When you hear the knock on your door you jump up from your desk to get it, knowing exactly who to expect. What you don't expect, however, is how he practically collapses into your dorm room when you open it.
"What is wrong with you?" you say, watching him.
"I'm exhausted," Ace says, yawning. He goes over to your bed and sits down on it. He falls over sideways onto your pillow. He has been up late a lot recently, working on various projects assigned by different professors all at the same time.
"Then why on earth did you ask to come over?" you say, putting your hands on your hips. "Why didn't you just go to bed?"
He shrugs and looks at you. His eyes have faint circles beneath them, and he really could do with a good night's sleep. "I haven't had a chance to see you much lately."
You sigh and walk over to him where he lays on your bed. You motion for him to lift his head up, and you move the pillow and sit down in its place instead. He lays his head back down in your lap.
"Look, I know seeing each other is important to maintain a healthy relationship," you say, pushing his hair back with your fingers. "But sleep is important to maintain a healthy Ace."
"Time with Kristen is important to maintain a healthy Ace," he mumbles, closing his eyes.
You look away and bite the inside of your cheek. You really just….can't, sometimes.
You continue running your hands through his hair. "Hmm," he says sleepily. You know his mother always used to do this to him when he was little as he fell asleep. "He was my sleepy little puppy," she told you once. "Just a few pets and he'd be sound asleep."
It suddenly occurs to you. "Hold on," you say, your hand in his hair pausing. "You came over here just so I would do this," you say. You push your hand through his thick dark hair again.
"Not true," he mutters drowsily.
"Oh, it's so true," you say. You look down at him. "You're so obvious, Ace."
"I've been told," he says.
You smile to yourself and lean down and kiss him, right on the tip of his ear. He smiles sleepily, eyes still closed.
You continue running your hands through his hair, and in a few short minutes he's fast asleep on your lap. You lean back against the wall, hands still playing with his soft hair.
"See, this is why I'll never want a puppy," you whisper to no one. You look down at Ace and push a bit of hair out of his sleeping face and smile slightly. "I've already got one."