Once Upon A Time
He woke up drenched in a cold sweat, hand already on his bedside table fumbling for his phone.
It was only when he brought the phone to his ear and heard the distinct sound of the phone ringing. And he thought, for a moment, that maybe he should have woken up before dialling whatever number had jumped to his head first, and maybe then the person on the other end wouldn't yell at him for calling at whatever time it was in the morning. Three a.m. at least. He winced.
"What's wrong, angel?"
Relief flooded through his veins; that and the hum of Garcia's lilting tone. She was bubbly and cheerful as always, even at three in the morning, yet somehow he sensed the undertone of deep concern. Her voice washed over him like water, soothing and calming, in three simple words.
A vague sense that he was floating crossed his mind, and he dismissed it, content to listen to the sound of her rhythmic breathing and lying in his bed, where he felt peaceful.
Where he felt safe.
"Nightmare," he exhaled quietly.
Garcia was silent for a full minute, but he was okay, and she was okay, and it wasn't an awkward silence. It simply was.
"Once upon a time…"
He chuckled. "Bedtime stories?"
"Shush," she mused, and she knew he could hear her smile even through the receiver. "Now don't interrupt me. Any questions?"
"Hang up when I fall asleep," he requested softly, allowing his eyes to gradually drift closed.
"You got it." Garcia curled up under her blankets and closed her eyes. "Once upon a time…"