-- details --

first posted: 2023-05-13 on archive of our own
fandom: Witch Hat Atelier
ship: Agott/Coco (f/f)
age rating: Teen
content warnings: None
wordcount: 3,967 words
tags: Nightmares, Angst, Emotional Hurt/Comfort, Fluff, Sharing a Bed, Crushes, Mommy Issues, Pre-relationship, Canon Compliant


The nightmares were to be expected. Coco had to watch her mother be turned into stone because of her actions so it only made sense that she would be forced to relive the memory every night. The frequency, intensity, and recurrence of the dreams however? Not so much.
Ever since, as Agott liked to pointedly not refer to it, The Incident, she had been plagued with nightmares. Being accused of passing someone's magic off as her own, her mother towering over her talking about how she wasn't good enough, being sent away since her parents didn't want to deal with her anymore. Wasn't it enough that she already had to live through it once? Let alone having to relive it whenever her brain decided she had gone too long without suffering.
Coco and Agott both get nightmares. They help each other in different ways.

and i was haunted by a demon in my sleep


The nightmares were to be expected. Coco had to watch her mother be turned into stone because of her actions so it only made sense that she would be forced to relive the memory every night. The frequency, intensity, and recurrence of the dreams, however? Not so much.

She had gone to sleep that night already dreading what was to come. After having to endure nightmares almost every night for several months you started to wonder whether giving up sleep entirely would be worth it. But no matter how late she stayed up, drawing to keep her brain awake, she would always end up asleep. Coco opened her eyes to the familiar dark abyss. She had a few moments before her mother would show up, her heart beating erratically in her chest, just bursting to escape.

She frantically looked around trying to find, and then avoid, her mother, she started to run, urging her legs to go faster. If she ran fast enough surely she could escape. Escape from this hell where her mother haunted her, forcing her to relive that traumatic, life-altering moment. She couldn't stand to lose her mother for the hundredth time in this endless loop of agony.

Distracted, she tripped, falling forwards and landing on her hands and knees. Coco let out a jerky sob realising how doomed she was and took a moment to steady herself. However, as she did so, a shadow was cast over her. Hesitantly she glanced upwards and was greeted with her mother's stern face.

"Coco." Her voice was cold. Coco could barely force herself to not flinch away from her piercing glare. "You disappoint me. You screwed up and now I am as good as dead." The child started to feel more tears build up in the corners of her eyes. Her mother reached out a hand, beckoning her closer. Coco could only stumble forwards and grab at her mother's fingertips like she was in a trance.

If this were reality her mother would've pulled an arm around her and pulled her into a warm hug but alas it was not. Instead of a comforting embrace, her mother used her free hand to grab Coco sharply by the chin and pulled their faces together till they were a centimetre apart. Coco squirmed in her grasp but her mother only held on tighter. "Look at me when I speak to you." Anxiety bubbled in Coco's chest. "This is entirely your fault; You deserve everything bad that is to come; And I wish you were never my daughter. Understand?" The tears were freefalling now and Coco could only nod frantically and unsuccessfully try to pull away.

"Good." Her mother spoke. At the utterance of that single word, her mother started to turn to stone. It started at her torso, turning fabric into a detailed carving, before winding up and down her body, every part turning to stone. It soon reached her shoulders and started trailing along her arms, one still holding onto Coco's face. Desperation filled Coco as she tried to get free knowing that if she did not she would also turn.

"Let go," she pleaded. "Mum, please let go." She yanked at her mother's hand with both of hers, pulling with all her strength. The stone continued down her mother's arms, now reaching her elbows. Coco became even more frantic, pulling and pulling. Just as the stone neared her mother's fingertips, Coco awoke with a gasp.

Coco jolted up in her bed, her breathing ragged as she struggled to reign in her fear. Trying to swallow her fear, Coco realised her throat was dry. Glancing around the room frantically, she could see Agott still sleeping peacefully in her bed. Knowing that her friend was there, asleep but nearby, helped calm her down. Coco focused on Agott's presence, trying to ground herself. You're in your bedroom. Agott is here. You're safe. Her racing heart eventually gave way to steady breathing. She tried to swallow again, throat still painfully dry.

