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Nose and Mouth

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                       First Original Fiction 
                   Two POVs: Anel and Derek
       Hey guys, I’m excited! First part will just set up the story. Please make up descriptions as you read. I will give some general ones though.  Comments are welcome and appreciated!

 

                                    Derek
        “I feel really bad about getting you sick.”
         Lifting my head from the couch in my den gave me a better view of a yellow-masked Maggie sitting along the back wall of my kitchen. 
       “Just a sniffle. Don’t worry about it. And you’re just recovering yourself. Go home and enjoy being well.” I said trying to hurry her along before the tickle in my nose became too much. I hated colds. But I hated being sick around people even more. It just brought me back to childhood when my mom would place food outside my door with instructions not to come out into the common areas and then avoid me for weeks once I was better. Her soft smile would be replaced with a curl of disgust and her kind eyes would shift into fear and panic. Her phobia affected her as well, but I was just a child. There were too many times I cried alone feeling like I was going to die, but not seeking help because I knew there would be none. I always survived though. And I would this time too. Alone. 
         “You remember my friend that brought me soup at work right?”
     I did remember her. And if I hadn’t gotten sick, I would already be getting to know her more. “Yea. How is she? Hopefully she didn’t catch your cold as well?” 
        “Oh no! She’s good. I asked her to make some soup last night and she’s bringing it now. She should be here any second.”
         I inwardly groaned. I didn’t want her to come either. 
        “She doesn’t nee...
         The sound of my screen door opening shut down my protests.
         My door opened and closed before Anel swooshed into the den. She spotted me and smiled a smile so beautiful I had to try to remember why I didn’t want her standing in front of me. Then she turned and stopped, bending over and squeezing the pot of soup to her stomach. The bag she held in her other hand knocked against her long legs.
         “Maggie you look ridiculous!! What are you doing over there?” I really liked her laugh. It was the type of laugh that couldn’t be contained. A laugh that combined squeals, giggles, and bubbly guffaws like a geyser that wouldn’t let up until it all came out. She walked over to where the den and kitchen met and handed the soup and bags to Maggie. After Maggie grabbed it, she headed over to me with arms held out for a hug. I was momentarily distracted by her smile and had even started raising my arms, but then quickly remembered I was sick as she was bending over. So I put my hand up and waved them slightly.
          “Oh no. Don’t get too close.” 
           Her eyes widened a second before she assured me, “As long as I keep my hands from my nose and mouth it’ll be fine.”
          She started to move toward me again, but I shrunk back a smidge and said, “Better to be safe.”
          A small frown graced her face that seemed more puzzlement than anything. 
         “I don’t know how I can take care of you if you won’t let me get near you.”
         Now it was my turn to give her a confused look. We both looked at each other in confusion and then at the empty spot where Maggie was supposed to be sitting. Scrambled footsteps from the living room, a door slam, and two chimed dings from our phones was all the answer we got from her. 
          “Maggie! Are you ok?” Anel ran to the door and I pulled out my phone. Maggie sent a group text that included what I assumed was Anel’s number. 
           Maggie: Trenton, I’m so sorry for getting you sick. Anel always makes me feel better so I’ll let you borrow her for the day. Anel, sorry about not telling him. I figured he would say no. Don’t be mad at me! I love you! I’ll be back tonight! 
          I read the text twice before Anel came back.
      “She took my car keys.” More puzzlement.
       Anel pulled out her phone and checked the message. Her eyes grew wide and her jaw dropped. She looked up at me quickly. 
      “You didn’t know!”
       My only answer was a shake of my head, speechless by Maggie’s trick and by Anel apparently already knowing she was coming to take care of me. A tickle in my nose flared up just waiting for any little breath to set it off. I couldn’t hold back for much longer. 
      
          
                                  Anel
       This was so embarrassing! I could kill her!
I should’ve known no one would want someone they met one time to come over and take care of them. I believed he wanted me to though, because we had really hit it off last week. What guy wouldn’t want to be taken care of? Maggie said that she had suggested it to him and he had agreed enthusiastically. Maggie had set it up like a first date. He was clearly uncomfortable trying to hold back his sneeze, looking everywhere but at me. I tried to think of a way I could give the poor guy a break. Maggie took my car keys, which wouldn’t necessarily be too much of a problem if my house keys weren’t attached. 
      Hutxhkk! 
       My arm twitched. A perfect stifle from a large man. For that, I could almost find the courage to bless him. I didn’t bless people though. I couldn’t. So I blessed them through touch. Any little tactile gesture that acknowledged the sneeze. Unfortunately, that put us at an impasse since he wouldn’t let me get close. I checked him out from a distance as he closed his eyes for a few moments, head against the couch. It had been a powerful stifle. He was in the early stages of his cold. Perhaps a little tickle in his throat and nose that would intensify and then settle into congestion. It was too bad I would miss it. 
       I walked over to his couch and sat down on the end of his couch leaving enough space for his comfort. 
      “I can see that you’re uncomfortable with me being here. I’m sorry. Maggie has never done this before and I would never have agreed if I’d known you didn’t even know. How about I heat up a bowl of soup and make some tea for you? Then I’ll call an Uber.” 
       I said the words quickly and with a smile before moving to the kitchen just as fast. I wasn’t used to this. The first whiff of a sniff from Maggie had her calling and asking me to come over.

