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Hello darlings!

This story is a long-promised request for Weevill, who really loves hankies. I usually don't include them in my stories unless there's some really specific reason; but I think I've come up with a decent pretext here. There is a little bit of setup, as always, but I think by the end of the chap everyone will be happy. Enjoy! smile.png




A Faberry story for SFF

Specially dedicated to Weevill!

Part 1


It was only 8am, and Quinn was already having a completely crappy day. The up-and-down, hot-and-cold weather fluctuations of early spring in New York were always hard on her body this time of year, and she'd been dragging herself out of bed like a zombie every day for the last week. Today, she'd nearly turned off the alarm and called in sick just so she could go back to sleep; but she didn't want to worry Rachel over nothing, as the little starlet was always so overprotective and anxious any time Quinn seemed under the weather. So she'd screwed up what was left of her willpower, and forced herself out of bed and into the shower. Unlike Quinn, Rachel seemed to get even more energy when the seasonal shift of early spring came around; and while the blonde girl was dragging herself out of bed and trying to get ready for the day, the bouncy little starlet was already out jogging on the Highline. Quinn allowed herself a moment of self-pity, wishing Rachel were curled up around her snug in bed, to cuddle and fuss over her with a few doting kisses to help get her through the day. With a few cranky sighs and grumbles to no one, the weary blonde girl was dressed and out the door, cursing the gloomy grey sky as it pelted her with chilly rain.

And now here she was, standing on the overcrowded subway platform, already late for work because of some signal problem on the tracks. The worst part of subway delays wasn't even being late; it was the knowledge that when the train did eventually come, it would be hopelessly, horrendously overcrowded, due to the number of people who had piled up on the platform waiting over the course of the hold-up. Just thinking about it made the shivering blonde girl want to primal scream and go straight back to bed. Instead, she flipped open her messenger bag and pulled out the library book she was currently reading, hoping for some distraction from her miserable Tuesday morning. Her hands immediately started to feel cold as soon as she took them out of her pockets; but there was no helping this, so she tried to ignore it. Unfortunately, her body didn't get the message, and her chilled hands started firing off tiny distress calls to her brain, which in turn re-routed the signal to her equally chilly nose, causing a sudden, intense tickle to blossom deep inside her head.

"Huhh...ehchhiew!!! *Snnnf.*" Quinn hastily turned her head to the side and cupped one cold hand to her face to cover her sneeze, sniffling sharply as she pinched her damp nostrils between her thumb and forefinger to wipe away the trickle of snot left running down her lip. Her nose still tickled, and she knew she was going to sneeze again; but she tried to hold it back anyway, rubbing her cold nose firmly against the back of her wrist with a deep, long sniffle. "Huhh...uh, uh..." Bowing to the inevitable, Quinn closed her eyes, lightly squeezing her flared nostrils between her thumb and forefinger as she cupped the palm of her hand over her mouth. "Uhkchshx!! *Sniffle*..." The blonde girl sighed miserably, wiping her wet nose on her wrist again as the train finally pulled into the platform. She hated sneezing from a chill; it didn't happen very often, but when it did it was always intense and overpowering, ticklier than her normal sneezes, and basically impossible to hold back. And now she had to get on an overcrowded subway car full of cranky early-morning commuters. Great.

She shoved her book into her bag and rubbed her hands together briskly, blowing on them to try to warm them up as she was shunted into the crowded subway car. It was every bit as crowded as she'd feared, and the sniffling girl found herself pinned into a corner almost immediately. At least she had a wall to lean against and a bar to hang onto; on a train this crowded, there were plenty of people trapped in the middle with nothing at all to hold onto or brace against. Belatedly, Quinn thought of pulling out her iPod; but it was too late now, she literally didn't have room to open her bag or move at all. She sniffled, sighed, and rubbed her nose on her wrist again.

