Peace In The Night
by Pirate Turner
He lay back with a strong arm around him and gazed up at the night sky full of stars. He had had such high hopes yet again this morning, but as it always did, his day had proved to be nothing but a shambles until now. Now, finally, the chaos had stopped, and he could rest and not think or, rather, scheme their next method of survival in this crazy, money-hungry world.
Loud snoring erupted beside his ear, but it sounded more like music to him than anything he'd heard that day. One of his partners was asleep, finally able to rest and, he hoped, dream of better times that he would one day achieve for them all, but his other lingered in consciousness, his hand grasping his arm a tad bit tighter than he usually did at this time of the night, almost as though he was afraid he would slip away from him if he drifted off.
"It's okay, big fella," he spoke, his voice far softer and more caring than others outside of their trio had ever heard it. "You can sleep now. We're safe, and I'll keep us that way."
"But, Moe . . . " the biggest, and sweetest, man amongst them whined. "I was just thinking . . . "
"What did I tell you about that thinking stuff?"
"I know, but . . . "
"No buts. You leave the thinking -- and the worrying -- to me. If you need to worry, I'll tell you what to worry about and when. You don't have to worry until I say so."
"Of course," he replied, suppressing a roll of his eyes. "Now be quiet and go to sleep."
Minutes skipped between them wherein the silence was only broken by Larry's snores. Then Curly spoke again, "Moe . . . "
Moe had almost drifted off to sleep but jerked awake at the sound of his name. "Shuddup," he snapped to which Curly, surprisingly, seemed to settle down into contentment. Moe felt his body relax beneath his, and then his snores sounded a minute later. "Hmp," Moe muttered under his breath but once more let his guard begin to slip as he relaxed again.
As the moon rose high in the sky, he wondered what it was about his rough manner that had caused Curly to finally settle down for the night; he'd never know that his normal behavior reassured the big man that everything was normal and, therefore, okay. He listened to their snoring and felt the soft rise and fall of Curly's body beneath his. Larry whimpered in his sleep, and Moe reached out a hand to stroke him reassuringly. His arm was still stretched over Curly's body, entangled in Larry's shirt, when sleep finally claimed him, taking him to a world where they were successful as themselves, where he no longer had to push them so hard just to get enough money to live off of, and where, at long last, they were truly carefree and happy. At peace for an odd occurrence, Moe shone for in his sleep, where dreams melted away the hardness and cragginess of his face where worries pulled at him incessantly, he was truly handsome. Silvery moonlight bathed the lovers as they slept soundly, dreaming of what could be and what they strove, in every waking moment, to make a reality. One day, it would happen -- they would be rich, carefree, and worry-free -- but until then, and even after, they would always have their dreams.