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Night Terrors

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Virgil had had nightmares ever since he was a little kid. From going to school with no pants on to being stabbed, drowning or burning to death, he swears he's experienced them all. But he'd also gotten help. During his first year of college, when he was living alone in a gaunt dorm room, no friends to spend time with and his mother a three hour drive away, he'd realised that he needed help when he would wake up at around one in the morning in a cold sweat due to his nightmares, and then he'd refuse to go back to sleep until he passed out, too afraid of the terrors that plagued his mind.

But it wasn't until he found himself in the hospital one morning, tied up to machines and connected to tubes, with his mother sat beside him, that he actually decided to go and get that help. He'd had a heart attack, and a fatal one at that. But after a few years of therapy with Dr. Picani, who he now considered to be one of his closest friends instead of just his therapist, and after becoming friends with some of the best people he'd ever known, he could enjoy a good, nightmare-free night's sleep.

He was still a light sleeper though, and blinked awake when he heard his bedroom door creak open, revealing the small silhouette of his four-year-old son standing in front of the light that was now seeping in from the hallway. The boy had one arm slung over his light-sensitive eyes, which was why he almost always wore sunglasses during the day (but also because they looked "hella cool, dad"), and the other carrying his favourite stuffed animal that Dr. Picani had given him when Virgil had to bring him with him to therapy one time.

The black-haired man sat up on his elbows, looking behind himself at a sleeping Roman, who had an arm draped over Virgil's chest, before he turned back around to their four-year-old.

He smiled lovingly and whispered, "Are you alright, Rem?"

But his smile faltered as he heard the faint sound of a sob come from his child, who now, under closer inspection, happened to be wiping away a heavy amount of tears that were running down his red, puffy cheeks. And it couldn't have helped after having to walk through that brightly lit hallway; Virgil was definitely going to shame Roman for forgetting to turn that damn light off in the morning.

"Oh sweetheart, c'mere."

Remy pushed the door closed behind him - both him and Virgil were glad to be rid of the unwanted light - and toddled his way over to his dad, sniffling due to a no doubt snotty nose. Virgil picked him up effortlessly, the kid had always been rather petite, and sat him down on the bed as he dried his tears with his thumb.

Virgil swept his son's coffee-coloured hair out of his face and asked, "Nightmare?"

"Mhmm," the little boy wept.

The father tutted out of sympathy and pulled his four-year-old into a warm hug, soothing him with soft pats on the back. That was one way the two of them connected; Remy had nightmares too. They weren't nearly as bad as Virgil's were at his age, thank God, but he still had them, and ever since he'd started sleeping in his own room all by himself, they'd become much more frequent. But Virgil was always there to listen to him, Roman was too of course, but Remy liked it when his dad would let him stay up late on the weekends and they'd talk about their bad dreams together; seeing if they'd had any similar ones and then subsequently fighting over who's was scarier.

"Do you wanna talk about it?" the black-haired man suggested but his son only shook his head into his shoulder, "do you wanna sleep in here tonight?" the child nodded.

Virgil laid him in between the both of his parents, awing at how Roman subconsciously cuddled up to their four-year-old with a smile on his face, and threw the duvet back over them. The brown-haired boy drew shapes into the palm of his dad's hand until he dozed off, and then Virgil could sleep peacefully knowing that Remy was content.

In the morning, they'd be woken up to either Remy bouncing up and down on the bed or Roman's over the top singing of A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (or perhaps even both) before the latter would scoop up his son and throw him up in the air a few times, to which Virgil would watch on in dread until Roman pulled him up and out of bed too, stealing a kiss. Then Remy and his pa would go make breakfast together whilst Virgil showered, Roman would let Remy choose his pair of sunglasses for the day and then the three of them would eat their eggs and bacon with the Dear Evan Hansen soundtrack on in the background.

Maybe they'd even invite both uncle Patton and uncle Logan round, who'd bring their little boy Thomas, and then he and Remy could go play in the backyard all day. Perhaps uncle Remus would invite himself round, and by extension uncle Remus' boyfriend, and then Remy would get all giddy and excited because he loved uncle Remus' boyfriend, or Dee-Dee as he liked to call him.

But for now they slept, free from any nightmares and snuggled up in each other's arms.