“You’re making this too easy for me,” the monster growled as it moved forward, claws outstretched and blood dripping from its mouth.
The walls seemed to be closing in, making the monster look even larger and more inescapable than before. He was backed into a corner with no way to escape.
Just as the monster reached out one bloody claw to attack him, Chinen woke up.
His heart was racing and he was breathing like he'd just run a marathon, but in reality, he was lying comfortably between the covers in the dark bedroom. He blinked a few times and tried to shake off the unpleasant feelings. A few deep breaths helped, but it was more comforting to reach out and wrap his fingers around his boyfriend's hand.
Keito was sleeping peacefully, but the motion seemed to rouse him.
"...you awake?" His voice came out groggy, muffled. Like he wasn't actually sure he himself was awake yet.
"Go back to sleep," Chinen said, though he didn't let go of his grip on Keito's hand. "I just had a stupid nightmare, that's all."
Keito rolled onto his side towards Chinen, though it was too dark in the room to discern what face he was making. "You want to talk about it?" His voice sounded sincere if still a little bit muffled from tiredness.
Chinen snuggled closer, letting the warmth of Keito envelope him. Better than any blanket he'd ever had.
"It was stupid," he muttered, face pressed into Keito's chest. He laughed before continuing. "Just a typical nightmare with a monster trying to eat me."
"That's no fun," Keito replied as Chinen shifted again to get more comfortable. His free hand brushed the side of Chinen's face to offer some comfort. "You should have offered the monster some of your cooking if he was hungry. Would have defeated him pretty quick."
Chinen lightly punched Keito's stomach. "Jerk," he complained. "I managed not to burn rice for dinner, leave me alone." He laughed again. All traces of the constricting feeling of being trapped in the nightmare was gone now.
Keito leaned forward to kiss him, but in the dark, he missed and Chinen felt warm lips press against one of his eyebrows.
"Go back to sleep," Chinen said, feeling happy.
"Goodnight," Keito answered, already sounding like he was drifting off.
Chinen shifted once more to get comfortable, letting sleep rush back in and overtake him. If the monster decided to show up in his dreams again, he was pretty sure it wouldn't bother him this time.
When he fell asleep, they were still holding hands.