 

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Reader

Sorry guys, I accidentally wrote Trenton in the text when I meant Derek. I will make sure it’s always Derek. Name changes you know?

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dragonko

Oh this is great! Can't wait to see where this goes!

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M214186

Looking forward to,the continuation 

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starpollen

This is promising.  I like the name Trenton, too.  Both are good. 

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Alabaster

I like this!

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Reader

@dragonko You’re going to make me melt!

@M214186 Here you go!!!

@starpollen Excited for you to read this longer update! 

@Alabaster Awesome! Thank you so much! So encouraging 

 

 

                                 Derek
         Knowing what her real smile looked like and seeing the struggle the corners of her lips endured lifting her mouth toward her high cheekbones let me know I had hurt her feelings. I needed to talk to her, but I didn’t know what to say. She would probably thank me if she saw how sick I usually get with colds. I started to walk toward the kitchen, but then made a sharp turn toward the back of the house. I closed my room door and the bathroom inside my room once I reached it. I turned the fan and the water on. That stifle had almost killed me. I waited for the sneeze to come, eyes closed and mouth open to hurry it along.  No sneezes came. I sniffed tentatively. My nose was stuffed, except for a tiny crevice where air still brushed the nasally cave. I breathed through my nose slowly, trying to use the air to brush the inside of my nose in just the right way. I almost smiled when I saw the fringe of my eyelashes frame my suddenly blurry view. 
         HA-EiSh!  HaAESHoo!   HaAESHOO!
        I sniffed by habit and steadied myself for more, having not fully recovered yet.
            HaAESHOO!        HEH-ISHU!
        I staggered back into the bathroom door and slid to the floor quickly. My colds always worsened quickly because my sneezes scraped against my throat and my immune system keeled over at the sound. I blew my nose and then headed out to apologize to Anel quickly before I sounded too bad. I made my way into the den. She had set a tray on the table beside the couch that held a bowl of her delicious soup, a cup of tea with honey packets, and a bottle of water. It was very thoughtful and made me feel pretty good. I stepped into an empty kitchen. Had she already called an Uber and left? I took off for the door, relieved to see her on the steps through the screen door. I opened the last barrier and sat next to her.
         “What are you doing out here?”
         “Making an account on Uber.” 
         “Why are you outside?” I tried again.
          She turned to me suddenly and then looked down. With some adorable concern in her voice, she asked,
        “Why are you outside? You’re sick.”
        She found my shoulder by touch alone and gave me an encouraging push to get up and go inside. 
        “I’ll go inside if you do.”
         A small twitch of a smile appeared, but she didn’t let it grow. 
        “What are we, three?”
        “A few years shy of the big 3-0. What about you?”
        “A few years younger than that. Let’s go.”
        She placed her hand on my back this time, but didn’t apply any pressure. 
       “I’m sorry that I upset you.”
        She sighed, but kept her hand on my back. 
       “You didn’t.”
       “Then why won’t you look at me?”
       “Why indeed.”
        I swear that’s what she muttered, but my ears were already half clogged. She turned to me fully.
        “When I greeted you earlier, there was a five foot perimeter around you. Now we are almost knocking shoulders and you’re fine? I feel like if I look at you directly, your mirage will disappear.”
        I smiled slightly, knowing I deserved that.         “Do you want the truth or a compliment that’s also the truth?”
        Her eyes and mouth widened at the same time before her lips poked out in thought and her eyes narrowed. 
       “The first option.”
       “I feel a little dizzy.” 
       “What!” 
       In the time it took her to say that, both of her arms were around me and she was trying to stand both of us up on her strength alone. She sat back down and turned to me with a practiced scowl. She rolled up her sleeves, pretended to spit into her hands, and made a heaving sound as she grabbed my upper arm and tried again. I laughed, glad my chest was clear and nothing else came out. She wasn’t done yet though.
        She used her teeth to gnaw open an invisible can, tossed it in her mouth with a swallow, looked at her muscles as her hand showed its growth, and then grabbed onto me.
       “Heeeeeeeeeeeee-ohhhh!” she finished as her hands started to loosen around me in shock when I actually stood. The movement or just bad timing brought a tickle to my nose. With images of her falling down the stairs and hitting her head on the concrete, I pulled her into me. Wrapping my arms around her tightly at the same time she landed into my chest, I breathed deeply and aimed behind her spraying my arms caged around her back. 
       HA-AESHU!
       I felt a small brush to my chest as it expanded quickly for another one. 
       Haeaeshkkxk!!
       I tried to stifle the end, which made me feel the urge to sneeze again. She slid her arms around to my back and held me tightly, moving her head to lay flat on my chest. I felt bad for squashing her face into my chest and would have apologized if this tickle would just go away. 
     HaAESHOOO!
      I caught my breath and squeezed her even tighter from embarrassment or maybe just trying to hide. This is why I hadn’t wanted her to come. I always got sloppy eventually. I sighed and let my head droop and my hands loosen while I waited for her to politely excuse herself and walk home. 
       “Did you lose that one, babe?” 
        My breath caught. I couldn’t believe it. I stood there in silence as my chest heaved and my thoughts spun. Was she pretending to be ok with it or did she really not care? The flat palms of her hand flexed and her nails took over as they scratched down and up my back. 

