Jump to content
Sneeze Fetish Forum

For Real (M/M)


Lily

Recommended Posts

Hello hello ! This is a m/m sneeze fic who grew into me, I had to let it go and I was like maybe here will be a good place ? 

If you enjoy m/m stories, I encourage you to go read these fav of mine ;

I Hunger Only For You (Into the Wild With Me)
Wherever You Need or Want Me (I'm There) (both by @Not Telling)

And these two who gave me the need to share my own stories here ; The Building Inspector / The Best Laid Plans by @treehouse
Any recommendations in m/m stories ? I’ll take. 🤭

Mine :

so many places
so many places ever after

*******

Plot: Hugo and Alexander are the very opposites.

Hugo is small, sweet, introverted, serious, nerdy and sensitive, (neurodivergent ? idk you tell me).
Alexander is this tall, loud, funny guy that everyone loves and who never seems to take anything seriously.

They were unexpected childhood best friends. You couldn't separate them. Just before college, their relationship changed overnight without anyone understanding anything. A few years later, they met again completely unexpectedly.

CW (cause the tags didn’t seem quite enough and well, just for a lil teasing): childhood friends who grew up together then apart, love/hate relationship, hurt/comfort, fluff, character with the kink, sneeze talk, induced sneezing, handkerchief, tissues, cute, dust, allergies snz and I'll stop here but many more things are coming (I hope)

As english is not my mothertongue I apologize in advance for all the mistakes I’ll made and hope that this will not disturb your reading.

Also, there is not a lot of sneezes in this prologue + first chapter but I promise they will be more in the following chapters. :blushing:

And finally: the story takes place today, in 2023, probably in the middle of winter (so a little in the future haha) but I think there will be recurring flashbacks so I'll always put the date but just in case ; Hugo is 21, Alexander is 22 (in 2023).

Enjoy !!

Ps : you don’t have to, but note that I’ll take any recommendations/advices and if you have ideas for my characters please don’t be shy and share, I’ll try to put it if possible, I love writing and have many ideas by myself but incorporating others’s ideas make it nicer

Lily

FOR REAL

Prologue

2004

The day Hugo put his first step to primary school, he felt immense anxiety. Everyone promised him he would love school. He loved learning, he was a strangely serious and solitary child. His parents told him that he would learn even more than with them, and above all, he would make friends. Hugo didn't really understand why, but his parents seemed to consider having friends to be the most important thing. Hugo had enough friends in the books he loved, in the stories he told himself. He was going to have a sibling, so he figured, despite being six and a half years old, that he didn't need much more compagny. The day he go to school, he would have preferred a thousand times to stay with his books in the calm of his room rather than face this swarming and worrying mask of children of all ages screaming and running in all directions. And then he missed his mother. A bit too much. Where was she to reassure him? Especially since she wouldn't be home tonight. She was hospitalized because of the pregnancy. This thought overwhelmed him. He had entered the school with a heavy heart and close to the walls. He still remembered the tears that threatened to fall the second he entered the courtyard.

While he was near a clear and confident voice called out to him.

"Hey ! Why are you crying ?"

“I’m not crying” Hugo immediately replied with shining eyes.

He had seen a boy, quite tall for his age, with tan skin, messy curly brown hair, legs covered in bruises and scratches, a t-shirt too big for him and shorts, stained and cut at the pocket level. He had his hands on his hips, a brown, almost black gaze, which he directed into Hugo's.

6 years old Hugo, pale, covered in freckles, tiny and delicate features, dark-brown hair and big baby blue eyes, started to sniffle.

“But you look so sad.” the boy argued.

“I…I miss my m-mom…” and Hugo’s voice cracked and he started to cry.

"Oh. Did she…Did she died ?" asked the boy, in a genuine empathetic way.

Hugo, who had started to cry, choked on a sob and looked at the boy with fear.

“No. She’s g-going to have a b-b-baby.” he stammered.

“Oh ! You’re going to be a big brother. That’s pretty cool” simply said the boy.

He had black eyes, you could almost not discern his iris from the rest of his eye. Hugo sniffed again, trying not to cry but having trouble to.

“You think my m-m-m-om is going t-to die ?” stammered Hugo, getting frightening all of sudden.

“Of course not.” said the boy.

His voice was so confident that Hugo choose to believe him immediately.

“You want to play with us ?” asked the other boy.

He pointed to a group of boys playing with a ball. Hugo sniffed again and said no with his head.

"Alex ! Leave him, he's a baby." shouted a boy.

“Yeah, come on !” said another.

“He’s not a baby !” screamed the boy the others called Alex, then hesitating a second, he added “Start without me !”

He turned towards Hugo.

“What’s your name ?”

“Hugo.”

“Do you know how to walk on your hands ?” asked Alex.

“No” answered Hugo with a little sniff.

“Watch me !”

And Alex threw himself on the ground, started a handstand. He barely made a few unbalanced steps before falling to the ground, laughing. His laughter was like a ray of sunshine, irresistible and contagious. Hugo started to laugh. Alex smiled, showing gaps – he had lost two baby teeth naturally and two others in a stunt and a fight – and stood up immediately. He attempted a cartwheel and once again landed on the ground laughing. Hugo laughed again too. They spent the rest of recess watching Alex's more or less successful sporting exploits. As the bell rang, Hugo stopped laughing and looked worried.

“I don’t know where I should go” he confessed ”My dad told me but...But I can't remember”.

“You’re 6 years old right ?” asked Alexander.

“Y-Yeah.”

“Come with me”

Alex put his arm around Hugo's shoulder and led him to the first years' location.

“There you go !” he said, his chest a little thrust forward, out of pride.

“Do you know if my teacher is nice?” asked Hugo with a hint of anxiety.

“You must have Miss Gonzalez. She is nice, I guess. I don’t know, I’m not very good at school.” confessed Alex, but looking completely unbothered by the fact.

Hugo was surprised by this confession. To him, Alex was already a hero in this school.

“Do you eat with the first year ?” he asked with hope.

“Yes, I’m only one year more than you you know.” explained Alex.

“Good” sighed Hugo with relief.

“Well…I have to go, I’m always late.”

The boy moved away then returned with a grimace.

“My name is Alexander, but you can call me Alex. My friends call me Alex.”

Hugo smiled, delighted to know that he was a friend of this boy who was so popular, kind, and above all so funny. Could that be this simple, being friends with people ? Hugo was relieved.

“I don’t have a nickname.”

“I’ll give you one; Malenki !” said Alexander with another smile.

“It’s not a nickname…It’s…Longer…And…And what does this mean ?” asked Hugo, frowning.

He was often told that he was a smart little boy who knew a lot of words for his age. It must be said that Hugo, despite his young age, already knew how to read and began to write. That a word was unknown to him always seemed to interest him to the greatest extent. And then with Alexander, it seemed like an adventure. Alexander smiled again, happy to make a little mystery, but then grimaced as he heard his own teacher called him in a frustrated voice.

"Alexander ! Come immediately, you can't start again like last year. Hurry up !"

Hugo was sorry that Alexander, through his fault, had almost gotten into troubles. Alexander made a deliberately exaggerated grimace, a quick wave of his hand accompanied by a “See ya !” before running to his teacher. Hugo readjusted the straps of his bag, feeling ready to face anything now.

2011

"We have to go out. You have to go out. You never go out and you're fourteen." argued Alexander.

“I don’t see how that’s an argument. Now shut up and let revise me.”

“Review what ?” – but Alexander’s voice was cut by a yawn.

He looked at his friend since eight years now, who had his nose buried in a book that he should probably read too, as they were in the same class. Alexander had not repeated a year, by some sort of miracle – which in reality was none other than Hugo making him revise ardently – and Hugo had skipped a grade. Also the two boys had found themselves in the same class when they were nine and ten years old respectively, three years after their first meeting in this courtyard. And by some miracle, they were always in the same class since this.

Now Hugo was fourteen years old, he had only gained a few centimeters since childhood. His milky complexion was still dotted with small freckles. His delicate features were still those of childhood. Alexander was fifteen years old, he seemed to have grown up too quickly, with his shoulders already square, burned by the sun.

"Hugo ! Please we have to go, hanging out with everyone" begged Alexander.

“I don’t care about them. Besides, I’m not going out until I finish this chapter.”

“Gee you’re such a nerd !” complained Alexander.

“And you, you’re such a pervet. You just want to go out to watch girls at the skatepark.” Hugo replied calmly, even though the idea disgusted and irritated him without him knowing why.

"Wrong. I want to go out and have the girls watch me at the skatepark." Alexander sneered, in all his teenage stupidity.

“The only thing you’re going to manage to do is break your face, as always. And then Bakba is actually going to murder you. And I will help her, if she’s too tired.” Hugo muttered.

Alexander threw a pillow in his face.

“Hey !” shouted Hugo.

And they started fighting as they always did. Hugo only fought with Alexander, because with any other person, he would have been knocked out in two seconds. They fought to laugh. They fought like two little lions. Although Alexander could have easily overpowered him or hurt him, he was a good two heads taller than him and he had a habit of breaking anything and everything. He was the daredevil type, and he liked physical contact. Fighting with Hugo was a gruff manner yet affectionate to prove their bond to him. Alhtough Alexander would have been hard-pressed to describe his relationship with Hugo. Best friends ? Brothers ? The idea of them being brothers seemed so true at times, but sometimes, for a reason Alexander couldn't really qualify, it gave him goosebumps and even heartache.

Hugo liked how Alexander was careful with him, and he didn't care much getting hurt because – and he couldn't explained why at this point – Alexander was the person who knew him the best, better than his parents or his little sister, better than Babka, Alexander's grandmother who had almost adopted Hugo as her own grandson, but then again, it was another thing, it was not only because Alexander knew him so well that Hugo fought with him. He liked it. Being with Alexander, between the blows and the tickles, between this child's play and...

“Ouch, ouch…Sasha…” escaped Hugo’s mouth as Alexander’s knees had just crushed his ribs a little too much.

"Ok, I'll let you for this time. But gosh, you really need gain some weight, Malenki. I could actually crush you." said Alexander rolling onto his side and falling out of bed with a thud "Ouch !”

“Ouuuh I’m so scared.” started Hugo, but then frowning, he rushed to the edge of the bed to see Alexander on the floor “Are you ok ?” he asked, between the tease and the concern.

Alexander grimaced and sat up, rubbing his back. He simply nodded. He had seen others.

“Please can we go now ?” begged Alexander.

Hugo sighed.

“I’ll take my book with me then.”

“Such a nerd” Alexander laughed.

And Alexander held out his hand to Hugo.

“Help me”

Hugo took his hand in his to help him get up but he was smaller and weaker than Alexander and he fell into Alexander's arms very quickly.

“AAAAaaaaAAAh !”

"Ouch !" Alexander grimaced, picking up Hugo in his arms.

“BOYS ! Calm down !” Babka shouted from the kitchen “You’re going to go through the ceiling one of these days!”

And then she rumbled with her strong eastern european accent. Hugo was on Alexander, panting. They both shouted.

“Sorry Babka !”

And then they frowned as they didn’t quite catch what she was saying. Their eyes met and they couldn't help but burst out laughing. Then Alexander weakly pushed Hugo away.

“Dude, get off…”

“You’re the one who made me fall, stupid!” protested Hugo, taking all his time to get off from Alexander.

“You’re like zero strength in your cotton swab arms!”

"Shut up !" cried Hugo, and he was about to punch him in the chest but Alexander caught his wrist in midair, smiling.

They stayed like this. For a weird reason, they looked at each other a bit too long. Alexander’s impenetrable black gaze and Hugo’s light blue confused big eyes seemed to meet for the first time.

"Boys ! Are you still alive or whatever ?" asked Babka with her thick accent.

“Yeah ! And now we’re going out!” screamed Alexander.

They each got up on their own. Their cheeks were red, but then again, the fights always got them a little heated.

Right ?

2023 - Present time

Hugo was tense in the car that was taking him to the village where he was going to participate in a conference. He was the younger one of the people inviting there, and he was representing his university, a great honour considering how young Hugo was. But at 21 years old, Hugo was already very advanced in his field of research, in environmental sciences. He worked in a major research center which adjoined a nature reserve. His research, as part of his studies, contributed to the lawsuit between the organization with which he worked as an apprentice towards the Californian state. And they won the process. Hugo had therefore naturally been invited everywhere to discuss it and explaining the importance and the manners to protect the environment. He had refused most of the offers, too panicked at the idea of having to speak in public in so many places. But he had to accept a few conferences, and had accepted the one which took place in the French Alps, as he was interested in this environment since a long time and was counting on the cycle of conferences, which lasted a week, to explore the surroundings. Speaking in another language, as he was very gifted in languages – funny if you consider how not very social he was in a general manner – put him more at ease. French suited him well.

So if he was so tense, even uncomfortable, it wasn't because it was cold and the car seat was uncomfortable. Or even that the road, winding along steep cliffs, could make you dizzy. No.

In fact, he had literally grown up with the young man who drove the car.

2 hours before, when his local guide had introduced him to the driver responsible for bringing him to the village, an "American just like you", Hugo had taken his face out of his delicate scarf to better distinguish the long figure with square shoulders who, leaning against a car, finished a cigarette. He sniffed slightly, because of how freezing it was and Hugo, of a not very robust constitution, was very sensitive to the cold. But he stopped to sniff the second where he recognized the silhouette.

Alexander.

1 – What were the odds ?

2005

”What does Malenki mean ?” suddenly asked Hugo, out of nowhere, like he often did.

”Never told you uh ?” Alexander, happy that for once he knew something Hugo didn’t smile.

”I thought I could guess it. ” Hugo mumbled, frustrated.

”Hehe, and you didn’t right? ”

”Come on please tell me. ” Hugo asked.

“It’s just your name” answered Alexander, fighting a smile without success.

Hugo frowned, confused.

”That just can’t be it. ” he protested.

”Okay fine ! It’s from Babka. It means little one. Tiny one.” cracked Alexander.

”Hey that means !” protested Hugo.

”But...You are little. ” Alexander defended himself.

”Am…Not. ”

Frustrated, Hugo crossed his arms and turned his back on Alexander.

”Hugoooo ! Please come play with us. ” begged Alexander, who really wanted to have fun but was always a bit torn between Hugo, who didn’t like the other children, and having fun with everyone.

”No ! I don’t want to play with you. ”

”Ugh, you’re such a baby. Fine, sulk if you want. I'm going to play with the others. ” cutted Alexander, getting frustrated by his friend’s attitude.

Hugo felt so frustrated he couldn’t even talk. He knew he was little, tiny, he was one of the most little kids around here, despite the fact he was turning 8 in a few months. But he was especially frustrated that this pretty nickname that Alexander gave him, which to his ears sounded like the name of a hero, was just a way of describing him by his size which he was regularly made fun of, in addition to his studious appearance and his generally calm demeanor, except when he had tantrums or panic attacks, which happened sometimes and could be very impressive. Only the school nurse was able to calm him down.

Hugo was fighting he anger rising, feeling lonely and sad, when other children arrived and started to push him around, taking advantage of the fact that Alexander was not there.

”Hey nerd !”

“Hey kid !”

"How's the dwarf ?"

”Oh stop, he’s going to cry, the little girl !”

Hugo looked around him. He sniffed lightly.

”L-leave me alone. ”

But the kids continued to circle around him, insulting him and making fun of him. Then Alexander came and threatened everyone with his fist.

”Back off ! Go away !”

The children left as quickly as they arrived: Alexander could hurt, and everyone knew that.

”Are you ok ? ”

“I didn’t ask you anything” sniffed Hugo.

”You have snot. ” said Alexander.

”Not t-true” said Hugo, sniffing slightly, passing his hand over his nose while trembling.

”Ok ok, I was messing with you. Come play with me now, I’m bored. ”Alexander sighed.

Hugo was the best person to play with. His imagination had no limits and he was the best to bring this special thing in games, like making it so real for some reason. Hugo looked at him.

”Please ? ” begged Alexander “It’s no fun playing without you. And I’ll stop calling you Malenki. ”

"'Kay” said Hugo, relieved that Alexander was here again. Being alone was not a problem in a general manner. Being without Alexander was just hard.

"Cool ! ” exclaimed Alexander, putting an arm around Hugo’s shoulder and leading him a little further into the yard, towards the place where they liked to play.

”You can call me Malenki you know” mumbled Hugo.

”Really? ”

”But you will be the only one. ” declared Hugo, pouting a little.

”Yay! The others, I will fight them” said Alexander, striking a karate pose.

Hugo started to laugh, and that made Alexander smile.

”And I know you’re not a baby. They're just stupid, and I repeated, so I think I'm stupid too. ” said gently Alexander, who, besides being a rather smart kid when it wasn’t related to academic stuff, had a heart of gold.

”Yes, I know” said Hugo with a tiny smile.

”Hey! ” protested Alexander who thought Hugo was saying he was stupid, even though he could also refer to the fact he knew Alexander didn’t consider he was a baby.

Hugo started to run to avoid Alexander messing with his hair and they both laughed as they were running, chasing each other everywhere.

2023 - Present day

Everything was racing through Hugo's mind. That first day of school, when he met Alexander. Then how they had become friends, him, the little introverted nerd, with the big, popular, fighting boy who was the clown of the whole neighborhood. His parents who, as devoted as they were to the new baby, Alice, Hugo's little sister, in fragile health, had left Hugo to spend a lot of time with Alexander, who lived a few blocks away, not far from the school . Alexander who was making the four hundred blows and Hugo who was covering him. Alexander and his games always so fun. Hugo who made their games complex adventures, listing everything in large notebooks where they made maps of the worlds where they were lords. Hugo remembered the abrupt way in which Babka, Alexander's grandmother, had almost adopted him as her own grandson. Alexander had no parents for a long time, they both died when he was three and they never talk about it. Hugo remembered the hours he spent spending hours on the beach at Coney Island with Alexander, until he caught cold. The candies that stuck to their fingers. Fights everywhere. The time Alexander had to go to the hospital because he tried to impress Hugo by jumping down the stairs and broke his ankle. Saturday nights when he went to sleep at Alexander's and Babka let them watch television very late, except that it was a channel in Polish, and it wasn't very interesting but they curled up under a blanket knitted by Babka who scratched a little, and they hugged each other, yawning and preventing each other from sleeping. Summers of happiness, alone against everyone.

Then adolescence. And always the same complicity, although their differences were widening. Hugo the introvert who didn't force himself to talk to anyone, who could spend hours in the library without ever getting tired. Alexander, in search of adventure, need to grow up quickly, freedom-loving, desire to be loved and to entertain the gallery. But they still hung out, defending each other tooth and nail, Hugo defending Alexander at school against the teachers who didn't really like this young man who never seemed to take anything seriously and who could be rude when it was obvious that he was smarter than he pretended too. Alexander defending Hugo against those who made fun of his very studious side, his fragile appearance and his somewhat particular way of being in the world. And their arguments. And their fights. And their connections.

And then they had their high school diplomas. At this time, Alexander and Hugo had drifted apart a little. Alexander just wanted to have fun, party and date as many girls as possible. Hugo was seriously preparing for his departure to university. He planned to go to the West Coast, his dream for a long time. He would miss New York, his family too, especially his sister Alice. Babka, terribly. As for Alexander, well, that was obviously the most complicated. Hugo sometimes tried, seriously, to discuss the latter's future with Alexander, but this one always turned everything into a joke. And then he seemed to prefer having fun with just about everyone rather than arguing with Hugo.

