(Still want more Markimoo? Of course, you do! Sorry for the lateness, BTW. Real-life things happen, sometimes, which get in the way of the fun, fannish stuff. Just… make sure you have a few tissues ready. I’m getting a little misty-eyed from having written this.)
Mark looked down at you trembling on the couch. You had curled up into a foetal ball and were muttering quietly to yourself. Your gaze eventually darted up to meet his, and your face reddened from the shame at appearing so weak.
He opened his mouth to say something, but apparently thought the better of it. His mouth snapped shut and he walked away.
Your heart sank. He was leaving you alone. But it’s no less than you deserve, a voice that wasn’t really a voice at all hissed in the back of your mind. No, it was a dreadful knowing that needled at you. You’re a burden. He’ll get tired of you, if he hasn’t already. They all will. You deserve to be alone. You’re weak. You’re nothing.
You curled up into yourself even tighter, squinching your eyes shut and trying to fight back the tears. So inured were you in the pain, in the fear of your isolation, that you didn’t hear the sound of footsteps.
But you felt it when a strong, warm pair of hands lovingly draped a blanket around your shoulders. You looked up and saw Mark’s gentle, patient expression.
“I’m not gonna pretend I know everything that’s going on inside your head,” he said, his voice quieter than his usual vivacious self. “And I’m not gonna act like me being a loud idiot telling stupid jokes is magically gonna fix all the hurt you feel. And I’m not gonna tell you to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, and think positive. Because sometimes… you just can’t.
“But I want you to know… whatever bad things your illness is telling you… it’s not true. None of it. And you’re not alone. I know you’re hurting… and I want to make it hurt less. I want to help you get through it.
“I may not understand everything you feel. But I want to. And I’m proud to know how amazing a person you are. Whatever happens, I’ll love you through it.”
You grip the blanket with one hand and, without really thinking about it, you lean into his embrace. It may not be a perfect solution, but it’s enough to know he’s there and that he loves you.
You don’t deserve him. But you don’t have to. He cares, and that’s all there is to it. No arguments, no room for debate. He’s decided, and his heart is set on you.
He wraps his arms a little tighter around you, and his words gently insinuate themselves in your head, briefly quieting the noise of the hell in your mind.
Whatever happens, I’ll love you through it.