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Stubborn Is As Stubborn Does (Top Gun, Iceman)


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I had an idea for this story (and also can’t get enough of sick Ice) so I decided to start writing it and see where it took me. Definitely fluff heavy in this one, but I think we could all use a little fluff now and again with some comfort characters, so that’s what I tried to do in this story. I hope you all enjoy!







    Maverick winced as he heard Ice fall into his third coughing fit of the evening after he sat down at the dining room table to finish a speech for an upcoming ceremony. He was speaking in front of nearly 200 people and while public speaking wasn’t one of his fears whatsoever, it was still daunting and he wanted it to be perfect. There was no talking him out of it once he started either, that much Maverick had learned long ago.

    Too bad Ice had come down with a truly killer cold a few days prior. It had started out relatively mild with just a sore throat and some congestion, but day three brought him into the worst symptoms yet with a low grade fever and horrible coughing fits. Maverick had done everything in his power to urge Ice to take it easy and stay in bed, but Ice had been determined to finish what he started, cold be damned. 

    Maverick stifled a sigh when he heard Ice cough once more, this time grabbing a glass of juice and bringing it up to his lips, still coughing around it. 

    That was the final straw for Maverick. He turned off the TV and set the remote down on the coffee table before rising to his feet and heading over to the dining room table. Ice was still hunched over, coughing into a fist.

    “Ice, honey,” Maverick started as he slipped behind him and rubbed a hand over his back, hoping that it would bring at least some comfort to him.

    Ice suddenly sucked in a breath and reached for a box of tissues, bringing a bundle up to his face as his breathing shook. “ITchsShiew! Itchs’Shiew! Itchs’Shiew! Itchs’Shiew! Shiew! Shiew! Shiew! Itchs....Itcsh’Shiew!” The final sneeze scraped against his throat and left him struggling to blow his nose thanks to the pressure that was searing through his sinuses.

    Maverick continued to rub his back, eyes averted while his jaw clenched. “Bless you. Those sounded like they hurt,” he commented.

    Ice gave a small shrug. “A little,” he replied, voice raspy and phlegm filled.

    “Do we need to go in?”

    Ice set the used tissues down and sighed as he reached his hand that he hadn’t held the tissues in around his chest to grasp Maverick’s hand. Maverick felt his hand grow heavy as Ice lifted it from around him and pulled Maverick to the side, motioning to the chair right beside him.

    Maverick didn’t hesitate to slip down into it, unwilling to release Ice’s hand. His eyes were locked on the table, head shaking when he felt Ice whisper his name.

    “Mav, please,” Ice whispered painfully after a few moments of trying.

    Maverick forced his head up if only so that Ice didn’t risk causing himself anymore discomfort. That was always the last thing that Maverick ever wanted.

    “Sweetheart, it’s just a cold,” Ice continued, coughing into his shoulder painfully. “I promise. There’s nothing that you need to worry about.”

    Maverick narrowed his eyes. “Anything that causes you pain, I don’t like. You can’t sit there and tell me that it doesn’t hurt your throat!” 

    As soon as the words were out of Maverick’s mouth, he wished that he could take them back. His head ducked back into his shoulders while his eyes closed tightly. “I didn’t—“

    “Alright, I won’t lie then,” Ice replied patiently. He reached up a hand to touch the scar that he had on the undersides of his throat where his tracheotomy had taken place before feeling around to the side where they had went in to take the tumor from his throat. Both caused regular discomfort daily, but sickness had made everything even more irritated, swollen, and painful than usual. It had been something he had wanted to hide as much as possible from Maverick since he was sure this was how he would react. Unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be a possibility anymore. 

    Maverick frowned at what he saw. He wasn’t scared of Ice’s scars—the opposite really if Maverick was behind honest with himself—though he knew the memories that Ice had attached to them. The physical and mental scars took a toll nearly everyday without fail.

    “It is sore, but it’s nothing that I can’t handle. It’s a cold, not cancer. Just a stubborn illness,” Ice continued, voice barely above a whisper.

