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Both stripped down to their black undershirts, they lay facing each other. It’s not awkward the way it is for most people, no avoided gazes or confusion as to where to put limbs. There's only a peaceful quiet in each other's presence.

Gale seems twice as big up close, his shoulders broad and torso long.

“Are you comfortable?” Gale asks.

Serph nods slightly.

“Good.” He closes his eyes and sighs, relaxed. “Goodnight, Serph.”

Serph settles, cozying up into Gale’s warmth. He has always smelled clean, never getting quite as sweaty as the rest of them. His natural scent is mild, almost floral, like a nostalgic scent Serph reaches for in the back of his mind but can’t grasp. It reminds him of the breeze in the afternoon rain, crisp and clear. It's so light that Serph inhales deeply, filling his lungs, and even then he finds himself unable to get enough.

Gale’s presence lulls him into a serene haze. Serph shifts forward to rest his forehead on Gale’s chest and the sound of his heartbeat soothes Serph until he realizes he’s nodding off. With a tiny grunt of effort, he lifts the rest of his body and nestles closer against Gale. He waits before Serph has drifted off before draping an arm around his shoulders.


Cielo all but bounds up to Serph and drags him to his room for the night. As excited as he is to stay up late together (a word scratches at the back of their memory, a phrase nuanced with nostalgia, but neither of them bother to try and recall), Cielo falls asleep as soon as his head hits the pillow. Serph smiles a bit as he watches the peaceful rise and fall of his tiny shoulders. They're in a vague spooning position, with Cielo collapsed curled up and Serph close behind him.

Serph leans forward and nestles his face above the crevice where Cielo’s shoulder blades meet. His soft breaths rustle the tiny hairs on Cielo’s neck and Serph closes his eyes and breathes in his scent. Hints of sweat and salt, of gentle rolling clouds but also sweet earthiness, like stepping in damp soil with bare feet after the rain and feeling grass brush your skin. He smells muddied but sweet at the same time, and Serph wants to bury his nose in his skin and suck it in until he has the sensation burned into his memory.

Cielo stirs, kicking Serph's leg in his sleep before rolling over and passing out in Serph's arms.


Argilla sleeps farther away from Serph than the men do, but neither of them are uncomfortable. On the other side of the bed, she wishes him goodnight and he nods back. Serph relaxes, and quickly finds that he doesn’t have to be close in order to grasp Argilla’s scent; the sheets smell like her already. He’s surprised to realize it's stronger than he expected, a thousand notes of scents whose names he doesn't know. It streams to the back of his mouth, more like a flavour than a smell, but not a spectrum that makes him hunger. Instead, if Serph could remember the words for it, he could identify it as herbal, like steak spice. Other notes remind him of blood, only not stained with malice; the blood that courses underneath their fragile human skin, still teeming with life.

He feels safe, grounded, as he dozes off, and sleep envelops him with ease.


Heat huffs and throws his head to motion Serph to come next to him and grunts a "night" before turning his shoulder. Serph knows even without seeing his face that he’s wide awake, and will be for hours. He’s flushed and embarrassed, rigid with conflicting emotion. Part of him aches for human contact and to openly enjoy the comfort of sleeping next to his comrade, and another part wants to push Serph off the bed because he knows that Serph knows that he wants it.

Serph doesn’t press his limits and keeps to his side of the bed, smiling faintly. It’s always a scene with Heat.

An hour passes with Serph vaguely dozing off and Heat still fuelled with adrenaline but feeling the effects of the day’s fatigue. He turns over, gingerly as he can, to face Serph. Serph keeps his expression steady but in the wake of Heat’s movement his scent hits Serph’s nostrils. It’s sour, his sweat and musk mingling in a thick wave. Serph feels the faint exhale of breath against his skin as Heat shifts to look closer at him. Since Heat is closer, the scent is stronger now, overwhelming. The tang of his sweat is acrid, like the smell of vinegar, but beneath those layers is Heat’s handsome natural scent. To anyone else it might have been unpleasant, but to Serph it reminds him of camaraderie, of fighting, of feasting, of knowing Heat is alive.

It’s another hour before Heat relaxes enough to drift off as well, and when he does, he finds himself enjoying Serph’s scent, too.