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Consider yourself hugged, Sophie!
Wasn't on board all the way through but wow, what a final 30 minutes! And, while it was billed as a season finale (at least by my satellite provider), it sure looked and felt like a series finale, didn't it? If this is indeed it, I sure am grateful for quite the amazing ride!
I . . . have written a lot of Gladiolus/Ignis stuff. I mean, it's canon that Gladio is sneezing all the fucking time, so why not exploit that shit? I love his sound, too. UGH. I have no idea what triggers it. It seems to be cold/rain induced, but there are times when he just randomly does it for no reason at all? But man, Ignis the care-taker plus Gladio the freakin' canon sneezer? Get out.
AN - Apologies for this having taken so long. Even with the long weekend, my schedule was insane and I'm only just now getting to it! RIP. Anyway, hope y'all enjoy this short second chapter!
A knock on Steve's door startled him, despite having been awake for the past few hours. He'd woken at 5 AM, gotten dressed, went for a brief run, and was currently sipping a smoothie he'd prepared himself. Internet, so helpful. The knock pushed him out of his thoughts.
Steve opened his door to his neighbor, who looked disheveled and half-asleep. "Hi," Steve began, "you must be 3B?"
The other man smiled gently, brushing the long, dark hair out of his eyes. "Yeah, I'm Bucky. Nice to meet you, 3A."
"Steve." he supplied, offering his hand.
Bucky accepted and they shook. "I just wanted to stop by and say thank you for the, ah, care package."
It took Steve a few seconds to recall that he'd left some assorted items outside Bucky's door. "Oh, right, right. I hope you're feeling better."
Right on cue, Bucky's nose twitched and his eyelids fluttered shut. Steve waited patiently.
"Hh'RFFSHH! Ahh... hahh..." Bucky clearly had to sneeze again and he isn't tortured for long. "Heh'KHSHOO! Ah, shid. Do you hab a t-tihhh-- tissue?" He was holding his nose with a hand when Steve remembered it was him he was talking to.
"Oh right, yeah of course, of course. Come in." He stepped aside, letting the other man in. "Bathroom's on the left."
"Thags." Bucky closed the bathroom door behind him but Steve can still here him miserably gurgling into a tissue. There was a toilet flush, followed by water running. Bucky came out of the bathroom, nose red and irritated. "Man," he commented, crossing his arms, "the water coming out of your sink is ice cold." Steve could see the goosebumps on the other man's arms and tried not to stare at his tight-fitting t-shirt.
"Oh, I'm so sorry. I forgot to mention that the pipes are backwards, so you actually have to turn the hands to the side that's labelled cold in order to get hot water."
Bucky gave him a quizzical look.
"It's weird, I know." Steve answered sheepishly. "How long have you lived here? Your plumbing is probably the same."
"Huh. I moved in about five months ago, I think. So far, I'm not impressed." Bucky's laugh sounded like a bark, which then almost instantly turned into a fit of coughing.
"That doesn't sound too good."
"It's really... fine." Bucky replied, still trying to catch his breath. "Sounds... worse than it is."
"Well," Steve said, nervously rubbing the back of his head, "you wanna sit down or something?"
Bucky nodded, holding up a finger. "Sorry, I'm gonna-- hh'SHUHHH! Hur'ESHOOO!" He stumbled backwards and dizzily found himself on the couch. "Bless you." Steve offered. "You always sneeze in two's?"
"Not always, but this cold's kicking my ahhh... ahhH! My ass." He shook his head, as if trying to clear it. "I'm sorry," he added, looking at Steve through itchy, watery eyes. "I'm absolutely shit company right now."
"No, not at all. Can I get you something? Water, coffee, tea?"
"Sure. Actually, tea sounds really nice."
"Great. Feel free to turn on the television too, the remote's on the table."
As Steve was putting the kettle on, he heard Bucky chuckle. "You've been watching Bridget Jones?"
"Yeah, I had some catching up to do."
Shit. "Yeah. I was uh, on active duty for awhile. I missed a lot."
"Oh." Bucky nodded. "It's a great series."
"I gotta ask though..." Steve began, placing the steaming cup of tea in front of Bucky. "Mark or Daniel?"
"Oh, Mark, definitely."
"Agreed." Steve sat adjacent Bucky and kicked off his shoes. "Have you seen the second film?"
Bucky shook his head before snapping forward. "Heh'SHHHH! Hehh... ehhH! Eh'TSHSHHH!"
"Bless." Steve gave him a sympathetic look. "Are you in any mood to watch?"
"Yeah, of course. Thad sounds perfecd." Bucky punctuated his reply with a very liquid sniffle.
"Hang on," Steve jumped up as the title screen presented itself, "I'll go grab the tissues."
"Thags, thad's so dice of you."
Steve was glad Bucky couldn't see his blushing face at the moment. "Sure. You want a blanket, too?"
"Whad, you've kdown be for twendy bidutes and you already kdow be so well. Id's abazing."
Steve returned with the tissues and blanket, the latter which he handed to Bucky. "Just let me know if you need anything else."
"You're a really good caretaker, you kdow thad righd?"
Steve shrugged. "It's been said a few times."
As Renée Zellweger appeared on the screen, Bucky kicked off his shoes and curled into the couch. It was around this time that Steve wished Bucky was sitting just a little bit closer to him. Close enough to put his head on Steve's shoulder, perhaps.