Remix: Sleepless (The Dreaming Remix) [Billy/Charlie, 300 words, rated PG-13], by emmademarais
The nip of cold, the perfection of fresh powder under his snowboard and the exhilaration of finally graduating to a black diamond run… Charlie felt his dream as if he were there again, barreling down the mountain, chuckling to himself at beating Billy on his old school skis. Then trees too close, a turn too fast, a crash…
The phantom impact woke him to a wince reminding him the bruises, the aches, the swelling were all painfully real. The aftermath flitted like ghostly echoes through his sleep-muddled mind: hearing Billy's panicked voice calling his name as if from the ether, feeling strong arms raise him up from out of the snow, eyes fluttering open to see that familiar freckled face contorted in the raw open anguish of loss.
The terror that woke him had apparently already claimed a first victim; Billy was sitting up in bed - a sign he hadn't even bothered to try hunting the elusive peace of sleep. Charlie felt the heat of his lover's hand as it hovered over his stubbled cheek, scraped red and bruised black, not selfish enough to touch but seeking that reassurance.
His head pillowed on Billy's bare thigh, he pressed a soft kiss just above his knee - proof he was awake and alive and not leaving him, ever. Shifting, he met Billy's gaze without admonition, just understanding and an unspoken request to abandon his lonely vigil and come lie beside him.
Pulling back slightly, he held up the covers so that Billy could slide down into bed with him. Curling up together, his head resting on Billy's broad chest, he sank gratefully into the refuge of those protective arms keeping the dangers of the world at bay. The injuries would take time to heal, but for now he could sleep.