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Not Until Opening Night (m)


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Sooo, I thought this would be a one-go sort of thing, but I came up with a mini sequel to ‘Hairspray’ (‘cause what am I notorious for :whistle2:) Anyways, here we go:


’Not until opening night’~

Helen was Andy’s older sister. Basically the school’s costume expert, she was a fifth-year, kickass, grunge chick with dyed blonde hair, who somehow always seemed to have a taro boba tea on hand. However, despite her sardonic exterior, she also always had to collect an entourage to follow her every single time she was about to go down to the basement storage. And Ross didn’t blame her - and neither did anyone else, based on the rumours spread about some ghost supposedly haunting the stairway.


 “Someone turn on the lights.”


 “Ew, what smells?”


 “Smells like mothballs.”


 “Smells like Andy’s cologne.” “Shut up, Ross.”


 Click. With the yank of a switch, Ross was finally able to see the faces of Andy, Steve, and Helena in the dimly lit room. On one side of the room, rows of clothing racks with white tarps draped like ghosts lined the wall. All around were boxes labelled with various  props and accessories like ties and belts, others labelled with production names such as ‘Aladdin’ or ‘Oklahoma’. 


 “Right, we need five white suits. Guys-“ Helen walked over the rack and began searching through them.


 “Helen, who am I?” Andy was grinning widely, holding an old, tattered mask from ‘Phantom of the Opera’.


 “Stop.” She says, taking the mask from him and examining it with her own interest.


  “Iscchhhieww!” Ross already knew he was basically allergic to this room. In fact, he knew the moment he was smacked in the face with the old stench of mothballs. What piqued his interest was the history that had been left by many others before himself - the posters on the walls of productions he’d heard of so many times before, their dancing figures seeming more movie-like than realistic. To know that other students that graduated had endured the same daily grind, faced the same spotlight pressures, hell, even wore the same suit jacket - was just something else.


 “Guys, please.” Helen shared the same exhaust as the rest of the cast. Although she wasn’t performing, she had the honour of making sure the performers actually looked good onstage.


 “Ok, I’ll help you.” Steve agreed.


 “Do you think we could use these?” Ross pointed to a large box filled with old-fashioned purses of vibrant colours. 


 “Oh yeah, Jackson wanted me to grab those.” Helen replied, arms full of various items of clothing.


 “Hh-hieh!” Ross turned his head, feeling the teasing itch grow in his sinuses. “Hep’TSCHhiuu!! *snf* ugh, Jesus.”


 “Bless you.” Steve chimed.


 “Thanks. *snf*” Ross wrinkled his nose and brought a hand to his pale face, knowing all the better than to start rubbing. He let out a breath and bent down to carry the heavy container.


 “Hey Helen, look at this guy.“ The others looked across the room to see Andy marvelling at a collection of cast photos from decades ago. He was pointing at a picture of an actor in an old production of ‘Guys and Dolls’. “Remember that makeup incident last year, Steve?”


 “What makeup incident?”


 Ross remembered right away and couldn’t help but laugh, setting the box back down on the floor.


 “Oh shit, the- the makeup incident.“ Steve cringed, suddenly reliving the memory in which he’d mistakenly used the wrong shade of foundation, so wrong, it was white as snow - he was paler than Ross, in fact. “We don’t speak of that.”


 Ross laughed, and sniffled, quickly growing more aware of the persistent itch in his nose. With all this rooting around, they’d been kicking up quite a bit of dust. He reached into his pockets in search of a handkerchief.


 “Guys, I swear to god. I’ve been using that shade for years.” Steve insisted stubbornly.


 “Apt’Ischhuh! *snf*” Ross, unable to find anything to block his sneezes, settled begrudgingly for the hem of his white t-shirt. “H’ehh,” he then noticed the attention had shifted to him, and held up one finger, cracking a self-conscious smile. His nose itched faintly, as he geared up for a sneeze that was stuck, lingering and teasing. “It’s coming, w-hhait...” Ross turned away from the others, pulling the hem of his shirt over his nose and mouth. “Hhehh-haihhh...” Eventually, his eyelids fluttered shut and he snapped forward with three harsh, separate sneezes. “ARRSCHHIEW!! -ESSCHHIEWW!! Uh- hh- huhp’TSCHhh!!” He sniffled wetly several times and blinked his watery eyes, which were growing pinker around the edges. “God. *ahem*” He chuckled breathlessly and swiped at his eyes. “Bless me.”


