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The Social Network: the kink meme!

It's Complicated: But sexy!


Mark Zuckerberg
The Sarcastic Kitty oresteia wrote in tsn_kinkmeme
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[PART NINE] & Some News
Okay, I'm a little new at this so sorry if I mess this up first go. Because it's been 5 months since the last round even though we haven't been busy. I figured I might as well earn my keep and try to get this place alive again...

THE SOCIAL NETWORK KINK MEME


ASK THE MODS * FAQ * DISCUSSION * RESEARCH * FILL LIST * PART ONE * PART ONE (OVERFLOW) * PART TWO * PART TWO (OVERFLOW) * PART THREE * PART THREE (OVERFLOW) * PART FOUR * PART FIVE * PART SIX * PART SEVEN * PART EIGHT


GENERAL RULES;

IMPORTANT: please DO NOT post prompts about any non-public people as part of a prompt. for example: randi zuckerberg is fine as she is a public figure both on the internet and on facebook itself. priscilla chan is NOT as she is not a public figure.

if you're in doubt, please message the mod or leave a comment in the discussion post.



♥ post requests and responses in the comments to this post.
♥ be respectful.
♥ both a pairing/character AND a prompt/kink must be posted.
♥ one pairing/prompt per comment please.
♥ you are encouraged to try and write a prompt for every request you make.
♥ we are slash, femslash, het, three-and-moresomes etc. friendly. (we are even incest friendly what with some of our characters being twins and all...)
♥ no pairing bashing, OK? no need to wank over ships.
♥ long and short fics welcome. multiple responses encouraged!
♥ please try to refrain from saying 'seconded!' as much as possible.
♥ on RPF: Please disclaim that it is RPF, a work of fiction and in no way related to the actual actors/persons/etc. (i wouldn't even try and discourage RPF from this meme ;))
♥ WARN FOR COMMON TRIGGERS, PLEASE




FORMAT OF PROMPTS:

♥ alphabetize pairings/threesomes/moresomes. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark/Sean etc.)
♥ put [RPF] before RPF prompts. (e.g. [RPF] Andrew/Jesse)
♥ for crossover prompts: "[Crossover], The Social Network Character(s)/Other Character(s), [Fandom]" (e.g. [Crossover], Eduardo/Columbus, [Zombieland])
♥ no "!" in pairings, only in descriptions. (e.g. Eduardo/Mark, FacebookCreator!Eduardo, CFO!Mark)
♥ anyone, everyone, no one? Use "Other." (e.g. Sean/Other)
♥ Please do not repost prompts from earlier rounds
♥ put [GEN] before GEN prompts.

FILLS:

♥ please don't embed. link to images/videos.
♥ no locked material. this includes communities, even if membership is open.
♥ fills can be posted anonymously or not.
♥ fills can be anything: fic, art, vid, fanmix, podfic, etc.
♥ all prompts are open to fills at all times, even if they have been filled in the past or are being currently filled by someone else. multiple fills are positively encouraged; if something appeals to you then do not be put off creating a new fill by the existence of a prior one.
NEW: ♥ PLEASE comment with the first of your fill to the PROMPT and then all future updates as a comment to the FIRST PART of the fill. this makes it easier for both the WIP spreadhseet and for archiving stuff on delicious. it also helps people who are trying to catch up on updates and don't have to look through every fill on the prompt (should it have more than one). thank you.





Hi, right now everyone is working on some changes so hold on new things are coming. In an effort to kick this place back into action, we're doing round 9. In a few days, we'll be setting up a fills post that hopefully will work directly for archiving and an overflow post. Also we'll be doing a friending meme at tsn_km_gather so be looking out for that. I know some of the other mods have plans of their own which will be coming soon.

If you have any questions or ideas that I can help you with, feel free to PM me. I'll be around.

Kitty





[ARCHIVING]
[DELICIOUS]
[UNFILLED REQUESTS]
[FILLED REQUESTS]
[FLAT VIEW]



have fun!

THERE WILL BE UNMARKED SPOILERS. enter at your own risk! :D

PLEASE READ THE FOLLOWING;

i know you guys are enjoying this meme and i appreciate that but please can you put the SUBJECT HEADER on your prompt. you would REALLY be helping me out if you could do that. it just saves time for me when i'm trying to tag everything in delicious.

