Nightmares

Molly hated the nightmares, hated re-living the worst parts of her life on repeat as her brain just seemed to want to make her miserable. They would always sneak up on her during some of the best days of her life, shattering a peaceful sleep. She would wake up in her bed sweating and crying- the first a particularly difficult feat in her new home.

He'd ask why she didn't look so good and wasn't acting like Molly. She'd just say that she wasn't feeling well but would be fine and that was that. Arthur shouldn't have to add her to his list of worries since he already had to bring happiness to the entire world. And part of her was scared to tell him. Molly hated weakness, and in her mind this was about as weak as one could get.

But one May night she just couldn't take it anymore. She awoke shaking and shivering through every inch of her body and knew she didn't want to be alone in this massive ice room. Don't get her wrong, it was very nice and homey. She really did love living at the North Pole. But right now she was going to threaten that by breaking the rules. She grabbed the cover off her bed, threw on her favorite pair of slippers, and walked out the door.

She crept through the labyrinth of halls, sliding across the ice on her slippers. She tried to keep as quiet as possible, even though she was positive very passing room could hear her heart thumping out of her chest. Finally, she reached his door- open of course. She had to pause as she saw him all tucked away in his bed. He looked so peaceful and at ease, something she never really got to see anymore during the work day.

Molly crept her way over and noticed a pile of different sorts of wrapping papers taking up half the bed. She gently set them on the floor and climbed up as silently and slowly as possible so she wouldn't wake him.

"Molly?" Well, that had gone well. "What are you-"

"I'm having trouble sleeping. I know your parents have their rules and expectations and stuff like that, but just one night? I don't want to be alone." She looked him in the eye for a long moment before he merely nodded. "Now get back to bed. You have a busy day tomorrow." She threw her cover over herself and put her head on one of his various pillows.

She didn't know how long she made it before she awoke screaming and shaking. This time though, something was different. She managed to feel through her haze that someone was holding her and rocking her gently. That was too much and Molly finally broke down for the first night in her life. Arthur merely held her tight until she drifted off into a dreamless sleep.

Molly woke up the next morning and knew she should probably start packing her bags. His arms were holding her close and her head rested on his chest. If Mrs. Claus walked in- she would be killed. They'd throw her out to the polar bears.

She tried to pull away, but again she must not be very good at being quiet because Arthur woke up. She shot out of the bed like a shot, wrapping her blanket around her shoulders to hide her pajamas. This was mortifying! "I'm sorry. I'm sorry. I'll go. I'm sorry."

"Are the nightmares always that bad?" he asked simply, an unusual frown on his face.

"I should really…" One look in his eyes and she knew it was going to come spilling out of her. "My whole life. I'm usually fine though. It's just- last night I- it won't happen again."

"No," he said confidently. "No, it won't." She nodded hastily, exiting and practically sprinting back to her room. That would be the end of that.

That was until she came back to her room at noon and found everything was gone. There was no sign she had been living there for four months. Mrs. Claus had found out. She was going to have to brush up on how to handle polar bears.

"He had it all moved to his this morning," she heard Steve's voice from behind her. "He went to Mom and Dad first thing this morning."

"Where is he going then?"

"Molly, this isn't really that hard to put together." She took a moment before a blush crept up on her. "We just wish you had told us so we could do it sooner. It's obvious you need him."

"I'm- wait. I'm not being evicted? Your mom… agreed to this. Your mom… who hates me."

Steve laughed. "She doesn't hate you, just so you know. She wants him to be happy. You being happy makes him happy. I'd show you to your new room, but I know you found your way there just fine last night." She blushed again. He couldn't help but laugh again as he left.

That night Molly hugged him tight. "I love you," she whispered.

He kissed her hair. "I love you too."

"Thank you."

"Don't even think about it." Molly couldn't help but smile. She knew he wasn't doing this for selfish, obvious reasons. He was doing this because she needed it. He was most likely sacrificing sleep and energy for her. She didn't have to worry about weakness with Arthur. He loved her no matter what.

"I got real lucky when I found you in those lights."

"I got even luckier."

Molly would like to say she never had another nightmare, but that wasn't true. She had many more. But he was there for every single one. They worked through it together. So much so that by Christmas morning the next year she fell asleep without him having a very happy dream. Of course that paled to what would happen when she woke up.