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Achwooniverse Masterthread


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Merry! Fucking! Christmas! Every! Body!!! I am beyond excited to finally get to show y’all this super niche self-indulgent lesbian werewolf powersneeze fic that i’ve been sitting on since LAST FEBRUARY. 

i feel like it is finally christmassy enough to release it into the internet for holiday viewing bc it’s also: set during juuust about christmas time. 

please do expect these two characters to pop up again, this started as a one-off fic and then the characters took on a life of their own. i'm already working on a new fic with them in it, and i have a-many more planned for the future. for the sake of organization and simplicity i plan to contain all future fics in this universe to this thread.

don't mind the title, i am a supermeme and i cannot be contained. if i was forced to name a fic seriously i think i'd spontaneously turn to ash and blow away on the wind.

--

Merr Chrimmis Pt. I

Snow glistened across Brookvale’s sprawling local christmas tree farm. It was just evening, the sun was mostly below the horizon with the short days of winter. Catelyn’s breath puffed hot against the chill December air that pricked her cheeks and made them pink. She shoved her hands farther into her quilted carhart bomber jacket and scanned the parking lot for Nina’s car again. She was just thinking her friend should be arriving any minute when she saw her black Nissan Versa pull into the drive. She hadn’t been waiting long, but she had no patience for boredom. She crunched over to Nina’s car while her friend parked, her headlights winking out as she shut the power. 

Nina got out of the car, strawberry blonde hair cascading over her face as she stepped into the mildly slushy lot. She was holding a steaming hot coffee beverage in a red and green to-go cup.

“Hey! How was the drive?” Catelyn said, hugging her in greeting. She smelled like linen and whatever air freshener was hanging from her rearview mirror. Warm vanilla?

“Not bad,” Nina replied, giving her a good squeeze before pulling away. “I stopped by a Saint Arbucks on the way here, sorry if I’m a little late.”

“Nah, it’s fine,” Catelyn said, sticking her hands back into her pockets as they walked into the farm proper. “Thanks for coming out. It’s no fun picking out a Christmas tree by yourself.”

“Yeah! I’m kind of excited actually, I’ve never picked a tree out like this before.” she said. 

“Really?” Catelyn asked. Picking out trees had been an annual tradition for her, for as long as she could remember. The crunchy snow, the enveloping scent of pine, the tinny yet cheerful ambiance of Christmas tunes piped in over intermittent speakers posted up around the field. She could barely imagine a December without it.

“Yeah, we always had artificial trees growing up, and I just kind of followed suit as an adult. I guess I didn’t think I’d know what to look for!” Nina laughed. Her smile was radiant.

“Well, I can show you,” Catelyn responded, stepping closer to her so that she could point better.

“You see that right there?” she said, pointing to a tall tree with long branches. Nina nodded.

“You really don’t want one like that. The branches are all spaced out, and they’re too far apart to hang decorations on. It’ll look like it has holes in it,” she explained. 

“That makes sense. What about one like that?” Nina asked, pointing to a short, bushy looking fir.

They walked the paths of the little farm like this for a some time, taking turns discussing the pros or cons of various trees, walking close for warmth and ease of eyeline. 

After a while Catelyn began to notice her companion kept pausing to scrub her nose against the back side of her wrist.

“You alright?” she asked.

“Hm? Oh, yeah, it’s just a little cold out, I guess my nose is running.” Nina replied. She sniffled and repeated the gesture.

“Oh, alright. I’m glad you’re not coming down with something. Getting a cold for Christmas would be miserable,” Catelyn said. Nina laughed.

“God, yeah. That would suck,” she said. 

“It’s funny, I actually told my boss I was sick today so that I wouldn’t have to come in. I hope Santa doesn’t put me on the naughty list,” Catelyn said, snickering at her own joke, “It’s just the last nice day out this week, and all the good trees would be gone by the time it clears up again.”

Nina was in the middle of scrubbing her nose aggressively, but she nodded. 

“You sure you’re not getting sick?” Catelyn asked. 

“Yeah, I’m sure. I think I might just be a little bit-” Nina managed to get out before Catelyn cut her off. 

“Oh shit, oh shit, I think that’s my coworker,” she said, looking ahead at a group of people checking out trees further down the lot. She grabbed Nina by the arm and ducked off to the side of the path. “Fuck, if he sees me here I know he’ll get me in trouble with my boss, he’s such a rat.”

“Maybe he’ll understand if you explain? It’s Christmas after all.” Nina said. Catelyn snorted under her breath. 

“You do not know Brad. Any human with a heart, maybe, but Brad doesn’t have one of those. The space where he should have one is filled with a copy of the employee handbook and a stick that has abdicated his ass.” Catelyn peeked out into the walkway again. “Shit, he’s coming this way. Hide, hide!” she whispered urgently, ushering Nina behind a particularly large spruce tree in a corner and hurrying into the space after her.

“I don’t think this is a very good idea,” Nina said, but Catelyn wasn’t having it.

“It’ll be okay, just shh so he doesn’t hear us.” she said.

Through the thick branches of the pine tree, Catelyn could see her obnoxious co-worker stopped in the walkway, yaking it up with one of the employees, doing that obnoxious fake laugh, probably telling some obnoxious story about himself. 

Beside her, she heard a small, soft, “fuck…” and turned to look. Nina was scrubbing vigorously beneath her nose and sniffling frantically. 

“You okay?” Catelyn asked. Nina held the back of her gloved hand against her nostrils and nodded.

“Fine, I just feel like I have t- hheh- have to sneeze,” she said, before rubbing her nose needily against her glove. 

Catelyn’s expression dropped. Her face paled.

Due to a confluence of events in her early teens involving some travel abroad, mysterious animal attacks, and a serious case of bad timing, Nina was, to borrow a phrase, not like other girls. Among other things, she had an uncommonly strong lung capacity. Like big bad wolf strong.

“Oh, no,” Catelyn said, “You can’t, not here.”

Nina nodded again, working the motion into her desperate attempts to relieve her nose from itching.

“I think… I’m allergic to Christmas trees…” she said between aggressive nuzzles.

Fuck.” Catelyn swore under her breath, “fuck! Can you hang on? At least until we can get you out into the parking lot.”

“Tr- hheh- t- hh- trying– hhih!”  Nina stammered out. She had stopped in her fruitless attempts to abate the itch by rubbing at it and had resorted to holding the back of her hand beneath her nose, against her upper lip. 

She looked like she was about to crumble. Her nose was twitching and completely pink from aggravation, her eyebrows were canted up in desperation, and her breaths were stuttering towards the point of no return. She shook her head.

No good. hHHeh- have tosneeze- hh- h-heHH!” she gasped, eyes squinching closed.

Catelyn cussed beneath her breath once more and, in a snap decision, reached up to hold her friend’s nose shut. Nina’s hot breath gasped against her wrist, and her nostrils quivered beneath her fingers. Her eyes shot open in surprise, and for a second, Catelyn thought that maybe the maneuver was going to work, but her friend shook her head and gently pushed her hand away.

hH- HHEH-” 

“Oh please no,” Catelyn pleaded, more to her life itself than anything. Nina was obviously helpless to stop it. She drew one final, deep breath before it was all over. 

Still gripping Catelyn’s wrist, she lurched into a massive, “HHEH-ISSHOOO!!” that blasted several branches of their hiding place free of needles. But she wasn’t done.

hehh… hah… hEHH- HISSSHOOO! ohno-” she sneezed ferociously, grip vicelike on Catelyn’s wrist, presumably to keep from falling down. More branches were lain bare. The sneezes were only becoming more powerful, and judging by her exclamation the next one was going to be even worse. She gasped, frowning deeply and pressing the back of her free hand against her nose in an attempt to regain control, but to no avail.

 “heH-HHEH-HHAH… HAH-ISSCHHOOO!!! hH! ISSSH-HUEW!! HAEISSCHUEE!!!” she sneezed, wrenching forward with each one until she was nearly bent in half. 

The tree never stood a chance. Over half of its branches were stripped of needles, and the whole scene was drawing some very unwanted attention from the christmas tree shop staff.  Catelyn watched as The Bradhole was elbowed out of the way and fell deep into a snowbank, and she took it as an opportunity to leave. Wrapping an arm around Nina, she guided her hurriedly past some very flustered and angry looking christmas tree employees, towards the parking lot.

“Sorry! Sorry, just some allergies,” she called out as they made their way out of the establishment. Nina allowed herself to be guided more or less blindly wherever Catelyn wanted. Her eyes were mostly closed, and her breath was beginning to catch again. 

One particularly angry looking sales person approached them. He opened his mouth to speak but Catelyn cut him off.

“What you’ve never seen someone sneeze before? Give her some space.” she said.

“You are going to have to pay for that!” he sputtered as they attempted to retreat. 

“Are you kidding? Half the branches are missing, I don’t want that one.” Catelyn yelled back. While the man stood there in shock she guided her friend the rest of the way to the parking lot.

“Get back here!” he demanded from behind them.

“Fuck you!” she shouted back, just as as Nina sneezed again, “HHEH-ISSCHUE!!” -blowing a sizeable volume of snow and slush onto one of the cars in the parkinglot. Her grip tightened on Catelyn’s coat as she steadied herself.

