“You need to wake up because I can’t do this without you.”
Dmitri Razumihin was sitting in front of the couch where his best friend, Rodion Raskolnikov, had been fading in and out of consciousness for days. Days. Razumihin has spent days at this idiot’s side, waiting for him to open his bleary eyes and mutter something about a damn sock and complain a little bit and get paranoid and pass out again. Dmitri’s head sank and rested on the cushions of the ancient couch.
But when he looked up, Raskolnikov’s handsome features were still pulled together in a nightmare. He’d been like this for too long. Everyone gets sick, but no one gets deliriously, feverishly, out-of-your-mind, fainting-spells-for-half-a-week sick. Raskolnikov’s restless sleeping and frantic chattering was weighing on Razumihin’s mind. He has to get better, right? He can’t just stay this way, right? He’s gonna get better, right? He has to.
What was Razumihin going to do without his best friend? He’d only just figured out he loved him.
'You’re not supposed to. It isn’t right, at all, in the slightest, it just isn’t done. There has to be something wrong with you. You aren’t supposed to fall for other men. Maybe you’re getting sick, too. Maybe you aren’t feeling what you think you are,' Razumihin’s mind would lie to him. 'It’s not real. It had better not be.' He was completely aware of what could happen to him for this. It wasn’t right. It was also something he couldn’t help. And watching helplessly as the man he felt that forbidden, dangerous love for never showed signs of healing despite his efforts was breaking his heart.
“Rodya, come on…” Razumihin whispered, pleading with Raskolnikov as he reached out to stroke the unconscious man’s jet-black hair. Razumihin sighed. Raskolnikov would be beautiful asleep, if he weren’t always harassed by his dreams. So often during the nights and days he was out he’d twitch, shudder, his dark eyes shut and his eyebrows drawn together, mumbling of a ghost named Alyona. Razumihin would cover him with a blanket and whisper comforting words, knowing full well he couldn’t really hear him, yet feeling a little accomplished when Raskolnikov stopped stirring. Razumihin yawned. Caring for someone sick was tiring, especially if that someone was Raskolnikov.
He woke up with his body still leaning on that same couch, head on the beaten cushions, but Raskolnikov was gone. Razumihin’s hazel eyes shot open and he immediately forgot his drowsiness, overcome by panic. No, no no no, this is bad, very, very bad. That idiot! He could be anywhere on the streets, wandering and talking to himself as usual. But as Razumihin stood to panic easier, his back bumped into something, and turned to see Raskolnikov glaring up at him. Razumihin sighed.
"Ah, Rodya! Awake, I see.”
“Why…are you in my flat.”
'Wow, so he really doesn’t remember anything. Well, if he’s being cold, he’s feeling more like himself', Razumihin thought.
“You’ve been sick for a long time, my friend. Come, sit down, please, you look weary.”
“That doesn’t…really explain why you’re in…in my flat,” Raskolnikov said, and Razumihin noticed for the first time just how dark the circles under his eyes were.
“I’ve been watching over you.–Taking care of you, I mean,” Razumihin caught himself.
“…Right…That’s…very kind. I suppose…I should thank you,” Raskolnikov said, looking through Razumihin in a distracted manner. He seemed spacey and confused.
“Rodya, please, come sit first,” Razumihin said, concerned. “You’ve been blacking out a lot lately, I’m worried you’re still light-headed.”
“I’m…fine,” Raskolnikov insisted, in the way all people that aren’t fine do. “Just tired. And… surprised to see you. Thought… you might…No, I don’t deserve this…”
“Don’t deserve it? Of course you do! Don’t you understand? I’m here because I care about you.”
“No… please, you have to leave… I don’t deserve this…I don’t need this, you have to leave,” Raskolnikov rambled. Razumihin couldn’t help but feel hurt.
“I can’t leave you while you’re still ill, Rodya, It’s–Rodya!”
Raskolnikov stumbled and had started to fall, Razumihin barely managing to catch him before he collapsed.
“No..I’m fine,” Raskolnikov tried as Razumihin guided him back to the couch.
“No, you’re not fine. Lie down,” he said stubbornly and put Raskolnikov down, propping his head up against the arm of the couch, sitting in front of it as he had spent the last several days doing. Raskolnikov turned towards him.
“You… shouldn’t be taking care… of me. I don’t deserve this,” Raskolnikov muttered, half asleep.
“You do deserve this. You have a lot of people that love you.” 'Some in ways they shouldn’t', Razumihin thought.
“Dmitri…” Raskolnikov whispered, reaching out to him with his hand.
“Yes? What is it, what do you need?” Razumihin asked, worried. Raskolnikov gently put his hand at the back of Razumihin’s head and slowly directed him closer, just barely kissing the corner of his mouth as his eyes slipped closed again and he fell back asleep.
“…Ah. Well…..I will take that for a ‘thank you,’” Razumihin said to his blissfully dozing friend, and watched over him the rest of the night, noticing he didn’t have a single nightmare.