After quickly weighing up the risk of waking Agott to get a glass of water, Coco climbed out of her bed as quietly as she could manage. She tiptoed across the room and made it to the door, praying that it wouldn't creak. Much to her relief the door was silent. Glancing over at Agott showed that the other girl had only rolled over onto her stomach, sound asleep.

As Coco made her way down the stairs into the kitchen, her mind drifted back to her nightmares. Every single night, without fail, that thing (Coco refused to call it her mother) would stare into the depths of her soul only to belittle and torment her. It would do this until Coco inevitably woke up to feelings of guilt as nightmares don't always stop when you wake up, sometimes you have to live them. Coco always dreaded going to sleep. No matter how hard she tried to fight off her exhaustion, her body would always succumb to its grasp. Now asleep and vulnerable, Coco would once again be at the mercy of her brain's reprehensible imagining of her mother and she could only suffer as a result.

The kitchen was quiet and empty, not unusual for god knows what hour of the night it was, but she wouldn't have been surprised to see Olruggio walking around this late. Coco picked up the vapour bubble and poured herself a glass of water. The relief to her throat was instant as she quickly chugged it before pouring herself another.

Her mother was the only family she had left after her father had died and Coco had sentenced her to a non-existence. In her excitement to learn magic, she had never once stopped to wonder whether what she was doing was correct, whether or not there would be consequences. If she had just listened to her mother and accepted she would never be a witch none of this would have happened. There were moments where Coco was ecstatic to be learning magic, to finally be a witch, but those moments would only last for a few seconds before the deep-ridden guilt set in. Your mother had to die for this. Why are you so happy? Don't you want your mother back? If you knew the outcome would you still have drawn that magic? Would you condemn your mother again for this? Coco could fix this. She knew she could, eventually, one way or another. The another was complicated. The more she learnt about forbidden magic, the more she realised how versatile it was. It could heal in ways medicine couldn't. Coco had no doubts in her mind that a Brimhat could easily turn her mother back. But that sort of magic was forbidden. Surely if she was just fixing her mistake it shouldn't be forbidden, right? She made a mistake with magic so she would fix it with magic. Legality notwithstanding. Coco shook her head. No. Forbidden magic is forbidden for a reason. She couldn't let thoughts like these take over her mind. Putting down her glass and returning the vapour bubble, Coco made her way back to her bedroom.


Unfortunately, the door decided to creak as Coco reopened and closed it. Coco slinked into their room, praying that she hadn't woken Agott. She froze when she heard a rustle coming from her roommate's bed and flinched when she saw Agott sitting up, rubbing at her eyes and looking towards the door.

"Did I wake you up? I did, didn't I? The door creaked. I'm so sorry!" Coco whisper-yelled. Agott just shrugged in response and looked around, seemingly gathering her bearings.

"It's too late now to apologise" Agott waved her hand dismissively. "Why are you awake in the first place anyway?" Her voice was thick with sleep.

Coco froze, her mind starting to race once more. Agott didn't seem to hate her anymore. It had been months since she had last told Coco she shouldn't be a witch if that was any indication. Coco liked to think they were on neutral-positive terms but she wasn't certain it was mutual. Would Agott judge her for something like this? Judge her for getting upset over a nightmare of all things? Agott seemed fearless like nothing could ever dare touch her. If Coco told her about what the thing said would Agott just confirm her fears? That everything was her fault? Coco paused. Despite everything, she trusted Agott. Whether it was foolish optimism or simple ignorance, Coco knew that talking to Agott would always be safe.

"I had a nightmare. I couldn't sleep and I needed a glass of water." She waited with bated breath. Agott was frozen where she sat and just stared at Coco with an unreadable expression on her face. Several moments passed before Agott spoke up.

"I-" She started. "I'm sorry to hear that." She paused again, looking unsure at what to say next. "Are you okay?" Agott questioned, sounding confused herself.

