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Dream (Sneeze) Daddy (m, Dream Daddy Fanfic)


Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea

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This is Dream Daddy fanfic. Because I played that game. And it is adorable. And I have a thing for loud, ridiculous sneezes. Dads are notorious/famous for loud, ridiculous sneezes and so... here we are.

The main character's name is Cary… because that’s as close to "character" as I could get with a real name. Actually he uses a first initial. P. Cary Washington. (The P is for player.) (Maybe the name is why he has daddy issues?) (dream daddy issues *eyebrows*).

Also Amanda is the Player Character’s daughter. That’s probably the only info you need if you haven't played the game. There are probably spoilers for the game but... I tried not to make them too bad. This first one is a bit heavy on the dad references, sorry if that squicks you---future chapters will still feature Dad Sneezes, but less of the Dad and more of the Sneeze.

This first one starts with Damien and P. Cary, because I felt that the first date with Damien was just BEGGING to be sneezefic'd.  I'm planning to do at least one of these for each of the Daddys in the game and they won't necessarily all have stupidly loud sneezes. (But fair warning, most of them will.) But I'll probably work a few other things in there, especially as it makes sense for the characters. I'm gonna do my best to do one with each before I write any more in this world, although I already have an idea for a second date with Damien...

Okay, hope someone enjoys! Thanks!

Damien Date 1

I awkwardly fidget with my clothes. That’s what you do right, before you walk into your weirdly hot neighbor’s giant Gothic house? Right? Before you talk to your neighbor who walks around every day in a cape and waistcoat, and yells at Dead, Bath, and Beyond employees for insufficiently Victorian clothing, and could probably out vampire Brad Pitt in that Brad-Pitt-is-a-Sexy-Vampire movie… before you walk into his house, you fidget, right? That’s definitely normal. I’m sure it’s normal. Positive. Even if you are well-dressed, even if for whatever reason you put on your navy suit, even combed your hair into something approaching presentable, and if you happen to have worn the tight suit pants that show off the results of your squats well, that didn’t make things weird, right? Just one Dad visiting another Dad’s house, no ulterior motives here, no matter how single and attractive the Dads are—or at least one of the Dads are, and—

And all of a sudden there’s a crash of thunder, which came out of nowhere I swear, and then he door is open and there he is…

“Oh, hello, Cary. Delighted to have you.”

It’s an imposing sight. Damien standing there, in front of his big, scary, weirdly beautiful house, tall, lithe, pale, right on the edge of gaunt. Tall black doorframe towering over him, that waistcoat accentuating his tight, grab-able waist, the cape emphasizing his broad shoulders… the hard ridge of his jaw, the cascade of his hair. And those eyes. Purple eyes. That must be color contacts, right?

“Uh, Cary?”

OH THAT’S RIGHT I HAVE TO TALK.

“H-hey Damien! I, uh, thanks for… is there always a clap of thunder when you open the door?”

My dumb mouth.

“Usually.” Damien responds. I almost say something but then… I see the twinkle in his eyes.

“You’re… messing with me!” I exclaim, exasperated. 

“You've caught me out. Didn’t you peruse the weather forecast? The prognosticator advised us to anticipate sporadic storms all day today. It was a stroke of fortune indeed that your arrival antedated…”

And then it’s as if the whole sky opened up, because there’s a downpour out of nowhere and I have to sprint up the stairs and into this house before I get drenched. “H-heh, missed it by an inch, huh?”

I take in the house. It’s large, imposing… yes, creepy for sure but… also… really impressive. Full of oil paintings that ought to be full on Scooby-Doo terrifying, but… nope. They’re weirdly inviting, below the thin veneer of terror they inspire. Sort of like Damien himself.

“Might I interest you in a tour of the premises?” Damien asks, shocking me out of my reverie. Amanda told me I had to talk, and here I am, in Damien’s house, staring and not talking. Great job, Cary. I nod, apparently under the desire to convince Damien that I’m mute. Luckily, he loves talking about his house, and fills the silence much better than I could. I like that in a man. Good at talking. Definitely on my top ten qualities. “I’d love to show you…” Damien says, “well… a bit of a surprise, but. You’ll just have to stay for tea, until the rain clears up, I simply must show you… well, first, my bedroom. Not um,” he pinks up. The blush looks good on his pale skin. Can he hide anything from people? “Not to be… forward in any… it’s just, the best painting’s there. And I thought you might want to see. It’s an authentic 19th century painting, based on a scene from Tennyson, one of his dialogues, and it seemed like you liked the other paintings. Nothing more, of course.”

