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i know it hurts, it's hard to breathe sometimes

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It was not easy, getting used to a human body after spending so long without one. Lloyd’s joints ached- He wasn’t even sure he had those before, they'd never hurt this much to make him aware of their presence. He was still getting used to walking, and stuck near walls to support himself when he stumbled.


Waking up turned out to be another hard bit, nearly as difficult as falling asleep had been. After he adjusted his eyes to the dark room, blinking out the sleepy tears, he stretched his arms. And immediately regretted this, as he was not yet entirely used to his arms, either, and nearly hit a still-sleeping Raven in the head- and quite possibly dislocated his shoulder in the process. 

He quickly righted himself, grabbing onto the bedpost to help pull himself to stand.


He wasn’t faring any better with his legs. His knees buckled when he tried to stand at first, and it took a bit to be able to stand properly. He still staggered a bit, keeping his hand on the wall as he walked across the room. When he let go of the wall, just by the doorway, his legs betrayed him with a sharp, sudden feeling of numbness, and he collapsed, hitting his head against the edge of the doorframe.

He’d almost forgotten he could feel pain now. At least until he felt the sharp sting in his head, and the dull throbbing that followed.


“Lloyd?” He barely registered the quiet voice at first. He heard the mattress shift, and the rustle of sheets and blankets. “Lloyd, are you alright?”


The words didn’t come right away. It had been one of the harder things to relearn, speaking. “I just fell, Ravey. I’m fine.” His head pounded. But what could he do? Admit he was not, in fact, fine? Never.


In the dim light coming into the room, he saw Raven kneel down next to him, a worried expression on his face. And then his hands were on Lloyd’s arms, holding him still. He hadn’t realized he was shaking. “Let's get you off the floor." 


One of his hands moved to the small of Lloyd's back, keeping him steady as he helped him stand. Lloyd faltered a bit, leaning on Raven's shoulder for support. His legs were still shaking. He tried to hide it. "You can go back to bed now, I was just getting up for a glass of water."


"I'll get it for you." Raven's hand stayed on his back, and he turned to walk him back to the bed.


"I can-" Lloyd started to say, and then he fell back against Raven's chest, barely able to hold himself up like that. He gave a defeated sigh, which caught in his throat and came out as more of a quiet sob.


He felt himself being lowered, gently, onto the floor. Raven was still there, next to him, so he leaned on him again, tucking his head into the dip of his shoulder. "You're okay."


Lloyd hadn't registered his own crying until just then. He closed his eyes, trying to stop it, but it hurt, tugging at his chest. He hadn't properly cried in a long time. He'd forgotten how much it hurt, and how annoyed he always felt at his own tears.

He lifted his head, about to apologize, for waking Raven up, for getting his shoulder wet.


But Raven's hand was in his hair, combing through it, and he went quiet. "It's alright." Like he knew what Lloyd was about to say. "You're tired, dear. You get back to bed, I'll get your water."


"I can-" Lloyd struggled to sit up on his knees, using both the wall and his boyfriend as support to get up fully. "I can get it."


Raven stood after him, and caught him as he stumbled again, Lloyd's head falling back against his shoulder. "You hit your head." It wasn't a question. Then he said, "You need to lie down.”


“I’m alright, I can stand.” He cursed under his breath as he stood up, and proceeded to fall back again. He closed his eyes, and sighed, feeling like he might break down. One feeling he hadn’t missed. He wanted to scream.


He knew, of course, that this was irrational. Not having a human body for years meant he had a lot of emotions piled up, that was all. Sensory overload was hitting him hard. He just needed to relax, get that goddamn glass of water.


"Lloyd." Raven's voice was gentle, softer than Lloyd was sure it'd ever been. He held him, keeping him upright. "I'm going to help you back to the bed."


He let his head rest against Raven's shoulder. "Don't need- help," he mumbled, only feeling more tears well up in his eyes. He was close to giving up, and letting himself break down on the bed. 


He did, eventually, give up. He let himself be guided to the bed. He fought the urge to curl up and sob- Something he hadn't done in years and wasn't far from doing now. He wanted to do nothing more than that really, and felt like he wouldn't be able to do anything more, anyway. 


Raven laid down next to him, pulling him against his chest. He closed his eyes, and let out a sob. He tried to speak, to apologize, but it got lost somewhere on the way, and he only cried.


It was nice, he thought, the feeling of being held while he cried. He'd missed it, truthfully. He'd missed the feeling of being held, knowing that someone was right there, holding him, keeping him safe, grounded.


"I'll get your water," Raven said, pulling Lloyd from his thoughts.


He shifted a little, trying to put more weight on top of Raven. "No." He hugged his arms tight against his chest, almost desperate to keep that safe feeling for as long as he could. "Please."


"Okay," Raven said, and that was it. They stayed like that, until Lloyd fell back asleep, letting his thoughts fall away as he drifted off.