Andrew hadn't always been a light sleeper, not that he could remember. He had slept like a log as a young child, out like a light until someone woke him. His better foster mothers had laughed at how much he had loved to sleep. He worse ones hadn't been laughing.
His tendency to sleep heavily had never benefitted him, though. He had slept through shouting, fighting, and the soft creak of his door opening during the night.
He had sooned learned to sleep lightly, or not at all.
As such, whenever Neil shifted in his sleep, or when he got up for his godawful run every morning, Andrew was awake. He had grown used to it in the years since they had began their nothing, so he no longer woke violently at every small movement that Neil gave, at least not most of the times. They both had their share of bad nights, but they didn't judge each other for them.
The same could not be said for the cats.
The sudden pressure of one of the cats jumping onto the bed forced Andrew into unwelcome consciousness, and his arm lashed out in the darkness before he could stop it, connecting heavily with the sleeping man beside him. Neil cried out and curled up from the blow, hands going to press against his side. He pushed himself up into a sitting position, staring at the blurry shape of King curling up at the end of their bed and he felt his heart rate starting to calm down.
Neil grimaced and sat up beside him, squinting at their cat. "For fuck sake, King."
"You forgot to lock to door, Josten." Despite his harsh tone, Andrew took Neil's hand and brushed his lips across his knuckles. It was an apology of sorts, and they both knew it.
Neil grunted and then pulled the blankets back up. "You were the last one to come in here."
He had been, but he wanted to be difficult. "Get your cat out of here, before I wring it's neck."
It was an empty threat, and he was painfully aware of it. However, that didn't stop him from reaching across and flicking his boyfriend's forehead when he started to laugh at him, forcing him to get up and close the door, taking the cat outside.
The drag of soft fur against his skin forced Andrew awake, and he groaned as he felt King pad her way up to curl up beside his head. She seemed to love sleeping there, despite Andrew's best efforts to make her sleep elsewhere. He didn't know where Sir was, no doubt bothering Neil on the other side of the bed, and he huffed.
"Fucking fleabags. Some people are trying to sleep."
Neil rolled over and wrapped an arm around his waist, pressing his face against Andrew's arm. "Mm, you love them."
Andrew rolled his eyes and kissed Neil's hair gently, just a brush of lips.
"Whatever helps you sleep at night, Josten."
Andrew's chest was on fire, but he held himself still as he could, refusing to allow even the smallest sound slip out of his mouth. He had woken up just a few minutes earlier, less violent than he usually did but with all of the usual horror. However, Neil had just gotten to bed, having stayed up late to talk with Matt on the phone, and Andrew refused to wake him up until he had to get up. He clenched his fist and turned his head to the side, using the sight of his husband's auburn curls to help ground himself, trying to regain control of his breathing.
A small bell sound alerted his attention to the door, but Andrew could do nothing to stop King from pouncing up onto the bed in her usual fashion. He let out a slow, shuddery breath, and she looked up at him before padding quietly towards him, tilting her head and letting her tail thump against his hip. It was almost... soothing.
Slowly, as not to jostle Neil, he lifted his hand and opened it, letting King headbutt his palm gently. He petted her head gently, hearing her purring quietly. It settled something in his chest, and he frowned.
When his hand stopped, she lifted her head and wound around his arm, curling up on him and purring quietly. Andrew allowed it, letting her steady purring calm his heart down, until he could finally breathe normally again. He ran a hand along her side, burying his fingers in the fur there, and then closed his eyes.
And, if he added a few extra cat treats to their shopping basket the next day, Neil didn't say anything about it.
Neil jerked awake beside Andrew, pulling him into groggy lucidity against his will.
Andrew groaned and pushed himself up, rubbing his eyes and then squinting at the other man. "What is it?"
Neil grimaced, and then glared at King, who was innocently licking her paw. "She jumped on me."
Andrew rolled his eyes. "And? She's not that heavy, Josten."
Neil reddened. "She jumped on..."
He pressed his legs together, and Andrew understood, actually letting a rough chuckle slip out. "She jumped on your balls?"
Neil opened his mouth, before closing it again. Andrew wasn't sure if that was due to embarrassment, or suprise that Andrew had laughed.
"It's not funny!"
"It'a fucking hilarious, Josten."
Neil huffed, crossing his arms. Andrew sighed, lond suffering, before he lifted King off the bed and went to get his husband an ice pack.
Andrew felt Sir's paw stepping lightly on his calf, covered as it was by the blanket. She happily settled between his legs, oblivious to the fact that she had just woken him, again.
He rolled his eyes, reaching for his phone and unlocking it, sending off a quick text to his brother.
I hate these stupid cats.
He could hear Aaron's sarcastic tone as he read the response to himself, feeling Sir's tail thumping steadily against his leg.
What, did you get cat hair on your favourite sweater again?
He huffed and then shook his head. "My family infuriates me, Sir."
Sir blinked back at him, lazy and relaxed, and Andrew nodded. "Thank you for the input."
Neil huffed and yawned. "Are you talking to the cats again?"
Andrew huffed, and then pushed Neil's face away. "No, of course not. Fuck you, Josten."
It was the sun that woke Andrew, this time.
Neil was still asleep, snoring softly against the arm he had thrown over his face. The duvet was thrown loosely over his waist, and Andrew could see where his feet were sticking out from under it. He shifted, went to roll over, when a distressed yowl got his attention. In his movement, he had knocked Sir over where he had been sleeping between his legs.
He paused, and then looked over at Neil. Neil blinked back at him, and then frowned. "Are you okay?"
Andrew looked back at Sir. "I didn't notice her jumping up last night."
Neil grinned at him. "Really? Me neither."
Andrew stared at her. He didn't know how to feel about it, about sleeping through something sneaking onto his bed. Neil seemed to notice the direction his thoughts were going in, and he placed a gentle hand on his arm.
"You're safe here, Drew. It's just me and the cats."
Andrew bit his lip, and then nodded. "Yeah, I guess."
Sir, sensing the change in mood, came to the rescue. He settled between them, letting Neil scratch his ears and purring happily. Andrew did the same, letting Neil kiss his hair when he leaned forward.
Andrew took his time to answer, letting Sit bite his finger playfully. He was safe.
"Yeah, I'm okay."