The darkness of night had already stained Oz’s windows a dark navy blue, but he stayed sat up by the fireplace catching up on his favorite book series. Apparently, a plethora of sequels had been released in the time he spent in the abyss. Ada had convinced Elliot to let her bring all of them to him, but he was only allowed one and a half weeks to finish them all. Uncle Oscar kept him busy with his school work throughout the day, so these late night reading marathons were all he had. He was just at the end of the page when he heard his door open quietly. A girl’s head appeared before the rest of her.
“Alice? What are you doing up this late?” Oz questioned in a soft, not-quite-whisper tone.
“I couldn’t sleep,” was her simply stated yet complex reply.
It hadn’t been very long since the discovery of the Will of the Abyss and everything else, so it made sense that Alice wouldn’t rest well. But even in times of fatal danger, she had always been known to crash as soon as her head hit the pillow. Still, Oz didn’t ask questions as she came and sat beside him. He lightly put his arm around her shoulders and urged her to scoot in. She obeyed and leaned her head on his shoulder.
To Oz, this all seemed normal. He did have a little sister, after all. Though he didn’t get the pleasure of truly growing up with her, he still took care of her in the same manner as he was doing for Alice. When they were younger, Ada would sneak into Oz’s room and lay with him in his bed. It was commonplace for him to wake up facing her. As much as Alice would hate to admit it, she was just like any other girl. She wanted to feel safe and loved. She wanted some sort of escape from her chaotic life. Actually, she was just like any human .
Oz began to read his book out loud sort of like a bedtime story. Eventually, though, Alice was asking too many questions for him to enjoy it, so he set it down on the floor. They sat in silence and listened to the fire crackle and the wind howl through the window. Alice began to feel sleepy, her eyelids drooping, her body becoming heavier. Oz noticed her small snores and chuckled. But in the serene quiet, he heard footsteps approaching. He figured they’d go right past his room, but he was wrong. He could see his doorknob twist and then Gilbert stepping in quietly.
“Why are you here, Gil?” Oz whispered.
Gilbert turned sharply, just noticing that his young master was not in his bed.
“I came to check on you like I used to. Now that things are settling down, I wanted to return things to normal.” He took a few steps closer and realized Oz was not alone. His face dropped. Any trace of happiness was gone.
“What’s wrong, Gil.”
He was quiet for a few seconds before choking out, “Why are you… Why are you with h-her? We just discovered who she really is and you’re letting her sleep with you?!” Gilbert said this in a shout, waking Alice up. She was immediately on her feet and face to face with Gil.
“What’re you doing here?! Oz is my servant! Back off!”
“He was my master before you even knew you could escape the Abyss!”
“Guys-” Oz tried to interject, but was cut off by Alice hissing at Gilbert.
They continued to bicker, but it got out of hand when Gil grabbed Alice’s wrist and yanked it behind her back. He wrestled her to the floor and pinned her down. Alice was going to call on Oz’s power to turn her into B-Rabbit before he yelled, “STOP!”
Both of them looked up at him. Gilbert slowly stood from the floor, but Alice stayed sitting down and grimaced at him.
“Alice,” Oz said sternly. “Get out.”
“Leave. Now. I need to talk to Gilbert.”
She sighed before picking herself up off the ground and trudging out of the room. Now Oz looked straight into to Gilbert’s eyes. This was oddly intimidating to the older man and he actually took a step back. Oz just took two forward so that they were only a foot apart. Then he heard Gil audibly gulp. Why was he so scared right now?
But Oz did something unexpected. He looked down and reached for Gil’s hand. Then in an almost… Desperate voice, he said, “Why are you so jealous?”
Gilbert was taken aback. He stammered a bit before Oz looked up at him with a disappointed face.
“I’ve never said it, Gil, but you know I love you. You were by my side before all of this happened and you’re still here now. But I love Alice, too. And she doesn’t deserve to be yelled at if she even looks at me in a way you don’t like.”
“Oz… I-I don’t…” he couldn’t find the words to say.
“It’s okay. Just… Go a little easier on her. Please?”
Gilbert just nodded. He looked down at their hands, still together. He liked how dainty his young master’s fingers were and how porcelain his skin was. In that moment, a feeling washed over him. A strong urge he couldn’t ignore. He bent down and kissed Oz’s cheek. When he pulled back he blushed as the blonde-haired boy smiled wildly.
“After all this time… Why haven’t you done that before?” Oz giggled as he tackled Gilbert to the floor. He planted his lips onto the other boy’s very lightly at first, but then a little harder when Gil actually realized what was going on. They only continued for a moment before Oz stopped and just rested his forehead on Gilbert’s.
“I won’t be jealous anymore,” he whispered.