And then there was that warm summer night where Hugo, unable to sleep because he was leaving in less than a week, read a book. Alexander was at a party. It was almost two o'clock in the morning when Hugo, who was about to fall asleep, heard the characteristic sound of gravel being thrown against his window. It was Alexander. He had an agitated face, a nervous expression.

“Malenki, are you sleeping ?” he asked.

“Obviously no, you moron” said Hugo, fighting a yawn.

“So come down then.”

“Weren’t you at some party ?”

“Please just…Ugh, no, whatever” and Alexander left the garden.

Hugo came out quickly and caught up with him. Alexander walked at a determined pace to the beach and Hugo had to pick up his pace so as not to lose him. Arriving on the beach, despite the heat, Hugo noticed that Alexander was shaking.

“See, and then you always said I’m the fragile one” Hugo mocked, elbowing him in the stomach.

And then Hugo felt so down in a second as he saw Alexander starting to cry. He actually cried. He never cried, it was just not his thing. Hugo remembered not having found a word to say, suddenly feeling his own emotion overcome him, he had no need to speak, to question Alexander. It wasn't a heartbreak, it wasn't Babka, it was nothing, nothing other than the idea that for the first time in twelve years, they were going to be separated. For real.

“Sasha, don’t or I’m…” he eventually whispered, not really knowing where he was going with this.

And there, Alexander, his Sasha, had melted in his arms. They had hugged each other as they had done before, but this time they both knew, at the second of the skins’ being touched, that something was different. Hugo just remembered wanting to console Alexander. He had put his arm around his neck, just to make him feel even more ridiculously small than ever, and afterwards, Alexander had collapsed against him. And the night engulfed them, them and their secrets which could be read in their eyes, their hands, their bodies which could no longer leave each other.

A few days later, Hugo left to the west coast. When he came bac to NY for Christmas, he and Alexander were no longer seen together. It was as if they had never known each other. And no one around them or in the neighborhood or families knew why.

Hugo had always been a loner, but he still missed his sister Alice, to whom he was quite close. Every time he returned to the neighborhood, he felt this pang in his heart linked to his childhood. He thought a lot about Alexander. He was afraid of seeing him again. He felt stupid. The two had kept that night on the beach at Coney Island a secret. And never explained anything about why they no longer saw each other. Alice, who had always had a crush on Alexander, always tried to get him to talk about the subject, referring to Alexander when her brother came back, telling him that she had seen him at such and such a party on the beach or in the company of such and such girl on the street.

During the four years of university studies, during the four years when Hugo came back to see his family, they had crossed paths. Greeted politely as one greets a former neighbor. That was it.

Where did Sasha and Malenki go ?

*

Hugo and Alexander froze at the same time when they recognized each other, despite the fog, the night which was falling quickly and their coats which hid a little of their appearance. Alexander had reached 1m89/6,2 ft and his skin had matted from the time he spent outside. He was still very handsome with his taut jaw, his forehead on which unmanageable brown curls danced, his large black eyes with long eyelashes, his nose was quite wide, long and almost straight, some blow in his teens made him very slightly twisted, but you had to have Hugo's eyes to see it. He wore a worn navy blue scarf and a simple leather jacket that broadened his upper body, and a beanie that struggled to stay obediently on his head, given the thickness of his hair. Otherwise, he wore pants suitable for the mountains and thick boots.

Hugo, who had celebrated his 21 birthday not long ago, had reached 1m70/5,6 ft. He wore this long light gray coat, this light silk scarf and a black cap which flattened his brown hair, slightly clear than those of Alexander, but above all much smoother and finer. He had a milky skin, more freckles than ever and rosy cheekbones. His nose was long and slightly upturned at the end which made it unique and cute at both time. And his big blue eyes, baby blue, very expressive, and today quite confused in expression.

“Did you know each other ?” asked the guide with a very strong accent, as the two young men stared at each other intensely without saying anything, which was starting to feel a little strange. Moreover, it was getting dark, it was cold, and the guide knew that these two Americans had to arrive at the village before nine o'clock so as not to miss dinner.

Hugo responded in French in a mumble, readjusting his scarf over his nose.

“What did you say ?” grimaced Alexander, who only understood English, a little Polish as learning languages had never been his strong point.

Hugo didn’t answer, seeming particularly interested in what the guide was telling him. Alexander finished his cigarette which he threw away then returned to the duo.

“So am I your driver or what ?” Alexander said impatiently.

"Yes." finally said Hugo, turning towards Alexander, looking directly at him, which was rare, as Hugo, since he was very little, rarely looked people straight in the eye, which had the gift of annoying his surroundings and people in general.

“Then come on in” said Alexander.

Hugo sighed, and went to put his two huge suitcases in the trunk of the car, but he thought he was going to fall with them in the snow because they were so heavy. Alexander saw him in the rearview mirror, rolled his eyes and got out of the car to help him with the second suitcase. Hugo stepped aside.

“I can do it!”

“C’mon, it must be heavier than you” commented Alexander, “Just let me, I’m used too.”

Hugo dropped his suitcase, shivering and short of breath.

“I wouldn’t have any trouble putting it in if it didn’t have its skis in the trunk,” he said disingenuously.

“Right” Alexander mocked.

He slammed the trunk after putting Hugo's suitcase in the trunk. They entered the car after saying goodbye to Hugo's guide and Alexander started the car.

“So, like…What were the odds…” mumbled Alexander after a 10 minute silence.

Hugo looked out of the window without saying a word. Alexander looked at him in the rearview mirror.

“You’re still a nerd huh ? Actually calculating the odds ?” he asked in an amused voice.

“Don’t call me like this. I’m here to work. Also, I don’t want to speak to you so just…Ugh, we have what, two hours to drive ? Can’t we be silent ?”

"Ugh…Fine by me, nerd." Alexander said, cooled by Hugo’s attitude.

Hugo turned his face away. For half an hour, it was only a silence, only cut by the sound of the car which sometimes drove over a stone fallen from the mountain. With a light sniff from Alexander or Hugo, as the humid weather touched their sinuses. And then Hugo knew that his fragile health was going to further harm him, especially when he felt a little tickle growing more and more, until it forced him to sneeze and break the silence.

“Huhh-hhh-gnnnshm ’! HHhuh-gssssSHH ! GN-shhhht’ !”

He sighed softly, insecure about the end of this little fit. He kept his fist closed against his mouth and nose, inhaled a little and was right, as his nose needed once again to release something that was tickling his nostrils.

“HUKShhhm’ ! Uh…”

He sighed again, this time without a sound in his voice. He sniffled but realized with embarrasment how wet his sniffle was. He felt his cheeks turn red despite himself, as it was clearly embarrassing to him. He hid his nose and mouth in the silk scarf he wore.

"Ugh, sorry." he said as a reflex.

Alexander looked at him in the rearview mirror, as Hugo was hiding half his face with his scarf. He frowned.

“You know, I think there is tissues somewhere” he said, in a mocking tone.

Hugo grimaced, feeling his cheeks heat up.

“Leave me alone.” He said in a very defensive way.

Alexander shrugged.

“Whatever, nerd.”

But silence was not part of Alexander's world. So after a few minutes of not saying anything, he tried his luck.

"So how in the hell did you find yourself here ? Thought you were still at Stanford."

Hugo grimaced.

"Berkeley" he corrected in a grunt.

Alexander nodded. He did that on purpose, knowing that Hugo couldn’t not say something to the fact he said the wrong university’s name.

"Oh right. So ? They expelled you ?" mocked Alexander, knowing perfectly it wasn’t the case.

“Are you for real ?”

This. This sentence. Are you for real. Alexander almost smiled as it was something they used to say a lot, just an expression they liked and used since a young age. Plus they sometimes made a playword on that expression, as when they where kids, they have this imaginary world where they played diverse and varied characters. When they asked to the other are you for real, it was their code to getting back to the real world.

"What ?" said Alexander, looking at Hugo for a brief second.

Hugo immediately put his hand on the steering wheel.

“Look at the road, moron !”

Alexander growled.

“Let go of the steering wheel !”

“Then be careful.”

“Shut up, nerd.”

“You ignorant should now it’s four years of college. I’m done now. I’m working, I’m not…Expelled.” said Hugo with an annoyed tone.

“Whatever. I mean…If you’re done with your studies and sure they gave you many offers in the states, why are you’re coming to bury yourself here ? In a remote hole in the Alps ?” insisted Alexander.

“I…Ugh…Uh…Shh !” said a frustrated Hugo, who couldn’t sneeze at the right moment, and didn’t succeed to do it, then finishing his sentence “Told you. Working here. I have a job, me.” grunted Hugo, only regretting the “me” addition, cause it was mean, he heard it the moment he said it.

"I have one too, nerd. I'm driving you. Don't think I'm doing it for fun." muttered Alexander.

“I…Uhhh…Uh…I don’t believe you're do-doing...Shh...Do-doing it f-for f-f-fun...Uhn…UGh’mpppshuh !” he half-stifled it between his thumb and index finger, after trying to speak through his urge to sneeze, shaking a bit in the process.

Alexander nervously ran a hand through his hair. A lot of things were making him nervous right now and he didn't know where to start to calm down.

Link to comment

You have no idea how excited I am for another Lily story! I legit did a happy dance seeing a new story with you as the author. I see you post and I am basically required by law to read it, that is how this goes. And Oh my gosh! This is a brilliant beginning. I'm already addicted, already having read it 3 times. Each time soaking in more details. I'm already so engaged, so intrigued, your writing and how you've set this up immediately pulls me in. You've expertly built this, with little snippets of their past, reflections of how close they were and how their friendship developed combined with then the tension of whatever happened between them that pushed them apart and lingers over them at their reuniting. I already feel twinges of sadness for how they're communicating with each other in the present and I don't even know the full extent of what happened. 

I can't quite figure out if Alex is being actively hostile towards Hugo especially in the way he keeps calling him nerd like how the bullies referred to him or if it's said with a reminiscing, teasing fondness.

Yet another instant favorite! You are a writing master! I will wait with bated breath for the next part. ❤️ (In the mean time my head is swimming with all the possibilities of what might have happened between them.) 

Also, thank you for the shout-out in your introduction. *blushing* 

Link to comment

Eek new characters! I'm so excited to see where this story goes and I hope we find out what happened between them to start this feud! I can't wait for the love and fluff to return hahaha, this was an amazing introduction so far, I can't wait for more sneezes and your amazing storytelling ❤️

Link to comment

salut salut everyone

@Not Telling Hi there. 🌻 Thank you so much for the love you put in your comments. I really wanted to put the snippets (thank you, didn’t knew this word, I swear my english is getting better thanks to the kink) of their common past because it’s both a way to discovering things about them and their relationship. Plus I found it cute ?? Like I think I’m going to keep putting a memory before every chapter.

On 9/22/2023 at 4:44 PM, Not Telling said:

I can't quite figure out if Alex is being actively hostile towards Hugo especially in the way he keeps calling him nerd like how the bullies referred to him or if it's said with a reminiscing, teasing fondness.

Keeping the mystery but not for long, I think 🤭

I hope the following part will pleases you, I have way too much fun with these two, keeping on imagining stuff for them it's going to be a long story, I see so many sneezy possibilities it's unsane 🤭

@dwaekki welcome back ! Haha, I know, don't worry, lot of sneezes are coming, and love, and fluff...you'll just have to wait a bit but it's coming 💛

@Tumble &

On 9/23/2023 at 12:09 AM, Omk12022 said:

Very cool story!

Thank you very much both of you, I hope the following will pleases you. 😄

 

2 – A Bumpy Road

2006

Saturday night was their favorite night of the week. Hugo slept almost every night at Babka's house, Alexander’s grandmother, who lived near the beach. But even the times Hugo didn't sleep there, he usually had a blast with Alexander during the day and their both considerate Saturday to be the best day of the week.

So one of this lucky evening, they were both on the sofa, Babka’s blanket – the soft one as Hugo was already very sensitive to fabrics – on top of them and they were watching a adventure movie they already saw a couple of times but really enjoyed. Hugo was half asleep against Alexander who lightly nudged him on the shoulders to wake him up. They were watching a movie they watched before. At one point, Alexander stood up, pushing Hugo away who was collapsing a little on his shoulder.

“Ugh Hugo !”

“Where are you going ?” asked Hugo in a tired voice.

“Toilets, nerd. Wanna come ?” mumbled Alexander.

“Ew gross.”  said Hugo with a grimace.

Alexander seemed a little agitated, not in his usual light-joking mood. Hugo looked at the screen, barely covering a yawn, then grabbing Alexander’s wrist so that he would return to his side. Plus, Alexander was his favorite pillow.

“But you’ll miss this scene where John is s…”

“I have to go! ” Alexander cutted, struggled vaguely looking at the screen like he was scared.

Hugo frowned a little and looked at the screen. There was really nothing to be scared of. The characters were in the water and moving forward, not having to make any noise. It was an exciting moment. At one point, John, the charismatic leader of the group, stopped and sneezed loudly, in a particularly realistic way, which made everyone say "Shhhht" to him because he was putting the mission in danger. Hugo laughed.

“It’s so stupid but I like this part cause...Sasha ?”

Hugo let go of Alexander’s wrist as he saw how red his face was.

“You looks...Kinda weird, what’s happening ?” he asked, almost concerned but mainly curious.

“N-nothing, nerd. Need to pee, told you.”

“So like…Did you pee on yourself ?” asked a mocking – still very tiny for his age – Hugo.

“No, shut up !” screamed Alexander, throwing a cushion at Hugo.

“Ouch !”

Alexander went to the bathroom and didn't return until ten minutes later. Hugo had fallen asleep on the sofa, his face pressed to the cushion that Alexander had thrown at him. Alexander sat down next to it, check if Hugo was sleeping, yeah, he was. He took the remote and reversed, his cheeks turning red again and his eyes bright.

“Sash…”

“Shhht” mumbled Alexander.

“Ugh…What are you…Never…” but Hugo’s voice was cut by a yawn and he felt asleep again.

Alexander patted him slowly on the shoulder and watched the scene of John sneezing in the water once again, captivated by the image.

2023 – Present day

Alexander's decision was to completely change the subject.

“How’s Alice?”

Alice was Hugo's only sister. She had turned 18 this fall. Alexander hadn't seen her much for almost two years now, because he was always doing dozens of jobs all over the place. To him, she was this pretty teenager with delicate features the same big eyes as her brother but greyish, light brown hair and a perennial little fringe that gave her a retro look. She was open – the opposite of her brother –, deliciously weird – her sometimes nerdy babbling could bring to mind Hugo – and bubbly in her own unique way. Despite the fact that they no longer really spoke or seing each other much, they had spent enough time together in their childhood and Alexander had always known Alice, Hugo's bubbly little sister.

“Like you care.” mumbled Hugo, rubbing softly his nose who was ticklish.

“Of course I care.” said Alexander, looking almost shocked at Hugo's insinuation.

Alexander liked her, she actually kinda felt like a sibling to him, as he basically witnessed her birth, taking care of her when she was a baby, laughed and being angry, being jealous also, because she had the damn chance to live with Hugo all days and nights, but yeah, he was found of her. How could Hugo could just brushing that off ? Hugo felt bad. He bit his lips.

"Sorry, of course. Excuse me. She's fine."

Alexander simply nodded.

“Ehm…She’s still working at that coffee place ?”

"Yeah. She's could be the assistant manager one of these days."

“Wow fancy.” Alexander smiled.

“Don’t mock her.” snapped Hugo, getting defensive as his sister a bit too fast, sniffing slightly.

"I don't. Love this girl and always have. Shes way more relaxed and easy going than you, that's for sure." replied Alexander.

"....Well, that's the privilege of being the younger one I guess." eventually said Hugo, pinching his nose to sifle an almost silent sneeze which kept on tickling his nose "Hmpsh’ ! ". He then exhaled softly, as if he was relieving the pressure of this sneeze.

“I remember you had more wit than that” remarked Alexander, almost disappointed.

"I wasn't trying to be witty. When you are younger you often have more ability in many areas" said Hugo, not very convinced of it, his real conviction is that he was weird , and his sister too, but she managed to interact in a neurotypical way with others, unlike him who always seemed to say or do the wrong thing. 

“That kinda sounds like bullshit to me.” said Alexander frankly.

“Well…”

"But hey how would I know about it ? I'm a lone wolf." smiled Alexander.

Hugo knew Alexander was referring to his single child statue but lone wolf sounds like crap to him. Alexander had never had problems making friends and he had always been surrounded by both girls and boys. He was this very charismatic type of person and the fact that he was a very handsome young man also worked in his favor. Even Hugo’s parents loved him like a son. Hugo found it almost inappropriate that Alexander could say this to him, who had always felt on the sidelines, lonely and only accepted by weirdos.

"Lone wolf. Right" he said with a sarcastic tone.

Alexander grimaced.

“Something to say about this?” he asked, moving his fingers on the steering wheel.

“Nothing” shrugged Hugo.

“Figures” muttered Alexander.

"Well yes I have something to say actually" as Hugo got frustrated "You saying you're a lone wolf is just the most ridiculous thing to say. You always had one thousand people ready to like you everywhere you go. Like since forever. I was there remember ? I saw this."

Alexander bit his lips. Hugo knew how to annoy him better than anyone. And above all, he knew how to touch it. Plus it felt silly saying lone wolf to Hugo who always struggling to be with other people. He tried to defend himself clumsily.

“I remember. Also, if I remember correctly you used to like me too right ?”

Like what happened after ? was Alexander’s true question. Hugo crossed his arms as if to defend himself.

“Well ?” insisted Alexander.

“Sorry do you really not know the answer to this ?” grunted Hugo. Of course I liked you, moron.

“Ok. I just…I need to tell you that…I was actually wondering if I knew you back then. I mean…We did…This night on the beach was…But y-you just disappear after it. You leaved me without a word. I never thought you could do something like this to me.” said Alexander, feeling his emotions overwhelming him, as he remember this night so well.

“F-f-fuck off.” stammered Hugo, who almost never swear, but was getting triggered by Alexander.

“What ? You still angry about me ? Is that it ?” asked Alexander, dreading the answer.

"Yep. And you're the only one to blame here." said Hugo feeling a little pain growing in his whole body.

“Are you for real ?” and you could heard Alexander’s anger in his voice.

“Shut up.” said Hugo, starting to sniffling a bit, feeling that the cold definitely got into him

Alexander rolled his eyes.

"So like, I'm the big culprit because I didn’t came with you to freakin' Stanford ? Be real, you know it wasn’t my place. But…Ugh, Alexander the nag, a good culprit right ? But you, yeah you acted great, of course." he added in a bitterness tone, as he remembered how Hugo actually broke his heart leaving him on that beach this night.

“I d-uh-uhUUUSH’gnnnnsh’mm !” sneezed surprised Hugo in his sleeve.

“Hmm-when I think of all the times we crossed paths and you literally moved across sidewalks like I was the plague.” Alexander grumbled, unable to believe Hugo's attitude. Was he blaming everything on him ?

“You waited the last moment to show me your feelings towards me. I had to go. You could have done things differently“ Hugo tried to say more calmly, but his voice was shaking because of his need to sneeze.

“You could have done things differently too“ replied Alexander, trying to calming himself too, as he hard troubles to focus driving at this point. Now it wasn’t the time.

“Yes, I knuh…Uh…Hhh-hhh-hhh-hhhHHHK-shiiiiew ! Ugh, s-shit” Hugo mumbled, sniffing softly, as he didn’t succeed in stifling this one properly.

"Ugh...T-there's tissue in the backseat." eventually said Alexander in a tense tone.

