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Secret Santa for Dusty15 ~~ Multi-part *James McAvoy*


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Happy Holidays, dearest Dusty! Last year you wrote me one of the most amazing fics ever. I know I will never be able to come close to writing something as wonderful as ‘Allergic to Christmas,’ but I am thrilled to be your Secret Santa this year. Maybe I can return the christmasy-fetishy-cheer in my own special way, hmm?

This will be a multi-part drabble series, the last part arriving no later than January 1st, 2013. There will be more sneezing in the latter parts, not to worry. wink.png

I think all anyone needs to know about the story are the following points:

  • It takes place in Germany, during the summer of 2008. Filming of The Last Station is underway, and we know that James did indeed have a cold for some of this time
  • One also needs to know that he is “desperately allergic to horses,” (his words!) and that the scene they are filming in the first part of this drabble is the one where <spoiler>Tolstoy leaves Yasnaya Polyana </spoiler> in the middle of the night.
  • The Michael in the story refers to Michael Hoffman, the movie’s director. I find it’s awkward to mention a person by their first and last names when I’m trying to make the story feel natural, so….yeah. wink.png
  • I’ve had a horrible case of writers block for the last couple of months, so this may not be my strongest writing. Nonetheless, I hope you enjoy it! wink.png

* * *

“Are you alright, James?”

At the sound of his name, James jolted upright, blinking rapidly. He had, until that moment, been resting his head in his arms, having found a brief moment to himself as various crew members prepared for the night shoot that had yet to begin.

Generally, James preferred to be alert to and involved in whatever was happening on the set. However, one needed an absurd amount of energy in order to do this, and at the time all James had was an incompetent immune system, a nasty cold, and a folding chair located right next to a conveniently placed space heater.

Conveniently placed meaning he might have moved it a few feet so that it was under the tented area he was currently residing under. A few folding tables were also set up with coffee and tea that looked incredibly tempting.

The voice belonged to Lisa, one of the production assistants, who joined James under the tented area. She poured herself a Styrofoam cup of coffee while she continued to talk.

“Anne-Marie was on my case earlier,” Lisa explained with a chuckle. “I promised to check up on you while she’s tied up with wardrobe. Mentioned you’re feeling a bit under the weather?”

James tried to smile, which was a harder task then it probably should have been. His lips were numb in the freezing air (it was Germany, after all), and he briefly wondered if they were turning blue like they had last week, when they had filmed the pond scene. He had no doubt that was the major contributing factor to him falling ill. The water had been positively Baltic.

“I’m alright,” James replied. “Just a wee bit of a cold. Nothing serious.”

Lisa eyed him skeptically before sliding a cup of coffee in his direction.

“Not buying it,” she retorted with a smile. “Here.”

James thanked her with a smile, taking the warm cup in his freezing palms.

Lisa’s phone buzzed, and she peered at the screen with a frown. “Looks like I’m needed,” she explained, gathering the binder and various papers she had placed next to the coffee machine. “It shouldn’t be too much longer until we start the shoot,” she called, as she made her way over to the set. “Take it easy, James.”

“Will do,” James replied. He waited until she was out of sight to reach up to lightly scratch at his nose where a sudden tickle was making itself known. He wrinkled his nose at the familiar sensation, wishing with all the energy he had left for the itchiness to subside.

He had spent a fair bit of the previous day sneezing, - though most of it had been for his role in the movie. His character had the comical affliction of a nervous sneeze, and James had been rather amused at how faking a sneeze could so easily trigger a real one moments after. No one had noticed this until Michael had called ‘cut’ and James had continued to sneeze, having no choice but embarrassedly explain the unexpected ironic aspect of having a cold. They all had a bit of a laugh about that, so it hadn’t been too mortifying.

“Feeling any better, love?”

Startled for the second time in a few minutes, James turned around to face Anne-Marie, who immediately reeled him in for a hug. James pulled back first, not wanting to spread his germs any more than he probably already had.

Although they had separate hotel rooms for the duration of the shoot in Germany, they almost always ended up in one of the other’s room during the night. Even when he had started feeling unwell, Anne-Marie had insisted on staying, fussing over him when he woke up increasingly congested and feverish throughout the night.

“Not really,” James admitted, reaching up to nudge at his twitching nose with a freezing knuckle. The ticklish sensation wasn’t abating, so he took a sip of coffee in an attempt to distract his nose, which was having no part of cooperating.

Not one bit.

James put his coffee down in time for his breath to catch, raising his arm to cover his nose and mouth and turning away from Anne-Marie as the sneeze finally tickled its way out.


“Bless you,” Anne-Marie offered politely, as James slowly lowered his arm.

He sniffed wetly and glanced down, grimacing at the slightly damp spot on the sleeve of his jacket. Quickly, he rubbed it away, glancing upwards sheepishly.

“Thanks,” he replied, as a shiver ran through his body.

Unfortunately, the rush of cold and tingling of nerves was enough to send his nose over the edge again. This time he cupped a hand over his nose and mouth as two increasingly desperate-sounding sneezes burst out.