I’m pretty sure he’s walking a little faster now, and I bet if I wasn’t behind him I’d see that adorable blush again. Too bad the cape blocks the view of his ass… Geez, I have sex on the brain. I need to get laid. Or maybe it’s just spending time with all these guys… how is it that every single dad on this block is hot? Heh. Every Single Dad. Cause they're all single. A+ internal Dad joke, Cary.

But seriously. It’s almost like somebody planned it.

Damien shows me the painting, which, yes, I love it. And somewhere between the painting, and the library, and the fanfiction—don’t lie to me Damien, I know a slashfic when I see one—and the butterflies and the tea… I start having fun. I start having a lot of fun actually. I finally regain the use of my mouth, so I can actually talk, and once I’m talking we’re having a great conversation! The whole Victorian thing isn’t Damien’s whole personality or anything, it’s just something he really likes. And there’s something really charming about having a hobby he’s so passionate about. I wish I had any hobbies I was passionate about, besides of course the niceties of lawncare. And puns. I am passionate about puns. I’m a Dad, after all.

“…and it’s finally cleared up so… I can show you the last thing!” Damien says, excitedly. “If you’d like? I haven’t taken up too much of your time? I of course have the greatest deference for the leisure time of my houseguests, I wouldn’t want you to think I’m expecting you to bestow your entire afternoon upon me.”

“Oh, Damien, I’d love to bestow my afternoon on you.” Why does that sound vaguely dirty? “Lead the way!”

And so lead the way he does, walking me out into… oh no.

Well, not just oh no. It is beautiful. It’s gorgeous, it’s a whole garden of what seems like every single kind of flower in the world, it’s absolutely incredible. It’s just my allergies, and more than my allergies it’s…

“Oh no, you don’t like it. I… usually this is the part they like best, but… we can go back in if you…” 

“No, no!” I interrupt, my voice blessedly free of the taint of allergic urge… for the moment. “No, we don’t need to go back in, I really like it here this is… this is incredible, Damien! I was just…” I rub at my nose quickly, hoping against hope that it won’t betray me again but… my nose always betrays me. My nose is my nemesis. Or at least the nemesis of me looking cool. Or sounding like a human, instead of—what did ‘Manda call me?—a fifty-foot-tall moose monster slash air cannon with a side of a large lion-type animal purring, weirdly?—Oh. Damien’s staring. I’m doing that not-talking thing again. “I was just taking a moment to take it all in, that’s all.” I say, all in a rush. For a second doubt flickered in his eyes, but Damien seemed to buy my explanation for the moment so all’s clear on the western front. For now.

Things go surprisingly well. Damien’s telling me what all the different flowers mean, and how the Victorian’s used flowers to express the feelings they were too awkward to express with words, and honestly that sounds pretty excellent to me. I manage to pull out that knowledge of flowers I gained once from watching a history channel special while half asleep, which seems to impress Damien (3AM History Channel to the rescue once again!). And Damien’s telling me all about how he put together a bouquet to express “I feel slight regret at having mistaken you for a human being when you are in fact a rotting skunk carcass in a suit and an Edwardian monocle,” when I felt…

IT.

Oh god. Oh shit. Oh Ghost Truckers. It was coming. I felt it. It was already too late. I felt it taking me over, rooting itself in my toes, radiating out from the tips of my nostrils to send a shiver down my spine, taking control of every ounce of strength in my body, stretching my mouth like loading a cannon, shutting my eyes as I shook my head, faintly protesting against the all-consuming power taking hold of me. It was coming. It was inevitable. It was unstoppable.

I was about to Dad Sneeze.

