SleepingPhlox

"The Road To Hell Is Paved With Good Intentions"-Big Love, Barb, F, Allergies

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This is a gift for @Chanel_no5 who writes allergies so well that I could not hope to match it, nor come close, but I give my offering anyway. :D I actually started watching Big Love specificially to write a fic, and folks, if you've never seen it, you should totally watch it.  It is utterly gripping.  I have straight up cried real tears watching it.   Seriously it is so good, the characters and storyline have pulled me right in, and I hadn't even heard of it before it was mentioned on this forum.

Chanel, I hope you don't mind, but since this is for you and I figured you would best know how you think Barb ought to sneeze, I stole your sneeze spellings for her.  Like I straight up copy-pasted them.  :unsure:  Okay, I tried inventing a few of my own using the rules yours seemed to follow but yeah, most of them are just plain stolen.

This is set during Season 1 since that's...well, that's as far as I am!  So I hope nothing happens in future episodes that make this just seem ridiculous and OOC.  Also, if anyone happens to be from this locality, I am basing this fic on a page describing common allergens in Utah, a picture I saw of this park, and a page I read that said this park has cottonwood trees (which I have seen and man those things go to town with the whole pollen thing).  So I apologise if this is inaccurate!

Also I kinda had two ideas that I couldn't choose between, and I went with this one but there may be another one popping up at some point depending on how the urge to write strikes me.

__________________________________________________________

The Road To (Barb's) Hell Is Paved With (Margene's) Good Intentions

The drive had gone on for over half an hour so far.  In that time, Margene had managed to work the subject of her new car into virtually every sentence that was uttered.  Yet, somehow, she remained perky, upbeat, and optimistically oblivious.  Nicky, on the other hand, was never very good at hiding her mood.  From the moment she was unceremoniously relegated to the backseat, there had been much arm-folding and subtle eye-rolling and just a hint of a scowl.  Barb stole glances in the rear view mirror from her vantage point in the front passenger seat - to make sure everything was going smoothly of course - and she could swear that every time the words "new car" were uttered, Nicky was about to scream.  Really, if she did insist on being so jealous and materialistic, she could at least try to hide it better.

Of course Barb herself hid her own emotions well (self control being the sign of a more graceful woman, naturally), but she couldn't help but bite her lip as she felt a sense of growing dread.  She recognised these surroundings but only vaguely, and had the feeling that she tended to avoid this location for some reason.

It was when she saw the "Welcome To Utah Lake State Park" sign that the dominoes of realisation began to fall perfectly in formation.   She recognised the surroundings because she had been here once, exactly once, many years ago and had never come back.  It was an experience she did not care to repeat ever again.  The perky blue car (as strange a word for a car as it was, "perky" was the only way to describe the small but cheerful automobile, and it seemed to fit Margene's personality exactly), slid expertly into a parking space, and as she stopped the engine with a flourish of the keys, Margene clasped her hands together and turned to face the others.

"Okay, so...here's the surprise!" she said, delighted with the spy level subterfuge she had pulled off by driving the other two wives here without them realising where they were going.  "It's just us girls, all day.  No Bill.  No kids.  Just a girls day out!  Can you believe we've never been here?  It's not even an hours drive away.  Of course now that I have my new car, I think of things like that."

"How wonderful.  I can't wait," Nicki mumbled under her voice, nearly imperceptible but not quite, because how could it have the same impact if nobody heard it?

"And we need it," Margene continued, with a pointed glance at Nicki.  "Because we haven't been getting along, and the kids and tell and Bill can tell and we owe it to all of them to stop bringing stress and start bringing positivity."  She smiled, pulling her upper lip in between her teeth, thinking of how pleased Bill would be with how she had solved everything, instead of getting all emotional and ruining everything for a change, and all the extra praise and affection this was finally going to bring her way.  "Isn't that right, boss lady?"

After all, if Barb agreed, then it had to be the right thing.  Barb always knew what to do about...everything.

So Margene was understandably deflated when Barb mumbled a distracted "Mmm-hmm.  Yeah.  Sure." and didn't even bother tearing her gaze away from the window.

Those tall trees that stood imposingly behind the green-roofed building...

