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Briste (Vamp!Jack X Human!Mark)

Chapter Text

Skype Messages.

JackSepticEye: So it’s agreed? I’ll edit my the reaction compilation if you edit Cluster Truck.

PixelPit: Sounds like a plan dude! I’ll get on it in the morning. Currently, it’s 9:38 and I am not working until tomorrow.

JackSepticEye: I don’t blame you man, Jesus were we playing for that long? Wow, I always get so lost when playing Overwatch, I forget the time. I should go hunting, after all. My sister is visiting tomorrow, Lauren the human one. I should have had some form of blood before she comes. Don’t want a repeat of when I first turned.


PixelPit: You still beat yourself up for something that happened ten years ago? Your sister isn’t mad at you, none of your friends treat you differently because of that one time mistake. You don’t need to keep blaming yourself. Besides, your dad told you that it was normal especially since you had just turned. It wasn’t you. It was all instinct.

JackSepticEye: I’ve always felt shitty about it. Instinct or not, I should’ve had more control. I’ll never forget how I acted and that day I promised myself I would never allow myself to do that again.

PixelPit: Just don’t be all mopey around her okay? You know she worries about you, she knows you still feel guilty about that.

JackSepticEye: Yeah, I mean. I have blood-bags in but it’s a little awkward drinking from one in front of humans. It’s only a natural reaction but they always get kind of grossed out. And yes, this includes you, I know how you reacted. It was so easy to tell.

PixelPit: Hey, for your information I wasn’t grossed out. I was… Just… Not used to seeing that.


JackSepticEye: More or less the same thing. Anyhow, I've prepared my bag with a spare top and jacket so I don’t have to walk home covered in blood. I’ll leave my phone at home while I got hunting. So, talk to you later.


PixelPit: Yeah, see ya later dude and I hope you catch something ;)

JackSepticEye: Thanks, man, I’ll probably message you when I get home or in the morning :)

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack put his phone on his bedside table, plugging the charger in so he could do his usual hour on Tumblr before bed when he got home. Jack picked up his backpack slinging it over his shoulder before making his way out of the house locking the door and hiding the spare key under the plant-pot as he always did.

 

Once in the woods, he hid his bag in its usual place before heading off.

 

Jack was hunting, something he did regularly. Tonight had been a slow night, meaning he’d been out an hour and found nothing. Jack was making his way deeper into the woods. Maybe he’d just waited too long, after all. It was 11 pm, it was possible that the animals had moved further into the woods to sleep.

 

Although he knew that when it was quiet, it was likely that there was another vampire or even hunters around. Either way, Jack knew he should be careful.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack had been searching for another half an hour and he was beginning to lose hope. He found himself at a lake as he sat down letting out a sigh, mumbling to himself “Not every hunt is successful… Maybe I should head home an’ try again tomorrow… It’s not like I’m starving.” Jack head quickly looked up searching his surroundings. Had he just heard something?

 

He was silent, searching his environment. He searched, paying close attention to any possible hiding places.

 

Nothing.

 

He sniffed the air his eyes widening, there were at least four other scents in the air around him. He sniffed again. Wolfsbane? That didn’t grow in this part of the woods, which meant one thing. Hunters.

 

Jack stood up, he was not going to be caught. He would go home and try hunting again tomorrow. His pace was fast as he began to make his way out of the woods and back to town, even if he had to crash at his parents place at the edge of the woods, his mother and father would understand.

 

Jack had almost managed to get out of the woods. Almost. He felt something hit in the neck. He hissed and pulled it out to see. A blow dart? Really? Jack needed to get out. Instead of just walking at a fast pace, he was now running. But he quickly found that his pace was slowly on its own, he was becoming light-headed, he was starting to stumble.

 

But he needed to get away, he knew that he needed to get away. He just had to! He was desperate, he was still trying, hoping and praying that he could get away.

 

Jack’s legs turned to jelly and gave way underneath him. He was pulling himself across the floor, his fingers clawing at the ground as he dragged his limp body. Shadows surrounded Jack, he felt hands grabbing his legs as he began to beg, his body wanting him to go to sleep, but his mind screaming at him, telling him to fight and too run. His voice was strained and raspy his body slowly shutting down “P-Please… I-I haven’t hurt anyone! I-I I don’t kill people… Y-You ca-can’t d-d-do th-is…” Jack’s eyes closed and he couldn’t reopen them. Slowly his thoughts slowed coming to a stop. And that was his last moment of consciousness.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Chapter Text

Cold.

 

That was what woke Jack. He sat up quickly panting his eyes wide but unadjusted to the light. He squinted looking away. A shiver ran itself up Jack’s spine, he rubbed his arms noticing. No clothes? His gaze moved to look at himself, he’d been left in nothing but his boxers.

 

He heard a gruff voice that spoke to him in a mocking tone “Sorry for the abrupt waking blood-sucker. But we were getting bored and this is a lot more entertaining.” Jack lifted his hand to rub his eyes. He tried to stand but noticed something. A cold feeling around his ankles. He looked to see two iron shackles fasteners around his ankles. Jack tried to pull them off. Tried to break free. But he couldn’t. As he did so he noticed four men come out of the shadows. They were laughing at him.

 

Jack pulled as hard as he could, using all the strength he had in his body. But it would not be enough.

 

After pulling for half an hour, he fell back panting. The four men above him smirked. Jack swallowed thickly as he said “Please… I can assure, I-I’ve never hurt anyone. I never killed anyone… I don’t hunt humans… I use animal blood most of the time. I am not a danger to anyone. There is no need t’ do this. I am not a threat.” One of the men chuckled as he said “We honestly don’t care… All we care about is the fact that you’re a monster. And we have a certain treatment that we give monsters.” Jack noticed his body freeze, easily picking up on the threat in the other man’s tone. Jack shuffled back, but he ended up backing into a wall. The four men surrounded Jack.

 

Two of the men came forwards grabbing Jack by the arms forcing him to stand up. Both men now held him firmly. Jack couldn't escape.

 

A small whimper came from the vampire as he watched, only able to wait.

 

Before Jack could register what was going on he was punched in the stomach. He let out groan closing his eyes on impact. Shit… These guys weren’t messing around.

 

Punch, after punch after punch. Jack begged them to stop, to have mercy, he told them that he would do whatever they wanted. But his captors weren’t listening. Jack lost count of how many times he was hit. His body wanted to collapse, but they were still holding him up. Another punch, this time, he coughed noticing a warm liquid beginning to rise in him.

 

More punches, to his stomach, the warm liquid still rising.

 

He was punched again, Jack coughed, the liquid that had been building now escaping, blood came from him. But this only urged his captors more. They continued, making him cough up more and more blood. His legs threatened to give way beneath him. But his captors still held him up.

 

Jack’s eyes were growing heavier, his body quickly becoming weaker. His head lulled forward as he struggled to keep himself conscious.

 

Finally, he was dropped, immediately collapsing to the floor, landing in terms puddle of blood he'd coughed up. Jack was still coughing and gasping. For once, he thanked the fact that he was a vampire, it meant that his body could take just a little more abuse. His body shuddered, his breathing was labored. Right now, his fangs were at full extent and his eyes had changed colour, the sclera was black and his iris was red. But that was because right now, his body was weak and the fact that he was a vampire, was the only thinking helping him hold on.

 

Jack was kicked, the kick forcing him back, hitting the wall with a thud that echoed around the dark basement. Jack laid on the floor his eyes half open, his head spun. There was a ringing in his ears. He saw the four men leaving, making their way up the stairs at the opposite side of the room. Before he passed out he heard one of the men call “Enjoy your stay blood-sucker. You’re never getting out of here… At least not alive.” Jack’s eyes closed as he lost consciousness.

 

Chapter Text

 

Back at Jack’s apartment.

Lauren knocked on the door to as she called in a sing-song voice “Seán! I’m here.” she waited patiently for her brother to answer the door. She waited….

 

And waited…  

 

Maybe he was recording and couldn’t hear the door, she pulled out her phone and began to call him, Jack always kept his phone on his desk on vibrate. Jack would notice his phone and be able to let her in. The phone rang…

 

...And rang…

 

And went to voicemail? That was not like Jack at all. Trying to push away her worries, she called again. Jack had to be busy. It was logical.

 

But once more the call went to voicemail. Something was up. Worry for her brother kicking in she knocked on the door again calling desperation in her tone “Seán, you’re starting to scare me. Open up please!” once more there was no reply. Lauren felt awful about it, but she had no other choice. She remembered that Jack had mentioned keeping a spare key. Her gaze moved to the plant-pot to the left-hand side of the door, she moved it to the side spotting the silver key.

 

Taking the key she unlocked the door calling “Seán it’s Lauren! Your sister, I wouldn’t normally let myself in but you weren’t answering me. I got worried.” he could’ve slept in. Any minute now she would hear Jack groaning as he got up or she would hear him yelling apologizes for oversleeping.

 

Silence filled the apartment. Lauren started to check all the rooms, the TV in the living room was turned off. The kitchen was empty and didn’t smell like coffee. Which implied that Jack wasn’t even awake yet. She made her way upstairs calling “Seán ?” she checked his bedroom, the storage room. The bathroom door was open so she could see that he wasn’t there. The recording room. That was the only room left. She knocked. Nothing.

 

Lauren tested the handle her eyes widening when the door opened. Jack ALWAYS locked the door, it was a habit he had gotten into when Jack had roommates. Lauren looked around the room, but there was no Jack.

 

Where was her brother?

 

Lauren returned to Jack’s bedroom, the bed didn’t even look like it had been slept in. She looked around the room, maybe there would be some indication of the last time Jack was in hear? Her eyes scanned the room before falling on Jack’s phone, it was on the bedside table.

 

Lauren walked over to the phone and picked it up, she knew Jack’s password 0702, his birthday. The phone unlocked and Lauren looked at the notifications. The earliest one was from 10 pm. Jack hadn’t touched his phone since before 10 pm? 

 

She was about to put the phone down when it began to ring. PixlePit on skype was calling. Maybe he would know where Jack was. Or where Jack went. Lauren knew it was kind of rude to look at her brother's phone like this and answer his calls. But it wasn’t like Jack to not have warned Lauren that he would be out and the fact that the bed wasn’t messy and his phone hadn’t been touched in over 12 hours was scaring her.

 

She answered the phone as she spoke politely “Hello?” on the other end of the phone she heard a confused male voice “Erm… Jack? What the fuck did you hunt last night to make your voice so high?” Lauren cleared her throat “This isn’t Jack, it’s his sister Lauren… He… He’s not home… I used the spare key he hides under the plant pot to get in. I’ve searched the house he’s not here… Have you talked to him recently?” the male on the other end of the phone was silent “He’s not home yet? We were talking last night. I’m his editor Robin… He went out hunting late last night… Like 9:45 ish… You don’t think something could’ve happened to him do you?” Lauren let out a sigh “I don’t know… If he got cornered by hunters he might have gone to our parents. I’ll head over there now and look for him. I’ll take his phone with me so I can contact you if I find anything.”

 

“Yes, thanks… Please. If you find something let me know… Jesus… I’m worried now.” Robin said sounding shocked. Lauren let out a sigh as she said “So am I… Like I said. I’ll go check our parent's place.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

It was an hour an half to get the bus and then walk to the log cabin where her parents lived. She knocked on the door as she called “Ma? Dad? Seán ? Any of you in?” the door opened and Lauren was greeted by her father “We’re in Lauren and we’re happy to see you… But if you’re looking for Jack he’s probably at his apartment.” Lauren frowned as she said “He’s not… I was there, I was visiting him today… He didn’t answer the door or his phone so I used the spare key to get in. I search the house but he wasn’t there… He left his phone and one of his friends called. Robin… He said that Jack went out hunting last night about 9:45. You haven’t heard from him or saw him?”

 

As Lauren explained the situation her father's eyes became wide his worry clear “H-He’s missing?” Lauren nodded. Her father shook his head “I’ll search the woods…” Lauren said “Let me come with you.” her father nodded “Yeah, two of us are better than jus’ one of us.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Oisin, Lauren’s father, lead her into the woods. Oisin stopped by a bush as he pulled out a backpack that Lauren recognized as her brother. Oisin looked at the bag for a moment, sniffing the air before he said “This was left hear last night at about 10 pm… The scent is old and baring clinging to the bag.” Oisin slung the bag over his shoulders as he let out a sigh “I can try to make out the rest of Jack’s scent but… It’s not gonna be easy…” Oisin sniffed the air again.  As he began to walk, Lauren following, making sure to keep an eye on the surroundings in hopes that she would catch a glimpse of her brother.

 

Oisin did his best to follow the scent but it was old and starting to fade.

 

They walked around the woods for an hour before Oisin stopped his gaze falling to the ground. He knelt down as he picked up the blow dart, he sniffed it a growl coming from him “Bastards!” he cursed. Lauren looked at her father as she said “What is it?” Oisin let out a sigh “This dart… It’s normally used to sedate animals… But from what I can tell, Jack was chased by hunters and they used this on him… Jack… Jack has to be with them… But I have no way of finding out who these hunters are or where they took him.” Lauren’s eyes widened as she looked at her father “W-What are you saying?” Oisin let out a sigh “I’m saying that we need to inform the police of what's happened… Jack has been kidnapped.”

 

Tears began to roll down Lauren’s cheeks, he breath hitched in her throat at the word. Oisin and Lauren didn’t need to say anything more. They both knew what happened to vampires that were taken by hunters.” Lauren took a deep breath in trying to calm her nerves as she said “I-I should inform Jack’s friends… Maybe they can appeal to their communities to start an online campaign…” Oisin nodded “That's a good idea, I also think it best that you stay at Jack’s house for a couple days, keep an eye on things there. In case he’s able to fight his way out and come home. Jack is strong and we should have faith in him… But we also need to prepare for the worst.” Lauren nodded her head as she said “I’ll go back to his place now.”

~~~~____~~~

Lauren went back to Jack’s apartment. She walked into the living room looking around. It felt wrong. The whole situation. But she knew she had to remain strong and she had to tell Jack’s friends, she got Jack’s phone out of her bag and unlocked it immediately seeing a message from Robin.

PixelPit: Have you found him?

 

She had to use her brother's phone to message the guy, even if it felt wrong.

JackSepticEye: It’s still Lauren, we found a bag with a clean t-shirt and hoodie and we found a blow dart that dad said they used to sedate Jack. From what we can tell, he’s been taken by hunters. I need to warn the rest of Jack’s friends.
PixelPit: Go to Jack’s recording room, his camera is hooked up to his computer, log into the computer the password is WooshieDooshie. Once you’ve logged into go on to his skype and tell me. I can create a group call with most of his friends, or at least the ones he talks to regularly.
JackSepticEye: His password his WooshieDooshie? Why?
PixelPit: It’s his work computer, he uses that password because it's as random as he is. It also means if I ever stay at Jack's I can help him edit videos.
JackSepticEye: That's fair.

Lauren made her way up to the recording room logging onto the computer, just as Robin has said.

 

The computer loaded fast, she opened skype and there was already an invitation to a group call. She accepted the invite looking at the camera.

The call consisted of Robin (PixelPit), Mark (Markiplier), Felix (PewDiePie), Bob (muyskerm), Wade (LordMinion777), Ethan (CrankGamePlays) and Tyler (Apocalypto_12). As the call loads up, everyone’s face falls, Mark is the first to speak “J-Jack is…” Lauren lets out a sigh, her gaze moving down “I-I was supposed to be visiting him today. But when I came he wasn’t hear, to cut a long story short I decided to see if maybe he was at our parents... But he wasn’t, my dad helped me look around the woods but… We’ve found the evidence to tell us that… Jack was taken by hunters.” Tyler rubbed the back of his neck as he cursed “Fuck…” Lauren nodded “Yeah, my dad said that I should stay here in case Jack can fight his way out and come home.” Wade nodded as he said “That's the logical thing…” Lauren nodded again before she said “But we need your help… Is there any way you could all maybe but a message out to your communities, asking that if anyone knows anything about Jack’s whereabouts that they contact the Irish police?” Everyone participating in the call nodded Ethan saying “Of course we can and Tyler and I can talk to the LA Hunters, we can try and find out if anyone we know took Jack… After all, they shouldn’t have, Jack didn’t do anything wrong.” Lauren let out a sigh as she admitted “That's what I’m afraid of; if this is a rogue group of hunters there's nothing to stop them killing Jack… Or worse.” Bob looked confused “Worse?” Ethan went pale “Well… Hunters like myself an’ Tyler, only go after vampires that harm and kill humans… But rogue hunters… They.. Th-hey…” Ethan shook his head pulling away from the camera “I-I can’t I… Please… You have to tell us that this is a joke! That Jack hasn’t been taken!” Lauren shook her head “No. And if our suspicions are correct then… We all have right to be worried.” However, Bob was still confused “What could they do that's worse than killing him.” Ethan took his headphones off as he said “I can’t… S-Someone else will have to say it.” Ethan left the call. Tyler let out a sigh as he said “Rogue hunters normally have a passionate hate for vampires, worse than my own… And… They’ve been known to torture vampires, not killing them but bringing the vampire as close as possible because… Well, a vampire can take a lot more abuse than a human could.” Mark shook his head as he said “I better go talk to Ethan… He’ll take this personally… But I promise that I’ll put out a message to the community.” Mark left the call.

 

Robin shook his head as he said “I’ll book a ticket and I’ll come stay with you at Jack’s place if you’d like Lauren. It might be best to have someone with you.” Lauren nodded as she said “That would be lovely. Thank you, Robin… It… It’s wrong being here alone. You know?” Robin nodded “Yeah, so it’s agreed that we’ll all put a message out looking for Jack.” Everyone on the call agreed before telling Lauren how sorry they were to hear that this had happened. The call ended and Robin promised to message Jack’s phone as soon as he had sorted out his plane tickets.

 

When he sent the message wi5h the details about his tickets, he also gave Lauren his number so they wouldn't have to use Jack's phone anymore.

 

Chapter Text

~~~~____~~~~

 

4 Days Later

 

Jack woke as something cold and wet was thrown over him. He sat up quickly and let out a growl as he glared at his four captors “Fucking cold water? Isn’t that gettin’ old yet?” the one that Jack had come to identify as the leader of the group tutted as he said “Such hostility… Where’s the ‘nice Jackyboy’ we heard about.” Jack’s eyes widened with shock, his face falling. It was the first time they had used any variant of his name. Normally they called him ‘ blood-sucker ’ or ‘ monster ’. They knew his name? More to the point, Jackaboy was something he called himself on YouTube, does that mean they knew about his channel?

 

Jack looked up at the them as one of the pulled a phone from their pocket. They knelt down and showed Jack the phone, his gaze moved to the male as he said “I have bad eye-sight… May I hold it?” the man nodded, Jack carefully took the phone. It was opened on twitter. Jack’s twitter? Jack looked at the post. It was… It was an appeal made by his community and it had over 25k retweets (That was more retweets than he had subscribers). His eyes filled with hope as he looked at it. Robin knew his twitter details, mainly so if Jack ever got side-tracked Robin could post the links to his videos and stuff like that. Robin had re-tweeted the post for him. He scrolled down to see a link to another post, the link lead him to Mark’s tumblr.

Markiplier: I never thought I would make a post like this. Not ever… But here I am. JackSepticEye, one of my best friends, my boyfriend, has gone missing. By request of his family, I can’t go into a lot of details. But this is what I can share. Jack left his home about 9:30pm - 9:45pm Tuesday night, he headed out into the woods and that was the last anyone heard from him. His family have searched the woods and all the spots where they can usually find him, the Irish Police are involved and they’re working with a specialist investigation team to work out where Jack is. This message is to silence rumours. Jack hasn’t just “given up” like some have said. I know Jack would never give up on anything, he’s passionate, he’s strong and I know that where-ever he is, no matter what’s happened or even what he’s going through he would never give up. We’re looking for any information, maybe you saw Jack in the woods, maybe he left the woods and went somewhere else. If you think you know something please email garda.ie@gmail.com  make the subject of the email Missing Person: Sean William McLoughlin . Thank you, Mark.

 

Jack couldn’t help but smile down at the phone. Mark was right, he was strong. He couldn’t let these assholes tear him down and break him. Not when so many people were counting on him, when so many people were praying for his safe return. Jack would not let these bastards win.

He looked up at them and couldn’t help the smirk that formed across his features “I told you people would know… I told you my absence would be noticed… You haven’t got a chance.” that earned him a kick to the stomach. SHIT! They were wearing steel-toe-capped boots?

 

Jack fell back with a groan from the kick to his already bruised stomach, his head, arms and back making sharp contact with the floor. One of them took the phone back, the other pulled something from behind them. Before Jack could question it he felt something around his neck. His hands reached up to tug at it, when a shock ran through his body making him howl out in pain. He flopped to the floor panting as he said shakily “W-What...was that?” Jack managed to sit himself up to see the leader of the group holding a remote. He wore a smirk as he said simply “A shock collar?” Jack growled at man as he said “A shock collar? Don’t you use those thing on- AH!” another shock, Jack collapsed back to the floor. Jack shuddered.

 

What the fuck was the setting on this collar? He’d used one before, playing truth or dare with Mark, Felix and Ken at a convention before (Because of all the things Felix could have brought with him to a convention, it was a shock collar). Jack knew that Felix had done it all in good fun and honestly while he had felt the shock, it was uncomfortable and made him let off a small yelp, more from the surprise of the shock... It didn’t nearly knock him out like this one was.

 

Jack’s arms wobbled beneath him as he sat himself up. Only just able to support his own weight. His gaze met the leader of the groups. He let out a snarl his eyes flashing red as he said “You’re not going to win… Whatever this is, whatever you’re trying to prove. It’s not gonna work. You’ll have to do worse than this...” The leader chuckled as he said “Oh now Jack, do not tempt me… I have plenty of ways to break you. Physically, mentally and emotionally. And I know it’s gonna a fun ride… For both is us.” Jack hissed baring his fangs at the other. Which earned him another shock. He yelped as he once more fell to the floor. His body shuddered and arched, this time he couldn’t sit himself back up. He noticed footsteps moving away as he heard the leader's voice call “We’ll see you later, Jack. Maybe then you will have learned how to behave like a goodboy.”

Chapter Text

 

Lauren was pacing back and forth.

 

The police were currently talking to her father, they wanted to know what he’d managed to find over the past four days. She was anxious, to say the least, Four days without Jack.

 

Mark, Bob, Wade, Ethan, Tyler and Felix had all sent messages out to their communities asking for information about Jack’s whereabouts. But nothing had come back, only supportive messages from worried fans directed at the YouTubers and at Jack’s family.

 

So far all the internet knew of the incident was that Jack had gone missing, the Youtubers had been asked not to mention that Jack had been taken by hunters, they didn’t need to worry Jack’s community more than they already were. Some of Jack’s community relied on Jack as a distraction from the real world drama, telling his community that the vampire they loved had been taken from them, telling them that there was a high possibility of never seeing Jack again…

None of them had the heart to do it. They couldn’t do that to Jack’s community.

 

None of them wanted to admit it to themselves. Jack’s family and his friends were all silently holding onto the hope that Jack could fight his way home.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Oisin left the room, the police officer following behind him. Lauren looked at the officer with hopeful eyes. He shook his head as he said “We haven’t been able to locate Seán as of yet and we’ve had no information... I will take what your father has told me back to the station and our team will look at everything that is available to us.” there was a pause before he let out a sigh “I am truly sorry that this has happened to you all… I wish you all the best of luck.” the officer left.

 

Lauren shook her head as she said “I’m going to talk to Mark. He might’ve heard something.” Oisin grimaced, but he didn’t object. Oisin didn’t really believe in the power of the internet, but Lauren always seemed a little better after talking to the American. Even if they didn’t know anything more about Jack, talking seemed to improve Lauren’s mood.

Lauren had been talking to all of Jack’s friends. Ethan had taken the news the worst. But he was a vampire just like Jack, it was understandable that it would hit Ethan hard because he would be able to put himself in the same situation. Lauren sat in the guest room as she got her laptop out. Robin had told her that she should use Jack’s computer, that he wouldn’t mind. But she didn’t want to, she felt awkward about it.

 

She logged into her skype and quickly sent a message to Mark.

Lauren: Afternoon Mark.

Mark: Hmm… It’s morning for me, so good morning.
Lauren: Time-zones are a bitch.
Mark: Kinda, something on your mind?
Lauren: The police were asking for information about Jack… They haven’t found anything yet.

Mark: I’m sure they’re doing their best.
Lauren: Which of us are you trying to convince?

Mark: Both of us? I can’t help it, I’m just worried about him…
Lauren: Yeah, I know. Me too. Have you slept yet?
Mark: Does passing out from exhaustion count as sleep?

Lauren: Only if you tell me that it counts.
Mark: Still having trouble resting?
Lauren: I could say the same to you.
Mark: I’ve tried to just… Forget or push it to the back of my mind so I can rest, even just for a couple hours. But I can’t. I just want Jack back and safe. I want to be able to hold him again and tell him he’s safe.
Lauren: You and me both.
Mark: I just wish I could do something!

You know what… Fuck it! I’m buying the first ticket I can to Ireland and I’ll look for Jack myself.
Lauren: My dad told me that I can’t help because I’m human. He doesn’t want anyone getting hurt because of this.
Mark: But I'm an informant! It's my job to get information. I can handle myself!
Lauren: Hold on, this would be easier over call.

Lauren called Mark and he answered immediately. Mark looked worse than she did, Mark’s normally bright hazel eyes were dull, lifeless and tired, he was starting to get bags under his eyes, his hair was a mess like he hadn’t brushed it in days. He was also wearing the same shirt that he had been wearing for three days. Lauren let out a sigh "My dad just' doesn't want anyone else getting hurt because of this... It's bad enough that Jack's missing." Mark shook his head “But isn't more help what is best? I don't care about getting hurt. Again, that was the expectation of my job..." Lauren shrugged shaking her head "I argued the same thing, that surely more people looking would help. But my dad said that bringing more people into the situation complicates things… That by pretending that we’re oblivious they might let him go." Mark looked shocked as he snapped "Why would that make them let him go?? I don't understand!" Lauren shrugged a little "Dad thinks that they want us to try and contact them. I don’t know how he thinks we’re going to do that but… I don’t know.”

 

Mark made a noise of frustration, running fingers through his hair as his arm rested on desk. God, he hated this. Was there really nothing he could do? "Fuck....There's gotta be something else..." Lauren let out a sigh her gaze moving down "I'm sorry Mark... I know how helpless this whole situation makes you feel... Maybe... Maybe there is something you can do..." There was a pause "Maybe you should tell people the truth… That we now know he was taken away, he’s not just missing. It might put pressure on whoever has him! They might feel cornered and let him go… But… We also need to avoid a freak out from Jack’s fans. They rely on him.” Mark made a face as he said "I don't know...  I mean, yes we should tell his fans. But I doubt there's any way to avoid a massive freak out… They’re worried enough because they think he’s missing… Telling them that he was definitely taken is going to provoke a reaction." Lauren let out a sigh "True... But at least if we break the news... It should soften the blow somewhat It’s going to get out eventually.” Mark shook his head as he said “The internet freaked when they thought he just took a wrong turn. Confirming that he was taken... We're talking about more than 15 million people who will be worried... " Lauren hung her head letting out a sigh "I know but...They'll find out anyway… After all, if he just wandered off then he’d be back by now. They’d have found him…”

Mark nodded his head "Of course they will. I'm not against telling them. They deserve to know. I just can't promise their reaction will be calm or rational.... " Lauren also nodded "I know... I know... But... We can be hopeful right?" "I guess." Mark sighed, running his hand through his hair again. "I’d just rather be honest..." he mumbled softly.

 

Lauren truly did understand Mark’s point, he wanted to be honest with Jack’s fans; because that's what Jack would want. They were always so honest with him and he always did his best, to be honest back, where appropriate at least. They were withholding information from Jack’s fans, but that was for fear that drawing too much attention to the situation would only encourage Jack’s captors to harm him or kill him "I get it but...The last thing we want to do is worry his community by telling them 'Jack's been taken by vampire hunters that might have killed him." Mark scoffed "At least it would be treating the situation with the attention it deserves..." Lauren shook her head as he said "It's not that simple... I know the situation deserves attention...Really I do... But... We have to be realistic... They have Jack. Rouge hunters are cruel... They tend to hurt the vampires they take until they vampire is begging for death... We need to hope that he's safe and that... He's not in danger..."

Despite the small screen, Mark's webcam showed his body going rigid.  "I-I..." The word was soft as his gaze trailed elsewhere. Even if it was the sister's attempts to be optimistic, there was still the image of Jack begging for death now placed in his mind. He was trying not to think about the man he loved bloodied and beaten. He tried to push away the thought of Jack being at the mercy of people who planned to kill him. However, there was no denying that it was what was going on. Or worse, what had already happened  There could a be a body somewhere and no one would know. No one would know where to look. The American crumbled under the weight of his thoughts. His mind assaulted with things he didn't want to think of. His fingers clawed at his hair as other hand joined, clawing at the back of his head.  Folding in on himself, Mark's face was now buried in his elbows, almost off view of the camera "Jack... "

Lauren noticed the look Mark wore, the way he froze, the way his eyes glazed over. And she could understand the American's feelings. It was her brother... More to the point, Jack had told Robin that he was going hunting because Lauren was visiting him. If Lauren hadn't planned to visit, he might not have gone out. Jack wouldn't be missing, Jack would be at home, probably screaming at a video game. Jack was missing and probably being beaten and abused, solely because he was outside while the hunters were. Tears were rolling down her cheeks, she was now shaking. This whole situation was her fault.

 

Mark was quiet for a moment, still clawing at his hair. But he knew better than to unravel entirely in front of someone who was practically a stranger, especially Jack's sister. The two had been getting closer, but Mark couldn’t crumble in front of her. Mark had promised to be there for Lauren, breaking down would be doing the exact opposite of being there for her. Shaking his head as if trying to shake away his thought,  Mark slowly let his hands fall back onto the desk. The American took a deep breath before letting it go as he lifted his head again. "Sorry... Just need a moment. I should-" Mark started to explain until catching sight of Lauren's tears. "Shit... I'm sorry, Lauren... I'll get the word out about Jack. Don't worry..." He made a hard effort to give a reassuring smile but his body language was still tense.

Hearing Mark's voice she snapped out of her thoughts. He swallowed thickly, wiping her eyes, hiccuping a sob as he said her accent thicker as she tried to stop herself from crying "I-I'm the one who should be sorry Mark... I-I'd planned t' visit Jack... He was talkin' t' Robin before he left... H-He... Jack went out hunting because he was expecting me... If anything happens to him... It's gonna be all my fault..." Lauren used her sleeve to wipe her eyes again, but more tears rolled down her cheeks. "No.... No, no, no! Don't think like that. That's like saying it's Jack's fault for going in the woods. No one saw this coming..." Mark rambled quickly, shaking his head. Lauren shook her head "It is my fault! He's so scared of accidentally hurting me all because of his slip up when he first became a vampire... He went out because of me... I-If I hadn't have been visiting... He wouldn't have gone out a-and... And he would be here..."

"You Mcloughlin's..." Mark sighed with an almost amused smile, it seemed that Jack and his youngest sister did have something in common (Apart from the blue eyes at least), they both blamed themselves for things that were out of their control. Jack always blamed himself for accidentally hurting Lauren and later for accidentally hurting Mark, even though Lauren and Mark weren’t mad. Lauren was blaming herself for someone else taking Jack. "Jack's reason for going out doesn't make it your fault... The only fault it is are the ones who took him!" the last part almost had a bit of growl to it.

 

Lauren once more used her sleeve to wipe her eyes, she laughed. More to try and push her tears away as he said "I need to stop cryin'... My makeup isn't waterproof." she let out another laugh, she was changing the subject or at least trying to. Mark looked at Lauren for a moment. Lauren managed to calm herself as she said “The worst part is, they probably don't even know who Jack is, let alone if he has a family or not. To them, Jack is a vampire and that's reason enough to take him."Mark sighed, rubbing the back of his neck with both hands. "That's the sick part about it…" Lauren nodded her head.  She noticed the way Mark looked, the way he rubbed his neck "Mark... I-I know this is hard... If you need someone to talk to... To vent to... To curse the world with. Don't hesitate to call me." Mark smiled a little. "Heh, thanks.  Same to you..." She smiled softly "No problem. Remember yer not alone." Mark nodded his head, his smile widening a little"I know. We're all here for each other." She nodded "We need to stick together."

Mark looked at her as he said determination in his tone "We'll find Jack..."

Lauren hung her head as she said "I hope so..."

Mark nodded at her as he said "I know...."

Lauren cleared her throat as he said “Well, I won’t keep you any longer. You probably have things to do today. But remember what I said if you need to talk. I’m here.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Yeah, I need to try and record some videos. I’ll talk to you later Lauren.”

Chapter Text

1 Month from being taken.

 

Jack lay in the cage his captor’s threw him in last night.

 

Over the last month he had been beaten, whipped, cut, shocked, burned and forced to eat wolfsbane. Jack’s body shuddered. They were keeping him alive but barely… And all his meals now came in bowls, he couldn’t use his hands, he had to kneel on the floor hands bound behind his back as he ate out of the bowl like an animal. Because that what they saw him as, an animal... His water was the same. The only thing he could use his hands for was the blood bag they threw in every couple of days.

