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Overtime - A Spongebob Squarepants Fanfiction


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For my third fic, something a bit unexpected. Yeah definitely not common.

I would adore any feedback on this one. I really tried to flesh out the characters, but, It's just so odd...

Also, my

Hunger Games fic and my woefully incomplete Wreck-it-Ralph fic.

So here's my Spongebob Squarepants fic. I'm pretty sure it's rubbish, feel free to flame.

Goodness, I'm so embarrassed to post this one.

Overtime

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

“Da-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-ai-aih!”

The porous fellow sporting a red tie and square pants frolicked down the well-worn Conch Street.

“I’M READY!!! I’m ready, I’m ready, I’m ready…”

That familiar chant echoed through the neighborhood, resonating especially loudly within the stone home that resembled an Easter Island Head. Its inhabitant lay in bed, awaiting the obnoxious sound to fade into the distance. After all, the cephalopod still had a good hour until his shift begun at the Krusty Krab; he could easily grab another half hour of sleep.

“WHOOOOOOMP.”

A fog horn that could have belonged to a cruise liner sounded in the house next to his; specifically the pineapple.

“WHOOOOOOOMP.”

The distraught octopi’s eyelids jerked opened, revealing swollen, red eyes with square pupils.

“SPONGEBOB!!!”

“WHOOOOOOOOMP.”

It seems Mr. Squarepants had neglected to turn off his alarm that morning. Again.

~*~*~*~*~

It was wintertime in Bikini Bottom and the holidays were upon the local residents. Glaciers had drifted across the Pacific Ocean leaving the fishy city blanketed with snow. The proprietor of the Krusty Krab was not one for wasting valuable business hours for silly things like holidays. The Krusty Krab would remain open every day of every month of every year. Even in the dead of winter when the majority of patrons were at home with their families.

This did not mean Mr. Eugene Krabs had any intentions of not leaving to visit his parents with his daughter Pearl.

“Alright lads, remember that no one, no one leaves the establishment until all receipts have been accounted for.”

The crab turned fast food entrepreneur scuttled around the Krusty Krab relaying instructions to his two employees. Spongebob trailed behind, pad and pencil in hand, listening carefully and saluting when appropriate. Squidward on the other hand was leaning against the register, obviously bored with his employer.

“Any un sold grub is to be tallied before ye close up. Any questions boys?"

Squidward sarcastically quipped, “Yes, has anyone other than me and Spongebob ever closed this restaurant before?”

Mr.Krabs frowned and scuttled over to his gloomy employee.

“Just don’t forget to lock up each night. If I find a single clam missin’ it’s comin’ out of your paycheck!”

With that, Mr. Krabs handed Squidward the keys and the octopus apathetically walked, squeaking to the manager’s office to store them.

One could practically hear Spongebob droop in disappointment. Mr. Krabs had obviously hurt the fry cook by choosing to hand the keys to his cashier. It’s not that Mr.Krabs viewed Spongebob to be dishonest; the boy just didn’t have a cap on his enthusiasm. Said enthusiasm would quite often lead to disaster.

“Mr.Krabs, is there anything you wanted me to do?”

Squidward, overhearing the conversation from the other room, rolled his eyes.

Despite little to no pay, Spongebob was always willing, no, eager to jump through several rings of fire for his boss.

This was really all the better; it would keep the yellow headache busy. Squidward was looking forward to catching up on his favorite magazine during these slow times at the Krusty Krab. Hopefully Krabs will think of something good.

“Of course me boy! Uhm... it’s very important that you... ah…”

Spongebob was leaning forward, anticipation gleaming in his eyes.

“Keep up with the... sanitation duty!”

A nasally chuckle escaped from the octopus; cleaning, how creative.

“Aye-aye captain! … Just one question, what’s sanitation duty?”

“Why, it’s incredibly important! You make sure there isn’t a speck of dirt, dust, slime or garbage on anything and everything in the entire restaurant each day.”

“Yes SIR!”

Spongebob couldn’t be more excited.

“Alright, see you two in a few weeks!”

Mr. Krabs jolted out the glass doors to his boat mobile where Pearl was anxiously awaiting the drive. Spongebob waved frantically as they drove off. Squidward had resumed his position behind the register, magazine in hand.

Sanitation duty, where should a sponge start? He scaled the room, dramatic close-ups of the lobby revealed all sorts of trash. Gum under the tables, sticky residue on the ketchup dispenser, dust in the rafters, time to get busy! Spongebob flew to the supply closet and began reciting a checklist he created on the spot to no one in particular. He added each item to his belt as he listed it.

“Window wash, Check! All-purpose cleaner, Check! Brass polisher, Check! Sponge,”

He ripped off a handful of yellow from his upper corner.

“Double CheeECK!”

Squidward was fuming. You could tell the brat to watch kelp grow and Spongebob would make it out to be exciting. He considered for a moment handing the keys to the sponge and taking the day off. A well visualized thought of the Krusty Krab amounting to a pile of rubble after a bubble blowing accident occurred.

Despite loathing his job, Squidward barely preferred it to being homeless.

“Hey Squidward, when I wash the windows should I go clockwise or counter clockwise?”

Just barely.

“Or maybe up and down, how about sideways? No, this is better, or like this?”

Spongebob was literally bent over backwards with window washing technique. Maybe Mr. Krab’s ‘sanitation duty’ hadn’t made Spongebob any less annoying. Squidward was not spending his winter holidays doing this. He stared at the clock.

“Like this, or this? Or this? This, this this this this…”

Spongebob was contorting into all sorts of shapes, all unique but none incredibly effective for windows.

“Hey Squidward? What is better? Mr. Scrub or Dr. Clean? Hey, Squidward?”

“Oh would you look at the time! Time to close.”

“But it’s not even-”

“Mr.Krabs privately informed me when to close while he was gone.”

“But it’s only three o clock-”

“Yep.”

Spongebob looked around. In the few minutes he had been cleaning only a tiny part of the glass exterior had been done. Worry began to fill his mind.

Squidward was humming. He was very pleased his lie had been so effective. He went to Mr. Krabs office to grab the keys. When he exited he came face to face with sheer sadness.

“But my sanitation duty… I’m not done.”

“Do it in the morning.”

“Mr. Krabs said every night! Squidward please let me stay a little longer so I can finish! I’m begging yo-o-o-ou!”

Spongebob was choking out the last word in between sobs whilst grabbing Squidward’s knees.

“Fine! Just get off of me!”

Spongebob quickly and obediently scooted back a few feet, smiling.

Should Squidward trust the square with closing? No, that was pretty much out of the question. Squidward would lock everything important, the safe, the freezer and the door. But how would Spongebob leave if the door was locked?

~*~*~*~

Squidward moaned and groaned as he carried a medium sized boulder to the Krusty Krab doors. Squidward was trying to open the door with his foot just before Spongebob ran over to open it for him. When Spongebob pushed it open he knocked Squidward off balance. Squidward fell with the rock knocking the wind out of him with a dramatic gasp.

“Whoops! Let me help with tha-”

“Just… hold… the door…”

Squidward managed to heave the boulder and drop it in front of the door, thus holding it in place. Panting, Squidward soon found his legs in a squishy embrace.

