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Spring Suffering (Mindhunter, for Zwee)


Chanel_no5

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***Note***

Hello there, @Zwee! Here's your part of our trade, better late than never. :P 

Some allergic Wendy Carr for you, my dear, I hope you'll enjoy. :twisted: 

***

 

Doctor Wendy Carr pinched the bridge of her nose and closed her eyes for a moment, giving herself a couple of seconds to acknowledge the prickling, twirling, watering itch that spread throughout her eyes, nose, entire sinuses.

It was early. It seemed her allergies kicked off earlier each year, and she was never quite ahead with the medication. Her partner, Annaliese, had reminded her this weekend, but Wendy had barely listened, certain it wouldn’t start for weeks yet. She’d still have plenty of time to pick up antihistamines and start the treatment.

Plenty of time, yeah, right.

Maybe spring was already in a more advanced stage in Quantico. Or maybe the plants she was allergic to grew in larger numbers here. Whatever the reason, she was already feeling completely beaten down by her own body’s helpless response to the spring pollen, and she had no wish to explain this to Bill and Holden. Least of all Holden. He could be so clueless at times – brilliant, but clueless – and besides, she didn’t feel like talking about her allergies in the first place. As far as she was concerned, they were a personal insult that she preferred to pretend did not exist.

But the irritating, sneeze-summoning itch wasn’t the only annoyance she endured this morning. She had forgotten to bring any coffee when she swept past the others with a curt nod and escaped into her own little excuse for an office, and now she was in dire need of a cup. That was, unless she wanted to fall asleep on her desk just to top an already miserable day off.

Oh for God’s sake, just stand up, go out to the coffeemaker, pour a cup, get back in here. You don’t have to socialise just because you refuel on caffeine, do you?

No, of course not. And they knew that when she worked with her door closed she meant business, a closed door was supposed to stay closed. However, today it was only closed because she didn’t want anyone to see or hear the allergic misery that was overtaking her normal cool demeanour. So far, she hadn’t sneezed since she arrived at work, but she was sniffling, blowing her nose, even clearing her throat a lot. It felt like her entire head was filled with a steady, pounding itch.

But she needed coffee.

She made a run for it, hoping the others would be too engrossed in their work to notice her, but no such luck.

“We were wondering how long you’d make it without coffee,” Bill said as she swept past. She didn’t respond, not because she actively tried to be rude, but because she was very concerned about how much of the congestion that was audible in her voice.

“Hey, Wendy,” Holden called out as he saw her, “you need to come and listen to this, I didn’t notice it at first, but…”

Wendy shook her head, feeling her nose starting to tingle even worse. It was that stinging, tell-tale sensation that heralded a sneeze, or, when she was allergic, a whole fit of them. Relentless flames of irritation shot through her sinuses, made her eyes water and her nose run, and the slightest aggravation, even simple breathing, could set her off right now.

Holden didn’t even notice anything was off, he kept talking as he followed her into the small kitchenette. He even took a cup out of the cupboard for her before he noticed that Wendy had stopped, turned away from him, and had raised her hands up to her face.

“Um… what’s the matter?” he asked, just as Wendy could no longer keep the teasing, tickling torture at bay. She leaned into her cupped hands and sneezed, still doing everything within her power to keep the sneezes as restrained as possible. They came out in ineffective, soft stifles, deeply congested and so, so itchy.

“NNKTh! NKKTh! NktSH!”

Her breath hitched several times, and she fought valiantly against another onslaught, but lost again. This time she was unable to fully stifle the sneezes, no matter how hard she tried.

“Hihh… hih-NTssch! TSCHh! HnkTSSh! Hahh… ahhh-ikTSHuh!”

That seemed to be the end of the fit – of this fit at least, she thought miserably – but she kept her hands cupped in front of her face for a few more seconds to be absolutely sure.

While the immediate urge to sneeze was quelled, there was still a tickle in the far back of her nose, a tickle that wouldn’t go away until the trees and flowers were done with their courting for the year.

“Uh, bless you?” Holden said, still holding the cup. “Are you alright?”

“Fine. It’s just allergies,” she groaned, and to her dismay she could hear that her normally deep voice was even deeper, saturated as it was with raw, allergic congestion. She expected Holden to deliver some awkward comment and steeled herself for it. She didn’t want to snap at him, but she was not in the mood to deal with his sometimes clumsy attempt at… whatever it was, not quite flirting.

But Holden only said:

“Yeah, Debbie has them pretty bad this spring too. It’s a bad year. I get it too sometimes, but in the fall.”

Wendy nodded and took a couple of napkins from the counter.

“Do you mind, Holden?” she asked. He gave her a confused look. “Not looking at me, I mean?”

“Oh. Sorry,” he said, although he wasn’t quite sure what she found so embarrassing about either sneezing or blowing her nose. Debbie had no qualms about it whatsoever. But Dr Carr was more reserved by nature, he reminded himself, and respectfully turned away. His eyes fell on the coffeemaker, so he decided to make use of the cup he had already taken out, and poured it full.

“Sugar, cream?” he asked while Wendy tried to blow her nose as quietly as possible.

“You still don’t remember I take my coffee black?” she said sceptically, folding the napkins over and gave her poor, rosy-tinged nose another light blow.

Holden smiled. He knew perfectly well how she took her coffee, he only wanted to say something so not the only sound breaking the silence was her blowing her nose.

