Daybreak found Peter Westminster already awake. He was sitting on the edge of his bed, staring out the window. To be more precise, he was glaring. It was the same moody glare that could be expected from any teenager, except that his was fro a different reason. Most teenagers, after all, did not get taken to another world without warning or consent. Most fifteen-year-olds did not have to trek across across a medieval landscape, led by a young man with a goblin in tow, only to be asked to go on a quest. He had only wanted to play Dungeons and Dragons, not warn a real king that his life was in danger. Still, there he was, glaring out the window, wonder when the dawn would come, wondering if he would have to fight the kind of monsters that he had seen the night before.
Behind him, another boy stirred, the sound of his body moving under the sheets breaking the silence. He gave a soft groan, yawned, and then tried to make out something among the shadows.
“Peter?” he whispered we he did not feel the warmth that he was used to beside him.
“I’m right here, Bayani,” Peter reassured him. It was too dark to see anything, but he turned towards him anyhow.
“What are you doing up?” Bayani asked him, his voice hoarse and weary.
He thought a moment before answering. “It must be my internal clock. I’m so used to waking up after a certain amount of sleep…”
Bayani chuckled faintly. “Usually you slam down the snooze button and roll over to go back to sleep.”
If only there had been a light on in the room, he might have seen Peter make a face at what he had said. “I’m used to when that stupid alarm goes off. But here…” He gave an aggravated sigh and added, “I don’t think they have any alarm clocks here.”
“But you have me,” Bayani reminded him, finding his wrist in the darkness and tugging on it gently. “Lie down with me: I’m cold.”
“You’re always cold,” Peter told him, acquiescing nonetheless. He let his head rest on a down-filled pillow as Bayani slipped one arm under his neck and laid his cheek on his chest, his other arm moving to find Peter’s hand and lace their fingers together.
“I guess I’m just to used to you keeping me warm,” Bayani said, his words hardly more than a dream like sigh.
The truth of the matter was, Bayani usually slept at the Westminster house. His own parents were busy working most evenings, and on Sundays, when their shop closed early, they often ended up arguing to the point that he had to get out of the house. It wasn’t because he had a boyfriend; they were actually very accepting of the fact. Bayani assumed that it was because they still weren’t used to life in America. They had left the Philippines when he was about eight years old, and running a shop in the states just wasn’t the same as it was back home.
They were content to argue for hours, not screaming, nothing violent, but bickering over little things. It puzzled him how they could go on and on with criticisms and complaints, but in the end make peace and go to sleep together. Mrs. Westminster was very welcoming of him, and there was always a warm meal waiting for him. He was tired of cold laing and pancit that was cooked in to much of a hurry. He loved his parents, but seeing as how he was their only child anyway, he found it easier to let them work out their own problems and not bother them with what to feed him after working all day long. There was an understanding between the two families; nothing harsh or judgmental, but a kind of open sort of helpfulness.
Bayani never liked having to explain it, because it make his family seem dysfunctional, and they really weren’t.