(originally written 10/30/07)
It was seven-thirty in the morning when Erica rolled out of bed to answer the knock on her door. Her sinuses still felt like a herd of boulders had wedged themselves in her nose, but she didn’t feel as sick as she had the day before. She stumbled over to the door and hit the open button. The door slid aside with a smooth swish.
“Morning,” said Derek, grinning.
Erica blinked at him sleepily. “Please shove some pseudephedrine down my throat if you’re going to talk to me.”
“Gladly,” he replied, poking her in the shoulder to direct her back to the bed. She collapsed into it readily, watching him with half-open eyes as he poured her a glass of water and punched out two tablets of decongestants. “Here,” he said, handing them to her.
“Classes today, then?” she asked before putting the pills in her mouth and swigging a mouthful of water.
“If you’re up for it,” he suggested, pulling her desk chair next to her bed and plopping himself down in it.
She set the glass down on the bedside table. “What am I missing?”
“More algebra you probably already know, and we’re moving on to conic sections by Friday. We had some cool discussions in Humanities yesterday-I recorded it for you if you want to listen. Oh and I brought you the chemistry homework that’s due later today, but Lux said you can take all the time you need.”
Erica groaned a vague response and moved her arms to cover her eyes. “What about languages?”
“Subjunctive in French and Spanish. Not pretty.”
“You know it already.”
She lifted an arm to expose one eye. “How do you know?”
“I looked at your source code from the login fix during orientation week.”
With gargantuan effort she sat up. “You what?”
“I looked at your source code. We’re doing array lists, and you used one way back during orientation.”
“I can’t believe you hacked into my source code.”
“We’re co-head captains. I get the same level of clearance as you.”
“You hacked my source code.”
“I did not!”
“Did too. Am I allowed to eat yet?”
“Just bread. I did not hack your code.”
“Yes you did. Can you get me some bread?”
“Sure, in a bit when the dining hall opens. How would I hack your code without security clearance?”
“That holds no logic whatsoever. You must’ve hacked in! Even Major Johnson can’t see that code if he wanted to.”
“I didn’t hack in! All captain files are shared on the Platt network. Oh and the captains’ rooms are done.”
“You got my files from the Platt–the captains’ rooms are done?”
“Yeah. They told me yesterday, but you were still draining your lungs out your nose with a spoon or something.”
“They finished the captains’ rooms?”
“For the last time, woman, YES.”
“Have you seen them yet? Are they amazing? Evans promised they would be amazing.”
“I don’t know; I haven’t gone in yet.”
“Why not? Weren’t they done yesterday?”
“I’m waiting until you’re better.”
She paused. “You are?”
“Yeah. Besides, I don’t want you spreading germs all around a nice clean room.”
“That’s… practical yet sweet of you. I’m just putting that out there.”
“Well I’m going to briefing. I’ll bring you some bread and bread-like things if you’re not coming.”
“Ugh. Give me one more day of sleep.”
“Then I’m bringing you more Theraflu,” he said, getting up.
“Oh God,” she groaned. “Maybe I’ll go to class.”
“Too late,” he said as he unzipped his backpack and pulled out a folder. “Here’s the homework.” He set it down on the bedside table.
“Mmm,” came Erica’s noncommittal reply, for she was already half-asleep.