Summary: In which sleep is elusive to those who are plagued by nightmares.
A/N: This was written for Buttonreallysucks, I hope you like it~
Disclaimer: I do not own Lord of the Flies.
The night was quiet and the air was surprisingly cold against his skin as Simon startled awake. A quiet gasp shuddered through him as he clasped his hands over his mouth to keep from crying out and waking the others. All around him in the shelter, littleuns and biguns alike slept on, completely unaware of the terrifying darkness that engulfed them. Simon's hands wandered over the ground quickly, trying desperately to find the one person that he wanted more than anything else at that moment, but he was left with nothing.
He knew that he wouldn't find him, though.
Simon shuddered against the cold air as he reminded himself that it was Roger's turn to watch the fire tonight. He was tempted to laugh, but he really just felt like crying at the idea of walking through the forest at this time of night. He could already feel ten million pairs of eyes watching him from the depths of the trees, the bushes, feel the creepers closing in around him… But at the top of the mountain, where the rocks were, it would be safe…. It would be warm… He wouldn't have to be afraid anymore.
Simon was quiet as he crawled out of the shelter, gentle as he tip toed around the others, and swift as he fled into the forest. It was nearly impossible to see through the darkness, and the moonlight that shone through the gaps in the trees was only vaguely helpful, but Simon ran and ran. He could hear the sound of roaring as his blood rushed through his ears, feel the pounding of his heart as it hammered away in his chest… His vision swam as he lept and bounded through the bushed and over fallen logs.
He was deafened to the sound of himself as he crashed through the forest, as well as the cries from the birds as they were woken, and the squeals from the little piglets too. There was quite a ruckus, and by the time Simon fell against the rocks, panting hard and shaking in fear, he'd nearly woken up the entire island. Simon was only vaguely aware of the pain in his hands, knees and side as he lay against the rocks, only focusing now on the blotches of inky black that were quickly clouding his vision.
He silently begged himself to stay awake, to not black out… Not here. He glanced at the forest and flinched as he felt hundreds of eyes upon him, waiting for him to be vulnerable. He could tear voices, too muffled for the words to be understandable, and he could feel the creepers wrapping around him. He wanted to scream, to cry out, anything to break the silence, but everything blurred together as the darkness swallowed him, capturing him…
Roger, who had been dutifully keeping the fire going for lack of anything better to do, had heard the screeching of the birds as something passed through the forest. For a long time, he'd simply watched as the birds flew about angrily, ruffled, squawking their displeasure. However, as the sounds of the birds grew nearer, he became more and more curious as to what it was, and eventually had gone to investigate.
The sight he was met with was anything but what he'd expected, to say the least. Simon was half lying, half falling off of the rocks, shaking and mumbling. It took a while to register that it was Simon, but the frightened babble was something that Roger had become quite fluent in. It could also only mean one thing… Simon had had another nightmare. It always happened when Roger had to look after the fire, and Simon would always insist that he would be alright, despite the offer of going with him… Inevitably, Simon would either end up staying awake the rest of the night, or braving the forest alone.
Roger frowned and went to Simon, who seemed to be trying desperately to stay awake, and gently scooped him up. He murmured words of comfort to him, though he knew that Simon wasn't hearing a word of it, and sat down, cradling the frightened boy in his arms. For a long time they sat there, one terrified beyond belief, the other waiting patiently for him to wake up. Roger made a mental note to take Simon with him the next time, regardless of what he said… It wasn't worth being rescued if Simon had to be afraid.
It was only when Roger was sure that Simon would be alright that he began to head back up, carrying Simon carefully as he went. He still had to tend to the fire, and he knew that waking up in the dark would do nothing to ease Simon's fear. Roger was silent as he went, wondering vaguely what had happened that would frighten Simon enough to come find him. Out of the many nightmares that Simon had had on this island, there were only a handful that had sent him running.
Roger pondered as he reached the top of the mountain, and pondered still after he'd gently laid Simon down and fed the fire. It was only when the flames reached high into the sky and snapped and crackled angrily at the darkness that he stopped wondering. Roger had set Simon in his lap and had once more wrapped him up in his arms, letting idly fingers brush gingerly against the soft skin of his arm. What had happened, Roger did not know, but it was quite some time before Simon awoke again. The stirring was slow and groggy, and Roger was patient as the disoriented sensations traveled back to Simon, who rubbed his eyes sleepily, whimpering softly as his hands and knees stung.
Simon frowned and let his eyes stay closed, wanting nothing more than to be able to sleep peacefully. He knew it worried Roger when he woke up frightened like this… But Roger seemed to be the one person that all creatures fears on the island, and Simon was safe when he was around. Simon was simply glad that Roger enjoyed his company as much as he did, despite knowing that Roger loved him.
He didn't say it often, sure, but it wasn't hard to tell. Roger was gentle and careful with Simon, not cruel or vicious like he was with everyone else. It was sometimes like handling fine china, with the way Roger guarded him, but Simon didn't mind. At least nobody poked fun at him, or called him names anymore… Not after what had happened to Bill, anyway. The poor boy still couldn't walk straight.
Simon opened his eyes slowly and flinched away from the glow of the fire, frowning as his head swam slowly. He felt a hand rubbing slow, soothing circles into his back and the low hum of a choir song reached his ears. Simon smiled a little, grateful to have something to reach out to in the swimming darkness as he tried to bring himself back to consciousness.
It was a long time before Simon opened his eyes again, and a longer time before he looked up at Roger, who was gazing thoughtfully into the flames. Simon watched him for a moment, curious, before dashing his thoughts gently with a tentative kiss to the cheek. Roger did not startle in the slightest as he was puled back to reality, but instead turned a worried gaze to the boy in his arms. There were a million questions racing through his head, each one burning his tongue to be spoken, but he remained silent. Simon offered a shaky smile and wound his arms around Roger tightly, as if afraid that he would disappear if he let go.
"I-I can't sleep…" he began, biting his lip. "It was so dark, and there were so many voices… They were all screaming at me and I tried to run, but it was just so dark… I-I…" he tried, curling into Roger's arms as he pressed his forehead against his neck. "It's alright, Simon," Roger murmured, curling around him protectively. A dream or no, Roger wasn't about to let anything hurt Simon… It would be the last thing they did. "It was just a dream, love." he whispered, pressing a kiss to the top of his head gingerly. "Nobody is going to hurt you, I promise." Roger felt Simon shudder as quiet tears streamed down his cheeks, and whispered sweet nothings to him as the fire slowly grew quiet.