“Huh...Huh...Ishhgnnishhhhm’ !” sneezed again Hugo as it was the only answer he could give to this point.

“Ugh” Alexander said half-heartedly, his fingers tightening around the steering wheel.

Hugo pinched his nose slightly and sneezed one last time, stifling it hard.

“Gnissh-SHUh”

Well, almost succeed stifling it, almost as he had to let go. He shivered slightly and turned to grab the box of tissues. But his nose wasn't done apparently and he sneezed tree times very quickly, covering himself with his hands, dropping the box at his feet in the process.

“Kkkkshhhh’shuh-Issgnsssht-t’Sssshhhuh !”

"S-shut up" said Alexander, fighting a terrible feeling he hadn't felt since a long time.

Hugo bent down to pick up the box of tissues. He took one out and sneezed one last time, a big high pitched and kinda dramatic sneeze into it "IIiii-kssshUH!"

"Ugh, shut up" mocked Alexander in a weird tone, as if he didn't really mean it.

Hugo rolled his eyes. He gently blew his nose and looked out the window. For long minutes there was nothing but silence. And the icy landscape in which the car was sliding. Hugo started to sniffle. It was very discreet yet Alexander couldn't help but hear it. The cold had had an effect on his sensitive nose and Hugo hated the idea of showing that the harsh climate had an effect on him whoever he was. Yet the irrepressible urge to sneeze took precedence over the rest so he sneezed, stifling these three little sneezes you could hear still.

"Huh-gnshhh' ! Hhh-kshxx ! K'ssshuh !"

Alexander didn't say a word, trying to clear the mess of his thoughts. Yet he ran a hand over the buttons near the radio, pressing everywhere. Hugo didn't say anything - the sneezing was embarrassing enough to him but he rather didn't say anything than excusing himself - and he didn't understand what Alexander was doing before seeing him gently slide his fingers over a button. A musty smell and burnt dust could be felt before a slight warmth began to take over the car. Even if Alexander was hitting his nerves, this gesture was attentive and Hugo felt like he had to thank him but the smell of dust tickled his nostrils even more so I pinched his nose very hard. But breathing through his mouth was far from pleasant and as soon as he slightly released his nostrils the urge to sneeze took over.

"Gni-shhhhih ! Kkkksssshuh ! Huh-gnnnxxshhuh !"

Gosh that was hard to do. But at least the tickle seemed to be off for a while now.

“Getting cold huh ?” Alexandre asked, half teasing, half concerned.

Hugo grimaced and pulled up the collar which hid almost his entire face and then his scarf. He leaned against the window and closed his eyes.

”Sorry for the beach night.” he suddenly said.

Alexander sighed.

”Let's...Try not to think about it anymore ok ?”

”Hey, wait, I'm trying to apologize” explained Hugo, confused, opening his eyes again.

”I did shit this night too. I know. Let's...Stay here for now. And just...Trying to keeping that for later ? It's just...Hugo, I really need to focus right now.” said Alexander, which was quite true, even though he did also want to have the talk elsewhere, where he could see Hugo's eyes when he talk to him.

”Are you suggesti-ishSHUh !” sneezed Hugo in his sleeve after his voice being distorded by his sneeze ”Sorry. My allergies are killing me. Uhm...Are you suggesting denial ?”

Alexander let go ouf a nervous laugh. Hugo could be so serious, saying stuff like this, but at the same time, it was almost funny, and such a thing only Hugo could put this way. He nodded.

”I...Yeah, I'm suggesting denial, you ner...Malenki. We will talk about it, just...Not right now. Does that sounds ok ?”

Softened by this nickname, Hugo sighed softly too and closed his eyes again.

”Deal.” he whispered.

He didn't open his eyes until thirty minutes later when he felt the car began to slow down. After emitting a relatively disturbing sound for fifteen seconds the car stopped suddenly. Hugo and Alexander were pushed forward slightly. Hugo was now fully awake but a bit groggy. He was tired, hungry and cold.

“What…What’s happening ?” he asked in a tired voice.

“A complication. Stay here.”

Alexander got out of the car and looked under the hood. Hugo watched him do it. A thick cloud was escaping from there.

“Where would you want me to go anyway?” he grumbled, his face still hidden in the scarf.

He twitched his nose, cursing himself for having left his handkerchiefs in his suitcase, he didn't like the ones in the car, as Hugo was quite delicate with handkerchiefs and in general the textiles which touched his skin.

“Guh…Huh…HuK’SHuh !” he sneezed, a wet sneeze directly inside his scarf which made him shiver “Ugh…Dis-gusting…” he said grimacing.

Alexander returned to the car, coughing slightly from the smoke. Moreover, when he closed the door behind him, he took into the car this smell of smoke which made Hugo grimace again. Alexander looked straight in front of him. And then sighed.

“Okay, lend me your phone.”

“No ! Why ?” and Hugo started to cough a little “Ugh…It smells so bad…”

"Mine is flat. It's kind of our only way to notify someone to come get us. In fact, you should call since you speak french."

“You mean the car is broken? ”

Alexander finally turned to Hugo who was looking at him.

"Yes. Wanna stay here for the night perhaps ?"

Hugo mumbled something incomprehensible in his scarf and took his phone from his coat pocket, unlocked it, and then gave it to Alexander.

“Finally ! At least your brain is not completely frozen” Alexander grunted.

“You could just say snfff thanks”

Alexander shrugged and tried to call the chalet, where Hugo was to be taken. But there was no network. He tried two or three times but it didn’t work. He could see the big percing blue eyes of Hugo directed towards him with concern.

“The network is not working.” Alexander eventually said.

He kept the phone in his hands and thought about a solution. Hugo shivered.

“Well that’s just great. Huh-t’shhhUh !” he let out a little sniff afterwards and seemed to want to sneeze again but only managed to hitch.

“Shut up I’m trying to think.”

“Oh cause you can do that ?” mocked Hugo, sighing as he was unable to relieving this sneeze.

Alexander smiled. And he saw a glimpse of light in Hugo’s eyes, a glimpse he missed, a rare glimpse of pure amusement.

“Finally, here it is. That’s the wit I was talking about, nerd. I’m going to try one more time.”

So he looked at the phone again but the screen was locked again.

“What’s your code again ?” he asked.

“That’s private. Give it to me.” said Hugo, extending his hand towards Alexander.

“Oh c’mon…” grunted Alexander, who typed 1701, the number of the Enterprise, ship from the Star Trek series Babka used to let them watch on rainy afternoons and Hugo was very fond of. It has been his password since a long time, and since Hugo was the kind of person to not change his habits, Alexander felt very confident typing it.

Wrong.

It was not Hugo’s password anymore. For some reason, Alexander felt bugged by it. Hugo took the phone from his hands.

“Stop it, you’re going to b-b-buh-UKSh’tt ! Sniff Block it.”

He unlocked the phone and handed it to Alexander who tried again. He also got out of the car and walked around a little but there was nothing to do, there was no network. He sighed, opened the car again and handed the phone back to Hugo.

"Ok. You stay here. I'm taking the skis. It will take me thirty minutes, I have to go up this hill and I'll ski back down, it will go faster. I'll ask for help."

“You’re not going to ski in the dark right ?” cried Hugo, shuddering at the very idea.

“Do you see another solution, genius ? Lend me your phone, it will give me a light.”

Hugo looked at Alexander. He was scared. Not really for his phone, although it would be very stupid to break it on the way, but for Alexander. The night was dark, there was snow everywhere, it was freezing cold and the adventure seemed perilous to him. Alexander placed the phone on the front seat.

“By the time you decide whether I will have light on the way, I will take skis.”

And he went to get the skis. When he came back to the front, Hugo handed him his phone, unlocked and with the light on. As Alexander placed his fingers on it, Hugo was still holding the phone tightly in his own fingers.

"Be careful." he said, very seriously.

"Of course." Alexander smiled.

“I mean it. Don’t fall. Don’t…”

“Oh don’t worry, if I die, someone will pass by this road tomorrow anyways and save you” joked Alexander.

“Hey that’s no-oh-uh-Ksshhh-uh!” sneezed Hugo, stifling it without hands or scarf, letting go off the phone at the same time.

Alexander took the phone in his hand and hung it with a carabiner and the elastic band of his sweatshirt in the front pocket of his coat. Hugo pinched his nose and sneeze again.

“K’Shuh !”

“Bless you.” Alexander mumbled, blushing slightly.

“Don’t you dare have an accident. And close the door.” mumbled Hugo, passing his index finger under his nose, reassured feeling it was dry.

Alexander rolled his eyes.

“Please. And please, seriously, be careful.” added Hugo.

Alexander smiled. Did Hugo was actually afraid ? For him ?

“See you soon !”

And Hugo watched as Alexander, far more worried than he wanted to admit, set off to the top of the cliff with the skis on his broad shoulders.

“Don’t you dare having an acci-ISHIUH ! An accident SashAaAa-ah-HUH-kshIEW !” he sneezed freely, a bit angry with himself but feeling at least relieved for now.

Edited by Lily
Link to comment

Aww cute! I can't imagine how Alexander felt being trapped in that car whilst Hugo was sneezing... I loved it though hahaha, I hope to see more sneeze fits from both in the future! I'm excited to see what happens next with both of the characters stuck in the cold, especially with Hugo's sensitivity... Thank you for your updates, I'm always waiting for more! ❤️

Link to comment

Oh gosh! I can tell this is just going to get better and better with each installment. I love your portrayal of Alexander's reaction to seeing sneezing in media in the flashback at the beginning of the chapter. You've truly captured the nuance: the fear, and discomfort of having someone else around, the need to get away so Hugo doesn't see how he's reacting, the embarrassment he's feeling maybe both over his reaction but also that it's in the presence of someone else and the paranoid worry that they'll figure it out, but also the fascination and need to see it again. From your words I don't just envision what Alexander is going through but I can feel it.

I love all the sneezes from Hugo in this chapter.

7 hours ago, Lily said:

"S-shut up" said Alexander, fighting a terrible feeling he hadn't felt since a long time.

Hugo bent down to pick up the box of tissues. He took one out and sneezed one last time, a big high pitched and kinda dramatic sneeze into it "IIiii-kssshUH!"

"Ugh, shut up" mocked Alexander in a weird tone, as if he didn't really mean it.

^This exchange is so perfect! I can just imagine the plea in his voice because he doesn't want to be reacting to Hugo's sneezing especially in the enclosed space of the car but also being enraptured and not wanting it to end at the same time. It seems like he's maybe suppressed this feeling he has about sneezing, maybe he hasn't fully accepted it yet.  

Spectacular writing as always! You have such an incredible talent for bringing to life a story through all the little details and subtleties you include.  Thank you for gifting us with another wonderful story! J’ai hâte de lire plus ❤️ 

Link to comment

Ohhh this is so cute 🥹 I love these two, they're so stupid silly and I can't wait to see what happens in the future!! Dense fools, your writing is so believable, and the sneezing in the movie, that whole feeling, I felt that.

Link to comment

salut salut, thanks again for the lovely comments folks 💛

On 9/24/2023 at 4:33 PM, dwaekki said:

I can't imagine how Alexander felt being trapped in that car whilst Hugo was sneezing...

it's torture isn't it ?

@Not Telling thank youuuu !

On 9/24/2023 at 11:30 PM, Not Telling said:

From your words I don't just envision what Alexander is going through but I can feel it.

Yay, I wanted to be something you could relate and also feel ? so happy if it works

On 9/24/2023 at 11:30 PM, Not Telling said:

This exchange is so perfect!

Oh thanks 💜 I loved writing it and I think it shows well Alexander's character and also the way he's processing all the sneezes from Hugo which is so hard for him since he definetely have a kink for sneezes but also it's his childhood best friend ? and they didn't really interract since 4 years ? and everything feels weird ? #MyPassionIsTorturingThisPoorAlexander

On 9/24/2023 at 11:36 PM, Dye said:

the sneezing in the movie, that whole feeling, I felt that.

aw thanks !! I wasn't sure to writing it at first but at the same time I wanted to show a bit of context about the kink even in early years, because to me it's such a important dimension of the kink like how did you discover/experience it, even as a kid when it wasn't clear it was related to something let's say more adult thing

Hope this next part will pleases you 💜

3 – Turning all white

2007

“So, how was the first day of 5th grade?” asked Mr Waterhouse, serving his son some mashed potatoes.

Mrs Waterhouse was watching after cute baby Alice, who was 3 years old now. She had the same milk complexion of her brother and thin hair but her’s was as blonde as Hugo were black. Hugo watched the potatoes mix with the juice from the tiny piece of meat he had been served. Hugo was very particular about food, he could easily be sick or having a crisis because of some foods. That he took meat was already an achievement in itself. But the sauce, which began to permeate the potato, completely distracted him.

"Hugo ? Bunny, daddy asked you a question." said his mom.

“Huh ?” said Hugo, looking at his father with his big blue eyes full of confusion.

“I asked you, champ, how you felt as a 5th grader” repeated Mr Waterhouse as he started to eat.

Hugo began to rearrange his plate. He already knew he couldn't eat half of it. He had a small appetite. And then these mixtures made him nauseous. He really wanted to be vegetarian, or rather that his parents would let him, but obviously, at 9 years old, you didn't have much say in this kind of decision regarding your diet.

“It’s ok, I guess. I’m glad I’m in the same class as Sasha.” he added, with a little more animation and even the shadow of a smile.

“Sasha ?” frowned Mr Waterhouse, looking as his wife.

“Oh come on Thomas, he means Alexander !” she said with an exasperated look.

“Oh…Yes. Uhm…Well, that’s nice.” said Hugo’s dad, looking at his wife, unsure “Do…Do you want to add something, love?”

Mrs Waterhouse rolled her eyes. Of course, you couldn't count on men in this kind of case. She caressed Alice’s cheek who ate her potatoes with a little too much appetite, putting mess all over her face, and turned to Hugo, looking serious.

"Hugo dear ? Stop reorganizing your food for a minute and look at me. Hugo ? Please."

Hugo sighed, putting down his fork and looking at his mother. Why did adults always want to be looked into their eyes? It was stupid, intimidating, and it didn't change much.

“Daddy and I talked and…”

“Well, your mom did all the research” said Mr Waterhouse, half teasing, half embarrassed.

"Thomas, I need your support. Not this." cutted his wife.

“Sorry. So, we look together…To…Well to find you a school that might be more suitable for you.” said Hugo’s father.

Hugo frowned, confused. He had no desire to change schools. It was already hard to change classes every year, to discover new faces. Alexander was his only reference, otherwise he might have had trouble even going to school at all. The idea of being separated from Alexander triggered him so much he fidgeted in his chair. He felt his heart beating fast. And he turned pale.

“A place for kids like you, very gifted but who sometimes need to be in smaller classes, with quiet kids, who like to study and…”

“No.” immediately said Hugo.

“Can we…Bunny, we can talk about it? For next year at least?” asked Mrs Waterhouse in a calm tone.

“I’m not a bunny. No” repeated Hugo, on the verge of a crisis, feeling his eyes filling with tears.

“Okay” her mother capitulated, “Maybe we can talk about this later”

“NO!” shouted Hugo.

Alice started to cry, a bit afraid of the situation. Hugo cried too, silently.

“Shhh honey” said Mrs Waterhouse, taking Alice in her arms “Everything is fine”

“Hugo, calm down” said Mr Waterhouse in a calm yet firmly voice.

“I’M NOT CHANGING SCHOOL!” screamed Hugo through his tears.

Alice cried louder. Mrs Waterhouse rocked her daughter.

“You’re not changing school” she repeated calmly.

"If you force me, I won't be able to do anything anyway. Sasha is my only friend. I like the teachers. They are nice. I can't leave this school. And I’m not weird. And I’m not gifted. And I’m not special. I want to s-stay in my school. If I leave, I won't see Sasha. If I go to another school , people will be mean and I don't want to, I can't, I am not…" stammered Hugo, then bursting into tears.

Mr Waterhouse stood up, knelt in front of his son and wiped his tears. He had these big hands which seemed almost giant compared to Hugo's small face, who was turning from right to red because of how stressed and frustrated he was getting.

"Hugo, don't worry. Nobody said you were weird. You are unique, that's for sure. That what we meant. We only want you to be happy, and feeling good. So…You are not changing school ok? "

Hugo no longer looked at anyone, he swayed gently and he cried like he had the biggest sorrow on earth. To him, it was. He sniffed loudly.

“Promise?”

“Eh…Promise.” said his dad gently.

"S-Sorry Alice." Hugo said out of nowhere and then he threw himself into his father's arms, asking for a big hug.

Mr Waterhouse smiled, took his tiny son into his arms and rocked him gently. Hugo fell asleep, completely exhausted from the crisis he had just had.

2023 - Present day

1 hour later after Alexander had skied down the cliff, finding help with his charisma rather than his linguistic skills, he was back with a trailer and a man, Marcus, who worked at the chalet where Hugo was to spend the night. Marcus was around fifty, almost as tall as Alexander and seemed strong as an ox. While Marcus worked to tow the car, Alexander approached the car. Hugo was sleeping with his cheek slightly pressed against the window. Mist escaped from his slightly parted lips. It must have been as cold in the car as outside, thought Alexander, frowning, noticing that Hugo hadn't turned on the heater on again. He looked at that face a little longer than he should have. Hugo's raised collar brought out the sharpness of his features. He looked like a kid. In fact, Alexander thought that Hugo still looked a lot like the kid with whom he had shared a good part of his childhood. But in a grown-up version. Quite handsome, actually. Shaking his head – what was he even thinking right now ? – he opened the door and leaned slightly towards the young man.

“Hugo ?” he whispered.

Hugo frowned lightly.

“Hugo wake up !” he said louder.

Hugo woke up with a start, widening his eyes, looking almost surprised.

"Wake up Snow White. We had backup but I'm not sure I understood everything." Alexander muttered, turning towards the car of the man who had driven him here.

“Huh-huh” gasped Hugo.

“What’s that?” asked Alexander turning towards Hugo again.

“IssshIUUH !” sneezed a very tired Hugo into his hands.

“Bless you.” said Alexander, a bit flushed.

That was almost on a gentle tone. Hugo got out of the car shivering in his coat and approached the man. After exchanging a few words, Hugo turned to Alexander, sniffling.

"So, snfff, like, snfff he tows the car and takes us to the village. There was an accident, no injuries but the road is blocked. You have to snfff ! Spend the night in the village. He recommends the chalet." he summarized.

"Oh ok. "

Snfff, also, he said you have the most terrible accent he ever heard.” added Hugo, with a touch of mischief.

“Hey ! I’m proud of my New York accent ok ?” said Alexander, frustrated.

“Snff whatever snrrf !” and Hugo was fighting a smile.

“Uhm…”

“What ?”

“Did he say anything about my sporting achievement?”

Snrrff nope.”

“Fuck this. Need a tissue?”

"Ugh. Yes, I guess, if you have some. I left mine in my sss-sss-suitTSh’m ! Sorry, suitcase."

“Right.” Alexander reached into his pockets and pulled out a pack of snow-soaked tissues. “Uhm…Actually…”

He was a bit sorry to have nothing else to give him. Hugo sniffed loudly.

“Nevermind. Let’s go, I’m freezing.”

He approached the man with whom he exchanged a few words in French. Hugo was about to enter the car but turned to Alexander.

“Get in the middle.”

“Why ? You’re tinier.” Alexander objected.

“Don’t…Uh…Hi-ngsht !” Hugo sneezed into his muffled hands.

“Okay, whatever, nerd.”