NEW RULE;

PLEASE TAKE NOTE OF THE 'FILL' RULES. THERE HAS BEEN A CHANGE. thank you.

AND PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT repost prompts from parts three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. the delicious is around for people to find prompts they may not have already seen. We know there's been some issues but we're working on it with pinboard. No duplicates from this round either. THANK YOU.
Tags:

Mark/Eduardo depression

(Anonymous)
There are some days when Mark just can't get out of bed

Mini-fill: Endless Days

(Anonymous)
Potential Triggers for depression

Anon hopes someone else fills this prompt too as this is short

There are days when Mark can't get out of bed, not because he has been on a 48 hour coding spree but because moving requires more effort than he is able to produce. It's not that he is feeling lazy, or tired (although the lethargy can overwhelm him) but it is almost a fear that if he were to move something awful might happen. Neither action nor inaction will cause a positive outcome.

It doesn't happen often, at least not as often as it used to, but on those days Mark feels as though his world is imploding.

As he lays there, surrounded by the blankets in one of the few places he feels safe his mind recalls the days after the share dilution, when he realised the extent of his business decision and the months of guilt and recriminations that came after. He remembers every bad word anyone ever said (whether to his face or through the thousands of messages and e-mails he had received). He remembers Erica and her summation of his life at Harvard and her rejection at ignoring his friends request. He not only remembers the negative things but he believes every one.

There are some days, like today, when Mark just can't get out of bed.

As the alarm sounds that morning and Mark wakes he realises that this is going to be one of those days. He has woken from a good dream, a faded memory of times gone past, but into a reality where he doesn't want to be. A place no better with him in it than it would be if he ceased to exist.

Mark rolls over, the bed next to him made neatly, and debates whether or not he has the energy to text his assistant to let her know he won't be in.

As Mark struggles, the internal debate waging as to whether or not he can move from this spot, he feels the bed beside him dip. He's not sure at first if it is his subconcious mind providing support as a coping mechanism, a way to stop the 'suicidal ideation' that Dr. Flynn is so worried about. The hand running through his curls is enough to make Mark think it might be real, not quite enough to stop his dark thoughts, at least until he feels the bed move as warm arms envelope him.

It is almost enough for Mark to want to get out of bed, if nothing else it is the tiny glimmer of hope that there is something (or someone) that cares. It is a small promise that there will be other days, better days, - days when he can don his Fuck You Flip Flops and tell people he's CEO (bitch!) without feeling like a fraud.

There are some days when Mark just can't get out of bed. On those days Eduardo is there to hold him, just as he used to at Harvard, and it is almost enough.

Re: Mini-fill: Endless Days

(Anonymous)
Omg thank you thank you thank you!!

This is exactly what I had envisioned in my head when I wrote this prompt (OP btw in case you didn't catch that lol)

I love the details you put in about Mark using his bed as his only safe haven....remembering every single mean thing anyone ever said to him...his doctor's fear of his depression and Eduardo being there to hold him (almost being enough)....Mark's vulnerability and depression hurt in all the right places and Wardo....I was so afraid of this ending with Mark being sad forever so I can't tell you how happy I was when Wardo was there in the end

Re: Mini-fill: Endless Days

(Anonymous)
Thanks for posting the prompt - I've been in a dark place lately and it helped to get it out and think of a supportive Wardo being there for Mark.

Re: Mini-fill: Endless Days

this is lovely, sad but lovely.

Re: Mini-fill: Endless Days

(Anonymous)
Thanks :)

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (1/7)

this is a strange, sad little ficlet with a happy ending (ofc!). i wrote this because i was in the mood to write some hurt/comfort, but there isn't even that much of it in here, lol. this was cathartic in that it's what i had in mind for Mark's headspace in another one of my fics, but since that was in Eduardo's POV, i didn't explore it. and this doesn't follow the plot of that fic at all, obviously. er, enjoy? maybe? :3 trigger warnings for depression, plus there's sex in this.

It’s been a while, and yet Mark can still tell the signs from the second he lifts his heavy eyelids, blinks against sunlight that can’t feel warm. There is a knot in his chest that won’t come undone from heavy breathing, his pillowcase damp beneath his mouth. His bed feels chilled, even buried in down, and no matter how small he curls himself up, he can’t get warm again.

