(A/N) I’ve always thought Ronan’s dreaming ability is the absolute coolest - like it’s such an awesome idea, and Ronan always creates the most amazing and beautiful things.
So of course I’m a sap and had to devote at least one prompt to how beautiful Ronan’s mind is xD
No warnings for this chapter, just pure fluff! Hope you enjoy c:
In the wee hours of the morning, Adam wakes up to a room full of fireflies.
He’s just gotten home for winter break, only the second time he’s been home in nearly five months. He’d come down for Thanksgiving, but that had only been four short days compared to the three weeks he now has with Ronan. It had been harder to leave the second time, and Adam had wondered as he drove away and saw Ronan’s face fall in the rearview mirror if it would ever get any easier.
Being apart from Ronan is…hard, to say the least. Ronan hates being on his phone and he can never handle it for very long, even for Adam. Their calls last about ten minutes every day and it’s not even comparable to talking to Ronan in person. 90% of how Ronan communicates is through his body language, and being unable to see it makes it hard to understand and just makes Adam miss him more.
Skype calls are a bit better, as at least Adam can see Ronan, but 90% of how they communicate is through touch, and not being able to touch Ronan or pet Chainsaw or hug Opal when he talks to them is torture. Though Adam has been starved of touch all his life, the three months spent at the Barns before coming to college had spoiled him, and now he can’t remember how he ever lived without it. He misses Ronan’s absentminded touches, from him briefly placing a hand on his lower back when they move around each other to slinging an arm around his neck when they watch TV on the couch. Adam’s hands have never been colder without Ronan’s fingers between them or his feather light kisses on his knuckles. Ronan had sent Adam off with about a suitcase full of his dream lotion for his hands, so at least they’re not cracked anymore, but it’s never the same.
The worst part, Adam found in the first few weeks of college, is that he has trouble sleeping without Ronan now. It’s too silent, too cold, too empty. Adam had gotten used to Ronan’s warm skin pressed against his, the sound of his breathing, the faint roar of his EDM pounding out of his headphones. Ronan usually plays with his hair while he falls asleep, something Adam never knew he liked until Ronan started doing it and something that he misses with an aching passion in college. He misses being able to shove his cold feet in between Ronan’s warm legs, making him yelp; he misses Opal running into their room, screeching and jumping on their bed until they get up; he misses the soft way Ronan will kiss him good night, never bothering him even when Adam falls asleep right away and he stays awake for another three hours; he misses being warm and happy and known and loved.
He even misses Ronan’s dreaming, good and bad. It gives Adam a sense of excitement upon waking up, to see what magical and mystical thing Ronan has brought back this time. Of course, not all he brings back is good, but they’ve got a system down of taking care of it together. If it’s blood related, Adam methodically strips and washes the sheets while Ronan clings onto him, desperate to know he’s alive. If it’s night terror related, they keep a shovel by their bed that Adam uses to kill it before they haul it outside together and Ronan uses that very same shovel to dig a grave for it. Adam doesn’t really like the killing part after the fact, when he worries for the millionth time he’s turning into his dad, but when he’s irritated at being woken up and the thing is trying to kill Ronan, his Ronan, he doesn’t have as much of a problem with it.
He’d do just about anything to keep Ronan safe.
Ronan’s nightmares had started occurring less and less with Adam staying at the Barns, but Adam worries about him now that he’s not there with him. Who knows what his nightmares escalate to without Adam there to calm him down? But Ronan never talks about it, and Adam has given up asking. Ronan seems okay, and from the secret conversations he has with Opal it sounds like his nightmares are for the most part staying at bay. He has his farm work to keep him busy, and Opal and Chainsaw to keep him company.
It makes Adam feel a bit better knowing that, but he still wishes he was there with him.
Even if he can’t be, though, the next best thing is when Ronan drives up to visit him at Princeton. He loves showing Ronan the campus, even though he knows he really must not give a shit, and introducing him to his college friends and roommate. Of course, he loves it most of all because he can have Ronan with him again, reaching out to touch him, sleeping with him in Adam’s small dorm bed. He gets more sleep than he does any other time when Ronan visits, and just for a little while it feels like home.
They have to be careful about Ronan’s dreaming, what with Adam’s roommate sleeping across the room, but the morning of when Ronan has to leave Adam always wakes up to find some little trinket on his pillow. The first time, it was a little statue of a raven that caws like Chainsaw when Adam taps it. The second time, it was a cashmere blanket that always smells like Ronan, even when he isn’t there. The third time, it was an opal, shiny and perfect. Adam keeps all of them on his bed close by, so it feels a little bit like he’s still with his family.
But Princeton will never compare to the quiet of the Barns, a blanket that smells like Ronan will never be like sleeping next to Ronan for real, little dream trinkets snuck into his pillow will never be like waking up to a room full of magic and wonder.
