~13~

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Author's Note: This is a reminder that this story will occasionally contain mature material of a sensitive nature. I'm not going to gloss over the ugly parts of life, so please remember this when reading this particular story. ~Thanks~

I wake from a nightmare completely disoriented and sweating. My stomach clenches in pain and I stumble into what I hope is a bathroom.

Thankfully it is, and I just barely get to the sink before throwing up everything I ate last night. I feel a hand press against my lower back and rub small circles while a drawer opens and closes.

I hear a wrapper being torn open and a moment later there's a pink toothbrush being held out for me.

"Here, Trouble. Brush your teeth, and then let's get you back to bed. Do I need to call Doc?"

I take the toothbrush and shake my head. I'm trembling, and Gabriel rubs his hands up and down my arms to try and warm me. "It's fine, Meanie. Don't bother him right now."

I see him glare at me in his reflection and I shrug one shoulder. "He has a twelve hour shift today, and I just had a really bad nightmare." I suck in a stuttering breath. "I just need to get my mind off of it."

"Okay, but I'm fucking staying in here with you." I nod and begin to scrub at my teeth.

After I've cleaned up, Gabriel joins me on my bed. I know that it should feel weird, but as he pulls me in close to his side with his arm wrapped protectively around me, all I feel is safe.

***

I must have fallen back to sleep, because the beeping of my watch alarm wakes me. Gabriel's arm tightens around me and he mumbles, "Ten more minutes," into my pillow.

I try to wriggle away and he growls. "Hold still, Trouble!"

I giggle and he groans. "I've got to get ready, Meanie," I whisper.

"But it's too fucking early on a Sunday, for christ's sake!" floats up from my pillow.

He still isn't letting go and something wicked takes a hold of me. I curl my fingers into his exposed side and he shrieks and rolls away.

"Et tu, Sang?" he whines.

I try and fail to stifle my laughter. "I've got rehearsal in a bit, and you weren't letting me get up!"

He flops over dramatically with the back of his hand to his forehead. "God save me from fucking overachievers."

I roll my eyes as I stand up unsteadily. "And you're not?" I throw back at him.

He chuckles and sits up on his elbows. "Meh," he waves his hand dismissively, "not like you lot. I know the importance of chilling the fuck out." He swats my backside playfully and I jump. "Now get your pretty ass in gear and go make me some breakfast, woman!"

I look at him strangely. He really didn't seem like the caveman type.

He busts up laughing. "Oh god, Trouble, you should see your face!" He gulps in a breath. "Fucking priceless." He shakes his head at me as he gets out of bed. "I was kidding, Sang. I'm not some god damned Neanderthal who expects or even wants a fucking 50's housewife." He grabs me by the shoulders and frog marches me to the bathroom. "Get yourself ready and I'll make us one of my world famous Gabriel Coleman breakfasts."

He shuts the door behind him and I see my backpack sitting on top of the closed toilet seat. I rifle through it and pull out what I need for the day.

***

It turns out that his 'famous' breakfast is a bowl of Apple Jacks and a glass of milk. I shouldn't be surprised that the refrigerator is fully stocked, and that we have a whole compliment of foods sitting in it. These guys think of everything. I take a seat at the table with Gabriel and smile at him. "Thanks, Meanie. I've got rehearsal all morning, and then I was going to go and try to get some tutoring in after. I have another rehearsal this evening that's just for the principals, so I probably won't be done until late."

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