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Under Control (Top Gun, Rooster)


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I had a surge of inspiration and decided to do a Rooster/Hangman Sickfic. It can be read as friendship between them too, so it’s whatever you prefer. Just wanted to write a fic with Hangman being comforting with Rooster as much as possible while he’s sick with Rooster struggling with pains from the past. I hope you all enjoy!









    Hangman wasn’t quire sure how he got roped into this situation. Well, roped may have been too strong of a word. He had been voluntold to check out a flu stricken Rooster, considering he had been the only one not to check on him in the past couple days. To say he was hesitant would be an understatement, yet here he was, standing in front of his apartment with a bag filled two helpings of homemade soup from a local restraint. He stood at the door for a few minutes, debating whether or not he should just set the soup down on the welcome mat and leave.


    Before he could make a decision, the door opened to reveal a bleary-eyed Rooster, mouth gaped open so he could breathe with a blanket wrapped around his shoulders.


    “Jake,” Rooster rasped in surprise.


    Hangman rolled his eyes. “Shit, Rooster. I can hardly understand you. What have you been doing? Gargling gravel?”


    “Fuck off.” Rooster stepped aside, elbow lifted as he directed a few phlegm filled coughs into the crook.


    Hangman took the invitation and padded forward, surveying the space curiously. It was fairly minimal, which is what he had expected. There were a few pictures here and there in the living room, but other than that it looked like a typical room that any naval pilot may have.


    Rooster continued coughing as he walked to the kitchen with Hangman following. Once they arrived in, Hangman set the soup on the counter and pulled it from the bags.


    “Are you feeling any better,” Hangman questioned, not wanting to just stand in silence awkwardly while he prepared something for Rooster to eat.


    When Rooster didn’t answer, Hangman thought he was perhaps ignoring him. However, one look over his shoulder showed him Rooster standing with his mouth gaped open, head tipped backwards, and eyes unfocused. He took in a few desperate, hitching breaths before ducking his head down into the blanket.


    “Ish’Shhu! Isch’Shuu! Ichs’Shuu! Isch’Shuu! Oh dno.”


    “Bless you,” Hangman exclaimed with a small snicker. “Dude, your sneezes are hilarious. You sound like a vacuum or something.”


    Rooster ignored his jab and immediately excused himself to go to the bathroom. Hangman didn’t have to guess what happened, though he honestly couldn’t of cared less. He turned his attention to the kitchen and opened a few cabinets before finding a bowl. The silverware was a lot easier to find, and Hangman began to ladle some soup into the bowl, making sure that he placed enough chicken and vegetables in the bowl. He needed all the nutrients he could get as far as Hangman was concerned.


    When Rooster finally came back, a blush shone high on his cheeks. “Sorry,” he murmured with a sniffle.


    Hangman waved him off. “Here, you need to eat.”


    Rooster looked to the bowl of soup and was quick to shake his head. “Thanks, but I’m not hungry.”


    “Yeah, that’s not an option.” Hangman set the soup down at the counter before coming over to Rooster and wrapping an arm around his shoulders.


    Rooster tried to pull away, eyes wide. “What are you doing? Do you want to catch this?”


    “I got my flu shot. I’m good.” Hangman tightened his grip on Rooster and pulled him forward. “Now, you’re not going to leave this spot until you at least take a few bites. You gotta keep your strength up.”


    Rooster reluctantly sat down at the stool and began to thread his spoon through the broth, mixing the chicken and vegetables around. “Never knew you as a mother hen.”


    Hangman took the seat beside Rooster and reached out an elbow to jab Rooster in the ribs. “I can be caring when I want to. Besides, you’d do the same for me. Hell, you’d be even worse if Maverick is anything to go by.”


    “I don’t know about that,” Rooster muttered with a small shrug, spoon still ladling through the soup without actually eating any.


    Hangman sat back with his arms crossed over his chest. “I do. Bob had a stomach bug a couple months ago and you stayed with him until it passed. I’d sat that’s being a mother hen, which is fitting for little Rooster.”


    “Don’t ever call me that.” There was no bite in Rooster’s words—if anything he seemed to be more than slightly amused, not that he would ever tell Hangman about it.


