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1 cold, 4 stories


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Background for Breaking his Promises


1. Freddie

1.     Freddie

Freddie woke up feeling significantly worse than yesterday.   He had found himself in the early stages of a cold yesterday and had spent all of Sunday in bed, hoping to head it off.  That had done little good, it seemed.  HuhhhChuusshh.”  A powerful sneeze jerked him forward, and he sat up, grabbing a tissue to catch the three that followed in.  Huhhchushh, uhhchishh, huhhchusshhmmphh.”


He looked over next to him, expecting to see Jamie there.  Instead, there was a note on her pillow.  ‘Hey, Sweety, reminder, I had to go into work early so I could leave early.   Hope you’re not feeling too awful.  Love you.”


He blew his nose again and got out of bed, ignoring the few seconds of dizziness when he stood up.  He grabbed clothes and headed for the shower, hoping that and some DayQuil would clear out his congestion.  He sneezed twice more while getting ready, then headed down to make breakfast.   


He picked at a slice of toast, sneezed again, drank his orange juice and headed to work.


An hour later, he was in the office he shared with Tim, Ella and Sam, stashing a fresh box of Kleenex in his desk.   


“Got a cold?” Tim asked, sympathetic look on his face.


“He always has a cold.” Ella pointed out, less sympathetically.  She’d been brought down by his last one.  


“It’s been at least a..a..a..uhhchusshh..a month.” Freddie protested, face buried in his sleeve.  He kept his face there a moment.   “Ugh...thought there were gonna be more.” He sniffed.


“Here.”  Sam tossed him a bottle of hand sanitizer she’d pulled from her purse.  “I swear I’m buying you some for Christmas.”


“Thanks.”  Freddie caught it easily, blew his nose and used it.  “Can we just get to work?”  He coughed, reaching for his water.  


The four of them started throwing topics around for the show that night and working on jokes, Freddie primarily contributing coughs and sneezes to everyone’s dismay.  


Alex came in a few hours later to see what they were working on for him.   


“Hey guys?  Whatcha got?”


“Hey Alex” came from Tim and the two girls.


UhhhChushh! Chushhh!” Came from Freddie.


“Don’t tell me you have another cold.” Alex groaned, noticing that everyone was sitting as far away from Freddie as they could.


HuhhhChuushoo.” Was Freddie’s response, followed by several harsh wracking coughs.  


Alex sighed, noticing no one moved their chairs to make room for him at the end of the table where he usually sat.  Inwardly groaning, he dragged his chair over by Freddie, noticing Tim at least move closer to Ella.   


The group tossed out the current events of the day for him to review and the jokes they had written about them, Freddie sneezing at increasingly more frequent intervals followed by harsher and more prolonged coughing.  


At 1:00, the group left for rehearsal.   Freddie got up slowly to follow them when Alex stopped him, grabbing his elbow.   “Dude, you got 2 choices, you can go home or you can stay in here preparing jokes to replace the ones that don’t work.  But you’re not going in there with everybody.  I don’t give my guests colds as thank you gifts.”


Freddie nodded, coughing.  “I’ll stay back here.”


“I’ll have someone run you notes every 15 and pick up what you have.”


Freddie stepped back from Alex and turned away.  Huhhchushh.  Uhhchussh.”  He grabbed a tissue off the table and blew his nose.   


“Bless you.  I’ll see you after rehearsal to go over jokes again.”


Freddie sat down at his desk and waited.  His fellow writers rotated through, bringing him stuff to fine tune and picking up what he had already fine tuned for Alex to try.   At 2:30, they came back to the room, catching him in the midst of a sneezing fit.   Uhhhchussh, Chushhh, huhhchusshhh, huhhhchusshoo, chusshhmmphh, huhhhchussmmphh, huhhhchuhrsshhooo.”  He turned to grab a fresh tissue and found them all standing there.  “Ub, hi.” He said, blowing his nose loudly a handful of times.


“Bless you.” Tim ventured.  “You sure you’re ok?”


Alex nodded.  “You don’t usually sneeze like that.”


“You didn’t hear half of it.” Freddie admitted, stuffily, rubbing his neck.


Alex gave him a firm, but gentle look.  Freddie sighed.   “Let’s review the monologue and topics.  Then I’ll go home.”


He didn’t make it back to work that week.

Edited by aggedy_ann
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Yay Freddie! Wow, that cold really hit him hard. Loved the realistic reactions of his co-workers, and the Alex’s kindness. 

