Originally one of my Bleach fics, I thought – why the heck not! I can change this.
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Another day, another battle, another nightmare – Face felt himself falling – in a not too pleasant way - every time he closed his eyes to sleep. Nothing he did seemed to make the feeling of helplessness stop or at least – go away for a while. He could see himself tumbling in the blackness of his mind – his arms frantically waving around to find a purchase on anything – yet, always finding nothing. Even though there was never any end to the darkness, his body always felt one – an approaching invisible floor. When his body reacts to hitting the floor, he wakes up violently thrashing. If he's lucky, the worst he finds himself is tangled in the bed sheets. However, he more often than not finds himself on the floor, gasping for breath, sporting sore limbs from the impact.
With the growing frequency of their 2 man missions into the depths of Iraq, and the requirement to share heat during cold desert night stakeouts, Hannibal witnessed first-hand the extent of the trauma his best friend was going through. Hannibal had sported a black eye for a week – and Face had apologised, feeling ashamed and embarrassed. Hannibal had waved it off as nothing – and told Face if he needed to talk, he'd listen. Face had thanked him with a small smile and nod, but his eyes showed how much Hannibal's offer had meant to him.
A week after the incident, Face had told Hannibal all about his dream over a scotch and a beer in front of an empty oil drum which was being used as a bonfire. Hannibal had sat quietly and listened, only nodding and humming occasionally to show he was listening. Afterwards Face felt slightly relieved, like a weight was lifted off his chest. He trusted his CO more than anything, and if anyone would understand, it would be him. Hannibal smiled slightly and said in a gentle tone, "Don't worry kid – I'll catch you every time you fall." Face looked deep into Hannibal's eyes which were glowing in the firelight. He didn't know what to say, except a heart-felt "Thank you."
Hannibal had left on special orders from General Morrison for a few weeks 1 week after the conversation. After Hannibal's departure, Face found himself waking up from his nightmares once again but now found that he was also crying. He spent most of the nights thinking of why he had begun to cry during or after his nightmares, and why they had come back. His nightmares weren't any different than he remembered them being. He still fell – still landed somewhere – and still woke up in a state. It took him a while to figure out it was Hannibal's fault.
The night of their talk, Face had had another nightmare. He had fallen, and knew the impact was soon approaching, however – it never came. He had managed to grab something, and that's when his eyes had opened to reality. He saw Hannibal hovering above him, holding one of his arms and stroking his face gently while whispering soothing words. Face had found himself relaxing at his CO's words and gentle touches, and soon drifted back to sleep, his hands letting go of their purchase in Hannibal's light blue shirt.
This happened every night for a week. Face would wake gently from his nightmare to find Hannibal above him, comforting him. However, one night before they went to bed Face asked Hannibal, somewhat awkwardly, if he would stay beside him that night instead of heading to his own partitioned section of the tent. Somewhat expecting a retort, he was surprised when Hannibal nodded with a soft "Ok kid." That night and for all the other nights after, Face slept with Hannibal by his side, his hands grasping Hannibal's clothes for support, and Hannibal's arms around him for comfort.
During that time, a stronger bond had formed between them. Face knew he began to look forward to the nights, when he could hold Hannibal and be held in return. He found himself more relaxed and calm with Hannibal's presence so near – even when they bickered for fun, and out of habit, before sleep took them.
Now though, he couldn't take it. He couldn't stand being away from the one person who made him feel safe - The one person who understood everything without there being a need to exchange words. That's why he was currently standing outside Hannibal's on site office, hand shakily rapping on the door. When Hannibal called for him to enter, Face stepped over the threshold and just looked at him, all the pain, worry and need in his eyes. Hannibal's features softened as he smiled with comfort, understanding and love in his own eyes. He got up from his desk and moved over to him gently reaching out, taking Face into his arms to kiss him softly. Face lost himself in the kiss, a new – pleasant - feeling of falling washing over him as he kissed back, taking a firm hold of Hannibal's shoulder gun holster.
"Don't worry – I've got you…"