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Taking Care of You


Alabaster

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I’ve mostly done fanfic drabbles, so this is my first OG Fic… This is not the whole story, so let me know if you like it and want more!

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Lana blew a strand of her curly red hair back in frustration. Late. Again. She tapped her foot with urgency and glanced out the window at the dimming light. She had been waiting on her boss to give her the paperwork from their recent acquisition so she could file them and get the hell out of the office before the sun set for once this week. Glancing down at her phone, the screen blinked 6:54, no messages. Lana’s thoughts drifted to her boyfriend, Darren, who was undoubtedly equally frustrated by coming home to an empty house again. Odd, though, that he hadn’t texted her about his day or that he was home, she thought absently, as she craned her neck to see if her boss was in the hallway. Nope. She breathed a heavy sigh and unlocked her phone to send off an apology text. Again.

I’m so sorry, baby. I am just waiting on Phil to give me one more file and I am out of here -- <3

Lana bit her lip and hit send, feeling guiltier than ever. Darren was always so understanding about her hours—he knew she had to work hard to make her way out of the pack, but she had barely seen him the last few days. She missed his twinkling blue eyes and the little smirk he always had when he was trying to make her laugh. Lana leaned back in her chair, dreaming of when she’d walk in the door and see Darren, facing away, stirring a pot of something delicious. Like most nights this month, she’d immediately come over and slide her arms around his waist and lean against his broad shoulders, feeling the vibrations from his chuckling. Heaven, she thought with a smile. But soon her honey brown eyes opened to the darkening, empty office where she was trapped until her boss finally decided to make an appearance. She checked her phone again. Nothing.

10 torturous minutes later and Lana was bursting through the front doors of her building and heading purposefully to her car. Freedom felt good, despite the frustration at having been kept late again. She drove as quickly as possible to get home to her loving boyfriend and warm, relaxing home, but when she arrived, the windows were dark. Lana’s lips quirked downward in confusion. Darren was always home by 5—he worked as a history teacher at a local high school. Suddenly the fact that he hadn’t texted her made a small pit of fear bloom in her stomach. She quickly walked inside and turned on the light, looking around in confusion. She was putting her purse in the kitchen when she heard a muffled sneeze coming from their bedroom. Relief washed over her as she quietly pushed open the door and found her boyfriend fast asleep under their plush blankets, snoring quietly.

Man, those kids must have done a number on him today, Lana thought with a smile as she closed the door quietly behind her and walked into the kitchen to make herself some dinner.

A few hours later, when she was parked in front of the television and surfing absently on her computer, her rumpled and bleary-eyed boyfriend emerged from the bedroom, blinking dazedly at her.

“Hey babe,” Lana said with a smile, “welcome back to the land of the living.” She scooched over on the couch, leaving a space for Darren to sit down, which he did, smiling softly. “Hard day at work?”

Darren cleared his throat before responding, his voice still marred by sleep, “yeah, they’re all amped up over the prospect of vacation.” Lana nodded sympathetically and reached up to run her fingers through his soft black hair. Darren closed his eyes and leaned into her touch. Soon she pulled him into her embrace, his head resting on her chest, while they both sat quietly, enjoying finally being in each other’s embrace. Lana had turned her attention back to the television when she felt Darren’s chest expand erratically.  Heh—heh- KISSHHH! Darren sneezed explosively into his elbow, just barely lifting his head from Lana’s chest in time to move away.

“Bless you, babe,” Lana said with a smile. Darren sniffed softly and smiled at her, before resuming his previous position, wrapping his arms around Lana’s waist and closing his eyes. After a few minutes of silence, except for the sounds of the television, Lana felt her own eyelids drooping and she relaxed into sleep.

Heh—heh—HehTCHOO! Lana was startled awake by Darren sneezing next to her on the couch. He had lifted himself up from her embrace and was hunched over at the end of the couch and was hitching breathily, waiting for the apparent next sneeze.  Hih-TCHAH! Heh-TCHOO! Heh—heh-KXT! He tried desperately to stifle as the strong sneezes tore their way out of him, his arm raised to cover and eyes closed tightly. Lana’s eyes widened and she reached over to lay a hand on his shoulder in concern.