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@D.VA thanks

@sprinkles287 oh, Freddie’s getting whumped.  I mean, it’s not his fault he’s always sick, but maybe he needs a multivitamin or something.   His coworker’s are less than pleased with him.

This story has turned into 1 cold, 4 stories and 2 interludes.  

I present Interlude 1 (Sorry, not much sneezing)


Freddie didn’t make it back to work that week, a gesture his colleagues appreciated, however they wondered exactly how sick he was.  He wasn’t one to call out, and certainly not for 3 days.


Wednesday, Sam came in sick.   She spent the day repeatedly sneezing, coughing,  using hand sanitizer and wiping everything she touched down with bleach wipes.  Alex finally sent her home at rehearsal when the scent of bleach started making him sneeze and gave him and Tim headaches, reminding her he needed to be in top form for the show.  


She didn’t make it in on Thursday, leaving Tim and Ella to handle that night’s show.  Tim was sneezing when Ella walked into the office.  “He got you too?” Was her only comment.  


“Too?”  Tim blew his nose and turned to look at Ella who was paler than usual, red nosed and sniffling.  “Well, at least he hasn’t gotten Alex yet.”


He had no further finished that statement when they heard Alex’s familiar “Huhchuh” from the doorway.   


“I hope that’s just your allergies, for your sake.” Ella sniffled.


Alex shook his head, coughing.   “I see he got you both,” taking in Ella’s appearance and the tissues in Tim’s hand.   “Let’s get to work.  I’m joining you two today.”


The three of them sat around the table, working between coughs and sneezes.  Around noon, they realized none of them had cold medicine for that afternoon.   


“I can send someone out to get some.” Alex said, looking at the pile of tissues by Ella and Tim wrapped in his coat.   


Hiichiew!  Check Freddie’s desk.  As much as he’s sick, he’s gotta have some in there.” Ella suggested.  


Tim walked over to the desk and started checking drawers.  Hitting the bottom drawer, he came up with a box of cold medicine and a bag of cough drops.  “Jackpot,” he said congestedly.  He held up a box of tissues. “How are these holding up?”  


Alex looked at the remaining box on the desk - they’d had 3 partial boxes this morning.  “Bring it.”  


Tim carried the bounty over to the table and dropped it there, turning away from the table. “Hayahhshoo, hahhshoo!  Ahhshoo! Heyyahhshhehh.”  He sat down and blew his nose, taking a cough drop and a blister pack of cold medicine, then passing them on.


By grace, they made it through rehearsal, Alex sneezing minimally.   He managed to make it through rehearsal, sneezing once on a commercial break.  Tim and Ella didn’t do that well on the headsets, but they all got through it.  


At the end of the day, Tim handed out Sam’s bleach wipes and told Alex to wipe down his office while he and Ella did the writer’s office.  


They headed home, knowing how sick Freddie and Sam were, and what lie ahead for them. 


Edited by aggedy_ann
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Interlude 2 (Freddie)

Freddie didn’t sleep well Monday night, despite the NyQuil.  He kept waking up to sneeze and waking himself up coughing.   At midnight, Jamie put her hand on his shoulder.   “I’m sorry, Sweety.   I need to go sleep in the guest room.  I’m not getting any sleep in here.”


He nodded, blowing his nose.  “Go.”  He understood, and settled himself in for a long night.   


Tuesday would be his true test.   He woke up coughing so hard he could barely catch his breath.   When he finally stopped, Jamie was standing there with a glass of water.  “You are *not* going to work today.”  She informed him.   He protested weakly.  “I already called Alex.”


He tried to glare at Jamie.  HuhhChusshh, uhhchushhh.”  The effect was the ruined, and she smiled sympathetically.  


She finished getting ready for work.   “Just rest, ok.  I want your butt here or on the couch, ok.”  He nodded, trying not to sneeze again.  “I’ll call and check on you.”


He couldn’t hold back the sneezes any longer.  Uhhchusshh, Huhh-huhhchushh, huhhruhhCHUSSHshehh.”


Jamie raised her eyebrows at the the violence of the last sneeze.  “When can you take DayQuil?” She asked, picking up his phone and punching in his security code.


“Ted.” He sniffled, blowing his nose and wincing at how tender it was.  She set the alarm on his phone, reminded him of the soup in the fridge, to stay hydrated, and left for work.


Freddie’s spent the morning in bed trying to sleep, but mostly tossing and turning, coughing and sneezing.  


Jamie called at noon to check in him.  “Hi.” He said breathlessly. “Ihhchussh, CHUSHHHooo.”