And it’s been a while, but Mark knows that this all means that he won’t be getting out of bed today, chilled as it may be. It’s not a physical chill, not something he can walk off or power through as he can on better days. It’s in his bones, blanketing him the way his comforter can’t, and he feels heavy and disappointed, as always.

There is more disappointment today, though, and not just from the infrequent failure to regulate or deal with this in more productive ways. Mark is disappointed in himself because it’s been so long, because he had been tricked into happiness, and because today, he has a good reason to get out of bed. He just knows he’s not going to make it.

He taps out an apology text and hates himself further for it. It’s a cycle, he knows, more vicious than Mark could ever be to anyone else: he can’t get out of bed because the cold has come back, or maybe just wants to remind him that it had never really left, but staying in bed and cancelling his plans with Eduardo makes the cold worse, his head a mess of anger with himself.

You’re going to ruin everything, Mark thinks, but maybe that’s why he’s still here. Maybe he’s been thinking that all along, and it’s finally built to a weight he can’t shrug off, at least not today.

Or maybe the cold is here just to remind him of what his therapist has been telling him for months, since this thing with Eduardo started up again. Maybe it’s here to say depression isn’t dependent on one person being in your life, Mark. It doesn’t work like that.

It’s not a binary, how he feels. It’s not happy or sad, but happy and sad, among other things. He’s almost always happy with Eduardo, because it’s Eduardo. But Eduardo isn’t happiness, just like a lack of Eduardo isn’t sadness. He’d been stupid to think that that was true; he should know better, by now.

So he apologizes to Eduardo for what feels like the thousandth time since they’ve started this again, though is probably only the fourth time or so. Mark tells him the truth, or as close to the truth as possible, telling him he doesn’t feel well and can’t make it to the beach today. He doesn’t make up a work thing, because that’s unrealistic, now; his work life is so meticulously scheduled that there would be nothing to choose over Eduardo, not that that would be any choice at all.

In predictable fashion, Eduardo answers quickly, asking him if he needs anything. Mark tells the truth again, telling him he’s just going to sleep, and he swallows down medication that will ensure that. Eduardo tells him to feel better, and Mark can’t read his textual smiley faces well enough to know if he’s angry or not.

He goes to sleep and still worries about it when he wakes up again, hours later. The sun has moved and his room is dim, and Mark wraps his arms around his empty stomach and wonders if he blew it today.


Edited at 2012-05-26 11:20 pm (UTC)

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (2/7)

There are no new texts from Eduardo, which is both a relief and a confirmation that he had messed this up. He rolls onto his front and tucks his arm under his pillow and swears at himself to stop shaking. He is nervous and aimlessly unhappy and he knows, knows, that he probably just ended this thing with Eduardo, messed it up like he was always going to. Mark clenches his hands into fists and breathes messily into his pillow.

He has to pee, so he gets up and does that. He thinks about texting Eduardo again but can’t think of what to say, and so before long he is back in the bed, in the same position, breathing the same messy breaths and knowing the same awful thoughts.


Years ago, he didn’t know what this was, because he was able to wire in and lose it. Then, he wasn’t cold but numb, everything else in him frozen but his brain and his fingers, flying across the keyboard. Mark doesn’t code as much anymore. He doesn’t need to. His job falls into that happy and sad column, more happy than sad, and he is good at it and that is more than enough. He thinks of this as slowing down, and that’s why he can’t wire in anymore. He is getting older, and this is getting better, but it doesn’t feel like it today.

“How can I be sad one day and still be able to go to work and talk to people and eat cereal and play Mario Kart?” Mark asked his therapist once. “And then how can I feel the exact same way another day and need to stay in bed? It doesn’t make sense to me.”

“It’s not supposed to make sense, Mark,” his therapist told him kindly, and Mark will never stop hating that. He hates anything that doesn’t make sense. He hates that something about him doesn’t make sense.

Logic fails him on these days, and this is what he hates the most. Because logic would dictate that one cancelled outing isn’t enough to tank rebuilding this relationship with Eduardo, no matter how new and tentative it is right now. Eduardo wouldn’t give up that easily, says logic and hope. Mark just can’t hear them now.

Instead, he hears the ghostly smash of a laptop, and a broken voice across a glossy table. Mark squeezes his eyes shut and watches rain, watches fireworks burst across a digital screen.