I remembered the day it came over me. I had been on guard for it. I had been vigilant. I had declared: I wasn’t going to fall prey. I might not be a cool dad. I could embrace the finer details of tree-pruning. I could expertly attempt to fix sinks, call the plumber, and have the whole thing fixed before Amanda or her mom got home. I loved Dad puns. But I was not going to be a Dad Sneeze Dad. No way. No how. It wasn’t going to get me…

I was on a date with Amanda’s mom when it struck. I was’t event trying to be a Dad then! I was being a Cool Guy Who Happened To Be Married And Have A Kid. I was going to get laid that night. (I still did. *wink*) I was just getting into the precise details of the color my steak should be on the inside when an urge came over me like none I’d ever felt before, and urge that was utterly beyond my control. Before I even knew what was happening, my face was exploding with a sound that terrified even me, let alone how the roar terrified half of the patrons of the very swanky restaurant I was treating my wife to (that I also, purely incidentally, happened to have a coupon for). I was worried in the aftermath that a, I no longer had a face because I’d blown it off in the sneeze, or b, we’d be kicked out of Chez Frenchtaliano Surf and Turf. (A) wasn’t the case, but (B) was a near thing.

My Dad Sneezes had gotten worse since then.

But there was nothing to do, and as long as I’d managed to forestall it, among all these flowers? It was going to be a Dad Sneeze for the ages. I hitched, I gasped, I wheezed. I caught Damien’s terrified expression through shutterclicks as my eyes fluttered, and my head tipped back, and the feeling reached it’s apex and…

“HHHAARRRRRRRRRSSCCHHHHHHHOOOPPPPPFFFAAAGRRLLL!!!” 

A ridiculous, thunderous, earth-shaking, category 9 Dad Sneeze exploded from my face. 

My eyes stayed closed a moment after the sneeze, as I enjoyed the wash of euphoria that came over me after every monstrous sneeze, the momentary afterglow before I had to face the crowd I’d terrified. I sheepishly opened my eyes, half-afraid I’d blown down half Damien’s garden to find…

Damien’s eyes closing, his eyebrows going up, up, up, mouth falling open, the architecture of his nostrils flaring and twitching towards a…

“WWWWHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAASSCCHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!”

Have you ever thought about what a very well-dressed vampire would sound like if it unleashed a tree-rattling roar as politely as possible? That’s what Damien sneezing sounds like. Not a match for my own, it would probably only terrify three, four mallgoers on the outside (my record is roughly twenty-three; it had come on suddenly and I was in the middle of frantic Christmas Week Unprepared Single Dad Shopping), but a true Dad Sneeze nonetheless. I have to give the man his respect.

“Well! Excuse me!” Damien exclaims, giggling a bit. “I’m so sorry, I’ve just… did you know the Victorians were the first to identify the phenomenon of ‘sympathetic sneezing’?” 

I can’t help but smile. There’s nothing to make you feel like you didn’t ruin a date neighborly hangout in a lovely Victorian garden with your galumphing sinuses than an equally (well, not quite equally) calamitous nasal eruption immediately following.

“Nice Dad Sneeze.” I say, raising my hand for a high five.

“Nice Dad Sneeze,” Damien responds, aiming for the elbow with flawless technique. Did the Victorians high-five? “Shall we… adjourn to the indoors, or…” 

He seems almost hesitant to go inside, and to be honest so am I. As long as he’s cool with putting up with my…

“I mean, as long as you’re cool with putting up with my…” I say, miming the Sneeze of Doom I’d just unleashed.

“As long as you won’t mind my echoing call. We shall resound through the garden together! Now, have I explained to about the white crocus?”

“N-nuhh… you h-have… h-haveehhhhh… ehhHHH… EEEEHHHHTTTRRRRUUUSSSSCCCCHHHHHKKKKKKBBBBP!”

“WWWHHHHHEEEEYYYYYYYSSSHHHHHAAAAAAAA!!” 

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Oh my god. Shit, Tea, I'm so stupid hype that you wrote DD fanfic. You're a delight. Your writing style and sense of humor fits PERFECTLY with the main character voice and writing of the game, it's like I'm playing it out! This is fucking great, as usual, and funny. I'm... I don't know if I can deal with those spellings, but I love the situation, the dread in the build-up, aaaand I'm kind of super delighted that even the dainty, fashionable Goth dude has the Dad Sneeze of doom. Are you going to do more? With the other dads? I'm so thirsty and ridiculous. I have to read this again. 

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I am very going to do more also LOL I was really trying to make the main characters spellings as stupid as possible. It's uh, kinda meta?

