“You really don't have to stay with me you know, I'm only going to end up getting you sick if you do. Then we'll both just be miserable.” After a long time of fighting it off, your body had finally given in to the dreaded flu. Your muscles ached, your head was pounding, you were freezing and hot at the same time, and you could barely breathe through your nose.
“I'm not going to leave you, and I'm not going to get sick either. I'm supposed to take care of you.” Rome crossed his arms and grinned. “Besides, I don't think I can even get sick.” He rubbed your head and wrapped you up tight in a warm, fluffy blanket. “Now, you should rest, I'll go make you something hot. It should help your throat feel a little better.” After giving you a wink, Rome made his way to your kitchen to cook.
“You don't need to make me food. I can make my own food.” If you weren't so lightheaded, you would have chased after him. “What if I just order pizza or something?” He didn't respond, only continued to cook. Realizing there was no arguing with him, you snuggled yourself deep into the couch, placing a pillow over your head. You felt your eyelids grow heavy and your body sink into the cushions of the couch. With the quiet sound of Rome humming as your lullaby, you quickly drifted off to sleep. What seemed like only seconds later, the smell of potato soup woke you up. You were surprised you could even smell it with your nose as stopped up as it was.
“Have a nice little nap?” Rome placed a bowl of still steaming hot soup on the wooden coffee table next to you and held out a spoon. “Now, it's still hot, but that is the best way to eat it, so hurry and dig in.” He helped you sit up and handed you the spoon.
“You're making me feel like a big baby you know.” A slight blush spread over your face. “You don't need to stay here and take care of me. I'm just a little under the weather is all. I'm sure I'll be better in no time.”
Rome ignored your comment and sat down next to you on the couch. “Why aren't you eating yet? Do you not like my cooking? Or maybe, are you too weak to feed yourself?” Quickly grabbing the spoon back from you, he dipped it into the bowl and brought it back to your mouth. “I'll just have to feed you then.” Not knowing what to say, you accepted the food he offered. Slowly, a grin appeared on his face. You started to wonder what he was smiling about.
The more you ate, the wider his smile grew. “Rome, that smile of yours is just a little bit unnerving you know. It's starting to freak me out, just a little. You didn't do something, weird to the food did you?” A quiet chuckle escaped Rome at your question.
“Something, what kind of something do you think I would do to your food?” He raised an eyebrow at your odd question. “I can tell you all the ingredients I used, if it will make you feel any better.” Rome gave you a caring smile as he brushed your messy hair back and away from your face.
Suddenly you felt very sheepish, and almost bad for suggesting he would do anything like strange. “N-no, that's okay. But really, why are you smiling like that?”
“I always smile when I'm around you, because, you make me happy.” His happy smile was now accompanied by a small blush. “It sounds all cheesy, I know.” Rome laughed. “But, it's very, very true.” He snuggled you close and rested his face in your shoulder. “So, are you feeling any better yet? That is a secret family recipe, just for the flu. It's guaranteed to make you well again in no time.”
Honestly, you did feel a lot better. You hadn't even noticed that your dizziness was gone, or that you could breathe through your nose again. “I do actually. What did you put in there?”
Rome stroked his chin and thought. “I suppose I could tell you. You aren't part of the family yet, but, you will be soon.” He pulled a small piece of paper from his pocket and handed it to you. “Now, you can't tell Romano or Italy, or anyone else for that matter. This is a secret, only you and I can know about.”
You looked over the recipe for anything uncommon or strange. “But, there's nothing even a little bit special about this recipe. I'm pretty sure it's the exact same one that's on the back of the soup can.” You were more than a little confused. “So, is there a secret ingredient you add to this or what?”
“Nope. That's it, that's all there is to it.” After pulling you onto his lap and snuggling you tight, Rome gave your cheek a quick kiss. “I told you it would make you feel better. Potatoes make everyone feel better. That and tomatoes, but you didn't have any tomatoes. I'll have to go buy you some.”
Your jaw dropped. “You tricked me. You used the power of suggestion, to make me feel better. I don't know if that's impressive, or slightly mean.”
“It's not mean, I do it to Italy and Romano all the time. And maybe, one day, I'll do the same to our kids.” He rubbed a blushing, unshaven cheek against yours. “I just made everything very awkward I see.” Rome cleared his throat and gave a nervous laugh. “Well, I'll go get those tomatoes now. There's more soup on the stove if you want it.” He sat you back down on the couch and started to make his way out the front door. Before leaving, he turned around and spoke to you, still blushing and embarrassed. “By the way. Romano and my little Italy want me to ask you something. Do you want them to call you Grandma or Nana?”