                                 Anel
       A woman could only take so much. It was torturous waiting for his sneeze to come. The buildup and the squeeze, the let down it hadn’t come, sharp intake of breath when it came back, and the start of the process over again as his breath hitched in and out toward my neck. He had me feeling animalistic at this point and it was public indecency alone that didn’t have me bunching my fingers into his shirt and lifting my legs to rest on the fine curve of his lower back. I bit my lip and focused on my own breathing as I realized his continued quick breaths wasn’t helping me calm down. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Even my hands listened as they clawed down his back gentler and at a slower pace. He was dizzy and I needed to get him back inside and on the couch. 
     “Can you walk with me to the couch? If not we can sit back down and you can put your head between your legs.”
      I looked up at him. He just stared down at me. 
      “Everything ok, ba- I’mean Derek.” I clearly needed to stop talking. Or maybe stop looking at him and talking. I should just look. Red irritation could be seen on the areas of his nose he had rubbed and wiped. His nose was slightly humped on the bridge as if he had broken it in the past, and his nostrils flared in its attempt to get more air into it. His mouth was taking in air he couldn’t get through his nose. His eyes were still staring at me, but they were now narrowed and glazed. I immediately went on alert looking for other signs of an impending sneeze, when all I needed to do was wait and feel. Feel him grab my shoulder and pull me into his side one handed while he reached out for the wall with his other hand. Squeezing his eyes shut tight and gripping the flat wall as hard as he could, he readied for what his stance implied was going to be his biggest and wettest sneeze yet. Uncovered and for my viewing pleasure. I squeezed my legs together and opened my eyes wide in anticipation and preparation. With my body flushed to his side, I remembered last minute to steady him so we didn’t both topple off the stairs. The thick muscles on his shoulders bunched together when he arched his back and spread out when he brought his head down to sneeze.
HaAEShsChOo
       The fine shower I’d expected was in reality a mighty wind that prefaced a torrential rain against my arm. Eyes still closed and face contorted into an open snarl, he growled into the next sneeze, frustrated and ready to be done.
GrrehAeshshoo
       A small moan escaped me as I slid down in bodily thanks for that aggressive and manly fit. He beat me to the ground as he plopped down and buried his face in his free hand. Once I sat next to him, he removed his hand from me and effectively covered more of his face. 
       “I’m so so sorry. I can’t tell you how sorry I am. I….”
       A splash of cold water in my heated pool of ecstasy had me trying to swim out. Once successful, I cleared  the smoky-red haze from around me to better focus on his words.
       …..know I got some sneezes on you. They just wouldn’t stop coming and I couldn’t see anything. You must be so dis-”
       “Babe!” He looked like he was about to cry, a shade of red around the rim of his eyelids. I briefly wondered if he was getting a fever or if he was just embarrassed. I leaned in close to his ear and spoke calm and low, accompanying my talk with some slow back rubs. 
       “Nose and mouth remember? And anyways, you saved me. I would be at the hospital getting stitches or checked out for a concussion if you had covered. You would feel way worse than now, so stop. I’m the one that grabbed you to steady us, so it’s my fault some spray got on me. Just like when you grabbed the wall, so we wouldn’t fall off the stairs. I’m not scared by a sneeze or anything that comes with it. Ok? How about we talk inside while I check your temperature?” I moved my hand to his forehead. It was a little warm.
       “Could you bring me some tissues?”
       “Of course. I’ll be right back.” Poor guy was probably still dizzy and embarrassed. 

                                Derek
         I had maybe fifteen seconds to wipe and clean up the mucus and snot off my nose that collected in my hands while Anel was talking. When she spoke so close in my ear, my sinuses cleared and it was all I could do to remain calm and try not to breathe or sniff the offending liquid back into my nose in case it made me sneeze. The screen door opened and I turned toward Anel, forgetting that fast not to breathe. Breathing was as natural as...well...breathing. I heard swish swish swish and saw blurry floating tissues. I reached for the tissues, including Anel’s hand by accident. My eyelids slid shut and I had no choice but to bring her hand to my nose and mouth, cupping my snotty hands around it. 
       Hah-Esh! Hah-eschuu! Hah-eashu! 
      “I hehh-am sohh so-sorry.” I tried to say.                           She rubbed her free hand up and down my side. 
      “I got you babe. Don’t worry and don’t apologi-”
        Heh-EIHuu! HE-ACHOO!
        I leaned forward into that one, cringing at how much sneeze spit came out. 
Swish swish swish. A kiss to my shoulder and a few caresses on my neck.
       “My eyes are closed babe. I’m going to add new tissues in my hand for you to blow into. That’ll help you stop sneezing.”
       She scooted closer and rested her head on my back, silently assuring me with the action that she wasn’t looking. My head was pounding and felt so heavy. My throat hurt so badly, and my nose was dripping. All I wanted to do was stop sneezing, but there was no way I could blow my nose in her hand. Right? But if I let her hand go to take care of it myself, she would see her hand. After replacing the tissue, I heard her grab one more tissue. I closed my eyes when she moved it haphazardly toward them. After she finished, I took in a deep breath, closed my mouth, and blew out through my nose. When I finished, she pinched my nostrils together and wiped the top front where a little of my snot had jumped to. If I didn’t feel her on my back, I would have thought she was looking. Once she folded it, I blew again. And again once she replaced those tissues. 
         “Anel?”
         “Hmmm?”
         “Keep your eyes closed ok?”
          “I promise.”
          I grabbed her hand and pulled her up. Leaning down, I swiped two tissues and used those to open the door. I led her through the small hallway into the den. She stumbled a bit and laughed, bringing her hand close to her mouth before I snatched it and held both of her hands captive.
      “Nose and mouth remember!” 
       She smiled brightly and nodded. Man. Eyes closed and that gorgeous smile on her face, I wanted to break her rule and kiss her on her nose and mouth. I came close as her lips smirked up at me, tempting me. I pulled her closer as I stepped back until we reached the bathroom. I turned the light on with my elbow, and washed my hands quickly. Then I washed them slowly after I remembered I was the sick one. I added more soap into my hands and started to wash her hands. She pressed her lips together to try to contain a squealing trill, but couldn’t when I washed up her arms. I dried her arms and hands, rolled her sleeves down, and then led her to the couch. 
        “Even though that was probably the most embarrassing thing in my life, thank you so much for being so understanding. I’m really really sorry again. That’s not a side of me I wanted to show you.” I couldn’t clench my fists since I didn’t want to crush her hands, so I gritted my teeth waiting for her answer. She turned in the general direction of my voice with a slight frown, eyes still closed. 
        “You’re gonna make me go blue in the face.” She sighed and didn’t say anything else. She just reached around my back and pulled me until my head rested on her chest. 
          “Babe?”
           “Hmm?” I really liked it when she called me that. 
           “I’m not getting an Uber.” 
            I smiled against her, scratching her skin with my chapped lips. I licked them and then froze, a small taste of her skin lingering on my tongue. Her heart beated against my ear furiously, but she didn’t say anything. I lowered my head into her lap, my head still feeling heavy, and stretched out on the couch. The pounding had stopped at least. I let myself enjoy the feel of her nails against my scalp for a few minutes. I couldn’t fall asleep like this though. I always sneeze when I wake up during a cold. 

