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Hey everyone! Time for another thing!

I've been going through some fairly epic writer's block lately, and I remembered recently that trying to write something relatively simple has often helped in the past. I'm sure I'm known for my positively insane ideas, but sometimes it's still nice to kick back and take things easy. On that note, after a downright crazy Halloween story, I've decided not to go quite so mad for the winter holidays this year. Instead, this is more relaxed, and in the end it's just some nice, cute fluff. Well, I think it's cute at least. I suppose that's up to you guys. Enjoy!

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Although Josh and Rebecca Attwood had been married for five happy years, this was to be the first time they spent the holidays at home as a family. Before marriage they always attended extravagant holiday parties, and for the next four years they always left home to visit relatives. Both Josh and Rebecca's families were fairly religiously apathetic, but they still celebrated Christmas and Hanukkah respectively, frequently gathering together for a sizeable party every year since the young couple married.

This year, however, Josh and Rebecca thought it would be nice to pass the holidays quietly at home with the four year old daughter Megan. Part of it was Megan's idea: she had been very vocal about wanting her own Christmas tree she could show off to her friends. Of course, she only wanted to have one; taking the time to chop it down and decorate it was too much to ask of the young girl. Still, putting her to sleep on the night before Christmas was as difficult as ever.

Rebecca sat on the couch in the living room, staring between the menorah on the windowsill and the tree in the corner to watch the clock. It was almost 11:30, but even though Megan had been in bed for hours, Rebecca and her husband decided to wait before putting any presents under the tree. Then, as Rebecca counted the seconds away, she suddenly felt a tickle flutter up her left nostril. She scrunched her nose to the side and quickly rubbed her outstretched fingers underneath. After a quiet sniff, the irritation was gone. A few seconds passed in peace, but then Rebecca felt another tickle, this time in the right side of her nose. She dealt with it in the same way, still not terribly bothered.

"Hey, Rebecca."

A smile quickly spread across the young mother's drowsy face as she heard her husband's voice. She leaned her head back over the top of the couch and stared up at him, but her eyes were quickly drawn to the two mugs of hot chocolate in his hands.

"Give me one," she demanded with a teasing smile. She reached her hands up toward one of the mugs, but Josh carefully pulled them away. Rebecca frowned at him as he stepped around the couch and sat beside her.

"Happy-Merry Hanukkah-Christmas," said Josh in a completely serious tone. Rebecca huffed, rolling her eyes.

"Really?" she groaned, folding her arms. "You sound dumb when you say that. Just pick one."

"Do you want one of these or not?" asked Josh with a laugh. He held a mug of hot chocolate under Rebecca's nose, her eyes widening as she stared down at the drink. She snatched the mug from her husband, a look of childlike glee on her face. Rebecca quickly took a sip, putting on a pleasured smile as she sank back into the couch. Then, feeling another tickle in her nose, she set her mug down on the coffee table and began to rub the side of her hand back and forth under her nostrils.

"Hhh... Hhahh..."

What had only been a light tickle a moment ago was quickly blossoming into a sneeze. Rebecca wrinkled her nose and held her breath, but she already knew it was too late. Now all she could do was hope it wasn't too loud. Josh noticed his wife's distress a moment too late, unable to react before she sneezed.

"Hahh'TSHHHOOO!"

Cupping one hand over her nose, Rebecca pitched forward with the force of her sneeze. She bounced lightly on the couch as she righted herself, and then she and Josh both silently turned their eyes up to the ceiling and stared. After the house remained quiet for a few seconds, the couple quickly relaxed. Closing her eyes, Rebecca spent a few seconds rubbing the tickle out of her nose as Josh took another sip of hot chocolate.

"Whew, excuse me," breathed Rebecca, opening her eyes. "That was a big one."

"They're always big ones with you," teased Josh, earning a light smack on the shoulder.

"Hey, shut up!" Rebecca whispered firmly. "I can't help it!"

"I know," Josh consoled, rubbing his wife's back as she pouted. "But you probably should try to keep the volume low anyway. Wouldn't want to wake up Megan."

"Yeah, I know," sighed Rebecca, scrubbing her hand under her nose once more. "I'll try to hold it in if I have to sneeze again."

"I have faith in you," Josh joked again, putting an arm around Rebecca. She rolled her eyes at him, but she couldn't help but smile as he lightly kissed her on the cheek. After gently pushing her husband away, Rebecca giggled quietly and rubbed her nose again.

"Alright, how about we get going with those presents?"