Her hands were warming up a bit now that she was on the train, engulfed in a mass of shared body heat; but there was still a little bit of a chilly tickle left behind in her damp pink nose, and she scrunched her eyes closed and squeezed her nostrils between her thumb and forefinger to try to squash the itch before it got any stronger. Experience had taught her that this was pointless; once her nose had a chill-induced tickle lodged inside it, there was no getting rid of it except to let herself sneeze ferociously. And normally she wouldn't particularly care, but being this tightly jammed on a subway car, tired and cranky, with barely even enough room to raise a hand to her face, she felt exceptionally shy and keen to avoid the attention of her fellow passengers. Her breath hitched involuntarily, and she squeezed her nostrils harder, rubbing them roughly up and down between her pinched fingers. It felt good, but it didn't stop the blossoming tickle from overtaking her breathing, forcing in a deep, sharp gasp of air as her head tilted slightly back, one hand cupped firmly over her mouth while the other gripped the cool metal subway railing tightly.

"Huhhashhoo!!! *Snrf.*" Quinn sneezed violently into her hand, her whole body shuddering with the effort of staying upright and not pitching forward into the crowd of bodies around her.

"Bless you," someone said politely; but Quinn was too embarrassed to reply, keeping her eyes fixed firmly on her shoes as she sniffled sharply, and gave her nose a final wipe on the back of her wrist, which was now glistening and damp. Great.

At least it was over-- she could already feel the intense, niggling itch inside her head receding, and now that she was snugly packed into the overheated subway car, there was no chance of another chill sneaking up on her. Now all she had to worry about was staying awake and getting to work before her boss noticed how late she was. With a sigh, Quinn closed her eyes, letting the steady rumbling of the subway car lull her into a hazy fog as she waited for her stop to approach.


By lunchtime, Quinn's crappy day had gone from bad to worse, and she could no longer blame her runny nose and persistent sneezing on the chill outside; nor the raspy cough, sore throat, and throbbing headache that crept up on her through the morning. Though her new job at one of the city's most prestigious photography studios did come with sick days (not to mention health insurance and a 401-K, making Quinn feel vastly more grown up even though she didn't actually know what a 401-K was), she was keen to make a good impression as the youngest and newest photographer, and didn't even consider leaving work early just because of a stupid little cold. But she also didn't want to spread her germs around the office if she could help it; so instead of eating in the lunch room with the interns as she usually did, she snuck back to her office with her little cup of soup from the bodega next door. The warm broth felt wonderful on her scratchy throat, and she closed her eyes for a moment to savor the steam rising off its surface, sniffling softly to hold back the trickle of snot running from her irritated nostrils.

"Hey. You okay, kiddo?" Her boss, an affable middle-aged gay man named Rickie, brought Quinn out of her reverie as he leaned against her doorway, one eyebrow raised in a mildly parental-ish show of concern.

"Uhh, yeah," Quinn sighed, hastily putting her soup down and tearing off a fresh length of toilet paper from the roll she'd stolen from the bathroom to wipe her nose. "I think I'm just catching a cold or something." Her nose was rapidly filling up with wet, tickly snot, and she really wanted to blow it clear; but not with her boss standing there. So she settled for a quick, rough wipe under her damp nostrils, tossing the wad of toilet paper into the little trash bin beside her desk. Rickie glanced down into the bin, taking note of the enormous pile of crumpled toilet paper wads already there, and then looked back at Quinn, one eyebrow raised critically as he took in the dark circles under her eyes, the pallor in her ivory-toned face, and the raw, pink glow around the bottom of her nose.

"Honey, I know you're 23 years old and you don't need any more parents, but if one of my kids came home from school looking like this, I'd send them straight to bed. Go home, okay little bit? You don't need to be here killing yourself, there's nothing on deadline. Take a sick day, and get some rest before you pass the fuck out and I have a worker's comp claim on my hands." He winked to show her he was only joking about the worker's comp thing; but Quinn felt the sting of tears behind her eyes anyway, and she bit her lip hard on the inside to hold them back. She hated looking weak or needy, especially in a professional environment where she was supposed to be showing the world how responsible and competent she was.

"'Kay...sorry," she whispered miserably, sniffling sharply to quell yet another teasing tickle in the back of her nose.

"Don't be sorry, just take care of yourself, okay hon? You've already proven yourself here, believe me. This Iron Man routine is not necessary. Sick days are meant to be used, no one here will think any less of you for taking the time when you need it. Unless we're in the middle of a major deadline of course, in which case you have my blessing to bring your snot anywhere the client asks." Quinn chuckled and nodded sheepishly, pressing a fresh wad of the thin, scratchy toilet paper to the underside of her nostrils as they began to flare and tickle in earnest.

