Her eyes flew wide open, and Chris pushed herself up from the bed. Blearily she looked around, and it took her a good few moments before she remembered where she was. Home, not... there.
She pressed her right palm against her forehead, and squeezed her eyes shut before turning on the light. It wasn't as harsh as that, but certain habits died hard. Genjuurou had insisted on soft, yellow bulbs for the bedroom. 'It helps soothe your mind and soul,' he claimed. Yet Chris didn't feel very soothed right now.
"Urgh." She sat up slowly. That dream again. How long would she keep having that dream? Hadn't it been long enough, already? Yet she could still feel the shocks coursing through her. Still wanted to check her body for burn marks.
She should probably try to go back to sleep, but she was covered in a sheen of sweat, and the sheets were slightly damp. Her pillow was stained with both sweat and tears. Gross. Even if she could go back to sleep, she'd need a shower first.
What time was it? She picked up her phone to check. Just past midnight. Not later than that, huh? Which meant she'd feel extra awful once the adrenaline wore off. But maybe...
"Hey, you awake?" Quickly typing in the text, she hit send. A minute passed, but no response. Made sense. Miku probably forced Hibiki to bed early. Chris shouldn't have gotten her hopes up. She headed to the bathroom for a quick shower. It would be a lot easier to go back to sleep once she felt clean, and it would give the sheets time to dry a little. No way she'd bother changing them right now.
The water felt like a mercy, and the lingering scent of soap on her skin afterwards was nice. She definitely felt a little calmer now, and lethargy was settling into her body. Still wasn't entirely sure she felt sleepy though. Just heavy.
Coming back out, she noticed a blinking light on her phone. Hope blossomed anew, and she snapped it up. There was an answer! It was several minutes ago, though.
"Yeah. What's up?" it read. Even though she felt some relief, she hoped she hadn't woken them up. She really wasn't that selfish, it had just been a gamble.
What exactly should she say though? Being straightforward was probably the best. "Can I come over?" she typed, and sent off. Okay, maybe she was a bit selfish.
It took about a minute before she got a reply again. "Did something happen?" Chris paused. Should she just fess up? Write 'I had a nightmare'? No, asking this was pathetic enough, even if it wasn't the first time. She didn't need to add too many details.
"Not really. I just feel like it." There, that would have to do. Hibiki would either get it, or she wouldn't.
The next reply came almost immediately. "Sure, come on over." Chris smiled, and hurriedly got her things.
Shortly after she was at their door, with a small bag containing pajamas and her favourite plush. She idly wondered when she had stopped being too embarrassed to bring that along. It wasn't long between her ringing the doorbell, and the door opening. It was Hibiki.
"Chris-chan! Come in," Hibiki said, and held the door open as Chris stepped inside.
"Sorry to intrude," Chris mumbled. Maybe she wasn't actually sorry, but she did feel a little bad.
"Hey, we're always happy to have you over," Hibiki said as she closed the door. She even sounded like she meant it.
Miku came out to meet her as Chris walked in from the entrance. "Hello, Chris-chan. Here," she said, and offered Chris a mug. Warm milk. Chris wasn't sure if she was happy or embarrassed that they knew her so well, but either way she blushed as she accepted it.
"Thank you," she said, and put her bag down. She found a seat before taking a sip.
"Did you bring Madame Fuzzy Ears?" Hibiki asked, and Chris shot her a glance to see she was grinning.
"Dummy," Chris grumbled, and focused on her mug.
"Be nice, Hibiki," Miku said as she sat down by Chris.
"Hey, I'm always nice!" Hibiki protested. "I'm well-known for my positive attitude."
Miku ignored her. "Anything you want to talk about?" she asked Chris.
Chris considered it. They had been through this before though, and she didn't want to seem whiny by saying the same things all over again. "No," she just said, and finished her mug.
"Alright," Miku said, and gently patted Chris's arm before getting up. "Go get changed. The bed is ready for you when you're done." Chris looked up at her, and was met with a kind smile.
"But I can sleep on the couch," Chris said.
"The bed," Miku insisted.
"The bed," Hibiki echoed.
Chris didn't keep fighting it. It always went like this. But for some reason she felt she had to at least make a token effort every time. Maybe to appease her guilt of taking advantage of them like this.
"Okay," she said. She really felt quite tired now. Grabbing her bag, she went into the bathroom to get changed. She was yawning heavily as she came back out, holding Madame Fuzzy Ears against her chest.
The two of them were standing by the bed, wanting her to get in first, as always. She was too tired to argue anyway. As soon as she got settled in, they surrounded her. Miku at her back, and Hibiki at her front. Chris always ended up in the middle. Though she was too tired to even blush about it. The sheets smelled fresh. Nice.
Miku hugged her, and Hibiki started stroking her hair. It was a gentle tingling sensation. "You're such a good girl, Chris-chan," she said softly.
"Dummy..." Chris murmured, her eyelids already too heavy to keep open. Maybe this was where she truly felt at home.