I'll love you for a Thousand more

Whatever it was that woke Pip from the dead sleep he had been in was a mystery. But at the moment, all that he knew was that it was 2:18 AM in the dorm of the Crypt that he and Ferbus shared, and said redhead was not sleeping.

He could hear the almost imperceptible sobbing and occasional sniff, and he rose as quietly as he could from his bed and made his way over to Ferbus's.

Heart pounding ferociously, he gently laid his hand on Ferbus's trembling shoulder and whispered, "Ferbus? Are you okay?"

In a flurry of sheets, Ferbus shot up in his bed and slapped his hand away, "ASK ME ONE MORE QUESTION AND I'LL KILL YOU!" he shouted as loud as he dared due to the lateness of the hour.

Pip recoiled as if he had been punched, his expression hurt, "I'm sorry…"

Ferbus's expression softened and he sighed, wiping his eyes with his sleeve, "No, I'm sorry."

Pip scooted closer to the edge of his bed once more and sat down next to the redhead, "Do you want to talk about it?"

Fresh tears welled up in Ferbus's eyes and spilled over his cheeks before he could stop them, and he sobbed out, "It's just all this craziness! Kloo and Corpp are dead, Ayjay Amnesia'd himself, Norwood and Heloise are out for our blood, all of the Seniors hate us, and on top of all that, Mort isn't our Mayor anymore! I swear, sometimes I just feel like doing what Ayjay did! It'd be better not to remember anything rather than have to live with all of this."

Pip was silent for a moment, then he spoke, "But what about all of your friends?"

Ferbus looked up, "Huh?"

Pip's gaze was downcast, "Your friends would all miss you I bet. And if one of you is gone, the rest may follow. Like a tree losing its leaves, until there isn't even one left…" Ferbus was confused about how heartbroken Pip sounded, until he finished what he was saying. "And I don't know if you agree, but I think of you as my friend. And I'd be pretty sad too if you left and didn't even remember me…"

Ferbus kept wiping at his face, astonished at the seemingly endless flow of tears, "I-I never said I would for real! I just feel that way sometimes. I don't think I could ever bring myself to do that anyway…I'd miss everyone too much. Even you."

Pip's gaze rose once again, dirty blond hair askew as his blueberry eyes met Ferbus's baby blues.

Neither of them was more surprised than Ferbus when Pip threw his arms around him and held him in a soft hug, in which he almost immediately hugged back.

Ferbus couldn't remember the last time he had been hugged. His life as a foster kid was being carted all over the place. Always trying to find a family that would take him. He never stayed with any one family for any period of time.

No bonds were formed, no friendships set in stone, no displays of affection made known.

Pip held him firmly, but gently, and Ferbus buried his face in his friend's shoulder, clinging to him like his life depended on it.

Pip ran his hand through Ferbus's traffic-cone-orange hair soothingly, squeezing him gently, and somewhere along the way, Ferbus fell asleep.

Pip gently lowered him down into his bed and pulled the covers over him.

Before he left for his own bed again, he reached out and ran his hand over Ferbus's hair once more, and then traced his finger gently over his tear-stained cheek, feeling something unknown tug at his heart.

Just as he pulled away, Ferbus groggily whispered, "Pip, wait."

Pip knelt down next to the bed, "What is it?"

Ferbus blinked and opened his mouth, though nothing would seem to come out.

"Are you feeling alright?"

Ferbus shook his head, "I'm fine, I just…" he hesitated, "I was just wondering if…maybe…you'd stay with me tonight?" Pip looked surprised and Ferbus stuttered, "I-I just. I mean, I'm…afraid of loosing you too…"

Pip's surprise faded into a small smile, "Sure."

Ferbus looked surprised himself, as if he hadn't expected Pip to say yes, but nonetheless, he moved over to make room for the blond.

Pip climbed into the bed with Ferbus, but instead of keeping far away from him like Ferbus expected, he pulled him into another hug as soon as he got settled, whispering into his hair, "I won't ever leave. Believe me Ferbus, I won't. I promise."

Ferbus nuzzled his face into Pip's neck, "Thank you…Pipsqueak."

Ferbus suddenly pulled away, and his face was exceptionally close to Pip's, and the blond glanced down at the lips only a few centimeters from his own.

Ferbus half expected him to dive in, but he just stayed where he was, and Ferbus felt his face turn a shade similar to his hair.

"What's wrong?" Pip's whisper was barely audible.

Ferbus swallowed thickly, "I…I've never, uh, kissed anyone. And I never imagined it would be…a boy…"

Pip raised his eyebrows slightly, "You want to kiss me?"

Ferbus's blush deepened, "Yes…but I don't know…why…or how…"

Pip smiled, "That's okay." he placed a gentle kiss on Ferbus's forehead, "I love you."

Ferbus's eyes widened, "You do?"

Pip nodded, "It feels like I've loved you for, like, a Thousand years…" he kissed the end of Ferbus's nose, "And I'll love you for a Thousand more." He looked deeply in his eyes and smiled gently, whispering, "Don't be afraid."

Ferbus felt his eyes sting once again, and he gently clasped the sides of Pip's face and brought their lips together for a few moments before he pulled away, only to kiss him again, longer this time.

When they pulled away a second time, he gasped out, "I love you too. So don't you ever leave."

He kissed Pip again, and as he was kissing him, the blond murmured in between lip-locks, "I would never even dream of it, love."