Logic says that he should not feel like this, though his therapist would argue with that. “No one is more or less entitled to feeling pain,” she told him once.

But even so, things are good. He talks to Chris and Dustin and Sean all the time, scattered as they all are. He talks to Marilyn and pokes Erica Albright, gets poked back. There are people at work that like him, invite him to their parties and barbecues not just because he’s their boss, but because they like him and know that he likes them back, somehow. Mark gets to have Eduardo’s hands on him, his mouth on him, gets to touch him back, gets his smiles and his laughter and all of his hungry stares. It’s good.

It’s hard to remember all those things today, as the sun goes away and his phone hums with messages he will not answer until tomorrow. That is normal. No one will wonder. Eduardo has not come to check up on him, as he would have in college; they are older, now, and Mark is relieved and he’s not relieved. He wants Eduardo to check up on him and he hates the thought as he always did. He is older now, and he feels it, and he doesn’t want anyone here and he wants everyone here.

Mark will never understand how he can feel abandoned when he hasn’t been abandoned at all.

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (3/7)

More medicated sleep bisects this day from the next, and though he is still slow-going, Mark gets words and most functions back. He eats breakfast standing up at his kitchen counter, answers Eduardo’s gentle how are you feeling? text by calling him to apologize again. “Sorry,” he says when Eduardo wishes him a bright good morning, and Mark isn’t faking the gravelly thickness of his voice. “I didn’t mean to bail on you, I just—couldn’t drag myself out of bed.”

He is still so nervous, still truly doesn’t know if he ruined this until Eduardo chuckles lightly, sympathetically, and says, “Don’t be ridiculous, Mark, you didn’t feel well. I’m not cruel enough to drag you out to the beach when you’re sick.” Mark doesn’t correct him, though he hates thinking of himself as sick. “You still sound tired, though. Are you sure you should go into work today?”

The relief Mark feels also makes him feel ridiculous, and he leans against the counter, trying to make his breathing less heavy. “I’m fine now,” Mark says, and after a second he thinks about it and says, “I’m better,” because that’s truer.

“Good,” Eduardo says, and he sounds truly happy, happier than he should be about Mark’s well-being. “I’m cashing in that rain check, though, when you’re back to feeling 100%. You need sun, okay, I am not letting my boyfriend wither away from a Vitamin D deficiency.”

Mark smiles to himself, ignores the doubts and chills he knows he can’t chase away completely, knows that Eduardo can’t, either. Eduardo is warmth but sometimes he also tastes like cold rain. He smiles because boyfriend, smiles because that’s the first time, and smiles because of Eduardo’s more hesitant, “Okay?” that comes right after.

“Okay,” Mark says, and his smile gets bigger when he can hear the smile in Eduardo’s voice.



The rain check is cashed, and they do go to the beach. The only really good part is Eduardo, his golden body stretched out on a towel, and his hands rubbing sunblock across the bony points of Mark’s shoulders. He burns anyway, and the sun and the sand and the salty water scraping against his skin is worth it for Eduardo’s body against him, his mouth open and soothing against his red skin.

“Shh,” Eduardo whispers, spreading cool lotion across Mark’s angry red back as Mark hisses. His palms are gentle and caring and Mark swallows hard, and as always, aches for the warmth.

His fingers are cool and slippery and they touch Mark all over, palming his naked backside, pressing unneeded apologies into his goosebumped thighs. He moves Mark the way he wants to, because now Mark is his to move, will spread his legs and bend the way Eduardo wants him to. He picks up Mark’s legs and bends them at the knees and pulls him up, and Mark shudders and feels and does not think about deserving this. The cold hasn’t come back for days, and he knows it won’t tonight, not with Eduardo’s breath hot against his hole and his tongue, gentle and inquiring, and his hands on him. He feels good.

“Yeah, God,” Mark whimpers out, and he gasps when Eduardo kisses him there, licks him slowly and sloppily. It feels messy and precious, somehow, and Mark’s arms quake under him.

Eduardo takes him apart with his mouth, private and sensual, like he wants to taste every part of him. Mark wants that, too, and yet also doesn’t want that, because there are parts of himself he wants to keep close, can’t handle the thought of Eduardo knowing.