    “You don’t know that,” Maverick whispered half to himself. He forcefully lifted his left hand and rubbed against both eyes, forcing the moisture aside. “What if it comes back and this is the first sign? You scans aren’t until another couple months and what if they—“

    “Hey, hey.” Ice grunted as he lifted off his seat and scooted it forward. He only stopped when his legs almost touched Maverick’s as he settled back down. “I’m telling you there is nothing to worry about. You had this bug first and then I caught it. Simple as that.”

    Horror flashed across Maverick’s face and Ice instantly realized he had said the wrong thing.

    “Not that it was your fault or anything! These things just happen, Mav. We’re around so many people at work it could’ve come from anyone. And, yes, it is a little painful on my throat, but that’s all that it is. We’re dealing with a cold and scar tissues, not that it came back.” Ice gave a strong sniff as his consonants were beginning to sound soft. “Alright? That’s all.”

    Maverick still didn’t look fully convinced, but he managed a small nod. His free hand still shook on his knee while the other gripped Ice’s surely, worried that if he let go he may lose what he had come to rely on for grounding.

    Ice, ever intuitive to Maverick feelings, brought Maverick’s hand up and pressed a small kiss on one of his knuckles. His thoughts screamed at him about getting Maverick sick, despite this being Maverick’s cold to begin with, but helping Maverick through this episode was top priority. 

    “Can you at least come to the couch where I can look after you,” Maverick mumbled into his chest.

    Ice’s gaze flickered to the paper in front of him. “Honey, I have to finish this.”

    Maverick’s gaze hardened. “You should be resting.”

    “I only have a paragraph or so left.” Ice broke off to cough, dropping Maverick’s hand in favor of bringing his elbow to his face and turning as far away from Maverick was possible. He was well aware of Maverick’s piercing gaze on him without even having to look. The harsher the coughs, the more Maverick winced.

    Ice managed to pull himself out of it and reached for a tissue. He brought it up to his nose and blew hard, pleased to find that the congestion had shifted enough for him to at least partially clear his nose so that he could breathe. It was a vicious cycle that he wasn’t about to break; congestion would come back and leave him unable to breathe through his nose until he blew it again. That was just how it went these days.
    “Mav,” Ice began before clearing his throat. “I’m a little bit hungry. Do you think you can make me some scrambled eggs?”

    Maverick immediately jumped to his feet, relieved to have something to do to focus all of this pent up energy. “Sure! Do you want toast with that?” 

    Ice shook his head. “I think that would be too rough on my throat.”

    Maverick nodded, realizing how obvious that answer was. Luckily, he shook his head to clear it and headed into the kitchen, murmuring under his breath about what he could add to the eggs to build up Ice’s strength.

    Relief washed over Ice when he heard Maverick get to work. It wasn’t that he minded when his boyfriend fussed over him, but for Maverick’s sake, Ice was glad he had something to focus that jittery energy on.

    While Maverick went into cook mode, Ice continued to type, the conclusion coming together much more than he originally thought. It would still need to be heavily edited—from someone other than himself who may not pick up on his mistakes.

    Ice’s nose began to run while he was on his final sentence. He gabbed another tissue and went to blow his nose only for a sneeze to completely sneak up on him. “Itcsh’Shiew! Itcsh’Shiew! ITcsh’Shiew! Itcsh’Shiew! Itscsh’Shiew! Shiew! Shiew! Shiew! Shiew!” Ice gave a brief pause, nearly holding his breath desperately until the itch finally worked itself out. “Hitchs’Shiew!” Ice blew his nose in the aftermath, eyes watering and throat screaming in protest. 


    Ice turned his head as Maverick rushed over and rested a hand on Ice’s back as he crouched down beside him. “Those sounded like they hurt,” Maverick fretted.

    Ice gave a thick cough. “I’b alrighdt. Id passed.”

    Maverick hummed to himself and continued rubbing Ice’s back. A troubled look passed over his face as he looked anywhere besides Ice.

    Ice couldn’t help but sigh as he rested one hand on the table and attempted to stand. Maverick was right there, urging him to sit back down despite Ice’s attempts.

    “Mav, I jusdt dneed to go do the bathroob,” Ice reassured softly. “I’ll be righdt back.”

