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Pre-Bedtime Ritual

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Simon just wanted to go to sleep.

He had just found the perfect position on his stomach and was seconds away from truly falling asleep.

But his bedroom door was a creaky bugger, so he woke back up. The floor creaked, too, as Nahyuta moved across the carpet. The bed shifted as he sat down on it. His clothing rustled as he redressed after using up all of Simon’s hot water.

“Will you do something for me, Simon?” Nahyuta whispered.

“No.”

It was silent, until Nahyuta threw himself onto Simon violently. Any hope of properly breathing was lost immediately. He tried to throw the man off of him, but he was a heavy limp noodle when he wanted to be. It was so much worse when his hands started to curl up and under Simon’s back, just as his legs settled over his hips to fully trap him to the bed. Simon worked his hands free and tried to push his face away, but Nahyuta did not budge. Falling back to the bed heavily, Simon said, “Fine, what do you want?”

Nahyuta finally climbed off of him and fished around in his bag. When he turned back to Simon, he held a beautifully decorated hairbrush in his hands. The little smile on his face was hopeful.

“No.”

The monk’s shoulders deflated, but he said nothing. The annoying jerk took his place back on the bed and tossed his wave of lilac hair over his shoulder, slapping Simon with it. He sputtered, swatting it away.

“Oh, so sorry, Simon.”

He growled and sat up properly. Simon wrenched the brush from his hands and spun his finger, motioning for him to turn around. Nahyuta did as he was silently instructed, getting comfortable up against Simon’s crossed legs. He helped by parting his hair in a few sections.

The warm scratch of the brush pulling through his hair was oddly calming. As much as Simon wanted to sleep, he did not mind this too terribly. Nahyuta was humming some song, so Simon asked him what it was.

“It’s a lullaby my mother and father used to sing.”

He scoffed. “Do I remind you of them?”

Nahyuta punched his knee. “Do not be disgusting, of course you do not. I merely recall the times that Dhurke would care for me like this.”

Nahyuta never spoke about that kind of thing. Simon was so surprised that his hand slipped so that he pulled too harshly. He apologized quickly, starting nice, but more or less shushing Nahyuta violently when he wouldn’t stop complaining about his torn scalp.

Simon cleared his throat. “W-What other things do you recall about Dhurke?”

Nahyuta sighed. “Not much, as I have blocked most of it out. Well, felt forced to, to be truthful. Ga’ran tricked me into believing many of her lies about him. I tried to resist, but it was very difficult.”

Simon felt terrible for bringing this up – dammit, he’d ruined such a lovely moment between them.

“But I know now they were lies. And that my father cared about me.” He patted at Simon’s knee. “Hence the fond recollection of my childhood with him. Apollo was always such a child at bath time.”

“Well, as he was a child, I find his behavior reasonable.”

“I was the good son.”

Simon smirked and moved onto a different section of hair. “Justice-dono told me you threw tantrums if your food touched each other.”

“Yes,” Nahyuta hissed, “because they are different foods and need to remain separate! I do not understand why this is so hard to understand, Simon.” He resisted the pull as Simon worked through a knot. For as desperately long as his hair was, it rarely tangled too badly. The braid kept things in order, but he had begun to take it out more frequently and try other styles. He frustratingly always asked Simon how he looked with something different, and of course Simon frustratingly always answered that he looked practically perfect, because he did.

“I will need to meet your older sister one of these days,” Nahyuta mused. “Surely she has many excellent stories to tell about your younger days. Unless you were always this grumpy panda I’ve come to adore.”

Simon pulled a little hard on purpose. “I will prevent that meeting for as long as I can.” He could tell Nahyuta was pouting. “I will…speak with her first and limit the stories you will hear.”

Nahyuta turned and kissed him suddenly. He turned back just as quick. “I think it only fair I meet your family. Athena and I are rather close at this point, so I should finally meet your biological sister.”

“Yes, I am well aware. You should know, Aura does not take many visitors.”

“She will surely accept her baby brother and his gorgeous boyfriend.”

“His what?” Another punch to the knee. Simon dragged the brush through the last few strands; he set it down by his hip and ran it through his fingers. Nahyuta’s pretty hair was always shiny and smelled amazing – he just didn’t know how he did it. He dug his fingers into his skull slightly, earning a quiet hum from Nahyuta.

“I would offer to brush your hair,” he said, turning around and draping his arms around Simon’s neck, “but you broke my last one with it.”

“I would much prefer to sleep right now.” Nahyuta kissed him again and put the brush back before removing his shirt and moving in close to Simon. Nahyuta was a blanket stealer, but Simon could cling to him like no one’s business. They faced each other, with Nahyuta on his side like a normal person, and Simon right back onto his stomach.

They spoke just a little more, but Simon fell asleep first. It was peaceful.

Until he woke up with both his own and Nahyuta’s hair literally covering him. But it was just a normal part that came with Nahyuta Sahdmadhi that he had grown to love. He’d never tell him that, though.