"Almost done, Bepo." Law said, rinsing off the last of the shampoo from his fur. The bear was huddled on the grass, shaking slightly from the freezing temperatures. For being a polar bear, he wasn't that used to the cold. Law supposed spending so much time on the hot submarine had began to desensitize him.
After washing off the all the bubbles, Law wandered over to the tap and turned the knob, stopping the flow of water from the hose. It slowed to a trickle, before stopping entirely. Tossing it to the ground, Law went over to the patio where he'd placed the towels. Grabbing a few, he tossed them to Bepo.
"Here, you can get dried now."
"Thanks, Captain." Gratefully catching the offered linens, the bear began drying off his fur. Law went back to the patio and snatched his shirt from the fence, throwing over his head with a grimace. The afternoons tended to be unusually hot, while the nights got rather chilly. Law was so used to islands being one specific temperature constantly. He was so unused to the ever-changing weather of Lexi's world.
After getting as dry as he could, Bepo put on his jumpsuit again and followed Law up the stairs to the back door. Gathering the used towels, they stepped inside to the yelling of his engineers. Plus Nana.
"No, you can't just steal property from other players. That's not how it works! Have ya never played Monopoly before?" The old woman shouted, snatching some kind of card from Shachi. The man pouted, crossing his arms.
"But what if my armies were strong enough? I could just take it over."
Nana smacked him with a set of papers. Shachi recoiled, rubbing his head with a grimace.
"Ouch, what was that for?" She shook her head in disappointment.
"There ain't armies in Monopoly! You Greeks are about as un-American as they come. But that's why I'm here to teach ya, to whip you boys into shape!" She said. Law frowned in confusion, coming up behind Penguin and staring at the strange-looking board set up between them all.
"What is this?" Penguin glanced up at Law, a broad grin on his face.
"We're playing Monopoly! It's a game we found in the closet, and Nana is showing us how to play."
"You should join in, Captain!" Shachi encouraged. Law looked skeptical, but Nana grinned mischievously.
"I'll even let you be the banker in the next round." The pirate Captain wasn't all too sure what that meant, but he was always curious about things, and Lexi's grandmother always made things interesting for him, so he shrugged and sat down beside the older woman.
"Alright, you sit tight and watch for the remainder of this round. Then, we'll deal you in the next one." She turned to Penguin, gesturing towards a pair of dice. "It's your turn."
"Alright!" He said, snatching up the two pieces. Shaking them in his cupped hand, he stuck out his tongue, concentrating on the board. "Here we go!" He cried, letting the dice loose onto the board. The bounced and rattled for a moment, before landing on a pair of fours.
"Sweet." He fist pumped the air, picking up a silver piece and moving it eight spaces. "Pennsylvania Avenue. $320." He read aloud, tapping his chin in thought. He looked down at the money he had left, counting it out silently.
"I'll buy it then." He said, shoving all his bills in Nana's direction. She frowned, counting it for herself.
"You only have $180! You can't buy that!" She scowled, throwing back his money.
"But…I can just pay the rest later right?"
"Oh. Then I guess I'll pass." She shook her head, pointing to the dice.
"You rolled doubles. You go again." He looked surprised, then picked them back up.
"Come on!" He cried, shaking them and send them flying onto the board again. One was a five, the other a one.
"Six." Shachi confirmed, leaning back on his hands as Penguin moved his silver piece.
"I own that!" Shachi grinned triumphantly, holding up a dark blue colored card. "You owe me $35!"
"But, what if I don't want to pay him?" He asked Nana, and she sighed in frustration.
"Young men, always tryin' to get out of payin' for things…You gotta give him the money. That's how the game works." The pirate crossed his arms with a pout.
"Hmph. It's a stupid rule."
"Just do it." Shachi demanded, holding out his hand for the money. Begrudgingly, Penguin counted out the colored paper and handed them over. His friend snatched them away with a smirk, adding them to his quickly-growing piles.
"How long do these rounds last?" Law asked, and Nana chuckled.
"A long time. We'll be here awhile." She admitted, grabbing the dice for her turn. Law sighed. It wasn't like he had anything else to do, he supposed. He winced, feeling a slight pressure in his head. Maybe all these shenanigans were giving him a migraine.