    Maverick opened his mouth to argue only to snap it closed as he rose to his feet. He said nothing as he drew back to give Ice space before slipping back into the kitchen silently before the eggs could burn.

    Ice grunted as he braced both arms on the table to force himself up. This was something that Ice had perfected after going through physical therapy after his chemo and radiation, but it was as though this sickness had transported him right back to that horribly familiar time when he couldn’t rely on his own two legs to take him anywhere. He hoped to have left all that behind and feeling it come back with a vengeance over something as simple as a virus had Ice more annoyed than anything.

    He was well aware that Maverick’s eyes were on him as he shuffled down the hallway. He couldn’t blame him for worrying when they had been through so much as a couple. Ice would never admit how much he was thankful for Maverick, and Maverick would never confess just how worried he had been about the possibility of Ice’s cancer to spread and become too aggressive to fight.

    It took longer than Ice would’ve liked for him to slip into the bathroom and close the door behind him, leaving it unlocked. He took another step unit he was standing over the sink, arms extended and hands gripping the edge so tightly that Ice was worried he may break it. 

    Ice suddenly began to cough and he brought his elbow to his mouth, body throw forward harshly with each hack. Spears of pain seemed to slice through his lungs and throat every time he coughed, making even breathing a hazard. Ice clutched his free hand into a fist and lightly struck the marble vanity, imaging it crumbling to dust under him.

    The fit passed surprisingly mercifully and Ice was left just spitting in the sink. Nose wrinkling, Ice turned on the faucet to wash away the evidence, more than relieved that Maverick wasn’t around to witness that.

    Ice grunted to himself at the taste in his mouth before reaching to the corner of the sink where they always kept a box of tissues for when Ice’s allergies acted up. He pulled three free and stacked them before bringing them up to his nose and blowing, entire face seeming to throb with the effort.

    Ice threw the tissues away afterwards and went to wash his hands thoroughly. Maverick had been all over him since he had come down sick, so Ice was almost certain that washing his hands would be futile. However, it was polite and perhaps it would stop Maverick from catching whatever it was that Ice was facing.

    After drying his hands on a nearby towel hanging from one of the hooks outside the shower, Ice forced himself to the door and opened it. 

    He could detect the faint smell of something through his congestion filled sinuses. He took a few experimental sniffs and frowned when he realized that his nose was far too clogged to do this properly. Instead, he strolled forward and back to the table to see that Maverick was placing his foot on the table followed by a large glass of orange juice.

    Maverick glanced up when he heard Ice approaching. “You okay,” he questioned. “I heard you coughing.”

    Of course he had. This was Maverick after all; he was observant to a fault, not that he would ever confess that.

    Ice forced a tired smile as he took a seat where he had been sitting before, trying to stop himself from coughing at all costs. He wasn’t sure he could handle another fit.

    Maverick didn’t appear convinced as he pushed the eggs and juice closer. “It’s alright if you don’t finish the eggs, but you need to drink all that orange juice. Gotta keep you hydrated.”

    “Yes, doctor,” Ice teased fondly as he scooped up a forkful of eggs and brought it up to his mouth. He chewed and swallowed them with little trouble, though it wasn’t exactly painless. He chased the eggs down with a large gulp of orange juice.

    Once Maverick was certain that Ice was going to eat what was placed in front of him, Maverick went back to tidying the kitchen. He placed the pan that he had cooked the eggs in the dishwasher while placing the half carton of orange juice back into the fridge. He made a mental grocery list of things he could grab when he went to the store later for more cough drops and NyQuil. 

    Ice allowed Maverick to busy himself in the kitchen while he ate, relieved that Maverick wasn’t hovering over him while he ate. He had been known to do so, especially when the doctors had placed a feeding tube when Ice refused to swallow. They had come a long way and neither Ice nor Maverick wanted to go back there. 

    He managed to finish almost all of the eggs, but he did drink all the orange juice. He felt the food weigh heavily in his stomach and grimaced at the sensation. Ice then pushed the plate away, as though if he eyed them for much longer, his stomach would end up rebelling.

    After cleaning the kitchen, Maverick came over to the table and eyed what Ice had left on his plate. “Do you want anything else to eat?”

