Night had fallen later that day, taking all the warm sunshine and daytime animals with it as a crescent moon hung in the cloudless sky and nocturnal critters came out to prowl about and roam the woods in search of food.
An owl landed on a tree branch and hooted just as a stray cat pursued a thrush, its first prey since several hours ago. All the while lighting bugs and other insects buzzed about the woods behind the manor in the quiet suburban neighborhood.
Within the manor lay its owner, the head of the Ushiromiya family and the Golden Witch, Ange, and her seven friends, the Stakes of Purgatory. They were all asleep in their warm beds, the gentle night breeze blowing through the open windows and caressing their hair.
It would have been a nice, peaceful, quiet night, had it not been for the snoring of Satan and Leviathan but they woke nobody up, even with their bedroom doors open. Of course, that was only natural, given how Ange and their sisters were used to their snoring so they weren't bothered by it one bit.
However, one particular Stake was having trouble sleeping, and it wasn't because of insomnia or nightmares.
Struggling to breathe through her stuffy nose as she slept in her bed, the adorable Asmodeus, the youngest of the seven, woke up with a gasp for breathe just a few minutes after she had gone back to sleep.
Turning over on her side, the young girl sighed and blinked her red, sore, crusty eyes to clear away a couple tears before raising her hands to them. Her eyes were feeling really itchy again, but no matter how many times she rubbed them, it still didn't help—more tears just poured out gradually each time she tried to rub away the itch.
Sitting up in bed, her pigtails bouncing behind her, she placed a hand on her head to feel her temperature, but it wasn't any good. She was still pretty feverish and chilly at the same time, but what else was new?
She'd had been stricken with hay fever for the past couple days now and it was already beginning to wear her down. She hadn't felt like playing with Mammon and Beelzebub, listening to Leviathan's whining about how things weren't fair—though Asmodeus felt it wasn't fair to her since she was the only one out of all seven of the Stakes to have allergies—doing at least some work like Lucifer and Belphegor told her too to try and take her mind of her hay fever and get active, or even verbally defending herself when Satan was yelling at or scolding her for some reason or another. She just didn't have the energy to keep up with all of them these past two days.
It was nice of Ange to keep her company during those long two days, which had started to feel like weeks to Asmodeus. The other day when Ange brought all of her sisters to the park for a picnic, the witch had returned to check up on her to see how she was doing and to keep her company—and also because her eyes were starting to get irritated from being outside for so long. Apparently what Ange had said about her still getting hay fever was looking to be true; when Asmodeus saw her earlier that day, Ange looked slightly flustered, and when the young Stake asked her about it, the witch had said that her own allergies might've begun to kick in.
Swinging her legs over the side of the bed, Asmodeus yawned slightly before wincing in a tad bit of pain because of her sore throat, which made her voice a little raspy whenever she talked.
She had been having trouble sleeping for the past two nights because of her hay fever, and each time she had woken up she just laid in bed and stared at the ceiling or watched the walls while tossing and turning about in bed. That was starting to bore her, so tonight she decided to try something different: she would get out of bed and go downstairs to watch some television. Surely there were at least some good late night shows or movies on right now—not those cruddy programs whenever she was flipping through channels on her bedroom television; the good ones involving at least something exciting happening, like a hero saving a damsel in distress, someone finding the courage to express his or her love to someone else they know truly well, and other related things. Heck, even a horror movie sounded good right about now.
Standing up, Asmodeus wobbled on her feet slightly before steadying herself by grabbing on to her nightstand, but as soon as she turned to head over to her bedroom door, her nose began to feel a little tickly right about now, and when that happened, Asmodeus couldn't help but sneeze. Reaching for the box of tissues Ange had left for her, she picked it up while taking a tissue out to cover her nose and her mouth as best she could when she sneezed again.
She'd been sneezing quite a lot these past couple days due to her hay fever. It had been a problem to her because it meant she'd have to take in air every time she was going to sneeze once, which in turn hurt her throat and made it feel sorer. Just yesterday she had gotten a few nosebleeds from all her sneezing, so she didn't want another one now.
Once she had spent a good few minutes sneezing up a storm, wiping snot and dried pieces of mucus from her face each time, she took the garbage pail that was now halfway filled with snotty tissues and finally headed downstairs, being careful so as not to wake her sisters—who, fortunately for them, had slept through their youngest sister's barrage of sneezes.
Going into the living room, Asmodeus approached the television and took the remote from the shelf underneath it and brought it over to the couch. After pressing the power button on it, she immediately turned the volume down so that the sounds from the television wouldn't disturb her sisters.
From there, she began to flip through channel after channel, searching for something good to watch, but everything was just boring. There wasn't even anything exciting on tonight. Shouldn't there have been at least one show or movie that was so good that people had to stay up late to watch it?
Asmodeus sighed again as she rubbed her itchy eyes, causing more tears to appear and pour down her face.