 

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Nval95

Oh. My. God!!!!!!  That is so sweet!!!!  *squeal 😍😍😍 I love it so much!!!!! 

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M214186

Fantastic 

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Kittens&Roses

I am not really a fan of cold sneezes but that was great!!! I'd love to hear another continuation!

 

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ScoobertDoobert23
11 hours ago, Reader said:

She rubbed her free hand up and down my side

 

11 hours ago, Reader said:

You’re gonna make me go blue in the face.” She sighed and didn’t say anything else. She just reached around my back and pulled me until my head rested on her chest. 

Somebody's got a lil' sneezing fetish, huh?

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Reader
14 hours ago, Nval95 said:

Oh. My. God!!!!!!  That is so sweet!!!!  *squeal 😍😍😍 I love it so much!!!!! 

Squeal!! That’s our new code!  I’m so happy!!!  I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate that comment!! Yaaaaay!!!

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Reader
14 hours ago, M214186 said:

Fantastic 

Awwww Thankyou!!! 

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Reader
12 hours ago, ScoobertDoobert23 said:

 

Somebody's got a lil' sneezing fetish, huh?

Oh yes! With a bit of caretaking tendencies. 

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Reader
12 hours ago, Kittens&Roses said:

I am not really a fan of cold sneezes but that was great!!! I'd love to hear another continuation!

 

Oh that’s soooooo sweet!!!! And like the saying goes...your wish is my......

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Nval95
2 hours ago, Reader said:

Squeal!! That’s our new code!  I’m so happy!!!  I can’t even tell you how much I appreciate that comment!! Yaaaaay!!!

I'm glad that I can at least support? Or cheer you up? Because you story really made my day XD

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ebay34

This is so amazing, please continue this. :) 

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Reader

I’m back!!!!!  Less sneezes in first two parts to continue the plot, but the last part.....

                                    Anel
              My lip was raw and bleeding. I’d thought this was going to be a normal day with a little bit of excitement. A hand to the forehead, a little cuddle while we watched a movie, and his appreciation of my soup. It couldn’t have been more than half an hour, and I had experienced things I only dreamed about. Being sneezed on was one. As soon as I felt his cold spray, goosebumps broke out on my arm and my heart seized. The initial shock had eased into tingling warmth and my heart pumped those feelings throughout my entire body. That had to be why I was able to calmly tell him to blow his nose. His return care in washing my arms and hands...
          Small congested snores came from him. I sighed. I wanted to ask him to eat something first. I didn’t know when he last ate, but it was lunch time when I came over. I laid two small blankets from the back of his couch over him. I had a few part-time jobs at home. Stuff I could do on my own schedule as long as I finished a specific amount of hours by the end of the week. I could knock off some time while he slept. 
               I had just reached thirty dollars’ worth of time when I heard Derek’s screen door open. I sat still, waiting. When it didn’t bang against the door, I knew the wind wasn’t at fault. I began to feel nervous. We had left the regular door unlocked earlier! The door pushed open.
              “Derek?” A woman called. 
               I relaxed a little. At least whoever was at the door knew him. I could explain my presence easily enough. Something like, ‘I’m practically a stranger to your son and was tricked into coming here by my best friend. I do like him though. Nice to meet you.’
               “In here.” I said softly. He was still sound asleep. I didn’t want to wake him if I didn’t have to. Coming around the corner of the front door hallway was a woman that had to be his mother. I smiled at this familial person I wanted to impress. 
             She started to smile back, but then her eyes took in the tray of soup, drinks, and tissues. Her eyes flew up to me. 
             “Is he sick?” 
              “I hope he doesn’t snore like this all the time.” I teased, hoping she would add a point in her mind about me for my cleverness.
              Zero points apparently. He didn’t snore, more like heavily breathed, so I didn’t think my joke would be too offensive. 
              “Yes.” I said simply
              The whites of her eyes became the only thing I could stare at. Until her uvula hanging from the back of her throat took half of my attention. She stood frozen, not blinking and definitely not breathing, as she stared at me and Derek on the couch. 
              “Is something the matter? My name is Anel by the way.”
              Just then Derek coughed and turned his head into my stomach. The cough sounded like the start of a chest cold. He nuzzled into my stomach adorably. Humming a little in satisfaction, I glanced back at the woman. She was further back and her eyes were transfixed on a spot across from Derek and I. It dawned on me then what the problem could be. It always took me awhile to figure stuff like that out, because it wasn’t a problem for me. She looked so intently at the spot, I wondered if the germs were visible in her mind.
             “Ma’am.” I said it low and firm to draw her attention. She looked at me a moment before quickly returning her gaze. 
            “I don’t think Derek is up for a visit today. Do you mind if we just let him rest? I’ll tell him he had a visitor.”
            She grabbed onto my words and used them for the escape they were. Nodding quickly, she left without another word. Some things were starting to make sense. I rubbed Derek’s back and couldn’t help but whisper quietly,
        “I’m sorry baby.”
          Derek shifted and jerked quickly into my belly.
          HHR-SCHUH. Muffled. In. My. Shirt. 

