England x Reader – Nightmares
It was just after midnight on a stormy night. Explosions of thunder kept the coyotes howling through the night. Lightning illuminated your room for split seconds when the light made its way through the cracks of space between the blinds and the window frame. Wind rattled the screen in its place while it howled around the exposed walls of the room and caused the young tree outside to wave around in danger of being uprooted.
The room – your bedroom – was freezing. There were three walls exposed to the wind outside, and, being an old house, the heating unit was having a tough time keeping up with it. It was lit solely by the blue glow from the screen of your laptop. You were watching some DVDs you had found in your room to hopefully help you fall asleep faster. Instead it made you want to stay up longer.
The wireless internet had gone down hours ago. Normally you would have just gone right to bed, but the wind’s screams and the rattling screen didn’t help. Instead, you had just taken the cord out of the laptop’s port and brought it to your bed.
The power went out. The heating unit stopped its heavy wheezes, and you couldn’t feel the feeble amounts of slightly warm air being pumped out of the vent any more. You wrapped your blanket around yourself and rushed to the closet, where you fished out a sweater and four more blankets. After pulling the sweater on over your flannels, you hurriedly pulled up the sheets from the hollow nest you had created upon wriggling out from under them.
You threw all five blankets over the sheets, and then you rushed to crawl back underneath them. As you tried to get back to your movie, you realized your laptop was about to die. The red warning light had come on while you were trying to make yourself as warm and comfortable as possible. With an exasperated sigh, you turned off the computer and placed it on a stool next to the bed.
Just as you were about to squirm down and huddle among the multitude of blankets and pillows, a knock sounded at your bedroom door. You bolted up and called out a timid “Who’s there?” It swung open with a creak, and a familiar figure stepped in and shut the door behind itself.
“So sorry to bother you, but, ah… Well…”
You smiled. It was Arthur Kirkland, one of your best friends. His family had always been close with yours, and that hadn’t changed when they moved back to England. They had come down for a visit and were spending a week in the guest house. It was easy to say Arthur had forgotten how fierce the storms could get here.
“Yeah, I get it. C’mere,” you answered as you moved over on the bed.
Hesitantly, Arthur climbed onto your bed and sat stiffly on top of the blankets. A lightning bolt illuminated the room for a moment. In that moment, you saw Arthur was wet and shivering. His pajamas were soaked through.
“Oh, geez, Arthur, you walked all the way through the rain to get here?” you asked as you leaned over the edge of the bed. You kept a D-battery powered flashlight on the nightstand’s bottom shelf for emergencies, and you decided it was a perfect time for it as you fished around. “If I can find this light, I can see if I can maybe find some dry pajamas… They’ll be girls’ pajamas, but if they fit and they’re dry, they’re better than what you have. Ah, here it is!”
You sat up and clicked on the light, temporarily blinding yourself. Without noticing, you had been aiming the bulb right at your face. After your eyes adjusted, you scrambled out of the covers you had tangled yourself into. Digging through your dresser drawer, you eventually found a set of flannels that were big on you. Hopefully they wouldn’t be too small on him. You tossed them at him and dove under the covers for his privacy while he changed, knowing he wouldn’t want to leave the room.
It wasn’t very common, but the rare time Arthur did get a nightmare they were usually pretty bad. The storm probably wouldn’t have helped matters. He poked you in the side to tell you he was done. You poked your head out and saw Arthur standing beside the bed, looking disgruntled. The pajamas fit him well, luckily, but after all the times you had worn them they were a bit oddly shaped on him and had settled in weird places. They were also covered in little dogs with bows.
You laughed quietly, earning grumbles in response. After a moment of freezing air while tossing Arthur’s wet pajamas into the tub in the bathroom one door over, you hurled yourself back under the sheets. Arthur sat awkwardly on the edge until a particularly loud clap of thunder startled him. He yelped and dove under the covers beside you as the coyotes howled a response to the thunder from their burrows.
While Arthur curled up shaking beside you, you grabbed the three extra pillows and put them on top of him, grabbing the last one of the six that weren’t being used to hug to your chest. He shifted around under the blankets until his hands popped out to arrange the pillows the way he liked. A moment after his hands disappeared, his head appeared.
“Thanks, (f/n).” Arthur began to smile, but it was quickly replaced with horror as he felt something warm and furry by his feet.
“Don’t worry, Arthur. It’s just (dog/cat’s name). They like to sleep under the covers when it’s cold out,” you explained.
He calmed down after what you had told him sunk in. “R- Right… I guess I’m a bit jumpy…” he stuttered.
You giggled. “The only time you act like this is when you’re scared or embarrassed. Which is it this time?” you asked him.
A flash of lightning illuminated Arthur’s face long enough for you to see his furious blush. “I’m not…!” He sighed. “Okay, fine. I had a nightmare…” Arthur rolled onto his back and refused to face you. You grinned almost evilly.
“Aw, did widdle Arthur have a bad dream? He wants seepy-seepy time with me to make the bad monsters go away, huh?” you teased.
“Sh- Shut up! Bloody idiot…” Arthur said. He grew too quiet for you to hear, and he continued muttering under his breath. He was probably trying to curse you with that black magic stuff he was always trying to mess with. You smiled.
“You know I’m just messing with you, Arthur,” you said softly.
You heard him shift on his pillows, letting you know he had moved his head to look at you. A loud clap of thunder rumbled through the area, frightening both your pet and Arthur. Your (dog/cat) wriggled up to your knees and lay there. Arthur clamped onto your arm and didn’t let go. Soon after the thunder stopped echoing he let go, though his movements were hesitant.
"It’s okay, Arthur. I don’t mind. Let’s just go to sleep and we’ll be fine,” you said quietly. He nodded and curled into a ball beside you.
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When you woke up the next morning, you opened your eyes to see the pajamas you lent Arthur and the triangle of skin below the hollow of his throat exposed by the pajamas. Slowly you became aware of his arms encircling you. His breathing was too slow and deep for him to be awake; he had no idea he was doing this.
You closed your eyes and pretended to be asleep, waiting for him to wake up. When he finally did, he jerked back a little bit. He relaxed after a moment and flopped back on the pillow. Soon he carefully took his arms from your person and crept from the room. About a minute later he came back with carefully folded pajamas in his arms. He placed them on your desk and left the room, whispering his thanks as he left.
After he left, you sat up and smiled, stretching. Maybe there was something about Arthur you didn’t know yet. Then again, that probably meant there was something about yourself you hadn’t figured out yet, either.