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Any Time

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Zach’s roommate was sick.

It had started as just a cold earlier that week, but by now it had evolved to include a raspy cough.

Zach knew that Justin had bronchitis, but the stubborn thing wouldn’t admit that he was that sick, and thus kept going to class and to work.

They had a two bedroom apartment, and Zach could hear Justin coughing even when the dark haired man was in the living room and Zach was in his bedroom at the complete opposite end of the apartment.

But today had apparently been the worst as a very grumpy Justin had come back twenty minutes after he’d left for work and explained that they’d sent him home.

And he really did look and sound awful, all pale and raspy-voiced.

“Told you that you should’ve just called in,” Zach said simply from the couch where he was doing some note-taking. “You should go to the doctor.”

“I don’t need to,” Justin said stubbornly. “I’m not that sick; everyone’s overreacting.”

“Well, if you have the day off now, you might as well rest, huh?” Justin huffed softly and stifled a cough with his hand.

“And by rest, you mean work on the absurd amount of homework that I have, right?”

“No, I mean go rest. Take some medicine and go take a nap.” Justin opened his mouth as if to protest, but dissolved into a fit of hoarse coughing instead. When he looked up, Zach was looking at him in a solemn “I-Told-You-So” manner.

“Okay fine fine, I’ll go lay down…” Justin grumbled.

“Cough medicine’s in the bathroom cabinet!” Zach called sweetly after his roommate’s retreating back. The only response he got was a grumpy noise and the blond smiled to himself, going back to his homework, satisfied that Justin was going to get some much needed rest.

However, not even ten minutes later, Zach started to hear coughing from Justin’s room. The blond rolled his eyes and abandoned his homework in favor of going to the kitchen to make Justin some soup and tea. The poor guy sounded like he needed it and besides, any excuse for Zach to procrastinate was fine with him.

Zach whipped up some chicken noodle soup and some of Justin’s favorite kind of tea, and went to go check on him.

“Knock knock.” The blond nudged Justin’s door open with his hip and found the dark haired man at his desk, obviously trying to do homework. “Didn’t I tell you to go rest ?”

“I am resting,” Justin said irritably.

“Looks like homework to me.” Zach stepped closer to the desk and Justin’s head came up.

“You made soup?”

“Figured you might need it.”

“You made soup for me ?”

“Don’t sound so surprised,” Zach grouched. “Aren’t I allowed to do nice things for you?”

“You never do normally…”

“Oh shut up, yes I do. And you can have this, but on one condition.”

“Which is?”

“You gotta get in bed, rest, and let me take care of you.” Zach grinned when Justin rolled his eyes. “Oh c’mon it’s not that bad. You’d think I’d just asked you drink bleach or something. It’s not gonna kill you to take a day or so off.”

“It might…” Justin muttered, but he let himself be herded to bed anyways.

After which, Zach perched himself next to his roommate and made sure he ate his soup.

“You’re gonna get yourself sick.”

“Worth it to be able to baby you.”

“Thanks mom,” Justin said tiredly and Zach reached over to stroke a hand through dark curls and smiled.

“Any time…”