His son has been crying for hours. Neegan, brash, angry, volatile Neegan has no idea what to do. When this happens generally Jurgen is around, but tonight he's gone, leaving the vampire alone with a scared, crying six year old. The air of frustration that's weighing him down is making Neegan decide that maybe he should do something, but what? What the hell does he do? He's not human, never has been, so the idea of caring for a small child is beyond him and doesn't make much sense.
Finally, it seems to be too much. Moving out of bed, he sighs loudly as he makes his way outside of the bigger bedroom of the two-room apartment and glares into James' room, watching his son for a moment before clearing his throat to get his attention.
"The fuck are you doing?' Never careful with his language, his voice immediately shuts the child up for a few moments before he sniffles again, sitting up to watch his father watch him. Thanks to his quick adjustment to the dark, Neegan can see him rather clearly, while James only has a view of his father's silhouette in the hallway light.
"Nigh'mare," James' simple word sentences are grating. Perhaps it comes with being half the animal Neegan is, but the boy isn't that bright, and it shows when he speaks in his slow, awkward, mispronounced words. He can't even pronounce Jurgen's name, settling simply on "Geebs" as an attempt to put a name to a face. Neegan pronouncing Jurgen with a hard "G" doesn't help that.
"So? Get over it," Neegan doesn't get it. A dream is a dream. Why is it enough to cause this boy top sob in the middle of the night when he himself is trying to get some kind of sleep. He has to admit, his son is somewhat cute, and maybe that's what makes Neegan attached enough not to just dump him on his best friend for a little while, but now he looks ugly all puffy faced and red with tears still streaming down his face. "It's a dream, James. I've told you what will happen if you wake me up-"
The interruption almost makes Neegan yell at him. It's not for a lack of manners from his son, but more from the audacity to speak to him without being spoken too. Neegan's face contorts, ready to shout before James simply stares at him and raises his arms.
"What are you doing?" Neegan demands, watching this odd thing demand attention. He gets enough, Neegan thinks, the little bastard is goddamn spoiled. He's a brat. He's a child. He's...terrified. And something tugs enough at Neegan that it makes him slump at the sight of the dhampir. "Don't do that to me, I hate it. Wait for Jurgen for that shit."
James ignores him, simply shaking his arms as if demanding his father to join him.
Neegan raises an eyebrow, yet again impressed with the balls on his son before he sighs and makes his way into the room. James' room is not that impressive, his clothes are in a pile on the floor, there's a plastic bag full of what toys Jurgen has brought him over time, and blankets along with some snack foods. Neegan hasn't moved them in. Why would he? He has more facists to kill elsewhere, and he'll make his way somewhere else with his son in tow. But for now this is home, and this is what Neegan has.
He settles down on the bed and eyes him, watching James still hold his arms out.
"What do you want?"
"A hug," James says it so quietly and simply, almost as if Neegan asked him a stupid question. "Wanna feel better, please."
"Talk in full sentences."
That seems to upset James, who's arms fall at his sides. He looks away, suddenly defeated, before finally muttering a rephrase of his sentence before.
"I wanna hug."
"..." Neegan shakes his head. Close enough. But he makes no move to James.
Poor boy. He's growing up so human, so different than the creature Neegan is, and it only shows how different they are by the need of love and affection from his father. Given the absence of his mother, Neegan can sort of understand, but he's a monster. That's why he has Jurgen. That's why Jurgen gives him attention. Neegan doesn't have to. He's just not...capable. And for some reason, one Neegan can't understand, makes him incredibly, deeply sad.
But before Neegan can shut James out and get up to return to bed, he feels the warm touch of James' hand as he pulls himself over his bed to meet his father. He eyes Neegan a few moments, opening his mouth as if to say something before it closes and he simply pushes his father's arm aside to curl up against him. He's smaller than most children, making him an almost perfect fit. Neegan has no idea what to do with this. Does he push him away? Does he shout at him to go back to bed? Does he call Jurgen in a panic, unsure what to do with the amount of affection given to him?
He finds himself frozen as James crawls across his lap to cuddle in, a deeply affectionate move he's never displayed for his father. Neegan blinks, letting him do as he's already chosen to and just sits there. Despite how uncomfortable Neegan is, James seems pleased to be there, almost immediately falling back asleep. Stunned, Neegan's gaze tips downward, watching James somehow get comfortable on a cannibalistic monster. Is it because of the glamor? Or maybe, just maybe, there is a bit of love for his father inside James. And Neegan has no idea how to process that. Eventually, though, Neegan finds himself tired as well, and surprisingly not wanting to disturb James, he nudges himself back on the tiny twin bed to lean against the wall. He's slept in worse situations, he thinks, remembering times of waking up in booze puddles or even in a ditch, is this so bad?
Honestly, it's not. It's actually quite nice.
Neegan settles in, finally able to close his eyes once all is quiet. Affection has never been his strongest suit. But that's not his fault. It can't be his fault given what he is. James is sound asleep, finally, and the few moments of peace he's experiaced tonight have even him starting to fall asleep himself. He just hopes James doesn't get used to this.