As the day came to a close and the moon made itself known, signaling the long night to come, Sonic stretched and yawned. Tired, sore joints and muscles finally relaxed from hours of exploring and overall small, hero-ly deeds, and the hedgehog looked at his door, smiling fondly at the old wood. He fished the key from the shrubs right in front of the windows, silently wondering why Tails still thought this was a good hiding spot and still didn't trust Sonic enough to keep up with his own set of keys, and quietly unlocked the door.
It was very late, possibly going on two AM, so the kit had to have been asleep by now and he didn't want to wake the little guy. The door gave a slight squeak from age and he froze, listening for anything, but when nothing came the hedgehog sighed and squeeze himself through the small gap and into the house, closing and locking the door behind him.
Sonic toed off his shoes but kept his socks on, silently padding through the house to get a glass of water from the kitchen before bed. As he ran the tap, glass tilted so the water wouldn't make noise as it landed, he heard and small tapping noise followed by a quiet voice hissing about something being 'dumb'. Sonic's ears drooped and he straightened up, sighing through his nose as he cut off the flow of the tap.
"Tails, Tails, Tails," He whispered to himself, turning and carrying his glass towards the kit's workshop. "Buddy, you gotta sleep..."
All the lights in the house were turned off save for the small lights at the base of the walls, automatically set so they'd turn on when you walked past them at night. Sonic blinked tiredly as he remembered Tails creating them, where at first he questioned if they were even useful, but now thanking their existence as he was sure he would have tripped over at least twelve different things by now. He took another sip of his water to wake himself up a bit, tiredness already setting in.
As he drew closer, the sounds of the kit moving around grew most consistent. Tails mumbling to himself, the sound of metal squeaking, taps, beeping, nothing even close to sounding like he was finishing up nor going to bed. Sonic rolled his eyes and took a sip of his water.
The blue hedgehog slowed to a stop right outside the door to his brother's workshop, staring into the small window at the dim light of Tails' lamp. He often turned it on when it grew dark and he didn't want Sonic to know he was awake with the brighter lights, but the hedgehog always knew. Tails had been looking worse for wear lately; fur unkempt, bags under his eyes, always on edge and yet slow reacting to actual danger. It broke his heart seeing him like that, and each time he confronted him, Tails brushed it off as he simply couldn't sleep or that he took a midnight walk. Sonic never believed it.
He opened the door quietly and stepped down the few stairs, looking in on Tails' back. He was hunched over and faced away, drips of black oil having sprayed up against the side of his face and ear somehow, matting down some of his once bright and vibrant yellow fur. Now, his fur's shine had dimmed, leaving it more of a greyed orange than yellow Sonic's socks helped him approach noiselessly, but that all ended when he set his glass down heavily on the kit's table, making him nearly jump out his fur.
"S-Sonic!" He stuttered, and Sonic frowned. "I-I just-- I was just finishing something up! I woke up from a bad dream and-- and--"
"Tails." Sonic cut him off, crossing his arms and staring down at his brother. Baby blue eyes slowly filled with tears but Sonic wasn't entirely sure why. "Buddy, I'm tired of you dancing around the subject. I want answers, now. This has been the third week you've barely scraped in three hours of sleep, claiming that you 'had a bad dream' or 'couldn't sleep' or 'took a walk', and I'm worried, Tails."
Tears finally fell, and Tails looked forward at his invention sitting on the table. It was smudged with black lubricant, and he lifted up a cloth to wipe some of it off as he spoke. "I...I'm... scared, Sonic." the fox whispered. "I want to be ready, and... and I just can't help, I can go without sleep--"
"No you can't." Sonic huffed, yanking the cloth from his brother and throwing it down. "What could you possibly be preparing for that means you can go weeks without sleeping?" his voice rose to almost a yell, but he quickly quieted back down and wiped his brother's tears away with his gloves.
Tails knocked Sonic's hand away and sucked in air sharply "I'm afraid for you! You just keep going headfirst into every dangerous situation not even caring about yourself or your friends! You just keep saving everyone but yourself!!" he hollered. He sucked in air again and sobbed, violently scrubbing at his face.
"Last month, y-you," he gasped "You were almost cut in half, and all you did when you were saved was jump up and joke that nothing Eggman made could kill you, but look." Tails pointed to Sonic's left hip, where a deep scar from the buzzsaw tearing an inch into him laid. Had Knuckles not snatched him out when he did, he was sure he would have died, but at the time he just didn't want to worry anyone.
Sonic touched the scar "Yeah, I know. I didn't... I didn't mean it, I just didn't want anyone to be afraid."
"But I was! I expected you to be more careful, but you didn't! So I started making stuff to keep me awake at night so I wouldn't have nightmares about you-- about my brother being sliced clean in half with a joking smile on his stupid face!!" Tails knocked everything off the desk and laid his head down on it, and Sonic froze. The invention and glass of water slammed to the ground, glass and water shattering and spilling everywhere along with whatever Tails had been building breaking apart on the hard ground.
Tails had been having nightmares, that's why he was awake. And not just any nightmares, either. Nightmares about him dying from the very same death over and over. Sonic swallowed a lump in his throat and nodded.
Tails' namesakes, ratty and matted down with lack of care, had twisted with themselves in a fit, and he lifted his head, looking at Sonic. The blue blur was also crying, but he was quick to wipe away his tears before he could really tell. Tails noticed anyway.
Sonic laid his free hand on his friend's back and rubbed small, soothing circles in his fur. "I didn't know saying that would have such an effect on you. I'm so sorry for keeping you awake like this, buddy. Is there any way I can make it up to you?"
Tails sat up, Sonic's hand moving from his back to his shoulder. He welcomes the contact. "Well," he started, voice still shaky but calming down. "Think about... think about yourself and your friends a bit more before you go off, please?"
Sonic smiled and leaned forward, hugging his friend tightly. Tails sighed and hugged him back. "Will do! And," he sat back "My first thought about my friend is this-- You need to sleep."
With that, Sonic stood up, arms still wrapped around the kit as he carried him up the stairs and to his bedroom. Tails playfully complained the entire way, wiggling pathetically as Sonic bounded up the stairs and bumped his bedroom door open. Sonic smiled as he laid the kit down, tossing the sheet over him and tucking him in. He fell into the lull of the warm, soft sheets and cushion of the bed.
"I'm not a little kid," Tails tried to complain, eyes already having closed shut and head laid back on the firm pillow. The heavy sheets felt like a neverending hug, and he suddenly realized how much he missed his bed.
"Yeah? I don't see you stopping me." Sonic messed up Tails' head fur, turned out the light, and shuffled over to the door. "Goodnight, Tails. Love you bud."
"G'nigh..." Tails mumbled, voice more of a buzz as he trailed off into sleep.
Sonic touched his hip as he left, thinking about the promise he made and planned to keep. As he cleaned up the water and glass from downstairs, he nodded to himself, knowing now how much of an impact he had on his friends and family.
"Don't worry, buddy." he said to no one in particular "I'll be careful from now on."
yo, this was another oneshot request! i actually loved this one, ha
requests are still open!
edit: yo spek I didn't have time to fix this wtf