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“Joe, you’re the Best” (M, another instalment of Ross??)


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Hey-hey. Yes, it’s what it sounds like. :blushing:

I just wasn’t able to resist the scenario idea after I came up with ‘Hairspray’ and ‘Not until opening night’, which I’ll link here if anyone wants to check it out. 

http://www.sneezefetishforum.org/topic/73208-hairspray-one-shot-m/

http://www.sneezefetishforum.org/topic/73269-not-until-opening-night-m/

Anywho, the way I chose to write this part is a lil different from the first two parts, which is in first person - changing from Ross and Jillian back and forth. And all references come from the 70s musical ‘Nine to Five’, which is truly one of my favourites. So, without further ado:

 

The Calm Before the Storm

 

 “Hhup’NXxGT!-uhhh....” I hear Ross sniffle and reach for something offscreen. After a few seconds, he sits back down, a tissue covering the lower half of his face. “Oh my gosh. *snf!* Excuse be.”

 

 He positions the computer back onto his lap, swiping at his nose with a now crumpled tissue in one hand. 

 

 I giggle, lying on my stomach. “You good?” I throw out there, mentally tiptoeing carefully through a series of questions that involved the current state he was in. He looked adorable in the moment - sniffly, pink nose; and the usual sleekness of his undercut was now tussled and limp without the mass of gel he’d used daily. He wore a loose and wrinkly phys. ed shirt, one that seemed to be retired to pyjama clothing. I admired Ross. He was the sort of guy you’d see at school with a million things on his agenda, yet he always had time for the things he loved - ie., drama.

 

 “Yep,” I watch him throw his grey student counsel jumper over his head and pick up his script duotang next to him on the floor. He brings a fist to his mouth and clears his throat. “Where were we, Jillian?” He asks, his voice noticeably more deep than before.

 

 “Where Joe says ‘I know you.’”

 

 “*ahem* Right.” All of a sudden, he looks up. The sneezy expression is on his face again. “Sorry-“ His eyes are distant, gazing up at the ceiling light in his room. “Hehh,” I can hear the mic picking up his hitching breathing. After a short while, I see him press the back of his wrist to his nose and sniffle. He lets out an amused breath. “Sorry. Thought I was gonna sneeze.”

 

 “That’s okay.” I smile, watching his cheeks go pink as he flips back to the page.

 

 “Okay. *ahem* I know you.” He begins in another voice, layered with concern. “Something’s wrong.”

 

 “I’m telling you, I’m fine.” I say.

 

 “Stop pushing me away. *snf* Talk to me. Seriously, you can tell me anything.” His nostrils twitch. He sniffles and uses a knuckle to rub at  them.

 

 I try not to get caught up in the moment. He’s so convincing, the way his eyes do the puppy-dog thing and the way he adds a small stutter in his voice. I pull myself together and take a deep breath to say Violet’s next line:

 

 “We’ve got Hart tied up in his house while we try to prove he’s been stealing from the company. We’re following the money trail to collect enough evidence to prove he’s been cooking the books!” I manage to say in one breath.

 

 Ross grins widely at my success, then quickly smothers his excitement to continue. What can I say? I’ve been practicing.

 

 “Not what I was expecting.” He says in the Joe voice.

 

 “Me either.”

 

 “Huhh’PTSCHh!!” “-Bless you!-“ “You actually kidnaped heart? -*snnff* ‘scuse me.” He grabs another tissue and folds it over his nose while I say my next line.

 

  “No. We just sort of-” I stop and glance up at my screen, noticing Ross get up and place the laptop on the ground.

 

 “One second.” I hear him shuffle away from the mic, and assume he’s going to throw his tissues in the trash. A moment passes and I hear him sneeze again, loudly, off screen. Poor guy. I sigh and rest my chin on top of my arms. After a few seconds of waiting patiently, I hear a loud scratch of the mic and perk up, seeing him return on the screen. “*snff* I’b so sorry.” He apologizes gravelly, rubbing at his nose.