“Thank you, thank you Squidward for letting me stay late!”

Squidward stepped out of the hug as if he was taking off an inner tube.

“Whatever. Just don’t do anything stupid.”

“Yes sir!”

Spongebob frolicked back into the Krusty Krab, singing loudly.

Squidward was very careful not to leave anything potentially hazardous accessible. This took some time, but after a while Squidward saw just how occupied the sponge was with his cleaning and his anxiety began to ease. Squidward would never allow Spongebob to remain here alone if it were open; however flipping the closed sign made it all seem feasible.

Squidward was pleased. He had basically guaranteed a Spongebob-free evening.

Squidward hummed as he began the walk back home. He couldn’t help but smile a little. That went smoothly. He ran it through his head and couldn’t come up with any disastrous scenarios, what would the sponge destroy by sanitizing? Perhaps these would be the best holidays yet. A brisk wind blew, it was too cold to sun bathe. Probably a relaxing sit by the fire with some hot kelp juice. Yes, that would be best for today.

~*~*~*~*~

Five hours passed and Spongebob still felt he had only grazed the service of his cleaning duties. Night was beginning to fall and a freezing chill had taken over the Krusty Krab. The sponge’s breath was clearly visible as he scrubbed ferociously at the cracks between the planks on the floor. He had been working since Squidward had left but it didn’t feel like enough time. The Krusty Krab would have to be the cleanest it had ever been if Spongebob were to show he was loyal. He loved his job at the Krusty Krab; any chance he could get to prove his devotion would be seized. If only this mysterious gunk between the floorboards would break up. He bit his lip and scrubbed faster. Spongebob wanted Mr.Krabs to see this devotion, to be happy to have him as an employee. The only way to gain this was by sheer determination. Spongebob began scrubbing with both hands.

~*~*~*~*~

After an evening of soft clarinet jazz records, bubble baths and a hearty fire Squidward was almost ready for work the next morning. The ringing of his own alarm signaled it was thirty minutes prior to opening. The wintery conditions called for an extra layer of clothing so Squidward sported a turtle neck in his usual orange-brown color to accompany a knit hat. Scowl plastered to his face, only someone very familiar with Mr. Tentacles could tell he was in an above average mood as he trudged through the snow to work. Keys in hand, Squidward was mildly pleased at the sight of a not-burned-to-the-ground Krusty Krab. Despite this, his frown soon deepened as he neared. Upon closer inspection he saw the same rock he placed the previous night. Of course the sponge had forgotten to close the door, it was his only responsibility. Go figure the juvenile would mess up the only thing he had asked him to do.

Anger filled his voice.

“Spongebob?!?”

Squidward called as he entered through the cracked door. A shiver went down his spine so he pulled down his cap rather than remove it. It was obvious the door had been open all night; the interior was freezing due to the exposure. Moving quickly Squidward shoved aside the rock budging the door and closed it behind him, remembering to unlock both sides.

Squidward did a quick surveillance looking for anything missing, possibly stolen. He had never seen such a clean lobby since he started his employment. While taking in all of the tidiness, Squidward couldn’t help but notice the quiet. This silence most certainly pointed to his coworker’s absence. Squidward’s anger began to boil.

Mr. Tentacles had been working with Mr. Squarepants for years and still the nuisance of a neighbor would go so far as to beg to stay late only to abandon the place with the door wide open for everything to be possibly stolen! Squidward was heading to the manager’s office to change the thermostat when something square caught his eye.

Spongebob was in the corner of the room, lying on the ground.

Squidward walked closer to his neighbor, eyelids lifting in curiosity.

“Spongebob?”

The fry cook was shaking violently, floor wax still in hand. Even in the morning light Squidward could tell he was many shades paler than usual. He seemed unconscious, but Squidward had learned from the past that the kid could be full of surprises. Squidward nudged Mr. Squarepants with his tentacle.

Instantaneously from the contact, Spongebob sprung to life, flipping over and gasping from being startled. It took him a few seconds to notice anything peculiar. Wobbling and taking in the situation Spongebob soon addressed his coworker.

“S-Squidward? Did you change your mind about letting me stay? I promise I wasn’t d-d-doing anything s-s-stupid.”

Spongebob had stayed and cleaned the entire night. The reason the door had been open was because Spongebob had never left.

“I should have never let you stay here for more than a minute! A burglar could have come in while you were napping with the door wide open!!”

The harsh remark came through like clockwork before Squidward’s thoughts had caught up.

Spongebob was utterly confused; he had noticed the sun rise. This, along with Squidward’s words allowed him to make sense of the situation. Panic began rising; he had to be sure. Spongebob got up and ran to the door. Sure enough the sun was definitely rising; he turned and looked at the clock, eight o’ three. Spongebob began running around gasping from intense fatigue and shock. He did a quick check of the Krusty Krab but soon had to stop due to a pain in his head. The situation was all too clear.

“I didn’t finish.”

He looked around hollowly and his eyes found his coworker.

“Squidward, I’m… I’m not done!”

Thoughts began to run through Spongebob’s head like wild fire. Valued customers commenting on the grime, Mr. Krabs coming back and being disappointed, being reprimanded…

“No! I’ll just keep working! Mr. Krabs won’t know I wasn’t done on the first day. ”

Spongebob sprung into super speed, moving at a rate no one ever had before for minimum wage.

“Spongebob!”

Mr. Squarepants was working at a level where any noise emitted from Squidward was not received. Squidward was almost peeved at Mr. Krabs with tasking the workaholic with such an unattainable goal. However the notion was quickly displaced upon the realization that such a task would only be considered this extensive by the now exhausted sponge.

Spongebob had reached his physical breaking point, but his mental side hadn’t quite given up the reign of control. Squidward watched as Spongebob soon became overtaken by ragged breaths. Said wheezing quickly transformed into a deep chesty cough.

Squidward was uneasy at the sound. He had never heard his neighbor choke like that. Squidward cautiously approached the fry cook.

“Spongebob…”

Spongebob was scared, terrified even, but he couldn’t manage to pick himself off of the ground. There was so much to do, but his throat hurt now and he couldn’t stop coughing. He was angry with himself. Did he really not have the stamina to clean the place he adored so? He refused to accept that. He would finish even if he was swimming in suds! On cue his nose began dripping. He managed to swear in between gags.

“Fish paste!”

He was finally managing the coughing and attempted to clean when his name stopped him in his tracks.

“SPONGEBOB!!!”

The loudness had caused him to reevaluate the situation. He had let Squidward down first. Even though Squidward wasn’t his boss, he was his friend. Squidward had trusted him and he failed. Tears soon fell.

“I’m so so-o-o-orry Squidward! I didn’t mean to fall asleep! Please don’t be angry…”

“That’s not what I’m angry about!”

“Is it because I didn’t clean the dust from underneath the cash register butt-”

“NOO!”

Even more tears began to well. Squidward was trying not to yell but the idiot could be so dense! He decided to try a little harder.

“Stop making so much noise!”

“But Mr. Krabs-“

“-isn’t here. So just shut up!”

To Squidward’s surprise his request was actually met. It took a few seconds for Squidward to realize why.

“Eh-ehiy..”

Spongebob quickly pulled up his trousers to meet the inevitable.

