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The sound of a door clicking shut and light footsteps making the hallways floor creak in protest. A pause. A sigh of relief, and then Shane appeared in the archway to the living room. Her whole body screamed fatigue, but her eyes were wide and alert, despite the slight bags under them. She rubbed her face in frustration, coming to sit next to Max on the couch. Jenny was sitting across from them.
"Oh...Sleeping on the couch is killing me. What am I going to do, you guys?" It was more of a rhetorical question than anything, but it didn't matter. "Well, you know, Shane, you would probably feel better if you could get a good night's sleep. I know Shay's your half-brother and all, but giving him your bed right off the bat was a little extreme." Max leaned forward as he spoke, elbows on his knees as he gave his lanky friend a reproachful, pitying look. Before Shane could respond, Jenny jumped on the bandwagon, too.
"Hey,. I know. As Max said, you two are siblings. Siblings share beds all the time, Shane! It wouldn't be too weird, really." The hairdresser gave the authoress a hard stare, rolling her eyes slightly in disgust as she gave an indignant snort. Jenny looked hurt. "Well, I was just saying. Sorry." Max and Shane ignored their roommate as the girl got off the couch in a huff and walked out to the kitchen.
Max heard a suspicious, "Fucking idiot," mumbled behind two hands, but he didn't know if Shane was talking about herself or Jenny. Most likely the latter, but the transman chose to ignore it. "Fuck. I just can't believe he got hurt like that. I was supposed to be watching him, I mean-ugh. I feel terrible." Max winced at the memory Shane's words brought up. He had been at the Wax when it had happened; Shay had fallen off his skateboard, got ran over once, skinned his knees and one elbow and smacked his head on the cement hard enough to get a concussion.
"Shane, it wasn't your fault," Max tried to smile as he placed a comforting hand on the other's shoulder, "you had a customer with you; you don't have eyes in the back of your head. Besides, I could've been watching him, so it's kind of my fault, too." Shane just shook her head, ready to protest. Before she could get a word in edgewise, a slight thump from the back bedroom caught the pair's attention.
"Shit," Shane whispered out, wide-eyed. Everything was quiet for a few seconds before Shane's name was being called urgently and fearfully. She was up in a flash, racing back down the hallway to where Shay had been sleeping. Max got up to follow his friend when the scared cries tapered off. He didn't exactly expect to walk in on what he did, though.
The siblings were a mess of limbs on the bed, half uncovered and half still hidden. Shane had hopped up on the bed, one leg behind her little brother while the other one was dangling off the bed. Shay had pulled his knees up to his chest, mid-sob when Shane had encased him in her arms. She easily tucked his head under her chin, petting his hair and making awkward little shushing noises to try and calm him down. Shay grappled with her hoodie a bit until he could get a solid grip and hug her tighter.
"Hey, hey, hey...Shh...What happened, Shay? What's wrong?" Shane tried to pull away, but the kid mewled a quiet 'no' and latched on tighter. Scowling lightly, Shane managed to pry her brother's arms away to look him over. "Shay, you gotta calm down. Look- Just- Take a deep breath, and tell me what's wrong, kay?" Only after she received a nod from the upset kid did Shane release Shay's arms and allow him to curl up on himself.
"Nightmare," he mumbled. Shane was about to give a disbelieving retort before he continued. "Bad dream 'bout you. You just- You left me. Like Mom and- and Dad..." He stuttered over the sentence like it hurt, which it probably really did. Shay looked up, but Shane missed the heartbreaking look in his eyes, because she had been looking at Max for help. The only thing he could offer her was a shrug of his shoulders.
"S-Shane?" Her name was accompanied by a small but needy tug on the front of her hoodie to get her attention. Looking back down, Shane shook her head. "I'm not going anywhere, Shay, don't you worry. I'll be here when you wake up." The hairdresser gave her younger brother a small, reassuring smile, watching as he moved back under the blankets and got situated.
Before she could get up to leave, though, Shay caught her hand. "Stay here, please?" It was phrased as a question but it was more of a plea. Shane sighed. "Alright, yeah. I'll stay here." Slowly, with stiff joints and wary, worried eyes, she crawled under the covers with her brother and got settled herself. It didn't much phase her when Shay moved to cuddle into her side, but Max laughed quietly at them as he shut the light off and closed the door after himself.
"G'night, Shane," Shay whispered, his tone lighter. "Love you," The boy added, a moment of hesitation spacing his words out. Shane smiled in the dark and turned over to throw a comforting arm over him. "I love you, too, kiddo. Now go to sleep."