                               Derek
                 “Derek?”
                 Panic choked me, but years of practice kicked in as I kept my breathing even while my mother walked into the den. I woke up when Anel tensed at someone coming in unannounced. 
             “Is he sick?” The fear in her voice was so thick, and Anel answered in a joke. I wanted to laugh and hug her, but the lump in my throat and my ruse prevented that. I was breathing around the lump while trying not to sniff. I needed to stay ‘asleep’, but the hairs in my nostrils were playing dance dance revolution on my nasal nerves. My mother hated sneezes more than coughing so I had to choose the lesser of the two evils. 
          So here I was, nose jammed into Anel’s stomach to prevent myself from sneezing. My mother’s ideas about germs were illogical. She believed a sleeping person meant sleeping germs. Maybe I was the insane one for catering to her. Anel gave a one-word answer. At my mother’s rude silence, she asked her what was wrong. 
          Anel tightened her stomach and my nose slightly moved, too much stimulation for me to handle. As Anel painstakingly took her time giving my mother an out, I held my breath knowing that the next breath I took would be a sneeze. Of course hearing her whisper sadly to me had me inhaling quickly and the rest was...
           HHR-SCHUH!
           After the first sneeze, I covered my mouth and blindly squirmed off her lap as I jerked forward.
          HAaashoo!       Ha-EhShOo!                                                   HaESHOO!  HAEESTCHOO! 
             My head spun when I sat up. My vision blurred when I opened my eyes. At Anel’s touch, I shuddered away at the reminder she could see and hear me. I felt pressure building up in my chest, but another sneeze was still coming.
            HEH-Ehhhh-ShOO!  I wheezed in air and moved my elbow to my face, pushing out the grossest cough I’d ever heard. It was like some dormant beast, just awakened in my chest , choking on gravel. Anel had been so kind, but it was only a matter of time until she became disgusted. It was too hot in the den, but I knew if I just went to my room then it would be ok. I stood and headed for my room, but only made it a few steps before the room spun and my legs gave out. I curled into a ball trying to breathe, but I couldn’t stop shaking. A dull weight settled over me and eventually my view changed to Anel’s hand in front of my face. I slowly began understanding her words. Her voice sounded different. Strange. 
           “Innnn. Now ouuut. Th-that’s  g-good baby. I’ma I’ma right here b-babe. Inhale. Sniff. Exhale. Sniff.  In.      Out.      In.      Out.  I’m here baby. I’m here. In.      Out.    Can you hear me baby?”
           I began to feel her death grip on my hand and see the shakiness of her other hand in front of me. Her head tucked near my neck. 
            “Anel.” I heard myself slur. 
             She shot straight up.
             “You ok baby?”
              She was crying. 
        I tried to pull her down to me, but my arms felt too weak. 
         “I’m okay.”
         “W-w-what happened?”
         “Shh. Shh. It’s ok. C’mere.” 
          She laid her head on my chest gingerly. I rested my hands on her hair, trying to calm her down. 
           “I’m ok, Anel.” She rested a little heavier on me.
          “W-w-was that a panic attack? D-did I do som-something?”
           “No!” I said it quicker than I should, causing me to cough. I winced from the pain in my sore chest and from coughing so close to Anel. She picked her head up quickly, as if her added weight had caused me to cough. I looked at her closer. Fear and blurry tears in her eyes like my mother, except it was for me. Wanting to be near me, but not hurt me. Choosing to be in the same room as me even though I couldn’t seem to stop messing up. Somehow, I was able to put my insecurity aside for a bit. 
              “Please.”
              She put her head back on my heart, lighter. Her finger tapped on my chest to the beat of it. 
             “I was awake when my mother came. She triggered it.”
             She looked up in surprise. Then confusion. Slow realization. I could almost see her train of thought. I didn’t have to wait long to hear it.
           “You didn’t have the attack when she was here. Only when it was me and you.” I could feel her start to move.
           I squeezed her as tight as a noodle could. 
           “She put me in that headspace. Rational thoughts are rare in there, and escape is the only thing on my mind. Even if it’s just memories. You didn’t cause it. You’re just the only one that’s been around when I’ve had one. It only happens when I’m sick.”
           Breaking my hold easily, she sat up.
          “No one has ever taken care of you while you’re sick?”
          I shook my head, too tired to say except you or keep my eyes open.
            “I’m going to take care of you. What do you do when this happens?”
            I tried to shrug, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t move. “I just sleep them off.”
           “Do you think you can get up to the couch?”
            I shook my head again.
            “I’ll be right back.”
            I woke up to Anel lifting my head and sliding a pillow underneath. A heavy blanket was draped over me, and then tucked around me. 
            I felt her lips on my cheek and turned to kiss them. 
            She had already moved them to my ear.
            “Nose and mouth.” She whispered before I felt one of my shoulders press further into the ground. 
        
