Authorly preamble or something: I left this sitting around for the longest time after writing it because I felt bad about it, even though in and of itself there's not much to it. Putting it that way, I feel like a dork. Set before the end of episode 5.

In Case I Lose Myself Again

Shu's shivering, bare feet cold from the bare floor, as he slips quietly under the thin covers of Nabuca's bed, silently hoping to do so without waking him.

"What do you think you're doing?" Nabuca hisses so quietly not even the boy in the bed adjacent would be able to hear him. Confident in his stealth abilities, Shu assumes he'd already been awake.

"Can't sleep," Shu whispers back, biting his lip cautiously when someone snores loudly and rolls over in a rustle of sheets. And it's true; whenever he closes his eyes and clears his mind all he can see is that man, and the gun, and so much blood—

"Go back to your own bed," Nabuca shoots back bluntly. "You smell like blood."

"So do you," Shu points out, sniffing the air. He doesn't, neither of them do, some fierce scrubbing has made sure of that, but Shu can smell it anyway and apparently he's not the only one. When Nabuca doesn't reply he cautiously adds, "Come on, there's no harm. It's fine, isn't it?" Groping the sheets awkwardly, his hand lands on Nabuca's, and Shu realizes he's not the only one shivering. He remembers Nabuca shaking like a leaf as the blood coating his clothes glistens in the dying light and beings to think that might be the reason he hasn't been unceremoniously kicked out on his ass as he'd half-expected.

Shu's not sure if he's imagining the waver in Nabuca's voice when he snaps, "Fine, do as you please." He closes his hand over Nabuca's and Nabuca does nothing to stop him, but Shu knows that doesn't change anything and tomorrow will be no different from today. But as Nabuca's breathing evens out and his gentle shaking stills, he wonders if that's not all right, just for now.