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Cranberry Ginger and Role Reversal (F/F, Secret Santa for Galaxy!)


Sawyer

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A major gift to me this holiday season was getting to write for a good friend whose work I have admired for a really long time! Big thanks to Junia for giving The Ol' Galax to me for Secret Santa this year! I always have a blast hanging out and chatting with you, @Galaxy, and I can't believe how many preferences we have in common! 

I was especially thrilled to see that you like a first person fetishist narrator, since that's definitely right in my comfort zone (I'd write in first person forever if I could), as well as happy gay folks. Right up my alley! I really hope you like it!

-          -

Remind me to thank my goddamn relator, Louisa Whateverhernameis, for convincing me to splurge on a place with two bedrooms. I’m not even sure if she’s technically a realtor since I didn’t purchase space or property and all she actually did was introduce me to an apartment on the East side of town with windows so big and high that they get shrouded by leaves in the summer and gentle scratches from bare, snow-covered branches once December comes.

But regardless, props to Louisa the Realtor or Whatever (official title pending, I’ll be sure to get her business card), because without her insisting that I could use the extra bedroom as an office space (yeah right) or creative studio (yeah right) or a bonus space to put my stuff (bingo! You hit the nail on the head, Louisa, I’ll take it), I never would have been able to offer it to Alaoine from across the sea.

Doesn’t that sound cool! The word “sea” is a lot more romantic than “ocean”, I think, and right now I can’t be bothered to think about whether or not there’s a difference. It doesn’t matter. The important thing is that my living space was in perfect condition to rent out to the consultant that my brother’s company hired to help them out with…

Actually, I’m not going to pretend to understand the situation with his company or start up or whatever the hell he’s working on downtown. He’s explained it to me maybe five or six times, but it’s like my mind puts up some sort of wall that prevents any of his words from sinking into the part of my brain that processes complicated information. The point is that my little brother is incredibly smart and rich and important and I’m not, but that doesn’t really matter because who’s the one with the cute Irish girl living in her spare bedroom for two-weeks-and-counting?

It’s me. So suck it, Brendan.

(Does that make sense? Can I tell him to suck it even though he’s the person who hooked me up with this position in the first place?)

When Alaoine first moved in, I’d been so over-prepared that I was bordering neurotic, and this made me look weird and frazzled in front of her because I was concerned about making the place comfortable and inviting and accessible, and then I really stupidly asked her “Are you Alaoine?” (stupidly because who else would it be?) and I’d also pronounced her name wrong, which was super extremely embarrassing but I laughed it off because I’m actually very calm and funny and not full of myself at all.

Really! If I were full of myself, I my shattered ego would never allow me to laugh off my mistakes like that. I’m serious. I could be a lot worse.

Anyway, after Alaoine graciously corrected me, I’d apologized like a major idiot and said, “It’s a really cool name, I promise.”

And she replied, “Thanks. It’s actually supposed to be a man’s name. It’s French? Or maybe it’s Irish,” in a voice so melodious and sweet and bright that I got a little flustered and asked her if she was Irish and then she’d said sort of, her mom is, but she’d said “mom” instead of “mum” and that made me ask how Irish she actually was and she laughed some more and if there’s a direct way into my heart it’s definitely by laughing along with me as I make a fool of myself and making me wonder if you’re naturally so pleasant that you laugh this easily or if you’re flirting with me.

But that’s super creepy, of course I wasn’t wondering if my new houseguest was flirting with me, shut up, that’s not what I meant at all.

She has been kind of flirting with me, though. I think I sometimes flirt with people a little bit without realizing, like, accidentally I mean, but I can usually tell when they’re flirting back. She puts her hand on my shoulder a lot (oh my god! I know!) and she’s always complimenting me in the morning on like, the way I make coffee or what kind of shoes I’m wearing to work. I know girls are sometimes just plain sweet and nice to each other, but she often texts me at work too, just to chat, and maybe she’s just being a friendly roommate but even if that’s the case I’m still on my way to totally falling head over heels, or however that saying goes. I can’t help it.

So obviously I’m on high alert and I don’t jolt the hell up out of my seat when she texts me from work.

Alaoine
[10:12] hi sorry to bother u!! ;) wondering if we have any cold meds at home? x
[10:12] like nyquil dayquil ??

Wow! Are you kidding? So how much of me is allowed to ask why she needs them and how she’s feeling and can she describe her symptoms in detail for my stupid gay ass because oh that’s right, surprise surprise, my crush is unintentionally beginning to press the buttons of my not-so-secret fetish, which, by the way, is not-so-secret because of a drunken evening during undergrad wherein I spilled the beans to at least five of my housemates and probably a few guests who have, for the most part, been way too gracious to bring it up to me ever again. Maybe they thought I was making it up.

