Epilogue

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Mark P.O.V

This was a terrible idea.

Mark knew that.

Jason's trial was long over, the testimonies from Mark, the present police and finally Jack himself was more than enough to convince the jury of his guilt but of course, that didn't matter. Because of Jack's age, the level of abuse and the lack of a previous criminal record the greasy blonde haired git only got a year. A fucking year behind bars and a tarnished record, that's it. That's all the fucker got.

The thought alone made Mark want to smack that smug judge in the face with his own stupid hammer.

It was like giving the grown man a stern telling off and a slap on the hand. It wouldn't change anything and everyone in that fucking court room knew it. Maybe Jack was right after all. Maybe they were just living on bought time. Jason really did give off that 'serial killer' vibe.

Of course he didn't allow himself to blurt his worries out to Jack himself. Jack had his own problems to worry about. He was still stuck in therapy once a week and he was making slow progress through the painful process of healing. Ava was helping him with that, even though Jack openly proclaimed he hated her and her unconventional methods. Mark could tell Jack was almost thankful for the breakneck pace during his weekly sessions, in fact the green haired boy had told him so. By this point all he wanted was to get better and he wanted it as fast as possible. Ava could give him that at least.

Still, Jack was tired of sitting in Felix's house with nothing to do except wait for everyone to come home from work or school. He was visibly restless, unmotivated and plain bored and Mark hated that he could do nothing about it. He knew if he missed much more school the headmaster would be having a stern word with his parents and that was something Mark didn't even want to touch, so instead he did his best to entertain Jack when they were together; watching movies, watching youtubers, Tv shows, playing video games, hell, they even broke out some of Felix's ancient, dust covered board games they were that fucking bored.

But it wasn't enough.

Mark knew it wasn't enough by the look on Jack's face as he said goodbye in the mornings, he knew by the increasing number of beer bottles filling up the trash, he knew because Jack told him so, in the middle of the night, curled up on Mark's bed when neither of them could sleep and he thought Mark would forget it the next day.

"I'm sad when I'm alone, Mark, and after a while I get bored of being sad. Tell you what, I'd better get a hobby, knitting or something, otherwise I think I'm gonna go fucking insane in this stupid house." Jack had whispered, pausing for a second before laughing a little but there was no humour behind it, just a bitter hollowness that Mark couldn't believe was coming out of his boyfriend's mouth. "Oh wait, never mind, it's too late for that I guess."

Jack had fallen asleep not long after that but Mark had stayed awake that night, the words repeating themselves over and over again in his head like a broken record. Because Jack sounded so broken, so hopeless and it tore Mark apart to hear him talk like that.

Still, that didn't mean he agreed with this.

"You can't stop me from going." Jack huffed, his bag slung over his shoulder and a look of determination etched on his features as he stared defiantly at Mark.

Mark sighed, throwing his hands up in exasperation. "Jesus Christ Jack, this is ridiculous. You know you're not ready stop acting any different."

They were standing in Felix's kitchen, the blonde haired man and his girlfriend having left for work hours ago. Jack was angry, fire burning in his eyes that was all too familiar. Mark sighed to himself, they argued too much.

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