“Bless you.  I’ll take that as an answer on how you’re doing.”


“Still sdeezig ad coughig dodstop.”  He snuffled. “Hag od.”  He set the phone down and she heard a wet, gurgling blow.


Lord was he stuffed up.  “Gotten any rest?”


“A little.  I was godda eat ludch dow.”


“Good.  Need me to bring you anything when I  leave work?”


He coughed roughly for a good 30 seconds, a persistent strong cough.  “Cad you brig those tissues with the lotiod?  By doze is really sore.  OJ.  Cough drops.  I thik we’ll deed bore cold bedicide.”


She laughed. “So everything.”


“Yeah.  Hehhruuhhchoo.”


“Bless you.  I’ll see you tonight.”


Freddie managed a bit more sleep after lunch, but it wasn’t restful. His nose has decided to drip nonstop, saturating his pillow.  


Jamie was home by 6.  She handed him 2 bags of tissues.  “Soothing lotion, cooling lotion, and Lotion with Vick’s.   I wasn’t sure what would work best for you right now.  2 gallons of OJ in the fridge.”  She handed him the cough drops.   She held up the other bag.  “Cold medicine.  Daytime capsules, nighttime liquid and capsules.”


He looked at her gratefully, grabbing a tissue from the box on the coffee table.  HuhhCHUHMMPHH.”  He tried to muffle the sneeze in the tissue, the tenderly wiped his nose.


“Chili in the crockpot, then back to bed.”


He nodded.  The ate dinner; well, she ate, Freddie picked at his chili and sneezed, apologizing the whole meal.  He hated sneezing at the table.  Jamie just kept reminding him he couldn’t help it right now, that she did it plenty.


After dinner, she brought him upstairs, set his alarm for NyQuil, put eucalyptus and wintergreen oil in the essential oil burner on the humidifier to try to relieve his congestion, and tucked him in.


“I’m sleeping in the guest room again,” she told him.  “I can’t catch this.”  She brushed his hair back.  “Love you.  I hope you sleep.”


He did get slightly more sleep that night.


Wednesday was slightly better.


But Freddie spent the rest of the week in bed.  He hadn’t been this sick in a long time.  Thursday, he crashed and did nothing but sleep.   Friday, he woke up, feeling somewhat human.   Still a little tired, sneezing, and coughing, but human.


Which was good because that’s when the phone calls started.

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2.     Ella & Sam

Ella was the first to call, attempting to chew him out between sneezes.  “Jerkface.” She croaked.


“Oh no,” Freddie sighed.  “I got you.”


“Yes.” She tried to yell, but she just didn’t have the voice for it.  Instead, her attempt rewarded her with a coughing jag.  “Yes,” came the hoarse response.  “And Sam.” There was silence for a few seconds, then “hiichiew, ihhchieew, hiitchiew.” 


“Bless you.” Freddie offered.


“Oh, save it.” Ella snapped.  “This is horrible.  Hiiitchiiiew.   I’ve never been this sick, and Sam’s even worse off.”


“Yeah, um, this is a nasty cold.” Freddie said, awkwardly.  Great, he’d gotten two of his coworkers sick.


“Uhh, yeah.  Next time, just stay home from work!”


Freddie took a deep breath.  Ella had been pissed the last time he’d gotten her sick.  Best to just let her yell it out.   Or try to, he thought, as another series of raspy coughs filled his ear.


“We’re out of practically everything, and I have to drag myself to the store because Sam can’t .” 


Now she was crying.  He had forgotten that about Ella; she cried when she was sick.


“Ella…Ella!”  He broke through her tears the second time 


“What!” She snapped.  Now she was angry and crying.  


“What do you need?”


Hiiehhtchiew.  Like you care.”  She sniffled, and he heard her blow her nose.


“Tell me what you need, and I’ll bring it over.” He said, firmly and patiently, grabbing a piece of paper and a pen.


“Are-are you sure?”


“Positive.”  Long pause.  “I’m on the feeling better side now, so let me help you guys.”


She gave him a list – tissues, cold medicine, cough drops, orange juice, vapor rub.”


“I’ll be over as soon as I get it all, ok,” he promised.


“Thank you, Freddie.  Sorry for, well.”


“Don’t worry about it,” he assured her as he heard Sam sneezing in the background.


He got to the girls’ apartment an hour and a half later with a box of supplies and groceries.  Sam buzzed him in, then opened the door when he got there.


