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Sick Day

By Mobius
Created: 20th December 2020 06:13:21 PM

  1.  
  2. >”I can’t believe that egghead doctor grounded me for two days!”
  3. >You look down at source of the unusually scratchy voice next to you.
  4. >She wipes her nose and sniffles, but otherwise is locked in a death glare at the horizon.
  5. “It makes sense to me, you can’t perform in shows if you can’t hold formation and do all the tricks.”
  6. >She looks at you incredulously.
  7. >”I can handle a little flu! I’ve flown with worse before!”
  8. >You raise your eyebrows and reply calmly.
  9. “Maybe, but there’s a reason being sick gets you kicked off of flight status. They’re not just concerned about your own safety you know.”
  10. >That wipes the glare off her face.
  11. >”Oh…yeah I guess.”
  12. >You give her an apologetic nod and go to ruffle her mane.
  13. >Instead of ducking away she grumbles in frustration.
  14. >Dang she really isn’t feeling good.
  15. >”It still sucks!”
  16. “I know it does Dash.”
  17. >”Where the hay is your apartment anyways?”
  18. >You point ahead of you and she follows your finger.
  19. “Right around the corner.”
  20. >”Why’s it so far away? You’re supposed to be taking care of me not making me walk a marathon!”
  21. “It’s all I can afford; It’s not my fault all your friends are too busy to house you while you recover.”
  22. >Your comment sobers her up a bit and she looks down at her moving hooves.
  23. >Dangit! You didn’t mean to say it like that.
  24. >She wasn’t allowed to fly home; Wonderbolt regulations stated that she was grounded immediately following diagnosis.
  25. >And even if she did she wouldn’t recover as fast having to do all of her own upkeep.
  26. >Of course her friends all had legitimate excuses, but it still made Dash feel like an unwanted burden.
  27. >Which was the polar opposite of what you considered her to be.
  28. >As far as you were concerned it was just a solid excuse for having a sleepover.
  29. >You glance down at your new roommate.
  30. >The slight downward curve at the edges of her mouth and her wavering eyes make you feel even more guilty about your brash comment.
  31. >Time to make it up to her.
  32. “Hey, I got the new Daring Doo Emerald Skull book that just came out.”
  33. >She perks up and looks at you with eager eyes.
  34. >”Really!”
  35. “Yeah! And guess what? I got a special edition signed by the author herself!”
  36. >A toothy smile cracks her muzzle, and her wings ruffle a bit as she skips her hooves.
  37. >”Aww yea… *cough
  38. >Her excitement pushes her scratchy voice to the breaking point and several vicious coughs rack her nimble frame.
  39. >You reach over and pat the center of her back firmly as her lungs struggle to clear some blockage.
  40. >Your patting turns into a slow circular rub as her coughing subsides.
  41. >She spits off to the side before taking a deep breath.
  42. “Sorry Dash that looks like it sucks.” You say empathetically.
  43. >She looks up at you with watery eyes, but an appreciative smirk.
  44. >”Heh. Just got a little too excited is all.”
  45. “I don’t blame you. I know you’ve been too busy to preorder it, so I thought one of us ought to get one.”
  46. >”Good call dude now I know I won’t go crazy in your lame apartment.”
  47. >You smile.
  48. “Anything to help you out Dash.”
  49.  
  50. >Thirty minutes later you were back in your apartment and Dash was still drooling over the autograph on the cover of your book.
  51. >Only the allure of a peanut butter and zap-apple jam sandwich could tear her away from it.
  52. >It also takes some convincing to make her take her medicine.
  53. >You had to make a trade-off that you’d read to her if she took it.
  54. >It did’ t make sense, but it didn’t bother you either. You weren’t a busy human.
  55. “Once you’re finished with your shower let me know and I’ll help you with the decongestant rub the doc gave you.”
  56. >She looks up from her sandwich with a bit of jam stuck in the corner of her mouth.
  57. >She replies mid-chew, ”I cahn do it myhself.”
  58. “Listen Dash. The more you let me do my job the quicker you’ll recover.”
  59. >She finishes chewing before letting out a sigh.
  60. >”Okay fine, but you’d better not tell any pony about it!”
  61. >This mare and her ego.
  62. “My lips are sealed.”
  63. >She sniffles a few times before her scrutinizing gaze slowly leaves you; she returns to her sandwich to finish it off.
  64. >You go back to eating your own sandwich.
  65. >”Why are you helping me? I mean isn’t there a chance you could get sick too?”
  66. >That caught you off guard.
  67. >You glance up and catch her sincere gaze.
  68. “Well, yeah…I guess, but like you said before it’s just a little flu. That’s a small price to pay to help out my best friend if you ask me.”
  69. >You give her a genuine grin and see her smile sheepishly in response.
  70. >”T-thanks…f-for doing this I mean…”
  71. >She blushes slightly in response to her own ‘mushiness.’
  72. “Haha, no problem Dash. Besides, I think it’ll be kinda fun! It’s just like a sleepover! I haven’t had one of those since I was like…ten.”
  73. >Her smile grows and her blush fades.
  74. >“I’m going to make this the awesomest sleepover ever!…and uhh, because of the new Daring Doo I mean.”
  75. “You got that right! Now why don’t you hit the shower so I can let you sit on the couch.” You say playfully.
  76. >She finishes her sandwich and hops down from the table.
  77. >”I don’t smell that bad!” She says indignantly.
  78. >She was the only one who could consistently put up with your verbal fencing like this, it was one of the reasons you never tired of her company.
  79. “You’d be surprised…oopf!”
  80. >You’re cut off as she rockets into you and wraps her fore hooves around your head.
  81. >She holds your cheek bone a bit uncomfortably against her sternum and giggles.