And there are new lawsuits, now, and farther on there is the knowledge that Facebook will have to be flayed alive to open itself up to the public. There are biannual privacy audits to think about and Sean won’t shut up about Spotify, and Mark has had three long calls with his therapist this week. It has not been a good week, but he has gotten out of bed every day, and he let Eduardo take him to the beach, let the sun burn his back and the sand scratch the soles of his feet, and he has Eduardo’s hand wrapped nearly entirely around one of his thighs and he feels good.

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (4/7)

“Tell me when you’re close,” Eduardo says, and Mark breathes out wet and harsh against his pillowcase until he finds himself flipped over. Eduardo kisses him everywhere between his thighs, up and down and sucking marks in the softest places, and Mark’s pillow is damp under his neck and he feels good.

He comes with Eduardo’s mouth over his dick, a broken, hoarse groan slipping over his lips, and he does not let himself think about deserving this.




And there are new lawsuits, now, and now there is the reality that Facebook is being flayed alive to open itself up to the public. There are biannual privacy audits to think about and Sean still won’t shut up about Spotify, and Mark has had five long calls with his therapist this week.

And there is Eduardo, flying all over the world but here more often than not. They visit Chris in New York and Eduardo holds Mark’s hand and says, “When we get home, remind me to upload these pictures, you know I always leave them on my camera forever,” and Mark smiles because home. Eduardo blushes, Chris teases them, and Mark feels good.

But there is a bad week, followed by another bad week, and coffee-breath kisses in the morning cannot change those. Getting out of bed becomes dragging out of bed, and Mark can feel the cold starting to prick at his bones again. He can feel the day coming, starts planning for it and bracing himself for it, and wonders if he can get rid of Eduardo for it.

He can’t because he doesn’t want to, though, because he still gets scared that when Eduardo goes away, it means something else, something bad. So he kisses Eduardo hard every time, holds him tight, and will turn up the central air instead of pushing Eduardo’s arms away when it’s hot out.

Mark says I love you first, because it’s true and because he can, and doesn’t know if he will always be able to. Eduardo’s eyes get wide and his mouth gets wobbly, and when they kiss Eduardo whispers it back. It is shaky, enough to make Mark unsure, but Eduardo’s hands are sure on him, and his arm slung around Mark’s shoulders that night when they watch TV is steady.

“I love you a lot,” Eduardo says, and his voice sounds small. “I’m so glad that you love me back.”

Mark huffs, wants to say that’s stupid and why wouldn’t I because it’s Eduardo, and who wouldn’t love him back? He doesn’t, though, because in the back of his mind, in the pit of his stomach, there is always why would you love me back? and he doesn’t want to think about that.

It is a third bad week after that, though, and though Mark feels loved he feels tired, too, and he shivers, knowing. Eduardo is going away, and he loves Mark so that should be okay, but Mark thinks soon anyway and counts his prescriptions, racks up calls to his therapist, broods.

Eduardo has a late morning flight the next day, and Mark knows he can hold out until the day after. Especially tonight, their hands entwined and Mark kissing up and down Eduardo’s chest, nipping at his jumping muscles and his nipples.

He kneels over Eduardo’s thighs and fingers himself open, hand braced over Eduardo’s hip, fingers fluttering near his groin. Eduardo is shaking, hard from Mark’s mouth and his hands, and his fingers dig into Mark’s hips when he lowers Mark down on him. They sigh, together, Mark squirming and burning up from the inside out, and like this, looking at Eduardo like this, with Eduardo looking at him like that (like Mark’s everything, like Eduardo loves him, like Eduardo’s coming back, like he’s always going to come back and it’s not fair for Mark to think otherwise), Mark can’t imagine the cold creeping in again.

And that’s why he feels particularly devastated the next morning, when he wakes up and knows he can’t face another day.

all secrets sleep in winter clothes (5/7)

Eduardo is moving quietly around the bedroom, dressing languidly, and he doesn’t know Mark is awake when he climbs back onto the bed in just a dress shirt and an undone tie. He kisses the back of Mark’s neck and says, “Wake up, sleepy,” and shakes him gently.

Mark isn’t going to get up today, and he hates himself for it. Eduardo shakes him more, telling him, “You’re meeting with Shannon and Dale today, come on, babe,” and Mark knows about his meeting and knows he’s going to skip it.

