Kiku yawned awake, rolling over in his hotel bed to stare at the clock. The red numerals spelled out 1:34 AM. Who is knocking on my door at this time of the night? Kiku wondered groggily, sitting up and rubbing the sleepy mist from his eyes. Surely I must have dreamed it...
No. Tragic as it was, this was no dream. Kiku suppressed a soft groan and stumbled over to the door. Upon opening it, he found someone he realized ought to have been a suspect the moment Kiku woke up: Alfred F. Jones, sporting flannel pajamas and clutching a pillow.
"Ah, hello, Alfred..." Kiku had to remind himself not to add -san to the end of his late night guest's name. Some time ago, Alfred had told him not to bother with it, laughing that it was too formal. This had to led to a painful struggle in Kiku's mind over which was less rude: omitting the suffix, which was very improper but granted Alfred's request; or keeping it there, which was proper, but against Alfred's request. In the end, Kiku had decided it was more polite to respect Alfred's wishes. "You are up very..." Did 1 AM count as early or late? "This is an unusual time. May I help you?"
"Hi Kiku! So I was uh, I just happened to be awake and I thought I should, um, let you know that if you have a nightmare, you can totally come into my room at any time! Like, seriously, my door's always open! Haha..."
Kiku blinked. This was a strange message.
"Thank you for your offer, but I haven't had any dreams tonight at all, and I do not usually suffer from nightmares anyhow."
Well, that first bit was a lie. Kiku had, in fact, just woken up from a dream- about Alfred, of all people. Much of it had faded now, but he got a warm feeling when he thought of the dream, so he assumed it must have been a pleasant one. Why he had bothered to lie about it, however, was a mystery even to himself.
"Oh... Okay... Well then." Alfred laughed nervously. "Oh, screw it. Kiku, I just had a really bad nightmare, can I sleep with you? In your bed, I mean," he added swiftly.
Kiku flushed. He was doing it again, making Kiku have to decide between two improper actions! Now Kiku had to deal with an even worse mental divide than the suffix issue: grant Alfred's request and let him sleep in his bed, however horrendously improper that might be; or turn him away, and risk hurting his feelings? Kiku's mind raced.
Aha! Perhaps if he could vaguely suggest someone who wouldn't mind sharing a bed with Alfred, Alfred would go away and Kiku wouldn't even have to say yes or no!
"Why not go to Arthur's room?" Kiku inquired. "He might be resistent at first, but I am sure that he would consent if you reminded him of his days as your caretaker..."
"Oh, well, there's a couple reasons why I can't go to Arthur," Alfred said quickly. "First of all, he's just plain bad at making you feel better. Once he tried to cheer me up after a nightmare by reminding me that reality is even worse. Also, I'm 99% sure Francis is in his room tonight." Alfred rolled his eyes. "I know because my room is actually right next to Arthur's, and I heard some things going down in there that I'm pretty certain only Francis would know how to do-"
"Okay," Kiku said quickly, not wishing to hear anything more. Those two, honestly... It's taken them about a thousand years, but maybe they've finally figured it out. "What about..." Kiku thought hard. "Feliciano? As I recall, he never minds having a bed mate. Although Ludwig would probably not be pleased. Or Romano, for that matter. And by this time, Feliciano would be in Ludwig's room anyway. Never mind... For your own safety, do not go into Feliciano's room." Kiku frowned. He knew he must be forgetting someone. Alfred looked about nervously.
"Oh! What about Matthew? He is your brother, right?" There was no way Alfred could object to this one.
"I..." Alfred sighed, looking embarassed. "Matthew wouldn't mind. But... There's a reason... I asked you first."
Kiku raised his eyebrows a little.
"Kiku, you're the only person who can really make me feel better when I'm freaking out. I mean, I guess Arthur and Matthew and people like that can kind of help me sometimes, but I know I can always count on you." Kiku blushed a little and looked at the floor. Alfred took a deep breath and carried on. "That's why when I watch scary movies, I always invite you. And when you can't make it for some reason, I act like I watched the movie without you, but really I didn't, because I know I would get too scared. And when I start freaking out about anything else, like my boss or the economy or, well, a bad dream, all I have to do is call you and listen to your voice and I start to feel better again." Kiku looked up. Six inches above Kiku, Alfred's face was visibly red, even with only the dim light of the hotel hallway behind him. "So, I guess... Well... Can I sleep in your bed?"
