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Trooper (Criminal Minds, Blake)


Chanel_no5

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*** Note ***

 

It's better to write something than to write nothing, is it not? I was in doubt whether or not to post it on the forum, but @Selene thought I should. And it evens out the statistics on the fanfiction section as well if there's a female allergy fic once in a while. :lol: 

 

Frankly, I'm just glad it seems I'm able to write at all again. I've missed that so much. Hope you'll like it! 

 

***

 

Blake could tell it was spring from the moment she first woke up to the itchy hell that was her pollen allergy. She loathed this colourful, lush season of bloom and doom. She did take her meds in advance, did everything she could to plan ahead and counterstrike the suffering before it began, but it was just never enough. It seemed that everything in blossom set her off, although she knew that couldn’t possibly be the case. It was the only time of year that she hated her job; Morgan teased her, JJ’s and Garcia’s concern was embarrassing, and if she had to listen to more statistics and facts about sneezing, allergies, and plants using wind pollination, provided in an endless flow by Reid, she thought she might go insane. Only Rossi and Hotch seemed to understand that she preferred for it to be ignored, although they were concerned enough to offer handkerchiefs and bless her when it was particularly intense. In all fairness, she understood that it was difficult to completely ignore somebody having frequent sneezing fits throughout the day, but the attention was uncomfortable at best.

 

Today she had a very welcome day off, and that was lucky, because the pollen count was off the charts and she wouldn’t be able to do even a half-assed job while suffering this immensely. She felt groggy and tired, almost drunk, her eyes burned and watered, her nose tingled and seemed to leak constantly, her throat itched, and she looked like a hot mess on top of that.

 

She spotted her neighbours across the street, they were out doing yard work. She knew there was a lot to do in her own garden, but there was not a chance she was going to step outside today, not with these levels of allergenic spring pollen. She wasn't a masochist.

 

Oh God, she had to sneeze again. It felt like she hadn’t done anything else since she woke up. She quickly put her coffee cup down on the counter, so she wouldn’t spill the hot beverage all over herself and make a miserable day even worse, then turned to the side and surrendered herself fully to the overwhelming tickle. It felt so good to give in, but the relief only lasted a moment before the desperate urge returned and she had to sneeze all over again. She held onto the counter with one hand for support and doubled over with each frantic, spraying outburst. Six, seven, eight, nine…

 

Jesus Christ, was she ever going to stop?

 

After the twelfth sneeze she came to a breathless standstill, a brief truce between her drained body and the furious itch, then sneezed once more before the immediate need waned into the annoying but manageable tickle that was always there this time of year.

 

“Oh by God, this is godda be the death of be,” she moaned as she straightened up again. Her nose was running like the Niagara Falls, and she reached for the tissues, buried her nose in a handful of them, and blew as hard as she could. It felt like it didn’t make any difference whatsoever. More tissues, she repeated the action, and again. Finally it began to feel like less like she was dealing with a waterfall, now it was more like a dripping faucet.

 

She was exhausted, and it was only eleven in the morning. She was not an early riser if she could help it, and she had only been out of bed for about an hour, but she felt like she hadn’t slept in days. She had no energy to get herself together; while she usually decided to forego makeup when she was at home, she would at least fix her hair, but even that felt like too much effort, so she had tied it back in a sloppy ponytail that wasn’t holding together very well at all when she kept sneezing like this. Loose strands of dark hair stuck to the tears still streaming down her cheeks. She knew she must look terrible. Then again, nobody would be around to see her.

 

Now coffee and some news.

 

***

 

She sat down on the couch, turned the TV on, and leaned her head back, sniffling miserably. Her eyes felt hot and gritty and she had to use all her willpower to avoid rubbing them, knowing all too well that would make matters worse.

Blake felt that prickle begin to grow stronger again, and she raised her arm and sneezed wetly into the sleeve of her hoodie.

“EISSSHHHoo!”

She was so tired of this dreadful, messy, allergic sneeziness she could cry, but she refused to do that. It would only add to the congestion and runniness, and she had more than enough of that as it was.

As she was flipping through the channels, pressing a tissue against her nose to keep it from streaming down her face, the phone rang.

Please, let that be James, she prayed. Her husband was the only one she was okay with hearing her in this condition. He was used to it, had seen her at her very worst. It still wasn’t something she felt totally comfortable with, but it was acceptable.

Her heart sank when she looked at the phone display and saw Hotch’s number. That meant an acute case was in. That meant work. Had it been Garcia calling, she would have been tempted not to answer, but with Hotch, that wasn’t really an option. Which of course he knew, that was why he made the call himself.

“Blake.”

“It’s Hotch. We have a case that we need to take. I am aware of the pollen forecast-“

She winced.

