After dessert, Sylus explained the terms of his vacation. Jeron insisted he quit entirely, but Sylus maintained that he had work left to be done.
As tSylus and Daniel stood up to leave, Jeron and Mr. Miles both insisted they stay the night. Sylus gave a half-hearted attempt to turn them down, but at the end of everything, Sylus feared being alone in the night more than anything else.
The apartment on top of the Diner was such a calmingly comfortable place. The stairs up ran behind a wall in the kitchen. As you reached their top, you were welcomed by a warmly lit living room furnished conservatively, yet welcoming. A large window on the far wall looked out at what have must have once upon a time been a gorgeous view of the ocean. Now, it was marred by the ‘Works. Sylus did his best to ignore the demonic lights flickering from the facility.
Two halls lead back along either side of the stairwell. Turning to the right from the stairs led to Jeron’s room, a spare bedroom, and a full bathroom. Turning to the left lead to Mr. Miles’ room, a master suite.
Daniel was offered the spare bedroom and Sylus was happy to take up residence on the couch with Jeron. Mr. Miles was quick to retire leaving the two of them alone.
Jeron knew he wasn’t going to fall asleep. Sleep was a distant memory as far as he was concerned. Ever since the Rift opened and the Mist went everywhere, Jeron hadn’t needed a wink of the stuff. He sat on the couch beside Sylus, watching him in silence as some old movie played on the television. He could tell Sylus’ mind was somewhere other than the present. Every so often, he’d idly run his fingers through his hair. Sylus could feel himself drifting off to sleep.
“It’s okay, Sy,” Jeron whispered in his ear, “I’m here. Nothing here in the waking world nor anything in your dreams can hurt you. I promise.”
With a quiet grunt, Sylus leaned against him. It was only another moment before he was finally asleep. Jeron turned the volume down on the television. He reached for a blanket along the back of the couch to pull down over them both. Sylus’ head slowly lowered to his lap. It was better this way, Jeron smiled, as he drew the blanket up to Sylus’ chin. He continued watching the dated movie as he ran his fingers through his hair. He never even thought of the movement. It just happened.
Sylus was with him now and that was all Jeron cared about. He and his son were both safe here. Nothing could hurt them. They were safe and that, for the first time in a long time, eased Jeron’s worries.
As he idly ran his hand down Sylus’ chest, he felt something under his shirt. Knowing he shouldn’t do it, he pulled his uniform away and glanced down at something beautifully familiar. An amethyst purple tie with silver shots in its weave. He’d given Sylus that tie years ago. A smile crossed his lips as he remembered the light in Sylus’ eyes as he held it for the first time. He never wore it though, and when asked the answer was always the same. He hadn’t earned the right to. He wasn’t man enough yet. It always broke Jeron’s heart, but he understood. Yet here it was, finally where it belonged.
Jeron sighed in peace. Through all the hell, there was always a glimmer of hope. For the first time in a long time, Jeron could finally rest. Everyone he loved was together in one place. Everyone he loved, was home.
Who am I, is this me?
Am I one or thirteen?
I’ve gone cold, hard to deal
Used to stand where I kneel
Voices in my head
Does yours say what mine says?
I want more, than I need
I don’t know what is real
Alice In Chains – Voices
I’ve been told, dreaming’s free
Think I’ll go back to sleep