  82. >”Well you shouldn’t have told me! Now you’re gonna smell too!”
  83. >You weren’t expecting her to be in a playful mood considering her condition, but you’re also happy she’s not feeling too bad.
  84. >Your arms move up to tangle with hers.
  85. ”Oh! You think I can be defeated by a little BO? You underestimate my power!”
  86. >Your voice is muffled by her fur. A few short, slightly salty hairs find their way into your mouth and you sputter against her to get them out.
  87. >She giggles a little bit at the feeling.
  88. >Your nose is buried against her heated chest, and you can feel her heartbeat against your face. You’d never told her, but you actually liked the way she smelled.
  89. >So joke’s on her.
  90. >Her fore hooves were locked around you and her hind legs flailed to wrap around your torso; wings flapped for balance.
  91. >You were at an obvious disadvantage, but you had a few tricks up your sleeve.
  92. >”HAHAHAHA! You can’t do that!”
  93. >Your fingers tickle her pits and she looses her grip amidst her laughter.
  94. >”HAHAH-“ *cough
  95. >Uh oh, her cough was getting to her again.
  96. >Her fore hooves break loose and she falls into your outstretched arms.
  97. >Her wincing and hacking get’s worse as she does her best to cough into her hooves.
  98. >You cradle her and hold her light frame to your chest, racing to think of a way to fix what you broke.
  99. >She was a bit big for the gesture, but you managed to get an arm free to pat her chest.
  100. >You couldn’t help but feel a pain in your own chest as her coughs got more and more haggard.
  101. >She eventually calms down again and her breathing normalizes under your therapeutic touch.
  102. >She clutches your hand to her chest and buries her gritting muzzle into your midsection.
  103. >Damn she must’ve been in a lot of pain, and it was all your fault for making her laugh.
  104. “Geez I’m sorry Dash, I forgot about your cough.”
  105. >”It’s…*ahem… fine dude, I kinda started it after all.”
  106. >You rub around the soft fur of her chest safeguarding against any further painful spasms.
  107. >Her tail swishes side to side comfortably but she avoids eye contact.
  108. >She starts to squirm a bit as you walk back to your bathroom, but you only hold her tighter.
  109. >Once in the bathroom you let her down and start a hot shower for her.
  110. “Once I close the door, go ahead and throw a towel down to cover the crack, it’ll keep the seam in and help with the congestion.”
  111. >”Yeah…”
  112. >Once you make sure she has everything she needs you leave her and head back to the kitchen to clean up.
  113. >You dig through the brown bag of prescriptions the doc gave her to find the decongestant cream.
  114. >She’d yet to look through it herself, according to her, it was part of your job when you agreed to take her in.
  115. >You finally find the small tub and head back to sit down on the couch turning all the lamps except one off along the way.
  116. >You read through the instructions long enough to understand it was like a vapo rub from Walmart, then you shift your attention to your new Daring Doo book.
  117. >You honestly weren’t a big fan of the series, but Dash thought the world of it so you eventually jumped on the train for her sake.
  118. >When you’d heard the corner store was taking pre orders for signed copies of the new release you dropped half a month’s worth of bits on one.
  119. >Dash getting grounded from training just happened to provide the perfect opportunity to give it to her.
  120. >Of course, you hadn’t told her it was hers yet.
  121. >”Whatcha thinkin dude?”
  122. >Dash’s scratchy voice comes from behind and startles you a bit.
  123. “Oh…uhh…just reading through so I can spoil the ending for you.”
  124. >”Hah, you wouldn’t do that!”
  125. “Don’t tempt me.”
  126. >She chuckles and moves around until she’s in front of you.
  127. >”Move over, you owe me a story.”
  128. >That you do.
  129. >You slide over a bit and pat the couch next to you.
  130. >She hops on and moves right over next to you—leaning her chest against your shoulder and shuffling her hooves out in front of her.
  131. >It wasn’t the first time she’d done something like that. Ponies were much more tactile than humans.
  132. >They also saw no problem with sharing kisses as greetings between well acquainted friends.
  133. >Luckily Dash wasn’t too keen on it so you’d escaped that situation.
  134. “Not so fast, first you need to put on your medication.”
  135. >”Awww come on! Do we have to do that now? Can’t we just read a bit first?”
  136. >Her pleading magenta eyes make your heart twinge, but it was for her own good.
  137. “Sorry Dash, doctors orders.”
  138. >She sighs.
  139. >”Fine! But make it quick.”
  140. >You pick up the tub and pop the cap open.
  141. “Lean back a bit it goes on your chest.”
  142. >She snorts in frustration but complies.
  143. >You lather a bit of the gel on your fingers and go to work.
  144. >She shuffles a bit uncomfortably as you draw a line from the base of her throat to the base of her sternum.
  145. >It has a strong smell that opens up your sinuses; Dash’s nostrils also flare a bit at the unusual sensation.
  146. >”What the hay is this stuff?”
  147. >You start rubbing it in circles around her furry chest.
  148. “It will help relieve congestion so you can breath better at night and not cough as much.”
  149. >She looks at you with trusting eyes.
  150. >”Does it work?”
  151. >You continue rubbing a bit lower before meeting her eyes.
  152. “I’m sure it’ll help.”
  153. >She drops her muzzle to watch your hand work it’s way around her chest opening up her fore legs to give you better access.
  154. >Your open fingers spread the salve around and trace her underlying rib cage.
  155. >She giggles a bit as your nimble fingers wrap around her sides. You didn’t want to start another coughing fit, so you shy away from them.
  156. >Eventually the salve disappears into her azure sea leaving only clumpy chest puff in it’s wake.
  157. “All done.”