“Goodness, Darren! Bless you! Are you alright?” Her concern was interrupted as another sneeze barreled its way out. Heh-KISHH! Darren paused motionless for a second, before sniffing carefully, assuring himself that he was finished. He cautiously looked over at his beautiful girlfriend, who was looking at him with sympathy and concern. He sighed heavily. Dammit, he thought with resignation. So much for not worrying her. He tried to smile at her.

“Whoa, yeah I’m fine, babe. I don’t know what that was.” He tried to pass it off as a surprise, chuckling softly as he stood up to go wash his hands. Lana stayed on the couch, watching him with uncertainty. 

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More it is!

Ch 2. 

Darren sighed softly as he shut the bathroom door and looked in the mirror. His head was pounding with every beat of his heart and his sinuses would not stop prickling. He could tell his bright blue eyes had taken on a glassy sheen, and he closed them tightly as he put his hands under the warm water. He had been feeling off for the last couple of days but, with Lana spending more time at work, he had hoped to get past it without her knowing. He crinkled his relatively large nose to try to stave off any oncoming sneezes. He usually didn’t have a problem admitting that he was sick—in fact, he secretly loved it when Lana would take care of him—but now was not the time. She had been working so hard lately and he was not going to get in the way. So, with renewed determination, Darren dried his hands, gave one last deep sniff, and walked back out into the living room.  He saw Lana typing away furiously; from the slight frown in her plump pink lips and the gentle crease in her forehead, Darren knew she was writing a work email. He sniffed quietly and made his way into the kitchen to make some tea to soothe his scratchy throat.

Lana finished up her email and looked up from her laptop. She had heard Darren walk into the kitchen and sprung up from her place on the couch and walked into the kitchen where she saw her boyfriend’s broad shoulders hunched over his blue handkerchief, eyes closed tightly. Heh—heh—Darren’s breath hitched erratically, trying desperately to stave off more sneezes. Lana felt her heart clench in sympathy for her obviously uncomfortable boyfriend. She walked over and softly ran her hands along his shoulders, rubbing gentle circles into his back. He jumped at her touch, eyes flying open in surprise, mouth still open. Heh—oh! L-lanaa—AH—hehh” Darren attempted to play off being caught in the act, but was unable to control his hitching breaths. Lana’s eyes softened and she took one finger and ran it gently along his pink nose—producing immediate results.

HEH—wh—why—HEH-TISHHOO! HehTCHOO! Heh-hehNXT HIHtchooo! Darren sneezed convulsively into his handkerchief, loud and completely desperate. He was utterly at the mercy of his sneezes and barely registered his girlfriend’s hands wrapped around him, steadying his movement. Hah—heh—hetcHOO—Hih-tchoo! Darren sighed and blew his nose into the already wet handkerchief. Hih-- Heh-tchoo! His throat was raw from the sheer volume of the sneezes he had just released. His head pounded from the exertion and he allowed himself to lean tiredly into Lana’s arms for a moment before straightening up with a sniff.

“Wow! I, uh, I must have gotten into the spices somehow,” Darren muttered lamely, trying to ignore his girlfriend’s incredulous stare.

“Spices!?” Lana exclaimed, looking at the tea kettle and mugs in front of her boyfriend. “Baby, are you feeling okay?” She tried to reach her hand up to Darren’s forehead, but he gently shook her off.

“Yeah, I’m sure,” Darren answered with more than a hint of congestion. Lana looked up at him with a frown, not believing her boyfriend for a moment. She could see the tightened set of his jaw, and knew that Darren was in one of his stubborn moods, so she decided not to push it… yet. She simply pursed her lips at him, gave his shoulder one last squeeze, and walked into the bedroom to get ready for bed. Darren stared after her, wondering if he should give up the charade and admit how truly horrible he felt. But he was determined not to get in the way of her work, and therefore added some extra honey to his tea before taking a seat on the couch, attempting to channel some sort of magical healing remedy in the next 20 minutes.

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Lana woke up and felt the noticeable absence of her boyfriend next to her. She rolled over with a groan and glanced at the clock: 6:15AM. Her brows furrowed. Where could Darren have gotten to? She pulled back the warm blankets and padded out into the living room, turning on the light. There, splayed along the couch, his head tilted back and snoring loudly, was her very disheveled and shivering boyfriend. Crumpled tissues were scattered around his feet and she could see his shining red nose from where she stood. She winced in sympathy and softly walked over to where he was still snoring. Lana lightly placed her hand on his forehead and frowned at the warmth she felt. She brushed back his hair and quickly moved to the bathroom to gather up supplies. She soon returned with a basket filled with cold medicine, tissues, lozenges, and a thermometer. She set the basket on the coffee table, and sat next to her love, gently shaking his shoulder. “Darren?” she called quietly, shaking his shoulder. “Baby, wake up.”

