Toby woke up with a loud gasp. That nightmare had been too realistic and vivid for him to stay asleep. Blearily glancing around, he quietly groaned at the glaring red time on the clock. 3 AM, great, just great! How was he supposed to go back to sleep now? Sliding out of his dollhouse bed, he quietly paced about the desk he lived on. The only things he could think of for lulling him back to sleep was either the tried-and-true cookies and milk or, the soothing rumble of a tank’s inner workings. He was out of Oreos so...clocking out on a tank was the only option.
Who though? Certainly not Werner. He shivered a little bit, just thinking of the eternally angry man. He was always in a bad mood it seemed, and geeze would it kill the guy to smile once in awhile? No, Werner would probably give him a lecture on how a commander should or shouldn’t act. It was a bit obvious he still had memories of his previous partner. Memories that Toby had allowed him to keep, after all, it was a bit cruel to let him just forget about him. Maybe he’d do some research on him...After he got some sleep of course. Not on Werner though, besides, he doubted he could actually fall asleep on him. The scarred tank was, well, scary!
Ulrich was a possibility, he was such a sweet tank, and would probably would let him sleep in his pocket even if he could say no! However, he wasn’t in the mood to play a game of 20 questions why he was up at this hour and why he wanted to stay in his pocket for awhile. He did make a mental note to take him outside soon, and let him see the sights. It would be interesting to see if he could get a reaction at the aquarium… He gave a shake of his head, derailing his train of thought. First thing’s first, he should probably start walking.
Whoever had designed his little island had been kind enough to leave a parrot-sized ladder going down to the floor. It was very handy for minor nighttime emergencies like this. Jogging to the cracked open door, he poked his head out into the darkened museum. The hulking shapes of the vehicles was a bit creepy in the darkness. He glanced down to where he could see a faint light. All of the desert tanks were probably there. Hmm, there were two other options over there, but Walker liked patrolling the halls too much, and Joachim...A mother hen of a tank was not very appealing...he probably wouldn’t understand nightmares anyways. A little grin crept up his mouth. That left his favorite Patton in the whole world and his best friend.
Now, Brooker wasn’t very sociable with the others, and generally kept to himself at night. For some odd reason, but Toby knew where he liked to hideout. As he sprinted down the hall, he kept an eye socket out for the break room’s door, it wasn’t terribly far.... Ahah! There it was! Skidding to a halt, he grinned victoriously as he saw that even the door was slightly open. Perfect, he didn’t even need to knock! Nudging it open, he peered inside the even darker room, searching for the red tell-tale signs of a machine man. “Brook you in here?” he hissed. Squinting, he saw a pair tiny red lights turn towards him. They tilted to the side, and he could almost hear the silent question. “Yeah, yeah it’s an ungodly hour and I shouldn’t be up and awake, but uh..” he sheepishly rubbed an arm. “I kinda had a ridiculously vivid nightmare and uh…” he hung his head, completely cowed at having to ask this, “Can I maybe...sleep in your pocket?” Silence. Of course. “Brooker? Where’d you-”
He was broken off by a gentle nudge to his belly. Feeling downwards, his large hand brushed against, wow Brooker had wasted no time in getting over here hadn’t he? Quietly too, seeing as he didn’t even hear a single creak from his old joints. Craning his neck back, he looked up into those two red points. “Thanks man.” he whispered, and hopped up onto the proffered hand.
Brooker turned and went back over to the fairly sad couch, easing into it so as not to disturb his tiny rider. Once settled, he brought his hand closer to his chest, inviting Toby to step off.
The silver bird hopped onto his tank’s chest and proceeded to wriggle his way under the Patton’s shirt collar. Peeping up, he was momentarily surprised to see Brooker reaching over to switch on a small lamp. The soft, dull, glow lit up the small room rather pleasantly. Satisfied, the tank looked down at his charge with a look Toby recognised all too well. See, Brooker had an expression range of a rock, and Toby knew how to read that rock. “You want me to spill dontcha?” The tiniest nod confirmed his slight fears. Hanging his head, he sighed, defeated. “Okay. You got me Brooks.”
“I was on a battlefield, I don’t know where, the details are really blurry. I’m standing on a tank’s shoulder, and I’m trying to get him to cease firing. He doesn’t. He actually turns around and starts firing on our allies. Their faces are blurred but….everything else is in perfect detail.” he shuddered and wrapped his wing-like hands around his body. “It was horrible.” he whispered shakily.
Brooker sat silently and tried to process what Toby had told him. Dreams weren’t able to hurt, were they? They weren’t real. He looked down at the Commander nestled in his collar, face softening by a degree. He forgot that Toby was like a kid sometimes, well, most of the time. Reaching up with his hand, he gently cupped it around the kid. That was about as good of a comforting gesture as he could do. He was a tank for crying out loud!
Toby looked up when the steel hand encased him like a blanket. Eye sockets met steel-grey, and the Patton gave him another tiny nod. “Go to sleep.” it said. A tiny grin worked its way onto Toby’s maw, “Thanks Brook. You’re the best.”
With that being said, the Commander curled up, and drifted back off to sleep.
Roughly an hour later, Walker was up and patrolling the museum. The Abrams didn’t like to sit still for very long, and hardly ever stayed “asleep” for long periods of time. The guy’d be an insomniac or something if he was a human. When he poked his head into Toby’s “quarters” he was startled to find the room empty. Not even a trace of the lil guy.
Pulling his head back out of the room, he quietly shut the door. It would probably be for the best if the Afrika boys knew immediately. He was not in the mood to put up with any of Werner’s shit at the moment. Jogging back, he thought of where the kid could possibly be. There was one place...but he should round up the other men just in case.
Telling the other men went over as well as he’d thought. Werner almost clocked him with his cannon barrel, Ulrich went into sad puppy mode, and Joachim took it surprisingly well. It was a bit difficult explaining where their current leader was while blocking repeated blows, but within the minute, he had 3 panzers following him down the hall.
It would have been a comical sight to see the 4 tanks peering into the break room, as they looked like something straight out of a cartoon. You know, when it looks like someone stacked a bunch of heads on top of one another.
Brooker raised his head to give them a withering glare, if they so even made the commander stir...He was going to do some asskicking. Gently removing his hand, he jabbed a finger down at the sleeping commander. A silent warning that the others thankfully got. Nudging the panzers, Walker jerked his head back to where they came from. Brooker had this handled.
When they left, Brooker finally relaxed. All was finally quiet on the Western front...