Baz is usually asleep when I leave the room for breakfast, so that’s not unusual. What is strange is that, for the last couple days, he’s fallen asleep before me and hasn’t snuck out to the Catacombs. Today, his nose is red and his eyes are a little bloodshot. He’s having trouble not falling asleep on his homework. Every so often, I’ll see him close his eyes and start to fall forward before jerking back upright.
He turns to me, and he doesn’t look good. His eyes are drooping, his skin is paler than usual, and he’s shivering a little. I’ve never really gotten sick, my magic’s taken care of that, so I don’t know what it feels like. I do know what it looks like. The kids at the orphanage get sick all the time, usually allergies or a cold, but occasionally something a bit worse.
“Can vampires get sick?” I ask him.
He glares at me. “No.” Then he sneezes so forcefully I’m surprised it didn’t send him flying. “Maybe.”
“Because you seem like you’re sick.”
Baz rolls his eyes. “No shit.” His voice is stuffy, like he can’t quite breathe properly. “Leave me alone. I’m busy.” He turns back to his homework, ignoring me.
Just because he’s my enemy doesn’t mean I don’t feel bad for him. He does look miserable. “Do you want some tea?”
“Sod off, Snow,” he replies before blowing his nose loudly.
Baz doesn’t show up to breakfast the next morning, but then again, he doesn’t eat much. I am surprised he didn’t at least grab a coffee, though.
It’s when he’s missing from football practice that I get worried. Baz loves football. He wouldn’t miss practice, not unless he was really sick. I leave my place in the stands (where I was definitely not trying to stalk him) and return to our room.
Baz is still sleeping. He’s under a gigantic pile of blankets, but he’s still shivering. His hair is matted, and beads of sweat roll down his face. I can’t help but think how contradictory it is to be both too hot and too cold at the same time. His mouth is open, and he complains about me being a mouth breather so I know this is because he can’t breathe any other way.
I fetch a glass of water, leave it on the table beside his bed, and sit down at my desk. I’m not leaving, (How could I leave Baz like this?) so I may as well do some homework. Penny would be proud of me for being so proactive. I’m lucky it’s a Saturday, so I’m not missing any classes because of this.
“Why are you here?” Baz just woke up, and his voice is scratchy and breaks in the most unexpected places.
I shrug. “It’s the right thing to do.”
“But we aren’t even friends.”
“Can you get me some tea? If you’re just going to stay here.” Baz croaks some time later.
I nod, then rush out of the room, across the lawn, and to the kitchen, where I pick up lots of tea as well as some crackers and snacks for myself. I don’t particularly want to make another trip there today. Back in the room, Baz eagerly accepts the tea, then seems torn on whether to drink it or simply hold it to warm his hands.
“Do you need anything else?” I ask softly.
He shakes his head, then grimaces. I know how difficult the next words must be for him; he hates that he is a vampire and more than that, he hates admitting weakness. “Blood. I need blood.”
“Will any kind of blood do?”
“No, Snow, you can’t-” He shakes his head violently before wincing like the action hurt him.
“I wasn’t volunteering.” I roll my eyes.
Baz lets out a wavering breath. I don’t know why he’s so relieved. If I had been offering, I would have been killed or turned, either of which would mean he won. Instead, he’s scared for me. Baz has to be the most confusing enemy anyone’s ever had.
When I return to the room, I bring several rats and one rabbit that I managed to spell into submission. Baz is sleeping fitfully, rolling around his bed and muttering something unintelligible under his breath. He wakes up when he smells the fresh blood, fangs immediately popping out. He must’ve been hungry.
Despite not drinking for days, Baz refuses to drain the animals until I leave the room. He’s always been self-conscious about eating in front of people, and this must be ten times worse. Barely five minutes later, I hear the window open, so I re-enter the room. Baz has thrown the animal carcasses out of the window, and they land in the moat with a loud splash. He’s gotten some of his color back, but he still looks pitiful. Despite being barely five steps from his bed, he is wearing a blanket as a cape in addition to his sweater to stay warm.
“I’m fine,” he says threateningly. Or, I assume it’s supposed to be threatening, but he looks like he’s been run over by a bus. He starts coughing immediately after speaking and I have to make sure he isn’t going to pass out before he makes it back to his bed.
“Absolutely,” I agree.
“Can we watch a movie?” He asks after a long pause.
I rummage around under my bed until I find Penny’s laptop, still signed into her Netflix account. She let me borrow it last weekend and I haven’t given it back yet. I select the first action movie I see, perch on the edge of Baz’s bed, and press play.
An hour later, the movie is still playing from the laptop’s position on the mattress next to my legs. I moved completely onto the bed at some point, ignoring the contagion I’m sure is all over the blankets. Baz fell asleep in the first twenty minutes of the movie and is now sleeping peacefully with his head in my lap. He’s smiling a little.
When I woke up this morning, this was not how I’d envisioned my day going- taking care of my sick roommate, who also happens to be my enemy. But would enemies have behaved like this? I don’t know what Baz and I are, but I don’t think it’s supposed to be enemies. We’re certainly not friends, not yet. But I think we could be.
But that’s a question for another time, one when Baz isn’t quietly snoring while the movie plays muffled explosion noises. Right now, I’m content to just sit here in this moment and not think.