Here it is! The first-est! The wonderful! Our first ever fanfiction submission!
And on top of all that, it's really good!
This story was written by Jacquelyn
(who's name I pray I spelled right). The beautious words, thus
belong to her (the characters, of course, still ours). She gets uber-spiffy points,
both for writing it (which made our week), and for letting us post it. *does happy dance*
In the middle of the story there is a cute reference to this comic... I was highly entertained.
Sanctuary was four steps away. Two to the door, one to step inside, and one more to give himself room to close off the rest of the world. Four steps was such a small distance. So why, after making it all the way from school, even stopping by work to tell them he wouldn’t be able to take his shift, couldn’t he push himself away from the wall and take them?
Fine. His shoulder wouldn’t hurt any worse if it rubbed along the supportive surface while he stumbled forward. One step, then a pause. Let the world return to its regular rotation and quit spinning around him. Two step, wait again. Three step, almost there.
Four step. Sanctuary confirmed with the click of a closing door. He had made it, free of parental unit interference, and managed to not leave a blood trail. He would sigh his relief if it didn’t hurt to breath.
"Red isn’t your color."
When startled, a deer will abruptly reverse direction and dash away. Nicodemus did not have this option, and trying only left him coughing on the floor.
The creaks of springs complaining came from the vicinity of Nicodemus’ bed. Footsteps soon followed, and a hand gently rolled him onto his back. Shivering from loss of blood and fear he was about to loose more, he kept his eyes shut. The monsters had followed him. They had followed him, and waited for him.
The hand pulled away. He waited for the punch that was sure to come. Nothing happened. They were playing with him. Letting him drop his guard before they started again. Nothing happened. No punch, no kicks, not even a taunt. Cautiously, he opened his eyes.
His door was open, and walking to it was the most apathetic person he knew.
"Where are the bandages? Real ones, not those useless things."
"Bottom of closet. Old toy box." He coughed again, wincing at the blood he could see on the carpet. He hated getting those stains out.
"Why-?" Cough, force a few breaths, swallow, try again. "Why are you here?"
Maybe Naim was concentrating on reading the antiseptic’s instructions. Then again, maybe he had decided enough had already been said, or that the question was not worthy of his answer.
Not that it mattered. Nicodemus was distracted by the sudden reminder that anything with alcohol in it burned when touched to wounds. He was further distracted by the familiar blackness creeping around the edge of his vision. Fighting it was useless, but he tried none the less.
He recognized the feel of his bed beneath him. The weight beside him was a new sensation. After several minutes of fuzzy recollection, he thought he had it figured out. Wounds that could be were bandaged, his coat and shirt were on the floor by the door, and his shoes were neatly sitting beside Naim’s. Naim. The boy who was the source of the weight beside him. Who had somehow gotten into his room. After nearly giving Nicodemus a heart attack, had cleaned him up and moved him to bed. Where he joined him, and currently lay holding the end of his leash.
Currently lay. Beside a shirtless Nicodemus. Holding his leash.
"Shh.....Can’t hear you. I’m sleeping."
Hopeless apathetic boy. He could have better conversation with a worm. Fine. He wanted his shirt. Rolling onto his side, he dropped his legs over the edge and attempted to sit up. Pressure around his neck kept him from achieving his goal.
"Said I’m sleeping."
"Relax. You will be soon."
Nicodemus frowned, "What about-"
"Not here. Note on the fridge said they’d be back in a week. Or something. Sleep."
"Oh." One problem taken care of. No explanations to think up for his swollen eye, and no need to make sure he was covered. The only other person in the house already knew of his wounds, and was refusing to let him get up. Sighing, he pulled his feet back on the bed and wiggled into a more comfortable position. He would rather have a shirt on, but it was obvious he wouldn’t be permitted to get a new one.