“Ehh’TSGHcktt! Hhh’GHHTshhu!”

Thick congestion immediately flooded his sinuses, and James sniffled wetly in the aftermath, grasping his nose between his thumb and forefinger for a moment before lightly pressing a fist to his beleaguered nostrils.

Very quickly, Anne-Marie reached into the pocket of her jacket, pulling out a small package of tissues and pressing them into James’ palm.

“Thought these might come in handy,” she explained with a gentle smile. “I guess I wasn’t wrong in assuming you wouldn’t have any on you.”

James wrinkled his nose again, in a gesture that was more teasing than irritated. He took one of the tissues gratefully, giving his nose a wipe before pocketing the package for (inevitable) later use.

“Thanks,” he repeated. “This is just awful...”

Anne-Marie’s teasing smile faded as she observed her husband’s current state of being. With worried eyes she took a step forwards and placed her lips against James’ forehead. She frowned as she pulled away again, though not so far that she couldn’t place a hand on the side of James’ face and kiss his nose gently.

“Promise me you’ll get some sleep tonight? Maybe take some cold medicine if you have to. It’ll knock you out.”

James nodded in agreement.

“Sounds good. Even if it’s already night…”

His voice trailed off as he noticed something quite concerning, not twenty yards away from where they were standing. As he took in the two horses being led onto the set, his eyes widened in an unreadable expression – something between slight horror and utter dread.

Anne-Marie, who had followed his gaze almost immediately, noticed the animals at the very moment James blurted out exactly what was on both their minds.

“Oh, I’m fucked…

It wasn’t that James didn’t like working with the horses. On the contrary – they just didn’t work with him. His allergies, that is. Fortunately, being around horses wasn’t a scenario he ran into often, but when he did, it wasn’t pretty.

Anne-Marie grabbed his hand and gave it a squeeze as James buried his face in her shoulder. “Fuck,” he groaned again, squeezing his eyes shut.

“If I remember correctly, you don’t have to do much more than just stand near them,” she said. “Christ, it’s like they’re trying to make you into a method actor,” she joked, patting James’ face affectionately.

“Thank the heavens I don’t actually have to ride them,” James exclaimed, looking up with squinty eyes. His nose twitched a few times, and for the slightest moment he thought he was going to get away with only a few sniffles…

Apparently his nose had other plans.

James still had a tissue clutched in his hand, and he pressed it up to his nose in time to turn away and catch a volley of sneezes that tumbled out one after another.

TSGHhck! IhhHXXtch…! Hhih…TGHsh’kkt! Ahh’TCSH’uhh!”

The tissue was considerably damp and very much useless when the fit finally abated. Still, James did not dare to remove it from his nose, nor did he turn back around until he had tucked another tissue around his reddened nose

“You okay?,” Anne-Marie asked gently. She had seen James like this many times before, but it still didn’t make her any less concerned for his well-being and comfort.

“I-I’m alright,” James managed, snuffling into the tissue as he slowly turned back around. “I don’t think it can get much worse than this, actually…”

* * *

TBC! wink.png

PsSsSsSt... Oh yes, James. Yes it can. xD

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GAHHHHHHHH! Oh my God, this is AMAZING! I'm not entirely sure you can call RPF 'in character', because they're not really 'characters', per se, as much as they're legitimate people who exist. :laugh: BUT FOR THE SAKE OF THIS FIC, THEY'RE IN CHARACTER, OKAY?! jakljsdklfjSDf Eeeeek! Especially James' dialogue, haha. You are SPOT-ON with that. Lovely, lovely, lovely~ :yay:

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Especially James' dialogue, haha. You are SPOT-ON with that.

hmm, I don't know why THAT is.... xD




I died and went to heaven.

Thank you so much *_*

I seriously have no words for this. This is perfection!!!!

AHH COME BACK <3 Thank you! <3

So good! Looking forward to the next segment. smile.png

thank you! I am too! :D even more excited for Dusty to see this! xDD


thank you! <3

more coming soon, lovelies! <3

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AHHHHHH STOP IT! Omg Purple! I'm so glad I've seen this now (I've been on a slight holiday hiatus!). Holy crap.

Stop it you with the self deprecation- this is amazing! Augh I have no words because I've gone all weak and melty inside.

Big hugs and high-fives to you. I can't even believe my luck that there's more to this because this part is already so much more than I could have asked for! :-P

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Ahhhh! I'm so glad you like it! blush.png And no...I will not stop. I DONT KNOW HOW OKAY. >:3

Don't melt too much -- there's more! *hides*

* * *


"You probably shouldn't have said that earlier," Anne-Marie sighed. "You were just tempting fate."

James looked up from the last of his tissue supply, blinking away the tears that were blurring his sight. Of course it could have gotten worse. And it had, shortly after Michael had suggested they try a take that involved James having to be far too close to the horse than he should have.

