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Stay Tonight

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The Isle of the Lost was not a place for children, and even though it was full of thieves, and liars, and killers, kids were still born and raised there. Some children have adapted to the Isle, becoming killers and thieves themselves, and some struggle to handle the darkness that lurks within. Unlike his friends, Gil was one of those children that struggled.

Gil woke up in a cold sweat, panting as he sat up in his bed, the sweat on his skin glistened and caused his hair to stick to the back of his neck. Quietly, Gil pushed away his tattered covers and climbed to his feet from his mattress on the ground. It was so cold Gil could see his breathe as he made his through his small house. A sudden noise caused Gil to freeze as he snuck to the front door but when he risked glancing to the noise he instantly relaxed when he saw Gaston passed out on the couch, a bottle of cheap liquor gripped loosely in his hand. Gil continued to the door.

“Where are you going?” His whole body tense with fear, what if he’d woken his father? The armchair that had its back to the door stun to reveal Gaston the Third.

“I, um, I… I’m just going for a walk.”

“To see those ‘friends’ of yours?” Gil hesitated, which gave The Third his answer. “You know dad doesn’t like them.”

“I’m just going for a walk.” The Third rolled his eyes.

“Sure… Be home before dad wakes up.” He nodded then opened the door and disappeared from the house.

Gil shivered as the late night breeze whipped through the air, it was nights like this that Gil resented that he didn’t own a jacket, the icy wind burned against his face and bare arms. He wandered through the Isle until he was at the docks, staring at the ship Uma had won two years earlier. Since obtaining the ship, Uma and her crew had begun living on it, preferring the gentle sway of the shore rather than the responsibilities and limitations on land. Except for Gil, who still felt obligated to return to his father and brothers each night.

The ship’s gang way was still down so Gil was able to just walk on board, but because he stayed with his ‘family’ he hadn’t had a room or bed given to him. Carefully, Gil made his way to Harry’s room, too nervous to wake Uma, who had worked a ten-hour shift that day.

Harry woke before the person had even knocked a second time, no one except Uma came to his room and she was exhausted after her shift. Keeping quiet, Harry climbed from his bed and lifted his hook from his dresser, he gripped the weapon tightly as he swung the door open and poised to strike.

Gil jumped back when the door opened without a warning sound and Harry was on the other side, hook at the ready and murder in his eyes. The mania disappeared when he saw Gil, who was shivering and looked beyond tired.

“Gil? What are you doing here?”

“I-I couldn’t sleep and I didn’t want to stay at home… I didn’t know where else to go.”

“Well, that is why Uma keeps the gang way down. Come in, I guess.” Gil followed Harry inside as he mumbled a thank you. Harry gestured for Gil to sit down on the bed while he pulled a spare blanket out of the chest in the corner of his room. He wrapped it around Gil and sat next to him. His hook was abandoned on the dress. The two stayed silent for a few minutes before Harry couldn’t take it. “Do you want to talk about it?”

“Not really.”

“‘Kay.”

“Well, um, I dreamt about a monster.” Harry pressed his lips together to avoid laughing, Gil was eleven, why was he still having nightmare? “It sounds stupid.”

“No, no, go on.”

“It was a huge monster, like a wolf and a bear mixed together, and it was running around the Isle, killing everyone, and then it got on the ship and the crew…” Gil’s voice died quickly and he instead he just stared at the wall across from him. Harry hesitated his movement, he had no idea what to do and you couldn’t comfort people with violence or shout. Slowly, Harry lifted his arm and wrapped it around Gil’s shoulders. His heart stopped when Gil’s eyes filled with tears and his shoulders began to shake. What had he done wrong? “I-I’m sorry, I-I just, I don’t know. My dad would have it if he saw me like this. I’m a pathetic excuse of a villain.” Those words were a very Gaston thing to say, and definitely not what Harry would have imagined Gil ever saying.

“No, you’re not.” Gil just shook his head and looked away. “Gil. Gil, look at me.” The blond did as he was told. Harry’s heart clenched when Gil looked at him with tear streaks down his cheeks. He leant forward and pulled Gil into a strong hug. “Stay here tonight, until you feel better. You can go back home tomorrow before your dad notices you’re gone.” He whispered into the hug.

Without any more words the two moved until they were comfortable on the small bed, Gil with his back against the wall and Harry facing him. Harry didn’t know what to do because Gil was still crying, not in a gross way, with snot and sobbing, but the stream of tears hadn’t stopped and he still looked scared of his own imagination. With a sigh, Harry shuffled closer then pulled Gil towards him without warning, the younger boy squeaked but relaxed against Harry, resting his head on the other’s arm.

“Gil,” Harry whispered, earning a tired hum. “If you tell anyone about this… I’ll kill you.” When Gil didn’t reply Harry glanced down, only to see that he was already asleep.