Edd’s vision was swimming when he woke. His sight cracked with exhaustion, his mouth widened into a yawn. Someone was shaking him. He felt a brief flash of annoyance, because for once he was actually having a nice dream.
Then he heard Tord’s shattered sentences, which were almost drowned out by the rain that pounded on the roof. It rushed through the gutters and splattered to the ground. Edd slowly shifted into a sitting position, trying to rub the lingering sleep from his eyes.
“Edd, Edd, please, please, please, it’s loud and jeg er redd--and I can’t--Edd, Edd, please, I’m sorry. Jeg faller med min robot, jeg faller, Edd.”
Eyes wide and bleeding unbridled panic, Tord continued to speak in fragmented sentences. Edd stared at him, at a bit of a loss as what to do. He searched Tord’s face for anything that would tell him what was happening.
“Did you have a nightmare, dear?” he asked Tord, moving over. Tord didn’t reply, just kept babbling nonsense, so Edd grabbed his hands and pulled him onto the bed. Tears dripped down Tord’s cheeks, scrambling down desperately. Edd brushed them off with his thumb, pressing a kiss to Tord’s forehead.
“Just breathe with me, okay?” He guided Tord’s hands to his chest and took deep, exaggerated breaths. Tord struggled along with him.
Just when Edd thought Tord was calming down, the room lit up briefly, lightning tearing down from the sky. A loud rumble of thunder echoed through the room. Tord flinched and fisted his hands..
“Hey, hey, Tord, don’t worry. It’s just a little thunderstorm. Uhhh….tordenvær, right?”
“Torden,” Tord agreed, breath coming in short spurts as lightning flashed outside. Trembling, he curled into himself, burying his head in Edd’s chest. After a second, a louder BOOM! danced through the room, startling Tord so badly that he began to spout nonsense.
“Jig bede not svære redd, mut it’s høyt and og my robot faller, Edd, min robot faller, min robot faller.”
Edd’s mind raced as he tried to translate what Tord said with what little he knew. It didn’t help that he was mixing the Norwegian and English words together in his panic, though Edd was still able to piece it together rather quickly.
“No, no, Tord,” Edd said gently, carding his hands through Tord’s hair. “You’re fine, see? I’m here, you’re here, and Matt and Tom are sleeping in the rooms next to us. It’s over, Sunshine, it’s over.”
Tord just trembled in his hold, trying to nestle closer. Lightning illuminated the room again, and Edd tensed in anticipation. Boom! Tord whined softly.
Unnatural light flooded the room, spilling in from the doorway as the hallway light clicked on. Edd winced, hoping that it wasn’t them that woke up one of the others. A figure appeared in the doorway, silhouetted in the light, dashing his hopes.
“What’s all this racket?” Tom demanded, sounding cross, tone filtered and grainy with exhaustion. “I’m trying to sleep.”
Edd pulled Tord into his side and tried to peer past the blinding light to see Tom, squinting. Lightning cracked against the sky, distracting him. Tord let out a muffled scream with the thunder, squirming and trying to cover his ears, muttering, “No, no, no.”
Tom’s eyes widened.
Tom took a few faltering steps backward, hand loosely resting on the doorframe. Edd resisted the urge to glare at him--because you don’t just leave your friend when they’re like this what do you think you’re doing you motherfu--but Tom just smiled tightly, biting his lip with worry as he stared at Tord, and said, “I’ll be back with Matt, my darlings.”
Edd sagged in relief as Tom disappeared. He began to shift into a more convenient position. But the moment he did, Tord twisted the fabric of his pajama sleeve with his hand, gripping it tightly.
“Don’t leave,” Tord begged, sounding desperate. “Please don’t leave me alone.”
“I’m not going anywhere, sweetheart,” Edd replied, wrapping an arm around Tord and kissing his cheek. “I’m going to stay right here.”
They lay together quietly, the only noise Tord’s choked sobs and uneven breathing. Edd murmured sweet nothings in his ear. The rain had lessened, slowing to a soft patter. Edd hoped this meant the thunderstorm would be over soon.
Loud thumps were heard as Matt rushed into the room, beaming. He squealed--oddly awake for someone who must have been sleeping up until a couple seconds ago--and rushed over to them, practically throwing himself onto the bed.
“Cuddle pile!” Matt exclaimed energetically, squirming in next to Edd. Edd smiled at him, giggling when he kissed the side of his head.
The light from the hallway abruptly shut off, causing them all to turn to the door. The room was now coated in darkness, shadowy and warm. Edd tilted his head so it was laying on Matt’s chest.
Tom entered the room, shutting the door. He stood there, staring at them all, until Edd said, “Come on, dear. You, too.”
Sighing heavily, Tom walked over and slid in by Tord. “Hey, Sunshine Lollipops, how are we doing?” he whispered.
“Don’t call me that,” Tord whined weakly in protest. He moved so he was using Edd’s stomach as a pillow, his legs entangled with Tom’s.
In response, Tom began to sing, Matt then Edd joining in. Tord lightly kicked Tom, but gave up when Tom just glared at him and sang more aggressively, settling into a pout.
“Sunshine, lollipops and rainbows
“Everything that's wonderful is what I feel when we're together
“Brighter than a lucky penny
“When you're near the rain just disappears, dear
“And I feel so fine
“Just to know that you are mine.”
Eventually, they stopped, and Tord faded off to the steady rise and fall of Edd’s stomach. Matt drifted off next, then Tom. Edd was the last one awake, listening to the others breathing.
The rain petered off, subsiding just as Edd fell asleep.