Good For What Ails You

“What´s in it?’ Jim sniffed suspiciously at the shot glass full of ruby liquid Blair offered him.

“See if you can figure it out.’ Blair encouraged, waving the tiny vessel a little under Jim´s usually sensitive, but now stuffy nose.

“I´m not in the mood to play ‘what illegal substance is Sandburg shoving down my throat this week´.’ Jim groused. “I´m a sick man, don´t screw with me.’ As if to punctuate that complaint, a rattling cough erupted from his chest.

“Naasty.’ Blair was not unsympathetic, but he unobtrusively avoided the line of fire and handed Jim a tissue.

“Thanks.’ Jim said miserably through is nose. He sneezed. “I´m not taking that shit until I know what´s in it.’ He set his jaw stubbornly, frowning.

“You can´t tell?’ Blair asked. “Not even the base of it?’

“I´ve got a head full of sludge,’ Jim growled. “There could be PCP or toxic waste in there and I couldn´t tell right now.’

“Geez, give a guy a little peyote and he´s suspicious for life.’ Blair rolled his eyes and teased. “There are no gray areas for you, are there?’

“He mocks my pain.’ Jim uttered plaintively to a non-existent audience and sniffed loudly.

“Um, nobody here but the medicine man, Jim.’ Blair looked around, just in case. Jim smiled.
“Just take it like a good boy and I´ll stop bugging you, okay?’ Blair offered the shot glass again.

“No, not until I get the toxicology report back from the lab.’

“Okay, okay, it´s just a super immune system booster. Extract of elderberries, honey, ginseng, echinacea, and a big dose of Vitamin C. Happy? Now drinkie, drinkie for Blair. Then poor tired Blair can quit getting woke up by Jim´s hacking and coughing all night.’ Blair sat the glass on the coffee table and folded his arms.

“That´s all?’ Jim asked disbelieving. He picked up the glass and stared in it as if he could divine it´s content by sight alone. Maybe he could, thought Blair, momentarily.

“That´s it.’ Blair replied. “Cross my heart and hope to die, but not of your damned cold.’ He made an “X’ over his heart. “Come on, man, trust me. Scouts honor, it´s good stuff.’

“If you were a Boy Scout, I´m Barbara Bush´s mustache.’ Jim muttered.
He brought the glass to his lips and paused.

“Don´t you need to shake a bone over me or something for this to work?’

“You couldn´t handle my bone right now,’ Blair retorted, waggling his hips suggestively.

“Tease.’ Jim uttered hoarsely. He screwed up his face expectantly and downed the concoction in one swallow.

“Good, huh?’ Blair asked, coming to sit down beside the older man. He reached up and began massaging tense neck muscles.

“Actually, not bad.’ Jim admitted, smacking his lips. “Not bad at all. What´d you say was in this?’ He leaned into the massage, the touch familiar, cherished, closing his eyes and allowing the tension to leech from his body.

“Elderberry extract, honey, ginseng, echinacea, vitamin C. Oh, and opium.’

“What!’ Jim started, eyes snapping open as Blair jumped back, laughing.

“Just kidding man!’ Blair raised his hands defensively as Jim lunged for him, pinning him to the sofa.

“You little shit!’

“OH, my god, no, no, no tickling, no, oh, not there, ah…shit!’

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