"Uhh...okay..." She pinched her quivering pink nose in the already damp wad of toilet paper, trying not to sneeze in front of her boss; but it was no use. The tickle was so intense, it felt like the entire inside of her head was spasming open along with her damp nostrils as her lungs forced in a deep, hitching gasp of air. Her head tilted back and her tired eyes snapped tightly shut as she pressed the crumpled wad of paper harder against her cold-filled nostrils. "Hehh'tchshx!! Uhh...ehISHHOOoo!!!" Quinn sneezed helplessly, ferociously, bringing both hands up to cover her face as she snapped forward in her seat. The thin wad of toilet paper was nowhere near absorbent enough for this job, and immediately she felt the splatter of warm, wet snot in the cupped palms of her hands. "Ughh, 'scuse be," she sighed miserably, wiping one hand on the leg of her jeans under the desk before grabbing a fresh length of toilet paper.

"Bless you, kiddo. Now go home and rest up. Take a few days if you need it. I want you at your best when you're on the clock, not swimming through snot island." With a final wink, Rickie was gone, and Quinn was left blowing her nose, embarrassed and relieved at the same time. She slowly packed up her stuff, shoving an extra-large wad of toilet paper in her pocket for the trip home, and dragged herself gratefully out the door.


When Rachel came through the front door an hour later, her arms full of groceries, she was greeted by the sound of Quinn's raspy, congested cough echoing down the hall from the living room. The little starlet dropped her bags in the kitchen and followed the sound, finding her girlfriend curled up on the couch under a blanket, coughing and sniffling, with the TV playing mindlessly in the background.

"Hey baby girl," Rachel cooed, sitting on the edge of the couch and leaning over Quinn to kiss her forehead and stroke her face. "I guess I don't need to ask why you're home early, huh? Poor little thing, you look completely shredded."

"I feel lousy," Quinn agreed miserably, rubbing her raw pink nose on a neatly folded white handkerchief held absently in her hand. "Rickie sent me h-home...huhh...ehhISHsheww!!! *Snrrf.*" Quinn sneezed breathlessly into the soft, clean hanky, then unfolded it once, pinched it around her running nostrils, and blew vigorously into its folds.

"God bless you," Rachel murmured soothingly, running a hand through Quinn's soft blonde hair. The little starlet knew her girlfriend must be feeling really awful if she was taking the day off from work; and the hanky was another obvious sign, to Rachel at least, that Quinn was coming down with something really nasty. The blonde girl kept a few of her dad's old handkerchiefs around just for this purpose; when she was little and had a cold, he'd sometimes give her one to keep in her pocket at school, and though it was intended only to be practical, it was one of the only real demonstrations of care and affection the brusque man had ever shown his daughter, and Quinn had long equated them with comfort and love when she was feeling really sick and vulnerable.

"I still have a couple of hours before I have to go down to the theater...want me to make you some soup, baby?" Rachel smiled and stroked Quinn's cheek.

"Doe thadks, I...*snnf!*...I'd rather you stay here ahd cuddle for a while. I just...*sniffle*...wadt to rest."

"Okay, angel," Rachel nodded, slipping off her shoes and climbing under the covers with her sniffling girlfriend, spooning her from behind with one arm curled around her waist. "Better?"

"Yeah...perfect," Quinn yawned, snuggling down against the pillows with the hanky pressed firmly to her leaking, itching nostrils, rubbing and tugging gently on her bottom of her nose through the soft fabric. It really did feel a million times better on her raw skin than paper tissues; and she appreciated not having to worry about the fabric falling apart in her hands from getting too saturated with snot. The fact that it reminded her of a time when her dad actually cared about her wellbeing stayed firmly below the surface in her subconscious, giving her a vague sense of comfort and security as she pinched her twitching, pulsing pink nostrils in its heavy folds. "Uhh...huhh...hhkshuh! Ehhtchsh!!" No longer worried about looking professional or grown up in front of her colleagues, Quinn didn't try to hold back her sneezes the way she had earlier, letting her tired body snap her forward on the pillows with the force of her congested sneezes. Rachel rubbed soothing circles around her bellybutton, and leaned down to plant a soft kiss on her shoulder as she blew her nose again into the voluminous handkerchief.