 

 “Is your throat okay?” I tilt my head, examining his glassy eyes in the brilliant Skype quality. He winces faintly and shifts back into the centre of the screen.

 

 “Hurts a bit. I sang a lot today, though.” He says. I stick my bottom lip out, sympathizing. “Luckily,” he reaches again offscreen and retrieves a roll of Halls, the cherry kind, and presents it proudly in front of the camera. 

 

 “Yay!” I say softly, as he pops one out. I smirk. Of course he has Halls on hand. Ross is the type of guys who’s ready for anything, even when flu season and rehearsals overlap. “You like the cherry ones?”

 

 He shrugs. “Mm. Yeah. S’better than the lemon ones.”

 

 “What?”

 

 “Lemon flavoured things are gross!” He makes a face, and I giggle.

 

 “They are not! Hey, I could never take medicine if it was cherry flavoured.”

 

 “Oh yeah?” He turns away to cough into his arm. My heart sinks. It sounds kind of painful when he coughs.

 

 “Yeah. When I was little, our medicine was always cherry flavoured.”

 

 He runs his fingers through his fluffy hair, and grins faintly, like he’s reminiscing. “*snff*.....What I hate is grape flavoured things.”

 

 “Oh yeah, no. I hate grape flavour.” Although, ironically, grapes are one of my favourite fruits. I just hate grape medicine and juice and candy because they never taste alike. Ever.

 

 “Right.” He rubs an index finger under his nose and sniffs. “Shall we continue?”

 

 I shift my weight onto my elbows. “Ready when you are.”

 

 “Okay... *ahem*” he clears his throat. “I’m sorry.” I’m beginning to feel more concerned, listening to his voice turn more and more raspy while he reads out loud. “You actually kiddapped Hart?”

 

 “No! We just sort of... yup, we kidnaped Hart. And I’ll tell you, if we don’t find more evidence on him before Mrs Hart comes back next week we’re screwed.”

 

 “*snf*... I have access to every fidancial accoudt in this compody. *sdf* I bet I could help you.”

 

 “Really?”

 

 “*ahem* S-see what happens when you talk to me? Hh-huh... ode sec-” I look up, concerned, as leans off-camera to sneeze freely. “ASHHhieww! Ugh... Sorry. *ahem* Scuse be.”

 

 “Bless you.”

 

 He chuckles softly and mumbles a thanks.

 

 “Joe, you’re the best.” I say, and lean my head on one hand.

 

 “I’b the best.” Ross turns his head again, suddenly, and coughs heavily into his sleeve. This time, they really do sound painful. 

 

 “Woah. You okay?”

 

 Ross keeps coughing. Unable to stop, he holds up an index finger, telling me to wait - and gets up yet again. I do, inwardly wincing. When it finally comes to an end, he reappears with a plastic wattle bottle.

 

 “Jeez.... Do you wanna stop?” I offer gently. He pushes his hair back with his fingers and takes a sip of water.

 

 “*cough**cough* ...Oh my god. I’b dying.” He croaks, his face tinged red. When he looks back at the screen and sees the worry on my face, his expression changes. “I’m kidding. *snf* I mean... I’b fide. *snf*”

 

 “Don’t die on me, Rosso.” I smile sympathetically. I wish I could be there to take care of him. 

 

 “Sorry ‘bout that. *ahem*”

 

 “Hey, don’t worry about it.” He wipes his eyes. “Maybe you should sleep for now. Take the day off tomorrow.” I suggest, laying my head on top of my folded arms.

 

 “Baybe. *snff*” He isn’t looking at the screen, busy fiddling with the edges of his script. “Cad’t though.” He says quietly. “Jacksod says we deed to... *cough, cough*”

 

 “Hey.” I say softly. Ross looks up. “We’ve come so far. You’re doing amazing.” I try encouraging him. His tired expression tears into an adorable weak grin, and his eyes still gravitate downward. “It would suck if we had to replace you,” I add.

