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Stormy Nights

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It's not the rumble of thunder that wakes Lan Yuan, or the howling wind, or the way the flash of lightning throws the novices' dormitory into stark whites and blacks. It's the dip of his mattress and the sudden chill breeze as another body burrows under his covers and presses to his side, shivering.

"S'okay," he says, rolling onto his side to face Lan Bin, adjusting the blankets to cover both their heads. "Just a storm."

"I kn-know that," Lan Bin replies from where his face is pressed into Lan Yuan's shoulder. "I'm not scared!" Another roll of thunder rumbles through the room and he flinches, biting back a yelp.

Lan Yuan wraps his arms around his friend easily, pressing his cheek to the crown of his head. "I know. It's okay." He keeps the blankets over their heads, creating a warm, safe cave, humming bits of whatever songs come to his head to try and drown out the thunder, not stopping until he feels Lan Bin's shivers slow and eventually fade, breathing evening out into sleep. Even then, he stays curled in like a matching bracket, arms secure around him in the darkness under the blanket, keeping him protected.