Maybe she should just go back upstairs and crawl into bed. However, she felt she didn't have the energy to walk back up the stairs. So to remedy her problem, she pulled a blanket down from the top of the couch and covered herself with half of it, leaving the other half folded up in the hope that it would keep her warm, because her nightdress alone certainly wasn't enough to get the job done.
With a small shudder brought on by how cold she felt, Asmodeus laid down, resting her head against the pillow, and—
Was instantly jolted into an upright position after having been startled by a barrage of sneezes that weren't her own.
Turning her head around, she could see the shadow of someone shuffling down the stairs followed by what sounded like a soft, faint moan.
"H-Hello…" Asmodeus whispered fearfully, making sure her voice was loud enough for the person by the stairs, but quiet enough so Ange and her sisters wouldn't wake up. "Wh-Who's—ah, ah, ACHOO!—there?"
Another sneeze was heard before she received a response. "I-It's just—ah, ah, ACHOO…" the voice began weakly before it sneezed again and then sniffed, "I-It's just m-me, A-Asmo. D-Don't—ah, ah, ACHOO!—worry."
As the mysterious figure came closer and stepped out of the shadows of the hallway and into the light coming from the television, Asmodeus was quite surprised to see that it was Ange.
"O-Oh, A-Ange, d—ah, ah, ACHOO!—you're up? D-Did I-I—ah, ah, ACHOO!—w-wake you?"
"N-No, I-I—ah, ah, ACHOO! Ah, ah, ACHOO!—w-was just h-having t-trouble—ah, ah, ACHOO!—b-breathing w-while I-I—ah, ah, ACHOO!—w-as s-sleeping, th-that's—ah, ah, ACHOO!—all…"
Asmodeus turned her head back to the television and moved over so Ange could sit next to her, but as she turned her head back to the witch while offering her a few tissues, she could see that Ange was in the same sick state as she was.
Ange graciously accepted the tissues, but before she could raise them to wipe her snot covered face, she sneezed into her free hand and brought it down to reveal her bloody nose amidst the snot on her face and the palm of her hand covered in snot and bits of mucus.
Ange looked at her hand in disgust and wiped it off with the tissues before accepting some more to wipe her face and blow her nose. Opening her eyes after she was done cleaning what snot and mucus she could get at, she noticed the garbage pail Asmodeus held out to her and dropped them in there.
Turning to look at Asmodeus, she closed her eyes again and laughed sheepishly while scratching the back of her neck. "I-I guess m-misery loves—ah, ah, ACHOO! Thank you—c-company, huh, eh heh heh…"
"Y-Yeah, heh heh…" Asmodeus agreed as she closed her own eyes and giggled too before she and Ange simultaneously went into a fit of sneezing in perfect sync.
"A-Anyway," Ange began to say, then sneezed again before she continued, "wh-what a-are w-we w-watching?"
"I-I—ah, ah, ACHOO!—d-don't know." Asmodeus sniffed as she shivered, unfolding the other half of the blanket so that she and Ange could be wrapped up in it together. "I-I t-think s-some late n-night n-news or—ah, ah, ACHOO!—s-something."
Ange sighed and then sneezed yet again. "W-Well, w-whatever i-it i-is, let's—ah, ah, ACHOO!—just h-hope i-it k-keeps us—ah, ah, ACHOO!—awake."
"Y-Yeah…" Asmodeus agreed, sneezing a few more times.
However, their hopes were soon dashed when they fell asleep an hour later, no longer having the energy needed to stay awake. Of course, given how they were having trouble breathing, they awoke ten to fifteen minutes later, gasping for air while they started to cough.
"H-Hey, A-Asmo…" Ange said before sneezing two more times.
Asmodeus sneezed too. "Y-yes?"
"D-Do you—ah, ah, ACHOO!—w-want t-to w-watch a—ah, ah, ACHOO!—m-movie?"
Asmodeus, despite not really feeling like watching a movie, sneezed again and nodded. "S-Sure, alright."
Standing up, Ange shuffled over to a few shelves with video tapes on them, picking a bunch out before shuffling back over to the couch. "Wh-Which one sh-should w-we—ah, ah, ACHOO!—w-watch?"
Asmodeus shrugged and sneezed. "I-It d-doesn't m-matter. W-Whichever—ah, ah, ACHOO!—one w-would d-do."
"Alright." Ange took a video out from one of the cases, sneezing several times more while shuffling back towards the television to change the settings on it so the VHS player could be used.
After putting it in, she shuffled over to a recliner next to the couch and turned to Asmodeus. "Y-You w-want t-to—ah, ah, ACHOO!—lay i-in th-this wh-while th-the—ah, ah, ACHOO!—m-movie's on?"
Asmodeus' eyes widened a little bit as she blushed slightly, sneezing once more before she spoke. "I-Isn't th-there only r-room f-for—ah, ah, ACHOO!—one p-person?"
