Nathan all but passed out the second his head hit the pillow that night.
Normally, he stayed awake well after Matthew went to bed. He’d do homework, and catch up on his reading, and scratch Matt’s back, play with his hair or rub his tummy while he slept. It didn’t matter much to Nathan, he just liked proving to Matthew how much he loved him, even when the other boy was sleeping.
However, it had been weeks since his last full night of sleep, and Nathan was exhausted. Fortunately, Matt had been less clingy lately so Nate could get some more work done during the day, but he still felt like he was missing out. By falling asleep, Nate couldn’t pillow talk with Matthew. That was the best way to end the day, and he was sleeping right through it.
But just because Nate needed sleep, that didn’t mean his body was going to let it happen. Nathan was restless as he slept, tossing and turning despite his closed eyes and leveled breathing. His face never smoothed over with sleep, but rather stayed scrunched together as if he was thinking.
It was well into the night when Nate started making noises.
First it was just little whimpers while he dreamed. Every now and then a whine would escape his lips and he’d shiver a little bit. The noise grew, and soon Nate was talking in his sleep. “No… No, no…” he begged every so often, his rolling in bed growing a bit more agitated and frequent. He practically flung his body from side to side. It was almost as if he was fighting someone off, as if he was trying to get free.
Eventually, tears began streaming down Nate’s face in his sleep and he got considerably louder. “NO. No more, please no more! Stop!” He was practically shouting. The louder he got, the stiller his body became until he was just lying there: stiff like a board and sobbing into the sheets. “STOP.”