evening_bat: Bat in flight, silhouetted against the moon. (Default)
[personal profile] evening_bat
Title: Things We Give To Others
Author: [personal profile] evening_bat
Pairing: Chuck/Bryce
Rating: PG
Word Count: ~ 550
Warnings: Goddamnit Bryce! Why do you keep breaking my heart?
Summary: Bryce was not a heavy sleeper.
Notes: Response to this prompt over on [livejournal.com profile] comment_fic. An actual comment fic! :D


Things We Give To Others

Secrets are things we give to others to keep for us. ~ Elbert Hubbard


Bryce didn’t understand Chuck’s nighttime ritual. He knew Bryce was a light sleeper, had seen that proven over and over in the time they’d roomed together. And yet, almost every night they spent pressed together in a single, narrow bed, Chuck stayed awake to whisper as Bryce feigned sleep. The first time Chuck had done it, Bryce had listened in curiosity, tangled up in long arms with Chuck’s warmth solid at his back.

You’re always amazing but today was something else, he murmured into Bryce’s shoulder that night. How anyone can move like you do, I don’t know. But God, am I glad you can.

Bryce had been helplessly fascinated and waited every night after for more.

Some secrets Chuck offered were just the compromises that underlay any friendship, little truths and wishes that people hid without thinking. The third movie isn’t really my favourite but I can’t get enough of the way you argue with me about it, he might volunteer, or I know you don’t actually like the coffee shop down the block but thanks for going in with me anyway, or I know you love that red sweater but I wish you’d wear more blue.

Sometimes his voice dropped to a whisper so soft that it was nearly swallowed by the silence of their room and that was when Chuck’s real secrets slipped out. On those nights, he held Bryce closer than usual, curled more tightly around him as he spoke.

You know I love you, right? Chuck would say, voice barely a breath in Bryce’s ear. So much of me is tangled up in you these days that I don’t know what I’d do without you.

Whatever he said at night, Chuck never breathed a word during the light of day. It wasn’t hard to see how he felt - Chuck was an open book for anyone who cared to read - but he stayed clear of open declarations. As for his nocturnal confessions, Bryce had never been sure if Chuck assumed he slept sounder in Chuck’s arms or if he was meant to overhear. Erring on the side of caution, he kept his breathing slow and easy and gathered Chuck’s secrets to him for safekeeping.

Unlike Bryce, when Chuck finally did drop off, he slept deeply and without disturbance. Bryce could have recited anything from Shakespearean sonnets through to Klingon poetry without waking him. He’d tried it once; Chuck hadn’t stirred but he did complain about weird dreams for the next three days. It made Bryce wonder if maybe he shouldn’t even the scales between them. Trade Chuck secret for secret. It would hardly be his fault if Chuck couldn’t stay awake to hear them.

But Bryce could never bring himself to do it, not least because Chuck’s secrets weren’t the only ones he was keeping.

Secrecy was a hard habit to break and some truths were too uncomfortable to speak aloud. Bryce hinted at them with whisper-soft kisses and careful touches but he kept his secrets under his tongue. He’d always preferred actions to words, anyhow. Besides, Chuck didn’t need to hear Bryce’s secrets for them to be true and Bryce didn’t need to say anything to know that for him, everything boiled down to You’re everything to me and I’d do anything for you.

And so it went that Bryce hoarded their secrets up right until the day he finally kept his unspoken promise, and then there was no one left to whisper to him.

Fin

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