“- and I wouldn’t ask you to come in if it was a usual case, but the unsub’s only clues are linguistic ones.”

She held the phone away from her and stifled twice into the already wet tissue before she could answer.

“Where?”

Hotch hesitated a second, just long enough for her to realise she wasn’t lucky enough that it was Alaska or another chilly state where spring hadn’t fully sprung yet, but when he spoke she still felt horror wash over her.

“A small town just outside Austin, Texas.”

She thought about the sheer despair that her latest trip to Texas had meant, and closed her burning eyes in weary resignation.

“Blake?” His voice was very soft. “The unsub abducts children.”

There are miseries worse than allergic misery.

“I’b od by way.”

***

It wasn’t as bad as she had imagined.

It was worse. Way, way worse.

Last time she was in Texas it had been late in the summer, still a pollen-infested hell, but while the pollinating plants were more abundant at that time of year, she clearly hadn’t been allergic to as many of them.

She feared that she would end up having to take the strongest prescription meds she had, and that would almost guarantee that she’d fall asleep at the desk, rendering her all but completely useless anyway.

At least Hotch let her stay inside at the local station, working on the linguistic clues in a closed, air-conditioned conference room, but the damage had already been done. And to add to the gloom, the female sheriff had been more than curt, she was in fact plain rude, acting as though she suspected Blake had the plague and was about to infect everyone around. It didn’t help that Blake very clearly explained that it was allergies.

So there she was, wretchedly allergic, drowsy from the meds (and those weren’t even the strongest in her arsenal), working on important clues that she had difficulties focusing on, and feeling shunned by everyone. It didn’t exactly bring out her best mood.

One of the deputies stepped in.

“Agent Blake?”

“Yes?”

She wasn’t in the mood for more bad news, more attitude, or being forced to go outside, and she couldn’t imagine what else his presence would offer. But she was surprised.

“I just want to apologise for the sheriff’s behaviour. She has been a nightmare since this case started. I think she’s blaming herself for it still being unsolved.”

“That’s understandable.”

“Not very nice when you take the brunt of it, however,” he said. “Have you taken anything for those allergies yet? I can pick something up if you want me to.”

“I appreciate your offer, but unfortunately, this is me on meds,” she said. She was so worn-out she didn’t even feel awkward any longer. There wasn’t enough energy in her to fuel embarrassment.  

“Ugh, that’s rough,” he said.

“Yeah,” she agreed.

“Well, tell me if you need anything, okay?”

She smiled. She had actually only needed some sympathy. It wasn’t something she was keen on admitting, but even she needed some of that once in a while.

“Thank you.”

When he left the room, she cupped her hands, holding a tissue, in front of her face, and waited for the next sneeze attack to claim her. It teased her for almost a full minute, building to near-completion and then escaping her.

Hehh-ehh… oh c-come on… hhehh-ihhHih-yISSSSHhhiew! HeIISSSHHihh!”

The prickling in her nose felt like being stung repeatedly by tiny but numerous needles. All she wanted was for it to stop!

“Nktth! NktSH! NktSSHew! Heh-EH-ISSHHhuu!”

Was she done? No. No, she wasn’t.

“HmpTSHH! TSSHew! Huh-AESSHHHoo! HEH-”

The next sneeze danced away from her at the last moment, and she felt annoyingly cheated. She waited a few seconds to see if it would return, but this time it seemed she was done. At least for now. She blew her nose and lowered the tissues again, suppressing a chill.

Back in D.C it was cool enough that she could hide inside a hoodie and a pair of sweat pants, feeling sorry for herself. It was her sick day clothes, and they automatically helped her cut herself some slack. Here, not only was she dressed for official work, but it had to be light and cool since the temperatures were already on a level that was equivalent to mid-summer in D.C. Then, in the air-conditioning, it got cold instead. This combined with her allergies made her feel more like she had a terrible cold, or even the flu.

Hotch, Morgan and Rossi entered the room.

“Have you gotten anywhere with…” Morgan began, then she looked up and he did a double take at the sight of her. “Whoa.”

“Looks that bad, huh?” Blake said in a thick voice.

“Looks painful,” he said, sounding sympathetic.

“Can’t argue against that,” she said, and before either of the men could dwell on the subject, she changed to the more important one. “I don’t have much on these notes yet. What I can tell is that the person writing them is probably in their late 30s to early 40s, above average intelligence, probably holds down a job and fits in well in society. Nothing about these notes suggests violent fantasies; quite the opposite in fact. It sounds like they want to care for these children. I can’t say for sure if it’s a male or a female, though. I’m leaning towards woman, the tone is almost maternal, nurturing, but that’s just a hunch.”

She paused, wrestled with a sneeze that eventually decided to abandon her, and continued speaking.

“Judging from these messages, I don’t think the unsub has hurt them.”

