It was approximately 10:43 pm on a Tuesday night when Pran heard a soft tapping on his door. This was considered pretty late for him, and he was already dressed in his pajamas ready for bed. He couldn’t imagine who was knocking at his door at this time of night.
Nevertheless, he made his way across the cool tiles to his door. As he looked through the peep-hole, he felt his heart drop.
He couldn’t begin to wonder what Pat was doing knocking at his door at this time of night. But, he’d be lying if he said his heart didn’t skip a beat when he saw him. About as soon as he opened the door, Pat pushed his way in, saying nothing, not even asking for an invitation.
“Hey! Who said you could come in? Especially at this hour!”
Pat just gave him a smirk and sprawled himself right out on Pran’s couch. “I’m staying here tonight,” Pat spoke firmly, yet gently.
“Who says you can stay here?”
Pran sighed. Of course, he would let Pat stay with him. He couldn’t seem to say no, even if he wanted to. And he’d be lying to himself if he said he didn’t love the sight of Pat laid out on his couch wearing a deep-cut tank top and a pair of shorts.
“Fine. You can stay, but you’re sleeping on the floor again.”
Pat gave no objections, simply happy—and surprised—that Pran agreed to let him stay with no explanation required. Pat couldn’t deny that being around Pran made him feel good, but he buried it deep inside himself and played it off as normal feelings one would have towards a frenemy. A bit of playful hostility, but deep down, intense, genuine care for the other.
“I’ll sleep on the floor if you make my bed, honey.” Pat put on his highest possible voice, making sure to exaggerate on the word honey to rile Pran up. Pat didn’t know why, but he loved getting a rise out of Pran. Knowing he had enough influence over Pran to get a reaction out of him made Pat feel...special, almost.
“I’m only doing this so you shut up. And this is the last of our impromptu sleepovers.”
Pat watched as Pran laid his bed out. Something about watching Pran set his heart aflame. He’s noticed quite often that he enjoys simply watching Pran in his natural state. Doing a homework assignment or eating lunch, Pat could watch him forever. He would almost call it an infatuation. But the real problem lay in Pat's mind. He felt as if he was at war with himself. He was supposed to like Ink, but he’s realized that the flame in his heart burns brightest when he’s with Pran. His Pran.
Pran snapped Pat out of his thoughts, “Beds all set up.”
Pat and Pran both headed to their respective sleep areas and turned the lights off.
After twenty-five minutes of tossing and turning went by, Pat turned to look at a sleeping Pran.
He stared at Pran’s sleeping face and his mind was filled with cheesy fantasies he thought only existed in movies. He imagined himself reaching out to stroke Pran’s cheek, to kiss his hair and hold him tightly as they both fell asleep. He longed for it so badly he could almost feel it. He wondered if Pran’s hair was as soft and fluffy as it looked.
Just as Pat felt he really just might reach out to stroke his hair, Pran sleepily opened his eyes.
“Why are you staring at me? I can feel it.” He mumbled in a raspy voice.
Cute, Pat thought.
“I can’t sleep. This floor is as hard as a rock.”
“You had no trouble sleeping on it last time. Go to bed.”
Pat sighed, “It’s different this time! The bed isn’t as soft. And it doesn’t smell as good as it did before.” It didn’t smell like Pran anymore.
Pran looked at him, and Pat swore he could sense something in his eyes, something debating.
Before he could even register what was happening, Pran scooted over to the opposite side of the bed and lifted his blanket up, inviting Pat to lay beside him.
Pat hesitated, wondering if he was misunderstanding something, but his doubts were cleared when Pran spoke, “Come on or I’m changing my mind."
Pat jumped into Pran’s bed like a child jumping in their parents’ bed on Christmas morning. So eager and...excited. He felt like there was electricity running through his bones.
“Now go to bed.”
“But what about my Nong Nao doll? I have to hug it to sleep.” Pat was just teasing, expecting nothing in response, but Pran replied in a soft, hesitant voice.
“You... You can...” Pran whispered. Pat felt his heart start to race. “You can go to your own room if you need your doll!”
Pat felt a tinge of disappointment, but it’s not like he expected Pran to tell him “You can cuddle me to sleep!” even if he wishes he would have.
After a few minutes of silence, and Pat non-stop staring at Pran’s back, Pat wanted to be brave. He wanted to hold Pran like he’d imagined so many times before, and he wanted to embrace his desires.
“Are you awake?” Pat whispered.
Pat took a deep breath in. He wasn’t brave enough to say it, so he took his finger to Pran’s back, writing a message.
“C-A-N I H-O-L-D Y-O-U?”
Pran slowly relaxed into Pat’s touch as he wrote, and then they laid in silence for a few passing moments, and Pat was terrified that he’s ruined it all. Their relationship, their friendship, or whatever they had going on. He didn’t expect Pran to even reply. Maybe he couldn’t even tell what he wrote. Maybe it was for the best.
Just as he had given up hope, he heard Pran whisper breathlessly, “Yeah.”
Pat felt his heartbeat quicken. As he pulled Pran into his chest, holding him in his arms as tight as he could, he felt so warm and fuzzy. It was so much better than he’d imagined. Pran smelled, well, like Pran, and Pran was one of his favorite scents. He could feel Pran’s hair tickling his face and yes, it was just as soft and fluffy as he imagined. He felt like he was dreaming.
Pran whispering goodnight to him was the last thing he remembers hearing before he drifted off to sleep.
Needless to say, this wasn’t the last of their impromptu sleepovers. In fact, at their next sleepover weeks later, Pat mustered up the courage to kiss Pran, and Pat no longer had to dream about holding Pran every night. He could touch him, kiss him, and love him as much as he pleased. He never felt more at bliss.