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If Only for a Night

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After several weeks of peaceful sleep, Jojen finally had another nightmare. One of those awful ones where he would wake up drenched in sweat, croaking out screams that always seemed to die before they could breach his lips. Bran, exhausted from the previous day’s physical therapy, wouldn’t have noticed had he not felt the absence of warmth against his chest, a sign that Meera was no longer lying next to him. 

He opened his eyes in the dark, squinting to see her moving to the other side of the bed where her brother was breathing heavily. He heard her shush him in a soft murmur and then felt the bed settle as she tucked herself into his side. 

Bran should have comforted Jojen, that was what he usually did after all. That was what he usually wanted to do.

But, tonight, he decided he needed to know how they were when he wasn’t around, and he kept up the appearance of sleep.

He could hear Meera’s quiet lullaby, the one she always sang when one (or the both of them) couldn’t sleep. The one her mother had sung to them as children before they’d even dreamed of meeting Bran.

He knew the words but he couldn’t make them out, her mouth was surely pressed right against her brother’s ear, muffling the sound.

Jojen’s ragged breathing was beginning to slow as the song ended, and Bran opened up his right eye slightly to make sure everything was ok.

He could just barely see that Meera’s body was draped over her brother’s like a security blanket, her thigh slung across his stomach with a knee pressed into his hip, holding him in place. None of Bran’s sister’s had done that with him, even when they had been really young and shared beds all the time.

He felt a strange sense of disappoint at realizing this. 

He had just decided to close his eyes again, feeling confident that Jojen was fine once more, and in very good hands lest he wake up again, when he saw something very peculiar.

Jojen’s hand reached to cup his sister’s cheek, holding her gaze in what Bran would say was a silent thank you, before tilting his head forward and kissing her right on the mouth.

Bran had been kissed by his mother and his sisters, even a few times by his father when he’d been very young, but those kisses were quick and produced a nice, loud smacking noise that he’d come to associate with familial affection.

This kiss was nothing like that.

Granted, Bran couldn’t see much in the dark, but he heard no smack of lips parting, and both heads were in the same positions as before. He knew it had been at least ten seconds by now, it had to be. He shut his eyes tightly, suddenly ashamed that he’d been spying, especially since the moment seemed very clandestine given the siblings’ exaggerated quiet. 

If they wanted to act like lovers in the dark, he would let them.

All of their affection was given to him during the day, it was only fair to let them have the night.