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Unexpected Consequences (Knives Out: Benoit, allergies)


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Just a shameless one shot because I loved this movie. This is set after the movie, so spoilers. 


A number of unexpected consequences had come from the unusual case of Mr. Harlan Thrombey’s death, but none so surprising, nor delightful, to Detective Benoit Blanc than the friendship between himself and Miss Marta Cabrera. It had taken her a little while to find her sea legs after all the chaos, but now she seemed to be taking to her new life like a fish to water. For his part, Benoit loved his visits to the estate to chat with Marta and see how she was faring as Boston’s newest millionaire—a title she still blushed at every time he used.

“I want to introduce you to someone,” she said, taking his hand and tugging him away from the patio table where they’d just enjoyed a slow lunch catching up on the last few weeks of each other’s lives.

“Why, Miss Cabrera, is there a gentleman suitor concealed in this enormous mansion?” he teased. Benoit had been encouraging her to widen her social circle since the Thrombey affair, but she’d been as reluctant as a mule in mud for some reason. Marta rolled her eyes.

“Yes, and I left him locked in a cupboard while we had lunch,” she said. He chuckled and followed her down a second-floor hallway to one of the bedrooms. She opened the door and stepped aside so he could see.

“Marta, what have you done?” he laughed.

“I adopted a couple rabbits,” she said.

“And build them a palatial rabbit resort and spa?” he asked. It was true—what had been a bedroom was now a series of interconnected hutches, mazes, feeding stations, and playpens.

“What do I need twelve bedrooms for? One of Alice’s friends works for a rescue society and they had this pair that needed a new home.” A grey and white lop-eared rabbit and a solid black one had made their way over to one of the hutch doors as she was talking, sniffing at the wires and looking for a treat.

“You know, my grandfather raised rabbits,” Blanc said. “Course, they were in cages in a barn out back and weren’t exactly meant to be pets.” Marta narrowed her eyes and tried to figure out if he was teasing her or being serious but, as usual, she wasn’t entirely sure.

“Well, these bunnies are not for eating,” she said, slipping each rabbit a piece of dried fruit, before sliding the lock back. She petted both on the nose and murmured something in Spanish, but as she was about to reach in and pick one up, Benoit suddenly gasped and brought his arm up to shield a violent and unexpected sneeze.


“Bless you!” Marta said. The rabbits scampered away, the larger black one stomping her foot angrily. Blanc stayed frozen with his face buried in his elbow for a few seconds, unsure if there was a second sneeze on its way or not. He sniffed and felt the tickle back down, so he turned back to Marta.

“Goodness, excuse me,” he said. “Caught me off guard. Hope I didn’t traumatize the pets.”

“Nothing a couple pieces of dried fruit won’t fix.” In fact, the rabbits had already come back to the door and Marta reached in, scooping up the lop and holding her against her chest.

“You make that look so easy,” Benoit said.

“Here, I’ll show you. Just keep one hand under her hindquarters and the other between the shoulder blades and her head until she settles and…there…now you’ve got it.” Just like that, Benoit ended up with an armful of rabbit. Marta leaned over and gently scratched the top of her head and slipped her another sliver of fruit. “You’ve got Agatha,” Marta said. “The black one is Christie, but she’s a lot more skittish. Also loves nibbling on fabric, so I doubt your tie would survive an encounter,” Marta said.

“Agatha and Christie, hmm?” Benoit asked with a sniff.

“Harlan’s favorite author.” Marta’s eyes took on that sad gleam they got anytime she mentioned her friend. If Benoit didn’t currently have his hands full, he would have given her a hug. Instead, he nudged her shoulder with his and she met his eyes. “I know,” she said quietly. “It’s getting better, but it still…” her voice trailed off like she wasn’t sure how to finish the sentence.

“It’s okay,” he said. “I know exactly what you mean.” It was at this point that an early suspicion of Benoit’s was starting to gain credence. Soon after entering the converted rabbit penthouse, he’d begun to notice an increasing irritation in his nose and throat. What had started as a barely noticeable fluttering had steadily grown into a more pronounced and persistent sensation, coalescing into a single pinprick of discomfort in his left nostril. He wasn’t sure if the rabbit hair was agreeing with him. A couple sniffles later and he was quite sure the rabbit hair wasn’t agreeing with him. For a fleeting second, Benoit wished he was in easy view of a mirror because he was curious if his own nose was twitching in a manner similar to Agatha’s. It was an exceedingly fleeting thought though, because—


Instinctively, he tightened his hold on Agatha, cradling her against his chest so he wouldn’t drop her during the ensuing sneezing fit that was no longer avoidable.


“Bless you!” Marta said. “Are you—”

huhAHHTSCHHeew! huh huhAHHKTSHHeew!

Marta grabbed Agatha and slipped her back into the cage, before pushing Benoit out of the room. The minute his hands were free, he pulled a handkerchief out of his pocket and blew his nose.

“Why would you let me give you a rabbit if you knew you were allergic?” Benoit rather loved the way her accent grew stronger while she simultaneously scolded him and worried about him.

“Well, I didn’t know—”

“Didn’t you say your grandfather raised them?”

“Oh, you see I was lyin’ about tha—huhAHHKTSHHEEW!

“So, you lie to your friend? Well, then maybe you deserve this,” she said.

“Granted.” He took his glasses off and went to wipe at his watery eyes, but she grabbed his arm.

“Don’t touch your eyes until you wash your hands. Come with me.”

Well, thank goodness for Nurse Cabrera, he thought while following Marta to one of the mansion’s many bathrooms, sneezing about every third step. With practiced ease, Marta loosened his tie then unbuttoned his cuffs, rolling his shirt sleeves up to his elbows before turning on the faucet.

“Hands first,” she said, opening a medicine cabinet. “Scrub them for at least thirty seconds. Get under the nails and everything.” His eyes were so irritated that tears were streaming down his face and it was only through a valiant series of sinus-inflaming sniffles that he managed to keep his nose from joining the party. “That should be good,” Marta said. “Clean towels are over there. I need to wash my hands too.”

Benoit dried his hands and then pounced on the box of tissues on the counter. Dignity be damned, he thought, blowing his nose loudly. He was rubbing his eyes when he heard the water turn off and felt Marta’s hands on his wrists.

“Let me see,” she said, pulling his hands away. “Your poor eyes. Oh, Benoit I’m so sorry,” she said when she got a good look at his face.

“Dear girl, how could you have known? I didn’t even know.” He got a fresh handful of tissues as his nose began to itch again. His lips parted and a series of deep, hitching breaths interrupted whatever he had been about to say next.

huh Uhh…Ahh ah huhAHHKTSHHeew!

“Bless you. Sit down,” she said. He took a seat on the closed toilet seat lid and scrubbed at his nose.

“Like a nose full of fire ants,” he mumbled.

“Are you allergic to any medications?” Marta asked. He shook his head, and she handed him a couple pills and a small glass of water. “Now tilt your head back,” she said. Benoit complied and Marta laid a cold, damp wash cloth over his eyes.

“Oh, that is better than a mint julep in July,” he said with relief. She laughed and put one hand on the back of his head, running her fingers through his short hair, while the other applied gentle pressure to the cloth on his eyes. Benoit hummed in appreciation.

“I’m sorry my new pets gave you an allergy attack,” she said quietly.

“Don’t you fret. It’s already getting better, and I’m very happy you have some companionship in this enormous house. Though I do wish to renew my argument that you need a nice upstanding gentleman in your life.”

“Hm. You might be right.”

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