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21 July 2011 @ 04:40 pm
Down With the Sickness [#033]  
Title: Down With the Sickness [#033]
Fandom: Iron Chef (Japan), general
Characters: Hiroyuki Sakai (IC French II), Chen Kenichi (IC Chinese), Rokusaburo Michiba (IC Japanese I), Takeshi Kaga
Prompt: 033. Your bones are weak, but your will is as strong as concrete
Word Count: 924
Rating: G (even with a four-letter word)
Summary: The elder Iron Chef falls gravely ill.
Author's Notes: Michiba was really sick during a few weeks in '95. I don't own anyone.

Dateline: June 23, 1995

Kaga had been in a headdesk position for quite some time; maybe an hour, tops. A note sat off to his right, written in pen and addressed so formally. The Chairman read it once, and vowed never to read it again. Unfortunately, he had picked his head off of the desk and read it. Again.
Dear Chairman Kaga,

I am sorry to report that I cannot battle for a while. You see, something happened over the course of the week that trumps battling against challengers. I almost feel as though my life is at stake. I feel like I’m on my deathbed, as I have fallen quite ill recently. I promise that I’ll be back on my feet before long. It’s not my fault; it’s probably due to the stress and everything about being an Iron Chef. Again, I’m truly sorry. I hope Chen-san and Sakai-san pick up the slack for me. Signed, Michiba-san

And with that, Chairman Kaga returned to his headdesk position.

“Great,” he muttered to himself. “Kitchen Stadium is screwed.”

It was then when Sakai and Chen made themselves present in front of the doorway leading to the Chairman’s office. The two Iron Chefs looked on as the other man sat there, at his desk, with his head firmly pressed onto the wood. Both chefs noticed that Kaga was either saddened or pissed off – and whichever mood he was feeling, they realized that he probably didn’t wish to share it.

Kaga lifted his head off of the desk once again, and noticed that he had company. “Guys, come in here for a minute. I need you to read something.” Kaga refused to get himself upset over the news that Michiba was taking a sick leave, but while it was unfortunate, it was also necessary. He passed on the letter from Michiba to his other Iron Chefs, who were silently told to read what their comrade had written.

“Michiba-san’s ill? No! It can’t be,” said Chen, who took it upon himself to facepalm in the Chairman’s office. “I hope he recovers soon, but we as a team are on a losing streak. We can’t afford to be dropping like flies at a time like this.” Sakai put an arm around Chen’s shoulders, in order to try to console him.

Kaga nodded. “I know, Chen-san. But this is a time when we need to bond together. You two need to come together as a team. I know you guys are close, but do me a huge favor. You need to pick up the pieces. I don’t think that Michiba’ll be gone for that long, if he recovers from this quickly. But even so, I really need you guys to just make sure that Kitchen Stadium doesn’t crumble from underneath you.”

Sakai and Chen both silently agreed.

“We’re also going to have to re-film the rising when the challenger sees the Chefs on the dais,” Kaga continued. “Even though the challenger sees only one of you guys up there, we need to do this for the television audience. They’ll only see that shot of the two of you, but everyone here knows that after that, of course there’s going to be just one of you up there.”

“No problem, Kaga-san. We’ll do our best,” Sakai confirmed. “Tell him that we wish him well, and that even though he’s down for the count, things will certainly get better.” With a smile, Kaga could only muster the courage to say, “Don’t worry, Sakai-san. I will.”

----------------------------------------

The next week, Michiba, who was still recovering from the illness that had taken over his system and kept him in his bed for the longest time, had started to move around. He had been able to get up to go to the restroom or to the kitchen for a quick snack. Though he wasn’t 100 percent, he was feeling better.

Michiba had just gotten back to his bed after a quick trip to the restroom when the phone rang. I wonder whom that is, he thought to himself, as he picked up the receiver. “Hello?” The voice on the other end of the phone was music to the Iron Chef’s ears. “Michiba-san. How are you feeling?” It was Chairman Kaga, who was calling to check up on the recovery.

“I’m doing good, Sir,” said the Iron Chef Japanese. “I’m able to get up on my feet. Not for too long, though. But I’m making some sort of progress. The doctor says I’m not ready to come back to Kitchen Stadium yet, but maybe in a week or two, I’ll be able to pop in for a visit. Maybe by next month, I’ll be able to come back as a participant.”

“Happy to hear that, Michiba-san,” Kaga replied. Michiba could see the smile on the Chairman’s face as he said that. “Listen, Sakai and Chen were hoping that you were feeling a bit better. They’ll be glad to hear about your status when we meet next week. Sakai wanted me to pass on a message. He told me that even though you were feeling down, that you were able to pick yourself right back up. ‘Things’ll get better’, he said. He promised.”

“I have nothing but sincere thanks towards my fellow Chefs, and please tell them that I appreciate their well wishes,” Michiba said, not wanting to tell Kaga that there were tears forming in his eyes.

Even though Kaga didn’t know through Michiba, he could hear it in his voice.

Thankfully, both men appreciated the encouragement.
 
 
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