And Alexander passed in front of Hugo and sat down in the middle. Hugo sat down after him on the side. Alexander's right knee brushed against hers. An index finger under his nose, Hugo tried to open the glove box, moaning lightly. He sniffled again.

“Ugh, what are you doing ?” exasperated Alexander.

“Trying…T-to…Op-pen…Itsh’nxt ! Nnn’tchih !” sneezed Hugo against his pressed finger, shaking a bit afterwards.

“Completely useless” grunted Alexander, not really meaning it but feeling so flushed right now he needed to relieve his own kind of pressure he was experimenting right now.

He leaned over and opened the glove box, unearthing the box of tissues which he placed on Hugo's knees.

“K’Shhiew !” sneezed Hugo in almost a desperate way.

Then he blew his nose four times in a row, with four single tissues he carefully folded afterward and put away in his coat. His nose was red and swollen. He winced after it.

"Vous avez prit froid jeune homme ?" said Marcus, entering into the car rubbing his hand and putting the contact on.

"What-what did he say ? " asked Alexander, confused.

"He ask me if I catch a cold" translated Hugo, then turning towards Marcus "Non, ce sont mes allergies. "

He took another tissue, had a sharp inhale and sneezed into it, giving a little involuntary knee against Alexander’s knee.

"AAAH-Kssshiuh ! Uh…"

"A vos souhaits ! " said Marcus gently, starting the car and starting to drive in the mountains.

Alexander bited his lips. He never forgot Hugo’s sneezes, actually, he never forgot anything about Hugo, that was a weird but sure fact, but he was feeling very strange to hear him sneezing almost freely again, as he knew Hugo never did it if he could avoid it, part of his want to not being mocked, as he was teased about a lot of things, and whished to be discreet in a general manner. So this last sneeze was almost a privilege from Hugo. Amazing, thought Alexander, like I couldn’t be more of a moron right now, thinking this kind of bullshits.

"Uhm…What did he said now ? " he asked, to cutted his own thoughts.
"Why do you care ? "
"Nevermind. "
"He said bless you. In french it’s…You say « to your wishes »" sighed Hugo.
"Oh. " mumbled Alexander, hoping he wasn’t as red as he felt.
"Satisfied now ? "
“You should be the one satisfied that I found us some help. You didn’t even thank me!”

There was another silence. Hugo watched the snow fall, first very gently then suddenly. Then he heard the sound of drops of water falling and turned towards Alexander who had just taken off his beanie. A little melted snow fell to the ground from his hat and some of his flyaway locks.

“Thank you.” he said.

Alexander turned towards Hugo. Hugo held his gaze few seconds then looked down.

The rest of the road was silent. Upon arrival, Alexander and Marcus removed the suitcases from the car and Hugo took one, the one that Alexander had taken out, thanking Marcus for his help. Alexander put his hands in his pockets and stepped forward, opening the door for the two of them. Marcus passed by, thanked Alexander and grabbed the one Hugo was carrying with difficulty in a jiffy. Hugo tried to protest in French but only succeeded in making Marcus laugh. Frustrated, he climbed the last steps but the ground was slippery and he almost fell to the ground. Alexander grabbed his forearm firmly and brought it back against him, as a reflex. Hugo caught his breath.

“L-let me g-go.”

Alexander looked at him, frustrated, and let go. Hugo readjusted his collar. He was a bit blushing.

“Thanks, but I can walk on my own.”

"Yeah, right." Alexander grimaced as he entered the inn.

Marcus walked towards them, looking sorry.

"Je suis désolé, il n’y a pas de chambres pour vous. There’s is no room left. " he said to Alexander.

And he turned towards Hugo.

"But yours is ready. "

Hugo sighed of relievment.

"Can’t wait to take a sh-shSH’gnsh’um ! Excusez moi. A shower. "

"A vos souhaits !" gently said Marcus, then adding "It have to wait, monsieur Hugo. Dinner is about to be served. "

Hugo frowned. Alexander cleared his throat.

"So hm…"

Hugo looked at him. Right now, Alexander looked like the teenager he used to be. And for some reason, Hugo felt his heart skipping a beat to this vision.

"Mon lit, c’est un simple ou un double ?" he asked Marcus.
"Un double. "
"Il dort avec moi."
"Great ! " said Marcus, clapping his hands, relieved with the outcome of the situation.

He took the suitcases.

"I’m going upstairs. Premier étage, chambre 17. Le dîner est dans 10 minutes ! " and he went away whistling.

Alexander looked back at Hugo, confused.

“So…”

“So you’re sleeping with me.”

“I can sleep in the car” protested Alexander weakly.

Hugo ran a finger across the counter, there was a little dust. I’m so stupid. His expression contracted, froze, his nose turned up slightly, he panted for a few seconds and sneezed into a tissue he had taken from the counter.

“Uh-uh-uh-uh-Kshh’nuh…UK-SH-uuuuh…”

"B-bless you." said Alexander, swallowing hard as he was saying the words.


*

Dinner passed almost in silence. Well, for Alexander at least. Marcus talked a lot, and Hugo responded half-heartedly. He was rather pale, all the color in his cheeks seemed to have disappeared. Alexander wasn't looking at him, as they were side by side. Marcus served them generously with meat, vegetables and rice while talking loudly, and the room was filled with about ten people doing the same. Hugo ran two fingers over his temple. The mixtures and large proportions of food on his plate nauseated him and Marcus's chatter exhausted him. Alexander looked at Marcus, trying to understand what he was saying, without success. This frustrated him and Hugo made no effort to translate. He ate with gusto, as Alexander loved to eat anything that was in his plate. He flicked his plate violently with his fork as if to relax his nerves.

"You could at least translate some of it." he mumbled, getting frustrated.

“Don’t start.” Hugo sighed.

“Starting what ? I’m feeling so stupid, so excluded.”

“Well, it’s not very interesting.” mumbled Hugo, as Marcus did speak a bit of english and he didn’t wanted him to understand that.

“Like it’s more interesting hearing you eat like…Like what we have is manure ?” Alexander grimaced, finally turning towards Hugo to avoid Marcus’s gaze.

Hugo was very, very pale.

"I'm not...Feeling..."

Alexander finished his drink in one go and turned again to Hugo who had just gotten up but did not move. He was extremely pale and his fingers were clenched on the edge of the chair. He frowned. Hugo looked weird.

“Hey are you o…”

Hugo fainted and Alexander got up just in time to support him before Hugo completely collapsed. Marcus was totally panicked and started flailing around while talking very quickly which annoyed Alexander.

“Man I don’t even get what you’re saying !” he said in a panicked tone.

He supported Hugo well and then Hugo opened his eyes, stammering what seemed to be an apology. Alexander frowned.

“Hugo. Hugo ! Are you ok ?”

"I...Yes I..."

And Hugo woke up, unwittingly leaning against Alexander. He began to speak to Marcus in a weak voice. Marcus nodded and went to the next table to say a word to them, perhaps to reassure them, as they were looking at Hugo with concern. There was a short moment where Hugo leaned against Alexander without saying anything, seeming to concentrate only on his breathing. Alexander said nothing. He was frozen, almost stiff. But he was holding Hugo and couldn’t let go of him. He even caressed slowly his back, in a sweet comfort gesture.

"So like...What...Are you sure you’re ok ? What do you need…Can I…Water maybe?"

Hugo nodded. Alexander held him close, leaning slightly to take a glass of water which he handed to Hugo. Hugo took it and drank a little water.

“Thanks.”

“You scared me jeez.” mumbled Alexander “Turning all white and fainting”

“Didn’t mean to. Sorry, I’m ok…Just very tired.”

“Ugh, don’t apologize for this. Want to go to bed ?”

Hugo nodded. He left the room, mumbling "Everyone is watching me..." and Alexander turned towards the curious people, glaring at them, frowning, feeling suddenly angry at them to make Hugo feeling worse. Arriving in the hall, Hugo was about to start climbing the stairs that led to their room when Alexander placed a hand on his shoulder.

“You’re still shaking.” realized Alexander.

Hugo hated to feel weak, starting to feel weird around Alxander and physical touch was just feeling too much right now. But he didn’t know how to process that so he froze at this contact, made a sudden shoulder movement.

“I need you to leave me alone.” he said in a tense voice.

“But…” frowned Alexander.

“Alex, please. I’m trying really hard right now.” mumbled Hugo.

Alexander nodded, sighing.

”Ok. ”

He watched Hugo climb the stairs all the way. It seemed okay. Hugo lay down fully dressed on the bed, holding his stomach. He was feeling not great but all he needed was...Rest?

Alexander came 15 minutes later. He had smoked a 2 cigarettes but he could no longer stand the biting cold. He had been so cold that he had not taken off his coat once he was into the chalet - only his snow-covered boots -. He entered the room and saw Hugo. He was lying on the bed, fully dressed, his arms crossed against his stomach and his legs folded against him. He still had a very pale face and his expression was suffering. Alexander felt an unpleasant pang in his heart. He approached. His coat was dripping onto the floor. Hugo opened his eyes and stared into those of Alexander, who stopped a meter from the bed.

“Jeez you stinks” Hugo grimaced, wrinkling his nose.

Alexander felt his jaw tighten.

"You look terrible” he replied.

”Ugh…The…Hh’Tshuh ! ” sneezed Hugo under his collar.

”You did catch a cold didn’t you ? ” asked Alexander, concerned.

”Nuh…-Uh…The place is really du-du-dusty…Uh...Uh-gnishuh ! I-ItishUUUh !" sneezed Hugo, covering himself with his hands and turning away from Alexander a bit.

“Bless you” said softly Akexander as a reflex.

Hugo looked at him for a brief moment and noticed that Alexander's cheeks had turned slightly pink. He sniffed lightly.

”Th-Thanks. Can you please give me my handkerchief ?”

And Hugo showed a pocket placed on the chest of drawers where a silk handkerchief stuck out. Alexander went to get it and handed it to Hugo, feeling Hugo's slender fingers brushing against his own fingers and shivered.

“Thank you,” said Hugo, relieved., then blowing his nose in the handkerchief.

His cheeks became a bit more pink. He looked at Alexander with a grateful gaze.

”Didn’t meant to frightening you. Everything in this plate was just…”

Hugo didn’t knew how to talk about it.

”I know. A big old mess right ? ” said Alexander, remmebering how the mess in the food could distressed Hugo.

”And the meat” murmured Hugo with a little shiver.

Alexander smiled gently.

”Hey, don’t faint again please. I mean I could catch you again but...Well, you're going to be ok. You just need some sleep.” gently said Alexander.

Hugo frowned lightly, nodded. But then he shivered again.

”Ugh, put off your dripping coat, I’m feeling cold just looking at you-uh-KSHuh !”

Alexander rolled his eyes and took off his coat, hanging it inside the wardrobe. In the wardrobe door there was a mirror and Alexander looked captivated at Hugo, his face half covered by his silk handkerchief, his very sweet pre-sneeze expression, one of those rare moments when everything was relaxed, spontaneous, as he was hitting and hitting and then Hugo let go of a series of intense sneezes that made him shaking.

”Oh…Nun…No…Uh…Hiii…Huh…Hhh-Kshuh ! Ih-ngsht ! Huh-gsht ! Hhh-Gtch ! Huh…’Tshhhuh ! K’shiew ! Huh-gsssh’m ! Hhhh-tsSHUH ! HhhhsUH ! Snff !”

Well, Alexander was shaking too afterwards. Hugo blew his nose, looking disguted with himself.

”Are you…Are you ok ? ”

”I’m just sneezing a bit.” said Hugo, wiping softly his nose.

”You just sneezed your head-off” commented Alexander, turning over him, crossing his arms to mask his concern.

”It’s snff noth-T’SHH’t !” sneezed Hugo, pinching his nose. Then he sniffled softly ”Going to take a shower and then I’m passing out for good.”

Alexander rolled his eyes.

”Ugh, whatever nerd. Bless-”

”Issh-SHHuh ! ” sneezed Hugo in his handkerchief, cutting Alexander.

”…Bless you. ” mumbled Alexander.

Hugo had a reflex smile for a brief second, took his things and did go to the bathroom taking the warm shower he dreamed off.

Link to comment

You can really see how much they care about each other still, especially Alexander 🥲 I hope this love doesn't go unrequited for too long, and I hope Hugo is OK even if his sneezing is really cute... thank you for another cute chapter, I'm excited to see where you take this!

Link to comment

Your portrayal of neurodivergence is refreshing. I appreciate that it doesn't lean into the one dimensional, misrepresentation or over dramatization or even offensive portrayals that you often see in media. That flashbook, oh goodness! I have a lot of emotions while reading that bit. I recognize that Hugo's parents were trying to do the right thing for their son in thinking about sending him to a "specialized" school this is a decision that should be made with the child, their health care providers, and their educators to determine the best and most individualized solution. It seems more like Alexander's mother was trying to get him to conform rather than affirming him for how and who he is and attempt to understand his actions and how she can work with him to aid in his socialization, learning, and comfortability around common stressors- like food and the actions she could take and modifications she could provide to improve his experience. It seems more that his parents, particularly his mom could have benefited from education on how she best could work with her son to allow him to thrive. 

Alexander is very sweet, he maybe doesn't always react in the best way but he tries to understand and he respects Hugo and he listens when he asserts his boundaries and that is the most important thing.

10 hours ago, Lily said:

Alexander rolled his eyes and took off his coat, hanging it inside the wardrobe. In the wardrobe door there was a mirror and Alexander looked captivated at Hugo, his face half covered by his silk handkerchief, his very sweet pre-sneeze expression, one of those rare moments when everything was relaxed, spontaneous, as he was hitting and hitting and then Hugo let go of a series of intense sneezes that made him shaking.

”Oh…Nun…No…Uh…Hiii…Huh…Hhh-Kshuh ! Ih-ngsht ! Huh-gsht ! Hhh-Gtch ! Huh…’Tshhhuh ! K’shiew ! Huh-gsssh’m ! Hhhh-tsSHUH ! HhhhsUH ! Snff !”

Gah! I'm a soppy mess over here. 

This is so well written. Your conscientiousness but also the flow and connectivity- how that the flashback at the beginning ties into the present. Thank you as always for such an amazing piece! ❤️ 

Link to comment

@dwaekki thank you and yes, they really care about each other that's for certain 🧡

@Not Telling 

On 9/27/2023 at 1:45 AM, Not Telling said:

Your portrayal of neurodivergence is refreshing.

thank you this means a lot to me 💙

Yes, the flashback part is really something that give keys about Hugo's character but also his relationship with his parents, at least in his early years. And you see how the parents are struggling. To me a lot of parents, because they claim/really love their children have a tendency to not trying to really communicate and act for the interest of their child. 

thank you, both of you, hope the rest of the story will pleases you :blushing:

4 - How are we supposed to sleep

2008

“Middle school sounds a lot worse than elementary. But hey, we’re still in the same class so that’s cool.” commented Alexander, his practically empty bag on one shoulder, looking at a group of girls a little further away.

Hugo was a few centimeters from Alexander, immersed in a thick book. His own bag was at his feet, and it seemed full to bursting.

"I guess we could have some fun here." Alexander declared, hands on his hips.

He turned to Hugo.

“Hey! Do you even listen to me?”

"Huh ?" said Hugo, barely raising his face.

“Give me that” said Alexander, taking Hugo’s book in his hands.

“Don’t lose my page !” begged Hugo.

“What’s that…Is it in English at least ?” Alexander mocked, turning the pages.

“Give me that you jerk !” said Hugo, trying to catch the book from Alexander’s hand.

But Alexander held the book high and Hugo, even if he tried, was too small compared to his friend. For some reason, Hugo felt very angry at Alexander right now. It wasn’t a funny joke. It was mean. Alexander usually knew where to stop. But right now, Hugo was entering into a furious mode and Alexander didn’t seem to notice it. He knew that if he tried to fight him, Alexander would clearly have the advantage. He wanted to tell him how he felt right now, but struggled, emotions were hard to process for him, especially when they came so suddenly.

"I hate you." Hugo said looking straight at Alexander.

Alexander was so surprised by this sudden and brutal declaration that he lowered his hand.

“W-what ?”

“Give me that. It’s mine.”

“Here’s your s-stupid book” said Alexander, giving back the book to Hugo, pressing it against his chest.

Hugo took the book and walked away. He spent the rest of the break reading words that made no sense, because all he could read was Alexander’s name and the mess of his emotions. They didn’t speak for all day. Alexander was pained, frustrated, and stubborn. Hugo was confused, frustrated, and just tried to process this first day in this new school alive.

At lunch time, it was such a torture to eat with other loud teenagers, with Alexander speaking to basically all school without problem, and all the noise, all the mess. Hugo didn’t touch his food at all and leave the refectory. The rest of the day was torture. When he eventually finished this first terrible day, Hugo skimmed past the walls to his house, his palm rubbing against the walls. He took refuge in the cabin that Mr Waterhouse had built at the top of a tree in their garden. Little Alice never came there, as it was truly Hugo and Alexander’s own kingdom. So it wasn’t that surprising to see Alexander there. He was sniffing lightly, handling a toy in the corner. Hugo frowned lightly but entered the cabin anyways.

"Here." said Alexander, throwing a bag at Hugo's feet.

Hugo frowned.

“Open it, nerd” said Alexander, sniffing again and looking at his feet now.

Hugo did. It was already smelling so good. Inside the paper, there were two babka, this soft and sweet pastry that Alexander's grandmother made, which the boys aptly nicknamed Babka in reference to their favorite snack.

“She forced me to give it to you” spitted Alexander.

“Both of them ?” asked Hugo, being practical even in his surprise.

“You brat.” Alexander said impatiently, then adding “No, I just didn’t want mine.”

Hugo frowned.

“But you love babka.”

"…"
"Why are you being nice with me ? " asked Hugo, confused.

Alexander lowered his head but said nothing. He continued to fiddle with the toy without saying anything. He was breathing more heavily. He was fighting something, that’s for sure. And Hugo felt genuine empathy for his friend. He looks sad, and he didn’t like this at all.

"Sasha ? You know I don’t really hate you right ?"
"Really ?" asked Alexander raising his head again, his eyes looking hopeful.

And Hugo bited his own lips. So Alexander had really trust his words.

"No. Of course not. And I could never. I just said it because I was angry and…I was stressed about the new school. I didn’t mean it I swear." he said, in pure honesty.

Alexander smiled, relieved. He couldn’t express it though, he only wanted to find Hugo back. The fight, even if it was in a cold war mode, had been terrible to him all day.

"Ok. Cool."

He looked at the bag of babkas.

"I know you didn’t eat today. Take both of them."

Hugo swallowed. He was very hungry, that’s for sure. He took the two babka and approached Alexander. He sat next to him and gave it one.

“That’s yours.”

And he started to eat his own babka, feeling so relieved. Alexander looked at him and smiled.

“Is it good?”

Chewing with happiness, Hugo turned towards Alexander.

“You know it’s good”

Alexander laughed, wiping his cheeks.

“Don’t spit on me !”

“Shorry” mumbled Hugo with his mouth full.

“How was the day without me huh ?” asked Alexander, half curious, half wanting to be reassured, messing with Hugo’s hair.

Hugo let Alexander do it.

"The worse. First, the people in class are all idiots right ? Especially this John…John Thing…I swear I think he doesn't know how to spell Thursday."

Alexander laughed and divided his babka in two, giving a half to Hugo and eating his half.

“Yeah, that’s true.”

“Thank you. " said Hugo, grateful to have a friend like Alexander.

Alexander smiled again.

"And Mr Reed is scaring me. Like how could you be speaking that fast and expecting people to understand?” asked Hugo.