Catelyn trudged through the slushy parking lot, supporting her friend with gentle care until they made it to her Jeep. She opened the passenger door, and helped Nina up into the truck. 

“There’s tissues in the center console,” Catelyn said, and then shut the door and rushed around to the driver’s side. Glancing over her shoulder, she could see the angry sales person going back into the tree farm’s gift shop, presumably to relay the situation to his manager. 

She yanked open the driver’s side door and hopped in. Nina was blowing her nose daintily in the passenger’s seat as though she hadn’t just caused significant damage to an entire pine tree just by sneezing at it.

Catelyn started the car, and she rolled the windows down as she pulled out into the road. The air was cold, but crisp and clean as it whispered through the car. They drove for a while in near silence, with the only sound between them being Nina’s damp sniffles and rustle of tissues being drawn.

“How’re you feeling?” Catelyn asked after a time. Nina was sniffling into her fourth or fifth kleenex.

“Congested,” she responded, “and itchy. Tired.” She sounded pretty wrecked. Catelyn felt bad about it, but didn’t really know what to say.

“If you need to sneeze again, I’ve got the windows open for you,” she said. Nina nodded in response.

“I’m really sorry about all of that, I had no idea I was so allergic to pine trees,” she said.

“Shit, me too. I wouldn’t have asked you to put yourself through that,” Catelyn said. 

“Do you think they’re gonna call the cops on us?” Nina asked. Catelyn laughed and shook her head.

“What are they gonna say? Hello, officer, some lady sneezed my tree down?” she said. Nina laughed at this, too. 

“Yeah, you’re right. No one would believe them.” she said.

“Exactly,” Catelyn replied. 

Nina gasped.

“Oh- hheh- oh i hah-hh! i have hh-” 

“Window!” Catelyn commanded, swerving a little in surprise and alarm. 

Nina grasped blindly for the windowframe, and pulled herself up to it just in time to-

hEHISHHOO!!”  into the wind passing outside the vehicle. The sound was distorted and muffled as it was carried away. She dropped limply back into the seat and brought her wad of tissues back to her nose.

“Ugh,” she groaned. 

“Bless you,” Catelyn said. 

“Thanks,” Nina responded. She massaged her nose with the tissues for a little while before lowering her hand back to her lap and sagging down against the seat. “Hey, what about my car? We left it at the tree shop,” she asked.

“I’ll have my brother take care of it, just leave me your keys after I drop you home.” Catelyn responded.

“Thanks,” Nina said. She sniffled so hard that her shoulders hunched up, but it didn’t sound like it did much good. “My nose feels so closed right now,” she complained.

“I was hoping the fresh air would do something for you,” Catelyn said.

“It’s helping a little,” Nina conceeded. 

⚜⚜⚜

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I thought this was a lovely story, I quite enjoyed it.  And 'megathread' gives me a lot of hope for more~ haha.  Werewolf, huh? I wonder if we get to find out how that happened.

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This was... wonderful. Obviously I am always a sucker for giant!sneeze but it is rarely as well written and, in a weird way, realistic as this. Also I LOVE the whole werewolf/big bad wolf/giant sneeze connection so I’m really looking forward to more adventures with these characters. Thanks for writing this!

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On 12/7/2019 at 3:10 AM, NickG1998 said:

I love this story keep up the great work 

On 12/7/2019 at 4:10 AM, Usagi said:

Nice one i like this! : 3 

thank you guys so much!! 

 

On 12/8/2019 at 8:42 AM, Curiosity234 said:

I thought this was a lovely story, I quite enjoyed it.  And 'megathread' gives me a lot of hope for more~ haha.  Werewolf, huh? I wonder if we get to find out how that happened.

yes! if all goes according to planned there is plenty more to come :D
i don't think i plan to touch on exactly what happened to nina to become a werewolf in-series, but i can just tell you in this thread as a fun bit of trivia. when she and catelyn were teens in school together they went on a class trip to europe, during the course of which nina was unlucky enough to get caught up in one of a spree of werewolf attacks ravaging the area at the time. wrong time/wrong place kind of situation. she barely survived, and had to spend a long time in recovery, and then after that she wound up having to go through learning how to be a werewolf on top of learning how to be a teenager and young adult-- it was a really trying time for her! through it all catelyn really supported her and cared for her, helping her through recovery and barely leaving her side at times. it's canon that they've been best friends since they were really young kids! and this i think more than anything really helped solidify that friendship and bond for life bc of that sheer level of trust and vulnerability inherent to what was all going on then. :3

 

On 12/8/2019 at 7:19 PM, Mr. Black Cherry Berry Tea said:

This was... wonderful. Obviously I am always a sucker for giant!sneeze but it is rarely as well written and, in a weird way, realistic as this. Also I LOVE the whole werewolf/big bad wolf/giant sneeze connection so I’m really looking forward to more adventures with these characters. Thanks for writing this!

thank you thank you thank you so much!! that means a ton to me coming from such a bigsneeze connoisseur such as yourself haha
i'm really glad you liked it!! ❤️

 

 here's part two! it’s a little shorter than part one and focuses mainly on nina this time.

--

 

Achwooniverse – Merr Chrimis Pt. II

 

“You should probably take a shower when you get in. Get all the pine smell off of you.” Catelyn said.

“Yeah, a hot shower sounds really nice about now,” Nina responded. She gave another fruitless sniffle. “The steam will probably help with this too,” she added, gesturing towards her nose.

“Yeah, probably. Steam is good for that. Whenever I have a cold, the shower is the only place I can breathe usually,” Catelyn said. Nina laughed.

“Yeah, me too.” she said.

The jeep pulled up to Nina’s house about 10 minutes later.

“Alright, you gonna be okay?” Catelyn asked, idling at the curb at the end of Nina’s driveway.

“Yeah, I’m good now. I’m just a bit stuffy. I’m gonna go get myself into a nice hot shower like you suggested, that sounds really good.” she said, unbuckling her seatbelt and sniffling uselessly. She squeezed and dabbed at her nose with her tissues as she hopped out and headed towards her door. Catelyn waited for her to get inside before she drove away.

Nina was pretty chilled from standing out in the cold for so long looking at trees, and while the fresh air during the drive home had helped her nose a little, it hadn’t done much to warm her up either. She hung her coat on the hook by her door and shivered, hugging her arms close to herself as she made her way directly to her shower. 

Her bathroom was small, but well organized, and comfortable. She had a pothos growing in a wall-hanging planter across from the sink, and her countertops were neat and clean. 

She closed the door, even though she lived alone. The shower faucet squeaked quietly as she turned the water on, and she began stripping out of her clothes while she waited for it to get hot. She didn’t have to wait long.

When steam began to billow out from behind the shower doors, she stepped beneath the running water. It was extremely warm and extremely comforting. Nina stood there just relishing in the heat for a few minutes, letting the stream run over her chest, and her shoulders, and her back. The steam was slowly beginning to work its magic, and she could almost breathe a tiny bit through her nose again. She tilted her head back and let the hot water soak her hair, and drum soothingly against her scalp, sighing contentedly. 

Something in the combination of the steam loosening her congestion, and the slow tilt of her head, and the gentle force of her sighing caused something in her sinuses to shift palpably. Together with the already light tickling of errant water droplets against the tip of her nose, the shifting sensation resulted in a sudden, insistent urge to sneeze. 

Here in the safety of her own shower, she didn’t have to worry about the consequences, and she gave into it fully as her breath fluttered and caught with the oncoming sneeze. 

ehh… huhh…. hh-hheh…. hh…” 

she rubbed her fingertips lightly against the tip of her nose to help it along, and her breath snagged instantly.

hhH! HUH-ESCHOO!! hhh? hheh-ISSHOO!!” she sneezed with abandon. Some of the shower water splashed out onto the floor of her bathroom, but she didn’t care. 

Of course, now her nose was running. She sniffled against it, and pinched at it, but her nose was already so sensitive that the trickle just made her have to… have to…

hEH-ISSCHUE!!” she sneezed again, and it scraped out of her, with another one close on its heels. “hh-hahh… hISCHOO!! eh-HITCHOO!!!

She rubbed the back of her hand beneath her nose, itching at it. It was enough to quell the sensation for the time being. 

She decided she’d spent enough time just standing around, and she soaped up and shampooed her hair. She got lost in her thoughts while she rinsed the lather from herself under the comforting and warm shower stream, and then moved on to her facewash. 

The grapefruit cleansing scrub felt luxurious against her skin as she massaged it all over her face, and even though the foam tickled her nose just a little bit she was able to ignore it. She turned and shut her eyes, drawing a deep breath before plunging her face directly into the stream of water to rinse. She stayed there for several seconds, holding her breath and relaxing into the feeling of warm water rinsing the soap away from her skin, until the persistent pattering of the water against the bridge of her nose proved too ticklish to bear. She pulled out of the stream quickly, nose crinkling against the unwelcome sensation, and drew a deep gasp.

hhHHHH! HHEH-ITSCHUUE!!” she sneezed. She paused, still bent at the waist, and wiggled her nose, trying to sense if she needed to sneeze again or if her nose was just still feeling really sensitive. She judged that she’d be fine for now. She straightened up and shut the water, rubbing her nose absently against her knuckles before sliding open the shower door and grabbing a towel from the wall-hanging cubby above the toilet. 