Me
[10:12] theres just tylenol! you ok?

I have a lot of great qualities, I promise, but I never said I was very patient.

Me
[10:14] I’m on my way out now actually. should I pick up anything else?

I’m halfway to the drugstore when Alaoine finally responds, and like a thirsty idiot I tug my scarf down off of my mouth in order to pull off my right glove with my teeth so I can unlock my phone and read it.

Alaoine
[10:38] yes thanks! you don’t have to worry about it, I can get something on my way home today
[10:39] I think I am getting a cold but
[10:39] its ok!!! seriously don’t worry about it

Me
[10:39] omg don’t worry lol im already here
[10:40] see you at home !!

The only way to keep my raging curiosity in check is by responding very briefly, and I feel stupidly giddy as I pick out probably too many colorful boxes of cough syrup and decongestants and you know what, you can never have too many tissues and would you look at what’s on sale near the registers. Must be my lucky day.

Still, though, not lucky enough, I realize when I open the door to my apartment and discover that Alaoine beat me coming home. Her boots are positioned neatly on the mat near my front door and they’re still dusted with snow, meaning she can’t have gotten back more then ten minutes ago. In fact, I don’t even think I was gone for more than thirty.

AAHT’GYXSshYUE!

Ooooh-kay. I’m about to get whiplash here. I’m very lucky. That’s my final stance on the situation. End of discussion.

“Bless you! Welcome home!”

Dude, I’m so gay.

It’s not like I haven’t heard her sneeze before, because that definitely comes with the territory of having a roommate (and she’s not exactly quiet about it either – which, oh my god, is cute as hell but don’t get me started talking about that or I’m pretty sure I’d never shut up), but something about the promise of that one has a flock of butterflies blooming in my stomach.

(Is “flock” the right word? It doesn’t matter. I don’t know.)

“Hey, check it out,” Alaoine says as I enter the kitchen. She follows it with a brief, stuffy sniffle. She’s holding a tiny paper box, and I can smell the shampoo in her hair when I get close enough to peer inside.

“Tea leaves?” I deduce.

“It’s cran… hah!... cran-nhah’EHGHTSSCHYEW! Excuse me! Cranberry ginger, for the holidays I think? Our receptionist gave me a sample when I said I was going home early.”

“Bless you,” I say, like I’m not lightheaded and dizzy and distracted as I shed my coat and hang it on my dining chair for later. “It, uh, smells really good.

Huh’HH’AAaSHyew!” She actually pitches forward with that one, I’m not kidding, and catches it with a pair of steepled hands. (By a pair, I mean her own. Who else’s hands would they be?)

“Bless you!” I repeat, almost compulsively. I feel like I have to say something, even though I, the sneeze expert of the county (probably, unless someone out there wants to challenge me for my title), can tell that she isn’t finished yet.

EHHTssshhYew! Ooh, thank you. Evan, you’re so sweet to say that every time. I’ve been sneezing all day, and people usually stop after the second one!” She gets up and washes her hands at the sink while I stare stupidly at the back of her head. “It’s funny how we both have boys’ names, though I guess yours is on purpose, isn’t it?”

“My full name is Evangeline,” I answer. Did I really never tell her that? Or is it one of those cases where she’s just trying to make conversation and I’m making myself look rigid and forgetful?

“Oh, that’s right! Sorry, this cold must have my memory in a fog. How long have you been called Evan?”

“When I cut all my hair off a few years ago,” I say, and it’s actually taking a lot of willpower not to bring my hands up to tug on and mess with my hair just at the mention. It would feel really predictable. “People started calling me Evan as, like, a joke? But I kind of liked it so it stuck.”

“Oh, no, I think it suits you!” Alaoine dries her hands on a paper towel and then swipes it underneath her nose and jumps when I startle her by reaching for my shopping bag lightning fast.

“Oh my god, I’m so stupid, I’m sorry,” I say, but I don’t think I sound very apologetic because I’m laughing a little. “Here.” I hand over one of the tissue boxes that I bought on sale at the pharmacy.

“Thank you so much,” Alaoine says, and she giggles a little. Her voice sounds fine other than the deep nasal quality hanging off of certain consonants, and the hint of an accent she’s always had has become just a little bit thicker. “Really, I’d say that you didn’t have to, but I’m actually very grateful.” She tents one of the tissues over her nose and blows softly. “The softness means a million to me – my nose is always going pink.”