"Of course," Josh replied, setting his hot chocolate down beside Rebecca's after taking one more sip. The couple smiled at each other, briefly holding hands before attempting to stand up. Josh rose to his feet and Rebecca tried to follow, but she suddenly fell back onto the couch as her face went slack.

"Hhh-!"

With only a few seconds to react, Josh quickly grabbed a pillow from the corner of the couch and held it in front of his wife's face. She was vaguely aware of what he was trying to do, and she weakly reached her hands up to hold the pillow in place.

"Hah... Ah'TSHHFMFF!"

The force of Rebecca's sneeze caused her to faceplant into the pillow. It wasn't terribly comfortable, but at least it muffled the sound. She and her husband let the pillow fall to the floor as Rebecca finally managed to stand, though she still couldn't help but rub her nose.

"You feeling okay?" asked Josh, picking up both mugs of hot chocolate. Rebecca shrugged, keeping her fingers pressed under her nose for a moment more.

"I think so," she sighed, accepting her mug from her husband. "I better not be catching a cold. It's probably just something in the air."

After drinking a bit more hot chocolate, the couple silently tiptoed upstairs to their bedroom closet. Inside sat a pile of neatly wrapped presents of all shapes and sizes. There had already been plenty of gift exchanges on each day of Hanukkah, but Josh and Rebecca knew Megan was most excited for Christmas, simply due to the larger concentration of presents. Neither one of them blamed her; they just liked seeing her get excited.

The tickle in Rebecca's nose vanished when she headed upstairs, but she didn't notice it was gone until it suddenly came back. She calmly carried an armful of boxes downstairs and toward the living room, and she suddenly slowed to a stop as an itch tugged at her nostrils. Josh was keeping an eye on Megan's room to make sure she was still asleep, and then he and Rebecca would trade off once she delivered her batch of presents. Until then, however, Rebecca was on her own.

Wrinkling her nose, Rebecca sniffed sharply and willed herself to keep moving. She relaxed her face and took a few steps, but then another sniff brought her to a halt again. Holding her breath, Rebecca scrunched her nose around in a circle, doing everything she could to soothe it without the use of her hands. After letting her breath out shakily through her mouth, Rebecca continued on. The instant she stepped into the living room, however, the tickle in her nose overwhelmed her.

An armchair sat just a few feet away from the door. Rebecca forced herself over to it so she could safely set her presents down, sniffing and wrinkling her nose frantically at every step. Then, once the boxes were out of her hands, she furiously rubbed her nose in an attempt to hold back the sneeze. Rebecca already knew it was too late, but she had to at least try.

"Hh-hahh... Heh'TSHHHOO!"

Josh nearly jumped at the sound of his wife's loud sneeze. He reflexively glanced at the staircase for a second even though Rebecca was out of view, and then his eyes nervously turned to Megan's room. Even with the door closed, Josh could hear the young girl groan and roll over in her bed. The house hung in silence for a moment, and Josh breathed a sigh of relief as Megan remained asleep.

"Bless you," Josh mouthed silently as Rebecca slunk up the stairs. She closed her eyes and rubbed her nose, and then she leaned against the wall beside her husband.

"Thanks," whispered Rebecca, gently flicking the tip of her nose upward with her fingers. She closed her eyes again and sighed quietly, and then she jumped as Josh suddenly gave her a kiss on the nose. Feeling herself blush, Rebecca waved her hands at her husband and slapped him on the shoulder. Josh quickly half-tiptoed, half-ran to their bedroom, a goofy smile on his face. Rebecca let her head fall into her hands in frustration, but she couldn't help but smile too.

Josh passed by with the last of the presents a moment later, and Rebecca followed him back to the living room. After arranging the gifts under the tree, the couple stepped back and admired their work. They leaned against each other and sighed happily, but Rebecca suddenly tensed up and began rubbing her nose again.

"You sure you're okay, Rebecca?" asked Josh, giving his wife a backrub with one hand. Rebecca shrugged, rubbing her nose even harder for a second.

"I'm fine, just... My nose r-really... My nose really tickles."

The young mother's hand fell away from her face as her willpower began to fail. She felt another sneeze coming on, this one even bigger than the last few. Taking in a shrill gasp, Rebecca threw back her head. Before she could sneeze, however, she suddenly felt Josh's index finger press against the underside of her nose. Rebecca forced her eyes open in surprise for a split second before squeezing them shut again, and then she bent forward with a loud sneeze, her husband's intervention having no effect.

