At night, silence settled like a blanket over the Grancypher.
Six stood in the middle of a hallway, the shadows swallowing the sound of his sigh. His knuckles rested gently against the wood of Djeeta’s door, hand limp after abandoning the prospect of knocking.
He felt like a child. It was ridiculous-- what had he been thinking? Of all people, she probably needed sleep the most, and yet here he was.
Six wasn’t sure what had possessed him to pull on his clothes in the middle of the night and come down here at all. Nightmares were one thing, but succumbing to them was an entirely new form of weakness. It was almost laughable that he’d made it all the way to her room without planning what to say.
Perhaps he could write it off as impulse.
Tugging his cloak further over his face, he took his hand away from the door to rub his eye. He was tired, and felt terrible. Letting out an exhausted huff, Six’s boots shuffled against the floor as he turned around to look for the mess hall. This ship was so damn big he still got lost, but if he walked for long enough he was bound to find it--
The door behind him made a pained creak, cutting off his train of thought and stopping him mid-step.
“...Is that you, Six? Is everything alright?” Djeeta tried, and failed, to suppress a yawn.
Six turned around, his gaze fixed firmly on the floor.
“I'm fine.” One of his ears twitched. “...I'm sorry for disturbing your sleep.”
He could tell she was looking at him with her fierce eyes, that one look she always had when she was determined not to let something go. He did not look up to confirm his suspicions.
“Mmm… No, I feel like you’re the last person who’s gonna wake me up in the middle of the night unannounced. Lowain for drinks or Sara because she’s lonely without Lyria, but…” Djeeta seemed more awake now, shutting the door behind her before they woke anyone up. “So… what’s wrong?”
Her persistence was making this harder than he’d planned - although, he hadn’t ever really had a plan in the first place.
“It’s nothing.” His voice nearly shook as he closed his eyes, the nightmare rising vividly to his mind. He could still smell blood and hear his mentor’s voice blaming him, blaming him for…
Something warm squeezed his arm, and he stared blankly at Djeeta’s calloused hand as he tried to drag himself back to the present.
“How about we get something for you to drink?” Her smile was kind. “Warm things always make me feel better, so how about it?”
The only warm thing he needed right now was her smile, but if he couldn't even admit that to himself, how could he say it to her?
So, he simply took her hand and said nothing.
Djeeta was, understandably, much more well-versed in the inner workings of the ship as she pulled him along through the maze of hallways. After skirting by a room where the rowdier Erunes were getting drunk, the two of them eventually found one of the kitchens.
Six’s hand felt cold when she let go, but he quietly set off towards the stove while she raided the pantry for confectionaries. From down the hall, they could both still hear faint whooping from the party.
Djeeta watched curiously as he poured milk into his coffee, but glanced away before he noticed. Six's ear twitched again, unbeknownst to him.
Breaking the silence between them, she eventually chose to prod the elephant in the room. “So… is everything really alright? You can tell me if anything’s bothering you. I promise I'll listen.”
The nightmarish sight of her shredded corpse was still too fresh in his mind, and Six didn’t know what to say. Confessing he had nightmares was one thing, but waking her up with the news that he had dreams about her death was something entirely less pleasant. Perhaps he shouldn’t have gone to her after all - it was his problem, and his alone.
He couldn’t help but recall the time she’d been in tears and nearly screaming at him, asking if he trusted her.
Six took a moment to collect himself as he blew on his coffee, watching the liquid ripple under his breath as he stalled his response. “Can… we sit down somewhere quiet?”
He felt like a burden, but hearing him speak made her face light up again. He wasn’t sure why, but it made his stomach twist itself into a giddy warmth.
Djeeta reached out her hand towards him. “Of course.”
After a moment of hesitation, he took it. Her fingers were still sticky from the sweets she’d been eating, but he didn’t mind.
She moved slower this time, weaving deeper into the ship. Stopping in front of a door, she quietly eased it open with her free hand and peeked inside before dragging him in with her. Six moved to set his cup down on the table, only realizing she’d locked the door once he turned back around.
“There! This is nice and private, don’tcha think? This way we won’t have a drunk Yuel come crashing in here.” She grinned, hands on her hips in a comically triumphant pose - one that prompted the smallest smile from Six. “Last time that happened, the only way I could pry her off of me was to get Societte to take my place."
Relaxing, she sat down on the edge of the bed and continued: “Now, what’s wrong?”
There was a twinge in Six’s stomach - perhaps a shred of common sense telling him that, for some reason, he was supposed to feel embarrassed in this situation. He ignored it, quietly sitting on the bed a distance from Djeeta.
Pathetic. All he could do was mumble.
He refused to look at Djeeta, but heard the bed creak as she shifted closer to him. Six didn’t move as she carefully removed his hood, or when she placed a warm hand on his back. After a period of silence, he supposed she was waiting for him to keep talking.
“I had… a dream, about something. Sorry I... woke you up over something so trivial.” Her response was nothing but an understanding hum, and he eventually continued sheepishly. “I couldn’t stand lying in my bed anymore, and was in front of your door before I knew it. I had... to know that you were alright.”
The hand didn’t remove itself despite his shame, rubbing gentle circles into his back through the fabric of his cloak.
“That’s fine, Six. ...I’m always here for you.”
His stomach was twisting itself again. How long had he been waiting to hear someone say that to him? Perhaps waiting was the wrong word - he’d given up it entirely.
He almost wanted to cry. It was a strange feeling.
Djeeta leaned against his shoulder, heavy as exhaustion caught up with her. Eventually, her hand had dropped from his back, and he supposed she must have dozed off.
A soft murmur eventually broke the silence. “Can I take off your mask?”
Six was silent, torn between a protest and being too tired to bother. Perhaps, he wouldn’t mind if it was only her.
“You don’t sleep with that thing on, right? It doesn’t look that comfortable… Here, I’ll just…”
Her hand reached up, slender fingers removing it and placing it on the bedding.
He didn’t move to resist even when she cupped his cheek, forcing him to look at her despite the faint flush on his face.
“There we go,” she smiled faintly. “...You know, you have beautiful eyes. It’s too bad you don’t let anyone see them.”
Six couldn’t respond, mesmerized by the depth of her brown eyes as she stared at him. His heart fluttered weakly, the feeling only leaving when her hand reached up to playfully ruffle the hair between his ears.
Djeeta giggled, but the humor wasn't quite there in her expression. "You looked so sad for a moment, silly. I thought I told you everything’s okay?”
She huffed and smiled, moving back away, and in that instant Six couldn’t stop himself from reaching forward and burying his face in her neck.
His heart was in his throat and his eyes burned.
All he could give was a cracked apology.
Recovering from the surprise, Djeeta lay them both down on the bed as he clung to her. Her hands stroked his back until she couldn’t keep her eyes open any longer, Six’s breath calm against her skin.
Neither of them wanted to move, and so they didn't.
In the morning, Djeeta woke up covered in his cloak, alone beside a cold cup of coffee.