Coco's face turned to one of confusion. To be blunt, Agott barely cared about her own mental health, let alone others, let alone hers. Coco was expecting Agott to at most nod her head, and go back to sleep, maybe throwing in an okay somewhere. It wasn't Agott's problem so she wasn't expecting Agott to even remotely care. Not even in her wildest dreams did she expect that Agott would show genuine concern about her. Enough concern to ask whether she was okay after a nightmare of all things. In recent memory, Agott was willing to potentially risk Coco's life just because she didn't think Coco deserved to study at the Atelier for crying out loud. As Coco looked at her in disbelief, Agott squirmed where she sat.

"I'm fine, thanks though." Coco stuttered out.

"You might be now but I know how horrible nightmares can get," Agott said finding her confidence. "Do you want to talk about yours?" Coco felt like she had fallen into an alternate reality.

"At least sit down if you're not going to say anything." Agott patted next to her, swinging her legs around so they hovered over the ground. Coco could only move towards her and tentatively sit down, the two sitting side by side both staring at the ground.

Agott was the first to speak up again. "Whenever I had nightmares back home, my mum would always encourage me to talk through them; realise that they were just dreams and didn't have to be scary."

Okay, this is happening now. C'mon, Coco don't chicken out now. "It was about my mum. All my nightmares are. I have to watch her turn to stone and keep reliving that moment every night."

Agott frowned. "I'm sorry you have to experience that. It must hurt a lot. Obviously, I've never been in your exact situation before but trust me I know what it's like to mess everything up and I promise you that this isn't the end."

"I miss her so much and I know that it's all my fault, you've even told me that." Tears started running down her cheeks. "I just want my mum back."

"Coco, listen to me. It was not your fault. You didn't know what that spell would do. You had no reason to assume it could cause harm. I know I've not been the best person but I deeply regret saying those things. I was wrong and I'm truly sorry. You didn't deserve the way I treated you."

Coco leant her head into Agott's shoulder. She could feel Agott freeze beneath her and was about to pull her head up before she felt Agott snake an arm around her shoulders and pulled in her in. "Thank you, Agott. That means a lot."

"It's no problem. Trust me when I say I mean every word," Agott whispered into Coco's hair. "Have you always had nightmares?"

"Almost every night ever since my mother- yeah."

"Why didn't you say anything? We could've helped you."

"I didn't want to worry anyone. It's just nightmares I should've been able to handle it."

"None of us ever want you to feel that way, I swear on my life. You can talk to any of us about anything. No one is expecting you to suffer alone."

Coco nodded into Agott's shoulder, not wanting to break the peace, fearing tears that may fall. The two sat leaning against each other for a while. Coco didn't have many friends growing up. Living in a small village and helping in a fabric store every day of her life didn't do wonders for developing meaningful relationships outside of her mother. Because of that, Coco wasn't used to physical contact with anyone except her mother. Sure, she had gotten hugs from Tetia and sometimes Richeh once she got to the Atelier but something about this felt different, felt more significant. Feeling Agott's shoulder pressed into her face and the tips of her hair tickling her cheek made Coco feel safer than she had in ages. She let out a content sigh as she nuzzled in closer. Time seemed to stop.

When the two finally pulled apart Coco could see Agott's face turning a light shade of red. Seeing Agott blush made Coco's face heat up and she wouldn't have been surprised if her own face was even redder.

"Thank you again, Agott. You really helped."

"It's nothing. Anyone would've done the same." Agott's face blushed even harder.

Coco let out a nose exhale. "Well goodnight, Agott." Coco smiled at Agott as she made her way back to her own bed.

"Goodnight, Coco," Agott echoed.

As Coco drifted off her thoughts were filled only with Agott's smile and for the first time in months her dreams were peaceful.



