A deafening crack split the once calm air. Mossy had to suppress a cry as he dropped to the ground. His hands shook, searching for a gun which he just couldn’t find. The droning of enemy planes filled his ears as his eyes cast about for any sign of danger or backup.
He couldn’t see.
Another gunshot rang out and this time he couldn’t keep himself quiet. Where was some cover? He had to find cover.
His eyes shot open. The horrible war scene faded and his own ceiling came into view.
“Take some deep breaths.”
Mossy turned to look at the source of the voice. Sitting beside him was a pretty redheaded young lady. There was a purple bruise starting to form around her right eye.
“Hey there, Moss,” she smiled down at him. “You’re back with us now?”
“D-did I d-do that?” He reached out to touch her face, making sure she was real. She winced when his fingers grazed over her swelling eye.
“It’s alright, Mossy. You were having another night terror.”
“I-I’m sorry. I’m so s-sorry.” He sat up, worry and remorse painting his face. “H-how bad i-is it?”
Sierra tilted her head away from him and stood up. “It’s just a bruise. It’ll be gone in a week. Come on, let’s get some breakfast.”
Mossy glanced at the clock on his bedside table. Rather, where it would be. A quick inspection of the floor revealed he needed to buy a new one.
“It’s six thirty,” Sierra told him as she stepped out into the hall. “At least you managed to sleep until the sun came up.”
“W-what are you doing here?” Sierra spending the night at his house wasn’t something that normally happened, and the last thing Mossy had wanted was for her to see him while in the middle of one of his night terrors, not to mention hurting her because of one. He could only assume she was this calm because Nix had previously briefed her about those episodes.
“We got stuck behind a traffic accident after our dinner date and you didn’t want me driving home tired.” Sierra moved around the kitchen with easy familiarity, pulling down a box of cereal and fishing a jug of milk from the fridge. “I slept in your guest room, remember?”
“Oh, right. S-sorry for…” he made a vague gesture to imply waking her up, as well as the black eye she was going to have.
“Don’t worry about it, Mossy. I’ve had worse. Did I ever tell you about the time Trixie broke my nose and had to drive me to the hospital?”
“N-no. What happened?”
“Back when we were first opening the shop, I accidentally snuck up on her and she threw a punch before thinking. I looked like a raccoon for nearly a month.” She handed Mossy a bowl and moved to the little breakfast table. “You have no fruit in your fridge, you know that?”
“R-right. I haven’t been to the market in a w-while. I go v-visit Nix for lunch m-most days.”
“H-he gets lost in his r-research sometimes, so I go make sure Gal and Ben get let out and Nix a-actually eats.”
“I thought Ben and Galileo were mostly self sufficient? I mean, Ben can open the front door.”
“They l-like to look after N-Nix before themselves.”
“Mhm.” Sierra nodded thoughtfully as she chewed. “So, do you want to do anything today, or should I head home and let you try getting some more sleep?”
Mossy chewed thoughtfully on his cereal for a moment. “L-let me get you over to N-Nix first. He has some s-salve so your eye can heal f-faster.”
Sierra nodded and stood to collect the dishes.
“L-let me get those. You go brush your teeth and get ready.”
Sierra smiled. “Alright. Thanks, Mossy.” She leaned down and gave him a peck on the cheek , then glided off to the bathroom.
He idly wondered if there would ever be a time that he wouldn’t blush when she kissed him.