If Kiku felt conflicted before, his mind was in complete turmoil by now. Alfred had just revealed such a vulnerable side of himself, how could Kiku turn him away? But how could he... share a bed with Alfred? Kiku's head was starting to hurt.
"I..." Kiku sighed. "You will have to forgive me. I must admit that I have not been in this situation very often..." Okay. So he knew what Alfred wanted. But what did Kiku want? To be polite, of course. But... Wasn't being polite and proper a show one put on for the benefit of others? So if it wasn't benefiting others, was it worth it to try to stick to the rules of propriety?
So other than to be polite, what did Kiku want? He thought of how it would go if he let Alfred sleep next to him. The other man would probably talk in his sleep. He would probably snore, too. And he seemed like the type of person who would start stretching out as the night went on and eventually take up the whole bed.
But Alfred was probably the kind of person who would smile as they slept. And if he talked in his sleep, it would be amusing or even... cute. And if he started to take up the whole bed, it would be an excuse to...
Kiku mentally slapped himself for even going there. But he knew he was won over.
"Fine. You may share the bed."
"THANK YOU!" Alfred dropped his pillow and flung his arms around his friend. Kiku staggered slightly, and Alfred pulled him closer to his chest. Kiku felt his face grow hot. Flustered, he disentangled himself from his enthusiastic new room mate and walked over to his bed, trying to remain calm as he climbed back under the covers. Alfred picked up his pillow and followed.
Hyper aware of the other person in his bed, Kiku found it rather difficult to relax and fall back to sleep. Occasionally, Alfred's leg would brush Kiku's foot, and Kiku would snap fully awake again. It seemed Alfred was having difficulties as well, though for different reasons.
"Kiku," he whispered. "Are you still awake?"
"Hai. What is it?" Kiku rolled over to face him. Wide blue eyes met his own. Kiku felt himself blushing again at their close proximity.
"I just wondered."
"You should go to sleep, Alfred," Kiku said bluntly. "Whatever happened in your nightmare will not happen in real life."
"I guess not..." Alfred was looking a little drowsier now. Kiku rolled over again. If he could just forget that Alfred was less than a foot away from him...
Then again, maybe he didn't really want to forget that.
"Kiku, it's time to wake up aru~!" Yao flung open the door, which Kiku had left unlocked in the midst of his flusteredness about Alfred. "...Oh." Yao stopped.
"Nani?" Kiku cracked open an eyelid. Yao was standing frozen in the doorway, looking a bit shell-shocked.
"I'm very sorry! I did not know you were-! Forgive me for interrupting aru..." Yao colored. Kiku frowned in confusion. What on Earth was his older brother talking about?
"What do you mean- AH!" Kiku nearly jumped out of his skin. Alfred had somehow managed to drape his arm around Kiku during the night, and Kiku was beginning to notice that the taller man's chin was resting on the top of Kiku's head.
Alfred had indeed spread out during the night, but only over Kiku's part of the bed. Kiku became more and more flustered as he realized there was hardly a single area on the back half of his body that wasn't pressed against Alfred.
"Hmm..." Kiku's outburst seemed to have woken Alfred. "Wow! I slept really well~" Yao was still looking as though he'd seen a ghost.
"Huh? Oh. Sorry about that," Alfred said cheerfully, rolling off of Kiku. Wide eyed, Kiku shot into a sitting position and scrambled backwards against the frame of the bed, feeling his cheeks heat up.
"I got cold, and you were warm! Also, you're just so cute and fun to hold on to. Well, I'm going back to my room now! Thanks, Kiku!" And with that, Alfred left, waving to Yao as he did.
"What just happened?" Yao asked. Kiku gave a shuddering sigh. But as his shock faded, he could not deny that there was another feeling taking the place of his surprise.
"It's a long story..."
A/N: Well, there you are.
I felt like this was going pretty awesome at the beginning, but I'm not all that happy with the way it ended... I considered writing about Alfred's nightmare (which was about Kiku dying, surprise surprise) but felt the whole thing was getting a bit cliche so I left it out. If enough people are interested, I suppose I could put up another version. It would end up changing the final part of the story, though.
Enjoy :D Reviews, though I will not usually PM you a response, are always welcomed and appreciated.