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the new kid

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so the new kid had nightmares. he’d startled poison awake, because he wasn’t great at keeping watch, and in turn poison had shaken him out of it, easily avoiding the frenzied punches the kid threw as he woke up. he shooed kobra and jet off when they appeared in the hall, kobra’s eyes wide and jet’s expression just a touch worried.

poison thought this seemed like something the kid would get self conscious about later, so as he sat there with one arm around him, he said quietly, “zones got us all fucked up, it’s alright.” he squeezed his arm a little tighter for a moment and added, “you can’t sleep, that’s alright. we’re gonna figure somethin’ else out instead.”

he let himself ramble for a while because it seemed like the best thing to do. “you wanna sleep somewhere more closed off, we can clear out the junk room ‘cause we got shit to trade off anyways, but you’re gonna help so you’re tired enough to pass out and not dream.”

the new kid held onto him like he was the only thing keeping him from drowning in whatever panic he was having, so poison just rubbed the kid’s arm and kept talking. “c’mon, pinch, take a couple deep breaths for me.”

it was a little weird to be so close to him right now- he hadn’t even told them his name, so they were alternating nicknames, he barely talked at all, and they’d probably spent as much time with him unconscious from pain or pain meds as they had spent around him awake. so poison being able to hold him close, soothe him as he cried and breathed erratically in his panic, was a little more intimate than he’d expected he was gonna get with the kid. but here they were.

eventually, after a mixture of counting breaths and rambling to distract him, the kid had calmed down enough that he wasn’t crying. his breathing was more even, not counting when it hitched occasionally from the aftermath of crying.

“y’alright now?” he asked, a minute or so later.

new kid nodded, his head still pressed into the place where poison’s shoulder met his chest.

“want me to get outta your hair now?” poison continued.

to his surprise, the kid shook his head.

“alright, bambi, then we’re gonna sit here and ride it out ‘til you fall asleep.” poison said, shifting so he could rub the kid’s back.

the new kid nodded again, and his breath evened out the longer they sat there, until eventually poison could tell he was dozing off again.

poison forced himself to stay up a little longer, ignoring on the way his stomach seemed to flip when he realized he’d actually gotten the kid to sleep. he whispered, “g’night, doll,” and when the kid didn’t respond, he let himself start to doze off too.