 

Jack used to hate having to drink blood, he never understood why he needed it. But now he knew, he felt the burning in the back of his throat, he felt his stomach twist as it growled at him begging him to satisfy his cravings. He now knew true hunger. Every time they threw a blood bag in he would quickly pounce towards it, holding it tightly as he drank it quickly trying to appease his thirst. Jack knew now that these hunters wanted to make him out to be an animal. He wanted to prove that he wasn’t. But that was getting harder to do.

 

But he couldn’t help it, these hunters purposefully beat him so his body would try to heal, it exhausted him and made his hunger come back quickly. It was a vicious cycle, he tried not to feed, tried to prove that he could act human, that he wasn’t the monster they wanted him to be. But he found that if he didn’t use the blood bag, he was tormented by it, unable to do anything but stare at it hungrily until he gave in.

 

Jack let out a sigh. He heard a voice say “You were good today baby-boy. You deserve a reward.” A tablet was pushed through the bars. Jack took it as he went to Youtube, he went straight to Mark’s channel. He hated doing as he was told, responding to that sickening nick-name they had given him, obeying them being their perfect little pet . But when he did as he was told, he was given an hour to watch youtube or check his friends twitter or tumblr accounts

 

The first time they gave him the tablet, he tried to put out a status on twitter, but they saw what he was doing, he was shocked and beaten for an hour straight. Jack wasn’t going to be that stupid again.

 

Jack looked through Mark’s newest videos, playing them at double speed so he could watch them in the time he was permitted.

 

Originally, Jack’s hope was that Mark would keep mentioning him, keep asking for information so that someone could find Jack. But there was only ever one video made, one twitter post that was basically the video put into text. Mark didn’t mention him...

 

Jack’s hope was slowly fading. And of course, he was monitored while on the tablet. The man monitoring him called himself Greg, probably not his real name. But it was easier than just calling him ‘man’ or ‘dude’ . Greg looked at Jack as he said “When will you realise that he’s moved on?” Jack growled a little as he said “Mark is my boyfriend… He’s just... Putting on a brave face for our fans… I-I know he hasn’t given up on me.” Greg looked at Jack and Jack tensed for a moment expecting to be shocked for growling. Instead, Greg wore a look of sympathy “Has he mentioned you? At all since the original post? Has he asked for information has he ever reshared the original post hoping to catch someone's attention with it?” Jack’s head hung. But he wouldn’t cry. Not in front of one of his captors “Mark wouldn’t give up on me… He’s always been supportive of me, even when he knew I was a vampire.” Greg shifted his position so he could face Jack, he looked at him as he said calmly “Your ‘ boyfriend ’ was a hunter. We saw the information online. That your fans thought it was a little weird that you… a vampire would fall in love with a hunter.” Jack looked away as he corrected “Informant… And... He never put me in danger, if anything he protected me. The information he collected was meant to prove that I wasn’t a danger. He’s always helped me… He even lets me bite him when I needed to.”

 

Greg nodded “Okay, but surely even you know that he’s just pretending… He hasn’t even took a break from YouTube? He’s just continued on, he never came to Ireland to look for you when he knew you were missing, he stayed in America. Face it Jack, he’s been lying to you, he told you he loved you, acted like your boyfriend, let you bite him. Just to keep you onside as an easy source of information as well as an easy fuck.” Jack put the tablet down and turned his back on Greg letting out a low growl “He doesn’t see me like that… Mark isn’t using me… M-Mark cares for me… And I care fer him.”

Greg took the tablet as he stood up, he looked at Jack as he said “All I’m saying is, he hasn’t even tried to help you out of this situation… He’s forgotten about you and moved on.” Greg left and once he had. Jack broke down crying.

 

He didn’t want to believe that Mark had forgotten him, he didn’t want to think Mark had moved on. But Greg had a point, Mark didn’t come looking for him, he put out one message on two platforms. He didn’t even use all of his social media accounts. Only two. Jack had held onto the hope that someone would find him. But time dragged on.

 

Jack didn’t know how long he’d been stuck with the hunters, but from Mark’s videos he was able to gage that he’d been missing about 3-4 weeks. 3-4 weeks and no one found him.

 

But Jack knew he had to remain strong, he couldn’t let those hunters win. He had to keep his head up and hope that somehow he would get out of this. Somehow...

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack woke to the smell of food, he sat himself up as a bowl was pushed through the bars of his cage. He looked at it and grimaced, mixed up left overs of god knows what. It looked like slop. In fact he was sure slop would be more appetising. He looked up at the three men as he said “You really are trying’ t’ kill me aren’t ya.” the leader shook his head as he said “That’s your meal for the day. Now be a good boy and eat it.” Jack laid down again as he mumbled “I’m not hungry. Maybe later.” Jack closed his eyes, deciding that he was just going to rest a little more. That was when a shock ran through his body making him jump up. He glared at his captors as he said “I’m not hungry. Maybe later.” Jack was about to lay down again when he was shocked. He let out a growl, but immediately regret it getting another shock, he collapsed to the floor his body shuddering. He panted as he heard the leader taunting him “Now, now baby boy… We told you to eat. Are you being disobedient?” Jack had to take a moment to regain some of his strength, he looked up at the group as he glared at them “I’m not hungry yet… I’ll be sick if I eat when I’m not hungry. Come back later.” Jack was of course lying, he was hungry. But he’d rather starve than eat what they’d put in the bowl.

 

One of Jack’s captors unlocked the door to the cage. Jack quickly sat himself up trying to pull away as he started to ramble an apology, he didn’t want to be beat again, he couldn’t be beat again “I’m sorry! I’m not hungry… I-I’m just not hungry… But I might be later.” The one who had opened the cage grabbed Jack by the arm, another following suit taking his other arm as they dragged the panicking vampire out of the cage. He begging and pleading his captors not to harm him, to leave him alone. To come back later when he was hungry and he would eat the food he was presented with.

 

Once out of the cage the two hunters holding him, forced his mouth open. The leader of the group wore a devilish grin as he knelt down in front of Jack. The leader took a spoon from his pocket as his gaze moved to look at Jack “From what we saw on your Youtube channel, you love food. You talk about it enough, and it’s been almost 48 hours since we last fed you. So the fact that you’re ‘not hungry’ is a blatant lie. We can’t have you starving on us now. We would be putting ourselves at risk. So open wide !” the last part was said in a mocking, sing-song type voice. Jack was trying to close his mouth. But he was weak after a whole month of relentless torture, very few meals and very little blood. He couldn’t fight back. He couldn’t break free. He couldn’t even stop them from keeping his mouth open.

 

The leader took the spoon, scooping some of the slop out of the bowl and emptying it in Jack’s mouth, the two holding him quickly shut his mouth and tipped his head back holding his nose and gently rubbing the front of his throat, forcing him to swallow the mouthful.

 

Jack could feel the slop burning the inside of his mouth, he tried not to swallow, tried to keep it in his mouth so he could spit it out. But he couldn’t, they wouldn’t release him and they wouldn’t let go of his nose, the rubbing against his throat making him reflexively want to swallow. Jack couldn’t stop it anylonger as he reflexively swallowed, his throat began to burn as the slop made it’s way down. The two let go, allowing Jack to hang his head forward. Tears were rolling down his cheeks from the pain. What the hell had they fed him? His gaze moved to the leader who said “Do you like what we made you? It’s a special recipe just for you… Left-overs from our food and wolfsbane, blended together.” Jack’s heart dropped, had he heard the right. He looked at the leader as he said “B-But wolfsbane is poisonous! I-I… I can’t eat it I’ll be sick! Hell that could even be fatal!!!” the man in front of him merely shrugged as he said “Not my problem.”

 

The process repeated itself as they force fed Jack the entire bowl of food. Finally, once he had eaten it all, they let him go. He fell forward, his body shuddering, he looked up at his four captors weakly. The wolfsbane already making him feel light headed. His stomach churned and growled unhappy with the poisonous food it had been forced to take. He could feel sick rising within in him. Two of his captors dragged him back into the cage before locking the door. Jack couldn’t fight. Couldn’t protest. He laid there limp, practically lifeless and allowed them to drag him along. They at least had the decency to lay him on his side so he wouldn’t choke on his own vomit.

 

When the cage door was shut, the two left leaving Jack and the leader of the group. The leader chuckled as he said “It took a little bit of persuasion but you were a good baby-boy today. I tell you what, if you can be good tomorrow. We’ll let you use the tablet again, let you watch those videos that you love so much. Keep that in mind. And I will see you soon baby-boy.” the leader left the room.

 

Jack coughed and spluttered the sick rising slowly in him, everything burned, his body ached, his stomach growled and lurched in protest. This was going to be a long night...Or day… He never really knew.

 

Judging by Mark’s upload schedule it had been a month, maybe a little more. Mark had mentioned Jack’s disappearance once. And it was never brought up again. His captors kept saying that Mark had forgotten and moved on… What if he had? Surely someone would’ve found him by now. It had been a month at least! Was he going to be stuck hear for the rest of his life? He shuddered at the thought. Mark couldn’t have forgotten him… He couldn’t… Mark was his boyfriend and he would come through for Jack…

 

Or at least, that was the thought that Jack held onto.

Chapter Text

Lauren was pacing in the front room. Robin let out a sigh as he said “You do this every week. And every week is the same.” Lauren let out a frustrated sigh “And what would ya have me do?” Robin looked like he was going to answer when he stopped “I-I don’t know but… Getting yourself so worked up won’t help… Hoping for Jack to have suddenly turned u-” Lauren cut Robin off as she yelled “He will turn up! He will! Don’t. You. DARE. Tell me, that I’m wasting my time worrying about my little brothers' safety. You have no idea what this is like!”

 

Robin let out a sigh, his gaze moving to the floor “I’m sorry Lauren, I didn’t mean for it to come across that way. But… It’s been a month and a half they haven’t found anything, no tracks, no possible leads… As far as the police are concerned Jack vanished into thin air.” Lauren threw herself back onto the couch, a tear rolling down her cheek “I hate this… I hate this. I hate this… I HATE THIS!” she put her elbows on her knees, her head in her hands as she tugged at her hair “I hate not being able to do anything. I hate waiting. I hate not knowing. I hate worrying. I hate everything about this situation.”

 

Robin laid his arm across her shoulders as he pulled her close hoping to comfort her “I get that… Really I do. I hate all of this too… But there isn’t a lot more that we can do. The police have tried, your father has tried… We can’t do anything else.”

 

Lauren tugged at her hair. All she could think about was how much she hated this situation, she hated not being able to help. And all she could do was blame herself for what happened.

 

Jack left because he knew she was coming to visit.

Jack left to hunt because he’s so afraid of accidentally hurting her.

Those hunters were out there and might not have even found a vampire if it hadn’t been for her.

 

Robin rubbed Lauren’s back trying to comfort her “Hey. Hey… I know what you’re thinking okay? It’s not your fault, Jack went out because he was hungry it wasn’t only because you were coming. He wouldn’t hunt if he didn’t think he needed it. None of this is your fault, Lauren. If anything the people to blame are the bastards that took him!” Lauren let out a sigh “I just… I-I can’t help but feel like it’s my fault.”

 

Robin took hold of Lauren’s hand as he looked at the blue-eyed Irish girl. She was so much like Jack, it was clear to see her resemblance “Lauren. Jack would not want you to blame yourself… He wouldn’t want you to worry so much.” Lauren rested her head on Robin’s shoulder as he held her in a comforting embrace “You’re right… As usual…” Robin chuckled as he said “I get it… Jack is your brother and you’re understandably worried. I’m worried, Jack is my best friend. But I keep in mind that, he would want me to keep a level head, he wouldn’t want me to worry…”

 

Lauren nodded a little pulling herself away from Robin, she smiled at him softly as she said “I’m glad you’re here Robin… That you said you’d stay with me until this mess is resolved. Some days I feel like you’re the only one keeping me sane.” Robin chuckled a little “Well, you’re keeping Mark sane… Or you’re doing your best to keep him sane while you’re an ocean away from him.” Lauren looked like she was about to say something when he phone began to ring on the coffee table. She looked at the caller I.D as she said “Speak of the devil… Mark probably needs to vent.”s she picked up her phone quickly heading upstairs as she answered.  Robin nodded his head as he said “Don’t worry about it, do what you need to do.” Lauren smiled at Robin as she whispered “Thank you.”

Chapter Text

Day Fifty-Three

 

“Baby-boy, are you awake?”

Jack stirred, as he looked up. They were back again. The leader smiled softly as he said “Good morning baby-boy sleep well?” Jack hated the way he was being spoken to. Hated that they were treating him like an animal that they had taken in and tamed. But if he did as he was asked, if he responded to them, the way they wanted him to. They didn’t hurt him, they let him watch youtube videos.

 

Jack nodded his head at the question. He positioned himself on his knee as he looked up at them. He was down on all fours, this was what they wanted. The leader smiled at him as he knelt down ruffling his hand through Jack’s faded, knotted green hair, it was longer, his brown roots now clearly showing, his hair having not been cut in almost 2 months “Who's a good boy? We have a surprise for you today baby-boy. Do you want to know what it is?” Jack tilted his head to the side questioningly. He was going to ask verbally, but his throat was so sore from screaming and shouting and begging.

He noticed the other two captors behind the leader, they had… something in their hand. What were they planning?

 

The leader opened the cage door as he said “Come here baby-boy.” Jack hesitated for a moment. Not moving, just looking. But slowly and cautiously he moved towards the man.

 

Once in front of the male, Jack was being praised, the leader stroking Jack’s hair and cheek “Good boy. You’re such a good pet for us.” the leader turned to face his two helpers as he said “Give him his surprise. Make sure he’s wearing it.” the leader backed away from Jack and he was tempted to flee. He didn’t know why but he didn’t trust what was going on. Something about, what was said.

The two approached Jack as he looked up at them, one of them brushed their thumb against his lower lip, encouraging him to open his mouth. He did as he was told opening his mouth a little.

 

Jack could now see what they had in their hand. It looked like another collar, it was a leather strap with a metal ring in the middle. So why would…

 

Oh no…

 

It wasn’t another collar it was an open my mouth gag. Jack, of course, knew them, he’d been on Tumblr long enough , Tumblr was full of things like that and you come across them whether you wanted to or not. Jack didn’t want to think about what they were going to have him do. Jack closed his mouth pulling back a little. One of the men looked at him as he said “Are you refusing.” Jack pulled back, looking away. The tone that had once been calm and praising now became low and threatening “Baby-boy… Do as you’re told.” Jack shook his head. The two backed off as the leader came towards Jack.

 

Instinctively, he shrunk back with a whimper. Cowering like a dog… The leader glared down at Jack as he said with a growl in his tone “Are you refusing? That's not what good pets do, is it?. Do we have to teach you a lesson?” Another whimper came from Jack as he tried to back into the cage.

 

He didn’t get far, he was grabbed by the collar and dragged across the room, Jack began to beg and plead “N-No, please… I-I-I’m sorry! I-I didn’t me-ean too!” but it wasn’t working as usual. His voice was strained and raspy, but he was trying. It was all he could do.

 

Jack was thrown against a wall letting out a yelp. By the time he had managed to recover he could see a knife in the lead hunter's hand. Jack tried to cower in the corner, tried to get away still begging and rambling “No p-please! I didn’t… I didn’t want… I’m sorry!!! I wasn’t refusing… I can be a good boy! I can… I can do whatever you want me to but please! Please don’t!”

 

No matter how much he begged and pleaded, it didn’t work. The leader of his captors pinned him to the floor, he was sat on his legs stopping him from moving, the two other grabbed Jack’s wrists and held him in place. The leader placed the blade against Jack’s side as he said “Move around and it’ll make it worse. Stay still and be a good baby-boy for us…”

 

The blade cut into his skin and Jack screamed. How deep was he being cut this time? Jack considered thrashing around, but that would only cause more injury and might cause him more problems, so he forced himself to stay as still as possible. All Jack could do was scream as he was cut up like a fresh piece of meat. The ordeal seemed to go on for an eternity. But finally, he was let go, he collapsed on the floor too weak to hold up his own weight.

 

His captors left him alone in the basement. Not bothering to force him back into the cage.

 

Jack spent the next couple of minutes trying to pull himself together, finally managing to get over the pain and sit himself up, Jack looked down at his side, it was bleeding. Jack placed his hand against the wound, hissing a little.

Jack crawled his way across the room, keeping his hand on the wound to hopefully stop the bleeding. Despite his hate of the cage, he had come to recognize it as his safe place. He crawled inside before sitting back. He moved his hand away from his wound. Finally able to see it. Jack felt sick, they had carved the wounds ‘baby-boy’ into his side.

 

He shuddered, tears coming to his eyes. How could… How could they do this to someone?

 

Jack curled up, pulling his legs to his chest as he began to cry.

Chapter Text

Mark woke with a start as he yelled “It’s okay!” Ethan looked at Mark with a small frown “Mark, you’re still not sleeping… It’s been a month and a half. You’re exhausted.” Mark let out a sigh as he said “The only way I can sleep is relying on Donormyl or by passing out through exhaustion.” Ethan’s gaze moved away “Mark, I know you’re worried about hi-” Mark cut the young vampire off as he snapped “Jack. I’m worried about Jack, my boyfriend. It’s easy for you and Tyler to get on with life! To pretend that nothing’s wrong. But part of my life was taken away from me. And I don’t know if he’s alive, if he’s dead, if he’s injured… All I can do is sit back and pray for his safety. So don’t and I mean DON’T tell me you know. You don’t. You DON’T know!”

 

A hand was placed on Mark’s shoulder, he looked to see Tyler looking at him with sympathy in his eyes “You’re right Mark. We don’t know. We were Jack’s friend sure, he was part of our lives because he was part of yours. But his disappearance directly affects you because you were both so close, because you cared for him and he cared for you.” Mark wore a look of surprise, even if he was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. Hearing Tyler talk about Jack without calling him a ‘ blood-sucker ’ without hearing some form of criticism. It very rarely happened. Tyler rolled his eyes “I might not have given Jack an easy time. But that’s because we’ve be friends for years Mark. You’re like a brother to me and I wanted to protect you. I gave Jack a hard time because I cared for you. But, I know that he really loved you, that he cared so much for you. Jack was- Jack isn’t a bad guy, he’s strong Mark. Strong enough to pull himself through . No matter what those hunters decide to do to him. And I can tell you his motivation.” Mark looked at Tyler as he said “Motivation? You mean not wanting to die!?” Tyler shook his head as he said “His motivation, will be getting home to you. Because he will know how upset you are. He’ll be fighting through so he can get home and back to you.”

 

Mark noticed tears welling up in his eyes, the thought of Jack coming home. The thought of Jack once more in his arms, safe and nuzzled into the crock of his neck. Being able to pepper Jack’s face with kisses and tell Jack how much he loved him. To have Jack in his arms. He was never going to let Jack go again.

 

Tyler let out a sigh removed his hand from Mark’s shoulder. He moved away as he said “I’m going out. Do you need anything picking up Mark?”

 

Mark quickly wiped his eyes with the back of his hand as he cleared his throat “I don’t think so. Where are you going?” Ethan grimaced as he looked at Tyler. Tyler let out a sigh “I… The hunters association called me in… Obviously they know we’re close to Jack. They want any information that we have. But we don’t have any. So I can’t tell them anything.” Mark seemed confused “Th-They called you for information?” Tyler nodded “This isn’t information about vampires, this is about Jack. They thought that I would be unbiased. I’m telling them that the hunters that took him had to be rouge, Jack would never harm anyone, he’s not a threat and wouldn’t have attracted the attention of the Irish hunters.”

 

Tyler left. Ethan looked at Mark as he said “Do you want a coffee?” Mark nodded his head as he said “Y-Yeah. I do. Thanks Ethan… I’m sorry for snapping.” Ethan shook his head as he said “Don’t apologise, after all. You were right. I… don’t understand… Honestly… Within this whole situation I think I sympathise more with Jack or his father.” Mark looked at Ethan, noticing how dull his eyes were, how tired his eyes were. And had Ethan’s skin became paler? Fuck...How did he not recognise it before? How could he be so self-centered and not realise that his housemate was taking the situation just as bad as he was.

 

Of course Ethan was taking it badly. Jack was the first “friendly” vampire Ethan had met. All the others had attacked his family or had been made a target by the hunters. And Ethan knew what happened to the vampires who were caught by hunters. The sort of torment given to them. A rogue hunter didn’t have any rules saying what was okay and not okay. They could put Jack through hell. Ethan knew that… Ethan could probably imagine himself in that situation.

 

Ethan was silent and still for a moment before he whispered “I try not to think about what he’s going through.” Mark stood up making his way over to Ethan. The older human let out a sigh before wrapping his arms around the vampire “I’m so sorry Ethan… I-I got so caught up in my own head that… I failed to see how this was affecting you.” Ethan shook his head “No Mark, No… You don-” Mark cut Ethan off as he said “Of course I do… I might be worried for Jack’s safety. But you know… You’re a vampire and a vampire a hunter. You know what happens… I should’ve paid more attention to you Ethan… Not only as my housemate but my friend. I should’ve known. I should’ve been there for you.”

 

Ethan shrugged with a small smile as he said “I didn’t want you to know… You’ve been there for Jack’s sister and she’s been there for you. I had Tyler to vent to… Even if Jack’s sister has Robin to vent to, she still needs you. you understand her feelings more than Robin does, he’s just a friend. You are like family to Jack and Lauren is his family. You’re both closer to Jack than anyone else.” Mark managed a small smile as he looked at the young vampire “I guess… But I feel like I’ve ignored you. For that I am sorry Ethan.” Ethan shrugged a little as he said “Honestly Mark. It doesn’t matter. I’m fine… I will be fine… I just… I can’t help it. Deep down, we’re all worried, friends, family, fans… We all have to wait and hope that Jack will come back soon.” Mark nodded, he knew all too well. Waiting. He wasn’t really patient at the best of times. But this, waiting for what could be a phone call from Jack’s family saying that they found a corpse. There was no telling if Jack was going to be alive or not.

Jack could be dead.

That was the thought Mark hated.
That those bastards could’ve killed him and no one would know because they had no idea where to look.

 

Mark pushed those thoughts away. He couldn’t think like that. For his own sanity’s sake. Jack was alive and fighting.

Jack was alive and holding on, trying to escape and get home.

And when he did get out, Mark would be waiting, waiting and ready to embrace Jack and drown him in kisses and affection.

Chapter Text

Jack nuzzled against the other man's chest purring happily “Mark…” he felt fingers running through his green locks, tears were rolling down his eyes. Mark had come for him. Mark had saved him. “Shh, it’s okay Sean. I’m here. I’m hear Sean and you’re safe.” Jack looked up at Mark kissing him desperately. He had missed the feeling of Mark’s lips against his own. Mark’s arms wrapped loosely around the vampire’s neck. Jack held onto the American afraid to let go. He buried his head into the crock of Mark’s neck, he could feel the humans pulse beating in his neck, hear it as blood was bumped around Mark’s body.

 

It was a soothing sound. Calming, grounding. Jack loved it. He felt Mark’s hands moving to his sides. He hissed a little as Mark’s hands moved over the wound on his side, were those bastards had carved that sickening nickname into his skin “Is that still sensitive baby-boy?”

 

Jack froze. Going rigid. He pulled away from Mark to look at him. But as he did, Mark was gone.

 

Jack woke panting in a cold sweat as he looked around. His gaze quickly met that of the lead hunter. He smirked at him, it was a horrible and sadistic smirk that sent chills down Jack’s spine.  He realised now that ‘Mark’ hadn’t saved him. It was a dream.

 

He was still trapped here, with them .

 

The hands he had felt, they belonged to him.

 

“Chris, are you done?”

 

The leader turned his head to the doorway as he said “I’m just getting started. We’re taking our training to a new level today.”

 

So Chris was his name… Or at least what they were calling him while Jack was here. Jack looked at Chris as he said “Training? You’ve had some sort of goal this whole time? You weren’t just doing it for shits and giggles?” Chris tutted as he said “Now baby-boy. I don’t appreciate that sort of attitude. But to answer your question, we’re training you to not be a monster. I’m sure you know by now that we’re vampire hunters, we take vampires in and help to tame them, so they aren’t a threat to humans.” Jack scoffed as he said “Why keep me then? I’m not a danger! I’m not a monster! I’ve always tried to do my best for everyone no matter what they are, vampire or human it doesn’t matter to me.”

 

Chris laughed as he said “We have done our research you know. We know how your friend Mark found out that you were a vampire, you admitted to attacking him, delirious from your blood lust not to mention your sister.” Jack shook his head, some of his resolve fading, he couldn’t deny those incidents “They were accidents… I-I didn’t hurt Mark, I mean he hit his head but I helped him. I apologised and Mark told me that he’s not mad. As for my sister, it was when I first turned, I couldn’t control myself. Yes I bit her without asking but I didn’t harm her. I’m not a monster.”

 

Chris tutted as he said “If that's what you think… How about we prove that you’re not only lying to us, but to yourself.” Chris’s gaze moved to the door as he said “Throw it in.” Chris moved towards the door as a male was thrown in. He was dazed and disorientated. And bleeding… Jack could smell it…

 

His stomach growled at him, reminding him that it had been a while since they last gave him a blood bag. He looked at Chris as he said “And what am I supposed to do?” it wasn’t till now that Jack realised his cage door was open. They hadn’t locked him in.

 

Chris smirked at Jack as he said “If you’re not a monster, this man will live won’t he… Or at least, he’ll live a little longer.” Jack wanted to argue, but Chris slammed the door.

 

Jack growled at the door as he murmured, more to himself “Sick bastard…” Jack really, REALLY hated him. Out of all the hunters he was the worst. The others taunted and hurt Jack. But the others didn’t use the shock collar, didn’t use that sickening nick-name as often as Chris.

 

However, Jack could brood for long, he was broken from his throats by banging against the door, he looked to see the man they had thrown in banging against the door desperately as he began to beg “Please! Please, you can’t leave me in here! You can’t let this monster kill me! I’ll get you your money. I swear I will!” Jack stood himself up, legs threatening to give up on himself.

 

The man was bleeding and Jack wanted to help. He made his way across the room slowly, speaking calmly “H-Hey. That doesn’t work okay? Begging… They don’t listen.” Jack saw the man pressing his back against the door, shaking violently with fear. Jack knew that the human would be scared enough having been thrown into a dark room where he couldn’t see. Jack didn’t have that problem, he could see in the dark perfectly, one of the advantages of being a vampire.

 

Jack stood at the bottom of the staircase that lead down to the basement. He looked at the man as he said “Trust me. They won’t listen… If anything they like hearing you beg. They think it’s funny.” The man swallowed thickly as he stuttered “P-Please, please don't hurt me… I-I can pay them! I swear I can! I will pay them!” Jack tilted his head to the side confused “Pay? What do you mean?” The man shuddered “Don’t play dumb! They’re a loan company… I needed money and...Well… They said they could lend me… I missed three payments and I ended up hear…” the man swallowed thickly “They told me that they let you deal with the debtors that don’t pay.” Jack shook his head “No… I-I didn’t even know they were a loan company…” the man looks unconvinced. Jack lets out a sigh “It was… a while ago… I don’t know how long they’ve had me trapped hear now… I was hunting out in the woods… They sedated me with a blow dart. I ended up here…” the man bite his lip as he said “Do I want to ask about the lack of clothes?”

 

Jack shuddered “They took them… When I first woke up in hear I didn’t have them... If you can escape… Do it while you can… I-I have to be g-” he stopped. Was he actually about to say he had to be good? Fuck! They were… They were making him think how they wanted him to think. Jack shook his head “They call me a monster… Today they said they’re ‘training’ me to be ‘ tame ’...” he folded his arms, his fingers digging into his skin “Lets not talk about that… P-please…” he could feel tears coming to his eyes.

Jack retreated further back, away from the man near the door. Jack made his way over to the cage and curled up in the back corner.

 

The man slowly made his way over to Jack. Jack could hear the man's heartbeat, not as erratic as it had been when he was first locked in here. But it wasn’t quiet calm. The man looked at Jack as he said “And they make you stay in here?” Jack let out a sigh “I’m safe...safer in hear than I am out in the room… I’m sick of them hurting me… I-I don’t want them to hurt me again… I-I don’t know how much more I can take…”

 

The man stood just outside the cage, wearing an apathetic look “I’m… I’m sorry to hear about it.” Jack shrugged as he said “As bad as it probably sounds… I… I’m used to it.” The man grimaced “You’re right, that does sound bad.” Jack lowered his gaze “You’re bleeding by the way… Did they hurt you?” Jack noticed the males heartbeat quicken. He looked up as he said “Don’t worry… No matter what they say, I don’t go around biting people. Not unless they’ve told me that I can at least… I was genuinely concerned that they’d hurt you though.” The man let out a sigh “ A scratch on my arm that started bleeding. Nothing too bad though.” Jack sat himself up as he said “If you like I can take a look, I can make sure the wound isn’t infected.” the man looked uncomfortable as he said “How would you clean it?” Jack let out a sigh “I wouldn’t be able to… Unless… Well… It’s a little weird, you could lick your own wound, or I could do it. But I won’t force you. You don’t have to show me the wound.”

 

The fact that he was being given a choice helped to ease the males nerves “I-I… I guess you can look at it…” The man held his arm around in front of him, Jack took hold of the arm carefully, inspecting the wound, his finger running over the cut drawing a hiss from the male “Well, it looks pretty clean. All things considered. You’ll be fine and that should heal within a couple weeks.” the man smiled at Jack as he said “Thank you.” Jack shrugged as he said “No problem”. the man looked at Jack for a moment as he said “C-Can I ask your name?” Jack was a little surprised, but he nodded his head “My name is Sean, although most people call me Jack.” The man smiled at Jack as he said “My name is Aedan.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

Jack had decided to try and rest a little more.

It also gave him an excuse to keep his distance away from Aedan, no matter how much Jack tried to stay calm. His hunger was slowly getting the better of him.

 

But he wasn’t a monster.

No one could make him into a monster.

Especially not these sick bastards.

 

The door opened and Jack’s body shuddered. This wasn’t going to end well.

Jack’s gaze moved Aedan who was looking up at the hunters definitely.

Not good, not good at all. This could only lead to bad things.

“I’m surprised you’re still alive Aedan.” Chris said making his way across the room, grabbing Aedan’s arm. Aedan yelped as he said “Hey! A lil’ rough there aren’t you.” Chris didn’t seem to care as he dragged Aedan into the middle of the room. Jack put his hand out as he said, desperation clear in his tone “Wait please! D-Don’t hurt him… You have me, surely I’m enough entertainment for you. Let him go! He’s not even a vampire, he’s human.” Chris’s gaze moved to Jack as he said “Now baby-boy… This isn’t about him being a monster. It’s about you.” Chris pulled the remote for Jack’s collar out of his pocket pressing the button causing Jack to cry out.

Chris then pulled a knife from his pocket grabbing Aedan’s arm. He sliced into the flesh, Aedan screaming in pain, tears streaming down his eyes. Chris was now taunting Jack “I know how hungry you must be, how you must feel tortured by the smell of his blood… Give into your instincts.” Jack covered his mouth and nose shaking his head.

Chris didn’t relent “Give into your instincts! You know you want to!”

 

Jack didn’t want to admit that Chris was right, Jack wanted more than anything to satisfy his hunger, he wanted to bite Aedan, his blood smelt so good and it would be so easy to bite the human. But Jack knew better, he wasn’t a monster , he wasn’t going to hurt the human. He wouldn’t hurt the human.

 

Jack curled into a ball in the back corner of his cage, holding both his hands over his mouth and nose “N-no!... I won’t… I-I can’t!” Jack’s tone quivered. He was so close to giving in. He needed blood. Needed it so badly!

 

A growl rumbled from Jack’s throat. He looked up at Chris and Aedan, Chris cut into Aedan again, Adean yelled out in agony “Baby-boy, you can give him a quicker death or I’ll keep cutting… Surely you don’t want that…” Jack shook his head as he growled “I’m n-not a mon-monster I won’t h-hu-hurt him! I can’t hurt him.” he was struggling.

 

“S-Sean… Just do it! I-I… I won’t blame you… It won’t make you a monster!” Jack shook his head, his throat was burning, it hurt so much! He heard Aedan trying again “Sean! D-Do it… I-I… This hurts so much…” Chris chuckled as he said “If you don’t kill him. I’ll keep cutting… Either way he’ll die.”

 

Jack couldn’t hold on anylonger, consumed by his hunger he stood up, a growling rumbling from his throat. He approached Aedan, Chris backing away. Jack grabbed Aedan, the human looked weak. Jack pulled Aedan close his lips parted revealing his fangs. Aedan tensed for a moment before calming himself. As Jack pulled Aedan close, he heard the human's voice “No matter what they say, you’re not a monster Sean.” Jack bit into the human's neck, not trying to be careful. His hunger was too strong. Aedan gasped gripping at Jack tightly. Jack couldn’t help himself, gulping back Aedan’s blood without any form of second thought or hesitation.

