AUTHOR'S NOTE: So I've been away from writing for a little while due to university, medical reasons and a bunch of other things, but now I'm on vacation until September, so loooooooads of writing time.
Usually when I take a break from writing – and normally it isn't because I want to, believe me – I find it quite difficult to just jump right back in with one of my ongoing stories so I thought a little one-shot would be a good way to do it. I've had the idea for this in my head for a while now so it's nice to get it typed up. I hope you enjoy this! Please review ^^
DISCLAIMER: I don't own Jurassic World, the plot, the characters, none of that stuff.
Zach stared up at the ceiling, once again unable to sleep. It was starting to become the norm that he would lie awake at night and end up falling asleep in class the next day. His teacher never got angry at him though; he'd heard them murmuring to each other about "trauma" and "PTSD" so they tended to just leave him alone if he drifted off.
Ever since Zach and his brother Gray had gotten back from Isla Nublar both boys had been plagued by nightmares. Zach didn't like to admit it, mostly because he felt he had to stay strong for Gray, but most nights he couldn't get the image of that huge white dinosaur chasing them out of his mind. He'd given up on trying to sleep most of the time now, knowing there was no real escape from the nightmares.
While Zach had tried his best to stay the same as he'd always been, if a bit more protective of his little brother than he had been before, in order to not worry Gray, his parents, his friends, his girlfriend and everyone else in their lives. Gray on the other hand had completely shut off. He'd been almost normal while everything was happening on Isla Nublar, not afraid to say what he was thinking and using his knowledge of dinosaurs to eventually help save them, giving Claire the idea to let loose the T-Rex to fight the Indominus. Even when they'd first seen their parents again he'd been mostly fine, if understandable quite shaken and clingy with their mom and dad. However once they had arrived back home and seen coverage of what had happened on the news, the whole ordeal that he had been through seemed to finally sink in and he just went quiet. Zach hadn't heard him speak louder than a whisper in weeks; he never left his room except for school and even then sometimes if he was really bad their mom would let him stay home, the school not saying a word against it presumably for the same reason they let Zach sleep at his school.
Lying there in the quiet darkness reminded Zach all too much of trying to hide from the Indominus. He would sometimes try to convince himself to put on a lamp but his pride always won out, convincing him that night lights were for babies. Letting out a deep sigh he reached over to the side of his bed and picked up a handheld games console. He'd never really been one for gaming but he'd found it especially useful to kill time during these long sleepless nights.
However tonight he'd barely turned it on when he heard a scream coming from Gray's room.
Immediately Zach dropped the console, threw open the door and charged down the hallway to Gray's room. Out of the corner of his eye he saw his parents emerge from their room but when their dad saw Zach he held their mom back, knowing he could probably help Gray more than they could right now. Grateful that they understood Zach made a mental note to thank them later before he burst into his little brother's room.
"Gray!" he called out, unable to see very well in the dark.
Very quickly he heard the whimpering and then a very soft light turned on. Gray was hiding under his covered and he must have had a torch. Zach took a deep breath and closed the door behind him before walking over and sitting on his brother's bed.
Gray stayed under his covers with the torch switched on and didn't say a word, but he did wiggle slightly closer to Zach. Zach smiled slightly at the action as he tried to figure out what to say. After a few more moments of silence he opened his mouth.
"I…I get them too."
Gray seemed to consider this before his head appeared back on his pillow above his covers. He still didn't say anything, just looked at his brother.
"The nightmares," Zach clarified. "I get them too."
Gray's eyes widened slightly and he slowly sat up. "You…do?" he croaked out.
"Yeah," Zach nodded. "And they're horrible. I don't know the last time I slept at night. Sometimes it's better just to stay awake. I end up sleeping in school but I don't dream there at least, so it's like I'm safe."
Zach hadn't told this to anyone before, but he knew Gray needed to hear he wasn't alone in this.
Gray sniffed as he kept his gaze on his brother, pulling his covers up around him as if they were a shield. "Mine…mine are always with me and you in that glass ball. And…and the Indominus has the ball in its teeth and its crashing it down on top of us…" at this point Gray started to sob, "…and I can't move but you can and you run away and you leave me there and then-"
Gray was cut off at this point by Zack standing up, moving around to sit down right next to his brother and wrapping his arms around him, pulling him close. "Hey, I'm never going to run away and leave you," he said softly. "I promised that, right? Remember, in the back of the van? We're brothers, we'll always be brothers and we'll always come back to one another. I'd never leave you in danger Gray, I promise."
Gray knew this already, and he knew his subconscious was just trying to play tricks on him, but he still really needed to hear Zach say that. He nodded, soaking Zach's t-shirt in his tears as he clung on to it, letting out the sobs that he hadn't let anyone else hear since they'd arrived back home.
"Shh…it's going to be okay," Zach murmured, hugging his brother close to him. He'd never been all that affectionate with Gray, even when he'd been a baby, but he knew they both needed it now. "We're safe here, nothing's going to hurt us. And if I need to I'll make another battle-axe out of a ruler and a paper plate."
That last remark made Gray giggle and that sound made Zach smile. He hadn't heard his brother talk let alone laugh in weeks.
"Feel a bit better?" Zach asked.
Gray nodded but he stayed clinging on to his brother. "Um…can you stay in here with me tonight?" he asked quietly, not looking at Zach.
Zach thought for a second and smiled. "I've got a better idea. Why don't we both stay in my room? My bed's bigger and you can help me beat that boss in the game I've been struggling with."
Realising that Zach hadn't laughed at his request Gray raised his head, smiling and nodded. Zach stood up and offered his hand out to Gray to help him up. Gray took it and clung back onto his brother's arm, his torch in one hand still turned on.
As they walked back down the hallway to Zach's bedroom Zach heard a small noise behind them. Turning to look he saw his parents standing at their bedroom door watching them. They both smiled and his mom mouthed, "Thank you." Zach smiled back before gently leading his brother into his bedroom.
Once both boys had curled up into Zach's bed Zach picked his games console back up and the boys took turns playing it, Gray indeed being able to help fight the boss battle that Zach had found difficult.
At one point while it was Zach's turn he felt something falling onto his shoulder. Pausing the game to look he saw that Gray had fallen asleep. Zach smiled before turning the game off and putting it away, wrapping his arms around his brother and holding his close again.
"I promise, I'm not going to let anything hurt you," he murmured, resting his head on top of Gray's.
Maybe it was the fact that Gray had left his torch on. Maybe it was because Gray was right there and seemed peacfuly asleep. Or maybe it was because he'd finally told someone about why he felt he couldn't sleep. Whatever the reason Zach was grateful when he felt his eyelids start to droop.
For both boys, that was the most peaceful night's sleep they'd had in weeks.
AN: I hope you enjoyed this! Please review ^^