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Father Figures

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Daniel and Mr. Miyagi were out on the lake respectively fishing and learning balance. Daniel was hard at his training he was a little slower than he usually was. He still was doing what Mr. Miyagi taught him over and over as he worked on muscle memory.

The truth was Daniel felt awful. He had a headache, felt hot all over, and had a sore throat. The tournament was in two weeks there was no way be could give up right now. He wasn't about to tell Mr. Miyagi that he was sick.

His mom hadn't noticed and he doubted that Mr. Miyagi would either. Daniel was glad that his mom was happy in California even if life had gotten harder for him. It wasn't like bullies weren't in New Jersey, there were just new ones.

He stumbled through the hand motions and a wave of nausea swept through him. Daniel smothered the feeling and concentrated on the karate.

A second wave came and he found himself dropping in the boat just in time to lose his meager breakfast over the side.

"I wondered when that would happen, Daniel-san." Mr. Miyagi said as he pulled the anchor up. He kept the small boat as still as possible as Daniel stared at him.

"I knew you were sick. You need to learn limits. I say no work you no listen. You listen now. Come back I take care of you and Mother come to get you," Mr. Miyagi said patiently as Daniel nodded miserably.

"Mr. Miyagi, what happens if I don't get enough training or I'm too sick for the tournament?" Daniel asked worriedly.

"You gonna get beat up. At least two-month break. If not you get better maybe win who knows? You don't have a chance at win if you no get better."

In a short time, the two of them were in the old pickup with Mr. Miyagi driving the best he could. Daniel fell asleep on the drive overhead slumped over on his arms in the corner of the window. Mr. Miyagi shook his head, young people could sleep anywhere.

The drive wasn't long and soon Daniel and Mr. Miyagi were at his house. Daniel still felt awful and now was embarrassed just by thinking about tossing his cookies at training. Mr. Miyagi pointed to the sofa and Daniel laid down on it.

Mr. Miyagi put a few pills in his hand and a glass of water in the other. Daniel gratefully swallowed them and felt a light blanket cover him. A nap didn't sound that bad right about then so Daniel closed his eyes and tried to sleep away the sickness. He would call his mom closer to the time she got off work anyway. There were a few hours to burn and he was so tired and achy. He hated getting sick.

Mr. Miyagi watched as Daniel's breathing even out. The older man felt his pupils forehead and found it to be warmer than normal. The aspirin would help and if it didn't there were many doctors in town he told himself.

He really was a foolish old man to get attached to a reckless boy. He had the markings of someone who would go far and he didn't have a father to guide him on that path.

He couldn't stand by and watch him get hurt by older boys who never were trained on how and when to do karate. He looked at Daniel and saw two paths the boy could go to the first to try and get revenge and hurt himself and others in the process. The second teach the boy and the others on when and how to do karate. He was often wrong, but not this time. Win or lose Daniel would be better than all of those boys.

Mr. Miyagi puttered quietly around his house. Daniel woke up briefly and went back to sleep soon after. His fever was up the next time he checked him. Daniel-san was young and for the most part healthy he reassured himself. He would get better.

Daniel woke up coughing a few hours later. Mr. Miyagi grabbed a trash can in time for Daniel to use it instead of the floor. Mr. Miyagi rubbed circles in the boys back as he shuddered, when he was done the old Japanese man got him a glass of water, "Daniel-san don't worry. No harm done," Daniel relaxed at the kind words.

Mr. Miyagi helped Daniel back on the sofa and then changed the trash bag. "Sleep you feel better after."

Mr. Miyagi watched as Daniel fell back asleep. He checked his temperature again and found it was higher. He would get better. Teenagers got sick all the time and bounced right back. It felt so odd to care about a Daniel like this.

Daniel was still asleep when the clock hit five, Mr. Miyagi was ready to call Lucille but didn't get the chance when she called

"Mr. Miyagi do you know where Daniel is? He was opposed to meet me after work and he's not here."

"Oh, he is here. He got sick and I was watching him until you got off from work," Mr. Miyagi explained before he rattled off his address.

Mr. Miyagi woke Daniel up gently as he shook the cushions. Daniel opened his eyes wildly looking around until his eyes settled on Mr. Miyagi.

"Mother is on way over. How you feel Daniel-san?" he asked as he felt his forehead again.

"Like I've been hit with a truck. Sorry, about that today I really thought I was going to be okay," Daniel apologized.

"Is important to learn limits. Just don't be defined by them," Mr. Miyagi told him as he helped Daniel sit up. This time he didn't look like he was going to be sick. Mr. Miyagi felt Daniel's forehead and was pleased to see that it wasn't as warm as it had been.

"When you not sick we pick up training. You have time."

"Yeah, sure. Let's hope I don't get killed."