“She’s nice though.”

“Uh…Alex, do you even remember she shouted at you because you were drawing on your desk?”

“Oh. This is Mrs. Reed?”

Hugo burst into laughing and Alexander followed him. They laughed together and continued to talk about their day, wanting to be sure to have the same opinion on everything, with their need to share.

 

Present day – 2023

 

When Hugo returned, a sweet smell of vanilla filled the room. He was wearing his pajamas, consisted of silk shirt and pants, both black, as Hugo was very sensitive to the fabric, he had trouble sleeping otherwise. Alexander was sitting on the edge of the bed. He looked at him but said nothing. He got up and went into the bathroom to take a shower in turn. 

Coming out of the shower, running a hand through his curls, in a tshirt and boxers, he saw Hugo, already lying down, fiddling with the tip of the blanket with a thoughtful air. Hugo raised his eyes to Alexander.

“I took this side.”

"Yeah, I know. Figures." simply said Alexander.

He knew all the rituals Hugo had concerning…Well basically everything. And he didn't care about sides.

“Can I turn the light of ?” he asked.

"Yep" said Alexander as he got into bed.

That felt so weird. The last time they slept together, they were happy teenagers. Right now, they were just really confused adults. At least that was he thought. Obviously, he couldn’t guessed that Hugo as the exact same thought just besides him. Hugo who realized Alexander’s smell was the same as always, musky, with a bit of honey in the mix. A very peculiar smell, sweet, strong and complex, the only complex smell Hugo was still very fond of.

“Good night” Hugo quickly said, turning to the side.

"Yeah...Good night."

Hugo felt ready to sink right away but he felt Alexander toss and turn in his bed. Of course. He always had trouble sleeping. Only his Babka stories were good enough to knock him down. And if he ever wake up during the night, he sometimes waked up a sleepy Hugo when he was sleeping over - which was half of the week during school period and a great part of the holidays when Hugo was in NYC - and Hugo was kinda great to tell Alexander stories.

"Hey. You moving a lot." finally said Hugo.

"Am I ? Sorry. I think I'm going to smoke." decided Alexander.

Hugo grunted and sighed and turned towards Alexander's silhouette.

“No don’t go.” he almost begged.

“Why ?” asked surprised Alexander.

"Because you're going to smell so bad."

“I’ll wash myself.” said Alexander, shrugging.

“It’s so cold outside.” added Hugo, pouting a bit.

“I’ll take your big coat.” replied Alexander.

“No you won’t.” said Hugo.

"Then I'll freeze to death. And you'll be at peace" mocked Alexander.

"Yeah probably. Moron." grunted Hugo.

"Hey I was just joking. Sure you don't want to lend me your coat ? Afraid of the smell ?"

“…Afraid for your health.” Hugo eventually mumbled.

"A little freezing snow is nothing. Got a better health than you anyways." remarked Alexander.

"That's low even from you. And anyways I don't care if you catch a stupid cold. You idiot enough to develop a c-cancer persisting to smoke." and Hugo hated this but as he was saying it his voice cracked a bit.

Alexander heard it but he was also annoyed.

“Stop being dramatic. It’s annoying.”

"What annoys me is how you disregard your health. You just choose to lot caring. It never amused me. Not even when we were kids."

“And why do you care?”

"B-because I...I..."

And obviously he could say anything right now. Why could he say ? There was too long a silence for both of them and Alexander stood up. He ten left the room without a word. Hugo screamed his frustration into the pillow. People had always been a mystery to him. All. Except for Alexander. And it drove him crazy to think that the one person with whom he felt perfectly himself for so long had become the most complicated person in the world. He tossed and turned in the bed. Alexander was normally the one who accentuated the best in himself. How come it was now the exact opposite ? Hugo felt like shit. He wanted to see Alexander. He thought of his dark gaze. That idiot who started to smoke. His dark gaze looking at him with concern when he fainted.

"IiiiiShUuuuUuUh !" he sneezed freely, a rather loud sneeze for someone like Hugo, a sneeze which made him stand up. He patted the nightstand, took a tissue and blew his nose with relief.

Now perfectly awake he stood up, shivering. Alexander was right in a way. He truly had a poor health comparing to him. That was just annoying. Alexander was handsome and the strongest guy in so many situations. That among many other things considering is childhood friend, teenager crush, seemed perfectly frustrating. Perhaps the most frustrating in all of this is that Hugo didn't understand why he was caring so much about it. He shouldn't be. He put on a sweater in the dark and some socks. He told himself he would just take a walk down the hall. He opened the door and Alexander literally fell between his legs.

Alexander had actually sat against the door. He hadn't moved from the hallway. He hadn't gone downstairs to smoke a cigarette, Hugo knew it immediately by his bare feet and his sweet musky smell with a honey fragrance. Looking more embarrassed than himself, Alexander sat up suddenly. He was still only wearing his large t-shirt and boxers. Hugo sighed. That was just typical Alexander. Alexander who ran a hand through his hair.

“What ?” he said we have defense mode.

"Nothing. You're the one guarding the door." remarked Hugo.

“I’m not guarding the door” Alexander muttered rolling his eyes doing so.

“Are you afraid of an invasion ?” smiled Hugo, a bit mocking, a bit curious about what was happening.

Alexander looked down.

"Huh-huh-IIIIIh-Gnissh’shuh ! " sneezed Hugo all of sudden, stifling it in his elbow.
"You wore my sweatshirt." Alexander simply realized.

Hugo looked down too. Yes he was. In the darkness he hadn't paid attention. And he sneezed on it. Well, that was both gross and embarrassing.

“I guess the smell of smoke on my clothes didn’t bother you that much finally” Alexander added.

Alexander regretted saying that in a more or less mocking tone - why couldn't he shush this big mouth of his - when he saw a very frustrated Hugo took off his sweatshirt angrily and handed it to him. Hugo was now only in pajamas. And freezing.

“You want it back ? Take it !” he said with a barely contained anger.

“I didn’t say I want it back” replied Alexander, raising his voice.

“Then what do you want?” and Hugo, who had raised his voice in turn, repeated in a furious whisper, “What do you want ?”

"Besides a smoke ? Nothing !" replied Alexander in the same tone as Hugo but with a lot more of bad faith than he wanted to admit, even to himself.

“Well g-go I w-won’t s-stop you” said Hugo, teeth chattering, as he was getting cold.

“It’s just helping me sleep” said Alexander in a sigh, rubbing his temple.

“Well we c-c-could find other ways t-t-to made you sleep” mumbled Hugo, trying hard to calm down the chattering of his teeth without success.

“We ?” frowned Alexander.

"UH-uksh'uh ! Uh..." Hugo said, sitting his sneeze in his hand, crossing his arms to try to warm himself, although that didn't help anything.

"Here. Put this." softened Alexander, giving him his sweatshirt again.

“I’m ok” claimed Hugo.q

"No you're not. You're shaking again." insisted Alexander.

“I’m not…”

“Come on do I have to force it on you ?” teased Alexander.

But it was gentle teasing. Hugo put the sweatshirt. That felt good. And the smell of Alexander enveloped him. It didn't smell like cigarettes. Just this musky smell, this honey, this sweetness.... And the clean laundry. He sighed of relief.

“Good boy.” commented Alexander.

Hugo gave him a little blow on the shoulder. Alexander smiled

“It fits you.” – it was a lie but Alexander genuinely thought Hugo looked good in his sweatshirt. In this blue which made his eyes stand out.

"Well it's too big for me. You have these massive shoulders now." said Hugo in a grumpy voice.

"Thanks ? I mean the color fits you." Alexander smiled.

“Blue fits everyone.” replied Hugo with a shrug.

“Okay so like how does it work ?” Alexander said impatiently, then immediately adding “I can’t even complementing you can I ?

"It's...You never genuinely say anything." eventually said Hugo, grimacing as he saw Alexander's expression harden.

“What ?” frowned Alexander, more touched than he wanted.

"You're never genuine. Always have something in mind when you say something. Eve-eveh-even if...Shit...Hhhh-gnssh' !"

Hugo stifled the sneeze against his palm. He sighed, and finished.

"Even if sometimes it's inconcious."

Alexander looked almost in shock.

"Are you for real ?"

"Sasha don't..." started Hugo.

"Don't "Sasha" me, to begin with."

"Calm down" begged Hugo, a bit worried because of how loud Alexander was.

Getting really frustrated now, Alexander took a step closer to Hugo.

"Calming down ? You're just as annoying as I am you idiot. The only difference is that I tried to make you laugh." He whispered in an angry tone.

“And what am I trying to do to you then ?” whispered Hugo, his big baby blue eyes becoming more and more confused.

Alexander closed his black eyes for twelve seconds, Hugo counted. Well at least twelve seconds before he started to pant very quickly five or six times to then letting go of two little stifled sneezes between his thumb and index finger.

"Ksssh'uh ! Hhhhh-gnshhh'm !"

Alexander opened his eyes at the first sneeze. He raised a brow at the second one. If he blessed Hugo, would he see that was genuine ?

“Hiii-hi-eh-SssHum !” sneezed Hugo in a desperate way, having trouble to stifle this soft yet wet sneeze against his palm.

"Uhm...Bless you." Alexander whispered. Then he seemed to hesitated but added "Let's...I mean you should go back to the bed. You're getting cold."

Hugo felt his own frustration melting. Alexander's gaze was filled with concern. He regretted saying Alexander was not genuine. But didn't know how to told him. Besides he was sure that Alexander would not believe him now. Did he pain him for real ? He thought he wanted to be witty but he have been bitter. And the thought of being meant to Alexander just for the sake of him disgusted himself. His shoulders sagged.

"Sash...Alexander I'm tired." sighed Hugo.

“Well you’re lucky.”

"I mean I'm tired to fight with you." he added, trying to apologize.

"...At least I agree with you on that one. That is tiresome." admitted Alexander.

Hugo shivered.

“Let’s go back.” insisted Alexander.

And Hugo returned to the room followed by Alexander. They lay down again.

“Can I...I mean...Can you pass me my sweatshirt ?” asked Hugo, ready to remove Alexander's.

“You can keep mine” simply said Alexander.

"Thanks. It's...Shi-iiiiTshuh ! Sorry. Thank you."

“Bless you.” And Alexander approached Hugo.

He was going to put his hand on Hugo's forehead but froze. Hugo looked at him and sniffed lightly.

“You can touch me.”

Alexander gently put his hand on Hugo's forehead.

“Just checking for your temp.” he informed.

Hugo smiled controllably. Alexander raised his eyebrows.

“Did I say something funny?”

“No doc.”

Alexander removed his hand and turned off the light but Hugo clearly saw him blushed.

“You’re not feverish” mumbled Alexander.

“Told you” said Hugo, voice sounding a bit amused.

“Well good night then.” mumbledAlexander.

"Hey. I can tell you a story if you want." suggested Hugo.

The words escaped Hugo's mouth. He actually said the thought that was crossing his mind without overthinking as he usually did. The need to repair the damage he did was taking him over his overanalysis. But there was a silence. Hugo mentally treated himself of being a moron by proposing this but then Alexander's voice was soft and near in his ear.

"Uhm. Perhaps...It will help me."

Hugo felt his temperature raising but knew there was nothing related to fever. Well at least not the kind of fever Alexander thought of.

"So ehm..." he cleared his voice, "It's the story of a young prince called Ivan."

“Ivan ?” Alexander wondered.

“Shush !” ordered Hugo in a whisper.

Alexander smiled Hugo hated to be cut off when he was telling a story, even as a child.

"Sorry. Ivan." repeated Alexander.

“It’s a true story” clarified Hugo.

"Ok."

“Now shut up”

“So nicely asked” said Alexander, and you could hear the smile in his voice.

Hugo felt Alexander's soft breathing near his face.

"So Ivan was a young prince in a beautiful kingdom. It was a little kingdom near the sea and he reigned there. He had no parents but a good spirit send him a very nice and wise woman who protected him."

Alexander slid slightly towards Hugo. They were very close, he could also feel his breath as he was telling the story.

"Ivan was beautiful and intelligent. Everyone loved him because he was natural, friendly, and really funny, which was rare for princes. Yet, he was a very nice prince. He was quite young so he did silly things. Still, he was very sweet and caring to everyone who had the good fortune entering in his kingdom."

Alexander smiled and imagined a little prince in Coney Island. It was silly but we'll, if he had been a prince, it would have been his own kingdom. He was completely clueless at that moment that Hugo was actually making a rough metaphor of him.

"Everybody was his friends, as it was in Ivan's temper to be friendly with anyone" pursued Hugo, his voice being so sweet you could only wanted to hear it more, "But the court of the little prince had difficulty understanding why he attached himself to a little page. A little nobody, pale and insignificant."

Alexander smiled, a bit intrigued.

"But actually, they became the best of friends. The little page, Lev, have a very different personality than the prince. But they felt like soulmates. They were inseparable. Sometimes, the prince's protector gave Lev cakes and sang to him songs. The prince was never jealous because he loved Lev like a brother. He was intelligent and observant enough to know that brothers had to share everything. And that's what the did."

Alexander closed his eyes. Hugo tried to stayed calm.

"The problem came when a kind of a spirit of evil came and start destroying the peaceful kingdom. It started with a curse."

Alexander frowned lightly but kept his eyes closed.

"And so the prince was scared. He asked Lev to come. And Lev came. And they spend time together, enjoying the company of the other."

Alexander felt how breathless Hugo suddenly was and opened his eyes again. He felt a little quick movement following by a muffled sneeze and some air expelled on his face.

“Mmm-shhhuh !”

“Bless you.” whispered Alexander.

“Tha-thanks sorry.” breathed Hugo.

“Are you ok ?”

“Huh...Hmmkssshiiiiuh !” sneezed Hugo after a quick inhale.

“Hugo…”

"I'm fine. Should I..."

Alexander moved closer to Hugo again but neither had really moved away so he felt their hair brushing against each other. He closed his eyes again.

"So uh...Where was I ?" asked Hugow confused by the hair contact.

“You said a curse.” mumbled Alexander.

Hugo frowned. And swallowed.

“Need to blow your nose ?” wondered Alexander.

“Nuh-uh…” whispered Hugo.

“Please continue.” simply said Alexander.

"So the...The...Prince was cursed first. The evil spirit gave him this extraordinary melancholy the prince only could beat by being distracted all day and all night long into balls. And then he cursed Lev too. He gave to the little page the desire to discover the world. And this desire was growing inside him, and all his memories faded aways as only his travels occupied his mind."

Hugo felt Alexander sighed softly.

"They no longer saw each other as Lev worked on making a boat that would take him away from his native kingdom and the prince who was discovering the world in his own way, forgetting himself into balls and receptions of all kind."

Now Hugo felt his heart beating fast. He was a bit scared Alexander could feel it as they were so close.

"One night, the prince looked at himself in a mirror his protector gave him. And he had a moment of clarity of mind. He was not that happy. He had to find Lev to told him the truth. He ran to find Lev and they find each other below the full moon."

Hugo was a bit unsure of himself, but felt Alexander was breathing in a slightly disorganized manner.

“It was a beautiful summer night and…”

Alexander's heart was beating very fast now. And Hugo could feel it as he moved a bit, and his shoulder was against Alexander's torso.

"Sash...Sasha...Are you ok ?" he asked in a whisper.

Alexander didn't answer. But there was no way he was already sleeping. Hugo knew it. But what could he do ? He started to inhale, pinching his nose to avoid sneezing as he was so close to Alexander.

"Huh...Hih...HHH...Shh...Huh...Gosh-uh-uh...Huh...Hukshhh'mmm !" he stifled pinching his nose hard.

The pressure of it made him give a little head thrust forward against Alexander's.

“Ouch !” they both said.

"Huh...Huh...So-sorry...Let me...Iiiiiii-kshhh-Uhssht !" sneezed desperately Hugo, turning away, a quick double stifled sneeze and you could heard it was wet.

He then let out an exhausted sigh.

"Uh...So sorr...."

"Stop excusing yourself every time you..." and Alexander bited his lips.

Having a soft spot, well, more than a soft spot for sneezing sometimes prevented him from talking about it. And it was so hard with Hugo because he sneezed so damn much. And his sneezes where so cute Alexander just couldn't hear them and feel like it was only a natural response from his body.

"Well...Uh...Ok...I...But I...I really need to...Snee-eeze again..." said Hugo, voice distorted because he was trying to hold them back .

“J-j-just let them out you nerd.” grunted Alexander.

"Ugh...Easy-iiih...Uh...For you-uuuh....T-to say it's so...Uh...Uh..."

Alexander stood up. He was almost feverish because of this battle of Hugo against his own sneezes. He ran his hands over his face. Calm down, he thought. You heard him sneezing all your damn life it's not like...

"Huh...Huh...P-p-please Tish...Tish...T-tissue..." moaned Hugo, also standing up.

Alexander turned on the light and got out of bed to grab the fabrics from the fireplace. He turned to Hugo, who had his hands on his face and his eyes half open, gasping terribly.

"Huryy...Hurry...Iiiii-kssshhUUh !" sneezed Hugo in a high-pitched tone into his cupped hands. Then he shivered.

Alexander made a violent effort and approached Hugo to give him a handkerchief.

“Uh nuh…” he said in a tiny voice.

Alexander ran a hand through his hair nervously, trying not to stare at Hugo.

“Uh-kshsshum !” Hugo sneezed in the tissue.

He then blew his nose and folded the tissue but another sneeze surprised him and he had to sneeze it freely. He tried to stifle it though.

"H-Ksshuh ! Uhm..."

He grimaced because that was a bit painful in the long run. Alexander grimaced too. Hugo wrinkled his nose in a very cute way and took another tissue, blew his nose again and fold it, then placed it next to the first one. Alexander watched him do it.

"That's new. The folding thing." he said.

Hugo sniffed wetly. He realized there was just one tissue left. He had no idea where his handkerchief were right now. He looked at Alexander. 

"Uh...It's just...It's nothing."

"So can I throw them out ?" asked Alexander.

"Sor...I mean yeah. But don't unfold them."

Alexander nodded. A lot of people would have found it strange but he was not surprised. Hugo had a lot of rituals that helped him calm down. And often this seemed to be accentuated when Hugo was in a poor shape. Or on the verge of a crisis. Alexander noted that between their unexpected meeting, their perpetual argument, the cold and the fatigue, Hugo must certainly be breathless. He took Hugo's tissues and threw them out. He returned to sit on the edge of the bed. Hugo was fighting another sneeze.

"Huh...H....HHhH....S-stuck...Huh...His....Hush...Huh..."

Alexander wondered for a moment who was the most tortured of them.

"Okay. Stop this." he declared.

“Uhhh-Uh…”

"Gonna help you otherwise we're going to spend the night at...Whatever" and Alexander approached.

Hugo looked at him in a mixture of confusion and fear, his nostrils flaring and his half-open mouth letting out a ragged breath.

"Wh-uh...What are you....Hold...H-hold on..." he rambled.

Alexander softly out the tip of his index on Hugo's tip of the nose. It was a bit swollen and hot. Alexander's black eyes locked onto Hugo's astonished light eyes which closed the moment he let out fit of relieved sneezes.

"Kshhhm ! K'SHH-uh...Iii-kshIEw ! Huh-K'shUUH ! Snfff oh-thats...Mmm..."

He sighed of contentment and this expression of deliverance and sweetness made Alexander melting inside. He moved away. Then lay down again.

"D-did I sneezed on you..." he asked in a weak voice.

"Please now I want to sleep" muttered Alexander, feeling so weird.

