This chapter has a trigger warning for suicidal thoughts. Please avoid this chapter if description of such thoughts will affect you negatively.
Galen slipped into bed an hour after the fox, making sure to stay on his own side of the bed. Reinard looked adorable, curled up in a little ball on the bed, tiny snores escaping him. Galen couldn't help admire the Faro, his body so tiny yet so perfect.
The tiger shook his head, trying to get rid of that thought. They were roommates, nothing more, and lusting over the Faro would only end in disaster.
Pulling a pillow into his chest, Galen sighed as he spooned the fluffy object. He was excited for the next day, and he doubted he'd be able to sleep easily that night. Especially with the fox snores on the other side of the bed.
Thirty minutes later and he still wasn't asleep. Sighing, the tiger sat up, reaching for his tablet. If he couldn't sleep, he could at least figure out what to do about the Cnidarian likely snooping around their basement.
Another thirty minutes, and he was yawning heavily, his eyes drooping. Galen set his tablet aside again, curling up once more around his pillow.
He heard a quiet yip, Reinard twitching suddenly in his sleep. A sudden odor hit his nose, the fox shivering on the other side of the bed as a puddle formed under him.
"Ah shit…" Galen grunted, rolling off the bed. "Reinard!"
The Faro cried out, his eyes flying open. Galen could see the exact moment Reinard realized what had happened, the fox falling off the bed and fleeing from the room.
Galen followed the fox to the bathroom, hearing the shower turning on.
There was no response. Galen reached for the doorknob, pausing as he realised the Faro certainly would not appreciate him barging in on him.
Groaning, the tiger returned to the bedroom, stripping the bed. He carried the sheets to the laundry, throwing them in the wash and starting it. A fresh load of sheets went on the bed, Galen taking his time as he waited for Reinard to get out of the shower.
He continued waiting, the minutes slowly ticking by. Finally, Galen went back to the bathroom, pounding on the door.
"Reinard? Are you okay in there?"
He opened the door when there was no response, letting out a wave of heat.
"I'm coming in."
Stepping inside, he frowned at the sight of Reinard sitting under the water, the Faro still wearing his robes, now soaking wet.
"Reinard? What are you doing?"
The fox stared at him blankly, steam rising around him. Galen let out a sigh, sitting next to the shower.
"Look, you shouldn't be upset. Things like this happen. It was easily cleaned up."
There was still no response, Reinard continuing to stare blankly. Galen waved his hand in front of the fox, Reinard letting out a startled gasp.
"Hey. Stay with me here," Galen said gently.
The fox gulped visibly, looking down.
"What are you doing in here?" he demanded.
"What are you doing?" Galen countered. "You're soaking in your clothes. That's not how you get piss out of your clothing."
Reinard flinched, scowling at the tiger.
"Get out of here!"
Growling, Galen stood up, heading for the door.
"If you're not out in thirty minutes, I'm coming in to get you," he said, before closing the door.
The tiger let out a heavy sigh, looking at the time. He felt exhausted, his body craving his bed. But he couldn't sleep just yet.
Heading into the bedroom, Galen sought out Reinard's clothing, carrying a robe back to the bathroom. He tossed it into the room, closing the door against Reinard's yelp of surprise.
"Hurry up!" he called through the door.
"Don't tempt me!"
Leaving the bathroom alone, the cat made his way to the laundry, moving the sheets to the dryer. He hoped this wasn't going to be a nightly thing; it was not a pleasant task. Galen still wondered what had made Reinard do that. He was older than Galen, he should be able to control his bladder. Unless something had scared him in his sleep… the Cnidarian perhaps? It was a rather terrifying creature. But all it would take was a shark or a turtle and the Cnidarian would be dealt with, and Reinard protected.
He felt a sudden surge of satisfaction at the thought of protecting the fox, a strange feeling for the tiger. Was he really that worried about someone who was scared of his dick?
Frowning, Galen realised he was. Despite Reinard's words, Galen didn't want the fox to be hurt or scared. If he could keep the Faro safe, he would. If Reinard would allow him to…
The tiger glanced at his tablet, sighing quietly. He made his way back to the bathroom, knocking again over the sound of the shower.
The shower shut off, the fox grumbling within the room. Shaking his head, the tiger went to move the laundry. He wouldn't be sleeping until this was done.
He was sitting at the kitchen table as the bathroom opened, a seaweed cake in his hands. Reinard stepped out of the room, a soaking robe dripping in his hands. He hurried to the laundry, his eyes fixed steadily at the floor.
"You know, accidents do happen," Galen called after him.
He heard a door slam shut, grunting quietly. Sure, wetting the bed was embarrassing. But it was no cause for anger. He just wondered what had happened. The way Reinard was reacting, something had scared him.
The fox stormed back into the kitchen, glaring at the floor.
"Hey, what happened?" Galen asked. "Why did this happen?"
Galen growled, his hand slapping the table loudly.
"Look here you little ass. I'm trying to help you. I think I should know why you pissed all over the bed. If this is something you do, we need to fix it, and I do not appreciate you snapping at me for trying to figure things out."
Reinard's ears flattened against his skull, the fox leaning into a wall as he cowered. Galen didn't care; he was going to speak his mind.
"You come to our world, insult our way of life, personally insult me, why am I even bothering to help you? I should go toss you in the ocean and be done with you."
"Do it," Reinard snarled. "Kill me, end me. You'll probably get a fucking award."
He held out his arms.
"Fucking do it already. I'm done with it all."
Galen scowled, staring at the fox.
"What is wrong with you?! You want to die?!"
Galen shook his head in amazement.
"I'm not helping you with that. Why the fuck do you want to die?"
Reinard let out a choked sob, sinking to the floor. He curled up in a ball, rocking back and forth across the floor as Galen watched uncomfortably.
"I'm not touching you," the tiger said immediately. "You aren't winning our bet that easily."
He grimaced as Reinard continued, letting out a rough sigh. Sinking next to the fox, the tiger stared at him.
"Look, it can't be that bad. You're starting a new job tomorrow. You have stuff to look forward to."
"Fuck this… fuck all of it…" Reinard breathed.
Galen backed away as the fox stood up, the small Faro storming toward the bedroom.
"Reinard, what are you doing?" Galen called, hurrying after him.
He found the fox climbing the bed, Reinard grunting with effort. The Faro curled up in the bed, glaring at Galen through tear stained eyes.
"You know what, I'm not letting you out of my sight," Galen said, sitting on his side of the bed. "You're scaring me right now."
"What happened to drowning me?"
"Words spoken in anger are often not meant," Galen sighed. "For what it's worth, I'm sorry."
"Should I accept that? You wouldn't accept my apology."
Galen growled quietly, glaring at the fox.
"Watch it. You're walking a thin fucking line."
The Faro flopped over, curling up on the fresh sheets.
"Don't go pissing yourself again."
Reinard raised his hand in a rude gesture, Galen shaking his head as he laid around a pillow himself.