When James wakes up in the middle of the night, he finds John's eyes lazily wandering over him. He notices him, and James is barely conscious of the smile that they share, almost invisible in the dark. A hand slides through the blankets and reaches his thigh, a careful, brief, subtle touch.
'Nightmare again?' James asks softly, sleepy voice.
Short answer, but that's the only thing he needs. James nods, fingers reaching the hand on his thigh and wrapping around it, a reassuring touch. A you're not alone touch. John sighs, without adding anything, and James wishes he could reach him. Help him.
It's not love. They're friends, good friends. They've fought together, saved each other's life countless times now. The sex started as a fun way to release stress and, up to this day, both agree that's the way they want to keep it. Less complicated. Their relationship is great as it is. They satisfy each other's needs, and it actually helps. To stay focused, to not think too much about what's going on everywhere. It has also reinforced the bond between them. And it feels good to wake up next to someone, to feel you're not alone.
'Go back to sleep, James'
He doesn't want to. He also has nightmares, ever since Fehl Prime. The people he couldn't save appear in his every dream, haunting him, making him feel nervous, restless, stressed and gloomy. James knows John feels the same and doesn't want to add to his concern. His lips reach John's , and it's more like a shared breath than a kiss.
'Okay, Loco. You should sleep too'
A short snort comes out of James's mouth, but he says nothing. He's seen the darkness growing around John's eyes for the past weeks, and he knows it's not going to stop. So he just obeys, trying to think about nothing, his hand still holding John's.
Some minutes later, he's asleep again, and everything starts where it stopped the last time. People screaming, dying in front of his eyes. Then, silence, and he's again at the quiet forest, desperately trying to reach the kid, green innocent eyes so bright among the flames.