Could you write Neil waking up and finding Piper sleeping between him and Andrew? 🙏🏼😭
my dear, precious, lovely anon. i was in the process of writing something else when you sent this ask, and let me tell you, i dropped EVERYTHING to write this immediately. thank you. i definitely got carried away with it. also on AO3.
Andrew wakes with a small start, silent as always. Memories of hands and teeth are thankfully fading away as he takes in his surroundings, dragging himself back to the present. He hears Neil’s soft breathing to his right, feels Sir’s claws slightly digging into the skin of his leg, sees the blob of fur that is King tucked against Neil’s side.
His heart rate has now returned to normal, but there’s no way he’ll make it back to sleep. Not after that particularly unpleasant dream. He navigates to the edge of the bed without waking Neil and managing to annoy Sir, both of which were on his to-do list. Andrew quietly walks to the door and pulls it open, casting one last glance over his shoulder to make sure everyone is still asleep. Silently congratulating himself for a clean getaway, he steps into the hallway, remembering to leave the door cracked on his way out. It was Neil’s idea, not only leaving the door unlocked but cracking it open as well. Andrew still isn’t completely comfortable with it, but he understands the necessity.
He pads through the apartment, aiming for the kitchen and the glorious distraction of hot chocolate. It has been his go-to comfort for years, and it always makes him miss Bee. He resolves to call her tomorrow to check in. It’s been too long.
Halfway there, he hears a small cry coming from the room at the end of the hall. His steps speed up as he makes his way to the door, knocking tentatively once he’s reached it. There is no answer, but he can still hear the barely-there sounds of distress coming from within.
He slowly opens the door and steps inside, eyes landing on the sleeping little girl fiercely clutching a purple rabbit to her chest. Her face is turned into her pillow, like she was unconsciously trying to muffle her cries. She is shaking, her body tense from head to toe.
Andrew keeps his distance, knowing full well how varied her reactions can be. “Piper,” he says. Then again, louder when he gets no response. “Piper.”
She jolts awake, eyes flitting around the room in fear until they land on him. She breathes out a sigh of relief and flops back down onto her pillow, rabbit tossed aside. “Thanks,” she says, bravely smiling up at him like all is right with the world now. Who she’s trying to convince, Andrew isn’t sure.
He doesn’t reply but moves toward her instead. He silently extends a hand, and she studies it for a moment before reaching out and taking it, letting him pull her from the bed and out of the room.
Andrew leads her into the kitchen, turning around to pick her up and place her on the counter. She starts kicking her legs back and forth, hitting the drawers on every downswing. He absently thinks that this should annoy him. It doesn’t.
He has just put the almond milk on the stove to boil when she says, “Did you know that almond milk was really popular during the Middle Ages?”
Andrew stops. Turns around. Stares at her for a moment. “We’ve been letting you spend way too much time around Kevin,” he says dismissively, putting his attention back to the task at hand.
Without even looking at her, Andrew can feel how hard she rolls her eyes. It reminds him of Neil. “At least Kevin watches stuff other than Exy and Jeopardy.”
Andrew swings back around immediately. “Excuse me? Did I or did I not sit through all eight Harry Potter movies last weekend?”
“Well…” she falters for a moment, then lifts her chin in defiance. “You didn’t like it, though,” she points out. “And the whole time, you were just complaining about how Dad and Harry are basically the same person. Something about an ‘idiot hero complex’.” She’s got him there, and she knows it. Dammit.
He inclines his head in acknowledgement and mutters, “Touché.”