    Hangman dropped it as he pointed to the soup. “I brought this for you to eat, not play with.”


    Rooster set down his spoon with a clatter in the bowl of liquid. “Aren’t you going to have any?”


    “I’m not the one who’s sick.”


    “So? You can have soup and not be sick.” Rooster paused to cough against his shoulder, eyes flashing momentarily in discomfort. “Besides, if you insist on being here, this flu is about to be yours.”


    “If I have some will you actually eat yours? Damn, it’s like pulling teeth here with you.”


    Smugly, Rooster nodded, a glint of determination in his eyes. While this was far from the dogfighting and training maneuvers that they usually did, there was something about this that gave Rooster an adrenaline boost. If he couldn’t fly in his jet at the moment, perhaps this could be enough to give him that added excitement he didn’t know that he had been craving.


    Hangman made a show of forcing himself to his feet and walking around the counter to grab another bowl. Once his bowl was filled, it brought it back over and sat beside Rooster. His spoon plunged into the broth and he swallowed a huge mouthful, looking expectantly over at Rooster.


    Rooster did the same, though his bite was much smaller and he winced when he swallowed.


    “Sore throat?”


    Rooster hadn’t even noticed Hangman paying that close attention. Embarrassedly, he nodded. “Just a little. It’s nothing to worry about.”


    “You know, my mom always made tea when I had a sore throat. Do you have any tea?”


    Rooster tipped his head to the side to ponder it. “Yeah, I think Maverick brought it over a while back. Top cabinet above the stove.” He gave a slight flick of his wrist before turning back to his soup, forcing another spoonful in his mouth.


    Hangman walked around the kitchen to where Rooster told him and opened the top cabinet over the stove. There he found two boxes of tea. One was chamomile, and the other was peppermint. He was certain he could recall that peppermint was the best for the flu, and grabbed that box.


    “Okay, we’re going to start with peppermint, and if that doesn’t work, we have chamomile.” Hangman shook the box and held it in front of Rooster’s view.


    Rooster suddenly stiffened and sat up straight, spoon falling back into the soup. “Put it back.”


    “I really think that peppermint would be better than chamomile to start with.”


    “Put. It. Back.”


    Hangman turned the box over. “I don’t know why you have it if you don’t want to drink it.”


    Rooster suddenly leapt up and pushed the stool back before padding over to Hangman, standing up straight with eyes narrowed. “Put it the fuck back!”


    To say that Hangman was surprised was an understatement. He had never seen Rooster react in this way before, especially over something as simple as tea. He was almost unsure what to do.


    Suddenly, Rooster grasped the box from Hangman and held it to his chest, eyes wild with fear. He fought to calm his breathing only for it to catch in his throat as he started to cough, entire body shaking as a fist was lifted to his mouth.


    Hangman instantly switched into worried friend mode and steered him back toward the stool, only backing off when Rooster was sitting down and calm. He rubbed at his back until the coughing subsided, Rooster’s face beat red and nose slightly running.


    “There we go,” Hangman murmured as he grabbed a few napkins and handed them over.


    Rooster blew his nose before throwing the napkins away, gaze unreadable. He still held the tea protectively against his chest, practically squeezing the box.


    Hangman would be lying if he said that he wasn’t at a loss of what was happening. He had never seen Rooster become this agitated before over something so trivial. He thought he knew Rooster well enough to understand what was happening, yet he didn’t.


    Rooster continued to hold the box of tea protectively while using his free hand to sip tiredly at his soup. He barely managed a quarter of the bowl before he pushed it away like a disgruntled toddler and screwed up his face in disgust.


    Hangman got the hint and took it away from him, eyes darting ever so slightly over to the tea. He had so many questions that he wanted to ask, yet felt virtually unable to. What could he possibly ask so that Rooster didn’t take offense to it?


    “Alright, temperature then bed,” Hangman announced with a clap of his hands.


    Rooster shot him a confused glance. “Who are you and what have you done with Bagman the asshole?”


    “Wow, glad to know how much you care about me, Roo.”


