Title: This Thing Called Love

Author: Shadow Padawan
Fandom: The Dark Tower
Paring: Roland/Cuthbert
Summary: 10 momens from Roland's youth with Bert...
Notes: Writen for the 10 hurt/comfort challenge on LJ


Part I: Fear

Bert had never liked thunderstorms. There was something about the way the night sky lit up with hot, white light and the world erupted in deep, rumbling cacophony. Eleven-year-old Cuthbert Allgood was not at all brave on a thunderstorm night. He kept on getting up and pacing around the room until Roland finally rolled over and asked, "Bert, do you ever plan on going to sleep?"

The boy shook his head, honey-brown strands of hair flying everywhere.

Roland looked over to the two other boys but Alain and Jamie were sound asleep – nothing short of canon fire could wake those two. Roland glanced back over to his younger friend. "What is it, Cuthbert?"

Cuthbert sat down on the floor and pulled his knees up to his chin. "I hate lightning... and thunder."

Roland crawled over to the other boy and sat next to him, one arm around his shoulders. "Bert, it's just lightning. It's not going to bite you."

Cuthbert rolled his eyes. "Easy for you to speak, you're no afraid of anything."

Roland bit his lip. "Everyone's scared of something." I'm scared when you're like this: unhappy, fearful, unable to find the humor in the situation. The world feel's wrong when you're not smiling.

Bert dropped his head to Roland's shoulder with a soft sigh. "Roland?"

"Aye?"

"Can you stay up with me?"

"I will." I'll always stay with you.