Jack couldn’t bring himself to stop, not until he drained Aedan dry. His mouth went dry. His body rigid. How could he-

Oh god… He had… He’d just killed someone…

 

Chris walked over to Jack and petted his head as he said “See what I was talking about earlier baby-boy… Maybe you don’t want this… But it’s what you are, we’re trying to help you. So things like this won’t happen anymore.” Jack couldn’t find it in himself to say anything. To ashamed of how he’d acted, how he’d allowed himself to do this…

 

Chris patted Jack’s head as he cooed “Come now baby-boy. Back in your cage, get some rest. We’ll focus more on your training tomorrow.” Jack didn’t argue, he crawled back into the cage. And sat…

 

Guilt consumed him. And it was all his fault, if only he’d had better control. If only he hadn’t given into his urges…

 

Chris locked the cage door on Jack as he dragged Aedan's body out of the basement.

Chapter Text

Mark was scrolling through Tumblr, looking through the JackSepticEye tag. Fans were posting messages of support, messages asking for Jack’s safe return, fan-art of Jack standing tall after escaping his torture. Mark couldn’t help but smile noticing a new hashtag in quite a few of the posts #UnbreakableJSE.

 

Mark delved deeper into the #UUnbreakableJSE tag to find the original post.

 

#UnbreakableJSE

A tag that we should all use to show our support. No one knows where Jack is, if he’s okay or not. But as his community we have to stay positive and hopeful, just like he would want us to. Jack’s strong! He always has been, no matter what happened. He’s always been there for us, now it’s our turn to be there for him.

Keep this tag going, he might not see it wherever he is at the minute. But as soon as Jack comes back, which we know he will, he’ll be able to see this.

He’ll see how we hoped and prayed for his safety how we supported him in his time of need. Jack has always said he wanted to be a positive element in our lives, he’s helped all of us at one point or another even if the help was just being a source of entertainment. Now it’s time to give back!!!

 

Mark reblogged the post using the hashtag in his own post

#UnbreakableJSE, if we keep this going, if we can get it to spread, whoever has Jack might see this. They might start to feel pressured into letting him go after seeing the amount of people hoping for his safety. Keep it going through text posts, fan-art, quotes, video link. Whatever you do keep it going!

 

Jack’s community was known for its positivity and friendliness, even without Jack to moderate. They were all still so positive and caring and kind to each other. But this, this proved it. This proved just how much they cared not just about each other. But about Jack.

Mark noticed a tear rolling down his cheek. They were all as helpless as he was. Sat at home behind computer screens, the only thing they were able to is wish that Jack could return.

 

Mark let out a sigh, putting down his phone as he wiped his eyes with his hands. He tried to stop crying but, it wasn’t working.

 

The front door opened. Mark wiped his eyes and tried to pretend like he hadn’t been crying. He picked up his phone again and started scrolling through Tumblr again. In the corner of his eye Mark noticed Tyler and Ethan enter the room. Mark forced a smile as he said “Hey, everything okay?” Ethan and Tyler looked at each other as Ethan let out a sigh “I-I should tell him…”

Mark’s fake smile left his features, he looked at the two with a raised eyebrow “Tell me what?” Ethan bit his lip rubbing the back of his neck “The L.A hunters managed to get in contact with the Irish hunters… They have reason to believe that the hunters that took Jack are indeed rouges, they’ve taken lots of vampires and…” Ethan’s tone wavered and he stuttered before stopping completely he shook his head folding his arms. Tyler decided to pick up “They said these hunters take vampire and ‘work with them’. They see it as their job to try and train vampires so that the vampire’s aren’t a danger…” Mark looked confused as he said “So they should let Jack go. He’s not a danger.” Tyler frowned as he said “That's how they justify themselves… They torture the vampires in ways that are banned my most hunter associations until they break the vampire. Then they dump them… Sometimes not even alive… The ones that somehow do survive are changed, they’re so scared of everyone and everything and can become… vicious… Not because they want to be in defense but…” Tyler paused looking away “If the vampires became like this… You know what happens.” Mark fell silent. Tyler let out a frustrated noise “The vampires that these people take can come back animalistic… These people say they’re trying to ‘help’ vampires. In actual fact they’re only making vampires into monsters…” Mark clenched his fists as he snapped “Jack won’t be like that! He’ll get out of this alive and he’ll be the same Jack we’ve always known!”

 

Tyler wore a look of sympathy as he said “I want to believe that… I do… B-But… We all have to take into account what these hunters usually do and what’s happened in the past.” Mark stood up as he walked passed Ethan and Tyler “Jack will be fine! I know he will and when he gets back I’ll be there waiting for him.”

 

Mark made his way up to his bedroom slamming the door as he let out a frustrated noise.

Even if he knew ultimately Tyler was only trying to be realistic, Mark hated the thought of Jack coming back so scared of everyone that he would lash out. He hated that thought. Loathed it.

 

He shook his head, he had to push it aside. He should record a video. Push all his thoughts aside, forget everything that was going on and just… Play a dumb game for a while for a while. Recording and editing could take up to four hours…

 

It probably wasn’t healthy to try and push everything away and just ignore what was going on, but a lot of Jack’s community had turned to Mark for help. For an escape. He had to pretend that things were fine. Even if the whole situation actually killed him.

Chapter Text

Day 84

 

“Baby-boy?”

Jack didn’t bother to grumble or growl at the nickname as he normally did. He’s grown tired of it. A secondary instinct kicking in the moment he heard it. The same thoughts running through his head.

Be a good boy,

Do as you're told,

Be obedient, follow your training.

Make it easier on yourself.

 

This was how they had conditioned him to think. This body now responding in a way that protected him, at least a little. When he did as he was asked, they didn’t hurt him as much. He was safer.

The leader, Chris walked over to him. Jack sat up positioned on his knees, his arms out in front of him, position replicating that of a four legged animal. He looked up at them red eyes dull and lifeless. Chris’s hand reached him as he stroked his hand against Jack’s check, petting him with fake affection “Good boy. You’re a good pet for us baby boy.” Jack nosed affectionately at Chris’s hand, nuzzling it.

 

Jack noticed the other two hunter coming into the room. He knew what would follow. Without a word, the other two hunters walked over to him and opened the cage, he was presented with the open mouth gag. He literally shuddered and there was a moment of hesitation. But eventually he parted his lips as they fitted the gag.

 

Jack sat as he awaited instruction. Which one of them would use him today?

Chris motioned him to come forward. Jack did as he was told…

Chris unzipped his jeans...

From that point on his mind started blocking out what happened next.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

“I see why that Fischbach kept you around, you feel so good baby-boy.”

Jack wanted to throw up at that comment, well… The comment and his gag reflex.

 

There was drool, bile and another slightly thicker, sticker substance rubbing down his chin. But he knew he wasn't allowed to complain he had to get on with it.

“You feel so good. Your mouth feels so good…And you love it don’t you. You love being used like a toy… Love being used by your masters don’t you.”

Jack’s gag reflex hated him, each time Chris would thrust himself forward Jack gagged. Not that it actually stopped Chris. Jack was just getting on with it. Doing whatever he had to so it would be over quicker.

 

His mind decided it was better to block this out.

He was sick of hearing their comments. How they compared what they were doing to Mark… Saying Mark only ever stuck around Jack for one reason…

 

Did he? Did he really just stick around Jack for sex?

 

Jack didn’t want to think he did, he loved Mark. Mark was his boyfriend.

But his tired mind that was slowly being twisted and morphed by the new ideals that the hunters were feeding him. It told Jack that Mark was an informant for the Los Angeles Hunters, when Mark found out that Jack was a vampire, Jack was an easy source of information, not only that but Jack had admitted to his crush on Mark. It was easier for Mark to say that he liked Jack back. Jack was an easy fuck and a source of information for Mark…

He was beginning to believe the hunters lies.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack’s mind had come up with a secondary instinct, a survival technique of sorts. When the hunters would touch him or hurt him or call him ‘baby-boy’ or ‘good pet’, he became numb, he did as he was asked, he didn’t fight, he didn’t protest, he just let them use him. Let them hurt him. It was easier than fighting, fighting only made them hurt him worse. Fighting lead to punishment… Jack wasn’t sure how much more he could take.

 

He’d been cut, burnt, forced to eat wolfsbane repeatedly, shocked…

And taking the collar off was a no. If he tried to take the shock collar off, they used a taser to shock him instead and last time that didn’t go well… He still remembered that… How could he forget?

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

“What do you think you’re doing baby-boy?” The leader’s voice scolded him, like you were telling off a child or a pet “I’m not a fuckin’ animal, I don’t need a collar.” Jack threw the collar across the room towards the hunter's feet, rubbing the red mark that wrapped around his neck with his free hand. The leader tutted as he said “You should know better than that. You know what happens if you’re a bad boy. I’ll give you one chance, put the collar back on.” Jack shook his head with a soft growl “Fuck no! I can already tell that thing was on too tight. My neck is really sore. Not to mention it’s a fucking shock collar! Would you like to be shocked? I don’t think so.” there was silence between the two for a moment. Before the leader tutted “I didn’t want to have to do this… But bad boy’s need to be punished.” Jack flinched as he stood himself up ready to make a run for it. He saw the leader moving across the room towards him. He needed to time his escape if he wanted it to be successful.

 

When the leader approached the table, the one that he kept all of his ‘toys’ on. All the things he would use to hurt Jack.

 

Jack ran, his legs were weak and not used to movement, but he wasn’t going to give up. He was going to escape. He had to! He had to get out!

 

Something stuck in his back, a shock running through him, his weak legs gave up on him as he collapsed to the floor unable to move from the shock. After a moment Jack tugged at whatever was in his back as he rolled over. A taser? A fucking taster! Jack sat himself up groaning, his muscles were screaming at him, aching. Something was put around his neck. He didn’t need to question it. Jack snarled as he said “I said no collar!” The leader tutted making his way across the room again. Jack stood up, legs shaking more than before. He could still run… Maybe…

 

He would try.  

 

Jack saw the taser in the lead hunters hand. He had to be clever. Jack looked back at the hunter's face as he hissed baring his fangs “Fuck you.” that was probably stupid. But it was mild compared to some of things that Jack wanted to say to the man. But, Jack was so concentrated on the man's face, that he didn’t pay attention to his hand. He didn’t see him press the button on the tazer.

 

The two probes hit his chest and a strong shock ran through his body. This was higher than the last… Much higher. His eyes widened a scream catching in his throat as he gasped. His body collapsed.

 

The trigger was released and Jack panted for breath.

 

It wasn’t released for long, the trigger was pressed again but this time something was different, there was a secondary shock from the collar. Jack noticed a pain in his chest. His heart… Fuck… No! No! That shouldn’t do that… The day Jack became a vampire was the day his heart stopped beating. But right now from the combination of the taser and the shock collar (Both of which has been set to an extremely high intensity), he could feel it in his chest. And it hurt. He felt like it was going to leap from his chest.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack doubted he would ever forget that. He had passed out eventually. Chris assured Jack that things were okay. And he apologised for accidentally restarting Jack's heart, saying he didn’t know it was even possible. Being honest Jack didn’t know it was possible either, but he knew it hurt a lot and he’s not entirely sure why it made him pass out. He made a mental note to never piss Chris off enough for him to get the taser.

 

At first, Jack was determined to escape with some shred of dignity. He used to fight and protest, if they wanted him to do something they dragged him kicking and screaming, most of the time quiet literally. He would growl when they came to close, he would try to stop them from touching him. If he didn’t want to do what they asked he would refuse... Before he wanted to live, he wanted to get back friends and family.

 

Now… He’d lost all hope of escaping and he’d accepted the fact that he would die hear. No one would know he’d died. But he would die hear. Would these hunters be gracious enough to dump his body in the woods for someone to find? Or would they just dig a hole and dump him there. Either way, he didn’t really care. Not about himself. He would be happy if he died. His main concern now was his mother and father. He didn’t believe they’d ever stop looking. If he died hear and these hunters didn’t have the decency to release his body… They’d probably be looking for the rest of their lives.

 

He could try to escape. But he knew he was too weak. These hunters very rarely fed him and they threw in a blood bag two or three times a week. If they remembered. He constantly felt that burning in the back of his throat that he knew meant he needed blood. But there was also the growling of his stomach begging for something, anything.

 

His body had more or less cannibalized itself, he wasn’t the most muscular (despite how much he talked about his plus one biceps), but now, his skin clung to his bones. He was skeletally thin and it wouldn’t be hard to mistake him for a corpse. Not to mention, how weak he felt physically. Which was probably linked to the fact that he’d been stuck down here for… How long? No matter how ‘ good ’ he was, they hadn’t let him watch any Youtube videos in ages, so he had no way to tell the time anymore.

 

Staying strong, wasn’t an option anymore…

Surviving…

It was becoming less of an option.



Chapter Text

Mark hadn’t slept. Which was nothing new. He laid awake every night, if he didn’t pass out from exhaustion, he didn’t sleep.

 

He let out a sigh as he grabbed his glasses from the bedside table, he put them on looking at the clock. 5 Am… No point in lying around, he should make a coffee and get some work done and then maybe call Lauren. See if she’d heard anything about Jack.

 

It had been three months since he was taken and no one had heard anything.

It was getting harder and harder.

Mark couldn’t even force a smile for the camera anymore.

He’d lost count of the number of uploads he missed.

He’d also missed the last two charity live-streams.

Now, everyone, one of his videos mentioned Jack, whether he broke down because something in the game reminded him of Jack, or if he was appealing for information, practically begging people to say something, to have some form of information, something that would lead them to Jack.

 

Mark got out of bed, grabbing his pajama pants, he sold them once before during a charity event and he loved them. He wore them pretty much all the time.

 

Mark opened his bedroom door, being as quiet as he could as he made his way down the hallway towards the stairs.

 

He reached the door at the top of the stairs and stopped. This was Tyler’s room and he could hear… Crying? Tyler didn’t cry. Mark had NEVER heard Tyler cry. Something was wrong.

Mark knocked on Tyler’s door opening it as he called out “Ty, you okay?” Tyler was scrubbing his face before forcing a smile “Fine Mark. You’re up early.” Mark folded his arms as he said “I could say the same for you.” Tyler’s same faded as he let out a sigh “I could never lie to you could I?” Mark shook his head taking a step closer “Tyler I… I’m worried about you.” Tyler shrugged as he said “Don’t worry about me. I’ll be fine…” Mark grimaced as he said “And which of us are you trying to convince? Tyler, whats wrong?”

 

There was silence between the two for a moment. Tyler closed his eyes taking a deep breath. Mark didn’t rush Tyler to answer, he waited patiently. Tyler looked at Mark opening his mouth to speak, but his words failed him. He stopped for a moment, closing his mouth. Rethinking. Another few minutes of silence. Before Tyler tried again he let out a sigh as he said “It’s… It’s this whole thing! I HATE IT! I HATE IT!” Mark gasped taking a step back, Tyler was angry, really angry, but there was something else, hurt or upset maybe? “I hate being so helpless! I hate the fact that EVERYONE is miserable because Jack’s gone!”

 

This was because of Jack? Tyler was upset? But they never got along, why would Ty-

Mark’s thought was interrupted “I know I gave Jack a hard time when I found out he was a vampire, hell I made him sleep on the couch for a whole week because he was a vampire and I didn’t want him trying to bite you during the night! But Jack… Jack isn’t a bad guy vampire or not, he proved that. I was horrible to him, I treated him like shit and he never once retaliated, he never once tried to argue with me or call me out or yell at me or anything! He took it in stride, he stayed positive, no matter what I said or called him, he kept that fucking smile on his face and got on with things, even if I knew he hated what I was calling him and I could see how upset he would get sometimes… Jack doesn’t deserve any of this, he didn’t deserve to be taken and probably tortured… H-He wouldn’t hurt a fly!”  

 

Mark was stunned into silence. Tyler… Never got this emotional. And that scared him. Then there was the reason why Tyler was upset, words tumbled out of his mouth before he even had a chance to process them “But this whole time you’ve been fine about all of this, you haven’t been upset at all, what changed?” Tyler was scrubbing at his face trying to get rid of his tears “I cared… I just-” he let out a sigh “Ethan crumbled in on himself when he found out and you… It crushed you… I had to be there for you both. I bottled it all up… Tried not to think about it but…” he shook his head “This isn’t the first time I’ve been like this… I try not to let you and Ethan see because I need to be strong for you.”

 

Mark frowned as he sat next to Tyler, placing a hand on his shoulder “We appreciate that you’ve been there for us. We do… But… Y-You’ve been suffering at we’ve been so caught up that we didn’t realize, didn’t pay attention. I’m sorry for not… For not being there for you like you’ve been there for me.” Tyler shook his head as he said “N-No Mark… Y-” but Mark cut him off “Yes Tyler. You don’t have to pretend that nothing's wrong! You don’t need to act tough. This is… This is obviously affecting you a lot I mean…” there was a teasing look on Mark’s features as he continued “You’re stone-faced Tyler, nothing makes you get like this… Tyler. If you need to talk about ANYTHING at ANYTIME… Don’t hesitate to come to me okay?” Tyler wrapped his arms around Mark. Mark wrapping his arms around Tyler in turn and rubbing his back in a comforting manner.

Chapter Text

Day 120

 

Jack was curled up in the corner of his cage, his body shuddering.

He sneezed.

He was sick.

He was weak.

 

Their most recent “ activity” had Jack tied up in a closet with a large window covering the side wall. Jack was hung from a rail by his wrists. He couldn’t exactly move away.

 

Normally, sunlight isn’t a problem despite the rumors about how it affects vampires… Jack could go out in the sun no problem. The problem was prolonged exposure, vampires tend to have very pale skin, so they burn easily.

 

After being left there sunrise till sunset in direct sunlight his skin was bright red, sore and starting to peal.  Jack was severely sunburnt. He’d lost his voice from calling out and yelling for help, for release. Calling out about how he would do anything if they only let him go.

 

Pleading didn’t work, he knew that much.

 

“Our toy isn’t as entertaining as he used to be. I think it’s time.”

“I think you’re right Chris, there’s no fight. He’s been tamed.”

“When shall we do it?”

“How about now? No time like the present.”

They were talking about him.

Oh god, what did they want to do to him now?

Maybe they were finally going to kill him.

It would be a relief honestly.

 

The door at the top of the staircase opened. He didn’t move. Couldn’t. His body wouldn’t allow him. He had a broken leg and he was pretty sure they broke one of his wrists yesterday. His fingers had been broken multiple times and were now crocked, possibly beyond repair.  

 

A dark figure walked over to him. It was the guy with a camera. He felt sick knowing that they enjoyed what they were doing so much that they would keep a fucking scrapbook of it. He snapped a picture before turning his head and nodding. Three more figures walked forward.

 

Jack let out a sigh as he curled up more. He didn’t care what happened anymore.

 

He felt a sharp scratch on his arm. But didn’t hiss. Slowly he noticed himself lose consciousness.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

His head spun, he let out a groan. The floor was wet. It was cold. What had they done? Had they thrown water over him to wake him up again? It had been a while since they did that too him.

 

It took him a while to prie his eyes open and he was assaulted with, blue and white… What the fuck? 

He groaned, he tried to move his hands but they were bound behind his back. His legs were also bound together. Jack rolled onto his stomach hoping to get a better look at his surroundings… Grey pavement… Wheeliebin… A pale brick wall and a white door…

 

It felt so familiar bute couldn’t quite place it. He was still naked, so at least while he was laid on his stomach his move private areas where covered. Trying to call out would be useless, he’d more or less lost his voice and his mouth was covered by what he assumed was tape.

 

Jack tried to worm his way closer to the door. Maybe he could get someone attention by knocking on the door...somehow… He’d probably have to headbutt the door.

 

Jack tried. But his body was weak, he couldn’t move. He let out a defeated sigh.  

Maybe he would just die hear…

That didn’t sound like a bad idea.

