Red vs Blue fic: Nightlight
561 words | [G]
There are still a lot Wash has to learn about the inner workings of Blue base now that Epsilon is gone. Like Caboose’s sleeping habits.
The knock on the door is light. For a moment, Wash isn’t sure he heard anything, but there it is again. A soft tap, tap, tap. He rolls over, checking the time on his computer terminal. 0124.
“This better be important,” he grumbles, hauling himself out of bed. “I was sleeping good. Sort of.”
He’s ready to dress-down the idiot waking him up, but it’s Caboose standing there, shifting from foot to foot and fiddling with the edge of his t-shirt.
“Oh, hey, Agent Washington. Did I wake you up?”
“Yes, you did. It’s one-thirty in the morning, Caboose. What’s wrong?”
“Oh.” He pulls on the hem so hard it tears. His shoulders slump. “I was just kind of having a problem.”
Wash’s brain is still fuzzy from sleep, and he really doesn’t feel like dealing with Caboose tonight, but he pulls in all his frustration. “What kind of problem?”
“I was just, uh, scared. It’s not a big deal. I’ll leave you alone now.”
Wash snags Caboose’s arm as he turns away. “Wait, Caboose, why were you scared? Did you have a bad dream? Did something happen?”
Caboose shakes his head then looks at his feet. “I’m afraid of the dark,” he whispers.
“You are?” Wash frowns. “You never said anything about it before.”
“It’s not so much the dark that’s scary but the not being able to see anything. Church used to…” He takes a deep breath like talking about Church physically pains him. Maybe it does. “Sometimes he would stay with me and be glowy so it wasn’t so scary. He wouldn’t talk unless to tell me to stop snoring, but he would stay.”
“Oh.” Wash pushes a hand through his hair—his annoyance evaporating. “But Church has been gone for a while,” he says as gently as he can. “What have you been doing since then?”
Caboose shrugs. “I had a flashlight. It wasn’t as good as glowy Church. It died. Now it’s too dark.”
“Then just turn the overhead light on.”
“Then it’s too bright.”
Wash pinches the bridge of his nose. “Caboose-” His reprimand dies on his tongue when he sees the loneliness in the other man’s eyes. He has a feeling this isn’t just about the dark. “It’s okay, Caboose. You can stay here tonight, and we’ll find you some batteries in the morning.”
Caboose looks unsure until Wash flips on the computer—a soft blue glow filling the room. “Okay?”
His face lights up. “It’s just like Church!”
Tossing an extra blanket and pillow on the floor, Wash tries to hide his smile. “So should I yell at you when you snore, too?”
“That would be great,” Caboose chirps.
Wash opens his mouth to tell Caboose he was joking but decides it’s not worth the energy. Instead, he climbs into bed, pulling the blanket up to his chin. “Good night, Caboose.”
“Good night, Agent Washington.” Caboose snuggles into his blanket, and a moment later, he’s snoring. Loudly.
Wash can’t decide if he wants to cry or laugh. “Stop snoring!” he barks in his best “Church” voice.
Caboose rolls over with a snort and mumbles something that sounds like, “perfect,” in a content voice before falling back asleep.
Wash shakes his head. It’s going to be a long night, he thinks as Caboose starts to snore again. A really long night.