"Bless you, bless you," Rachel hummed, nuzzling into Quinn's hair and dropping a few more kisses on ear, her cheek, her temple. "I wish I could freeze time and stay here with you all night instead of going down to the show. I hate leaving you alone when you don't feel good."

"It's okay baby...I'm just gonna sleep anyway," Quinn sighed, relishing all of Rachel's affections as she closed her eyes and yawned again. "Glad you're here now..." Rachel kept rubbing Quinn's stomach in gentle circles, and after a couple of minutes, she thought maybe her girlfriend was falling asleep; her congested breathing was soft and even, and her grip on the damp handkerchief was relaxed in her lap. But then, just as the dark-haired girl was considering snaking her arm out from under the blankets to turn off the TV, Quinn's body curled up with a sharp, rattling cough, followed immediately by a desperate, ferocious sneeze; then more coughing, the slowly dampening hanky clamped firmly over her nose and mouth.

"Aww, honey. You sound terrible. Let me up, I'm getting you some cold medicine." Quinn nodded wordlessly, shifting her weight slightly on the couch so Rachel could slip out from behind her. The dark-haired girl scampered off to the kitchen, returning with a minute later with a tray carrying the cold medicine, a tall glass of water, and several more of the plain white hankies from Quinn's sniffle stash. "Based on how many times you've sneezed in the last fifteen minutes, I figure it won't be long until you need a fresh one of these," she teased gently as she set the tray down on the coffee table, pouring out a dose of the bright red medicine and handing it to her sniffling girlfriend.

"Thag you," Quinn murmured sleepily, gulping down the medicine and a mouthful of water. "Ughh, I'b so stuffed up...uhh...uhhEISHOOoo!! *Snnf*..."

"Bless you, my poor little angel," Rachel hummed softly, as the blonde girl sighed miserably, blowing once more into the damp hanky she held before dropping it onto the coffee table and grabbing a fresh one from the tray. It felt wonderful to pinch her raw, running nose in the soft, clean fabric, and she blew again to appease the wet itch lodged deep inside her head, squeezing and massaging her damp nostrils between the fabric's folds. It helped, but not enough; her nostrils continued to tickle and twitch, and she really wanted to sneeze now, desperate for a moment's relief from the irritation inside her head.

"Ehhh...heh, h-h-h..." Quinn kept the fresh handkerchief pressed firmly to her pink nostrils as they quivered helplessly, feeling the warm, ticklish trickle of snot dripping and soaking into the fabric. She wanted to blow her nose clear of the irritating dribbles, but her breath was hitching too much for that; it was torture, being caught on the brink of a sneeze that wouldn't quite come, but also wouldn't let her rest. Rachel made a sympathetic cooing noise and scooted closer to her girlfriend on the couch, reaching out and gently stroking her hair. Something about Rachel's gentle fingertips at the back of her neck seemed to connect right to the teasing sensation in her sensitive nose, and finally Quinn felt the sharp, deep gasp of air filling her chest, as her little pink nostrils pulsed wide open against the soft fabric pressed against them. "HehhEHCHOOoo!! Ukshhiew!!! *Snnnf*...ahh, uhhh...nkshhiiuh!!"

Bless you, bless you, bless you,” Rachel hummed sweetly, leaning down and kissing her girlfriend's warm forehead while she blew her nose. “Feeling a little better now that you got those sneezes out, hmm baby?”

Yeah,” Quinn croaked weakly, wincing at how raspy her voice sounded, as well as the intensifying soreness in her throat.

Aww, sweet girl,” Rachel cooed, leaning down and dropping a few more kisses all over her girlfriend's feverish face. “Your throat must feel horrible. I'm making you some tea.” Without waiting for a reply, Rachel squeezed Quinn's knee and got up to put on a kettle of water, leaving her girlfriend dazed and sleepy on the couch, absently rubbing her nose on her crumpled handkerchief.