Maybe that what the hunter planned, they just left him hear to die…

 

~~~~____~~~~

Chapter Text

Robin grabbed the black plastic bag out of the kitchen bin as he called “I’m going to take the rubbish out Lauren!”

 

“Okay, Robin and thank you!”

 

Four months… Robin was beginning to think that maybe Jack was already dead. Not that he would say that to Lauren, this whole thing was bad enough, she didn’t need reminding about how long Jack had been missing.

 

Robin unlocked the front door and opened it, he walked over to the wheelie bin opening it when he noticed something… Was that… breathing?

Robin dropped the bin bag in the bin turning around his eyes scanning his surroundings, a small shape near the wall caught his eye when he looked more closely it was… Jack?

 

He was skeletally thin, Robin could see Jack’s bones as his skin clung to his frame. His breath hitched in his throat noticing that he was indeed breathing, it was forced and labored but he was breathing. Worry and concern took over, Robin began to yell out “Oh my god Jack! Jack are you okay?” at this Jack seemed to stir, he moved a little crimson red eyes staring at Robin before they widened with fear. Jack was trying to get his body to move now it sounded like he was talking… Maybe… But the sound was quiet and muffled by something that Robin couldn’t quite see from the angle he was stood at.

 

By now, Lauren had rushed to find out what was going on, Robin was trying to get Jack to calm down and stop squirming around so he could take the restraints off Jack. But Robin being so close seemed to panic Jack more. Lauren placed her hand on Robin’s shoulder as he said “Let me.” there were tears in her eyes but, she was smiling, her whole expression and body language said ‘relief’ she was relieved to finally have her baby brother back.

 

Robin backed off and Jack calmed a little. But Lauren was still close. She spoke quietly and softly, slipping in a little bit of Gaelic here and there hoping that the familiarity would soothe him “Seán, Seán, A Deartháir. You’re okay, you’re okay Seán. It’s me, it’s Deirfiúr. Ciúin anois… Shhh, Seán, it’s okay. It’s me. It’s Lauren.” Lauren’s heart broke seeing how weak Jack looked, he wasn’t just extremely skinny, but his eyes were tired and dull, his movements were slow and sluggish, Jack needed medical attention.

 

The repeated reassurances seemed to help Jack. He calmed, at least to a point where he stopped squirming around. Lauren left a small pause before she said “I’m going to take all this tape off you, okay A dheartháir beag?” There was a tiny nod from Jack, only just noticeable. Lauren kept talking, kept reassuring Jack that everything was okay as she managed to pull the tape off Jack, starting with his mouth, then his wrists and finally his legs. Each time Lauren released the tape, Jack would whimper. Lauren apologised for hurting him each time. Having reverted to talking in gaelic seeing how much calmer it made him “Tá brón orm a dheartháir…” Lauren doubted that Jack actually understood the situation, his red eyes and fangs told Lauren that he was in need of blood. The fact that he was so thin that his skin clung to his bones told her he was severely malnourished. The crooked fingers and odd position of his leg lead her to believe he’d broken a couple bones. Or someone had broke them for him… The weak and lifeless look behind her beloved brothers eyes told her she needed to act quickly.

 

She picked him up as carefully as possible talking all the while “We’ll get you inside Jack, we’ll get you covered up. Then we’ll get you a blood bag. Just hold on Jack, you’ve fought for this long. We need you to keep going. Please brother, please Seán .”

 

Just as she said, Lauren carried Jack into the house before laying him on the couch, Robin came into the room with a blanket passing it to Lauren. She gave a thankful nod as she said “Keep an eye on him for a moment while I find a way to get him some blood.” Robin nodded in agreement as Lauren hurried away to find the blood bag.

She opened the cupboard under the sink, a while back Jack replaced it with a fridge and that's where he kept his blood bags. There were a few still in here from before he was taken. She grabbed one of the bags closing the fridge. She looked around before spotting and empty water bottle, taking the lid off the bottle quickly located some scissors and cut the corner off the blood bag. Lauren emptied the blood bag into the bottle before returning to Jack. She knelt down by the side of the couch as she said “Hear Seán. Hear. Look what I got you.” Jack’s gaze locked against the red contents of the bottle, he reached towards to take it but stopped. Curling up on himself. Lauren’s heart shattered “Seán, it’s okay. This is for you. You can take it.” Jack peeked up at her, she wore a kind smile the same look in her eyes “This is yours Seán . You can take it.” he reached forwards taking the bottle slowly and carefully. He watched her for a moment more. As if expecting some sort of reaction.

 

Finally, he lifted the bottle to his lips beginning to drink.

 

Lauren looked at Robin as she asked “Have you called an ambulance?” Robin nodded “When you took over trying to calm him I called the straight away. They’ll be here any minute.”

 

As if on cue there was a knock on the door. Robin went to answer while Lauren stayed with Jack.

Robin came back followed by a male and female paramedic. Immediately Jack began to panic, he sat up and tried to climb over the back of the couch. Lauren placed a hand on Jack’s shoulder as he said calmly “Seán, it’s okay. They’re going to help you. mo dheartháir beag they’re going to help.” A frightened whimper came from Jack as he looked at Lauren. She took hold of one of Jack’s hands giving it a gentle squeeze “It’s okay. I promise. I won’t let anything bad happen. They’re paramedics. They can help…” Slowly Jack sat down on the couch again, he grabbed the bottle he had dropped and began to drink from it again. His eyes not leaving the paramedics that had entered.

 

Lauren looked at the paramedics as she said “He’s been missing for four months… We found him outside the house like this… His name is Seán William McLoughlin, my name is Lauren McLoughlin, I’m his sister.” The female paramedic walked towards Jack putting her bag down, the male looked on, suspicion in his eyes “What’s he drinking?” Lauren let out a sigh “He’s a vampire, he’s drinking blood… He needs it… Can’t you see how weak he is? Whoever took him probably starved him!” the female paramedic turned to the male as she said “Not the time to be picky Alroy, Vampire or not this man clearly needs treatment…”

 

The female paramedic looked at Jack as she put on a reassuring smile “Dai duit, Seán. Is mise Elizabeth.” Jack nodded his head weakly. Lauren looked at the paramedic as he said “Normally we just talk to him in English, but he was so… Jumpy… Gaelic seemed to calm him a little.” The paramedic nodded before she continued, she kept her tone calm and soft not wanting to spoke the young male further “Seán, I’m a paramedic. What I’d like to do is take you to the hospital so we can get your wounds looked at properly.” Jack was looking at the paramedic as she spoke but gave no form of an answer to what she said.

 

To her credit, Elizabeth didn’t rush Jack, she gave him time but when it was clear that he wasn’t going to answer she turned to face Lauren “If he can’t or won’t answer as his family you have the right to tell us if we can take and treat him or not. You’ll stay with him, but… We also need permission.” Lauren nodded her head as she said “He...He obviously needs it.” Elizabeth nodded back, she turned to look at Alory as she said “Can you bring the chair? I don’t know if he can walk… He looks really fraile.” Alory nodded.

 

It didn’t take long for Alroy to come back with the chair. He put it close to the couch where Jack was sat. Immediately upon seeing Alory, Jack became tense, a frightened whimper coming from him. Lauren placed a hand on Jack’s knee as she said “It’s okay Seán. He’s helping you as well… Can you sit in the chair?” Jack stared at Lauren for a moment. Their gazes locked against each other. Slowly Jack nodded.

 

With Lauren and Elizabeth's help, Jack was sat in the chair. Alory wheeled him out to the ambulance Lauren joining him in the back with Elizabeth.

 

The doors were shut with a rather harsh slam causing Jack to jump.

 

It was clear that being in a small space was not helping Jack, he was beginning to panic breathing heavily. He clung to the blanket that was wrapped around him as if it were the only thing that could protect him.

 

Elizabeth let out a sigh as she said “I need to look Seán. Can you let go of the blanket for a moment please”? he immediately shook his head no a frightened noise escaping him, he pulled the blanket closer. There was a small pause before Elizabeth tried again “I need to check your wounds. Please Seán, could you… Could you lower the blanket a little so I can see your chest?” Once more Jack shook his head, his voice was strained and quiet, but what he said could be made out “D-Don’t wanna hurt…” Elizabeth nodded her head as she said “I can understand that really I do… It won’t hurt I promise. But I need to assess your wound. Hear…” Elizabeth reached towards Jack, seeing the hand come towards him fight or flight kicked in. Jack let out a growl pulling away, pulling the blanket closer.”

 

Lauren tried to help as she said “Seán, the paramedics won’t hurt you.” Jack shook his head before he hissed baring his fangs at his sister, curling up more.

 

What they didn’t know was that while he had originally been dazed, he was slowly becoming more aware of the situation. He didn’t recognize either of the women he was trapped in the white room with. All he knew was that they wanted to see him, wanted him to drop the blanket. He wouldn’t. No way. He had to protect himself.

 

Elizabeth and Lauren kept trying to talk to Jack, to get him to listen, to try and look at his wounds. But he was becoming more panicked and more agitated.

 

For this own safety and the safety of herself and Lauren, Elizabeth was forced to give Jack a sedative.



Chapter Text

Jack laid still. He didn’t want to move. Not when they were probably waiting for him to wake up. He could hear what they would say

“Good morning baby-boy. Are you ready for our activities today?”

Jack didn’t want to have to deal with any of that today.

He wanted to be left alone.

He wasn’t sure how long he laid there.

Time was something he couldn’t measure.

He heard a familiar voice, not a bad voice, a good voice

“Is he okay?”

It was his mother. Her voice. His mother's voice. He would know her voice anywhere.

 

But that confused him, how was his mother hear? Had they come after her? She wasn’t even a vampire.

 

Jack forced himself to sit up, vision blurry, white room? Not… Not that basement, not that cage. A white room?

 

From outside the room he heard a female voice, he didn’t recognize this one

“Mrs McLoughlin… Your son… He’s been severely injured, there are bruises, cuts, and burns as well as some other er… injuries … Not to mention he’s very confused and disorientated… We need to assess how he will react to people before we can let you see him. He’s very weak and very sick. Right now he needs rest.”

Almost immediately he heard his mother say, her tone making it sound like she was on the verge of tears

“Please… Can I not just look into the room? He’s been missing for four months… For my own piece of mind, I need to see that he’s… that he’s alive!”

After a moment of silence, Jack heard the other female let out a reluctant sigh

“Okay, but you can’t enter the room. You can only look in… He’s probably still asleep anyway.”

Jack was quick to lay back down and close his eyes.

 

The latch on the door opened. He heard his mother gasp as she whispered “Mo bhuachaillín…” Jack noticed himself feel warm. He’d missed hearing his mother's voice. He really had. He forgot how much he loved her voice, it was always a comfort to him no matter what was happening (he truly was a mummy’s boy).

 

The latch clicked and the door closed again.

He could hear his mother crying outside “I thought they killed him… I-I thought I’d never-” Jack peaked at the window seeing a female nurse hug his mother as she shushed him “He’s not dead. And we’ll do our best to help him heal… We’ll do all we can for him, don’t worry Mrs McLoughlin, he’s in good hands.”  His mother moved away from the nurse leading her somewhere else.

 

Jack was now able to take note of his surroundings. A white room, there was a cannula in his hand attaching him to various drips. From the sterile smell in the air, he could tell he was in a hospital.

Hospitals were good.

Hospitals were safe…

He was free…

 

That thought made him smile, just a little to himself. Free…

 

Jack sat himself up in bed noticing the blanket given to him earlier by the woman… The nice woman who took off the tape and let him finally move his wrists and arms. He would have to find out who she was. He would have to thank her. It was only polite.

 

The blanket was laid on the bed, Jack pulled it close sniffing at it. That was… A mixture of two scents, Lauren’s, his sister and… Jack couldn’t quite place the second, but it was friendly and familiar. One associated with happier memories.

 

Right now safe was good.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Jack had actually fallen asleep, for a while hidden beneath the blanket. He woke slowly, by a noise from outside the room. His mind reminded him of his usual rules.

 

Stay still, stay quiet…

Don’t move.

Don’t draw attention to yourself.

Make it easier for yourself.

 

There was a knock on his door, Jack panicked even if it did confuse him slightly. They didn’t normally knock, normally they would come in and do as they liked. The latch on the door clicked as it opened, Jack held his breath. He heard footsteps coming towards him… That was five… Five people… Fuck, fuck, FUCK!

 

“Mr McLoughlin?”

 

The voice was soft, caring. Obviously a trick. Not to be trusted. Jack closed his eyes tightly trying to will them away. Hoping and praying to any and all higher powers that they would leave.

 

Footsteps drew closer and the voice was now louder “Mr McLoughlin.”

 

A whimper escaped Jack’s lips, he was quick to shove a fist in his mouth. His own fangs pierced his hand, blood was running across his skin, some running into his mouth and some dripping onto the floor below him. The floor was soft weirdly, but again he couldn’t focus on it, he wouldn’t be fooled by it.

 

The voice came again “Sean McLoughlin, we’re here to help you. Can you look at us.” although Jack heard something a little different

 

“Baby-boy, we’re here to help you remember? Look at us.”

 

Fuck, Fuck, Fuck. He knew he shouldn’t trust them. They were back at it again. A sob escaped Jack. He didn’t want to do it again. Not again, he couldn’t.  Jack was crying. He knew it would look pathetic that they would love to see it. They would laugh at him, at how weak he was. But right now he couldn’t care. He was so tired of the same thing. He wanted them to kill him. To just end it all.

 

Jack tried to calm himself lifting the blanket a little, just enough so he could peek out and see the room again. His vision was blurry from tears, he could only just make out five figures in the room. He knew he had to do something to protect himself or he would fall prey to their sick games again.

 

Jack growled still hidden beneath the blankets. The way he was hidden, he could look out, but the people in the room wouldn’t be able to see him. There was silence for a moment, Jack didn’t like it. Silence was bad, silence meant there were planning something, he threw the blanket back and sat up glaring at the five people in the room. He didn’t recognize any of them, they were dressed in blue and white… If Jack paid closer attention, he might’ve saw the name-tags… But right now he was more concerned with defending himself… Or trying to… He didn’t want them to break any more bones, the whip him, cut him, burn him, poison him… He wanted them to kill him. Jack hissed baring his fangs.

 

The figures stopped moving, his vision had now cleared, five people three women and two men that he didn’t know where stood in the room. Jack growled as he said his voice strained, raspy and weak, barely recognizable as his own voice. “Stay away from me!” one of the males and one of the females took a step closer about to say something. Jack backed away, almost falling off the bed. He snarled as he said “Don’t touch me!” One of the nurses held her hands up as she said calmly “Just stay calm. We’re n-” Jack cut her off hissing at them again, fangs bared a growl rumbling from his throat, he couldn’t fight, he had to hope he could intimidate them, he noticed three of them edging closer. He didn’t want them near, he didn’t want them to hurt him again “Stay away from me! Or I’ll… I’ll tear out your throats!” the threat was empty, brought out by panic, he would never harm anyone. But he sure as he did not want to be touched or hurt again. He didn’t want them near. He noticed them all freeze.

 

Their hearts pounding, fear clearly taking hold due to the threat Jack had made, he could hear it and he felt guilty, but he had to ignore it. They were scared. Jack growled as he said, trying to hold back his tears “Just go away! Leave me alone!” Four of the nurses left, he noticed two of them trying to pull the fifth away. But she didn’t move. He didn’t hear what she said.

 

The nurse met Jack’s gaze, her heart pounding as her emerald eyes locked against Jack’s crimson red ones. But she could see the emotion in his eyes, the fear and panic. She knew he was just scared. She let out a sigh as she said calmly “My name is Rose. What’s your name?” Jack studied her for a moment. He was still keeping as far away from her, as much as the bed allowed. After studying her for a moment he answered “Sean… Sean McLoughlin.” Rose wore a kind smile as she said “I like that name. Sean is a very nice name, it suits you well. Do you know where you are Sean?” Jack quickly shook his head no, he was confused, disorientated and scared, he knew now that this room was not the basement or the cage. And that should be a good thing… It was in a way, but it also put Jack more on edge, he didn’t recognize anyone, he didn’t recognize where he was, all he knew was that he was in a white room attached to various machines, bandages and gauze covering most of his body.  

 

Rose took a step closer, the panic in Jack rising, a small whimper coming from him, but she wasn’t going to come near him, she gestured to the room as she said “You’re in a private room, room four to be exact of the Dublin hospital, intensive care unit. I’m a nurse hear. I’m here to help you.” Jack looked around, hospitals were safe, right? He wasn’t in a cage, he wasn’t in that basement. He was in a hospital... He seemed to relax a little as he questioned “Dublin?” Rose nodded her head “Athlone hospital didn’t have any beds, so they sent you here. Your friend Robin found you outside your own house. Do you know how you go there?” Jack considered what he was told “I-I was… I was captured by vampire hunters and taken from the woods… I don’t even know how long ago it was now… They… They hurt me… T-Touched me…” his body shuddered “I overheard them saying I wasn’t fun anymore… That their ‘toy’ was broken… They must’ve sedated me… When I woke I was… Well, I didn’t even know where I was… I was panicked. But while I was asleep they had gagged me and tied me up… I tried to move around, to find help… Next thing I knew there was a guy... I couldn’t tell who it was… And I panicked thinking this was one of the hunters sick games… I thrashed around trying to get away… Then there was a woman… I felt safer with her… My memory is kinda fuzzy after that…” It took a moment for the story to sink in.

 

Rose couldn’t believe was Jack had been through. But she had to remain professional “Your wounds have been treated and covered were needed. Your family has been made aware that you’ve been treated and I was told to pass on the message that Mark Fischbach is getting the next flight from L.A to hear.” Jack curled up in the corner of the bed, pulling his knees to his chest. Why would Mark be coming to see him? Mark didn’t care, the hunters had proved that to him.

 

In the corner of his eye, he noticed the nurse step a little closer, Jack panicked a little, pulling himself in closer. Making himself smaller. She stopped, she put on a kind smile as she spoke softly “I just wanted to check the drips in your arm, I want to move to the left side of you, is that okay?” Jack was silent for a moment as he processed what the nurse had said.

 

She wanted to move to his left.

She wanted to get close to him.

If he let her she would be within arms reach of him.

He didn’t like that idea.

 

But, she had asked him.

Gave him the option,

Could he refuse her?

Would she let him?

When he had refused the hunters they would beat or humiliate him (Sometimes both).

 

Jack was clearly hesitant. Rose spoke again in the same soft tone “I can move slowly. And you can tell me when to stop. I don’t mind taking my time. Your comfort is important to me.”

 

More options.

He had a choice.

That was a foreign concept.

 

Jack didn’t realize just how much he, forgot… Or was conditioned not to think about. Choices were normal, everyone had them, everyone was within their right to refuse and say no or politely decline.

 

“Are you saying no? Are you being a bad-boy? We know what happens to bad-boys don’t we? It looks like I’ll have to teach you this lesson AGAIN baby-boy. And just when I thought we were making progress.”

 

A frightened noise came from Jack as he hide his head in his lap. Almost as if responding to the voice only he could hear, he whimpered “I can be a good-boy… I can be obedient… J-Just please don’t hurt me!”

 

Rose tried not to react to what Jack said. Even if she was horrified. She cleared her throat as she said “Sean, no one is going to hurt you. You CAN say no… We can try later.”

 

Jack looked up at Rose a little as she whispered “I can say no? I-I won’t be hit or burnt or cut or forced to eat wolfsbane or… t-touched?” Rose nodded her head “You can say no. And we can try later, I can sort of see from hear and they look okay. I can come back when they will need changing and we can try then.” Jack bit his lip a little, he took a deep breath in before releasing it. He could say no, he could. The nurse promised him he could. Jack looked up at her as he said “I-I don’t want to do it yet.”

 

That wasn’t a no.But he had told her that he didn’t want her to do something. Jack ducked his head down, preparing himself for a beating. Instead, he heard footsteps backing away and Rose’s voice said “Okay, we’ll try later.”

 

He wasn’t being beaten or abused. He was fine? Jack looked up, surprise clear in his features. Rose still had that calm smile on her as she said “Is there anything you’d like Sean? Something to eat or drink?” Jack shook his head, but gave no verbal reply. Rose merely nodded as she said “Well, there’s a water pitcher there anyway, there’s also a button next to your bed. If you need one of us for anything don’t hesitate to press it.”

 

Rose left the room, Jack felt able to relax finally. He let out a sigh and noticed that he felt tired. A little sleep might not be such a bad idea.

Chapter Text

Just as she promised, Rose let Jack have some time to himself before coming back to check on him. Jack struggled to calm around her. Rose did her best, she asked Jack if she could come closer and when he asked her to stop, she did, she talked to him about random things before asking if she could get closer. It actually took her twenty minutes to get close enough to check Jack’s drips. She asked if she could check Jack’s bandages, but he really didn’t like that idea. So Rose left it for a little while.

Jack was once more alone.

Alone in a quiet room.

He curled in on himself.

He hated the silence, that’s what it had been like in the basement. If the hunters were ‘ training ’ him they were upstairs and things were silent. He would be left to his own thoughts and hallucinations.

 

There was a knock on the door and Rose poked her head in as she spoke softly “Mr McLoughlin.” Jack looked up quickly, he let out a sigh. Luckily, Rose had come in just before Jack could get to caught up in his own head. He looked at her as she spoke keeping her tone soft and calm “Your mother’s and your sister are here to see you… Are you up to visitors?” not really. Jack forced a smile as he said “I-I should be okay.” Jack wasn’t going to refuse to see any of his family. No matter how much he wanted to be alone.

 

He could trust his family. They wouldn’t hurt him, he didn’t have to be scared of his family.

 

Rose pushed the door open to reveal Ciara and Lauren.

 

As his eyes locked against his mother's, he could see the tears in his mother's eyes. Ciara couldn’t contain herself. She had waited so long to see her son, to find out if he was even still alive . Ciara ran towards her son, tears streaming down her cheeks “Jack! Jack! My baby-boy! ” Jack went rigid. One word ringing in his ears like white noise “Baby-Boy.” instead of looking at his mother. He was not presented with a very different image.

 

Chris was running down the staircase of the basement, running towards the cage as he called “Baby-boy, I’ve missed you. I’ve missed you so much! Come here baby let me hug you!”

Jack shook his head, body shuddering, fear in his eyes a whimper catching in his throat, he tried to back away but stopped. Hearing that nickname was like flicking a switch. That nickname had always been used by the hunters in the basement, when they used it he knew what he meant, the same rules playing in his head.

 

Be a good pet,

Do as you're told,

Be obedient, follow your training.

 

Arms were thrown around Jack carelessly, fingers digging into scars that were still pretty fresh. He let out a pained whimper, but bit his tongue. The arms became tighter. Jack closed his eyes still biting on his tongue.

 

“Oh baby I thought I’d lost you! Oh my boy! My baby-boy you’re home!”

 

There was wet on Jack’s back. If Jack didn’t know better he would mistake it for tears. But Chris wouldn’t cry. Jack was sure that he was incapable of any emotion. They were probably pouring water down his back, they’d done that a couple times. If they poured water down his back, the basement would feel colder.

 

The arms that were wrapped tightly around him moved lower, more towards his front. He knew what would come, not again! He didn’t want to be used like that again. He wouldn’t let them touch him again.

 

Jack was quick to shove the body away as he started to beg and plead sobbing “Not again! Please not again! I’ll do anything, ANYTHING. But please, please don’t touch me again… I-I can’t… I’ll be a good-boy I promise. I can be your good pet. I can!  I’ll do whatever you want but please don’t touch me there! D-Don’t force me to-” Jack choked on his next sob, he curled in on himself making himself smaller, also trying to protect himself a little more. He’d refused to let Chris do something, he knew what happened next, he was going to beaten or abused in some way. Or they’d just forcibly jerk him off until he came, or maybe make him given them a blow job…  No matter how much Jack asked them not to. Pile rose from his stomach at the mere thought, his gag reflex already screaming ‘No’, his body screaming no.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Ciara McLoughlin wrapped her arms around her youngest son doing her best not to cry, she held him as she said overjoyed “Oh baby I thought I’d lost you! Oh my boy! My baby-boy you’re home!”

 

No that was tears, she couldn’t help it, she tried not to cry so Jack wouldn’t think she was upset. But she couldn’t help it, she was so, so happy to finally have her son back! She was crying tears of absolute and overwhelming joy. She held onto Jack for a while. He didn’t say anything, didn’t move, didn’t return the hug. In fact he was tense, ridgid and… Sobbing? Was something wrong?  

She pulled back a little, not really wanting to let go, for fear if she did Jack would disappear into thin air, her hands slipped down to rest on Jack’s hips slightly, so that she was still holding him. She saw the fear spark in her son's eyes and she was shoved back weakly, there was no strength behind the shove. But Jack was trying to push her away so she backed off.

 

Jack was now begging and sobbing a glassy look in his crimson eyes“Not again! Please not again! I’ll do anything, ANYTHING. But please, please don’t touch me again… I-I can’t… I’ll be a good-boy I promise. I can be your good pet. I can!  I’ll do whatever you want but please don’t touch me there! D-Don’t force me to-”

 

Ciara felt sick. What had they done to her son to make him so fearful? To make him say such things. The nurse who had let Ciara and Lauren into the room was quick to come to Jack’s side. She didn’t touch him, but she was looking him dead in the eye, speaking clearly and calmly “Sean, Sean can you hear me? Sean no one is trying to hurt you. Sean can you hear me? Nod your head if you can hear me.”

 

Jack didn’t seem to respond to Rose, he kept begging and pleading and crying. Asking not to be touched, not to be forced to touch, not to be hurt... Rose cursed under her breath. What could she do? She had to calm Jack down.

 

“Tóg go bog é Sean.” Rose turned to see Lauren speaking, she was talking in Gaelic, her tone calm and soft but still understandable.

 

Almost immediately Jack seemed to pick up on it and latch onto it. Hewas crying but he wasn’t beginning anymore. It was important.

 

Lauren noticed the blanket she had wrapped him in earlier at the end of the bed, she grabbed it and held it up as she said “Do you want this Sean? Do you remember this?” Lauren saw Jack reach forwards to grab the blanket but immediately stop. She laid it on the bed close to Jack before taking a step back “It’s your blanket Sean, from your house. You can take it if you want it.” Jack glanced at Lauren, then to the blanket. He slowly reached forward and grabbed it pulling it towards himself slowly. As if he were scared. As if he was expecting to be hit...

Rose let out a slightly relieved sigh as she said “Are you okay Sean? Do you know where you are Sean?” Jack looked around the room, as if checking his surroundings.

 

He was silent for a moment but no one in the room rushed him. Finally he nodded shakily releasing an exhausted sigh “I-I’m in hospital… I… I thought it was in that basement in the cage and… And they were calling me that name … And they were touching me and I didn’t want them to! But I can’t fight back, I can’t! Or they’ll hurt me more!” Rose let out a sigh as she said “You’re not back there Sean… And I’m caring for you as your nurse. I will not let you end up back there. That’s a promise!”

 

Jack felt tired. He didn’t understand what had happened. It was fuzzy, but what he did remember was his mother. His gaze moved to his mother, she looked guilty and upset. Jack swallowed thickly as he said “I-I’m sorry ma I… I saw you but then… Then it was them again… And… And I couldn’t fight I was allowed to say no, I had to do what they told me I-” Jack stopped when his hand reached for the collar he’d been wearing for almost three months, only for his finger to run across a bandage. The collar wasn’t there, that should’ve been a good thing, after all that collar was a shock collar, it had been used to hurt him… Instead, he felt naked without it. Lost without it. He physically shuddered as he whispered “My collar…”

 

Jack didn’t realise he had voiced his thoughts until he saw the horrified faces of his mother and sister. Jack flinched under their gaze. Rose bit her lip as she said “When you came to us… You were naked apart from that shock collar… Jack… I hope you understand that… Because of the nature of the collar I can’t… Hospital policy says I can’t give it to you…” Jack curled up again.

 

Rose thought for a moment “Is it important to you?” Jack nodded as he said “Y-Yes… I know they used it to hurt me but… When they would leave and I was alone… I could hold onto the little ring and play with it… It...It sounds dumb but when I noticed myself zoning out down there… When I saw things that weren’t there...I-I could bring myself back… Like what happened here… I zone out, what I saw wasn’t reality… I know that now… If I had the collar maybe I could… I could stop that happening again...Maybe…”

 

Rose appeared to be thinking for a moment, she knew that if Jack had come to rely on it, even if he’d been forced to wear it for a prolonged period of time. Jack’s mind would make him feel like it was something he needed. But the fact that it was a shock collar proved to be a problem, she could get in trouble for returning it when it was a tool meant to harm Jack. “I’ll see what I can do… In the meantime… Just relax. You’re completely safe here.” Jack nodded his head, but he couldn’t meet Rose’s gaze. Rose was about to leave the room when she paused, she looked to Ciara McLoughlin as she asked “Were you two given details about Sean’s injuries…” Ciara and Lauren shook her head. Rose rolled her eyes with an annoyed sigh “One of the other nurses were supposed to warn you. Would you two please follow me so I can explain things to you. You can come back to see Sean once I’ve finished.”

 

Ciara, Lauren and Rose left the room closing the door.
Rose looked to Ciara and Lauren as she let out a sigh “There’s no ‘ nice way ’ to say this… I can’t sugar coat it… So I’ll just come out and say it… Sean has been tortured… His wounds consist of bruises, cuts, burns, whip lashes, his neck was red raw from the chaffing of the collar he was wearing, and the actual shock box had burt him… However we also have reason to believe that he was raped… Possibly multiple times.” Ciara went pale, Lauren looked just as sick as her mother. Rose hung her head “Specific marks that we noticed were a heart carved into his chest, the words ‘ baby-boy ’ carved into his side and two cuts at the side of his neck that we believe were actually a mockery of fang marks…” Ciara shook her head as she cursed “Those bastards… They weren’t content with just hurting him… They… They humiliated him…” Lauren placed a hand on her mother's shoulder as she said “That's why he freaked out when you came in… You called him baby-boy…” Ciara looked at her daughter as she said “I… I didn’t think about that I… I’ve always referred to him as my baby-boy. Because he is… He’s my youngest son I-” Lauren nodded as she said “I know… I know… Maybe in time, he’ll get over it… But for now call him Jack or Sean… When he’s panicking… I… I noticed when we found him, he responds well to Irish Gaelic.” Rose looked to Lauren as she nodded “He did seem to latch onto it… I can’t say for certain, but it’s probably a lot different to what he was used to while he was taken... I obviously can’t say for certain and he will need to see a therapist at some point…” Ciara and Lauren nodded their heads.

 

Rose bowed her head at the two as she said “I’ll see what I can do about the collar… If he thinks it will help… Right now it’s probably best to let him have it…Within reason of course. It might help him to ease him.”

 

Rose left down the corridor and Lauren and Ciara returned to Jack.

Chapter Text

Mark had literally bought a ticket for the first flight to Ireland that he could. Luckily it was a flight with no stops. When he arrived in Dublin he passed through customs and collected his bags.

 

Getting into the first taxi he saw Mark didn’t bother finding a hotel, he went straight to Jack’s apartment, he’d agreed to meet Lauren as she wanted to ‘prepare’ him for seeing Jack. Whatever that meant.

 

The taxi ride was a blur to the American who was focusing more on seeing his boyfriend after so long.  

 

The past four months had made Mark think about what he wanted, Mark and Jack had maintained a long distance relationship for three years. While they visited each other as often as they could, they ALWAYS talked over skype, mainly when they were editing they would log into skype and keep each other 

company or they would record a game together.

 

What they had never thought about, was anything like what happened over the past four months. Being so far away and unable to do anything to try and find Jack. Killed Mark, mentally and emotionally. Mark had made up his mind, he was going to move to Ireland so he could live closer to Jack, maybe even find a house they could share. Mark did not want to be so far away from Jack for so long ever again.

 

The taxi pulled up outside the apartment and Lauren was waiting for Mark, they embraced each other and he heard Lauren whisper “He’s alive…” Mark nodded a little as he said “I know the feeling… It shouldn’t be so...surprising to hear.” They pulled away and Mark saw tears rolling down the Irish girl’s cheeks. He tilted his head to the side “W-What’s wrong?” she sniffled taking in a deep breath as she calmed herself down “He’s alive… But not in a good way… Mark… The doctor managed to talk to him a little, those hunters starved him of blood and food, punched, cut, burnt and whipped him… They mixed his food with wolfsbane so he would throw up… And he hasn’t said it but the nurses who treated his injuries said they found evidence of rape…” Lauren choked on the last word.

 

Mark was silent for a moment, the information he was given slowly processing with him. The absolute horror of what his boyfriend had lived through. Lauren cleared her throat as she said “And… He’s really panicking and jumpy, you have to be careful with him, you can’t touch him, can’t get too close. You CAN’T call him ‘baby-boy’... He’s fragile Mark… He…” Lauren shook her head once more choking on her words.

 

Mark nodded his head a little as he said “I get it… Don’t over-load him. No matter how much I want to run in there and throw myself at him. Be careful, listen to what he wants… I can do that.” Mark wanted to believe that, he would really have to see how he reacted when he saw Jack. Jack was important to Mark, really important. From what Lauren had told him, Mark knew he had to be supportive, had to make sure Jack was completely comfortable with what was happening.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Lauren let Mark leave his bags at Jack’s place, she was still staying in her brother's apartment and assured Mark he was okay to stay there with her.

 

They reached the hospital and Lauren told Mark she would wait in the car and allow Mark and Jack time to talk in private.

 

Nurse Rose met Mark outside of the hospital and lead the American through the hospital to the intensive care unit. At the very back of the ward was room 4. Jack’s room.

 

Rose knocked on the door before opening it slowly, her gaze met Jack’s tired crimson eyes as she spoke softly “Sean, Mark is here to see you, can I let him in?” there was clear hesitation from Jack.

 

At the question, Jack pulled his legs to his chest, resting his head on his lap. Why on earth would Mark want to see him? For more information? Because he was an easy way to get laid? Jack shuddered. The hunters had shown Jack the activity on Mark’s channel. Mark spoke out once, then got on with things happily. Like nothing was wrong, a worried boyfriend wouldn’t do that, a worried boyfriend would be trying desperately to find any information they could, he would’ve talked about it constantly, asking for any information. Instead, Mark had practically ignored that Jack even existed, that he was missing.

 

Despite that. Jack was sort of curious as to what Mark wanted. Would it hurt to let him in? It's not like Mark could do anything that Jack didn't want. If he tried, Jack could just press the button and alert the nurses. He was safe here.

 

Or that's what everyone kept telling him.

No matter how much he was assured that this place was safe. He couldn't help but feel cautious and on edge all the time. Like any minute those hunters would jump out and grab him and he'd be back in that room.

 

“Sean?”

 

Jack's thoughts stopped and he was brought back to reality. He let out a breath as he nodded his head silently.

 

Rose took the silent “yes”. She stepped back and Jack heard her small voice “You can go in.”

 

Mark entered the room and smiled when he saw Jack. Jack let out a low growl when he saw him smile, what right did he have to smile? Why was he even hear? The hunters had shown Jack Mark’s videos for the first two months. Mark only mentioned Jack’s disappearance once and then it was like he didn’t even know who Jack was.

 

Mark was confused by the growl, he looked at Jack as he said “Jack it’s me… It’s Mark I-” Jack cut Mark off with another growl “I know.” Mark made his way further into the room “Then… Then why growl?” Jack scoffed as he turned away from Mark “You know why…”

 

Mark shook his head as he said “Would I have asked if I knew?”

Jack let out another growl. Part of him was screaming, telling him not to turn his back and not to growl because he would be punished for being disobedient. But right now he wanted to see what Mark would say. Jack pulled the blankets over his head hiding beneath them.

Mark merely folded his arms as he said almost stubbornly “You’ll have to talk to me at some point.”

Jack remained hidden under the blankets for half an hour. Mark had resorted to messing around on his phone.

 

After a half hour, Mark tries to make conversation. "Wanna see this meme? It make me think of you." Jack doesn't move for a moment, before he lifts the cover a little, just enough for him to see out. The image on the screen is a badger in mid-roll with text on the image says "i don't mean to claws for alarm but I missed you.” Jack wanted to believe that Mark had actually missed him, wanted to believe


But he'd remember his captors letting him see Mark's youtube channel, his twitter and tumblr. He'd remember watching countless videos and never hearing Mark mention his disappearance once.

 

He'd remember scrolling through twitter and tumblr and finding nothing that mentioned Jack or his disappearance. He'd remember his captors telling him that "Mark's moved on and forgotten." Jack hid within the bed again and started crying. Mark was just using him him, like he had been told by his captors. "Mark only cares now you're back, he wasn't worried about where you've been, he wasn't concerned for your safety." He curled up tighter beneath the covers. When he noticed that Jack was crying, Mark was quick to start apologising hoping to comfort him "Shit! Jack... I'm sorry..! i didn't- don't cry.. I'm sorry.. You're okay. You're safe... I'm sorry." Jack was shaking his head beneath the covers mumbling “No, no… stop… Stop it…” he didn’t want to hear the american’s lies. He just wanted to be left alone. This was a bad idea. A bad idea.

 

After crying for a while he couldn’t take Mark’s false apologies anylonger. He sat up glaring at Mark as he snapped with a growl "It's all empty words. You don't mean it, stop pretending that you do." Mark was taken back by the outburst. And it took him a moment to respond "Wh-what? No... Jack... I mean it... I didn't mean to upset you. I thought you'd like it... I'm sorry." Jack shook his head putting his hands over his ears. He closed his eyes, but tears still ran down his cheeks "Don't lie! Don't lie to me! Don't pretend to care about me!"

Mark had to stop, pulling back and sitting down as he tried to think of what to say. Why did he think Mark was lying? Jack realised all too late that he had raised his voice at Mark, he quickly curled up laying down and closing his eyes, he was going to be hit, Mark was going to scold him for the outburst. He sobbed silently waiting for a punishment that wouldn’t come.

 

Mark wanted to comfort his boyfriend but… How could he? Mark had already tried to talk to him and Jack ended up crying.

 

After crying for a while. Jack found he’d used all his tears, he gave himself time to calm down, now that he was calmer, he was curious as too where Mark was. What he was doing… Jack lifted the blanket so he could look to see where Mark was (even though he could hear Mark's heartbeat and knew he was in the room he wanted to see where exactly Mark was in the room, he wanted to see Mark’s face). Jack saw the american sat on a chair close by, there was distance between them. Mark couldn’t grab him, which helped to calm Jack a little. However, Jack still hid himself beneath the bed away from Mark.

 

Mark cleared his throat as he spoke calmly "So maybe memes aren't the best topic... How about youtube? Or music? I don't know a lot about music but I have some songs that you might like on my phone.” Jack shook his head keeping curled within the blanket.  He was trying to block Mark out. If he did, maybe Mark would go away. He wanted to trust Mark. He really did. It had been so long since he had saw Mark and he had missed him so much. But, all Jack could think about was what he had been shown. Mark didn't really care. Mark hadn't even batted an eyelid. He only ever mentioned Jack once, it was like it didn't bother him at all. There was silence between them for a while before Mark said "... Ooor we could talk about something else. Like why you think I don't care about my boyfriend." Jack curled up more. Pulling the covers closer to him "Drop it Mark... Get over it... Jus' like ya did while I was gone…” Mark’s eyes widened as he said sounding confused " Get over it ? Jack, what are you talking about?" Jack let out a growl as he said "Ya know what I'm on about... Don't lie!" Tears were coming to his eyes, he clenched his fists as tight as he could. Mark shook his head as he said "Jack... I'm not lying. Please.  I have no idea what you're talking about..."

 

Jack sat up as he glared at Mark "They showed me your channel, your twitter, your tumblr, your Facebook... You mentioned me once… ONCE! After that nothing... It was like you didn't even care!" Tears were now rolling down his cheeks "I did whatever they said because I knew they'd give me just enough time to watch your videos or they'd let me check your social media's... Nothing... And people were commenting asking about me, about what happened. And there was no mention of it..." Jack wiped his eyes with his hands as he sobbed "You moved on and forgot me..." Listening to Jack, Mark’s face fell "They what...." Mark said softly, mouth going dry. The hunters knew about him... And used him against Jack, used it to hurt him. But how did they know!? The American shook his head. '"No... No, Jack... I didn't... I could never move on!" Jack clenched his fists "I-I want t' believe that... But... What I saw... They told me you didn't really care... That...That ya jus' used me for... Personal satisfaction ... That the only reason you kept me around was because..." he had to wipe his eyes, he was trying to force back his tears "...Because..."

"Because what...?" Mark's body inched forward without realizing it. When Mark inched closer. Even though he'd barely moved it was still closer. Jack backed up his arms covering his face as if braving for an attack. Mark quickly realized his error, backing away into his seat. "Shit... I'm sorry... You don't have to answer that." Jack's body was rigid. Even with the apology. Jack didn't lower his arms. He kept himself shielded. He let out a soft whimper. Any minute how he would be hit, he knew it. Mark sunk in his chair when Jack whimper. He didn't mean to frighten Jack but how could he reassure Jack he meant no harm. It seemed that the Irishman didn't want to hear what he had to say. Maybe he could..


The American pushed his chair back, not bothering to be quiet while moving it. The sound of the chair moving. Made Jack lower his arms a little so he could see, he kept his arms close though so if he needed to he could shield himself again. He saw Mark had backed off. He didn't look angry, he didn't have his hand or fist raised about to hit Jack. He was sat back. Jacks arms lowered completely, he pulled his knees to his chest as he whispered "Sorry..." Once moving far enough, Mark promptly sat on the floor. "Don't worry about it. I'm the one who was pushing you..." Jack was surprised when Mark sat on the floor. Why would he do that? Was it because of how Jack reacted? Jack shook his head his gaze lowering "I... It's jus' sort of natural reaction now... I couldn't defend myself any other way... I had to brace and hope fer the best..." Mark’s calm hazel eyes locked against Jack’s tired, weak crimson ones "Does this make you more comfortable? I could face away from you too if that'll help?" Mark offered with a much softer tone. Jack’s look was still surprised. Mark was so willing to just do what Jack wanted. He was asking what was okay?

That's not what he was told. That's not what his captors repeatedly told him, day in and day out. Mark cared... Jack could see that.

Jack shrugged a little as he said "Ya didn't have t' sit on the floor...It's probably not comfortable..." Mark shrugged as he replied almost immediately "It's not a big deal. Beside from down here I can do my exercising. And the all important toe touches..~" Mark said playfully. Putting his legs out in front of him, Mark demonstrated by attempt to touch his toes. "Hhnnngg!" A small giggle came from the vampire. It was small, the term giggle loosely described the noise. But it was probably as close to a giggle as Jack could get. He covered his mouth a little trying to hide it.  Alarms flared in his mind, telling him not to laugh because it would only lead to beatings or worse. Mark wasn't sure whether to smile or cry. The sound Jack made was definitely an attempt at laughter, but that's what it was, an attempt. A small broken giggle. However, he forced through his mixed reaction to give Jack a kind smile, looking up at him. "See! I'm fine down here."


The smile Mark wore, eased Jack a little more. Some of the alarms silencing. Even if the way Marks heart beat changed when he giggled made him panic for a moment. Jack let go of his legs, his knees no longer presses to his chest. He folded them so he was sat cross legged on the bed. A brighter smile formed when Jack's body unfolded more. The American sat up and followed suit for his own comfort on the floor, sitting cross legged. Jack looked at Mark as he said "Floors are hard an' cold. I can throw this pillow t' ya if ya like... At least it's comfier than the floor." Jack was slowly relaxing. Able to try and have a conversation with the man he had missed for so long. Mark snickered as he replied "My ass is soft enough as it is. I don't need any pillow..." Jack looked at Mark as he spoke without thinking "I spent long enough in the floor to know your ass will go numb... It's not a problem to give you a pillow." Mark's eyes widen as his heart shuttered from the information. An image tried to force itself into his brain but Mark kicked it out before it could fully illustrate itself.  "My ass won't go numb within whatever time I get to be in here. They'll probably kick me out after a while... Keep your pillows." Jack hadn't realised what he said until the words were already in the air. Memories of being forced to sleep on the floor of the basement, or worse in the cage immediately entered Jack’s mind. But he pushed them away, forced them back so he could focus on Mark preparing for questioning. And preparing to avoid the questions. Marks wide eyes made him panic. But Mark didn't question it. Thank god... Jack grabbed the pillow from his left as he threw it towards Mark "Still as stubborn as ever."

 

"HEY-eey..." There was brief moment of Mark raising his voice when the pillow was thrown at him before correcting it as best he could. His tone wasn't angry when he shouted, just an exaggeration. The raised voice set alarm bells off in Jack's head. But the lack of aggression allowed him to relax. Mark was just being loud. It wasn't like he was angry, he was threatening him. Just yelling… Catching the the thrown pillow, Mark tucked it under his arms, pressed against his chest. Jack wanted to argue with Mark. A snide remark made its way to his mind. But it stayed there. For a moment there was teasing look in his eyes, but it disappeared...
No smart ass comments. No snide remarks. That doesn't lead to anything good
Jack’s gaze fell down. Silence dragging on without the Irishman realising.

 

Believing that Jack was upset because Mark did not accept the offer. The man broke the silence to clarify. "I'm not sitting on your pillow. Unless this is your indirect way of saying that you want to smell my ass while you're sleeping." At the last comment. Jack managed another 'giggle' covering his mouth still trying to hide it "If the smell bothered me that much I could get the nurse to give me a new pillow..." There was a short pause before he said “You’re here… What about Chica and Tyler and Ethan?” Mark smiled a little as he said “Tyler's looking after Chica this week before he takes her to stay with my mom, then Tyler and Ethan will be joining me. I came because I wanted to see you… I was… so...so worried.” Jack’s gaze moved away as he mumbled “M’ fine… I’m not dead…” Mark looked at Jack as he said “And I’m glad… You really don’t know how happy that makes me.” Jack’s stomach grumbled. He growled at it, as if telling it to shut up. Mark tilted his head to the side as he said "Jack... If you need any help with anything, I don't mind." he was indirectly offering Jack his blood. He knew Jack didn’t like asking. However, Jack quickly shook his head "No!" He started to curl up again "No... I can wait...Healing takes time...That's all..." Mark winced when the other male shouted. His sadness starting to show through his features as Jack curled up again. He didn't say anything.


Jack shook his head as he said "They give me blood bags when I need it... I don't need you to help me..." Jack was trying to shake the memory away. He rubbed at the side of his neck, the wound was covered with gauze. But Jack still rubbed the side of his neck. He still remembered what it felt like. He still remember two of them sticking small blades in his neck and leaving them there for a minute or two, telling him that they were trying to show him what a vampire's bite felt like… If that was what his bite felt like to others. Jack didn’t want to do that to Mark. "Jack...  I said anything. That doesn't have to mean blood. I just want to help. I could go get the nurse instead. Or bring you something." Mark smiled a little, covering up his moment of weakness. "Whatever you need to be more comfortable or to help you get better..." Jack thought for a moment "Is it dumb...Or silly if I sat I'd rather be wearing my own clothes... C - Could... Is there any chance you or anyone else could get me some sweatpants and a random t-shirt from home? I-I feel exposed in this hospital gown..." Mark smiled a little more. "It's not silly or dumb. Your sister is staying at your place and she said I can stay with her, I can get you some clothes no problem."


Jack nodded his head as he said "Thanks Mark..." Mark smiled at Jack as he said "No problem, babe." A small smile found it way to Jack's lips. It might not have light up his face. But it was a smile. Jack trying to show his appreciation. Mark tried not to show his disappointment when his pet name didn't hit the right spot. "Would you like me to go now? Or wait until I get kicked out?” Jack considered what Mark said as he said "Now...If that's okay." the quicker Mark left, the quicker Jack would have some proper clothes. Mark nodded. "It's fine. " He moved a little further back before getting to his feet. Jack tried to smile for Mark the corners of his lips tilting upwards a small amount Mark gave another kind smile back as he placed the pillow on to the chair. "I'll try to be back soon."

 

Mark left the room and Jack’s gaze fell to the pillow Mark had been holding. Jack stood himself up, padding over to the pillow and picking it up, he pulled the pillow close, taking in the scent that clung to it. Mark’s scent. It helped Jack remember that he was free. That he wasn’t still in the basement. Jack climbed back into the bed holding the pillow to his chest tightly, burying his head into it, as if it were a softer version of Mark.



Chapter Text

Mark got back to Jack’s apartment. Getting out of the car, he felt a hand on his shoulder and he turned to see Lauren, she let out a sigh as she said “He’ll get better in time… But after what he went through… He just needs to adjust back to normal life.” Mark let out a sigh “I get that… But seeing him like that… He told me that he thought I didn’t love him… He was scared of me, like I’d hurt him.” Lauren nodded her head “He’s scared of everyone. The nurse said he’s been like that since he woke up. He just has to get used to being home again, he has to get used to being away from the people who hurt him all the time.”

 

Mark let out a sigh as he said “I promised I’d get him some sweatpants and a t-shirt. He wants his own clothes.” Laure nodded as she said “They’re upstairs. I’m gonna start the laundry down here while you get those.” Mark nodded his head as he headed upstairs.

 

Mark looked around upstairs, the first room he went into was the bathroom. Not right, the next room he found was Jack’s work room. Mark was about to turn away and to try and find Jack’s bedroom, when he kicked something. Mark looked down to see a small green ball rolling across the floor. Mark tilted his head, unsure what it was until he noticed blue and black on it. His eyes widened as he realised this was one of Jack’s many Sam plushies. Mark picked it up smiling a little. The plush was soft and squishy. Maybe Jack would appreciate it, after all it was something Jack used to love.

 

Mark kept hold of the toy as he continued to look for Jack’s bedroom so he could collect some clothes.

 

Luckily, the next room Mark checked was Jack’s bedroom, Mark managed to locate a back-pack, some sweatpants and a t-shirt. He put Jack’s things in the backpack, as well as putting the Sam plushie in the bag.

 

Mark stared at the bag for a moment, he was trying to think of things Jack might appreciate. Something that Jack would want. He stared at the bag for a moment before his eyes widened as he smiled “Cookies! Of course. Jack loves any sort of sweet treat.” Mark picked up the backpack slinging it over his shoulder, he made his way downstairs to see Lauren standing in the hallway. She smiled as she said “Ready to head back.” Mark nodded as he said “Almost. Although could we go to the store, I want to pick something up on my way back to the hospital.” Lauren nodded her he as she said “Of course!”

