For the third time tonight, Noah's woken up from a nightmare by hitting his head on Apen's bunk. Breathing heavily and drenched in sweat, he lies back down, rubbing his throbbing forehead.
"Ah!" Apen exclaims, flailing. He jumps onto the ground, glaring at Noah. "You just gave me another heart attack!"
"That's not a heart attack," Noah mutters, looking away.
"Whatever." Apen throws up his hands. "I'm out. Mabe the deck will be more restful."
"You just want to talk to Berlyne," calls Noah, but the cabin door slams and he slumps back down onto the bed, turning away from the now-closed door.
A few moments of silence pass before Noah hears the soft sound of his door creaking open. It closes gently behind whoever's just walked in.
"Noah?" asks Ruya's voice, and Noah turns back over, looking up at the figure of his wife in the dark. "I heard you and Apen. Were you having nightmares again?"
"Do I ever not have nightmares?"
Ruya sits down next to him with a sad smile on her face. She puts her hand on his forehead, and he winces.
"I... may have hit my head on Apen's bunk," he admits sheepishly. "Three times."
Ruya laughs softly. "Is that why he left?"
"How do you survive it?" he suddenly blurts. "Syllor's Curse, I mean. Wasn't Axe Man... he and that kid, right?"
Ruya looks down. "Yeah."
"How long were you..."
Ruya shakes her head. "Not now. ...Please."
He wraps his hand around Ruya's wrist, and they smile softly at each other. A muffled thud is heard from above their heads, followed by Apen's voice yelling "Berlyne!" and then a lot of giggling.
Noah rolls his eyes. "And he said he was looking for restfulness."
Ruya laughs again but puts her hand to her mouth when the chuckle turns to a yawn. "Sorry."
"It's okay," says Noah. He raises his arm and wraps it around her waist, pulling her closer. "You could just lay here, you know," he says. "...If you want."
Ruya laughs. "You're my husband, of course, I do!" She curls up next to him--the bunk is small, but they make it work with tangled arms and tucked-in legs and lots of giggling.
"I love you," whispers Noah once they're still, his lips brushing her forehead.
Ruya smiles, looking up at him. "I love you too," she whispers.
They kiss, and it's quiet and deep and all the things Noah can't believe how much he missed about their kisses. He pulls away for a second, out-of-breath and grinning widely.
"I've missed you so much."