Chapter Sixty-Nine

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(A/N So... To commemorate chapter 69, you've got an extra long chapter! As in, extra extra extra long. As in 10,000 words. As in, you might want to stock up on snacks before you read this one.)

I woke slowly, curling into myself with a frown. I was cold. I was alone. I lifted my head, rubbing at an eye sleepily. Jay wasn't around. If it wasn't for his dry come over the duvet and the amazing ache in my arse, it would have been like he'd never been here. Like yesterday hadn't happened. I touched the piercing in my lip to reassure myself that yesterday was real, that I wasn't going insane and making up dreams where Jay came and admitted that he loved me. 

Needing the toilet, I sat up and shuffled off the bed with a yawn. I looked around on the way to the bathroom. There was still no sign of him. Had he left me? No, his clothes were still strewn all over the floor by the front door. 

I stopped suddenly, frowning further; the bathroom door was closed. The bathroom door was never closed. I held my breath for a moment, listening. There was the faint sound of sniffling and stifled sobbing coming from the other side of the door. My heart clenched and I reached for the handle, but it wouldn't turn. Jay had locked himself in the bathroom. 

"Jay? Jay, open the door," I said softly, still trying to turn the handle. He didn't respond for a while, instead just going quiet. "Jaimie, open this door. I need to make sure you're okay, baby."

After a few moments, the lock clicked and the door opened a little. Jay's tear-stained face appeared in the slight crack as he wiped his nose across the back of his hand. He avoided my gaze, looking ashamed. 

"Can I come in?" I asked, as gently as I could. 

He nodded slowly, pulling the door open further. I slipped inside, shutting the door behind me. Kneeling beside him, I stroked his hair slowly, trying to comfort him. 

"What's wrong, darling? What happened?"

He just shook his head and crawled into my lap, curling up like a child. His skin was freezing; how long had he been lying here? I rested my cheek on top of his head, kissing his forehead repeatedly while rocking him slowly in my arms. Eventually, his crying seemed to subside, and he was just silent, still. 

"Jaimie?" I whispered to him, hoping his full name would calm him down, at least a little. 

"Nightmare," he breathed shakily, clinging tighter to me. 

"Oh, babe... It's okay, it's not real. Do you want to talk about it?"

He shook his head quickly before he stopped, changing his mind. "I... You left me... And I was all on my own, and then he found me a-and..."

I shushed him quietly, trying to let him know that he didn't have to continue. He fell silent, though hiccuping out small sobs again. I just stayed quiet, rocking him again.

"Don't leave me, Kaidan," he whispered, looking up at me.

"I'm not going anywhere, Jay. I promise. I love you, remember? So much..."

He seemed to relax after that, sagging against me. He closed his eyes, turning his face into my neck.

"How long have you been in here? You're freezing," I noted, rubbing at his arm in an attempt to warm him up.

"Your fault for not having the central heating on," he retorted, though it had little of his usual sarcasm.

I smiled and kissed the top of his head. "Let's go cuddle in bed then, okay? Get you warm again."

Jay nodded but made no move to get up. I rubbed my nose in his hair, loving the faint smell of his shampoo.

"How are your arms?" I asked instead, turning his hands over so I could look at his wrists.

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