Hello reader chums! Sorry for the wee delay on getting this up for you, I've had a rather busy few weeks - casually holidaying in Paris, celebrating my old-age with friends and oh yeah...work :/

It's here now though, italics is a flashback and I forsee about 2 more chapters.

Please leave me a wee review on your way out, I'm felt all loved after the last update and less like a forgotten sweater!

Not mine blaaaaaah


Chapter 10 - Fort Duvet

Chelsea pulled the curtains in the bedroom and turned down the corner of Spencer's duvet. She grabbed the pj's from under the closest pillow and placed them on top. anything to make the room look cosier, more consoling.

Finishing her work, she put her head around the lounge door and saw her two friends on the sofa. Aiden was leaning back with his arm around the blonde, her head laying against his chest. Soft sobs escaped which encouraged him to rub her arm gently. Neither one of them knowing what to do or say to make their friend smile again.

Chelsea whispered the boys name and caught his attention. She shrugged her shoulder and breathed in deeply.

"I don't know either Chels," he looked down at the broken girl in his arms and back up at the door, "I really don't know."

Spencer felt her eyelids flutter. It was morning and while she lay in her half wake state, the pain slowly resettled back in her chest. She tried to fight the impending wake state and squeezed her eyes closed, pulling the duvet around her slightly as she did so.

It was only then that she realised she was not alone. Her right hand side was warmer than her left and the bed was dipped too. She reluctantly opened one eye and squinted at the form next to her. Fast asleep, half under the duvet with a face in the pillow, was the still suited form of Aiden.

A small smile tugged at the corner of her lips when she noticed his arm - stuck out awkwardly with his palm flat and finger splayed; even in his sleep Aiden was still showing her he was there, that he cared and would always protect her.

Now accustomed to the light, Spencer opened her other eye and let the sadness consume her. She felt safe in her pit with her boy, so allowed herself a moment to break. The event last night had been amazing. Having so many people appraise your work and find meaning in it was a humbling experience. She had loved sharing the moment with her peers, her friends and her Chelsea.

For such an outstanding artist, Chelsea was very shy and reserved. The pompous and self-appreciating attitude of many modern artists just did not rear its ugly head with her, it made her fans love her more so for it. Spencer had always believed Chelsea's work to be far superior to her own - her argument being that Chelsea 'created beauty' while Spencer merely sought it out. This argument was never resolved, with both agreeing to disagree.

But, last night, both had received outstanding praise for doing something that they loved. Yet, the evening has till left Spencer feeling empty, naive and played. She turned in bed, away from Aiden, to face the wall as one more tear slipped out of the corner of her eye. the blonde was surprised she has any left to spill. Most had found a home on Aiden's shirt when they had gotten home, but these were destined for the comforting embrace of the pillowcase.

She hadn't shown.

Ashley.

Spencer curled herself into the foetal position as her stomach cramped in sympathy with her emotions. During the evening Spencer had kept one eye on the door, but as the event began to wrap-up she finally let her heart drop. It was at that exact moment that Chelsea found her and engulfed her in a hug.

No words needed saying. Chelsea knew the score without having to express it Spencer loved her friend a little bit more again. Aiden appeared minutes later saying he had flagged a taxi. She was grateful for the protection, she was unable to function. The world became hazy and all she could think about was Ashley.

Everything after her friends came to her aid was a blur of tears. They didn't arrive instantly, it was only as the anger ebbed away and the embarrassment settled, that her eyes brimmed. Chelsea held her in the cab, but Aiden helped her to the sofa where he had just let her continue to cry. The conversation between her two friends went unheard as she mentally replayed her interactions with the brunette, desperately trying to find the moment where she had ruined it, where she had caused Ashley to not show with no word.

How she had made it to bed was a mystery.

Aiden had let the girl cry herself to sleep on his chest then carried her to her bedroom. He turned briefly while Chelsea removed her heels and dress and changed her into the sweatpants and baggy t-shirt she had already located.

"I should stay Aiden."

"You need to sleep Chels, look at you, you're exhausted."

With no way to deny the obvious tiredness, Chelsea merely nodded and collected her belongings.

