“It’s you for me”.
Those four words bounced endlessly around Bonnie’s mind as she tried and failed to force herself to sleep. She was so sorely tempted to steal down the hallway and into Frank’s arms so she could salvage a few hours of rest but it had felt like too much of a risk the last few weeks. He would hold her tight without question, and say nothing when she untangled their bodies and crept away wordlessly in the morning, but she was becoming increasingly worried about everything falling apart. Whether she was scared of hurting him by not giving him clarity about their future, or hurting herself by trusting him only for him to leave her again, she wasn’t yet sure.
There were so many things she was so unsure of now. The emotions, memories and thoughts she was suppressing in order to function were fast growing in number and intensity. Several black holes in her mind and heart threatened to pull her in if she dared to venture near them. Annalise’s court case. Ron’s innocence. Asher’s death.
And then there was Frank. Frank who had held her steady through it all while being equally broken himself. Thinking about that too hard never led to a good nights sleep. So she buried it somewhere beneath the surface of her consciousness.
She turned to her bedside locker, blinking bleary eyed at the phone screen informing her that it was 2 a.m. She had to be up in five hours. She let out a deep sigh and threw her duvet off of herself. She was too warm and too worked up and there was a good chance she’d lie there all night with no sign of sleep arriving. So instead she pulled herself up and made her way quietly out of the room. She padded gently down the stairs and into the kitchen. Running her wrists under the cold kitchen tap was such a relief that she considered running herself a shower but decided against making so much noise. She settled for screwing her eyelids shut and keeping her hands under the cool stream.
Frank’s voice was rough with sleep and concern and Bonnie jumped out of her skin at the sound of it. She hadn’t heard him come down the stairs. He held his palms towards her in a non threatening gesture instinctively, looking guilty at having startled her.
Her eyes softened and she nodded in answer to his question. She could feel her heart rate slowing and she let her body slowly relax.
“Bad dream?” he asked. He stayed stood by the counter, sensing her unease and not entering her space. She was touched by how well he knew her, but didn’t dare tell him she would rather he gathered her close to him this time.
“Didn’t manage to get to that part yet”, she answered. Her voice sounded hollow and tired even in her own ears. She turned and filled a glass to the brim with water, not daring to look at, what she knew was, his pity filled gaze.
Instead she stared absentmindedly at the water as it overflowed and Frank eventually leaned over to turn off the tap. He carefully removed the glass from her hand and placed it on the island beside them.
She didn’t flinch at his movements and he chanced placing a warm steady hand on her own frozen ones.
“They’re so cold”, he muttered. Taking it upon himself to warm them between his own.
She didn’t answer but didn’t pull away and they stayed like that until her hands were warm and her silence unnerved him enough to push him to fill it.
“Talk to me?”
Her eyes brimmed with tears that she refused to let fall as she shook her head and finally met his eyes. His hands had stilled and now his thumbs caressed the back of her hands so gently it was as if he was unaware of them moving.
“I’m okay”, she said eventually, pulling her hands back towards her chest. He took a step back but continued to look at her unconvinced. Curse him and his ability to read her like a book.
“I don’t think I can think, never mind talk about any of it right now”, she admitted quietly.
Frank nodded and appeared lost in thought for a moment.
“Wait here, I’ll go run a bath for you”.
He didn’t wait for her reply before he left her by the sink.
Her breath half caught in her throat at the weight of that gesture and she felt her chest tighten. It didn’t help. Not in the slightest. His offer was so thoughtful and so warming and showed the shocking depth of understanding he had of her but he was half of the reason she was so unsettled in the first place. She couldn’t handle owing him any more than she already did. Letting herself depend on him any more was going to break what was left of her heart when he eventually left.
Not that she didn’t believe he meant the words he had been repeating to her in the weeks since he had ended up in hospital by Xavier’s hand. She knew he himself wholeheartedly believed the words that poured from his mouth so easily. She didn’t doubt his intentions for one second. Unfortunately she couldn’t quite believe that the feelings he was claiming to have would hold up if there was pressure put on them. Namely if Laurel and Christopher returned. It wasn’t any fault of his own. You can’t control who you love. And Bonnie, despite herself, knew deep down that she loved Frank far more than she would ever admit.
She sank to the floor wordlessly, pulling her knees to her chest. She was so so tired of all of this. The idea of just sinking into the warm water was so appealing. Maybe she could be selfish and take one more night of the comfort he offered her.
He crouched down beside her on the floor. She took in the scented foam that dotted his left arm where he’d obviously tested the temperature of the bath and the strength of the feelings that bubbled up again at the sight was like a punch in the gut.
“You don’t have to do this”, she whispered ,”I didn’t mean to wake you, you should go back to bed”.
“I wasn’t asleep”, he lowered his voice and himself so he was sitting on the tiles alongside her. He didn’t seem to feel the need to say anything else. Sitting there with her on the floor was enough for both of them.
“Where did you find the bubble bath?” Bonnie asked eventually, curiosity getting the better of her.
“I thought it was yours”.
Bonnie deflated slightly. Laurel must have left it there before she and Christopher had moved into the new house with the other kids.
“I can run another bath”, he offered, quickly coming to the same realisation she had.
“No”, she replied almost before he had even gotten his sentence out, “it’s fine”.
It was Frank’s turn to deflate then. Bonnie immediately took pity on his dejected expression and hesitantly rested her head on his shoulder.
“It will be perfect”, she added softly, “thank you”.
He ran his fingers in a soothing circle through her hair, trying helplessly to convey something he couldn’t quite seem to get across to her in words.
“It will be freezing if you leave it any longer is what it will be”, he said but didn’t move to remove his hand from her head.
She nodded once, turned her head and pressed a gentle kiss to his cheek before getting up.
“Want me to join-“
Her raised eyebrow stopped him mid sentence.
He looked up at her innocently from the kitchen floor.
“Don’t ruin it”.
Frank smiled at that and she couldn’t help but return it as she left the room.
She heard him getting up and turned around from the bottom step she had just reached.
“I know I haven’t always been here for you the way I should have been and I’m so sorry for that”.
He looked her straight in her eyes so she could see the sincerity of his words reflected in his own.
“But I promise you never have to be as alone as you think you are, I’m right here and I’m not going anywhere”.
She considered his words carefully, not once breaking eye contact with him. She desperately wanted to believe them.
“I might need you to check if the bath is the right temperature before I get in”, she said eventually, taking care to keep her face neutral and serious.
The glow that appeared in his eyes once he caught her meaning warmed a part of her heart that she thought had died a long time ago.
Maybe she was still so unsure of what the future might hold and what disasters may come next. And maybe she was still plagued with guilt and pain and regrets that may never leave her. But as she lay in the still warm bath he had drawn for her, his arms snaked around her midsection and his fingers tracing lazy circles on her wrist, she found herself feeling light enough to drift off. And for the first time in weeks she slept without fear.