It was alarming, really, how easy it was becoming to push Jon away. Whenever his emotions start to roll in, Martin can easily start slipping into the hazy static of The Lonely. What once was a great, gaping hole, was not nothing more than a pang in his chest. He had to do this; for Jon, and if that meant losing himself, then so be it.
Martin could tell that Peter was preparing to put the plan into motion, and so with a heavy heart, Martin told his story to the tape recorder. Jon had to know why Martin did what he did, so he could move on with his life once Martin was gone.
It was as Martin stood there, staring at Lukas, who had his arm outstretched, beckoning him forward, that Jon burst through the door to his office. His hair was askew and his eye bags were much more prominent than usual. His clothing hung off him a bit, as though Jon wasn’t eating, and knowing the man's self-care habits, Martin wasn’t sure that Jon actually was eating. Jon's eyes were wild and they instantly fell onto Martin.
As though he were breathing a sigh of relief, Jon quietly whispered, “Martin.”
No. It wasn’t supposed to go this way. Jon was supposed to get the tape once Martin had already left, because no matter how hard he tried, Martin couldn't quite quench the feeling that would build up inside every time Jon spoke. Taking a deep breath and drawing on the Lonely, Martin spoke.
“What are you doing here, Jon?” The man in question let out a choked sob as the chill of Martin's words hit him. In a normal situation, Martin would feel pity for Jon, standing there like a puppy who had just been kicked, but right now, Martin just wanted Jon to leave. “I told you to stay away.”
Beyond all reason, Jon took a step forward, and moved a shaky hand to rub across his face.
“I know, an-and I tried to listen, but- whatever you’re doing, whatever Peter has told you, it can't be the only way. It can't.”
Martin wished that things could be different, he really did. He hated seeing Jon this way, standing there hopeless, eyes brimming with unshed tears. He wanted nothing more than to reach out and hold Jon close, fear entities be damned, but if he did that, then sooner or later, danger would find itself crawling towards Jon, and Martin couldn’t let that happen. Never again. He let Jon go off once and it literally cost him his life. Looking him directly in the eye, Martin strengthened his resolve.
“I have to do this Jon.” He wanted to turn his back, to turn towards Peter Lukas, whose hand was still outstretched, and leave emotions behind forever, but something made him hesitate. Jon seemed close to breaking, and Martin longed to reach out and stroke his cheek softly.
“Martin, please, I-” and then, Jon stopped. Two shots rang out, and all Martin heard was ringing. He opened his mouth and watched with growing horror as two red stains began to grow on Jons chest. Peter had moved towards the man in the doorway, saying something that Martin couldn't make out against all the ringing in his ears, and the sight of Jon slowly tilting towards the ground. With no hesitation, Martin found himself diving towards Jon, and catching the small man in his arms before he hit the ground. Instantly, his hands were slick.
Martin hardly noticed when Peter took the man away, his gaze was latched onto Jon and the growing puddle that was staining everything. Somehow, both bullets managed to go through Jon, and land somewhere in the room, although Martin wasn’t sure where. Silently, Martin thanked whatever spooky healing abilities Jon had, since he should have been killed instantly, although he would be dead soon at this rate anyways.
It was at this point that Martin noticed Jon trying to move away, and sit up, his eyes dazed and confused.
“God, Jon, stop moving, just- uh - please. I need to phone an ambulance, right.” His voice was high and shrill, just skirting the edge of hysterics. Martin had to choke back tears as we watched Jon attempt to say something, but no words came out. Instead, bright red blood came out of his mouth, and dripped down his chin. Well, thought Martin a hysterical laugh bubbling in his throat, that can't be good.
Thankfully, Martin took a first aid class a few years prior in uni, and he recalled the basics such as applying pressure to the wound. With shaking hands, Martin slowly lowered Jon the rest of the way to the ground. He couldn’t apply pressure very well with Jon cradled against his body.
Jon's eyes moved down, and widened as he took in the two holes that were currently in his chest. Suddenly, he started jerking against Martin, trying to push the hands keeping his blood in away from his body.
Martin shuddered, attempting to choke back tears and failing. “Jon, you just got- got shot twice. I- I need to stop the bleeding, please just. Hold on.” He pressed harder, distantly hearing the voice of the 999 operator in the background. His main focus was on Jon. Jon, the man he loved, the man he pushed away, the man who hardly knew he existed.
Jon’s eyes were filled with pain, but he started at Martin with an intense gaze. His hair was fanned against his head, the grey more prominent now than it ever was. Martin let out a pained snort, even dying, Jon was beautiful. Martin hadn’t truly seen Jon in months. He looked tired, and thinner than he was before. Silently, Martin cursed Peter Lukas, Elias, and the whole institute.
He watched as Jon tried yet again to force words out of his throat, but he was met with the same results. Blood, dripping out of his mouth and staining his chin.
Martin heard footsteps running down the hall, and soon Daisy and Basira burst into the room.
“We heard gunshots wh- oh Christ.” They stood in horror for a moment, before their police training took over and they fell to their knees besides Martin, pushing his hands out of the way so they could take over.
With nothing better to do, Martin moved so that he could hold Jons head in his hands, and run his fingers through Jons hair. It’s something he’s always wanted to do, but thought he would never be able to. He panicked for a moment as he watched Jon's eyes drift shut, and gently tried to get Jon to focus on him, on his voice, on his hands running through Jons hair, on anything.