  158. >You wipe your hand on your pants.
  159. >”It feels weird…like it’s getting cold or something?”
  160. “That’s just part of how it works Dash.”
  161. >”But it feels cold against the air!” She shuffles closer to your and glances unconsciously at a nearby blanket.
  162. >If that wasn’t a hint then you don’t know what is.
  163. >You reach over and grab the blanket.
  164. >You catch a poorly suppressed grin on Dash’s features before you toss it around the both of you.
  165. >”Hey, did Rarity make this?”
  166. “No, found it in an alley and washed it up.”
  167. >She looks at you to see if you’re serious, but your smirk only earns you a punch in the shoulder.
  168. >“Dork.”
  169. >You just smile and open the book.
  170. >She went back to leaning up against your shoulder, but started shuffling when she realized she couldn’t see the text.
  171. >”Hold on don’t start yet.”
  172. >You look over at her with raised eyebrows as she picks up your arm and crawls under the blanket, sliding her rump onto your lap.
  173. >Realizing what she was going for, you lean back a bit to give her more real-estate.
  174. >A few painful hooves to the gut later, she comes to rest against your torso.
  175. >You pull the blanket up under her chin and rest yours beside her ear.
  176. >She didn’t have her shampoo’s with her, so she had to use your scentless welfare soap.
  177. >A hoof swipes up to rub a sniffle from her nose before going back to hide under the blanket.
  178. >You suppress a laugh as her feathers ruffle lightly against your sensitive sides.
  179. “You good?”
  180. >Her hind hooves push off your knees, pushing her butt farther up your hips in the process and earning a chuckle from you.
  181. >”What’re you laughing at it’s comfy okay!”
  182. >Yes it was.
  183. >You open the book across her lap and turn to page 1.
  184. “Daring Doo and the Kingdom of the Emerald Skull Chapter One.”
  185. >The book begins like every other one in the series.
  186. >Daring learns the location of the ancient artifact and immediately sets out to search for it.
  187. >In this case, the emerald skull she was looking for was thought to be of extraterrestrial origin.
  188. >Sounded kinda familiar to something you’d been disappointed by in the past, but you couldn’t quite remember.
  189. >Dash was light enough that you didn’t mind her laying on your chest, but it did make it difficult to turn the pages.
  190. >Her head also got in the way a bit, so you peeked over her temple past her ear.
  191. >That worked well until you started getting to the bottom of the pages and you had to hold the book up higher.
  192. >Her ear would flick across your chin occasionally as you narrated; the tickling sensation added another distraction to your job.
  193. >All in all it was the most active you’ve ever been reading, but also the most enjoyable.
  194. >But page after page she got more and more tired until she was no longer holding her head off your shoulder.
  195. >You glance down to see her eyes closed.
  196. >Come to think of it, she’d been that way for a while.
  197. >Who knows how long you’d been reading aloud to yourself.
  198. >You close the book gently. You’ll have to make sure you start off where she fell asleep next time.
  199. >Slowly reaching out you set the book on the couch arm rest and pull the blanket aside.
  200. >You look across the couch and plan out your movements.
  201. >This was probably the hardest position to move her from without waking her up.
  202. >But you loved a good challenge.
  203. >You wrap one arm around her torso, capturing both her fore legs.
  204. >The other hand moves up to cradle her head against you so you didn’t hurt her neck.
  205. >Slowly, and as quietly as possible, you lean over towards the open end of the couch and lay down with her in your arms.
  206. >The new spooning position unfortunately left you between her and the couch.
  207. >The ends of her hooves hung dangerously off the edge of the cushions and she mumbled something before craning her head up under your chin and flicking her tail across your legs.
  208. >Blurry, red and orange hair filled the bottom of your vision and you froze, afraid that you woke her.
  209. >You hold position for a moment, hoping the lull drags her into a deeper sleep.
  210. >You can’t remember the last time you’d been around her when she was this quiet.
  211. >Of course she was asleep, but still…
  212. >A clock ticked on the wall across from you telling you it’s way past your bedtime.
  213. >Her scent acts like an anesthesia and you soon find your eyes un-focusing in regular intervals.
  214. >You wish you didn’t have to go all the way to your room, but if she woke up like this you’d never hear the end of it.
  215. >You take an extra minute…to make sure she’s in deep sleep.
  216. >With remorse, you finally undrape your arm and slowly pull your other one out from under her.
  217. >You hear her breathing change a bit before she whimpers and moves her fore leg unsuccessfully to trap your arm.
  218. >You instantly regret your decision to move, but it’s too late now.
  219. >Reaching over the back of the couch, you pull yourself back up to a sitting position successfully depositing Dash on the cushions.
  220. >You stand up quietly and tuck her hooves closer to her before draping the blanket across her motionless body.
  221. >Turning off the lamp in the corner of the room, you stumble down the hall to your bedroom and pass out on the covers.
  222.  
  223.  
  224. >The first warning you get is the sound of a light switch being flicked on.
  225. >Unfortunately, the sound gets seamlessly incorporated into your weird dream.
  226. *UUUUURK!
  227. >That one was a bit harder for your brain to work with.
  228. >One eye shoots open and you immediately notice a light coming from down the hallway.
  229. >…and more retching sounds.
  230. >Unless a thief had eaten you week old asparagus in the fridge, that sound could only be coming from one pony.
  231. >You spring off your bed and hastily find your feet before wandering into the bathroom.
  232. >Dash had both fore hooves on the toilet seat and had her muzzle above the rim, hair obscured her face.
  233. >Her tail was tucked between her hind legs in discomfort.
  234. >You immediately run over and consolidate her hair behind her tense neck.
  235. >She does’t have time to acknowledge you before another spasm racks her stomach and she winces.
