Anti knew something was wrong. Something was horribly off with Jack. It was so bad that it was affecting Anti, and he didn’t like it one bit. The demon decided to check it out. He materialized in front of his host, looked him up and down, and told him to go to the hospital.
“What? I’m fine; I don’t need to go to the hospital.” Jack scoffed, annoyed.
“You’re not fine. Look at your arm!” Anti pointed to the red streaks starting at his palm and stopping a few inches below his elbow.
“Oh, yeah, I got stung by a bee. It’ll go away in a few days.” Jack shrugged. “It’s certainly nothing to go to the hospital over.”
“Then make an appointment with your doctor! That looks really bad.” Anti protested, glitching. Wow, okay. Anti only glitched when feeling strong emotion, and that means he was actually really worried.
“It’s just irritated from the sting, calm down. I’ll make an appointment, okay? I need one anyway.” Jack reassured him. “But when they see it and tell me it’s fine, I’m going to rub it in your face.”
“Just get it checked out. Please.” The word felt weird to say, since Anti wasn’t exactly polite. He took what he wanted without asking, so ‘please’ wasn’t really part of his vocabulary. Still, if it got the message across, it was worth it. That sting was not looking good.
Two days later, and Anti still felt awful. He decided to pop out and take a look, see what Jack’s doctor had said. The demon materialized in their bedroom and-. Oh wow.
“You look like shit. What did the doctor say?” Anti asked.
“I didn’t go to the doctor yet. You can’t just expect them to have an opening for you, you’ve got to book it a few weeks out.” Jack explained.
“So when is your appointment? You need to get that looked at.”
The red streaks had progressed farther up his arm, now past his elbow and reaching mid-bicep. His hand was bright red and swollen up like a balloon.
“My appointment’s in four weeks.”
“We’re going to the ER. Right. Now.”
“We don’t need to go to the emergency room.” Jack told him, clearly not understanding the severity of the situation.
“Yes we do! That’s infected. If you don’t get it treated, you’re going to die.”
“Oh come on. That’s a little dramatic, don’t you think?” Jack rolled his eyes.
“No, I don’t think that!” Anti shouted, feeling the air around him pop with electricity.
“Woah, calm down. I think we need to talk. Let’s go sit down.”
“I don’t want to talk.” The demon pouted, but he let Jack lead him to the living room. He made no move to sit on the couch, so they stood.
“Anti, you do not need to be this worried. The human body has a funny way of sorting itself out. How about this? If the red lines are higher tomorrow, I’ll go to the ER. If they’re not, you won’t bug me about it. Sound good?”
Anti bit his lip, then nodded, glitching slightly.
“It’s sweet that you’re worried about me, but there’s really nothing to worry about. I’m fine, I promise.” Jack assured him. He was shocked when Anti flew into his arms, hugging him tightly for a moment before vanishing off to whatever realm he went to when he wasn’t bothering Jack. That worried the human. Anti had never hugged him, or expressed anything but disgust towards hugs before. He would be fine though; the demon was just worried, and if the lines got worse, he’d go to the hospital. Everything was fine.
The next day, Jack woke up cuddling with Anti. He definitely hadn’t gone to bed cuddling with Anti, but here they were. The demon must really be worried if he was this clingy...
Jack checked his arm, pleased to see that the lines hadn’t climbed any higher, and the swelling was down. His hand looked completely normal and, except for the faded lines streaking up his arm, he was completely fine. Now to address the real problem at hand, which was untangling himself from Anti without waking the demon up. Unfortunately, his attempts were not successful, and his counterpart woke briefly to pull him back down.
“Anti, we need to get up. I have to pee.” Jack whispered.
“How’s your arm?” The demon asked, forcing his eyes open.
“It’s better, see?” Jack showed him and he examined it with rigor. “I’m fine, just like I said, so you can let go and I can go to the bathroom.”
Anti nodded, satisfied, and let him leave. They met back up in the kitchen, when Jack walked in to see Anti cooking breakfast.
“What’s all this?” He asked, dumbfounded.
“I’m just glad you’re okay.” Anti mumbled.
“Um, thank you, that looks delicious.” Jack laughed, shocked. What was happening?
“Yeah, well don’t get used to it.” He grumbled, scraping some eggs onto a plate.
“I’m sorry I scared you.” Jack admitted after a moment.
“It’s hardly your fault you got stung by a bee.”
“I know, but I could’ve done more to assure you I’m okay. We could’ve gone to the hospital, like you wanted, better safe than sorry. I could’ve at least googled it and proven that it was just a mild allergic reaction, which I’m guessing it was. There was more I could’ve done to prove that I wasn’t going to die in my sleep, so you wouldn’t have had to worry so much.” Jack sighed.
“Well I shouldn’t have overreacted like that. It just felt weird. Your ailments don’t usually effect me, so when this one did, I panicked.”
“This affected you?” Jack asked.
“Yeah, not a lot, but I could tell something was wrong. Maybe that’s just what happens when you get a bee sting now. Maybe you developed an allergy.”
“It’s a little weird that you felt this...”
“Well, it’s going away now, isn’t it?” Anti looked at his arm again, and there was no change since this morning.
“Yeah, you’re right. Thanks for making breakfast.” Jack smiled.
“You’re welcome.” Anti said, then handed Jack a plate of food and started putting one together for himself.
“I thought you didn’t need to eat.”
