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A Minute of Sleep

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It was a quiet day when Remy heard a soft knock at their door. They were sitting on their bed, sunglasses laying forgotten on their bedside table as they leaned against the wall and idly scrolled through their phone. Occasionally they would take a sip of cold coffee, but other than that they really weren’t moving much. So when they heard the knock, they almost welcomed the disturbance.

“Come on in,” they drawled, not minding the break in their alone time, but not moving to get up either. When they saw Anxiety walk in they smiled lazily and chuckled as he tried to avoid stepping on all the clothes and accessories littering the floor. “Anx babe, what brings you to my wonderful domain?”

“I- um..” Anxiety wasn’t looking at them. He was shifting in place, not looking them in the eyes, hiding behind his hair.“ I was wondering if maybe-”

“Anx, baby,” it was almost like a flip was switched; Remy’s voice lost the teasing tone, replacing it with softness as they interrupted him. They leaned forward from their spot on the bed, quickly setting their coffee to the side before reaching for one of Anxiety’s fidgeting hands. His hand was cold in both of theirs. “Look at me.”

Anxiety hesitated, but only briefly; they both knew he couldn’t hide it for long. When he finally looked at them, Remy sighed. Bloodshot, exhausted eyes peered at them from under messy hair, the dark circles underneath them almost matching the purple bruise on his cheekbone.

‘Bastards’, Remy thought for a split second when they saw the bruise, fighting to keep their anger under control as they reached up to gently trace Anxiety’s cheeks. They smiled when his eyes fluttered shut at the close contact, leaning into their hands. They tried not to think too hard about why he reacted that way. Instead they got on to their knees for a second to press a tiny, gentle kiss to the dark bruise.

“They don’t deserve you,” their voice was fainter than a whisper as they settled back down onto the bed.

“What?” Anxiety mumbled as he opened his bleary eyes, already almost asleep just from the warm touch of their hands. He almost looked like a puppy as he frowned sleepily.

“Nothing,” Remy smiled halfheartedly, taking their hands back from his face. “Now,” they patted their lap. “Take a seat, darling.”

Anxiety let out a tiny involuntary whine at the loss of warmth, seeming too tired to even care that he had made such an embarrassing noise. And yet still he seemed to hesitate at Remy’s offer. “Are you sure? I could just..”

“Babe, come here,” they gently instructed, and reached out to grab his hand again. He seemed to give in a little, his shoulders slumping as he shakily stepped forward, but stopped right before Remy tried to tug him into their lap. Remy’s smile got a bit more teasing as they tugged his hand again. “Come on, you know I don’t bite that hard.”

Anxiety snickered, a tired smile appearing for a second before it left again. Finally, he shrugged and gave in to their wants, letting Remy pull him gently into their lap. They quickly looped one arm under his knees, the other around his back, and couldn’t help the little flutter of happiness in their heart when Anxiety sighed and leaned against them, trusting them to hold him up. ‘He’s so light,’ they thought for a brief second before shaking their head slightly; now was not the time for that. Instead they took a deep breath and tried to keep up their normal facade.

‘Now, you gonna explain why you’ve been avoiding my amazingness?” Remy asked teasingly, an almost real half smile on their face as they laced their fingers in Anxiety’s hair.

“I thought..” his voice was soft as he sighed and buried his face into Remy’s shirt. “I thought I could get through it by myself. Sorry Rem.”

“I don’t need an apology, darling,” Remy’s voice almost sounded amused as they started to massage Anxiety’s neck and felt him almost melt in their arms. They were almost impressed by how nonchalant they sounded. “So how long was it this time?”

It was a few minutes before he whispered softly, “Two weeks.”

“Babe!” Remy’s voice took on an almost scolding tone, but only slightly; the last thing they wanted was for Anxiety to start panicking. “That is far too long to not bask in my awesome presence!”

They felt him chuckle a little against their chest and they finally let out a small, real smile.

“I know, I know, sorry, sorry,” Anxiety smiled shakily, a couple exhausted tears trickling down his cheeks before he brushed them away. Remy didn’t say anything about them as they hugged him a little closer to them. “It was just.. Bad. Sorry.”

“Hey, what did I say about apologizing?” they teased him gently, words soft as they tried to reassure him. “Just come around more often, okay sweet stuff?”

Anxiety startled at the nickname and let out a surprised laugh before hiding his face in Remy’s shirt again, breathing shakily before mumbling, “kay.”

They smiled when he hid his face, glad they finally made him laugh a little, yet still sad that it took so long. They wished that- no, they couldn’t think about that.

After a minute or two Remy finally spoke up again.

“Alright then, ready for me to work my magic, darling?” they asked, waiting for Anxiety’s whispered “please” before gently picking him up from their lap and maneuvering them so they could lay him into their bed. After a second they got in the bed too, pulling up the warm blanket to cover them both. Immediately Anxiety snuggled up to them, head against their chest as he wrapped an arm around their waist in that familiar way he always did, holding them so snug.

“Missed you too, baby,” Remy chuckled at his actions, one of their hands moving to hold Anxiety’s head almost instinctively as the other arm looped around his back. For a minute they just held each other, breathing together as they both slowly started to relax. And then Remy started to hum, the melody so familiar to them both. It didn’t have any words, just a simple tune, and yet, slowly, slowy, Anxiety fell asleep.

Remy smiled as they felt him go limp in their arms, still holding him close as they hummed for a few more minutes to make sure he stayed asleep. And then when they were sure, they slowly let the silence fill the room once again. They didn’t let him go though. Instead they gently played with his hair, reassuring Anxiety’s subconscious that he was okay, that he was safe for now. After all, Remy wasn’t against using their company to keep the nightmares from Anxiety’s much needed rest.

They wished they could do more, they desperately wished they could, but they knew he wouldn’t let them. He didn’t want to get them in trouble, or at least that was what he always said when they tried to talk to him about it. Remy didn’t even care about that. All they cared about was how Anxiety turned up at their room every once in a while, basically dead on his feet from exhaustion and almost always sporting an injury or two.

But now wasn’t the time to think about that. They needed to focus on just being there for Anxiety while he slept, because if they started thinking about all that again, they couldn’t promise they wouldn’t retaliate against those that made him this way to begin with. So they closed their eyes for a second, took a deep breath in, and slowly let it out. Anxiety twitched a little in their arms and they shushed him quietly as they held him closer, leaning over and pressing a little kiss to his forehead. “It’s alright babe,” they whispered softly, smiling when he settled.

“I got you.”