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It was a tragedy to be afflicted by something so banal as ‘the common cold’. Thomas couldn’t stand being just cooped up in bed all day when the only thing to keep him company was his misery. He had never been able to tolerate the injustice of having to stay inside while others who were healthy were able to go out and enjoy the fresh air.

Thomas groaned as another painful sneeze overtook him. His head throbbed between his eyes every time he sneezed since his sinus’ were blocked so much. If that wasn’t bad enough, his throat ached from having coughed so much over the past few days. No amount of tea or lozenges was helping that. To make matters even more dismal, his supply of tissues was running perilously low.

He was moping in bed, laying down and listening barely to the TV as it played in the background. He had a headache, caused from all the pressure against his skull. He felt hot and sweaty but didn’t have the energy to get up and shower; besides, if he moved from underneath his blanket, then he would get the chills and have to bundle up again anyway. Yet he was still sweating, something he noticed every time he moved and his shirt stuck a little bit more to his skin and the sheets beneath him grew damp from perspiration. He was gross and he knew it.

Lost somewhere in the delirium of the feverish haze is where Bastian found him a few hours into the afternoon. He had stopped by on his way home from training to check up on his friend.

Bastian smiled a little when he saw his friend’s head barely peeking out from underneath the duvet. Thomas had pulled it up so far it was covering most of his head, while at the same time he had kicked it off from his legs and it was twisted around his body.

Bastian looked around the room and shook his head at how messy it was; not that he blamed Thomas for his lack of housekeeping. If he was sick, he wouldn’t bother either.

As quietly as he could, Bastian carefully cleaned up the small things like the piles of used tissues and the empty wrappers for all the throat lozenges Thomas had used up thus far. After he was done, Bastian moved over and lightly rested his hand on Thomas’ forehead. It still burned, although this time it seemed a little less hot than yesterday had been. Good.

Bastian quietly left the room and went to fix some more tea and some soup for him. He had also noticed that the box of tissues in Thomas’ room was getting very close to being empty. Making a mental note to return with a fresh box, Bastian busied himself downstairs.

Thomas woke when he heard someone in his room. His head felt like an iron weight was sitting on top of everything, he was so sore. He was seriously considering calling someone to come kill him to save him from this affliction. That’s when he saw Bastian carrying a tray loaded with things. Bastian smiled when he saw him and Thomas tried to reply, but it was probably more of a grimace.

“More tissues.” Bastian said, throwing the box on the bed next to the one that Thomas had already opened. Thomas groaned out a reply. “I brought you soup, and some tea.”

Thomas sniffled hard and shifted to sit up a little, inwardly wincing when he felt his shirt sticking to him again. He really just needed a new head and chest that could handle breathing like a normal human being again instead of a mucus-retaining vessel of a disgusting wretch.

Bastian, of course, helped him sit up and didn’t seem to notice how gross he was. Thomas was grateful, but he didn’t know how Basti couldn’t notice. He was incredibly and thoroughly unhappy with his current state.

The blonde arranged the pillows behind him and took the tray that he had had on the bedside table and moved it over into Thomas’ lap. Sounding incredibly stuffy, Thomas mumbled a thank you and tried to breathe to no avail.

He ate a little and then leaned into Bastian’s body. At least he was cool and, had he had the ability, Thomas was sure he smelled good also. Bastian kept his arm around him and held him close.

“I’m tired of being sick.” Thomas muttered after finishing as much of the soup as he could eat. “And you should go.”

“I know. And why?” Bastian asked with a raised eyebrow, moving the tray out of the way so it wouldn’t cause a mess. “Do you want me to?”

Thomas almost replied yes because he didn’t want to continue to be filthy in Basti’s presence. However, that’s not the reply that came out.

“I don’t want you sick too.” That was also a very good point.

Bastian smiled slightly. “I don’t mind. Besides, I know if I do get sick, you’ll take care of me.”

Well, he was right. Thomas agreed mentally and sighed. He wanted a shower, he wanted to breathe. He wanted to be playing football again. Before he could form another thought of things he wanted, a coughing fit overtook him and Bastian was up again before Thomas could catch his breath. He coughed very hard for a few moments and then Bastian was back with a glass of cool water. Thomas sipped it slowly and looked gratefully at Basti.

“I love you.” He told Bastian honestly.

Bastian smiled a mega-watt smile. “Likewise, and that’s why I’m staying even when you look and smell revolting.”

Thomas rolled his eyes as he slumped back into the bed. “Give me a sponge bath later.”

Bastian laughed as he went to grab a fresh change for the sheets. “That can be arranged.”

Thomas closed his eyes and settled into the pillows. With someone like Bastian around to wait on him, being sick wasn’t that bad after all.