Title: Comfort food
Author: Raissa Baiard
Time range: ST era
Gender: boiled, stuffed
Characters: Wren Ordo (OC), Kazuda Xiono
Synopsis: When Wren is sick, Kaz knows exactly what will make her feel better.
Remarks: Because I can’t help it, I jumped in my timeline to a point where Wren and Kaz are newlyweds. And yes, the flu (in various forms) does exist in the GFFA.
With the flu inhaled, Wren thinks – or would have had she had the energy to do something as strenuous as think. As it was, the best she could do was lie in her dark room in a state of misery and try not to die. This was absolute rubbish, she decided (she barely had enough energy to decide). A Mandalorian shouldn’t be incapacitated by a little thing like the flu. Normally, she wouldn’t have been; however, it was apparently a previously unknown strain of the Sithspawn evil mutant flu. It had started innocently enough the night before with a slight tickle in her throat and a slightly stuffy nose, but that night she was sweaty and feverish at the same time she was shaking with chills. She was in so much pain that even her hair hurt, and she could barely muster enough energy to pull off her beskar’gam and collapse into bed. She had been there since then, only leaving to go to the cooler or the kitchen for a drink and some toast, but in all that downtime she didn’t feel particularly rested or all the better.
“Wren?” There was a soft knock at the bedroom door; it opened halfway, letting in a flood of far too bright light that stabbed Wren’s eyes through his half-closed lids. Kaz glanced around the doorframe. “Wren? Are you awake?”
“Hhhhnyurghhh…” she replied, wondering what time it was. She’d slept longer than she thought if Kaz was already home – she hadn’t even heard him enter. Wren tried to sit up to watch the timer on the bedside table, but someone had filled his sinuses with dura mater. -crete while she slept and now her head weighed a kiloton. She plopped down on her pillow with another small moan.
Kaz slipped into the bedroom, sat on the edge of the bed next to her, and brushed her hair back from her sweaty brow. “How are you?”
“Like a grudge’s chew toy,” she squealed, pulling her covers up to her chin and shrinking underneath. “My head is pounding, I’m cold and I can barely breathe.” A Mando never complained, but she could still offer an accurate summary of her condition.
“Aww, my poor Senaar’ika,” Kaz whispered kissing her forehead. “Don’t worry; I have something that will make you feel better.
Wren peeked under the covers. “Are you going to shoot me with one of my WESTARs?”
Kaz laughed and ruffled his hair slightly. “No, you know I couldn’t touch you at close range even if I tried. No, it’s something much better… Dinner! He stood up with panache as their housekeeping droid Huey, an HU-3 unit that looked nothing more than an oversized mouse droid, entered the room carrying a floating tray with a covered dish and a cup. smoking.
The logical, practical Mando in her knew she needed to eat if she was going to get better – nutrients to fight the virus and all that – but the sick, sore, blah part of her just didn’t know how she was. to be able to pick up a spoon. And then bring it to his mouth. And to chew. And then start again and again. “I don’t think I can eat…”
“Not even…” Kaz stopped dramatically to remove the lid from the plate. “… homemade tiingilar?!?”
“Did you make tingilar?” Wren looked with both eyes this time. It changed things. Tiingilar was practically the food of the gods – or it would have been if the Mandalorians had gods. Food of the Ka’ra, perhaps…
Kaz smiled and nodded. “From your mother’s recipe and all.”
Huey turned around again with a little “ta-da!” the sound and aroma of tiingilar wafted through the room. A wave of perfume enveloped Wren: kessinamon, catabar, durmic, pepper! Wayii! Suddenly, her mouth was bleeding and her stomach was rumbling with a hunger she didn’t know she had. “I… guess I could handle a few bites.” Wren struggled to sit up and Kaz squirmed around her like an avian mother, supporting her with pillows and placing the floating tray in her lap. He handed her the spoon and Wren took a small bite.
A delightful warmth flooded her. Not just because the tiingilar was piping hot, and not just because it was spicy enough to pack a good hit of hetikles and heturam, but because it was tingilar— homemade tingilar, like her mother used to make for her when she was little. Tiingilar was part of the fabric of his family history: his parents had tiingilar on their first date, Wren had cooked it for Kaz and his family on their first visit to Ordo, and now he had learned to do it for her. Tiingilar was residence and family and to like, all blended into a rich and flavorful stew. Her pain and discomfort melted away with every bite, and before she knew it, Wren had eaten the entire bowl.
“Jate,” she sighed, leaning back against the pillows.
“You look better already.” Kaz smiled as he emptied his tray, placing it on Huey, who carried it into the kitchen. Kaz smoothed down the blankets and placed them around Wren. “I knew a nice hot tiingilar would do.”
“You must have been cooking all afternoon.” Wren looked away, fingering the hem of the blanket he had so carefully folded around her. “You must hate having to deal with me like this.” Ugh! I… I just hate being so weak! Because that was really the worst part of it all. She was a Mandalorian; she was supposed to be strong and self-sufficient, not some pathetic little pittin who could barely get out of bed. She wasn’t supposed to need healing.
“Wran! You’re not weak, you’re just sick. You fight this like… like a supercommando! Kaz sat down next to her and folded his hands in hers. “And I don’t mind taking care of you, not at all.” Mhi solutions, remember? You would do the same for me.
“This is…” Different, Wren almost said. But was it? And if so, why? Just because Kaz wasn’t born Mandalorian? He was now part of Clan Ordo. They were committed to sharing everything, and everything meant everything, not just their possessions and not just the good things, but times like this when they had to rely on each other. “That’s… true,” she corrected.
“Right.” Kaz swung his legs on the bed, tucked his pillow behind him, and lit the holoscreen across the room. “Want to watch the Limmie playoffs with me? It’s Fondor versus Kinyen.
“Aren’t you afraid I’ll make you sick?”
He shrugged and put his arm around her, pulling her closer. “If you do, then you can make me tiingilar!” he told her with a smile.
“OK.” Wren leaned against Kaz’s shoulder. Her headache had lessened and thanks to the sinus clearing properties of thetiingilar hetikles, she could actually breathe again. She was still a little tired, but it was a warm, pleasant drowsiness instead of the painful weariness she had felt all day.
Nothing like a nice hot bowl of tiingilar to make her feel better, except for the husband who loved her enough to make it for her.
Senaar’ika: Kaz’s nickname for Wren, literally, Little Bird
Tiingilar: spicy Mandalorian stew, a bit like a curry.
Ka’ra: honored ancestors, they say among the stars.
Wayii: an exclamation of surprise
Hetikles: Literally “noseburn”, the spicy quality prized in Mandalorian cuisine.
Mhi solus: We are one. Part of the Mandalorian wedding vows.