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A Warmer Place to Sleep

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Scared and cold are probably not the best two feelings to have at the same time, especially not at night. Especially not during a thunderstorm. It’s not like Toro was afraid of thunder. Normally it wasn’t a big deal. But tonight the winds were strong and the rain sounded like rocks hitting the house. It felt as if any moment the wind would carry the house away to parts unknown. Thunder wasn’t scary, but this storm sure was.

Toro was struggling to fall back asleep. He would jump at every crack and boom raining down from the sky. He huddled underneath his blankets, trying his best to ignore the frightening sounds coming from outside. Though it helped with the noise, it didn’t help when the house shook.

Thoughts began dripping into his mind like the rain dripping into the kitchen(man, they needed to fix that). And they weren’t pleasant. Collapse, fire, flood, who knows. It could be anything. He didn’t want to think about it but it was hard not to. If he wasn’t thinking about that, he was thinking about how dang cold he was.

True to his nature, Kuro was still lazing around rather than finding a job, so the pair found themselves without much in the way of heat this month. Gotta cut corners somewhere. The blankets weren’t thick, and Toro could feel every bit of him that happened to poke out turn into ice. Best he could do was crunch himself up into a ball, trying not to move too much and to keep himself underneath the blankets entirely.

Yeah, tonight was going to be restless. He felt grateful that he at least didn’t have anything to do today, and worst case scenario he could cancel brunch with Jun and Pierre. He just wished he could get a little comfortable.

Eventually, after struggling for what seemed to be a long time, his mind moved to other matters. Being as kind as he was, he couldn’t get the thought of how others were doing out of his head. He was always worrying how his friends were. Tonight, he was worried about Kuro. Was he cold too? Was he afraid at all?

Toro thought about this for a while more, and eventually it was too much. He had to know how Kuro was doing.

Out of everyone he knew, Toro worries about Kuro the most. Worried when he was away, worried he might do something stupid(a common occurrence), worried about everything. He cared a lot about Kuro. He was his best friend. Sometimes he found himself wishing they were more, but he wasn’t sure how Kuro felt. He was too scared to ask.

Toro sat up out of his bed, bracing himself for the cold. Even so, he shivered pretty hard the moment what little warmth the blankets had underneath them blew away.
He stood up and tip toed towards the door. As he cracked the door open, lightening flashed, almost immediately followed by a loud BANG! He yelled and accidentally opened the door too quickly, causing it to slam as it opened all the way.

“Oops...” he thought to himself. Hopefully, nobody heard that.

He crept towards Kuro’s room and took a peek inside. Everything seemed calm. He saw Kuro lying in his bed but he couldn’t tell if he was awake. He moved slowly through the darkness towards the side of Kuro’s bed. He thought about what to say. What if Kuro wasn’t awake? He didn’t wanna wake him and make him struggle to fall back asleep during this storm. It took him just a moment, but he decided to softly whisper Kuro’s name.

“K-Kuro?”

No reply. Maybe he really was still asleep. Jeez, how could he sleep through this?

“Kuro... ?”

Toro lightly shook Kuro’s arm but drew back almost as soon as he started.

He berated himself in his head. “What are you doing? Don’t wake him up! He’s fine!”

He sighed and decided he should head back. Kuro was out like a light. He turned around to head for the door when lightening struck again. The loud clatter of the thunder nearly made him yell again. But this time he put his paw over his mouth, silencing himself.

“To...ro...?” He heard Kuro as groggily behind him.”
“Oh! K-Kuro! I’m sorry I was just...”

Kuro rubbed his eyes, trying to see his friend. He yawned. “What are you doing here? Meow....”
“I...I don’t know. I was cold and the storm scared me and I...” Toro trailed off. “It was dumb...I just wanted to see if you were scared too...meow”
Kuro managed a chuckle. “I sleep pretty deeply, Nyah. Did you just say you were scared?” he asked.

Toro felt embarrassed. But after a brief silence he responded. “Yes...”
Kuro chuckles again to himself. “Aaaand you came in here because you wanted to stay with me didn’t you? Meow?”
“N-No!” Toro blurted out. “I didn’t mean-“
Kuro moved over and patted the empty space beside him. “Yeah, well, it’s no big if you really want to.”

Toro was taken aback at first. Sleep in Kuro’s bed? He felt even more embarrassed. Both because he was afraid of the storm and because he couldn’t tell how well Kuro could see his face. The idea that he might be blushing was only making his face get hotter.
Did he dare take up the offer? Maybe he should... He’d feel a lot calmer. Maybe with Kuro so close he’d feel warmer...

Red-faced as he was, he knew the smart answer would be to take the offer. Toro finally and reluctantly climbed into the bed and pulled the covers over himself, laying on his side facing away from Kuro. He was right that Kuro’s blanket was a lot nicer than his. Maybe the bed wasn’t as comfy as his Toro’s normally was, but he could live with that. Sadly, he was still somewhat cold.

“Hey Toro...” Kuro spoke softly to Toro.
“Yeah?”
“I uh... you said you were cold. Well I’m uh... I guess I’m kinda cold too.” Kuro spoke awkwardly as if he was trying to hint at something.
“Maybe we’d be warm if you got a job.” Toro teased, chuckling to himself.
“Ugh, yeah I guess so.” Kuro said reluctantly. “But I was trying to say... you could get closer to me if you want.”

If Toro had any less self control he’d be screaming externally instead of internally. His mind screamed YES but it also screamed in fear.

“It’s ok if you don’t want to, but really I don’t mind, Nyah.”
Toro struggled to get an answer out. The most he could do was mumble. “I’d... maybe...”
“Hey, don’t be so nervous.” Kuro chuckled. “It’s fine.”

Kuro put and arm over Toro and pulled him closer. Toro’s face turned a brighter red than it already was which would’ve been comparable to a tomato, and boy was he glad Kuro couldn’t look directly at his face.

If the blood rushing to his face didn’t make him warm though, Kuro did. He was right, he did feel less cold near him. It made him start to feel sleepy.

“Hey, Kuro?” He asked. But he was met with snoring. Kuro was out already. Of course he was. Toro wanted to thank him, but he guessed it would have to wait until morning. In his sleep, Kuro pulled Toro closer, up against his body. Toro felt comfortable. Kuro made him feel so much safer and at ease. He wanted to enjoy the moment in Kuro’s arms, but he felt so sleepy. So sleepy...

Eyes getting heavier, Toro couldn’t stay awake much longer. It wasn’t long before he was asleep too. And for the rest of the night the two slept soundly.

—-

Early in the morning, the sun was finally shining. The storm had passed and all was calm. It was still a little cloudy, but much nicer. Toro woke up before Kuro, still gripped snugly by him. He felt blissful, and wished the morning would never end. “What time is it?” he wondered.
Looking at the clock by Kuro’s bedside, he saw that it was 7:26 in the morning. Kuro probably wouldn’t be up until noon as per usual.
This time though, Toro didn’t mind. He was going to spend as much time as he could right where he was. He rested his eyes once more, and did exactly that.