Along with much of the bathroom floor, her bathmat was soaked with water. She frowned when she stepped out onto it and it made an unpleasant marshy sound. She picked up the mat and hung it over the shower bar to dry, clutching her towel to her chest. 

She probably couldn’t do anything else about the sodden mat right now, but she thought she should at least dry rest of the floor before going to bed. She glanced between the towels left safe and dry in her towel cubby and the puddles of water on her floor, and her frown deepened. She really didn’t feel like soaking up water on her hands and knees at the moment. She was too tired, and it would just go through too many towels, which would only mean more laundry later in the week. Bleh.

She stood there staring blankly at some point between herself and the flood while she decided what to do about it, and finally came to a decision that would be far easier and quicker. Setting her towel down, she reached across the sink and opened her medicine chest, selecting a medium sized round-tipped make-up brush from the shelf. She closed the cabinet door. Usually the brush was used for applying eyeshadow to her lids for that perfect put-together look, but presently she brushed the soft tip of it along the bridge of her nose. 

It tickled. She sniffed and continued, brushing in smooth circles, slowly around both nostrils. The brush smelled lightly of powder, and the bristles ghosted against her skin in a teasing dance. Her nostrils flared, and twitched, allowing the brush to just barely caress the inside of her septum, sending a jolt of need all through her nose. 

hh… hheh… ugh, come on,” she muttered to herself as the feeling faded. She swirled the make-up brush lightly against her nose’s sensitive tip and focused on the sensation. Her eyelids fluttered slowly closed. Her mouth dropped softly open in anticipation. One deft twirl of the brush against the side of her septum, right close to the tip of her nose was finally enough to set her off.

hhHHH! hhEH-IESSCHOO! hH… hhih- HISCHHUUE! ISSHOO!!” she sneezed monstrously, holding onto the sink for balance and intentionally angling the blast downwards each time. She rose and ran the back of her hand blearily under her nose, sniffling and blinking. 

Her plan had mostly worked. Much of the floor was, if not completely dry, at least just damp. Compared to minutes previously, a huge improvement. Nina wrapped her towel back around herself and headed to her bedroom for some well-needed relaxation time after all the evening’s exertion. She entirely meant to spend a few minutes on her phone looking at Christmas cookies and make-up palettes on Pinterest before going to sleep, but as soon as she sank into the cool comfort of her pillows and blankets, she was out like a light, and snoring softly.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

i'm back y'all! excited as fuck to present to you the first installment of the actual Achwooniverse Saga! 

Part One is lots of set-up, and contains some hurt/care, some cold-catching, and a little sneezing. (there is lots more in pt. ii, but it would have been sooooo long if i posted it all at once!) I hope y'all like it! 

 

--

Achwooniverse Saga Pt. I - Ill Luck

The crowded bar was lit only by the dim golden glow put out by a tasteful smattering of grimy incandescent bulbs, and a warm buzz of semi-drunken chatter filled the air. It wasn’t the kind of establishment that Nina found herself in often, but she had to admit that she was enjoying it. Well, maybe she was actually just enjoying the company. Catelyn had insisted on bringing her here after hearing about her day, saying that The Rusty Possum was one of her favorite places to go and hang out when she was feeling lousy. 

With the day she’d had, Nina had really been feeling pretty lousy. 

Her neighbor’s dog had made a valiant escape effort from her neighbor’s car as said neighbor was attempting to get him to the vet for a check-up, so she’d spent the afternoon running around in a dreary rain, trying to help her catch him. In trying to help wrestle him back into the car, she had slipped in the wet grass, landing in a cold patch of mud that had gotten all over her new skirt. It wasn’t until the neighbor had already driven away that Nina realized she’d locked herself out of her own house. Sitting on her front stoop, soaked and shivering, she unlocked her phone only to find she’d lost 50 followers on Picstagram out of the blue. By the time Catelyn got off work and texted her back, she was just about on the verge of tears.

Still, even with all that the day had piled onto her, she was feeling kind of cheered by the bar’s charming, rustic atmosphere. Most importantly it was warm and dry, which she greatly appreciated. The cold and damp from sitting out in a bleak drizzle for most of the day still hadn’t quite left her bones.

“Thanks for taking me out tonight, I really needed a break,” she said. She was nursing her second beer of the evening. 

“Aw, it’s nothin’. You’d have done the same for me,” Catelyn responded. Ever the responsible friend, she was drinking only a soda water mocktail, but it came with a sprig of rosemary that she enjoyed holding between her teeth. She used it now to skewer a blueberry that had sunk to the bottom of her glass.

“I mean, maybe you wouldn’t have picked a place as cool as The Possum…” she teased. Nina laughed.

“No, that’s true,” she said, “This place is… grittier? Than most of my usual haunts.”

“Gritty is a good word for it,” said Catelyn.

“I like it though. I feel a little better already.” Nina continued, a relaxed smile finding its way to her face for the first time in hours. It faded nearly as soon as it appeared, however, as a shadow fell over the pair of them.

Some tall creep had decided that it was extremely important for him to hover so close over them, or more specifically over Nina, that his body blotted out a significant portion of the already meager light within the bar. His unkempt blonde hair fell about his face, obscuring his eyes in shadow. He wore a beat up leather jacket over a wrinkled t-shirt, some ripped dungarees, and a pair of dirty brown sandals, and he stank of body spray, liquor, and something almost like sour milk.

“Would you like to feel even better, acushla?” he said. His deep voice straddled the line between smoky and gravelly.

“E-excuse me?” Nina stammered, leaning away from him on her bar stool.

“What did you call her?” Catelyn demanded, nearly knocking hers over as she rose to face him. It seemed only then that he noticed her at all.

“Why don’t you mind your own business, cunt?” he spat, barely turning to face her. 

“You mind your own business and back off,” she commanded back. He completely ignored her, instead taking another step to loom closer over Nina.

“Leave me alone! Catelyn??” Nina called, nearly sliding off the back of her stool in her attempt to get away from him.

“Hey, I said back off!” Catelyn shouted, grabbing the man by the shoulder and pulling him around to face her instead. She socked him in the mouth before he could so much as redirect his attention to her, hitting him hard enough to split her own knuckles and the guy’s lip in one shot. 

It was the kind of punch that usually either took a guy like this down or pissed him off real good, and when this asshole didn’t drop right away, Catelyn steeled herself for a brawl. He touched his fingertips to the cut on his lip, assessing the damage. He let out a low, menacing chuckle. 

Then he turned around and left, sauntering towards the exit almost arrogantly. Catelyn was utterly perplexed and a little unnerved, but at least he was leaving.

“Yeah… and stay out!” she yelled after him, watching him leave. She only dropped the tough facade after he was gone.

“Motherfucker!” she hissed, curling around her wounded hand and gritting her teeth.

“Are you okay?” Nina asked, clambering down from her bar stool and going to her side.

“That guy was like punching a brick wall,” Catelyn said. She walked over to the bar to look at her wounds closer to the lamp light. The skin had split, but not badly enough to need many stitches, if any. She pressed a wad of clean napkins against the cut to try and keep from bleeding all over the bar, and asked the bartender for a bag of ice, which she pressed against the makeshift bandage.

“What a fucking creep,” she said, regaining her composure and sliding back into her seat. Nina leaned against the bar next to her, hugging one arm across her own chest. 

“I never should have gotten out of bed today,” she said, as tears welled up in her eyes.

“I’m sorry,” Catelyn said, “I didn’t expect Fucknuts McGee to show up and ruin the night.”

When Nina started softly sobbing, she looked up from her improvised first-aid tried to comfort her, wrapping an arm around her back.

“Hey, it’s okay! You’re alright, I’m alright, that fucker’s gone,” she said in the softest voice she was capable of.

“And your hand?” Nina said, mascara streaking down her cheeks.

“I’ll be okay! It’s not broken, I’m just a little cut up. Might need a stitch or two. I’ll be fine! I could probably get away with one of those butterfly bandages and some superglue.” she said. Nina didn’t seem too convinced or cheered up by this attempt at humor. Catelyn tried again, “We can still have a nice night. You wanna shoot some pool, take your mind off things?” 

Nina wiped at her eyes with a bar napkin and then blew her nose. “I just want to go home,” she pleaded. Catelyn nodded and hopped off the bar stool. 

“Okay. I’ll drive you.” she said.

 

They drove to Nina’s house in Catelyn’s sturdy old jeep, Nina’s gauzy scarf wrapped tightly around Catelyn’s knuckles to hold the wad of bar napkins in place for the fifteen minute ride over.

“I’m sorry the night ended up this way, I really wanted to lift your spirits.” Catelyn said as she drove. Nina had stopped crying, but every few minutes she still dabbed at her eyes and gave a little teary sniff.

“It’s not your fault. I’m just having a lot of bad luck today. I know it’s ridiculous, but I feel like I brought some of it down on you too.” 

“Nah, come on. You didn’t ask for that guy to come and start harassing you. Honestly, I ought to pop him again for fucking up your first impression of The Possum,” Catelyn said, cracking a smile. This finally earned a small chuckle from Nina.

“That’s so sweet,” she laughed, “Still though. At least let me help you wrap that in something a little nicer than a wad of beer-soaked napkins.”