        
                                       Anel
            Screen doors would be the death of me. I woke up instantly when the whine of its hinges creaked open. I woke Derek just as the screen door slammed closed.
         “Hn..”
         “Sorry, go back to sleep.”
         I looked at the clock. 8 o’clock. Derek had been awake two out of the eight hours I’d been here. He looked terrible. I thought his cold had been in the background, demure and unassuming, slowly raising the white flag of surrender under sleep’s healing properties. Now, I wasn’t so sure. It seemed like his cold had been thriving on sleep. It used that time to build tolerance to medications, to change the dna in his nose to both run and congest, to attempt to block all pathways to air, to coax his temperature higher, and to make sure they could escape airborne. Derek’s face revealed that some wanted to be airborne now. His hand twitched as his brain slowly told it to get ready. His brain didn’t bother to warn his eyes or mouth. It took too much energy and they were already positioned where they needed to be. Derek, made up of more than just brains, rolled towards me. His hand, the one that hadn’t found me in sleep, joined company with the one that had behind my back. He buried his face in my neck and said in the deepest timbre I’d ever heard a man speak,
                 “Dose add bouth right?”
                  The sound that his congested question elicited from me would have to suffice. I was beyond words. He kissed my collarbone and then my neck. He was giving me Eskimo kisses on my chin when his face tensed suddenly. The pulse in his nose thrummed, shooting sparks of awareness across his face. Derek sat up quickly to turn away, jostling me in the process. His instinct to protect whiplashed his head back toward me and into his shoulder for a couple doubles. 
          Haesh-HAESHU! Haesh-HAESHU!
        While he brought the collar of his shirt over his mouth, he found my hand. I made slow circles with my thumb.
       “Diii ehhh heh ehh  ahh haa I h-haAeshoo! hurrrCHOO! hurrrt you?” 
        “No, ba-”
         HAISHU! HAAESHOO! HAESHUUU!
         His eyelids, crepe-lined and bruised, blinked out tears to clear his vision as he looked to make sure I was alright. He was plugging his nose through his shirt. 
          “I’m fine. You need tissues though. One sec. I brought some in that bag.”
          He didn’t let go of my hand.
         “Doe, I cad get it. I deed to chadge clothes ad’dyway add get these sdeezes off be. Actually, do you bid’d if I take a shower?
          WHAT A TEASE!
         “No, go ahead.” I kissed his forehead and smiled.
          Even though I still couldn’t see the bottom half of his face, his eyes were lit up and happy. It only made sense for his smile to be the same.
        I had just finished cleaning up the den when Derek’s security system creaked open. His door knob turned. Disbelief and wariness filled me. How did I keep forgetting to check the lock? The door cracked open. A shaky hand dangling keys reached in. They were my keys, but that wasn’t Maggie’s hand. 
           The hand stilled and then bobbed
            Hutcxhk! hutgxch! hutmph-choo! hitchiew!
            A slight groan and a catch of breath. 
     Aww. I opened the door to Maggie’s sneezy delivery man. He stumbled forward, blinded by an incoming sneeze, and crashed onto his knees right in front of me.
          Isshiew! IsSHhiew! IeeCHIEW!
          “I’m not sick. I promise!”  He hurried to assure me after he saw where his spray landed. He was a grown man, and all I wanted to do was ruffle his hair. His cheeks were fiery red, either from having his hair ruffled or from sneezing. His lashes were wet and clumped together and his unshed tears gave the illusion of waves hitting against a blue ocean. He pulled out a folded cloth and held it to his mouth. 
        “I’mah snehh Ah isshiew snee-snee-Ah Ah chiew sneezing because Ah Ah Ah AShiew, bless me...It’s because ah eh ah ah ashiewAhh he-chiewAhhchiew sniff I pre-gamed.”
         “It’s just aaah all- ah Ah AH AHh AHH-HETSCHIEW! TSCHIEW! CHIEW!
         The longer he sneezed, the harsher they sounded. He quaked and quivered with the last three. “I’m going to get you a water bottle.”      
            While I was gone, he blew his nose. When I came back, he was standing. “You’re allergic to alcohol?”
            He scrunched up his nose to scratch the itch in there that wouldn’t go away. His eyes teared up and his slack mouth lowered more as he drew in more breaths. “Ah  ah  ahhh haaa....Sorry, I thought I had to sneeze.” He folded the cloth more and rubbed his nose while he talked. 
          “Just a flower that makes beer delicious!
 I do it on purpose though. The sneezes go away after awhile and then I’m nice and buzzed for the night without having to sneeze the rest of the night.”
           “Are you allergic to anything else?”
           He nodded, index finger now under his nose. “Yes. Also to.. ah ah haa raises index finger and sneezes into his elbow. 
        HehItsheww! Itchiew! Eh-huu!
         He sniffed hard. 
        “Kittens and roses.”
         “Do you like kittens?” I asked sympathetically 
         He smiled happily. “I love them! I have two!”
         “Oh wow!” 
         “Yea I get that a lot. Well anyways, Maggie sent me. She’s in the car outside, if you want to talk to her.”
          “That’s ok. Just tell her I’m not mad. Thanks for bringing my keys.”
         He put his handkerchief back in his pocket and held out my keys to me. An arm slipped around my stomach before I could go to him. 
       “Dod’t go dear hib. He bight be codtagious.”
        