"Anyway, they do fishing and horseback riding here-"

Barb's eyes widened noticably at the mention of horses.  Those trees and horses?  Two things at once?  Oh please, no...

"But I know you guys don't like running around and doing tomboy things, so I packed us a nice picnic.  I hid it in the trunk.  Which I can do now that I have my new car!"

Partially to get away from the possibility of having to hear about the new car one more time, and partially to get this whole ordeal over with, Nicky opened her door and slid out of the car, smoothing her knee length floral dress demurely as she did so.  She wasn't really the outdoorsy type.  Or the picnic type.  She'd much rather have been treated to afternoon tea in a small boutique cafe.  But since when did her sister wives ever so much as consider what she might like?

As Margene exited the car and bounced around to the back to produce the picnic lunch she had so carefully prepared, Barb opened her own door and hesitantly emerged like a nervous newborn deer into the world.  She had done the caulculations in her head, hoping that she was worried over nothing, hoping it was the wrong time of year.  But she had known before she even tried to start convincing herself.  She had just known...

She looked around at the other cars parked there.  Every single one had some degree of thick yellow coating.  A black car, which she hoped had been parked there for several hours, had been so utterly coated that on first glance it appeared grey.  She gasped in horror, and swallowed.  Perhaps if she only breathed through her mouth, touched absolutely nothing, and they got straight back in the car and left this instance, perhaps by some small miracle she would be spared.

But the very sight of the thick cottonwood pollen coating everything in sight began to set her off and she could feel the first prick of tears forming in her eyes.  No, it couldn't be.  It was just a psychosomatic reaction to the sight of it all.  It wasn't happening, it couldn't be.

Nicky must have noticed Barb's involuntary reaction, as she raised an eyebrow and came over to the side of the car.  She did not know about Barb's infamous first and only trip here, but she was more than aware that if something reproduced by pollenation, there was a high chance Barb would have a problem with it and right now even she could see that the air was choked with pollen she could only imagine came from the big giant trees.  It gave her no small bit of satisfaction to know that even the high and mighty Boss Lady had her weaknesses.  And boy what a weakness it was.

"Are you all right?" Nicki asked.  She added a hint of reluctance to her voice, she didn't want to appear too soft after all, but the question and the concern were indeed genuine.

"It's tree pollen season," Barb hissed.  "She knows about tree pollen season.  How did she not think to check?  How-"

Her breath caught, interrupting both her speech and her train of thought.  She brought a curled hand up to her nose, pressing tightly underneath as if this could stop it, though she knew it wouldn't.

"My purse.  Get me my p-AaISSCHEW! Huh… haaITTSSHHHooo!"

The one saving grace was that she always carried at least two travel packs of tissues in her purse.  With her nose, it was definitely better to always be prepared.

Nicky ducked into the car and retrieved Barbs purse, black with gold coloured trim, timeless and classy, like her.  As she handed it over, she leaned on the car and said casually  "Well, if it's going to be this bad for you, there's nothing else to do but tell Margie that we have to leave immediately, and maybe in the future she won't be so thoughtless and will actually take other people into consideration when planning something like this."

"What?"

Margene's voice was small and plaintive, as she stood with the large rectangular wicker basket in both hands, her usually innocent face looking as wounded as it was possible to be.

"What did I..." She caught sight of Barb, who was frozen in a look of allergic pre-sneeze agony, folded tissue held in cupped hands hovering in front of her face awaiting the inevitable release.  "...oh.  Oh, Barb.  I'm sorry, I didn't..."

"You didn't think," Nicky scolded.  

Barb wanted to scold the both of them right back, to tell them both that bickering wasn't going to solve anything and was in fact just making it all so much worse.   But all she could focus on was her lungs filling and emptying, her body preparing with so many false starts for one big expulsion to do the job, her eyes frozen with her lids at half mast, staring off into the distance as allergic tears brimmed and spilled over, her upper lip slightly curled with her lower jaw dropped slack, her chest rising and falling under her bright red fitted blouse.  It felt as if time had stopped, as if she was going to be locked into this torture for an eternity.  Until finally...

"IiiiiyIISSSHHHew...EiiiSSSHHH!...IISSSHHHew!"

