Nursey stood and stretched, stiff from lying on Dex’s bed to watch a movie
“I’m gonna head back to my dorm and go to sleep.” he said. “You should probably have an early night too babe, you look tired.”
“Huh? Oh, yeah. I probably will.”. Dex said, as he closed his laptop.
“‘Night babe.” Nursey said. He gave Dex a quick kiss on the forehead, before standing back up and putting on his jacket.
“'Night Dere.” Dex yawned, and Nursey left.
Nursey headed back to his dorm and went to sleep, happy after spending an evening with his boyfriend, and knowing his tired boyfriend would be getting an early night.
Except the next morning Dex looked even more exhausted.
“Good morning babe,” Nursey greeted, trying not to let his worry show. “Sleep well?”
“Mmhm” Dex murmured, without lifting his head from the breakfast table.
“Want some coffee?” Nursey offered, hoping to wake Dex up enough to talk.
“Please.” Dex said, as he sat up. Nursey tried not to stare at the bags under his eyes, but Dex didn’t even notice.
“3 sugars, right?” he checked, as Dex’s eyes started to close.
“Yeah.” Dex mumbled, half asleep in his seat. The rest of the team looked at him with concern, before looking at Nursey for answers. Nursey shrugged - their guesses were as good as his own.
He grabbed coffees for himself and Dex, and tried to work out why he wasn’t sleeping, and what he could do to help.
Nursey had the perfect plan. He’d invite Dex over to study, and put on calming music to make sure Dex relaxed. He would wait until Dex was asleep on his bed before he went to sleep himself, so there was no way Dex could leave and stay up in his dorm doing classwork, or whatever was keeping him up.
The plan was perfect.
Nursey waited until Dex was studying his most stressful subject, before starting his “chill” playlist on Spotify. The first song was playing for about 20 seconds before Dex looked over at him.
“Since when do you play music while you study?” Dex asked, sounding irritated.
“It helps me write my poetry.”. Nursey told him. It wasn’t a lie, music did help him sometimes.
“Could you put on headphones?” Dex asked.
“Lost em.” Nursey lied, knowing they were in his jacket pocket. He felt bad for lying, but this was to help Dex relax, and sleep.
Dex sighed tiredly, and started packing up his books.
“Wait, where are you going babe?” Nursey asked. This was not the plan.
“Back to my dorm. I work better in silence, and it wouldn’t be fair to make you turn off the music when it helps you.”. Dex explained.
“Oh…uh…thanks.” Nursey said. He hadn’t expected that, and he was lost for words at how much Dex cared about his study.
“Its nothing” Dex said, brushing it off. “Seeya tomorrow Derek.”
“Yeah, see you tomorrow Will.” Nursey said, as he tried to think of a new plan.
Nursey could see Dex was close to falling asleep. But every time his head fell against the window, he jolted up quickly.
“I’ll wake you before we arrive,” Nursey whispered, after the fifth time. “If you wanna sleep, go ahead babe.”
“I’m fine.” Dex snapped. He pulled out his headphones and started listening to music. Nursey took the hint, and went back to his book. He kept looking over at Dex to check on him, but Dex stared straight ahead, and fighting to keep his eyes open.
Nursey turned over in his bed again. The hotel room was comfortable, but Nursey couldn’t sleep. He was worried about Dex not sleeping, and the light from Dex’s laptop was keeping him awake.
“Dex, babe, can you turn down the brightness?” Nursey asked sleepily. He doubted it would help him sleep, but it might stop it hurting his eyes so much.
“Its already down.” Dex said with a scowl. Nursey sighed, before pulling himself out of bed and going over to his boyfriend.
“When’s this due?” he asked, gesturing to the computer.
“Soon.” Dex said shortly, still looking at the screen. Nursey grabbed the assignment brief off of Dex’s bed and read it.
“This isn’t due for nearly two more months. Why are you doing it now?” Nursey asked.
Dex scowled at his screen and didn’t reply.
“Babe, why are you stressing yourself out over this? You have time to do it. Why don’t you go to bed?” Nursey asked softly. He rubbed Dex’s tense shoulders as he spoke, and felt Dex relax under his touch.
“I can’t go to sleep.” Dex muttered.
“Why not? You need to sleep Dex, we have a game tomorrow.” Nursey pointed out.
“I…I keep having nightmares”. Dex admitted.
“Nightmares? You’re staying awake because of nightmares?” Nursey asked to clarify.
“I knew you’d make fun of me.” Dex said. He turned back to his computer. “Just go back to bed Nurse. I’ll go do my work in the lobby or something.” he said, as he started packing up his things.
“No, Dex, babe, c'me ‘ere.” Nursey said softly, pulling Dex into his arms. “I’m sorry I didn’t realise you were having bad dreams. Do you wanna talk about them?”
Dex shook his head. “It…it makes then too real.” he admitted quietly. “And its stuff that already really happened, and I don’t wanna think about that again.”
“Its okay babe, you don’t have to.” Nursey assured him. He knew it was most likely about when he was bullied in school, and he knew Dex hated thinking about that
“Why don’t we try sleep in my bed? You can wake me if you have a bad dream.”. Nursey suggested.
“Okay” Dex agreed tiredly.
“How’d you sleep babe?” Nursey asked the next morning, as Dex woke up.
“Good, actually.” Dex admitted.
“No bad dreams?”
“I don’t remember any.”
“That’s cos I was here to protect you.” Nursey laughed, and Dex smiled.
“And what about the next night?” Dex asked.
“I’ll be there. And the next night, and the next night, and the next night….” Nursey promised.
“Okay. I get the idea.” Dex laughed. “Let’s get some breakfast.”