My own face flushes immediately to match, and as I begin to unload the rest of the items from my cold medicine aisle haul, I wonder facetiously if she could possibly get any cuter.

-           -

It turns out that, yeah, she absolutely can.

By the time evening rolls around, Alaoine has retired to her room and I’ve created a winter nest in front of the TV. I’m supposed to be taking care of some freelance work on my computer, and I’ve taken the first step in that I’ve opened it up and set it on the coffee table in front of me, but I have a feeling that’s about as far as I’m going to be able to take it tonight. By the time the sun goes down I always feel like it’s time to stop working (even if I haven’t actually done anything that day), and the 4 P.M. daylight savings sunsets don’t do much to help my productivity.

But that’s fine. I’ve got more important things to think about tonight.

Alaoine has one of those incredibly rare, incredibly precious sneezes that’s a lot louder than her speaking voice and way harsher than her personality, with so much power that it’s practically throwing her around while still managing to be, I don’t know, sorry for being cliché but really feminine and delicate somehow, maybe to match the high and clear quality of her voice and her generally playful, unabashed nature.

And she hasn’t stopped sneezing since she got home (I’m assuming, having arrived back after she did, after all), and what started as a set of three or four every half hour (NOT that I’m counting, would you shut up?) has become a constant pattern; I doubt she’s gone more than ten minutes without sneezing, but I’ve kept quiet because her door is closed and I’m assuming that means she wants some sneeze-privacy. Or whatever. Oh my god. Sorry for saying sneeze-privacy.

HdtEHSSCCHhh’YUE!” Or maybe not, since that one didn’t sound like it was muffled by her hollow wooden bedroom door.

“Bless you,” I say without raising my voice, and I don’t turn around out of a fear of looking too attuned to her cold symptoms and outing myself as a huge weirdo. I’m probably just paranoid.

“Thanks!” Alaoine calls, probably from the bathroom down the hall, and I can hear a couple of stuffy, unproductive sniffles over the sound of a cabinet being opened and closed.

There’s a bit of shuffling and then I can hear the water running – I think it’s the tap – and moments later Alaoine emerges from the hallway and into the living room wearing a pair of fleece lounge pants and some kind of scarf or cardigan or something that looks like it’s doubling as a blanket as it sits heavy around her shoulders.

“Hey, I brought you some of that tea; it felt too lonely to drink it by myself,” she offers, setting a mug down on the table next to my laptop.

“Oh that’s too weird!” I reply before I can help myself. “I’m supposed to be the one bringing you all of the hot drinks, right?” I don’t know why it was a question. I know exactly how it’s supposed to go. Regardless, I grab the mug and take a sip.

“A girl named Evan must be open to a little role reversal, though,” Alaoine reasons. She mirrors me and brings her own cup to her lips, then frowns. “Oh no! I can’t taste this at all, is it good?”

“Pretty good,” I admit, feeling a little guilty as the steam curl around my face. It’s spicy and smooth and a little tart, but not really in a bad way, and the best part is the way the hot porcelain feels on my hands. It sucks that she can’t taste her own gift. I watch Alaoine take a seat on the armchair next to the TV, and I immediately blurt out, “Dude, that chair sucks.”

She pauses, holding her tea mug by the handle and hovering it above the table attached to the TV stand.

“It’s uncomfortable and you can’t, like, see anything from that spot,” I clarify when I notice her staring at me. Her eyes are sparkling a little, but it might be the start of a low-grade fever. “Seriously, it feels like a dentist chair or something.” I move over until I’m leaning against the armrest, and I gesture to the empty space next to me on the couch.

“You might get sick if I sit that close,” Alaoine warns, but she heads over anyway and helps herself to the corner of my blanket, pulling it over her legs swiftly as she twists her upper body away from me. “Ahh’HH’IHGSSCH’ah! Huhh’AASCHHyew!

Wow, be still my beating heart!

“Bless you bless you.” I’m quick to grab the tissue box from the coffee table and set it squarely on her lap, situating myself closer so I can reach better.

“Oh, you’re so nice to me, Evan, thank you,” Alaoine replies, just before pulling one of the tissues from its resting place and tenting it around her nose. “EhGHTSCHHYEW! Wow, it’s not… Huhhh’ESSCHHHyue! Not stopping, sorry, that was so much!”

God, I want to like, kiss her or something. Jesus! Okay, I’m not going to, don’t take it like that. You know what I mean.

“You said you haven’t been sick in a while, is that right?” The heightened intensity of her accent combined with a stuffy nose has made Alaoine, like, ten times harder to understand, so I stare at her for a minute while I piece the sounds of the words together with the context.

