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Sniffling and Snuggling

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”Achoo!”

Maes said nothing, only passed Riza the tissues. She thanked him and then proceeded to try to play the national anthem with her nose honking. Well, not really, Riza was never so relaxed as to goof around like that. But the thought of her trying made Maes laugh.

“You know any songs on that thing?” he asked, his voice raspy and sounding a little plugged up from his stuffy sinuses.

The comment did garner a weak smile from her. “Sorry, I was never good at music, Maes.”

“Eh, just as well. Not like I could sing along anyways.” He reached for his mug of hot tea, noisily sipping some down before coughing like a tuberculosis patient. Riza’s pounding on his back didn’t really help, but he appreciated that he had someone to weather the flu with. Then it was Riza’s turn to cough up a lung or two.

When at last she relaxed and caught her breath, he reached down for her hand and squeezed it. “We sound like death warmed over.”

“I feel like death warmed over! Uggh…” She rubbed at the bridge of her nose. “I think if I could just lose this headache, I might feel about fifty percent normal.”

Maes wrapped his arm around her shoulder and pulled her into his chest, giving comfort to her but also taking some for himself. She was warm and soft and he was chilled and achy. A perfect match at the moment.

And then the rhythmic squeaking of his mattress floated into the room, along with Gracia’s breathless voice commanding Roy not to move from that particular spot, and Roy’s low growl of compliance.

“Those assholes,” Maes grumbled. “Guess they don’t give a crap if we’re out here dying or not!”

“We’re not dying Maes, it’s just the flu. Don’t be a baby.”

He looked down at Riza. “Don’t be a baby? You mean you don’t feel like you’re knocking on heaven’s gates?”

She gave him an exasperated look. “I’ve had my throat slit, and that was way worse than this. Don’t be a baby.”

His eyes held hers a moment, then he gave her a wicked grin. “If I was a baby, I could still eat from your breasts. Might stimulate our appetites a little.” Before she could retort, he grabbed hurriedly for a tissue and sneezed- but he didn’t make it in time, and now snot covered his face and wrinkled sleep shirt.

“We are not having any kind of sex for at least a week, Maes,” Riza said as she leaned away from him and lay against the arm of the sofa. “I’m not letting you touch anything while you’re covered in snot, anyways. Go clean up and grab our medicine on the way back, it’s time to take it again.”

Maes begrudgingly got up, only because tissues were not going to clean up this mess. As he passed the bedroom, he heard all kinds of wonderful noises coming from both Roy and Gracia, and he lamented catching the flu in the first place. At least Gracia would baby him more than Riza.