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Every Other World

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“I am not sick.” Patroclus informed Achilles. It was the loudest that Achilles had ever heard his roommate speak, and it was probably the most words he had ever heard his roommate speak aside from their daily “good morning”, “good night”, and “good luck today” .

“I don't get sick.” Patroclus’ second statement was punctuated by a purposeful yet involuntary sniff.

“Everyone gets sick,” Achilles frowned then pointed to Patroclus’ bed. “Please, please, lay back down and rest. I'll get your work from your classes for you so you don’t miss anything.”

“Thank you, but no.” He declined, his lips pulled tight, and his voice sounding strong in his resolve even despite how obviously congested and stuffed up he was. Achilles made a mental note to not get in Patroclus’ way on anything any time soon, unless, of course, it was for his own good. Like today. 

"I am perfectly-” The brunette's sentence was interrupted by a loud, almost comical, sneeze.

“Bless you,” Achilles rolled his eyes and offered him a the pack of tissue he kept on him at all times.

“Thank you,” Patroclus took it, not making eye contact as he wiped his nose. Achilles watched and wondered how he had never managed to notice was a nice nose Patroclus had. Nice lips too. Has he always had those freckles?

“But I'm not sick. It’s just allergies.” Patroclus said when he finished, sniffing again despite himself.

“What are you even allergic to?” Achilles asked, and moved to stand between Patroclus and their dorm’s door when it looked like his roommate was going to make a move towards it. There was no way Achilles was letting his roommate go to class in this state: the guy looked like he was two seconds from passing out.

“I don't know some kind of pollen or something?” His voice sounded as unassured as the statement made the blonde feel; Achilles even noticed that it had raised ever so slightly at the end of his statement, making it sound like more of a question.

“It's autumn!” tanned, toned arms waved about dramatically. Achilles secretly wondered if his roommate was always this bullheaded, or if this side of him just came out when he was forced to go against someone as stubborn as Achilles.

Brown eyes squinted in frustration, the freckles around them creasing ever so slightly as they did. Achilles almost wanted to groan in his own frustration -- he was finding Patroclus to be more and more endearing by the moment.

“Why do you even care, Achilles?”

“Because you're my roommate.” And I think I might like you. He wanted to add, but thought better of it. Instead he just focused on keeping his voice as even as possible.

Patroclus just rolled his eyes at the explanation.  

“Well, look, thanks for your concern but-” Patroclus had made another move towards the door, even despite Achilles’ obvious attempt at blocking it, but just as he started moving he stopped. His hand was quickly pressed against his mouth, and his owl-like eyes widened in shock.

Achilles instantly understood what was happening, and fought to keep down a sympathy gag.  

“Shit wait hold on!” He practically yelled, already on the other side of the room thanks his signature quick speed. With Achilles now distracted and on the other side of the room, Patroclus grabbed his backpack and darted for the door.

“Found it!” Achilles announced, producing a waste bin that had been all but buried under a pile of garbage, dirty laundry, and various textbooks. He turned around just in time to see his roommate halfway out the door. Achilles, once again, instantly understood what had just happened. “You ass!”

“Thanks and sorry, but I can't miss today. See you after dinner!” Patroclus called over his shoulder as he left, pressing the tissue Achilles had given him to his nose as he did.

Achilles couldn’t help but smile as he watched Patroclus disappear out the door and down the adjacent hallway. Had it been anyone other than Patroclus that had done what he had just done, Achilles would have been unbelievably pissed off that someone would refuse his offer and even go as far as to take advantage of his kindness. But instead of anger, all he felt was intrigue mixed with fondness.

“Alright, Patty-cakes. If that's the game you want to play,” he said to no one and opened the top drawer on his nightstand. Still smiling, he pulled another pack of tissues, a bottle of hand sanitizer, and a bottle of vitamin C tablets. “You're on.”