Edie's stomach starts to growl sometime around midnight.
She really doesn't want to move, though. Not when she's all snuggled up in bed next to Bret with the duvet tucked around them, her head nestled in the crook of Bret's shoulder. She puts down her phone and slides her arm across Bret's stomach, hand trailing across the thin cotton fabric of her sleep shirt, rests her fingers in the dip of Bret's waist. She looks up slowly, trying to see if Bret is sleeping.
"Bretty are you asleep?"
Bret's eyes snap open in bed, her phone halfway out of her hand, laying across her chest. "I was just resting my eyes," she says, voice low and gravelly. She shifts, turning onto her side and collecting Edie in her arms.
Edie looks apologetic. "Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you—"
"It's fine," says Bret, who looks down at her with sleepy eyes and a gentle smile. "It's the weekend, I can sleep whenever I want. Was there something you needed?"
"...do we still have shrimp crisps?"
Bret chuckles at that. "Hungry again?"
"We had dinner early tonight," Edie pouts, propping herself up on an elbow. "Are you really not hungry yet?"
For a moment, Bret only stares at her. Edie feels her cheeks start to burn. "What?"
Bret wordlessly lifts herself up on her elbow too, mirroring Edie. She reaches over with her other hand to tenderly tuck a lock of hair behind Edie's ear, drops her hand lower down to catch the loose thin strap of Edie's silk chemise with her finger and pull it back onto Edie's shoulder.
"Yeah, I could go for a snack right about now," Bret says casually. "But we're out of everything. That was why I wanted to go grocery shopping today, but someone insisted on staying in to watch more Criminal Minds."
"So no shrimp crisps?" Edie asks, disappointed.
"No, Edie, you ate the last of them yesterday. You are insatiable." Bret traces her thumb across the edge of Edie's lower lip. "And that pout will be the death of me."
Edie grabs Bret's hand and laces their fingers together. "You're so touchy today." An impish grin. "I like it."
Bret plants a soft, slow kiss on Edie's lips. "I know. Now let's go get those shrimp crisps."
The corner store is only a couple minutes' walk away, but Edie still makes a fuss about picking the right hoodie to wear.
"It's literally the middle of the night, we'll probably be the only ones there," Bret complains, her arms crossed as she leans against the door frame of their bedroom. Her usually stern-looking demeanor is softened by the beige oversized sweatshirt she's wearing, too-long sleeves bunching by the edges of her fingertips.
"So you'd rather I just go like this?" Edie asks, peering at Bret over her shoulder from the closet. The same strap of her chemise has fallen over her shoulder again, and she's wearing her favorite pink underwear tonight, the one she always has to announce she feels cute in. Bret has to roll her eyes to hide the fact that Edie's salacious antics are having the desired effect. They always do.
"Here," says Bret, crossing the room to the dresser. She picks up an abandoned lump of fabric and tosses it at Edie, who catches it easily.
"Your high school table tennis club sweatshirt?" Edie gasps, entirely too excited. "You never wear this outside, it would be my honor!" She holds it out at arm's length to get a proper look at it. "Most Valuable Player 2009, Bridget Yang. Precious."
"Wait. Not that—" Edie is already pulling her arms through the sleeves. "Edie not that one, please, I didn't realize that's what it was. Don't wear that, it's so tacky and ugly and all worn out—"
Edie is twirling around like she's trying on a prom dress.
Bret slides a hand down her face. "Do not wear that, it's so embarrassing—" But Edie is already dragging her by the arm out into the living room, absolutely beaming. Bret has to yank her back to the bedroom. "PANTS, EDIE, YOU NEED TO PUT ON PANTS."
"Just to carry our wallets," Edie says while grabbing a shopping basket when Bret gives her The Look.
"We need drinks too, Bret," she says, depositing bottles of peach tea into the basket and decidedly ignoring Bret when The Look intensifies.
"Oh I haven't had these chocolates in ages, I thought they didn't sell them anymore! Look!" And when she holds out the chocolate bar with its familiar bright colors and character mascot on the wrapper, Bret can't pretend that she isn't excited. She takes it out of Edie's hands with a little gasp.
"I love these…" Bret says, and Edie can see in her eyes how she's fondly remembering the taste of the caramel and toffee bits mixed with the smooth, milky chocolate. Bret grabs a second one from the shelf, and her hand stutters before pulling a third one and dumping them into Edie's basket. "Do they have gummy worms?"
Edie grins at her, full and toothy, and Bret reaches out to take Edie's face in her hand, squeezing her cheeks. "You are a nuisance, my darling," she says, before releasing her and swiping a bag of gummy worms on her way out of the aisle.
"Shrimp crisps!" Bret calls out as Edie follows behind, laughing. Edie closes the space between them as they walk, tucking in the tag of Bret's sweatshirt that had been sticking out.
When Bret turns to put the bags of shrimp chips into the basket, she realizes that the basket is already full. "You gotta be fucking kidding me."
They each carry a bag full of snacks on the walk home.
By the time Edie climbs back into bed with her shrimp crisps ("Be careful with your crumbs." "I never leave crumbs!" "You always leave crumbs." "Fine, I'll eat in the kitchen then." "Don't even think about it, come here."), Bret is getting sleepy again.
"Why are you still wearing that monstrosity," she complains, tugging at the sweatshirt. "We're home now, you can take it off."
Edie only sticks her tongue out at her before popping another shrimp crisp into her mouth.
Bret doesn't respond, quietly allowing herself to relax into the comfort of the pillows and the warmth of the blankets and duvet. After a moment, she sighs heavily and drags herself into a more upright position, leaning against the headboard.
"You're not going to sleep?" Edie asks gently, looking up from her phone.
Bret adjusts her position again so she can burrow her head into Edie's shoulder. "You're not sleeping yet, so." Looking at Edie's phone, Bret reaches out and taps the screen to like the post of puppies listening to classical music.
"You know how long it takes me to sleep sometimes. Just rest if you're tired."
Bret shakes her head, effectively nuzzling Edie, who wriggles underneath her. "That tickles!"
Bret wraps her arm tight around Edie's waist. "That sounds like a you problem."
"What am I to do with you?" says Edie, dropping a kiss onto the top of Bret's head. "Sleep. I'll be here in the morning."
Bret whines, tugging at Edie's sleeve, but she feels her eyelids grow heavy. A part of her wants to stay up, to spend more time with Edie just sitting around, eating shrimp crisps and aimlessly watching videos on her phone together. But the part of her that craves rest ultimately wins and she feels herself melting into the mattress, her thoughts and consciousness slipping away. There is a moment—just before the final drop over the edge into deep sleep—when she hears Clair de Lune being hummed by her favorite voice, senses the soft vibrations from the body pressed up against her, feels the warm hand settling on top of hers. She smiles in her sleep, tears very nearly prickling at the corners of her eyes at how happy she is.
And the next morning when she wakes, they've both traveled across the bed to the other side, with Edie's left arm hanging heavy across Bret's middle and her leg draped quite ungracefully around Bret's hip. An empty bag of shrimp crisps and a phone with its charger plugged in are sitting atop their bedside table.
Bret reaches over to open the drawer of it where there is a simple jewelry box sitting inside, and takes out the slim rose gold ring with inlaid diamonds surrounding a larger one mounted in the middle. She slips it onto her ring finger and admires the way it glints in the soft morning sunlight streaming in from between the curtains. She rests her hand on top of Edie's, which has a matching ring that she'd forgotten to take off the night before, and settles back into bed to rest for just a little bit longer. Edie will still be there when she wakes up again later. She'll be there for the rest of her life.