“EHSh*ih*!!!”

He sneezed ferociously into his pants and Squidward thought he saw a few bubbles escape, possibly.

“I’m really sorry Squidward. *sniff* I won’t make any more noise, *snivel* promise.”

Squidward honestly didn’t know why he was so angry. Was it because he didn’t want anything to happen to the Krusty Krab? Yeah right.

From the short conversation, Spongebob’s energy reserves were all but drained. Shaking was beginning to overtake his physique. The frycook would not let this stop him, however. He sluggishly rose to his feet and put all of his energy into resuming the waxing. His legs soon gave out, so he continued waxing on his knees.

Squidward wandered to the cash registered and decided to treat the situation the best way he knew how, with apathy. He popped open his magazine and began reading.

Spongebob had never felt so horrible. Not only the throb in his head or the itch in his throat but from letting down his neighbor. How could Spongebob be so cruel to the coworker that allowed him to stay late at his favorite place? Spongebob would be as quiet as possible while he finished the sanitation duty. When he felt that scratchy sensation in his throat, he tried holding his breath, but it was to no avail.

A horrible sputtering sound came from a sponge trying to hold in a burning need to cough. He tried keeping the cough inside, but every yellow fiber was urging it out. The result was a gagging noise into his elbow.

Squidward was wincing with each gag. He kept scanning the article in his magazine but his mind didn’t comprehend any of it.

Spongebob’s tortured emphasized coughs were tearing at his concentration. He just couldn’t listen to the painful, held back choking. The anger he had only just vanquished was already checking back in. Why couldn’t the headache just go home at a decent hour? Why was he so irresponsible? More wheezing filled the room. Despite loathing the childish creature, Squidward was starting to regret telling Spongebob to be quiet. The effort was obviously hurting him.

Spongebob’s eyes began to water, and his already green face was turning an assortment of colors. He wasn’t really breathing, just lurching forward with each choke, desperately trying to remain quiet.

Squidward mused for a moment if this was all some strange grasp for attention, but quickly put the thought out of his head when he witnessed Spongebob sprint, wobbly into the bathroom. Even though he was in the bathroom, Squidward could still hear the, now un stifled, coughing. He desperately searched his conscious for a loophole, but this was starting to become too much for his moral to handle. For karma’s sake, he put down the magazine and cautiously opened the bathroom door. Spongebob was bent over the sink, sniveling.

“Spongebob? Are you alright?”

When the coughing stopped, he was left with a nauseating feeling and a throbbing head.

“I.. I- …. Eh… EHIEE… HASHIPOO!”

A shower of pink bubbles jetted out from all of his holes. The force of the sneeze knocked him off balance and he stumbled backwards, landing on the floor. He pulled his knees to his chests whilst sniveling and shaking.

“I d-d-don’t feel like myself…”

“Then go home!”

Spongebob somehow managed to jump up.

“NO!*snivel* I don’t wanna miss work… I… aye…”

The rush from standing up so quickly was starting to make him dizzy, before he could finish his sentence, Spongebob had lost consciousness. Sponegbob hit the ground accompanied by a squeak.

Squidward approached the unaware sponge with increasing panic. Squidward was pretty sure his karma required him to make sure the collapsed fry cook wasn’t dead. Spongebob might have looked dead but he was still breathing. Squidward sat on the floor where the fry cook had fallen and tried to get him to wake up.

“Hey, Spongebob! Stop messing around!”

Squidward snapped his tentacles in front of Spongebob’s face while he felt the sponge’s forehead with his other tentacle. As soon as he touched the sickly greenish-yellow surface a sizzling sound occurred. Squidward pulled his tentacle away from the intense heat out of surprise.

Squidward was not daft; he knew that any creature who was blacking out with a temperature was in some serious trouble. A pang of sympathy crashed into Squidward’s morality like an ice pick wedged into a glass table; Spongebob should probably be on his way to the doctor’s. But right now, the first thing to do was to keep him awake. Squidward funneled his panic into a sense of urgency to get the job done. He took Mr. Squarepants shoulders and shook them violently.

“Spongebob, you need to get up now!

Squidward’s voice sounded confident; agitated even. In actuality he was becoming increasingly worried. He could only imagine what fish would think of him if they found out the optimistic kid died from pneumonia contracted from working late. Mr. Krabs would surely fire him. Squidward convinced himself these were reasons enough for his actions. This allowed him to currently disregard his increasing concern for his coworker’s well-being.

Squidward’s racing thoughts stopped in their tracks when SpongeBob’s eyes fluttered.

His square head was swimming. Spongebob couldn’t remember how he got on the floor, but he felt the cold ground beneath his head. When he opened his eyes the first thing he saw was a big, bulbous nose.

“Hey Squidward?”

Squidward answered before he could think of the consequences.

“Yes?”

“Why am I on the floor? And why are you in the bathroom?”

Squidward was becoming more and more agitated with each inquiry.

“Squidward? Why are you clenching your fists? and why- why are y-”

Before the sponge could finish his sentence he was choking into his knees. Spongebob didn’t know how to respond to such fatigue. There were still so many things he wanted to do today. He just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to do them. The frycook was starting to realize it would take all of his energy just to move so he gave up on questions. When Spongebob managed to catch his breath he started to get up.

Squidward was still trying to decide if apathy would be the best course of action. He watched the dazed sponge slowly stand up and wobble to the door.

“What are you doing now?”

“Going back to work.”

“Are you insane?!? You can hardly stand!”

Spongebob continued to walk back to the dining room. His movements were now slow, but the determined look on his face reflected the will within. His head felt like it would explode with any sudden movements. Spongebob knew Squidward was upset with him, but for some reason he couldn’t really comprehend why. He was being quiet enough and he wasn’t trying to annoy or even talk to the octopus. Yet Squidward was still obviously angered. Spongebob wanted to know the reason, but his clouded mind could only assist in walking forward.

Squidward studied the motions of the yellow nuisance with wide eyes. He had never seen Spongebob move so slowly and calmly. It was obvious he was in pain but his efforts were relentless. Squidward was livid. That stupid barnacle head was going to continue working for that cheapskate Krabs if it killed him! Well Squidward was not going to have that blood on his tentacles!

Squidward marched after the sponge who had resumed waxing despite his shaky composition.

“Spongebob Squarepants you are being absolutely ridiculous! You’re running a fever! Do you really think Mr. Krabs would want to come back to find you lying on the floor? Have some sense! And stop CLEANING!”

Squidward yanked the scrub brush out of Spongebob’s hand with the final remark. Spongebob just slowly looked up at Squidward.

“I’m sorry I fell asleep when you let me stay late, but I really need to finish my work.”

The slow, quiet speech was nothing the octopus was accustomed to hearing. This only alarmed Squidward further. His anger was starting to melt into desperation.

After a few seconds Spongebob decided he should try again.

“Squidward, *sniff* I’mb alright. Hondest.”

Despite his attempts, the clouded sponge was finding it increasingly difficult to ignore the tickling in his congested nose. Just the quick intake of breath made his throat raw. But there was work to do, so he couldn’t stop.