    Ice shook his head adamantly. “I’m alright, but thank you. It was very good.”

    “You can’t even taste anything,” Maverick pointed out with an amused roll of his eyes.

    “Doesn’t mean that it wasn’t good.” Ice coughed with his mouth closed. “And I finished my speech. Now I just need to send it to Slider to proofread.”

    “What about me?”

    “As I said, I will email it to Slider.”

    Maverick chuckled and nudged Ice fondly. “Alright, not that your speech is done it’s time to get you into bed.”

    “I thought you wanted me to go to the couch,” Ice clarified, head tipped to the side.

    Maverick leaned over and kissed the top of Ice’s head. “We were, but I think you need the bed more than the couch. I can practically feel how tired you are.”

    Ice wasn’t about to argue that when Maverick was completely correct. He felt like when he blinked that if he closed his eyes for too long, he would fall into a deep sleep. He hated how much sickness always zapped his energy, but a nap sounded like an ideal choice after eating and finishing his speech. 

    “Alright, if you say so.” He pushed back on the chair and rose to his feet slowly, feeling the ache settle deep into his bones. 

    Maverick was beside him in an instant, shoulder to shoulder as he held Ice by the waist, or at least tried to. Their height difference made it a little challenging, but Maverick didn’t dare back down, using his strength to make sure that Ice didn’t falter. 

    They were halfway down the hall when Ice suddenly let out small cough followed by some hitching breaths. His eyes began to water as he tried to turn away from Maverick, but Maverick continued to hold on, unsure if he let Ice go that he would remain on his feet.

    “Maaaahih....” Ice furiously shook his head until he was forced to turn into his shoulder—the one that was farthest from the hovering Maverick—and press his head forward. “ItcshShiew! Itcsh’Shiew! ItcSH’Shiew! ITcsh’Shiew! Esih’Shiew! Esih’Shiew! ITcsh’SHiew!” Ice gave his head a stubborn shake at the end, suddenly feeling dizzy.

    “Woah, those were big,” Maverick commented, grip still strong around Ice. “Or at least strong for you. They still seem light compared to mine.”

    “I’ll trade you,” Ice flashed. “You cad have bine and I’ll take yours. Ad leasdt I could sneeze once and be dode with id.”

    Maverick chuckled as he turned to press a kiss onto Ice’s tense shoulder. “I can see someone is a little grumpy about it. C’mon, Ice, your sneezes are cute.”

    “Thadt’s dnot even a thing.” He coughed wetly toward his chest, nose starting to run. 

    Maverick noticed and took pity on him as he nodded to the their bedroom. “They’re cute to me, or maybe it’s just that everything you do is sexy.” He let out a low growl and nuzzled his shoulder.

    Although subtle, it brought a tired smile to Ice’s face. If he had anymore strength, he would’ve reacted right back to Maverick, but the exhaustion was too much; he needed to focus on walking, not playing.

    Once they entered the room, Maverick helped Ice over to the bed and set him down lightly on his side, only when he was sure that Ice wasn’t about to fall did he remove his arm from around his waist.

    “I’b dnot glass, Bav. I’b dnot goig to break,” Ice reminded him, wrist coming up to brush the undersides of his moisture ridden nostrils.

    “I know.” There was no real conviction in Maverick’s voice, just the radiating worry that seemed to come off of his body. “I just worry about you.”

    “I dknow you do, add thadt’s okay.”

    Maverick got to work almost instantly, helping Ice swing his legs into the bed and stacking a few pillows behind him so that he could sit up instead of laying completely flat. He adjusted the sheet and comforter, making a mental note for himself to check Ice’s temperature to make sure that could still have the covers on him. He didn’t waste anytime in grabbing the remote for the TV and placing it beside Ice along with a glass of water from the previous night onto his nightstand that Ice hadn’t touched yet. A box of tissues was next, which Maverick hoped Ice would use since his congested voice was getting harder and harder to decipher what he was trying to say. Head spinning, Maverick stood rigid for a few moments as he thought about what else Ice could possibly need.

    “Whadt are you forgedding,” Ice asked curiously.

    Maverick crossed his arms over his chest. “I know I’m forgetting something. What else am I missing,” he muttered, half to himself.