She looked terrible.  Pale and red nosed, with dark circles under her eyes.   Fortunately, he was smart enough to refrain from commenting on it.    He simply greeted her, apologized, and set the box on the coffee table, handing her a fresh box of tissue and the cold medicine.  


“Thagk you.” She sniffled as Ella came out of her bedroom, looking only slightly better than Sam.   She was clutching a roll of toilet paper and blowing her nose.   Freddie tore open a box of tissues and handed it to her.  Sam handed her the cold medicine.   “Thanks.”  Her voice was rougher and hoarser than it had been on the phone.   


“I can find some glasses, get you guys some juice.”  Freddie said, picking up the two gallons of orange juice he had bought.  


“Dext to the sidk .” Sam sniffled, blowing her nose again.   


Freddie took the orange juice into the kitchen and returned with two glasses of juice.


Hatshoo.”  He jumped at a loud sneeze from Sam, nearly spilling the juice.  Ella laughed, taking a glass from him as Sam let out  another loud “HehtShoo!”   


“Bless you.” He said, handing her her glass.   “”Those sound awful.”


“Habe you heard Ella’s cough?” She tried to joke.


He nodded.  “I’m sorry you guys.”


“I do’t thigk you dew you were goig to get this sigk.”   She opened a packet of DayQuil and swallowed them with the orange juice.   “Ugh, baybe dow I cad talk dormally.”




Hittchieew, hitchiew, hit’chiuu, hitchieuw.”  Ella interrupted.  “Sorry, I’m sneezing like crazy with this.”


Sam nodded.  “Bless you.  I’m loud, and she’s nonstop with this.”


“I was harsh and violent.”  Freddie admitted.  “Have you two eaten?”


Ella shook her head.  “Neither of us felt like it.”


“I had a granola bar.” Sam said.  “Around 6.”


“I brought stuff to make soup.   If you help me find a pot, I’ll throw it together.”


“You don’t have to…” Sam protested.


“I want to.   You need to eat to get better.”  Ella led him into the kitchen and showed him where the pots and pans were.   He grabbed the box from the coffee table and started chopping chicken.   20 minutes later, he had made chicken and dumpling soup to the soundtrack of their sneezes.  


He brought them into the kitchen over protest.  “You don’t want to sneeze while holding soup.  Trust me.”  He told them, gravely.


He ladled them each up a bowl and watched them pick at it.


“This is good.”  Ella said slowly before tucking her face in her arm.  Hitchiew, hih-hihtchiew, hihhtishuu.”


Which was followed up by Sam.  Hahhtshoo, hahhAhshoo.”


“Bless you both.”  Freddie watched as they grabbed tissues from the box on the table and blew their noses. 


“It is good.”  Sam confirmed.  “Thangks.”


“Do you have something I can put the rest in?”


“I’ll get it later.”  Sam said as Freddie’s phone rang.


 “It’s Tim.”  He told them.  


“Oh, you better take that.” Ella told him.  “He’s sick too.”


“Hey Tim.  what’s up?” Freddie answered.


“Cand you brindg be Kleenex?”  A stuffy voice asked.  “I’b albost out. Jabie doesn’t adswer.”


“Jamie’s at work. And sure.” He paused while Tim coughed.   “What else to you need?”


“I do’t dow.” Tim was on the whiny side with his response.   Freddie sighed.  Tim could handle a little cold, but this one, he was going to be difficult.   


“I’ll bring tissues, juice, cold medicine and cough drops.   Look around your apartment, and text me anything else you need.”




“I’ll text you when I leave Sam and Ella’s.”




“Text me.  Even if you don’t need anything.”


“Ogay.  Thangks.”


Freddie looked at the girls and shook his head.  “Did I get anyone else?”


“Alex.” Sam told him.


“I don’t know if you got any of the crew.”  Ella said.   “But you took out the writing staff and the host.   Alex had to write with us on Thursday.”


Freddie shook his head.  “Guys, I am so sorry.”

“We know.”  Sam said gently.  “Ella’s just pissed about being sick again.”  She turned and sneezed.  “I’m going back to the couch.”   She and Ella went back to the living room and curled up on the couch and oversized chair.    


Freddie sat on the end of the couch with Sam, watching as her spaniel came running out of the bedroom to join her.   Ava had gone in her bedroom when Freddie arrived; she was shy around new people.


As she jumped on the couch, Freddie turned his head and sneezed.  Uhhchushhh, Chushhh, huhhchushh.”  


“Bless you.  Sorry, I forgot, you’re allergic to dogs.”  She picked Ava up and put her on the floor.


