Disclaimer: Not mine. The end.

What follows is based almost entirely on one of enolianslave's incredible drawings. If you're reading this and haven't checked her work out...go now. The picture that directly inspired this is here: http/ www. deviantart. com/ deviation /33780422 Just remove the spaces.

Eventually this will be renamed and be the base for a large personal challenge I've made for myself to write one hundred 100 word fics based on a preset theme table. Every tenth one will be 500 words. (this one happens to be #60)

Comments are always welcomed.

Courage

By, Nicole Silverwolf

He pretended. Especially when Jak got like this, because if he knew he was awake all this time, some kind of pride or embarrassment would keep it from happening again.

And Jak obviously needed these moments.

Daxter would oblige him a thousand times over if it helped for even a second.

Because that was what best friends did. Always.

The world shifted again, breeze ruffling his fur. Daxter forced his muscles to relax—not tense—in compensation to the unevenness of Jak's arm. He never mentioned that two years in Haven made him leery of sleeping heavily. And that ottsels had damn sensitive hearing. Because then Jak would know.

Large fingers were cupping his head, so much gentler than people assumed. Supporting him carefully because he was supposed to be asleep and unaware. Hesitant because Jak knew he could do damage when he wasn't even trying.

Daxter frowned and hoped Jak wouldn't noticed.

He wanted to scream at mothers who pulled their children violently away when they saw Jak in the streets. Somehow wished they could see these moments. But in the same instant didn't want to lose how private—special—this had become.

Yes he could be dangerous. Daxter was probably the most qualified to know. But that didn't mean Jak was a monster. It couldn't mean that.

Really though, he knew it wouldn't do any good to try and explain. They wouldn't understand even then.

Human warmth surrounded him, and he could feel Jak's cheek press against the fur on his forehead. Pushed the short orange hairs in the wrong direction so he could feel every strand.

Ghost whispered breaths on his whiskers and a cool nose dipped against his own. Jak smelled of eco (every kind) and of Haven and a thousand things without names because no one else could detect them.

It was hard to explain to someone who wasn't ottsel sized but it was like everything in him curled closer. Pressing together, trying to fit them in the same space at once. Intimate in a way that had nothing to do with romantics.

Desperately wanted to see the open, gentle expression on Jak's face he always imagined. That would make these moments complete.

He had opened his eyes once though and nearly spoiled everything. And Jak's expression—so near to crying for real—sunk a rock in Daxter's stomach. Gut-checked him back to reality. This wasn't years ago, when they'd fallen asleep tied around each other because Jak was a sap and they were little.

Daxter never asked why Jak held onto him so desperately like this sometimes. Like he was the only thing left who'd understand if Jak was just a little weak.

Maybe he didn't have the courage to ask why.

Maybe it was enough to let Jak hug him for hours when his friend should be sleeping and hope the next time he'd have the guts to hug back. Tell him the truth. And promise it'd be okay no matter what.

Owari

Soo comments, criticism, flames, praise...anything you'd like to throw at me? Please do so now. Thanks for reading.