“Guess it slipped my mind,” he said and waited until he heard her toss the used napkins into the trashcan and then wash her hands, before turning back around. He wasn’t quite able to hide his shock at the sight of her face, however. She looked awful. Eyes watery and rimmed with red, makeup slightly smudged, her nose an inflamed pinkish red, and her nostrils twitched as if she still felt that tickle that had thrown her headfirst into the sneezing fit.

“I’m aware how I look, no need to tell me,” Wendy cut him off before he could even start to form words. “And I don’t need any sympathy either.”

“What about the coffee?” he asked, holding out the steaming cup. Wendy paused for a moment, caught a bit off guard. Then she allowed a tiny smile slip past her stoically suffering expression.

“I could use that, though,” she said and accepted the cup. “Thanks, Holden.”

He returned the smile. Then he remembered why he had been chasing after her in the first place.

“Oh, right! Could you come and take a listen to this recording from our interview with that serial strangler in Alabama?”

Wendy considered brushing him off and retreat to her blessed solitude, but that wasn’t fair. Also, if she bothered showing up for work, she should be able to actually do some work too.

“Sure,” she said with a watery sigh. “Let me go get my tissues first.”

Holden nodded and hurried back to his desk. Wendy took a sip of the hot beverage, hoping it would calm down the raging itch in the back of her throat, if only a little. It seemed to help, but she had learned long ago not to trust her own body during allergy season.

A sharp prickle in her nose confirmed that lesson. She barely had time to put the cup down so she wouldn’t spill the coffee all over herself, and then get her arm about half-way up to her face before another attack struck her, far less controlled this time.

“HihTSSHoo! Hahh-aISSCHoo! HEESCHEW!” She sniffed, and then her head bobbed forward with a final, wet, desperate-sounding “HiiESSSHHeew!”

“Bless you!” Holden and Bill called out in chorus from the other room.

Wendy sighed. She was definitely going to have to pay a visit to the drugstore after work today. This was just getting worse and worse.

She took her cup, let out another weary, congested sigh, and went to get her tissues… and then to do her job.

 

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WOW. Wow... I don't think I realized just how much I wanted a Mindhunter fic until I saw the notification that it was for me and my heart started racing! Get ready for me to quote basically the entire thing.

I LOVE how quickly Wendy's  hopes of being discreet are dashed--SO realistic seeing as they're all criminal profilers and it's their job to notice everything! 

On 9/8/2018 at 12:57 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

Oh for God’s sake, just stand up, go out to the coffeemaker, pour a cup, get back in here. You don’t have to socialise just because you refuel on caffeine, do you?

This is both incredibly relatable (who wants to socialise before they've had morning coffee??) and incredibly Wendy. She's so reluctant to leave her office, and of course her fears are realized as soon as she opens the door. And I love the way you've written Holden, following her around like a puppy and just generally being too earnest and irritating before he gets the picture about why she's acting the way she is.

On 9/8/2018 at 12:57 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

Holden smiled. He knew perfectly well how she took her coffee, he only wanted to say something so not the only sound breaking the silence was her blowing her nose.

Of course Wendy takes her coffee black. And of course Holden knows she takes her coffee black. He's just figured out she's uncomfortable showing weakness. You have such a talent at understanding both their characters (TBH every characterization of yours I've ever read and been familiar with is spot on) and at being able to communicate them in such a limited space!

On 9/8/2018 at 12:57 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

“I’m aware how I look, no need to tell me,” Wendy cut him off before he could even start to form words. “And I don’t need any sympathy either.”

This is just so incredibly Wendy, also. She doesn't want sympathy, she just wants coffee and to be left alone.

And last but not least:

On 9/8/2018 at 12:57 PM, Chanel_no5 said:

“Bless you!” Holden and Bill called out in chorus from the other room.

It's just so cute the way they both call out blessings, I can just hear it. And I love picturing her reaction to their blessings. I can't stop smiling.

I love the spellings you've chosen for Wendy. They fit her really nicely, and it didn't escape my notice that they seemed to get a bit more desperate and unrestrained as time went on. Lovely.

(also spring and fall allergies suit Debbie and Holden, respectively)

I thoroughly enjoyed this, Chanel! It was everything I needed and more. Thank you so much!!

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What? I was so sure I had replied to your comment, but apparently I just wrote it and then it never sent. :huh:  Well, let's try again and se if it sends this time..

 

On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 4:27 AM, Zwee said:

WOW. Wow... I don't think I realized just how much I wanted a Mindhunter fic until I saw the notification that it was for me and my heart started racing!

I am SO HAPPY you enjoyed it, and don't hesitate to approach me if you want to do another trade. ^_^ 

On ‎9‎/‎10‎/‎2018 at 4:27 AM, Zwee said:

You have such a talent at understanding both their characters (TBH every characterization of yours I've ever read and been familiar with is spot on) and at being able to communicate them in such a limited space!

Thank you!! I'm so relieved that you think so, because getting them in character is always the thing I'm most insecure about when it comes to fanfiction. :lol: I keep second guessing myself if they would REALLY act this way or that... :lol: And it's difficult when the characters aren't super fleshed out either, so you kind of have to build them yourself more based on how the actor carries the role, rather than what the show actually gives you on the character script-wise.  

So... yeah, I'm really, really happy (and relieved!) that you enjoyed this! ^_^ 

 

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On ‎9‎/‎18‎/‎2018 at 11:17 PM, wmb19 said:

Ugh this is great! I love that she's so embarrassed by it too! 😍

Thank you so much! ^_^ I'm glad you enjoyed it!! :D 

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