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SeichiYagami

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“Alright,” The woman yawned, “It’s closing time, bub. Time to skedaddle.”

H’TDZSH…! Hh—! HH’TSZSHH’ughh! *hic*”

An absent-minded moan was released from the drunkard as he sluggishly dipped forward, sneezing openly onto the glass and bar. How many times had he been sneezing today, he had lost count. His sneezes seemed to be picking up tonight, though. It was becoming quite bothersome, actually. Draco drearily stared down at his empty, and now sprayed glass with a thick snuffle. He gave a drunken giggle at the weird blotch of snot on the cloudy glass. The pub was empty tonight, and it was running on 2am. He stifled an intense hiccup deep in his chest that sounded like a hollow squeak, cringing from the sharp pain it left him with deep in his chest, and released the smoke he kept hostage through his nose and mouth. The woman gave out an obviously agitated sigh as she cleaned her glass a little rougher, creating an intense friction from her dry towel.

“Sir, I said I’m going to have to ask you to leave!” The bartender stated firmly after slamming down the glass she was cleaning. He gave a delayed wince from the high pitch ‘cling’ the glass caused and snuffed out his cigarette into the ashtray.

Yeah, yeah, *hic* whatever bish.” Draco slurred, wobbling up off of the bar stool, nearly tripping over his own two feet. He frantically grabbed for a wooden stool, only for it to bonk him on the head on the way down onto the cool wooden floor boards. “God *hic* damnit.” He knew that he was going to feel that in the morning.

Soft chuckles are heard from behind the man, but his system had too much alcohol in it for him to feel embarrassed. He lazily tried to use his jelly arms and push himself up, only for him to flop back onto the floor like a slab of raw meat. The chuckles instantly turned into uncontained laughter with sarcastic claps from the amused bartender.

“What the hell’s *hic* so funny???” He mumbled into the floor, deciding to rest a little bit before attempting to make a fool out of himself again. The bartender took a few calming breaths before speaking again.

“You’re such a drunk mess! Hmph, I told ya you should’ve stopped after the fifth shot.” Draco gave a weak grunt and closed his eyes, feeling the room start to spin out of control even more than it previously had been. A long sigh followed by the soft clicking of heels were heard echoing throughout the empty pub. “Walk you to your car?” She asked unwillingly, but still held her hand out in offering.

Draco sluggishly opened his tired eyes and turned his heavy head to look at the charming woman. Her blonde hair dangled in front of her slim shoulders as she impatiently snapped her fingers. With a huff, the bulky man dropped his rough hand into hers and used all of his willpower just to sit upright. The woman panted a few times trying to catch her breath from supporting the rugged man and stretched her back. From the corner of her eye, she could see the drunkard clumsily using the toppled over chair to aid him in standing up. She quickly rushed over to his side, just barely in enough time to catch him mid-lean. He collapsed himself deep into her embrace, stifling another painful hiccup into his chest. It was better than hitting the floor again.

“Woah there Big Shot! Take it easy unless you got a date with the ground.” She humored. Draco only responded with a heavy hitch in return. His eyes had already involuntarily closed, with his nose scrunched up from the uncomfortable itch. The woman moved her head opposite from the rugged man’s face to avoid whatever would spray out of his nose and mouth, but she refused to let go of drunkard, and let him hit the floor again. Another heavy hitch escaped the man’s mouth and he childishly giggled after the short exhale when the sneeze didn’t come.

“Ahaha, t-this… This is weirdhh—Hih…! Ahahaha!! Y-you should tryhh—h—HIH!”

The rugged man froze, face becoming relaxed yet concentrating on the stuck sneeze. The woman glared at the man, being concerned by the abrupt silence and figured out why. His brows were weakly furrowed, head tilted back slightly, nose clearly agitated and moist, with lips quivering, trying to figure out if he were going to giggle again or actually sneeze this time. With one light sniffle, the man instantly dipped forwards, nearly tugging the woman over with him.

HUH’TDZSSH…! HH’EGSHH’ugghhh!!”

The man briefly giggled, only to get cut off by a sudden light-headed feeling rushing over him. The woman jerked his body towards her so that he didn’t slip away from her and hit the ground again.

“Alright, alright, I got ya. Let’s move, stubbles.”

