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Pebbles and Stardust

Chapter Text

A smile tugged at Kanjigar’s lips as he watched Blinky’s little human whelp chasing his son around.

“I will slay you dragon!” Jim yelled.

He was making a valiant effort to look fierce but his tiny little face was more cute than anything scrunched up the way it was. He charged the large blue troll and “stabbed” him in the knee with the stick he had been playing around with.

Draal roared and dramatically fell to one knee.

 “You may have gotten my leg but you shall not defeat me Trollhunter,” He growled.

His eyes widened slightly as Jim flung himself at him screaming “Glory!” He managed to catch the squishy little human before he could injure himself on one of Draal’s spikes and then rolled over onto his back.

Jim immediately jabbed his chest with the stick. Draal flopped over and made a dramatic choking noise before laying still with his tongue out.

“Are you okay?” Jim asked with wide eyes.

Draal gave him a thumbs-up but otherwise continued playing dead.

Satisfied that he had not actually caused any damage, Jim struck a pose on Draal’s chest.

“The Trollhunter is victorious!” He waved his stick in the air.

Kanjigar could see Draal trying not to smile.

“The dragon lives!”

Jim let out a shriek of joy as Draal surged to his feet and swung him around.

Draal caught sight of Kanjigar and that moment and froze, eyes wide. He quickly set the tiny giggling human down and tried to regain some semblance of dignity.

Kanjigar couldn’t help but chuckle a little as he strolled forward.

Jim caught sight of him and started bouncing excitedly.

“Did you see me? Did you see?”

“Yes I did,” Kanjigar said, amused. “Good job defeating that ‘dragon’”.

He patted the whelp on the head. Jim beamed, happy to get praise from his hero.

Beside him, Draal was shifting from foot to foot, looking very caught out.

Kanjigar laid a hand on his son’s shoulder and gave him a smile. Draal straightened up and smiled back. Kanjigar chuckled and gave his shoulder a squeeze.

“Stay out of trouble you two!” He said as he walked away.

Chapter Text

“Claire… A little help?”

“Aren’t you supposed to be on your way to Barb’s, Jim?”

“Yes, but I have a little problem.”

“I’m not a little problem!”

Claire glanced up at Enrique’s voice and promptly burst out laughing.

Her little brother, now four, was perched on Jim’s shoulders. He had a death-grip on the half-troll’s horns and his stubborn expression suggested he had no intention of letting go any time soon.

Jim gave her an affronted look and she started laughing harder.

“Aye! Wat’s all the racket?”

NotEnrique strolled into the room holding a copy of Sweatsocks Weekly.

“I’m making Jim stay!” Enrique announced.

“Is that so?” The small green changeling grinned. “Well I reckon I aught’ta help out then.”

NotEnrique lunged forward and latched onto Jim’s leg before he could react.

“Hey!”

Jim shook his leg, trying to dislodge the tiny troll. All he succeeded in doing was sending Enrique into giggles and shrieks as he bounced around excitedly on Jim’s shoulders.

After a few minutes of flailing around without success, Jim turned toward Claire and shot her the most woe-be-gone puppy dog eyes she’d seen in a while.

“Claire…”

“Hey, Claire! Help us!” Enrique called excitedly.

“Hold on a second…”

“Yeah, join the Dark Side, Sis,” NotEnrique said smirking. “We got cool stickers.”

“Well, I can’t turn down cool stickers now, can I?” Claire said standing up with a smirk of her own.

Jim’s eyes widened comically as she lunged forward, tackling him with her arms around his midsection. He staggered back trying to regain his balance. Unfortunately he had no chance to recover as NotEnrique latched onto his other leg.

“CLAIRE!” He shrieked as he toppled over onto the couch.

“We won!” Enrique cheered, finally letting go of Jim’s horns to wave his arms around in excitement.  

Jim let out a muffled groan from the couch. NotEnrique released his leg and crawled up his back and over Claire’s to give their little brother a fist bump.

“That we did… I reckon not many your age can say they vanquished the Trollhunter.”

Jim snorted.

“I was betrayed.” It was hard to hear him with his face buried in the couch cushions.

“No talking,” Claire snickered. “You’re vanquished.”

Jim blew a raspberry.

Chapter Text

“So you just pick the person you like best?” Krel asked, nose crinkling slightly.

“That’s an extremely simplified way of putting it but yes,” Ophelia said.

