mom said. "Hey, baby."
"Mommy?" she tried to say, but everything hurt, and she coughed.
"Don't try and talk," her Dad told her. "Just lay there a bit, and we'll get you something to drink, okay?"
"Mmm," Kate agreed, lying back down, and snuggling into her Mom.
"My brave girl," Johanna said, running her fingers through Kate's hair. "All done, Katie-bear. All done."
Kate nodded, looking around. She was back where she'd started, in the same room she'd been checked into this morning. "We're gonna take you home soon, Katie-bear," her Dad said, walking round to the other side of her bed. "Just waiting for you to wake up a little more, and then the nurse is going to come back, and check on you."
Kate nodded again, her eyes wide. It was all coming back to her, making a little more sense; her tonsils were gone, but her Mom and Dad were here, cuddled up to her. It didn't matter that her head was woozy and her throat was numb; they were all she needed.
"So, what do you want to do today, Katie?" Johanna asked, when her pyjama clad daughter shuffled into the living room.
Kate shrugged. "I don't know. I feel… yuck."
"I know, sweetheart," Johanna nodded. "I know. Come here."
Kate padded over to the couch, where Johanna was perched, and climbed up, snuggling in, her head against her mom's shoulder.
"We have a whole week for you to get better, Katie, before you go back to school."
"Are you going to be here every day?" Kate asked.
"Mmm-hmmm," Johanna nodded. " I told you. Every day. I took the whole week off work to spend with you, baby girl."
Kate squirmed. "Not a baby, Mom," she sulked.
"My big girl, then," Johanna amended. "So, what do you want to do?"
Kate shrugged. "I don't know. I don't feel right."
Johanna sighed. The anaesthetic had knocked her poor girl around all right, and the nine year old was moping around as though someone had died, retreating into herself and shuffling around the spacious apartment. "Stay here," she instructed her daughter. "It's you and me today, and you look like you need some jell-o, stat."
That got a giggle out of the girl, her hazel eyes shining green for a second. "Jell-o, Mom? Are you having some too?"
"Me?" Johanna teased. "What do you think I'm going to have? Your green jell-o, or my coffee?" Kate laughed for a second time, and Johanna relaxed. Katie was okay. "Now- you know what your Grandma used to let me do, when I was home sick?" she asked.
Kate shook her head. "Uh-uh."
"She used to let me watch TV. And you know what? I think that's exactly what you and I are going to do this afternoon as well. I think we should watch some Temptation Lane, let those crazy storylines keep us company for a while, okay?"
Johanna returned to the couch, handing Kate a bowl of jell-o, and shuddering as it bobbed around, green and slimy. She thought she should probably try and get some real food into her daughter too, but she'd just been in so much pain when she'd eaten last night, and they hadn't even made an attempt at breakfast this morning. Kate had merely pushed the oatmeal around her bowl restlessly, until Jim left for work and Johanna gave in, taking the bowl away and pushing a glass of juice in the nine year old's direction. "Drink this, at least," she'd said, not without a measure of despair in her voice, and Kate had complied, sad eyes looking up at her as she sipped from the glass.
"Come here," Johanna said again, and Kate curled up into her mother's arms. Johanna set her coffee back onto the table by the sofa, reaching for the remote, and turned the television on, the strains of the theme song filling the room. "Perfect timing," she smiled, as she hugged her daughter to her.
"Can I try your coffee?" Kate asked, and Johanna smiled. A week at home with her daughter had been perfect. The nine year old hadn't been a picnic the entire week, but Johanna had been more than happy to deal with a little moodiness. Her girl was getting older, and a little sass aside, she'd been happy to let her case work pile up to have this time to spend with Kate. It was an all too rare luxury, taking time off from work to just enjoy her daughter, and she smiled again, already looking forward to spending the summer at the cabin, not just with Kate this time, but with her husband too.
"Sure. But I'm going to make you your own, okay? Not as strong, because you probably won't like it."
"I'll like it," Kate assured her mother. "I know I will."
Johanna laughed, and took a mug out of the cupboard above the coffee machine. She carefully poured in an inch of the hot liquid, filling the rest of the mug with milk.
"What are you doing?" Jim asked, as he came into the kitchen. "Jo- don't you think she's a little young for a vice like caffeine?"
Johanna laughed. "Oh, hush, Jim. It's only a taste. And she probably won't even like it."
"I will," Kate repeated. "I know I will."
Jim shook his head, and Johanna rolled her eyes at her husband. "Seriously, Jim. She's fine." She showed him the mug she'd prepared. "I barely showed the coffee to all the milk in here."
He laughed, and pressed a kiss onto his wife's cheek, before ruffling Kate's hair. "Can't be too careful, Katie," he teased. "First it's a sip, then before you know it, you'll be a caffeine addict and a night owl, just like your Mom."
"I want to be," protested Kate. "I want to be like Mom."
Jim shrugged, laughing at Johanna. "Enjoy this," he told her. "It's not gonna last. When Katie's a teen-" he broke off and grinned, sitting down on one of the kitchen chairs and cuddling his daughter into his chest. "Never gonna happen, is it, Sweetie? You're never gonna have one of those wild-child phases everyone's been telling us about, right?"
Kate shook her head. "Uh-uh." She looked up at her Mom. "But can I try the coffee now, Mom?"
Johanna nodded, handing her daughter the mug and watching apprehensively as her daughter took a sip. "And? Is it everything you expected?" she teased.
Kate wrinkled her nose. "Mostly it just tastes like milk," she complained. "Nice milk- but still milk. Let me try yours, Mom. Just a sip. Please?" she begged.
Johanna shook her head and smirked, handing Kate her own mug. "You won't like it," she warned. "No one likes regular coffee on first go."
"Or beer, or wine, or spirits," Jim muttered, frowning at his wife again.
"Well, I do," Kate announced, her eyes wide over the mug as she swallowed down a mouthful of the warm liquid. "I love it."