Pouting would be considered childish, but considering all the pain he was in, and the general unfairness of his situation, Nicodemus felt he was permitted a bit of immature behavior. He crossed his arms with a huff and began to brood. Stuck in his own bed, denied the right to put on a new shirt, and he still didn’t know why Naim was in his room. Another huff accompanied his movements as he rolled over. Now he could see his latest tormentor. Who was also shirtless.
A sudden rush of blood to his cheeks left him a little lightheaded. Things kept getting worse as the day wore on. Except it wasn’t day anymore, his mind informed him. The window revealed the dark status of outside, thus it was night. And Naim was laying beside him, in his bed, and shirtless.
He tried to avoid thinking about it any more by rolling over again. Out of sight, out of mind. Right? Might have worked, except he abruptly found his back pressed to the warm comfort that was Naim’s abdomen. After a valiant struggle Nicodemus was kept firmly in place by the arm of his bed companion. All intelligible thoughts fled when his head was tucked neatly under the other boy’s chin. He stilled, ceasing all attempts to free himself and held his breath.
He was not- could not be -in such an intimate position. There was a simple explanation to everything that had transpired since he entered his room. He was delusional. Naim was not here. He had bandaged his own wounds, forgotten to put on a new shirt when he climbed into bed, and was only imagining the very realistic warmth enveloping him. Very possible. Severe blood loss and physical exhaustion caused hallucinations. He probably had a concussion, too. He shouldn’t sleep. He should get up and take a shower.
Only, if it was all in his imagination, he didn’t want to end it. So, he stayed where he was. Not because he was being held by a boy who always managed to make him blush, but because if he moved again reality was sure to come slap him in the face and ruin the moment. Even though he knew it was a bad idea, he let himself gently drift to sleep. It was amazing, he noted sarcastically, how strong his mind was to be able to keep the illusion realistic for so long.
Morning came, as it tends to do, only this time it brought along its favorite companion. Reality took little time to jolt Nicodemus fully out of sleep. Apparitions of the mind did not last through the night to accompany their creator in the morning.
He scrambled out of the loose hold and immediately had the sensation of falling. Followed closely by the painful reminder that his floor was hard. Unable to stop the yelp that resulted, he quickly covered his mouth and hoped Naim had not awakened.
Fate was feeling particularly unkind, and this was brought to his attention when eyes peered lazily down at him.
Commanding his abused body to move, Nicodemus pushed himself up with the help of his bed. He pointedly ignored Naim, and was about to try his luck again at putting on a shirt when he discovered the other still held his leash.
"Let me go."
"I want a shirt. And clean pants."
Naim propped his head up on his hands and redirected his apathetic gaze at the wounded boy’s lower body.
"What?" Nicodemus wanted to squirm under the weight of those eyes. Suppressing the urge, he looked down to see what was so fascinating.
He already had clean pants on. He should have noticed it earlier. Dried blood had the distinct ability to make clothing uncomfortable. He really should have noticed it earlier. But, if he had changed into a clean pair he would remember doing it, right? Naim had been the one to bandage him, and to relieve him of his coat, shirt, and shoes. Which lead to the logical conclusion that he had also . . .
Looking rather like a rabbit cornered by a dog, only with a swollen eye to make things more dramatic, Nicodemus was unable to focus.
Naim, who was one never to waste energy when he need not, sat up and tugged on the leash. Still trying to put together a coherent thought, the boy at the other end put up very little resistance. Leaning slightly forward, soft lips brushed against slightly swollen ones for the briefest of kisses. It was over before it registered in the darker boy’s battered mind. By the time he broke free of the trance, Naim had calmly strolled through his door and left it open behind him.
"Breakfast sounds good," the indifferent call drifted back. After a pause, the owner of the voice stood in the doorway again. "We’re alone. I don’t cook, and don’t want anything you would cook right now. Where’s your phonebook?"
It was a little too much for Nicodemus to comprehend. He slumped to the floor and stared blankly at the boy who had stolen his first kiss.
"Drawer. Kitchen," he finally managed. "School?"
"Not bothering," Naim drawled as he vanished down the hall again.