His mind is. Blank.

Everything is. Warm. Soft. Quiet.

Like. Cotton. Cotton everywhere. Safe. So warm.

Feels nice. Like floating. In warm water. But not wet.


Not so quiet anymore. Weird sound. Like. Scratching? Rain? The fuzz is leaving his brain. What’s happening?

Vinz stirred and cracked his eye sockets open, fuzzy, unfocused yellow irises appearing in his sclera; oh, okay, he’d been asleep. Aw, and he’d been so comfy too… The skeleton groaned and blinked his surroundings into focus: yep, that was a ceiling. The flat’s. Wild.

His whole body was leaning on the living room’s couch, about half buried under a light grey blanket. It was dark, the patch of pitch black, moon-free sky casting no light through the window. But a harsh light was coming from his left. As did the noise, he noticed. He turned his head towards the disturbance and blinked. Oh. He’d fallen asleep with the TV still on, and now it only broadcasted static and white noise. Well. That’ll teach me to try and binge-watch a whole season that shitty buddy-cop show.

He sighted tiredly and tried to reach for the remote. Must’ve fallen somewhere… He felt around the covers, running his fingers along the soft fabric and oh okay that wasn’t fabric.

“What the-”

He propped himself up on his elbows and was met with- okay, he needed a minute there.

Angelino. His 8-ball headed roommate slash best friend. Completely passed out. With his head on his lap.

His flames took a greenish tint. Well, this was mildly embarrassing. But it was fine, he could deal with this.

The hothead shifted around the couch, trying to get upright without rousing Lino; he’d come home more tired than usual the day before, something painful showing on his bug-eyed face. Vinz hadn’t asked, but he knew the guy was dealing with a lot of shit and desperately needed his rest, even if he tried really hard to hide it.

He finally managed to sit up, his roommate’s head now resting on his legs. He hadn’t stirred at all. Vinz didn’t know whether that should concern or relieve him.

Seeing him so still and silent was kinda jarring. He hadn’t seen him this unresponsive since their escape from the alien facility, when he’d been sick and unconscious for about five days straight. Lino wasn’t exactly a quiet sleeper; always tossing and turning, mumbling nonsense, occasionally snoring.

Keening and gasping for air when the nightmares came.

Yeah, he knew about those. Woke him up more times than he could count. He usually pretended to still be asleep to avoid putting his best friend on the spot, figuring Lino needed his space, to deal with it on his own. Hence his nightly trips on the hotel roof, he supposed.

But the nightmares had become more frequent over the past few weeks and Vinz was getting worried. The hybrid’s eyes were getting duller, lacking focus, and his usual ink black skin was starting to get an ashen tint. To put it simply, Angelino wasn’t okay and needed help. And now, mulling over it in the dead of night with him drooling on his lap, Vinz realized that much.

“Shit, Lino…” he sighted, gazing sadly at his roommate. There were bags under his eyes, how had he not noticed that before? “I’m such a shitty friend. I’m sorry.”

The half-alien remained unresponsive. Figures.

He’d seen the signs and he had ignored them. With his fucking selfishness and his dumb feelings that made his stomach churn everytime Lino smiled-

No. None of that right now. He had to keep himself together, if only for his friend. He had to be there for him without making it obvious, or else Angelino would probably shut him out, the stubborn bastard.

Hah. He was in for a loooong streak of special Angelino-brand denial, wasn’t he. Vinz tried to get comfortable again and closed his eye sockets, breathing evening out, darkness edging at his consciousness; he just hoped he’d get to him before he really got hurt.

The flat was quiet and dark. The kitchen clock was ticking. Two living beings were breathing in sync, safe for now.

In this place no-one could see, a sleeping hybrid nuzzled into a skeleton’s wrestling-themed shirt.

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