    Rooster stiffened. “Maverick is the only one that is allowed to call me that.”


    “My mistake.” Hangman gave a small shrug before coming over to the medicine cabinet and selecting the in the ear thermometer that looked like it was almost twenty years old. “You have to update your medicine cabinet big time, Bradshaw. The 1950s called and they want their medicine back.”


    Rooster said nothing as Hangman came over and slipped the thermometer in his ear. When it dinged, Hangman looked at the reading and clicked his tongue against the roof of his mouth.


    “How bad is it?”


    “101.8. Not as high as I thought, but still very much a fever.” Hangman set the thermometer down and looked down the long hallway. “In fact, I think rest is in order.”


    Rooster looked as though he wanted to argue until a faraway look shown on his face. His jaw gaped open as his breath began to quicken. Suddenly, he pitched to the side in steepled hands, entire body shuddering. “Ishh’Shuu! Ish’Shhu! Isch’Shuu! Isch’Shuu! Hih....ih....Ish’Shushuu!”


    Hangman winced in sympathy, especially as he could hear how the final sneeze scraped the back of Rooster’s throat and sent him coughing. “Bless you sounds like an understatement in this case.”


    Rooster shook his bashfully as he stood up from the stool and made a beeline for the bathroom, hands still covering his nose and mouth. It wasn’t long until the sound of nose blowing could be heard throughout the whole apartment.


    Hangman sighed before looking down and seeing the box of tea that must have dropped when Rooster stood up. He turned the box over in his hand, though he couldn’t see anything out of the ordinary about it. The box was just that—a box of tea.


    When the sink started to run, Hangman was quick to straighten and set the box aside, smoothing down his shirt as Rooster walked back into the kitchen, appearing even more worn out as if that was even possible.


    “Sorry,” Rooster muttered into his chest. “You shouldn’t have had to see that.”


    Hangman shrugged. “Heard worse. Now, get to bed. There’s no way that I’m going to allow myself to default to being the best just because you’re too sick to fly.”


    “Fine, fine.” Rooster lifted a fist to rub under his eye, the thickness in his sinuses only spreading. “You can show yourself out. Sorry I couldn’t be a better host.”


    Hangman waved him off. “Don’t worry about it.”


    Rooster nodded to him before shuffling over to his bedroom, coughing into his shoulder the entire way. The door closed behind him and Hangman didn’t dare move until he didn’t hear any shuffling from the room. When he was almost certain that Rooster was asleep, he reached for his phone and scrolled through his contacts until he found Maverick’s name. He clicked on his name and brought the phone up to rest against his ear and shoulder while still turning the box of tea over in his hands.


    “Seresin? That you?”


    “Um...yes, sir.” Hangman gritted his teeth, hating himself for sounding so fearful. Since when was he scared of Maverick?


    “Is there a reason you’re calling me after hours?”


    “It’s Rooster,” Hangman blurted out. “He’s sick and acting weird. I know he wouldn’t want me to call you or anything, but I just thought you should know.”


    “I’m on my way.”


    “I don’t think that you need to do that.”


    “It’ll get worse, trust me. It’ll be better if I’m there.”


    Hangman couldn’t argue with that logic, almost sure that Rooster would most definitely prefer Maverick to be there than anyone else. He just hoped that Rooster would feel the same way.


    “Yeah, yeah, maybe.”


    “How far gone is he?”




    “Has he been doing anything irrational? Has he become distant, aggressive, agitated, anything?”


    Hangman’s mind reeled as he fought to keep up with what Maverick was insinuating. “I mean, he did freak out when I tried to make him peppermint tea but—“


    “Was it the box?”


    Hangman blinked his eyes quickly. “Was it what?”


    “The box,” Maverick repeated through the phone. “Was it the tea itself or the box that he was interested in.”        


    “The box, I guess. He held it for an uncomfortable amount of time and wouldn’t let me take it or anything. It was super weird.”


    “That box was the last thing that his father bought for him before he died. Sounds stupid, I know, but it was more of a gag gift since Bradley liked the design on the outside of the box and wouldn’t let it go, so Goose bought it. It just so happened that was the last thing that he bought for him, so when he’s sick, he tends to cling to it. That just solidifies how sick he is.”