She grabbed his left arm and rested it on top of her shoulder, like a scarf, so that he could lean up against her properly as they slowly limped over to the doors. She couldn’t help but smile at the drunkard. He did look pretty handsome, even though he was drunk. Every three shuffles or so, the drunkard would jerk from a stifled hiccup and lean over into the woman. They both would stutter step to the left, but the bartender would help the man regain balance again.                

After the short trek over to the door, the bartender swings the door open with the swift kick of her foot. It was raining outside, but the woman didn’t seem to care, since she continued to carry the man outside like it was any other night. Draco flinched when the rain hit his forehead. He sloppily pulled his fedora up further so that it could catch the raindrops instead.

“Where’re we going?” The woman asked, voice carried away by the loud pounding of raindrops against the sidewalk and street.

“Right here ‘s fine…” The drunkard replied as he sunk down against the wall, slowly sinking out of her grip until his head hit the brick wall behind him. He was too dizzy to move any further, and his energy was already depleted ever since he had taken his first shot.

“You’re just gonna stay here?!” Draco allowed his heavy eyelids to close, feeling the alcohol gradually taking its toll. “Are you kidding me?!”

“So what if I am?! Why the fuck do you care?!”

Well…!” She yelled in a childish pout, folding her arms and puckering out her lips. The bartender stood there for a moment, thinking of something to say but never scrambled up an answer. Or, maybe perhaps she did have an answer… Just not an answer she was willing to waste her breath over. “Because fuck you, that’s why!” The sound of angered footsteps splashing in rainwater vanished as the bartender re-entered the pub.

The drunkard lay exhausted up against the pub’s brick wall, cursing when his fedora leans forward even further and spills the buildup of cold rainwater all over his wet torso. An involuntary shiver shook his entire body but his consciousness drifted away after a final, deep exhale.

 

High pitched murmurs serve as a rude awakening to the hungover corpse. His hearing somewhat impaired and taking a while to adjust from the heavy dosage of alcohol he consumed prior. He attempted to ignore the voice and go back to sleep but a sharp kick in his stomach causes him to jolt awake. He forces his crusted eyelids open, only to be blinded by the bright sunlight and winces from both the brightness, the pain in his stomach and the returning pains from his head and right hand.

“Lirin, what are you doing?! That’s not how you’re supposed to get someone’s attention!” A stern voice from a man strikes his ears and he squirms himself awake.

With a liquefied sniffle, the rugged man sits up, clothes sloshing around in the puddle he had been lying in and shakes off his damp fedora before placing it upon his head once again. The bartender pouts at the man she was with, trying to justify her action, but the man shakes his head and the two loudly argue back and forth in front of the hungover mess of a man. Draco grunts into his fedora, aggravatedly wondering why they decided to wake him up if they were just going to yell at each other and give him a headache. Couldn’t they take this elsewhere?

The rugged man brings up a hand to massage the bridge of his nose. At first, he had done it to display his irritation with the two, but he had discovered an unnerving presence lingering deep in the dark depths of his nostrils. He shut his eyes, having his shoulders rise slightly by the muted hitch. The tickle was weak. Weak enough for him to bite back for now. He subtly swiped underneath his nose, trying to carefully play his cards right and not anger the itch any more than he already had. The woman tilted back his fedora and glared at the damp, rugged man with solemn eyes.

“You’re soaking wet! Did the rain swallow you whole?!” She exclaimed in a concerned manner.

Draco selfishly and aggravatedly pulled his fedora back down, avoiding the question, not wanting anything to do with the woman. Although he couldn’t remember much, knowing him, he must’ve done something incredibly stupid or along the lines when he was drunk. The woman pushed away his rugged hand and persistently lifted his fedora once again, glaring at the stubble-chinned man, only for him to tug his hat down with a little more force than anticipated and for it to tumble onto the damp concrete. He visibly winced at the full rays of sunlight beading down into his eyes.

“Just leave him alone,” The man sighed, folding his arms. It seemed like he was more than ready to leave. “Seems like he doesn’t want anything to do with us anyways.”

“We can’t just… leave him…” She sighed, feeling a tiny hint of guilt in her chest since she was the one who had left him there last night in the pouring rain. He wasn’t her responsibility after all! Just a guilty conscience!

