Tommy should be sleeping.
He wishes he was. Instead he’s sitting on the couch, listening to the rain falling and waiting for the moment when his brain will stop running a thousand fucking miles a minute.
He’s messing around on his phone when he feels a hand at the base of his skull, fingers scratching through his hair.
“What are you doing here?”
Tommy shrugs but still leans into Brian’s touch. “Couldn’t sleep.”
“I guessed as much. But I was expecting to find you in the music room, not here.”
Tommy looks at the ground and hides a smile because, well. It was tempting, but he didn’t dare. Not in the middle of the night.
“I didn’t want to wake you up.”
“That’s why we had it soundproofed, remember?” Gently, Brian pushes Tommy’s shoulder. “Scoot over.”
Even as he moves to make a place for Brian, Tommy argues, “You should go back to bed, Bri. There’s no reason for the both of us to have a messed up sleep schedule right before we start rehearsing again.”
“I don’t sleep well in an empty bed.” Brian pulls Tommy against him until Tommy’s lying between Brian’s spread legs with his head in the crook of Brian’s neck, his back to Brian’s chest and Brian’s arm tight around his waist. “You know that.”
Tommy feels a little guilty about that because he’s aware what Brian means is that he has trouble sleeping when he knows that Tommy’s wide awake.
“I’m sorry,” Tommy tries to say.
Brian interrupts him. “Don’t be. But next time, don’t just slip out of my arms when you think I’m asleep. Tell me if your brain’s getting too loud for you.”
Tommy nods but can’t bring himself to make the promise Brian wants to hear. He’s still uneasy at the idea of anybody else losing sleep because he can’t get any.
He lets the silence grow and surround them until it’s broken only by the light noise of the rain falling on the roof.
“What is it this time, Tommy?” Brian asks when it becomes clear the Tommy won’t say anything more. “What’s eating you up?”
Tommy squirms to get out of Brian’s embrace, to hide from the weight of Brian’s gaze but all Brian does is tighten his grip until Tommy all but melts against Brian’s chest.
“Insomnia’s a bitch,” Tommy finally says, looking everywhere but at Brian. “I’ve been dealing with it for years. There doesn’t need to be a reason.”
“I know that,” Brian murmurs, his breath tickling Tommy’s ear. “But you getting it that bad right before we start rehearsing again? You have to admit the coincidence is funny.”
Right now, Tommy hates how well Brian can read him. He tenses in Brian’s arms, trying his hardest to keep the fears and insecurities inside, not to breathe a word of them. As if, as long as he doesn’t say it out loud, it doesn’t really exist.
As usual, though, he can’t fight the magnetic pull Brian has on him, and the words tumble out before he can stop them. “That fucking solo. I’m going to mess it up.”
After that, Tommy has to stop because it could get embarrassing very fast. That’s why he didn’t hide in the music room. He’s aware it wouldn’t bring him the peace he usually gets from playing.
Tommy blushes when he feels Brian press a kiss against the side of his head. “No, you won’t.” There’s all the conviction in the world in Brian’s voice. “You know why we kept that song off the line-up until now. You’re ready.”
Somehow Brian’s confident words make Tommy feel even worse. The idea of messing up when he knows that both Adam and Brian expect him to get it right makes the whole thing even scarier, especially in the middle of the night.
It’s not like they’re putting any pressure on him. He’s quite capable of doing that himself.
“I can’t help it,” Tommy admits, barely over a whisper. “Still thinking that I’m not there yet.”
“You’re getting better and better, baby. I’m not the only one who thinks so.”
Tommy nods because that’s all he can do. He knows he’s good, but he’s still so far from where he wants to be that it never seems to be enough. And at ass o’clock in the middle of the night? Everything seems ten times worse.
“I know,” he finally says when he finds his voice back. “But sometimes my own fears speak louder than the people who believe in me.”
And stop him from sleeping, but he doesn’t need to say that. He knows Brian can figure it out on his own.
“Try not to listen to them.” Brian strokes his fingers up and down Tommy’s arm in a hypnotic movement that slowly chases the tension out of Tommy’s body. “Both me and Adam think that you’re ready. You know if we agree on something, it must be true.”
Tommy can’t help but laugh at the teasing note in Brian’s voice. Because, yes, Tommy’s seen what Adam and Brian’s arguments can look like. While most of the time they’re on the same wavelength, and they’ll show a united front when it’s needed, Tommy knows the way their conversations can go behind closed doors. The reminder of how much they’re both control freaks leaves a smile on Tommy’s face.
“However,” Brian adds after a few seconds, “You’re a lot more likely to mess it up if you’re sleep-deprived.”
“It’s easy for you to say.” Tommy sighs. “You think I don’t know that? I wish falling asleep was as simple for me as just wanting to, but not everyone is that lucky.”
Silence is the only answer he gets. He looks up at the ceiling, suddenly tired but still so fucking far from sleepy. “You should go back to bed, Bri.”
“But I’m comfortable here.”
Tommy shakes his head. He’s aware there’s no point in arguing, even though he still thinks nothing good can come out of Brian losing sleep just because Tommy’s brain refuses to stop. “If you say so.”
Tommy’s still looking at the ceiling. He listens to the rain falling, a faint noise in the background as Brian gently moves his hands over Tommy’s body. The light touch lulls Tommy into a relaxed state, deep enough that it takes a few seconds for him to realize that Brian’s touch somehow follows the rhythm of the rain falling outside.
“What are you…?” He has a hard time getting the words out.
“Hush,” Brian whispers. “Close your eyes. Just feel.”
Tommy obeys and lets Brian’s gentle touch bring him farther. He loses himself in the caresses of Brian’s hands over his skin, in the light noise of the rain falling on the roof and dripping to the ground.
Without even thinking, he matches his breath to Brian’s, to the deep, easy rhythm. He melts in Brian’s arm and lets his body slide lower until he can lock his arms around Brian, until he can rest his head on Brian’s chest and listen for the soft thud of his heartbeat.
Still Brian moves his hands over Tommy’s body in a gentle, comforting caress until Tommy feels grounded and protected and safe.
Until Tommy’s thoughts finally slow to a halt and he falls asleep.