So when Adam wakes up that first morning to the fireflies, he nearly cries he’s so happy and relieved to be home. He’s missed every little aspect of Ronan so much.
“Ronan?” Adam whispers as he rolls over to face his boyfriend, but Ronan must have fallen back asleep for once, a rare blessing that Adam isn’t about to strip away from him.
So Adam just watches him sleep, admiring the way the faint glow of the fireflies illuminates Ronan’s pale skin. The insects wink on and off as they flit around, making it seem like the room is full of stars. A couple of fireflies land on Adam’s arm, their little feet walking across his skin tickling him. He stares at them in wonder, delighted that they don’t fly away when he leans in closer to get a good look at them. All of Ronan’s dream creatures love him, for a reason that doesn’t need to be kept secret anymore. It’s a little overwhelming for Adam sometimes, when Matthew crushes the air out of him in a ferocious hug, when Opal carefully grabs his hand and leads him around in the forest, showing off all of her discoveries, when Chainsaw lands on his shoulder and cuddles into his neck, content to fall asleep there.
Even after a year of dating Ronan, he’s still not fully used to being loved.
Rolling onto his back, Adam lays there quietly, watching the fireflies and listening to Ronan’s soft snores and the distant braying of cows and goats. They still haven’t figured out how to wake Niall’s cows, but Ronan has added new ones, both dreamt and bought, to the herd. He also bought a couple of goats and chickens, as well as one particularly feisty dream pig that likes to sneak up behind Adam and head-butt him. Ronan also grows all sorts of crops now, and last summer Adam had helped him set up a greenhouse for a rather impressive flower collection. The Barns are growing and expanding, in a magical and rewarding way that is every day becoming less like Niall and more like Ronan.
And maybe even a little bit like Adam.
Adam has taken it upon himself to start planting trees everywhere, from orange trees to pines to redwoods and everything in between. Ronan had offered to dream him up some soil that will make sure anything he plants grows, but Adam had refused; he wants to learn how the trees work for himself, what helps them grow, what doesn’t, what will and won’t grow in this climate. It’s his own personal memorial to Cabeswater, and maybe also a promise to himself to be more prepared to understand magical forests in the future.
He had let Ronan wordlessly hand him an unidentified seed, though, and when Adam planted it it grew into a completely blue tree. Its bark is a dark cerulean blue while its leaves are sky blue, and it apparently grows at random every type of blue food imaginable. Adam had even found blueberry cotton candy growing on it once and he’d laughed so hard he’d startled Sledgehammer the pig, who takes to following him around everywhere.
He can’t believe Ronan, sometimes – despite all effort to suggest otherwise, his boyfriend has the most beautiful mind out of anyone Adam has ever met. Every day he surprises Adam with his innovation and seemingly endless amount of imagination. Ronan will think of something in an instant, something beautiful and creative and smart, that Adam would never be able to create in a lifetime.
He loves him for it – he’s so happy he has the privilege of being allowed to be this close to Ronan.
Adam isn’t sure how long he’s laid there staring at the fireflies when Ronan wakes up again. When he’s not paralyzed from taking something out of his dreams, Ronan’s awakenings are violent and sudden. One minute he’ll be absolutely still and the next he’ll be thrashing around wildly, throwing the covers off of him and rolling around until he’s comfortable and has worked out all of his sleep kinks.
It’s endlessly amusing to Adam, even if he often gets kicked in the process.
“You always act like the world is on fire when you wake up,” Adam whispers, unable to hold back from teasing him. He reaches out and presses a palm in between Ronan’s shoulder blades once the thrashing has calmed, gently tracing a hooked talon of his tattoo with a finger.
“Well, the one day I wake up and the world is on fire, you’ll be thanking me,” Ronan growls. He’s still half asleep, Adam notes wryly, as his eyes eventually widen when he realizes who exactly had been talking to him.
“Adam?” he mumbles sleepily as he reaches up to cup Adam’s cheek in his palm. The soft way his first name comes out of his mouth still makes Adam’s heart melt.
“Hey.” He grins and places his hand over Ronan’s, hooking his fingers easily into the spaces between Ronan’s.
“What the hell are you doing up so early?” Ronan murmurs, impossibly soft. Before Adam can reply, though, Ronan looks around the room and sighs exasperatedly as he sees the fireflies. “Ah shit.”
Adam laughs – even in the dark he can tell Ronan is blushing. He wonders how much sappy dream stuff Ronan has had to tuck away while he was gone so that he’d never find it, too embarrassed to show Adam how much he missed him. It’s sweet, adorable, and Adam’s love for him surges warmly in his chest. This is what he’s been missing all this time.
So instead of making fun of him, he leans forward and leaves a soft kiss on Ronan’s temple, hugging an arm around his waist as he settles in next to him again. “I missed you too.”