5/6 for andreil pls!! You can combine or do them separately whatever floats ur boat <3
5: “Please don’t do this” (I’m doing them separately im weak, #6 should be out tmrw! also… a phrase with ‘please’ in it.. I’m using up all my dreaming/drunk/dying scenarios)
It’s common knowledge among foxes that waking Andrew is Neil’s job, unless you want to get a fist to the solar plexus. But it’s also true that Andrew is the only one who can extract Neil from his nightmares without scaring him back into the trunk of a car or an evermore bed.
It’s one of the “fun facts” for fox survival that Nicky recites to newcomers: don’t touch Neil when he’s sleeping unless you want to feel like you’ve just kicked a puppy. Don’t touch Andrew under any circumstances if you like your fingers attached to your hands. When in doubt, get whichever one is awake and let them do their voodoo. If they’re both asleep at the same time, you’re fucked. Take pictures.
Andrew never bothers to correct him. There’s nothing to correct, if Andrew’s being honest (and he always is).
Quietly learning to wake each other is the result of bruising trial and error, a hard-won trust that grew like moss over ruins.
It’s still almost impossible, sometimes. Most of the time. Approaching Neil when he’s whimpering and protecting his face with his hands makes Andrew feel even more like a monster than usual.
Neil whispered to him on the bus once that the split second of disorientation in Andrew’s eyes when he wakes makes Neil scared for him.
Andrew starts to recognize the sheepish look of foxes who need to ask their vice-captain something while his head is lolling around Andrew’s shoulder. He almost always wakes him, it’s a clear subclause in his ‘keep Neil out of harms way’ contract, and Andrew’s dutiful when it comes to deals.
There’s a knock on the door at half past three on a Monday morning, and Andrew startles awake in an empty room. He stews in slow annoyance as the front door opens and closes, muffled voices tripping into the bedroom. He gropes for the light switch in the dark, and Kevin flips it on for him, toothbrush sticking out of his mouth, eyebrows shaking hands across the stretch of his forehead.
They have a brief staring contest and then Matt clears his throat from behind them, knocking awkwardly on the door frame.
Andrew looks at him blearily. He’s conscious of Matt’s eyes tracking his hair sticking out sideways, one of Neil’s soft nondescript shirts slouching on his chest.
“We need your expertise,” Matt says, grimacing. Andrew turns to retreat to his bed, unimpressed, but Matt huffs. “Neil’s having a nightmare. He fell asleep in our room.”
“He’s freaking out,” Matt continues, soft. He makes eye contact with a wild edge that says he’s refusing to let the blankness in Andrew’s gaze phase him.
Andrew pushes past Matt like he’s rolling his sleeves up, breaking out into the strangeness of the dorm at night.
The door to the neighbouring room is open and Aaron’s standing just inside, arms crossed.
“He woke me up,” he says cooly as Andrew passes.
“Jesus weeps,” Matt snarks, hot on Andrew’s heels. He’s looking beyond the twins to where Neil is curled on the floor, trembling. Matt’s face pinches with concern. Dan’s sitting on the couch by Neil’s head in a jersey and bare legs, looking like she’s trying to help just by being nearby. The room has the suddenly bright feeling of a fire alarm going off at night, minds alert inside sleep dulled bodies.