Draco clumsily wiped the back of his right hand underneath his cold, moist nostrils, dampening the already wet bandages wrapped around his injured hand and sniffled a few more times. This sucked. The itch he had previously attempted to ignore had returned with an attitude of ‘We will not be silenced’. His nose scrunched up as the tip of his nose softly, yet visibly twitched in the sunlight. He was trying everything at this point to prevent himself from sneezing. He hated sneezing in front of people, and what made things worse was that there were two complete strangers standing before him, watching his every move. He didn’t have his fedora to shrink into… Oh wait, that’s right. My fedora. He sluggishly grabbed for his fedora, still fighting back the resistant prickle, and placed his head into the opening to shield his face from the two, almost instantly jerking two times into the damp hat.

H’tsh!... Hh’etshh!”

His sneezes were fairly quiet. On an average day you’d probably miss them if he covered them with his hands in a public place, but since he was alone with the two strangers silently watching him, his sneezes were audible and embarrassing. Draco froze, still keeping the fedora over his face, uncertain of if he should remove it or just keep it there until the couple left. A long silence falls over them, and Draco can feel all of the embarrassment coat his cheeks from behind the fedora.

“You call that a sneeze?!” The woman finally blurts out with distant giggles following it, “I was expecting something a little manlier from a big, tough guy like you!” Draco rolls his eyes behind the damp fedora and gives a dismissive snuffle into the hat. Like he hadn’t heard that one before. He just wanted them to leave him alone so he could clean up his face properly. His nose was running like a faucet underneath his fedora and constantly sniffling wasn’t going to solve his problem.

“Bless you.” The male stated blandly, as if he were simply picking up a penny off of the ground. “Stand back, Lirin. Seems he’s caught a cold.” A cold? Nah, he wouldn’t call it that. A lot of this was most likely from his hangover and it would be gone by tonight. A simple sneeze every once in a while… Or every few minutes, is normal. Nothing to fret over.

“I’b not sick.” He absently muttered into the fedora. It was getting pretty hot under there from his heavy breathing, and the repetitive strand of snot he was fighting with kept tickling the floor of his nostrils every time he attempted to breathe in through his nose. “Why are you even here? Whaddaya want?” His last question seemed rushed and slurred, like he was trying to push them away before they had to witness him sneeze again.

“Well, I work here, dummy!” She retorted, “And I found it rather odd finding the same guy I drug out of the pub last night still lying here the next day in the same posi—”

h’TSH...! Hh—! …H’TIZSSCH!”

The second sneeze seemed to tear right out of him, as he slightly dove forward, pressing the fedora closer to his face. It was a little louder and messier than his previous sneezes, but still sounded soft compared to his rugged stature. He blinked vividly for a moment, feeling a little lightheaded from all the gunk that had spewed out of his nose.

*Ahem*, bless you.” The man sternly said after agitatedly clearing his throat. He seemed to be annoyed and losing his patience.

Draco weakly leaned back unto the brick wall with a thick snuffle, still trying to recover from that last sneeze. He ignored the impatient tapping of the man’s shoes against the small puddle of rainwater as he reached underneath the fedora to wipe his nose with his bandaged hand. A wince creases his lips when the rough material from the bandages tear at his raw nostrils. Whose time was he on anyway? It wasn’t like he was forcing him to stay and watch his shit-show.

“It would be wise to use a handkerchief instead of dirty bandages.” The man stated ‘matter-of-factly’.

“Who the hell d’you thigk I am? The Prince of Camelot? I ain’t got one.”

“Alright, smartass. We were going to—”

And we still are, right???” The woman briefly interrupted, elbowing the man in his side.

“But this guy’s a complete asshat! We can’t trust him—”

“Don’t go judging books by their cover!” She said, elbowing him in the side a little harder this time. “He looks like he needs some help! He was in bad shape last night, too. At least have a look at his head? He hit it pretty hard.”

The man fell quiet for a moment, thinking about everything the woman had said before finally releasing a defeated sigh.

Fiiinnee.” He drug out, hesitantly looking at the woman. She smiled and clapped her hands happily, nudging him to continue with what he was saying. “Do you… need a place to stay?”