~~~~____~~~~

Lauren told Mark that she needed to go somewhere so she would pick him up from the hospital at 5 pm.

 

Mark made his way back to Jack’s room seeing Nurse Rose stood outside, she looked at him as she said “The doctor went in to see him earlier and he’s had a really bad panic attack, since then he hasn’t moved or spoken, he’s just laid there on the bed.” Mark frowned a little as he said “You’re going to tell me he can’t have visitors aren’t you?” Rose nodded her head.

 

Mark wanted to argue that he could help Jack. But the nurses and doctors probably knew better than he did. He let out a sigh as he said “I got him some clothes, he asked me earlier if he could have sweat pants and a t-shirt. Can I leave them for him?” Nurse Rose looked at Mark for a moment as she said “I’ll ask him if he wants to see you… If he doesn’t then you can leave them.” Mark would never admit to the relief that washed over him when the nurse agreed to see if Jack wanted him in the room.

 

Rose knocked on the door pushing it open as she called softly “Sean, Mark is back, he said he brought the things you asked for earlier. Can he come in?” there was silence for a long while. Rose stepped away from the door looking to Mark as he said “Just be careful with him, he’s still very quiet and very shaken up.” Mark nodded his head in understanding giving Rose a nod as he thanked her.

Mark entered the room, Jack was sat his legs pulled to his chest, arms wrapped around his knees keeping himself tucked up into a ball, but his eyes were watching Mark. Not leaving him. Mark took the backpack from his bag holding it in front of him as he said “I brought you the clothes you asked for and two surprises.”

 

Jack watched Mark closely, he trusted Mark… But his mind told him to be cautious, his mind told him that he couldn’t trust anyone that they were all going to be like the hunters.

“I brought you the clothes you asked for and two surprises.”
Jack froze.

Instead of seeing Mark, he saw the lead hunter Chris walking towards him with that sadistic grin

“Do you want to see your surprised baby-boy?”

Jack shook his head a whimper catching in his throat. But he knew he wasn’t allowed to object. He would be punished if he did, he had to sit there, like a good boy, and accept the surprise (whatever it may be).

 

Mark placed the back next to Jack on the bed, his gaze moving over. But his face falling when he noticed the vacant look in his eyes. How could Mark not have noticed? Fuck… Was Jack still paying attention, was he hallucinating? Mark remembered that Lauren said Jack hallucinated before, seeing his captors instead of his family. What if that happened again?

 

Mark backed away from Jack, not being quiet as he pushed a chair out the way and knelt down on the floor like he had before. He looked up at Jack as he said “Are you alright Sean? I brought you your sweatpant and t-shirt… You asked for them remember?”

 

Jack shuddered when the other male placed the bag on the bed. Oh god what did he have planned? A whimper caught in his throat as he chewed his lip. But he stopped. He wasn’t allowed, he had to remain still and unaffected, he had to let Chris do what he wanted. He had to be a good pet . Noise in the room broke Jack from his slightly vacant state. He looked to see… Mark?

 

He shook his head blinking, Mark was hear. Not Chris… It was Mark… Jack turned to look at the bag, he didn’t really process what Mark said. But Mark wouldn’t have anything that would harm him.

 

But he knew he couldn’t take anything without permission. He looked to Mark silently.

 

Don’t speak unless instructed to,

Do as you're told,

Be a good pet,

You don’t want to be punished.

 

Mark saw the way Jack looked at him, he seemed to be back, at least back in the room. Jack’s face wore an emotion that was some cruel mix of fear and exhaustion. Jack looked at Mark waiting almost expectantly. After a moment Mark gave Jack a small smile he said “Everything in the bag is for you. You can open it if you want.”

Jack was given permission. Mark said it was okay, he wouldn’t be punished for looking in the bag. He chewed his lip as he pulled the bag into his lap, Jack recognised it as one from his home. It was weird to see it again, it was a bag he used quite often if he ever went out hunting. The bag he’d left in the woods the night he was taken…

 

Jack opened the bag seeing the a pair of charcoal sweat-pants and his booper-dooper t-shirt. He put the clothes to the side about to thank Mark, when something bright green caught his eye. Jack tilted his head, curious his hands reached into the bag to grab the green thing when he felt that it was soft, plush, inviting. Jack pulled the green ball out of the bag his eyes widened as he yelled over-joyed to see something so familiar “Sam! My lil buddy!” his voice croaked and sounded far to strained to actually belong to Jack. But the expression on Jack’s face, the smile. It was almost like before…

 

Jack held the Sam plushie close, cuddling it and nuzzling it. He felt happy. He hadn’t felt that in a while…

 

And then like a switch, Jack’s mood dropped as Chris’s voice echoed through his head, reminding him of his training.

“You’re not supposed to raise your voice, that's not what good pets do is it? Good pets aren’t noisy. You’re a bad boy and bad boy’s need to be punished.”

Jack let out a frightened whimper as he dropped the plushie quickly curling into a ball, trying to tuck his head away.

 

Mark’s eyes widened, that's not what he expected, he thought Jack would like it. Mark debated standing up, but Jack seemed to react better when he was sat on the floor “Sean, Sean it’s okay. Sam is yours. I picked it up because I thought it would be nice for you, it would be something for you to have in between visits.”

 

Jack’s body was shuddering, waiting for a punishment that would never come. He whimper as he croaked out “Good pets don’t raise their voice… I-I can be be a good pet… I can be a good-boy.” Mark shook his head as he said “No Sean, No… Please...Y-You’re okay, you’re not back with those bastards Sean, you’re in hospital. It’s just you and me.”

 

Jack chanced a look up. Mark was still sat on the floor, he hadn’t moved. Mark still had that kind smile. He wasn’t… He didn’t seem mad. Jack sat himself up. Mark smiled a little more as he picked the Sam plushie up off the floor, holding it up for Jack to take as he said calmly “Do you want him? It was a dumb idea I know. But… It made me think of you.”

 

Jack took the plushie, pulling it close to his chest, holding it and nuzzling it. He was still on edge, watching Mark cautiously. But he would at least accept the plushie. It was comforting to have something to hold.

 

Mark looked at Jack as he said “There’s something else in the bag for you.” Jack looked confused for a moment, pulling the bag back so he could look… A white packet. Jack sniffed inside the bag, the smell was sweet, sugar, choclatly… Nothing to make Jack nervous. Or more nervous than he was. He reached into the bag to grab the white packet.

 

Once he’d pulled the packet out of the bag he could see what it was. Cookies!!! Jack couldn’t believe it cookies! It was no secret that Jack like all things sugary, cake and cookies being his favorite sweets treats. And Mark had brought him some. His stomach growled and lurched, reminding him that it had been far too long since he’d eaten anything. Jack pulled at the top of the packet trying to open the bag of deliciousness. But he couldn’t get it to budge.

 

Mark noticed the irishman's predicament a heavy feeling setting into his chest as he realised, Jack’s so weak that he can’t even open a paper bag of cookies. He shook it off, pushing it to the back of his mind, he was going to be doing a lot of screaming into his pillow later. Mark stood up clearing his throat as he offered in a calm, soft tone “Do you want me to open them?” Jack looked to Mark as he nodded his head, letting go of the bag of cookies and pushing them towards Mark.

 

Mark tore the top off the bag before pushing it back towards Jack with a small nod. Jack did not need telling twice quickly taking a cookie, they were soft a gooey, freshly baked, just how Jack loved them. It was easy for him to pull a piece of putting it into his mouth and chewing.

 

This was real food. Well… It was a cookie, but it was also the first piece of solid food he’d eaten since he was captured. All the hunters had given him was their left overs blended into some sort of gruel. He didn’t realise that he had missed being able to eat real food, he didn’t realise he missed chewing his own food, savouring the bite.

 

Mark was shocked. The toy might’ve been surprising, the lack of abuse might’ve been surprising considering that seemed to be what Jack was used to… But this was food! How could Jack look so pleased to have food. Unless they starved him, that thought made Mark shiver and his thoughts came out as a broken whisper before he had chance to process what he was saying “They didn’t feed you… Did they?” Jack looked up at Mark frozen for a moment. He swallowed his mouthful his gaze flickering away as he spoke “They used to give me leftovers… If they’d eaten the night before and hadn’t finished… I got the scraps blended into some form of concoction and sometimes mixed with wolfsbane.” Jack almost gagged at the thought of being forced to eat the poisoned food only to throw it back up moments later.

 

Mark’s eyes were wide with disbelief as he said “Those sick bastards!” Mark knew the effect that wolfsbane had on vampires, he knew Jack hated the stuff he couldn’t stand being in the same room as wolfsbane, let alone being forced to eat it. Mark forced himself to smile for Jack as he said “Well those cookies are yours. You can eat as many as you want, they were baked fresh today in the store. Your sister took me there before she dropped me off hear.” Jack’s lips curled up a small bit, it was an attempt at a smile “My sister, Lauren… H-How is she? I saw her yesterday when ma came to visit but… I lost it… Kind of… It was weird.”

 

Jack was relaxing and it allowed him to be curious, he could talk to Mark a little, even if he voice quivered and threatened to leave him at any moment. Mark chuckled a little as he said “She’s fine, she’s relieved now that we know where you are. She’s still staying at your place and she’d letting me stay with her, I don’t know if I mentioned that before.”  Jack looked to Mark as he said “My place? My house? Oh god I bet it’s a mess. I left late at night I hadn’t had chance to clean up. Lauren was probably cursing me about the mess I left.” Mark couldn’t help but laugh as he said “Well, I dropped my bag off earlier and I went to get your clothes and everything seemed fine. I don’t think she was cursing you.” Jack pulled another piece of the cookie off to eat, this time it was eaten a little faster. Mark looked to Jack as he said “We’ve also told your community that you’re okay. We said that you’re in hospital and we don’t know if you’ll be up to making a video or anything. But they know you’re alive.”

 

Jack practically choked on the piece of cookie he was eating “My community? They…” Mark chuckled a little as he said “They’ve been so worried, there was so much fan-art, so many supportive messages all while they waited for you to come back. It was amazing I-” there was a pause as Mark dug into his pocket for his phone “I can show you, they started a new hashtag #UnbreakableJSE they talked about all the times you helped them through something and that it was their turn to help you.” Jack noticed tears coming to his eyes. His community were waiting for him? Where supporting him, they cared… The hunters had showed him tumblr, they’d gone into the Jacksepticeye tag and they found nothing… No fanart or messages, it was dead… Does that mean they could’ve faked it? If so, what else had they faked? What if everything they had showed him were doctored screenshots of apps and websites?

 

Mark held his phone out towards Jack, he took Mark's phone, quickly looking at him to see if it was okay. Mark met the irishman's gaze as he said “Can I sit close to you so I can see as well?”

 

Close would mean Mark could hit him, could… Would he? Mark had given Jack the phone and hadn’t asked for the phone back. Jack chewed his lip before nodding silently. Mark stood up, moving slowly. Jack felt comforted by the fact that Mark was slow, Mark took his time and didn’t rush the irishman. Mark sat at the edge of the bed quiet clearly too far away to see, he looked to Jack as he said “Can I come closer? You can tell me if you want me to stop.” Jack nodded silently again. Mark shuffled closer, each time he moved a little he waited and looked to Jack trying to judge if he was still okay.

 

Mark stopped when he was sat next to Jack with enough room to fit another person between them. Jack looked away as he said “I-If you can’t see you can come closer.” Mark shuffled a little closer, closing some more of the distance, as he did he felt Jack place a thin hand on top of his own. Instead of the soft hand that he remembered, it was thinner more bone than skin and muscle.

Mark looked at the hands, then to Jack. Mark still knew that Jack looked way too thin and way too pale, he hated how thin the hand was, how weak Jack looked physically. But he could live with that for now, Jack could recover now, Jack could get back to his normal self, it would just take time. He smiled a little. The corners of Jack’s lips curled up a bit. In an attempt to smile back. Jack was trying. And that's what mattered.

 

In his head a thousand alarm bells were sounding. He was touching Mark when he hadn’t been told to. He was going to be punished, he wasn’t allowed to touch other unless he was told to. They could only touch him. But Mark’s smile helped to ease him a little. He noticed himself relaxing some more, turning his attention back to the phone. He scrolled down tumblr, reading the messages, looking at the fan-art and for the first time in months. Jack was smiling. Really smiling. There were tears rolling down his cheeks, but they weren’t because he was upset. They were because he couldn't believe that after so long, his community were still there for him, still supporting him. It warmed his heart to see such positivity and support. People didn’t think he was a monster, they didn’t hate him. This made it obvious. Jack placed Mark’s phone in his lap before using his hand to wipe his eyes giving a weak sniffle. Mark nudged Jack gently as he said “I cried too when I saw it… It’s okay to cry Jack.” Jack gave a small giggle, the only laugh he could actually make at this moment in time “I-I’m crying… Because… Because I’m happy?” Jack had forgotten what this was like, while looking through the fan-art he didn’t have to think about what he’d been through, or his fears or the way he’d been conditioned into thinking. He could focus on his old self, his community, the 15 million people who’d given him everything he had, the job he loved and the people all around the world who watched his videos.

 

Jack sniffled again, looking at Mark. His smile faded back to the tiny curl of lips his gaze falling down to their hands. Once more thoughts came back, the mindset the hunters forced upon Jack taking over with a vengeance. He pulled his hand away quickly shuffling back putting space between himself and Mark. A soft growl rumbled from his throat as he watched Mark carefully.

 

Mark knew when to back off, seeing how Jack switched he was already standing up, slipping his phone back in his pocket and backing away, hands held in front of him so Jack could see Mark wasn’t planning on hurting him. Mark knew Jack wasn’t growling to try and intimidate or scare him, Jack was doing it because of how weak he was. Jack wouldn’t be able to defend himself if Mark or anyone attacked him, the way Jack looked, Mark was sure that the vampire wouldn’t be able to defend himself against a toddler.

The growl was Jack trying to tell Mark that he was scared, that he would try to fight back even though he knew he couldn’t . Or had the hunters conditioned Jack into not fighting back? If Mark started hitting him, would Jack sit there and take it? He didn’t want to find out. Mark sat himself on the floor again. Jack still watching Mark.

 

Mark was sat for a moment or so, quiet. Jack finally relaxed, noticing the bag of cookies again. Jack picked up a cookie his gaze moving to Mark, he stood himself up, still for a moment before he walked over to Mark holding the cookie out in front of him. Mark watched Jack, Jack stood just close enough for Mark to take the cookie.

 

However, instead of just taking the cookie he looked to Jack as he asked “Can I take it?” giving Jack options. Jack could say no, it might help him. Jack nodded his head but gave no verbal response. Mark reached up and took the cookie with a grateful smile. Jack back up sitting himself back on the bed, he picked up a cookie looking at it for moment. Jack pulled a little bit of his own cookie apart and eating it.

 

The two ate in silence, occasionally glancing at each other before ultimately looking away.

 

Even if they were quiet. Jack appreciated the company. Mark was trying to help and he knew that, he appreciated that. Even if he was cautious. And Mark was happy to just be able to sit in the same room as Jack. To know that he was alive and that he was safe.

Chapter Text

The Following Morning.

 

Mark wanted to go and see Jack again, but he was only allowed two visitors and Lauren and his mother had already planned to visit him with a cup of coffee and a bacon sandwich. So Mark stayed home.

 

Lauren picked up her mother and they both stopped by the bakery before heading to the hospital.

It was 10:30 am. So it shouldn’t be too early for Jack. They made their way to the ward and were surprised to see Jack was out of his room.

 

Rose was with him, his hair looked wet and he had a towel draped around his shoulders. He looked at his mother and sister noticing the tired look he had in his eyes. Rose gave the two a small nod as he continued to lead Jack back to his room. Lauren and Ciara walked into the room as Jack sat on the bed, pulling his legs to his chest. Ciara frowned a little, feeling her heart break seeing her son so reserved. Jack had always been a ‘loud and proud’ sort of person. Seeing him so quiet and afraid, it was like looking at a totally different person.

 

Lauren cleared her throat as she said with a soft smile “Morning, Seán .” Jack nodded his head a little but gave no verbal response. Nurse Rose let out a sigh as she said “Seán has a shower this morning… But it’s still hard for him, he’s fragile and might be quiet for a while. I'll go get him something to eat.” Nurse Rose left and the family were alone.

 

Jack was sat, knees pulled to his chest, head rested in his lap. Lauren noticed something around his neck, something she hadn’t noticed when he was in the corridor. She recognized it… The collar Jack was wearing when she found him. Jack looked up a little and Laure noticed that the shock box had been taken off… She did not want to see her brother wearing something that she knew was supposed to be a collar, that she knew had been used to control him at one point… But she didn’t dare mention it when Jack was already so fragile. Lauren could see how her mother tried to hide her reaction, but it was clear to see how horrified she looked that Jack was wearing the collar.

 

Whether Jack noticed or not, neither of the women really knew. Jack’s hand reached for the collar as he began to play with the little metal ring “H-How are you both?”

 

He was doing his best to make conversation, trying to remain calm. He could see his mother and sister looking at him and it was like they didn’t like what they saw… Of course, they didn’t hell Jack had freaked out when he saw himself. Being laid naked in the cage when everything was quiet, Jack often looked himself over checking wounds, making sure they were healing or counting the new ones. But when he got out of the shower, there was a mirror and for the first time in months, Jack had been able to see himself, see his full body for the first time since his capture.

 

He hated the way he looked, how malnourished and weak he looked, the number of scars and cuts and burns that littered his skin. The name they’d given him scared onto his body forever, that wound would never heal, that's what they wanted when it started to heal, they cut it back in again. The same with the heart they’d carved onto his chest. The scars alone, looking at them, made him tense, made him feel like he was back with the hunters. But thankfully, being in a bathroom had grounded him. It was nothing like the cage or the basement. It was spacious and bright, he could see his surroundings perfectly and remind himself that he was safe.

 

It was his appearance that triggered him. He was nothing like himself, eyes glowing red, fangs elongated (he looked like a monster); he knew he’d been left weak, but the fact his eyes and fangs showed and he couldn’t hide them proved that he was so weak, the fact that he was a vampire was the only thing keeping him alive. And he hated that. His family had to hate it as well, to see the ‘Jack’ they’d always known reduced to the shell left in front of them…

 

Jack got too caught up in his own thoughts to actually catch an answer from either of the women. He was only broken away from his thoughts when he heard his mother's voice call to him “Mo bhuachaill?” Jack looked up appearing dazed. His mother hid her frown as she said “J-Jack can I hug you?” she was asking, instead of throwing herself at him again. Afterall, the last time she did that he had a panic attack. Jack looked at his mother for a moment had given him the option… His mother wouldn’t stop him from saying no. At least he knew that logically. But he still couldn’t bring himself to say it, the words were so foreign to him. He couldn’t even bring himself to shake his head. Instead, he sat there still.

 

Ciara was put off by the lack of answer “Seán ?” she said opening her arms, giving him an option. Jack had that distant look in his eyes, he’d zoned out. Ciara lowered her arms, she looked horrified, even offering Jack a hug she’d triggered him and that was the last thing she wanted to do. Ciara pulled away as she said “Never-mind Seán. It’s okay…” Jack shuddered curling in on himself. Ciara felt terrible. Taking another step back.  

 

As if on cue, there was a knock on the door as Nurse Rose poked her head around the corner “Seán? Are you ready for your breakfast?” Jack uncurled a little bit giving a small nod. Rose entered, letting out a sigh “Everything okay?” Jack looked to his mother who nodded as she said “Of course, everything’s fine.” Rose crossed the room placing a tray on the table near Jack’s bed, there was a blood bag, a water pitcher, a small carton of milk,  two plastic cups, a small box of cereals a bowl, a plate, some toast and butter.

 

Jack looked up at Rose surprised. Rose chuckled a little as she said “Don’t worry you don’t have to eat it all. I just brought some things that I thought you might want to eat.” Jack looked surprised. And his mother felt like shattering. Sure, there was a lot of food on the tray, but it was food. Jack didn’t need to look so surprised. It only reaffirmed the fact that Jack had been starved, he wasn’t used to being given food. Images of Jack laying in a dark room as his stomach grumbled and growled forced their way into Ciara’s mind. She cleared her throat as she turned away and said “I-I’m going for some fresh air.” Ciara left and Lauren let out a sigh, it was a lot for everyone who visited Jack. Seeing just how damaged he was because of the hunters' treatment.

 

Jack didn’t question his mother leaving, too preoccupied with his conflicting thoughts about the food he was given. Part of him, wanted to eat. In fact, he was sure he could eat it all. But then he remembered being fed wolfsbane, feeling the poisonous substance slither down his throat burning his insides until he eventually threw it back up. He shuddered at the thought, eyeing the food skeptically. He picked up a slice of toast sniffing it, it didn’t smell like wolfsbane. Which was good, he was pretty relieved honestly, to a vampire Wolfsbane has a very specific scent, he’d know it a mile away. Feeling like it was safe to eat the toast, Jack grabbed the plate and the butter, quickly sniffing the butter to check its safety. No wolfsbane.

 

Jack buttered his toast taking a bite. It wasn’t the first time he’d eaten, the cookies Mark brought him lasted him the full day; It might not have been the healthiest choice of food but he didn’t care, he’d enjoyed them.

 

No one really spoke while Jack ate, and Ciara eventually came back into the room.

 

Once Jack had eaten his toast, he reached for the blood bag, using his teeth to tear the corner off the bag he emptied the contents into one of the plastic cup taking a sip. At least here he had regular access to blood.  

 

Still, no one spoke. Not that Jack really wanted to. Rose left to see her other patients, promising to return later. Jack looked to his mother as he let out a sigh “Y-You haven’t asked any questions yet…” Ciara seemed surprised “W-What?” Jack let out a sigh “It’s been three days… Ya haven’t asked me anything about… What happened... with the hunters…” Ciara cleared her throat as she said “I know I haven’t asked but… I-I… I didn’t think you’d want to talk about it, the nurse told us that you had lots of wounds and that they could guess the sort of treatment you endured. I didn’t want to push you into talking about it in case I scared you or upset you.” Jack shrugged a little as he said “I-I guess… I just… I’ve been avoiding it… But… I know that's selfish.” Ciara looked at her son as she said “You’re allowed to be selfish about this… What happened from what the nurse told us was absolutely terrible… You don’t need to talk if you don’t want to.”

 

Jack was torn, his family deserved some form of an explanation. But putting into words what had happened was hard, lots of things had happened. Lots of things Jack never wanted to experience again. Most of what happened he didn’t want to talk about, even if he knew he should just because his parents needed an explanation. Jack curled in himself as he said “I kn-know I should talk about it… Talk t-to you and La-Lauren but… I can’t… It’s ha-” Lauren cut Jack off as she said “You don’t need to talk, neither of us are going to force you to talk about it.” Jack looked to his mother and his sister.

 

His eyes made him look so exhausted. He was clearly drained, mentally and physically. No one was going to make Jack talk about anything. Not yet, they could all wait until Jack was ready to talk about things.


Chapter Text

1 Month Later

 

Jack shuddered as Chris made his way across the room “How’s my baby-boy today? Are you going to be a good boy for me? We have a surprise for you.” Jack looked up, he didn’t like the thought of another one of Chris’s ‘surprises’... He didn’t want to know what Chris meant. But at the same time, he knew ignoring Chris would only lead to punishment.

 

Normally Jack would position himself on all fours, would kneel in front of Chris, but he didn’t have the energy, he was tired… More than that, exhausted. But he would show interest, he would prove that even when he was this weak, he could be a good boy. He sat up as much as he could, his arms shuddered and shook, but he did manage to stay sat up.

 

Chris came over to Jack petting his head, Jack let out a soft purr, showing his appreciation. Chris smirked and cooed “Such a good-boy aren’t you… But that's not why I came to see you today baby-boy… I have your surprise.” Chris whistled and the door to the basement opened. Jack turned his head seeing two of the other hunters dragging someone in… Not again… He wouldn’t kill again… He couldn’t… He’d rather kill himself.

 

The two hunters dragged whoever it was closer, before throwing the body as the bars of Jack’s cage. Jack yelped and backed up surprised by the action. His eyes fell the body, he knew that face… He would know that face anywhere. Mark.  Fuck Mark! Jack gasped and without thought reached his hands through the bars “M’rk… Mark…” he tried to speak, but his voice was too strained to be intelligible. Mark groaned eyes fluttering open before the fell on Jack. A mixture of fear and joy quickly entered Mark’s face as he sat himself up, Jack’s hands rested on Mark's shoulders and the two stared at each other “Jack… Jack, is that really you?” Jack noticed himself smiling “M’rk...Mark…” he was still trying. Mark got closer to the bar, pressing his head against them. Jack did the same. Just managing to lick Mark’s cheek.

 

Chris was clapping as he said “Good-boy! Good-boy! Amazing Baby-boy! You’ve warmed up to your new master well.” Jack froze, Mark let out a shaky breath turning to look at the hunters. Surely Mark was going to deny it… He wouldn’t treat Jack like that. Mark and the hunters looked at each other before Mark said “You couldn’t let me break the news.”

 

Jack couldn’t believe it… Was Mark going along with this? Jack shifted back, noticing Mark and the hunters looking at him. Jack was studying Mark… Maybe Mark just wanted to get Jack out peacefully, maybe Mark was pretending to go along with this to avoid confrontation. If that was the case Jack knew he could do it, he could play the good pet game. He could be a good-boy.

 

Mark turned back to Jack sticking his hand through the bars, Mark's fingers brushed against Jack’s cheek and Jack nuzzled into the touch letting out a purr. This wasn’t the rough and forceful hands of the hunters, it was Mark's gentle touch. Mark smiled softly at Jack as he said “I’m back. Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”

 

Mark pulled something from his pocket and Jack recognized it as the keys to his cage. Time for the excited puppy act. That should work well enough and it meant he could hug Mark as he so desperately wanted to. The lock clicked and Mark opened the cage door. Jack made his way over to Mark and pounced on him, nuzzling against him, Jack gave himself a moment to take in Mark’s scent. That scent meant safety. He wrapped his arms around Mark as he whispered in his ear “I love you Markimoo…” Mark rubbed Jack’s back comfortingly as he whispered back, just enough for Mark to hear “You’re a good boy Jack.” Jack almost tensed at the name but assumed it was part of the act.

Mark picked Jack up, cradling the vampire in his arms as he said “Let’s get home, okay Jackyboy?” Jack nuzzled against Mark's chest with a purr. There was no protest… No hesitation, because this was Mark.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack woke up panting and checking his surroundings. It wasn’t unusual. What little sleep he got was always disturbed by a nightmare… Well… A memory. His dreams normally consisted of actual events that took place in the cage or in the basement. But this one had been different. Mark had never been in the basement… So it was weird that he appeared in the dream…

 

Jack pulled his knees to his chest as he thought about things. Things that had happened in the dream… Were crazy, sure the hunters often referred to themselves as Jack’s ‘master’. The way the hunters explained it, Jack was the ‘pet’ and everyone else was the ‘master’... In the dream, Mark had gone along with being Jack’s master.

 

Would Mark even view Jack like that?

 

It had been a month since Jack was actually in the basement. His wounds were healing, but slowly. He’d managed to regain some of his strength back. He could walk for a short period of time, he could open packets of sweets and cookies on his own now. It was an improvement from what he was. But not a lot. He was still pretty weak, his body was only healing because of the number of drugs Jack was on, his eyes were still red and his fangs wouldn’t retract showing that he was still relying on the fact that he was a vampire. His voice was a little less strained, more intelligible. It would be a long time before he was anywhere near what he used to be… But progress was progress.

 

Mark spent most days at the hospital, refusing to leave Jack’s side if he left it was usually to go get something for Jack. Mark had been feeding the Irishman's sweet-tooth and his cravings for fast-food. The nurses quiet often watched Mark cautiously. A few of them asked why Mark spent so much time with a vampire… However, Jack’s nurse, Nurse Rose, the only nurse who dared to be in the same room as Jack, she would let Mark do whatever he needed.

 

The only people Jack trusted were Mark, his mother, his sisters and his nurse. Jack’s brothers and father could get close, but Jack often panicked. It was only because Mark pretty much lived in the hospital with Jack, that the vampire had been able to trust Mark… Well… Most of the time, there were still doubts, still fears. Mark could easily trigger Jack, in fact, he did it quite often (Not purposefully of course. But Jack was still damaged). His therapist said it was probably because all the hunters were male, so he associated men with punishment.

 

Today, Jack had decided to go for a walk through the halls. Some of the other nurses saw him and quickly moved out of his way. Jack had to use crutches to get around, he moved slowly. It was still a little painful, but he could cope.

 

He flinched and tensed up if anyone walked too close to him.

 

When he eventually got back to his room, Rose and Mark were waiting for him. Mark had coffee and a paper bag, from the smell Jack could tell it was donuts. Mark brought Jack lots of treats, Mark was supportive of him, praised Jack when he did a good job.

 

It was in that moment, that Jack noticed something. The hunters had always told him that “Masters will give good pets treats, they will praise you, tell you how good you’ve been, they’ll pet you. Good pets don’t get punished.”

