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The Nights

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The night after he first met her, the nightmares were bearable. He still woke up in agony, fearing for his life, finding his sheets and pillow soaked with sweat, but the beginning of the nightmare had been delightful. It was so odd to describe his dreams in such a way, but it was true.

The more he saw of her, the more delightful they would start out as. In the beginning it was just her in the background, talking to a group of people as he passed by. But slowly she began to have more of a role in them; being the shop keep in his home town, his neighbor, eventually his partner on a picnic.

But the more he saw of her, the more devastating the nightmares became. She was always lost somehow, beginning with heartbreak and ending with her death. He couldn’t handle seeing her die every night and vowed to himself to keep his feelings for her leashed. When she would return from missions, he stayed in his office until called upon. He wouldn’t peek out his window when he heard the party leave, nor would he peer out the door when she passed beneath the barracks, gaining greetings from the merchants along the way.

The night he finally gave in to her, they were bearable once again. He didn’t worry about sleeping that night, his arms wrapped tightly around her body as she found a comfortable position against him. He fell asleep with a smile on his face and warmth in his heart (and arms).

The morning after he awoke with a start, the sunlight making him squint his eyes for a moment before he felt a weight on the bed beside him. She was alive. Right in front of him and alive. He steadied his breathing as they discussed his dreaming habits, their conversation ending with a parting comprised of ‘I love you’s. He had never been able to come down from the fear as quickly as he did that day.

The night before she fought Samson was one of the worst in his life. She slept in her own tent that night at his urging. Yes, he wanted to fall asleep with her right next to him, but he felt that they would grow too comfortable if something were to happen in the middle of the night. He was plagued by the normal nightmares, though each ended with Samson killing her in different ways. It was a wonder he was able to fight the next day.

The night after she defeated Corypheus, he slept for longer than three hours at a time. He didn’t wake up until the sun hit his eyes and he felt her hand gripping his shoulder. His nightmares had still plagued him, yes, but they weren’t as bad as they had been. She had been worried—explaining her grip on his shoulder—since he wasn’t fussing like usual. She had been more scared for him when he was sleeping peacefully.

And the night she didn’t return as scheduled was the first of many nights he stayed awake to fight off any nightmares that may come true.