The last half of his question sounded softer and unintentional than the first half, like it wasn’t really meant to be said, but Draco still barely heard him, and managed to piece together what he was trying to say. Do I need a place to stay? A soft bed and warm food did sound very nice. He had been deprived of all those things for the past month. Living in his car, and spending his remaining cash on booze and cigarettes every chance he could get. It’s not like there was any hope for him anyway. He was going to die soon, so why not go out consuming his two favorite things.

“I mean, come on already! You slept out in the pouring rain, for crying out loud! Let us at least give you a warm place to stay until you get better!”

What was up with this chick? Why did she care so much? She didn’t even know who he was, besides their little encounter at the pub. The rugged man squirmed at the thought of staying with the two strangers, but she was right. He did sleep in the rain and he had just now realized that he must’ve been subconsciously shivering from his rain-soaked clothing ever since the two approached him.

“Get better?” Draco repeated, a little annoyed. “Whad do you mead, get better? I told you, I’b not sigk!”

He snuffled into his fedora out of habit, feeling his nostrils vibrate from all of the gunk loitering inside of his sinuses. It sounded thick like he had just clogged his passages from this irritable action.

“Yeah, your congestion says it all.” Smirked the man in an arrogant manner. Draco replied with an angry grunt, coughing lightly into his bandaged hand. “I’ll escort you to my car and take you to my home.”

Whatever…” He grunted, feeling a headache poking around in his skull. He just wanted to hurry up and get inside of a heated house already.

Draco finally placed his fedora atop his head properly before grabbing the hand of the young gentleman, nearly pulling him down onto the floor with him. He hadn’t realized how weak his body was, and how much it ached from sleeping outside in the cold weather, and from sleeping on the hard concrete. With a good yank, the gentleman pulled Draco up, forcing the rugged man to collapse into him from the unexpected gust of strength. Draco felt the man release an agitated sigh at him, and Draco sluggishly pulled away from the man, feeling embarrassed by leaning up against another male in public.

“My car’s… This way…” The man stated, awkwardly, still trying to recover from that weird incident. Draco nodded in understanding and followed behind the gentleman.

“Well I guess I’ll see you two later~!” The bartender yelled her ‘goodbye’ before entering the pub.

 

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Wow you’re an amazing writer! I really enjoyed this. I can’t read stories about terminally ill people, but I just wanted to let you know that your skills in this story both inspire and intimidate me. That’s a good thing. Keep writing! 

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@Reader Oh wow! I totally forgot about that part OMG! *facepalm* SO SORRY! That was not my intention at all! I meant to go back and edit/elaborate that section to say that he was going to die soon since he didn't have any money or a home and since there was no hope for him, he was just going to drink himself away until the end. I'm so glad that you caught that, because I was so confused with your comment and I had to go back and reread the story to figure out what you were talking about hahaha. Again, apologies! I wasn't trying to go in that direction, he doesn't have a terminal illness, I'm sorry! Also, thanks so much for your comment though! I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope that you continue to read the next parts! Even if you don't, I totally understand. Also I hope that my fic didn't offend you in any way, and if it has, I'm sorry! >~<

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@SeichiYagami your story didn’t offend me at all. In fact, I was so sad that I couldn’t continue to read it. What I read was fantastic and it read like beautiful poetry. I’m glad he’s not going to die. Life is angsty enough, so I tend to avoid it in fiction. I’ll keep reading! 

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@Reader I'm so glad! :D Both of your comments are very pleasing and encouraging! Thanks so much for your feedback :) 

 

 

 

“Here.” Muttered the man after he dug through his front pocket. “You’ve got something…” He made an uncomfortable gesture with his finger circling around his nasal region to the rugged man, cringing as if doing so were going to make himself sick too.

Draco willingly accepted the handkerchief from the man and forcefully blew his nose. He didn’t care if he sounded like a deflating balloon as he blew into the soft handkerchief. He was too tired to care. He was just silently thanking God that he had something soft to blow out all of the buildup into. Those bandages really were shredding up his nose.

Do you mind???” The man asked firmly and rhetorically, being disgusted by the fowl sound. “I understand that you’re feeling under the weather, but you could at least, try, to be considerate of those around you!” Just hearing the awful sound forced the gentleman to aggravatedly reach into his pocket and reveal a small bottle of hand sanitizer that he viciously applied, grumbling curses to the gods as to why he had to be stuck with this guy of all people.