“I don’t, but that doesn’t mean I can’t. I like bacon, sue me.”
That made Jack laugh, and Anti seemed hellbent on hearing that laugh again because Jack’s sides ached by the end of the best meal he’d had in a long time. It was nice, domestic almost. Jack was going to miss this, and he caught himself wishing they ate together every day.
Now that Anti was convinced Jack wasn’t going to die, he backed off a bit. He spent closer to the usual amount of time in his realm, though he was still present more than normal. He popped up while Jack was reading a book, so Jack read out loud to him. He popped up again for lunch, though he didn’t stay for the whole meal. Then he popped up one last time at the end of the day, and climbed into bed with Jack. The human would admit that it was far too nice falling asleep in his arms.
Jack felt awful when he woke up. It felt like all the organs in his body had been taken out and replaced with lead. He could barely lift his hand to turn on his bedside lamp, and when the light flicked on, he screamed. Anti shot up, looking around the room. His eyes landed on Jack’s hand, which was twice as swollen as it had been on day one. The red streaks had made it all the way up his arm, and were creeping across his chest towards his heart.
“Hospital.” Anti said, eye glowing green.
Jack had now idea how he’d gotten to the hospital, because he sure as hell didn’t drive, but there he was, in a hospital bed. He looked around and noted an IV in his wrist that he was grateful he did not have to see inserted, and the hand with the bee sting had been bandaged up excessively. His throat burned, and he desperately needed a drink, but other than that, he felt pretty decent. He pressed the call button and a nurse was there in record time. She happily brought Jack a glass of water and calmly explained that he’d had a mild allergic reaction to the sting, and the wound had been infected shortly after. The swelling was from the reaction, and the red lines were from the serious, life threatening infection he’d managed to get. If he hadn’t come in when he did, he might not be alive right now, she told him.
“How did I get here?” Jack asked.
“You don’t remember? Well, you were pretty out of it. You drove here, parked, walked in, and then collapsed.”
He nodded. Anti must’ve taken control of his body and driven here. The nurse gave him some pain killers and left. Anti appeared as soon as she shut the door.
“Hey.” Jack forced a smile. “Guess you were right about the sting.”
“How are you feeling?” Anti asked, ignoring his remark.
“Better. A little woozy, but I think that’s just the meds I’m on.”
“You almost died.”
“I know, but I’m okay now. I’m sorr-.”
“Don’t apologize. Please. You don’t have to be sorry for things that aren’t your fault.” Anti told him.
“I still feel bad for scaring you, and then almost dying.”
“You’re sorry you almost died?” Anti raised an eyebrow.
“Shut up.” Jack laughed. “I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you, because if I did, I wouldn’t have almost died in the first place.”
“Well I forgive you for being a dumbass.”
That made Jack laugh again, and Anti cracked a smile.
“Thanks for driving me here.”
“I guess it’s my turn to make breakfast, when we get home.” Jack smiled.
“I’m glad you’re not dead.” Anti said, moving to sit on the hospital bed.
“Thanks, I think.”
“Can you come home soon?” Anti asked.
“I’m guessing they’ll keep me overnight, but it shouldn’t be a lot longer than that. Why?”
“I-. I like cuddling with you.” He admitted, blushing and glitching a bit. It ran down his body, and Jack felt a bit of the electricity. It made him shiver.
“Well you can cuddle with me now.” He offered, sliding over and rolling onto his side so Anti could fit too. He climbed into bed with minimal hesitation, slipping under the thin hospital sheets and burying his face in Jack’s chest. Neither said anything for a long time. They lay there in a comfortable silence until Anti finally broke it.
“I thought you were dead.” He said softly. “I was scared, and I couldn’t find a pulse at first... I really thought you were dead, I mean, you just collapsed.”
“I’m okay, I promise.” Jack told him, stroking his hair.
“I couldn’t feel you anymore, for a minute. I couldn’t feel my connection to you.” He shifted closer, grabbing on to Jack’s shirt.
“Hey, you’re okay. Both of us are fine. I’m still alive, and we’re both still connected. If it makes you feel any better, I’ll try not to almost die again.” Jack smiled. He kissed the top of Anti’s head, holding him a little tighter.
“If you ever die, I’ll kill you.” The demon warned.
“I’ll try not to die until I can at least pay you back for the lovely breakfast you made me a few days ago.”
“You’re not cooking anything until you’re better, so get ready for lot more breakfasts like that one.” Anti warned.
“Jokes on you, I‘m always ready for bacon.” Jack teased. He felt Anti glitch in his arms. It made his skin tingle, and his hands nearly passed through the demon before he became solid again.
“Why do you glitch like that anyway?” Jack asked. “It seems to happen when you feel really strong emotions.”
“Maybe it’s a defense mechanism to purge gross emotions.”
“I’m serious, why do you glitch?”
“I’ll tell you, but you have to promise not to breathe a word of it to anyone else, okay?” Anti said, suddenly very serious.
“Okay, I promise.”
“Here’s the secret,” he said, voice low and quiet. “I have no fucking idea.”
“Asshole.” Jack laughed.
“You need to go to sleep before the nurse comes in to see why you’re insulting yourself. She won’t be able to see or hear me in this form, so you’re on your own when they ship you off to the looney bin.”
“Oh no, you’re stuck with me no matter what. We share a body for the most part. You’re coming too.” Jack teased.
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.”