Had he realized he'd be working with the horses he would have made a point to take some Zyrtec or something beforehand, but no such luck. Within moments of direct exposure to the animal, James had felt his allergies kicking in on top of his already annoyingly present cold symptoms.

He had sniffled his way through the night, grateful for the first time in his acting career to have only two lines for the entire scene. It had been emotionally demanding for the actors, especially for Anne-Marie and Christopher.And when Michael felt as though they had gotten everything they needed, they had all gotten out of there pretty damn quick.

It was well after four in the morning when they arrived back at the hotel, but any reasonable sense of time had been lost in the fever induced fog swilling about in James' head. Which was pounding, due to his repeated attempt to contain his sneezes. James wasn't sure if they were cold or allergy-induced, and quite frankly he didn't care. Regardless of the cause...

"Ehh'TCHHckkt...! EHH'tsshhkkct!"

...He was miserable.

"I love you, but we are in an elevator," Anne-Marie laughed, dramatically pressing herself up against the far wall of the elevator. "Bless you, by the way."

"If you were really concerned about getting sick you'd be sleeping in your own room," James muttered with the smallest of smiles forming on his lips.

Anne-Marie laughed, glancing up when the elevator alerted they had arrived on their floor.

"Nah, my immune system is twice as strong as yours is poor," she quipped as the doors slid open with a soft 'ping!' "After you," she added with a grin.

James made a face.

"That's not entirely funny," he countered, keeping his voice low as they made their way down the hall. He couldn't help but silently agree, though. Anne-Marie was almost never ill. It was always him.

James could feel another sneeze threatening to escape as they arrived at their hotel room. As Anne-Marie unlocked the door, James pressed both hands to his nose tightly, suppressing the following reaction.

"Nhh'xxsh! Isshh'eckt! K'ghhkt! Ehh'txxsh!"

Apparently, by stifling the sneezes, James was only encouraging the reaction to keep up it's torturous act. So caught up in the act of silencing the sneezes, James was barely aware of Anne-Marie's arm around his waist guiding him through the door and onto his bed.

"Sorry...," he croaked. "M'okay... Iiihh'm fine..."

"You're not bloody fine, James," Anne-Marie replied sternly, turning on the light nearest to the bed before heading into the bathroom to retrieve more tissues.

James looked up and squinted in the brightness, sniffling wetly.

"Not sneezing now," he called weakly. "See? Fine."

Anne-Marie shot him a look as she returned and tossed him the box of tissues.

"Okay, then," she exclaimed, crossing her arms. "Say my name."


"Say my name," she repeated, raising an eyebrow. "If you can pronounce the 'N' and the 'M,' I'll believe you. If not, I'm getting a taxi to the nearest chemist and -"

It's at that moment that James' lungs chose a horrible time to act up. Turning away, he started coughing harshly, unintentionally cutting Anne-Marie's sentence short. The fit continued for a good twenty seconds before subsiding, reminding James of one of the many reasons he should probably stop smoking one of these days.

Anne-Marie gazed at him worriedly while he recovered.

"That really doesn't sound good," she fretted.

"Still not sneezing...," James tried meekly.

Anne-Marie laughed.

"You're just stubborn," she sighed, collapsing onto the bed next to him.

James wrinkled his nose in a silly sort of gesture, though immediately regretted doing so when it began to tickle wildly. He sniffled in an attempt to alleviate the itch, wiggling his nose when the sniffle wasn't enough.

Sensing his distress, Anne-Marie wordlessly reached for the tissue box and handed it to James who accepted it gratefully, plucking out a white square in time to smother two equally ticklish sneezes within it.

"Hh'EGgks'shhuh! EH'TCHshhh!"

"Bless you," Anne-Marie was quick to say, but one glance at James' slightly vacant expression told her he wasn't quite finished yet.

James stayed completely still, tissue pressed up against his nose with steepled hands. He desperately needed to sneeze again, but, much to his dismay, the teasing tickle refused to develop into anything further...But before he knew it, he was bending somewhat at the waist and sneezing rather explosively into the waiting tissue.


He managed to muffle it for the most part, but there had been no way he could have stopped it, even if he wanted to. That level of desperation almost certainly had something to with the bloody horses.

"Bless," Anne-Marie replied.

James wiped his nose and tossed the tissue into the wastebasket next to the bed.

"Thanks," he replied hoarsely, burrowing into the depths of the comforter defeatedly.

Anne-Marie sighed.

"I suppose filming in a freezing pond last week didn't help you," she mused, reaching out to run her fingers through her husband's short hair affectionately. Pausing to press the palm of her hand against his forehead, she frowned when she sensed a fever. "Do you any medicine of sorts?," she asked gently.

James nodded into his pillow, enjoying the soothing coolness of his wife's hand.

"In my backpack. Bought some last week," he mumbled. "Right after we shot that scene."

Anne-Marie just laughed.

"Of course you did."

* * *

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TOO CUTE! Ahhh James <3 Of course he bought medicine, that delicate little flower :-P I adore this so much, Purple! :wub: I'll be back for a re-read soon I'm sure!

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