Draco remained silent, not particularly caring about what he had just said. His head was already clouded to the brim and there wasn’t enough room for him to squeeze in there too. It took all of his willpower just to walk straight without any assistance.

Urgh, what’s the use? It’s like talking to a brick wall regardless…”

Thanks…” The rugged man barely managed to croak.

I beg your pardon?

“For the rag… Thanks.” The gentleman released an agitated sigh at the man, feeling slightly insulted.

“It’s not a ‘rag’, it’s a handkerchief… What are you, a baboon?”

“Are you always s-so… god-damnedhh—

He caught himself mid-gasp and instantly hid his face into the handkerchief, trying to desperately rid himself of the need to sneeze, which caught a confused glare from the gentleman. Draco hesitantly pawed at his nose with the damp handkerchief, uncertain if he should even touch the darn thing, seeing how it was already very sensitive from the tickle resting in his nose. He felt like just the slightest touch would send him dipping forward with a messy explosion. It didn’t seem like he had much of a choice anymore, since the clear liquid from his nose slowly trickled down the floor of his nose, causing the rugged man to squirm with unease before his chest quickly expanded and he jerked forwards into the used handkerchief.

HH’TIZSSCH…! ‘TISSHH!! Annoyi’g, ughh.” He breathily finished.

The rugged man sighed in defeat as he gurgled into the wet handkerchief, feeling his balance waver for a moment. He leaned over a little, bumping up against the gentleman before shuffling his feet so that he could continue walking properly. Despite his fear of germs, the gentleman held out his arms, instinctively, ready to catch the man if he should fall.

“My blessings. Are you well enough to continue walking?” He questioned with a concerned eyebrow raised. “My car is just around the corner. We can take a break if you’d so please.”

Draco grunted in response, not well adjusted to the constant kindness he was receiving from a complete stranger. Even though the gentleman came across as impatient and arrogant, Draco could still pick up on a hint of concern coating his question. Now that you think of it… Why IS he being so nice? He was a complete stranger! He could have a blade on him and stab him once his back was turned for all he knew.

“Was that grunt a ‘yes’, or a ‘no’? Sorry, I don’t speak Caveman.” The gentleman retorted, concerned tone shifting back into impatient and sarcastic.

Let me—” Brash coughs were heard from the rugged man, sounding rough and wet, as if his lungs were filled with rainwater. He sluggishly cupped his bandaged hand around his mouth as he felt clear phlegm sputter out with a few of the coughs. “Let me… rest for a minute.”

The gentleman nodded, furrowing his eyebrows once he saw Draco pullout a gray flask from the inside of his soaked trench-coat and place the opening against his dry lips.

“What the devil are you doing?!” The gentleman erupted, nearly jumping from the shock of him consuming alcohol with an illness.

“The hell does it look like?!” He fired back after taking a painful sip of the liquor inside of the flask, coughing over his shoulder from his agitated throat.

“Do you honestly think that alcohol will cure your cold?!”

“Hell no! But it’ll take the edge off.” He absently muttered, taking another sip from the flask.

An irritated ‘tch’ is heard from the gentleman as he folds his arms and impatiently taps the end of his shoe against the moist concrete. Why did this guy have to be such a pain? He glared over at the rugged man, watching him take two more sips.

“What’s your name, anyway?” Muttered the gentleman underneath his breath. Draco ignored the man and remained silent as he closed his flask and shoved it back into his trench-coat pocket. “If you want to make the situation more awkward than it has to be, then be my guest, but I don’t have the means of wasting my time on such childish matters. My name is Reuben.”

Reuben gave a slight bow to the rugged man as a brief greeting and folded his arms again, awaiting the returned greeting from the rugged man. After a few more silent moments, Draco brought up a bandaged hand to rub at his nose before finally speaking.

“… Draco…” He mumbled, just barely audible for the gentleman to hear. He pushed himself off of the wall and began to sluggishly walk in the direction of Reuben’s car, having Reuben following behind him with a cheeky smirk.

“Now that wasn’t so hard, was it?”