 

 Ross laughs softly and combs back his hair with one hand again. “Okay. *snff* Sure.”

 

 “I’ll see you soon, okay?” I say, seeing that he shares the same disappointment I feel, but I’d rather he rest than stay up late doing this. “Take care of yourself.

 

 “I will.” He offers a genuine smile, through illness and exhaustion. “Thanks, Jill.” He mumbles gratefully.

 

 I smile back. “‘Night, Ross.”

 

 “Dight, Jill.”

 

 “Sleep tight.”

 

 “Dod’t let the bedbugs bite. Ah’NXxKt!!-chiuhh...”

 

 “Bless you!” I giggle.

 

 He chuckles. “Thagks. Bye.”

 

 I close the laptop. I reach over to place it on my desk, then switch off the lamp at my bedside table. 

 

THE NEXT MORNING (aka. the storm.) - ROSS’ POV 

 

  I wake up to the sound of my alarm and jerk upright, only to be met by what feels like a skillet being swung full-force into my head. Which in turn is worse as I turn towards the sunlight. I yawn and run my fingers sleepily through my hair, reaching over to press the button to turn off the alarm. My mouth is grossly dry - which is the result of my nose being entirely blocked. Gripping my palm to my forehead, I swing both feet out of bed. Once again, my feet are freezing from sleeping with my socks off. Thing is, I can never sleep with them on. 

 

 I stretch my arms up and slowly tread to the bathroom. My throat is painful. Not scratchy or sore, in that sense - it aches, almost hurts to swallow. Looking up, I inwardly wince at my own reflection. I comb back my dark, messy hair from my eyes brushing sweat from my temples. Fuck. My skin is so pale - I turn and cough to the side, wincing as pain jabs at my throat. Well, I’m sick alright.

 

 No. Nope, a switch flicks in my head. ‘What do you mean, you’re sick? You have in-school rehearsals not to mention vocals after school’. I shake my head. I would have to cancel going to the vocal rehearsal today. Miss Harper would understand, right? Fuck, no- Jillian...

 

 “H-hhet’ESCHHIEWW!! -Oww...” The sneeze causes ice-cold pain to radiate from my throat down my spine. I sniffle thickly. “Ughh... *sdf*”

 

 I decide to shower and get ready as fast as I can, which to be honest, could be matched by the speed of a turtle. The scalding heat of the water on my skin makes is soothing, and also helps to loosen the congestion a bit. Afterwards, I change into a grey t-shirt and and adidas track pants. When I step out of the bathroom, I’m immediately hit by the colder air, triggering a chain reaction in my sinuses. And I’m faced with another crisis - I have no where to aim them. The sudden urge is so strong, that I have no choice but to do so freely- “Huh’TSCHhh!! *sddff*” Fuck. Snot dribbles from my nose. I swear under my breath and comb back my wet hair, which slicks back easily when I push it back. When I get to my room, I make a beeline for one of my handkerchiefs. “Huh’ESCHH!! Huht’ASCHHIEW!!” I swallow painfully and start to pant for air, sinking down on the side of my bed. The intakes of breath quickly turn into more hitching, as the chilly air shocks my nose. “Ischh! -Huh’MMrmschh!-ieww...” I take time to catch my breath and blow my nose. And just like that, I’m just as clogged up as before.

 

  “Heading to school now, honey?” My mom yells from the kitchen, as I hurry to the front door with my backpack. I open my mouth to say yes - but then it comes out as a torrent of coughs which I struggle to keep quiet with the sleeve of my sweatshirt.

 

 “Yeah...” I croak, when I can get a breath. My fingertips shoot up to just above my sternum, alarmed at my own voice. I attempt to clear my throat and try again, barely louder: “Yeah bob,” I say, shrugging into my red winter coat. Shoot. I glance over my shoulder, hoping she doesn’t notice.

 

 “Okay hon.” She replies, merely peeking her head out from the dining room. “Dress warmly. Love you!” she adds.

 

 “Love you too,” I mumble on my way out.