Squidward was almost at a loss for words. Never in all his years did he think he would be in this situation. His anger had all but left him for an overbearing panic. Perhaps this approach wouldn’t be so hard, after all everything he had to say was so undeniably true. He noticed the sickly sponge make attempts to get the scrub brush back and decided now was as good as time as any. It was either this, or stand idly by to watch the fry cook succumb to pneumonia.

“Spongebob, listen to me for just a second, please.”

Squarepants sniffed pointedly, but ceased reaching.

“You have nothing to prove here, especially to me. You work harder than anyone in the Krusty Krab on any day, including today. I don’t know how you’ve managed to convince yourself otherwise. You’re running a fever and no fish or crustacean should have to work under those circumstances.”

Wow, this was a lot harder than he had initially anticipated, but he couldn’t stop here.

“That includes you. Either way, Krabs isn’t here and won’t be for some time. He only knows what I tell him.”

Spongebob listened carefully, for once, and noticed Squidward’s yellowed eyes become glossy. He was starting to feel a bit sheepish. How could he have been so ignorant of his coworker’s concern? He was about to open his mouth to apologize but his body had other ideas. The tickle in his nose began to overtake him and he quickly turned away to sneeze forcefully into his elbow.

“HASCHEW! ExchEW! EXSHEW”

Bubbles were beginning to pour out of the sponge’s pores rapidly at first, but by the third sneeze they were lazily drifting out.

Squidward took advantage of the moment to continue his conflicted speech.

“You could go to the doctor’s,”

“Squidward?”

“Or just go home.”

“Hey, Squid?”

“Just focus on getting better, not-”

“Squidward!”

“What!?!”

“How would I get there?”

Out of all the stupid questions! This is what the cashier got for trying to be serious with his coworker for one measly minute. He looked towards the door Spongebob had gestured to and tried without success to keep his jaw off the ground.

The Krusty Krab was snowed in to eye level.

While Squidward went up to the now frigid glass trying to figure out what to do, Spongebob had taken up another harsh coughing fit. Still half stifling, the sponge jerked forward with each wretched cough as he tried desperately to get the sickly pink stuff out of his lungs.

Squidward was scared. He paced the floors quickly, mind racing. Should he start digging? Would Spongebob live through a day here? From the sounds of his coughing, Squidward was starting to wonder if he’d make it through the hour.

Spongebob gradually composed himself and kept his gaze trailed on Squidward. Spongebob had already decided he would do what Squidward said. Not because he agreed with the octopus on what he said about working, but because he had worried Squidward. Spongebob couldn’t help but to smile a little. He had almost jumped up and hugged Squidward when he realized it, but wasn’t particularly feeling up to it. Besides, Squidward probably wouldn’t appreciate the chorused ‘you do care’s that would surely follow. Instead, he would work to alleviate the Octopi’s concern. Spongebob may have nothing to prove to his coworker, but a bit of willpower might put the cephalopod at ease.

Spongebob slowly rose and attempted to handle the white lie with as much finesse as he could muster.

Squidward nearly jumped out of his skin when the icy hand tapped his shoulder. He turned to face the guilty pale sponge.

“I’bm sorry I keep coughing so bmuch, but it’s really dnot as bad as it sounds. I’ll just take a break till the sdnow lets up. Is it okay if I go into the bmanager’s office?”

It was very difficult to ask for a break, but Spongebob decided it was worth it when he saw Squidward began to relax. Still a bit panicky, Squidward managed a response.

“Yes, yes! Please, go right ahead!”

Spongebob turned to leave, deciding he would have to move soon to get to the sofa in Mr.Krabs’ office. His knees were already beginning to shake. Luckily, he made it to the office and pulled himself onto the sofa with the last bit of his strength. Already, weariness was beginning to overtake him.

Squidward watched the determined sponge go and noticed with much disgust that Spongebob was being the logical one. He was very grateful someone had taken the high road but Squidward hoped he could control himself so that he’d never have to rely on the maturity of Spongebob again. They would both be fine, he was just over reacting. Best to be sure, though, just in case. Squidward went back into the bathroom to grab the thermometer in the first aid kit.

Spongebob was just barely conscious when Squidward came into the office. Lazy pink bubbles drifted up from the sponge who sat uncomfortably on the well-worn sofa. He perked up a bit when he saw the octopus.

“I didin’t bmean to..”

“I just want to say..”

They started talking simultaneously; Squidward apprehensively and Sponegbob, despite his illness, eagerly. But his fatigue was in full swing, and he took to just sniveling while Squidward spoke first.

“Here, let’s find out where we’re at.”

Squidward handed the thermometer to the sponge that obediently took it and placed it in his mouth. This was a task that required his full attention. Not only did he have to keep himself from coughing, but breathing through his blocked nose was almost impossible.

Squidward noticed the sponge struggling and tried to avert his eyes and ears from the congested sniveling.

SpongeBob’s pride was bruised and battered. Squidward inferred as such in the way the sponge attempted to hold his posture despite his growing discomfort. It was pretty impressive, the tenacity, but entirely uncalled for. Spongebob shouldn’t have to hold out like this, especially not for himself. Squidward felt compelled to say something.

“Look, everyone gets sick. It’s no big deal, so just, relax okay? Take it easy and-“

Spongebob was beginning to look teary eyed up at Squidward. The octopus was beginning to panic. His intention was not to make the sponge cry.

“No, no. Don’t do that, really. No need-“

The thermometer beeped and Spongebob pulled it out. Squidward grabbed it before Spongebob had a chance to look; One hundred and two, not quite life threatening.

Spongebob sniffed wetly again and tried to get his thoughts in order. He was overwhelmed by Squidward’s concern and he would try his hardest not to insult his neighbor. Sometimes, Squidward was a little hard to read. Patrick and Sandy were so open with their intentions, but Squidward sometimes concealed his. It hadn’t even dawned on Spongebob that Squidward would be so worried. Though moved by his sentiment, Spongebob also felt bad for causing the distress. He also felt plain bad. He was afraid if he breathed much deeper he would start choking again and his nose ran so profusely he had to sniff every few seconds to keep it from pouring out, leaving himself terribly congested. Squidward was watching him again; Spongebob didn’t want to upset him any further so he tried to stop crying.

“I’bm sorry I bmade you upset. *sniff* I’bm pretty sure it’s the suds.”

“So, is it… ah… serious?”

“Dho, dhot usually. *snivel*But I’ve never had it like this before.”

Squidward’s eyes were beginning to rise in panic again.

“But I’bm okay! Really, I’ll just take a…. a break. *Sniff* A-alright?”

SpongeBob’s demeanor seemed to ride on Squidward’s answer. Squidward wished he could somehow have the sponge’s optimism, but his mind was having none of it. He still felt compelled to do something to keep the sponge alive. So that way if he died, he wouldn’t feel guilty. Okay, he really needed to stop thinking like that. Squidward spoke before he could allow his thoughts to drive him into a self-induced panic.

“Sure, is there anything you need or I don’t know you want me to just leave you alone…”

“Ahh-actually, Squidward, *snivel* do you by adny chance ha-aave… *Sniff* have a tissue?”

Spongebob was actively trying to quell another tickly sensation during his request. Luckily, Squidward always kept a few kerchiefs in his shirt pocket and quickly produced a white one and thrust it at the gasping sponge.

