I came back to sanctuary exhausted. My contact wanted to meet me in the middle of the night. It was a two-hour drive there and back so I was home at almost three in the morning. The rest of my team had a hard day fighting. I wasn't sure if they'd be coming home soon from clubbing or be in bed sleeping.
When I got home I heard the TV on. I thought Emma might be awake so I went to check it out. When I got there I was a bit surprised by what I saw. It was so precious I almost laughed out loud. All four of them had fallen asleep together, in the living room, by the TV set. Brennan was laid stretched out on the sofa. Shalimar was curled up on the love seat. Emma put a blanket down on the floor and fell asleep there along with Jesse who was using her stomach as a pillow.
They were in such sound slumber it was tempting to just leave them there. I eventually talked myself out of it. Before I did anything, I had to take a picture. I turned the TV off and the lights on low, so I wouldn't have to use flash on the camera. I stood far enough back to get everyone in the shot. After I finished I put the camera down and started getting each one back to their bed.
I began with Jesse since he is the hardest to wake and was in the walkway. I watched him sleep for just a moment. He was completely inert. He is the best sleeper in all of sanctuary. It would take marching bands and gunfire before he would wake up. And if I am lucky enough to wake him, he is usually incoherent and disoriented. It is hard to get him to do simple tasks such as walking in that state. I first took his head off of Emma's stomach and began shaking him and whispering his name. At the first sound of a groan I pulled his shoulder and put my arm under his neck trying to encourage him to sit up. When I got him that far it wasn't hard to get him the rest of the way up. I more carried him than walked him to his bedroom. I talked to him the whole way so he would stay a little bit conscious and I wouldn't be completely carrying him the whole way. He mumbled some things to me, but none of them made sense. I think it might have been something about his grandmother and a dog. When I got into his room I saw his bed. You could bounce a quarter of that bed it was so neatly made. Jesse and Shalimar were the best at keeping there rooms clean. Jesse, because that's how he was raised and it always stuck with him. Shal, because a more emotional reason. I took Jesse's covers off fast and let him down gently. He fell into bed with a soft plop and would probably remain in the same position through the whole night. I put the covers over him and left quietly.
The next person on my list was Shalimar. She slept curled up like a cat. Shalimar is a fairly peaceful sleeper. She was never as still as Jesse though. Although as all scientists know it's not how still you are that determines how well you sleep. Whenever I watch her sleep she is either completely still or her nose will twitch and she'll bat at invisible objects with her hand. She is more like a feline when she sleeps then when she is awake sometimes. Occasionally I hear a soft purring sound come from her. I went over to the love seat she was sleeping on and brushed her golden mane out of her face. Her nose twitched a little as I did so and her hand softly brushed mine.
"Shalimar come on," I said softly, giving her shoulder a slight push.
Shalimar weakly opened her eyes and looked at me. She grunted softly and made a taxing effort to sit up. When she did so she lifted her arms up to the heavens. To most people it would have looked like she wanted someone to pick her up. But since she's lived here the longest, I have woken her up from enough catnaps that she knows the drill. I lean into her like I'm giving her a hug, but I lift her up instead. She keeps an arm around my waist and puts her head on my shoulder. I carefully walk her to her room and avoid stepping on Emma.
"Adam?" she says tiredly.
"Hmm?" I ask.
"When I wake up, I'm going to find your camera and burn the film."
I chuckle softly and put her into her bed, waiting for her to curl up before I tuck her in. Her bedroom is a bigger one. It is very lush and stylish. She themed everything in autumn colors and is very organized. Shalimar likes to keep things organized, because it is like a feeling of empowerment to her. When she was raised her parents never really taught her how to keep things where you could always find them. Teaching herself that lesson made her feel proud and confident.
Brennan was my last before I got to Emma. I can usually get Brennan to wake up by slapping his leg. It startles him a little, but he goes right off to bed. I can't do it however, because Emma is so close. She is completely vulnerable at night to other people's emotions. If I startle Brennan a little bit she would wake up scared. Brennan himself doesn't sleep too soundly. His arm and head jerks subtly while he sleeps. With a past as a criminal he would have to sleep with one eye open. He'll wake up fast with any sudden sound, but can fall back asleep just as quickly.
"Brennan?" I whispered loudly by his face.
"Huh? What?" he mumbled a bit incoherently.
"You want to go back to your own bed?" I ask him.
"Yeah," he said. "You want me to take Emma?" he asked.
"No," I told him, "I got her."
"Can I expose your film tomorrow?" he asked before leaving.
"I'll think about it," I said jokingly.
He gives me a weak smile and heads for his room. Brennan's room is a mess, but a manageable mess. He'll let it get dirty to a certain point then cleans it up again. He doesn't have the practice like Jesse does to put his things away and he also doesn't have the patients like Shal to try and start.
Emma I always save for last. If she can stay asleep while I escort others to their room than I know she has a good chance of staying asleep through the night. If there were any human way to eliminate sleep from your regimen without putting your health in jeopardy. Emma would do it in a heartbeat. She hates to sleep and she hates it with a passion. Since she was raised by hippies she has learned to sleep through noises in the night. Emma had never learned to deal with other's emotions in her dreams though. I personally wish I knew a way to help her, but I can't teach her how to filter emotions when she is in a deep state of sleep. Emma has probably woken up with more nightmares than all of us combined. Once she's awake it takes a lot of convincing to get her back to sleep. I have to be careful getting Emma back to bed. I can't wake her like I wake the others. I have to physically carry her and carefully at that. I took the blanket she has placed on the floor and wrap it around her. I slowly put my arms under her neck and legs, than lifted gently. I let out a quiet sigh when her breathing remained even.
I slowly walked her to her room while trying not to make any harsh movements. I also have to keep my emotions in check while she's sleeping. Nothing too excitable and nothing too worrisome or fearful. I can't fulfill that every time, but I try. I placed her on her bed and prayed silently she wouldn't wake up. I slowly walked out of Emma's room. Emma's room is a mess. She is completely comfortable that way and surprisingly knows where everything is. The only time Emma cleans her room is when we get on her case or there is too much stuff on the floor. I've never obsessed on the neatness of rooms, but when there's too much stuff on the floor it is an accident waiting to happen. Not to mention a fire hazard. I shut Emma's door, but heard her cry out in her sleep. I hoped I could make it before she reads too much into her nightmare. I come in Emma's room, which is illuminated by a hallway light that I always keep on. Emma is sitting straight up in her bed. I sat behind her back and pull her upper body close to my chest. At first she accepted that jester of comfort, but suddenly had the epiphany I was there to put her back into her much hated sleep. She tensed for a moment, but I held her tighter. I began too whisper calming words in her ear while swaying gently. Before I knew it she was limp again. I placed her down carefully and walked out of the room, but not before taking a glance at her sleeping form. Emma's sleeping pose is a combination of both Brennan and Shalimar. Her face twitches a little like Shalimar and she has small jerks or her arm like Brennan.
I once again shut Emma's door and go make sure everyone's comfortable in there beds before heading off to my own.