“It’s got alcohol, it’s sanitary,” Catelyn jested.

“Please, it would make me feel better.” insisted Nina, complete with puppy-dog eyes and pouting.

Catelyn sighed as she pulled the Jeep into Nina’s driveway and up to the walkway that lead to her front door. “Alright,” she said.  

Upon entering the house, Nina ushered her into the small but cozy bathroom, and had her sit on the edge of the bathtub so that she could start tending her wounds. She first grabbed a tissue from beside the sink and blew her nose again. Then she washed and dried her hands, gathered all the necessary supplies, and sat across from Catelyn on the lid of her toilet to get started.

In the fluorescent bathroom light, some details that had escaped their attention previously were made noticeable. For example, the blood that had begun to soak through Nina’s scarf, and which had fairly saturated a spot through each of the bar napkins used to bandage the wound, was ringed with an inky blackness.

“Well that’s weird,” Catelyn said, “Maybe he had one of those inner lip tattoos or something?”

Nina shook her head, frowning in concern and confusion as she finished uncovering the wound. She threw the bloodied napkins into the bin, and just left her scarf on the bathroom floor to take care of later. 

The back of Catelyn’s hand was covered in the same dried and inky blood, and it was starting to really bruise. In fact, the area surrounding the cut, which had strangely stopped bleeding entirely despite having produced no scab of any kind, was all turning a sickly shade of green-brown-purple.

“It looks like you’ve stopped bleeding at least, which is good, but are you sure you didn’t break anything?” Nina asked, her frown deepening. 

“Yeah. Look, I can still move all my fingers,” Catelyn said, wiggling each of her fingers as if she was playing an invisible keyboard, “It barely hurts anymore, honestly. I don’t know why it looks like that.”

Nina reached for a wash cloth that she’d left on the counter by the sink, and ran it under some warm water. “I’m going to finish cleaning you up and put a bandage on this, but I want you to get it looked at by someone at the health clinic tomorrow,” she said.

“It’s probably fine,” Catelyn protested halfheartedly. She was a bit weirded out by how gruesome it looked, too, though she wasn’t the sort to go to the doctor except for emergencies. Sometimes even then she’d tough it out if she could.

“I know you said it doesn’t hurt anymore, but it looks really bad, and I’m just going to be worried about you if you don’t,” Nina said while she worked. She’d taken Catelyn’s hand gently in her own, and now she used the warm, damp cloth to wash away the blood that had dried around the wounded area, as well as to clean the wound itself.

“Alright, I’ll go, but only because you’ll worry. You’ve had a hard enough day, I wouldn’t want to add to it any.” she said.

“You promise?” Nina checked, looking up into Catelyn’s dark blue eyes.

“Yes. I’ll go to the clinic tomorrow, I promise. And I’ll let you know what they say.” Catelyn agreed, returning her gaze. 

“Okay, good. Thank you,” Nina said, only then returning her attention to her medical handiwork. Catelyn was being an exceptionally good patient, and didn’t even flinch when Nina applied a little soap. 

Nina finished patching up her hand as best she could. She rinsed the soap away, patted the area dry with a clean gauze. She applied some antibacterial ointment to an extra-large self-adhesive bandage, which she used to cover the wound, effectively protecting it from dirt and debris. She gave Catelyn’s hand a little pat when she was done. 

“Okay, all finished!” she proclaimed, then rose, and began cleaning up. She picked her scarf up off the floor and slung it over her arm to take to the laundry basket. She collected her various medical supplies. She put them back into their respective drawers and shelves. She blew her nose again and threw the tissue into the bin, sniffling a bit uselessly.

“I guess I’d better head home,” Catelyn said, standing from her spot at the tub and stretching before crossing the small space to the bathroom door.

“I’ll walk you out,” Nina said, scrubbing her nose against the back of her own wrist and blinking wearily. 

“Thank you for, you know,” Catelyn said, gesturing at her newly-tended hand as Nina escorted her to the front door. She added on, “and for caring so much. You know. I appreciate it.”

“Of course!” Nina said in response, “I just want to make sure you’re okay. You’ll call me, right?”

“Yeah, I’ll call you tomorrow. Get some sleep, okay? You look exhausted.” Catelyn said. Nina nodded and gave her a parting hug. 

“I will,” she said, pulling away. “Text me when you get home.”

“Alright. Well, speak to you then,” Catelyn said, giving a little wave and heading back for her truck.

Nina watched her pull out onto the street and drive down the block, turning the corner and vanishing from sight, and then she dragged her actually very tired self to bed.

 

The next day, Nina woke up to a text on her phone from Catelyn, which had come about 20 minutes after she’d fallen asleep.

𝙶𝚘𝚝 𝚑𝚘𝚖𝚎 𝚘𝚔𝚊𝚢.  𝚂𝚙𝚎𝚊𝚔 𝚝𝚘 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚝𝚘𝚖𝚘𝚛𝚛𝚘𝚠.

Nina smiled and sighed sleepily, rolling over to curl around the little screen and check her Picstagram feed. Maybe it was the stress of the day before, but she felt incredibly tired still. As she started lazily flicking through her feed, her eyelids began to burn and feel heavy… 

She woke up again dazed and disoriented. Her phone lay somewhere near her hand, the display long since turned auto-off. She lifted her head from her drool-soaked pillow and wiped her cheek against her wrist, pausing in place for a minute only because her head was suddenly spinning. The dizzy spell quickly passed, and she blinked her still-weary eyes and sat up, drawing her blanket tighter around her shoulders with a shiver. What time was it?

She unlocked her phone and blinked in surprise at the hour. 

“One pm?!” she croaked, then grimaced at the sound of her own voice. Her mouth felt dry from hanging open while she dozed, but she’d forgotten to get herself any water for the bedside table the night before. Nina cleared her throat and swallowed, though not to much effect. 

“Time to get up, I guess,” she said to herself. 

She slid out of bed, directly into her faux fur pink slippers, and shuffled over to her closet to pick out her outfit for the day. Maybe a cute romper and some long necklaces today… No, some short jorts and a honey-bee patterned t-shirt with an oversized sweater. Hanging the outfit over her arm, Nina shuffled to the bathroom to get dressed and made up. She shivered again as she went, and grabbed her robe from its hook on the door. It must have been another damp day outside. 

Nina set her clothes down on the edge of the sink, and she was about to collect her toothbrush from the medicine chest above it when she caught the sight of her own reflection in the mirror. Her skin was pale, even for early spring, and dark circles hung below each eye. Just then, the dull, cottony feeling in her head culminated in a sharp, pinching tickle to the back of her nose, and her eyebrows canted up as she drew a deep, shaking breath.

hh’EHH… HESCHT-SHUE!!” she sneezed ferociously, gripping onto the sink as her vision swam with the sudden motion of it. She sniffled and blinked a tear from her eyes. 

“Fugck.” she said, immediately giving up on getting anything of substance done that day, or for the next three days for that matter. She stared at herself in dismay for a moment, then grabbed a tissue and blew her nose into it, tossing it into the bin when she was done and washing her hands. Of course she’d catch a cold after everything else. A little gift from yesterday’s bad luck, probably due to shivering out in the rain for so many hours. Her clothes had hit the floor when she sneezed, and now as she stooped to pick them up it made the slight pressure in her head throb. She groaned and deposited them back onto the sink. 

Oh well. Better make the best of it. She took a bottle of vitamin C tabs out of the cabinet and shook two of them into her hand, dry swallowing them, and then pulled her robe a little tighter around herself and tied it there. She took her clothes and shuffled back over to her closet. Not gonna wear those today. When she was sick, Nina liked nothing more than to stay in her pajamas all day, watching television and drinking hot cocoa, and that was exactly what she was going to do. 

She got settled into her couch and set herself a big mug of hot chocolate with the marshmallows in it on a coaster on the side table, next to the snake plant that lived there. She tugged her soft microfleece throw blanket from the arm of the couch and snuggled into it, pulling it up to her chin to achieve maximum coziness and comfort, and then stuck her arm out of its warmth to snag the remote and tune her television to Webflix. Maybe that show about cleaning up and bringing joy into your life today. 

Nina was about an episode and a half in when she realized she hadn’t heard back from Catelyn yet. She checked her phone for missed calls or texts, but there weren’t any. She frowned and sent out a text.

𝙷𝚎𝚢, 𝚓𝚞𝚜𝚝 𝚌𝚑𝚎𝚌𝚔𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚒𝚗!  𝙳𝚒𝚍 𝚢𝚘𝚞 𝚐𝚘 𝚝𝚘 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚌𝚕𝚒𝚗𝚒𝚌 𝚝𝚘𝚍𝚊𝚢?  𝚈𝚘𝚞 𝚙𝚛𝚘𝚖𝚒𝚜𝚎𝚍, 𝚛𝚎𝚖𝚎𝚖𝚋𝚎𝚛!  𝙸 𝚑𝚘𝚙𝚎 𝚢𝚘𝚞’𝚛𝚎 𝚍𝚘𝚒𝚗𝚐 𝚘𝚔𝚊𝚢.  𝙲𝚊𝚕𝚕 𝚖𝚎𝚎𝚎𝚎𝚎𝚎  : )

 

Catelyn woke up in a cold sweat. Her t-shirt and pajama shorts clung uncomfortably to her body, and she felt absolutely parched. Her bedroom was still dark. She sat up slowly, trying to remember what she’d dreamt about… Why did all of her muscles feel so sore? 