Before he could even mutter thanks, Spongebob was lurching forward with pink, bubbly sneezes, into the handkerchief.

“Hacshew! Hashew! HASHIOO!.... Thankyou.”

The worn out sponge attempted to return the kerchief, much to Squidward’s disgust.

“You know what, you keep it. Look, you stay here and sleep or whatever. If you need something, I’ll be in the lobby. Now what?”

“Thank you. *sniff* thank you for being so nice Squidward.”

“Yeah, whatever. I’ll go grab the fire blanket.”

Squidward left and returned, blanket in hand, to find the sponge asleep. He draped the wooly thing over the quaking sponge and couldn’t help but breathe a sigh a relief.

It was such an odd feeling, one he had trouble understanding. It was as if a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders by the simple action of making the ill sponge rest. True, having the sick fry cook sleeping soundly on the sofa was surely an improvement to watching him choke and shake in the lobby, but there was more to it. Whatever it was, Squidward decided it was pleasant and decided to continue the indulgence considering no one was there to witness the hypocrisy. He went into the freezer and wrapped a few chips of ice into a new handkerchief. He returned to the office and placed the makeshift cold comperes on the fry cook’s flat forehead.

Yes, there was definitely a positive feeling associated to all of this. Satisfied, Squidward returned to his cashier post and propped his tentacles up on the counter. He was almost smiling as he flipped through his magazine, the snow storm outside not bothering him in the slightest.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

So there you have it, to any of you that read this far, hopefully it wasn't too unbearable.

Also, Spoo, I still would love for you to beta if you're up to it. I just don't feel comfortable putting my email in my contacts. So my new plan is to continue to post this kind of garbage until I am a member.

So... be prepared SFF.

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Garbage?! Ha! As if.

This was amazing! I've never read any sneeze fics associated with Spongebob but I am definitely blown away by how much I liked it. I've always found Spongebob adorable and this makes him even cuter. And Squidward! His concern for Spongebob is just... mmmmm! :wub:

Loved this! I can't wait to read more of your stories!

BYE! :bleh:

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Awwww. This is so goddamn adorable. :heart:

Thank you for sharing this with us. :yes:

So my new plan is to continue to post this kind of garbage until I am a member.

This is not garbage. :nonono:

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THIS IS PERFECT!!! xD OMG I love it xP I just had to look when I saw it was Spongebob, I was grinning like a fool the whole way through just from the novelty of it :P Ah, childhood memories of that episode where he had 'the suds'...<3

The characters are all absolutely perfect, I could visualise it as a real episode the whole way through. Thanks for sharing :D

(Also...'the yellow headache'...something about that description really appeals xP)

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for someone who has seen and can quote EVERY episode of SpongeBob EVER, this was AWESOME!!! You got the characters perfect! When I saw the title, half of me was excited, but the other half was wondering how you would go about writing SpongeBob, and I was apalled by how accurate it was! So flippin' adorable, too!

I agree with Kiwifruit, I could really imagine this as a legit episode. :)

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I totally agree with all of the above. This is not garbage; it's absolutely wonderful. :wub:

You got the characters completely spot on, and now I really want to rewatch the suds episode, haha :P I actually had no idea how much I wanted a spongebob sneezefic until now, so thanks so much for writing it! I thoroughly enjoyed it. :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

Three cheers for you! thumbsupsmileyanim.gif That was perfect! At first I was like...oh a Spongebob ff! How could you make this work without it sounding dumb? But OMG it was great and quite accurate!!!!

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One of my favorite episodes is the one where he got the suds, so I felt this fic was like a little tribute to that. Both of them are perfectly in character and that made for a very enjoyable read. I hope you continue with this because I really want to see how Squiddy handles a sickly Spongebob with no hope of assistance arriving. I'm guessing he will handle it badly, but I will check for updates to find out!

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  • 3 years later...
  • 1 year later...

So, there's a musical now. But I was writing Spongebob before it was all over the internet.

Also, how can I edit my old fic posts? The links in my signature are all good, but the ones at the top of the fic aren't. Also... I really want to fix typos in my fics.

Chapter 2

The one no one asked for

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~


The morning gave way to a peaceful afternoon as the Krusty Krab’s cashier followed its’ fry cook into a cozy slumber at his post. In hindsight, Squidward certainly could have napped somewhere a bit more comfortable, but his frequency and continued practice at taking naps at his post made the position a familiar one.

The building had managed to regain some sense of warmth, but it was still wholly chilly. Being a light sleeper, Spongebob stirred well before his coworker, and the temperature was the first thing he noticed. Nearly subconsciously, he pulled the blanket around him a bit tighter when it dawned on him he didn't recognize the blanket. He realized it didn't have the smell of home he was accustomed to, and soon became aware that he couldn't really smell much of anything. Any attempt at surveying the scent of his surroundings was met with a gurgled sound of his blocked up nose.

The morning unfolded to him fairly quickly, but not alarmingly. He fished around for Squidward's kerchief to tend to his congestion. He felt a soggy cloth, cool but not cold, slide down his cheek as he sat up and took it in his hand, gingerly. The ailing fry cook was blinking back tears of gratefulness as he recognized another of Squidward’s kerchief. He folded it and put it to the side with the thermometer.

Taking note of the silence, the younger employee took to quietly dabbing his running nose while he pondered and sniffled. Firstly, he felt a definite improvement since his nap. His headache, while still present, was not at the point of debilitating migraine. And while he still felt uneasy, the nausea had all but passed, though the illness seemed to have robbed him of appetite. He relished in this and felt a smile pulling at his lips simply over the relief.

A tickle in his nose begun to bother him shortly after waking. He panicked at first, not wanting to be loud, but aptly remembered the kerchief and pressed the cloth to his face strongly as he did his best to sneeze as quietly as possible.

"HXSHee... heh... HESshew"

Bubbles drifted lazily about the room as he sniffed wetly and listened as carefully as he could for his coworker. He heard the nasally snores drifting from the lobby he had failed to notice earlier and released the last of the breath he had been holding. The act left his throat raw, and he found himself choking a bit on the congestion inside of him. Though uncomfortable, he happily realized his cough also wasn't nearly as painful, and much easier to control with the kerchief. Also, while plentiful and forceful before, the pink bubbles were less strong and fewer in number, though they seemed to be occasionally escaping even while he wasn’t sneezing or coughing.

Not that he had noticed it, he focused on Squidward's snores as Spongebob took the moments to recount the events of the morning with a touch of scrutiny. He really should have paid more attention to the passing of time. Not having a 'closing time' to adhere to left the sponge completely at a loss as to when he should have left for the night. If he ever had the opportunity to do something like this again in the future, and in spite of his forgetfulness, he hoped beyond hopes he would, he would have to be more careful.

 

In addition to the guilt still nagging at him, an overwhelming sense of gratefulness to his coworker staggered the fry cook and he was fighting to control his emotionality. He sniffled and pulled his knees to him under the blanket, which Squidward must have put over him while he slept. He pulled it around him tighter deciding it was practically a hug from his neighbor. He looked over at the cloth he folded earlier, another kerchief like the first he had been given, so there was no mistaking it.