  236. >The last of her dinner evacuates her, finally allowing her to calm down a bit and breathe deliberately through her nose.
  237. “Alright…deep breaths…in and out…”
  238. >She looks at you before closing her eyes and following your commands.
  239. >Your hand still held her hair in a hasty bun, but you can feel her neck muscles beginning to relax.
  240. >You reach up and grab a tissue from the counter and bring it to wipe her muzzle, careful not to cover her busy nostrils.
  241. >She keeps her eyes closed and lets you clean her up.
  242. >Throwing the tissue in the toilet you let her hair back down, combing through it gently with your fingers to straighten it out.
  243. >She lets out a few more dry burps before releasing her hold on the porcelain throne.
  244. “Feel better now?” You ask quietly.
  245. >”Y-yeah. Sorry about that, I just started coughing again and couldn’t breathe, so I ran in here.”
  246. “Don’t be sorry, it was my fault for letting you lay like that on the couch, I should’ve known it’d make it harder to breathe.”
  247. >”Heh, yeah well I guess you owe me another sandwich then.”
  248. >She manages a weak smile and you can’t help but chuckle at her sick sense of humor.
  249. >You go to get up, but pause.
  250. “You sure you’re good?”
  251. >”I’m good, thanks. Uhh…do you have any mouthwash though?”
  252. “Right here.”
  253. >You move to dig through the cabinets and pull out the rinse.
  254. >Dash flushes the toilet and props up to flip on the cold water.
  255. >Her muzzle laps hungrily at the refreshing stream before she finally emerges to breathe and take a swig of the green mouthwash.
  256. >She didn’t even use the little cup for it…
  257. >You’ll have to remember to wash off the rim before you use it next time.
  258. >You wait patiently and avoid awkward eye contact with her in the mirror while she swishes and gargles.
  259. >She goes on for quite some time too. You’re about to say something, but she finishes.
  260. >She finally spits it out in the sink and immediately follows it with another swig.
  261. >You sigh.
  262. >What is it like one in the morning?
  263. >Hopefully she’s not addicted to it or something, that would be an unfortunate development.
  264. “Hey make sure you’re not swallowing any of that it’ll only give you an upset stomach.”
  265. >You make eye contact with her reflection and she nods vigorously.
  266. “That and it’ll make your pee green,” You add sarcastically
  267. >Not a second later she snorts some air out of her nose and sprays mouthwash across the mirror as she lets a laugh slip.
  268. >Her mouth formed a terse smile and her diaphragm contracted as she struggled to keep her lips sealed against her silent laughing.
  269. >Too late now.
  270. “Thanks, I needed to clean that anyways.”
  271. >”Pfffft…HAHAHAHAHA!”
  272. >The rest of her mouthwash was now running down the mirror in wide streaks, distorting your reflections.
  273. >She catches your amused smirk.
  274. >”HAHAHA-HA-aha! Dude! What’d you expect?”
  275. “I…I don’t know, let’s just go back to sleep.”
  276. >”You’re just going to leave this here or…”
  277. >You put your hands on your hips to counteract your grin.
  278. “You’re going to clean it up.”
  279. >Her ears flop back and she wipes her muzzle with her hoof as she laughs to herself at your situation.
  280. >”Heh…yeah, no problem.”
  281. “…But it can wait until morning, right now I need to sleep and you do too.”
  282. >Her smile disappears and she shuffles nervously.
  283. >”Umm…what if…I can’t breathe again.”
  284. >You’d almost forgotten about that. Unfortunately even in a land of magic there was no remedy for congestion.
  285. >Your own smile disappears as well as you empathetically feel the same fear she does.
  286. “If you prop your head and chest up on a few pillows, you’ll be able to breathe easier.”
  287. >”Oh…can you show me?”
  288. “Sure thing.”
  289. >You put the mouthwash away and turn on the hall light as you head back towards the couch.
  290. >You grab a few pillows and shove them against the crack of the couch before sitting down and leaning back against them.
  291. “See, like this.”
  292. >Dash looks at you before biting her lip and hopping up on the couch next to you.
  293. >She pulls her own pillow free and mirrors your actions. Laying parallel to you a foot away.
  294. >”Like this?”
  295. >She tucks her hooves up and looks at you questioningly.
  296. “Yep, feel more comfortable?”
  297. >She looks at her hooves nervously.
  298. >”I can still kinda feel that stuff in my chest…maybe…can you, stay…out here?”
  299. >Immediately after she asked that question she regretted it.
  300. >”I…actually I’ll be fine, I’ll just do what you said and hopefully I can…”
  301. >Your thoughts go back to the last time you had the flu. You know exactly what she’s feeling.
  302. >You grab her blanket off the couch and pull the pillow out from under her.
  303. >“…hey! What are you doing?”
  304. “If you want me to sleep with you, we’re going to my bed where we can have a bit more leg room.
  305. >”Your bed?”
  306. >Her face was beginning to turn red and she was looking at you with wide eyes and perked ears.
  307. “Yeah. I mean it’s not like you’re gonna catch anything from me.”
  308. >She shuffles off the couch in response to your beckoning.
  309. >”You’re s-sure you’re okay with that?”
  310. “Dash. If I’m going to get sick it’s going to happen regardless of whether or not I sleep next to you.”
  311. >She says nothing more as she follows you into your bedroom.
  312. >The sound of her hooves plodding on the carpet stops as you sit down on the edge of your bed and pull the sheets aside.
  313. >You set up the pillows and take your shirt off before climbing in.
  314. >You catch Dash’s inquisitive eyes as she stands motionless next to the bed.
  315. “It gets too hot if I leave the shirt on,” You offer.
  316. >She accepts your explanation with a nod.