“Oh yeah!” I readjust again, feeling restless, and we accidentally bump knees but she doesn’t move hers. I feel like mine is on fire. “Yeah, it’s been probably a year at least.”

“What’s your secret?” she asks, her voice low, and then she sniffles again and brings a fresh tissue up to her nose and just… keeps it there, her expression expectant and unchanging.

“I get a lot of sleep,” I say. “Or, well… I guess that’s kind of a cop-out, rehearsed answer. I’ve always been sort of lucky when it comes to body stuff – oh, bless you? I think?”

UhdtTSSCHhhIH! Yes! Thank you, you’re good at that.” From behind another tissue, she says, “These always go straight to my nose, and I had to leave today because I felt like I was distracting everybody else. But I think I can work from home tomorrow, if you don’t have anything big that you need to concentrate on?”

“No!” I blurt out, and I do it so fiercely that my voice almost cracks. “No, I mean, no, I’m not doing anything. You should stay back and rest, though, not overload yourself—”

“I feel okay,” Alaoine insists, and like, her voice sounds wrecked but all her energy is still very much there, all crooked smile and twinkling eyes.  “Maybe I’ll finish early and we can hang out in here again, what do you think?”

Here’s another case of my own obliviousness stopping me from being able to tell friendliness for interest or anything else, but either way, I’m grateful for her company and already thinking about tomorrow as I agree to my roommate’s proposal.

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I was waiting for Galaxy to see this, but since others are chiming in, I'll add that this was totally adorable and endearing!! 

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This is SO cute. I can't believe how, like, lifelike you've made these characters? This is really, really good. Well done!!

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My gay heart is melting over this. :inlove:  Adorable and funny, and the narrator's inner voice is very, very easy to relate to. *laugh*

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SEN............First of all I have to apologize because I haven't been on the forum in like a week or so and tonight I was like "let's see what's up on Ye Olde Fetish Forum before bed". And due to this stunning turn of events, I will probably not go to sleep for quite a while because SEN....my LORDE 

I like numbering things because it makes me feel like I'm not rambling as much as I definitely am so here is a LIST OF EVERYTHING THAT HAS ME OVERWHELMED WITH FEELINGS RN

1. Evan is me. Honestly, you have peeked into my real life existence. Especially her thinking "I'm so gay" every five minutes cause like YEAH....das me constantly...

2. Alaoine (I LOVE THIS NAME) is 100% the sort of girl I would have a really pathetic crush on and would be so thrown by the fact that she was a real person allowed to exist along with sinners like me. She is so cute and soft and that so totally kills me....I love her. Evan and I will fight for her attention.

3. The way you spell sneezes absolutely destroys me. I can hear how flipping cute her sneezing is in my head. 

4. Their KNEES BUMPING....I whimpered....they are so cute....

5. "Dude, I'm so gay" YEAH ME TOO EVAN let's go cry....

Sen....I am so thrown and I am so flipping grateful for this?? This whole week I have been madly stressed out and exhausted and reading this just gave me such a feeling of "times are hard, but lovely things like THIS exist, so the world isn't really all that bad" and thank you for that. Honestly and also I love chatting with you so much!! You are absolutely hilarious and relatable and I am so glad to be getting to know you better!

Also shoutout to Santa themself, Junia, for giving me literally the best person ever for as a Secret Santa. You and Sen are...so great. My Lord!!

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Haha, wow, Evan's narrative voice is so chirpy and funny, I really like it! And the fetish being mentioned in stories normally isn't for me, but here, it just adds to the main character being so relatable and works really well! And aww, those texts were super cute! Also, I love that Galaxy loves this so much! It's so wonderful when Secret Santa matches work out so well and people are really happy with their gifts! ^_^

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On 12/18/2016 at 2:00 AM, Galaxy said:

SEN............First of all I have to apologize because I haven't been on the forum in like a week or so and tonight I was like "let's see what's up on Ye Olde Fetish Forum before bed". And due to this stunning turn of events, I will probably not go to sleep for quite a while because SEN....my LORDE 

I like numbering things because it makes me feel like I'm not rambling as much as I definitely am so here is a LIST OF EVERYTHING THAT HAS ME OVERWHELMED WITH FEELINGS RN

1. Evan is me. Honestly, you have peeked into my real life existence. Especially her thinking "I'm so gay" every five minutes cause like YEAH....das me constantly...