Ever since, as Agott liked to pointedly not refer to it, The Incident, she had been plagued with nightmares. Being accused of passing someone's magic off as her own, her mother towering over her talking about how she wasn't good enough, being sent away since her parents didn't want to deal with her anymore. Wasn't it enough that she already had to live through it once? Let alone having to relive it whenever her brain decided she had gone too long without suffering.

It was on one of those oh-so-lucky nights that Agott found herself transported to the Great Hall as soon as her head hit the pillow. She felt smaller, both physically and mentally, around 10. All around her stood a large crowd of witches of all various ages. All watching her as she stood on a raised platform. Witches were usually excited to see magic from young witches, to see what the new generation could do, however, these witches pierced into her skin with their dead, empty eyes. Despite none of them making even a single noise, Agott knew she was expected to outperform.

She reached into her dress pocket for her palm notebook and pulled it out. When she flipped open the book she expected to see the spells she had prepared beforehand but it was empty. Her heart dropped to the floor. Fuck, fuck. It was right here. Why isn't it here? Agott glanced up to see that the crowd had moved in closer, not close enough to be immediately obvious at a glance but enough to be noticeable.

Agott tried to control her breathing as she grabbed her pen to redraw. It's fine. I know the glyphs off by heart. As Agott drew, she began to hear the crowd speak up for the first time. Small murmurs about what she was doing. Whether she even knew what a glyph was. Every time Agott was about to close a circle, a snide comment would make her slip and mess up, forcing her to rip out the page and start again. Pages and pages of failed glyphs began to pile at her feet. Finally, she managed to close a circle except for a small gap at the bottom. Feeling victorious she grinned and stared down the crowd back. "Just you wait! This is going to be the best magic you've ever seen!" She yelled out. The crowd remained unphased, unmoving, only softly criticising.

Heart pounding in her chest, Agott closed the circle. Pause. She closed the circle again. Another pause. What? I've drawn the glyph. I've closed the circle. Why isn't it working? It should work. Right? I know how glyphs work. At a minimum, you draw the main sigil, the signs, and then close it in a circle. I've done of all that. It should work. Why isn't it working? It's physically impossible for this to not work. Agott started to pull at her hair, the criticising got louder.

Fuck it. Agott tore out the page and drew the very first glyph she had ever learnt: a simple light spell. She closed the circle. Nothing. Why nothing? I know this. It's the only thing I know. Her heart was racing now as she began to shake, oxygen only just escaping her grasp. Agott heard the distinctive Click, Click, Click, of her mother's heels. Her mother was shaking her head in disappointment as she walked out of the room.

"Mother! Please don't leave I-" Agott started to run after her but the crowd halted her movement. No one was speaking to her directly, one loudly whispering between themselves.

"Such a disappointment."

"I don't know what we were expecting."

"It's quite pathetic, isn't it?"

Agott tried to escape but the crowd only drew in closer, Agott could barely breathe. Suddenly the ground opened up and swallowed her, now free-falling before landing on her hands and knees before her mother.

"I should've gotten rid of you ages ago." Her mother tsk-tsk'd. "I should've seen this coming."

"Mother please I can get it to work."

"Magic works for everyone yet you can't get it to work? Screwing up that badly? How is it even possible?"

"I can get it to work, I swear! Look, I'll draw a glyph now!" Agott grabbed her pen and notebook once more, frantically scratching out a glyph. Nothing. She ripped out the page and tried again, drawing a slightly smaller glyph Maybe my lines are just too shaky. Nothing. Even smaller this time. Nothing. Agott soon found herself crouched around her notebook, drawing glyphs barely bigger than the size of her eye. Still Nothing.

"Agott, please." Agott looked up. Her mother drew the simple light glyph without even looking at her paper and held the light in her hand. "Are you telling me you can not even draw the simplest of glyphs? I thought I taught you better than that."

Agott could only break down crying. Her mother extinguished the light and with her distinctive click click click started to walk out the door. Agott reached out an arm to hold her back, to stay and help her.

"Mother-" Agott screamed. Her mother shut the door behind her.


