“It’s too bright,” Nezumi said, “Turn it off and come to bed already, it’s late.” He lay sprawled across their bed, somehow managing to simultaneously cocoon himself in all the blankets and occupy every corner of the mattress. Only his face remained uncovered with his eyes narrowed against the glow of Shion’s computer screen. “Blue light at night disrupts your sleep cycle. You’re the one who told me that, why don’t you listen to your own advice?”
“This is as low as the brightness gets,” Shion said, “And besides, I’m using an app that minimizes the amount of blue light, and I’m using my computer for work, which is entirely different from you staying up late to get into fights with people on the internet. I’ll be done in a moment.”
“How long is a ‘moment,’ exactly? Because you said that exact same thing an hour ago,” Nezumi whined. “You’ve abandoned me. I’m being neglected.” He retreated further into his blanket hoard until nothing but his nose was visible. “I’m withering away.”
Shion resisted rolling his eyes – no point if Nezumi couldn’t see him doing it – and was about to make a quip about Nezumi’s penchant for emotional terrorism when he chanced a look at the clock in the corner of his screen and. Well. Nezumi had at least not been exaggerating about the time.
He finished typing his current sentence and hastily outlined his ideas for the rest of the report in the vain hope that he would remember his train of thought in the morning. “All right, all right, I’m done. Make some room.” He closed his laptop and walked over to their bed, where Nezumi had not moved. Shion pushed at the blanket-wrapped lump until, grumbling, Nezumi rolled over only enough to free up one short edge of the comforter. With difficulty, Shion wedged himself under the covers and yanked over just barely enough to cover himself. “Thief.”
“How am I a thief when you weren’t even in bed to steal from? I was here first,” Nezumi insisted, which was technically true.
“You don’t get to complain about me not coming to bed and then actively sabotage my attempts to do so. Move over, I’m barely on the mattress.”
Nezumi grumbled at him again but finally acquiesced, scooting closer to the wall and relinquishing the blankets. Shion rolled to turn his back to Nezumi, expecting Nezumi to glom onto him like usual, but was surprised to press back against Nezumi’s back instead, like they were repressed teenagers again in a too-small bed.
He waited, for an explanation or for Nezumi to roll over, but instead was met, after expectant silence, with Nezumi saying, “I don’t know what you’re thinking, but I’m just a vulnerable little spoon.”
Shion scoffed. “Vulnerable?”
“It’s a scary world out there. Who’s to say what horrible fate could befall a poor, defenseless little spoon without his big spoon to protect him?”
Shion rolled back over, leaned his forehead against Nezumi’s nape, and broke into helpless, undignified giggles. “Vulnerable,” he repeated. “Is this the new sleep meds talking?” He curled his body forward into Nezumi’s, fitted snug against him from knees to chest, warm in every spot they touched.
“I don’t know, but I’m still awake, so obviously they’re not doing what they’re supposed to do. Though that might just be your fault, you and your ‘work.’ How would I know if you were, say, watching porn with your special blue-light-reducing app supposedly preserving your circadian rhythm while your defenseless boyfriend freezes to death mere feet away?”
“Is that was this is about? You’re using me for my body heat?” Shion said, faux-scandalized. “You know why I don’t like leaving the heat on at night, you always set it too high and I wake up sweaty.” He draped his arm over the dip of Nezumi’s waist and found Nezumi’s hand with his own. Shion loved these verbal sparring matches, the odd little rituals they went through just to hear the other’s voice. He loved also that it was more than Nezumi humoring him; Nezumi linked their hands together at first touch and smoothed the pad of his thumb along Shion’s wrist in time with his words. “And why would I be watching porn with the sound off at 1 AM with you freezing to death in bed mere feet away when instead I could be warming you up?”
“It’s too late for forking, big spoon, I need to sleep,” Nezumi scolded.
“Sleep, then,” Shion said, halfway there himself. “I love you.”
“Mm,” Nezumi replied, which could have meant anything, really, but Shion understood. After all, Nezumi had not let go of his hand.