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This is super fucking funny, you write the player character super accurately the humor is ON POINT I love it <3  I'm not super into ridiculously loud sneezes but this is just so funny I'm so down for this.  I can't wait for dude bro Craig, that'll be fucking hilarious.

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Oh my gosh, Tea, how on earth do you manage to write better and better every time? Now I need to look up this game (and Victorian bibliography on sympathetic sneezing). Also:

15 hours ago, Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea said:

OH THAT’S RIGHT I HAVE TO TALK.

THIS IS LITERALLY THE STORY OF MY LIFE 

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Oh man, this is hilarious! The internal dialogue is the best thing ever, and like others have said, it totally goes with the humour of the game. :rofl: Also sympathetic sneezing is one of my favourite things but I rarely see it in fics! :lol: (Sidenote: I didn't know it was identified by the Victorians, that's a cool fact! :laugh: ) Your writing is so witty and generally fantastic. Love it!

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OMG THIS IS BEAUTIFUL!!! I knew this is what should've happened during the date! but this is absolutely fantastic! good job! :thumbs_up:

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Hey all! Thanks so much for the positive comments! Here's Mat Part 1. I'm gonna try to do a full rotation with one of each of the Dads, and then maybe do Second Dates with some of them? I dunno. There's gonna be a second part to this Mat date before I move on to anything else, I think.

I have pretty definite ideas for the Robert date (that's probably what I'll end up doing next), and I think I have my plan for Hugo, but if anybody has ideas for Craig or Robert, I'm super open to hearing them! And anything you want to see, feel free to let me know. I'll think about it for second dates if nothing else.

Oh also that thing about Victorians and sympathetic sneezing isn't true at all, I just made that up, lol. Shrug. It fit in the story.

Thanks again for the comments, hope you enjoy!

---

Mat Date 1 Part 1

Okay. Going to a concert. That is a thing people do. That is a thing I can do. I’ve been to concerts, I’ve been cool at concerts, I’ve been popular. at. concerts. And I was great at going to the last concert with Mat! How crazy can it be to go to another one? Granted, aside from that one concert with Mat it’s been… well, we don’t need to count how many years it’s been since I’ve been to a concert that wasn’t full of glitter, scream-crying, and gyrating nineteen year old boys dancing in sync—heh—and arguably singing. Arguably. The point is, I’ve been to concerts, I go to concerts, and I’m cool enough to go to this concert with incredibly cool Mat and his incredibly cool hair, and his incredibly cool band knowledge and his incredibly cool face. Here goes nothing…

I go to knock on Mat’s door—meeting him at his place this time, instead of the coffee shop, cause we’re Super Tight—only he opens the door at the same time I go to knock and I end up knocking on his… chest? He looks at me, head tilted slightly to the side, lips quirking like he’s not entirely sure whether he should laugh or not, and try to extricate my hand from his chest as gracefully as possible. (You cannot extricate your hand from knocking on someone’s chest gracefully.)

“I think I should follow this up with some kind of knock-knock joke maybe?” I offer, after achieving the ungraceful extrication. I can salvage this situation with a classic Dad Joke, right? There must be a way to make this happen…

“Like…” Mat’s seriously contemplating this, he’s deep in thought. Then he comes out with: “Like maybe, knock knock, who’s there, Mat’s chest. Mat’s chest who? Mat’s ‘jest opening the door at the same time as you?”

See, this is the best thing about Mat. (Well, one of the many best things about Mat.) I guess because he’s nearly as awkward as I am—or so he says, I’ve yet to see him be anything but adorable—he rolls with my awkward. It’s like our awkward cancels out to become our own private brand of cool, like multiplying a negative… or is it adding a negative to a negative… I have no idea how Amanda and I got through Algebra. Tenth grade was an adventure.

“Like that exactly,” I say, smiling at him. “Sorry for um, knocking on your chest?”

“No need to apologize, you can knock me any time you want… aaaaaaaand that sounded wrong. Sorry, I…”

“What are you talking about? That sounded just right to me.” I’m not exactly sure if I’m trying to flirt or not? There may or may not have been an eyebrow waggle, but also I wasn’t fully committed to it and a not-fully-committed eyebrow waggle is one of the most awkward things known to man, and even Mat’s superhuman awkward-canceling powers might not be able to overcome this one…

“SO WHAT BAND ARE WE SEEING TONIGHT?” I ask, considerably too loudly, but Mat seems grateful for the change of subject, and so am I. We start to walk towards the venue as he talks.

