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Certain Human Woes (Westworld)


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I was looking through my documents for a metaphor I remembered writing a while ago and wanted to use in my NaNoWriMo story. Came across this, NOT very fetish-heavy, fetish fic I wrote for myself and had forgotten all about. Thought maybe there's someone who'd get some enjoyment out of it, so here it is.

Hope you'll like!





Her nose is so red it almost matches her evening gown, and he’s pretty sure the blush on her cheeks doesn’t come from a cosmetic case but from a fever. Poor Theresa. She has fought this cold all week, and it keeps defeating her. This dinner with the board and other dignitaries is the last thing she wants to attend right now.

Bernard thinks she would much rather spend this evening in bed, wearing her PJs instead of vintage Valentino, sipping some steaming tea instead of Cristal champagne, and reading one of those smutty romance novels that she thinks he doesn’t know she reads because she puts the book jacket of a crime thriller or classic drama over it.

He once asked her why she’d still read actual books, when the entire world’s collection of literature was available on a reading tablet, or even recorded in sound files, and she had just looked at him for a long, long time before saying you do realise that all it takes is one massive power blackout, and we have nothing left? I don’t care if it’s light-hearted entertainment or profound gems of wisdom, I want physical proof that storytelling exists.

He didn’t know how much proof there was to it, but things had certainly become physical later that evening.

“Something amusing you?” she asks, voice thick with congestion.


“You were smiling.”

“I was? I must have been thinking about how beautiful you are in that dress.”

“Nice try, Bernard.”

He’s not exactly lying. She is very beautiful in that dress. But to him, she’s just as beautiful in her ridiculous ladybug-patterned sick day PJs.

“I know how awful I look,” she continues and brings one hand up to that handsome but painfully inflamed nose to give it a swift rub. He can tell from the way her eyebrows knit together and her eyes begin to close, that it wasn’t a good idea. A couple of seconds’ worth of tickly anticipation later, she proves his point.


She bends forward with the scraping, exhausted sneezes, and they’re so violent she must take a side step to avoid losing her balance. Still, she sways a little on those high heels, and he puts an arm around her waist to steady her. He can feel how hot she is through the delicate fabric of the dress. That’s not a low-grade fever she has. Maybe it was earlier in the day, but she’s sicker now, and the fact that the gallons of cold meds she has chugged down over the course of the afternoon doesn’t seem to help even a bit, has him more concerned.

But what can he say?

He says the only thing he can get away with.

“Bless you.”

She looks at him with glassy blue eyes and manages a pale smile.

“Thank you.”

She then visibly pulls herself together, squaring her shoulders and raising her head, but he can’t disregard the fever burning her up. Theresa demands the very best of everyone, but she demands twice that of herself, and she gets furious when she can’t live up to the impossible standards she sets. Bernard is a little worried that she’s going to push herself so far this horrible cold will sprout into pneumonia, or at the very least bronchitis and a sinus infection. There are cures readily available, yes, but that doesn’t help if she won’t admit to needing them.

“Tess, would you do a couple of things for me?” he asks.

“Can it wait until I get back from the dinner?” she asks, rubbing her nose again, then winces as she sees the trail of moisture left on her hand. “Lovely,” she mutters.

“No. I'd like you to call in sick and go to bed instead."

“You’re fucking kidding, right?” she asks, and starts to cough. It's a thick, deep, unpleasant cough that he very much doubts will be appreciated by Hale's associates.

“I’m as serious as that cough,” he replies. “First off, I know you feel lousy. Second, I know you don’t want to be social tonight, and sit among all those people trying to hide that cold. And third, I know you’d much rather be in bed with one of those smutty novels.”


“I see you’ve been spying on me,” she says, but the corner of her mouth twitches as a smile tries to take over. “You’re right. I would much rather be in bed with my guilty pleasure reading. But Hale was very clear. No exceptions and no excuses.”

“Is she that eager to catch your cold?”

Theresa huffs.

“I wouldn’t put it past her. But I think it’s probably more a matter of humiliation.”

“And… you’re just going to take it?”

“Bernie, she’s the executive director. If she tells you to jump, you’d better ask how high. I’ve worked for her before, I know what she’s like. Trust me, it’s best to just do what she says. She gets bored soon enough. And if she thinks I’m embarrassed about this, well…” she shrugs. “I’m not. I fucking hate being sick, but it’s not like I can help it. If Hale gets a kick out of thinking I’m sitting there feeling humiliated, then good. Means she’ll move on to fucking with someone else sooner.”

He knows Theresa well enough to know that's the final word on the matter. There’s no way to get between her and that determination, so he lets it slide, but grudgingly, as he doesn’t want to see her being toyed with at all, and least of all when she’s sick and defenceless. Although, in Theresa’s case, ‘defenceless’ is probably an overstatement.

“I don’t like it,” he says. That in turn is an understatement; despite knowing that she’s perfectly capable of defending herself if necessary, while knowing he’s not exactly the superhero type, part of him still yearns to be her knight in shining armour.

“You don’t have to like it,” she replies, and her voice is hoarse but calm. “You just have to roll with it.” She notices his lowkey frustrated expression and pats his bearded cheek lightly. “But your concern has been noted and appreciated.” She gives him a brief, sweet kiss. “Don’t worry, Bernie. You’re still my knight in shining tinfoil.”

“I didn’t even get to have real armour, huh?”

There is a flash in her blue eyes, far from as feeble as the rest of her looks.

“Tinfoil is easier to remove.”

He chuckles, then returns to the more important topic.

“So, to conclude, Hale thinks she’s toying with you, when in reality, you’re actually on top of the situation?”

Theresa clicks her tongue.

“I’ll be on top of more than that once I get back here.”

“Don’t brag.”

“I’m not bragging.”

“Oh, then what are you doing?”

“Making promises.”

“Sounds more like threats.”

“If you will.”

He places a kiss on her forehead, and when he looks her in the eye afterwards, the playfulness has vanished.

“I think that’s a promise you’re going to have to break, though. But I promise to keep the bed warm and to have some tea ready by the time you get back.”

“You’re trying to spoil me, aren’t you?”

“Is it working?”

“Better than I care to admit."

She turns to leave, and he can tell just from the way her shoulders tremble that she’s about to sneeze again. It’s in fact a rather aesthetically pleasing movement. He wonders if he can replicate it in a host.

HuhAARRSHHoo! Ugh, fuck this cold!”

Or maybe certain human woes weren't meant to be turned into art. 




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Can't quite believe that I still haven't got around to watching Westworld (I know, shoot me now!) However, I enjoyed this regardless - especially when she sneezes so hard that she almost loses her balance :lol: 

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9 hours ago, NoV said:

Can't quite believe that I still haven't got around to watching Westworld (I know, shoot me now!) However, I enjoyed this regardless - especially when she sneezes so hard that she almost loses her balance :lol: 

Maybe a case for the holidays this year, then? :P  I'm glad you enjoyed it anyway, thank you! :D

Oh, I simply can't picture her not being a loud, violent sneezer. To begin with, I toyed with the thought of her being a stifler, since she's so in control, but... that just doesn't fit. :lol: If I've ever seen a character that fits the "angry sneezer"-trope, she's the one. ^^


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