It was so rare that he had nightmares anymore.
So rare that Ojiro might wake up in a cold sweat, chest heaving and mouth dry with a single rivulet of sweat rolling down his temple, but the dim light of dawn greeted him the same on those days that it did any other day.
He couldn’t remember the contents of bad dreams either. They slipped away from him as soon as he woke, even if he unconsciously tried to hold onto the scary parts, they were always just out of reach by the time his eyes opened.
It became habitual that he might wake up at that time, though it had become just as easy for him to fall back asleep. Today, though, he decided to stay awake and just bask in the hazy purple glow of the early morning.
Everything seemed brighter than before.
And on this day, like all the other days, the first thing he did was snuggle closer to Shoji.
Shoji had insisted that once they made themselves official that they oughta move his and Ojiro’s beds together into one room. Since the giant didn’t have many worldly possessions to speak of, it was simply a matter of scooching his little table out of the way to wedge their two beds together, a palace of blankets fit for a king. Or, well...two.
Ojiro still kept all of his martial arts gear and the rest of his stuff in his own room, of course; he distinctly remembered Shoji saying something about ‘not wanting a lot of junk’ in his room when they had all moved into the dorms, so Ojiro was pretty happy that he and his bed at least had made the cut.
Even though they had plenty of space to stretch out, they always seemed to find themselves wrapped in each other by morning. They had even tried once to fall asleep on opposite ends of the bed, but the red string of fate always brought their huddled masses together, ensuring that the blond always woke up in silver-haired caresses. And it was a good thing too, because Ojiro never would’ve known how much of a blanket hog the giant would turn out to be, but six giant limbs caged him in the same anyway.
Deep, huffing breaths told Ojiro that Shoji was still rumbling in his sleep beside him.
He always looked good, but Ojiro knew that some of his favorite times with him were when the blond could unabashedly run his eyes over the man’s face while he slept, committing each line and freckle to memory. He’s a sap, sue him.
Just like he had predicted, Shoji’s smile was his favorite thing about him; his sharp-toothed grins beneath the mask were wide, bright, and almost literally spread from ear-to-ear. Considering how secretive the man was, the fact that Shoji was open enough with him to let him see what was under the veil of his mask, well, it just showed how much the giant trusted him.
It was even cuter in tender moments when Ojiro would plant a kiss right to the base of his jaw and Shoji’s whole face would flush bright pink in embarrassment. It was a running joke and they both knew the giant really loved it.
The smaller boy gave a small *eep* of shock when he saw Shoji staring back at him with one eye still closed sleepily. God knows how long the man had watched as Ojiro ogled his sleeping body.
“Bad dream?” He mumbled sleepily, nuzzling his chin against Ojiro’s cheek.
“Yeah, I don’t really remember it though,” the blond murmured back, lazy smile still alive on his cheeks. Shoji leaned away slightly as he gave a huge yawn, maw stretching wide and fangs bared as he was roused from his slumber. /He looks just like a cat when he does that/
Instead of rising, Shoji closed his eyes again and pulled Ojiro even closer to his body, so close that the tailed boy could feel the hot exhale of the giant’s breath displacing his tangled bedhead. “Five more minutes.”
“Mezo!” The boy giggled. “You know I don’t have a choice when you’re squeezing me to death!”
“Oh?” Ojiro gave a fake choking sound in between laughs as six huge arms hugged him all at once. “I guess I’ll get another couple hours if I just keep you captive like this, then.”
The blond play struggled a bit more before he felt his entire body rolling upwards with those giant arms still caging him into Shoji’s chest, unable to resist with little more than a wheezed *oof* as they rolled into a position with Shoji on his back and Ojiro resting on top. The sorbet sunlight was so inviting and Ojiro felt the gentle warmth on his back as he cradled his head into Shoji’s cushy pec, content to make it his new pillow. Being incarcerated in the prison of Shoji’s arms was the most pleasurable sentence he could’ve asked for. No plea bargain needed.
Heavy rumbles told Ojiro that his pillow had already purred himself back to sleep, so resistance was futile. Once he was trapped, he was stuck until Shoji decided to let him go, but he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Ojiro still had bad days, of course. Days when he wouldn’t get out of bed, days when he would absentmindedly reach back for those scars on his tail only to find that they were gone, replaced with the faint tracks of his burn. Days when all he could think about was how useless he was, but those days were also the ones where Shoji would scoop him up into his arms and plant kisses on any stray tears that managed to escape past the bars of Ojiro’s eyelashes.
The giant had continued to grow taller and taller as their time together progressed while Ojiro peaked at 5’8”, so he always felt so small and delicate when Shoji carried him bridal-style into his room and under the covers of their frankensteined superbed. The giant would listen and just hold him without judgment as Ojiro vented or cried or whatever his heart told him to do.
Sometimes he just wanted those tree-trunk arms around him and he would feel better. Shoji gave the best hugs, not that anyone else would know; Ojiro knew he was the only one lucky enough to find out.
He hummed gently in answer to the thrumming of Shoji’s heart and the vibrations of his purring. His eyes were slipping closed again. He couldn’t help it. The warmth was too intoxicating.
While he still had the strength, he craned up and gave a kiss right to the corner of Shoji’s maw.
New dreams were already half-started when Ojiro realized he forgot to say ‘I love you’, but he knew it wasn’t really necessary anymore; love lived in their room, lived in their bed, and it was alive in the arms holding him and in the heart beating in the chest beneath him.
That same love lived in Ojiro too, all the way from the top of his head to the tip of his tail.
He felt it, he always did, and he knew it was the truth because it was the one thing his mind never doubted.