Freddie shook his head.  “I’ve still got the cold.” He reminded her.  “I’m allergic to cats, not dogs.”


“Oh, I thought that’s why you had the labradoodles, that you were allergic.”


“No.  Well, yes.  Well, kinda.   I’m not allergic to dogs.  Jamie is.  That’s why.”


Hichieww, ehhchieeew, ehh’chieew.  Told you.”  Ella sniffled.   “ She worried about that this morning when I told her you were coming over.  I said he gave us this cold, let him suffer.”


“Thanks, Ella.  Love you too.” He said as his phone dinged.   Text from Tim.  One word: food.


“I better get to Tim.  Knowing him, he has nothing.   He just texted saying bring food, so…”


“Thank you.” Sam told him.   “I don’t think I could go out and get anything today.”


Ella shook her head.  “Me neither.”


Hatshoo!”  Another loud sneeze from Sam startled him.  


“Bless you.  Call if you guys need anything.”


They assured him they would, and he made sure they were warm and comfortable before he left to tend to Tim.

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On 1/29/2020 at 3:30 PM, D.VA said:

Omg I want a Freddie to take care of lol!!! 

Thanks.  With all the little parts of Freddie I’ve got scattered all over, I kinda wish I could make him real.  And then clone him a hundred times for everyone

4 hours ago, M214186 said:

So good keep going.....


1 hour ago, Puzzle said:

This is awesome! I hope you can continue :D 

Thanks guys.   There’s more coming.  I’m just also trying to write my final papers write now, so unless I’m really procrastinating, it’s coming a little slower....

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18 minutes ago, aggedy_ann said:

Thanks.  With all the little parts of Freddie I’ve got scattered all over, I kinda wish I could make him real.  And then clone him a hundred times for everyone


Thanks guys.   There’s more coming.  I’m just also trying to write my final papers write now, so unless I’m really procrastinating, it’s coming a little slower....

Take your time! No rush :) 

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I am in brain freeze over my homework.  My fault for waiting until the last minute, I guess.   Anyway, what better way to not deal with that than with Tim?   Alex will probably take awhile longer though.   Then apparently, there’s two extra bits to be written because this is not 1 cold 4 stories,  it’s 1 cold, 2 interludes, 4 stories and 2 epilogues lol.   But the rest will come later next week.  

1.     Tim


Freddie carried the box of groceries up to Tim’s apartment and pounded on the door.


Tim opened the door, red nosed and bleary eyed, hair standing on end.   “Hey.” He snuffled, coughing roughly into his fist.  He moved aside so Freddie could get in.  


Freddie set the box on the kitchen table, handing out tissues for the third time that day.   


“Thagk you.  I rad out about ad hour ago.” Tim sniffled.  He started helping Freddie unpack the box, then hastily grabbed for tissues and turned away.  HayAHHShoo, AHHHShoo, AHHHshoo.” He blew his nose and turned back to Freddie.


Freddie blinked at him.  Tim would never be called a quiet sneezer, but his normal tone was somewhat above conversational level.  These were just loud.  “Bless you.” He managed.


Tim nodded at the blessing.  “I dow. I dow.  The doise scares the crap out of Cashew.”


Freddie gave him a smile, pouring him a glass of orange juice.  “Mine were harsh and violent.”  He shrugged.   Usually Freddie’s were soft and gentle, slightly harder on the ‘chushh.’


Tim shrugged, taking the juice.   Freddie instructed him to sit while he put everything away and made soup.  30 minutes later, he had the cold supplies put away in the bathroom and a bowl of chicken dumpling soup in front of Tim.   


“Eat.”  He encouraged.


Tim started coughing instead.  After a few moments, he got up and went into the bedroom, returning with his inhaler, shaking it.   He managed to get a break in the coughing long enough for the first puff, let it out and coughed some more before the second puff.   “Sorry.” He raspily apologized.


“No, I’m sorry for giving you this.  Ella’s got the cough really bad too, but I’m pretty sure she doesn’t have asthma.”   Working in close quarters meant they knew an awful lot about each other.   “I didn’t even think about this hitting your lungs.”   


Tim shrugged again.  “Happeds about a third of the tibe.  The worse the cold is, the better the odds.  You picked a bad cold to share.”  He grabbed a tissue from the box.  “Hag od…”HuhhYUHHshooo, YUHHshoo, UHHHshoo….HeyYEHHHSshahh, EHHHSshahh, ESHAHH  huhhhRAHHHshooo, AHHSHOO, AYYYSHOO.”   He turned back to Freddie and grabbed fresh tissues, “I’m sdeezing right through theb by the third.” He complained, grabbing a couple and blowing his nose.   “But I dever rebeber to grab bore thad ode.”  He complained, getting up to wash his hands.  