Shut up. You’re giving me a headache.” Draco grunted as he massaged his temples. He wasn’t sure if Reuben was actually the cause of his oncoming headache or not, but regardless, he was starting to develop a headache and the noise from the gentleman wasn’t helping.

 

 

The car ride over to Reuben’s house was silent. The two men didn’t say a word the entire time. Probably because Draco had fallen asleep—err, ‘rested his eyes’, as Draco would put it— in the backseat as soon as he sat down. The soft car seat cushions were the closest thing to a bed Draco had laid on in the past month, and it felt like heaven compared to the cold, wet concrete. Reuben didn’t mind too much though, seeing how the man truly did seem to have caught something and it was taking all the energy out of him. Sleeping outside in the rain for sure didn’t help the situation, so the man really needed someone to care for him... Or at least provide him with the tools that he needed to get better… He could do the rest himself.

Once Reuben opened the front door for the rugged man, the nice warmth from the heater gripped him ever so tightly, slowly loosening up his clogged sinuses and causing him to swoon a little bit from the drainage. The soft click of the door closing from behind him brought his awareness back to him and allowed him to regain his bearings. Reuben swiftly removed his coat and scarf, delicately placing it on the coat rack beside the rugged man and he held out his hand after, expectantly, waiting for Draco to hand him his damp coat and hat.

“Well…?” Reuben asked in question, patience wearing very thin from how much time he was wasting. Draco followed Reuben’s glare straight down to his damp coat and shrugged the guy off, dismissively, wondering over to the large mirror in front of them.

“I’ll be keepi’g this on, thagks…” He snuffled thickly, bringing up a bandaged knuckle to briefly wipe underneath his glistening nose out of habit, grunting at the discomfort the rough material created.

Oh, but I strongly insist. A grave tone arose from Reuben as he swiftly removed the damp fedora off of Draco’s head and grabbed the collar of his cold, moisture-laden trench coat. Blue eyes widen from the sudden action and Draco instinctively swivels around with the kick of his heel and grabs the tender hand resting against his shoulder. “I refuse to tolerate such putrid practices in my own home. If you aren’t willing to abide by my rules, then you can freely walk right out that door.”

“What rules?! Ged you hand off of be, thad’s by goddamn rule!” He aggressively shoved the man’s hand off of his coat collar, coughing lightly over his shoulder from the sudden raising of his voice. Reuben released a long, impatient sigh, debating on whether or not he should just kick him out or give him one last chance.

“Cleanliness is my top priority, if you hadn’t noticed, and that trench-coat you’re wearing looks like it’s been through hell and back. It reeks of alcohol and mildew, so if you don’t mind… He held out his hand once again, this time with his expression saying: Hand over the trench-coat or get the hell out. If he had a flamethrower on hand, he would’ve torched the damned thing hours ago.

With a defeated grunt, Draco sluggishly removed the heavy trench-coat and roughly threw it over the man’s head out of spite. He hadn’t been in the house for 2 minutes and he already felt like he was being bossed around by a lousy housewife. Reuben twitched from underneath the trench-coat in shock, not expecting for it to be draped over his face. Almost instantly, he threw down the filthy trench-coat and dashed for the bathroom, sniveling at Draco about how careless he was being.

“Oh, my bad… I didn’t thigk you were bei’g serious!” He yelled, or at least he thought he did, to Reuben over the sound of the running faucet and splashing water.

After not receiving a response from the man, Draco approached the mirror more closely examining himself. He hadn’t looked at himself in the mirror in a good minute. He scratched the top of his head where the fedora would’ve been and grimaced at how disheveled his ponytail was. Most of his black hair was still inside of the ponytail, but a handful of strands seemed like they had been pulled or tugged out of place and were sticking up in awkward directions. He bit his tongue from the sudden sticking pain in his head as he felt the spot where the chair had hit him the night before. A violent shiver swipes over his slim, yet muscular body and he snuffles openly, watching himself in the mirror. He wished that he had his coat, seeing how after his coat was removed, the warm air felt like cold shards against his damp shirt that had been trapping moisture ever since he was out in the rain. A bandaged hand is raised to swipe upward against the underside of his nose, then side to side. He pauses, jaw absently slacking, then he aggressively wriggles and scrunches his nose around as he is aware of what’s trying to happen. A wet sounding sniffle is heard as he shreds his nose like sandpaper with the bandage, gliding the bandaged palm of his right hand upward from underneath his raw nostrils, all the way up to the bridge, desperately trying to end the relentless flow of fluids from leaking out of his nose. He peaks at himself through a cracked eyelid, noting the chapping forming on the rims and tip of his nose from the cursed bandages. Draco notices another blurred figure approaching beside him in the mirror that isn’t him and blinks away the agitated tears glossing his blue orbs.