“No,” he says, the beginnings of stupid fear curling up inside of him. He is terrified because he can feel the cold seeping out, making him hateful and angry and awful, and he just wants Eduardo gone so he doesn’t see, doesn’t know about this.

Eduardo chuckles, says, “You’re going to be late,” and runs his fingers through Mark’s hair. Mark huffs and shakes him off, pulling the blanket tighter over him and shaking his head.

“I’ll give you ten more minutes, and I’ll come back with coffee,” Eduardo says, and Mark doesn’t know if he sees him shake his head again, lips clamped shut to keep from spewing poison.

He hears Eduardo zip up pants and buckle a belt, then leave the room. But he is back, as promised, and Mark can smell coffee and it’s making his stomach turn.

“Just let me sleep, Eduardo,” Mark says, and his voice is muffled so maybe that’s why Eduardo doesn’t hear the danger, the low stirrings of panic. Eduardo sighs heavily, but jokingly, and sets the coffee mug on the bedside table by Mark’s head.

“Mark,” he sing-songs, rubbing a hand over Mark’s shoulder. Mark feels his hand falter slightly when he’s shaken off again, and he leans in closer. “Mark, you’re really going to be late for this meeting if you don’t get up now,” Eduardo says, voice mock-stern, still happy. Mark burns with ice inside, his stomach churning, and he grits his teeth.

“I’m not a child, okay? I’m not getting up, so just—your flight’s soon, just go—”

And Eduardo finally hears his tone, and Mark doesn’t get the intended effect. Instead, Eduardo goes tense with worry, and then his palm is on Mark’s forehead. Mark wants to tell him he won’t find any warmth anywhere in this bed. “Hey, are you okay? You’re not warm, is it your stomach?”

“No,” Mark says shortly. “I just want to sleep. Just go, your flight—”

“My flight’s not for a few hours,” Eduardo says, and Mark can hear the frown in his voice, can feel his eyes, penetrating and wary, staring at Mark beneath a likely furrowed brow. “If you’re sick, I want to—”

“I’m not sick,” Mark snaps, and he rolls to look up at Eduardo and doesn’t look at him completely, can’t meet his eyes. Eduardo has wilted, mouth turned down and eyes surprised and Mark doesn’t know why. This is Mark, this is really Mark, this is the Mark who can dilute shares down to .03% without a thought, who can stare across a glossy table and not flinch. This is the Mark who will leave Eduardo out in the rain, the Mark who wanted Eduardo back in his life because he was selfish, not because he was sorry. Maybe it’s good for Eduardo to see, now, before it’s too late again.

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (6/7)

“I’m not sick,” Mark repeats, cold and honest. “So back off, okay?” He turns his face into his pillow again, ignores the tight knot in his chest that throbs painfully when Eduardo softly says, “Okay, Mark.” He pulls the blankets in tighter and listens to Eduardo leave.

Mark drifts in and out of sleep, hears Eduardo distantly talking to someone else he can’t hear, and doesn’t know if he’s dreaming it. He doesn’t keep track of time or how often his phone vibrates by his bed, only keeps track of the worry and the certainty that he has, once again, wrecked this with Eduardo. He is curled on his side and his chest is tight and his eyes are shamefully stinging, and this is the cycle again: this is his fault, he did this to himself, and what he did to himself hurts all over.

He swallows down a suspicious lump in his throat when he hears his door creak open, and padding footsteps across his carpet. Mark squints through blurred vision when he hears pants drop and the thud of a belt buckle on the floor, then more rustles of fabric. He notes the time is long past when Eduardo’s flight had left, but it’s Eduardo scent that fills his nose as the bed dips, his arms that loop gently over Mark’s tensed body.

“Your flight,” Mark mumbles shakily, and Eduardo hums and shakes his head.

“Don’t worry about it. Go back to sleep.”

“No, you—you missed it, Wardo, you don’t have to—” And he twists in Eduardo’s arms, because he won’t let this happen, he won’t let Eduardo do this again. Eduardo gives and gives and Mark will never give enough back, can’t, and he won’t let Eduardo do that to himself.

“Shh,” Eduardo says, and he rubs a hand over the back of Mark’s head, rubs his back as he shudders. “I’m not leaving you, not like this. I cleared your schedule for the day, and mine. Sleep, babe.”

