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The Party Trick


tenderwarrior

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Henry walked into the house to the distant sound of chanting. His brows furrowed as he set the case of beer on the kitchen counter then walked into the living room, seeing everyone surrounded by the couches.

“What’s going on?”

Brandon turned toward him with a relaxed smile and a beer in his hand. “Allie dared Alexander to snort some cat hair and dust and he actually did it.”

“What?” Henry’s asked, his eyes widening. When Brandon was about to repeat himself, Henry pushed passed him and a couple more friends to walk closer to the couches. His stomach dropped once he saw Alexander on the couch rubbing his nose with a soft smile as he laughed with Allie. Clearly, he was drunk enough to think it was a good idea. Henry looked from the small amount of residue that had to be the dust and cat hair concoction then to Alexander. “Hey, babe, what are you doing?”

Alexander sniffed then looked at Henry. “Drink or Dare. Allie dared me to sniff some dust and cat ha-hh!-KSHH! Snf! Cat hair. I thiiihhh… hh…IRESHHH! It’s already workiihh… hh! Hihhh! Snfff! Working. Heh-EeeSSHH! Oh, wow.”

A round of laughs followed Alexander’s sneezing fit. Henry frowned as he took in Alexander’s quivering nose, his eyes fluttering shut a moment later as he snapped forward to catch another fit into his hands. His partner was such an idiot when he was drunk.

Of course, Henry knew about Drink or Dare. While it had been more prevalent during their college years, one of their friends seemed to suggest it now and then at a party. The rules were simple: a group of people came together in a circle and each one would have their name in a bowl, a person would pick a slip of paper from the bowl then ask the person they chose if they’d rather take a drink or complete a dare, and the person that was chosen would pick from the bowl next.

Typically, Henry opted out. He enjoyed watching his friends complete ridiculous dares or become incredibly drunk and with Alexander, it seemed that it was always both.

Now, he watched Alexander sneeze every few moments with watery eyes and a reddening nose. He sighed then a small smile formed, the humor in it finally overwhelming it as his friends laughed at him.

“Yeah, I think it has,” Henry said with a chuckle. “I’m going to get you some water.”

Alexander nodded. “Thaaa…hh! Heh-eisSCHew! Thanks. You’re so… hihhh! hehktSHHHew!

“Mhm, I know what you’re saying. I’ll be right back.”

Henry turned and headed into the kitchen, the sound of conversation, laughter, and Alexander’s sneezing becoming distant. While he grabbed a glass from a cabinet, he felt a soft body press against his legs. He looked down and saw Frida, his friend’s calico cat, rubbing against his legs with her tail up.

“Hi, sweet girl,” Henry cooed as he sat the glass on the counter then bent down to pet Frida, smiling as he heard her purr. “How are you? You’re already making Alexander sneeze. He can make such stupid decision while drinking, you know.” He scratched under her chin and continued as she leaned into it. “God, you’re adorable.” He retracted his hand and straightened, wiping his hands on his jeans. “Alright, I gotta get Alexander some water.” He turned to the counter, grabbed the glass, and filled it with water.

When he walked into the living room again, Alexander was still sneezing as he friends moved on with the game. He took the spot on the couch next to him and sat the glass on the coffee table while Alexander vigorously rubbed his nose.

“Don’t,” Henry said, grabbing Alexander’s wrist and lowering it from his nose. When he took in Alexander’s watery and reddening eyes, he frowned. “Rubbing will make it worse.”

Alexander sighed. “I… Snffff! I know. Are you going t-hh! Huh-ESChhuh! Ahh… eekTSCHhkh! Hh! Heh! HahTSSHHew! Play? It’s so fuuuhehhh! Hup-TSCH! Huh-tSSCHH! Fun! SNFF!

“No, I’m not going to play. Do you want some tissues?” Henry asked, his brows furrowing. “If you don’t feel well, we can go home.”

“I’m totally fiiihh! HaESCHuh! AaESCHhhoo! Fine. I’m having fun. Apparently, we’re watching the newest Avengers soon.” Alexander said. “Are you having fun?”

Henry’s eyes softened at the words. “I’m worried about you. Your allergies are wrecking havoc since-” He paused as Alexander’s nose wrinkled and he bent forward to catch another sneezing fit in his hands. “Since you took that dare.”

Alexander sniffed and wiped the tears from his eyes. “It’s just sneezing. I’m comple… ahh… ayIISSHHH! HehktSHHHew! Heh-TssCHEW! Completely fine.”

“Alright, if you say so,” Henry said. “I’m going to get some tissues.”

Henry stood from the couch and walked into the hallway bathroom. When he walked into the bathroom, he grabbed the tissue box on the counter then looked in the mirror. He took a deep breath, smoothed his shirt, and smiled. It was as if he was trying to keep the humor in the situation.

In reality, Henry quickly lost it after he sat the water glass on the coffee table for Alexander. He knew that regardless if Alexander completed the dare, he would be congested and sneezy from Frida. Now, the dare seemed to exacerbate his allergies even more.

At least Alexander was too drunk to care.

Henry walked out of the bathroom and into the living room again. When he sat back on the couch, he put the tissue box on Alexander’s lap. “I’m sure you’re already congested.”

“My nose is more runny tha… hh!” Alexander paused, his eyes closed as he waited for a sneeze. Once it seemed to back off, he opened his eyes and sniffed. “Than… snff!! Than congested. Don’t worry abou… hhh! About me. Isn’t the guacamole dip good?”