Stop that.” Scolded Reuben, like an instructor whipping the hand of a student with a ruler, as he threw down Draco’s bandaged hand to stop him from tearing up his nose anymore than he already had. “You truly are hopeless, aren’t you? I have tissue boxes everywhere, yet you resort to your bandages. Why?” He asked, trying to hold back his aggravation from the previous incident, but still forced himself to offer the man the box of tissues. “I don’t understand you.”

“Dunno…” Draco grunted, selfishly grabbing a cluster of tissues, instantly pressing them all against the lower half of his face. He flinched from the light burn the dry tissues had against his shredded nose but honked into them regardless, feeling relieved that he could eject a little of the bothersome gunk out. His relief was short lived as the prickling in his sinuses had been rekindled with a stronger kick to it since a fraction of the gunk had been cleared out. The rugged man took a short step back from the force of the tickle, chest already inflating from a shaky inhale.

HhhH…!”

Reuben took a step back as well, but to his left so that he could be further away from the struggling man, but still within viewing distance. He watched Draco’s brows furrow from the agitating itch as he leaned back with each inhale. He knew one thing was for sure: He would be damned if he caught this man’s cold. A sharp inhale jolts Reuben out of his inner thoughts before Draco jerks forward into the wet tissues.

HIH’TSSH…! Hhuh… Hh’EGJISHH’nngh!! Hhhh—huh…?”

Reuben involuntarily flinched with each forceful, but still fairly soft sneeze; The sight of watching the man sneeze so close to him made him cringe. Even though he had covered them into the tissues, the thought of it was just unnerving. Reuben mentally scolded himself, seeing as he were a clinician and had seen way worse before. A curious brow raised from Reuben as he distantly watched the sick man struggling with what seemed to be the start of another sneeze. It was an odd thing to watch, especially seeing how Draco appeared to be literally wrestling with his nose in denial, not accepting a third sneeze to make itself present when his usual pattern was in pairs. The rugged man used his bandaged knuckle out of habit to rub underneath his raw nostrils with annoyance. If this is how his nose would betray him, then he would’ve declined the offer and stayed outside at the pub. He barely released a thick grunt before losing the struggle and being overtaken with the third forceful sneeze.

hhH’IITDJSHH’IUGHH…!!”

Reuben nearly jumped at that sneeze, being caught off guard by the loudness of it. It was the loudest sneeze he had ever heard come out of the man, and he didn’t think he were capable of producing such a monstrous sneeze. Well, he knew that he was capable, he just didn’t know if Draco would allow himself to sneeze like that in front of someone. Draco leaned up against the wooden table, feeling winded and slightly lightheaded from the rough sneeze and coughed openly onto the table and mirror. An irritable sigh is heard through gritted teeth from Reuben as he hands the man a few more tissues.

“Please do cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. You aren’t five years old.” The second part of his sentence escaped from him before he could bite it back and he sighed with a slight pang of guilt. “This way. You seem like you need to sit down.”

Draco defeatedly allowed himself to be guided by the gentleman into the living room. He had a nice house, Draco could give him that at least. Without hesitation, the man slumped down into the cotton couch, instantly noticing a small black figure approaching him from the corner of his eye.

Meowr.” The cat cautiously approached the unknown man before jumping onto the couch and releasing soft purrs as it rubbed against his torso. The black cat gently forced her furry head underneath the unknown man’s free hand and guided his hand to rub exactly where she wanted.

“You have a cat?” Questioned the man before he blew his nose into the tissues and continued to rub against the friendly animal with his free hand.

“Absinthe, down. Now.” Reuben commanded, eyeing the black cat and watching her pounce onto the floor before slowly walking over towards her owner. He rubbed underneath her ear and gave an innocent smile to the creature, causing Draco to lift an eyebrow in question through his handful of tissues. “Yes, I have a cat. Is that a problem? Are you allergic?”  

