It was just a cold, he insisted. Not that it mattered. He was used to acting like he wasn’t sick. That’s the thing about having abusive partners. You suppress the undesirable. Patrick was different, David knew he was, But it's hard to get rid of old habits. They were at the store. Patrick was doing some numbers stuff (David couldn’t be bothered to know what.) and he was stocking a new face cream. Then the coughing came.
He struggled to breathe, as he hacked up a lung. He couldn't see, his face was buried in the crook of his arm. A strong hand was on his back, moving in a circular pattern. Once his body calmed down, he took a deep breath and looked into his husband's concerned eyes.
“Jesus David, are you ok?” He hissed through his teeth.
“Yeah sorry. I swallowed wrong.” He lied. Truth be told, he’d been having coughing fits all week. None of that caliber but frequently enough that it was becoming bothersome. Fuck, he sounded like his mother.
“Alright baby.” Patrick mumbled, going back to what he was working on. David grabbed another bottle to put on the shelf, letting (Letting is the wrong word, he didn’t have much of a choice.) his thoughts wander.
When he was sixteen he dated a girl named Kira. She was all wrong for him and they both knew it. It was more complicated than just that. Kira was popular at one point and time, David had never been. She wanted a rebound guy, and David was the only available option. She used him, manipulated him, and treated him like complete and utter garbage. Still he stayed, with the fleeting hope that maybe she really did care. No one else seemed to. He got sick once when they dated. She said he was disgusting. He agreed.
It goes without being said that he doesn't want Patrick to think the same. It’s a miracle he’s stayed this long. These are old thoughts. Untrue. He *knows* that. But there’s still a chance. No matter how small. A risk. One that David isn’t willing to take.