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Lean Upon Me (I’ll Lean Upon You)

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Of all the Eternals, Makkari was usually the one of them who spent the majority of her time in a good mood. Druig didn’t think he had ever seen someone as bright and cheerful as her, even if things weren’t always going in her favor. It certainly helped to balance out his grim attitude whenever she was around and she was one of the few who could bring a smile to his face.


So when Makkari locked herself away in her room without saying a word to anyone about it, worry flooded Druig immediately. Granted, for the first day or two, he did give the speedster her space, and respected her privacy. Then day three slowly went by, followed by days four, and five, yet, she was still confined to her room. No one knew what the issue had been, not even Druig. He attempted to reach out to her mentally, gently nudging at her subconscious, but she didn’t answer, and in fact, she even raised her walls of defense just enough as a warning for him to back off without being shut out completely.


An entire week had passed before Druig finally decided to check on his girl. Despite her door being locked, he was the only one who possessed a spare key, and although he’d never had a reason to use it in the past, he figured now warranted it.


Letting himself into her room, he almost gasped at its state. Makkari definitely wasn’t the neatest of them, but he knew how her room normally looked. Everything had its place. Organized chaos in a way. But this wasn’t that. Clothes were scattered across the floor and strewn over chairs. He couldn’t tell what laundry was clean versus dirty. Looking around, his eyes landed on her dresser, plates, still with food, stacked on top of each other. He figured she must’ve grabbed them from outside of her door once he’d left them to have it appear as if she was eating.


Had she really not eaten all week? he thought to himself, concern rising in his chest, and making his heart clench.


Once Druig’s gaze landed on her curled up in the middle of her bed surrounded by blankets and the plushies he’d given to her, he couldn’t bring himself to stop staring. In her hands, he recognized, was one of his hoodies, his favorite dark grey one, actually. Her body shook, quiet sobs barely escaping her, and fresh tears sat on her cheeks, falling over the dried up ones.


Slowly, he approached the bed and knelt down next to it. Even close, her eyes didn’t lift to acknowledge him, but he knew that she knew he was there. Raising a hand, he watched as the movement caught her attention, and her watery gaze sluggishly followed his hand to her ankle. Despite seeing him touch her, it didn’t keep her from instinctively jerking away. He dropped his hand onto the mattress and tried to ignore the pang in his chest her reaction caused, though he figured it wasn’t something to be taken personal.


“I’m sorry I didn’t come sooner,” he signed.


Makkari blinked, but didn’t respond.


Druig swallowed, unsure of what to do because he had never seen her this way. “But I’m here now and I’m not going anywhere.”


That brought a new wave of tears and she squeezed her eyes shut.


He felt utterly useless, so he spent the next hour and a half tidying up, and disposing of the old food, and dirty dishes. By the time he was done, she had stopped crying. He returned to his original spot by her bed.


“I feel so sad and I don’t know why,” she said in his head, eyes focused intently on the tear stains near her on the sheets.


He sighed internally, a hint of relief prodding at his heart. “I’m so sorry, my beautiful.”


The nickname that in most instances would have her smiling only made her chest tighten and her fingers flexed around his hoodie.


“How about I run you a bath and you let me take care of you.”


She nodded and he stood, disappearing into her bathroom. He came back a few minutes later where, suprisingly, he found her sitting up in bed, his hoodie no longer clutched in her hands.


“Can I pick you up?”


Another nod and he was stepping forward to wrap his arms around her and lift her bridal style, carrying her to the bathroom. He helped her undress, zero protest from her part, and lifted her into the tub of warm soapy water.


The red circling Makkari’s eyes and dried tear tracks underneath them, the only remaining evidence of her breakdowns, remained. So taking a washcloth, he dipped it in the water, and gently wiped her cheeks. The action was so tender that she felt her heart seize in her chest. It must’ve shown on her face because Druig paused and his gaze softened. But when she shook her head, he gave her a look of understanding, then continued wiping around her face.


Almost an hour went by before they were finished in the bathroom. A fresh pair of clothes awaited her on the vanity next to the sink and he dressed her. This time, she turned down being carried, instead, just leaning against his side with his arm over her shoulders. When Makkari saw her newly cleaned room, tears welled up in her eyes. Druig felt her sob before hearing it and didn’t hesitate to turn her into him and wrap his arms around her trembling form.


He led them to her bed and didn’t dare let her go even as they laid down. His arms remained secure around her and she tucked her face into his neck.


“My beautiful, beautiful,” he said in her mind, one of his hands stroking her back. “You’re going to be okay. We’ll be okay.”


She didn’t answer him, but he wasn’t expecting her to anyway. He kissed the top of her head.


When Makkari pulled back, for the first time since he’d entered her room hours ago, she met his eyes. Reaching up for his face, she pressed their foreheads together, then nuzzled his nose before kissing him. “Thank you for being here.”


There was no hesitation as he kissed her right back, hands holding her face, and thumbs wiping her tears. “Always.”


They separated and a faint smile quirked at the corner of her lips.


“There’s that smile.” And he couldn’t help but smile right back at her.


But it was quickly replaced by a frown and her brows furrowed together. “I don’t understand what I did to feel this way. It’s not fair.”


“I know.” He agreed, it wasn’t fair, especially for someone as wonderful as her to be feeling this awful. “I wish I could take it all away from you. You don’t deserve to feel like this. I’m sorry.” He paused to stroke her cheek. “What can I do to help you?”


Makkari wished she knew. “For now, you being here with me is kind of helping. I’m glad you came to check on me. I’m sorry for locking myself away and almost shutting you out of my mind. I just needed some space at the time.”


“You don’t have to explain yourself to me or apologize. You don’t feel okay and you wanted time to yourself.” Because the brief glimpse he’d had of her mind after the first few days was heartbreaking. It gave him enough understanding as to why she rose those defensive walls to keep him away. “I shouldn’t have tried to intrude on your privacy like that.”


“I get why you tried. You were worried and that was my fault.”


His lips turned down. Why did she keep blaming herself for things that weren’t her fault? he thought sadly. “My love, none of this is your fault. I promise. I only worry because I care, but I don’t want you blaming yourself for my concern for you.”


“Is everyone else worrying, too?” she asked, hesitance noticeable in the way she signed her question.


“We all love you, you know that right?”


She gave him a tiny nod.


“You’re so beautiful and strong and a total badass. Sometimes even strong people struggle and that’s okay. The fact that you’re sad and struggling right now doesn’t make you any less strong.” Druig kissed her forehead and she exhaled softly, tension oozing from her body. “You don’t have to hide from me. I’m always going to be here no matter what and help you whenever you need it.”


Makkari took one of his hands in her own and interlocked their fingers, then tucked herself against his chest, and closed her eyes. “I love you,” she thought, the words ringing clearly throughout his mind. “I love you. I love you. I love you. Thank you.”


He rested his chin on top of her head as he smiled wide and held her close. “I love you most.”