She’d been trying to explain American Politics to the two exchange students Toby had dropped off at her house and was starting to reach the end of her rope. It seemed that the students, Aja and Krel Tarron, were from some form of monarchy with a fairly rigid caste system. She would have to look up Cantaloupia after they left. Hopefully some research on what they were coming from would help her to better deal with their questions in the future.

“But I don’t understand… How do you know you’re picking the right person? I mean you certainly wouldn’t want someone with no training. Like what if the janitor decided to run?”

“Well… I doubt that would happen, but if the janitor won an election, I have no doubt they must have had something worthwhile to offer.” Krel opened his mouth with a frown and she held up a hand to stop him from interrupting. “Yes, we do get unqualified people in office, quite a few in fact,” Ophelia had dealt with far too many entitled jerks over the years, to have any illusions to the contrary. “But it also allows us to have a chance to change things without bloodshed.”

“I suppose I can see your point,” Krel acquiesced. “But it still seems to me that having someone who has been trained from birth and whose family has clearly proven capable of ruling would be far superior.”

Aaaannd they were back at square one. Ophelia clamped down on the urge to pull her hair in frustration. She took a breath and let it out slowly. These were teenagers. They honestly did want to understand but it only made sense that they would cling to what they’d grown up with. Educate don’t alienate, she told herself.

“Okay, I see where you’re coming from, but what if you get someone in power that doesn’t care about the interests of the people?”

Krel gave a sort of incredulous laugh.

“But it’s only natural that w- they should care about their people. It’s their purpose.”

“But, hypothetically, what if they don’t,” Ophelia pushed.

Krel frowned. Aja leaned forward where she was lying sprawled on the stairs. While she had not said much since this particular conversation had started, she had been listening with interest. She seemed especially intent now.

“I suppose their advisors would have to rein them in.”

“And if they didn’t listen to them?”

There was a long pause as he mauled the question over.

“Well… I… I don’t know,” He finally admitted. “I just can’t see that happening. I certainly can see them disagreeing on how to best care for their people… but to not care at all…”

He and Aja exchanged an oddly heavy look.

Ophelia wondered, not for the first time, what had brought them to Arcadia.

Chapter Text

Jim flopped down on the pile of bean bags with a groan. He was sore all over, even his horns ached from when he had headbutted the… well he actually wasn’t sure what it had been, just that it was trying to cause mayhem and destruction.

He closed his eyes and leaned back, glad to finally be off his feet.

There was a quick pitter patter of approaching feet and Jim cracked his eyes open just in time to see Claire fling herself down on him, followed shortly by Toby.

He let out a dramatic groan.

“You awful fleshbags,” He growled, narrowing his eyes playfully. “You dare squish the Trollhunter?”

Toby snorted a blew a raspberry at him and proceeded to make himself more comfortable on Jim’s chest.

“Oh please,” Claire said. “It’s going to take a lot more than just us to squish you.”

She paused, glancing over at Toby, who smirked back. Jim felt the stirrings of unease, but didn’t move. He’d feel bad if he knocked Toby and Claire off, they’d give him the kicked puppy looks.

“Yeah,” Toby said still smirking at Claire. “Two tiny little fleshbags like us might not be able to squish the mighty Trollhunter, but I know who could…”

Toby sat up and cupped  his hands around his mouth.

“AAARRRGGHH!!! Oh Wingman! We need your help.”

Claire snickered.

Jim’s eyes widened and he tilted his ears back.

“Don’t you dare.”

“Watch me,” Toby turned back toward the door. “AAARR…”

Toby’s yell turned into a yelp as Jim rolled over and pinned him. Claire let out an annoyed squawk as she was dislodged from her perch on his stomach.

“Naughty Trollhunters will get buried in the Bean Bag Pile of Doom,” Jim said giving him a glare.

“Oh no,” Toby gasped in a falsetto. “My greatest fear. Lady ShadowDancer, save me! You’re my only hope.”

“I was going to help you, but I refuse to answer to that name,” Claire said with a huff. “You’re on your own.”

Jim gave Toby a smug and toothy grin as he started to create a hole in the bean bag pile.

“Claire… please?”

Toby was now giving Claire the big green puppy dog eyes.

“Oh my… Okay, okay, I’ll help!”

With that Claire jumped on top of Jim and grabbed his scruff. Jim tried to dislodge her but she pulled and he promptly went limp, falling on top of Toby.

