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A Sneeze Between Friends


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Hi everyone ^^. I've lurked here for ages but have recently got my courage up to actually try and write some sneezefics, and this is my first offering. I hope you'll like it! It's not a very plot heavy business. Really no excuse except wanting to make Shizuo sneeze. But I imagine some people won't complan wink.png.



The sudden sound was loud enough to rattle the half-empty plate on the table between them and send one of Shinra’s nicer teacups sliding off. Celty gave a mighty start, darted out an instinctive shadow-tentacle to grab it, then stared. Shizuo had thrown up an arm to catch the sneeze at the crook of his elbow – for all that that helped anything – and was now frowning uncertainly over it, sunglasses knocked down his twitching nose, eyes shut very tightly. He gave a small gasp, froze for an instant, and finally shook his head before lowering his arm and looking back to her. His eyes still had a vaguely glassy look.

“Sorry. You were saying - ?”

[ Bless you! ] Celty typed out with almost flailing speed, practically sticking the phone in his face. Shizuo grunted something resembling thanks, but whatever more he meant to say was lost; he raised his arm again and went perfectly still for a handful of seconds before pitching forward with a yet-louder “hhhYISH’UHH!”

That one had sounded more satisfying, Celty decided, though it was weird that that was something you’d be able to hear. Maybe it was just her. Sneezing was as much a part of everyday life as eating – for people who had a head, of course – and she’d heard plenty of it in her days; but while hunger was something she could imagine, something she thought that she could compare to experiences of her own, she couldn’t find an adequate comparison to what it felt like to sneeze. It was simply an alien concept.

And then there was it being Shizuo, who was never sick, whose respiratory system was as mind-bogglingly powerful as the rest of him. With others it had become almost normal to her over time – Shinra and the various bugs that he caught on the job, Izaya and his very, very carefully concealed hay fever – but with Shizuo, she still found herself staring every time.

Her fingers fluttered on the keyboard, but she finally typed out: [ What does it feel like? ]

She didn’t thrust it that close to his face this time. In fact she held it back almost shyly, but he still shifted a little bit away from the phone with a baffled frown. He pushed his sunglasses back up and looked at her over their rim. “Huh? What – sneezing?”

She gave him the little bob of her neck and shoulders that passed for a nod, already typing furiously again. Maybe it was silly, but Shizuo knew her, he probably wouldn’t mind her going on and on. [ I wish I could try it. But it’s impossible, even when I still had my head, I never needed to sneeze… when some people do it, it looks so relieving. ]

“You think so?” Maybe it was all the talk about it, but he was already rubbing his nose again as he spoke. Celty leaned in, fascinated, to watch his nostrils give a sharp twinge. “I guess it can be when you ahh… aren’t… shit – “ he gasped in a huge breath, only to let it out a moment later in a hiss of annoyance. “Snf! Don’t know what’s the matter with me today.”

[ Maybe you’re catching a cold? ] She was reasonably sure that that wasn’t possible, and so was he from the look he gave her. But the fact was that he was still sniffling minutely ever few seconds, tiny ticklish sounds that, to Celty’s ongoing disappointment, yielded nothing at all. At last he swore again under his breath and picked up the pepper shaker from the table, then unscrewed its top to Celty’s baffled typing.

[ Shizuo, what ]

“You really want to know what sneezing feels like?” He sounded maybe a bit amused, but mostly as serious as Shizuo was about most everything. Celty realized what he was going to do a moment too late to do anything but flail her arms at him. “Let’s see,” he muttered, brazenly ignoring her as he raised the shaker to his face.

He gave such a sniff that Celty could all but see the pepper fly up his nose. The reaction was immediate – more immediate than Shizuo had intended, it looked like. He didn’t even have time to put the shaker down and barely any to smash the back of his wrist to his desperately flaring nostrils. “h’Isuhh! ISHUHh!

The uncapped pepper shaker slipped from his hand and scattered its contents all over the table in a great big cloud. Celty panicked. She manifested a dome of shadow over the table and caught as many of the raining, piling little grains as she could, but as soon as she glanced up from it she could see that the damage had already been done. Shizuo was sitting back in his chair with a dazed look, blinking slowly, his mouth slightly open and eyes half-lidded. He gave a tiny sniff, which made his nose wrinkle fiercely in response. Another sniff, an experimental breath, and then he made a low and dismayed sound.