"Agott." Someone was shaking her with urgency in their voice. "Wake up, you're having a nightmare." Agott gasped as consciousness overcame her, sitting up in bed eyes now wide open. Flashes of the nightmare raced through her head: failing at magic, her mother's disappointment, being unable to escape. She shuddered at the memory.

"W-what," Agott looked at Coco. Instead of the usual cheerful expression, Coco held a look of concern.

"You were having a nightmare but you weren't waking up. Are you okay?"

"I'm fine. Go back to sleep." The words came out harsher than Agott would've liked.

As usual, Coco stood her ground and stayed stood next to her bed. "Do you want to talk about it?" Coco echoed what Agott had asked the week before. Agott had always admired Coco's ability to stand by her morals. To never take anyone's word as the final verdict. To always do what she thought was right even if it made Agott want to shake some sense into her once in a while.

Her nightmare flashed through her mind again, causing Agott to tense where she sat. "No. Definitely no."

"That's okay. Can you go back to sleep?" Coco asked gently. Agott never liked being treated like she was delicate. She found it condescending. But somehow, whenever Coco talked softly to her, she didn't mind. Coco didn't view her as a troublesome child in need of discipline and needing to be talked down to.

Agott could only shake her head in a hurried no.

Coco stared at her for a moment. Agott stared right back and could see the cogs starting to turn in her head. A minute passed before a blush appeared on her cheeks.

Wait. "What?"

Coco blushed even harder. "It's nothing, stupid idea is all." Agott looked on, unimpressed. Coco sighed.

"Um, okay." Coco steeled her nerves. "As a kid, when I got nightmares, my mum would let me sleep in her bed. Having a person I felt comfortable and safe with next to me helped me fall back asleep."

Agott could only stare on, mouth dropped slightly open.

"Like I said! It's a stupid idea. Obviously, you wouldn't be comfortable with that. Well maybe you would but not with me. You'd probably be more comfortable with Tetia or Richeh. I'll just go back to bed." Coco spun around and started moving back to her side of the room.

"Coco." Coco didn't stop walking. "Coco!" Agott called out and Coco finally turned back around.

"You just assumed like three different things about me. None of which are true."

"No? Which parts?"

"Yes, I would feel comfortable with someone sleeping beside me; and no, I wouldn't feel comfortable with Tetia or Richeh."

Coco blinked. "Oh."

"However, I would feel comfortable sharing a bed with you."


"Yeah. I'm okay with it if you're okay with it."

"I wouldn't have suggested it if I wasn't." Coco smiled gently. "Now scooch over."

Agott did as she was told and moved over so she was against the wall. She lifted the edge of her blanket. Coco followed so the two were now lying side by side on their backs, unsure of themselves.

Agott wasn't stupid. She knew she never liked boys the way the other girls did. She had caught herself staring at pretty girls more times than she could count. She knew she wanted to be close with a girl the way others were with the boys. She knew this about herself and she was perfectly fine with it, loved it even. But this? Actually laying next to a girl, who was very pretty (she would never tell anyone), and wanted to help her with her nightmare? This made it too real. She felt like her heart was going to explode.

Coco always wants to help everyone no matter what. Apparently, even she wasn't an exception. Even though Agott acted horribly towards her when they first met. Agott really admired that about her. She makes me want to be a better witch.

The mattress flexed as Coco turned to face Agott. Agott turned her head to look at her. "You can close your eyes," Coco places a hand on Agott's shoulder and squeezes. "I'm here to protect you now." Agott smiled at that.

"Thank you, Coco, for everything." Coco goes to pull her hand away but Agott stops her and holds it in her own.

"Sorry, I just- That felt nice." Agott felt a blush cover her entire face.

It was Coco's turn to blush. "It's fine, more than fine. Don't worry about it."

Hands held together, they adjust themselves. Agott on her back, Coco on her side, hands between their heads.

"Goodnight, Coco," Agott whispered.

"Goodnight, Agott."

The pair soon fell into a deep sleep, both hoping that when they awoke the other would still be there, holding the other's hand.

humanoid cat with a witches hat