 

Aware that the method was flawed, Spongebob attempted to feel his own forehead with his hand. He had been running a fever, right? Perhaps that was why everything was a tad fuzzy in his recollections. He couldn't tell from his own attempts at diagnostics, but he did feel better, so he assumed it must have at least partially abated.

As much as he loved Squidward, and he truly did, the doting seemed a touch irregular from his friend. He felt the guilt return thinking how much he must have scared his neighbor. He did feel better, but Spongebob would do his best not to look so beside himself when he re-entered the restaurant. At the notion, he took the damp cloth and wiped his face.

Deciding to follow Squidward's lead, it seemed only right to make efforts to take care of himself, for both of their sakes. The yellow cook decided that even though he wasn't hungry, he should still probably eat something. There wouldn't be any leaving for lunch breaks today unless a snowmobile came to clear out the roads, but Spongebob always preferred to eat at the Krusty Krab anyway.

Mr. Krabs was always okay with this, as Spongebob paid in full for anything he consumed. Even today, he would keep track of anything he used so Mr. Krabs could dock it from his next check. Carefully extending his legs to the floor, Spongebob tested the strength in his feet. He happily noticed the difference from the morning, but couldn't entirely disregard the weakness that felt like a heavy backpack had been strapped to him but perfectly manageable nonetheless.

He softly blew his nose before folding the blanket and taking it with him to the lobby. He saw Squidward leaning into the register and a huge smile plastered across his face, how lucky was he to have such an amazing coworker? He considered returning the blanket favor, as the lobby was no warmer than the office, but realized the gesture may not be appreciated. Spongebob was hyper aware of his symptoms, as a barrage of sniffles and tissue swipes were required to keep them at manageably quiet level. He wouldn't want to pass any germs onto his friend by the possibly soiled blanket, but his coworker did look cold. Squidward never did remove his outerwear and Spongebob began thinking about his options.

He should make them both a lunch, but Spongebob was aware of Squidward's mixed feelings on the Krabby Patty. His germiness still at the forefront of his mind, he went to the bathroom to wash his hands thoroughly and tuck away the fire blanket. There was no reason not to clean it too at some point if there weren't going to get any customers, but he could do it later.

As the warm water flowed over his hands he began thinking of other entrees. A fry cook for years, Spongebob was always familiar in a kitchen. Though his specialty would always be at the grill, he had an affinity for cooking whatever he set his mind to.

He dried his hands and did his best to sniffle away his need to blow his nose again, so he wouldn't have to return to the sink so soon. His symptoms interrupting his thoughts also inspired him. Soup was something any sick fish should eat, right? It also seemed like something that would be more appealing to his snoozing coworker. Properly motivated, Spongebob happily entered his beloved kitchen and set out to make the tastiest liquid meal he had ever prepared.

~*~*~*~*~

The smell was the first thing the cashier noticed, which isn't even to say he knowingly acknowledged it. It had practically entered into his dream, engulfing him in a salty, savory scent which did not belong in his work place, his subconscious apparently deciding for him that he couldn't be at work then.

But he was, as the familiar scene greeted his half lidded eyes as soon as he opened them. Accustomed to waking from naps at work, the transition from slumber to wakefulness was smooth and hardly noticeable. Squidward was slightly more upright and eyes only just open, characteristic frown firmly in place. He took a moment to enjoy the very strange but pleasant smell and even stranger quiet. There was a touch of alarm after he realized just how odd it all was.

Wasn't Spongebob sleeping in the office? A quick turn and glance through the order window affirmed the fry cook was no longer napping. Squidward shouldn't have been surprised. He was angry at first; couldn't the kid rest for just a moment?  He realized it was a bit later than he guessed, well past one, and Squidward supposed his frustration was ill placed. Spongebob practically embodied the element of energy and motivation; it was probably a good thing to see him more like himself, even while sick.

As if on cue, the fry cook picked this moment to swivel away from the stove top on a quick pivot to sneeze forcefully into the recognized kerchief, face screwed shut. The sneezes were remarkably quiet, which would explain why Squidward was not woken earlier. Without missing a beat, Spongebob immediately turned to the kitchen sink and began washing his hands thoroughly, sniffing disgustingly.

Squidward had only been staring this entire time, and hadn't thought to call attention to himself. When Spongebob purposefully looked for him, as he had done several times that day to see if he had woken his coworker, the display of emotion was like watching a movie.

Happy to see his friend, sad that said friend was awake, sheepish for realizing the cause may have been himself.

Realizing he probably should have announced his presence earlier; Squidward spared the sponge and answered the obvious question on his face, though not before Spongebob had already managed half an apology.

"Sorry I-”

"I was already awake."

The effect of Squidward’s effort was instantaneous, and already the fry cook had reverted back to 'happy to see his friend.' Squidward was, at first, glad for the success until he realized he may have just sacrificed his peace and quiet. A happy sponge was also a noisier one.

"I'm so happy you're up Squidward! I wasn't really hungry, but then I also didn't really want to take a break, but then I felt so much better afterward, so I thought I would eat something anyway. *sniff*"

"That's great."

Squidward was sure to sound as sarcastic as he could, but the effects were lost on the babbling fry cook, so it hardly mattered. Maybe he really should have played up being woken up. His good temperament was already wearing down.

"And I thought, of all the places to be snowed in what better place to be than in the Krusty Krab with you /and/ with all of these delicious Krabby Patties *snivel*"

Squidward was done. He began another familiar ritual of trying to tune out the moron, though it was almost always in vain. He began leafing through a magazine doing his best not to hear a word of it.

"But I wouldn't want to waste one since I wouldn't be able to enjoy its' delicate balance of secret flavor, so I started making something new! *sniff* Since I'm still a bit under the weather, I was hoping we could share since I mostly made it with you in mind an- and ..I ACHSHEew."

Spongebob interrupted himself to sneeze into his elbow.

"heSCHEW...heh..hecSHEW *sniff*"

After a moment to compose himself, he turned the stove down to a simmer and went to wash his hands again, which were starting to feel dry from the countless scrubbings.

"*sniff* I wasn't sure if you'd want adything but.. *snivel...SNIF* I was extra careful to wash my hands a lot so...*krf krf*"

Spongebob hadn't spoken since he woke and he was only noticing now how his raw throat was not cooperating. The itchiness demanded attention, and as soon as he finished washing his hands again, Spongebob was coughing strongly into the kerchief.

Squidward had been doing a decent job of ignoring Spongebob until he had begun coughing. At this, he turned and witnessed the fry cook’s screwed shut face bobbing up and down in his hanky. Squidward's frown deepened as he noticed a slight sheen to the sponge and a visible quiver afterward. He may have been feeling better, but it only seemed to fuel the kid's capacity to be reckless.

"Are you quite finished?"

Even after the bout of coughing, Spongebob managed to answer quickly between small coughs and throat clearings.

"Yes... I just finished so... so I was asking if y-"

"I meant... you know what? Nevermind."

Squidward wondered if Spongebob would still feel so friendly towards him if all of his sarcastic comments were realized. Glancing at the, blinking rapidly, apologetic-looking sponge, Squidward had trouble even imagining it.

"Why don't you sit down? You sound terrible."

