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Let Me Care For You

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Win, Dean and Pruk had a meeting after training and before Win had a chance to shower and come back to change. Everyone on the team should have left by now, but when Win walked into the locker room from the shower, he spotted Team laying on one of the benches, already fully dressed. One arm was slung over his eyes, the other hanging limply off the side of the bench.

“Hey, Team. What are you still doing here?”

Team groaned in response and lowered his arm to see Win. “Hia...” he whined. “I’m tired.”

Win rolled his eyes, “Practice wasn’t that hard today, why are you so tired?” He began pulling clothes out of his locker.

Team pushed himself up, dropping his legs to the floor so that he was now straddling the bench and rested his arms on his knees. “Just tired lately...” 

That response caught Win’s attention. He turned back to look at Team, taking a closer look at his face. Sure enough, the usually silly and energetic freshman looked run down. Thinking back, Team actually was rather sluggish in practice today, too. His times were slower than usual. “Do you have a lot of school work?”

“Exams...” Team shrugged. 

“Are you stressed out?” 

“Kinda...” 

“Come over tonight, I’ll help you with English some more.” Win moved closer and ruffled Team’s hair.

“Okay, hia,” Team nodded weakly.

Win was worried now, and pursed his lips together. He reached for one of Team’s arms and tugged him to stand. “Get up, go get some food. Meet me at my dorm in an hour.”

Team let himself be pulled to his feet and sighed as he agreed, then trudged out of the locker room. Win watched him go and frowned. He quickly got dressed, let Dean know he was leaving, then made his way out of the building. Win decided he would do the same thing he suggested Team do, and grab some food before heading back to his dorm. He actually bought more than he could eat and took it all back to his dorm, along with a couple bags of original flavor potato chips. Couldn’t hurt to have a snack for Team during their study session.

 

A knock came from the door a little after Win finished eating. Opening the door, Win saw Team, looking just slightly more awake than earlier. “You ate?”

“Uhh,” Team nodded, then walked in once Win stepped aside to make room. They both made their way over to the bed, which is where their usual tutoring sessions took place. Opening up their textbooks and notes, Win started the session. Team had actually made good progress over the course of their sessions together. Win had gotten used to finding ways to teach students who struggled to pick up English in the past and slowly, but surely, Team was getting it.

While they studied, Win took time to study Team’s face. Apart from the usual brightness being gone, he noticed that there were bags under his eyes. His eyes were also redder than usual, too. Concern started to fill Win’s heart for the younger man. They had been close ever since the training trip the swim team took at the start of the year, but Team didn’t really talk to Win about what was going on in his life. Win would make a point to try and figure out what was going on, however he could.

An hour into studying, Team had shifted to laying down while reading his notes. Win was focused on reading something for one of his own classes until he heard quiet snores coming from Team’s direction. Glancing over, he saw that Team had fallen asleep, mouth open, moments away from drooling on his notes. Win laughed quietly to himself and leaned over, gently pulling the notebook away from Team, closing it up and setting it aside. If Team was so tired, Win didn’t mind him getting sleep now. 

Win settled in, leaning against the headboard of the bed and carried on reading while Team slept soundly beside him. That didn’t last, however. Team didn’t wake, but he did start jerking in his sleep. His brows were furrowed, his jaw clenched and his breathing quickened. Win watched as his fists clenched in the sheets beneath his hands and then Team started whimpering in his sleep. He was having a nightmare. Quickly moving to his side, Win set a hand on Team’s shoulder, squeezing it and speaking softly to him.

“Team... Team, it’s okay... shh, it’s alright. It’s just a bad dream. You’re okay, you’re safe.” He rubbed Team’s arm and back, trying to comfort him.

Team reached out in his sleep, grabbing onto Win desperately. He muttered in his sleep, “Hia.... Hia.” The tone of his voice was small, scared, begging for help. It tugged at Win’s heart. 

“I’m right here, I’m right here, shh.” Win laid down beside Team and pulled him into his arms, hugging him tightly. Team was shivering, his skin cold to the touch. Was the AC up that high? Win was always so warm that he hadn’t even noticed. He pulled Team to his chest and rubbed the younger man’s back, comforting. Eventually, Team settled in his arms and the tension started to seep away. Team’s fists loosened, his face relaxed, his breathing evened out. He buried his head against Win’s neck and his body slowly warmed. 

The whole while, Win kept speaking to him, calming him down. He kept running his hand over Team’s back, combed fingers through his hair, soothed him as best he could. Maybe this was why Team was so tired lately? Was he having nightmares often? Every night? Win couldn’t imagine how hard it must be to sleep if he was woken by nightmares regularly. Resolving to help Team get some much needed sleep, Win settled there, intending to stay right where he was until Team woke up on his own.

 

As it turned out, Team slept all night long. Win woke early the next morning, Team still snuggled in his arms. They had both shifted in their sleep a little, Win was laying on his back, head on a pillow, and Team was laying on top of him, head on Win’s shoulder, an arm slung across Win’s chest. Both of Win’s arms were still wrapped around Team’s body, one hand resting on the back of Team’s head. It was astoundingly comfortable, Team’s weight against him, their bodies seeming to fit perfectly together. Win found himself thinking he wouldn’t mind getting used to this. He began running his fingers through Team’s hair gently, but otherwise was content to just stay where he was until Team woke up.

Nearly an hour later, Team began to stir. He yawned first, then started to stretch. That was when he seemed to notice that there wasn’t a pillow directly beneath his head, but a living, breathing person. Team stilled, then slowly lifted his head to see where he was and what was going on. 

He was greeted with Win’s smiling face, “Good morning.”

Team blinked, then jerked back, sitting up awkwardly. “Uh-- Wha-- Huh?” He looked around, then down at himself and Win. They were both fully dressed, wearing the same clothes they had on while studying. Win wasn’t even in pajamas. 

“You fell asleep,” Win explained.

“Why didn’t you wake me??” Team asked, incredulous.

“It seemed like you really needed the sleep,” Win shrugged, his tone casual, as if nothing strange was going on.

Team rubbed his eyes, collecting his thoughts. They had woken up cuddled together. He slept straight through the night without waking. He was actually fairly well rested and woke up on his own. He slept with Win. “Uhh... I should... go.”

“Do you want breakfast?” Win asked.

“Breakfast?” Team’s brows drew together as he looked back at Win. Then he looked around for his phone. “Uh... Pharm usually brings me breakfast.”

“Okay.” Win just nodded, still just sitting in bed, watching Team.

“I’m gonna... uh... go back to my room now.” Team tried to get out of the bed, tripping a little on the blanket as he went. He gathered up his belongings and shoved them into his bookbag. “Thanks-- Thanks for tutoring.”

“Any time.” Win smiled warmly, then got up when Team headed for the door. “See you at practice?” 

“Yeah, uh... Yes,” He waved and reached for the door.

“Wait.” Team paused and looked back at Win, who stepped away, grabbed a bag of potato chips, then handed it over to Team. “I got these for you last night. You can have it for a snack later.” 

Team blinked at the bag, looked up at Win’s face, then back down to the bag. His expression softened, though he remained confused. Taking the bag slowly, he said, “Th-thanks, hia... See you later.” 

“Study hard today,” Win smiled his usual disarming smile, then watched Team walk out the door. There was a long moment between the sound of the door closing and the sound of Team’s receding footsteps. 

Win turned around, looking back at his room, at the bed that they just shared so platonically. He had slept with people before, but not quite like that... And Win found himself hoping that there would be another time.