“Right now it feels like fire ants are crawling up my nose,” he grumbled. “All those... pinches. It’s… just like…” his breath hitched wildly. Once, twice, three times –


“Ugh,” Shizuo said, pushing his index finger under his nose. Celty realized that she was leaning forward again, holding her breath – a particularly peculiar thing for a being that didn’t need to breath per se – and was a little bit relieved that she didn’t have a face to make her staring too obvious. But it was just so bizarre, seeing the strongest man in Ikebukuro at the mercies of tiny grains of pepper. His expression had become a mask of dull irritation, brow furrowed, faint dampness gathering at the corners of his eyes and the tip of his nose gone pink and trembling slightly even between sniffles. Even his breathing was out of his control, shallow then gasping every few seconds. She began to type on her phone again – [ what is it like now?? ] – but as she raised it she realized that he probably couldn’t focus on reading.

Hehhh – “ his chest inflated widely, and he froze at it, before giving a thickly wet snuffle. That seemed to quiet the urge just for long enough to let him get a few words out. “It’s annoying. My… my n-nose… hh-! Feel it burning in there liihh… like… HAHhh… dabbit, Celdy…“ he sniffed again, nose miserably full, and cupped both hands over it and his mouth. “How d’you dalk be indo this?”

[ What? Me?! ] She thrust her phone at him in protest, but he was too busy rearing his head back and panting again and weakly waved her off. Which was only weirder, Shizuo doing anything weakly. He fumbled at his breast-pocket, dropped his cigarette box and produced a handkerchief that really did not seem up to the task of the gurgling blow that he gave into it. She watched with great interest, feeling perfectly entitled – she definitely had not talked him into breathing in a noseful of pepper. Said nose, she noted when he lowered the handkerchief again, was now rather flushed, though it did stop wriggling. He opened one eye and fixed her with an unhappy glare.

Celty was unfazed, except that her shoulders slumped slightly as she typed. [ Is it gone? ] He’d been so close, she was sure she was going to get a proper view. Shizuo sniffed carefully, eyes turning upward as he focused, then nodded.

“Think s – “ he started, then suddenly threw his head back with an enormous gasp. “Heh! HEHh! H’hhYISHhahh!

If Celty had a head, it would have been sprayed rather thoroughly. As it was, she cringed back from the violent expulsion of air that burst through the black mists that rose from her neck. She’d never been so close to anyone’s sneeze, and maybe starting with Shizuo had been a bad idea. She started to type a blessing, only to realize that he was only just gearing up. Maybe, she thought, not quite familiar with the mechanics of the matter, the nose blow had gotten all the insulating fluid out of his sinuses and left the pepper or whatever had originally set him off in. Chest heaving, he managed to hold back the fit just long enough to bury his nose in the handkerchief before unleashing the sound and fury. “EhSHUuh! HAH’shuu! ... hudh – hehh-heh’ASHUH!... hehh… hh…! snf… hihh-HUH…! Hh’RSHOOHhh!”

With that last spectacular explosion, the table he’d been bracing himself against gave way and collapsed to the floor, dishes, teacup and all, along with Celty’s dome of contained pepper. Knocked very abruptly out of the fascinated trance of watching Shizuo sneeze and sneeze, the Dullahan let the bubble slip for a split-second, which naturally was a split-second too long. The fine black powder scattered everywhere, there was no stopping it now. Seeing the vaguely panicked look on her friend’s face, Celty instinctively opted for the next best thing. She snapped up a protective bubble over Shizuo’s nose and mouth.

“Sorry,” he muttered into it along with a thick sniff, the tremors of his voice reaching her not through the air but through the shadow-mist. Celty waved a hand at him to convey that it was no trouble at all. Shinra wouldn’t mind losing the table under the circumstances – no, chances are he’d be delighted at the idea of his lovely lady demon making observations of human respiration and involuntary nervous system. All she had to do was quickly get the vacuum cleaner.