  317. >You pat the sheets next to you.
  318. “Come on Dash, you’re burning moonlight.”
  319. >She avoids eye contact before jumping up on the edge of the full size mattress.
  320. >Cyan hooves gingerly step between the imprints of your legs under the sheets as she makes her way to the unoccupied side.
  321. >She examines your pillows for a moment as you adjust them for her, then she plops down on them careful to leave you your space.
  322. >Her timidness is apparent.
  323. “What’s up? Are we strangers now or something?”
  324. >Her eyes dart to yours in a mild panic.
  325. >”No! Just…making sure you have room is all!”
  326. >You reach out to pull her and her pillow closer to you.
  327. “If you wanted me to sleep with you I need to at least be doing something.”
  328. >Her tail twitches and her wings shuffle a bit.
  329. >”Wha-what?”
  330. “I’m going to make sure you don’t slouch over or something in your sleep, that way you won’t wake up again.”
  331. >”Oh…”
  332. >You get more comfortable in your lounging position before pulling Dash into your side, ensuring her posture would match yours.
  333. >The nape of her neck came to rest in your arm pit and her head found a comfortable spot against your shoulder.
  334. >You immediately started heating up in response to her proximity.
  335. >Who knows, maybe you both could sweat it out like they used to do when modern medicine wasn’t a thing and the average lifespan was in the mid thirties.
  336. >Pushing all distractions from your mind you reach across her with your opposite arm to move a pillow farther behind her head.
  337. >Suddenly you feel a cold nose in your bare armpit.
  338. “Whoah!”
  339. >Your recoil at the ticklish, alien sensation.
  340. >You give your attacker a questioning look.
  341. >”That was for tickling me earlier,” She responds without any humor.
  342. >You’re about to make a snarky remark when her eyes begin to squint and her mouth opens involuntarily.
  343. >Being the heroic soldier you were, you reached over and snagged a conveniently placed tissue just in time to jump on the grenade.
  344. *CHOOOO!
  345. >Your tissue catches her spittle and you wipe her nose before wadding it up and tossing it on the floor next to you.
  346. >She looks at you with flushed cheeks and a more flustered expression—obviously embarrassed at your charade.
  347. >”I’m not a f-foal dude! You don’t need to catch my snee-ee…”
  348. >You grab another tissue and cover her nose again, catching a second sneeze, then a third.
  349. >You repeat your actions before looking at her with an unimpressed brow raise.
  350. “You were saying?”
  351. >”Whatever…”
  352. >Overwhelmed with sickness and defeated logic she tucks her muzzle into your side and folds her ears.
  353. >She was beat red and her eye, half obscured by your ribs, locked on to your smiling face with cynicism.
  354. “Sorry Dash, I’ll let you catch my sneeze to make up for it.”
  355. >She mumbles something in response, but her auditory vibrations are absorbed into the sensitive flesh between your ribs. You resist the urge to wince and instead let out a light laugh.
  356. “What was that?”
  357. >Her muzzle lifts off your side to answer you.
  358. >”I said just go to sleep already!”
  359. ”Okay geez.”
  360. >Her muzzle returns the spot on your side she was previously warming and her eye blinks a few times at your persistent smug grin.
  361. >Heh…her lashes tickle too.
  362. >Time to sleep now.
  363. >You readjust your covers to better shield her wings from the cooling apartment air.
  364. >Her hind hooves shuffle underneath the blankets, coming to rest in the dent between your heftier thigh and the mattress.
  365. >Initially, she holds her fore hooves against her chest, but it soon becomes too much of a strain for her and she looks for another place to comfortably rest them.
  366. >You smile in the dark as you visualize her hooves getting closer and closer to your chest through closed eyes.
  367. >You can tell she’s a bit timid about resting on you anymore than she had to, but as the the clock ticks on in the darkness she gets progressively braver.
  368. >They initially rest in the gap between your bellies, but it wasn’t comfortable enough for her.
  369. >You imagined it was a lot like your own problem with your arms falling asleep when laying down.
  370. >They had to be in just the right position.
  371. >You feel her hold her breath and the pressure on your side is relieved.
  372. >Only to return at the top of your belly.
  373. >The pressure is varied, as if she’s not fully committed to laying it on you yet.
  374. >Enough of this nonsense.
  375. >You shift your position and grab her fore hoof with your opposite hand.
  376. >You twist into her a bit allowing her to brace her other hoof on your chest as well.
  377. >You lay her first hoof on your side giving it a few quick squeezes to let her know it was okay for her to hold you there.
  378. >Your hand comes to rest on her shoulder and your nudge the back of her head farther up your chest with the bottom of your chin.
  379. >Finally, you pull the blanket farther up to the shoulder of her exposed body trapping the shared warmth.
  380. >She lets out heavy, hot breaths against your chest as you detect a bit of wetness where her mouth lays up against you.
  381. >Her breathing didn’t sound labored you could only hope the trick your mom taught you could get her through the rest of the night.
  382. >You show your appreciation of her donated warmth by scratching into the fur of her shoulder gently with your fingernails.
  383. >A soft hum of satisfaction escapes her chest before she apparently catches it and clears her throat in an attempt to cover up.
  384. >You stay perfectly awake but motionless as you feel her body begin to turn off.
  385. >Eventually her breathing deepens and her body goes completely limp against yours.
  386. >You wait a moment longer just to be sure.
  387. >Slowly you reposition your head and plant a lingering kiss on the top of her hair before returning to your previous position, leaving a sleeping Dash non the wiser.
  388. >Something inside of you felt relief at being able to do that.
  389. >After all, there was no way she’d let you get away with that if she knew.