"Heah'TSHHHOOOOO!!!"

Letting out an irritated groan, Rebecca fluttered her watery eyes open. She sniffed and scrunched her nose to one side, and then she realized Josh's finger was still under her nostrils. Rebecca shoved his arm away and slapped his shoulder, starting to giggle.

"What in the world are you doing?" Rebecca laughed, slapping her husband again. Josh held up his hands to defend himself as his wife continued pelting him.

"I don't know, I thought maybe that would help."

"Why on earth would that even do anything!?"

Josh and Rebecca fell onto the couch, still laughing at themselves. Rebecca's light slaps became lighter and lighter, and then she and her husband leaned against each other and hugged. They held each other until they got their giggling under control, and then they separated as Rebecca began to rub her nose again.

"I hate to say this," she sniffed, narrowing her eyes, "but I think it might be the tree that's bothering my nose."

"You think?" asked Josh, glancing back and forth between the tree and his wife. Rebecca shrugged.

"I mean, this is the first time I've been around one up close this much. Your parents always had a fake tree, and mine never had one at all."

"That would make sense," said Josh, leaning back. He put his arm around Rebecca and gave her a gentle sideways hug. "Should we get rid of it?"

Still rubbing her nose, Rebecca thought for a moment and then sighed. She shook her head, glancing at the tree and then at the presents underneath.

"No, Megan would be devastated. I can deal with it for another few days."

"Alright, as long as you're okay," Josh said with a smile. He and Rebecca hugged again, rubbing each others' backs. Then, a light creak from the floor boards at the entrance to the living room brought them both back to reality. Already knowing what they would see, the couple turned their heads to the door. Megan stood silently in her pajamas, rubbing her sleepy eyes with her right hand and a fuzzy stuffed sheep hanging from her left.

"Hi," said Megan in a tiny voice, yawning immediately afterward. Smiling warmly, Rebecca stood up from the couch and headed over to her daughter, followed closely by her husband.

"Hey, sweetie," Rebecca cooed, scooping Megan up in her arms. She gave her daughter a hug and then cradled her gently. "Did I wake you up? I'm sorry."

Megan nodded, earning a giggle from both parents. She yawned again and then leaned against her mother to hug her back.

"You sneeze so loud, mommy."

"I know, I have a big sneeze," Rebecca giggled, nuzzling Megan's cheek with her nose. "I try not to, but I can't really help it."

"That's okay, I forgive you," murmured Megan, earning a laugh from her parents again. Then, the young girl yawned once more and smiled up at her mother.

"Happy-Merry Hanukkah-Christmas, mommy."

Rebecca smiled for her daughter, but then she turned her head to her husband and glared at him. Josh held up his hands and shrugged in feigned innocence. Rebecca rolled her eyes at him, and then she turned back to Megan and gave her a kiss on the forehead. She was already in the process of falling asleep again, so her mother began to carry her out into the hallway and toward the stairs.

"Alright, let's get you back in behh... Hehh... Heh'TSHHOO!"

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Happy holidays, everyone! Any feedback of any kind is always appreciated, but mostly I hope you all enjoyed!

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It has been too long since I've read a fic from you Blah :D And this certainly does not disappoint. It's nice to read a sneezefic featuring a loving, married couple, which I feel is surprisingly a fairly rare turn up in sneezefic history :lol:

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Great work and very close to home for me. After years of having an artificial tree my hubby and I celebrated our first married Christmas by getting a real tree....at least I wasn't as loud as Rebecca

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  • 2 weeks later...

HEYYY I may be late to review but it's not TOO late since Christmas isn't here right. Riiiiight

Ah, man. So gushy. So mushy. Such a big pile of adorable married parent puppies. Seriously, this is the kind of thing I want to read around Christmas time. Just sweet, innocent lovey love. But it's not gooey in the gross romancey sense, it's just like... their teamwork and friendship fills ME with goo. Then their daughter coming over to them at the end... what a precious lil family.

"Hh-hahh... Heh'TSHHHOO!"

Josh nearly jumped at the sound of his wife's loud sneeze. He reflexively glanced at the staircase for a second even though Rebecca was out of view, and then his eyes nervously turned to Megan's room. Even with the door closed, Josh could hear the young girl groan and roll over in her bed. The house hung in silence for a moment, and Josh breathed a sigh of relief as Megan remained asleep.

"Bless you," Josh mouthed silently as Rebecca slunk up the stairs.

And yeah that. That always gets me. SO SWEET

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