Bed Sharing

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Trope · Genre
Synonyms: Puppy Pile (for poly versions)
Related: Huddling for Warmth
See Also: Pretend Couple, Smarm, Hurt/Comfort
Tropes · Slash Tropes · Tropes by Fandom
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Contents

Bed sharing is a common trope that can be executed platonically or shippily, and can sometimes be found in poly fanworks.

Ship-Based Bed Sharing

In first time pairing stories, the unexpected single bed is the final push, requiring two characters to share a bed and finally admit their feelings.

Examples

Gen Bed Sharing

Gen bed sharing gets two characters into bed for reasons other than sex. While not always, the trope is usually employed as an off-shoot of hurt/comfort, with the emotional and physical comfort offered after bad dreams, emotional meltdowns, and physical injury. Both characters are portrayed as finding relief with this close contact.

In 1999, a Sentinel fan explained:
All the same, even though both [the genres slash and smarm] are writing primarily about love, I really would argue that there's a difference between smarm and slash, and I think it has something to do with the surprise of smarm. Take smarm's favorite chestnut, Jim and Blair sharing a bed. Well, if Jim and Blair are lovers, then there's nothing very unexpected going on when they crawl in bed together. It's sort of the whole point. But when two straight men share a bed, and are comfortable with that degree of intimacy and that degree of trust -- you're never more vulnerable than when you're asleep, after all -- then that is something unexpected. And that's the kick of smarm for me. That "oh, my" moment when the walls come down, and two friends nakedly express their love for each other without reservation or fear, even though they're "just friends. [1]

Examples

  • In the Starsky and Hutch story "When Half-gods Go..." by K. Hanna Korossy, sharing a bed is suggested by Starsky's doctor: "He’s going to be okay, Ken. The bed’s big enough for two; why don’t you get some sleep, too?" and then the sleeping arrangements are given approval by their boss, Captain Dobey: "The captain closed Hutchinson’s door tiredly after the doctor, then turned back toward the bedroom. Hutch was already stretched out on his side on the bed, fast asleep, one arm extended across his partner. Starsky had found him too, curling toward the blond with his forehead against Hutch’s shoulder. The bandage on his hand was stark white against the blue flannel it was tangled in. With the first real smile of peace Dobey had felt like in five days, he located Hutchinson’s linen closet and returned with a quilt, draping it over them both to cover Hutch and add another layer over Starsky."
  • In the Sentinel story SentinelCon. by Shedoc, Jim has bad dreams, and Blair makes him hot chocolate, tucks him into bed, and tells him a story: "Blair wondered why he hadn't woken and stilled as he realized his Sentinel was lying beside him, head resting up against Blair's shoulder, hand on Blair's arm. Jim had turned his body in to Blair's and Blair sighed. Obviously the subconscious had taken over and Jim had climbed into bed for protection last night."
  • In the Star Wars story Bunkies by L.A. Adolf, Luke and Han must share a bed for the night when no double accommodation is available: "Pulling off the second boot, Luke reached for the buckle on Han's belt, opened it, and unbuckling the leg strap of the blaster holster, pulled Han's weapon away from his hip. "Better men than you have died for less," Han commented darkly, not moving from the prostrate position in which he’d found himself.
"It's bad enough I have to sleep with you. I'm not going to sleep with fully energized blaster as well," Luke replied."
  • In The Complete Rack, Spock and Kirk share a bed due to lack of space, but from their conversation, it is not the first time: "The Governor indicated there are no other rooms, Spock," he said slowly, "but if you're dissatisfied..."
"No, Captain. I merely thought..."
Kirk turned to face him; Spock hesitated. They were somber for a moment, realizing their awkwardness, then Kirk grinned, "Don't worry, Spock. I promise not to snore."
"You do not snore, Jim. You mumble.., and generally manage to acquire approximately eighty per cent of whatever space has been provided.
Kirk did his best to suppress a laugh and answered sternly. "If you would sleep normally - close your eyes and sleep - you wouldn't have to worry about what I do! It's no fun for me, either - seeing you stare up at the ceiling all night! I can think of a lot more preferable bed partners." Ignoring the raised eyebrow, he turned his back and removed his shirt. In a few minutes, Spock turned out the light and they got into bed."

Poly Bed Sharing

In fandoms where teamfic, found family, and OTEveryone relationships are common, bed sharing will often occur in an ambiguous space between ship-based bed sharing and gen bed sharing. Like with gen bed sharing, the impetus is often hurt/comfort; it can also be simple fluff. A poly bed sharing arrangement is sometimes called a puppy pile.

Examples

References

  1. from Cascade Library Interview with Martha
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