  390. >She was the best friend you’ve ever had and she meant a lot to you. It only felt appropriate to let her know that…even if she was asleep.
  391. >You let out a content sigh and clear your mind.
  392. >Your breathing automatically began alternating with hers in order to optimize the cramped space between your chests.
  393. >The mare you’re holding periodically twitches a hoof, scrunches a nose, or hums softly, letting you know she’s experiencing a pleasant dream.
  394. >One by one, your thoughts slipped away until only the feeling of the mare breathing softly against you followed you into the depths of sleep.
  395.  
  396.  
  397. >The sound of chirping birds woke you up early the next morning.
  398. >The hot spot on your side was still asleep and breathing quietly. It looked like your trick had worked.
  399. >You remain unmoving for a moment allowing yourself a chance to fully wake up.
  400. >Taking stock of yourself, you find that you’re free of congestion, aches and pains, and a runny nose. No headache, sore throat. Nothing.
  401. >You were sure you’d have caught her bug by now.
  402. >Dash’s breathing leaves a humid patch across your bare chest that cools when she inhales.
  403. >Her hooves are tucked between you and you notice her ear is laying flat against your sternum.
  404. >Wouldn’t it be distracting to try and sleep to the sound of a heartbeat?
  405. >She found a way some how.
  406. >You’d love to continue lounging with her, but you knew you wouldn’t be able to get back to sleep.
  407. >That and you just realized how sweaty you both were.
  408. >Her fur clung to your clammy skin and her cheek was glued to your chest with salt.
  409. >You peek down to see the multicolored fur of her head.
  410. >Besides, Dash would probably appreciate breakfast when she woke up.
  411. >Slowly, you peel yourself off of her—replacing your body with a pillow.
  412. >She clutches it in her sleep and digs her muzzle into it with a murmur.
  413. >You escaped just in time.
  414. >The sun was barely above the horizon and bathed the top half of your living room in golden white.
  415. >You take another second to appreciate the lazy morning before you head into the kitchen and begin quietly rummaging around.
  416. >You find some fresh fruit in your fridge and set it out to let it thaw a bit.
  417. >Dash was one of the few ponies you know who actually likes eggs, that would make this a lot simpler for you.
  418. >You remove a carton of eggs and break half a dozen open into a small container before mixing them together.
  419. >Pepper and spices get mixed in as well.
  420. >The stovetop comes on and you begin heating a skillet, on one side you pour your egg mixture, and on the other you melt half a bar of butter.
  421. >The next few minutes are spent delicately balancing the task of scrambling eggs and making toast.
  422. >The kitchen fills with the warming smell of breakfast.
  423. >Once the egg mixture had run out you finish up the toast and pull out two plates.
  424. >You split the eggs equally between you and your guest, and you spread peanut butter across the hot bread and set two pieces of toast on each plate.
  425. >After lightly salting the eggs you move the plates to the top of the still heated skillet to keep the food warm while you wash the fruit.
  426. >Whether it was the sound of the running water, or the smell of breakfast, your sidekick had finally woken up.
  427. >Light hoof steps sound behind you and you turn your head to see her rubbing her eyes with a fore hoof.
  428. “G’morning. Sleep well?”
  429. >She puts a hoof across her mouth and yawns loudly before groggily meeting your gaze.
  430. >”Uhnhuh.”
  431. >She must not be a morning pony.
  432. >She sniffles a bit and crosses the kitchen to grab a tissue before blowing her nose.
  433. >You go back to washing the fruit as she uses tissue after tissue.
  434. >By the time you’ve dried everything off she’s gone through half a dozen.
  435. >She seems to have blown out her lethargy though as she met you with a perky expression.
  436. >”Hey that smells good! Whatcha cookin?”
  437. “Eggs, toast, and some fresh fruit.”
  438. >”You cook fruit?”
  439. “No, I obviously…”
  440. >You spot her playful smirk and catch on to her sarcasm.
  441. “Haha very funny.”
  442. >”I know wasn’t it? Now hurry up I’m starving!”
  443. >You sigh; at least she’s in a good mood.
  444. >She grabs some orange juice from the fridge and pours herself a glass while you set the table.
  445. >You grab her medicine bag from the counter and pull out a small orange bottle.
  446. >The label says take one pill with food twice a day. That’s weird there’s only two pills in there.
  447. “Hey Dash, the doc only gave you one day’s worth of medication.”
  448. >She looks over at you from her already seated position in front of her plate.
  449. >”Yeah? So?”
  450. >You cock an eyebrow at her flippant attitude.
  451. “So…what’re you going to do once they run out?”
  452. >”Get better…obviously.”
  453. >She can’t be serious; you’ll have to go back with her later today to get a refill.
  454. “You’re telling me you’re going to be better by tonight?”
  455. >She sighs and turns away just before biting into her food again.
  456. >”Yes, the longest I’ve ever had the flu was for three days, and that’s when I was a filly. Now just let me eat my…your food.”
  457. >That’s strange, must be all the magic and stuff.
  458. “I’m not stopping you.”
  459. >But she’s already face first in her plate.
  460. >By the time you’ve poured your own glass of juice and sat down to enjoy your breakfast she’s half way through hers.
  461. >”Dude where’d you learn to cook like this it’s amazing!”
  462. “My mom taught me most of it, some stuff I just learned on my own.”
  463. >She watches your explanation while chewing another mouthful.
  464. *gulp
  465. >”Like these are actually probably the best eggs I’ve had in my life.”
  466. >Surprisingly she looks completely serious.
  467. “Really?”
  468. >”Yeah, you should make me breakfast every morning.”
  469. >Well that’s a stretch.
  470. “Sure…”
  471. >She pauses for a moment before looking at you questioningly.
