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A private board for younger members to discuss any topic in private, away from adults' or guests' abilities to read or post. Note: This forum is NOT a Snake Pit. Details of gaining entry can be found here.
I cannot get enough of the ladies of A.P. Bio so I decided to infuse some of their fun dialogue into this oneshot. Sen Beret and I totally agreed that they would not let Jack suffer in silence if he showed up to school sick. I hope you all enjoy!
“I don't get why, when the coach asks for a toaster oven, the lounge gets a toaster oven, but when I ask to light candles at my desk, I get denied by Durbs.” Stef shook her head; the other ladies followed suit, Michelle frowning sympathetically. “He catches those damn pizzas on fire at least twice a week. We had the fire department here again on Monday. He should be going to those firebug seminars.”
“Girl, it is so unfair,” Mary said. “Sometimes this place can be a total boys club.”
“If the rumors are correct, and I suspect they are,” Jack said, from his place on the couch in the corner of the room where he been reading and sniffling softly for the last ten minutes, “you have a penchant for burning more than just candles.”
“That was Mary, and she set a purse on fire,” Stef said, speaking with the certainty of someone who was there at the time. “It's not a penchant if it only happened once.”
“It was contained almost immediately,” Mary added. “The purse was the only casualty.”
“And my money…”
“Why are you always bringing that up, Michelle? I paid you back.”
“You can never repay the emotional loss of the cutest handbag I've ever owned!”
“Oh, please! You hated that bag.”
Stef was quiet as the other two argued back and forth. Except for when he injected himself into their conversation just now, Jack was unusually quiet today. He had one of his books, but even that wasn't gripping him; he hadn't turned the page once since he sat down ten minutes ago. When she saw him rub at his temples and wince, and considered how congested he sounded, she finally put two and two together.
“How are you feeling, Jack?” she asked, enjoying the confused look he gave her. “Wishing you got that flu shot right about now?”
“I got mine today,” Michelle said, pulling her sleeve up to show them the proof. “And I got smiley sticker.”
“Honey, you gave blood,” Mary reminded her. “That's a different thing.”
“She's a little lightheaded because I ate her snack,” Stef admitted. “But let's get back to Jack.”
Jack pursed his lips and flipped to the next page of his book. His eyes never seemed to refocus on the words. “What about Jack?” he asked, his voice gruff.
“Don't think we don't hear you sniffling over there trying to pretend like you're not sick as a dog.”
The other ladies clearly hadn't noticed, but they were looking him up and down now. Mary “mmm”ed in agreement.
“Please do not compare me to a dog,” Jack requested, politely but firmly.
“Fine, you not-so-sly little fox.”
“Too close. Still dog-like.”
“He's getting you off topic,” Mary said. “Jack, you have a civic duty to let us know if you're sick so we can stay away from you.”
“Where do you think I would be if I was sick?” His gaze lingered on each of them as he proposed the question. “Huh? Here, listening to you fine individuals complain about a toaster oven we get to use, for free, or at home, in bed, alone?”
The more he spoke, the weaker he made his own case. The other girls looked so skeptical that Stef knew they could hear it in his voice, too; Jack was definitely down with something.
“Do you even have any sick days left?” Michelle asked. Jack visibly faltered, his unspoken lie breaking down completely as the other teachers began to verbally dogpile him.
“Alright, alright…” He said, the ladies settling down as they awaited his confession. He sighed, still wrestling with the idea of revealing the truth, but in the end honesty prevailed. “I do have a bit of a tickle in my throat.”
The table erupted with overlapping commentary. “But I'm fine,” he insisted loudly. “If I'm fighting something, I'm winning by a landslide.”
“What are your symptoms?” Mary asked, pulling the Web MD app on her phone. “I'll tell you if you're dying. You could be dying and not even know it.”
Jack gave Mary an exasperated look, but Stef became its second recipient when she began responding for him.
“Clearly this poor man's got the sniffles,” she said, as if he wasn't sitting ten feet away from them. “His nose is so red.”
The rest of him seemed to get red when she said that, even more so when the others glanced over to examine him some more. He muttered something they couldn't hear and shook his head, sniffling against his index finger as he pretended to return to his book.
“Do you have a fever?” asked Michelle.
“I don't know, I don't own a thermometer.”
“Well, do you feel warm?”
“I don't know,” he snapped, grabbing a napkin from the table in front of him.
“Runny nose, cranky,” Mary said, typing on her phone. “Web MD says you're being a baby.”
The other ladies laughed. “Don't forget the sore throat,” Stef added, earning a half-hearted glare from Jack.
“He looks like he might have to sneeze, too,” Michelle observed.