 

 I stuff my hands in my pockets as I head out against the frigid weather to the bus stop. I pull out my phone and check the app- four minutes. Andy is there waiting for me, absentmindedly rocking from foot to foot to retain heat.

 

 “‘Sup?” I greet him, standing next to him on the slushy sidewalk.

 

 “Oh, hey, what’s up, man?” He holds out his hand and I slap it. It’s only a split second after that realize I wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have gloves on. Andy hisses through his teeth, dramatically bending double. “So cold.”

 

 “I dnow. *snf*” 

 

 Andy looks up at me pointedly.

 

 “What?” I say, somewhat raspy.

 

 “No.” He says, straightening up. 

 

 “Hm?” 

 

 “No, man.” He shakes his head.

 

 “What? *sdf*” I’m not trying to get annoyed, but my headache and this weather is fuelling my impatience.

 

 “You’re sick, aren’t you?”

 

 “Doe. *snff*” My nose is running. Shit. I lift my wrist to my face.

 

 “Liiiies.” A suspicious grin is spread across his face.

 

 “You dow how I get aroud Christbas trees, mbad. *sdf, snnf*”

 

 “Uh huh. Which is why you sound like Gollum.”

 

 “Shut up.” It hurts a bit to talk. I turn and cough into my arm, wishing the bus would come faster.

 

 “Jesus, man.” Andy says more quietly, shifting on concern. “You should’ve stayed home.”

 

 “Mmf. *snff!* s’what Jillian said.”

 

 “Seriously. I would’ve made a great Joe. Love can grow in the strangest places-“ he starts to sing. His voice cracks on the high note, and he clears his throat. I smirk.

 

 “Yeah, baybe- *ahem* Mbaybe you should.” I lift an index finger to rub at the underside of my nose, which is itching again. I sniffle liquidly and cough. “Ahh-“ my breath hitches quietly. Not wanting to hurt my throat, I turn quickly and stifle. “Huuht’MnxXGTchh!-iuhh... *snnff, snf* huh, huhhh- AAESCHHIEWW!!” The second one catches me completely off-guard, a result of trying to smother the first one. I sniffle and snort wetly, searching for the handkerchief in my pockets.

 

 “Bless you.” Andy says. “Bus is here.”

 

 Huh. I didn’t even notice.

 

 ~

 

 The Eco Club took place during lunch on Thursdays. Steve was the club president, and accordingly showed up with healthy, litter-less lunches on the daily. Me and Helen were leaders, joined by two other members who were in their junior year.

 

 “Anyone else signing up to help set up the Christmas sale after school?” Steve touched the centre between his glasses as he skimmed the list. “Helen, you and Ross. That’s it?”

 

 “And Serena.” Helen added, arms folded across her chest.

 

 I, however, was a little too preoccupied to notice what had just been asked. Heavy eyelids fluttering shut, I take a sharp breath in- “Huh’pGxXkt!-chiu....”

 

 I hear a few people shout bless-yous, as I felt the heat of my forehead transfer to the rest of my face, looking up. I sniffle and cleared my throat.

 

 “Yep. *ahem* What she said.” I mumble feebly. I blink back the moisture that had sprung in my eyes and rub at the underside of my reddening nose.

 

 The meeting carried on, moving onto other topics that needed to be covered. Helen shifts slightly in her chair, and looks over at Me. 

 

 “Ross. Are you okay?”

 

 I nod with a weak grin, the fingers of my right hand gently placed at my collarbone.

 

 “Sore throat?”

 

 Nodded again. 

 

 I wondered just how bad I really  sounded. Also, in one night.

 

 “And the trees need setting up.”

 

 “Are they real?” One freshman girl asked him.

 

 “Uh, yep, that’s what they told me. Shame.”

 

 Great.

