It has been a week. In fact, and for the sake of absolute accuracy, it has been exactly 7 days, 15 hours and some minutes since they'd all shared their lovely bed together. Logically, Percival understands that Credence is at the cusp of his magical education and that he really needs to focus on learning how to defend himself against some of the darker aspects of magickind. He rationally knows that Credence needs this time to understand that what he is is not an abomination, but something that can be taught control, that can be understood, that between the two of them, Newt is the best person to be teaching him these things.
It is hard to remember those things when all he feels is the vast expanse of their bed and how cold their sheets are. 'This is ridiculous.' He thinks tiredly, feeling like he is 20 again and breaking up with his first serious beau after Ilvermorny. Their respective favourite pillows have lost their scents, a testament to how long they've been unslept in. There seems to be a hole where his heart is in his chest and Percival shoves that thought back into the recesses of his mind. Climbing out of bed and grabbing his pants, he glares at the suitcase propped up against the wall. Biting down on the bitter illogical jealous swell of sadness in him, he throws on his coat and Disapparates to MACUSA.
Percival stays in the office a good three days before Tina hexes his quill to his desk and tells him to go home. He quirks an eyebrow at her, ignoring the way a niggling voice in the back of his head tells him that she is right, that she is always right. She hustles him into his coat, "I don't know what's happening between you three, but you need to work it out."
Turning his head, he gently bats her hands away. "Nothing is happening between us. That's the point."
"Oh yeah? That why Newt's been owling me the whole of yesterday asking me how you've not answered any of the owls he sent you?" Tina scoffs, unamused.
That catches his attention. "Didn't get any." Percival mutters. Tina ratchets the look on her face a whole two notches up and points her wand at a small pile of parchments bearing Newt's personal letter stock sitting by the reports he had yet to send and the stack of papers he needs to sign. "Ah."
"Ah." Tina echoes drily. Gentling her tone, "I know you like being the silent type and keep everything to yourself and all, but you can talk to me. You know that right?"
"Won't you take Newt's side over mine?" Percival asks before he can think better of it. Mercy Lewis, he really needs to be horizontal and unconcious. Breathing deep, he tries for a smile.
Tina rolls her eyes, moving back into his space and fixing his scarf. "I've known you longer than I have known either Newt or Credence, and as much as I love them, they can forget how it's like when you aren't them y'know. Besides, you look like shit and he sounded on the verge of a breakdown. You've been here a good three days and you're scaring the interns. Go home."
"Sometimes I wonder if you remember that I am still your boss." Percival sighs, long-suffering but the smile he quirks her way is fond and warm. Tina makes to usher him to the door when Grimsby rushes in, looking every bit pale and harried.
"We've got a situation, sir. Ma'am." He says around a croak.
What happened is three No-Majs deciding that they really liked the looks of a witch who defended herself in front of a dining hall full of No Majs by hexing their faces before jumping out the window. What subsequently occurs when they show up to bring her in is her father coming at them with curses poised on the tip of his tongue and Percival pushing Tina aside, taking the brunt of the spell. What transpires is him being bundled off into MACUSA's infirmary when he bull-headedly refused to be bullied into a stay in the hospital.
Percival allows the heady unguent they spread over the bruise on his side and the healing charms they cast over him. He even takes the potion they pass him with little protest. "Looks like you're getting your wish after all." He teases, the words tripping on his tongue as the sleeping draught takes hold. Tina's eyes are big and wet, and he keeps trying to tell her that it's okay, that he's fine, but oh, sleep.
Newt and Credence are there when he wakes to a world of dull aches in his bones and a brewing headache. They have their hands in each of his, and Percival thinks that he is allowed a moment of selfishness after the horrible week he has just had. Percival allows himself to look over two of the most important people in his life, feeling his heart burn in both love and heartache. Perhaps this is just them being kind, sparing his feelings about them finally realising that they are better together than with him corrupting the mix.
He pulls his hand away from Newt's hand, rubbing his face. Ignoring the way that it comes off damp. "You're awake." Comes Newt's quiet voice.
"Yeah." He replies in a sigh. Blinking away the wetness that still lingers, he takes a deep inhale, looking over at the youngest of them. "You should take Credence and go... back. He needs his rest. It'll do him no good if he has to sleep here."
Newt is silent and Percival thinks that he might have fallen asleep again. But when he turns his head, he finds himself under the scrutiny that is usually levelled at the thieving Niffler. "I can't tell if this is you trying to tell us that you don't love us any more, or if this is just an extraordinarily rare case of you being stupid."
Percival frowns, hackles rising. "I'm not being stupid."
"So how would you categorise the 'not coming home for three days'? Hm? Or is it really that you don't care enough to be a man and end this? Because Merlin knows how I felt when Tina Floo-ed and told us that you'd been injured." Newt hisses, voice rising in pitch. Percival hardly ever sees him upset and, it is both breathtaking and terrifying at once to be the recipient of his ire. "I can't even to begin to imagine what Credence must've been thinking, because I know I've been worried sick for the better part of the day when none of my owls to you came back with a reply. I had to resort to badgering Tina for news that you were still alive and just sequestering yourself away in your office like a fool."
Percival shrinks away from that. Tilting his face away carefully, he says, "You two were busy. Occupied. And I... I felt left out, so I came back to the office thinking that I should cool down before I went back. I just didn't realise that it had turned into a three day binge."
In his peripheral, he sees Newt visibly deflating. "So, what? You thought the wisest cause of action was to hide at work and avoid us?" Slumping in his seat, Newt moves his hand over his, taking it firmly. "We were done three nights ago. We came out of the case just as you were Disapparating." Bringing his knuckles to his lips, "Why didn't you say something? Didn't we always say that we would tell each other if someone did something that made one of us unhappy? We know how we can get, but that's why we always count on you to tell us when we are getting too much."
Percival's breath hitches at the feeling of Newt's breath on the back of his hand. "It seemed easier. To leave."
"Please don't." Credence whispers then, very much awake and concious of this discussion. Percival looks over and his eyes are bright like the Mooncalves and tinged with red from unshed tears. The soft edges of a sob is evident when Credence says, "Please don't leave. I swear I'll be good, so please don't leave us?"
Sensing the beginning of hysterics, Percival moves to allow Credence onto the space in bed next to him. The Matron of the ward will be displeased, but she'll just have to deal with it when she sees them in the morning. "I'm not going anywhere." He hushes, wrapping an arm around Credence when the younger man burrows against his body, burying his face against the side of his neck. Running his hand through wavy dark locks, he kisses him on the brow. "Promise."
Newt watches this, face carefully composed. Reaching out a hand to him, Percival murmurs, "Not enough space on the bed, I'm afraid."
"It's fine." Newt replies, running kisses against his knuckles again. He looks like all fight has gone right out of him, about ready to speak again when Percival yawns, wincing when the movement pulls at his injuries. "Don't think you're getting out of this." He chides, holding Percival's hand between his. "We're going to have a serious conversation about this when we get home."
Percival nods. Newt moves his chair as close as he can get to the bed, leaning down and folding himself against its side. "Only if I can get you two in bed with me and we don't leave for anything less than a world ending incident."
Newt smirks, hair falling over his eyes. "Deal."
It is anything but resolved, and Percival still feels the lingering resentment poking around in his heart. But Newt is willing to talk it out, and Credence is unwilling to let him go. Percival thinks he can work on this.