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OH. MY. GOD. blowup.gif holy mother of god. WBB you have truly out done yourself!!! this is AMAZING!!!!! i can't tell you how perfect it is!!! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you soooooooo much!!!!!! i am falling at your knees!!! :bowing:

seriously though this is a masterpiece sleepy.gifsleepy.gifsleepy.gif i would love love love LOVE to see continuation!!!! pleaase????

again i applaud you!! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

thank you!! :D

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OH. MY. GOD. blowup.gif holy mother of god. WBB you have truly out done yourself!!! this is AMAZING!!!!! i can't tell you how perfect it is!!! thank you thank you thank you thank you thank you soooooooo much!!!!!! i am falling at your knees!!! :bowing:

seriously though this is a masterpiece sleepy.gifsleepy.gifsleepy.gif i would love love love LOVE to see continuation!!!! pleaase????

again i applaud you!! clapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gifclapping.gif

thank you!! biggrin.png

^^^^^^^^^^^AGREED :)

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d'awwz, thx you guys!!! I'm thrilled you are enjoying, and yes, there will absolutely be more. just had a busy week, but don't even worry, it's coming... yes.gif

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okay m'dears, here's part 2! enjoy, and thx for all the awesome feedback. you always keep me writing! :)


Part 2


Quinn woke coughing in the darkness, her nose running and her head throbbing with congestion. She was alone on the couch, with the warm afghan tucked snugly around her, and one soft lamp glowing on the end table; but no sign of Rachel. The woozy girl blinked at the darkness outside her living room window, and knew that her girlfriend must have already left for work; and even though the show only lasted a couple of hours each night, Quinn felt an unreasonable amount of loneliness and disappointment at waking up alone, without her loving, overly attentive girlfriend there to cuddle her, and bring her tea, and bless her when she sneezed. Rachel always made “bless you” sound like “I love you more than anything else in the universe,” and Quinn really loved hearing it when she felt so sick and miserable.

And right now, Quinn was definitely feeling miserable. She was weak and shivery and feverish, which, combined with the streaming congestion in her sinuses, made her feel seriously loopy, almost stoned. She didn't want to get up. Or even lift her head. But her nose was running badly, and she could already feel a deep, sneezy tickle swirling around in the back of her head. She sniffled sharply, pressing the joint of her index finger firmly against her glistening wet nostrils as they flared in sickly irritation.

“Hehh...ehhhhh...ehhESHOOooo!!!” Snot flooded her little pink nostrils as she sneezed, splattering her hand and part of the pillow where she was resting her head. She groaned miserably, desperate to blow her nose clear of the teasing wetness before it made her sneeze again. With a soft whine of annoyance, she pushed herself up into a sitting position on the couch, blinking sleepily at the coffee table in search of a fresh handkerchief. That was when she finally noticed all the presents Rachel had left: a stack of fresh hankies, two bottles of vitamin water, a package of cough drops, and her favorite old stuffed animal from high school, Appa the flying bison, with a love note in Rachel's familiar loopy scrawl propped against his front paws.

A little flock of happy butterflies erupted in Quinn's stomach as she looked at everything Rachel had left for her, even knowing she'd only be gone a few hours; it was just like Rachel, and reminded the blonde girl again how lucky she was, and how loved. She reached for a fresh handkerchief first, desperate to blow her nose; but before she'd even raised it to her face, she knew she was going to sneeze instead. The tickle welled up so fast, she didn't even have time to unfold the fabric, and just pressed the neatly folded square to the underside of her quivering nostrils as a thin trickle of snot leaked out, and her breath hitched softly.

“Ahhk'sheww!! Uhh, uhchoo!!! *Snnnnrf.*” It felt good to sneeze, but it didn't completely release the tickle from her wet nostrils. Quinn groped sleepily to unfold the hanky, too discombobulated to be neat as she shook it open and blew gratefully into the soft, clean bundle of fabric. She rubbed and blew her nose at the same time, pinching her irritated pink nostrils in little circles through the fabric as she blew vigorously into it. It felt so good to have something clean and soft to rub her wet nose on; but it still didn't stop a fresh tickle from blossoming deep in the back of her head, sending little waves of ticklish irritation radiating through her sinuses.

“Uh...huhhh...” Her nostrils quickly filled up again, pulsing involuntarily as she squeezed them gently through the handkerchief, her head tilting back helplessly as her breath hitched and her eyes fluttered shut. “Eishhoo!! Hehh...ehhEISHOOoo!!! *Sniff, sniffle*...heh...h-hehh...” Quinn kept the crumpled handkerchief cupped to her face as her breath hitched jaggedly, snot streaming from her pink, quivering nostrils and soaking into the damp cotton between her fingers. Vaguely, in the back of her mind, she registered the sound of Rachel's key in the lock as she pressed the handkerchief firmly to the rims of her flaring nostrils with a deep, hitching breath. “HuhhAHCHOOoo!!! *Sniffle*...”