“What’s with the three sneezes?” Freddie asked. “I thought you always sneezed in twos.”


“Always.” Tim confirmed.   “But this cold, ugh.”  He went back and fished his soup.   “This was great, thadks.”


“There’s more in the fridge for later,” Freddie let him know, helping him to the couch and tucking him in.   “Movie?”


“Sure.  Just pick sobethig off of Pribe; I’m sure I’ll fall back to sleep.”


Freddie found a comedy that required little attention from either of them and sat with Tim.   He filled him in on how he had felt, how he was feeling now, how Sam and Ella were doing.   While he was talking, Cashew had, it seemed, decided to overcome his fear of Tim’s newfound loud sneezes and see who was here.


He padded over to his former owner and bounced up into his lap.   “No Cashew.” Fredddie said, brushing him down and rubbing his nose.   Cashew placed his hands on Freddie’s knees and bounced right back up.  “Cashew…Chushooo.”  He pushed him down again and looked over at Tim.   


Tim shook his head.  “If you want him in the bedroom, dude, you gotta do it right now.”


Freddie nodded as Cashew jumped up a third time.  He picked the cat up, stood up and went and deposited the cat on Tim’s bed.  Uhhhchussh, uhhchushh, chuhshhh.”   Tim could hear Freddie sneezing as he washed his hands.  Huhhhcuhissahh, uhhhchuhhshooo.”    He came back and blew his nose.  “I swear that cat remembers me.”  He commented,


Tim nodded, coughing roughly. “I think he does.”   Freddie had been Cashew’s previous owner wherein they discovered Freddie was allergic to cats.  Tim has been more than happy to take him when Freddie couldn’t and had been his ever since.   But that 2 weeks seemed to have made an impact on the kitten.   He didn’t beeline for the also allergic Alex like he did for Freddie.   


“Have you heard from Alex?” He asked Tim.


“Dot sidce Thursday.   He’s sigk too.”   Tim paused, wrapping his arm around his face.  HuuhYUHHHshuhh, YUHHHSHuhhh, UHHHSHEHH.”   He rubbed his sleeve under his nose as Freddie handed him tissues.


“Bless you.”  He waited for Tim to blow his nose.  “I think you got the worst of the sneezing with this one.”  At Tim’s quizzical look, he explained.  “Loud, harsh, violent, frequent….you got it all.   Unless Alex has added in some new element.” He half-joked.  


Tim nodded.  “Adyway, Alex cabe id sigk on Thursday with be ad Ella.  Sab got sigk Weddesday.”  He paused to blow his nose again.   “I thik he probably wedt straight to bed ad is sleepig as buch as he cad trying to shake this.   The kid cobes id toborrow dight.”  


Shit.  Freddie felt like scum now.  He’d managed to give Alex the worst cold right before his daughter flew out.   “Somehow, I doubt that will help.”


Tim nodded.  “Let hib call you.   He’ll probably call Jabie if he deeds help with Kristid if he’s this sick.   Although if you’re feeling better…”


“Yeah.   And I know Alyssa’s got him for what ever he needs.”    


Tim coughed again and reached for his juice glass.   “Thadks for all your help.”


“No problem.   I’m sorry I got you sick.”


Tim shrugged.   “Happeds.  It’s dot your fault you’re  always sick.”


Freddie pulled the blankets back up over Tim.   “I’m gonna go let you rest now.  Call if you need anything.”


Tim nodded, yawning, snuggling into the pillow as Freddie looked the door behind him. 


Freddie didn’t hear from Alex until Sunday.  When he did, it was Alyssa calling.  


Edited by aggedy_ann
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This is fantastic.  I like the way Tim's "pattern" changed from doubles to triples with this cold.  And I like that you added in Cashew and Freddie - yum :)

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@Puzzle @sprinkles287 Tim is not loving this change in his sneezing.   But, he rolls with it.


Next up, Alex:

1.     Alex

AN: I switched up this part from where the ending of Tim implies.  I tried to write it, but I was reusing too much dialogue from the scene in Breaking his Promises where Alyssa dispatches Freddie over.   So, to start anew on that.  Hence the strikeout in the last line of Tim.  There will probably be some redundancies between the two fics. Apologies.  