“How do you surmise that?” he asked, keeping his voice steady, but Mary spoke right over him.
"Look at him, he totally has to sneeze. Do you think that tiny little napkin’s gonna be enough?”
“Is this some kind of mind game?” His nostrils did flare in annoyance, which, along with the napkin he clutched like a lifeline, did little to help his image. “If so, I want no part of it.”
Stef said nothing. She just watched as Jack slowly crumbled, finally waving the metaphorical white flag. When his lips parted again it wasn't to make a snide comment, but to draw in a shaky breath. She had the pleasure of watching his eyes flutter shut and his legs uncross as he moved himself towards the edge of the couch, his napkin clenched around his nose. The sneeze that followed was more squeak than roar, the bottled up breath escaping in a rough sigh.
“What in the hell was that, Jack?” she exclaimed, overlapping with Mary's “Really?” and Michelle's “Awww…” That girl always did go off in her own direction.
He sneezed again, more fiercely this time, as if to compensate for the deficiencies of the first one. Somehow in that half a second between sneezes he managed to lower the napkin, clearly not expecting another sneeze to sneak up so suddenly. He sneezed down towards his hands, an inefficient method of covering, but the only one he could think of under pressure.
“Damn.” Mary sounded equal parts impressed and disgusted.
“Now that's more like it,” Stef said, nodding in approval.
“Just remember to cover properly,” Michelle added, planting her nose in the crook of her arm to demonstrate. “We practice safe sneezing here at Whitlock.”
He laughed, then coughed, the sound crackling in his chest like static. “You're kidding, right?” he asked, as it became obvious that Michelle wasn't joking. “Whatever. I'm done, anyway.”
“You are done, because your germy ass is going home,” Mary said, tapping frantically on her phone. “I'm asking Durbs to cover for you. Sick days be damned, we cannot have you in here doing what you're doing right now.”
When Stef looked over to see what she was talking about she caught Jack in the middle of his third sneeze. The last thing he saw before it forced his eyes shut was Michelle, gesturing to the crook in her arm. To his credit, he made the effort to maneuver his arm up to his face, and just in time. It was a thunderous sneeze, muffled into a reasonable volume against the soft fabric of his sweater. This time the ladies all blessed him, Michelle even tossing in a little clap of gratitude.
Jack shuddered, sniffling wetly as he tentatively lowered his arm. “God, that feels so unnatural.”
“Go home and you can sneeze however you want,” Mary said.
“Fine, I'll go,” he said. “But only because you all clearly want me out of here so badly.”
He made a show of grabbing more napkins than he needed on his way out and stuffing them into his pockets. The ladies wished him well as he left, made their final comments on how sick he looked and sounded, and then segued seamlessly into a discussion about the best brands of hand sanitizer.
Hi @Reader the description you gave of Doja Cat’s song suits it perfectly. If you listen to it just once maybe it’s not that appealing but not for me. This is a kind of song I would put on repeat in one of those lazy, a bit depressed days, and I understand how quickly you get addicted to it. Her voice is the kind that I really love, raspy and ... careless? Sorry my English ehm. Anyway great song choice! 😊
So, I just (my bad I know!) discovered this Aussie artist, Tash Sultana. My father has lived years in Australia and was at my place for a couple of weeks, so he said listen to this girl, she’s amazing, she plays EVERY instrument her self. So we all sat in front of the tv and listened in silence. I was completely mesmerized. Beautiful song and amazing artist.
Im posting the shorter version but I truly recommend to look up at her Live Bedroom version on YT you can see her playing all the instruments and the passion she has... gives me goosebumps! Hope you enjoy 😊
(I wanted to address these two together first, hence the double quote) This is so incredibly flattering! I hadn't realized that you hadn't seen the movie; that makes it all the cooler that you read my fics lol.
One word of caution if these two are your main motivation to see the film: Arthur and Eames are not bit characters, not by any means, but they only interact a few times. I think the reason the pairing took off was really that in the film we are given pretty much nothing in terms of backstory or explicit characterization for either Arthur or Eames; we learn about each of them through their interpersonal interactions, and the Arthur-Eames interactions are by far the most fun to watch. All this to say that much of what I write as "Arthur" and "Eames" is extrapolated from my obsessive attention to little character tics, costume design, and throwaway lines.
I definitely recommend Inception as a film, though. It's complicated and layered, but satisfying as hell to watch and re-watch.
I'm glad you liked that! Arthur compartmentalizes, I think, and usually he's adept at code-switching, but I wanted to write what would happen if his capabilities were compromised.
Thank you! Eames has a...theatrical heart, but he loves his man!
Me too! It's one of my favorite tropes, haha
Thank you, both of you