Then she suddenly froze. Under the silky touch of her shadow-bubble, Shizuo’s nose was still twitching.

Feeling it like this was completely unlike seeing it, nothing like feeling it against her skin, either. It was much more sensitive and immediate. She felt every tiny ripple that went through his irritated nostrils, every little gasp that escaped from him, the way his tongue slipped out to brush his dry lips and the minute hitches in his breath. When he snuffled again she could practically feel the air shifting sluggishly in his congested sinuses. It was hypnotizing.


She almost jumped at the sound of her name, feeling caught and embarrassed. Vacuum cleaner – right, she was on her way to get a vacuum cleaner. She held up a finger to signal Shizuo to wait, struggling to shift her attentions from one array of senses to the other. He gave a quick nod, but even before she turned around, his eyes fluttered shut. His head reared back a little, and her bubble shook with the minute feeling of the hitching in his breath.

Temptation grabbed Celty by the proverbial throat. His attention was anywhere but on her: she had no doubt that he would hardly notice if she went or stayed. And he was clearly struggling. Honestly, she was just trying to help.

Inside the bubble, she manifested two tiny, feathery wisps of shadow, two smoky tendrils, and let them drift up into Shizuo’s nose, minutely brushing against the irritated membranes.

Her friend’s breath caught, suspended on the crest of a gasp. She could feel his nostrils strain open, as though trying to escape the invasion, their delicate inner surfaces quivering in helpless rebellion. A tiny stroke made him sniff, then breath shakily again.


Burning with curiosity – she’d given up on restraint by now – Celty flicked the tendrils again. How long could she keep him on that edge?

HEhh…” a faint desperate note begun to creep into Shizuo’s breathing. She realized now that she effectively had him at her mercies. “HIHHh…!”

The thin wisps traveled up and were met with a gush of liquid that somehow didn’t disgust her: it, the trembling of air in the mouth, the pull of the facial muscles, they were all very strangely organic and real against the immateriality of her shadow probes. All that once she realized that she could imagine the whole experience of sneezing very clearly. It clicked into place and made her heart jump with the excitement of discovery.

With serendipitous timing, Shizuo lost it.

HehRASHHUUHH! The sneeze was a hurricane writ small. It blew her wisps out to all and sunder and if not restricted by her shadow bubble might have blown out all the windows in the apartment. As it was, it bent Shizuo double and left Celty stunned. It was a well known fact in Ikebukuro that Shizuo was a weapon of mass destruction, but that estimation didn’t usually extend to his nose. The Dullahan stood with chest silently fluttering at this completely unrestrained display of power. The fact that she had a hand – or something like – in eliciting it was a touching bonus.

[ Bless you!! ] she had begun typing out on her phone, debating the appropriate number of exclamation marks for a sneeze of that magnitude, when Shizuo’s dry voice snapped her back into attention.

“If you’re dode havig fud dow, cad I blow by dose?”

Startled, Celty was suddenly very grateful that she didn’t have a face to turn up to him, because she was sure it’d have flushed to the very tips of the ears she also did not have. She put her hands together and hunched her shoulders in an attempt to look perfectly demure and innocent, but there was a knowing sort of glint in Shizuo’s eyes – not a common expression on the man, subtle as it was, but also not an angry one. Satisfied, maybe. Amused.

[ I’m sorry ] Celty typed out. She dropped the shadow bubble only for Shizuo to ignore her phone in favor of bringing his handkerchief back up and blowing his nose with a series of earth-shaking honks. Even when he was done he kept it up, which was probably a good idea considering that the little business of the vacuum cleaner had been completely forgotten.

“Hmpf,” he said, without even looking at the phone as she turned it to him. She couldn’t see his mouth under the cloth, but there was that glint in his eyes again, and she could tell – that was just a quirk of faces, for people who had faces. She could tell that he was grinning. “Don’t apologize. What’s a few sneezes between friends.”


All feedback and criticism cherished and appreciated!

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NYAUUUUHH~! THAT'S FANTASTIC. OMG.. Love Shizuo.. Love this writing.. Love this idea <3.. Loved EVERYTHING <3

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