She was exhausted, there was no doubting it, but there were other things that Vega was. Some of them, in this circumstance, did her no favours. She was as stubborn a woman as could be and in every way possible; every hypnagogic state, every voice that she heard was a fight for her and she fought them all. Maybe, had she given in, things would have changed but she was no more capable of that asleep ~ or nearly asleep ~ than she was when she was awake. It meant that they were both in for a long night. But it was very obvious that, without him there to talk her down from the more violent and physical reactions she had to those moments, she would have been forced awake by them. Partly, that was because she fought them, but what damage they could do if she had given in, who knew?
Frankly, they were unlikely to ever find out. She wasn't giving in any breath soon.
Each time she started to physically fight, to thrash around, his voice calmed her. The stories he wove into what she saw in those states did something which she simply could not do herself. As the night wore on, it became obvious that she could not fight them, those hypnagogic states, not on her own. Each one of them a voice she heard when she was awake. The thing was, when awake, she could recognise them as her innermost fears, her insecurities and more importantly, she could recognise them as not true. When she was awake she could do that and, thanks to her ability to dreamwalk, she could do it also while asleep. But like this, she was neither of those things and was, ironically, more vulnerable than ever. If it were not for him, she simply would not be able to sleep, no matter how she tried.
But the stories he told, his voice speaking to her and the feeling of his arms around her, the kiss he placed on her forehead. Each time, he provided the means to fight - but it wasn't her who fought it. It was him. Whether it was with a magic hat or some other means, whatever it was that she heard when those voices fell in on her, his voice was stronger. Over the breaks which followed, the gap between those hypnagogic states grew and it was in that gap where she slept.
Of course, it laid bare her subconscious in a way which she wouldn't ever do - not even to him. Feelings of responsibility about her mother's death, guilt that she could not say she loved the woman who had perished to give her life, anxiousness about her father and always, of course, the perennial bugbear of just not being a full biqaj. Those he knew about, could probably have guessed had he needed to. But the fear of hurting him, of not being clever enough, strong enough, good enough for him, that by being with her he would get hurt, that her cousins were right when they said that she should not, could not. She didn't talk about those when awake because she knew that they weren't true - but they still lingered in her subconscious and showed themselves throughout the night. The fear of him getting hurt and her not being able to help him, to find him, to save him, that was a common theme, also.
To say she never woke would be a lie - now and then her eyes fluttered more open than closed and once, she woke without a warning with a gasp and a violent spasm in her whole body. As she did, she turned over, almost hiding in his arms and she sobbed, crying for a few bits before she was back asleep. She didn't speak or say why and although she was awake, she wasn't entirely lucid or fully conscious it seemed, yet after that had happened, she slept more soundly.
The dreams and nightmares which came whilst she slept properly, they were more than he'd ever seen from her - but they were the usual nonsensical and often non-sequential strangeness.
But, eventually, she woke up from a deep sleep which had lasted a break or more. Undoubtedly, the sleep she'd managed had been broken, but they had laid there a long time and she had slept more that night than in all four of the previous ones put together. "Mornin'," she whispered, her brown eyes seeking out his as she lifted her head to kiss him. "I feel like I slept." Looking up him she noted the hat, but even in the midst of all this Vega accepted that Arlo Creede was just odd. "What happened, Arlo?" Her gaze was serious as she asked and she added, because she thought he might be inclined to sugar coat it, "really. All of it. What happens when I try an' sleep?"