Darren slowly opened his eyes, feeling like he was hit by a truck. Everything was sore, and it felt like his head weighed a thousand pounds. He blinked, trying to adjust his pained eyes to the light, when he felt a cool hand on his forehead—Lana. Darren jumped, coughed harshly, and tried to move away from her hand, but his girlfriend pushed him back onto the couch with ease. “What are you doindg?” Darren tried to ask with confusion, knowing that he’d been caught.

“Honey, I think you have a fever, let me take your temperature.” Her voice was soft and soothing, and Darren wanted nothing more than to lean into her.

“Mmfide,” he mumbled, rubbing at his red nose. Soon he had to move away from her, sneezing into his elbow. Heh-HetchoO! Hihtchoo! He quickly grabbed for his handkerchief and wiped his nose, refusing to blow in front of her.

“Yeah, you sound real fine to me,” Lana answered, sarcastically. “Come on, babe,” her voice softened. “You’re sick and I’d like to know how high that fever is.” Darren started to reply in the negative, but instead succumbed to harsh sounding coughs. Lana rubbed his back, lips frowning with worry. Darren hated to make her worry about him, but he couldn’t seem to stop coughing. He soon felt chilled as Lana got up and went to the kitchen. Still attempting to get his coughs under control, he felt a cool glass being pushed into his hand. He looked up to see Lana’s soft brown eyes gazing at him as she handed him some water.

His coughs subsided, but he was exhausted. He couldn’t even hold back when the next volley of sneezes vaulted out of him, only giving him just enough time to press his face into his handkerchief. Heh-chMP heh-hehh -hihCHMPPF HEhCHMP! His sneezes were muffled, but still powerful as they wracked through his already tired body. Lana stayed next to him the entire time, not moving an inch except, when he was finished, to pull him closer to her body, rubbing her hand up and down his arm in comfort. He closed his eyes in exhaustion, not wanting to deal with his obvious illness. He simply leaned against his girlfriend, pressing his forehead into her chest. They stayed like this a while until his coughs returned, still harsh and unyielding, forcing him to sit up. Lana quietly poured some medicine into a cup and handed it to him. Darren took it without complaint, not having the strength to argue. A thermometer quickly followed, finding its way into Darren’s open mouth. Darren sat with the thermometer, eyes cast downward, feeling dejected and like he had failed in his mission to protect his girlfriend. The thermometer beeped and Lana grabbed it and gave it a quick look before returning it to the table.

“102.3” she said quietly before brushing his hair back from his eyes. “Why didn’t you tell me you felt so badly?”

“I’mb sorry” was all he could say, still looking down at his hands.

“What’s wrong, love?” Lana knew that Darren hated being sick, but this seemed excessive. She put a finger under his chin and guided his eyes up to her own. Her warm brown eyes looked questioningly at her boyfriend. Darren coughed before answering her:

“I-I didn’t want to get in the way while you’re so pressured at work.” His voice was quiet and hoarse, but full of emotion—likely from the fever. “Of course I’d pick now to get sick.”

Lana almost teared up at the sad way Darren looked back down at his hands. She guided his head up again before gently stroking the side of his face. “Baby,” she said firmly but lovingly, “you are more important to me than any job. You can’t help when you get sick. You know that you would take care of me no matter what was going on. Just let me take care of you.” While she talked, she gently guided his body against her own and rested her chin on top of Darren’s curly black hair. She felt Darren sigh but relax in her arms, sniffing audibly and rubbing his nose with his handkerchief.

“I love you, baby,” Darren whispered hoarsely as his eyes slid shut. Lana smiled pulled a blanket up over her lap, throwing it over Darren’s body as well.

“I love you too.”