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Nval95

Aaaaaaaaaaaaw Dereeeeeeeeeeek. 😂😂😍😍 love it, reader!! I cant wait for more of your work. I trully like how you describe Derek here~~

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starpollen

Very cute.  I love the line, “Derek’s face revealed that some wanted to be airborne now.”  :laugh: 

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On 3/16/2018 at 2:18 AM, Nval95 said:

Aaaaaaaaaaaaw Dereeeeeeeeeeek. 😂😂😍😍 love it, reader!! I cant wait for more of your work. I trully like how you describe Derek here~~

Yaaaaas Derek has written himself! I have some written but I don’t know after this one part I wrote which decision maybe or blah blah I want him to take. Do you just want me to upload the part I finished? 

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On 3/16/2018 at 4:12 AM, starpollen said:

Very cute.  I love the line, “Derek’s face revealed that some wanted to be airborne now.”  :laugh: 

Thankyou! I was reading a fic yesterday and I loved it! And then found out it was yours! I usually just look at tags hahahaha It was Tommy’s viewpoint. I haven’t found hayley’s yet. 

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starpollen
1 hour ago, Reader said:

Thankyou! I was reading a fic yesterday and I loved it! And then found out it was yours! I usually just look at tags hahahaha It was Tommy’s viewpoint. I haven’t found hayley’s yet. 

There’s a few from hers.  I’ll tag you in the post with the list. ;)

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Nval95
3 hours ago, Reader said:

Yaaaaas Derek has written himself! I have some written but I don’t know after this one part I wrote which decision maybe or blah blah I want him to take. Do you just want me to upload the part I finished? 

Oh yes please!!! If you dont mid at least. I truly love your works here XD 

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    PSA: Let me know any preferences you guys have. I’d love to include it if I can. I did it once and it was fun! 

@ebay34 Thankyou so much! Especially the follow!

@Nval95 MVP first part was with you in mind.

This is a short chapter that just ties up the night, if that’s where the story finishes.

        

                                  Derek
               She was still here. I’d sneezed on her, blew my nose into her tissue-holding hand, slept on her, sneezed on her again before collapsing in front of her, and then slept again. But she was still here. It shocked me enough that I felt weightless for a few moments. Then I tried to move. 
              “Nh..” I blanked out for a bit from the pain in my body. My skin was dried concrete, keeping my body rigid and ramrod straight except for my arm that bent and curled around her body. Molten rock that adapted to where it fell. 
              “Sorry. Go back to sleep.” 
              Her voice was soothing. Her body resting against me, soft. She was softness and comfort. She had given it to me all day, and I wanted just a little more. I gathered her to me more securely and rolled, my body’s protests dying down as I enveloped more of her cooling balm. When she slid her arms to my back and reached up to my shoulders, I relaxed into the crook of her neck. I felt her pulse beat rapidly against my lips and wondered if she would offer something else.
                 “Dose add bouth right?”
                  I could barely understand myself even though I knew what I said. She understood and responded as if she’d been waiting for me to figure out that loophole. I kissed her collarbone and then lingered at her neck. I felt an irritating sensation that got in the way of how she was making me feel. I used the bone in her chin to stop the feeling. It irritated me more and more until I realized I had to sneeze. I covered and turned away. Thunk. My vision left me as I turned back to the sound. I hurt her! I stuffed my face into my shoulder and sneezed twice quickly. I started to open my eyes to find her hand, but had to close them again before I could. My hand bumped something soft though and I grabbed it. Pulling my shirt over my nose, I managed to open my eyes halfway. I could barely talk and I could only see blurry snapshots of her. It was so frustrating to sit so close to her and not be able to check if she was alright. 
  Darkness shrouded in again and cut off her words. When I opened my eyes, I was rewarded for my wait with two visions of her. Her voice was soothing. Her hand soft. I held on tighter, not wanting to let her go. I wanted to make sure she was alright. I couldn’t do that covered in germs though. 
                                    ~

              I was never around anyone when I was sick. If I had to sneeze, I sneezed. If I had to cough, I coughed. I never had to worry about someone else getting sick. Sitting on the floor of the shower, too weak to stand for long, I worried now. I thought I was just achy from the panic attack and sleeping on the floor, but it seemed more likely that I was getting the flu. I felt awful now that I wasn’t focused on Anel. I didn’t want her to feel like this. It almost made sense why my mom avoided germs so rigorously. I needed to be careful around Anel for the couple of hours that she was here. And I needed her to think I was fine before she left. I didn’t want her to feel obligated to stay because of my panic attack. I knew she still felt partly responsible. After I checked to make sure she was ok, I could just tell her I was going to sleep. Thank her for everything and say goodbye. 
         HaESHOO Haesshooo Haeshu Haesh
Haeshoo.

