Reynard Fox spun to face the doorway, a deep growl filling the room. Boy didn’t stir from his sleep on the cot.
The boy standing in the doorway looked human: young, with the white cane of the blind and a huge innocent grin that put even Boy’s to shame. “Hi!”
"This is not your place," the fox said, and his voice was low and hard, full of more than teeth.
"But he’s really sad and I totally have hugs to give!"
"Hugs," the fox said, as though he had misheard words though Reynard Fox has never done so.
"Yup! My name is Jay and —."
"You have other names as well."
"Well, I am a Jaysaurus and also Jaysome!"
"You do not belong here."
"But he is really sad-face and I’m all kinds of good at hugging! Please?"
The fox sighed. “You’re not going to go away, are you?”
"I’m really good at not going away."
"I shall endeavour to pretend that made sense." The fox stepped aside to let Jay hug the sleeping form of Boy. Boy whimpered in pain, almost waking as Jay sprang back in shock.
"He is still sad?" Jay demanded.
"You are, perhaps, kin to the Wasting. All you did was wound him."
Boy blinked. “You knew I’d hurt him?!” His eyes narrowed behind dark glasses. “You are not a very nice fox.”
"I am what I must be. As you may someday be what you must as well." Reynard Fox smiled, a barring of teeth. "You will go now."
"You made me hurt your friend," Jay said, and his voice contained harmonics nothing human could hear.
"Consider it a lesson cheaply given."
"Fine. But you do mean tricks and I don’t like you so you are never coming to my home!"
Jay vanished and Reynard Fox stretched slowly, then paused, shocked enough to speak aloud. “He barred me from an entire universe? What kind of creature can —.”
"Mr. Fox?" Boy said sleepily.
"It is nothing. Rest."
And Boy fell back into sleep without any nightmares at all for the rest of the night. The fox did not sleep at all.