“N-no, I was just… I didn’t know that someone like you would… You know, have the time to take care of a pet.” He stammered. Reuben raised his own brow to the sudden stammering from the man. It seemed out of character for him. Before he could focus or press Draco on the matter, his attention shifted back over to his cat as he watched Absinthe back away from his master and absently glare him in the eye, head slowly raising before instantly ducking downward into six quick twitches and rapid ‘Fssh’ sounds with each of them.

“God bless you, Absinthe!” Reuben exclaimed as he gently rubbed the cats head in sympathy. Absinthe restlessly pawed at her nose, rolling on the ground for a moment before twitching into the carpet a few more times. “It must be the mildew from your clothing.” The gentleman sighed as he picked up the struggling cat and placed her into a different room. “You do need a good shower.” Draco couldn’t object to that statement. A nice hot shower sounded exactly like what he needed. “The bathroom is straight down the hall. I’ll grab you a fresh pair of clothing while you prepare for your shower.”

After Reuben had said those words, he vanished into another room, leaving Draco alone in the maze of a house. Even though Reuben had a small house, there were a lot of rooms and it seemed fairly easy to get lost if you hadn’t lived there for a while. The rugged man slowly walked down the hall, examining his surroundings and trying to get to know the owner of this house. Draco noticed a lot of fake plastic plants decorating the hallway, along with a few pictures of him and the woman hanging along the walls. He shook his head at the picture, seeing the bartender’s quirky smile in each of the photos.

Draco finally pushed open the door to the bathroom and flicked on the light, absorbing the beauty of having an actual bathroom instead of bushes or fast food restaurants. Everywhere he stepped in the house looked tidy and clean, and the bathroom appeared to be customized to the specific liking of Reuben. The rugged man raised a brow in curiosity from the sight of skin care products that lined the sink and the plush body towels that were hanging on the towel rack. He wasn’t certain if this bathroom belonged to Reuben based off of the items that were seen inside of the bathroom.

Shoving his suspicions aside, Draco eagerly removed his clothes and turned on the shower just warm enough so that the steam would fog up the mirror. He stood there, frozen for a moment. Feeling hesitant about removing the bandage from his right hand. He aggravatedly punches his hand against the wall before slowly removing the bandage, feeling weak and defeated. Why was he still thinking about what happened? It was in the past. He knew that it wasn’t his fault, so why did he still feel responsible??? Draco sighed and tossed the bandage into the small trash can beside the toilet and stepped into the shower, instantly relaxing as the warm water massaged his muscles and skin.

The steam danced around his raw nostrils, taunting him and his sinuses every time he took a breath in. He snuffled thickly, feeling his sinuses start to loosen up. He felt a little relieved as the pressure in his sinuses started to fade, but a familiar tickle was beginning to replace it as he continuously sniffled wetly into his right hand. He sluggishly grabbed onto the bolted railing, feeling his eyelids already fluttering shut and his chest spastically rising and falling. Before he could fully process the tickle, the rugged man snapped forward, deep into his hand, barely maintaining his balance in the shower.

HhUh…! Hh’EGJSSHH!! IHh’JIDZSSHH’ughh!!”

He coughed, harshly into his hand, feeling both winded and exhausted. He abruptly stopped himself from coughing any more than he had, seeing how he felt like if he did cough again, his lungs would shatter from deep inside of his body. The rugged man used his thumb and index finger to blow his nose into the palm of his wet hand, as he shivered from the discomfort of the sick leaking out of his nose. He allowed the shower water to rinse and clean off his hand, and pulled back the wet strands of hair that flung forward from his sneezes.

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Another absolutely dynamic chapter! I love Reuben and his reluctant caretaking. It’s so cute how the concern slips out and so lovely how his instincts take over even with his fear. I love how they are both softening to each other. 

And your cold descriptions are so on point and so drawn out to pull all the fetishy feelings out of us and let us indulge in the details. I feel like I’m in the room with them. 

Curious about what happened to Draco in the past. I know Reuben will make it all better though! 

I’ll be affected by the hurricane Florence so I look forward to reading your next chapter when I get back on the forum. 

 

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