 

Mark praised Jack,

Mark gave Jack treats,

Mark comforted Jack,

Mark was his master and Jack was a good-boy for his master.

 

Jack made his way back to the bed, setting his crutches down close by and sitting on the bed cross-legged. Mark was smiling at him, looking on with a pleased expression and Jack noticed himself smiling back. Mark’s smile widened as he said “You went for a walk?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, my physiotherapist told me it’s a good idea to try and walk around, try and get my legs used to movement again… That's okay right?” Rose nodded as she said “Of course it is, you’re not confined to your room ya know. You can walk around whenever you want.” Mark nodded in agreement as he said “Walking will be good for you, who knows. Maybe if you feel up to it sometimes, we can both take a walk outside, the sun will do you some good.”  

 

Jack was being told he was doing the right thing, he was being encouraged to do it more. He was a good boy! That thought filled him with joy. Joy that both Rose and Mark clearly picked up on “You’re cheerful today Jack, something good happen?” Mark asked. Jack looked like he was about to answer when Rose said “I need to check the other patients. I’ll be back later.” Jack and Mark nodded as Rose left.

Once she was out of the room, Jack turned his attention back to Mark “Nothing happened… Not really…” Mark tilted his head to the side “Not really? What does that mean.” Jack looked at Mark as he said “I was just thinking earlier today… On my walk around the hospital actually. Just thinking about you and how you treat me.” Mark seemed confused and a little concerned “How I treat you?” Jack nodded his head humming “Mhum.” Mark blinked a couple times as he said “What do you mean by that?” Jack shrugged a little “Nothing bad! I swear. You’re good to me… Master.”

 

Mark froze, that started out normal. But that last thing… Master. Mark choked on his own air, inside he was screaming, begging for an answer as to why Jack would EVER say that. But he knew he couldn’t he needed to stay calm and composed so he didn’t trigger Jack. Mark cleared his throat as he said trying not to let his tone waver too much “J-Jack I think you’re a little confused… I-I’m not… I’m not your master… N-No one is your master. You’re yourself.”

 

However that seemed to confuse Jack, he wore a conflicted look as he said "Of course you are, you always tell me how good I'm doing and you reward me for my behavior... That's what a master does." Mark was quick to shake his head, this conversation was going downhill fast "H-Hold on... You're misunderstanding this... That's not what's going on. I'm encouraging you, yes. But that's what loved ones do!”

 

"Masters give good pets treat as a reward for good behavior." the words rolled off the Irishman's tongue so easily. Because that's what he’d been conditioned into thinking. But it was the last thing Mark wanted to hear, Jack was so sure that what he was saying was right… Mark had to tread carefully, it was obvious that Jack had fallen into a bad head-space. The head-space that told him he was nothing more than a subservient creature meant to obey orders given. Mark needed to defuse the situation so he said the first thing that came to mind "I have not give you treats.”

 

"You keep bringing me things, cake, cookies, sweets... You also brought me Sam... Only good boys get treats like that."

Jack had him there, he needed an excuse quick… "That's... That's not that same, Jack...! I gave you Sam because he's yours and I thought you'd want it. I thought it would make you happy. I would have given it to you no matter what because Sam is yours!" Mark was hoping it would be enough. He had to get Jack back, preferably before his parents showed up. He was sure Jack’s mother would kill him if she heard the way he was talking. What he was saying.

 

Mark was denying that he’d been rewarding Mark for good behavior. A heavy feeling settled into the vampire's chest as he asked sounding a little fearful "B-But the treats... The cookies and coffee and the sweets and the cakes..."

 

"I got them cause I know you like them…” Mark gave a calm explanation and it was true, Mark bought Jack things like that because of his love of all things sugary. He wasn’t trying to reward Jack (Well he was but not because he felt like he owned Jack, Jack had the wrong idea.) "But they were treats because I've been a good-boy... I-I have been a good boy... Haven't?" it was clear when he questioned Mark that tension was starting to form. He knew what happened if he hadn't been a good-boy. He didn’t want to be punished. The American caught sight of this tension and quickly backtracked. "No no... Wait- that's not what I meant either!" Mark hastily said, struggling to control the volume of his voice in his attempt to calm Jack.

 

Jack was starting to panic, not good. Not good at all.

 

Jack shrunk down, preparing for his punishment, a small whimper coming from him "I-I've been a good boy for you... H-Haven't I? I-I thought I'd been a good-pet... I can try harder! Honest, I can..." Jack was holding back his sobs, shuddering a little. He didn’t want to be punished, he thought he’d been a good-boy. He hadn’t been disobedient, he always followed instructions, the doctors quite often checked his wounds and bandages, they touched him and he didn’t fight… They might not have touched him like the hunters did, but Jack didn’t want any form of physical contact. Allowing doctors to check him over was hard, all his nerves would flare and wait for an attack that would never come. But he never fought, he allowed the doctors to do what they needed to.

 

"Shit..." Mark cursed himself softly this time when Jack coward from him. Taking a few steps back and forcing himself to lose all tension in his body, the American tried again. "You don't need to be good for me.... You're fine, Jack." He assured with a softer tone. "I-I need to be a good boy... I need to be a good boy so I don't get punished..." Jack insisted.

 

"No, Jack... I'm sorry for scaring you. No one is going to punish you, I swear." Mark kept his tone calm and soft, comforting. Assuring Jack that he was fine.

 

"I-If no one is going to punish me... Th-that means I'm a good boy, right?" that was what Jack understood. Good-boys weren’t punished. So if no one was punishing him, it meant he was doing things right.


"No one is going to punish you because no one had the right to punish you… Hear… You’re safe, you’re fine... “ Mark was still trying to reason with Jack. Tone still calm.

 

It was a foreign concept to Jack, he wasn't being told he was a good-boy, but he was being told that he wouldn't be punished. Mark hadn't lied to him thus far, Mark had been there for him. Mark had praised him and supported him and brought him treats... "I'm not being punished?" he still had to make sure before he could fully let his guard down, Jack trust Mark more than anyone else."Definitely not." Mark nodded and took another step back for added effect. "So I'm a good-boy? If I'm not getting punished, that means I've been a good boy, right?" even though Mark had put space between them, proving that he would receive no punishment, Jack still wanted the reassurance, a begging sort of look in his eyes.

 

"It doesn't matter if you're good or not. No one going to hurt you." Mark said. Hoping he was getting somewhere. "But you don't get punished when you're a good-boy... So if I'm not being punished... Then I'm a good-boy." it was all Jack understood. It was the only thing he knew, it’s what the hunters had been working for, they’d made Jack subservient. Obedient… ‘ Tame’

 

"Jack. I can't and won't punish you no matter what." instead of dancing around the subject. Mark decided to be honest. No matter what, Mark wouldn’t ‘punish’ Jack. Never… But...That didn't really give Jack any reassurance, he was so used to being told he was a good-boy or being punished and he didn't seem to understand the concept either. Mark struggled to think of a way to get through to Jack without resorting to encouraging Jack's thinking. "Please, Sean... I don't know what you define as good." Mark was hoping that Jack couldn’t define it either. Maybe that was his way around the issue. Jack stopped to think for a moment "They always told me I was a good-boy when I did what they said when I obeyed orders. When I did what they asked with out hesitation or question."

"Have I given you orders? " That was his ticket. He knew for a fact he’d never ordered Jack to do anything. Never asked anything of him. He avoided it because it always set Jack off or made him zone out. "...No..." Jack answer was quiet as he hung his head. Mark hummed for a moment, considering his next choice of action. He wanted to prove a point to the other male, but to do that may have terrible consequences. After considering his option, the American decided to try "Lick your elbow." Almost immediately after Mark has asked him to, Jack tried to lick his elbow.

 

He kept trying, using his hand to try and push his arm further back so he could lick his elbow. He tried and tried grunting and groaning when he tried to stretch his arm back beyond its natural limits. All the time the same thoughts running through his head ' you were given an order and good boys follow orders '. Mark held with a sigh, having hoped that the vampire would have at least questioned or argued with him over an impossible task. Either way, he sat back in a far-off chair and waited for the Irishman to give up "It doesn't count if you rip or break something." Mark mentioned it because of how much Jack was trying… He didn’t want Jack to injure himself, that would defeat the object of this.

 

The longer Jack tried, the more he began to panic.
He had to do this. He had to. He'd been told to lock his elbow. He swapped arms, so now he was trying to lick his left elbow instead of his right, but it still didn't work. He couldn't even get close. Mark pretended not to be paying attention, taking out his phone. However, he watched Jack out of the corner of his eyes to make sure the vampire didn't hurt himself. It would be endearing; how hard Jack was trying, if it wasn't for the absolutely horrible implication of why Jack is trying so hard.

 

Jack tried and tried. But no matter how hard he tried, how many times he changed his position, moved his arm or switched his arm he couldn't do it.

When he finally stopped Jack was shuddering. He had to admit defeat. He knew he could try all day, he could try until he exhausted himself. But he couldn't bend his arm back far enough to lick his elbow, not unless he broke his arm first. And Mark had already said that it wouldn't count if Jack broke his arm. Mark had promised that no matter what he wouldn't punish him. But the voice in his head was screaming ' You didn't obey an order, you're a bad boy, bad boys deserve punishment '. Jack swallowed thickly as he closed his eyes and braced himself "I-I'm so-sorry... I can't..." he was choking down his sobs, he couldn’t cry.

 

"You won't follow my order?" Mark asked with a raised eyebrow, his tone was calm, flat. No emotion.

 

Jack shrank a whimper coming from him as he began to plead "I tried... I did! But I can't... I can't do it... I'm sorry." Mark shrugged as he said casually "Okay.  Do you want to see this cute picture of Chica now?"

Jack was silent for a moment. Before he chanced a look up. Mark was sat back, on his phone. He didn't look angry, he was... Offering to show him a photo? This was new, he wasn't being told off for not obeying an order... Was Mark trying to trick him? Mark wouldn't... Some of the alarms in Jack's head silence, but he was still cautious "But... I didn't do what you asked... I-I couldn't get my arm back far enough..." Mark pulled up a random photo on his phone as he waited for Jack's answer. However, he didn't take his gaze fully off of the vampire and watched silently for a reaction. He could tells that his offer definitely confused Jack, which could be considered better than an all-out panic."I know. I saw."  Jack was genuinely confused "You're not mad?" Mark answered immediately "Nope." But that confused Jack more "W-Why? I didn't obey and order..." "True, you didn't. And you haven't even answered my question yet." Mark said simply.


"Because I..." Jack couldn't understand. Sure Mark said he wouldn't punish Jack for anything. But it was such a foreign concept. He hadn't done what he was told to do. And yet Mark wasn't mad... He was trying to show Jack a picture of a dog of all things. "Because you... Are your own person and don't have to do what I tell you?" Mark offered as a fill-in when Jack got stuck in his thoughts. Jack wasn't used to being referred to as a 'person' either. He shrunk back as he said "People are free... Good pets obey their masters..."

 

"You are free, Jack. You're not a pet. Those peo-” Mark stopped and chose a different word, a more fitting word for the hunters who’d taken Jack  “...Those monsters who told you that can't hurt you anymore." Jack watched Mark as he spoke. Mark didn't seem to be lying. Jack shifted his position pulling his knees to his chest and resting his head on his lap. 'Free' was a new concept. Hell, everything Mark was telling him seemed to be a new concept. He wasn't used to this. Maybe once over this was normality. But not now... And he didn't know how to react. A small part of him told him he should be glad. He was free, he didn't have to do what they said, he didn't have to follow their rules. He could allow his wounds to heal and get back to being 'Jack'. The other part of him didn't trust the change didn't like it. Didn't know how to react to all this new information.

Mark gave Jack a moment to processes what he was telling the vampire,  believing he was making an impact with his point. Jack tried to wrap his head around this concept. He was free? So he could do what he wanted... He could say no if he wanted? Jack couldn't remember the last time he said no... At least not without being punished. Jack chewed his lip as he said "Free... So I can say no...I can refuse?" Mark nodded with a smile "Yep. You can tell me, no and I can't do anything about it." Jack was still unsure "Even if you asked me to do something and you really wanted me to do it... I could say no?"

 

"Mhm. I might get sad or angry but you have every right to tell me no without punishment." Mark explained simply, a kind smile still on his features, he would never be sad or angry with Jack. But he wouldn’t say that because he feared it might not help Jack in this case. Jack couldn't believe what he was being told. It was... Weird... But not really and unwelcome weird. Mark gave Jack a kind smile as he waited for the vampire to work things out in his head.
Jack kind of wanted to tell Mark no now... Just to see what would happen. But he'd also been asked if he wanted to see a picture of chica. And he actually did want to see a picture of chica.

 

As if reading Jack's thoughts, Mark asked. "Ready for that picture?" Jack nodded his head his lips curling up a small bit in attempts to smile. "Is that a yes?" Mark wanted to be sure, he wasn’t forcing himself on Jack and that Jack didn’t somehow feel obliged to do anything. Jack managed a small laugh as he said "Who could say no to Chica?" Mark laughed back as he cooed jokingly "Only those who don't understand true beauty." Mark then got up from his chair. Slowly going over to the vampire, he presented the photo. Jack shifted his position so he could see the photo better. Mark moved closer and offered the phone to Jack. Jack took hold of the phone, glancing at Mark to make sure it was okay.

 

Mark nodded and took his hand away to show it was okay, he still had that kind smile on his face, he hoped that keeping a calm and friendly appearance would help Jack to stay calm and not panic. With Mark's confirmation, Jack turned his full attention to the phone. The picture showed chica running in what Jack assumed was Mark's garden. And he couldn't help but giggle. Chica looked so happy, tongue hanging out of her mouth as she ran around the garden completely care free. Mark took the giggle as a good thing as he said "Yeah, Tyler sent me that earlier. Look likes she having fun without me." Jack frowned a little, it was no secret just how much Mark loved Chica… Mark had been away from her for a whole month. Mark was here with Jack… Thousands of miles away from Chica "You must miss her..." he murmured.

 

Mark answer was quick, with no trace of hesitation or doubt in his words "It's fine! I missed you more so I rather be here." There was still that voice telling him that Mark was lying. That Mark hadn't missed him. But if he tried to think about things logically. Would he be here if he hadn't missed him? Part of Jack believed that Mark had missed him, the part that had also missed Mark, the part that despite what he’d been told by the hunters, still loved Mark. Jack passed Mark his phone back as he said "I missed you too..."

Mark took the phone and put it away, smiling sweetly. "Is it okay if I pull my chair a little closer?" Jack seemed calmer, and he wasn’t calling Mark his master anymore. That had to be good. Jack was about to answer when he paused. He could test now if Mark would accept a no. The vampire opened his mouth to speak but the word stuck in his throat. He rolled his eyes more at himself as he let out a sigh, he gave himself a moment to compose himself  "N-no..." The word was weak and pitiful. His voice threatening to break.

 

Mark could see how Jack struggled to speak, but he didn’t rush him. When Jack said no, Mark backed off to where he’d left his seat “Okay then.” despite what Mark had thought about never being able to be mad or sad at Jack, he was a little upset now, he wanted to be close to Jack. He might not be able to hold him how he used to. But he could comfort him, could help to calm him when he was panicking. But Mark would respect Jack’s decision. Jack had said no. So Mark stayed back.

 

For a moment, Jack didn’t look up, didn’t look at Mark. Couldn’t meet his gaze. He’d told Mark no, he’d refused him… He would be punished. He knew it. Despite Mark’s reassurances earlier,  Jack was still scared. Jack waited… And waited… No attack came, when he looked up Mark was sat up, calm, he didn’t look angry, he didn’t look like he was going to hit Jack. He seemed… Fine… Even though Jack had told him no…

 

Jack bit his lip as he said “Y-You didn’t come over?” Mark nodded his head as he replied calmly “You told me no.” Jack looked at Mark as he said “I-I wanted to see if I could… I wanted to make sure you wouldn’t get mad.” Mark shrugged as he said “I told you, I wouldn’t get mad. You’re allowed to say no Jack…” Jack chewed his lip as he said “B-But… They always told me that if I refused… If I was disobedient… If I was a bad-boy… My master would punish me…” Mark looked at Jack as he said “Can I ask a question?” Jack nodded his head as he looked at Mark “They told you that your… that your master would punish you, right? But did they tell you who your master was supposed to be? Or is everyone your master?” Jack was silent as he seemed to consider what Mark said, honestly… Jack didn’t know, it had never been specified who Jack’s master was supposed to be, only that he was the pet and he had to do as his master said “I-I… They used to tell me that… That I was a monster that needed to be tamed… T-That… Vampires… Vampires like me are animals… That we need to be trained so that we don’t hurt humans… I don’t think they ever had a plan for who my master was supposed to be j-just that if I was bad… If I didn’t do as I was told… That I would be punished. S-Sometimes they would tell me that when I behaved, my master would treat me… And they did… If I was good, they let me watch youtube videos or they remembered to feed me…”

 

Mark listened to Jack, it was the most Jack had talked about his treatment and from what Jack said, anyone who treated him with the smallest bit of respect could be confused with being his master. Mark let out a sigh well he said “Those bastards aren’t here anymore. No one will treat you like that again, you have the same rights as I do. You’re not a pet or anything like that...Whatever word you would choose to use for it… You’re not. You might be a vampire, but you’re not evil, you never have been and never will be.” Jack’s gaze moved down as he whispered “I used to be able to believe you… B-But… In there…”

 

Jack could remember what he’d done… The man they’d thrown in… Aedan. He still remembered his name, his face, everything about the man. A desperate man who’d asked for a loan the failed to find the money to repay in. The man he killed. Jack’s throat closed up and he felt sick. Jack knew he’d killed Aedan, in fact, he’d enjoyed it, he’d practically torn into Aedan’s throat, he’d drank from Aedan mercilessly. He acted like a monster…

 

Mark was clearly confused “What do you mean in there? Just because they convinced you that you were a monster, it doesn’t make it true.” Jack shuddered hanging his head as he whimpered “P-Please Mark… D-Don’t make me talk about it. I-I ca-can't…” there were tears streaming down his face. Mark wouldn’t understand, couldn’t understand. And he would only hate Jack if he knew the truth.

 

Mark let out a sigh as he said “Alright, it’s okay Jack, we don’t have to talk about it.” Jack wiped his eyes, trying to calm himself down.

 

It took him a while, but he did manage to calm. Jack let out a shuddering breath as he said “Y-You can move closer if you want… Like I said, I just wanted to check that I could say no.” Mark wore a small smile moving his chair closer.  

 

Jack chewed his lip as he patted the space on the bed next to him “I-I want to try something… If that's okay…” Mark looked at Jack as he said, sounding interested “Oh yeah? What is it?” Jack patted the space next to him again “C-Could you si-it with me… Sit here with me.” Jack had asked Mark. It had never happened, at least not since he came back.

 

Mark moved slowly and carefully, sitting at the opposite end of the bed. Jack looked to Mark as he said “C-Closer?” Mark did as he was asked, shuffling just a little closer. Jack, in turn, shuffled a little closer as he said his head on Mark’s shoulder.

 

Mark was surprised, Jack was laying on him. There was no tension or panic in Jack as he did. Mark didn’t move or say anything, didn’t push Jack away, merely allowed him to lay there. Jack nuzzled Mark’s shoulder. Neither of the men said anything.

 

Mark allowed his eyes to close, if he did things were almost like before.

 

Jack nuzzled against Mark’s neck letting out a small breath, Jack had always loved to lay like this, he’d said before that it was being able to hear Mark’s pulse, being able to feel it beat just beneath the skin. It relaxed Jack. Made him feel safe.

 

But Mark was brought back to reality as he noticed Jack laying down, he laid across Mark’s lap with a tired look in his eyes. Jack curled up as he nuzzled Mark’s leg. Mark wanted to protest, to tell Jack that he didn’t need to curl up like that… But he couldn’t. Jack wasn’t tense, he wasn’t panicking. For once Jack was calm and happy. Jack’s fingers grasped at Mark’s t-shirt as he held onto him. There was a pause of silence before Jack whispered “Protect me… Master…” Mark wanted to push Jack away and tell him to stop. But Jack was so tired, already Jack’s eyes were closing, his breathing slowing. If Mark left Jack he might get some sleep…

 

Mark didn’t want to encourage Jack’s way of thinking. Didn’t want Jack to see Mark as his ‘ master ’ but he also didn’t want to disturb Jack when he so clearly needed to sleep. For now, Mark would leave it. He’d let Jack sleep and cling to him.

 

Mark ran his fingers through Jack’s hair as he whispered “No matter what, I’ll always protect you Séan.”

Chapter Text

That evening

 

Nurse Rose dropped by to check on Jack, but when she saw that he was asleep she decided it was best not to disturb him.

 

Jack woke up, but he wasn’t panicking, he was tense. But the familiar smell of Mark quickly calmed him, he sat himself up and shuffled away from Mark. Mark took that as his cue to back off, quickly retreating to the chair.

 

Jack was playing with the little silver ring of his collar. His gaze moved up to Mark as he said “Mark, c-can you go find Rose and ask her if I can have a blood bag...please? I’m kind of hungry.” Mark nodded as he smiled, thankful that Jack hadn’t called him master. he stood up as he said “Of course, I shouldn’t be too long.” Jack nodded his head as he whispered a soft “Thank you.”

 

Mark was slow as he left the room, fast or rushed movements scared Jack, but once outside he ran down the corridor. He would go to find Rose after he composed himself in the bathroom. He ran down the corridor making a beeline for the bathroom. He ran through the door standing in front of one of the sinks, hands either side of sink basin, eyes staring at his reflection in the mirror.  He was still and silent, looking at his reflection… And Jack’s words echoed through his mind “You’re good to me Master.” “Protect me, Master…” Mark felt sick.

 

Those bastards had convinced Jack that he was worth nothing, that he needed constant consent and assurance that he was doing things right, that he was ‘ a good boy ’, and that if he stepped out of line his master would have to ‘ punish ’ him. That was the worst part about it. The fact that Jack needed approval or else he would fear a ‘ punishment ’ he would beg for forgiveness and plead about how he could do better;the way he would lower himself, would avoid eye-contact, that he would become so submissive … Mark dry heaved. He was trying to be sick, but there was nothing there. His body shuddered tears rolling down his eyes as he whispered to himself “I can’t do it…” he looked up at his reflection, looking defeated “I can be there… I can support him… But I can’t play into the sick mindset they gave him… I can’t… WON’T let him call me ‘ Master ’ I don’t care if it might help him! I don’t care… I-I can’t treat him like that.”

 

This was something Mark did often, he would sneak away to the bathroom and curse himself. He’d call the people who took Jack all the names under the sun and it would never be enough. It would never express just how much Mark would love to wrap his fingers around the necks of those bastards and strangle them… That wouldn’t give him satisfaction … It would never feel like they’d paid for what they did to Jack.

 

Mark resorted to crying it out and cursing the hunters that were possibly miles away. Possibly in another part of Ireland by now. But he didn’t have a long time to cry it out, he had to get back to Jack. He composed himself, wiping his eyes and washing his face, his eyes didn’t look as puffy as they had. Jack hopefully wouldn’t notice.

 

Mark left the bathroom, noticing Rose stood to the left of the door. She looked at him and nodded “Mark, I think you should spend a night at home. I’m working tonight, so I’ll stay by Jack’s side… but for your own health and sanity… Go home and get a good night's rest.” Mark ran his fingers through his hair pushing the dark auburn locks back “You heard me?” she nodded “It’s not the first time I’ve heard you either… Mark… I think it might be best for you to take a break, which is why I’m telling you to go home and get some proper rest. I won’t leave his side tonight. I’ll stay by his side in his room… But you NEED to go and rest.”

 

Mark would normally argue, but he could see the look in Rose’s eyes, she wasn’t asking him to take a break, she was telling him, she wouldn’t take no for an answer. The American let out a reluctant sigh as he said “Fine… Tonight, I’ll go back to Jack’s sisters and rest.” Rose smiled and nodded at Mark.

 

Mark let out a sigh as he said “Jack wants a blood bag, can you get one for him?” Rose nodded her head again as she said “Of course, tell him I’ll be by soon.” Rose quickly turned away making her way down the corridor.

 

Mark made his way back to Jack room, entering to see Oisin McLoughlin, Jack’s father. Mark already knew how this would go.

 

Oisin didn’t like Mark, he did before Jack was taken Oisin and Mark had gotten along very well. However, since Jack’s return, Oisin had treated Mark coldly, glaring at the American, always watching him. Although it was understandable, Jack had been taken by hunters, Mark was an informant for the Los Angeles hunters. Oisin was allowed to be cautious.

 

As soon as Mark entered the room he heard the low growl come from Oisin, Mark didn’t try to get any closer to Jack or his father, he looked at Jack as he said calmly and softly “I found Nurse Rose for you and she’s going to get you a blood bag now. She suggested that I go home tonight… Or at least that I spend one night away from the hospital. Am I okay to leave my jacket with you?” Jack nodded his head, but there was hesitation in his eyes “I-If you’re leaving… Wh-who's going to be here tonight?” Mark chuckled a little as he said “Rose is working a night shift, she’s staying here and I’ll be back in the morning with coffee and doughnuts and your sister.” Jack nodded his head as he said quietly “I hope you sleep well, Mark.” Mark smiled at Jack as he said “You too Jack, at least when you do go to sleep that is.” Jack nodded his head a little. Mark’s gaze moved to Oisin, the two looked at each other, before Oisin nodded his head. Mark nodded his head back and turned to leave the room, but he was stopped by the gruff voice of Oisin “Fischbach. I’ll be by later to see you and my daughter.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Okay sir, I’ll be sure to let her know to expect you.”

 

Mark left the room calling Lauren asking her to pick him up and she was more than happy to see Mark coming home for some rest.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

10 PM

 

There was a knock at the door before the latch clicked and heavy boots stepped inside the and the unmistakable voice of Oisin McLoughlin called “Lauren, Mark, are you two here?” Lauren stood up and went to greet her father, hugging him. Mark stood back, but he did acknowledge the other male as he said politely “Good evening, sir.” Oisin glared at Mark as he spoke with a growl “Drop the good buy act. You’re not fooling me?” Mark tilted his head confused “What do you mean, sir?” the older vampire growled his eyes flashing red and Mark took an instinctive step back, Mark didn’t fear vampires, but Oisin was an angry father “Don’t play dumb! Pretending to care about Jack y-” Mark cut Oisin off as he said “I do care for Jack! I love him when he was missing it broke me! If it weren’t for my roommates I would’ve spent four months laid in bed doing nothing.” Oisin’s eyes were now a threatening red instead of their inviting blue “Hunter swine!”

 

Mark let out a sigh as he said “I’m not a hunter… I used to be an informant… But as soon as I met Jack I stopped. However, my roommates are hunters and they were talking to the Irish hunters, the people who took Jack were rogue hunters. It’s why they were able to treat Jack the way he did… Normal hunters, can’t treat anyone or anything like that. And the Irish hunters and looking for the people who took Jack, and they will face criminal charges, it’s not the first time they’ve harmed someone the way they did Jack. Normally those vampires come home and because of how damaged they are, they attack people trying to protect themselves because they think everyone is out to get them… Jack didn’t do that… It’s how I know that the Jack we knew is still there, they didn’t completely break Jack… And I promised myself I’d help Jack… I’d do anything for him.” Oisin’s anger seemed to fade a little as he said “Rogues?” Mark nodded his head “Hunters that work for the organization have rules, you and Jack both know those rules. I know you do, Jack told me it was you who explained the rules to him… The bastards that took Jack were rogues, they hate vampires for no reason and they’ve tortured three others… At least three others that they hunters know of…”

 

Lauren placed a hand on her father's shoulder as she said “Mark has tried to help Jack in any way he can, he brought Jack clothes when he didn’t feel comfortable in the hospital gown, he brings him food and coffee, he stays by Jack’s side at all hours of the day. And I know first hand how badly Jack’s disappearance affected Mark, we talked on Skype all the time. Mark didn’t sleep, very rarely ate… He suffered a lot... “

 

Oisin backed off and Mark was definitely relieved for the space. Oisin let out a sigh and Mark could understand Oisin’s thoughts, his anger. Hunters had taken his son from the woods; tortured and raped him for four months before dumping his body outside his house, not caring if he was found or not. It was bad for Mark to see his boyfriend to go through that. But Jack was Oisin’s son. Oisin had to wait and hope that the people who kidnapped his son would bring him back alive.

 

Mark couldn’t imagine how hard that had to have been, he let out a sigh as he said “And for what it’s worth Mr. McLoughlin, I’m sorry for everything… For everything you sat through and everything that we all have to endure now as we wait for Jack to recover.” Oisin looked to Mark as he said “Just look after him… He’s my son... “ Mark nodded as he said “He’s my boyfriend… Although… Maybe that might not be the best idea after what they did to him… But that doesn’t matter… I-If he doesn’t want to be my boyfriend, I’ll still be his friend.” Oisin nodded his head as he said “Jack needs all the support he can get.”

 

With that Oisin hugged his daughter and left. Lauren looked at Mark as she said “Dad likes to act tough… But he's just trying to look after our family.” Mark nodded his head as he said “I know and if I was in his position, I would react the same way.” Lauren folded her arms across her chest as she asked “Did you… Mean that?” Mark tilted his head to the side a little as he asked slightly confused “Mean what?” Lauren looked at Mark for a moment, almost as if trying to work out if he was serious, after a moment she spoke “That you’d break up with Jack if Jack wanted.” Mark nodded as he said “Of course I would, I’m not going to force him to do anything, I won’t force him to stay with me as well. But I will still be his friend and I’ll still care about him.” Lauren didn’t seem to understand “But if you love him, why would you leave him?” Mark chuckled softly as he said “Never heard the old saying, if you love something let it go, if it doesn’t come back it was never yours to keep.”

 

Lauren looked at Mark as she said “I can see why Jack fell for you. He’s a sucker for old sayings like that.” Mark nodded as he laughed a little “I noticed, he was always a hopeless romantic and a goof… It’s why I loved him, he could make me laugh when nothing else could, he could cheer me up even when everything in the world seemed to be against me.”

 

Mark smiled fondly at the memory as he said “I always cared for Jack even if I used to deny it. Even when I found out he was a vampire I still cared for him just the same. I loved him unconditionally.” Lauren smiled at Mark as she said “I can tell, Jack is lucky to have you.” Mark smiled as he said “He’s lucky to have you as a sister, you care so much for him.” Lauren shrugged as she said “We fought all the time, but siblings do. When you have four other siblings the fights get interesting. But we all loved each other. Malcolm is flying in from Paris tomorrow and he’ll be staying with us, he’ll also be going to see Jack in hospital.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Good to know.”

 

The two made their way up to their respective bedrooms and Mark managed to get a few hours of sleep.

Chapter Text

Jack woke to the usual nightmares, memories… It was hard to tell sometimes.

 

This time he’d been back in the cage, with Aedan. Aedan had trusted Jack, the two were close friends… Then just because he’d smelt a little bit of blood he’d attacked Aedan. Torn out the human's throat and enjoyed every second of it as he drained the man of blood.

 

He heard a soft female voice calling to him “Seán you’re okay, it’s okay Seán. You’re safe. You’re safe Seán  .” It took a while for Jack to come back from his panic attack, his mind had left him in the cage, with hunters as he cooed to him “You’re okay baby-boy. That's a good pet. You’re alright baby.” he had begged to be left alone. To not be touched. But the female voice soothed and calmed him, it persisted until he was able to recognize his surroundings.

 

Jack let out a shaky breath drawing his knees closer and resting his head in his lap as he mumbled “I lost it again…” Rose looked at Jack as she said calmly “It’s okay.” Jack shook his head as he whimpered trying not to cry “But it’s not okay… I keep losing it… Keep thinking I’m back their… I-I just… I see things that aren’t real… Hear things that only I can hear… You don’t even want to know what I called Mark… No wonder he left… He hates me… He hates me and it’s my fault!”

 

Rose's eyes widened as she said “What no Jack, no. I sent Mark home. I wanted him to go home so he would sleep. He will be back in the morning.” Rose assured Jack. The vampire shook his head as he said “I doubt it…” Rose looked at Jack as she said “He will, I know he will because he loves you.” Jack shook his head as he said “He can’t… I-I want to believe he does but… But look at me… How could he love a monster…” Rose looked at Jack as she said “I maybe have only known you for a month, but I know that you’re not a monster Jack, you’re anything but. Your family has told me all about you, how fun-loving, energetic and caring you were. The people who took you, they are the monsters for how they treated you. What they put you through… And it’s my job to help you get back to normal, to help your physical wounds heal.” Jack let out a sigh as he said “The drugs help with pain… But I won’t heal until I’ve regained my strength… That comes from drinking blood… So ‘healing’ will take a long time… One of the many disadvantages of being a vampire…” Jack let out a long breath lifting his head a little to look Rose in the eyes, the one time he was thankful to be a vampire was at night when it was dark, a vampire's eyes are more accustomed to the dark and they can see perfectly.