  472. “…just as long as you hold a steady job, buy me nice things and leave the toilet seat up.”
  473. >An awkward silence fills the room as you stare at each other from across the table.
  474. >She slowly begins to blush at your confident smirk as she gets the full joke.
  475. >”W-what! That’s not what I meant!”
  476. >You only laugh out loud at her reaction.
  477. >”Why w-would we ever…arrgh!”
  478. “I’m just kidding Dash…”
  479. >She lets out a frustrated grumble before taking a viscious bite out of her toast.
  480. “…kidding about the toilet seat I mean. I’m accurate enough with it down.”
  481. >Hooves slam the table and make you jump in your state of laughter.
  482. >”Anoon!”
  483.  
  484. >A few minutes later you were both finished with breakfast.
  485. >After taking the dishes to the kitchen, you go back to your room and change out of your boxer shorts into a real set of clothes.
  486. >When you come back out you spot Dash on the couch with the Daring Doo book.
  487. >”Hey, Anon! I found the last spot we stopped at.”
  488. >She looks so excited to finish the story, you felt bad to have to tell her you were going out to run some errands.
  489. “Oh, well…”
  490. >”Hurry up and get over here we gotta finish it by tonight.”
  491. >That’s a lot of reading.
  492. “Why by tonight?”
  493. >”Because then I won’t be sick any more and I’ll have to go back to training.”
  494. >On one hand, you were down to your last roll of toilet paper, on the other, your best friend wanted to spend the day with you.
  495. ”One roll should last a while,” You mutter.
  496. >”What?”
  497. “Uhh…yeah, let’s start at it then.”
  498. >You’re rewarded with a genuine smile.
  499. >The sacrifices you make for the sake of friendship.
  500. >You sit down on the couch next to her and she pushes the book over to you.
  501. >You pick it up and briefly examine the page she was pointing to.
  502. >It looked like Daring was stranded in the middle of a giant ant colony.
  503. >You’d gone a few pages past this point when you were reading last night, but she must’ve fallen asleep here.
  504. >You slouch a bit to get comfortable, but before you can begin reading Dash moves to lay across your legs.
  505. >She plops herself down with her belly and chest on your thighs; she flips so she’s facing you exposing her underbelly.
  506. >Her legs stick out and poke under the cushions of the couch, boxing you in. Her tail swishes lazily on one side and her head nuzzles the cushion on the other side.
  507. >You look at her questioningly as she adjusts a bit and you feel her wing angle itself to lay in-between your legs.
  508. >It felt a bit awkward but not uncomfortable.
  509. >”You can lay the book on me if you want…so your weak arms don’t get tired or something.”
  510. >That was nice of her.
  511. >You lean the book against her underside and begin reading as it slowly bobs back and forth with her breathing.
  512. >She curls around a bit—angling to see the side of the pages and your face.
  513. >Your words begin to flow into sentences, then paragraphs.
  514. >Out of the corner of your eye you notice that she’s looking directly at you more often than not.
  515. >You stutter a few times from the distraction, but quickly forget it once you start covering a fresh part of the story.
  516. >Paragraphs flow into pages, then chapters, and Dash stays relatively quiet throughout.
  517. >You pause occasionally for snacks, bathroom breaks, or to let Dash get a tissue.
  518. >With each additional pause you find yourself more and more eager to keep reading, not necessarily because of the story, but because of the company.
  519. >Your burn the day shifting away from sweaty spots on your couch and reading with your friend.
  520. >Before you know it, it starts to get difficult to fish the black letters out of the page, and you reach over your head to flick on your lamp.
  521. >You were now laying against the armrest with your legs stretched out and the book on your ribcage.
  522. >Dash was straddling the back rest; one hind leg and one fore leg hung over the side of the couch, her wing dangled limp—tickling your abdomen occasionally with it’s pinfeathers.
  523. >Her fore leg draped over the front right next to your face and her head hung down to stare at the back of your head.
  524. >Her hot breath parted your hair and heated you upcontributing to the mild layer of perspiration that’d covered your skin since the start of the hot afternoon.
  525. >The room had been pretty warm especially on your couch. But some unnamed comfort kept your bodies relatively close to each other.
  526. >The only thing you’d done today was make breakfast and flip pages, but you had to admit it was one of the most enjoyable days you’ve had since you’ve been here.
  527. >Who would’ve thought the fastest mare in Equestria would teach you a lesson about slowing down and enjoying life?
  528. >The desire for her to stay prompted you to finish the chapter even though it was officially nightfall.
  529. >But all good things must come to an end. The final sentence of the chapter rolls off your tongue and you quietly close the book.
  530. >You hadn’t quite met your goal of making it all the way through, but you’d covered a lot.
  531. >At least she didn’t get you sick.
  532. >Dash snaps out of a trance at the sound of the book closing.
  533. >”H-hey! What gives!”
  534. >You crane your neck to look up at her, your nose comes within inches of her dangling muzzle.
  535. “If I remember correctly some pony has a Wonder Bolts team to get back to.”
  536. >A look of pensiveness and worry crosses her face and she races to find an excuse to not move.
  537. >”But I-I’m still sick.”
  538. >You don’t blame her for not wanting to leave, after all, the last thing you wanted to do was get up.
  539. >But she had obligations to meet.
  540. >You give her a serious look.
  541. “Dash, be honest.”
  542. >”I am see!”
  543. *Aaaaaaah
  544. >She opens her mouth, sticks her tongue out and flexes her soft palette, simultaneously showing you the back of her throat and blasting you with Dash-breath from point blank.
  545. >Her uvula dangles in front of your eyes but it’s free of spotting and irritation.
  546. “Your throat looks fine Dash,” You say calmly.
  547. >”N-no! Not until I take my last pill!”
