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Operation Midnight

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Fabian Aramais Seacaster has many titles. Son of Bill Seacaster, the greatest pirate to ever live (or die). Heir to the House of Lomenlda. His own man (his-own-my-darling-man-boy). Captain of the Augeford Owlbears. Slayer of Toxic Masculinity. Proud member of The Bad Kids, The Bad Boyz, and the Bardy Boys. 

Boyfriend to the most badass teenage detective in all of Solace, Riz Gukgak. 

(That one still makes the fire elemental inside him do summersaults. He hopes it always does)

But when The Bad Kids & Co. go on a quest to defeat The Night Yorb, Fabian decides to take on a new title. 

Captain of making sure Riz Gukgak goes the fuck to sleep. 

Riz’s regular sleep schedule is already a hellscape of coffee binges, allnighters, stress dreams, and he rarely ever gets a full eight hour rest. Fabian has awoken dozens of times, at Bad Kids sleepovers, and sometimes at… private sleepovers, to see Riz up by the light of his crystal, scribbling down notes or arranging clues on a conspiracy board. 

“The Ball… come back to bed. We have school tomorrow.”

“Today actually, in about…” *checks arcane watch* “5-ish hours.”

And depending on how much Riz needs the rest, Fabian will make one of three choices.

Sometimes he will sit up, blurry eyed and groggy, and listen to Riz explain the newest case or clue that’s keeping him up. By the time he’s done presenting evidence, Riz is usually calm enough to be coerced into lying down for a few more hours. 

Other times, Fabian jumps right into pleading, voice rough as he says “Please The Ball, for me… sleep a bit longer. The mystery will still be there in the morning”. This method takes a bit more effort, but Riz doesn’t really fight it that hard. Fabian has wicked high persuasion and the goblin is a sucker for when his boyfriend gets all pouty. 

The last one requires some opposed athletics checks, which Fabian makes with disadvantage ‘cause he’s tired, but sometimes the half-elf can grapple Riz in his battle sheet. Then he’ll hold his grumpy, squirming boyfriend to his chest and hum sea shanties until Riz finally succumbs to exhaustion. 

When they’re on a quest Riz’s sleeping just gets worse. Last Spring Break Riz basically drove himself into debilitating exhaustion, and then Kalina-

Fabian doesn’t like to think about it. And he absolutely isn’t going to let something like that ever happen again. So because he is the best boyfriend/bestfriend in the interplanar universe, the young man takes on his new role with honor. 

Some of it requires some prep work. Before leaving Fabian packs the briefcase of holding with pre-made meals, so that Riz doesn’t accidentally starve himself while working too hard. He downloads a bunch of old detective movies on his crystal (infinite fantasy data for the win), so they can still watch them when the crystal service is bad. Brings some warm hoodies because The Ball will wear his suit to bed if no one stops him. Consults with Sklonda on the downlow to make sure Riz brings his meds and will take the right amount at the right times. Brings some secret decaf coffee in case he needs to make the ol’ switcheroo. Asks Cathilda to wash his battle sheet with that magic fabric softener so it’s extra silky and cozy. 

The perfect trap for a stubborn goblin insomniac. Fabian’s pretty proud of this one.

The first few days of the quest they sleep in the Hangvan, which is not ideal but at least Kristen’s Hallow spell makes them all feel safe and not too crowded. They are on the trail of The Night Yorb and Riz is basically bouncing off the walls like he’s in a crystal pinball machine. So Fabian initiates his making-sure-riz-sleeps-at-night plan (Operation Midnight, the really cool name he came up with). Riz catches on pretty quickly (instantly) when Fabien tries to sneak the coffee mug out of his hand and spills it all over himself. 

“I’m not a child Fabian,” Riz insists, but he’s not really putting up a fight as he gets bundled up in the battle sheet. He’s just eaten the meal Cathilda packed for them, in a magical tupperware of preservation with a cute little note on it that Fabian saved. It was delicious of course, but he also ate it so fast that he doesn’t really know what it was. Fabian offered him one of his old Owlbears hoodies to sleep in, which reminded Riz that he forgot to pack pajamas again. When it was time to take his meds, Fabian was conveniently there with a bottle of water. 