“Hey!” Toby yelped trying to struggle out from under the giant half-troll. “You were supposed to save me not squish me.”

“Sorry,” Claire said, clearly not sorry. “It seemed like the quickest way to be King of the Beans.”

“Oh is that what this is?”

Claire tried to maintain her grip as Jim rose to all fours, tail twitching. She yelped as she fell off, but was quickly back on her feet, balancing precariously on the pile.

“Yes it is,” She said staring him down remorselessly. “Sorry, Fluffy, it’s every trollhunter for themselves.”

Behind him Jim could hear Toby sneaking up on him. He grinned and dropped into a crouch.


Blinky looked in amusement at the three younglings sprawled in a pile. Jim was underneath both of his friends, as usual. Toby was face down on his chest. Blinky would have been concerned that he couldn’t breathe if he wasn’t snoring like a freight train.

His left arm was over Claire who was curled into Jim’s side, also snoring. Her hair had escaped its barrets and looked like it was trying to eat Jim’s face. Jim mumbled something and burrowed further into the tangled mess. Claire probably wasn’t going to be happy about the drool when she woke up.

“Still sleeping?” Aaarrrgghh rumbled softly, coming up behind him.

He glanced back and saw that the Krubera was carrying a large bundle of blankets.

“Yes,” Blinky whispered. “I suspect they were already quite tired from the battle earlier. I don’t know where they got the energy to wrestle.”

“Younglings,” Aaarrrgghh said solemnly.

“I suppose so,” Blinky replied with fond exasperation. “I just hope they didn’t reopen any of their injuries.”

“Check later?” Aaarrgghh suggested. “Need sleep now.”

“Very well, that sounds agreeable. I wouldn’t mind a bit of rest myself.”

Aaarrrgghh gave a soft rumbly chuckle and handed him a blanket.

They carefully covered up the sleeping children and then settled in on either side of them. Blinky cast one last look at their odd little family, a solid warm feeling coalescing in his chest, before he slipped into sleep.

Chapter Text

Eli leans on the rail watching as stars and moons circle the purple sky above him. No matter how many times he sees them it still leaves him a little breathless to realize he’s really on another planet. 

He’s alone right now; a rarity these days. His lips quirk slightly at that thought. Just a couple years ago he wouldn’t have been able to imagine having just one close friend, now an entire planet idolizes him. Several planets, actually. His popularity keeps growing. His Mom had always told him that things would change. He gets the feeling that this was not quite what she was expecting.

“ELI!”

Eli jumps slightly, letting out an undignified little yelp, and turns at the sound. It’s Aja. She’s wearing a dark blue hooded cloak instead of her royal apparel; she must have given her guards the slip again.

Despite his mood he grins at her.

“Hey.”

She throws herself down to sit on the ground beside him with a loud groan.

“I swear if I have to deal with one more person making comments about how I’m ‘so wise for my age’ and then giving me advice I never asked for, I’m going to flip my log…”

 Eli puts a hand to his mouth and chuckles.

“Noted.”

He attempts to push his glasses up, before remembering he doesn’t wear glasses anymore. The royal scientists were very excited to design the holographic vision screens he wears now.

He sighs and leans back against the rail. After a moment he feels Aja’s hand on his shoulder.

“So what has you feeling…” She pauses, likely searching for the correct human word. “Blue?”

“I’m just a little homesick I guess.” A pod shoots past above them. “Don’t get me wrong… I love it here. I get to do all sorts of cool things. And I’m a space scientist explorer ambassador person now like I’ve always wanted, but I… I guess I just miss home.”

“Ah…”

The teleporter Krel built is currently out of use for the moment as Akiridion’s best scientists, as well as ones from all across the galaxy, run experiments on it to make sure it won’t cause any problems in the long term. Earth is still only a day’s journey away with Akiridian technology but with how busy Eli is it’s been a while since he’s had a chance to visit. His friends on earth have been just as busy. Even if the teleporter was up he probably would be seeing much of them.

Not only that, but it was lonely being the only human here sometimes. He misses the familiarity of Earth and Arcadia; warm yellow sunshine and a dark night sky full of constellations he knows by heart.

Aja is quiet for a mecron.

“I know how you feel.” She says softly. “Back when I lived on your world I missed Akiridion-5 every day. Now it’s Krel I miss… and our friends.” She chuckles. “I miss your little mudball too. I even miss school.”