  548. >You hated trying to convince her to do something that neither of you really wanted.
  549. “Dash…”
  550. >”Really! I’m still officially sick until the last pill gets rid of it with some final stage healing magic or something.”
  551. >That sounded like a surprisingly legitimate excuse. But it had an achilles heel.
  552. “Then take your last pill.”
  553. >Caught her there.
  554. >She catches herself and worriedly tries to come up with another excuse.
  555. >”J-just one more chapter!”
  556. “Rainbow…”
  557. >”Please…” She meets you with puppy dog eyes that force you to look away.
  558. >Dang, she really liked the story.
  559. >Now would be a good time to give her the news.
  560. >You turn your eyes up to meet her tense features.
  561. “Dash I…got this book for you. Take it with you and finish it if you want, it’s yours.”
  562. >Comprehension dawns on her as she looks at the book in your hands, then back to you.
  563. >”You got me a specially signed copy? But my birthday isn’t for four more months.”
  564. “I know, I just thought you’d enjoy it.”
  565. >Much to your dismay she still looked just as remorseful about leaving.
  566. “Just make sure to let me know how it ends.”
  567. >”One more…”
  568. “You’re a Wonder Bolt now you can’t just skip training over a story.”
  569. >She stops and looks away nervously for a second.
  570. >”It’s not…that…”
  571. >You face her more to try and hear what she said as she trailed off.
  572. >Suddenly, she turns around and lays a sloppy wet one straight on you.
  573. >Your eyes shoot open in surprise as your best friend’s slobber fills your mouth with the taste of the gram crackers that she had for her last snack.
  574. >Her own eyes are closed and her ears are splayed back; hot breath travels down your cheek.
  575. >But your face’s internal heating is much more noticeable.
  576. >Your body sinks farther into the couch and your head slides down the pillow, but she simply follows you mushing your lips flat against hers as she adjusts against you.
  577. >Once she’s sure of her seal she practically spits all she’s got into your mouth.
  578. >Unfortunately gravity gave her the advantage and there was little you could do but gently push her back and try not to choke on her saliva.
  579. >A few seconds later she breaks contact with an obnoxious smack.
  580. >She pulls away with slightly tinted cheeks and a cheesy, toothy grin; she wipes away the string of spit connecting you.
  581. >You start coughing on your back and forcibly swallow her donation before you can expel it.
  582. >You attempt to roll off the couch and escape the strange turn of events…
  583. >…until the full weight of her body comes crashing down on top of you.
  584. “…oooomph”
  585. >Her weight pins you to the couch while she rolls into a sitting position on your chest.
  586. >Hind legs part at your belly button and stick out to either side. Her fore hooves pin your shoulders.
  587. >She meets your flushed look with a mischievous one.
  588. >”HAHAHA! You should’ve seen the look on your face!”
  589. >You finally compose yourself enough to speak.
  590. “What the heck Dash!”
  591. >She only grins and blushes more at your outburst.
  592. >”Heh, I guess you’re gonna get sick now after all.”
  593. >There was no doubt about that. If there was any flu left in her at all it was now in you.
  594. “If this is some kind of prank I’m going to…”
  595. >”Get sick.”
  596. “Well yeah!”
  597. >”And have some pony else take care of you.”
  598. “Uhh, probably not, I’m pretty self sufficient…”
  599. >”And have them read you the rest of the book.”
  600. >Oh…that’s where she was going with this.
  601. >You plant your face in your palm and sigh.
  602. >The intentions behind her copious spit swap suddenly became clear.
  603. >”Heheh, don’t worry dude I think I might know a mare with some spare time lying around.”
  604. >You pull your hands down dramatically to peek an eye at her.
  605. >Her grin calms to a fragile smile and her tone is more somber.
  606. >”I don’t have to be back for anther few days anyways. I’m caught up on all my training.”
  607. >Despite your position you can’t help but smile behind your hands at her extreme measure.
  608. >After all you had expected to get sick going into this. No gains no losses.
  609. >You drop your hands.
  610. “You could’ve just told me that to begin with you know instead of…bleh.”
  611. >You begrudgingly swallow the remnants of her donation.
  612. >Her ears flop back and she looks down at your chest; you can spot a hint of redness in her cheeks and muzzle.
  613. >”I…yeah, sorry I g-guess I wasn’t t-thinking straight.”
  614. >You finally wipe your mouth and blink.
  615. >”For the record though I think it’s pretty cool of you to give me the book…I guess I-I just wanted to say thanks.”
  616. >She sounds apologetic and you start to feel bad about your reaction.
  617. >It was actually a bit sweet of her to kiss you even if it wasn’t the most pleasant thing.
  618. >She didn’t have much to repay you with and she was never one for mushy words.
  619. >The kiss was her ‘thank you’…it was also her way of prolonging the sleepover but you’ll let that slide.
  620. “Well I appreciate it even though I’m going to get sick.”
  621. >She chuckles and blushes again
  622. “So, we going to finish your book or what?”
  623. >Her ear to ear grin returns.
  624. >”Yeah! But you’re reading.”
  625. “I thought you were supposed to take care of me now?”
  626. >”I will…once you start coughing and stuff, besides, you’re better at it anyway.”
  627. “Fine.”
  628. >You slide back up on your pillow and she lays down on your chest with her fore hooves draped over your shoulders and her hind legs woven between yours.
  629. >She releases her wings to lay across your sides and plants her snout on your chest—her breath tickling your chin.
  630. >You rest the book in between her shoulders and pat her mane down a bit so your can see the pages.
  631. >You glance down and spot her smiling wryly up at you. Her plan worked and she knew it.
  632. >Maybe getting sick wasn’t so bad after all.
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