“No,” Mark says again, and he hates how weak his voice is, how his protests aren’t strong enough. Eduardo deserves strong. “But I’m not sick,” he says, and Eduardo swallows visibly and then kisses his forehead.

“I know, it’s okay,” Eduardo tells him. Mark sniffs and shakes his head, because it’s not okay, it’s really not, not even close, but his throat is too tight to argue now. He goes quiet out of necessity, but doesn’t fall asleep, too tense and unhappy to give in to the exhaustion lying over his body.

It’s a while before the hand rubbing his back can feel like comfort, a while before his chest starts to loosen, his throat relaxing. Mark shivers and Eduardo’s fingers press hard into the back of his t-shirt, good points of pressure even though he still doesn’t understand what’s happening, why Eduardo’s still here.

He wants to explain and knows he doesn’t have enough words today; he mumbles and stammers against Eduardo’s shirt. “I just—sometimes I get—and it’s not—”

“Did I do something?” Eduardo asks, careful and sad, and Mark nearly strains something in the scramble to shake his head, stammer out protests. “It’s not me?”

“No,” Mark says, and the poisonous part of him tells him to snap not everything is about you, Eduardo. But Mark clamps it down and shakes his head more, because the hand on his back is heavy and warm and Mark is starting to feel lighter under it. “It’s not you, never, it’s just—” And he can’t say what is it, because he doesn’t know, exactly. It’s not any one thing, it’s everything, and it’s nothing, too, just a sadness, a blanket feeling that he doesn’t know what to do with. There are places that he can put other feelings, outlets for love and happiness and determination and anger, but there is nowhere for this to go but here.

Eduardo nods, and he still looks sad, and Mark hates that more than anything. “I wish it was me,” Eduardo says, voice breaking a little. “Because then I could make it better.”

Mark doesn’t tell him that he is making it better, because he doesn’t know if he is. So far, better means getting out of bed and being able to make his face go blank, and he doesn’t think he can do that right now. Instead, he tucks himself in tighter, because he thinks that’s what Eduardo needs, and he breathes out slowly until he feels the breaths go even. Eduardo murmurs soft things to him, mostly in Portuguese, and Mark can’t understand them but feels loved anyway.

FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7)

And he is loved and sad, happy and sad, cold but warming slowly, and they lie there together while Mark waits for his words to come back. He wants words like thank you and love you but what eventually comes out is, “I think I’m getting hungry.”

Eduardo smiles a small smile into his hair and reaches between them to touch Mark’s stomach. “Yeah?”

“Yeah. Do you want to cook with me?” There is still a wobble, a small croak to his voice, but Eduardo nods so vigorously it feels like his head is going to pop off his neck.

“Yes,” Eduardo says emphatically, and Mark smiles at him before he realizes what he’s doing. It’s mindless, accidental, and it makes Eduardo look so pleased that the smile stays, completely of its own accord.

They climb out of bed together, and Mark knows the signs, now, the way they keep touching, Eduardo’s hand at the small of his back, his eyes tracing over Mark’s face carefully. This is better, Mark knows, but a different kind of better, something more satisfying. He feels like he’s climbed a mountain and Eduardo has been waiting for him at the top, and there are more mountains to climb but now a hand on his back to help.

He kisses Eduardo in the kitchen and it’s all still there, his bones chilled and his chest gripped in a dull, distant ache. But Mark kisses Eduardo in the kitchen because he doesn’t have all of the words yet, because someday he will and he will explain about the cold, explain how he can’t make sense of this, but now. He kisses Eduardo in the kitchen because Eduardo doesn’t need him to explain.

Mark kisses Eduardo in the kitchen because he knows the signs now: his heart jumping and his fingers trembling against Eduardo’s warm skin, his stomach dropped in the best way possible. He knows these signs well, and that feels like a miracle.

Mark is happy.

Re: FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7)

OH MY GOD
I AM CRYING HERE WOMAN

Re: FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7)

*sniff* very sad but also very beautiful. Masterpiece as always.

Re: FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7) - (Anonymous), 2012-05-27 11:55 am (UTC)(Expand)
Re: FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7) - (Anonymous), 2012-05-27 02:41 pm (UTC)(Expand)
Re: FILL: all secrets sleep in winter clothes (7/7) - (Anonymous), 2012-05-28 10:32 pm (UTC)(Expand)