"Oh. Right." sniffed Hugo.

He lowered his head, blushing slightly. And then he turned the light off.

"I am so sorry" he whispered.

"Uh...About what ?"

"Well for one thing it was not very hygienic." mumbled Hugo.

"Shut up nerd." grunted Alexander, feeling so hot it was hard to function.

"Hey I can't help it if I have allergies you know ?"

"No shit. I know that. Good night." grunted Alexander.

"Like now you want to sleep ?" frowned Hugo, confused.

"Yes."

"I don't believe you." said Hugo quickly.

"I don't care." mumbled Alexander, his voice being a bit muffled by the pillow where he had hide his face.

"I didn't even finished the story" realized Hugo.

"What's the p-point anyway ? The prince is going to be a b-big lonely jerk and Lev is going to be fucking happy because the moral of the story is ours isn't it ?" fit Alexander raising his voice as he was getting frustrated.

Hugo frowned. 

"I don't want you to tell the end of the story. I don't want to hear you anymore. I just...I just want to sleep ok." lied Alexander, in a mix of sadness, anger, and desire which was probably entailing a lot of confusion too.

Hugo hesitated but you also lay down again. He shivered.

"Ok" he whispered.

"Ok." repeated Alexander.

And he turned his face slightly towards Hugo.

"And...I didn't mean to raised my voice. Good night." mumbled Alexander.

He felt his eyes tickle but it wasn't fatigue. He closed them really hard. Please knock yourself out you moron.

"I know. I know how tense you are right now." mumbled Hugo in a sleepy voice.

"I am not t..."

"I know how I'm always making persons feeling like this. Excuse me if I made you felt tense or even bad. I didn't mean to. Good night." said Hugo with a yawn.

"Ugh nonsense." mumbled Alexander.

"And thank you for helping me sneeze. The feeling was just so..."

Alexander buried his burning face into the cushion. Why did Hugo have to talk about it anyway?

"...Irritating. Thank you."

"Mmm-mmm you're welcome" mumbled Alexander.

And then he felt Hugo’s head against his back. His shoulders relaxed a bit.

"You don’t mind do you ? " said Hugo in a sleepy voice.
"…No."

Hugo rubbed his head slowly, like a cat, against Alexander’s back.

"Mmm…Great. Thank you"

"You're welcome." mumbled Alexander.

"I missed you" whispered Hugo.

And Alexander wondered how he was supposed to sleep now.

Link to comment

Omg wow! That was so sweet omg I loved every word! I hope Hugo's princes' reuniting story comes true... I'd love to see those princes fall in love soon... its so adorable how Alexander is so attentive to everything Hugo does, even down to his subconscious movements like when he was cold outside. It was so endearing to see how he really cares so deeply about Hugo still even if they both drifted apart. I'm living for these small little moments of love though! I hope we get many more soon and also many more sneezes! I'd love to see if Alexander has as much of an adorable sneeze as Hugo! I can imagine him having an extremely tiny stifle/ kitten sneeze that contrasts completely with the image he tried to present himself with lmao 😋 Always looking forward to more, your writing really is some of the best so thank you! ❤️

Link to comment

Wow! This chapter was incredible. Alexander and Hugo can be a little volatile together but there is a sweet understanding of each other too, like they know each other better than anyone else in their lives. With all those strong emotions, when that passion ignites between them it's going to be epic, and I am so here for it!! 

I melted when Alexander helped Hugo get out the snuck sneezes. That totally does it for me and gah poor Alexander, I can only imagine how he's managing in that situation. 

And when Hugo whispered to him that he missed him, just lay out my casket now, because I can't, that is just too adorable and sweet! I hope they both stop fighting with each other, and fighting how they feel for each other, and just give in. 

 

Link to comment

Just started reading this and I’ve got to say that I LOVE it! Hopefully in the near future, Alexander will catch that cold from Hugo. Please continue!

Link to comment

salut salut

so guess what people ? I have the worst cold ever and tomorrow I'm starting a new job ugh isn't it just perfect timing ? the only good thing in that cold is that I'm getting inspired for the story

thank you all for your lovely comments 🧡

@dwaekki yay, it may take a bit of time but don't worry, they'll come ! Ok so love your thought about Alexander's sneezes it gave me an idea thanks 🤭

@Not Telling

On 9/30/2023 at 12:15 AM, Not Telling said:

I hope they both stop fighting with each other, and fighting how they feel for each other, and just give in. 

I know right ? They're not letting go that easily but hey, let's have hope for them.

@RipleyToo thank you very much !! In the cold Alps, cold is a must. It will come soon...

thank you for your lovely comments, I take my time writing it, but hope it's still nice to read ! going to drink fluids and try to fight my own cold, hope you will like this new chapter 💙❄️

 

5 – I’m better because of you

2009

"Every fucking year" muttered 12 years old Alexander, then he spoke louder "You could make a file and only ask us the things that change every year".

“Mister Brand, we will do without your comments, thank you very much.” answered dryly the teacher.

Hugo turned towards Alexander and rolled his eyes.

“Don’t start Alex…”

Alexander shrugged and focused on his paper again.

Name of the parents :

________________________ (Father) ________________________ (Mother)

Profession of the parents :

________________________ (Father) ________________________ (Mother)

Address 1 / Address 2 (in case of divorce) :

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Alexander crossed out these categories that did not concern him and wrote “Deceased”. Under this, he put the name and adress of his grandmother. Every fucking year.

 

A few months later

 

“Alexander Brand ! Would you stop talking to Mister Waterhouse?  You’re distracting him.”

Hugo blushed and looked down at his writing. Alexander raised his head proudly.

“I was just asking for help, sir.”

“I’m asking for an individual essay. You are old enough to write it yourself.”

“The subject does not speak to me very much.” replied Alexander with a tone you could interpret as insolent.

Hugo gave him a little poke in the stomach.

“Stop it…” he begged in a whisper.

The other students started to look at them.

“Oh really ? What do you find complicated about writing this essay according to the text we studied ?”

“The instruction is to write from the point of view of a teenager and his relationship with his parents, right ?”

“Sasha…” Hugo mumbled, worried.

“So ? Does that seem that hard to imagine for you ?” asked the teacher, getting frustrated by the cheeky teenager.

Alexander grimaced.

“Well, I can’t relate.”

“Stop your nonsense, young man. You must feel something for your parents.” cutted the teacher without thinking.

Alexander opened his mouth but he realized he couldn't actually talk right now. That was surprising. He always had something to say. He had no fear. But no, here he wasn’t afraid. He was shocked because he felt a great wave of sadness and anger mixing within him, raising in him so fast, it cutted his breath. His bright gaze betrayed his confusion. 

"Sir, his parents are dead. " said Hugo, who couldn't bear to see Alexander like this.

And as if to give more weight to his words, he stood up with a certain awkwardness. Alexander picked up Hugo's chair before it fell to the ground and put it back properly. He looked at Hugo, a bit surprised. The teacher looked sorry but as he was starting to say something, Hugo cutted him.

"Alex is right. What's the point of filling out this stupid information sheet every school year if you don't take the time to read it ?"

And Hugo sat down again, a little stunned. Alexander looked down. He didn’t know why, but he definetely felt very sad right now. The teacher apologized, brought the class back to order and the rest of the lesson passed in silence. Embarrassed, the professor wanted to take another moment in private to apologize to Alexander but this one already fled.

*

Alexander walked briskly home. Hugo walked a few meters behind, breathing short.

“Sasha WAIT !”

Alexander sniffed, wiped his eyes because they were watering. He didn't understand. He had Babka. He had Hugo. Hugo's parents. Alice. Many friends. Why did he miss his parents, whom he had known so little ? Why now, now that he was entering adolescence ? He wiped his face angrily and only froze when he felt a small mass on his back which squeezed him, its arms gently embracing him. He sniffed wetly and didn’t say anything. He knew it was Hugo. His Malenki. He couldn’t talk, afraid of what he might have said. He felt Hugo squeeze him gently, without saying anything. Hugo didn't like hugs very much. And they were two boys, if they could be affectionate towards each other, rather bashful since two years or so.

But it felt like everything.

“I’m sorry” whispered Hugo.

“I’m snnnf o-ok.” weakly said Alexander.

"Yes, you will be. I'm sorry…" repeated softly Hugo, feeling waves of empathy coming from him, but also, it was not just empathy, he wanted to make Alexander way butter, not knowing how, he just hoped the affection he was showing to him right now counted a bit.

“It’s not your fault.” cutted Alexander, frowning.

"I know. I’m just sorry everyone is so stupid. " whispered Hugo.

Alexander smiled, then letting out a little laugh. That was just classical Hugo.

"I guess that’s how you feel everyday huh ?" teased Alexander, wiping his nose with his hand, then his eyes.

Hugo smiled and rubbed his head softly on Alexander’s back.

"Thank you Malenki" mumbled Alexander.
"Anytime. Well, actually, no, not anytime. I can’t really promise that -"
"Shut up nerd" smiled Alexander, finally turning towards Hugo.

Hugo smiled. His dimple was like a little star on his cheek. Alexander put his index finger on it and Hugo gave a little pat on his hand even if he smiled. They both came back home, which tonight was Babka’s for both of them.

Present day - 2023

The morning after, Hugo woke up with Alexander's arm on his stomach and one leg stuck to his. He shook his head. Alexander always had improbable positions. He got out of bed as slowly and gently as possible but froze as he felt a tickle coming. Hugo often had morning sneezes. He could even induce them as he felt not complete without them in the morning. It was the only sneezes he quite like as they were part of his own ritual to help himself waking up.

“Huh...Huh-KSHIUh !” he sneezed inside his sweatshirt with relief. And then he had to sneeze three times more. He stifled them because he didn't want to wake up Alexander.

"Ksssh'um ! Huh...Gnishhht ! Huh-gnxt !"

He froze again realizing he had sneezing inside his sweatshirt but the sweatshirt in question was actually Alexander's.

“Bless you” mumbled a sleepy voice, muffled by the pillow where his face was buried.

Hugo turned towards Alexander.

"Sor-Thanks."

"Cover yourself ‘kay ? It's cold outside."

And Alexander turned towards the opposite side of the bed, still in his sleep. Hugo got out of bed and put the blanket back on Alexander correctly. He didn't like unmade beds. Even if there was still someone in it. And he didn't want Alexander to be cold. No, not on his watch.

“What are you doing” mumbled Alexander who felt a light contact at shoulder level.

“I don't want you getting cold you moron.” quickly mumbled Hugo, rushing now to the bathroom.

Why ? He asked himself in the mirror. Why did he was here doing a job he like but all he could think about was to stay here under the warm blanket with Alexander? Hugo shook his head and got ready. Then he left the room without a sound after a quick look at a sleepy Alexander.

Alexander opened his eyes the minute Hugo closed the door.

“Shit” he mumbled.

And he closed his eyes again with a sign. Without Hugo, it was going to be a long day.

*

Hugo only returned to the chalet around 5 p.m. Night would fall in less than an hour. He was exhausted from the lectures and from talking so much all day with so many different people. He felt completely empty. He dreamed of a long walk in the mountains.

He saw a long figure sitting on the railing of the chalet. Leather jacket and thick boots, messy curls and cigarette in mouth. Alexander. Alexander looked at him and gave him a small wave. Hugo approached. Alexander extinguished his cigarette right away and exhaled the smoke to the side.

 

“Hi.”

"Hello." said Hugo, looking at his childhood friend who looked taller than ever, cooler than ever and...Yes, handsome than ever even with the damn cigarette.

“It's only my first one of the day” said Alexander with an apologetic smile.

Hugo crossed his arms. But was feeling glad of it inside.

“Want to explore the surroundings ?” asked Alexander.

Hugo couldn't help it but smile. Sometimes he really felt like Alexander could read his thoughts. Even now, even since these four years apart from each other.

“Yes.”

"Can I show you around ? I know a place where we can see the sunset." suggested Alexander, and you could hear his desire for it in his tone. 

Hugo lowered his head but smiled again. He couldn't help it. Alexander saw his dimple.

"Wait are you...Like actually smiling? Lucky me." he teased, but genuinely happy because Hugo didn't smile much. And considering the night they had, he felt particularly lucky.

"No. Moron." said Hugo, passing his hand over his mouth to hide an irresistible smile.

Alexander decided not to tease Hugo muched and jumped from the railing with agility. He clapped his hands energetically.

"So ! Should we go ?"

“Yes, show me around.”

They started to walk together. Alexander slowed his usually fast and relaxed pace slightly so that Hugo, who was walking more slowly, was next to him. The weather was cold but there was a beautiful light shining through the trees. Hugo was grateful to Alexander for not speaking. This allowed him to free his mind from what had been done or said today.

He walked slower also because we admired the landscape in which they were walking with Alexander. At one point, he stopped to observe the trace that the sap had left on a tree. Alexander stopped realizing Hugo was not by his side and looked at him do. Hugo raised his face to see the branches cutting out the light. A cool breeze passed over his face. He closed his eyes. The wind moved the branches and a little powdery snow fell on his face. He frowned, confused, and wiped his face.

“Ugh…”

Alexander felt a surge of tenderness for Hugo, how looked terribly cute right now. Hugo froze and his nose twisted a little. He even let out a little moan. Alexander grimaced. Why was he doing this to him ?

"You're ok ?"

Hugo nodded and came towards Alexander, growling.

"Some dusty snow...It fell on my face. Ah... It's tickling my...My..." and Hugo rubbed his nose but with his gloves it wasn't very practical.

“Stop you’re going to tear your nose apart !” grunted Alexander, half terribly attracted to the incoming sneeze, half concerned because Hugo was so brutal.

"But I..." and Hugo's voice, already very distorted by the sneeze, was cut by a sharp inhale following by little quick hissing.

He put his gloved hands in front of his face.

"Hiiih...Huh...Hiii-tshuh! K'SHIEw !"

He sniffed, had a little smile of contentment.

Mmm that felt good.”

Alexander thought very hard "Shut up" but at the same time seeing Hugo sneezed in front of him and being genuinely happy to relieve seeing sneezes was terribly endearing. He cleared his throat.

"B-bless you. Should we go now ?"

Hugo nodded and they continued their walk. Alexander was in his thought when he received a snow bowl on his neck. His scarf protected him a bit even if he felt the icy sensation against his skin, and the blow had been well delivered. He turned, surprised, towards Hugo looking so happy and proud of himself, having a little smile on the side, with his hands behind his back.

"I'm not even sorry." he confessed with a laughing sound in his voice.

“Oh really ?” asked Alexander, brushing the snow from his scarf, a smile emerging on his face.

“Nuh-uh.” said Hugo, stepping back slightly with the same smile.

"You're going to regret this Hugo Waterhouse you know this ?" he asked, bending down slightly to scoop up some snow.

But as he raised his head, he caught another snowball in his chest.

“Hey !”

Hugo burst out laughing.

“Your face !”

“Hey come here !” grunted Alexander with a laugh in his voice.

And they started a snowball fight together. Alexander was stronger than Hugo at any sports or physical activities but Hugo was tiny and quick and managed to escape some blows. And he was good at shooting too. They were having a lot of fun, smiling and laughing. It was just like before for a few minutes. But suddenly Hugo froze, a surprised expression on the face before letting go his snowball and putting his hands towards his face he sneezed in a high pitched tone, almost in a dramatic way, in a very powerful way for him.

“Huh-TiSSHIUH !”

Alexander also had a snowball on his hand at this moment. He contracted his fingers so hard seing and hearing Hugo sneeze that way, which was terribly exciting to him, that the snowball exploded between his fingers.

"Huh-Kshu-uh ! Hi-hiSH-uh...Pshiiiiew !" sneezed again Hugo, in a high pitched tone.

Alexander approached. Hugo shook his head.

"Nuh-uh it's not fair wait...Wa...Ah-kshuh ! T-tSSHUH !" he sneezed again.

And Alexander saw a little mist escaping Hugo's mouth. He focused hard. He bit into one of his glove to remove it and with his free hand he took one of Hugo's handkerchiefs from his jacket pocket. His silk handkerchief. Hugo looked surprised. The tip of his nose was pinky now.

“Huh-gnnshhuh !” he stifled, sneezing on the side.

“Bless you Malenki. Jeez do you like ever stop ?” he asked gently, yet a bit concerned, handing him the handkerchief.

“Th-ahShuh !” sneezed Hugo in the handkerchief.

And he blew his nose softly.

"I found it on the desk this morning. I figured I took one, just in case. You don't blame me ?" asked Alexander.

Hugo gently wiped his nose. He then looked at Alexander again.

"It's very considered of you" he realized.

Nervously, Alexander passed nervously a hand in his curls.

"Well like...I mean..."

"Are we uh...Snff ! Close to the place to watch the sunset ?"

Alexander nodded.

“Just behind this row of pine trees.”

“Perfect.” said Hugo, moving towards it.

Alexander didn't lie. The landscape was magnificent. The mountains looked like blue and purple waves in a clear sky, with purplish and pink hues. The trees were powdered with snow and the sun cast beautiful shadows between the trees. Nature was dazzling, immense and dense. Alexander felt a tiny tickle in his nose and sniffed discreetly, but that gave him the urge to sneeze which he did pinching his nose very hard and turning his head on the side.

"Hhh-Gsh't !"

Hugo turned towards Alexander.

“Did you said something ?"

"Nope" smiled Alexander.

Sneeze normally in front of Hugo ? That wasn't possible. Beside, it was just a single sneeze, just due to the cold air.

"I just...Thank you” said Hugo, and even in this two words you could hear, at least Alexander could, how grateful he was.

Alexander looked at the face of Hugo bathed in the sunset colors and smiled.

"You're welcome."

“It’s really...T’ShIEW !” sneezed Hugo in his fist.

Alexander smiled lightly and Hugo saw him do it. He had a little apologetic smile and then he looked at the landscape again. The sun was slowly disappearing behind the mountains.

“My day was so intense I feel drained.” sighed Hugo softly.

“Did you enjoy it ?”

"Yes, I guess. But for some reason all I was thinking about was leaving the room and going...Well I didn't know this landscape existed but...Uh...Wait..."

Alexander closed his eyes for a second.

“Huh-kshIEwh-uuuh…” sneezed Hugo.

“Bless you.” said Alexander, opening his eyes again.

"Thanks. I think I'm a bit cold." admitted Hugo with a little shiver.

Alexander turned towards him.

“Then let’s go back.”

“No but I want to see the sun completely gone” said Hugo, stubbornly.

Alexander rolled his eyes.

"Okay then...Come here."

He opened his arms. Hugo frowned lightly.

“Come here” insisted Alexander, his heart racing a bit “I don’t bite.”

Hugo almost timidly approached Alexander who gently took him in his arms before gently turning him towards the landscape and only keeping his arm around his shoulder. Hugo felt warmer, that's for sure, but the simple physical touch of Alexander had this effect on him.

“Better ?” asked Alexander after clearing his throat.

Hugo only nodded, afraid of what he could say. The sun has now completely disappeared.

"Uh...I need to...Ah-gnishih ! Huh-KShhh !" sneezed Hugo, stifling it but didn't covering it as he was totally surprised but them.

Alexander couldn't help but smiled.

“Yeah, apparently.”

“Hey don’t mock me !” protested Hugo, moving away from Alexander.

Alexander smiled again.

"I wouldn't dare. Bless you."

Hugo blushed a little.

"Ok well...Let's go back. I don't want to catch a cold."

"Yes, we don’t want this." added softly Alexander.

He then readjusted Hugo's collar softly. Hugo let him do it, not really looking at him. And they came back to the chalet.