“Of course not The Ball, ” he says, drawing it out in that way that Riz never really finds annoying. “You’re my boyfriend, and I get to take care of you sometimes,” he says as he joins Riz in the nest of sheets he made them, planting a kiss on his cheek as he queues up a movie on his crystal. 

The rest of The Bad Kids are settling down to sleep, Fig and Adaine are giggling in barely-concealed glee aimed towards him and Fabian. Kristen is quietly face-timing with Tracker, whispering things that Riz has learned not to eavesdrop on. Gorgug is saying goodnight to the van as he puts on his headphones and falls asleep to Zelda’s playlist. Ayda is perched on the roof, insisting on taking first watch. 

And Riz can’t deny it, Fabian couldn’t beat his insight checks to save his life, but somehow he has still gotten the rogue to willingly go to bed. His stomach is full of a real meal, the too-big hoodie is comfy, his meds are working the way they should, there’s no caffeine still kicking around in his system. The movie is one of his favorites, he’s seen it a million times, one he used to watch with his dad, and of course Fabian knows that. The sheet wraps around them like a cocoon, not too tight, but Riz is half lying on the other boy’s chest, cheek on his shoulder, one leg hooked over his hip. Cozy. Intimate. 

“Thank you,” the rogue mumbles, feeling his usual stress give way to sleepiness. 

He tilts his head up and meets Fabian halfway for a kiss. It lingers, a slow and easy push and pull to the background noise of the movie. It’s a little too intimate for a typical goodnight kiss, especially while they’re about three feet away from all their friends. But it’s good, kinda wet and warm and just good in a way Riz doesn’t really know how to describe. 

Fabian sucks on his bottom lip, drags his teeth across it and it makes Riz shudder, good, good, too good, too much. 

Riz breaks the kiss and ducks down to smoosh his face into Fabian’s neck. It’s part of their secret code, all the little unspoken signals Riz uses when he gets overwhelmed by kissing or… other stuff. Not that kissing and stuff feels bad, it’s just too much sometimes, overstimulating, like all his senses are short-circuiting. 

But he likes kissing, and cuddling and holding hands and all those little affectionate things Fabian does so casually. And all that other stuff is a mixed bag. Some things he really really likes. Some things he only likes sometimes. Some things he isn’t ready to try yet. Some things make him feel like his skin is melting, but like, not always in a bad way?

Riz is still figuring out what all that means, trying to untangle all the lines between romantic and sexual and whatever else is in between. It doesn’t come natural to him, knowing when and how he wants to be touched or if at all, but he’s slowly figuring it out. But Fabian, for all his shit perception and insight, is able to read Riz like a book. 

Hiding his face like this means he doesn’t want anymore kisses, but still wants skin-to-skin contact. Turning to the other side would mean that some casual cuddling is welcome, but not too intimately. If his shoulders are high and stiff, teeth are grinding, or his tail is flicking nervously, it means that Riz really needs some space. Biting his claws means that he’s thinking about something, but needs some time to decide what he wants. Biting his lip means that he wants something, but is waiting for Fabian to initiate contact. And a dozen other little quirks and nervous ticks that Fabian knows like the back of his hand. 

So Fabian just rubs Riz’s back and settles in to watch the movie, sounding very satisfied with himself as he says “Get some sleep The Ball.”

Best plan I’ve ever had, Fabian would high five himself if it wouldn’t make him look like an absolute dork. 

Riz mhms back in response, cheek pressed to Fabian’s collarbone, and relaxes into the familiar comfort of his boyfriend. He never knew how he would explain all his weird needs and ambivalences to someone (Fabian, it was always Fabian), but he’s so unbelievably happy that he didn’t have too. That Fabian always knows when things are just enough or when they’re too much. That Fabian feels safe enough to try things with, but will also listen if it’s no, stop. That Fabian knows, even when Riz doesn’t want to kiss or cuddle or hold hands, that Riz still loves him. He’s so, so happy that Fabian loves him like this. 

He finally drifts off about halfway through the movie, lulled by the steady rise and fall of his boyfriend’s chest.