Simon and I are lying down in a field of flowers near our flat, Simon’s arms around me, my own arms draped over him, and my head on his chest. The sky isn’t nearly as blue as America’s, but it’s still pretty. I’d rather look at my boyfriend, anyway.
I feel a sneeze tickling my nose, so I sit up, not wanting to sneeze all over Simon.
“Baz?” he asks, sitting up as I sneeze. “Are you alright? You never get sick.”
“I used to have really bad allergies when I was younger,” I explain. “This must—achoo—just be—achoo—that.”
“Alright.” Standing up, Simon tugs me with him. “We’re going home so you can rest.”
“Simon!” I protest as he sweeps me up in his arms. “Put me down! I can walk, you know. And I’m fine!”
I am not fine.
I’m curled up in a blanket on the couch in one of Simon’s jumpers and a pair of pyjama pants (and of course I’ve got sweater paws, who the fuck do you think I am), my head on the dinosaur pillow Simon insisted we get. (It’s a fucking t-rex. Simon said the pillow reminded him of me.) There’s an almost empty tissue box on the couch next to my chest, a pile of tissues scattered on the ground from where they missed the rubbish bin next to the armrest. I’ll spell them away later.
I pull the blanket tighter around myself and sneeze again.
“Simon, help,” I whimper pathetically.
My boyfriend sighs from where he’s seated on the floor at my feet and starts rubbing my ankles without looking up from his phone.
“Simon,” I whine.
Simon glances up at me, giving me a small smile. “What is it, babe?”
“I feel horrible.”
“I know you do, babe.”
“I want tea.”
Standing up, Simon kisses my forehead and cheek before heading into the kitchen to make tea. I sit up when he comes back several minutes later, holding out my hands expectantly.
“Tea,” I demand.
“Tea,” he echos, handing the mug off to me.
I sneeze several more times, nearly spilling my tea in the process, then drain half the mug in one go.
“Simon, I’m dying,” I sniffle after I sneeze again.
“It’s just allergies, baby,” he pouts, rolling his eyes and sitting down on the couch next to me. “You’re not dying. Drink your fucking tea.”
I do as I’m told—and then I actually spill my tea all over me with yet another sneeze. Simon catches the mug when I drop it, setting it on the coffee table in front of us and grabbing several tissues.
“It’s alright, Baz.” He mops up what I got on my chin and neck, then swipes at my runny nose. “We can wash the clothes, and why don’t you go get in the shower?”
As he tosses away the used tissues and leans forward to kiss me, I lean away.
Simon sounds hurt, and I rush to explain.
“It’s not you, love,” I say, quickly pulling Simon into a tight hug. “Just... I don’t think you want to kiss me right now.”
He looks offended as he pulls back, giving me that “you’re being silly” look at the same time.
“Of course, I want to kiss you, you idiot,” Simon says affectionately.
“Even with my runny nose?”
He pecks my nose.
“Especially with your runny nose.”
I move forward and tentatively press my mouth against his, still half-expecting Simon to pull back—then turn away and sneeze into my elbow. Simon giggles.
“Simon!” I scold, though my heart isn’t really in it. “It’s not funny!”
“It kinda is,” he laughs.
Then he kisses me for real, and I think I’m swooning. How did I get lucky enough to have a boyfriend who will kiss me even when I’m sick?
“I want that shower now,” I say when I draw back so I can breathe. “Care to join me?”
Simon scoops me into his arms for the second time today, blanket and all. His tail wraps around my ankle as he walks us towards the bathroom.
“Sure,” he smiles. “But I’m washing your hair.”
I could never deny him that.