"You want to take your shower first or do you.." but Alexander cutted himself as, turning towards Hugo he saw this one hitching slightly, his head tilts back. “Take it easy, snowflake” he added in a whisper, between the tease, the concern and the terrible attraction I felt towards Hugo right now.

"Hiiih...Not fuh...Uh...Upshhiew ! Uh-tishiuh !" sneezed Hugo in his elbow.

Little tears appeared at the corner of his big baby blue eyes. Alexander thought he was melting inside. Did Hugo had the tears because of the pressure of the sneezes?

“So I guess you will be the first one” decided Alexander.

He put his hand on Hugo's shoulder but removed it immediately as it was just an old habit from him and he didn't know if Hugo was still ok with him touching him like this. Hugo frowned, a bit confused by the quick gesture.

“Okay but...I want a bath.”

Alexander laughed.

“Iiiiish-ISHIUH-Shuh !” sneezed almost freely Hugo, barely covering it as he was focused on Alexander's gaze.

He blushed lightly.

“Excuse me” he said with a little sniff.

Alexander swallowed.

"Bless you. Nerd. Hurry up to take your bath then. And don't fall asleep in it too right ?"

Hugo rolled his eyes and rushed to the bathroom to take a warm comforting bath. After this magnificent walk he had taken with Alexander, this was just ending the process of relaxation of this long day.

Alexander took off his jacket and his shoes and rubbed his arms energetically. He had been a little cold in the mountain himself. Plus Hugo was taking a bit too much time but he really needed it, thought Alexander. He heard him sneezing in a very cute way, and each of Hugo’s sneeze where followed by a little sound of water, due to the movement Hugo had to do every time in his bath.

"USh-shhuh ! GN-sh’t ! Tss’shuh !"

Alexander smiled. He sniffed slightly. Damn it, he was getting cold too but there was no way he could cut Hugo in his comforting moment.

*

“So what did you day look like ?” asked Hugo as they went down to dinner.

"Uh ? Oh uhm...I drove a couple in the afternoon. Most of the day I just hung out in the chalet-hotel and went to the mechanic for the car. Not very exciting."

They sat at the same table as the day before but as Marcus was not around they sat facing each other.

“So you’re a full-time driver now ?”

"No, not really. I had several odd jobs and I was able to save some money. So I choose to come here. For holidays. But turns up they where looking for a driver so..."

Hugo frowned slightly.

“Why did you come here precisely ?”

Alexander shrugged. The waiter arrived, interrupted them to take their order. Hugo translated Alexander's order then he said his. Alexander smiled

"How fancy. You're sounding like a native."

"Alex ? Please don't change the subject. You know how I hate that."

Alexander frowned. He served Hugo water and then he did too for himself.

"Sorry. What where we..."

"Here. In this lost village in the Alps. Why are you here ?" insisted Hugo.

Alexander took some bread and ate some of it.

“Why n…”

"Okay. You're really taking me for an idiot." said Hugo, getting up, ready to leave.

“Hugo don’t…” and Alexander put his hand on Hugo’s wrist.

Hugo made a little tense gesture and withdrew his hand.

“Sorry.” immediately said Alexander "Didn't mean to touch you. But stay."

Hugo sat down again. He crossed his arms looking straight into Alexanders gaze.

“Did you know I was going to be there ?” he asked, a bit curious.

“Of course not” protested Alexander, frowning “I’m not a creep !”

“Then why ?” Hugo insisted.

“Because...My parents met here.” mumbledAlexander.

Hugo frowned. That was unexpected.

"Well more or less. They met on an exchanged trip in Italy. But on the bus who crossed the french Alps they started to date. And they passed more times...I don't know, being together than experimenting the beauty of the mountains and the cultural exchange I guess. And I know they came here at some point."

Hugo turned slightly pale. Of course the story sounded familiar, but in a more distant and romanticized way, probably because Babka had told them the story in her own way when they were children. There was the longest silence ever, as Alexander was busy trying to cut his bread into lots of pieces and Hugo just being a bit shut down. The dishes arrived. They smelled very good but charged odors triggered almost right away Hugo's sensitive nose.

"Hhh-gnishuh ! Gsssh-tt !" he stifled into his napkin and then let go of a little angry sigh.

Alexander looked at him again.

"Bless you." he immediately said.

Hugo looked at him too.

"T-thanks. Alex I'm sorry I insisted."

"Ugh you couldn't knew" said Alexander with a little wave of the hand and a smile.

"Perhaps but at the same time, I should have known better. You're not making mysteries. You're just protecting yourself when you have to." and Hugo bited his lips softly as he didn't plan to said that much.

"Ok" laughed nervously Alexander "But like you can stop the lecture, nerd. I'm perfectly fine."

"Not really seing you or talking to you for four years didnt change the fact that I know the subjects that touches you. You don't have to lie." said softly Hugo.

"Told you, I'm fine" smiled Alexander.

"Sasha..." said Hugo with a very gentle tone.

"Hey, cut it. We can even talk about my parents if you want. I don't care I feel p-perfectly" his voice cracked a bit so he cleared it "Sorry - perfectly fine about this."

He then tried a smile but it wasn't as successful as his first attempts. Hugo wanted to make him face his emotions but at the same time he was not feeling great to insisting again. Maybe it wasn’t the time. So Hugo looked down at his plate. It was organized and vegetarian. A good start. He tried a bite, it was quite good. Alexander started to eat too. Hugo put his fork against his plate.

"So I...I'm sorry I just wanted to say one last thing. The fact that we didn't talk or see each other doesn't remove everything right ? I can't say I have it figured out but I'm still considering you like someone I really care about."

Alexander stopped eating too. He swallowed with difficulty the bite he had in his mouth. Hugo looked at him.

"For years you have been my best friend. In fact my only one."

Alexander nodded but then frowned.

"Wait I was not..."

"So just...You can do whatever you want but please don't act like we're total strangers."

"Yes, ok" mumbled Alexander, starting to eat again.

There was another silence. Then Alexander glanced at Hugo who was staring at his plate without saying anything.

"What ? Too messy for you ?"

He frowned as Hugo's plate seemed perfect for him. Hugo had a focused expression and he shook his head negatively but didn't say a word.

"Hugo ? Are you sulking ?"

Hugo eventually looked at Alexander and rolled his eyes. He then rubbed softly the tip of his nose.

"No I..." and he pursued his whisper but too low.

"What's the matter ?" frowned Alexander.

"The food is..."

"What is it not good ?"

"No-uh...It's...A bit...Pe-p-p-pepperry..." said poor Hugo, tortured but the feeling.

Alexander couldn't helped but smiled lightly.

"So ?"

"W-want t-t-to sn-ee-eeze..." stammered Hugo, twitching his nose like a bunny.

"Then proceed." teased Alexander even if his heart raced a bit.

Hugo took a handkerchief and covered his nose. His breathing was ragged.

"Huh...Huh ! Shit...H-h-huh..."

Alexander took it upon himself. He smiled gently.

"Poor Hugo" he mumbled.

"That's nuh...Not fun...Uh...Iiii-gn-shummh !" eventually sneezed Hugo, trying to muffled his sneeze into the handkerchief.

"Bless you" gently said Alexander.

Hugo closed his eyes again and let out another stifled sneeze.

"Hiii-NGshhT !"

"And...Bless you." added Alexander.

Hugo wiped his nose softly.

"Thanks. I guess."

"What do you mean I guess ?" asked a surprised Alexander.

Hugo sniffed lightly and started eating again.

"Well you are trying very hard not to mock me right now I'm sure."

"Not true !" protested Alexander.

"Don't bother. I know I do sneeze a lot and I guess it can be funny."

Alexander rolled his eyes.

"Hey nerd..."

"At least for morons like you" said Hugo, a little smile on the side while he was raising his eyes towards Alexander’s.

Alexander laughed.

"Ok. Ok I see you want revenge right ? Because you lost the battle in the snow ?"

"I didn't lost it" protested Hugo.

"Are you for real ?"

They both smiled at the same time. Then Hugo gave Alexander a little kick under the table.

"Shut up you moron."

"Whatever nerd" replied Alexander with a smile he couldn't erase from his face.

And he left Hugo's foot against his. That didn't bother him. Quit the contrary. He looked at Hugo. He was eating well, sign he was feeling good. Hugo didn’t look at him, focused on his meal.

“Why are you smiling ?” asked Hugo without looking at Alexander.

“No reason”

“So you’re not smiling at me?” asked Hugo, then looking at Alexander.

Alexander raised his eyes. Hugo was surprising tonight.

“So like, would you uh-want me too ?”

Careful, Alex, you dumbass, jeez. But the big blue eyes of Hugo, staring into his own, didn’t help.

“You’re so complicated” mumbled Hugo.

“Oh I’m the one complicated ?” asked Alexander, intrigued, amused and a bit scared.

Hugo nodded.

"Yes. "

"Ok, I’m smiling not at you, but because of you. You look better than yesterday." admitted Alexander.

"See ? It’s not that complicated" said Hugo, starting to eat again.

Alexander rolled his eyes.

"Whatever"

"I do look and feel better. I’m better because of the walk. The snow fight. And the sunset." listed Hugo.

Alexander raised his eyebrows. Again, that was surprising. He ran a hand through his hair, a little nervous reflex.

“I’m better because of you.” simply said Hugo without looking at him.

Alexander looked down and smiled. He couldn’t know it, but Hugo had taken a brief look and Alexander’s smile had made him smile.

Link to comment

Aww adorable! You really write incredibly to be able to show them growing closer bit by bit again so accurately and realistically! I love how they have more and more bonding moments together now and how they're both not afraid to show their (for now) platonic love for one another anymore. That hug really melted my soul when I happened, it was so unexpected yet caring and incredibly sweet from Alexander despite what he's been through. I'm so happy/ excited that my comment inspired you! I can't wait for more Alexander sneezes, the one we got was already so delicate and cute! I know how it feels to not want to sneeze infront of people hahaha, though I'm sure Hugo would find Alex even more adorable and endearing if he did! Thank you for your updates, as always I'll be here waiting for more! ❤️

Link to comment

Will Alex hide his developing cold? Does he have louder and much bigger sneezes than Hugo? I’d also love to see some denial from him too!

Link to comment

Sweet heaven! This is my favorite chapter thus far! I love how we see in the flashback how fiercely protective Hugo is of those he cares about it. Him back talking the teacher for Alex's sake in spite of his usual demeanor is just precious! I love that we see Alex get a little more playful with Hugo in general but also when he's sneezing. Also the single sneeze from him, so damn cute! (I hope to see more of that and how he'll react to it because of him having the kink but importantly how Hugo will respond when he realizes Alex is sneezing). I also loved that Hugo was a little softer and more playful in this chapter as well. The vulnerability and openness between them was lovely to see!

19 hours ago, Lily said:

"Well you are trying very hard not to mock me right now I'm sure."

"Not true !" protested Alexander.

"Don't bother. I know I do sneeze a lot and I guess it can be funny."

Alex's POV: No, Hugo Malenki, I'm trying very hard not to kiss you or any other absurd notions your constant sneezing drives me to because what it is is a complete turn on and sometimes it's hard to hide my reaction so I say silly things because I have to say something but I don't want to call attention to the fact that I am totally enamored. 

19 hours ago, Lily said:

“I’m better because of you.” simply said Hugo without looking at him.

Alexander looked down and smiled. He couldn’t know it, but Hugo had taken a brief look and Alexander’s smile had made him smile.

____________________________________________________ < That is my heart, because I have flatlined! This is so adorable and sweet! So much power and romance in such a simple sentence. I'm....I can't......

Amazing as always. Thank you! ❤️ 

Link to comment

OH NO!  I have a new story to obsessively check for updates on, because it is just that good!!  These characters have great chemistry!  They are so relatable, and awkward, but they know each other so well, that it isn't really awkward...

Link to comment

salut salut

thanks for all your comments, they made me feel like this story deserved to be published around here 🧡

@funbusej aw thank you I hope you will like the rest of the story 🤭

@dwaekki aw thanks ! Yay, I wanted a hug for them. The cold is our best ally in this kind of scenarios I guess ? Hope you will like all the sneezes in this chapter, some of them may pleases you 🧡

@RipleyToo Do not even worry about Alex sneezing and be in denial obviously both of them will be coming...

@Not Telling Hugo talking back to the teacher means a lot, as he is reluctlant to oppose himself to authority figures, but Alexander being triggered was just too much for him. Alex is definetely going to be sneezing more

On 10/2/2023 at 2:51 PM, Not Telling said:

Alex's POV: No, Hugo Malenki, I'm trying very hard not to kiss you or any other absurd notions your constant sneezing drives me to because what it is is a complete turn on and sometimes it's hard to hide my reaction so I say silly things because I have to say something but I don't want to call attention to the fact that I am totally enamored. 

Alex : I don’t…Yeah ok, you got me 100%.

Thank you so much 💙

6 – Softening up

2010

It was the night of the 4th of July. And it was a night full of joy and fireworks to come. Hugo's parents were with his little sister, Alice. Alexander and Hugo were walking in front. They were chatting animatedly as usual, laughing and talking with animation as always. Alice, a little jealous, trotted over to them with candy floss who looked as tall as her.

"Guys ! Do you want some ?" she said with a light voice.

“Nah” said Hugo, frustrated by his little sister. She was always getting in their way !

“Yep” and Alexander bit some of it.

Alice laughed as Alexander, while eating, managed to have some pink sugar in his black curls. Alexander smiled, seing little Alice laughing but Hugo was getting frustrated.

“Ok Alice thanks bye now” he quickly said, wanting to dismiss her.

Alexander was his friend. Not her’s. And he moved forward, lightly pushing Alexander with one hand on the back and whispering something in his ear. Alice was upset and moved cautiously behind them. Hugo realized this and it annoyed him for real. He turned towards her.

"Hey ! Stop hanging around with us." he said rather coldly.

“B-but I want to stay with you…” moaned little Alice.

“Come on, be nice.” said Alexander gently to Hugo.

"No ! I don't want her staying all n..."

But Hugo cut himself as he saw Alice looking down, repressing a big sob with difficulty, and big tears already beading in the corner of her eyes. Her little pink lips trembled, she pursed them.

“Ugh don’t cry” mumbled Hugo, annoyed, and also feeling guilty right away.

“He was joking. You can stay with us” assured Alexander.

He loved staying with Hugo alone but Alice didn't bother him. She was cute, a bit annoyed but overall she was kinda funny. Besides, Alexander felt grateful that Hugo's parents took him to see the fireworks on the beach. They had been to a restaurant and now they ate a lot of candies walking on their favourite beach. Tomorrow Hugo and Alexander would spend the day on the promenade with Babka. Alexander felt grateful for all of this. Obviously, not just this, but how he was feeling so well right now. Included. So for that night Alexander really didn't see the problem that "Baby Alice" stayed with them. He turned to Hugo.

"Right ?"

Hugo tried to process it. He sighed, then leaned down slightly to Alice's level.

"Alice...Don't cry. You can stay with us. But don't cry."

Alice wiped her eyes, with a little sniffle.

“I’m not crying.”

She sniffed again.

“Do you really sniff want me to stay ?”

"...First I want a hug" mumbled Hugo.

Alice looked surprised. Her brother could be very gentle, sweet and affectionate but these last months his hugs had become rare. She hesitated, and Hugo took her in his arms himself. The little girl smiled and hugged him tighter. Hugo didn't like being squeezed but he let Alice do it. Alexander smiled, and made a little wink to Alice who laughed as Alexander was now making funny faces. They left gently at the moment when Mr and Mrs Waterhouse came up to them.

"So ? It's going to start soon, right ?" asked Mr. Waterhouse, scanning the sky.

“I hope they will be a big green one like last year !” Alice asked.

“They're different each year Alice” as Hugo argued.

The three of them started to discuss this, but Mrs Waterhouse saw that Alexander was a bit on the side, looking at them strangely, at least that's what she saw. She approached him and gently squeezed his shoulder.

"Alex. Are you ok ?"

He almost smiled automatically.

"Oh...Yes. Sorry. Was daydreaming."

“Are you happy to be here right ?”

"Of course. Thank you so much."

"Alex please that's almost the 50th times you're thanking us. What's with you tonight ?" gently asked Mrs. Waterhouse.

Alexander shrugged.

"I don't know. I...I'm glad I'm with you tonight." he said, and his voice was sounding moved.

“And we are glad too Alex. But hey, that's normal. You’re part of this family you know that right ?”

Alexander felt his eyes water immediately.

“I…”

Mrs. Waterhouse took him gently against her. Alexander let it go. He was shivering slightly, so Mrs. Waterhouse gently rubbed his back.

“And I’m so happy that you’re such a friend to Hugo.”

Alexander tried not to cry. He didn’t know why, but this tenderness on the part of Hugo’s mother suddenly made him feel very weird and moved. He caught the eye of Hugo, who was with his father and sister. Hugo frowned lightly and mouthed something.

Are you ok ?

Alexander closed his eyes for a second and then opened them, mouthing back to Hugo, who was still looking at him;

I'm alright Malenki.

Hugo still looked at him with intensity. The fireworks went off. In their irises, blue for Hugo, almost black for Sasha, colors apperead suddenly. They smiled quickly at each other.

Hugo felt something inside of him. Something that tugged at his heart in a strange way. He had never felt like this before. He wondered who he could have told about it. Normally, when he didn't understand, he asked Alex. But if it was Alex who made him feel something, who was he going to confide in ?

Alexander was feeling a little reassured with Hugo's mother, although he didn't know why he needed the reassurance. And then Hugo was looking at him. There was something serious and moving, he never thought or seen Hugo being that serious and moving, there was something else, but right now, he couldn’t figure this out. He just knew that something was very special right now.

 

2023 – Present day

 

After a delicious meal and a few drinks which had left the two young men feeling perfectly well, Hugo and Alexander returned to the room with a pleasant feeling. Hugo shivered slightly as Alexandre searched for the key to their room.

“You’re not covered enough.”

"I'm fine. Open the door."

Alexandre did so and Hugo entered the room rubbing his hands. But he saw that Alexander was looking at him with a worrying look. He rolled his eyes.

"I'm fine. "

“Take my sweater.” insisted Alexander.

“Ugh Alex…” Hugo muttered, looking down slightly.

Alexander frowned.

"What ? You slept in it. You seemed to like it. It kept you warm, didn't it ?"

"Shut up. Ugh, I don't like it when you do that."

“When I do what?” Alexander asked slightly confused.

"You're like a mother hen. I'm fine." mumbled Hugo.

“So you don’t like it when I’m…nice ?”

Hugo blushed slightly.

"That's not what I meant."

Alexander took his blue sweater carefully placed on a chair, probably by Hugo's care, and handed it to him.

“You said it yourself, you didn’t want to catch a cold.”

“I…ok, ok, ugh, you’re boring tonight…” Hugo muttered half-heartedly.

But Hugo couldn't hold back a smile. Alexander disturbed him but also made him smile.

"That... No way... Was that a smile from you ? For me ?" Alexander asked, placing his hand on his chest exaggeratedly.

"Don't flatter yourself" Hugo said, trying to look away as he was definitely fighting a smile.

“Your face betrays you, no need to hide, you have a dimple on your left cheek every time you smile” Alexandre replied calmly.

And as he was saying this he put his index on the dimple's spot. Hugo felt his cheeks redden.

"And it's probably the nicest thing on your face actually" said Alexander, half teasing half serious, retiring his finger.

Hugo shook his head.

“Whatever.”

“Ok fine you have light blue eyes.” added Alexander.