Bless you, angel,” Rachel cooed softly, as she let herself into the apartment and tossed her keys on the end table, coming up behind Quinn and leaning against the back of the couch to stroke her girlfriend's soft blonde hair.

“Thag you,” Quinn croaked woozily, folding the fabric over once and blowing her nose vigorously into it. “Uhhh, that felt good. I woke up so sneezy...what are you doing back already? *Snnnf!*” The blonde girl rubbed her nose absently on a dry corner of the damp, crumpled handkerchief, and the little starlet came around to sit beside her on the couch, cuddling up to her and kissing her feverish forehead.

“It's ten thirty, baby. The show's over, I've been gone three hours. Did you just wake up?”

“Yuh-huh,” Quinn nodded woozily, with a soft sigh of contentment as Rachel's cool fingers ran through her hair. “Ohh, that feels good Rach...”

“Sweet angel, you're burning up,” Rachel murmured, pressing the back of her hand to her girlfriend's flushed cheek. “I'm getting an ice pack from the freezer. And you need to drink something, too, you haven't even touched the vitamin water I left you.”

“I was asleep,” Quinn huffed, a cranky edge to her voice as she brought the damp, crumpled hanky back up to her running nose, a fresh rivulet of snot gently trickling down the raw, pink skin above her lip before she wiped it away, pressing the fabric flush against the glistening pink rims of her nostrils. “Uhh...uhtchhoo!! *Snrfl.*

“Aww, bless you pookie. I know you were sleeping, I didn't mean anything. I just don't want you to get dehydrated, that's all. Do you want me to make you some more tea? Or would you rather have something cold?” Rachel sifted her fingers gently through her girlfriend's silky blonde hair as she spoke, soothing her with as much with cuddles and little loving touches as with ice packs and medicine.

“I'll have the vitamin water,” Quinn sighed, yawning softly as she reached for the rumpled old stuffed animal sitting across from her on the coffee table, and cuddling it absently in her lap. “But cad I...*snnnf!*...have a glass with ice, ahd a straw?”

“Sure you can, sweetness. Be right back.” With a parting kiss, Rachel left Quinn sniffling on the couch and headed for the kitchen, immensely relieved to be home with her sick baby where she belonged.

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oh mother of god. holy crap this is so good!!!! this is definitely one of your best EVER!!! thank you thank you soooo much for continuing the story!!!! i really hope there'll be a part three!! (and part four and five and six....hahahahh)

thank you so so so much!!!!

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I can't believe that I haven't told you this sooner, wannablessedbe (seeing as I've followed your Glee fanfics for some time), but your writing is simply amazing! Everything from the intimacy between the characters to the phonetic expressions of their sneezes is just lovely, and your talent shines in every story--please keep it up!

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I've essentially given up on Glee, but it seems that your Faberry fics always draw me back xD lovely, lovely work as always! :)

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sooo i just reread this story and idk about everyone else but id really love to see it continued biggrin.png

^^ I agree 1000000000% :)

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d'awwwwwz, thx you guys! I apologize for the delay between posts, I've had a busy couple of weeks. but rest assured there will absolutely be more of this story! hopefully soon... :)

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Hey gleeks! Here's part 3, as promised, hope you'll enjoy. Just to warn you (though it seems like we're all totally on the same page here), things are getting quite messy in this chap! Have fun, and let me know what you think :)



Part 3


Rachel woke up slowly in the dark, simultaneously aware of two things: the chilly night air on her skin, and Quinn's raspy coughing beside her. Rolling over, the sleepy little starlet automatically reached out a hand and rubbed her girlfriend's shuddering back, taking note as she slowly woke up that the reason she felt cold was that all the blankets had been kicked to the floor.

"You okay, hmm baby?" Rachel yawned softly, pulling Quinn up with her into a sitting position to help her breathe more freely.

"Yeah. I'm okay," Quinn croaked sleepily, then doubling over with another rattling cough. "Just...*cough!*...need a drink of water..."