 

 I cleared my throat once again and folded my arms on the table. My allergies usually went nuts around pine trees, or any kind of tree for that matter. That’s why we always had a fake one in our house. Years ago, whenever we went to my Uncle Bruce’s place to exchange gifts on Christmas, I’d always be met with the charming delight of the freshly-chopped tree in the living room, the air carrying a piney scent. Of course I’d be fine for the first hour or so. The calm before the storm - then the storm, of course. My eyes, nose, throat, not mention my ears - all itched, leaving me in a gross allergic trance until it was time to go home. Not to mention our uncle also had two dogs. Catch me at the Ramirez Christmas party crashing in the corner after doping on Benadryl.

 

 “hh’ehhp-pt’ESSCHHIEUUWW!!” My nose explodes at the thought of it - a harsh, throaty sound that actually satisfies the tickle in my nose, and feels like ripping sandpaper in my throat. I snap out of my haze, back to the room that’s suddenly gone silent, after the immense burst of sound. Helen pats my back, in a tough way but also sort of comforting.

 

 “Bless you, Ross Lynch.” Steve says, looking over at me.

 

 I push my knuckle up against my septum, hard. My nose is running, and think it just might be the heat in here.

 

 “I’b sorry.” I sniffle liquidly and clear my throat. “What was that about pide trees?”

 

~

 

 “Ross Ramirez.” I hear my name on the speaker, and raise my head.

 

 “Here,” I say, my voice weak.

 

 Mr. Jackson must not had heard me. “Ross?” He repeats, looking up.

 

 I cough and try again, louder. “Here, sir.” I raise my hand. Dull pain runs down the back of my throat, making me wince.

 

 “Ah, there you are. Miss Harper says you weren’t in vocal.”

 

 “Uh, no,” I start, pointlessly. My voice isn’t enough to be heard in the crowd today. Huh. That’s a first. I cough again to clear my throat, which results in a restrained fit of coughing that contributes to the pounding in my head.

 

 “Sir, he has a sore throat.” Helen speaks up.

 

 Mr. Jackson nods and moves on with the cast attendance. I sniffle harshly and rub hard at my nose, still plagued with a haunting itch. I really didn’t want to sneeze. Not here. Not even for the risk of my dignity, I didn’t want it to trigger another fit of coughing that might kill me. I squeeze my eyes shut in a quick blink and open them again, lights trailing with blurriness. I wipe away the moisture with the sleeve of my student council sweatshirt and cough lightly.

 

 “Huh, that’s new. No gel today?”

 

 Helen reaches out and touches my hair, which falls limply across my forehead.

 

 “Dno. *sdff*” I sniffle wetly, trying to ignore to teasing itch that’s building again in my sinuses - a fluttering, burning, itchy sensation. It’s making my stuffy nose become more runny. Aftermath of handling trees.

 

 “Your hair’s so fluffyyy.” Helen leans her elbows on the table, cupping her chin with her hands. 

 

 “Hnn’GxXSchhiu! *snff!* Ah.” I blink dazedly and manage to smile at her. “Doe, I thought I’d... *ahem* give it a break.” I wrinkle my nose and try to ignore the dancing tickle that’s making its way to the top of my nose. I give up and surrender as quiet, hitching breaths fill my lungs. “Hihh, hh-hiehhh... hh’MXxngk! Huh’Mmptt! Tschhiew! Ahp’TSCHh!” They start to come rapid fire. My hand shoots to my pocket, pulling out my handkerchief. “Hah’ESSCHHh!! Unhhh... Jeez. *sdff*” 

 

 “Ewww,” Jessica, next to Helen, makes a face. I turn and lift one leg over to the other side of the table bench, and bury my nose in my handkerchief.

 

 This is typical. I can never stop sneezing around evergreens, and they just had to bring about five of them indoors....

 

 I sniffle weakly, plugged with congestion. Jackson calls the first scene, which, thank god- because I’m just a background character.

 

JILLIANS POV

 

 I see Ross over by the side of the set, fussing at his nose with his wrist. When his hand drops, I see just how red and watery his eyes are getting. I stand centre stage and wait for Jackson to cue us, but for now he’s busy discussing something with Ms Harper.