Whatever she’d dreamt of wasn’t coming to memory, which was probably for the best considering the clammy state she’d woken up in. Despite it being the middle of the night she didn’t feel very tired, nor did she feel able to fall back to sleep again. Maybe a hot shower and a change into clean, dry pajamas would help. She rubbed her eyes and blinked them a few times before feeling around on her bedside table for her contact lens case, popping the top open and carefully applying the lenses to her eyes so she could actually see her way to the bathroom.  

Her toes slammed into the doorframe on her way past, and she cussed a blue streak under her breath, hopping in a circle and holding her foot until the immediate burst of pain subsided. She cussed again and tried entering the bathroom one more time. 

Immediately upon entering the bathroom something seemed… off. Wrong. Unsettling. Catelyn froze and gave a scan of the room. Nothing was out of place. Nothing moved. 

Her eyes fell on the bathroom mirror and she let out a horrified yell, jumping back from it so violently that she tripped and fell to the floor. 

“AAHH!! FUCK. I DO NOT LIKE THAT! WHAT THE FUCK? WHAT THE FUCK?? WHAT THE FUCK?” she shouted from the floor, bewildered and deeply, deeply unnerved. She panted, a fresh sweat breaking out across her brow as she stared up at the mirror in equal measures of disbelief and panic. 

Trembling, she placed a hand on the sink. Slowly she rose to face the glass. She yelled again in wordless terror, but this time she was prepared, or at least as prepared as one could be, for what she saw.

Which was nothing. More specifically, she saw the bathroom. She saw the bathroom door behind her, dented from where she’d slammed against it moments previously. Saw the towel on its rack on the wall. Saw the wall. But where there should have been a slightly below average height, dark-haired, thickset woman in her rumpled night clothes, the mirror reflected only empty air.

Edited by •.*°•☆. Q .☆•°*.•
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Ayyyy, part two coming at right at ya

 

--

Achwooniverse Saga Part ii -- A Friend In Need

Staring straight through the spot where her body should have been reflected was disturbing on multiple existential levels. Something in a person’s mind instinctively rejects this. Catelyn gripped the sink and just tried to breathe, her arms shaking with emotion.

“Oh god, am I a fucking ghost? Am I dead? This isn’t happening! This is really not happening, this is not real,” she babbled to herself, “Oh my god, I’m gonna need a minute. What the fuck?

Just then, a neighbor pounded on the adjoining wall between her bathroom and theirs, a muffled “Keep it down!” filtering through. 

“SORRY!” she called back, reflexively. Well that was something. The neighbors could hear her at least. What the fuck was going on? She was staring at the space where her reflection should have been again. A few minutes passed. She finally peeled her eyes from the glass and looked down at her own body. She poked herself. She felt pretty solid. Her hands looked like her hands. It took her a moment to realize that the cut was gone, along with all the bruising. 

Catelyn was still staring at that when she realized that at some point she had sunk back down to the floor. Her gaze drifted to the doorframe near her. A sizable chunk had splintered away where she’d stubbed her toes on it earlier. “What the fuck???” she muttered to herself for the tenth time at least. 

Unsure of what else to do, she crawl-stumbled back to her bed and went to text Nina. Catelyn had no earthly idea what in the hell was going on, but shit was getting weird and if anyone would understand that, it was Nina. 

It was only when she went to unlock her phone and the bright, hot-white backlight seared itself into the space behind her eyes, forcing her to blink and recoil, that she realized she’d never even turned the lights on in her room. She waited for a minute, with her arm raised against her face, for the new bloom of pain in her head to recede. “What the fuck,” she said.

With her eyes still squinted shut, she reached out and felt for the lamp on her bedside table, fumbling it on after a few tries. Slowly she opened her eyes again, the ache fading to a dull thrumming behind her brow that would surely abate in a minute or so. She tried unlocking the phone again.

“Nine missed texts?!” she exclaimed. Her phone also registered four missed calls, and a voice message. From… yesterday!? She’d slept through an entire day!? 

Catelyn didn’t even bother reading through the back-messages, catching only the last one- 

📱 Please call me back! I’m really worried about you!  📱

-as she typed out a reply.

📱 Hey. So sorry, I’ll explain. Are you still awake? 📱

She paused to check the time before she hit send. It was about a quarter to one. Sure, why not. If she wasn’t awake, she would at least respond in the morning. The phone made a whooshing noise as the message went off into the atmosphere. Not a second later the message program indicated that Nina was responding.

📱 Yes! What’s going on, are you okay? 📱

Catelyn didn’t really know how to answer that. She was still wrestling with it when another message came through.

📱 Did you go to the clinic? 📱  

Catelyn made a noise of indecision aloud as she tried to think of how to respond. There was definitely actually more going on right now than she could possibly convey using a text, or even five texts. She responded with a request instead. 

📱 There’s kind of a lot to explain. Can I come over? 📱

Nina replied right away.

📱 Yes, of course you can. Are you okay? 📱

Catelyn turned the question over in her mind as she threw on her favorite leather jacket and slipped into her sneakers. She really didn’t have an answer for it right then. 

📱 I’ll tell you everything when I get there. See you soon. 📱

Her phone dinged from her pocket and she checked it again on her way out the door.

📱 Okay. Drive safe! See you soon! 📱

The drive to Nina’s house was a fucking trip. Every time a car passed with its lights on it was nearly blinding, and she’d needed to stop herself from speeding at least five times because it didn’t feel like she was going too fast until she saw her speedometer registering at 20 above. She hopped out of the Jeep as soon as she pulled into Nina’s driveway, thanking fuck that she hadn’t gotten pulled over. She really didn’t think she could have handled that at the moment. 

Nina pulled her front door open to greet her before she got even halfway up the walk. She was dressed in pastel fuzzy pajamas and a matching robe, with her long strawberry blonde hair piled atop her head in a messy bun. She wasn’t wearing any makeup, and she had dark circles beneath both of her eyes. She could have just been needing sleep but for the pinkish flush to her cheeks and nose. She shivered in the doorway against the cool night air, and Catelyn picked up her pace to a jog to keep her from having to wait very long.

“You sick, Nín?” she asked as she reached the door. Nina sniffled and leaned off to the side in response, coughing into her arm for a moment.

“I’mb fine” she said, “It’s jusdt a little cold.”

“Oh hon. Let’s get you back inside huh?” Catelyn replied, ushering her friend through the door. Nina turned around when Catelyn didn’t follow.

“You coming?” she asked. Catelyn stood on the doorstep hustling from foot to foot as if she had to pee. 

“I- I don’t know. I want to, but it’s making me weirdly anxious for no reason? I don’t know what’s going on with me tonight. Maybe I’m just freaking out. I should go.” she rambled, nearly turning to head back to her truck.

“Catelyn, come inside and tell me what’s wrong. This is so unlike you,” Nina insisted, brow furrowing in concern. Catelyn huffed out a breath she hadn’t noticed she’d been holding.

“You’re right, you’re so right. I’m sorry, I don’t know what came over me,” she said, the sudden anxiety leaving her. She followed her friend inside.

Nina blew her nose into a crumpled tissue that she drew from a pocket of her bathrobe as she lead her into the living room. Her home was usually very tidy and neat, with everything tucked away where it belongs and all the shelves polished and in order. Now it was in almost total disarray. Plants sat crooked in their pots, topsoil staining the carpeting where they’d almost certainly been toppled over within the last 12 hours. Tissues lay crumpled on the coffee table and the floor. Pictures hung crooked on the walls, and one or two of them lay on the floor as well. Nina swept some tissues from the couch, clearing a space for Catelyn to sit next to her.

“Geez, this one’s really hitting you hard, huh?” Catelyn said, observing the damage. She came to sit in the space indicated for her, drawing one of her legs up onto the couch so that she could sit sideways, facing her friend. 

“Oh, how could you tell?” Nina laughed, the sound becoming a cough that she smothered into her sleeve. Catelyn winced as her friend gained composure of herself. Nina wiped at the corners of her mouth with her own sleeve, sniffled, and cleared her throat before speaking.

“I’ll be fine though, I’m more worried about you. What’s going on?” she said, her voice crackling over some cold lingering in her throat. She cleared it again and swallowed hard, but it didn’t seem to make much difference.

Catelyn didn’t know how to start. She scrubbed at the back of her own neck while she thought of how to put her experiences into words. “I’ve been having a real weird time…” she tried.

Nina furrowed her brow, tilting her head in concern as she listened. “What kind of weird?” she prompted.

“The kind that I think only you would understand?” Catelyn said obliquely. Nina sniffled and rubbed her nose while she patiently waited for Catelyn to go on. Her friend was obviously having a rough time, and she just wanted to be there for her, whatever was happening. Eventually, Catelyn gathered her thoughts enough to press on.

“So… I’m not sure what happened to me, but there’s definitely something real weird going on,” she started again, when she was finally ready to unravel the evening’s alarming and chaotic events. She went on to tell Nina about all of her experiences, from the time she woke up to the time she arrived on her couch. “...and I’m so fucking thirsty. I downed like three bottles of water on the way here, and nothin’.”

