In the stillness of the early morning hours, with nothing to be heard save for the angry howling of the wind and the pelting of rain outside, the mattress dips gently beside you and warm arms find purchase around your midsection. There's no question as to who has invaded your bed and your personal space, as no one aside from you and Spectre live in this house anymore. He's done this before, this spontaneous cuddling session in the middle of the night, and even if you'd been asleep in the first place you don't think you could bring yourself to mind.
His chin nestles comfortably in the crook of your neck as he hugs you from behind, soft puffs of breath tickling your ear. Your legs tangle together intimately and for a long while you don't dare to move, afraid of shattering the moment between the two of you.
But then, inevitably, he speaks. It's a quiet, hesitant voice that you're very familiar with, the one that helped to ease you from your nightmares those few months ago when you'd first lost everything. “Ryoken,” he says, shifting impossibly closer. You know you don't need to answer him in order for him to continue; even if you were asleep, you know he would keep speaking. “I had another dream.”
You swallow. “About the Tower?”
“No, I… I was back there, at the orphanage,” Spectre breathes against your skin, his voice muffled into your neck. “I was afraid that everything was a dream, that I'd made it all up, that you weren't real…”
Slowly, you turn in his arms and face him. You gaze into his eyes, reading the emotions there, and realize that he needs to be comforted; he’d never quite grown out of his childhood habit of retelling his nightmares to you, and this scenario is a familiar one.
Spectre bites his lip, unnerved at your silence, so you quickly move closer to him, resting your head under his chin and curling your arms around him.
“Ryoken,” he murmurs, clutching you closer and pressing his face to the top of your head. “Ryoken…” He’s trying to make sure you’re real, you think. His fingers glide curiously along your back, tracing over your shoulder blades with a gentleness you wouldn't have expected based on how tightly he's holding you. But that's simply how he is, and you like that about him; he is gentle.
When the world goes to ruin, your lives on the line and suddenly beyond the line because hell, your lives don't even matter anyway, you know that Spectre is the one person who will always remain by your side. He's too attached to you to ever think of leaving you, and he's too in love with you to ever want to.
You don't know if you love him, not even your own heart can tell you that. But you think that, with time, you'll know.
“Is this o-okay?” A nose nuzzles your hair affectionately as he speaks, voice hesitant and excited all at once, and for a moment you wonder why he even loves you at all. Surely someone so devoted and bright doesn't belong in your world of darkness. As one of his delicate hands tangle itself in the wild hairs at the nape of your neck and his head pulls away just enough to gaze worriedly into your eyes, you can't help but feel selfish that this source of light is all yours to keep.
But you don't want to share. If anyone else were to have this blue eyed blessing of yours, you don't think you'd be able to resist the darkness anymore. You fear what you would become without Spectre, and you know that yes, this is more than okay so long as he stays with you.
So you nod, a brief, curt little movement so lacking in outward emotion that it feels as if he should be disappointed in you, dissatisfied with your lack of affection towards him because he deserves all the affection in the world, but instead he gives a terribly happy grin, blue eyes shining with something that your darkness shouldn't gift him yet has. He shifts his face closer as if to test his boundaries, the tip of his nose nudging against yours, his free hand cupping your cheek in the most caressing of touches.
Spectre wants to kiss you, and you don't know if you could bring yourself to stop him if he tried. The thought worries you, but it's something you've known for a while now.
There's no meeting of lips, however, because the good thing about Spectre is that he's rarely selfish. He doesn't take, doesn't push. He settles for what he has, what he knows is safe and can grant him enough happiness to keep him living. Spectre doesn't kiss you, and somehow you feel disappointed. He's never been this close before, a mere breath away, so close yet still not close enough because, yes, you realize, you want him to kiss you. Maybe it’s your darkness speaking, that invisible knife still halfway lodged in your chest, the lurking sadness of loss and regret still clouding your mind, but it’s true.
His fingertips brush a long, languid trail down your back, coming to rest on your hip. You can't help but notice how he's flush against you, his everything fitting perfectly against your everything and creating something. It's like the two of you are pieces of a puzzle, perfect when together but incomplete when not.
And maybe you do love him. Certainly you can't imagine yourself without him.
So you go for it; surging forward ever so slowly, sure to warn him of your intentions, you kiss him. You've never kissed anyone before, and you're aware that this is something he should be leading, as he’s probably considered it more than you have, and it's with this thought in mind that you surrender control to him when he begins to tentatively press back.
His kiss is sweet and gentle and undeniably Spectre. He's never too demanding, always waiting and patient and worshipping and you think that yes, you might love him. Everything about him is so kind, so caring. He treats you like you’re expensive china, not in the sense that you’re breakable but in the sense that he values you, wants to keep you safe. It's intoxicating. Addicting.
You feel his fingers clenching in your shirt, his knuckles warm against your hip where his unease is revealed. He wants more, it tells you, more more more, because you've given him a taste and now he's become a little greedy, he's suddenly become a little selfish, and his hands shakily slide up and down your sides, mapping out your every dip and curve. A soft keening sound slips from his throat as his tongue caresses your lips, insistent but trying desperately to remain gentle. He would never force you to do anything you don’t want.
But Spectre wants you and, captivated, you contemplate surrendering yourself to him.
“Ryoken,” he breathes into your mouth, supplying you with the oxygen you'd steadily run out of. You steal his air, his breath, drink it in completely. “This is enough, Ryoken,” he continues and his eyes are dark, darker than you've ever seen them before, but they are still undeniably gentle, undeniably fond.
He kisses you again, parts for a moment to smile at you, then repeats the action. He showers you with small pecks that make you grin and feel uncharacteristically breathless, then when you feel like your chest might burst with warmth he kisses you properly again, slow and passionate. Spectre takes you in, claiming your mouth, lips, tongue as his own and ruling over them with a quiet dominance. Your hands tremble as they lift to run through his hair, holding him in place or perhaps grounding yourself as his kiss sends jolts of electricity straight down your spine all the way to your toes.
“I love you,” he whispers, brows furrowed, and cradles your face in the palms of his hands.
Soft blue eyes plead with you. “Spectre,” you murmur, heart skipping multiple beats, but before you can say anything more he’s smoothing back your hair and pressing his lips to your forehead.
“You don’t have to say it back. I love you regardless of how you feel for me.”
Something in your chest flutters -- your lungs, maybe, as you can no longer find the breath to form words, or perhaps it’s your heart. You pull him to your chest and hold him tightly, the fondest of smiles tugging incessantly at your lips as he snuggles into you. Yes, you think, you might love this boy. You certainly love his happiness and his sorrow, his desire and his fear, his passion, his smile...
Distantly you note that this must be how he feels about you as well.
He falls asleep to you stroking his hair, and as the sun rises beyond the windowpane, bathing him in golden light, you wake him with a series of kisses that leave him a blushing mess.