Disclaimer: If I owned KND, Cree and Father would have had a smackdown by now.
A Shoulder to Lean On
"Numbuh 86, don't you think you should get some sleep?"
"But you've been running around like crazy recently…"
"I said no!"
Numbuh 99 seemed to shrink considerably in size.
"Y-yes, ma'am. Never mind. Stay up as late as you want." He turned and practically sprinted down the hall, away from the short-tempered lass.
"And don't forget to file those reports!" Numbuh 86 called after him. She growled softly, stalking down the hall in the opposite direction.
"Stupid boys… thinkin' they can tell me what to do… I'm wide awake, thank you very much…"
The door whooshed open to the living quarters of the moon base. It looked mostly like any other tree house… a TV for transmissions and watching television, a worn old couch, and a door that led to separate rooms and the kitchen. 86 covered her mouth with her hand to stifle a yawn. She walked down the stairs into the room; on the couch, there was a stirring of movement.
"Numbuh 1! What are you… how long have you been there?"
"Only a couple hours. I came up to deliver some information my team and I retrieved from our latest mission."
"… Oh. Right."
Numbuh 86 slid onto the couch beside Numbuh 1, taking the reports. She flipped them opened and scanned them. "What have you got?"
"Some weaponry information from the mansion of the Delightful Children from Down the Lane."
"That's good. With any luck we'll be able to figure out what their trying to build and stop them before…" 86's sentence was cut off rather abruptly with a yawn.
Numbuh 1 raised a brow and pulled down his sunglasses slightly, examining Numbuh 86. "Have you gotten any sleep lately, 86?"
"None of your business, Nigel."
"86, I've known you since kindergarten."
"So? Whether or not I get sleep is none of your concern."
Numbuh 1 shook his head. "You're impossible."
"You know it."
Numbuh 86 yawned again, but successfully stifled it behind her hand.
"I better get these to Numbuh 362. She'll want a peek at 'em before we decide to do anything," 86 said, but made no move to rise from the couch. She'd been running around nonstop the past 72 hours, and was surprised at how drained her body felt. Numbuh 1 smirked slightly, point proven. Numbuh 86 glared at him.
"Don't. Say. A word."
Numbuh 1 held up both hands in defense, but Numbuh 86 quickly lost interest in any kind of confrontation. Now that she was actually still, she realized how achy she felt. And how heavy her eyelids felt. And just how good it felt to actually be still and not run anywhere. She felt her eyes beginning to flutter shut and fought to keep them open.
"Don't let me fall asleep."
Numbuh 1 opened his mouth to reply, but he could tell it was already too late. Numbuh 86 was fighting a losing battle to stay awake. He could tell she was exhausted, but she was stubborn; unless someone forced her, she wouldn't sleep, even if it killed her.
Like me, when I think about it…
"It's alright to get some sleep, Numbuh 86," Numbuh 1 said.
"I'm not tired," Numbuh 86 murmured softly, rubbing her eyes with the back of her hand, but she didn't sound convincing. She was fading fast and wouldn't hold on much longer. Numbuh 1 studied her for a moment. After some consideration, he gently took the file from her and put it on the table. Numbuh 86 grunted softly in protest but made no move to grab the file back.
"Fanny, you need to sleep. Now. You're exhausted. You can't keep doing this."
Despite her exhaustion, 86 shot Numbuh 1 a look that clearly said, 'I-hate-you-please-go-away', but the leader of Sector V wasn't as easily cowed as her fellow operatives. She groaned.
"I've been doin' it for the past 72 hours, Nigel. I can keep doin' it."
"A little nap never hurt anyone."
Numbuh 86 opened her mouth to make a snappy reply, but ended up yawning again. Numbuh 1 smiled a little.
"I won't tell 362, I promise."
With that single sentence, a whole lifetime of fight seemed to drain out of Numbuh 86. Her eyes softened slightly, and after a moment she removed her helmet, rubbing her eyes. She yawned again, scooting a little closer to Numbuh 1, resting her head on his shoulder, closing her eyes with a soft sigh.
Numbuh 1's heart missed a beat. He knew it did.
"Nigel?" Numbuh 86 sounded ready to doze off at any moment. Numbuh 1 swallowed. Hard. "Yeah?" he asked.
"Just… just stay with me, okay? Please?"
Numbuh 1 felt himself melt a little inside; Numbuh 86 sounded just like a little kid, not the harsh commander he knew. "Okay," he murmured.
Numbuh 86 murmured sleepily in reply; Numbuh 1 felt her body relax against his, heard her breathing deepen and even, and he knew she was asleep. After a moment's hesitation, he rested his head on hers, closing his eyes, and with a soft sigh he joined her in slumber.
"Numbuh 86?" Numbuh 362 called. "Numbuh 86, where are you?"
Slightly baffled by her fellow operative's apparent disappearance into thin air, Numbuh 362 shook her head, frowning. "Where is she?" she muttered, turning away to walk down the hall. "She doesn't usually disappear like this… it's not like her…"
Truly baffled now, 362 made her way down the hall and walked into the first room she entered; freezing not long after.
Numbuh 1 and Numbuh 86 were on the couch, asleep, by the look of it. Numbuh 86's head was resting on 1's shoulder, and his head was on hers, both sound asleep; somehow, 86's hand had come to rest on 1's knee. A small smile tugged at the corners of Numbuh 362's lips; as silently as possible, she carefully backed out of the room, the door whooshing silently shut as she retreated.
She bumped into Numbuh 35 on the way out, and she turned to him. "Numbuh 35?"
"Can you get the 'Do not disturb' sign from the storage room?"
My first attempt at writing Numbuh 86. I think she came out pretty well, until the middle.
Numbuh 362... yeah, she wasn't in the end originally. I had something totally different planned. She kind of just wormed her way in there... she might appear in one of my fics later down the road, as a main character. Not sure quite yet...