“The Linoleums,” he says, “it’s kind of a… indie singer-songwriter vibe, but with a house twist? Just these two guys, one sings and plays the piano and the other one mans a turntable and a computer that does all kinds of magic. Really, it’s a great outfit, I think you’ll enjoy them. They’re cool guys too. I jammed with Scott once—he’s the piano-playing one. I’m not technological enough to jam with Austin.”

“Well I mean what are you gonna do, wail on the Macbook?”

“Dude, I shred on the Dell.”

“Yeah, I bet you crush on the Hewlitt-Packard.”

Mat doesn’t exactly belly laugh at that one—he shouldn’t; it wasn’t that funny—but he does give one of his soft smiles. I try to collect those little smiles like tokens when I’m out with Mat. It’s how you know he’s having a good time. And if I sometimes let myself think those smiles mean something special about me, or about our relationship or whatever… well, what? I’m human, aren’t I? CAN’T A GUY DREAM? 

And he is starting to tell me more of his old music stories. I never push, he’d hate that but… he just drops little stories like that, pretty often actually. It’s… it’s really sweet honestly. And if it encourages me in my little daydreams about our relationship, well… that’s just a bonus.

Mat looks serious all of a sudden, and for a second I’m afraid I’ve done something wrong.

“But uh, I have something to tell you…”

Oh god, this is it. I daydreamed too much. He caught me. He can tell. I’m not being a cool friend, I’m being… what do the kids call it? Thirsty. I’m being thirsty and he can tell and he’s gonna tell me to cut it out or find another friend…

“I’m really sorry but…”

Oh geez, here it comes.

“We can totally be friends!” I blurt at exactly the same time as he says, “Jonathan Jones is opening again.”

“Wait, what?” We say in unison. 

“Oh I mean I just said… we can totally still be friends,” I say, trying to make a smooth recovery, “even though you’re putting my ears through the Jonathan Jones torment again.” Nice, nice recovery. Although, moment of intense awkwardness past, I fully process what he said. Jonathan Jones and the Speakeasy Choir? Again? The single most unpleasant collection of noise I have heard in my life? Oh geez. Well, for Mat. And For Music!

“Sorry,” Mat said, shuffling awkwardly, eyes down at the ground. “I just uh, I didn’t want to go to this one alone? I know I should have told you.”

“Ah, Mat, don’t worry about it. I’d sit through a whole Jonathan Jones concert for you.”

“Wow. Th-that’s the nicest thing anyone’s said to me in like a year.”

“Well, you know, I’m probably the nicest guy you’ve met all year, sooooo…”

“Haha. You probably are.” 

We chat some, swap daughter stories, and pretty soon we're at the venue, early as always. We acquire some Beers. Maybe we have more Beer than we did last time, but I start feeling pretty buzzed. And I may or may not have gotten a little bold and suggested a shot or two. Mat seemed to hesitate for a second, and I hoped I wasn’t pushing him but after he eagerly downed his shot and ordered our next round of drinks, I was pretty sure he was cool with it. At least until I saw his face begin to waver, a look of… uncertainty on his face? And that uncertainty rapidly collapsed into something approaching panic. Had I done something wrong? Was I scaring him off? Mat could be skittish, like a deer with incredibly cool hair. But before I knew it he was turning away from me, raising his arm and…

“HEHTttssccchhh! HEHTtscchhhhh! HEHTschhh! HEHTscch! hehh… hehHHH… HEEHHTSCCccchhhhhh!” 

Was that a sneeze? That certainly was not a Dad Sneeze. Leave it to Mat, World’s Coolest Dad, to have a normal Regular Man sneeze, unlike my great galumphing roars. 

“Bless you, Mat, for those very un-Dad-like sneezes.”

Mat blushed, and looked at me bit quizzically before he choked out a sneezy “w-wait a mineehhhhh… ahhhhh…” and again he turned away from me, brought up his elbow to his face and…

“ehhttscchhhoOOO! EHTscchhhHH! huh… HUH-EHHHHT-Scccchhhhhuuhhh!” That last one had some force behind it, as he tried to clear out whatever was irritating his sinuses. But it still wasn’t really loud enough even to be heard over the noise of the room. Meanwhile, I’d probably drown out the band if I sneezed as many times as Mat had.