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

More to come, if you want it :)

Lana opened her eyes and listened to the rain tapping against the window of the living room. She was alone on the couch, surrounded by crumpled white tissues and the remnants of last night’s cold medicine—but no Darren. She stretched her shoulders and rolled her neck, straightening out any knots from sleeping for hours sitting up on a couch. She felt the beginnings of a headache starting just between her eyes-- likely from uneven sleep, Lana thought to herself as she moved to the bedroom to change for the day. She smiled lightly as she entered the room, hearing the shower running in the bathroom, the door open ajar. Lana grabbed her favorite turquoise sweater and pulled it over her head, pulling her mass of red curls through. While she changed, she heard congested sniffs coming from Darren over the noise of the water. Heh-KISSHH heh-heh-ISHHHoo Ishooo! Darren sneezed forcefully from the other side of the door. Lana poked her head into the bathroom— “Bless you, baby,” she offered kindly. She was greeted by the sound of Darren dropping a heavy object, likely the shampoo.

“Oh by god, baby, you scared be!” Darren exclaimed, coughing lightly and trying to sniff away his congestion. 

“Sorry,” Lana giggled as she entered the bathroom fully, to begin applying her daily makeup routine. She wiped the steam off the mirror and started to apply moisturizer when she stopped and hitched softly, turning her head to the side. Hih—hih-hitchoo! Her sneeze was soft but high pitched, and she sniffed lightly after, returning to apply the lotion.

“Bless you, babe,” Darren said from the other side of the curtain. “I hope I didnd’t get you sick,” he added sadly.

“No worries, love,” Lana assured him. “Just steam.” She heard the shower stop and watched through the mirror as Darren pulled back the shower curtain, step out, and started drying himself with a thick blue towel. Lana smiled as she watched her boyfriend reach up and run the towel through his dark locks. He’s so gorgeous, she thought with a smile. Darren looked up and locked eyes with her in the mirror. He smiled bashfully and cocked his head to the side in questioning. Lana turned around and walked toward him, gently pulling him toward her and giving him a gentle kiss on the lips, basking in the fresh smell of his soap. Darren returned the kiss happily, but soon pulled away.

“Babe! Don’t kiss be, I’mb contagious,” he scolded, as he grabbed a few tissues from the box on the counter and blew his nose. Lana giggled in reply,

“I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself. You’re too cute.” Lana gave him a wide smile as Darren winked at her with those devastating blue eyes from over top the mound of tissues he had held up to his face. Her smile faltered just a bit as she squeezed her eyes shut and brought her elbow up to her face—hih-tchoo! Heh-hihtchoo! She sneezed more forcefully, causing her to bend slightly at the waist, and when she opened her eyes, she saw Darren looking at her worriedly. “Wooah!” she laughed. “This steam is really getting to me. I better finish up,” she tried to force a big smile at him to reassure him, but he just sniffed softly and squeezed her shoulder before walking out to get his clothes.

Lana turned back to the mirror and stared at herself for a moment. She did definitely feel a little stuffed up and her headache was still threatening to make itself stronger. I’m probably overreacting to nothing, she thought quickly. Whenever I’m around sick people, I’m always are paranoid about coming down with it too. She finished her morning routine and hurried to the kitchen to grab a smoothie. She found Darren camped out on the couch, in a thick black hoodie and sweat pants, hovering over more tissues, eyes shut tight and his mouth open in anticipation. Heh-heh-NXGT! Heh-hehNXGTAH! Hih- KISSHH HehKSHH! His sneezes turning more and more forceful until he couldn’t stifle any more. She heard him groan softly as she walked towards him and carded her fingers through his hair.

“How are you feeling, babe?” She looked into his bloodshot eyes as she felt his forehead with her hand. Just a little warm.

“Ndot great, but definitely better thand yesterday,” Darren returned with a sniff.

“Do you want me to stay home and take care of you?” Lana asked, hoping he would said yes. She loved taking care of him and being there when he needed comfort. Unfortunately, he smiled and shook his head,

“It’s just a cold, babe. I’ll be okay.” He rubbed his nose with tissues and leaned back into the couch. Lana frowned and brushed some errant curls from his forehead.

“Alright, well you make sure you text me if you need anything,” Lana said firmly but lovingly. “I’ll pick up soup from Joe’s on the way home?” She knew it was his favorite. His beautiful eyes lit up at the idea and he nodded happily as he prepared to sneeze into his elbow.

Heh-hehKISSH! “Sounds great, babe.” Lana leaned down and kissed the top of Darren’s head, then turned and grabbed her keys to run out to her car.