 “Bless you!” Andy said with a teasing smirk.


 “Ugh.” He shook his head dismissively and ran his fingers through his hair. 


 Time flew by as the four continued gathering and searching through costumes and props; coming across essential items, treasures, and everything in between. The occasional groan and creak of the boiler had made them jump more times than they’d like to admit. At a pause, Ross sat down on an old mill crate to rest for a bit. He rubbed and pinched at his nose, which by now was runny and itching like crazy with all the dust swirling into the air. His eyes were sore from rubbing. They were itchy, too. He wished he’d brought tissues or a hanky or a least something to blow his nose.


 “Anyone find the, uh,” Helen gestured vaguely in the air with one hand. “Yes.” - Andy grinned teasingly, squatting on the floor. “Shut up,” Helen leaned her elbow on his head. “Did anyone find the food props yet?”


 “Uhmmm,” Steve waded out of a pile of fabric rolls and into another corner of the dimly lit room. Ross turned to a pile of large plastic boxes, identical in size and shape to the box of purses. If anything, they didn’t look like they’d been touched in centuries.


 Ross coughed into his arm. 


 “Alright, Oklahoma... Fiddler... Cleopatra...” Steve read off the labels of the cases, none of which seemed to be the right set of props.


 “Try the shelf.” Helen called to him.


 “hhih’GXSCHHhiuu!! *snff*”


 “Oh, yeah, I see it.” Steve said finally. Ross opened his eyes, to see Steve gazing up at the top of the shelf beside the stack of boxes. Steve then glanced back at Andy and Helen, then over to Ross, who was definitely the tallest out of them all.


 “Oh, cobe od.” Ross turned his head to rub his red nose on his shoulder. He looked up at the box, and sniffled desperately.


 “Please?” Helen smiled apologetically with her glamorous teeth, making Ross sigh and smirk, cursing internally. He got up and walked over to Steve.


 For a moment, he fussed at one eye, then shook out both wrists at his sides. The box wasn’t low enough for him to reach up and grab. His first idea was to jump - which wasn’t effective at all, as he was merely able to hit it with his fingers - “D-heh- damb it- HehT-ISCHh!! *snnff*” a small rain of dust rose in a puff and floated down from the top of the shelf. “Ah’Eschhieww! *snnff*” Ross swiped at his bleary eyes and decided on a plan B.


 “You okay buddy?” Helen questioned, watching him sniffle frustratedly.


 “Yeah, ‘m fide, don’t worry.” He pushed on of the large boxes from the corner, nearer to the right side of the shelf and stepped up on it.


 “There you go.” chimed Steve.


 Ross reached up with one hand, keeping the other steady on the top. “Steve, ready? I’m godda...-hih!” Ross quickly turned his head into his shoulder, feeling the itch prickle deeper in his nose. The tickle was lingering annoyingly, not near enough to coax a sneeze.


 “Here. Push it, I got it.” Steve held his arms out ready.


 Ross sniffled harshly and turned back to the shelf. “Alright, ready? One, two-“ With effort, he pushed the box forward with his left hand - which, fortunately, Steve caught right away and brought down swiftly. 


 “Yay!” Helen cheered. Wow. Talk about anticlimactic. 


 Breath hitching, Ross stepped down from the box and hastily lifted the hem of his t-shirt over the lower half of his face. “Hept’ISCHH!! Ischhieww! *sdf* Huh’ISCHHIEWW!! *sddf* hhuhhh... huh’ESCHH!-unhh... *sdf* Jesus Christ.” he muttered, breathless.


 “Bless you.” Andy clapped him on the back, as he stumbled away from the dusty corner and plopped back down onto the milk crate.