Nina, who had been nodding along sympathetically and trying to help Catelyn puzzle out what in the heck could be going on beyond ‘weird stuff,’ shivered violently and muffled another cough or three into her robe’s sleeve.

“Geez, you cold? I bet your fever’s going up. Do you want the blanket?” Catelyn offered all at once. Nina nodded, and took it from her gratefully. 

“I’m not sure what’s happening either, but you’re right,” she said as she pulled the microfleece up to her chin, tucking her knees up under the blanket and trembling, “It does seem preternaturally caused. A lot of what you’re going through really reminds me of my experiences after the Prague incident… although I can still see myself in mirrors.”

Her gaze grew distant as she took a minute to recall anything else she went through as she was recovering from the werewolf attack she’d survived when she was younger. “Have you been getting cravings for steak?” she asked, sniffling harshly and rubbing her knuckles beneath her nose. 

“Wow. You know, what, kind of? I don’t know, I didn’t think of it until now, but a steak sounds kind of amazing. But like, a really really rare one you know? Like the ones that are still basically red in the middle and the outside is juuust barely seared…” Catelyn said, trailing off into steak thoughts. She was snapped out of her reverie when Nina sneezed, sending a box of tissues flying past her head and across the room.

“hahtSHIOO!!” 

“Whoa!” Catelyn exclaimed, ducking out of the way.

Nina held a sleeve to her nose and sniffled pitifully, “I’m so sorry, they’ve been sneah- hh- sneah-hihh!!” 

Her long strawberry blonde lashes fluttered closed as she pressed her hand desperately against her nose through her own sleeve, her breaths catching rapidly.

“tissue?” she squeaked out, frantically. Catelyn hopped up off the couch and snatched the box from the other side of the room as quick as could be, pressing it gently into her friend’s unoccupied hand not a moment later. Nina haphazardly snatched as many from the box as she could before she-

“hehh-hh! hiEHH!! HAHT-SCHUUE!! hh-ETCHUE!” into the bunch, the tissues mostly disintegrating to pulp under the force of her powerful sneezing. She crumpled the handful into a ball and dropped them onto the blanket next to her, drawing a fistful more to blow her nose with.

“They’ve been sdneakig up on mbe,” she said, still pressing her nose between the folds of her tissues. She finished cleaning herself up as best she could given the circumstances and gave a useless, congested sniffle. “It’s like this when I’m sick. I always kind of feel like I have to sneeze, so when I really do it just surprises me.”

“Don’t worry about it,” Catelyn said, “I feel kinda bad for crashing in here at this hour when you’re already not feeling well, I just didn’t know- Well, I didn’t know you were sick, and I also just didn’t know who else to talk to about everything.”

Nina shivered, even beneath the blankets, and waved her hand in a dismissive motion. “It’s fine, I don’t mind. As long as you’re not totally grossed out. I was lonely and bored anyway. You know I can’t get anything done when I have a cold.”

“Yeah, okay,” Catelyn said. She knew she was just saying it to make her feel better, but damn it if it wasn’t working. 

Still, the way Nina kept shivering concerned her. It wasn’t like she could take anything for it, what with her physical make-up being not exactly human. Fever reducers and anti-cold medication could be pretty dangerous to her. 

“Well, as long as I’m here I may as well make myself useful,” Catelyn said, getting up and going over to where Nina was sitting. 

“What are you doing?” Nina asked.

“I’m gonna warm you up nice and toasty. Give me the blanket for a second?” she said.

“Okay...” Nina responded, a wad of tissue falling to the floor as she handed it over. Catelyn shook the blanket out and held it up widthwise.

“Get up for a sec, I’m gonna do a thing,” she said. Nina complied, shuffling off the couch to stand by the arm, her own arms now wrapped around herself as she waited to see what Catelyn was up to.

She draped the blanket smoothly over the couch where Nina’d been sitting, and kicked a few used tissues out of the way before letting the excess blanket hang to the floor. She gestured to the couch that Nina should sit, and she did.

“Okay, now tuck your legs up the way you had them before,” she instructed.

“Okay?” Nina said, still complying but failing to see where Catelyn was going with this.

“You comfy?” she asked.

“Well, I mean I’m still cold,” Nina said, sitting on top of the blankets now and still hugging herself, her knees drawn more or less to her chest, “but yeah, I guess so.”

“Okay, we’re gonna take care of that right now. Don’t move.” 

Catelyn took the excess blanket and carefully folded it up and over Nina’s body, after which she wrapped one side around her and tucked it in, and then the other, effectively rendering Nina a human blanket burrito.

“That any better?” she asked, sitting down beside her again.

“Surprisingly, yes. It’s very cozy. Thangks.” Nina responded, sniffling thickly at the end, and then once again. 

“Ugh. But now my nose is runnig and I can’t move my armbs.” she said, giving another useless sniff. Catelyn grabbed a few clean tissues from the box.

“Please, allow me to assist you.” she said in something of an imitation butler accent. Nina looked at her incredulously.

“Really?” she said.

“I live to serve. And I just got you warm in there, and I don’t want all that work going to waste. Come on, it’s fine.” Catelyn retorted. Nina laughed.

“If you insist,” she said.

“Good,” Catelyn said, raising the tissues to Nina’s nose. “Go ahead.”

Nina gratefully made use of the tissues, and Catelyn set them down onto the coffee table in favor of a clean pair when she was done. She used the fresh pair to gently clean up the area just under her friend’s nose, swiping the area above her lip and dabbing gently at her nostrils. 

“Ca-hareful that tih-hh,” Nina warned, her breath catching suddenly. Catelyn pressed the tissue up against her septum instinctively. 

“Sorry! Sorry,” she said, holding it there while Nina wriggled her nose against the tissue needily. A few seconds later the tickle subsided, and she sniffed heavily again.

“Could I have another tissue please?” she asked thickly. Catelyn grabbed another from the box and held it up as before as Nina blew into it. She folded the soft square of paper over, and again went to clean the moisture away from her friend’s face, more carefully this time, in measured, even swipes, as not to cause any tickling.

“That actually feels kind of nice,” Nina said, closing her eyes, and leaning her head back against the couch. “It’s like a nose massage.”

“Yeah?” Catelyn said, conversationally. She got a clean tissue and continued her ministrations.

“Yeah, it’s surprisingly soothih- hH! HEH-ISCHOO!!” she sneezed forcefully, right into Catelyn’s hand.

“Oh god, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” she said, looking absolutely horrified.

“Bless you, I’m fine,” Catelyn said, “I have some kind of weird super strength now, remember?” 

Nina visibly relaxed. “Oh right. Yeah,” she said, drooping down against the back of the couch again. “Still, sorry for sneezing all over your hand.”

“I’ll live,” she said, swiping said hand against her own jeans. “Or something, anyway.”

Catelyn leaned herself against the back of the couch as well, sighing pensively. Neither of them spoke for a bit, and just as Catelyn was beginning to wonder if Nina had fallen asleep, she spoke up.

“You wanna go to Europe?” she said.

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  • 9 months later...

part three! 

Last time: Catelyn had an existential crisis, Nina had a cold, a trip was proposed

This time: lesbians enjoying a meal together, tender caretaking, lots more sneezing

-

Achwooniverse Saga Part iii -- Travel Plans

“Europe??” Catelyn asked, eyebrows raising in surprise. Nina sat up and gave a wet sniff, crinkling her nose in discomfort.

“Yeah,” she said, “I mean, obviously not at 3 o’clock in the mornig, but maybe tomorrow or the day after? I don’t know what’s going on with you, but I know that the doctors at the clinic I went to were really nice to me while I was there, and they’re more likely to have an idea of what to do next.” 

Catelyn considered the idea. It would be great to have some direction and information about what the fuck could be going on with her. She did want to go. But...


 

“I wouldn’t be able to pay my way. I’m comfortably making rent right now, but I don’t have anything saved,” she said.

“It’ll be my treat! My Picstagram could use some gorgeous European Vacation Photographs anyway,” Nina said. Catelyn laughed.

“Are you serious?” she asked.

“Catelyn, I care about you,” Nina said, looking her in the eyes, “You’re my best friend, and you’ve always been there for me when I needed somebody. Whenever I’ve needed anything, actually. I want to do this for you, and I want to make sure you have everything you need in order to be okay.”

Catelyn looked down at her own lap and discreetly blinked away a tear. “Thanks, Nín. It means a lot to me,” she said. 

The moment was cut short by the sound of Nina’s breath see-sawing dramatically to a tremendous, “hheh… hehh-hh! hehh…! hAHH’EISCH-tCHUE!!” that sent a crooked picture frame on the opposite wall flying. It landed on the floor three feet from where it once hung. Nina laid back against the couch again and groaned. 

“I am so tired of that hh! hehh… ngh. Happenih- hihh! hEISCHUUE!!” 

She whipped forward with another sneeze that nearly sent her tumbling from the couch, and would have had it not been for Catelyn shooting an arm out to catch her. She rubbed her back as she repositioned her into her seat. 

“You want me to let you get to sleep? I can come back tomorrow,” she suggested. Nina shook her head.

“You can stay here. I’ll sleep on the couch, it’s already a mess anyway. You can take the bed,” she said. 

Catelyn wasn’t having any of it.

