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What Goes Bump at Night

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"AAAAAAAAAHHHH!!!! DDDDAAAAADDDDDDDDYYY!!!"

A horrible scream broke Thornstriker from her sleep.  As she sat up, trying to figure out still in her sleepy mind what it was, she could feel Bloodshed's arm tighten around her waist.  He was already sitting up as well.

It took her a second to recognize it as their daughter's voice.  Solara was screaming.  She was scared.

Before she could even do anything, Bloodshed was already running out the door to Solara's room.  She was still screaming even when Bloodshed opened her door and disappeared inside.

Snapping out of her confusion, Thornstriker quickly got out of bed and hurried to the child's room.  She would normally be afraid about a possibly burglary if it weren't for two things.

One; the advance security system Bombrush had put on the house well before he gave it to them.  And two; Solara had been having bad dreams as of recently.

Inside the room, the small woman was greeted with the sight of her husband kneeling next to Solara's bed, their four year old daughter having already crawled out of bed into her father's strong arms.  The poor girl was shivering again, crying uncontrollable as Bloodshed gently held her and stroked her hair.

"It's okay now, it's okay now.  Daddy's here.  Daddy won't let anything hurt you, Solara."

"UUUUUAAAAHHHHH!!!  *sniff sniff* M-Mom-ma!"

"Solara, I'm here.  Mommy's here."  Thornstriker quickly came over to kneel next to her husband as he continued to soothe the child.

But she was surprised when her daughter's tear stained face turned to her and cried harder.  "M-Momma!"

Thornstriker didn't mind her daughter pulling out of Bloodshed's arms to run to her for comfort, but it was a bit odd.  Solara's previous nightmares often left her unable to let go of Bloodshed, wanting to hold on to him to protect her or save her from what had happened in the bad dream.

"Mommy!"

"Solara, what's wrong sweetie?"  Thornstriker gently started consoling her as Bloodshed turned to watch them, horror and concern still rampant in his eyes and body, "Was a scary monster chasing after you again?"

"You're okay, Mommy!  You're okay!"

Both Thornstriker and Bloodshed blinked.  What the-?

"Of course I'm okay, sweetie.  I'm right-"

"You got taken away!"

"Solara?"

"Mommy was-?"

"A big, bad spider came outta my closet and I was scared and it went in your room and took you, Mommy!  It took you away and I tried to get you back, but I was scared and I didn't know where you were and Daddy wasn't there and I was trying to save you, but I didn't find you and you were gone Mommy and I was scared!  But I ran and I looked for you and the bad spider monster was taking you away and I was scared-!"  Solara's story suddenly stopped as she started to cry again, her grip on Thornstriker tightening as she pulled herself into her mother's bosom.

Thornstriker looked up to see Bloodshed staring back at her with what could only be a mirror expression of her face on his.  Primus, where did that sort of dream come from?  Unlike Solara's other ones, where she was either drowning (a bad memory) or seeing a scary spider monster (she hated spiders), none of them had been as... descriptive as this one.  And for Thornstriker to be taken away?

Was it something she had read in one of her storybooks?  When had they read something like that?  Or was it something she had heard in preschool?  Maybe a book they had read there? Whatever it was, it was a strange nightmare... But still, a nightmare was a nightmare and it had frightened Solara to tears.

Stroking her hair again, Thornstriker cleared her throat and said, "It's all right, Solara, it’s okay... I'm all right. Nothing took Mommy away. It was just a bad dream."

"B-But it-"

Thornstriker quietly shushed her, reaching down and wiping the tears out of her eyes. "There are no giant spiders in your closet trying to take me away. Nothing's trying to take me away from you and I'm not going anywhere."

"M-Mommy."

"Nothing's going to take Mommy away."

Thornstriker looked up to Bloodshed, who was now just in front of her as he reached up to pull them both into his arms.  His head rested on top of hers as his hand came up to stroke Solara's cheek, who had also turned up to look at her Daddy.

"I won't let anything happen to Mommy.  I won't let anything happen to you either, Solara.  I'll protect you both.  I will always protect you both."

Thornstriker could feel him shaking.  Primus, it must have been horrifying for Bloodshed to hear that dream.  Solara was always protective of her, something she had inherited from her father.  Bloodshed had probably had bad thoughts about the same thing happening to her... or worse.

"See Solara?  Daddy will protect us.  No bad spider monster will hurt us."

Solara didn't respond, simply nodding her head as she continued to sniffle into her mother's pajama top.

It took a few more minutes, but once Solara calmed down a bit more, they brought her over to their room.  But not before Bloodshed checked the closet in both rooms to make sure there was no spider monster in there.  And not before he had to double check that the closets were locked or otherwise barricaded.

But once everything was double checked and monster free, Solara snuggled up between her parents as they fell back to sleep.  Thornstriker could still feel her daughter's grip tight on her shirt, as if afraid she would be taken away if she didn't.  And she could feel Bloodshed's arm wrapped around them both, his hands tightly gripping her back as if afraid she would disappear if he didn't.

Thornstriker wished she could do something to stop Solara's nightmares, but at least she would have them around to protect her. Though, it would probably be a while before her daughter would gain the courage to fight her scary monsters.  

And, even more likely, it would probably be a while until she and Bloodshed had the bed to themselves again too.   And when that happened, she would be there for him.

She would protect Bloodshed from his own nightmares.