*Seven Hours Later*
"Really, Lex? You're not gonna say anything? I expected more from you." Brittany mentioned as they walked out of medical anatomy together. They headed towards their cars in the parking lot, the sun already set past the horizon and the sky quickly turning from the orange of the sunset to a navy blue of the night.
Lexi stifled a yawn as she searched her bag for her keys. "There's nothing to say." Brittany stopped, hands on her hips.
"Nothing to say? You're telling me our hot as hell, foreign, one-time-only substitute teacher is sleeping at your house? And you've got nothing to talk about?" She asked incredulously. Lexi said nothing, looking away with pursed lips.
"I'm your best friend, which means you're obligated to tell me the juicy bits of your life. It's part of the best friend code." Her friend persisted, and Lexi scoffed.
"There's a best friend code?" They stopped by Brittany's shiny black car, and she opened the passenger door to put her things in.
"Of course there is. All best friends have one."
"Right." She voiced her doubt, and Brittany nudged her shoulder.
"You've gotta let me see him again. His is a face that people would kill to see again."
"You planning a murder or something?" Lexi joked, and Brittany pretended to seriously think about it.
"You know, that may just be a good idea. If it meant seeing him again." She said dreamily.
"Eww, creepy stalker alert." Lexi laughed, and Brittany joined in.
"There's nothing wrong with admiring the blessings given to him. But I mean seriously though, he's like insanely hot. Like, more than is humanly possible. You can't tell me you don't have any sort of interest in him." She pressed, and she looked away awkwardly.
His eyes flitted through her thoughts, staring her down in amusement or confusion or anger. Those gunmetal gray orbs that seemed to search out her grass green ones. Or maybe she was just imaging that part…In all honesty, she tried not to think about it too much, telling herself that she was just crazy.
And then his playful smirk at everything he found amusing, or when she made a fool of herself. His embarrassed pout in the car when she'd played the song. The few times he'd chuckled or laughed lowly under his breath. His soft mutterings late at night, teaching her anatomy as she slowly fell asleep…
She shook her head, clearing her mind of those thoughts as quickly as possible, but she couldn't stop the blush that rose to her cheeks. Her attempt to hide it from Brittany by turning her face away failed too.
"Aha! I knew it. No one could resist a face that beautiful." She claimed, smirking knowingly.
"So what?" Lexi tried to play it off as nothing, shrugging like it wasn't a big deal in the first place. "Sure, he's attractive, but he's a jerk most of the time."
A dreamy look came across her friend's face. "That's ok. I can handle the jerks." She said, and Lexi shook her head in disbelief.
"Uhuh." Chuckling, Brittany looked back at the brunette.
"Look, all I wanna know is if he's single. And if you're staking a claim. Say the word and he's yours. To be honest you could really use a boyfriend. But if there's a chance, you gotta do me a favor and put in a good word if you know what I mean." She winked, waggling her eyebrows. Lexi chuckled, shoving her friend's arm playfully.
"We'll see." She answered noncommittally. Sighing, Brittany waved and said her goodbye, and Lexi wandered further down to find her truck. She sneezed then for perhaps the twentieth time that hour, and she dreaded the familiar feeling of her getting sick. She supposed being exposed outside in the rain had caused it, no thanks to a certain 'hot as hell, foreign, one-time-only substitute teacher,' as Brittany put it. She only hoped it would go away by the next morning. All she could think about right then was getting home. Her feet hurt and she had a major headache.
"I know you're cheating! Give me that $500 back!" Lexi heard Penguin say as she opened the front door tiredly. Everyone looked up from the living room floor as she entered.
"Lexi-chan!" The two engineers called in greeting. Lexi dropped her bag beside the stairs and wandered into the living room, where Nana, Shachi, and Penguin were surrounding the Monopoly board.
"Hey." She responded, frowning in disbelief. "Have you guys been playing that since I called at lunch?"
"Yup. It's really fun!" Shachi replied, a cheery grin on his face. Penguin glared at him in frustration.
"Only cuz you're winning…" He muttered, eyeing his two property cards with hate. Shachi on the other hand had at least ten, lined up against the board like trophies. His pile of money was also noticeably larger than his friend's. Lexi raised a brow, but Nana looked up with joy.