“Nina, you’re sick, you go take the bed. I’ll clean up a little bit and crash out here. I’m not really tired yet anyway.” she said.

“You sure?” Nina said.

“Yeah, I’m sure. Go get some rest,” Catelyn said, giving Nina a warm pat on the shoulder. 

“Okay,” Nina said, too exhausted from everything to protest. She wriggled and squirmed until she was free of the blanket cocoon Catelyn had fashioned for her, wrapping it around herself as she shuffled back to her bedroom. 

“Hey, Nina?” Catelyn said. Nina stopped and turned around.

“Thank you for everything. I mean it. You’re a really good friend,” she said. Nina smiled and nodded in acknowledgement before padding through her bedroom door for the night. 

Catelyn looked around at the disaster Nina’s cold had made of the living room, with her hands on her hips. Well, better get to work. She went to the kitchen and dug a garbage bag out from under the sink, and started getting rid of all the used tissues first. 

She worked diligently through the night, sweeping as much of the spilt topsoil out of the rug as she could with a brush, picking up as many pieces of broken picture frame as she could without busting out the vacuum and waking the whole neighborhood. By the time dawn started cresting the horizon, the place looked almost back to normal. Some of the paintings and photographs rested on the floor neatly below where they’d been hung, awaiting new picture frames, and some of the plants still sat somewhat crookedly in their pots, but the room was free from clutter and mostly free from debris. 

Catelyn tied up her little trash bag and threw it away in the kitchen garbage, then washed her hands in the sink. She yawned. She thought she should bring another little garbage bag out to the living room for Nina to throw her used tissues in, that would be nice. She got another one out from under the sink, and brought it back to the living room, tying one handle to the knob of the drawer in the side-table near where Nina liked to sit, and then sat down on the other end of the couch. 
 

At around noon the next day, Nina shuffled out of her bedroom in her robe and slippers, with her hair tied up in a towel. She felt a lot better for having taken a shower and actually gotten some rest. Catelyn was lying on her couch, out cold, covered completely by another of Nina’s throw blankets. She must have been up late... Plus it wasn’t easy going through a weird new experience, Nina knew all too well.

Even so, she’d done a really nice job of cleaning everything up, and for that Nina was very grateful. Though she already beginning to get well, she was feeling pretty fatigued and it was a relief that the only things she needed to tend to were spot treating the carpet in a few places and ordering more picture frames. 

She got herself a cup of tea, and sat down on the end of the couch with her laptop. After browsing Amazone for some new frames and clicking ship-it-now, she switched over to Flightspeed to peruse ticket prices. Even with the dip in her audience a few days before, which she had found out was due to a glitch in Picstagram’s algorithms, her income as a social media influencer easily supported occasional travel abroad, and she really was due for some vacation pictures soon anyway. There were only so many #dailylife and #foodie photos her audience could take before getting bored. 
 

It was another damp day out, and by early evening it was raining heavily again. The healing effects of a good night’s rest had all but totally worn off, undone by a day of analyzing site traffic and editing footage for her YoubToub videos. A shiver ran through Nina’s body, and she wiped her nose for what felt like the hundredth time, sniffling back a sneeze that had been dogging her for the last hour and a half. She was out of tea, and the blue glow of her laptop’s screen was starting to sting her eyes in the storm-darkened room, but she was too tired to get up and get herself more, or flick a light on. 

She sniffled again, having reached the point in her cold where her nose was running like a faucet and no amount of blowing or sniffling could ease her congestion. The steady, thin trickle was enough of a nuisance on its own, without it triggering the need to sneeze every few minutes. If she actually let herself sneeze she knew it would probably grant her some modicum of relief, but she didn’t want to disturb Catelyn. She was having a hard enough time already, and with whatever was happening to her she might really need ther rest, who knew? 

Nina was rubbing at her nostrils with a balled up tissue for what felt like the hundredth time, in a futile effort to quell her nose’s discomfort, when another urge to sneeze started to come over her. With one hand she blindly closed her laptop and slid it onto the couch beside her, while the other pressed the wad of tissue hard against the underside of her nose. She took shallow breaths through her mouth in an attempt to continue holding it off, but it seemed that her nose had finally had enough of her impeding efforts. Her nostrils twitched and flared, her body rocking back and forth as she fought not to... not to....

ah-hEHH! hESCHT-SCHEEUH!!” 

The sneeze had indeed loosened some congestion, and Nina fumbled around for the tissue box at her side. She was in the middle of blowing her nose when Catelyn finally poked her head out from under the throw blanket.

“Hnnn... what time is it?” she moaned. 

Nina finished up blowing her nose, and coughed. “Uh... I think it’s like 5 in the evening?” she said, before checking her phone. “Oh, 5:48.”

“I have a headache,” Catelyn whined, “and my stomach hurts.” 

Nina frowned. “D’you think it’s cuz you haven’t eaten anything all day? Or does it feel more like part of whatever’s going on with you lately?”

“I have no idea,” Catelyn said hopelessly, “I don’t feel hungry though. Or well, I kind of do? It’s like, different, though. It probably is weirdness related, who knows.”

She sat up, and took a better look at Nina. “How about you, how are you feeling today? You look kinda...” she trailed off, waving her hand in the air in a gesture that implied she’d looked better.

“I’m feeling a lot better than yesterday. I’m just tired, and I can’t breathe through my nose,” she said, gesturing towards her own face.

Catelyn yawned, and paused to rub the heel of her hand over her eyes. “Can I get you anything?” she asked.

“I wouldn’t say no to a bowl of soup,” Nina said, “and maybe you could turn a light on for me? Pretty please?” 

Catelyn blinked at the room, as if noticing how dark it was for the first time now. “Oh. Yeah, no problem Nín. What do you got, like, chicken or something in the cabinet?” 

“In the... hh- hold ohn-” Nina said, holding up a hand and turning away. “hehh! eSCH’tCHUE!! hah... EISCHSHEW!! unh...” 

Nina groaned and sat back against the couch, grabbing some more tissues to blow her nose in. The coffee table had skidded about six inches across the livingroom floor, but she could fix it later. 

“Bless you,” Catelyn said.

“Thagks,” Nina said as she finished cleaning up her nose. She gave a careful sniffle afterwards, and judged herself to be finished for now.

“The soup is in the pantry,” she said. Catelyn rose to go and take care of that and swooned a little, steadying herself on the arm of the couch.

“Thank you- whoa are you okay?” Nina said.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Catelyn said, shaking her head and rubbing at her eyes with her free hand, “Just got kind of dizzy when I stood up.”

“That happens to me after a transformation sometimes if I don’t get enough to eat,” Nina said, thoughtfully. “I have a few steaks in the freezer, do you want one? I can always pick up another the next time I go to the store.” 

“Aw, are you sure?” Catelyn asked.

“Yeah, the next moon isn’t for another week and a half. I’m sure I’ll get out to the store by then,” she said.

“Okay. Thanks,” Catelyn replied. She blinked hard a few times, and then made her way into the kitchen. “One soup, comin up!”

“And the light?” Nina asked.

“Shit, right. Sorry,” Catelyn said, detouring to go and flick on a light switch and immediately regretting it as the searing light flooded her vision..

Aggh!! God- ” she said, ducking into her arm to shield her eyes. “hh- h’gkCHUHh! Agh, fuck that’s bright!” 

“Gesundheit!” Nina said, surprised. 

Catelyn blinked and pinched at her eyes, sniffling. “Thanks. Ugh. I have to remember to close my eyes the next time I turn a light on.”

“Things take some getting used to,” Nina acknowledged.

“You don’t say,” Catelyn said, finally recovering enough to get back to what she’d been doing before. 

She got the soup out of the pantry first, then dumped it into a bowl and popped it into the microwave. While she waited for it to heat up, she began rummaging around in Nina’s freezer for a steak to try. There were some nice cuts in there. Catelyn did her best to take the least beautiful one, saving the prettier ones for Nina’s social media feed, then dropped it into a separate ziplock baggie to thaw in a bowl under some running water in the sink.

When the soup dinged, Catelyn took it back to Nina with a spoon and a little platter.

“Get you a drink?” she asked, offering the bowl to her. Nina held a hand up, gently pushing the soup away instead of taking it.

“W-wait a seh- hehh... heESSH’sCHIEW!!” Nina sneezed, turning aside to avoid a spill. The throw blanket sailed away on the gust like leaves on the wind, and landed over the back of a chair on the other side of the room. Nina stared bleary-eyed at nothing and sniffled. She sniffled again. “eh-hehh... hehh... hHHH! hETSCH-SCHEWWH!!” 

“Done?” Catelyn asked, standing back with her soup. The same blanket now rested on the floor against the far wall. Nina squinted and considered it, wiggling her nose testingly. She gave her nose another blow into a wad of tissues and nodded. 

“I think so. Thanks Catelyn,” she said, her words dulled by congestion even still. 

“Alright, here you go. Be careful now,” Catelyn said, handing her the soup and reaching over to drag the coffee table back into position before her so that Nina could rest her bowl on it if she needed to.

“Thanks,” Nina said again, taking the soup and settling it in her lap. “Anyway, I don’t want a drink right now, I think the broth will be enough for me.”

“Alright, well let me know if there’s anything else you want okay?” Catelyn offered. Nina smiled and nodded, taking a sip from her bowl.