“Geez, Mat, you okay?”

“Y-yeah…” he said, smiling up at me as he turned back towards me, blushing a bit, nose slightly red. How did he manage to look so cute post-sneeze? “I um… the alcohol, actually. If I drink too much I get… oh geez… hehh… here it… heh-heh-hehh-hehhH… comes…” he said, chest swelling with air, head tipping back, voice going high pitched as the sneeze distorted his voice before he… “HEEHHHHHTT-sccchhhhhhh! Oh, geez! Whew!” he said, sniffing, as he reacted to the sneeze, which apparently had come on too strongly for him to properly execute the Vampire Dab Elbow Sneeze. He bent forward with the sneeze, pretty far, slowly recovering from what had, apparently, been a big sneeze for him.

“That was a big one!” He chuckled, saying as much.

“You call that a big one?” I couldn’t help but ask. “Mat, if I were capable of sneezing with even half your level of chill…”

“Your… sneezes… aren’t chill?” Mat asked, smiling a bit. 

“NO! My sneezes aren’t chill! I have horrible Dad Sneezes! I sneeze with the fury of a thousand Dads! I sneeze so loud, and so hard, that I once made not one, not two, not three, but seven toddlers cry from sheer shock. I can’t control it, I can’t manage it, it just…”

“eht-SHOO! ahhh… heettscchhOOO! HEHTschhhhhooo! hehh… EHTTTsscchhhh!” Mat sneezed again, his nose thankfully interrupting my sneeze-related ramblings. “Sorry I… I was listening, it was just all that talk about sneezing must have made my nose itch.” He said, twitching it around experimentally, checking his nose for sneezes like one might rattling a jar for coins. “Sorry, I’m gonna be doing that all night. My alcohol thing once it… hehh… once it starts it just… comes back again and… EHTSCCHOOO!” He sneezed, another of his more forceful ones. I thought I glimpsed a glimmer of Dad Sneeze potential but… Mat was hiding his light under a bushel, alas. Of course it was probably good when one owned a food-service establishment not to be constantly sneezing loudly enough to strike terror into the hearts of all your quiet Macbooking coffeeshop-goers. 

“Sorry,” Mat said, slightly bleary-eyed as he recovered from the heavy sneeze. “You were saying…?”

“Just… I have big sneezes, I guess. Wish they were a little more manageable like yours.”

“Manageable? I think I just sneezed twelve times in the span of five minutes. You call that manageable?”

“Compared to a true Dad Sneeze? Yes. Compared to mine? Mat… it is a fearsome and terrible sight. And sound.” I said solemnly. “I pray you never have to witness it.”

Mat rolled his eyes and laughed me off, and somehow flawlessly transitioned his eyeroll into turning away from me for another bout of properly dabbed sneezes “ehhttscchhuuhh! ‘scchhuh! TTttsccchhhuh! eeehhhTTCchuhh! HEHtchhhhh!” 

“Bless you, Mat. Maybe enough drinks for now?” I offered, putting my hand on his shoulder. It felt warm.

He turned back to me and smiled. “Yeah, maybe enough drinks for now. Although you-know-who is coming up in a second. We might need just one more Beer. Might make them a little more bearable.”

We share a grimace. Into the breach we go.

Well armed with Beer.

“Bartender?”

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Holy shit Matt is such a cutie!!  I love guys with small, fittish sneezes so this was my fucking jam man.  Again I will have to applaud you on the banter and humor are spot on good job my dude :D 

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mat is one of my favorites! I love how cute and tiny his sneezes are compared to the big dad sneezes in the last one! great job! :notworthy:

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  • 4 weeks later...

I love this so much! You are a great writer! I look forward to reading more! ((fun fact... Alcohol does that to me too. Lol)) 

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  • 2 years later...

Lol I haven't touched this in forever but I finally finished the Mat date lmao. Enjoy if anybody still reads Dream Daddy fic.