Eli breaths out a quiet laugh at that, then sniffles. He feels Aja put another arm around him. He leans against her and wonders how he ever got by before he had her and Steve and Toby and all his other friends. They stand there quietly for a while before Aja breaks the silence.

“I brought something to show you,” She says, removing an arm from his shoulder.

He half turns toward her as he wipes at his eyes. She pulls a blanket out from under her cloak.

“Our friends sent a… ‘care package’”.

The blanket is a fuzzy wool one; red, brown and green plaid. It looks out of place on Akiridion-5 among the neon lights and sleek technology… like Eli.

Aja unfolds the blanket and Eli’s breath catches as soft orange light hits his face.

“A heartstone…”

Aja nods.

“Jim sent it. It sounds like the one in New Jersey is doing well. He thought you might enjoy a piece.”

Eli never got to see Trollmarket while Arcadia’s heartstone was alive but Toby has shown him pictures. It’s not quite the same as seeing one in person. The crystal radiates a soothing feeling. Eli takes it from her hands and then hesitates.

“You know… I think I have an idea.”

And that’s how they end up sitting together in a deserted corner of Sector 7 with a blanket around their shoulders and a shard of heartstone in front of them casting a warm glow like campfire. The stars and planets revolve above them and Akiridion-5 buzzes with life and energy.

Eli misses Earth, but he wouldn’t trade this for the universe.

Chapter Text

Claire grimaced and readjusted the straps of her pack. This was what she got for going swimming without sunscreen. She had felt just fine yesterday but today her shoulders and face were a rather alarming shade of red. She could deal with the sunburns on her face and neck, but the ones on her shoulders kept rubbing. Next time they reached a town she was going to get some aloe and sunscreen.

“Claire!”

The sound of Blinky’s voice drew Claire back to the present. She had made it back to the caves without noticing.

“Hey, Blinky,” She said with a tired smile. “How is everyone?”

“Mostly sleeping.” He smiled back at her as she stepped into the shadows. “Did the scouting go well?”

Claire nodded, absently swinging her pack off her shoulders. A small sigh of relief crept past her lips at the release of pressure.

“I managed to find a good route in an old dry streambed. Even if we can’t make it to the hills by morning there will still be plenty of places to take shelter from the sun.”

“Well done,” Blinky said beaming at her.

“Thank…” Claire’s words cut off into a hiss when he tried to pat her shoulder.

The troll immediately pulled back.

“Are you all right? Did I hurt you?”

“It’s okay Blinky,” Claire said holding up a hand. “I just have a sunburn…”

Blinky’s eyes widened in alarm.

“A sunburn! I thought you humans could not be harmed by the sun!”

He grabbed her arms eyes darting around rapidly.

“Where is the stain?”

“It’s the red skin,” Claire said awkwardly indicating to the visible burning on her neck and face. “But it’s not that bad…”

“Not that bad?!” Blinky exclaimed. Despite his apparent panic his fingers where gentle as he tilted her head to the side. “I know you’re young and feel invulnerable, but injuries from the sun are not to be trifled with. How far down do your burns extend?”

“Just down to here,” She said indicating at her chest. She tilted her head back down to try to catch his eyes. “Seriously Blinky it’s not…”

“Of course it is! Clearly you have no idea what could happen!” His free hands nervously twisted themselves together. “We must get you treated immediately. I do not know what happens to humans, but in trolls untreated sunstains can result in loss of our surface layer in the affected areas. It can be crippling! You humans, however, cannot afford to lose your skin. You bleed so easily.”

He carefully grabbed her hands.

“Please Claire, you must take your health seriously.” He turned and started to pull her into the cave.

“Blinky!” Claire said sharply, digging her feet in. They did not need to panic the other trolls over this.

He glanced back at her and she pulled her arm out of his grip.

“Listen to me. I’ve had sunburns before; everyone gets them occasionally. I’ll be fine. It just hurts. They aren’t lethal to humans.” Well unless they turned into skin cancer, but she wasn’t discussing that particular topic with him until he calmed down.

Blinky blinked at this, eyes still slightly wide and fingers twitching with nervous energy.

“But…”

She rested a hand on his shoulder and tried to copy the firm but gentle look her Mom gave anxious townspeople when they needed to calm down.

