Written for my anxious nonny, as a special request. I also did a similar prompt featuring Dark back in September. You can read that one here. Trigger warnings are on that one and this one for obvious reasons.
Mark pounds his fist on the bathroom door. “Hey, you’re holding up the works! Some people have to pee, ya know!”
You immediately scramble to remove the evidence of what you’ve done, face growing hot with panic at what you have to hide. It’s funny in a sad sort of way; you don’t want him to know because you don’t want to hurt him, but won’t give yourself the same courtesy.
You tug your shirt sleeves down, and open the door. Mark is briefly frozen with his hand in the air to knock again. He frowns. “Hey, are you okay?”
“I’m fine,” you mumble, sliding past him as quickly as you can.
He darts into the bathroom, then immediately comes back out. “Babe? Did you hurt yourself?”
You jolt, feeling instantly cornered. Did he know?!
“I saw a little blood on the sink. You didn’t get hurt, did you?”
“Um… no. No, I’m fine.”
His countenance is a study in skepticism. “Uh-huh. Now I know you’re lying.”
You self-consciously tug on one of your sleeves. Unfortunately, he’s far more alert than you have given him credit for, and he definitely notices your awkwardness. He’s got that deep in thought look that he usually gets when figuring out a particularly difficult puzzle… and he’s beginning to put the pieces together.
“Mind if I see your arm a quick sec?”
You shake your head. His almond-shaped eyes narrow, and he gently but quickly grabs your hand. He pulls your sleeve up, revealing your private shame – the series of shallow lines carved into your flesh.
“Ah, jeez,” he mutters.
“It’s nothing,” you whisper, jerking your arm away.
His clear bourbon-hued eyes are welling with worry for you, his brows drawn together in troubled contemplation. You only just started getting into a more serious relationship with him, and you’ve never seen him looking… so quietly upset as this.
“I think you should go to the hospital, babe.”
You shake your head frantically.
“Okay then. No hospital. Will you at least let me patch you up a bit?”
A moment’s hesitation, but then you nod.
“Okay.” He gently steers you to the couch. “Stay put. I’ll be back in a jiff.”
For the brief moment he’s gone, your thoughts turn miserable again. This is it, you think. I’m a pathetic loser, and now he knows it and he’s gonna dump me.
“No, I won’t.”
You jump, startled once again. “Did… did I say that out loud?”
“Yeah, you did.” He drops the first aid kit on the couch, and sits next to you. “And I get it, why you do this to yourself. Kinda. You’re having a rough time and… this is sort of a way for you to deal, right? But it’s also you punishing yourself.”
He continues as he opens the first aid kit, rifling through to find the necessary items. “Babe, you haven’t done anything to punish yourself for. You’re not a bad person. If you were, I wouldn’t be here with you now.”
He gently takes your hand and pulls up the sleeve again. “Is it just the one arm, or both?”
“Just the one today.”
He looks even more worried, if possible, as he gently dabs the hydrogen peroxide against your cuts. You hiss softly at the sharp tingling sensation.
“Look, we both know that basically the entire frickin’ world knows me as a goofy goober with no indoor voice… But you know you can talk to me when shit gets a little too real, right? If you’ve got something on your mind, I’ve got the time for you. I’ll give you all the hugs and the smooches you need till you feel better.”
“It’s stupid. You shouldn’t have to go through this trouble for me.”
His look is something akin to a glare, but not as severe. “Hey, let me be the judge of what qualifies as trouble for me, okay? I’m a big boy. I can take it.
“Besides, I’d be a lousy boyfriend if I didn’t love you when you need it the most. And I do. Tons. Oodles of tons! There’s no scale big enough to weigh the metaphorical mass of my love for you!” He feigns a growl at you, and you giggle in spite of yourself. “So, don’t you ever doubt it! The awesomeness of my feelings cannot be contained!”
He quiets again, and adds more seriously, “But really. You are a beautiful, amazing person and I’m crazy about you.”
You burst into tears. It’s not the first time you’ve ever cried, but it is the first time you’ve shed happy tears. No one’s ever said something so wonderful to you before. “You… you think I’m beautiful?”
“Abso-tively!” he replies firmly. “And it kills me inside to know you’re hurting.”
You nod, brushing the saltwater away with your free hand. He gently winds the gauzy bandaging around your arm and, after applying the medical tape to keep it in place, he reaches up to tuck back the lock of hair that fell in front of your eyes.
“Promise me that, when you feel like you want to hurt yourself, you’ll come talk to me. No matter where I am, no matter what I’m doing, it’s not as important to me as you being happy and healthy. Pinky promise?”
He holds his hand up, fingers in a fist except for the pinkie.
You nod and interlock your pinky with his. “I promise.”
“‘Kay.” He closes the first aid kit and drops it onto the coffee table. Then he pulls you into a hug, his strong arms binding you tenderly into his warm embrace.
“I love you, babe.”
A real smile begins to form on your lips. “I love you too.”