 

 “Hup’Itschhu! *snf*...” he barely smothers, and looks up blinking rapidly.

 

 “Okay, let’s begin from your song, Jillian. ‘Around here’.”

 

 I nod, and start singing. My mind is full of worry for Ross, because he sounded worse than he did yesterday on Skype. Well, I suppose tiring your voice will do that to you. Even I’m starting to get some strain in my throat. And I suppose as hand hygiene is trés important during flu season, he does go to a great deal of places. Hell, I even heard he had an Eco Club meeting today, and they just delivered the Christmas trees for the foyer.

 

 “Hey,” At a pause, I had ended up further stage left, where Ross is in the wings sitting on the base of one of the sets. He brushes a thumb against his left nostril and sniffs. “You okay?”

 

 I smile, breaking character. “Me?” He returns the grin, looking up with weary eyes. The tired eyes of a diehard student. “I’m alright. You?”

 

 “Ah...” he sniffles again and clears his throat. “I dod’t dow. I’b gettig through it. *sdf*”

 

 “Does your throat hurt?”

 

 His eyes shift away, and the instinctive smile fades slightly. “A bit.” I don’t like the sound of his voice, how it sounds like it hurts to speak properly without whispering. “Are those real?” He nods to my shoes, which are crisp white, expensive brand tennis kicks.

 

 “Yeah.” 

 

 “Dice. *ahem*” 

 

 I turn to see if anything was happening onstage. Not much, really. I turn back to Ross and raise an eyebrow. “Don’t they sell instant ramen in the foyer?”

 

 “Yeah. I thigk they do. *sdff* But I dod’t really wadda go.” He leans back and stretches lazily.

 

 “Why not?” I grin teasingly. He leans forward.

 

 “Uhhhb, they brought id dew trees. Pide trees. They really affect by allergies, so.” He trails off, and turns his head sideways, one hand raising to his face. “Hihh- heh’ESCHHIEW!! *snf*” his arm is about to drop, but then his facial expression seizes and he snaps to the side a second time. “Hih’GXSCHhieww!!” After that, he sniffles wetly few times and blinks back the moisture in his eyes. “Mby God. *sdf* ‘Scuse be.”

 

 “I can tell.” I say, grinning sympathetically.

 

 “Yeah. *snddf* Well, I’mb sick, so I’ll beeehh... *snff* sdeezy regardless.” He wrinkles his adorable little nose and gives it a rub with a grey sweater paw-ed wrist.

 

 “I’ll buy you some.” I offer. “Maybe later?”

 

 He looks up, a hint of relief and gratitude in his eyes that say, ‘Gee, Really?’. “Sounds cool.” he replies softly.

 

 “Jillian, we need you to be paying attention,” Jackson’s strict voice on the handheld microphone grabs my attention. 

 

 “Sorry, sir.” I say, shifting my body to face the audience. I sneak a look back toward Ross, who’s beaming, eyes glowing in the dim light. I pull my gaze down to my feet, then to the front, where Jackson and his assistant are taking notes.

 

 Five o’clock. The minty scent of evergreens is actually pretty refreshing as I leave the stuffy auditorium, change jingling in my pocket. The tall trees strike me more as a forest in Alaska than the North Pole, as the green branches are still bare. I approach the window at the back of the foyer, where Serena is sitting on her phone, looking bored.

 

 “No Christmas lights?” I say with a friendly smile, glancing along the colourful bags of candy that are hung on the sides of the counter. 

 

 She looks up from her phone and takes a short breath in and out. “Bah humbug, girl.” She tosses her wavy hair over her shoulder and places the phone face-down on the counter. “Bah humbug. Can I get you anything?”

 

 “One cup of instant noodles, and...” I purse my lips indecisively, then take a bag of sour cherry blasters and set it down on the counter.

 

 “Want hot water?” She asks over her shoulder, as I’m counting the coins in my hand.

 

 “Uh, yes please.” I give her my cash and she hands me back the change. Then she plops back down and picks up her phone.