 

TBC

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Ooh you've got me right in the feels - adorable caretaking and contagion? Wonderful ;) I can't wait for more! :D

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  • 4 weeks later...

Very quick update!

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Lana drove through the slushy streets, passed the lights of downtown, shining brightly in the darkness, and pulled down her quiet and still street. Despite the fact that she’d arrive home in less than a minute, she shivered and pushed the heater up as far as it could go, sinking deeper into her plush scarf. It was one of the coldest days of November so far, and she felt every degree of it. Her headache had not lessened throughout the day, but had steadily gotten worse. She was happy to be home. She pulled into her spot in the garage and smiled as she grabbed soup for two from Joe’s. After grabbing her things, Lana clattered into the kitchen, setting her everything on the table and throwing her coat and scarf on its hook. She rubbed her hands together, attempting to warm them as she walked into the living room, where she was greeted with the sight of Darren curled up in front of a fire, reading a book. Lana took in his large wire rimmed reading glasses, dark tousled hair, and pensive look on his face as he studied his book, and felt a warmth in her chest. She smiled widely and bounced into the room, putting her hands around Darren’s unexpecting neck.

Darren gasped and jumped sideways, closing his book with a snap. “Oh by god, babe!” he shivered in surprise, putting his hands where hers had been, “Your hands are so cold!” Lana giggled apologetically and kissed him on top of the head, before plopping down beside him, snuggling near him to steal his warmth. Darren returned her smile as he removed his glasses and wrapped his arms around her waist, pulling her close. He sniffled a bit and moved to rub a hand softly under his nose, trying to alleviate the tickle there. Oddly enough, it wasn’t Darren, but Lana who would turn to the side and sneeze harshly. HihtiiSHhu! Heh-hih-tishhhu! She shook her head lightly and sniffed, turning back to Darren, who was watching her intently.

“Sorry babe,” she said with another sniff, wondering why Darren’s eyes were piercing into her own. He blinked out of his reverie and rubbed her back softly.

“Bless you,” he murmured as he ran his hand up and down her arm, “are you sure you feel okay?” Lana hesitated, wondering if she should tell him about her now full blown headache, chills, and stuffy nose. She really did feel pretty run down. Darren watched Lana’s lips turn downward and saw her beautiful brown eyes (which looked a little glassy) dart to the side in shame. Darren sighed before she could respond and pulled her close to his chest, kissing the top of her red curls.

“I’m sorry, babe. I really didn’t want to give this to you,” he said with resignation. Lana pushed backwards to look up into his sad eyes. She sniffed quietly as she studied him, and then a small smirk formed on her plump pink lips. “What?” He asked confusedly, rubbing his hand underneath his nose yet again.

“Well… it just seems me,” Lana began with a low seductive voice, “that if I am feeling a little off, that means we don’t really need to be careful anymore.” Her smirk pulled outward into a smile, her eyes taking in Darren’s broad shoulders and crystal blue eyes. Darren looked down at her with surprise and leaned down to kiss her fully on the lips. Lana met his lips and slipped her tongue inside, lightly brushing his bottom lip as she pushed in farther, drawing a soft moan from her partner.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...

Now that the semester is over....

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Darren looked down at his sleeping partner, whose small pink nose was wrinkling intermittently as she snored softly, her head buried in his lap. He lightly brushed aside an errant red curl and smiled at the sight of Lana fast asleep. Darren’s eyes flicked up to the muted television, as he rubbed his thumb up and down Lana’s soft arm. Suddenly, he heard a quick gasp and looked down to see Lana’s face, eyes still closed, scrunched up in discomfort. Lana buried her face into Darren’s stomach and soft sweater, sneezing wetly- hih-hitshhoo! Hehnnxgshoo! She sniffed and snuggled back into his lap, all without having opened her eyes. Darren smiled again at his love’s sleepy sneezes, despite feeling a small pang of guilt for having gotten her sick. Fire still crackled in the nearby fireplace as Darren carefully pulled a blanket over he and Lana, preparing to nap with her, when he soon recognized the all-too-familiar tickle in his sinuses starting to flare up again. Darren wrinkled his large nose and attempted to rub it into his shoulder, hoping to quell the feeling and not wake Lana. The tickle grew more insistent and Darren struggled to hold down the feeling, his eyes already watering from the effort.

______

Let me know if you want anything specific :)

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