“Yeah,” Henry said, taking Alexander’s offer to change the subject. He grabbed a tortilla chip and some guacamole from Alexander’s plate on the coffee table then took a bite. “It is.”

For a while, Henry was able to ignore his worrying thoughts. He listened to Alexander and their friends go on about hilarious stories from past Drink or Dare games and the new Avengers movie that was coming out later in the year.

While they watched Avengers: Age of Ultron, Henry couldn’t help but notice Alexander’s increasing fits, sniffles, and congested coughs. The congestion had to be bothering him, then, but when Frida walked up to them, Alexander was more than willing to bend down and pet her.

“Hello, hi! You’re so cu…. Hih!” Alexander straightened as his eyes fluttered closed and nose scrunched. He quickly covered his mouth with his hands. “Hh! HempTSCHhuh! HahISCHoo! Heh.. hh! Huh-ESChhuh! HaiSCHhhew! HuhTSSHHuh!

As Alexander’s breath hitched for another few seconds, as if his body was deciding whether to fall into another fit, Henry wondered how much cat dander Alexander inhaled from sneezing into his hands. He switched his thoughts to Alexander’s chuckles while he plucked a couple tissues out of the box and Frida scurried away from the sound.

Henry put a hand on Alexander’s shoulder. “I think you scared her, babe.”

“Yeah,” Alexander said before he blew his nose. He stopped after a couple seconds, the congested sound telling that he was too stuffed up to continue. “She’s cute, though.”

It’s clear that no matter how many tissues and glasses of water, Alexander was going to get worse the longer he stayed. Henry hadn’t even thought about how their clothes were probably covered in cat hair. He turned to Alexander, taking in his profile and noticing how allergic he looked.

In addition to the pink hue on his nose and the clear congestion that had bled into his voice almost immediately after he began sneezing, Alexander’s eyes worried Henry the most. With allergies, they became so bleary, tear-soaked, and itchy. Henry watched as Alexander took off his glasses and wiped the tears from his eyes, his sniffling becoming an endless addition to everything else.

“We should go,” Henry said, letting his hand fall from Alexander’s shoulder to his hand. “It’s getting late.”

Alexander nodded. “Oka… hihh! HahTSSHHew! EhhNTSSh! Okay.”

Henry kept his hand in Alexander’s as they announced that they were leaving. Of course, their friends immediately said their goodbyes with hugs and smiles and referenced how they needed to get together again soon. Henry agreed with a soft smile and an offering to host at their place next time, listening to Alexander’s sniffles through the whole exchange.

Once they slipped into the car, Henry told Alexander to open the glove department to get some tissues for himself. Alexander obliged and while they drove home, Henry couldn’t help but be thankful for how easy-going and happy Alexander was when he was drunk.

Throughout the car ride, Henry listened to Alexander sniffle, sneeze, and reflect on how fun the party was. Henry hummed and gave short replies while Alexander spoke, his partner’s ramblings carrying on once they arrived home.

“Frida is so cute,” Alexander said, slipping off his shirt as he sat on their bed. “We should get a ca… hh! Hih! HempTSCHhuh! HaiSCHhhew!” Alexander caught the sneezes into the bundled t-shirt then sniffed hard. “Cat. We both like them and they’re easy to take care of. Hh’ehTCHuh! Eh-ISHMmmph!

Henry took the shirt out of Alexander’s hand. “And you’re horribly allergic.”

“Mm,” Alexander hummed then leaned back to lay on the bed. He used a curled knuckle to rub the side of his nose while Henry retreated into the bathroom. “It isn’t as bad as d-Huh-tSSCHH! Dogs, though. They make me so itchy, particularly my eyes and throat. It doesn’t help that they’re ev… hh! MptSSHHh!

Henry walked out of the bathroom with their small bottle of antihistamine eye drops and walked to the bed. “You’re still too drunk to take Benadryl but you can put in some eye drops.”

Alexander watched as Henry climbed onto the bed and sat close to his head, a small smile forming as Henry waited to start. “Why are you so good to me?”

Henry ran a hand through Alexander’s dark hair with a soft smile. “You know why.”

“I know. Snfff!” Alexander began, quickly turning away as his nose wrinkled and eyes fluttered closed and pressed the back of his hand to his mouth. “Hih! EeeSSHH! Heh-ERSSCHEW! SnfSNF!” He turned to Henry again. “I just love hearing it.”

“You’re such a sap,” Henry said. “I love you. That’s why I plan on helping you put in these eye drops and staying up with you all night. I doubt-” He paused when Alexander turned to catch another fit of sneezes. “I doubt you’ll be sober enough to take an antihistamine anytime soon.”

“I’m sorry. Come here,” Alexander gently pulled Henry closer and into a kiss, smiling when they pulled away. “I love you. You’re the only one I want to put in my eye drops and stay up with me during niiihh nights like these.”

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Really cute :D I love how concerned Henry is for poor Alexander and the ending is rly sweet! :clapping: 

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  • 2 months later...

Kinda reminds me of some of the...well, the really stupid things I did when I was younger.  Never played drunk dare, but my first year with my boyfriend I insisted we had to have a real tree for Christmas, even though i’m horribly allergic, all because he couldn’t afford to fly us both to his hometown for his family’s Christmas & he didn’t wanna go without me.  

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