 

 “It’ll take like three minutes. For the noodles to be ready, I mean.” She says.

 

 “Thanks.” I stuff my wallet back into my pocket and pull my cardigan more tightly around my shoulders.

 

 It’s only until I look up again to get the stuff I just bought, when I see the strange look on her face.

 

 “What?” 

 

 She just grins suspiciously and leans her chin on the palm of one hand, looking down at the soup. “That’s for Joe, isn’t it?”

 

 I scoff humorously and feel a grin tugging at the corners of my lips. “Maybe.”

 

 “Awww, Jilliannn~”

 

 “Stop.” I can’t stop myself from smiling, so I just bop her on the head with my candy. Her laughing covers the sound of my footsteps as I start down the hall, in the direction of Ross’ locker.

 

 “Hh-h’GSCHhh!! *sdff*” I hear him sniffle around the corner, and my heart wrenches as it’s rounded off by a few weak coughs. When I turn the corner, I see him slouching down against his locker, pretending to be napping.

 

 “Ho ho ho,” say jokingly, setting down the cup and sliding down next to him on the floor. He opens one eye, then slowly sits upright to claim the noodles.

 

 “Blesss.” He coughs to the side, then peels off the cover of the soup cup. “That smells really good.” 

 

 I rip open my pack of sour cherries, watching him stir the noodles that emit steam in generous swirls. I’m not sure how he’s able to devour the noodles right away when it’s so hot. Then again, he must be needing it, after all we’ve been through this week.

 

 “Thank you.” He says, a hand over a mouth that’s full. “Hey, you do like cherry-flavoured things.”

 

 “Of course.” I roll my eyes. “And, yeah. Guilty.”

 

 I remove a hair tie from my wrist and use it to pull my hair back in a ponytail. Ross is sniffling more frequently. The steam must be helping to loosen the congestion. 

 

 “‘much did it cost?”

 

 “Don’t worry about it.”

 

 He chuckles, reaching for his handkerchief that he pulls over two perfect dimples. Soon, his eyes flutter closed. “Ischhieww!” A pause, then his shoulders rise again. “Ischhiew! *snff*” He wipes his nostrils, which are pink and chapped. Then he lowers the handkerchief. “Ugh, you should’ve seed... *snnf* the look on Miss Harper’s face when it was mby part. *sdf*” his voice is just as bad as before, but now I’m just relieved that he’s relaxed now.

 

 Then I think of something, and hide a grin. Ross catches it and smirks. “Are you laughing at me?”

 

 “No! No I’m not, it’s just...” I look down and pop another candy in my mouth. “You should’ve listened to me. About taking the day off today.”

 

 “I dow. *sdf!*”

 

 “You dork.” I say teasingly, chewing on a sour cherry.

 

 “Yeah, I dow.” He sniffs, and rubs a hand through his dark hair. “Was worth it, though.” I look at him, fingers combed into his hair, a playful smile underneath. For a moment, I’m frozen.

 

 Me being the dork I am, I just giggle at his sly demeanour, doing anything to hide the stupid feeling that makes me flustered. “Eat your soup,” I tell him. His hand drops, letting his messy hair drape over his eyes. He pulls back the long sleeves of his sweatshirt and pick up the cup and fork. 

 

 “Really though, thank you.” He says, in that vulnerable, congested voice. He’s so cute - I think about just how this play season is going to be the death of me.

 

 “Huh’RRSCHh!!” -If not him first.

 

 “Bless you.”

 

 “*sdff* Thanks.”

 

 I sigh inwardly and tug my cardigan back over my shoulders. I pull out my bio notes from my backpack in the means of studying, as a tired but eager Ross is slurping the ramen beside me. Halls empty. Cherry Halls. Cherry sour blasters. Instant ramen.

 

 And this time it seems, now it’s my turn to blush.

 

Fin.

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Aww this is soo cute!! :wub: I’ve been loving all you Ross stories... please tell me your thinking about continuing this would love to see where it goes 

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