“Let’s hope not,” Rossi said. Blake nodded, reaching for her tissues again. “And how are you doing?” he asked.

“I’m okay.”

“I have my doubts about that, you know,” he said kindly.

“Let us know if you need to go back to the hotel,” Hotch said, his frown deeper than ever as he observed her. She didn’t know what she looked like, but given Morgan’s reaction and Hotch’s concerned stare, it was probably bad.  

“Hotch,” she said, shaking her head a little, “it doesn’t matter where I am right now. I’ve taken all the meds I can take if I still want to stay awake. This is as good as it gets. There is so much pollen everywhere, I… ahh… mpTSHH! NngTTh! NGTxh!”

“At least let them out,” Rossi said. “Stifling like that gotta hurt. No need to be shy in front of us.”

“I’m not shy,” Blake protested. “Just trying not to be gross.” The next sneeze was far too powerful to even attempt to stifle, however, and she nearly doubled over from its unapologetic force. “HehITSSHHHoo!”

“Bless you,” Hotch said.

Rossi shook his head and began to take out his handkerchief from his pocket.

“It’s alright, I still have tissues left,” Blake said as he held it out to her. She didn’t want to seem like she was totally unprepared for this allergic storm.

Rossi didn’t waver.

“I can see that. I can also see that you’re in dire need of something softer than those Kleenexes. Here you go.”

He placed the incredibly soft, cool piece of fabric in her hand. If she hadn’t touched it, she might have been able to decline it, but he was right, it would be wonderful against her anguished skin.

“Thank you,” she said and immediately pressed the soft cloth against her burning nostrils. It felt amazing.  

“Go back to the hotel, Blake,” Hotch said. “You’ve done all you can do so far. Take those prescription meds and get some rest.”

“But…”

“If anything else comes up, we’ll call you.”

“I can’t promise I’ll wake up though. I’m usually out for at least ten hours if I take the strong stuff,” she said hesitantly. She would welcome that blackout, though, it would be great to sleep and simply not be aware of the persistent tickly feeling for a few hours. But she easily slept through her alarm when she was that doped up, and she couldn’t imagine a phone call would be any different.

“If we really need your expertise and can’t wait until tomorrow, I’ll come wake you up, deal?” Rossi said.

She knew they wouldn’t give up until she relented, and frankly, she didn’t want to keep being a trooper right now. She wanted her meds and she wanted sleep.

“Deal.”

***

About half an hour later, she was in the silent solitude of her hotel room, trying to bring herself to take a shower. Over two decades of allergic experience taught her she would do wisely to rinse the pollen out of her hair before going to bed, or she would end up spreading it all over her pillow and then inhaling it while sleeping. Sure, she hadn’t spent many minutes outside today, but when she had… she could feel how bad it was.

But in her desperation to get relief from this constant sneezing, sniffling, and itching, she had taken the pills the moment she arrived, and she feared that she would be so drowsy she’d fall asleep in the shower.

Eventually a jaw-cracking yawn made the decision for her. She’d skip the shower and pray the meds were still at work when she woke up tomorrow, giving her enough time to add a new dose of antihistamines before she had an allergic breakdown.

Just as she had made the decision, a fluttering, teasing tickle made her nose twitch.

Oh for the love of God, is it never enough?

She raised the handkerchief and pressed it against the underside of her tortured nose, not sure if she was trying to hold it back or merely to catch the plentiful spray into the cotton. She was so tired of sneezing. Her nose burned, her eyes streamed, and her abs felt like she had been doing a particularly intense workout.

Sneeze sit-ups. Sneeze-ups.

It wasn’t funny, but she was obviously getting pretty drugged up, and she found it hilarious. The fact that she found it hilarious was somehow even funnier, and she had to laugh. Laughing only seemed to trigger the urge to sneeze again, and she was overtaken by another unrestrained, gasping sneezing fit. She shook her head at how ridiculously averse her body was to blooming plants and how it refused to listen to reason. She was used to being in full control of herself, and because of that, she hated these uncontrollable allergic fits with a passion.

Well, at the moment she wasn’t very passionate about anything, to be honest.

She got ready for bed and was out like a light within a few minutes of pulling the blanket over her body. Her nose and eyes were still itching, and the tickle in the back of her throat was still there, but she was blissfully unaware.

***

“Alex? Alex?”

Waking up was like fighting her way through a deep, thick fog, but eventually things seemed to clear up a bit. She rolled over, saw Rossi standing next to her bed, and struggled to sit up so she could get dressed and get going. She didn’t know how she’d be able to work in her current state, but she’d do it if she had to.

Only Rossi stepped forward and gently but firmly pushed her back down against the pillows.

“You stay right there. I only came to tell you we found the unsub. It was a nurse at the paediatric clinic who thought the children would be better off with her.”