Freddie’s cell phone rang as he crossed Tim’s parking lot.  “Hi Alex.”


“Hi.”  Alex coughed.   “Just what exactly did you give us?”


“It’s a cold, Alex.   But it’s a bad one.”


“Just in time for my daughter to visit.”


“I am so sorry.”  Freddie apologized as Alex sneezed harshly.  


Hahhhrehhshuhh, ehhhchuurrshh, huhhhruhhshehhh.”  He noisily blew his nose, pulling the phone away.


“Bless you.  You need anything?  I’m out running errands.”


“Alyssa’s got me covered on that front.   But if you want to stop by…”


“You need lunch?”


“Lyss called an hour ago to make sure I ate.”


“I’ll be over.”  Freddie was at Alex’s within a half an hour.   Alex answered the door, looking pale with dark circles under his eyes.  


“Come in,” he sniffled, leading him to the living room.   He flopped down on the couch and wrapped a blanket around himself, gesturing for Freddie to sit next to him.  


“How are you feeling?” Freddie asked sympathetically.  


“Lousy.” Alex coughed.  “Sniffly, sneezy, achy, tired.  Not that I can sleep all that great.   I keep coughing and waking myself up.   Then I start sneezing.  Then I have to blow my nose fore 20 minutes so I can breath enough to sleep.”   


Freddie nodded.  Alex’s insomnia was bad enough, but he was also a notoriously light sleeper.  “I did that.  I imagine with your sleep issues, it’s worse for you.”   

Alex nodded, snatching up a tissue.  Ehhrchumphh, uhhhchussummphh.”


“Bless you.”


“Thanks.”  He blew his nose loudly.  “The worst part is Kristin comes tomorrow night, and I’m sick.”


“Sorry, man.  I didn’t mean to get you all sick.”


Alex waved away his apology.  “It’s just, your timing sucked, is all.”  A pause.  “So you know you got Tim, Sam and Ella too…that I know of.”


“They’ve called.  I’ve brought them supplies and made them soup.”


“How are they doing?” Alex asked of his small writing staff


“Sam looks rough, but Tim said she got sick first so she’s probably right in the middle of it.   Ella’s sneezing like crazy.  Tim…gotta keep an eye on Tim.  He’s sneezing like crazy, so stuffed up and he’s got a bad cough.  Says it’s hitting his lungs, and with his asthma...”


Alex nodded.  “Watch him.  I’m gonna be tied up trying not to give this to Kris.”  


“She…EhhChurshh, hehhrchushhh, chushooo.  She doesn’t need it.”   


Alex slid the tissues over to Freddie.  “Bless you.  Those don’t sound that great.”


“They’re not as harsh or violent as they were.” Freddie shrugged.   “This cold is nasty.   You don’t want to hear Tim sneeze right now.”


Alex shot him a confused look.


“Harsh, violent, *loud*; sets of three instead of two.  He’s scaring the cat to death.”


Alex gave a laugh which turned into a harsh series of coughs.   Freddie got up and went into kitchen, filling a glass with water and bringing it to him.  “Thanks,” Alex rasped, taking a long swallow.   He set the glass down and grabbed a tissue.  “Gonna…sneeze…” he gasped.   Hhhuhhruhhshuhh.  Ruhhshuhh,  EhhSHUhh, hheehRUHHshuhh-shuhhh.”  He gave his nose several strong, wet blows.


“Bless you.”


“See.  I start coughing.  Then sneezing.  Now I’ll be blowing my nose for awhile.”  As if to illustrate his point, he took another tissue and blew his nose twice more.  “I’m not all that congested today, but my nose won’t quit dripping.” He complained, swabbing at it with the tissue.


“I didn’t have that.  I was totally congested like Tim.  Fortunately, Jamie can understand stuffed up nose speak.”


Alex laughed tentatively; he didn’t want to start coughing again.  “I’d imagine she’s used to it.”  He yawned.


“You need rest.” Freddie needlessly pointed out.


“I know.  Heyyehhchuhh.”  Alex blew his nose again.   Just don’t know if I can.  It’s like an hour at a time.”


“Hey, every little bit helps.” Freddie pointed out, standing up and moving to the chair.    “I’ll stop talking and sit with you until you fall asleep.”


Alex nodded, stretching his 5’7” frame out on the couch.  Freddie draped the blanket over him and made sure he could reach the tissues and water.  


“TV off or on?” 


“Leave it on.”  Alex was had the sports channel on.  “It gets monotonous and kinda puts me to sleep.” He admitted.”