 

Jack could see everything about Rose, her ginger hair tied back into a bun, her emerald eyes that only held sympathy for the man in front of her. She was a very pretty woman, she only looked to be about 20-23 years old. Younger than he was, there was always a calm and compassionate aura around her, it helped Jack to feel a little safer, as well as her constant reassurance and the way she treated him. Rose always let Jack decide how close was too close if she could come over to him, if she could change his bandages or if he wanted to wait a while. She made him feel like he mattered like he had a choice. Rose was careful as she placed a gentle hand on Jack’s knee, he flinched momentarily. But relaxed because of how gentle the touch was, how calm she looked “Vampire or not… It doesn’t change who you are. A vampire is WHAT you are… Not WHO you are, Seán.”

 

Jack shuddered “Looks can be deceiving… Mark once convinced me that I wasn’t a monster… I used to believe that… But not anymore, the hunters proved to me that...That all a vampire can be is a monster.” Rose let out a sigh, she knew that she could spend all night trying to convince Jack that he wasn’t a monster; she had watched how Mark and Jack's family would argue with him, repeatedly telling Jack that he wasn’t a monster, and Jack insisting that he was a monster, that the hunters had proved that to him, even if he had never specifically said how the hunters had proved that.

 

She stood up as she said “I may not be able to convince you that you’re not a monster, your friends and family might not be able to. But we all know you Seán, you’re not a monster.” Jack looked like he was going to argue, but he didn’t. He stayed silent.

 

Rose looked at Jack as she spoke “Are you tired Seán? You can go back to sleep if you want, but if you don’t want to I can get you something to eat or drink if you want.” Jack seemed to consider the offer for a while before he mumbled “My dad told me that my eldest brother Malcolm is coming over from Paris tomorrow, he’ll be staying here… In Ireland for a month… Malcolm will be worried enough, I should try to sleep again.” Rose nodded her head as she said “Well, you try to settle and I’ll get you some freshwater, sound good?” Jack nodded his head as he said “Y-Yeah, that sounds good.”

 

By the time Rose had returned with a pitcher full of water and plastic glasses, Jack was asleep, however, she did notice that he’d picked up the hoodie that Mark left earlier that day… Mark probably did that on purpose, they’d both noticed Jack latched onto familiar smells, coffee was one and the barista in the Starbucks knew Mark on sight, freshly baked cookies where another his mother had found when she made some especially for him. Lauren realized the familiar smell of friends and family helped when she wrapped Jack in the blanket at Jack’s house, the blanket had smelled like Robin and Lauren because the blanket had been placed over the backrest of the couch. When Lauren gave him that blanket he clung to it like a lifeline.

 

Rose would never stop Jack from clinging to such things, not when familiarity seemed to help Jack stay calm.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Jack woke to a familiar voice “Seán is sleeping, he woke up early this morning and fell back asleep. It’s best to let him rest.” that was Rose’s voice

“But he’s okay right?” that was Malcolm

“He’s healing Mr McLoughlin, that's all any of us can hope for.” Rose assured the worried brother.

Jack sat up looking around his gaze falling on Rose and Malcolm who were stood by the door. Malcolm’s gaze immediately locked with his brothers. Out of all his siblings, Jack was closest to Malcolm. But he still felt tense.

 

It wasn’t Malcolm's fault, nor was it Jack's fault. Jack always got tense around anyone. That was the cruelest part of his torture. Jack was scared of everyone. Friends, family, strangers, Jack couldn’t seem to stay calm, his brain told him that everyone was a potential threat.

 

Rose turned to see the brothers looking at each other before she said “Seán are you okay for visitors or would you like some time alone first.” Jack pulled his knees to his chest, his anxiety rising, as it always did around visitors. But he would not turn away Malcolm, he very rarely got to see his eldest brother “I-I’ll be okay Ro-ose.” Rose nodded her head before looking at Malcolm “You can go in, I’ll just go get him his breakfast.” Malcolm entered the room so casually, walking towards the bed. When he stopped.

 

Malcolm had a warning, his mother had told him what Jack was like now. And Malcolm had nearly wrapped his arms around Jack, the elder brother looked to see Jack who was curled up in a ball shaking. He immediately backed off clearing his throat “S-Sorry Seán, I wasn’t thinking.” There was a small noise that came from the younger brother. Malcolm backed off, standing by the door again as he said “It’s good to see you Seán.”

 

Jack let out a shuddering breath as he looked up “I-I… It’s good to see you two Mally.” Malcolm smiled at the nickname; Jack used to call him Mally when he was first learning to speak, he couldn’t say, Malcolm, it always came out ‘Malom’. So Jack always called him Mally. Surely that was a good sign, surely that meant that Jack was still in there somewhere. Malcolm cleared his throat as he gestured to the seat close to Jack’s bed “Can I sit next to you?” Jack looked to the chair, the back to Malcolm as he nodded his head “Y-Yeah, just… N-Not too fast okay?”

 

Malcolm nodded his head as he said “That's okay and if you want me to stop, just say, I won’t be offended.” Jack nodded his head a little.

 

Just as he said he would, Malcolm moved slowly, Jack seemed to be comforted by it, at least he didn’t tell Malcolm to stop at all. Malcolm sat next to Jack looking at the black hoodie that was on the bed next to him. It didn’t look like one of Jack’s. He noticed how Jack’s hand was placed pretty firmly onto of it, his thumb rubbing over the fabric “Jack. are you cold? Do you need help putting your jacket on?” Jack shook his head as he replied “It’s not mine… It’s Mark’s… He left it last night.” Malcolm smiled as he let out a soft chuckle “Let me guess, you just liked the familiar scent?”

 

Jack had to smile when he was caught out, Malcolm kept his tone light and playful, his expression only filled with brotherly compassion, it was easy for Jack to stay calm in these types of situations “Y-Yeah… You know I’ve always been the same, Mally.” Malcolm had always accepted Jack as a vampire, granted the elder brother often made fun of Jack for it as well, all in good fun.

 

Malcolm smiled at the fond memories “Remember when you were so sick you climbed into my bed and fell asleep literally because my bed held my scent.” Jack nodded his head with a small giggle, or what Jack’s giggle sounded like nowadays “Yeah, you didn’t want to wake me up either so you climbed into bed next to me.”

 

There was a knock on the door and Rose and Mark entered. Jack could smell the coffee and donuts already, bringing a hum from the vampire. Mark snickered as he said “You’re happy this morning Jack.” Malcolm and Mark looked at each other for a moment before Malcolm laughed “Speak of the devil and he shall appear, how much coffee have you been giving him?” As Mark drew closer to the bed Jack could see four cups of coffee and four bags of donut. Mark chuckled softly as he said “It’s not all for him. Oisin told me last night that you were visiting as soon as your flight landed, I guessed you’d need a little pick-me-up so I got you some coffee and donuts when I got Jack’s, I also got some for Rose and myself.” Mark placed two of the coffee and two of the packets of donuts on the table next to Jack’s bed before backing away from the bed. Which confused Jack?

 

Mindset kicking in, Jack frowned a small whimper coming from him. Was Mark mad at him? Had he done something wrong?

 

Mark handed Rose her coffee and donuts and was about to apologize to Jack for approaching him without asking, even if he had given Jack his coffee Mark had come close without asking and that normally set Jack off. However, the whimper and the vacant look in Jack’s eyes showed Mark that Jack was gone. “Shit.” he cursed under his breath, sparing a glance at Rose who shrugged “There’s not a lot we can do Mark… I’ll warn Malcolm… You see if you can get Jack back.” Malcolm was clearly confused but he did allow the nurse to lead him out of the room.

 

With Malcolm out the room, Jack crawled to the end of the bed looking at Mark with puppy-dog eyes “Master?” there was a whine in his voice and Mark could swear he was going to vomit. He took a moment to calm himself, he wouldn’t lash out at Jack, not when Mark knew that this wasn’t him. Not really. Mark closed the distance between them as he said calmly “I’m not your master Jack… I’m just me. Just Mark.” Jack looked frightened a distressed whimper coming from him “M-Master?” Mark shook his head as he said calmly but firmly “Mark.” Jack looked at Mark as he said “B-But I was good yesterday… Y-You brought me treats this morning…” Mark was fighting a losing battle, but he didn’t want to encourage this mindset “No Jack. I brought you breakfast, something you're entitled to have. It’s not a treat and I’m not your master, no one is.”

 

A knock on the door and Malcolm came back in, the man was still smiling as he crossed the room and sat on the chair. Malcolm gave Mark an understanding nod as he mouthed ‘I don’t blame you’.

 

Jack, however, was still looking for reassurance “B-But I’ve been a good boy master… E-Even when I had a nightmare last night I went back to sleep. I-I haven’t disobeyed anyone, I’ve done whatever anyone asked me to do!” Mark cleared his throat “I-I get that okay and I am proud of you for doing those things Seán, but… You’re at the hospital now… You’re safe away from the people who treated you like an animal, the people who hurt you aren’t here anymore. While it’s good that you’ve done what the hospital staff have asked you don’t need to if you think it’s too much or you’re not comfortable you can say no and I am not your master Seán no one is and no one ever will be. You are your own person and you can make your own choices.”

 

Jack whined and nudged Mark’s hand, trying to nuzzle against it, but he pulled back as he said firmly “Seán, no! You don’t have to do that.” Jack gaze a full body shudder. He’d been told no by his master… He’d been bad.

Jack quickly backed up to the other side of the bed ducking his head, making himself smaller, more submissive “I-I’m sorry Master… I-I…” he closed his eyes and swallowed. Tears rolled down his cheeks but he didn’t dare sob. Mark realized he fucked up.

“W-Wait, no Jack. That's not what I meant. Jack I-... I just…” Mark’s tone was quiet, wavering as he threatened to break down into tears himself. He took a moment to compose himself, Mark took a step closer as he said “Can you look up for me Seán?” his tone was calm and quiet, not threatening, not demanding, merely asking.

 

There were a good few minutes of silence, Jack curled further into a ball as he begged “Please don’t punish me, Master… I-I really am sorry… I-I didn’t… I wasn’t being bad on purpose.” Mark let out a sigh as he said “I know that Seán, you weren’t bad. I promise you. That's not what I was trying to say. Please Seán can you look at me?”

 

Jack gave a shudder, his head only just looking up enough to face Mark… Wait, where was he? Jack began to panic unable to see Mark. Mark noticed as he said “Down here Seán, on the floor.” Jack crawled to the end of the bed, looking over the edge to see Mark sat cross-legged on the floor, he was smiling softly at the vampire as he said “I’m sorry if I scared you Seán. I didn’t mean to.” But Mark being on the floor, smiling confused the vampire “Y-You’re not mad at me?” Mark shook his head as he said “Of course I’m not, I’ve told you before, I’d never be mad at you.” Jack bit his lip as he looked at Mark “B-But you told me no...I was a bad pet…” Mark shook his head as he said “No Jack, because you’re not a pet. You don’t have to do what anyone else says, also what you were doing… You’re just so used to being with the hunters that… What they would make you do stuck, it’s an old habits die hard sort of thing.”

 

Jack didn’t seem to look as lost as he did a few minutes ago. But he was still panicked. And quite clearly still fearful. Mark let out a sigh as he said “I’ll never be like them, Jack. You’re free, you don’t have to act like the hunters wanted you too. No one will make you.” Mark looked at Jack as he asked “Can I stand up?” Jack looked even more confused “W-Why are you asking me?” Mark shrugged as he answered “Because I want you to be comfortable. I don’t want to scare you again.”

 

There was silence between the two of them, Mark looking at Jack and Jack looking at Mark. The look in Jack’s eyes softened and he blinked a couple times, slowly realization came to Jack’s face as he said sounding both exhausted and confused “M’rk?” his accent was heavier, he looked calmer “M’rk…” Mark smiled up at Jack as he said “It’s okay Seán.” Jack let out a sigh, shuffling back and drawing his knees up to his chest as he whispered “I suck…” Mark didn’t get up, didn’t move from his seat on the floor but he did try to reassure Jack “No you don’t Jack, it’s like I told you, you’re just used to being treated a certain way by the hunters… It’ll take awhile for you to get over that.” there was a pause before Mark said “Can I get up yet?”

 

Jack let out a sigh as he said “You don’t need to ask to stand up Mark… You’re not going to scare me.” Mark stood up, keeping his movements slow as he let out a sigh “Are you okay.”

 

Jack buried his head in his lap. Mark put his hand on the bed just in front of Jack, it would be in Jack’s line of sight, but it was up to Jack if he took the offered hand or ignored it. Jack pulled himself back trying to curl up tighter as he mumbled “Tá mé ag briste…” Mark looked confused and was about to ask Jack what he’d said, but Malcolm looked horrified “No Seán, don’t say that.” Mark looked at the elder brother as Malcolm let out a sigh “You don’t understand Gaelic do you?” Mark shook his head. Malcolm looked at Jack as he explained “Tá mé ag briste means I am broken.”

 

Mark’s eyes widened as he said “Jack no!” Jack flinched a little and Mark realized that he’d raised his voice “Sorry Jack but, your brother is right. You’re not broken.” Jack let out a sigh, he still hadn’t moved from being curled in a ball and he wasn’t looking at Mark or Malcolm “Of course I am… You tried to give me donuts and I freaked out.”

 

Mark wore a sympathetic look as he watched the vampire, Jack didn’t take his offered hand, but Mark didn’t move it either. He left his hand on the bed as he said calmly “You’re not broken. Not completely… Healing takes time Seán, that's all.” Jack looked up at Mark, tears rolling down his cheeks, Jack’s gaze moved down to Mark's hand before placing his own hesitantly on top of Mark’s hand.  

 

Jack’s finger brushed over the skin of Mark's hand, neither flinched or moved. Jack seeming to allow this point of contact between them. Mark allowed Jack to brush his finger over his hand. And in turn, Jack seemed to be okay, at least at the moment.