 

--
I had polished off more than half of my Beer—and Mat had fired off two or three more rounds of his tight, itchy sneezes, and we still had yet to be aurally assaulted by the dreaded Speakeasy Choir. It seemed as though Mat’s nose had calmed down for the moment. Perhaps he’d acclimated to the Beer. I just wished my nose would acclimate to tree pollen, cats, dogs, ragweed, hamsters (the way I traumatized Amanda’s class hamster… I still shudder to think about it), cut grass, all flowers, most perfumes, a few cleaning supplies and/or tomatoes. Alas… the Dad Sneeze was relentless. At least, mine were.

The Dad Bladder, by contrast… was shrinking. Shrinking every day. And that meant that even with only 65ish percent of my Beer consumed… a trip to the can, the head, the little boys’ room, the water closet, the pee-pee palace was in order.

“Hey, Mat, I gotta head to the pee-pee… I mean the restroom!” Damn my internal monologue.

“Oh, uh, actually I could stand to drain the snake myself.” (I was definitely not thinking about Mat’s “snake” the instant he mentioned it.)

“You sure you don’t want to wait until the Speakeasy Choir is up? The bathroom may be our only refuge once they start playing.”

“Oh, that won’t help. You can hear them through the walls. Trust me, I’ve tried.”

I could only sigh, as Mat and I headed towards the restroom, dodging teenagers the whole way. Of course, they all wanted to greet Mat, who continued being impossibly cool. They mostly bumped into me.

We reached the restroom at last, and it occurred to me that it was perhaps a little odd to go to the restroom with someone you were definitely just hanging out as dads, as dudes, as dudefriends, guypals, daddudebuddies… but maybe also you had a little crush on and…

I had stopped at the first urinal, while Mat, observing proper ManCode(tm) chose the open urinal furthest from me, which was of course the correct ManCode(tm) choice, which was relieving as I occasionally had the slightest bit of stage fright and you didn’t want somebody eyeing your one eyed monster while it tried to cry—wait no that’s a terrible metaphor—but anyway maybe I did want him eyeing my crying monster—wait no that’s even worse—

And suddenly a great cry went up from the Teenagers.

“oh no.” Mat and I said at once. And then before we could say, or even think anything else, a wall of incomprehensible noise assaulted us. Was that a kazoo? A banjo? A live bleating goat?

“YOU’RE RIGHT!” I tried to scream at Mat over the noise, “I CAN HEAR THEM THROUGH THE WALLS!”

“WHAT?!” Mat yelled back, as he zipped up and headed for the sinks.

“I CAN HEAR THEM THROUGH THE WALLS!”

“WHAT?!”

“I CAN HEAR—”

“I CAN’T HEAR YOU ALL I CAN HEAR IS THE MUSIC THROUGH THE WALLS!”

“WHAT?!”

We probably would have gone on like that for some time, even as I joined him at the sinks, but suddenly a youngster walked in who had clearly bathed in some variety of Teen Body Spray. And the instant I caught a whiff of it, my blood ran cold.

“Take cover, Mat.” was all I could say before the urge was upon me.

I was going to Dad Sneeze.

But it wasn’t going to be any ordinary Dad Sneeze, oh no, not even for me. I’d always been allergic to those damned body sprays, even when I was a youngster attempting to cover up all the funk of adolescence with pounds of chemicals myself. It caused me to collapse into a sneezing fit on my first date with Amanda’s Mom. Luckily that was before my Dad Sneeze powers emerged. It was still incredibly embarrassing, but at least no one was hurt.

Now… someone was definitely going to be hurt. Because I was about to have a Dad Sneeze Attack.

I could feel the sneeze attack taking over, filling my lungs, erasing every other thought, overwhelming my senses with the primal urge to roar like a rare animal on a nature show attempting to intimidate a much larger and scarier animal it probably couldn’t take on in a fight but hey maybe if we’re loud enough it’ll go away (I figure that’s what my nose was thinking as the sneeze built up). My breaths came in great heaving pants like I had just climbed three, maybe four flights of stairs. My chest swelled against the maybe-slightly-too-tight-for-me-but-I-still-have-abs-sorta-right? t-shirt I’d chosen for the occasion. Every sniff took in more of that accursed Body Spray scent, like loading gunpowder into… whatever explosive device that you load gunpowder into.

