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Support in Slumber

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Sephiroth woke up slowly, his thoughts sluggish, and the burn behind his eyes telling him he hadn’t slept enough. As usual. It took him a moment to remember just where he was—Zack’s couch, curled in Zack’s arms, resting his head in the crook of Zack’s neck.

Zack shifted beneath him, his arms drawing Sephiroth in a little closer. “Heya,” he murmured gently, pressing a smile to Sephiroth’s forehead. “Guess it’s time for bed, huh?” he chuckled.

Sephiroth grunted, knowing getting ready for a proper sleep meant he would have to get up. He didn’t want to. Zack was cozy. The tv droned on quietly in the background—Zack must have turned the volume down sometime after Sephiroth fell asleep. He remained where he was, even as Zack reached for the remote to turn the tv off. As Zack resettled, clearly waiting to see if Sephiroth would move, Sephiroth stayed put.

After a few moments, Zack began to laugh. “You’re not getting up, are you?”

“I will,” Sephiroth said, resigning himself. He shifted, lifting his head, only for Zack’s hand to gently move him back into place.

“You don’t have to,” Zack said, working one arm under Sephiroth’s knees. “Here, hold on.”

Suddenly Sephiroth found himself being lifted, as Zack stood up. He gripped Zack’s shirt in surprise. “Zack—”

“I gotcha.” Zack hefted Sephiroth up slightly, taking care not to get any long strands of hair caught in his grip, and then easily carried him the short distance to the bedroom. He nudged the door open with his foot.

“You don’t have to—” Sephiroth attempted to protest again, but Zack brought him all the way to the bed. Sephiroth was set down on top of the blankets, and he frowned tiredly as Zack backed off to smile at him.

“You barely sleep enough as it is,” Zack chided, rubbing Sephiroth’s cheek with his thumb. “Lemme do this, at least.”

Sephiroth found it difficult to protest as Zack set about putting him to bed. He could feel sleep tugging at his eyelids again, and he relished in the soft brushes of Zack’s fingers as the other man gathered up Sephiroth’s hair.

From there, Zack moved to the other side of the bed, and started braiding.

Sephiroth’s eyes fell shut.

It wasn’t long before Zack finished the braid. That done, he moved about the room, turning the lights off before making his way back into bed. He drew the covers over them both, snuggling up behind Sephiroth.

Sephiroth, for his part, barely registered any of it, hazily feeling warm arms encircling his waist, and Zack’s broad chest pressed against his back.

“G’night Seph,” Zack murmured. “Sleep tight.”

Sephiroth was already fast asleep, dreaming of warmth and sunlight.