 “You guys can go upstairs now, if you want,” Helen looked at the boys, with a hint of sympathy as her gaze came over Ross. “*sngk* It’s fide, I’ll just-“ “I need someone to take those upstairs. Can you guys, please?” Helen pointed to the suits she’d gathered in another box.


 Ross got up, looking definitely beat. Still, somehow, he had a look of willingness in his reddened eyes, as he looked yearningly back at the boxes of untouched props. That was, until Andy came up and slapped one hand on his shoulder.


 “Y’ with me?” He asked, a little concerned. Ross, pressing a hand to his twitching nose gave a small nod, and bent down to pick up the box of purses. He turned his head to press his red nose to his shoulder, before sniffling ineffectively.


 Andy lifted up the box of the suits on top of another heavy case, then followed Ross up the stairs to the drama room, where he watched Ross set down the load with a thump and sprawl back on the couch. Ross coughed into his fist and sat up. Thank god there were no rehearsals this afternoon, because there was no way he’d be able to sing like this.


 “Hiehh- H-heptt’TSCHhieww!! *snnff* ohh, god. *sdf*” Ross wiped the allergic tears from his eyes and forced his hands to rest on his thighs, when in reality he wanted to keep rubbing at the itch that had so stubbornly planted itself there. He sniffled hard, glancing desperately around the room for - ah yes, tissues. He grabbed one from the box and blew hard, producing wet, gurgly sounds. “Hihh... haehh’NxXGgkt!-tchuh.... *sddf* h’uhh! *snnff*” Ross rubbed hard underneath his nose, still torturously tickling, causing his eyes to flutter shut. “Apt’TSCHh!! Uhh... uh- hu- HUURISCHHhh!! Huht’GSXCCHHhieww!! *sddff* Unghh,” he groaned.


 “Bless you, man.” Andy sat down next to him on the couch, watching him give up and fuss at his eyes. “You gonna live?”


 “Hopefully ‘til opedig dight.” Ross chuckled stuffily, and sniffled thickly. “Thed I... hh...” Ross’ teary, bloodshot eyes narrowed, as his breath picked up. “*sdrf* I cad die id peace... Uh’Ptschiuu!!” He croaked, sliding down until he was slouching.


 “We still have two shows after that.” Andy added.


 “*snnfl* Mmh.” He murmured, then perked up at the sound of footsteps coming from the drama room entrance.


 “Ross?” Jillian. Shit. Fuck. Ross quickly straightened up and cleared his throat, before she approached the two of them. “Oh my gosh, what happened?” She came closer, a look of worry flooding her features.


 “Dothig. J-just *sdf* I wedt dowdstairs. B’ allergies...” he attempted to explain with a voice beyond congested, the rest of his pale face now burning scarlet.


 “Oh... poor thing.” She touched his cheek, then leaned closer to give him a small kiss on the cheek. “Feel better, okay?” Jillian offered a kind smile, before hurrying off to Jackson’s office before Ross could utter a response.


 After a moment, Ross took a big breath in and pressed both palms of his hands to his itching eyes and laid back on the couch. He let out a low groan.


 “You’re blushing.” Andy said softly.


 “Shut up.” Ross’ voice came muffled, from behind his hands.


 “You are blushing, so hard-“


 “NoI’mnot. Shut up!” He leaned his body the other way so that he crashed into Andy’s side. Ross sniffled and sighed, letting his hands drop from his face. If his face was any redder, he could’ve easily blended in with a stop sign. 


 They both sat in complete silence for a moment. “I am blushing, aren’t I.” Ross murmured.


 “Yup.” Andy replied, popping the ‘p’ with his lips. He patted his friend’s knee. “C’mon buddy. Let’s go splash your face with some water.” Ross, too tired and allergic and utterly flustered to protest, willingly obliged.

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Ohhh Ross is adorable!  :wub:  As a theatre major myself, I could have only wished this would've actually happened!... 

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I love Ross. So adorable and miserable.

I like how the others are concerned about him.

I couldn't sing with an allergy attack like that either! :D

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