046; flashback

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so very bad™ painful content. wouldn't blame you for skipping the chapter. ouch warning idk why pain happened


Three days home from tour.

Awsten has been home for three days.

The bus felt more like home than this does, now that he thinks about it.  The bus was safe, occupied by people he used to be certain he could trust with his life.  He's not sure anymore if he could but he still trusts them more than the person in the house with him now.

Awsten feels empty as he takes slow, careful, quiet steps out of the bedroom he shares with Emily.  He's limping, barely able to keep himself up but somehow numb to the pain.  He leans on the wall for support as he walks, keeping his eyes downcast.  He can feel Emily staring at him from their bed.

"Where are you going?" Emily finally speaks up as Awsten reaches the door.

"Bathroom," he mumbles, turning to face her but doing everything to avoid looking at her.  "Need a shower."

"Why are you not just taking one in ours?" she asks, clearly expecting him to change direction and go that way.  "We can go together.  Save water."

She can see that he doesn't want to.  She can see the way he tenses up and a tinge of fear is added to emptiness radiating from him.  But he still won't look at her.  He'll look right passed her at the wall behind her.  He'll look at the floor.  He'll look at the blood-red footprints she's going to tell him to clean later.  But he won't look at her.

"I'd rather take one alone if that's okay," he speaks quietly and Emily isn't sure if it's guilt or frustration that's clouding her suddenly but she knows she's tired of it.

"C'mon, babe, please," Emily pushes, "I've missed you.  Wanna spend time with you.  Maybe we could have some fun while we're in there..." she trails off, clearly hoping that will sway Awsten.

"I don't...I just wanna shower, Ems...there's blood and glass," he can't bring himself to speak above a whisper.  His voice is a little raspy, and it has been since he woke up after the whole ordeal tonight ended with losing consciousness for a few minutes.  It's not a common occurrence that things go as far as they did tonight and Emily is sure neither of them is ever going to want to speak of it again.  Awsten seemed ashamed of the whole thing before the emptiness kicked in so Emily is confident he'll keep it to himself.  She knows she won't be telling anyone because that could very well land her in a lot of trouble.

"I'll help you," Emily offers, trying to build something back up.  It's pretty obvious that Awsten is falling apart and he doesn't even seem to notice.  "Make sure you get all that glass out.  C'mon, let's go."

Awsten doesn't want to.  He doesn't want to be near her and he definitely doesn't want her touching him and he wants to have his shower alone, away from her.  But he also doesn't want to say no and upset her.  She's being relatively nice right now and his brain his screaming at him not to ruin that. 

Don't make her mad, keep her happy, his mind chants on a loop, don't make her mad, keep her happy.

It's some twisted up survival instincts.  His own wants are disregarded for the base need of making it through the night without another incident, as he's decided on referring to it as.  The incident, he thinks of it in such a simple, vague term that it could really be anything.  He wishes he could talk about what it really is, tell someone who cares and will help him escape this.  He's dying to know there's someone who can show him a way through this and a way out.  He needs that help but he doesn't know where to find it.  And talking about it is terrifying to think about anyway.

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