Movie Night
by Judith Freudenthal
1999

Nick and Natalie were at the loft watching movies as it was their usual movie night. They were trying a marathon of six movies.

Nick figured Natalie would be the first to fall asleep.

Natalie was in the kitchen fixing herself some popcorn before the fourth movie. She was a little tired but was determined to make it through all six movies. She knew Nick thought she'd fall asleep before they were finished and was going to do her best to prove him wrong.

She returned to the couch and discovered him not only asleep but snoring. She'd never heard him snore before. It wasn't a loud snore. She nudged him, knowing she probably wouldn't be able to awaken him.

She didn't really want to watch the movies without him, so she sat in the chair near the couch, as he'd stretched out on the couch, and watched him. She saw her package of marshmallow bunnies on the table and reached for it.

As she bit into it a wicked gleam sparkled in her eyes. She took two bright yellow bunnies and approached Nick. She pondered how to accomplish her mission. Just as she was about to switch to plan b she noticed Nick twitch and two bulges formed in his upper lip.

"Nick?" She said, seeing if he'd be easily awoken. When he didn't stir she carefully approached and very gently pulled back his upper lip while her other hand impaled a bunny onto each fang.

"Fall asleep on me will you!" she muttered as she worked.

She was laughing as he slept undisturbed by the marshmallow bunnies stuck to his fangs.

She went upstairs to sleep in his bed, making sure to set the alarm clock for well before sunset as she didn't want to miss him waking up. She knew she might be in a bit of trouble, but it was worth it. At least she hoped it was worth it.

Several hours later the alarm woke her. She quickly hit the off button, not wanting to accidentally wake Nick. She headed downstairs and when she saw he was still asleep she made herself a quick cup of coffee.

She took a seat in the same overstuffed chair, sipped her coffee and waited for him to awaken.

A few minutes later she saw him awaken and had to stifle a giggle when he discovered something on his fangs. He bit down, swallowing the head of both bunnies. He headed for the bathroom mirror and saw two yellow bunny bodies firmly anchored. Pierced right through their midsections. He pulled them off before returning to the couch.

"Very funny. Don't you know how dangerous that was?"

"Yeah, but I couldn't resist. I tried to wake you but you were out cold."

"What did I do this time?" It hit him as soon as he'd asked the question. "Sorry. I didn't think I'd fall asleep. Did you watch the rest of the movies?"

"No. It's no fun to watch alone so I went to sleep."

"Did you do this before you went to sleep?"

"Yeah."

Nick sat on the couch his stomach suddenly hurting. Natalie noticed.

"Nick, what's wrong?" She hoped it wasn't anything serious.

"I don't think my system likes that much sugar, at least not first thing."

"Sorry. I didn't think you'd actually eat them. But I'm glad you did, even if it gave you a stomach ache." Natalie said as she ate one from the package.

"I bet you can't finish off all your bunnies." Nick said as he saw the half-eaten package of bunnies sitting next to two unopened ones.

"That much might make me sick. Also, have you ever seen me on a sugar high? Do you know what happens when I crash from one?"

Nick just grinned that grin that both melted her and made her want to slug him. It was a boyish grin combined with some mischievousness.

"What do I get if I do? Other than a probable stomach ache?" She asked considering the bet.

"How about I buy dinner for a week?"

"And?"

"And I'll drink your two next concoctions without complaint."

"Okay, you got a deal. If I get sick..."

"I'll take care of you."

She liked his unexpected offer.

"How about finishing our movies?"

"Okay."

He started the next movie while she worked on eating all the marshmallow bunnies.

By the time the movie was over Natalie had finished the bunnies, the last two were the hardest to get down.

Nick grinned at her. She had actually done it.

Natalie groaned as she doubled over, her stomach suddenly hurting. "I don't think I should've eaten those last half dozen."

Nick helped her lay down on the couch and stroked her hair. "What can I get you?"

Natalie just laid there, clutching her stomach. "Something for an upset stomach."

"I don't have anything like that. Sorry." He noticed her face paling and taking on a slightly green complexion.

"Outta my way," Natalie said as she bolted for the bathroom where her stomach relieved itself of all contents. Nick entered and held her hair out of the way.

After a few dry heaves, her stomach settled down enough for Nick to help her to the couch.

"I'm sorry. I never meant to make you this sick."

"It's partially my fault. I never should've agreed to the bet, especially on an empty stomach.. I think that's what made me sick."

"Can I get you anything?"

"There should be some ginger ale in the fridge. Maybe some Saltines in the cabinet."

"Okay. I guess you don't want to watch the last movie?"

"Actually that might help by getting my mind off my stomach."

Nick fetched her ginger ale and crackers. He handed them to her. She sipped at the ale while nibbling the crackers.

"I haven't been that sick since I was a kid." At his inquiring tone she reluctantly continued. "I wanted to eat all my Easter candy at once. Mom wouldn't let me. She told me it would make me sick. Of course, being five years old, I didn't listen. I snuck off with my basket and pigged out until I was sick. Mom was mad but she didn't punish me. She knew I'd punished myself enough. She told me that she'd done the same thing when she was that age."

"I made myself sick as a kid, once. My sister dared me to eat this huge pie all by myself. I did and was about as sick as you were."

Nick started the movie. He gently caressed Natalie hair as she leaned against him, sipping her ginger ale and nibbling on her crackers.

About half way into the movie she wanted something more so Nick stopped the tape and fixed her whatever she wanted, that didn't require cooking. She settled for popcorn.

She made him try the popcorn, which he did. He would've been surprised if she hadn't made him try it.

That night they had to go into work. Nick walked Natalie into her office. No sooner had she sat down at her desk when Grace entered with a box of yellow marshmallow bunnies.

"Anyone want one of these?" Grace noticed both of her friends pale.

"I'll pass," Nick said, not wanting another stomach ache. He saw Grace's curiosity. "I tried some earlier and they gave me a stomach ache."

"Grace, please get those out of my sight, unless you want to see me get sick."

Grace quickly took them out of the room, but returned.

"Okay, what happened? You're not..."

"No. Since I was the one who made Nick try the bunnies, he dared me to eat two and a half packages of them. I stupidly agreed to do so. I should never have done so on an empty stomach."

"Nick, what did you promise her to get her to make herself sick?"

"Dinner for a week and that I'd take care of her if it made her sick."

Grace looked at them with a disbelieving expression.

"Okay, I also promised to try her next two concoctions without complaint." Nick said, knowing Grace knew Natalie kept trying to find foods he could eat, believing he had some sort of a rare disorder which prevented him from eating most foods.

"You don't know how hard it is to get him to take more than a sip or two of anything. He hates to try my latest creation."

"How sick did you get?"

"A stomach ache, then I threw up."

"I held her hair out of her way and helped her back to the couch, before getting her whatever she asked for to help settle her stomach. I stayed with her, comforting her until she felt better."

"If you hadn't..." Grace said a warning look in her eyes, and in her tone.

"What started all this?"

"He fell asleep during our movie marathon."

That's suitable grounds for revenge."

The end

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