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Anxiety

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You were home sitting on the couch and watching Mad Max on a lazy day. It was Sunday and you were incredibly bored. Kal-El was next to you on the ground, silently napping. It was a good day. Until Henry got home.

He had been off all morning before he went to the gym and decided not to take Kal-El with him even as you insisted he took the dog with him. The brunette had stayed out for hours. More time than he usually stayed out on the gym. You thought none of it. Sometimes he disappeared like that to run or have a pint with friends. It wasn’t unusual and you didn’t wanted to be a clingy girlfriend anyways.
As soon as he walked through the door you knew something was up. You paused the movie and Kal-El raised his head. His ears were perked up. Something was definitely up. Henry looked tired and a mess. His hair was disheveled and he was sweating, staining his grey cotton shirt.

- Babe, what’s wrong? – As soon as you asked this it was like a dam broke inside him. Henry dropped himself on the couch and started to hyperventilate. – HENRY!

Both you and Kal-El ran towards him. The dog caressing his feet and calves and you on your knees in front of him grabbing his big hands into your tiny ones. Henry’s anxiety attacks had subdued since he met you but he wasn’t cured. Anything could trigger an attack and it had never the same reactions. Sometimes it was sweating or lack of air, trembling, nausea… He usually had them on planes but it wasn’t unusual for it to happen anywhere really. And sometimes it didn’t had an explanation so you never asked what had trigged it. If Henry knew he would tell you, if he didn’t he would stay silent. This one was bad though. It was a combination of the lack of air, trembling and palpitations.

- Breath, Henry. – You were attached to his hand like a leech and was exhaling and inhaling deeply while looking into his eyes. Physically Henry was super healthy so he didn’t had an inhaler because physically he didn’t need them. – You have to breathe, baby! Try to inhale and exhale slowly.

His fair skin was flushed and his eyes were filled with unshed tears. You hated seeing him like this.

- Kal-El is here, look! – You tried a different technique and the dog looked at the both of you. You pulled one of Henry’s hands into Kal-El’s fur and stayed with one on your hands.

He seemed to calm down a bit, managing to pull sharp breaths between his lips in hard intakes. You caressed his jaw, constantly encouraging him and breathing along with him. His eyes looked lost and broken and you almost shed a tear or two at the way he looked. But this wasn’t about you, it was about him. Kal-El had scurried off to get his medicine when he realized Henry wasn’t improving that much and left the two of you alone. His breathing was still very harsh and his heart felt like bursting under the palm of your hand so in a desperate act to disperse the rush of adrenalin cursing through his body because of fear, you kissed him in a last attempt to calm him down. You had never done that before and you were sure it wasn’t going to work. The kiss was open mouthed, kinda wet and weird with no tongue. It felt more like a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation than a kiss but it worked. Whatever the trigger had been, kissing you had calmed Henry down slowing his breathing. His heart was still racing but for completely different reasons.

Soon he was able to reciprocate the kiss, this time closing his mouth and enjoying the lip mouthed kiss. It wasn’t the time for big and cinematographic kisses. Henry felt a nudge on his leg and dragged his lips out of yours to look at Kal-El. The dog was carrying the orange package of his prescription and he gave a watery chuckle at the scene. Henry grabbed the medicine and patted Kal-El’s head.

- Thanks mate. – His voice was rough. It felt like he’d been screaming for two weeks straight. He opened the encasing and popped a pill into his mouth, dry swallowing and wincing.

Then he looked at you. He hated this feeling of letting you down every time he had an attack. He thought of letting you go innumerous times because of it but he was too selfish to let you go. Besides you wouldn’t let him do it either.

- I’m sorry, baby. – He whispered, ashamed.

You took his face into your hands and made him look into your eyes. Those beautiful blue eyes (without counting the speck of brown on the left one) were filled with sorrow. They were tired too. Tired of seeming never getting better no matter how hard he tried.

- There’s nothing to apologize for. – You gave him an esquimo kiss. – I love you, Henry. Never forget that.

He kissed your lips slightly and rested his forehead into yours.

- Thank you for helping me. – He gave a tired smile. – Thank you for loving me even with all my flaws. I love you too.

- I don’t think this is a flaw. It’s something to cope with. Everybody has a trait they don’t like. Yours is your anxiety. It makes who you are even if it’s bad. And I love you just the way you are. So even with your “flaws” you’re still perfect to me. And I’ll never stop loving you because of it.

He chuckled.

- There it goes this trigger then.

You looked at him confused.

- This panic attack was brought by my own insecurity. I started having a crisis while I was thinking of having another crisis and you leaving me because of it. I guess my fears were half true. I had a crisis in front of you but you didn’t left me.

- I’ll never will. - You kissed him with all your love and pulled him to cuddle with you on the couch, kissing his temple as you did it and tasting the salt of his skin.

- Baby I’m gross. I should take a shower. – He mumbled against your chest but didn’t get up.

- You’re tired now. Sleep. I’ll prepare a bath to you later with some bath bombs. – He gave a happy sigh while you caressed his damp hair and played with his hand.

You both fell asleep minutes later with Kal-El on your feet watching over the two of you.