nextinline: (spun)
The light - or rather, the darkness - never changes in Leech's underground rooms, but when the parasite is startled awake, he has the sense that it is very early morning. For a moment, he can't tell what woke him. Timothy, curled in front of him on his side, is still peacefully sleeping; there are no alarming noises in the vicinity. Then Leech realizes the bedroom door is open.

Rolling onto his back, he eyes the silhouette framed in the doorway by the very dim light in the main room. It is Kellen, of course. His brother is leaning on the doorframe, hair rumpled and one arm crossed over his tender stomach. Leech pushes back to sit up against the pillows, calling out in a voice low enough to not interfere with Timothy's rest: "Hey, imp. Ya arrite?"

"Weird dreams," Kellen responds groggily, shrugging with the shoulder not pressed to the door frame. "Can't get back to sleep. Can I...?"

"'course you can. C'mere." Leech inches towards Timothy, patting the mattress on the other side of his body. But then, before Kellen has even straightened up, the older brother fights his way out of the blankets and crawls to the end of the bed, hopping off, and wrapping an arm around Kellen's back for support.

Leaning into Leech, Kellen returns the half-embrace, then makes a puzzled humming noise. "Yer not wearing anything."

"I know," Leech says, with a laugh in his voice. Easing Kellen down onto the side of the bed, he releases the kid to get comfortable. "I'll fix that."

Ignoring Kellen's protests - he doesn't mind - Leech goes to his dresser and unearths a fairly modest pair of underwear, returning to the bed after pulling them on and taking his space between the two boys. Kellen immediately crowds in, seeking comfort, and though the intrusion would not normally be welcome, with Timothy here, Leech doesn't mind so much this time, circling Kellen's shoulders with his left arm and drawing the younger boy's head to his shoulder.

"Bad dreams?" he asks, still with a muted voice.

"Not bad," Kellen corrects. "Just weird. I was in my old bedroom - the first one, the one I had when we lived in Massachusetts - an' it was totally empty except my bunk beds and desk. But the floor was like, covered with these weird little cubes, really tiny ones. Fer some reason I had to pick 'em all up and put 'em in the closet, but I could only do one cube at a time; I hadda pick one up, walk across, open the closet door and set it down, then close the door an' go back to get another one."

Leech hums sympathetically. "I remember havin' dreams like that, some endless, pointless work, when I been sick with a fever. Ya do feel a little warm." He brings a hand up to curl around Kellen's neck and test his temperature. "Good thing they gave ya those anti-biotics."

"Yeh," Kellen murmurs, not attending very closely. "When I woke up, I was more tired than when I went to sleep."

"Mebbe you'll sleep better this time," Leech offers.

Kellen nods, then nuzzles into Leech's chest, plainly still sedated. "I will."

The certainty of the words, the trusting tone, warms Leech through, and he rolls his head to the side to kiss Kellen's forehead. He lowers his hand to the boy's back and rubs it lightly through his t-shirt, up and down. That body becomes heavier as it relaxes, eventually all the way into sleep, and the head on Leech's shoulder grows heavy enough to make his arm lose feeling, but he doesn't move it. Leech stays awake a bit longer, despite his own fatigue, feeling immeasurable gratitude for the contentment of each boy next to him, before finally dozing off himself with one arm still around his brother, and the other hand resting lightly on his pet's hip.

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