“Seriously Blinky. It just hurts. I’ll be better in few days, a few weeks at worst.” She carefully kept her voice nice and level. The troll still looked anxious but he appeared to be calming down.

“Is there nothing we can do about your pain?” He asked finally turning back toward her. “You flinched when I touched you! I’ve seen you take harsh blows without hesitating.”

“Humans have a lot of nerves in our skin, so sunburns tend to just cause a lot of pain for us even when they’re mild.” She finally caught his gaze. “I’m going to pick up some aloe when we reach town. That will help. I’m going to be okay.”

His eyes darted around her face as if trying to confirm her words before he finally relaxed. His shoulders sagged and he slumped back against the wall, slowly sliding down to the floor with a soft thud.

“Thank Deya,” He murmured.

“Blinky?” Claire asked, hesitantly settling down next to him.

“I must seem so foolish to you,” He said with a soft watery chuckle. “Getting hysterical over something you view as so little.”

Claire opened her mouth to respond, but then closed it and waited.

After a moment Blinky sighed. He looked down at his hands.

“I… Back when I started training Master Jim, I didn’t realize just how fragile you humans are compared to us trolls. I almost killed him several times without realizing it due to my own carelessness.”

Claire stared at him in surprise. Jim had mentioned that his training had been really rough back at the start but Blinky had been so patient and helpful when she started learning that she hadn’t thought much of it.

“Since then I’ve watched the three of you -mere children!- fling yourselves up against foes that would make a grown troll quiver in fear. You’ve always come out on top… but for how long?”

His hands clenched into fists.

“When you told me you had been burned I thought I had missed yet another thing. That you were once again paying for my ignorance.”

He looked back up at her, ears dropping and an oddly lost look in his eyes.

“We’ve lost so much… We… I can’t lose you too.”

Claire’s heart twinged painfully. Her relationship with Blinky wasn’t quite like Jim’s (She had her own father after all.) but the kind and chaotic scholarly troll had still become something of a parent figure to her.

She leaned forward and wrapped her arms around him.

“I’ll be okay,” She murmured as he returned the embrace, hands coming to rest on her head and back, carefully away from the sunburns. He was shaking slightly. “We’ll be okay.”

She held on until he stopped shaking and then started to draw back. Before she could move away completely he learned forward and gently pressed his forehead to hers. She blinked, eyes widening in surprise slightly. She remembered reading that knocking foreheads together (or horns) was a familial gesture for trolls. Surprise was replaced by an unexpected sense of rightness. She gently pressed back.

After they drew apart Blinky wiped at his eyes.

“Thank-you,” He said, softly. Whether for explaining things to him or for the comfort or for accepting him as family she wasn’t sure.

“Of course,” She said easily because the reason didn’t really matter.

She smiled at him and he smiled back.

“If you like, I could teach you about human health and first aid. Doctor Lake would probably send us some of her textbooks if we asked.”

Blinky chuckled. He still sounded a bit shaky, but an excited glint was returning to his eyes.

“I would like that.”

Chapter Text

“The look on his face…!”

Steve let out a wheeze and started laughing again, Toby and Krel joining in. It actually hadn’t been quite that funny, but, after a long night of protecting Arcadia, the three of them were running very high on adrenaline and caffeine and very low on sleep.

The bell on the door jingled as they ducked into the brightly lit corner store. The bored looking teen at the counter barely spared them more than a glance before going back to his phone. He had probably seen stranger working late nights in Arcadia, even if one of them did have a giant glowing hammer.

They stood in the entrance for a moment before Steve asked: “What were we here for?”

Toby shrugged.

“Beats me, I forgot.”

“You forgot?” Krel exclaimed. “But this was your idea! ... Also how does it beat you?”

“Figure of speech, it means I don’t know… not sure why it means that though… Any idea?”

Steve shrugged in response.

“Why would I know? Do I look like a dictionary?”

Toby rolled his eyes before brightening up.

“That’s right! We were going to get snacks for movie night… wait!” He turned toward Krel. “You haven’t seen Gun Robot right?”

Krel shook his head warily.

“Yes!” Toby pumped his fist. “Then you’ll get to see it for the first time. Oh boy! This is gunna be so fun! I can’t wait to see your reaction to when… *”

Toby was cut off when Steve pulled his hood down over his face. After flailing for a moment the stout boy got it back off and shot him a glare. Steve smirked and folded his arms.

“No spoilers, Buttsnack.”