Catelyn headed back to the kitchen to check on the steak she was thawing. It had softened considerably, enough to cook at least, and a little pool of raw steak juices had begun to accumulate in the corners of the bag. The steak just looked so... so red. And delicious. Catelyn’s focus narrowed on the bag of meat, the rest of the kitchen falling away as this one tender, juicy cut of beef monopolized her attention.

She was only vaguely aware of the faucet running, and the sound of a dish clinking against a surface somewhere in the periphery of her senses. She nearly jumped out of her skin when Nina sneezed in the next room over.

hehh-sSCH’SHIEWW!!

Catelyn put a hand to her chest, breathing heavily from the start it gave her. She blinked and stared at the countertop. “Bless you!” she called.

“Thanks!” Nina called back, from her seat on the couch. Her voice cracked in the middle of the syllable. Catelyn winced, hoping the hot soup would help with that. It didn’t sound comfortable.  She then gave another glance towards the bag of steak in the sink.

“Hey Nín?” She called, “Would you judge me super hard if I like...” 

Catelyn paused, trying to find the best way to put this unusual inclination. She settled on being direct. “...didn’t cook this? I uh... kind of... just want to... bite it....” she said.

Nina turned to face Catelyn over the back of the couch, eyebrows furrowing. “You just want to bite it?” she repeated.

“Yeah,” Catelyn said, “That’s weird, right? I feel like that’s weird of me.”

“Well, no. I mean, yeah it is, but it’s not that weird,” Nina said, looking askance. “There have absolutely been times when I’ve done weirder, and grosser.”

“Ah, shit. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean- I mean, are you okay with it if I just eat this straight out of the bag?” Catelyn asked.

“Be my guest,” Nina said, then stopped to cough into the sleeve of her robe for a solid minute. Talking across rooms so much seemed to be taking a toll on her throat. Catelyn shut the faucet and dried the outside of the bag with a kitchen towel, then joined Nina in the living room. 

“I didn’t mean... like. You know I don’t think you’re weird, right?” Catelyn said, taking a seat on the arm of the couch. 

“Yeah, I know that,” Nina said, looking into her bowl of soup.

“Nina, I don’t think you’re weird. Look at me,” Catelyn said. Nina looked up. She looked exhausted. Catelyn took a deep breath and let it out in a stifled sigh before beginning to speak.

“Out of everyone I know, and I mean everyone I know, you are probably the most put-together, normal, well-adjusted motherfucker out of all of them. At this point you could run the streets naked, and it would seem like a normal thing to do. Hell, I’d probably follow your example,” she said, huffing a small laugh at her own attempt at humor. Nina cracked a smile and nodded.

“Thanks, Catelyn,” she said.

“Now I’m gonna eat this bag of meat,” Catelyn said, unzipping the plastic bag. This got a laugh that turned into a cough that had Nina setting down her bowl of soup so that she wouldn’t spill it. 

“Sorry,” Catelyn said, finding Nina’s laughter infectious.

“It’s okay,” Nina said, between coughs. “I just never thought I’d hear you talk about a big meat that way,” she joked, sending herself into a full on coughing fit.

“Augh, don’t make it gross!” Cateyln laughed. “Are you okay?”

Nina nodded in response, holding out a thumbs up as she coughed and caught her breath.

“I’m alright,” she croaked, dabbing her eyes with the back of her sleeve. 

“Drink your soup,” Catelyn said. 

Nina nodded and complied, raising the bowl to her lips and taking a slow sip of the broth.

“That’s better,” she admitted. 

“Good. Okay,” Catelyn said. She was glad that her friend was at least feeling well enough to crack rude jokes, but she didn’t need her choking herself on them.

Catelyn returned her attention to the slippery, raw steak she was holding. She felt like she should be put off the texture, but it just seemed appetizing to her. She slipped one end of the steak out of the bag and held it like a push-pop. She stole another glance at Nina, just to make sure she really didn’t mind, but her friend was busy eating her own meal like nothing was amiss in the world. Tentatively, Catelyn raised the raw steak to her mouth. Some part inside of her was still jarred by how wrong it seemed to be approaching any raw meat this way. She touched it to her tongue.

 It was cold, which was a bit off-putting, but the taste was rich, and irony, and meaty, and she needed to sink her teeth into it right away. Which she did. Her eyes closed and soft moan of indulgence and relief escaped her, the sound muffled around a mouthful of beef.

“Tha’s nahce,” she said, without removing her mouth from the steak. she held the meat between her teeth and sucked on it like a popsicle. 

Nina raised her eyebrows at her. “Aren’t you gonna eat it?” she asked.

“Nah. ‘m goodh.” Catelyn said.

Nina shrugged, returning to her soup. She took another mouthful before setting the bowl down on the coffee table and pulling her knees up to her chest, curling into the back cushion of the couch.

“So, I booked us tickets for a flight tomorrow morning,” she said.

“T’marrawh?” Catelyn said, surprised. She removed the steak from her mouth. “Tomorrow? Are you feeling up to that, Níns?”

Nina nodded. “I can tell I’m on the mend. A good night’s sleep tonight ought to do the trick. I probably won’t be feeling perfect by the morning, but I’ll be travel-ready.”

“Wow. Alright, we’re really doing this,” Catelyn said. A smile just reached her eyes at the prospect not only of going on a beautiful trip with her best friend, but of maybe for real finding out what was happening to her. 

 “What time do we leave?” she asked.

“The only direct flight they had for tomorrow was pretty early. It leaves at five. I’m actually thinking I should probably turn in early to catch my beauty rest before we have to go,” she said. She looked tired enough to have gone to bed soon regardless. 

Catelyn absently scratched at her forehead, thinking about trip preparations. “Okay. I’ll take a quick run home and pack a bag. It shouldn’t be more than what, a week, do you think?” she said.

Nina rubbed the back of her hand lazily under her nose, giving a weary, congested sniffle before she answered. 

“Mmh, yeah. I mean, it shouldn’t take them long to assess what’s going on with you, and you’re not recovering for an animal attack or anything, so I don’t think they’d want to keep you long,” Nina said with a yawn. “I think a week is a generous estimate.”

“Okay, yeah, that makes sense. Alright, I probably better go do that then. Mind if I uh, take this with me?” Catelyn asked, giving the baggie of raw meat an indicative shake.

“On the plane??” Nina joked, smiling.

“Ha ha, very funny,” Catelyn said.

“Go ahead, just be careful on the road,” Nina answered. “There’s a spare key tucked into the back of my porchlight that you can use to come in if I’m sleeping when you get back. Actually, I probably will be. Don’t even bother knocking, just come in when you get here.”

“Roger that,” Catelyn said, giving a little salute as she rose from the couch. She made her way to the door and took her coat from where she’d hung it on a hook, nearby. “Back in a bit. I’ll see you in the morning, I guess. Sleep well, Níns.”

Nina yawned again in response. “Goodnight,” she said, smiling warmly at her friend. As soon as the door closed behind her, Nina stretched, shivered, and then rose to shuffle off to bed. 

She set her alarm for three the next morning. The two of them were in for a big day tomorrow.

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2 minutes ago, NickG1998 said:

I love this amazing story keep up the great work and please update soon

thank you so much!! i have lots more planned >:3

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I greatly enjoyed catching up on all the chapters, it's a very interesting world you're building. I look forward to reading more of it soon :)

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13 minutes ago, InLivingColor said:

I greatly enjoyed catching up on all the chapters, it's a very interesting world you're building. I look forward to reading more of it soon :)

thank you very much! 😄

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This continues to be a super cute story. The way Nina and Catelyn care for and about each other is so sweet. It's really neat to see them both going through their own struggles and both of them supporting each other the whole way. I'm definitely interested to find out what the future holds for them.

Also, not gonna lie, Nina blowing things away with her sneezes is just so cute. You've hit a really nice balance between them being powerful enough to still be chaotic and fun while also not so powerful that they don't work alongside nice domestic cuddliness.

Thanks for sharing!

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30 minutes ago, Blah!? said:

This continues to be a super cute story. The way Nina and Catelyn care for and about each other is so sweet. It's really neat to see them both going through their own struggles and both of them supporting each other the whole way. I'm definitely interested to find out what the future holds for them.

Also, not gonna lie, Nina blowing things away with her sneezes is just so cute. You've hit a really nice balance between them being powerful enough to still be chaotic and fun while also not so powerful that they don't work alongside nice domestic cuddliness.

Thanks for sharing!

😭💕💕💕💕!!!!!!! oh my god, this is so nice!!!! thank you blah!! 

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sounds like Catelyn stuck a vampire (the guy she struck in the bar protecting Nina) and is now becoming one? it's a pretty cool story regardless and I'm eager to see what else you come up with. this has been a very inventive story so far well done.

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2 hours ago, Kurn'la said:

sounds like Catelyn stuck a vampire (the guy she struck in the bar protecting Nina) and is now becoming one? it's a pretty cool story regardless and I'm eager to see what else you come up with. this has been a very inventive story so far well done.

thank you! hm, that might be true ;D we'll have to find out...

it makes me SO happy that people are enjoying this story, i'm having a lot of fun with it and the characters have become very important to me 😄 💞 it feels good to see others enjoying it as well!!

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