“And the children?” Blake asked, her brain still feeling fogged up and slow to process information.

“They were very happy to go home, but they haven’t been harmed in any way.”

“Thank God.”

“Thank you, Alex. If it wasn’t for your interpretation of those notes, we wouldn’t have the first clue what to look for. Sorry you got dragged all the way to Texas for it, though.”

“It’s alright.”

“Well, we’re going back to D.C tomorrow morning, so go back to sleep. I just thought I’d tell you the good news.”

“Thank you,” she mumbled, struggling to keep her eyes open.

“Oh, I almost forgot, I have some other good news for you. I checked the weather forecast for D.C, and it has been raining almost since we got here and will keep going for about a week. Pollen count has dropped significantly.”

Blake tried to rejoice at this divine intervention for a few seconds but dozed off again before Rossi had even gotten to the door. He chuckled a little.

“Sleep well.”

The only response he got was a thick, still congested, snore.

Poor Blake. But she certainly was a trooper, he had to give her that.

 

 

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Yay, you've posted it! :lmao::hug: And the additonal part you wrote complements the beginning so well!

 

6 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

It wasn’t as bad as she had imagined.

It was worse. Way, way worse.

At that point, I almost felt sorry for her. Almost... :whistle:

 

6 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

She smiled. She had actually only needed some sympathy. It wasn’t something she was keen on admitting, but even she needed some of that once in a while.

Awwww... She must have felt awful to admit that, even if it was only to herself.

 

6 hours ago, Chanel_no5 said:

Rossi shook his head and began to take out his handkerchief from his pocket.

“It’s alright, I still have tissues left,” Blake said as he held it out to her. She didn’t want to seem like she was totally unprepared for this allergic storm.

Rossi didn’t waver.

“I can see that. I can also see that you’re in dire need of something softer than those Kleenexes. Here you go.”

I could literally SEE the look on Rossi's face while he handed her the handkerchief. This is such a Rossi thing to do and such a Rossi thing to say ^^

Now I could keep on quoting the entire thing (including all the sneezes, they were :dribble:), but let me just say that the fic ended as promising as the first part started and I am glad you decided to share the story! :)

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On ‎2018‎-‎03‎-‎11 at 7:40 PM, Selene said:

I could literally SEE the look on Rossi's face while he handed her the handkerchief. This is such a Rossi thing to do and such a Rossi thing to say ^^

I know, right?? :lol: And those two had some chemistry... ^^ 

Thank you so much, I'm so glad you enjoyed it!! ;) I had so much fun writing it I should be ashamed of myself. :rofl: 

 

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  • 9 months later...

@Chanel_no5 I know that it's been quite a while since you wrote this, but I just wanted to let you know how much in love I am with all of your Criminal Minds Blake Allergy fics. I literally have never watched the show but I am obsessed with how you write this character and the situations she gets in with her allergies- also coupled with how the team reacts to her. I just love these so much, and I've read and re-read all that you've written with her multiple times. I really really really hope that you write more of these because they (and you) are so amazing and I'm so in love! Any plans to write more??

I especially love 1) How you describe her appearance and feelings/discomfort over her allergies, and 2), her embarrassment- she is so desperate not to be seen as someone weak or with having allergies in general and it is such a turn-on and really draws me to her. I love how you depict this.

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11 hours ago, wmb19 said:

@Chanel_no5 I know that it's been quite a while since you wrote this, but I just wanted to let you know how much in love I am with all of your Criminal Minds Blake Allergy fics. I literally have never watched the show but I am obsessed with how you write this character and the situations she gets in with her allergies- also coupled with how the team reacts to her. I just love these so much, and I've read and re-read all that you've written with her multiple times. I really really really hope that you write more of these because they (and you) are so amazing and I'm so in love! Any plans to write more??

I especially love 1) How you describe her appearance and feelings/discomfort over her allergies, and 2), her embarrassment- she is so desperate not to be seen as someone weak or with having allergies in general and it is such a turn-on and really draws me to her. I love how you depict this.

Hi, thank you so, so much!!! :heart:  It really means a lot for me to hear that! Blake is one of my all-time favourite characters. At the moment however, I'm not writing more Criminal Minds-fics since I don't have access to the show on either of the streaming services I have, so I can't get back into it and get the feel for it again. Also, I currently have a new favourite fandom/character that I'm so in love with I can't really move away from her yet, I haven't had enough of her to feel content yet. So, I'm afraid that at the moment I don't have any plans to write more Blake fics, but that's not to say it will never happen. It probably will at some point. Once I have a fetish crush on someone, it rarely goes away completely. :lol: 

I'm very happy to hear that you enjoyed the ones I have written, though! Thank you so very much!! :heart: 

 

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