“Yeah, yeah,” Toby said still glaring at him.

He dropped his hammer on Steve’s toe. Steve let out a yelp.

“Whoops.” Toby feigned innocence.

“That was totally on purpose,” Steve growled, hopping on one foot.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“Guys, stop it,” Krel said, moving between them. “I swear the two of you fight more than Zadra and Varvatos. We’re supposed to be having a ‘break’ to have fun remember”

Toby and Steve looked away guiltily. “Sorry.”

“I’m going to go grab some stuff from to automotive section. You guys get the snacks. No. More. Fighting.”

Krel backed away from them doing the “I’m watching you” gesture with his fingers.

The two stood there for a long moment before turning back to the snack rack. They started shoving various chips and goodies into their basket.

After a long silence, Steve cleared his throat.

“I’m sorry.”

Toby looked up from the two different bottles of pop he was contemplating with a shrug.

“It’s fine. I kinda went a little overboard retaliating.”

“You went more than just a little overboard; that hammer of yours weighs a ton,” Steve said shooting him a glare, then his shoulders slumped. “That’s not what I was talking about.”

Toby blinked owlishly at him.

“I…” Steve paused and shifted awkwardly. “I wanted to apologize for…”

Toby waited.

“Uggg, why am I so bad at this,” Steve groaned, looking up at the ceiling.

His fists clenched and unclenched before he turned to Toby so abruptly that the other boy flinched. Steve immediately grimaced guiltily.

“I wanted to apologize for that,” He drew his shoulders in tight and looked down. “Listen, I know… I know I used to be a major jerk to you… and well everyone really. But I… I know it’s not worth much… but I talked to Eli before he left… and I figured since… we’re… you know… protecting the town together and junk… I should apologize to you too.”

He paused and took a deep breath, then looked up and met Toby’s eyes.

“So I guess what I’m saying is I’m sorry for how I used to treat you.”

There was a moment of dead silence as Toby stared at him.

“Huh, I did not see that coming,” Toby said toying with the handle of his Warhammer.

He trailed off and stared at Steve for a moment. The blond teen shifted uncomfortably under his gaze.

“You were pretty bad,” He said finally and Steve flinched. “But I can tell that you’re trying to change. So I….”

He hesitated a moment and then offered his fist.

“I accept the apology.”

Steve’s eyes widened and then he grinned and returned the fist bump.

“That said,” Toby added. “I do reserve the right to knock some sense into you if you start acting like a jerk again.”

Steve snorted.

“That’s fair.” He lightly punched Toby’s shoulder. “Come-on, TP, let’s go grab Krel before he brings home a whole new spaceship.”

Toby groan. “Oh come on, not you too. Why did that nickname have to catch on?”

“It’s because you keep protesting it.”

Toby shot him a glare and chucked one of his pop bottle at him. Steve caught it smoothly and then chucked it back. Unfortunately Toby reacted a second to late and missed it.

The bottle hit the floor.

“Are you ready…”

Krel rounded the corner just in time to get a faceful of pop as the bottle exploded. It was a little too much. Steve made an odd choking noise and started laughing; Toby following a moment after.

“Are… Are you okay?” Steve managed to ask between cackles.

Krel stood there dripping with a shocked expression before pulling out a questionable looking device from his pocket.

“You are both flaxel,” He growled.

“Now, now,” Toby said, having apparently recovered enouph to talk. “You have to admit it was funny…”

It wasn’t working, Krel still looked very murderous.

They were saved from his wrath by someone clearing their throat behind them.

“Are you going to clean that up?” The casher asked pointedly, shoving a bucket and pail toward them.


“So this is the first of how many movies?” Krel asked incredulously, as the opening credits rolled across the screen.

“Six,” Toby said from the other side of Steve.

“You’re getting my blanket wet,” Steve complained.

Krel snorted and deliberately leaned his head on the other boy.

“I wouldn’t have had to shower if you two hadn’t sprayed me with your pop.” He broke off to yawn. “Would you prefer I return the favor?”

“No…”

“Shhh,” Toby hissed. “It’s starting.”

“Finally,” Krel mumbled, shifting to get a little more comfortable against Steve.

The tall boy grumbled but didn’t otherwise retaliate as Toby stole the edge of his blanket. He was too tired to complain; besides it was nice and warm…

They only made it five minutes into the movie before they were all asleep.