"Shut up." protested Hugo.

“And I guess your mouth is considering beautiful according to some people.”

Hugo turned to Alexander who was definitely starring.

“What about my hair then ?” he challenged him.

"Natural brunette just like me what do you want me to say ? They're...Nice." mumbled Alexander, a bit confused by Hugo's gaze.

“What about my complexion ?”

"Pale and covered in freckles. That's...That's definitely nice if you dig this kind of face I guess." grunted Alexander.

This was a silly game but Hugo was more assured of himself now. He raised a brow.

“Ok hum…And my nose ?”

And Hugo saw something changed for a moment in Alexander piercing gaze. He distinctly saw him swallowing.

“What...What d-do you want me to say to this ?”

"Alexander stammering ! That's a first" laughed Hugo.

Alexander turned his face away but Hugo saw he was blushing lightly. He laughed again. Alexander crossed his arms. Hugo smiles. For once he managed to silence Alexander ! Although he didn't really see how he had done it. But then he was thinking about this seriously. The nose thing made him remember that when they were kids, they used to play a game they where both very fond of. Using Hugo's allergies, he played the patient while Alexander had to find the cure. Usually the game lasted until Hugo's sneezing fit ended. Hugo remembered how Alexander took his role as a doctor very seriously. He could even put a handkerchief on his nose so that Hugo didn't have to hold it. What pleased him most was how much Alexander made him lie down, touched his forehead, made sure everything was okay. They were only children but Hugo knew that his affection for Alexander had grown in part through these games where Alexander treated him more gently than in any other game. And you could, even if it was a game, that Alexander was really paying attention. Like he cared. It was rare from children, Hugo knew it since he was very young, as other kids usually made fun of his allergies. Alexander never. Alexander was the kindest person ever about it.

Hugo gave Alexander a little shoulder push.

“Hey are you sulking ?”

Alexander shrugged his shoulders. Hugo rolled his eyes. Then he began to gently rub his nose which was starting to tickle him. Really, this dust... He got up and approached the fireplace. He took the pack of tissues and opened it while panting slightly.

"Hhhhh....Hhhh...HH...HHH..."

He took a tissue and pressed it to his nose and mouth as he turned towards the bed again. Alexander still had his arms crossed but he looked up when Hugo sneezed.

“Ah-Uh-Gnnnshuh !”

Alexander looked down. Hugo sneezed again.

“Hhhuh-tsssshuh !”

Gently blowing his nose he observed Alexander. Was he really sulking ? His expression was a little weird.

"You could bless me. You know it's just something people do. Even if I never quite understand why people did that actually."

“It’s just a polite thing. And what’s the point anyway, you’re clearly not done.” Alexander muttered in an almost inaudible tone.

“What ?” frowned Hugo.

"Nothing" grunted Alexander.

“Uhhhh-ShUH-uh…” sneezed Hugo.

“Ugh, bless you” Alexander mumbled as he stood up.

He passed right by Hugo and pressed the pack of tissues against his chest.

“You should keep them.”

Hugo took the package and their fingers touched. He didn't really know why but his heart picked up the pace.

“Thanks ?” he tried.

“Bless you.” said an unimpressed Alexander even if his eyes looked a bit different.

“What are youu-uuuhKSHUH !” Hugo sneezed more loudly than he expected too while turning his face to the side.

He frowned and looked at Alexander curiously.

"How...How did you know I was going to sneeze ?"

Alexander looked away. It seemed like he didn't really know what to answer. And that was probably the strangest thing. Alexander always had something to say.

"Easy. You have crazy allergies."

"No but like...How did you know I was going to sneeze right before I did ?"

Hugo blew his nose gently again. And he wiped the tip of his nose carefully. Alexander looked at him and avoided his gaze at the same time.

"I told you. Your allergies are all over the place. A matter of probability and chance that's all."

Hugo frowned. He knew Alexander was lying. It didn't bother him. What bothered him was that Alexander seemed very uncomfortable and Hugo was upset about it. He didn't want Alexander to be uncomfortable.

“I don’t have allergies all over the place” he muttered.

Alexander finally looked him in the eyes.

“Are you for real ?”

"What ? It's not as intense as when I was...I was..." but Hugo couldn't speak anymore, he was almost hissing.

"Right" Alexander muttered in a mocking tone but his eyes betrayed another emotion.

“Iiiisshhh-uh-uh-uh-KKSHUMH !” Hugo sneezed into his hands, his body almost bending in half from the force.

It was a big sneeze on his part and it was only the beginning, as a succession of sneezes, although lighter but which seemed beyond his control, followed one another. He could do nothing but wander into his hands in despair, taking a breath when he could but struggling, stifling them if he could.

"T’shiiuh ! T’Shuh ! HHiiishiuh ! Gn’shuh ! Kkk’Shhhiuh ! Hhh’shuh !"

As he was sneezing, Alexander moved a little closer and slipped his hand into Hugo's jeans pocket.

"What are you uh-uh...Oh no..."

Alexander took out a tissue and handed it to him. Hugo took it and buried his face in it.

“Huh-tshhh’uh ! ‘Tshuh ! Huh’Tshiiew ! H’shhuh ! HutsSHHUH ! Tshuuuh ! Hiiit’shUH !”

Then he blew his nose. He sighed. His eyes were filled with small tears. Alexander felt a small pang in his chest.

“Are you ok ?” and he hides with difficulty his concern.

"Yes...I think it's good."

“Bless you then.” said Alexander in a soft tone.

“Thanks” sighed Hugo.

“Hey you should…”

“UuuushuuUm !” escaped poor Hugo's nose, a sneeze he only managed to "cover" putting his index and middle finger under his nose.

“Jeez Malenki, bless you.” Alexander said gently, placing his hand on Hugo's forehead.

And Hugo in turn felt this pang in his heart. He bit his lips slowly. This contact was intimate in his eyes. This troubled him on Alexander's part.

“Sasha…”

Alexander withdrew his hand upon hearing this nickname.

“Sorry.”

“I-I don’t mind.” mumbled Hugo, looking down.

“So uhm…”

Alexander tried catching Hugo’s gaze, but it didn’t work, as Hugo was completely looking away, even if they were so close.

"Just to…To finish what we were saying I…I t-think you have nice features. It just feels weird to see them on an adult face."

Hugo raised his clear eyes into Alexander’s very dark eyes. Yes, even if you tried hard, it was almost impossible to distinguish the pupil from the iris.

“It’s weird for me too.”

Alexander sat next to Hugo. Hugo took a cushion and fiddled with a corner. He looked down.

“But I don’t know why.”

Hugo sighed softly.

“Well, you’re supposed to be the nerd between he two of us. You figure this out.” said Alexander, as a joke, because the tense ambiance was a bit hard for him right now.

Hugo grimaced.

“Stop calling me that, moron.”

“When you’ll stop I stop.”

Hugo looked at Alexander who was smiling.

“No way” said Hugo, feeling his fists close on the pillow.

But as Alexander was still smiling, Hugo lightly hit Alexander's arm with the pillow. He looked surprised for a few seconds but he smiled.

“Oh you really want this ?”

"I'm going to crush you you're not even ready" said Hugo, into a fighting mode, but the childlike one.

Alexander was almost giggling like the kid he still was inside.

“Oh you think so ?”

They both grabbed a pillow each and Alexander, after fixing Hugo, jumped on the bed and started hitting. Hugo defended himself well. Indeed he could have crush Alexander. Even if Alexander was bigger and stronger Hugo was definitely quicker and surprisingly agile, just as in the snowball fight. They hit each other like kids would have; in a weird serious way like they were fighting for their lives. But they enjoyed it. The physical proximity was special. Learning to touch and feel each other again after so many years was intense yet natural. It was instinct. As they were having way more fun than they should, Alexander’s pillow cracked on a hit on Hugo's face and a cloud of feathers flowed like snow on him. Alexander froze and Hugo was about to give him a blow for revenge when he stopped too, his nose twitching in an adorable manner while he gasped slowly.

“Huh-Huh-huh-Hhhh-Iiiiishiiiuh !” he sneezed cutely in his hands placing in front of him, drooping his own pillow.

“Oh no” mumbled Alexander, loosing his smile.

“Uh…I’m…DeeEEEPshhhIew ! Deeply…AaaaAAA…AAllergic…Uh…Alex…Alex…AAAT’SHUH!” sneezed uncontrollably Hugo, unable to repress them as the feeling was so intense, a burning sensation even sneezing couldn’t really relieved.

“Shit” realized Alexander, as he perfectly remembered how much Hugo was allergic to feathers.

And he set about picking up all the feathers to try to tuck them into the cushion but as he was doing this Hugo fought a big sneezing crisis. He got up and tried to move away from Alexander and kept on sneezing, trying to stifling them when he could but letting go of most of them, covering with a tissue he grabbed.

"H’ngnxt ! Heh’ngnxt ! Hii’ngnxt ! Huuu’ngnxt ! N’ghssht ! Nnnn’gissshuh ! F-ff…Ug’shuh ! Shh’gnsh’uh ! Ug’shhh’m ! Hii-gnish’um ! USH’gnnnnsh’mm ! Hhhh-kshhx ! Huk’Shuh ! Hii-xsshtt ! H’kshiew ! Gniis’hhh-t ! Hug-shiiew !"

Hugo leaned against the wall. His eyes were watering so he closed them and let himself slide against the wall.

"Huh…Ca-can’tTTShuuUH !"

“Hey” whispered Alexander.

Hugo opened his eyes and lost his balance - he was crouching - seeing Alexander so close to him, crouching on one leg, one knee on the ground. The surprise of seing him so close made him lose control with a surprise sneeze which not only threw him off balance but sprayed a little mist between them.

“Hhhhhhhuh-eeEEET’SHIUH !”

He felt Alexander's hand, his hand strong and soft at the same time, hold him by the arm. With his free arm he raised a hand to his nose and mouth.

"So-sorry-iiiitshuh ! Fuck !" Hugo exclaimed, panicking at the idea of being completely out of control of his own body.

"Calm down. Calm down the worst is behind." Alexander reassured him gently.

"What...What do you know about...Huh...Huh..." gasped Hugo, unable to speak properly, as he needed to sneeze still.

“C’mon, let this one go.” Alexander encouraged gently.

"Eiii-eee-asy...Iiiiih....F-f-for you t-to say...Uh..." stammered Hugo.

Hugo was fighting a terrible tickle and his nostrils were flaring like crazy. He tried to look composed but it didn't do much good.

“Can I touch your face ?” asked Alexander.

"Huh...Huh...Hah ! Shit...Ye-eh...." managed to say Hugo, desesperate, in a weak voice.

Alexander slowly touch Hugo nose tip. Almost immediately the light touch on his nose made him want to sneeze.

“TSHU-Aah !” sneezed Hugo with a certain violence, barely covering it with his hand.

And he sighed of relief as this big sneeze had relieved his persistent irritation. But he blushed lightly as Alexander was very close to him.

“Excuse me. I’m…”

“Shut up” said Alexander gently, knowing Hugo was feeling embarrassed.

“I’m disgusting.” mumbled Hugo in a stubborn tone, frustrated and embarrassed.

"I might be a moron, but you're an idiot" said Alexander with concern and emotion.

“Why do you look so sad suddenly ?” asked Hugo, intrigued.

“I’m not sad I’m…”

“Yes ?” asked Hugo with hope in his eyes.

"I'm concerned." explained Alexander.

“Why-uh-ukkkkshhhhushhh !” sneezed Hugo in a now very wet tissue.

Alexander took the pack of tissues and gave him another one.

“Here”

"Th-th...Uh...Uh..."

"Want me to..." started Alexander, raising his index finger with an empathetic smile.

"Nuh-uh...It's...Cu...Uh...Coming...Hiii...HI-shiuuuh !"

"Shit. Bless you." whispered Alexander.

“Sorry.” whispered Hugo, lowering his head.

“No I’m sorry.” firmly said Alexander.

Hugo carefully wiped the tip of his sensitive nose. His nostrils were pink and flaring more gently than before. He frowned and looked at Alexander. He didn’t understand.

"You ? Sorry ?"

"I should have take another pillow for you. A feather one ? Jeez, that’s just torture for you. Yesterday night I should have figured out you were sneezing because of it and..." started Alexander, a desolate look on his face.

“Are you serious right now ?” cutted Hugo, surprised by how serious and concerned seemed Alexander.

"Why...Yes. Why ?"

How do you know so much about me ? And why do you even feel guilty ?

“You did have a doc side when we where kids” eventually said Hugo.

And Alexander blushed. Hugo frowned lightly. He raised and rubbed his nose with energy. As he saw that Alexander was looking at him he gave a little apologetic smile.

“Sorry just...You now when your nose is hitting like crazy ?”

Alexander swallowed and simply nodded.

"Well allergies is worse than colds. It's like...Oh gosh...Oh no...Oh...Uh...Ushiiiiuh-Shuh ! HHhH-SHIUH !"

They were so quick he only turned his face on the side and trying to not spray he just let escaped a little mist that clearly didn't escape Alexander's piercing gauze.

“Bless you.”

Alexander got up as Hugo was blowing his nose. As Hugo wiped his nose slowly, Alexander put not just one but his two hands on Hugo’s forehead, covering it totally and protruding slightly over Hugo's hair, pushing a few rebellious strands back. Hugo looked at Alexander. This dark gaze always fascinated him. His irises blended completely into the color of his pupils, very dark, and it was as disturbing as it was soothing. Alexander's gaze was focused on Hugo's forehead.

“Your hands are cold” mumbled Hugo.

“Sorry” mumbled Alexander, ready to let it go.

"No but...Like...It's an ok feeling." quickly said Hugo.

What Hugo wanted to say was "You know what I think of cold hands? Cold-handed people have warm hearts". But he didn't dare. It was so strange how he felt torn between all the feelings inspired by Alexander right now. Alexander who gently massaged Hugo's temples. Hugo closed his eyes. From being troubled he felt totally relaxed. Hugo let out a little sigh of relief. But unfortunately for him, his nose betrays him in this sweet and almost intimate moment by making him sneeze violently. And freely.

“Ttt’ShhhhUUh !”

He gasped and covered his nose and mouth right away.

"So...So sorry-shit..."

Alexander, unimpressed but the cheeks definitely pinkier than usual, had to let go of Hugo who drew back, ashamed. Alexander gently passed his hand over his mouth and chin, vaguely wiping away the light spray. A slightly trembling hand.

"Ugh, it's ok. Not like you could help it." he gently said.

"No it's not ! Fuck..."

Hugo had this desperate voice of when he felt ashamed of himself and tried to apologize for just being. That made Alexander cringe.

"You're being overdramatic. Bless you." cutted Alexander.

Hugo didn't know what to add and saw Alexander stretch. Then he smiled. A sweet quick smile. 

“What about getting some sleep ?” suggested Alexander.

Hugo nodded and walked towards the bathroom to brush his teeth but froze in the middle of the path. Alexander walked past him, squeezing his shoulder.

"And bless you again."

As Alexander passed Hugo and entered the bathroom, Hugo did let out a little double overlapped sneeze in his elbow.

“P’shuh-t’SssshhhhUH !”

But now he was very intrigued about Alexander's attitude. Was he just considering him with pity ? Was that the reason he seemed nicer ? Out of pity ? Something, very deeply inside Hugo screamed that was not the case. But Hugo was not a very confident person. He admitted to himself he probably generated pity more than any other feeling to others. That nasty thought in his mind he entered into the bathroom too. Alexander was brushing his teeth. Hugo started to himself. Hugo thought about the way his hands touched his back and shoulder. To his cold hands on his forehead. He blushed slightly. Alexander was clearly avoiding his gaze in the mirror. Then he rinsed his mouth and went out. Hugo finished too, then he joined Alexander, already lying down. Hugo sat on the edge of the bed.

“Uh…”

“Good night” quickly said Alexander, turning the light off.

Hugo frowned.

“Y-yeah, good night…Huh-Tshuh !”

It wasn't like Alexander to act so quickly, and especially to rush bedtime. Hugo was lost. Alexander had been so sweet and caring and now…He looked so eager to finish their talk and getting some sleep…

“Eh-tshhh’t !”

It was such a little, cute noise, almost like if a kitten had meowed, or even sneezed, thought Hugo. He wondered a little about it then he heard it again, even a little more acute.

“Iih-tssshh’ t!”

And Hugo also felt a slight movement at his side.

“What was that noise ?”

Alexander blushed hard. He had a hand covering his mouth and nose but two little, very cute sneezes had unfortunately escaped him even if he tried his best to not making any noise.

“Mmmm ?”

“Did you just sneeze ?” asked Hugo, very curious, turning lightly towards Alexander.

“N-no…”

"Ok, I was thinking since when did you had this…Well I don’t even know but like…Very soft, almost soundless sn…"

“T’sshh-t !” sneezed a desperate Alexander, by surprise, stifling it but then letting go of an adorable quick “Iiiuh…” afterwards.

Hugo blinked. Well, that was new.

“Okay, okay, uhm…Alex ?” he whispered.

“What ?”

“Whatever it was, that sounded very cute.” said Hugo, half in a teasing tone, half confessing how cute the sound of these sneezes were.

“S-s-shut up. What are you’re even talking about.” mumbled Alexander, embarrassed.

Hugo giggled. But then he stopped. He remembered something about Alexander, something Hugo knew since a long time even if he never talked about it with Alexander, knowing that it made him feeling embarrassed. Hugo knew that he was going to talk about it with Alexander, but maybe no it wasn’t the time. After all, they had only just met again.

“Goodnight then.”

“Yes…Snff, good night.”

And bless you, moron. I hope you didn’t catch anything.

Nerd, if only you knew what I caught here.

Edited by Lily
Link to comment

Holy Crap! This was such an incredible chapter! I am loving this so much! ❤️ 

Oh my gosh that fit from the pillow feathers!! I no longer belong in a corporeal form, I am a puddle. 

1 hour ago, Lily said:

But now he was very intrigued about Alexander's attitude. Was he just considering him with pity ? Was that the reason he seemed nicer ? Out of pity ? Something, very deeply inside Hugo screamed that was not the case. But Hugo was not a very confident person. He admitted to himself he probably generated pity more than any other feeling to others.

Oh Hugo honey, no. He adores you, you have to see that. 

1 hour ago, Lily said:

He remembered something about Alexander, something Hugo knew since a long time even if he never talked about it with Alexander, knowing that it made him feeling embarrassed. Hugo knew that he was going to talk about it with Alexander, but maybe no it wasn’t the time. After all, they had only just met again.

Oh my god! The suspense!! What does he know? Because surely he can't "know know" that doesn't add up given some of his comments and thoughts about Alex's reaction to his sneezing. 

1 hour ago, Lily said:

What Hugo wanted to say was "You know what I think of cold hands? Cold-handed people have warm hearts"

You are just killing me over and over with all these adorable sappy one-liners! So gosh darn cute!! 

Incredible writing as always! I will wait with baited breath for the next installment.

Link to comment

Omg!! It's so adorable how they both keep remembering little details about each other at random moments! Its also so sweet how they both find each other so cute, even if they'd never say that out loud. I'm never gonna get tired of how caring and gentle Alexander is with Hugo, it's just so precious and I hope Hugo knows that it's out of love not pity 💔 I absolutely LOVED Alexander's sneezes at the end haha, they were so cute and Hugo's reaction made it 10 times better! It's so funny now that the roles are reversed how he's now the one concerned but also absolutely enraptured by how cute Alexander really is despite himself. Thank you for updating! I hope to read more soon! ❤️

Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...