She brought the tissue up to her face in time to catch it all, and her thick mane of long brown curls followed the sharp jerking movement of her head, ebbing back and forth like the sea lapping at the shore.  She paused a moment to catch her breath.  She knew she would need it.  While that might have seemed like more than enough to expel any unwanted irritant, it just did not work that way.  It was only going to get worse, her nose was only going to protest stronger and stronger until she got out of here, changed her clothes, took a shower...and then waited a few hours.

And now it was not only Barb's eyes that were filled with tears.

"Barb, I'm sorry.  I only wanted to...I didn't mean to..."

The wicker basket fell from Margene's hands and hit the ground, with a clattering of the dishes that were evidently inside.  And then she ran.  Toward the green-roofed building.  Toward the trees.

"I'll go after her," Nicky said.  "You're in no shape-"

Barb shook her head, her cascading curls dancing over her shoulders as she did so.  

"No.  I have to go.  I'll be able to deal with this quicker."  And then we can get out of here quicker, she added silently.  

"IiihhhSHHHEEEW!," she added, not silently.

__________________

It wasn't hard to find Margene, as she had decided to sit with her back pressed up against the back of the building, hugging her knees, sniffling softly to herself.

Dear Lord, give me strength, she repeated silently to herself.  Honestly, she did love Margene as a sister wife and member of the family but must she act so young and impetuous all the time?  Barb fought back against the agonising feelings in her body, against the itchy watery eyes, against the tickly nasal torment that no amount of sneezing could abate...

"Margie," she said, kneeling down.  "I'b dot...AaISSCHEW Huh… haaITTSSHHHooo!...bad at you.  A'd Dicky beans well.  She just doesd't always...excuse be..." She turned away to politely and softly blow her nose.  "Stop to think of the best way to put thi'gs.  Id was a really good idea...just, baybe dot duri'g...AaISSCHEW Huh… haaITTSSHHHooo!...allergy season.  Here..."

She pulled out her travel pack of tissues, which she had managed to nearly deplete in the sort time she had left the car and gone searching for Margene, which had taken all of probably five minutes.  Good thing she had two more packs where that came from.  She could only hope they would last the drive home, or else they were stopping somewhere and one of the others could run in to the store for her whether they felt like it or not.

It was in the moment she reached out that she noticed the yellow streak on her arm.  

And it was not alone.

She closed her eyes and exhaled slowly.

The side of her hand, and the entire length of her right arm had evidently brushed up against a car without her realising.  A noticable streak of pollen covered half her hand and the entire outside of her arm.  Twisting around she could see brushed of it on her right side where she'd had to press past a bush to get to Margene's hiding place.  Careless, angry brush strokes of yellow painted her tight red top and black trousers.  A particularly artful splash adorned the fabric stretched over her right breast.  And...yes, her left side had not escaped, though it was more of a solid smear where she had rubbed up against the building.  She stood up in horror, though she knew she there was no escape.  She had no hope of fleeing from the torment.  It was all around, it was everywhere, it was in the air, it was a part of her...it was...she checked a lock of her hair.

It was even in her hair.  The very sight of the offendig yellow powder sitting there among the brown curls, inches from her face, was enough to set her off again.

"Hehh… hehhh… ihhh… IiiiiyIISSSHHHew! AaISSCHEW Huh… haaITTSSHHHooo! M-Margie...please...HiiihhSSHEEWW!...the best thing you can do for me right now is stand up and...hehh...Aahh..ISSHIEEW!...come with me back to the car.  We can...hahhhTCCHIEW!...do something all together another day, okay?  Something...AaISSHEEEW!...indoors.  And you can plan it all if you want it to be a surprise.  Okay?"

She held a hand out to help Margene up, hoping that Margene would accept it, and also hoping that she would not need it to cover a sneeze in the meantime.  Fortunately, both worked in her favour.  Margene nodded, drying her eyes with a corner of the tissue with a little sniffle, and with Barb's help, stood up.

"I'm sorry I forgot about checking the pollen count," she mumbled, looking at her feet.

"It's...IiihhSHIEW!...fide.  It was a good surprise.  Allergies just have a way of ruidi'g thi'gs sobetibes.  Now lets get back to the car, and put all this behi'd us."