"I think you need more than water, honey," Rachel murmured, stroking a lock of sweat-dampened hair back from her girlfriend's feverish face and softly kissing her temple. "I'm getting your inhaler, okay?"

"Noooo," Quinn whined, fumbling for the bottle of vitamin water on her bedside table and taking a hasty gulp to calm her dry throat. "I don't need it Rach, it'll keep me up all night...just give me some cough syrup, okay? Then we can go back to sleep...*snnnf!*...huh, huhhh..." In the darkness, Rachel felt more than saw her girlfriend's softly hitching gasp of pre-sneeze breath, and rubbed her back soothingly as the blonde girl cupped her hands to her face. "Hehh'kshhuh!!! *Cough, cough, cough*..."

"Bless you, Quinnie," Rachel yawned sleepily, rubbing her girlfriend's back one more time before stumbling out of bed, picking up the tangle of blankets from the floor and pulling them back up onto the mattress, covering her girlfriend's fever-flushed body. "We're not arguing about this, you need your inhaler. You've already had all the over-the-counter cold medicine we can give you. This is why we have the inhaler, to stop the irritation in your lungs before it gets any worse. I'll be right back."

Quinn whined moodily, but didn't argue as Rachel shuffled off to the bathroom to retrieve the little-used inhaler from the medicine cabinet. Ever since the awful, nearly fatal car crash she'd had in their last semester of high school, Quinn had scar tissue in her lungs; and she always would. It wasn't enough to interfere with her daily life, and thankfully it didn't prevent her from being healthy and active; but they'd found out pretty quickly that it made her a lot more vulnerable to respiratory complications anytime she picked up a cold or a minor illness. Once she started coughing, her lungs became easily inflamed and irritated, creating a vicious cycle that lead to frequent bouts of bronchitis and pneumonia in the first couple of years after the accident. The standard-issue albuterol inhaler her doctor had prescribed made a huge difference in stopping this vicious cycle in its tracks; but Quinn hated using it, especially at night, because it made her jittery and restless, worse than coffee and red bull combined. Rachel understood how unpleasant this could be, but there was no helping it—she wasn't about to sacrifice her girlfriend's health and wellness for a few hours of sleep. Knowing that they'd both be up till sunrise, Rachel retrieved the little blue inhaler and took it back to Quinn in the bed.

"Here you go, angel," the little starlet yawned, climbing back into bed beside her girlfriend and handing over the medicine. Quinn took it grudgingly, shaking it up and popping off the cap before taking a deep puff; then another.

"Thanks, Rach," she sighed wearily, putting the little tube aside on the bedside table. "I guess I'll go watch some TV or something. Go back to sleep, 'kay? I'm sorry I woke you."

"Don't be stupid, I'm coming with you," Rachel yawned, following her girlfriend's lead and climbing out of bed again, grabbing her pillow to bring with her to the couch. "We'll have a pajama party movie marathon or something...c'mon, I'll make some tea, 'kay?"

"You're so freaking awesome, Rach," Quinn sighed with a sleepy half-smile, still groggy and exhausted despite the drug-induced jitters radiating through her body.

"Yeah, I just can't fall back to sleep without my little cuddle-monster there to keep the sheets warm," Rachel winked, making Quinn giggle woozily. "C'mon sweet girl, let's go curl up on the couch."

"'Kay...*snrfl*...uhhh, my nose is running again..." The sniffling blonde girl picked up her discarded handkerchief from the bedside table just in time to cup it to her twitching pink nostrils. "EhhISHshoo!!!" Quinn shivered with a helpless, stuffy sneeze, doubling her over in her tracks.

"Bless you baby," Rachel yawned, rubbing her girlfriend's warm back even as her breath hitched ticklishly, revving up for another irrepressible sneeze.

"Ughh, thadks...*snrfl*...h-h-hih..." Quinn pinched her leaking nostrils firmly in the handkerchief's damp folds, trying to hold back any more sneezes until they made it down the hall to the living room couch. They'd almost made it when she froze, her legs and spine locking stubbornly into place as the tickle in her raw pink nose blossomed, making her head tilt back and her sleepy eyes snap tightly shut as her lungs expanded involuntarily.

"HuhhAHCHOOoo!! Hehh...het'tchhiiew!!! *Cough, cough*..."

