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8 hugs a day (keeps the anxiety-induced insomnia away)

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Simon

Humans needed sleep. I knew that.
Wille seemed to be in denial about it though.
I groaned when I woke to someone tapping my shoulder, curling away from it to lie uncomfortably on my stomach.
“Simon?”
“Mmph.”
“Simonnn-”
“I know it’s not time to get up yet,” I mumbled. I felt no light through my closed eyelids, that were going to remain closed, despite Wille’s best efforts.
But the tapping picked up its pace between my shoulder blades, and my concern was beginning to as well. I didn’t wanna be awake, so why the hell was Wille?
I opened my eyes and glanced at the glowing clock on the nightstand. 2:23 AM. I groaned and turned again, this time to face him.
And he looked fucking exhausted.
Wille was sitting up. His phone was on, the only light in the room throwing a harsh glow over his face. His eyes were drooping but alert as he waited for me to wake up. He stopped his tapping and raised his thumb to his mouth, biting his nails.
“It’s not. I just wanted to show you something,” he said.
“Mm.”
I hoped he’d get the message to show me; I didn’t have the ability to form words this early. Or late? What time even was this?
Wille grinned and showed me his phone screen, turning the brightness down first so I wouldn’t go entirely blind. Despite his efforts, I took a second to adjust before I could read the words displayed.
It was a Google search. “How many hugs do we need a day?” the search bar displayed. Underneath was the answer. I squinted to read it.
"We need 8 hugs a day for maintenance, and 12 hugs a day for growth. While that may seem like a lot of hugs, it seems that many hugs are better than not enough."
Wille was still smiling down at me when I gave him an unimpressed look, my eyes narrowed for reasons other than the screen’s brightness.
“You didn’t give me 8 hugs today,” Wille stated. He was frowning behind his thumb.
“Did I not?” I teased, beginning to smile despite the time.
“Nope.”
“Hm.”
I pretended to think about this, my eyelids heavy despite my amusement.
“You hugged me twice today. Six less than we need for maintenance, let alone growth. Don’t you want me to grow, Simon?”
“You already tease me for being shorter than you, so no, not really,” I mumbled, ignoring his scoff.
“Rude!”
“You’re rude when you tease me.”
“Hmph. Does this mean I don’t get my hugs?”
“Get your hugs from someone else and lemme sleep,” I mumbled staunchly, flipping onto my other side to face away from the light and go back to sleep. I almost missed what he said because of the rustling of the sheets.
“No one else will, though.”
My stomach dropped and I sucked in a breath, now awake entirely. I was starting to wish I had sooner.
Wille got honest at night. His filter worked on solar power or something. He told me stuff under the cover of night; how he hated public speaking despite it being routine due to his station, how even when he was little and his only job was to stand behind his parents up on stage his knees would knock together. He’d reach out to his parents only for his hands to be batted away, citing impropriety. How Erick was the only one willing to break those rules when his nerves got too bad, pressing close to block him from the cameras’ view. How none of that was an option anymore.
I hadn’t realized he’d been so serious about the stupid hugs. Sure, I knew he liked hugs; I'd have to be dense not to notice how much he liked contact.
I hadn't thought about it like that though.
I slowly turned back to Wille. Like I’d thought, he didn’t seem to even realize what he’d said. He’d sat back against the headboard, biting his thumb while continuing to fuck around on his phone.
I sighed and snatched it. He flinched, but before he could react further I’d tossed it across the room.
After all, there was carpeting in here. And it wasn’t like he couldn’t buy a new one.
“I-hey!”
I smirked just a little at his offense. I turned to him and tugged determinedly at his sleeve, forcing him to slump until he was nearly lying down.
“You just-”
“How about,” I interrupted, determined now despite his pout, “instead of hugging you six more times, I hug you once, but it’s for the rest of the night. The only condition is you need to try and sleep. Good? Good.”
I knocked his hand away from his mouth, only because it was in my way and I didn’t want to get elbowed in the face, before I sat up just enough to lean my head on his shoulder. I pulled the blankets up over us and looped my arms around him. I was glad that I’d sat up; hopefully my arm, tucked between Wille’s back and the headboard, wouldn’t be asleep by morning. I tucked my head further against his neck and relaxed so he was thoroughly pinned and wouldn't go back to his phone.
He was stiff. He was stiff but he threw his leg over mine under the blankets and scooted closer, resting his head on top of mine. Then he relaxed.
I smiled against his neck.
"Thanks," he murmured, taking my hand off his stomach and into one of his, tracing circles on the back of it. His other arm looped around my back.
"No problem. Just tell me next time though, the whole hug thing was unsubtle."
He chuckled. "Deal."
"Goodnight then, Wille."
"Goodnight, Simon."
He pressed a kiss to my hair and we both drifted off, knowing it was going to be hard to get up in the morning.