Spongebob couldn't help smiling, which confused Squidward greatly. Spongebob was happy he decided to do something for his coworker just so he had a way of expressing his gratitude.

Having Squidward looking out for him, even under the veil of sarcasm, was brightening his day to levels he hadn't thought possible while sick.

"Aye-aye captain! Though I promise it's not as bad as it sounds."

Squidward was also surprised at Spongebob's quick compliance. He raised a brow expectantly and frowned again when he witnessed the sponge going back to the cupboards and begin opening and closing each one systematically. Of course it couldn't be that easy.

"What in the seven seas are you doing?"

"Looking for bowls."

"And what does that have to do with sitting down?"

To his annoyance, Spongebob kept looking and seemed to locate what he needed on the highest shelf and was proceeding to reach as much as he could.

"As flattered as I am that... you wouldn’t mind sharing, it'd probably be best if... we had separate... portions"

Squidward's brow furrowed.

"Portions of what?"

He said agitatedly.

"Kelp soup."

Spongebob responded, gesturing to the large pot on the stovetop Squidward hadn't paid any mind to. Then it all made sense, the smell and searching. Squidward couldn't recall ever seeing something that wasn't fried or consumed with a fork come out of this kitchen and his curiosity was getting the best of him. He decided to go have a look.

Spongebob had stopped his climbing and got back down when he saw Squidward coming into the kitchen. He looked like a student anticipating a grade, a child looking for approval. Squidward bent over the pot while Spongebob looked on eagerly. The smell was delicious, and Squidward started salivating immediately.

"You made this for me."

It was more statement than question, but Squidward got an answer all the same.

"For both of us, since I knew we wouldn't be able to go anywhere and soup is supposed to be good for feeling bad. But it's not something I eat a lot, so I made something I thought you would like and that made it easy. But I have no idea how it's going to taste because I'm having trouble smelling anything and-"

Somewhere during the rambling Spongebob went back to trying to climb the shelves, Squidward knew a pending disaster was amiss without intervention.

"Hey, knock it off. I'll get it, go sit down."

Spongebob did as he was told and quickly turned to look at Squidward. He looked a bit dazed and sniveled questioningly.

Squidward just rolled his eyes. Was it really that absurd that Squidward may do a favor for the sponge? Surely he wasn't... actually; Squidward wasn't going to go down that line of thought for his conscience's sake. He effortlessly reached the rarely used bowls due to his height difference.

"Go on. No need to eat back here when it's empty."

Spongebob grinned excitedly and practically bounced to the lobby. Squidward turned back and begun ladling. He wasn't necessarily hungry a little while ago, but the aroma left him rather peckish. This was turning out to be one of the nicer days at the Krusty Krab, in spite of the company.

Squidward soon realized shocked, that his that last notion may not have been completely the case, as the grateful smile that greeted him seemed to take the chill out of the air. A smile he may have even attempted to return, but the warmth seems to have been one sided. His frown instead remained in place when he noticed the smiling sponge shivering.

“Cold?”

Squidward knew it was a dumb question. But Spongebob didn’t mind such things. His smile went from grateful to sheepish.

“A t-t-tad.”

Squidward set down the bowls and spoons and went to the office. The thermostat wasn’t something he’d dare adjust further, but it didn’t cost anything to keep using the fire blanket. While in the office Squidward decided to grab his kerchief and the thermometer. He didn’t see the fire blanket however. He exited the office and addressed his coworker.

“Do you know where the fire blanket is?”

Spongebob had been watching Squidward curiously and perked up at the question.

“Oh, I put it in the bathroom. I’ll ge-”

“No, no. Just give me a sec.”

Sponegbob had started to get up to fetch the item, but stopped in his tracks. Instead he watched Squidward leave, return and place everything in front of himself. Thinking Squidward was going to use the blanket Spongebob cocked his head to the side.

“*sniff* I p-p-put it in there so I could w-wash it later.”

Squidward hadn’t asked, but it seemed sensible. He retorted as he took a seat across from the sniveling sponge.

“Well, it’s already gross. So you may as well keep using it.”

Spongebob’s grateful grin returned with a sniff as he obediently wrapped himself tightly.

“Thank you.”

This time, Squidward couldn’t help it. He returned the smile, ever so slightly, before taking a glance to the outside and frowning again.

“Doesn’t look like we’ll be going anywhere anytime soon, but it has stopped snowing.”

Squidward finally took his spoon to the creation in front of him after the comment and began stirring. Steam was still rising from the bowl in long tendrils, so he was sure to blow on the first bite.

Spongebob’s shaking quelled quickly and he looked up to the sun that was managing to shine through the non-snow covered portion of the glass walls. He looked back at his coworker and noticed excitedly that he was eating the soup. Squidward had barely taken his first bite when Spongebob blurted aloud.

“Do you like it?”

Squidward, mouth being full anyway, took some time to savor the bite before answering. It was creamy and rich, full of flavor.

“Yeah, what did you say it was? Kelp?”

Squidward took another bite after asking. Spongebob beamed and happily explained between snivels.

“Kelp, cream, butter. *sniff* I didn’t know what to flavor soup with, but fryer grease alwa-”

Squidward quickly swallowed his bite to interrupt.

“Actually, don’t tell me. Please.”

Squidward should have known better than to ask. He may not always eat perfectly, but he should have known better than to think anything healthy could have come out of this kitchen. Didn’t mean it tasted bad though.

A strange look washed over the sponge at the remark and the silence became heavy. Not wanting to ruin what had been a fairly pleasant exchange, Squidward tried another topic.

“Aren’t you going to eat yours?”

In response, Spongebob shook his head quickly and held up a hand hesitantly signaling to ‘wait a minute’ while his other hand fished around under the blanket. He turned suddenly and sneezed twice into the kerchief.

“HAckshew…HASHiew.. *sniff* scuse mbe”

It was gross, sure, but Squidward appreciated Spongebob’s attempts at decency and felt more pity than disgust. He watched in quiet observation as the sponge tenderly lifted his own spoon and swallowed. Squidward was reminded at how poor the fry cook had been just a few hours earlier when the younger employee grimaced.

“Don’t like it?”

Spongebob shook his head and answered.

“No, my throat’s just a bit sore. *snivel* I’m also not terribly hungry.”

Squidward nodded and made a noise of understanding.

“Well, it’s good you’re trying anyways. When you do eat, take small sips and, either way, inhale the steam.”

Squidward lifted his bowl closer to his face in demonstration. Spongebob was watching closely and quickly followed suit. Squidward set his bowl down and took another bite.

“Like this?”

The older employee swallowed.

“Pretty much. Does it feel better?”

Spongebob held the bowl in place breathing in and out in concentration, sniveling profusely.

“*Sniff*I…I can’t tell.”

“Just give it time.”

Squidward mused between bites. He watched the sponge continue to follow the advice and felt a touch flattered. It wasn’t very often Squidward received full attention when he spoke. Even Spongebob was usually too preoccupied to pay such close notice, who knew all it took was a respiratory illness to make his neighbor so tolerable? Even the thought made him feel like a jerk, but he couldn’t help snorting with mild amusement.

Spongebob, meanwhile, had been diligently doing his best to inhale the steam. The sound was starting to become annoying and Spongebob stopped just before Squidward was going to ask him to.