Freddie laughed.  “Ok.”


He curled up in the armchair until Alex’s snores indicated that he was, at least, temporarily, asleep.


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20 minutes ago, Puzzle said:

Oo this is still great tho! If you plan on doing more, I can’t wait! 

There’s 2 epilogues coming.  This kind of exploded on me lol.

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And the epilogues


Epilogue 1

Alyssa sneezed as she made her way up the stairs to the guest room.  She had been sleeping there since Alex’s cold had gotten bad.   Not that it had done her any good.   She was now coming down with it.  She had started with the sore throat and occasional sneezes during her second lab section that afternoon.  Now she was going to record Wednesday and Friday’s lectures as a precaution.  She had seen what this cold had done to Alex.   


She managed to record the lectures without sneezing her way through them, then went downstairs to supper with Alex and Kristin.   


She was almost through with supper when she sneezed.  Ahhshoo, hahhshoo.” She sneezed softly into a paper napkin.


“Bless you.” Alex said, giving her a suspicious look.  “You ok?”


“Fine.” She assured him.  She didn’t want him to know she had this yet.   After supper, she excused herself to the guest room under the guise of needing to grade papers.   Instead, she went to bed.


She was sneezing not 10 minutes after she woke up the next morning.  Hatshoo, ahhshoo, hahhahhshoo.”  She noticed her sneezes were louder than usual and sighed.    She got ready skipped breakfast and headed to work. 


Her first lecture was at 9, and she prayed the DayQuil would knock out her symptoms.   She was wrong.

She began lecture, hoping for the best.   After the 6th series of sneezes, she stopped.  “Ok, class, clearly, I’m not up for this today.  Lectures will be posted online.”


She went back to her office and emailed her students that classes were cancelled for the week, lectures would be online, they were responsible for the material, and that a lab activity would be posted for those in Thursday’s lab.


Alex and Kristin were playing a game on the kitchen table when she came home, dropping her keys on the kitchen table.  HahhEhhshoo.  Ehhtshoo!”


That got his attention.  “Bless you.  I’ve never heard you sneeze that loud.”    The sneezes were a conversational tone, but her normal sneeze was so breathy, it seemed loud.   He finished with “you’re home early.”


“Caught your cold.  Couldn’t stop sneezing enough to lecture.”  She grabbed a paper towel and blew her nose.


His face fell.  “I’m sorry, babe.”


She poured a glass of orange juice.  “I’m going to bed.” She sniffled.


Epilogue 2

Hihhtschoo! Schoo! Schoo! Ihhtschoo! Hih-Hihhhtschooo!”  Freddie woke to Jamie sneezing in the bathroom.  Schoo! Schoo! Ahh ihhtschoo!”  He heard her blow her nose, then start sneezing all over again.


He slid out of bed and padded into the bathroom, sitting on the edge of the tub, watching her hair fall forward with each sneeze.  She stopped 5 sneezes later and blew her nose again.  “Hi.” She said, stuffily.


“Bless you! Caught my cold?”


She shook her head, shaking a pill into her hand.  “Allergies.  They’ve been really bad.”  She reached for her other pill bottle and shook that pill out, swallowing them with a sip of water.


“I’ve noticed.  But pollen hasn’t been that bad.”


He watched as she fished in her bathroom drawer and fished out an inhaler and nasal spray and used them. 


“Those are new.”


“Doctor prescribed them on Monday when I went in, see if they help.”


“Did he say why your allergies got worse?”


She indicated he should wait a minute for her response.  “Hihhhtschooo! Ihhhtschoo! Ihhschoo! Huhhihhtschoo!”


“Bless you again.”


“He asked if there were any changes lately, a few other questions, then ran a test.  Apparently your allergies and asthma get worse when you’re pregnant.”  She said casually.


“Oh, well, learned something new.”  He paused.  “Wait.  What did you say?”


She looked him in the eye.  “I’m pregnant.”


He grinned.  “We’re having a baby?”


“Well, technically, I am, but yes.”


He crossed over and wrapped his arms around her, until she pushed herself free.  His quizzical look soon evaporated as she doubled over with a powerful set of sneezes.  Huhhihhtschoo, Ihhhtschoo, uhhihhtschoo.  You’re gonna have to get used to this.” She sniffed as he handed her a strip of toilet paper.

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Oh my gosh.  I'm completely loving the way Jamie told Freddie she was pregnant!  I remember this being a very real thing when I was pregnant and never thought about applying it to fiction.  This is such a warm fuzzy.  I'm so happy.    

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