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It's strange, sitting in bed with Quatre. Even though it's the second time he's done this. Not bad, not at all -- but strange.

Trowa doesn't do much reading in bed, for one thing. He reads in chairs; in bed, he sleeps. It's not that it's uncomfortable to be sitting up with a pillow and a headboard for a backrest, and his book resting on a blanket-covered knee, but it's different.

For another thing -- well. Quatre's in the bed next to him, a warm solid presence, and that's not unwelcome in the least, but it's still strange.

That's all right, though.


* * *



Quatre was half-asleep within five minutes of lying down, relaxed and drowsily content, though it was closer to twenty before his breathing actually deepened into sleep. It's a useful skill for a soldier to be able to sleep whenever he can and wake whenever he needs to, but Trowa knows Quatre; he's pretty sure the speed of that relaxation also has a lot to do with how tired Quatre was. He keeps long hours a lot.

Presumably it's necessary. If he manages it sensibly, and leaves himself some reserves under ordinary circumstances, it's not really Trowa's job to judge. And Quatre is competent.

He turns the page. It's an interesting book. For what it says about current opinions as much as for its subject matter -- this biography is moderately popular among colony scientists at the moment -- but that's the kind of thing Trowa reads for anyway.


* * *



Trowa is three chapters and most of an hour along when Quatre sighs in his sleep and rolls onto his side, towards Trowa. Trowa glances down, and Quatre resettles, shuffling the pillow a little closer.

All right.

Trowa sees no reason to move, himself. He starts on the next chapter instead.


* * *



Two hours later, Trowa closes his book. Quatre has shifted closer in the meantime, never really waking, until his forearm rests an inch from Trowa's hip.

Trowa considers getting up. He could get another book from one of the shelves in the living room area. Quatre would probably wake up, but he wouldn't mind it.

There's no real reason to wake him, though. And the thing is, too, that it's been three hours -- less than ten minutes, at home, but his body clock thinks it's close to midnight now. Trowa still has the knack of pushing himself through tiredness or pain if he needs to, but there's no need now; there's no mission, no show. Just this quiet dim room, and Quatre asleep, and the Milliways night creeping later.

It's easy to feel drowsy, if he decides to let himself.

He sets his book on the small side table, and spends another few moments weighing his options. Then he rearranges the pillow to be a pillow instead of a backrest, and slides carefully down to lie next to Quatre.


* * *



He doesn't really think he's likely to fall asleep. He's shared a room with other sleepers countless times, but never a bed; it's different, when there's another person's weight on the mattress, and another body's warmth inches away, and the subconscious awareness of that presence. Every time Quatre breathes in or out, every time he shifts slightly in his sleep, it's a reminder.

That's not the only thing keeping him awake, though it's the primary one, and the one that's hardest to filter out. This room has too many doors; there's no way to put his back solidly to a wall, no way to watch them all easily at once while lying down. Trowa doesn't suspect trouble here, not really, but that's no reason to ignore a point of entry; it's habit, and it's distracting.

Still. There's nowhere else he needs to be, and Quatre is still solidly enough asleep that he didn't even rouse much when Trowa changed position. He might as well lie here a while. It's quiet, and peaceful enough. He breathes slowly, half-watching the wall across the room, and lets his mind drift. He can feel the back of his brain turning over pieces of the day, news articles and conversations and a dozen other data categories, shuffling them together and cross-linking and comparing; he doesn't try to examine any of it too closely.

When Quatre makes a soft sound and shifts a little nearer, just enough to drape an arm across Trowa's chest, Trowa's paying enough attention to see it coming, but he's faintly surprised anyway. He doesn't mind -- he wasn't moving, after all, and Quatre seems comfortable, and Trowa finds that in a way he likes the contact -- but still, he's faintly surprised. He certainly won't fall asleep now, he thinks. That's all right.


* * *



Eventually, though, he dozes off anyway.

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Trowa Barton

December 2012

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