“*sniff* I think it’s working. *snivel* I can almost breathe again.”

Spongebob excused himself again and blew his nose. He breathed in, smile in place with relief.

“Wow! You’re so smart Squidward! I wish I had asked you for advice last time I had the suds. Patrick’s at home remedies weren’t nearly as effective and I ended up in the hospital.”

Squidward shuddered at the thought of succumbing to any kind of ‘care’ the simple pink starfish would prescribe.

“I’m not surprised.”

 He scraped up the last bit of his soup, wishing he hadn’t finished yet. Spongebob had just started on his, taking much smaller sips without the grimacing. Realizing there was still a pot, but not wanting to seem like a glutton, he asked out of courteous.

“You wouldn’t mind if I…”

Squidward just gestured to his empty bowl and the kitchen.

Spongebob shook his head eagerly.

“Not at all! I’m so glad you like it.”

Squidward got up and found himself smiling again as he spooned out a second portion in the kitchen. On his way back to the lobby, another idea crossed him and he turned back to the manager’s office. There was an intercom system that Mr. Krabs occasionally used, but Squidward was fairly sure it could play radio stations too. To his satisfaction, it appeared perfectly capable of doing so. Squidward tuned into one of his favorite jazz station and flipped it on. He was taken aback at how terribly loud it was. He quickly lowered the volume, but not before he heard a startled yelp, followed by a crash and coughing.

He quickly exited the office to see Spongebob dripping with soup and bent over coughing again, the fire blanket on the floor.

Squidward grimaced and quickly set his bowl down and went to pick up Spongebob’s now empty bowl on the ground, searching for the spoon.

“Sorry, I didn’t know it’d be so loud.”

Spongebob was nearing the end of his fit and only shook his head before speaking.

“..It’s.. alright.”

He took another breath after the exhausting cough stopped and continued.

“I was the one who dropped it, the music was a good idea.”

Squidward slowed his pace when he saw no real damage was done. He still felt a bit bad though.

“I’ll get you another.”

After locating the spoon he went into the kitchen to prepare another portion. Spongebob wanted to stop him, but Squidward had already started before he could. Instead he took the cool kerchief and did his best to wipe down his clothes. Fortunately, almost all of it only got on him, and not anywhere in his precious lobby. Even the blanket was mostly spared, as Spongebob picked it up and closely examined it before proceeding to wrap himself again.

Squidward returned with the second bowl and felt relieved when he saw Spongebob bundled up, looking no worse for wear. He placed the soup in front of the sponge and exhaled, relieved, before enjoying his second portion accompanied by a lovely cornet solo.

The fry cook took to inhaling some of the fresh steam before attempting to consume anymore and smiled to Squidward again.

“Thank you so much. I feel like I’m at a fancy restaurant!”

Squidward wondered why the fancy was necessary, as any place he’d ever pay money to eat at would replace a meal if you dumped it in your lap. But then he realized Spongebob dined mostly at the Krusty Krab, where the owner would have his customers pay for their incompetence.

“Don’t mention it, or Mr.Krabs will hear and put it on the bill.”

Spongebob had already intended on paying for everything that went into his soup, but appreciated Squidward’s joke all the same, giggling softly. This was turning out to be more fun than he anticipated! Sleeping in the office, playing music, experimenting in the kitchen, it felt more like a sleepover at his favorite hangout with his neighbor than being snowed in. Even Squidward seemed to be enjoying the benefits as he slurped his soup satisfactorily.

Still, Spongebob was at work. He was beginning to feel bad for doing so little. He looked around to what was left to do in terms of cleaning and began planning aloud.

“I guess it wasn’t so bad that I didn’t finish last night. I’ll have loads of time to keep cleaning now.”

Squidward raised a brow.

“You sure you want to go back to working?”

Before Spongebob could retort, Squidward quickly recognized his error and rephrashed.

“Scratch that, is it smart to go back to working? You weren’t exactly ship shape a bit ago.”

“But I am feeling better, and that’s all the reason to start sooner.”

Squidward was disappointed and it met his tone.

“Didn’t we just go over this? If you work yourself into a coma, there wouldn’t be anyone could do. I’d rather not shovel a path to the hospital because you wanted to double wax the floors.”

Spongebob frowned uncharacteristically. He really wanted to continue, but it wasn’t quite worth worrying his neighbor. Maybe there was a middle ground?

“Maybe just a little? We’ll be here for a while.”

The sponge had a point, and it wasn’t like every task required lifting something or regular cardio. Squidward hummed to himself as he considered. He looked over the eager yellow cook, doing his best to wait for his answer, though he was obviously impatient for it.

Squidward sighed. It was no use trying to keep the nuisance chained down for the remainder of the day. He imagined most fish would be bored in the situation and acknowledged it was nice his coworker could entertain himself.

“First, check you temperature again. Also, you should try to eat more.”

Spongebob quickly placed the thermometer in his mouth and Squidward finished his second bowl just as it beeped. Spongebob looked at it first before smiling and handing it across the table. Just a touch over 99, a considerable improvement over the morning, Squidward made a noise of approval and continued listing stipulations.

“That’s manageable. But I want you checking regularly and if it gets past 100 again, stop.”

Spongebob took another bite and nodded attentively.

“Also, take /regular/ breaks. Even if you’re still feeling okay, but especially if you’re not.”

“Okay, anything else?”

Squidward couldn’t think of anything, but he was sure the sponge would find a way to act dumb anyhow. Still, he shook his head.

“Finish eating, but, I think that’s it. Go ahead and work, just, please, try not to kill yourself?”

Spongebob sniveled and got the glossy look in his eyes again, on the verge of tears at how moved he was by Squidward’s support. The cephalopod silently pleaded with Spongebob not to cry and, thank Neptune, he seemed to understand. Spongebob muttered an apology and scrubbed his face quickly before facing Squidward again, all goofy grin and no tears.

“I’ll give it my all to.. ah… not give it my all!”

Spongebob chuckled and began kicking his legs as he continued slurping slowly.

Satisfied, Squidward got up to put his bowl in the sink. He turned to exit and look for one of his magazines, instead he practically ran into Spongebob who was proceeding to take his bowl into the kitchen as well with an audible squeak. Squidward’s muttered apology was almost lost under Spongebob’s much louder sorry. After an awkward moment, Squidward just backed up and held the door for his coworker. This time, Spongebob had lost his composure and openly began crying with gratitude.

Squidward dead panned. Really? He was opening a door. Spongebob quickly set his bowl down on the counter and Squidward soon found himself in a squishy embrace whilst still holding the door.

The Jazz still reached the kitchen and was clearly heard over the soft sniffles and choruses of thank you’s.

Squidward rolled his eyes and returned the hug with one arm. His didn’t attempt to hide a small, crooked half smile at the over the top expression, barely making its way to the surface. He responded even more quietly but equally as genuine.

“You’re welcome.”
 

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
I think I should probably stick a fork in this, huh? gee whiz.. 6 years later or so? That's gotta be a record. Does it even still sound like me? I think I've gotten worse. Either way, hope you enjoyed~ I really want to do more spongebob, but I'm fresh out of ideas. Leave yours if you have a plot.

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