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Late Night Cocoa Coffee

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The room was dark, the only light coming in from the window. Max groans as he feels a hand land on his face, prompting him to wake up. He squints as his eyes adjust to the lack of light in his room. To his right was his longtime friend, Nikki, and was also the culprit to waking Max up. He smacks her hand off, none of this having seemed to wake her up. With a grunt he turns over to face to the left, where his face meets his other longtime friend, Neil. Neil, unlike Nikki, kept his hands close to his person, his thumb lodged in his mouth, saliva trickling down his palm. With disgust on his face, Max pushes his body back, causing NIkki to be pushed off of the bed. A loud thud is heard but there was no noise to follow it, Max rolls his eyes as he recalls how she’s a really heavy sleeper. Neil, on the other hand, was a light sleeper, so this noise did not please him. Neil groaned as his eyes began to creak open, eyes also trying to adjust to the dimness of the room.

Max sticks his tongue out at Niel and smirks as Neil begins to realize what he had been doing in his sleep. He pulls his hand from his mouth and wipes his saliva on the bed frame. This causes Max’s taunt to turn into a scowl. He raises his foot and decides to push Neil off of the bed as well. Neil’s smirk is gone as he also falls off the bed, his yelp a lot louder than Nikki’s. Max chuckled as he rolled onto his back, the bed now all his, even if just for a second. His eyes find their way to the clock sitting next to the bed on the nightstand, it’s red digits glaring at his eyes. He sees that it’s 4:13am and his smile goes away. He feels the left side of the bed dip as Neil gets back onto the bed. “Max, what the fuck?” He spit out as he pulled the blanket over himself again. Max turns his body so that he was now properly facing Neil, “You just rubbed your fucking spit on the bed frame I bought.” He spit back.

Neil’s smirk returned, “oh yeah, forgot I did that,” He lies. This causes Max’s frown to grow, as he angrily turns away from Neil. The winter weather didn’t help at all, their shitty apartment hardly keeping the warmth in. “I only let y’all sleep in here because it’s fucking cold.” Neil doesn't give a response, instead getting up off of the bed instead. “I’m wide awake now, want me to make us some chocolate coffee?” Max considers it and decides to go for it, it’s not like he had work later that day. He was wide awake now, so might as well he reasons with himself. He gets up and shrugs “you've caught my interest,” he answers, accepting the fact he won’t fall asleep now anytime soon. He pulls the thick blanket they were sharing over his bare chest, nudging Nikki with his foot. She only now begins to stir, Max’s poking only growing persistent. Nikki opens her tired eye, “What?” she whined. Neil opened the room door and turned on the hallway light. The light pours in and hits Nikki’s eyes, making her stir. “Neil’s making mom stuff, want some?” Max jokes, earning an annoyed tongue click from Neil. Nikki slowly rises, the sleep slipping from her body. “Yeah sure, I’m already awake so why not.”

With all three of them awake now, they all head to the kicthen for some (really fucking early) morning coffee. Nikki joins Max in the shelter of the blanket, Her tank top and underwear not exactly giving her the warmth she needed. Max groans but let’s her in, understanding how it felt since he himself was wearing nothing but his boxers. Neil rolls his eyes, turning on the kitchen light in their shared apartment. Neil was the only one who bothered to wear clothes while they slept, a simple white t-shirt and pajama bottoms that held enough warmth in for himself. He was also the only one who slept with socks out of the three. “Y’know, you both wouldn’t be as cold if y’all had slept with actual clothes on,” Neil remarks. Nikki sticks her tongue out at him,”I like to sleep comfortable, Neil.” Max shrugged,”She’s got a point.” Neil just rolls his eyes for what felt like the tenth time that night, continuing to fix their group coffee. Max and Nikki just watch, both keeping to themselves in the kitchen entrance.

Max leaves the warmth and comfort of the blanket, repugnantly walking towards Neil. He ducks below and opens one of their lower cabinets, pulling out the chocolate powder to add on later. Nikki walks to the fridge, pulling out the milk and setting it on the opposite side to the burner Neil had turned on. Neil grabs the milk and pours a generous amount of the milk into the small pot and hands the Milk back to Nikki, who puts it back in the fridge. Max pours the chocolate powder into the pot as Neil leaves to get the coffee from the pantry. After adding a glorious amount of said powder, Max puts it up and makes way for Neil to put the instant coffee into the now warm pot. Nikki grabs a dipper for Niel just as he finished adding the coffee, handing it to him. Max grabs the container with the coffee and puts it back, leaving Neil to stir.

“None of y’all have work later today?” Neil asks. Nikki shakes her head and so does Max. “It’s the weekend, so boss let me have it off cause he knows I try to spend as much time as I can with Skye.” Nikki leans against the breakfast bar, resting her head on her propped arm. Max shrugs, “My boss left town for something and left the shop to his son, so I won’t be working until Tuesday.” Neil nodded, his stirring going still as he heard small footsteps approaching them. “Uncle Neil? Ma, dad?” They all turn to the small voice, seeing Skye. Skye was Nikki and Max’s daughter, a product of their questioning of sexuality.

They had messed around when they were younger and Skye was the product of that, although Nikki turned out to be a lesbian her and Max remained close friends. “Ah crap, did we wake you up?” Neil asks, placing the dipper to the side of the burner. “I woke up to pee but saw that the light was on,” she tiredly responded. Nikki, who joined Neil to assist her daughter, picked her up and held her by her hip. “You’re lucky it’s the weekend, if not we would’ve sent you back to bed.” Skye tiredly pressed her face into the side of her mother’s chest, “Noo, I wanna stay up with y’all!” She stubbornly replies. This gives Neil a slight chuckle, “Did you want hot chocolate?” He asks. Skye nods, reaching her arms towards the cabinets which held the plates and cups. Max takes her from Nikki’s side, wrapping the blanket around her while doing so. He walks her to the cabinets and holds her up, allowing her to open one and retrieve her favorite cup.

It was a 8 ounce cup in the shape of a unicorn. Max holds her to his side and she gently puts the cup down on the counter. Nikki is quick to get out the sweet cocoa powder and milk. She put in a spoonful of the powder and filled the rest with milk. She then takes the cup and places it in the microwave. With that finished, Max places Skye down, handing over the blanket to her. “Here, go and lay on the couch with your ma, me and uncle Neil will bring you your hot chocolate when it’s done,” he softly tells her. She gives him a toothy smile and a quick nod, grabbing Nikki’s hand and pulling her to their shared living room. Max turns to Neil, who had since gone back to watching over the coffee and chocolate mix and they make eye contact. “Do you have work today?” He asks him.

Neil nodded, eyes finding their way back to the small pot, “But i’m gonna be closing, so I should be fine.” Max leans against the counter, his back facing the wall and his eyes facing forward, looking into the connected living room. “Thanks for being there for us,” he mumbles out, pride too strong to loudly admit it. “Ever since Skye was born you’ve been a big help to me and Nikki, so thanks,” he grunts out. Neil hums back, a smile growing on his face. The microwave dings, notifying the two that it had finished heating up the milk. Max pulls it out and mixes the powder at the bottom with a spoon. Before he leaves the kitchen he gives Neil a glare, “Don’t tell anyone about this exchange,” he hissed out. Neil chuckled and rolled his eyes, “My lips are sealed.” Satisfied with that answer, Max leaves the kitchen and goes to join Nikki and Skye. Neil’s smile grows as he turns off the stove, coffee now finished. Though he knew that this wouldn’t last forever, the three of them living together, he still chose to live in the moment and enjoy it while it lasted.