 Of course, she knew full well that being away from the trees didn't mean being out of the woods.  Not with the generous coating of pollen she was bringing along with her.  And she was probably going to need more than one shower.  That stuff was impossible to get out of hair.  She could think her hair was finally clean, but her alert and sensitive nose always knew better. 

But getting out of this hell on earth masquerading as an innocent national park would be the first step.  And this time she would make sure she would never set eyes on the place again.  Never.  Again.

 

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Oh. My. God. I love this so much!!

I am just about to go to bed, have to get up early, so I'll respond more thoroughly tomorrow, but I just wanted to tell you that this is amazing! :wub: 

 

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I take you've recently watched the episode when Margene gets a new car? :lol:

Ooooh man, their interactions throughout the fic was spot on, just perfect!

13 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

"What did I..." She caught sight of Barb, who was frozen in a look of allergic pre-sneeze agony, folded tissue held in cupped hands hovering in front of her face awaiting the inevitable release.  "...oh.  Oh, Barb.  I'm sorry, I didn't..."

"You didn't think," Nicky scolded.  

Is it sad that I feel more sorry for Margene than I do for Barb here? Poor Margie, she always tries so hard and it always goes wrong.

13 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

But all she could focus on was her lungs filling and emptying, her body preparing with so many false starts for one big expulsion to do the job, her eyes frozen with her lids at half mast, staring off into the distance as allergic tears brimmed and spilled over, her upper lip slightly curled with her lower jaw dropped slack, her chest rising and falling under her bright red fitted blouse.  It felt as if time had stopped, as if she was going to be locked into this torture for an eternity

 :dribble:  :stretcher: 

13 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

"IiihhhSHHHEEEW!," she added, not silently.

:lol: 

 

13 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

A noticable streak of pollen covered half her hand and the entire outside of her arm.  Twisting around she could see brushed of it on her right side where she'd had to press past a bush to get to Margene's hiding place.  Careless, angry brush strokes of yellow painted her tight red top and black trousers.  A particularly artful splash adorned the fabric stretched over her right breast.  And...yes, her left side had not escaped, though it was more of a solid smear where she had rubbed up against the building.  She stood up in horror, though she knew she there was no escape.  She had no hope of fleeing from the torment.  It was all around, it was everywhere, it was in the air, it was a part of her...it was...she checked a lock of her hair.

It was even in her hair.

The image of this was... hot, for obvious reasons, but also artistic. It's so beautiful. :heart: 

 

13 hours ago, SleepingPhlox said:

But getting out of this hell on earth masquerading as an innocent national park would be the first step.  And this time she would make sure she would never set eyes on the place again.  Never.  Again.

Never is the word the Gods listen to when they want a good laugh. ^^

Seriously, I loved this so much, thank you so, so much for writing it!! :heart: 

 

(heh, and isn't it funny, I wouldn't have seen the show either if I hadn't been up late one night with half a glass of wine left. Flipped through the channels but found nothing to watch except this weird-looking show about religious people with weird family setup. Religion and family are usually two things that don't interest me in the slightest when it comes to shows/movies, but I thought "oh well, Jeanne is cute, so I'll watch it while finishing my wine." Ten minutes later, totally hooked. Three weeks later, I had watched all five seasons. :lol: But I could just as easily have put the news channel on instead. :P )

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On Thursday, January 12, 2017 at 10:11 AM, Chanel_no5 said:

(heh, and isn't it funny, I wouldn't have seen the show either if I hadn't been up late one night with half a glass of wine left. Flipped through the channels but found nothing to watch except this weird-looking show about religious people with weird family setup. Religion and family are usually two things that don't interest me in the slightest when it comes to shows/movies, but I thought "oh well, Jeanne is cute, so I'll watch it while finishing my wine." Ten minutes later, totally hooked. Three weeks later, I had watched all five seasons. :lol: But I could just as easily have put the news channel on instead. :P )

I am really glad you liked it!  It was definitely my pleasure to write and like I said, hopefully I might squeeze another one out of my brain at some point! :D

Yeah, I totally thought I had this show figured out at the first scene but no.  No I did not.  Whatever expectations I had, it threw them out the window.  I only have time to watch one episode or so before I go to sleep and it's not enough!!! :omg:

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