Created for the Tropetember Event - Plagued by Nightmares
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I really hope this counts. I fell sick and had to write this while feverish so idk if I really understood the prompt ;-;
The serene silence of the late night accompanied the god as they sat on the end of the bed, brooding like a dramatic vigilante too emotionally constipated to seek out some therapy.
It was all Rue’s fault really. He was the one who pleaded with them to join him in the ‘sleep’ thing humans are so reliant on. But Charlie’s a god, they don’t need such humiliating and perilous things as leaving oneself vulnerable to anything and everything for long hours to ‘replenish energy’… It was absolutely ridiculous and they’re above such mortal things. They’d much rather stand watch while the witch takes care of his human-y needs. Gods know he needs it after that foolish summoning.
But how could one ever deny those pleading brown eyes and the adorable little ‘pleaaase’ that accompanied them? Not the god of war, that’s for sure. But of course, they denied having such a mortal thing as weakness and yet the story repeated itself night after night. It took sitting awake for the sixth night in a row plagued by the remnants of the same horrifying images this ‘sleep’ had cursed them with for them to finally realise the truth.
And what a bitter truth it was… for a god to have weakness… So very tragic indeed.
The touch of Rue’s bandaged arms struggling to reach around the god’s figure stirred them from their brooding and they glanced back, catching sight of Rue resting his chin on their shoulder, his body clinging to their back as he mumbled sleepily. “Why are you uuuup?”
“Can’t sleep,” Charlie replied dryly.
Rue hummed in response, nuzzling into her shoulder before continuing. “Can’t or don’t want to?”
The god scoffed, offended by the implications of his words. Granted, it’s not like they exactly wanted to sleep– this was all his doing– but lying close to him and sharing in this mortal experience wasn’t bad… the nightmares were.
“Both” they finally grumbled out. “Dark visions plagued my mind”
Their words seemed to jerk Rue fully awake, his eyes darting open and he leaned over the god, peeking at them from the side. “Visions? Like, nightmares? You get those?” The god nodded and Rue sat back, remaining silent for a moment before sliding his hands over their back, threading his fingers into their silvery hair. “Tell me about it?”
“What’s the use?” They scoffed.
“It helps” Rue replied quietly, brushing a strand of hair away from the god’s face. “Some dreams are even prophetic. Who knows what meaning yours might hold. I for one am curious”
Charlie wanted nothing more than to hang their head and continue their brooding but Rue’s touch on their hair was far too comforting to pass by so they remained in place, considering his words for a moment before speaking. “It was about you”
“Me? But it was a nightmare?” Rue gasped, dramatically holding a hand to his chest. “How preposterous!” He blinked at the god in front of him but upon receiving no response nor elaboration, he leaned over them, draping his arms over their shoulder and pressing the side of his cheek to theirs’. “Go ooon”
“I… killed you”
The amusement immediately vanished from Rue’s face, his eyes growing wide as he stared his god down, lips parted, wanting to speak but no words came out; his mind far too taken aback to make sense of what to even say.
After what felt like an eternity, Rue managed to compose himself, taking in a deep breath as he resumed running his fingers through Charlie’s hair, attempting to offer that comfort once again, though not just for them this time. “How often did you have it?”
“Every time I slept”
Rue frowned, eyebrows knitted together in thought as he processed what they said before speaking himself. “Charlie, Are you scared of hurting me?”
“Scared? No.” the god scoffed, quickly throwing out their immediate response only to fall silent right after. Ever so slowly they turned around, keeping their head low as they faced Rue. They took one of his arms and gently brushed their thumb over the coarse bandages that covered them. “But it seems I’ve done it already”
Rue looked down at the bandages lining his arms, the flashes of the past week greeting his mind freely upon feeling Charlie’s touch on their concealed wounds. “My antics are no one’s fault but my own” He finally replied, offering a quiet giggle along with it, a fair though futile attempt to lighten the mood. He slid his arm from the god’s grasp, letting his hand linger in theirs’ instead. “The only hurt you’ve caused me, Charlie, is when you left.” his voice faltered, his eyes growing dark at the memory.
The god looked up, meeting with the pained look on the witch’s face and instinctively they mimicked it in their own inhuman way. “Rue…”
“It wasn’t your fault– I know it wasn’t” He quickly returned his gaze to them, offering them a slight smile. “But the nightmares plagued me for years, and… and sometimes they still do”
“Fear and… a lot of pain. How we feel, things that happened, it all affects us, even if we don’t care to acknowledge it– Even if we don’t know they do. Dreams are the most obvious manifestation of this. Lingering thoughts morph into vivid images of everything you fear and it haunts you when you’re most vulnerable” he shrugged casually. “That’s the beauty and the curse of being human…”
“What if you aren’t human?”
He smiled, cheeks perking up. “I suppose even gods fear something”
But once again his smile was met only with a strange look, the god’s mind unable to really shake off his prior words. The ones about them.
“Were your nightmares about… me?”
“Sometimes… The specifics varied, but they were all centred around the same themes. Abandonment, being left behind, left to die, betrayed, replaced–” he lowered his eyes to their hands, watching the patterns his fingers idly traced on Charlie’s palm. “But… you’re here now and I know you’ll never leave me again. Right?” Their eyes met, his pleading soft stare against their uncertain one.
They wanted nothing more than to say ‘yes’ but they’d be lying if they said their future was even remotely certain. Staying in the mortal realm without a need for them was nigh impossible and bringing a human to the immortal one was a death sentence… But if even a human could summon back a god like them out of sheer stubbornness then a god could certainly keep their human around, right?
Charlie’s lips curled into a slight smile, pulling Rue into their arms and squeezing him tight. “Never again” and for that moment the haunting thoughts fell silent in their mind, occupied only by the comfort of Rue’s embrace. “You’re my favourite human, little witch”
Rue laughed, snuggling into the warmth of his god. “And your my favourite god, Charlie”