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this hurt that I'm holding's getting heavy

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When Simon wakes up, he knows that it isn’t going to be a good day. After only a few hours of peaceful sleep, he’s woken up before the sunrise by relentless nightmares about anything and everything. The Mage. Ebb. The Humdrum.

(And he knows that the Humdrum can’t physically hurt him anymore, but it seems like trying to fill in the world just made Simon feel more empty.) (Sometimes he thinks he might regret it. Other times he thinks he doesn’t. It’s all a bit complicated, really.)

But aside from the fact that he didn’t sleep, Simon knows that it isn’t going to be a good day because he just feels off. He feels like someone has shifted everything in his head just slightly to the left. It’s all there, but it feels wrong.

(Simon has days like this a lot. He had them before the Humdrum, but he has them much more frequently afterwards. He hates them.)

In all fairness, Simon tries. He forces himself to get up and take a shower, forces himself to eat breakfast. He even makes it as far as the living room before he feels like he’s run out of energy. That’s not to say that he falls asleep – he’s too nervous about what he might see – but he’s not entirely lucid, either.

He exists somewhere between awake and asleep and tries to remember a time that he didn’t feel like this.

(He doesn’t.)

 

“Are you sure he’s okay?” Baz asks Penny. They’re on the phone, and Baz can hear Penny huffing while she tries to run across campus to her next class.

“He wasn’t awake when I left this morning, but as far as I know, nothing’s happened. Why?” She asks in return. Baz sighs.

“He hasn’t answered any of my messages in days.” Baz tries not to take it personally. He doesn’t want to take it personally. He knows how hard it is for Simon to get up some days, let alone find the energy to talk to people and pretend that everything is fine.

(Baz wishes that Simon knew he didn’t have to pretend to be fine in front of him. He’s told him over and over, but it never seems to stick.)

“Oh,” Is all Penny responds with. Then, Baz makes a decision that he isn’t entirely sure won’t backfire on him later.

“Do you still keep the spare key on top of the doorframe?”

“Yeah – are you planning to drop by?”

“I’m going to check on him. At the very least, I’m going to make sure that he’s eaten something today.”

“Let me know how it goes, yeah? I’ll be out of class in an hour, but if it’s important don’t worry about bothering me,” Penny says, and then she hangs up the phone. Baz doesn’t want to bother her while she’s busy with uni, but he knows that if something happened and Penny found out that he didn’t tell her, she’d kick his ass. He definitely didn’t want that.

The drive to Penny and Simon's flat is short, and Baz doesn’t bother to knock before pulling the key from the top of the door frame and unlocking the door. He isn’t entirely sure that Simon would have heard him knocking if he had, anyway.
The flat is silent, and Baz nearly walks past Simon on the sofa. His eyes are open, but they’re glazed over while Simon stares at something nobody else can see out the window. He startles when Baz places a soft hand on his shoulder, eyes snapping back to focus. Simon looks at Baz like he can’t quite believe he’s there.

(If Baz is honest, it physically hurts him to see Simon in such a state. After everything he’s been through, he deserves his happy ending. He deserves to wake up in the morning and not wonder why he should bother trying to get up at all.)

Baz takes a seat at the end of the sofa, and without saying much, Simon settles his head in his lap. Baz doesn’t even want to know how bad Simon must feel to let him be this close. (Selfishly, he’s glad that he gets the chance.)

“How are you?” Baz asks, tentatively running his fingers through Simon’s hair. He sighs and opens his mouth like he wants to say something. It takes him a few moments to get the words out, but Baz doesn’t rush him.

(In truth, he’d wait for Simon until the very end of time. He’d wait until the last star burnt out and there was nothing left.)

“I feel like shite,” Simon says eventually. Baz swears that he can see tears forming in his boyfriend’s eyes, and he wants so badly to kiss them away. Then Simon adds, “I don’t want to feel like this anymore.”

Baz panics for a moment, thinking that maybe they should have gotten Simon a therapist sooner and they shouldn’t let him near any bridges anytime soon. Simon seems to figure out that this is Baz’s current (derailing) train of thought, and then quickly adds,

“Not like that. I just – I don’t know. I don’t want to die, you know, but I don’t want to feel like this either.”

“What do you want?” Baz asks. Because I’ll give you the bloody world, Simon, if it makes you feel better for even just a minute.

Simon looks like he isn’t sure he should say what he’s thinking right now. He looks up at Baz, and the tears finally start slipping out.

“I want to sleep properly. I want to wake up in the morning and not wonder why I should get up. And I . . . I want to love you without feeling so fucking guilty all the time. Because you could do so much better than me and I’m just holding you back all the time and I don’t understand why you’re still here.”

Baz would be lying if he said that didn’t send him reeling. They’d never said “I love you” (though Baz knows he definitely thinks it a lot), and he doesn’t even know which part of that statement he should focus on first.

“Do you want me to go?” It stings to ask, and he hopes that the answer isn’t yes, but he thinks this might be the best place to start. He doesn’t want to force Simon to be around him if he clearly doesn’t want it.

Simon shakes his head, and then starts to cry harder.

“Okay, then that’s why I’m here. Because you want me to be here, and because I want to be here. You’re not holding me back, Simon. You never will, and I’ll tell you that as many times as I need to for you to believe me. I don’t want you to think that you’re not good enough, or that I could do better –because I assure you that I can’t, there’s no one better to me than you.”

Baz vaguely notices that he’s begun to cry too, and fuck, that was so not the plan, but he’s overwhelmed by the sheer thought of Simon thinking that he’s not enough. That he’s not good enough. Simon Snow is the sun, and Baz wishes for nothing more than to burn alongside him.

The idea that Simon isn’t enough for him is so wrong that he doesn’t even want to think about it. (Or can’t think about it. In this situation, that’s almost the same.)

“There will never be a part of you that isn’t enough for me. I want you to know that, okay? I really, really want you to know that.”

Simon nods, but doesn’t say anything else. That’s okay – some moments don’t always require words. Sometimes they need silence.

Neither of them moves, and Baz continues to run his fingers through Simon’s hair until the tears stop and his breathing evens out. Once he’s sure that he’s well and truly out, he gently lifts him off the couch and carries him down the hall to his bedroom. Before heading back out to the living room to wait for Penny, Baz casts a quick, “Sweet dreams.”

Merlin knows Simon needs it.