"Lexi, dear, you look exhausted! Why don't I get you some coffee and chocolate?" She offered, but Lexi held up a hand.
"No thanks, Nana. I'm just gonna head up to bed, I think." Then, she glanced around the room, noticing the absence of two of the pirates. "Where's Law and Bepo?"
"Your friends went upstairs. The young man said something about feeling unwell. He didn't let me take a look at him though. He's a stubborn one..." Nana replied, rolling the dice for her turn and moving her piece. She didn't seem too concerned with the absence of two of them, though if it didn't concern a war or a patient, she wasn't too concerned about anything.
Sighing in exhaustion that now all seemed to weight on her at once, she ran a hand through her hair and yawned. "Alright, well as long as you don't stay up too long and put away the game when you're done, I'm gonna head to bed. And try not to be too loud."
"Goodnight, Lexi-chan!" Penguin and Shachi said. She gave a smile and wandered back upstairs, sneezing as she started up.
"Oh, dear. I hope you aren't getting sick." Nana said in worry, medic-Nana-mode instantly activating at the first sign of illness. Lexi waved it off.
"It's no big deal. It'll be gone in the morning. No need to fuss about it."
"I don't know…" Nana trailed off, staring up at her retreating granddaughter with doubt. "It sounds pretty nasty."
"Relax, I'm so ready for tomorrow!" She gave a smile as she went into her room to lay down.
"I'm so not ready for today…" Lexi groaned, staring up at her ceiling with half-lidded eyes. She sneezed again, reaching for the box of tissues she'd placed on her nightstand earlier. Sniffing, she glanced at Nana who had worry etched on her face.
"Oh, I just knew you'd catch a cold. You had all the signs last night."
"Yeah, I just hoped it'd go away during the night." Lexi said through a congested nose and sore throat. Her voice sounded strange, and Lexi moaned in pain at speaking too much. Even as a kid she always got bad symptoms from being sick with any illness, and that trend had held true into adulthood as well.
"Hmm…why don't we get you downstairs with a nice hot bowl of chicken noodle soup? Besides, it's lunchtime anyways!" Nana suggested, wandering farther into the room with a smile.
"What?" She cried out in shock, eyes diverting towards the alarm clock on her nightstand. The numbers read 12:02. How had she slept in so long? It only felt like 9:00 in the morning! "I'm missing class!" She moaned, flopping back onto the pillow.
"Come on, let's get you downstairs." Nana approached the bed and helped her stand up. Her muscles felt weak and painful, and she could have sworn she would fall at any moment. She hated feeling this defenseless, especially when she was missing something so important like class.
"I'm gonna get behind in my studies…" The brunette muttered in despair, thinking about how much more she still had to study for the anatomy test. Her grandmother grabbed a blanket from her bed and wrapped it around Lexi's shoulders to keep her warm. The young woman accepted it gratefully. Nana shook her head, tisking under her breath.
"Oh, don't you get so down about it. You'll be in tip top shape in no time!" She encouraged, starting down the first few steps of the stairs.
"Lexi-ya?" A voice said from behind them. The two stopped and looked up at an equally sick-looking Law, who glared down at them. "Since your…country," He glanced at Nana beside her, changing the word 'world' to something that wouldn't cause the old woman confusion, "could hold new and rampant bacteria that mine does not have, I worry this may be something worse than a cold."
Nana looked him over with a critical eye, shaking her head after a second.
"What you got, young man, is an old-fashioned case of the cold. It's nothing a steamin' bowl of chicken noodle soup won't fix! Come down here and I'll make you some." She said, leading Lexi down the stairs again. Law raised a brow, coughed a fit, then proceeded to go after the two women.
Lexi and Law followed Nana to the kitchen, where she sat them down at the table and told them to wait. While she wandered away to the pantry to find the cans of soup, Lexi glared at Law from her seat.
"It's your fault I'm sick. You left me outside in the rain for an hour the other day." He stared back with equal venom.
"If I recall, you forced me to ride in the back of your truck in the rain for a similar amount of time." Lexi shrugged with a small smirk. The next moment she winced, feeling her headache return in full force.
"Yeah, but you deserved that. Besides, you're a doctor right? Just cure yourself or something."