“Come on, Jon. You’ve been kidnapped by literal fear monsters, don’t let a human be the end of you. Please, Jon,” his voice cracked, “I need you.” Martin was whispering, and he wasn’t sure if Jon could actually hear him, but there was nothing more he could do.
Slowly, Jon tilted his head, so that he could make eye contact with Martin again. He turned his tearful eyes to face Jon, and noticed with surprise, a determined glint staring back. Martin felt the world around him grow distant as his gaze focused solely on Jon, as though his will alone could keep the man alive.
Suddenly, a faint warmth began to fill the air around the two men, and Martin felt his eyes widen as he realized the warmth was coming from Jon. It was pushing outwards, and Martin felt himself soaking in all the warmth and - and love? Jon- loved him? Information slowly started pouring into Martin, and he had no idea how. It must have been Jons spooky eye powers, but before he could fully grasp what was happening, he felt Jon slacken in his grip.
Hesitantly, he looked down and notices Jons half lidded eyes staring at him, a small smile etched onto his face. He could see Jons eyes drifting shut, he could see Jon slowly slipping away, and he wanted to make sure Jon could go knowing he was loved. Shakily Martin sucked in a deep breath and whispered,
“it’s okay, Jon, I know. I- I love you too.” He sobbed as he watched Jons smile grow then fall as his body began to shudder. “Please Jon, please, I - I love you so much; I always have. Please just stay with me. Jon? Please please please please. I love you I love you IloveyouIloveyou.” His begging did nothing, and Martin watched Jon close his eyes, possibly for the last time. He was still radiating warmth and love.
Martin was still sitting there, cradling Jons head while sobbing and whispering loving words, when the paramedics stormed in and pushed him away. After that, everything became a blur. Martin vaguely remembered Daisy grabbing his arm and ushering him away and into the bathroom where she proceeded to clean him of the blood that had gotten everywhere. Blood. Jons blood. Numbly, he changed into some of the clothes he had stashed away in the institute, he hadn’t been leaving much lately, never- really.
Daisy drove Martin to the hospital, and made sure he was comfortable in the waiting room while she went off to grab him a tea. Martin didn’t care, he couldn’t feel anything besides the cold that had filled up the place where Jon had shoved his love. He could fade into the Lonely; get away from his emotions and people and life, but Jon was still alive- probably- and he couldn’t leave him anymore. You can't be in the Lonely if you’re in love, after all.
Martin sat there for hours, watching people filter in and out of the waiting room, before finally, a doctor came up to him.
“Are you here for Mr. Sims? He has a Martin Blackwood listed as his emergency contact.” Martin was momentarily taken aback, Jon had him as his emergency contact? He blinked a couple times before choking out,
“Ye-yeah, that’s me. How’s Jon?”
“Well, Mr. Sims lost quite a bit of blood, not to mention suffering from a collapsed lung. Luckily, the second bullet didn’t hit anything vital, so he managed to pull through. He’s in the ICU if you want to see him, but we’re not sure if he’ll make it through the night. We lost him three times, once in the ambulance, and twice on the table, so it’s all up to chance at this point. We just have to wait and see if his body can repair itself after sustaining all that damage. We’re keeping him sedated and on a ventilator so there isn’t too much strain put on his body at once.” The doctor finished and looked from his clipboard to Martin, “I can take you to him now.”
The man then led Martin through a pair of class doors, and to a small curtained area where a single hospital bed was stationed. Martin gazed at Jon, and couldn’t hold back the few tears that forced themselves out of his eyes. Jon was a small man, but laying in the hospital bed, he looked positively tiny. Wires crept outwards from his body, and a ventilator was breathing for Jon instead of the man breathing himself. All in all, it took everything in Martin to not burst into tears at the sight of him.
With a shaky breath, Martin pulled up a chair besides Jon’s bed, and planned to wait out whatever was coming next.
It had been days since Jon had been shot, and Martin’s back ached as he sat in the uncomfortable hospital chair next to his bed. The doctors were fairly confident that he would wake up at some point and had even removed the ventilator, but Martin was trying not to get his hopes up; just in case. He was in the midst of reading his favorite poetry book, a habit he had developed to calm his nerves when he was younger, when he heard the soft beats of Jons heart monitor change rhythm.
At first, Martin panicked, afraid that Jons heart was finally giving out and that he was going to lose the man forever, but soon he saw Jons face shift, contorting into his usual grimace. Martin hesitantly reached out and picked up Jons hand, urging the man to finally wake up, but, as much as he wanted Jon to wake, there was a soft nagging plaguing Martin's mind.
What if Jon didn’t actually like him, and it was just a spur of the moment revelation? What if it was a friendly love, and not something deeper?
When he saw Jon crack open his eyes, Martin could have cried. He knew he looked like a mess, considering he had been on and off crying for the past few days, and hadn’t had a proper shower since the attack, but he allowed himself to give Jon a tentative smile.
“Thank God. Don’t- don’t you ever do something like that again. I-” He broke off with a sob, clutching loosely at Jons hand. He watched as Jons face softened, before Martin felt Jons hand give his a soft squeeze. He opened his mouth and attempted to speak a few words, but only got part way through his sentence before Martin was launching himself at Jon, and crashing their lips together.
The angle was a bit awkward, and Martin started to pull away realizing how foolish it was of him to just kiss Jon; but as he tried to pull away, he felt Jon softly cup his cheek in his hand, and pull Martin back into a kiss. Martin knelt on the bed and angled his head, perfecting the deep kiss.
His face was flush and he was a bit out of breath by the time Jon pulled back, just enough so that he could speak, but close enough for Martin to feel his warm breath against his lips.