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No Warmth

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There was no warmth when one woke next to Lovecraft. No physical warmth. A tight grip around John’s waist, though, was always welcome. He was used to sleeping three to a bed, so an arm around him wasn’t unknown. In fact, once he and Lovecraft had started sharing a bed, John slept better than he had since he started taking his odd jobs. The first night had been weird. Sleeping next to a body with no warm skin, no heaving chest, and the barest hint of a heartbeat...well it was close to sleeping next to a corpse.

But things had progressed, and Lovecraft’s love of sleep proved itself in his talent at it. He slept heavily, arms - or sometimes tentacles - wrapped tightly around John, pulling him close. Sometimes he woke up half on top of Lovecraft, long fingers in his hair. Almost as if Lovecraft considered him a pet. “I ain’t a cat,” John had told him one morning; he had just received a garbled half-language response.

Some mornings John woke with Lovecraft half spread out on him, his long legs - or sometimes tentacles - thrown over him, pinning him down, face in John’s neck. For a man used to waking up at the crack of dawn, that had never been ideal.

Until suddenly he realized that yes, it was. When he tried to pull himself out of bed and that grip had tightened, the whine increased, sometimes one bleary eye cracked open and dared him to try, John had stopped trying to fight it. On those mornings, John would just lay down and try to rest, try to doze. He’d wrap an arm around Lovecraft if he wasn’t already holding on. (Most mornings, he was).

On rare occasions, Lovecraft could convince him to lay in bed for ages. John would read to him, or tell him stories. Once in a great while, he would get to hear one of Lovecraft’s stories of times long gone, people he once encountered, long gone. One day, John would be an insignificant speck in the memory of this great being, what he did to survive and keep his family fed lost to the abyss. In the big picture, that was comforting.

There was no warmth when one woke next to Lovecraft.

John wasn’t missing anything, though. Nothing at all.