"Medicine doesn't work that way." He growled.
"Hmm. Then you aren't as skilled as you make yourself sound to be." His eyes narrowed, but before he could retort Nana came back with two thermometers in her hand, stuffing one into each of their mouths. They both about choked but quickly shifted the glass devices into a more comfortable position.
"Alright, let's see about those temperatures of yours." She pulled them out a moment later, reading both marks. She hummed. "Lexi, you've got a fever of 101. You're friend's got a 100. Seems like it's a bad case for both of you. I'm afraid you'll need some more powerful stuff to get you through easier."
"Really Nana, it's fine-" The old woman cut her off, wandering over to the medicine cabinet above the counter.
"I won't hear any more of that! Sickness won't be tolerated in this household! We've got to get you two better quick as a cricket." She said, causing both of her patients to frown in confusion. She didn't notice since her attention was on finding the medication she was looking for.
"Damn, we're out of ibuprofen. And decongestant too! Our rations are too low! Looks like I'll have to be makin' a stop to the store today." She reasoned, but Lexi sighed.
"Nana, we'll be fine without it. You don't need to do that."
She shut the cabinet door and placed a hand on her chin in thought. "Well, that just leaves morphine. I think I have some left downstairs in storage." She mumbled, and Lexi stiffened up.
"Darn, what a shame. Nana you used up the last of it on your last patient so I guess we have no other option but to go to the store and get the meds. Yup, no other options at all." She rambled nervously, smiling as genuinely as she could.
Law looked at her strangely, but she ignored him for the time being. The last thing she needed her grandmother doing was pumping the two of them full of morphine. It seemed that the old woman loved using it, offering it as an option whenever she could. While it may have been the most powerful and effective pain reliever they'd had in World War II, there was no practice at-home use for it.
"Well, if you insist." Nana eventually agreed, much to Lexi's relief. "But I'm gonna need help finding it. Those big stores are hard to navigate nowadays."
"I don't think either of us are in any shape to go…" Law admitted, coughing several times to ease the ache in his throat. Lexi silently agreed, but that only left two other candidates for the job and she wasn't too thrilled with either of them.
Just at that moment, the two idiots bounded down the stairs in excitement. "Breakfast!" They shouted, stumbling over the last step and sending both of them crashing to the floor. "What's for breakfast, Lexi-chan?" They asked from the floor.
Lexi heard the pirate beside her sigh deeply and cover his eyes with his hand in disappointment. Though her head and body ached, she managed an amused smile at his reaction.
"Boys, we ain't got time for breakfast today!" Nana hollered, pointing to the two of them at the table. "Those two are sick and need to get better fast. We've got a mission to get some pain medication from the store, and I need your assistance!"
Immediately recovering from their ungraceful stumble down the stairs, they stood to their feet and raised their hands in a salute. It seemed Nana's authoritative tone of voice had made them spring into action.
"Yes, Ma'am!" They cried in unison, looking determined to help in any way possible. Nana retrieved her purse from her room and returned.
"Where are the keys to that old truck?" Lexi pointed towards the front hallway, surrendering to the unnecessary trip to the store that was going to happen either way at this point. Her grandmother was nothing short of stubborn...
"Sitting on the peg, Nana. Be careful, alright! It's been awhile since you've driven around." She sneezed after her sentence, and it caused her throat to burn with pain.
"I know what I'm doing, dear. Don't you fret. Now, sit tight and wait for us to get back. Lay down if you aren't feeling well. I'll make sure you get the stuff we need!" And with that, she headed out of sight with the two pirates following her, happy grins on their faces.
"This isn't going to end well…" Lexi muttered, lowering her burning head onto the cooler wood table. She sneezed right then, accidentally banging her head against the hard surface. She groaned aloud, holding onto the sides of her head in pain.
"Definitely not…" Law agreed, sighing once more as he heard the front door close, which only served to make him cough more.
They sat in equal suffering as the cold left them in pain and feeling sluggish. What was even worse, she had to be stuck with the most overbearing of the lot, their Captain. Out of all the people to be stuck being sick with, it had to be that teasing jerkface.
'This day's going just great…' Lexi thought with quickly rising anxiety.ns 188.8.131.52da2