"God bless you," Rachel hummed, steering her sniffling girlfriend the rest of the way to the couch and gently pushing her down onto the soft cushions before she could succumb to another bout of sickly sneezes.

"Rach, I'b cold," Quinn whimpered, curling up tightly on the couch as a wave of feverish chills coursed through her body.

"Here you go, sweet baby," Rachel yawned softly, unfolding the heavy afghan from the foot of the couch and tucking it around her girlfriend's shivering body. "I'm just gonna go put some water on for tea, and then I'll be right back to cuddle you...okay?"

"'Kay," Quinn sniffled sleepily, rubbing her damp nose in the folds of the crumpled handkerchief; then she gave another raspy cough. "Ughh, why do my lungs hate me?"

"Poor baby, I promise we'll make you feel better," Rachel hummed, kissing the top of Quinn's head. "Be right back." The dark-haired girl flipped on the TV in the darkened room, handed her girlfriend the remote, then slipped off to the kitchen to put on water for tea. By the time she came back, Quinn was settled down against the pillows watching a nature show on the Discovery Channel. "Scootch over," Rachel commanded gently, and Quinn obediently shifted to make room for her girlfriend to slip under the blankets with her. "There we go...is that better, my little lamb?"

"Yeah...thadks, starlight," Quinn yawned, putting her head down on Rachel's shoulder as she rubbed absently at the bottom of her nose. "Dunno what I'd do if you weren't here to baby me like this...*snnrfl*..." The blonde girl lifted her head woozily from her girlfriend's shoulder as she felt a fresh sneeze welling up in her congested little nose, snot oozing from her raw pink nostrils and soaking into the damp hanky between her fingers. "Ehh...h-huh...uhh'tchoo!! ...*Sniffle*..."

"Bless you angel," Rachel murmured, stroking the mussed blonde hair back from Quinn's face as the blonde girl leaned back against the couch cushions in surrender, holding the damp handkerchief a few inches in front of her face as fresh rivulets of glistening discharge ran freely from her helplessly irritated and congested nostrils.

"Ahh...ahhESHiuhh!! Heh...hehh...hehhESHshoo!!! *Snrfl*..."

"Bless you, bless you, my sweet little snifflebug," Rachel sighed sympathetically, playing absently with Quinn's hair while the blonde girl blew her nose again.

"Ughh, thags," Quinn sighed despondently. "I feel dizzy..."

"Close your eyes, baby," the little starlet cooed softly, gently stroking her girlfriend's hair and feverish forehead until her sleepy hazel eyes fell shut, and her head dropped all the way back against the pillow. "Good girl. Just relax, I'm here...I'm right here, love..."

Quinn sighed softly, her breathing still raspy with congestion. At least the cough seemed to be getting better, Rachel thought as she ran her fingers lightly through her girlfriend's sweat-dampened blonde hair. She also noticed a fresh trickle of watery snot clinging to the underside of Quinn's damp pink nose; carefully, so as not to disturb her, Rachel reached across the coffee table and picked up a fresh handkerchief from the neat stack she'd left there earlier. Very gently, the dark-haired girl unfolded the clean cotton cloth and pinched it to her girlfriend's runny nose, feeling more snot squeezing out into the fabric between her fingers as she tightened her grip slightly.

"Blow," Rachel commanded gently; and Quinn did, far too sick and miserable to be embarrassed. "There you go, that's my girl," Rachel cooed softly, gently but firmly wiping the hanky under her sleepy girlfriend's wet nose, pinching it as she pulled away to capture the last trickles of discharge running down toward the blonde girl's upper lip.

"I love you," Quinn murmured sleepily, opening her eyes with a woozy half-smile, that clearly said she knew how lucky she was to have someone who loved her enough to wipe the snot from her nose.

"I love you too, angel face." Rachel leaned in and kissed Quinn right on the lips, without any regard for her germs. She'd been sneezed on so many times in the last 12 hours, it hardly seemed worth the effort to avoid them now anyway. They smiled sleepily at each other; then the whistling tea kettle made the dark-haired girl climb off the couch, and with one more kiss for her little lamb, she headed for the kitchen.

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This is sooooo amazing! and well well well worth the wait! thanks :) please continue!!!

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:bounce: :bounce: :bounce:

ummm more??? please?

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