Her eyes blink open, vision blurred by sleep, struggling to focus on the harsh light of her clock that reads 3 AM. She stirs, only slightly, trying to remain quiet as she readjusts into a more comfortable position.
Mabel sighs, blinking the sleep from her eyes, small hand curling around her glass of water as she wakes up. Typically, she sleeps like the dead, her dreams rather pleasant- if not a little bit chaotic- but tonight, she woke up at "awful in the morning".
She sips her water, reaching to set it back down when her gaze snaps to the other occupant of the room, obviously awake as well.
She scowls at this. You'd think that the dummy would be sleeping after all the fighting and all nighters already, but he's still awake. She opens her mouth to tell him off for staying awake again when she falters, looking at him a bit more closely.
He's chewing on his shirt again, and twitchy fingers run over the sticker-decorated (Dr. Mabel certified!) bandages wrapped around his forearm. He's jumpy, but not alert enough to keep his eyes from dropping, nearly nodding off before he snaps awake again, trembling hands bringing his quilt around himself, like he used to when he was younger. He looks downright terrified of falling asleep.
It practically shatters Mabel's heart. She nearly leaps off her own bed to rush across the room and hug her dope of a brother, but she resists the urge.
It wouldn't be smart. Dipper is a great brother and friend, but his pride would be too easily damaged if she did that. He'd get embarrassed and feel the need to be stronger or some stupid boy stuff like that.
She frowns deeper, glancing over at Dipper once more, to make sure he didn't notice her wake up. He didn't seem too, her exhausted brother too busy watching the light of his flashlight on the walls and trying to stay awake to notice her stir.
She settles back into bed, laying there a few moments of near-silence, the only sound her steady breaths and Dipper's panicked ones, before she bolts upright, acting as afraid as she possibly can as she jumps up in her bed.
Dipper's attention snaps to her instantly, and he throws the blanket off of himself, turning to check her out, his voice shaking with concern. "Ah! Mabel! Mabel- are you okay?!"
She spends a few moments breathing hard, acting as if she was unable to speak, as if something truly rattled her. Dippers worry only seemed to grow, so she spoke up.
"Just a really bad dream." She lied, swinging her legs over the edge of her bed. "I uh... Hey Dipper?"
The worried expression he holds doesn't stop, "yeah?"
She wrings her blanket between her fingers, before sliding off her bed with pillow and blanket in tow. "Can I sleep next to you, tonight? Just because..."
"Yes!! I mean- yeah, that's fine. I don't mind at all." He doesn't give her time to finish, his tone desperate, and he sends her a weak smile that she returns with a brighter one.
"Thanks, dippingsauce. Knew I could count on you."
She crawls into his bed next to him, and he shifts so she could have room, just like when they were little (littler). She relaxes next to him, placing her hand on his arm, and his tension lessens.
"Tell me a story. Something cool, or dorky. Or both, you're pretty good at both."
He hesitates a moment, then nods, launching into some weaved together tale of stuff both he and Mabel like, before his eyes begin to droop again and he struggles to cling to consciousness.
She keeps him distracted from his paranoia, making him tell stories about silly things like unicorns and fairies and whatever magical thing they haven't seen yet until he talks himself to sleep.
She watches as his breathing finally steadies, his dark-rung eyes finally closed, and she grins.
Settling next to him, her voice is quiet again, careful not to disturb him.
"I can protect you too, you know. It's not all on you."
She smiles another small smile, before slowly falling asleep next to him, ready to protect him from any demons that may be lurking in the night.