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Setbacks (It Isn't The End Of The World)

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White noise blocked out almost everything, leaving behind a ringing in his ears and a too-right chest and throat and suddenly, it was all too real. 

He tried not to be affected like this, not anymore. 

He hadn't had a full blown attack in so long, he'd been doing so well and it hurt pretty badly to know all that was gone now. 

Being home alone was both a blessing and a curse. 

He wanted Twelve to come back so he wasn't alone, so someone could fucking fix him. 

But at the same time, he didn't want anyone to see him like this. 


"Nine? You here?"

Nine's already shaky, halting breathing hitched uncomfortably upon hearing his friend's voice. He took a moment before he spoke, his own voice shaky and not at all as he wanted. 

"Y-yeah, I'm here."

Silence followed, then gentle footsteps until he felt Twelve's hands curl around shaking wrists, pulling Nine from his curled position in the far corner of the room. 

He didn't say anything, didn't try to tell Nine that it was okay, that it wasn't real because it was and they both knew it. 

He didn't ask what triggered it all, or how long it had been since it started. 

Instead, he drew pointless designs on Nine's wrists with his fingertips and coaxed him quietly through breathing, holding a silent conversation with his eyes. 

The first real breath that got air to Nine's starved lungs also spurred on a new wave of tears and Twelve just moved to wrap his arms around his friend as it happened. 

It was all he could do, because nothing else ever worked for Nine. 


Neither of them said anything about it after the attack was over and they were going about their daily lives as normal. 

Twelve held his remarks back when Nine curled up with him that night, not wanting to be alone but also refusing to ask for permission to seek comfort. 

They'd get back to where they were before, both of them knew. 

They also knew this would happen again. 

But until then, Twelve was content to fall asleep to the familiar forest green that came with Nine's mumbled words as he drifted off.