"There's nothing either of us can do tonight. I'll take this shift and you can be refreshed to help her tomorrow." He turned to open the door and leaned down to kiss the shorter girl's cheek.

"Will you…"

"I will call you the instant she wakes up," she smiled at the boy's ability to read a situation, "I promise."

Locking the apartment door, he loosened his tie, undid his top shirt button and released a deep breath. "I'm going to kill her." He whispered to nobody.

Moving to Spencer's doorway, he looked at the sleeping girl and his heart broke for her. Making a snap decision, he kicked off his shoes and shrugged his jacket down broad shoulders, dropping it onto the pile. Careful not to wake the blonde, he climbed into the double bed.

Although Chelsea may have scooted up to the girl and spooned the life out of her, he was not blessed with a lifelong friendship with Spencer. Even so, he didn't want her to be alone. HE loved his roommate. He would do anything she needed right now. With this thought, he placed a large manly hand over her small one and squeezed gently before sleep took over.

Spencer was pulled from her thoughts of Ashley by a rumble from the form next to her.

"Stop thinking so much."

She smiled weakly. Wiping her eyes, she turned to face Aiden, who had released his face from the pillow's clutches.

"You have bed face." She stated, looking at the wrinkles along his cheek.

"Well, you have bed hair." He joked.

Silence fell between them. Aiden, true to his word, reached out for his phone and dialled Chelsea's number. Not really wanting to wake her, he let it ring twice before hanging up and sent her a text instead. Turning back he saw tears welling in blue eyes. "Do you want to talk about it?"

Indicating 'no' with a shake of blonde locks, Spencer retreated into her shell and ducked her head under the duvet to hide the next inevitable round of tears.

He's already seen me cry enough.

Aiden's phone pinged as a reply came through. He read it quickly then jumped out of bed to unlock the apartment door. Climbing back into bed, he pulled the duvet over his own head and joined Spencer.

"You know, when I was little, I used to make the best duvet forts. I would get home from school, say hi to my Mom and run up to my room," the blonde continued to keep her eyes closed as another tear dripped down her cheek, yet Aiden continued, "I'd start with just laying under the duvet and pretending I was that creepy creature from The Hobbit, Gollum, my Mom used to read that to me and he always seemed like he knew what he wanted out of life! Eventually, saying "My Preeeeccccious" got boring so I moved on" He placed his index finger under the tear and caught it.

"I'd build bigger forts that took over my whole room. Dad used to let me sneek sheets out of the linen closet and would help me peg them together and tie them across my room. It was awesome. I could be anything I wanted in a duvet fort. Mostly I was a pirate, because pirates are fucking cool right," there was a small sniffle of a giggle, so he continued.

"Sometimes though, I was an astronaut on the moon, jumping on the bed in my mom's huge fluffy white dressing gown, other days I was a superhero in my lair - very Batman." The blonde sniffed and rubbed her nose with her wrist, finally opening her eyes a little.

"When I came out to my mum, I think she already knew, but her reaction was hard on me. I hadn't expected it. I was 16 and finally figured out who I was, I desperately wanted to be accepted and loved regardless, for nothing to change. But that day I told her, it was like her final bit of hope for me was shattered. She tried, but I knew it killed her really. She kissed me on the cheek, told me she loved me and reminded me that dinner was in an hour."

Spencer raised her puffy red eyes slowly as he continued his story.

"I went upstairs, got into my room and crawled under my duvet. I didn't build forts by the time I was 16, I grew out of it, too old to find fun in the simple things, but that day I made a fort. I didn't put any effort into it, just got into a ball and pretended once again - this time that I wasn't gay. I tried so hard in that hour to be someone else, not a creepy Hobbit, or Jack Sparrow, not even Bruce Wayne, just me, but straight. I couldn't do it. I just hid for awhile, protected by grey and blue sheets and emerged feeling a little stronger."

He reached out and ran his hand down Spencer's arm. "Duvet forts are the safest place in the world, talk to me Spence, it helps."

The blonde knew how hard it was for Aiden to tell his story, but it had worked. She felt closer to him. This wasn't about whether she was gay or not anymore, it was just about helping her through a hard time. He wasn't reacting towards her like his mum did to him. This had brought them together even more.

"If I talk to you, can we be pirates afterwards?"


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