A kick wasn’t entirely pleasant to awaken to, and when it was followed by two more in short succession, Kojo turned over to find out what offense he could possibly have committed in his sleep to earn such treatment. He discovered instead, however, his brother still asleep, having been occupying his bed to keep warmer in the night. His face was pinched, brow furrowed in stress, and his breath issued in rough pants.
A nightmare, he realized.
When it did not relieve itself, when Kojo’s legs and chest were treated to several more kicks and frantic pushes, respectively, he knew he had to intervene.
“Brother,” he called out, shaking the smaller man’s shoulder, giving it a squeeze. A frantic ‘no’ chanted forth from Barsad’s mouth, and Kojo’s hands were pushed at with a degree of accuracy he would have assumed the man would need to be awake to manage.
“Barsad,” he tried again, this time louder, more firmly, but still to no avail.
His brother’s head thrashed against the pillow, pain evident in his features, a sight few had ever seen, and not one that sat well with him. The sound of his breathing had become far too fast, and even without feeling for his pulse, Kojo could tell that his heart rate had to be soaring. He needed to wake.
Words failing, he decided instead to pin his brother’s flailing body down, his legs firmly settled over Barsad’s as he fairly straddled them, his hands grasping his brother’s wrists. The body beneath him struggled as its mind raged.
Not hesitating in the slightest, Kojo leaned over his brother’s form while holding it steady, ducking his head to settle his mouth firmly over Barsad’s, lips pressed fully against his brother’s. There was a surge in his body’s fight, but it abated, his breathing began to ease, and when Kojo was reasonably certain it would not be bitten off, he dipped his tongue into Barsad’s mouth, finding his, stroking over it as he held him firmly.
He could tell the instant Barsad woke, though it was not accompanied by a start. It was, however, the moment his kiss was returned, and rather viciously, at that. The hands above where he held his wrists curled tightly into fists, though Barsad did not pull at his hold. Instead, Kojo’s tongue was bitten at, not hard enough to draw blood, but enough to signal him to stop.
Panting lightly now, his eyes hooded and haunted from whatever horrors had revisited his mind, Barsad’s gaze flicked to Kojo’s as he retreated, giving him room to breathe. “Did you think you could get away with attacking me in my sleep?” he asked. His tone was cold but nonetheless carrying the unspoken gratitude that Kojo would never need to hear to know.
“It is, of course, the only time I tend to find you vulnerable enough,” he teased, not seeing fit just yet to release the other man, feeling the tension in his muscles cause him to shiver every few moments. It had happened before, the night terrors, and Kojo had since learned that the last thing his brother needed at that moment was to be let go.
“I am awake, now,” Barsad informed him, his chin raised in unwaveringly stubborn defiance, a mask of its own if Kojo had ever seen one. “What do you plan to do about it?”
Kojo did not even try using words, this time.