I could barely even hear Mat asking what was wrong, could barely see him looking at me with his ordinary quizzical look, half a smile, a smile that was soon to be wiped off his face—especially because he was in the line of fire. And with the sneeze I felt building up, it was clearly either going to blow him into the wall or blast me into orbit… and I couldn’t take a chance with either. With my last burst of non-sneeze-occupied brain power, I desperately stumbled towards the bathroom door, and no sooner had I crossed the threshold than it came roaring up from my toes with a great, monstrous, uncontrollable, epic…

“GGGGGAAAARRRRRSSSSPPPPPPLLLLAAAAAAATTTTTSSSSCCCHHHHEEEEERRRRRRRRZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZSSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHH!!!!”

It was as big a Dad Sneeze as I’d ever done. But I felt no relief. The urge to sneeze was just as strong, stronger even. I barely had time to open my eyes to see the surprised faces of the Speakeasy Choir as I reeled back for another:

“EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRSSSSSSSJJJDDKKKKKKKKKAAAAAASSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEWWWWWWYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!”

I vaguely felt Mat’s hand on my shoulder, barely heard his cry of “Man, are  you okay?” before yet another hurricane of a Dad Sneeze overwhelmed me. And they kept coming. Again, and again, and again, I submitted to the Dad Sneeze Attack, and prayed the bar would still be standing when it at last released me from its grip.

But gradually, through the fog of the Sneeze Attack, I heard… clapping? And more importantly I didn’t hear… goat bleating? And then Mat… “I.. I can’t believe it. You did it. You… you’re drowning them out. I…” and then he was practically cheering, “keep going! Keep going, I think they’re giving up. I think…”

I could only hear bits and pieces. Most of my attention was consumed with the Sneeze Attack. But it seemed as though…

“AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAASSSPPPPPPPPPPPPLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSSSPPPPPPPFFFFFFFF!!!”

At last the final sneeze launched itself from me. Bleary-eyed, I attempted to recover, and tried to imagine how I would possibly apologize to Mat but as I opened my eyes I saw him… beaming?

And everyone around was clapping, staring not at the stage, but at me, cheering.

Mat was shaking his head, and before long he was tipping his head back in a beautiful, open-mouthed laugh. I was unclear as to how it was possible for a man to have a beautiful Adam’s Apple, but the plain fact was that Mat’s Adam’s Apple was beautiful so it must be possible—

“You did it! I can’t believe you did it! Hahahahahahaha! You warned me you had an epic Dad Sneeze but… I might have to bring you and some of that spray to every concert.”

“Wha—?” I asked, still unclear as to what had happened.

“Cary, you—you—hahahahahahahaha—” Mat was still falling into peals of laughter, which made it difficult to understand what exactly he was saying. But eventually he managed to choke out: “you sneezed the Speakeasy Choir off the stage! I can’t believe it!”

“I did… what?”

“Cary. You sneezed so loud you drowned out the Speakeasy Choir. And you sneezed so many times, they got bored and left the stage!”

“I… oh. I mean uh… I did that on purpose?”

Mat just laughed harder at me, and ushered me over towards the bar. “Cmon. You deserve a seat, and a Beer. For once, I don’t have to survive an entire Speakeasy set to hear the band I actually came here for.” Mat said as we sat down. And suddenly he turned that megawatt smile on me, and I swear my insides turned immediately to pudding as he said, “you’re my hero, man.”

And that’s how we spent the next hour sitting at the bar, me assuring Mat that clearly, I wasn’t exaggerating when I said my sneezes were a fearsome sight to behold, him joking about how I was the only thing on earth louder than the Speakeasy Choir, and the occasional teen (or twentysomething, I know I couldn’t tell the difference) coming by to—I believe the term is—dap me up? And provide reviews of my Dad Sneeze Attack which included “the Dadliest Dad Sneeze that ever a Dad did Sneeze” and “extremely metal, brah” and “woah.”

I’d never thought that my sneezes could be a force for good but Mat was happy, I was a minor celebrity among the cool music teens, and we got to enjoy what was all in all a pretty great concert. And I was Mat’s hero, man. That’s all I need for a great night.

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I JUST GOT INTO DREAM DADDY SO I'M SUPER ECSTATIC YOU FINISHED THIS!! Those dad sneezes were perfection, and I can totally see this all happening in the game... sigh, if only I had the power to make a spin-off. ANYWAY yes, this was awesome, and if you ever feel so inclined to continue, you'd have a happy reader right here! But thanks for wrapping up this date!

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