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dark paradise

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Today is one of the those days where getting out of bed feels like the greatest hassle. Everything is heavy and hot, the world is spinning yet it feels like a dead weight on his shoulders. He doesn’t know what is right or wrong or up from down, all he knows is this one feeling, the feeling of a warm hand threading through his bleached hair so gently and softly that he feels he may crumble from the touch itself.

With all his might he tries to turn and face Robbe but he can’t. He wants to but his body won’t let him, his mind is telling him nothing is worth it, that he isn’t worth it and it only frustrates him more. But why would Robbe still be here then? He knows everything, he’s seen it all and he’s still here. That must mean something.

As if Robbe can hear the gears in Sanders mind turn he puts his book down and curls into him. "Guess what?" He murmurs, voice quiet and smooth as always, looking down at him as he continues to thread his warm fingers through Sanders hair.

There isn’t much Sander is able to muster up. He wants to tell Robbe he loves him, that he’s listening and wants to speak as loud as he can on his love. To stand atop the highest building and shout his profound love for him. But all he can muster is a hum while his eyes are slowly blinking.

"I’m still here." He says simply, and at this point it really shouldn’t surprise Sander that Robbe can read his mind but it does.

The next time he blinks, his eyes don’t feel so heavy. The next time he inhales and exhales, the air feels clear.

Robbe can feel Sander start to relax, his body going limp as he kisses his tousled hair and moves off the bed. He rounds it until he’s on Sanders side and finally looking at his face. "Mhm.. how about a bath?" Robbe asks, kneeling beside the bed. "As much as I love your hair, the grease is starting to turn me on and I don’t know if that’s a good thing." He teases, raising an eyebrow in lieu of getting his point across.

The small smile that starts to break through Sanders face telling him it does just that a he gives him a slow nod. Even in moments like this, Robbe can see the fire behind the eyes he fell for. He can feel the spark every time their skin touches and most importantly he can read Sanders thoughts, the ones he can’t speak out but he can feel them anyways.

He moves to stand, slowly taking the blanket off and grabbing his hands. He pulls him up as Sander moves his feet to the floor. The cool sensation of the wooden floors sending a jolt through his body as he clenches his hands together.

"Here." Robbe says, placing his hands palm up in front of Sander. He lays his over top in his time until Robbe moves them above his hand. Tugging his shirt off over his head and through his arms, letting it fall to the floor. He moves Sanders hands back down, running his fingers through the bleached locks once more, unable to stop himself from touching Sander- reassuring him of the truth. Of the now.

He discards his own shirt quickly along with his socks and sweats, leaving him in his boxers as he places his hands out once again. “Come.”  He whispers, for all he knows Sander is done trying, he’s ready to lay back down and rest and Robbe will tell him that’s fine. He’ll kiss his forehead and tuck him back in, tell him he’s fond of the grease anyways and make him breakfast. But instead Sander places his hands over Robbes and pulls himself up. Making their way to the bathroom and shutting the door. He lets Sander sit on the closed toilet seat and just as he turns to go grab his phone he feels himself being pulled back.

He turns to see Sander holding his wrist, his grip isn’t all that firm but he can feel it’s taking everything in him to do so. He hears him sniffle and before he knows it his head is falling, shaking slowly.

"Hey. Hey, Sander." He falls to his knees in between his legs, hands moving to cup his cheeks. "What is it?"

"I- I’m sorry, Robbe." He stutters, voice breaking and his eyes starting to pool.

Robbe pauses, his heart breaking at the sound of Sander sounding so small. "Should I apologize too?" Robbe replies to which Sander willingly moves his head to look into Robbes eyes. His brows knitted together in confusion. "You’re apologizing for being yourself. I guess I should too, it’s only fair." Robbe tilts is his head, his own eyes starting to get misty. He’ll remind Sander to never apologize for being the man he is, whether it is twice a day or once a month, he’ll be there and he’ll remind him.

He can hear Sander exhale rather loudly, his shoulders slouching the smallest bit and hands moving to wrap around Robbes shoulders. "What did I do to deserve you, mijn liefste." He whispers, moving to rest his forehead against Robbes.

"Croques.." Robbes says in the silence and it is in this sweet moment that another puzzle piece finds it way to click into their life. As Sanders teeth start to show and the tears spill.

Robbe moves his hands down to unbuckle Sanders belt and undo his button. He shifts to plug the drain and fill it with warm water, before standing and ridding the rest of their clothes. Luckily Sanders phone is in his pocket so he turns it on low volume and plays Space Odity before setting it aside. He gets in behind Sanders and wraps his arms around his torso.

The feeling as though they have melted together, breathing in sync while Sanders head falls back, fitting perfectly together.

"You know... in some universe Robbe is getting down on one knee for Sander right now." He mumbles after a long, comfortable silence.

"Why not Sander?" Sander asks, tilting his head to look up at Robbe. His bottom lip jutted and looking like a complete puppy.

"Because it’s time for Sander to be in the spotlight." He breathes, bumping their noses together. "And Robbe can brag to everyone that he proposed." He adds with a grin, lightening the moment.

Sander shakes his head, overwhelmed with love and feeling his stomach start to pool with an unfathomable amount of need for this man. "In some universe.. Robbe and Sander are old, have been married for so many years they don’t even remember."

"No, no. Sander is old, Robbe is still young." Robbe corrects, hands rubbing up and down Sanders chest. He brings his hands up to push through the messy hair. "Close your eyes, old man." He jokes and Sander does just that, feeling the water wash his face with gentle fingers.

Robbe shampoo and conditions his hair, lettting the pads of his fingers massage Sanders scalp and mind. Quiet promises of I’m here, I love you, it’s okay being whispered along his neck and into his mouth. He washes him throughout, scrubbing his back and chest, getting out to scrub his legs too until he washes him down and wraps him in a towel. Not putting much attention on showering himself, he knows he can do that later. He throws a towel on too and leads them to his bedroom, placing the phone on the table as another Bowie song filters the air.

He finds a clean pair of boxers and sweats and places them on the bed before moving around to find one of his own sweaters as well. He sees Sander pulling his boxers up with a struggle until he finally does with a huff. "Fuck, Robbe. I- I can’t do this..." He sounds frustrated and disappointed and Robbe doesn’t give it a second longer before he’s standing in front of him again, pulling his chin softly to have him look up.

"Minute by minute. Robbe reminds him, locking their eyes together and taking that moment to breathe. "You’ll try again tomorrow." He says before grabbing the pants and sweaters and pulling them on. He throws on clothes for himself just as quick before sitting beside Sander.

“I’m scared you won’t be here tomorrow..” He breathes, letting his head fall on Robbes shoulder. “Everytime I close my eyes I don’t know if I’ll see you again.”

Sander.. I am here today, tomorrow. When you close your eyes to dream and-”

“And?” Sander whispers, moving his head to look up at him from his position. He looks so innocent and soft, all doe eyed and Robbe finds himself falling all over again.

“And what is it that you said?” He wonders quietly, leaning forward to press their lips together in a slow, warm kiss. “Ik houd je vast en laat nooit lo, baby.

I’m holding onto you and never letting go.

And of course Sander remembers it. He remembers his stomach churning then and the same is happening now.

So when he lays down, curled into his other half once again, he lets himself settle in the fact that this is a new minute and the only constant since the very first minute is that Robbe is indeed still here.