"Uh...What.... What is it?"
"You're squashing me into the wall?"
Heath sighed loudly, still very much asleep and moved off his brother, turning over on his other side as he did so. "Sorry," he mumbled, falling asleep on the last syllable.
Nick sighed. It wasn't Heath's fault. It wasn't his either. Two to a small bed and one that was more suited to one person than two didn't make for comfortable night for two fellas who were six foot and muscular built. Still, the only chair in the room offered less comfort and since neither brother would see the other use it, they had decided to share the bed. Now Nick had slept with Heath before, loved him dearly, but this was the third time during the night he had found himself squashed up by the wall and Heath with a good six inches spare on his other side.
Carefully, Nick rolled over reclaiming some of those six inches back. He thumped the lumpy pillow which had seen better days and momentarily woke Heath again with the frustration of his sleepless night.
"Ni..ck!" Heath moaned. "I'm trying to sleep."
"What the hell do you think I am trying to do?" Nick responded with his usual level of indignation.
"Shush. Everyone wants to sleep." Heath pacified.
"Funny enough, it's something I would like to do too."
"You want the bed to yourself, Nick?"
Nick felt guilty. "No. Stay put. C'mon let's settle down. It's 3.30am. Sleep gotta come sometime."
With one spooned behind the other, both brothers bodies contorted their heights and frames into the small bed and space and Nick tried to let himself drift off to sleep. And he found himself succeeding, succeeding very well until Heath shuffled again and a stray elbow hit him in the chest.
"Uhh!" Nick moaned, quickly coming awake.
"Sorry," Heath mumbled again. "I'm not usually this restless. Must be the bed. Can't get comfy. Even a hard piece of ground would feel more comfy right now."
"It's okay, Heath. Look what about you resting your head on me. That way we won't take as much room up independently and we might just be able to get some sleep."
Heath arched an eyebrow as well as his head. "You don't mind?"
"You could rest yours on mine, I guess." Heath offered.
"I'm the older brother. You rest on mine. Geez, I'm tired. Look, let's get to sleep."
Heath pressed his head to Nick's barrel chest. "Feels funny." he observed, the position, other than for illness and being wounded, foreign to him. He lifted his head a moment.
"I'm your brother for heaven sake. Nothing funny about it." Nick responded impatiently.
Heath lay his head down once more. "Okay." And then to tease his brother some more he said, "You going to to read me a bedtime story too?"
"Oh I'll tell you a story Heath. A story of how one brother lets his kid brother book a room ahead by wire in a town that is celebrating it's founding day and which has visitors coming in from all over the damned neighbourhood. So many that we can't book a decent room, even one with a half-sized decent bed in it for the night."
"Gee Nick. You sound mad at me?" Heath teased more.
"Mad? Now why should I be mad at you? We're doubling up in this pokey room with this sorry excuse for a bed. I got me a brother that can't lay still for more than five minutes. Why the hell would I be mad? I tell you, I don't know how Meg puts up with you?"
"I got me other things on my mind when I lie with Meg. Sleep ain't exactly my priority." Heath smiled into his brother's shirt.
"I don't want to know." Nick responded.
"'Sides." Heath continued. "I don't usually move around this much. Guess I'm just uncomfy 'iz all."
"Yeah, well the bed has a lot to answer for. What gets me is the price we're paying for this room. Daylight robbery. That's what it is."
"We'll only be here one night," Heath said sleepily and with a big yawn.
"Well next time I gets to choose. And brother we're going to sleep in style!"
"Won't find an argument from me. Hey you know?"
"After a while big brothers feel kind of comfy."
"Pleased I could be of service."
"Night Heath." And with that the brothers closed their eyes and for the remainder of the night slept.