2. Alaoine (I LOVE THIS NAME) is 100% the sort of girl I would have a really pathetic crush on and would be so thrown by the fact that she was a real person allowed to exist along with sinners like me. She is so cute and soft and that so totally kills me....I love her. Evan and I will fight for her attention.

3. The way you spell sneezes absolutely destroys me. I can hear how flipping cute her sneezing is in my head. 

4. Their KNEES BUMPING....I whimpered....they are so cute....

5. "Dude, I'm so gay" YEAH ME TOO EVAN let's go cry....

Sen....I am so thrown and I am so flipping grateful for this?? This whole week I have been madly stressed out and exhausted and reading this just gave me such a feeling of "times are hard, but lovely things like THIS exist, so the world isn't really all that bad" and thank you for that. Honestly and also I love chatting with you so much!! You are absolutely hilarious and relatable and I am so glad to be getting to know you better!

Also shoutout to Santa themself, Junia, for giving me literally the best person ever for as a Secret Santa. You and Sen are...so great. My Lord!!

Galaxy, I'm sooooooo happy you liked it!! It was such a cool coincidence that we ended up chatting more during the same time that the SS assignments came out! And oh my god, thank you so much for making a list? It's like, the ultimate fic writer compliment when someone makes a list for something you wrote! As soon as I saw that you liked first person original I was like.. alright... I have to do this. You're such a great friend and writer so I wanted to do the best I could for you! I hope you're having a very good and very gay holiday season!!!

On 12/14/2016 at 11:55 PM, White Rose said:

This is wonderful!! Well done!! 

Thank you so much, I'm glad you like it! 

On 12/15/2016 at 3:16 PM, SexyGodlikeHair said:

V CUTE V GOOD

Okay, okay, sorry; seriously though, this is awesome, well written, and addictive. Can't wait for more!!

Thanks dude!! I'll probably leave this one as is, but I can't wait to begin writing more in the new year!

On 12/15/2016 at 11:19 PM, Dusty15 said:

I was waiting for Galaxy to see this, but since others are chiming in, I'll add that this was totally adorable and endearing!! 

Aww, thank you!! I tend to kind of roast myself when I'm writing anything first person, but maybe it adds to the charm!

On 12/16/2016 at 3:13 AM, LL said:

This is SO cute. I can't believe how, like, lifelike you've made these characters? This is really, really good. Well done!!

You're so sweet, thank you so much! Dialogue is my favorite to write, and doing a first person narrative feels like all dialogue, so it means a lot to me that you would say that!

On 12/16/2016 at 9:44 AM, VoOs said:

My gay heart is melting over this. :inlove:  Adorable and funny, and the narrator's inner voice is very, very easy to relate to. *laugh*

Oh my god, yes, so true! A few of my friends ended up reading this too (I didn't know they would!!) and they said that the character sounds just like me... which makes sense and is a cop out, but a gay frazzled sneeze fetishist character sounds like all of us, I'd argue!!

On 12/16/2016 at 1:54 PM, camillapapen said:

This is completely adorable - I love it!

Also, how do you pronounce Alaoine? I feel like I'm saying it wrong in my head.

Thank you!! It's kind of like "Al-ee-neh". While I was writing it I was saying it like "all-oh-ween" (like halloween!) in my head, even though I knew it was incorrect!

On 12/17/2016 at 9:53 AM, queenie said:

PRECIOUS!!!

Thanks, I'm glad you liked it!!

On 12/18/2016 at 4:29 PM, Sophie<3 said:

Haha, wow, Evan's narrative voice is so chirpy and funny, I really like it! And the fetish being mentioned in stories normally isn't for me, but here, it just adds to the main character being so relatable and works really well! And aww, those texts were super cute! Also, I love that Galaxy loves this so much! It's so wonderful when Secret Santa matches work out so well and people are really happy with their gifts! ^_^

Aww, Sophie, you're always so sweet to me, and I'm so stoked that you came and read this one too! I'm in the same boat, I think it really has to fit if a character has the fetish, and a humble/awkward character is always the best kind to give it to!

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/14/2016 at 5:59 PM, Sen Beret said:

“Bless you!” I repeat, almost compulsively. I feel like I have to say something, even though I, the sneeze expert of the county (probably, unless someone out there wants to challenge me for my title), can tell that she isn’t finished yet.

Having kind of a browse/catch-up on the forum and came across this beauty of a fic - so so good!

Evan's voice is hilarious (loads of quote-worthy bits, but especially that one ^^)  and Alaoine sounds really hot! I love how she's so sweet and "normal" :razz:

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This was magical, those sneeze spellings are magical, and you are freaking magical. I love how Evan snuck that little preemptive blessing in at the end there.

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