    Now it all made sense, however weird it was. Hangman gave his head a shake to clear it before shrugging. “Yeah, okay, I guess that does make sense and all.”


    “Keep him comfortable. I’m on my way.”


    Maverick hung up the call and Hangman sighed, setting his phone back into his pocket. He spent the next couple minutes thinking about what Maverick had said and Rooster’s condition before curiosity got the best of him and he couldn’t stop himself from creeping down the hall and stopping right outside Rooster’s room.


    He thought about knocking, but didn’t want to disturb him, so he reached out and turned the knob slowly before slipping in to see Rooster clinging to the edge of his bed, shaking as he shivered in his sleep.


    “Ah, Rooster. How do you get yourself in these situations?” Hangman shook his head as he continued to see Rooster shift uncomfortably in his sleep, coughing into his pillow periodically before shifting back into his original spot.


    Hangman crossed his arms over his chest as he debated exactly what he could do that would make things better for Rooster. He didn’t want to overstep his boundaries, but he couldn’t leave him like this.


    “Dad,” Rooster whimpered in his sleep. “Dad.”


    That was the final straw for Hangman. He crossed the room in no time flat and grumbled to himself as he slid onto the bed beside Rooster, hesitant to touch him. He didn’t want to overreach or anything, but even with him so close, Rooster continued to twist and turn on the bed, whimpering between congestion filled coughs.


    “Hey, hey, it’s okay,” Hangman reassured, realizing that the words that he was saying didn’t seem to carry any weight. He gave his head a small shake before reaching out and resting a hand on Rooster’s back, rubbing lightly. “Your Dad isn’t here, man. Just me.”


    ‘That’s the worst reassurance ever, Jake,’ Hangman thought to himself as he rubbed his hand against the back of his neck, relieved that Rooster wasn’t awake enough to hear what he was saying.


    “It’s okay. It’s just that fever and exhaustion doing it to you. But, Maverick will be here soon and he’ll know what to do. Or, at least I hope he knows what to do.”


    Suddenly, Rooster shifted just enough that he found Hangman’s leg and pulled it close before wrapping his arms around Hangman’s waist and resting his head on his stomach. He held him close and mumbled something that Hangman didn’t get, all while Rooster clung to him for dear life.


    “Alright, I guess that’s what we’re doing now. Never took you for a cuddler, Bradshaw, but here we are.” Hangman let out a soft laugh as he reached down and ran his fingers through Rooster’s hair, feeling him curl into the touch like a cat. It brought a smile to his face as he watched Rooster relax as though the touch was enough to soothe his thoughts and help him drift into a deeper sleep.


    Hangman stifled a yawn as he continued to look down on Rooster. “I guess we’ll be stuck like this for a while. Not so bad, if you ask me.”


    The room grew quiet as Hangman fell asleep with Rooster at his side.


    It was only about fifteen minutes later that Maverick pulled up to the apartment complex on his motorcycle and nearly jumped off, halfway to the door in no time. When he finally made it, he fumbled for the spare keys that he kept for Rooster’s apartment. He never liked to come over unannounced, and he would never use the keys unless there was an emergency, but he was certain this had to count.


    Maverick pushed the door open and headed into the kitchen, half expecting to maybe find Hangman there. When he couldn’t, he headed over to the small living area to find it empty.


    “Where did you go,” Maverick muttered to himself as he headed over to Rooster’s room. Once he headed inside, he was not prepared for what he saw.


    Rooster was nestled on his bed, entire body almost thrown over Hangman, who was snoring softly beside him. Rooster had his arms wrapped around Hangman’s middle with his head rested on his chest. Hangman’s head was craned at an awkward angle so that it was rested on Rooster’s pillow, while his mouth was gaped open as he snored noisily. It didn’t seem to bother Rooster, who only nestled deeper against Hangman when the other man moved in his sleep.


    “Would you look at that,” Maverick chuckled to himself with his hands shoved into his pockets. “It looks like you two have everything under control.”


    The End


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