Seeing the blush on Asmodeus' face, Ange couldn't help but giggle as she smiled. "N-Not i-if w-we—ah, ah, ACHOO!—u-um, c-cuddle under th-the b-blanket—ah, ah, ACHOO!—t-together. B-Besides, even th-though w-we're n-not related, I-I s-still—ah, ah, ACHOO!—th-think of you a-as m-my little s-sister."
"O-Oh, u-uh, eh heh heh…" Asmodeus laughed sheepishly, realizing that, out of all the Stakes, she was the only one who shared a sisterly bond with Ange. "S-Sure, I-I—ah, ah, ACHOO!—I-I'd love t-to."
And so, after grabbing a couple pillows for her and Ange to rest their heads against, Asmodeus stood up and shuffled over to the recliner. Sitting down on it, she moved over so that Ange could sit down too. As soon as they were seated, Ange reached down and pulled the lever on the recliner's side to raise the footrest up so that she and Asmodeus could get as comfortable as they possibly could. After that, they covered themselves with the blanket before they wrapped their arms around each other, cuddling together as they watched the movie…and continued to sneeze every so often.
"Aww, look, aren't they cute?" Mammon giggled as she teased Ange and Asmodeus.
"Stop making fun of them, Mammon. You can see that they're not in the mood to listen to you." Lucifer ordered her younger sister before she got into trouble like she always did.
"But just look at them Luci." Mammon cooed as she gently tugged on her older sister's hair, only to have her hands gently batted away. "They just look so sweet and adorable, I could just—" she said before she was cut off when she was hit in the face by the tissue box.
"S-Stop t-talking, M-Mammon." Ange said coldly, sneezing afterwards while lowering her arm after throwing the box at the Stake of Greed before she continued, "W-We d-don't w-want t-to—ah, ah, ACHOO!—hear you t-talk."
"Come on, Ange; I—" Mammon protested, but was cut off again by Asmodeus, who spoke just as coldly as Ange did.
"N-Not—ah, ah, ACHOO!—listening."
Mammon merely sighed in exasperation. "Aw, you're both no fun. Learn to have a sense of humor." She said before walking out into the hallway to get some breakfast from the kitchen.
Lucifer watched her go and then stepped towards Ange and Asmodeus to check on them. Placing her hand against each of their foreheads, she drew it away and looked at them critically. "You two feel pretty feverish. Those allergies must be pretty bad."
"T-Tell us s-something w-we—ah, ah, ACHOO!—d-don't know." Ange sounded tired as she spoke. "W-We c-couldn't g-get enough—ah, ah, ACHOO!—s-sleep last night."
"I can see one reason why that is." The Stake of Pride said, placing her hands on her hips as she directed her gaze over to the video tapes on the table with one sticking out of the VHS player.
"I-It w-wasn't th-the—ah, ah, ACHOO—m-movies…" Asmodeus sniffed and then sneezed again before she finished speaking. "W-We just had—ah, ah, ACHOO!—t-trouble b-breathing, th-that's all."
"I see…" Lucifer turned back and looked down at them with sympathy. "Is there anything I can get you both?"
"S-Some t-tea w-would be—ah, ah, ACHOO!—n-nice, p-please." Ange said as she and Asmodeus shivered while getting out of the recliner.
"You're coming in to eat with us?"
"N-No, w-we're just—ah, ah, ACHOO!—g-going t-to lie d-down i-in bed." Asmodeus replied, clutching the blanket closer to her to stay warm while Ange did the same.
"Alright, I'll bring it up. Where will you both be? Your rooms?"
"A-Asmo's r-room—ah, ah, ACHOO!"
"Okay, it'll be ready in about five minutes or so."
"Th-Thank you—ah, ah, ACHOO!—L-Luci." Asmodeus said as she and Ange shuffled out the door and up the stairs into the young Stake's room.
As soon as they were underneath the covers of Asmodeus' bed, they both turned to one another and smiled, giggling as they closed their eyes.
"W-Well, a-at least allergies d-do have a-a—ah, ah, ACHOO!—an advantage or t-two." Ange said as she put her arm around Asmodeus' shoulder and pulled her close.
"Th-They—ah, ah, ACHOO!—s-sure d-do." Asmodeus agreed while putting her own arm around Ange's shoulder to pull her close.
This is the second half of a suggestion I gave to Renahh Chen—now known as Suteki Renahh Desu—for Spring. She did the first half of it and uploaded it into her one-shot collection, Being Dysfunctional Has Never Been So Much Fun, entitling it 'A Picnic in the Park'. It's the second hundred thirty-fourth one-shot in the collection, in case anyone is wondering, hasn't read it, or got that far in the collection yet.
As for the other suggestion, which I said that I might do in the one-shot, 'I Can't Read' of my own one-shot collection, 'I Can't', I couldn't get to it this weekend, but I'll try to get to it or another suggestion next Sunday.
And speaking of my one-shot collection, I'm going to be doing something next Saturday, so I don't think I'll be able to write another one-shot for the collection then.
And before I forget, I've decided to keep these suggestions separate and not make them a collection.
Disclaimer: I don't own Umineko; it's owned by 007Expansion.