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Things That Go Bump in the Night

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Clay jerked awake. He looked around the room in confusion as to why he woke up, when the reason for his discomfort quickly became apparent. There was a warm puddle forming under his body.

It’s okay, Clay told himself, trying to remain calm. His therapist says that bed-wetting is nothing to be embarrassed about. He just needs to get up, strip the bed, and have a shower. “Nothing to be embarrassed about,” Clay whispered softly, as he started to get out of bed. He reached out to turn on his reading light, but it wasn’t where it normally was. Clay looked around the room in confusion. That wasn’t his night table. This wasn’t the side of bed he normally slept on. Clay glanced down at himself, relieved to at least recognize his own sleep pants. But this wasn’t his bedroom. Where the hell was he?

Clay stumbled out of bed, snagging a sweatshirt that was laying on the floor and quickly slid it on. His hands were shaking too much to hold the zipper in place, so he just pulled the sides tight around him. Where was he? What happened? His legs couldn’t hold him up any longer and he collapsed on the floor, tears starting to fall down his cheeks. But he didn’t make a sound. That wasn’t allowed.

Earlier, Trent had stirred when Clay first shifted in the bed but then fell back asleep. But at the sound of a loud thump in the bedroom, Trent sprung to his feet, reaching for a weapon that wasn’t there. Years of being a SEAL, and a medic, allowed him to quickly assess the situation. He felt his heart break when he looked over at his boyfriend silently crying in the corner, covered up in his oversized college sweatshirt. Trent wanted to rush over and gather Clay up in his arms, but knew that that might make things worse.

Trent took a couple deep breaths and tried to recall everything that he had read about these sorts of scenarios. He had hoped never to have to use the skills he had learned in his PTSD classes but at the same time, wasn’t surprised that he had to use them for Clay. “Clay, babe?” Trent said quietly, seeing if he could get his boyfriend’s attention. “I’m going to turn on the light, okay?” He reached out and clicked on the lights. There was no response from Clay.

“Clay, it’s Trent,” Trent tried again to get Clay’s attention, walking around to Clay’s side of the bed but still keeping a good distance. “Bravo 4?” He added, hoping that the military designation might help. And it did. Clay looked directly at him.

Clay could hear someone talking to him but couldn’t figure out who it was. It was like he was trapped in a dream, where he couldn’t hear or speak properly. He tensed when the unknown male came around the bed, but then relaxed a bit when he recognized a fellow brother.

“Clay, how can I help?” Trent asked, not sure what to do next. He wanted to ask if Clay was alright, but that was obviously a silly question to ask. He sat down on the floor, not wanting to appear intimidating in any way.

Clay thought for a few minutes, playing with the string on the hoodie, trying to figure out what to ask without embarrassing himself further. He was starting to remember the previous night. Trent had taken him out for dinner for his birthday and then they hit the Bulkhead to drink with the team. Clay had too many beers to safely drive home and when Trent offered for him to sleep it off at his place, he jumped at the opportunity to stay over at his boyfriend’s place. He glanced over to the bed, the wet spot now clearly visible in the brightened bedroom.

Clay jumped up and started stripping the bed. He was so embarrassed. His first time sleeping over at Trent’s and he goes and wets the bed. They didn’t even have sex. “I’m sorry about your sheets,” Clay managed to choke out, tears starting up again. “I’ll…” Clay paused, having trouble getting the words out. “I’ll buy you some new ones.”

Trent could feel some tears of his own coming and quickly rubbed his own eyes to keep them at bay. “Clay, you have nothing to be embarrassed about.” He said clearly, taking the sheets that Clay had gathered and tossing them out into the hallway. “Now please, how can I help you?”

Clay looked over at Trent in amazement. He wasn’t kicking him out? Or laughing at him? Or running in the other direction? He fiddled with the hoodie string a bit more, and then clued in that it wasn’t even his sweatshirt, that it must be Trent’s. He looked over at his boyfriend, and realized how upset he looked. But Clay was pretty sure that it wasn’t because of wet sheets. “I have a therapist,” Clay blurted out, shocked at his own admission. “I’m talking to someone and I think it’s helping,” Clay added, wanting Trent to know that he was looking after his own health.

“I’m proud of you for doing that Clay,” Trent replied, knowing how hard it is for Clay to admit that he needs help. How hard it is for anyone to ask for help, especially SEALs.

“Can we have a shower?” Clay asked, changing the topic quickly. He didn’t want to talk anymore about what had happened and he could feel the wet fabric of his sleep pants cling uncomfortably to his skin. He really wanted to get clean but didn’t want Trent to go anywhere.

“Definitely,” Trent replied, leading the way to his washroom and turning on the shower to get the water warmed up. “Are you sure you want me here?” Trent asked, making sure that he understood what Clay was referring to before. He really wanted to hold Clay after what happened but didn’t want to cross any boundaries that Clay may need.

Clay nodded and stripped quickly out of his clothes and into the shower. He reached out an arm and pulled Trent in behind him, sighing as Trent wrapped his arms around his waist. This was safe. He was safe. Trent was safe. Now his mind just needed a bit more practice.