           I reached up to turn the water hotter and enjoyed the heat for a few minutes. I wanted to ask her to stay, but I couldn’t do that. Right? We barely knew each other. I turned the water off and dried off quickly. I threw on some sweats, a long sleeve, and a hoodie. I’d just finished putting on socks when I heard,
          HEHTSCHIEW      TSCHIEW         CHIEW!
           I stepped out my room quickly and walked the few steps to the den. Anel was almost in the kitchen. I looked in the mirror against the den wall that hung right across from the doorway. A man was fixing his hair and brushing his clothes out. Then, he checked his breath. If Anel hadn’t closed the fridge and I wasn’t leaning against the frame of the den’s entrance for support…I moved out of sight until Anel started talking again. She was friendly, but didn’t seem to know him. I was dubious about his alcohol allergy until he mentioned flowers. People were allergic to flowers. I cringed at the face he made when he sneezed. I hoped I didn’t look like that. He looked like he was waiting to be fed grapes, eyes closed and head hanging back. Everything was so dramatic and overperformed for his audience, Anel. With that dumb goofy smile on his face, he held out her keys. In moments like these, people act before they think. But once they act, they still have to think. It was much easier to do that when I wasn’t holding her and feeling her body unconsciously lean against me. 
               “Don't go near him. He might be contagious.”
              Did I as a contagious sick person that had just made a pact with myself not to get close to her or ask her to stay see the irony in giving her a back hug to keep her from leaving?

Yes.

             Did I enjoy the sound of Anel’s incredulous laugh and the way she held me to her as she doubled over in fits?

Extremely.

         She gripped my arms for balance and turned to me, trying to tell me something in between her laughing fits. She gave up and just tried to contain them without using her hands.
            “Anel?” 
            Still laughing and smiling, she glanced back at the guy. He blushed deeper when he saw her face and walked closer. 
            I hit him with an intimidating stare that stopped him in his tracks. 
            “You gotta sneeze dude?” 
             I did, but I was trying to hold it back while I stared him down. I was the first to look away. When I stepped back from Anel, her fingers tightened for a second before she let go and moved to the side. I turned into my elbow.
           AHiiSHOO
          “Bless you!”
           HEaShooo
          “Bless!”
          Heeaschoo
         “Blessings!”
          Heh-hehhaaschoo
          “Blessed!”
          I felt a sick sense of pleasure when I felt the last of the cluster. I waited in anticipation, hoping I could sneeze twice just to finish him. I could feel it, but it wasn’t sharp enough to tickle. Just to remind me it was there and never leaving. Urhgh! My face was trapped in the same dumb ‘feed me grapes’ expression.
         “I’ll help you bud.” 
          How was he goi-
          Tap
          ESHOOHa-AeESHHIUhiiu
         When I looked at him, he smiled his happy-go-lucky smile and said,
         “Bless you times two.”
          I groaned and went inside the bathroom. I didn’t  know who won that. I blew my nose and then washed my hands in the sink. 
           I looked in the mirror. I, Derek, will go to Anel and do the following things. Check on her back. Make sure she knows I’m fine. Tell her I’m going to sleep. Thank her and tell her goodbye.
           
                                   Anel
              Do you know the feeling you get when you see babies? You want to walk up and pinch their cheeks or hold them really close. It’s called cute aggression and that’s how I felt when Derek walked in the kitchen. I just wanted to hold him and squeeze him tight, an outward action to the frenzied feeling within me. 
           “Hey babe. This is my second attempt to feed you. You haven’t eaten all day.”
           “I’ll eat whed you eat.” 
            I smiled to myself, remembering our banter from earlier. He came up next to me quietly and started to rub my back. Then he asked me how my back felt. 
              “It’s a little sore in some spots.”
             “I’b sorry.”
              His hand dipped and his shoulders sagged. I managed to take the spoon out of the small pot of soup before I was hugging him. He was sad for some reason. Just boneless and droopy as I held up more of his weight.
           “It’s ok though. I wasn’t going to sleep on the couch while you slept on the floor. You must be sore too.”
           “I’b ok.” He rubbed my back some more, still concerned about it. “Just sleepy but I’ll sleep after I eat.”
           “Yea, you need lots of sleep with the flu.”
           I winced when his hand rubbed a little too hard on a sore spot. “I dod’t have the flu.”
          “You caught what Maggie had right?” The tea kettle sounded, so I took it off the stove and started making him tea. I moved the pot of soup and turned both knobs off.
          “Is mint tea fine? Do you like tea?” I turned back to him. 
            He looked up from his hands and miserably nodded. Oh no. Did he not know what Maggie had? Her flu was bad. It’s probably why she went through the trouble of planning all this. I led him to a kitchen chair and pulled it out so he could sit facing me. I massaged his temples and then made a trail through his sinus spots until I reached the back of his neck. He lifted his head, brushing my stomach with his nose and mouth, as I traveled back up to his temples. Then I kissed his forehead.
           “It’s ok. I told you I’ll take care of you right? I’m here. Soup, tea, and then sleep.”

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