    “I dknow.”

    Maverick’s head snapped up, eyes glowing in relief. 

    Ice reached over and lifted the covers on Maverick’s side of the bed, a pleading look on his face. 

    Maverick couldn’t help but chuckle and he didn’t hesitate to rush over and crawl into bed and scoot toward Ice, not even caring that he was in jeans and a t-shirt. 

    The two migrated toward the middle with Maverick making sure that he was sitting up straight so that when Ice rested his head on his shoulder, he would still be elevated.

    Ice snuggled against Maverick’s shoulder, breathing noisily out of his mouth. 

    “This okay,” Maverick questioned, reaching down to brush his fingers against Ice’s knuckles, each callous and cut truly a framework for what Ice had been through over the years.

    Ice hummed to himself. “This is bore than okay.”

    “You’ll let me know if you need anything?”

    Ice gave Maverick a look, one that Maverick could practically feel without him looking down at Ice.

    “Okay, okay, I won’t do anything until you ask.” He planted a small kiss on the top of Ice’s head, relishing in the feel of Ice’s hair brushing against his lips. It was finally growing back, and although he still had thinner patches, he knew how much more confident Ice was now that his hair was coming back.

    Ice could feel Maverick lingering and he let him without so much as moving a muscle. Or at least he tried until he started to cough and he was forced to lift a fist to cough into, body shuddering with each hack.

    Maverick immediately sprang into action and helped Ice sit up the rest of the way while he rubbed his back, adding more pressure periodically as he watched Ice struggle with this coughing fit.

    When it finally passed, Ice’s nose twitched as the congestion shifted. It was an unpleasant feeling if he was being honest, especially since it was a precursor to what was coming.

    Ice managed to pull a few tissues free from the box that Maverick had set beside them. He folded them one on top of the other just as he brought them up to his face where his breathing continued to hitch.

    “TIchs’Shiew! ITcsh’Shiew! Itcshs’Shiew! Escish’Shiew! Escsh’Shiew!” Ice tried to blow his nose in the middle of the fit to no avail. “Tics’Shiew! Shiew! Shiew! EchShiew! EsciShiew! Escshiew! Eschshiew! EscshShiew! Itcsh’Shiew!”

    Maverick rubbed his back through the entire fit. Although Ice had always been a rapid sneezer with fits often in the double digits, it didn’t mean that Maverick wasn’t worried about it.

    Ice traded in the used tissues for new ones, blowing his nose a handful of times until he could finally breathe easier and the itch had been pushed to the back of his sinuses until the next bout of sneezing plagued him.

    “Bless you!”

    Ice waved him off. “I don’t know why you insist on doing that. It’s not like I sneeze once or twice. Best to save your breath.” Ice wrinkled his nose, trying to ignore the growing itch that he felt rising inside of him.

    “You know I can’t do that. You’re just too damn cute not to bless.” Maverick tilted his head and went in for a kiss, but Ice drew back sharply despite Maverick’s pout of protest. 

    “You’ll get sick,” Ice protested. “And then that would be my fault.”

    Maverick decided not to point out the fact that they had been sharing the same space for quite sometime and that sickness was inevitable for both for them to transmit to each other. Knowing that may send Ice over the edge, Maverick settled for lifting once of Ice’s hands and kissed the back of it as he saw a blush appear on Ice’s face. “This alright?”

    “Little late to ask that,” Ice joked.

    Maverick couldn’t help but laugh as well as he set his hand back down and scooted closer to take Ice’s weight once more. 
    Ice didn’t hesitate to go limp against Maverick, arms reached out to pull Maverick close as he found a position that allowed him to lay nearly on top of Maverick as well as allowing him to wrap his arms around him, a definitive way that Ice could make sure that Maverick would stay with him, though he knew that he didn’t need to. Maverick wouldn’t leave and that was something that Ice could always count on.

    “Comfortable,” Maverick questioned, voice a breathy whisper.

    Ice nodded, unwilling to make any sounds that would aggravate his still sore throat. 

    Maverick took that as all the confirmation that he needed. He turned the TV to some old action movie as he felt Ice begin to drift off to sleep beside him.

The End

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