 

~~~~____~~~~

Mark, Jack, and Malcolm were sat in silence for a while. They all drank their coffee’s and ate donuts. Mark and Jack didn’t break their point of contact. Rose came in to change Jack’s bandages.

 

But Jack had to go for his physiotherapy so Mark and Malcolm were forced to head home till afternoon visiting hours. 

Chapter Text

Mark and Malcolm spent most of the day with Jack. By 6 pm Nurse Rose came to tell the two that she would be looking after Jack again tonight and that the two should go home for some rest.

 

Mark and Malcolm left Jack’s room, and Mark let out a tired sigh. Malcolm placed a hand on the American's back as he said calmly “You handled him well today Mark… I-I didn’t…” Malcolm choked on his own words “I don’t know if I would’ve been able to do that for him.” Mark shook his head as he scoffed “Handled him well? I triggered him! H-He… He thought I would hurt him… He used that damn fucking name!” Malcolm nodded as he said “I know and it was hard to watch… I can’t imagine what it’s like when he addresses you like that…”

 

Mark shook his head “It’s horrible! Because those bastards made him think that he’s lower than everyone else… That he’s somehow subservient. They treated him like an animal! And… And sometimes I don’t know if Jack’s ever going to recover from that… Like today when he started nuzzling against my hand, begging for some form of affection…. I-I couldn’t…” Malcolm let out a sigh “It’s hard for everyone. Especially you because it’s clear that he trusts you… Even if he’s confused about why he trusts you.”

 

The two left the hospital getting into Lauren’s car. The drive from the hospital back to Jack’s apartment was quiet. Malcolm and Lauren talked, the two catching up. But Mark was silent… He didn’t feel like he had anything to say. At least, he didn’t have anything to say.

 

When Lauren pulled up outside the house, Mark made his excuses and said he would be going to bed. He passed Robin who tried to talk to him, but Mark wasn’t paying attention. He made his way upstairs to Jack’s bedroom, the bedroom Lauren had him sleeping in.

 

Mark fell face first into the bed as he screamed into the mattress. This was normal. Whenever he came home from the hospital Mark needed to let everything out, that meant screaming into a pillow or mattress until he ultimately ended up crying. He couldn’t get mad at Jack, it wasn’t Jack’s fault that he was so fearful, it wasn’t Jack’s fault that he acted the way he did. And Mark knew that; he did… But sometimes Mark could feel all his emotions building up and wanting to get out and if Mark even looked remotely upset or annoyed Jack would freak out, so Mark had to keep it in, smile and act like he was coping with everything, he had to pretend that he was fine even though he was breaking on the inside.

 

The therapist that Rose had arranged for Mark to see, told him he shouldn’t bottle things up. But the therapist didn’t understand, he knew Mark’s mental state, he knew what Mark should be doing, but he didn’t understand the situation. Mark had waited FOUR MONTHS for Jack to come back, hell he’d waited to find out if Jack was ever alive. He was thousands of miles away from anyone who could’ve helped him at that time, he was unable to go looking for Jack himself as he so desperately wished he could do.

 

Now he was here, Jack was alive and Mark was by his side. And it seemed that people were trying to break them apart constantly, whether it was what the hunters had done to Jack that was pushing Mark away or the nurses and doctors that didn’t want Jack to become dependant on Mark.

 

Mark screamed until his throat started to hurt. And then he started to cry, he hated this. Hated what the hunters had made of Jack.

 

Eventually, Mark and screamed and cried until he couldn’t anymore. He pulled his phone out of his pocket rolling onto his side to see it was midnight. Mark crept downstairs trying to be quiet, knowing everyone else would be asleep.

 

Once downstairs Mark went into the kitchen and grabbed himself a glass of water, he sat at the table in the kitchen lazily scrolling through Tumblr. Lots of people were still using the UnbreakableJSE hashtag which made Mark smile. People still believed in him because they had no idea how bad he was. If they could see him would the still think there was home for him? Mark hated that though.

 

Of course, there was hope for Jack, he wasn’t gone, he wasn’t completely broken, he was just damaged and he needed to heal. Once he had healed he would be back to the Jack everyone knew and loved.

 

Mark hadn’t noticed someone stood in the doorway till he heard a voice “Couldn’t sleep?” Mark looked up with a gasp to see Robin, Robin looked tired, he wasn’t smiling, in fact, he was frowning. Mark nodded his head as he said “Yeah… I couldn’t settle. I didn’t wake you did I?” Robin shook his head entering the kitchen and sitting opposite Mark “Nah, don’t worry about it man… I was animating. I couldn’t sleep either so I thought I’d do something productive... “ there was silence between the two. Neither spoke but neither felt the need to speak.

 

Finally, after a few minutes, Robin spoke again “How’s Jack?” Mark’s gaze moved up as he said “Still not good… Why?” Robin let out a sigh looking away “I know it’s selfish, but since his freak out when I first found him… I cant’... I can’t see him because I’m scared he do that again and I’m scared that when he panics, I’ll freeze again. He needs people who can help him when he panics…” Mark shook his head as he said “Robin, it’s not easy. Even I set him off and yes… I freeze up. Hell, today I was tempted to slap him when he started nuzzling against my hand and calling me master! I was going to hit him, he so scared of everyone, scared of being hurt and my first reaction was to lash out at him. The nurses are there to care for him, but he needs us, his friends and family to prove that we care. That we’re going to be there for him, that no matter what we’ll try our best to do our best for him… You don’t have to be scared about visiting him, Robin.”

Robin let out a sigh as he said “I remember seeing him laid just in front of the window… I thought he was dead and I went over to… I don’t know, see if we’d been given a corpse… He moved… And I was so fucking thankful that he was alive. Then he started panicking and trying to get away and I just froze, I didn’t know what to do. He was tied up, gagged and scared and I froze and just stared at him… He needs people who can hold themselves together instead of crumbling like I did.” Mark let out a sigh as he said “I… I wasn’t in that position… I was fucking thousands of miles away, on the other side of the ocean… I can’t imagine what you thought when you saw him just laid there… But avoiding Jack won’t help you. There’s a reason people say you should face your fears, how about tomorrow you and Malcolm can visit Jack and I’ll stay home, at least for the morning visit, then you and me can swap? That way you’ve visited Jack.”

 

Robin was quiet as he seemed to consider what he was told. Eventually, he let out a sigh “That… That can’t be too bad right, but how about we let Lauren and Malcolm go on the morning and we can go in the afternoon.” Mark nodded his head with a soft smile “We can talk to Lauren and Malcolm in the morning but I don’t think they’ll be against the idea.

Chapter Text

Malcolm and Mark left for the night, Mark leaving his jacket hung over the chair next to Jack’s bed as he always did. Jack would never admit that on a night, being able to smell Mark helped him.

 

Rose was stood in the doorway as she said “Is everything okay for you Seán?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… I’ll probably go for a little walk before I try to sleep.” Rose nodded as she said “I was going to make myself a cup of tea if you want one.” there was a moment of silence between them as Jack considered the question, he nodded his head his lips curling up a little bit as he said “Yeah, I’d like some tea.” Rose smiled at Mark as she nodded her head “I’ll go do that for you now the while you take your walk.”

 

Rose waited and watched as Jack tried to pull himself out of bed.

During his time with the hunters, Jack’s left ankle had been broken several times, forcing him to need a moon boot cast to give his ankle and lower the support, his fingers were mostly broken, although they were healing pretty well. His right arm was broken in two places and was still in a cast, he had a bandage around his neck underneath the collar from where the electrodes had burnt his skin. His right knee had been displaced, but Jack admitted that was his own fault, not too long before he was dumped, Jack had tried to escape, only one of the hunters had come down and they were busy setting the camera up… Jack remembered the failed escape attempt.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The guy came in sparing a glance at the cage, Jack was pretending to be asleep. The man unlocked the cage door, he the turned his back to set up his camera. With the man occupied, Jack crawled out of the cage, struggling to stand up properly. He did his best to run, or rather hobble his way across the room making a bee-line for the stairs.

 

He knew he would be punished for his escape attempt if he was caught, but right now he didn’t care, he needed to get out. He wasn’t sure if he’d survive much longer if he didn’t. Jack managed to get halfway up the staircase, his left ankle bent and ended up on its side, with his weight thrown off he fell right back down the stairs, he hit his head, bruised his ribs… Probably cracked his ribs actually. And he heard the snap of bone as pain radiated through his right leg.

 

The man who’d come in with the camera just watched. A look of sympathy in his eyes, this man had only been around for a short while, nowhere near as long as the others. Jack sat himself up looking to the man quickly ducking his head. He was going to be punished. He knew it… And he deserved it. He was a bad pet. He’d tried to run away . He’d been disobedient. With a shadow cast over him, Jack closed his eyes.

 

However, instead of an assault, he was picked up throw over the man's shoulder and carried, the man then laid him on the floor and positioned Jack so his ass was to the camera. The man looked at Jack as he let out a sigh mumbling “The others are out and I can’t be bothered… This protects us both… I won’t say anything about what happened and I’ll reposition your knee and tell them it was something I did to you… Just make this easy for both of us okay?” Jack couldn’t believe it, was the man lying? Luring him into a false sense of security?

 

Jack laid still and the man raised an eyebrow “Do you understand?” Jack had been asked a question, he nodded his head slowly. The man nodded back “Just stay like that, I’ll take the photo and go to get the first-aid kit.”

 

As promised he did, the picture was quick, the camera was put away and the man bolted up the stairs to get the first-aid kit. He returned to Jacks side and the vampire hadn’t moved. The man carefully guided Jack to sit down and straightened his leg, The man didn’t look at Jack but he did warn him “This is gonna hurt.” Jack just nodded his head silent. Pets didn’t speak , not unless instructed to or asked a direct question. Neither had happened to Jack, so he would stay silent. The man quickly pushed Jack’s knee into place and Jack bit his tongue so he wouldn’t make a noise.

 

Finally, the man bandaged the knee before standing up, he spared a glance at Jack as he said “I’d rest… The others won’t be back for two days, by the your knee should be okay to move… Although it’ll still be painful.” The man was making his way upstairs when Jack spoke, it was rough, his voice strained, but still intelligible “Thank you.” He might hate the hunters, he might not trust this man. But at the end of the day, he wasn’t punished for his misbehaviour, he wasn’t abused or harmed… In fact this man had cared for him… Or rather, repositioned his knee after Jack stupidly injured himself. He had to thank the man.

 

The man smiled a little as he said “It’s okay…Now rest.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack couldn’t understand the man's kindness, why he’d treated him with any form of respect. Although he was thankful that the man had helped him.

 

It was a struggle to try and stand himself up, he hurt all over. More or less, even though he was on painkillers. It took him five minutes to actually sit up and grab his crutches. He gave himself a moment before he stood. His muscles protested, his body begging him to return to the bed. But he had to move. He wanted to heal so he could go home and hide from the world for the rest of his life.

 

Jack grabbed his crutches, readying himself for walking, he wobbled a little his body threatening to give up on him. And Rose clearly noticed as she stood leaning against the doorway and stood up straight. However, she didn’t approach Jack. Luckily, Jack did not fall, he was slow as he began to make his way towards the doorway. Rose moved so Jack could get out of the room. He was slow moving, but he was moving.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack walked around the hospital for about 15 minutes, no one was around at this time of night, so he was able to walk without feeling threatened by anyone. When he returned to his room, Rose was sat on a chair close to the bed sipping from her mug, she gave Jack a calm smile as she said “Still okay?” Jack nodded his head as he said “Yeah… Sore… Very sore, but I can’t complain to much, my legs work so.” Rose laughed a little as she said “As your mother told me you are very positive.” Jack smirked a little as he said “Ya have to be… Especially when you’re a vampire, after all… Your heart does stop beating, it would be easy to just say ‘fuck it’ and give up then. But you don’t, you keep going, keep trying. Always smile and always find a silver lining… My silver-lining is that… When I was in there, it meant other vampires were safe.” Rose smiled as she said “That's… Rather a nice way to look at things… Again, you’re just so positive… It’s incredible.” Jack sat himself back on the bed, putting his crutches back in their usual place before getting himself comfortable.

 

The vampire shrugged as he said “I have to be positive… Not just for myself, but for the people around me… My youtube channel, I used to say positivity breeds positivity… I used to stand by that, I think now I’m just positive just to try and give myself hope… Hope that I’ll be better.” Rose looked to Jack as she said “You will be… Maybe not straight away, but eventually.”  Jack let out a sigh as he said “I’d like to believe that… But I’ve saw how people look at me now, my ma, my sisters, my brothers, my dad… Mark… And even if they’re trying to be calm, they’re not… They’re scared of scaring because it’s so easy to do, the tiptoe around me and treat me with kiddy gloves… I know they want the best for me… I know they think they’re helping, but they’re only proving how bad I really am…”

 

Rose frowned a little as she said “It’s not true. Yes you went through something terrible, your body created a defensive technique. One that shut you off, that made you go numb so you didn’t have to go through what the hunters were doing to you… Or at least, you didn’t consciously remember it. It takes a while for your body to relearn things, such as when not to make you go numb, right now… Even if you’re repeatedly told that everything is fine. You’re scared, maybe you don’t realise it, but you are… Because you’re so used to being hurt, because your brain knows that your body is weak. Your brain and body are trying to protect you. And it might be frustrating. You might hate it, the people around you might be upset to see you like this. But once you’re healing, once you became stronger, you’ll be able to get over that. We’re treated torture victims before. We’ve saw what they go through and recovery is never easy. Physical recovery will be fastest… But mental and emotional take a lot of time, you’re going to have to be patient with yourself. And it might not be what you want to hear, this might be a bit harsh. But you have to stop blaming yourself, putting yourself down and giving in to the idea that you don’t deserve to be helped. So many people care for you. Your family, your friends and from what I’ve heard your YouTube community, they need you… So you need to keep positive. For yourself, keep thinking, yes I can. Keep telling yourself that you WILL recover. Be more positive, not for anyone else. But for you. Be selfish, think about getting better for yourself. About progressing for yourself. Because what you went through, would’ve killed others emotionally, mentally and physically. You are strong Sean. I can see that, I’ve saw everyday since you were admitted, you are strong and you need to believe in yourself.”

 

Jack was floored for a moment, it was the first time anyone spoke so matter of factly, Rose wasn’t sugar-coating things, she said it how it was. And it was Jack needed, he needed brutal honesty, he knew just as well as Rose did that being babied, being guided through recovering and becoming dependant on the support of others would not get him anywhere. Rose was right, he needed to get better for himself. But that was also easier said than done, even if he knew logically he was free, that he could recover. There was part of him, the part that was twisted and moulded by the hunters, the part that made into a subservient and obedient animal… That part of him believed that the hunters would come back and take him again or that he was supposed to act like they taught him to obey his ‘master’ whoever that turned out to be. That was probably the worst part, Jack had been conditioned to believe that anyone who showed him the smallest amount of respect, that treated like an actual person rather than animal, could be his master. Mark gave Jack ‘treats’ encouraged him and told him what a good job he was doing, who praised him and showed him affection. But on the same hand there was Rose, she brought Jack food, three times a day, gave him blood bags, brought him ‘treats’ occasionally much like Mark did, she helped to clean and restore Jack’s bandages and casts, she helped him when Mark or his family weren’t there, she always showed him care, treated him with respect. And behind closed doors, away from his family and away from Mark. Rose too had needed to bring Jack back from a bad headspace.

 

Rose nudged Jack’s mug towards him as she said “There’s your tea, there’s milk and sugar on your table so you can decide how you want it.” Jack nodded his head, he added some milk to the tea and two sachets of sugar, he took hold of the mug and took a sip from the mug, he always loved tea. Coffee was his go to, but tea was just as good.

 

The two drank in silence. Rose left for a moment to take her mug back to the staff kitchen area, taking Jacks with her and returning with Jacks night time medication.

 

Jack took his medication and laid down, so he could try and get some sleep before he was ultimately woken up by a nightmare.

Chapter Text

Jack woke up to the same voice “Good morning baby boy, how are you this morning?” Jack still ached all over. He didn’t want to go through all that again. But he had to, he knew he did, he had to be a good pet, if he was good he wouldn’t be punished. J.ack forced himself to sit up, body shuddering as he almost collapsed under his own weight, but he couldn’t He knew he couldn’t. If he fell down he would be punished again. He was on all fours, like a good boy . Chris unlocked the cage and pointed in front of him, Jack made his way over to Chris nuzzling against his hand.

 

Chris smiled as he said “Such a good boy aren’t we, we have something very special planned for you today.” Jack’s throat closed up on him, but he knew he wasn’t allowed to show fear or anything else for that matter. Chris had given him an order (Kind of), Jack knew he had to do as he was told.

 

Chris lead Jack out of the cage, into the middle of the room. Chris the quickly bound Jack’s wrists behind his hand and tied his legs together. Jack was laid on his back and he had to admit that he didn’t like this idea. A knife was pulled from Chris's pocet and Jack tried not to react.

 

Chris ran his finger along the edge of the blade as he said “You know baby-boy… It’s a real shame that vampires don’t have hearts… We proved that you can be such caring creatures… You can be… But you’re not, you’re all heartless monsters.” Silence fell upon them.

 

Chris still had that blade in his hand and Jack was powerless to do anything against him. He was tied up, he couldn’t fight back, couldn’t move… And he couldn’t speak out… He didn’t want to know what Chris would do if he spoke out.

 

Finally, Chris began to speak again “We can change that… Would you like that baby-boy?” Jack didn’t say anything, didn’t move, didn’t dare breath. Silence again, this one seemed to last forever as Chris knelt downside Jack’s side and whispered “I’ll take silence as a yes.”

 

Jack was forcing himself not to shudder, biting his tongue to silence himself. Chris traced the tip of the knife over the centre of his chest, drawing a love-heart shape. Jack felt himself go rigid… He could guess the way this war going.

 

Finally, Chris applied pressure to the blade so it cut into Jack’s skin. Blood was beginning to run down the vampires chest, there were tears streaming down Jack’s cheeks and he closed his eyes tightly. He bit his tongue, not wanting to make anymore sounds, not wanting to make a sound incase it lead to more pain.

 

Chris worked slowly, almost like he was trying to be careful as he carved into Jack’s chest. He formed the shape slowly, keeping his craft neat and tidy not wanting to ruin the ‘masterpiece’.  Tears rolled down the vampires cheeks but he knew he couldn’t scream, he couldn’t make any noise that could be viewed as a protest… Things would only be made worse if he did.

 

After what felt like an eternity, Chris stopped and pulled away. Jack was now panting, trying to calm himself. His body shuddered violently… His throat burned… He’d lost a fair amount of blood and he needed to replace it. A blood bag was thrown his way and Jack didn’t hesitate, grabbing it and biting into it, gulping back the liquid greedily. He could see something rubbing across his chest… Just… His chest hurt like hell, he could feel something moving across his chest in a wiping sensation. Jack finished the blood bag quickly dropping it to the floor, glancing a look at his chest. Vomit was rising from his stomach, his chest had been cleaned of blood and he could see what Chris has carved into his chest. Chris had used the knife to draw a love-heart shape on Jack’s chest.

 

Jack couldn’t move, his body was still shuddering, not as violently as it had been, but he was still too shaky, to weak to move.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack sat up quickly screaming. There were two figures, he couldn’t make out features, just silhouettes and his mind told him he had to defends himself. Jack was quick to crawl to the corner of the bed, hissing at the figures fangs bared. Actually… Now that he thought about it, that might get him in more trouble… Oh well, too late now. He might as well stick with it.

 

Meanwhile, Robin and Mark had only just entered the room, apparently closing the door had woken Jack. Jack was screaming…  

 

But then he… That was new. Jack was hissing, obviously trying to scare off ‘attackers’. Robin looked to Mark. Mark let out a sigh as he said “We need to talk to him, try and get him to realise he’s not with the hunters.”  Mark crouched down and gestured to Robin who followed Mark lead. Mark looked Jack dead in the eye, trying to keep his gaze as he spoke calmly and softly “Sean, you’re in the hospital Sean. It’s Mark and Robin, your friends. Can you understand me Seán? Do you know whats going on?”

 

Jack was shaking, still growling at the two figures. His voice was still strained, and what his said came out a little quieter than I would’ve liked “S-Stay back! Don’t touch me.” Mark nodded his head as he said “It’s okay Seán, no one is going to touch you. Not unless you say its okay. You’re in the hospital, away from those hunters. Seán you’re free! You’re safe and free Seán.”

 

Jack’s body was still shuddering. But there was a few words sticking out to him. Jack couldn’t hear the voice, it was kind of muffled, no matter how much he tried to focus he couldn’t focus. But there were a few words that he could grasp “Seán” and “Free”. Seán, Seán was his name. And the hunters never called him that, the only names they ever used were Jack, Jackyboy and Baby-Boy. Not Seán. And free… That was… Not something he’d ever heard the hunters say. He was slowly pulling out of his panic, more of his real surroundings becoming clearer. Blue and Hazel eyes were looking at him from the floor. These eyes were full of concern, but they were kind, friendly even.

Jack forced himself to focus more. Pay more attention, white room, large white room, windows to his right, even if the blinds were closed… An open door to his right. Open door? That meant he could run away…. He could be free…

 

That was what the voice said, The voice had told him he was free. His attention was turned back to the eyes… A man with black hair and brown… Mark! It was Mark! And the other, he had light brown hair and blue eyes this was… Robin? Jack hadn’t saw his editor for… ages… In fact Robin was the last person he talked to before he was taken.

 

Now that Jack was able to process his surroundings, it was clear that what happened before had been a memory. He pressed a hand against his chest, able to feel the bandage that covered his chest… Covered that heart… Jack let out a sigh and pulled his legs to his chest “...Sorry…” it was an apology, even if it was mumble.

 

Mark looked up at Jack as he said “No we’re sorry, we closed the door when we came in. When you started panicking Robin opened the door again though.” Jack was quick to shake his head “No, no… I was… Sleeping and I… I must've had a nightmare… Memory… I can’t tell the difference anymore.” there was silence for a while as Jack’s gaze moved to his two friends “You can stand up you know… I’m not panicking anymore…”

 

With Jack’s permission the two stood up, Mark grabbed two chair placeing them by the bedside. Robin sat awkwardly, he was silent.

 

Jack seemed t pick up on it as he spoke “Robin?” the swede looked at the irishman and noticed him frowning “Robin, is something wrong?” Robin looked at Jack for a moment before he let out a sigh “I-I… I know I haven’t visited… Like at all… I’m sorry… I… When I found you, I thought you were dead and ITriedToUntieYouAndYouWerePanicingAndIFrozeAndDidn’tKnowWhatToDoAndIWasScardAndDi-” Robin was rambleing, talking fast, his words jumbling and mixing together as he just kept going. But the more Jack rambled, the faster he talked, Jack couldn’t keep up and he was getting confused… Jack cut Robin off as he said “R-Robin… I… I’m not as fast as I used to be… You’re going to have to talk slower…”

 

Robin looked to the floor as he said “You panicked when I found you outside the house and… Instead of being helpful I froze… I felt guilty an-” Robin was cut off by a hand. He looked, that was Jack’s hand.

Robin had been told that Jack was still fragile. If he touched you, it meant he had a lot of trust in you. Jack was looking at his hand on Robin’s knee as he said quietly “I’ll be honest man… I don’t remember a lot of being found… I was tied up and gagged… There was sun… And gravel… The there was a dark figure coming towards me… Then there was a woman… I… Who was that woman.” Robin’s eyes were wide “Jack… That was Lauren, she was really bad when you went missing so I told her I’d stay with her, I saw you but when I got close to try and free you, you started panicking… I froze and Lauren came out and took over I guess? I don’t remember a lot of that day either.”

 

Jack was still looking at his hand on Robins knee as he spoke “I… I don’t remember much of my first day hear either… I panicked a lot… In fact pretty much everything set me off… I’m sorry I panicked on you when you were trying to help me.” Robin shrugged as he said “I… I can’t image what your went through, you don’t need to apologise.” Jack moved his hand away, putting it on his lap “I… I try not think about it.” The hand he had placed on Robin’s knee was in his lap less than a minute, instinctively reaching for his collar.

 

The group talked, mainly about youtube things, Robin told Jack that he edited the ClusterTruck video. Jack said he should’ve just uploaded it, but Robin said he didn’t feel right about it. Jack told Robin that he didn’t really want it uploading now… Not when he was unable to make videos.

 

“You could make vlogs?” Robin suggested “Maybe a weekly thing to show your recovery?” Jack shook his head “N-No I…” Jack would not say he was afraid of the camera (even if he kind of was), a camera had been used against him in that cage, the hunters making their own personal documentary about Jack’s torture… Videos and photos would be out of the way until Jack at least look at himself in the mirror again. There was silence but no one rushed Jack “...I-I don’t want my fans to see me like this… The way I look physically… There’s kids that watch… Hell some of my nieces and nephews watch… I don’t want them to see… T-This…” he gestured to himself.

 

Mark nodded his head, body confidence was clearly something Jack struggled with now. Robin also seemed to understand Jack’s hesitance. Robin’s phone buzzed and he looked to see a text from Lauren, he looked to Mark as he said “Laurens hear to pick us up, are you staying the night?” Mark nodded his head.

Robin stood as he said “Okay then, I’ll get Lauren to bring me back in the morning, I’ll bring you two breakfast and coffee.” Mark and Jack smiled saying their goodbyes to Robin.

 

Jack bit his lip as he said “M-Mark… Can… Can we try cuddling?” Mark was surprised by the question, but Jack had asked “Y-Yeah… If you want.” Jack pulled a face “Only if it’s okay with you…” Mark thought this was going down a route that he didn’t want to follow. He didn’t know how he’d react is Jack called him master again. Instead of being serious, he took a slightly humorous approach “Jack, we both know you are the world's best hugger. Why would I turn down a hug from you?” Jack’s lips curled up a little, a small laugh coming from him. Jack moved over on the bed, patting the space beside him.

 

Mark stood up and sat next to Jack slowly. The vampire laid himself against Mark breathing in the familiar and comforting scent. Mark laid a gentle hand on Jack’s back and the vampire let out a contented sigh, whether he was too tired to fight, or he genuinely felt safe enough in Marks arms… Neither of the pair would question it. Mark laid back and Jack didn’t complain, he nuzzled against Mark a little.

 

They laid like this silent for a while, Jack broke the silence whispering “Y-You love me right?” Mark was silent for a moment before he answered “Of course I do Jack, I’ll always love you.” Jack’s body shuddered as he croaked “You hesitated.” Mark mentally cursed himself quickly trying to explain himself “No Jack no, I didn’t… Well, I did… But not because I didn’t know my answer. I’ll always love you. I just… I wanted to make sure what I said didn’t come across in the wrong way. That's all.” Jack’s fingers clung to Marks t-shirt as he whispered “They told me you only wanted information from me… That… That I was… easy for you…” Mark shook his head as he said “No Jack, that's not true. I would never just use you, in anyway. I love you for you, because you're passionate, kind, caring, crazy. You’ve always been someone I looked up to Jack. Someone I cared for. I’ve always loved you Jack, even before I admitted it to you.” Jack nuzzled his head against Mark.

 

Mark ran his fingers through Jack’s hair. Jack tensed for a moment, but the touch was light, the fingers caressing and stroking so gently. Mark let out a sigh as he said “If I’m honest… I’ve been worried about how you’d feel about me after everything… If you’d still want to even know me… I mean… I’m an informant… Was an informant… I wasn’t sure if you’d even trust me…” Jack was silent before he let out a sigh “They tried to tell me you didn’t really care… I almost believed them… But when you visit… You’ve been patient… You don’t force me to do anything. You care… I… I trust you because you’ve proved to me that…. That you care… I just… I still worry.” Mark nodded a little “I can understand you thinking that… If they tried to tell you that I didn’t care… But I promise you I do. I’m gonna be by your side through all of this and after. I’ll be here for as long as you want me.”

 

Jack nuzzled Mark again as he yawned. The two were silent and Jack eventually fell asleep.

Chapter Text

Mark had been asleep, he noticed the sound of whimpering… Something was tense… Wait… Mark's eyes opened quickly to see Jack was laid on his chest, crying and whimpering, tense and shaking. Mark shifted and Jack whispered out “Please don’t hurt me…” Mark was barely awake and barely functioning. But Jack was clearly scared and Mark wanted to try and prove to Jack he was safe. Mark placed his hand on Jack’s head and vampire flinched, fingers ran gently through his hair as Mark spoke softly, his voice still sleepy and slurred “Jack you’re okay… You’re safe, you won’t be hurt.” Jack was sobbing still as he whimpered “Please… I’ll be a good boy I promise.” Mark shifted, trying to pull away and give Jack space, but Jack was actually sat on his legs… Why was Jack upset? Had Mark hurt him while they slept? Had Jack had a nightmare?

 

Luckily as Mark shifted, Jack quickly moved… Unluckily, it only made him panic more. Jack dived off the bed, his legs not used to movement and unable to support his own weight yet, Jack fell to the floor with a thud. Fuck! That wasn’t going to help his recovery. Jack was crawling...Under the bed…

 

Mark got onto the floor and knelt down, he could see Jack’s crimson eyes glowing in the dark under the bed. Mark placed his hands just in front of him so Jack could see them as he said “Jack, can you come out?” Jack shook his head, he moved under the bed and Mark could assume he’d curled up more. Mark tried again as he said “Jack it’s okay, you’re in hospital and it’s just us. No nurses… No family. Just me and you remember? The hospital is safe and I’m not going to hurt you. We were asleep remember? On the bed. We’re in the hospital, do you remember Jack?” a whimper came from under the bed before the vampire whined. Mark knew he had to keep trying “We’re in the hospital. Just us two…” Mark thought quickly taking his jacket off and pushing it under the bed “Hear, this. What does this smell like Jack?”

 

Jack saw the lump being pushed towards him and reached for it cautiously. He pulled it closer sniffing… Mark… This smelt like… Jack’s gaze moved to the man on the floor… He inched towards the man a little “M’rk?” Mark nodded his head as he said “Yes Jack, yes. Mark. That's me. Just me Jack. It’s just Mark.”  

 

Jack crawled out from beneath the bed and Mark would not admit his relief… This panic was mild and solved quickly. Jack looked at Mark as he curled into a ball. Mark let out a sigh as he said “I’m going to have to call the nurse you know?” Jack nodded his head “I know…” Mark looked at Jack as he asked “Did you hurt yourself when you fell?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… My ankle, lower leg and knee hit the floor pretty hard… I landed awkwardly.” Mark stood up and backed away from Jack, he moved to the table next to Jacks bed and pressed the call button.

 

An alarm rang from down the hall and Mark heard Rose calling “Sean? Sean?” Mark opened the door and to see Rose running up the hallway. Mark gestured into the room “He woke in a panic and fell off the bed, we thought it would be best to have him checked over.” Rose nodded her head as her gaze moved to Jack “Is it okay if I put the lights on Sean?” Jack nodded his head slightly.

 

Rose switched the light on so that she could see properly. She turned back to Sean as she said “Do you need help standing up?” Jack nodded his head, Rose motioned Mark to help her, the both supported Jack slowly bringing him to sit on the bed again.

 

With Jack sat on the bed Rose started her check over on Jack, she asked before she touched him. As she always did, and Mark went to get some tea for the three of them.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

When Mark returned, Jack was curled in a ball on the bed clutching Marks jacket. Rose was sat on the chair, she smiled softly at Mark “Ah, tea. Just what we need.” Mark placed the tray he was carrying on the table next to Jacks bed, he took a mug and Rose did. Jack looked at the mug, the to Mark as he mumbled “...I’m sorry ya had to do this…”

 

Mark shook his head as he said “Stop right there, you don’t need to apologize, your fine. This is fine! There’s nothing wrong okay. I don’t mind I told you. I’m going to be here for you no matter what.” Jack forced himself to sit up picking up his mug and taking a sip as he mumbled “But I asked you to sleep next to me… Then I lost it…” Mark shrugged as he said “Neither of us knew what would happen, you needed to try. And yes you panicked, but I was able to bring you out of the quickly… I’m learning about your triggers just like you are Jack. When you’re panicked an easy way to pull you back is a familiar scent. I used my jacket. We can try other things as well. Maybe… Coffee… Or an aftershave you like. We’ll find other scents that you can latch onto. Ways to stop you from panicking.”

 

Jack remained silent as he drank his tea. Mark and Rose didn’t force him to speak.


The three drank their tea and Rose took the mugs away. Jack laid down curled up on his bed still clutching Marks jumper. Mark laid a hand on the bed. But otherwise, they were silent.

Mark had been dozing off again when he felt something against his hand, he opened one eye to see Jack laid next to his hand, still clutching the jacket. Mark chose not to mention it and he ended up falling asleep in the chair.

Chapter Text

1 Week Later

 

Jack hadn’t offered any more hugs.

 

And he’d closed himself off again.

 

Mark had been talking with Tyler and Ethan over skype. The two Americans were going to be bringing Chica over to Ireland now that she had all the necessary documentation and vaccines. Mark couldn’t wait to see his pup after two months of being away. Jack had assured Mark that it would be okay for Chica to stay with him at Jack’s apartment while Jack was in hospital. Lauren and Robin loved dogs and having Chica around would be good for them all.

 

Rose thought that Chica might be good for Jack, the doctor also thought it might help. It was a different kind of treatment for Jack’s current state. Animal therapy, they hoped it would help Jack be a little more open, anything would be better than he was now.

 

Today was the day that they would be landing, Ethan and Tyler wanted to see Jack. But only if it was okay with Jack.

 

Mark knocked on the door and Rose answered opening it with a smile, she nodded her head as she said “On time as always it’s Mark!” she was cheerful… That was encouraging. Mark entered with a smile, carrying three coffees and three sausage sandwiches. Jack was sat cross-legged on the bed watching as Mark came in,  he didn’t seem panicked. He didn’t look as tired as he normally did.  In fact, Jack’s hair, even if it was matted looked wet and clean… Had he had a shower? And he wasn’t panicked? If so this was really good, a massive step forward for Jack in his recovery.

 

Mark put the things he was carrying on the table as he said “You look really well today Jack.” Jack smiled… Or as much as Jack could smile, a little curl of his lips. However, Mark was quickly becoming acquainted with Jack’s eyes, how when he was trying to really smile, there would be a look of joy behind those dead eyes. A spark of life, even though it never lasted long. The Irishman nodded “Mhum… I had a shower this morning and… I didn’t panic.” Mark’s smile widened as he said “That’s amazing Jack, I’m so proud of you!” Jack gave another one of his smiles, Mark could swear his lips curled up a little more than usual. But a niggling thought entered his mind ‘What if Jack is in a bad headspace? What if he thinks you’re his master again?’

 

Mark’s gaze moved to the things he’d put on the table, he shuddered. Mark had praised Jack and he had brought ‘ treats ’ or at least that's what Jack would call it if he was in a bad headspace. Mark continued trying to push those thoughts back again “I brought breakfast.” not treats… Not treats. Breakfast, something Jack was entitled to.It wasn’t a luxury, everyone was allowed breakfast it wasn’t special. Jack nodded his head again as he reached for his coffee, he took the one closest to him and took a sip.

 

Jack was in a rather good mood, one of the best moods he’d been in since his capture. Mark had placed everything on the table and Jack took the coffee closest to him, knowing Mark always put Jack’s coffee closest to Jack. Jack was taking a sip of his coffee when he realized something. He hadn’t asked permission. Mark hadn’t explicitly told him to take it… Mark had put it down and Jack just took it. And that gave him mixed feelings, he was happy. Happy that for once he hadn’t felt the need to seek permission for something as simple as having a drink. But a shudder found its way up his spine. The same rule playing in his head as it always did. Good pets don’t take without permission. Good pets are given treats. They DO NOT take. Jack spared a glance at Mark who was sitting down and digging into his sandwich. No signs of anger, he hadn’t been told off… Alarms silenced with Mark seeming so calm. Jack reached for the sandwich, but stopped and looked at Mark.

 

Mark had a mouth full of his own food so he nodded his head. Jack took the confirmation and began to eat.

Mark could tell that Jack was clearly in a decent mood today, he also had to warn Jack about Tyler and Ethan’s arrival (He wouldn’t say Chica was being allowed into the hospital, Chica was a last resort if Jack panicked in front of Ethan and Tyler). It was probably best to warn Jack while he was in a good mood, just in case.

 

Mark had eaten half of his sandwich when he said, making sure to keep his tone calm and quiet “Hey Seán, you remember when I mentioned that Ethan and Tyler were going to be bringing Chica over to Ireland for me?” the vampire nodded as he said “Yeah… When is their flight by the way?” Mark chuckled a little as he said “Actually, they’re landing this afternoon and they both really want to see you.” Jack seemed to freeze, he was still and silent for a moment before swallowing “I-I… Why do they want to see me?” Mark shrugged as he answered “Because they’re your friends, we were all worried about you… Tyler even tried to talk to the Irish hunters… Those who took you were rogues… They weren’t real hunters just… a group of sick bastards.” Jack pulled his knees to his chest closing in on himself.

 

Mark had to make things better, Jack was in such a good mood he didn’t want to ruin it “If you’re not ready I can text them and tell them to just go straight to your place with Chica.” Jack looked at Mark a form of panic in his eyes as he stuttered “M-My place?” Mark nodded his head “Yeah, Robin stayed in the house today to take Chica off Tyler and Ethan, but they’re staying in a hotel.”

 

With that information, Jack seemed to calm. Jack pulled a small part of his sandwich off and ate it… Mark got the feeling he’d ruined Jack’s good mood.

 

There was silence between the two, Jack shifted, he was moving across the bed towards Mark. The American watched as Jack crawled across the bed towards the edge and place a hand on Mark’s knee, Jack kept his head down, not daring to look up at the other. Mark had come to recognize this as a submissive act, something Jack had once been forced to do. Apparently, maintaining eye-contact was viewed as a challenge of authority. Mark remembered hearing something similar when he bought Chica, he heard if a dog looks you in the eyes and won't look away they see themselves as the ‘alpha of the pack’. Jack had been treated like an animal, he wasn’t allowed to ‘challenge’ the hunters, he was the ‘pet’ he was ‘submissive’ that's what the hunters wanted.

 

Jack kept his head down, his thumb brushed against Mark's leg as he whispered “I-If they come… C-Can you stay with me?” Mark nodded his head as he said calmly “Of course I will, I kind of wanted to stay if they showed up anyway, they don’t know your triggers.” Jack climbed off the bed and sat in Mark’s lap.

 

Mark was about to ask Jack what he was doing, but he stopped himself. This was the most contact Jack had given anyone in weeks, the last time they tried Jack woke up in a panic. Jack laid his head in the crock of Mark’s neck letting out a sigh “I can try… I can try if you’re there…”

 

The two were silent for a while. Jack was just laid against Mark, he used to love sitting with his head near Mark’s neck, in this position he could hear and feel Mark's pulse beating, a steady rhythm, it always calmed him. And Mark was always so warm. Jack clung to Mark a little, his fingers grasping at Mark’s t-shirt “C-Can you hold me… Just a little? Like we used to… Remember?” Mark nodded his head, arms slowly wrapping around Jack, a loose hold on the vampire, one hand moved to Jack's head, running his fingers through the faded green matted locks. Jack pressed into the touch as he mumbled “I need my hair cutting… But… Scissors coming near me… I don’t…” Mark nodded his head as he said “I get it, it’s probably not something you can do yet…”

 

Jack nodded his head. Mark kept running fingers through Jack’s hair, kept his arm around the vampire's waist. Jack was calm and content. And so was Mark. It was rare that Jack was calm… And so far Jack hadn’t managed to hug anyone. This was… Kind of a hug. Technically.

 

Jack nuzzled against Mark a little, for a moment, he was pressed right against Mark’s neck. Mark didn’t stop him, didn’t hesitate, didn’t tense up. He remained unaffected. But it only lasted a minute.

 

Jack could hear them, the hunters reminding him that he was a monster, a parasite, the wound on his neck stung from the memory of the mockery bite mark. Jack pulled away quickly. But he was still on Mark’s knee. The two looked at each other. Jack’s hand cupped Mark’s check as he whimpered “I-I’m so-rry… I got carried away… I won’t… I can’t…” Mark shook his head shushing Jack softly as he said “Hold on, I know you weren’t going to hurt me okay? And you know I’ve always told you if you need help, I’m here to help. If you wanted to bite me you know you can.” Jack shook his head quickly a small noise coming from him “No! No! I don’t, I won’t, I can’t! I’m sorry I ever did that… I shouldn’t! And you shouldn’t let me! You shouldn’t let me hurt you!” Mark was confused by his outburst “W-What? Hurt, Jack your bite doesn’t hurt, I mean… Sure I can feel it but it’s actually pretty numb, like an injection.” Jack shook his head tears rolling down his cheeks “No… No… They showed me… They showed me how it felt…” Jack was rubbing the bandage on his neck that covered the two marks. Mark knew that wound, but they… He’d saw the wound when it wasn’t covered, it looked like someone had stuck two knives in his neck. Is that what the hunters did? They convinced Jack that was what his bite felt like?

 

Mark took hold of Jack’s hand as he said “Do you trust me?” Jack was looking at Mark for a moment as he nodded, Mark let out a sigh “Let me show you what your bite feels like okay, just on your wrist.” Mark raised Jack’s wrist to his lips and gently nipped at the skin. Jack didn’t react at all, just watched. Mark let go of his wrist as he said “See, it doesn’t hurt. That's what it feels like… What they did when they ‘showed you’ they were lying.” Jack laid back against Mark nuzzling against his shoulder “I… I’m sorry I can’t… Just… Just hold me… I… This is okay… You see it's my ma’s birthday next week… I know she’ll visit… I want to be able to hug her without panicking on her birthday… I-If I get used to someone holding me… I might be able to do it.”

Mark’s heart couldn’t take it, even when Jack was sick and healing, he was worried about his mother. Worried about her birthday. Mark rubbed Jack’s back as he said “If you want, tonight when the hospital is quiet, I’ll take you down to the gift shop and we’ll find your mother a nice present and card… And on the morning of her birthday, I’ll buy her a bunch of flowers.” Jack hummed happily as he said “I’d like that. Thanks, Mark.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The day past pretty quickly. Jack had physiotherapy today, trying to get him used to his legs again.

 

But as usual, Jack was tired when he came back and he rested a little.

 

And again, as usual, Jack woke in panic. This panic was one of the worse ones, blinded by the imagery of the basement and the hunters. Jack had threatened Rose and Mark, the two humans took it in stride, they didn’t blame Jack and they weren’t mad at him. It took an hour to calm Jack down and bring him back to reality. They expected this much, Jack’s good moods rarely last long.

 

After his panic Jack was fragile and very easy to scare, hell Mark had scared him by sneezing. Mark was kind of glad that Tyler would be bringing Chica along. It might help… But again, they didn’t really want to introduce Chica just yet, not unless it was necessary.

Mark’s phone buzzed and he looked to see a text
Tyler: Ethan and I are outside the room with Chica, Jack’s nurse has her and told me to let you know. You need to prepare him?

Mark: Yeah, we have to leave it up to him if you come in or not. He’s VERY fragile Tyler, you and Ethan both need to be careful. If he’s okay. Just give me a moment and I’ll ask him.

Mark put his phone in his lap as he looked at Jack, Jack was curled up in a ball laid on the bed, but he could see Jack’s red eyes. He knew Jack was awake, Mark cleared his throat noticing the vampire's gaze moved to him, he spoke calmly “Hey Jack, Ethan and Tyler are hear and they really want to see you. But as long as it's okay with you.” Jack shifted a little, sitting up, he folded his legs, he wasn’t trying to make himself small at least. Jack was silent and still for a moment before looking at Mark, there was a lot of hesitation in his eyes, he also looked tired. But Jack offered his hand to Mark and nodded, silent permission for Mark to touch. Mark took the offered hand and Jack gave a small squeeze, as much as of squeeze as he can manage as he released a breath “I… I should be okay… Just slow?” Mark nodded his head as he said “I told them to go slow. Let me just text them to tell them you said okay.”

 

Mark text Tyler doing his best to type one-handed, considering Jack was holding his other one
Mark: He says it's okay but take it slow, don’t rush him, don’t overload him, he’s still fragile. Go slow.
Tyler: Yeah dude, we get it. We’ll be careful.

 

Ethan and Tyler entered the room and left the door open, they were trying to show that they weren't locking Jack in. Once inside Ethan smiled as he said “Long time no see buddy.” Tyler nodded in agreement, a kind smile on his own face as he said “How are you holding up?”

 

However, seeing the two made Jack curled in on himself. He let go of Mark’s hand and shrunk, looking down, submissively. All he knew was that they were hunters, he didn’t see two of his closest friends… All he saw where two vampire hunters. What was there to say that they were actually concerned? What if they'd come to finish the job? They could be continuing the job of the hunters who held him captive for four months.


Jack’s thoughts were far from being rational. Ethan and Tyler were American and probably didn't even know the hunters that took Jack, in fact, Mark had told Jack that Tyler had tried to help find Jack. But Jack's mind didn't care about rationality, it didn’t care for facts. All it knew was that Ethan and Tyler were vampire hunters and hunters had hurt him before, repeatedly. Hunters always hurt vampires.

Ethan and Tyler exchanged glances, it was clear Jack had a negative reaction. Ethan looked to Tyler as he said “Maybe I should go first… It might help him if only one of us tried to talk to him at once, slow remember?” Tyler nodded in agreement as he said “I’ll stay as far away as possible. It might help him to calm.” Ethan turned back to see Jack was shuddering. His chest felt tight and heavy, just seeing how Jack looked physically was enough to make him sick, how malnourished and weak he looked. But Jack’s actual reaction, the way he tried to make himself smaller, the way he shrank back and cowered in fear. Ethan was definitely going to be sick, maybe he took it more personally because he was a vampire, it could have easily been him in Jack’s situation. Whatever the reason, Ethan knew he had to help his friend.

Ethan was slow as he made his way across the room speaking calmly “You scared us ya know Jack. We were all worried. But it’s really good to see you’re okay.”

Jack didn’t dare look up, couldn’t focus on what was being said. All he could do was focus on the footsteps that drew closer. A frightened whimper came from him, a weak plead joining it “P-Please don’t…”

Hearing the plead the other vampire stopped moving, Ethan knelt down about two foot away from Jack, he stopped moving letting out a small sigh “It’s okay. I’m not going to do anything that you don’t want me to do Jack. I’m your friend.” Jack shuddered again with another sob “P-Please stop…” Jack’s body was shuddering, he looked like he was trying to imitate a ball and Jack didn’t look up, he didn’t dare. Mark was whispering words of comfort to Jack reminding him “It’s just Ethan. Ethan Nestor, Ethan is your friend.” but it didn’t seem to be helping. The good thing was that Jack hadn’t fallen into a full blown panic.  

A hunter would never be a vampires friend, Jack knew that much. He was told repeatedly, reminded that as a vampire he was a monster. That no one could care for or love a monster.

Ethan thought quickly, he concentrated, focusing as he said “Jack look at me. It’s okay. I’m not moving. I'm knelt hear. Mark won’t let me hurt you.”

Jack chanced a look up, Ethan wasn’t close enough to grab him, which helped a little, so he could. Jack looked at Ethan, in particular, his eyes glowing red, lips parted slightly to reveal his fangs. And Jack felt an instant wave of relief wash over him. Irrational panic melting away. Ethan wasn’t just a hunter, he was a vampire. Even if Ethan worked for the hunters, he wasn’t going to harm Jack. He uncurled a little. Ethan smiling softly. Jack didn't return the smile, but he finally spoke “E-Ethan…” the younger vampire nodded his head as he said “Yeah it’s me, Jack. I’m glad you’re okay.” Jack didn’t say anything, his gaze moving down.

Ethan thought quickly as he said “Seeing your community band together the way they did while you were gone was… Extraordinary… Seeing the support you had, have you saw it yet?” Jack nodded his head as he replies “Mark showed me… An’ he brought me my phone to me so I’ve done some searching myself. I look most days...” Ethan smiled as he said “That's great, although let's be honest. You’re known for your activity on social media.” Jack’s lips curled slightly in an attempt of a smile. But that's all it was… An attempt. It’s all he could ever manage, for a smile to be so foreign to ‘JackSepticEye’ it was scary… Ethan didn’t want to know what he’d been through, what the hunters had done to Jack. Of course, he knew small parts, what Mark had told him. And the thought of what Jack endured scared Ethan a lot. He’d heard the stories of what hunters did, the torture they would inflict upon vampires, but he’d never met a hunter that would actually do it. It was all stories meant to scare newly turned vampires into behaving.

Jack shifted his position so he was sat cross-legged on the bed, no longer making himself small. It was at this point, that Ethan’s gaze fell on the collar that Jack was wearing, it was simple a black leather strap with a silver ring on it… Jack was wearing a collar? Ethan chose to not question Jack about it and instead made a mental note to ask Mark later.

Jack looked at Ethan as he said, in a voice that was only a little more than a mumble “You can come closer… If you want…” Ethan shuffled closer, he didn’t stand, he didn’t want to freak Jack out again. He shuffled closer until sat in front of the bed. Jack didn’t seem to flinch. Ethan stood up and again Jack didn’t seem to flinch or move. Ethan let out a sigh his fangs retracting and his eyes returning to their natural colour. Ethan pulled a face as he groaned “Ugh, I bit my tongue… I hate fangs.” Jack snickered a little as he said “It sucks… I wish I could get mine to retract… I wish my eyes weren’t red all the time… But till I get my strength back that's not gonna happen… I bite my own lip a lot.”

It was now that Ethan realized, Jack was staring at Tyler. Ethan looked to Tyler, he was stood in the very back corner of the room. Staying as far away from Jack as he could. Ethan looked back to Jack as he said “Tyler’s been worried as well ya know, can he come over and see you?” Jack froze going rigid, he quite clearly didn’t like that idea. Ethan thought for a moment as he said “I’ll make sure he can’t hurt you if that's what you’re worried about. He won’t get past me, Jack. That's a promise.” Jack’s gaze moved to Ethan then to Tyler as he nodded silently, head instinctively ducking down.

Tyler was slow to move, Jack’s nerves eased a little, a very small amount, but it helped. Ethan as he promised, stood between Jack and Tyler at all times. Once in front of Jack, Tyler smiled at Irishman, it was a genuine smile that read relief “It’s good to see you, Jack. I’m glad you’re back.” A frightened noise came from Jack as he ducked his head more, practically laying down, he looked so submissive like he was giving into him.

In Jack’s head the same thoughts played out;
Don’t speak unless instructed to,
Do as you're told,
Be a good pet,
You don’t want to be punished.

Jack had to do as he was told, he couldn’t be disobedient.

Tyler saw the way Jack looked, how he laid down, submitted… Merely because Tyler had spoken. He stopped… Stood still. He shook his head. He needed to help Jack feel more comfortable, but how? Tyler considered his options for a moment before he said calmly “Jack, can you look at me?” Jack didn’t respond for a moment. But no one rushed and that actually helped him to relax a little more. He looked up, just a little, he was still pretty much laid down, still had his head mostly down, but tilted just enough to look at Tyler.

Tyler looked at Jack, his expression calm, he was trying to make sure he didn’t look threatening. He gave Jack a small smile as he asked “How can I make you more comfortable?” Jack looked shocked, sitting up a little more. His head tilting to the side as he said “W-What?” Tyler nodded his head as he said “How can I make you more comfortable?” there was a small pause before he said “I know that… I wasn’t fair to you when I found out that you were a vampire, I treated you pretty harshly. I called you a lot of names and I’m sorry for that, really I am… But I was scared, not for myself, but for Mark. Mark is like a brother to me, I care for him a lot. So when I found out that he was dating a vampire, I got defensive. I wanted to protect him. But you proved to me that not all vampires are evil, I used to think that Ethan was the only exception because a vampire had attacked his family. But you proved that there are good vampires out there. No matter what I called you, no matter what I did, you didn’t retaliate, you took it all in stride. And I admire that… Now I want to prove to you that not all hunters are going to hurt you. And I’m not gonna let any more hunters hurt you.”

Jack listened to everything Tyler said. When he’d finished Jack said “I-I get you wanted to pr-protect Mark… You’re a hunter… All you know is bad vampires, I can’t blame you for that… It’s why I never retaliated…” There was a pause before Jack said “I-I want to be able to trust you… T-To not feel so afraid just because you’re in the room… B-But it’s ha-ard… I try n-not to think about their rules… Try not to act the way they wanted me too… B-Because I don’t have to… But I can’t…” Tyler let out a sigh as he said “The way they treated you… Obviously, you’re the only one who knows… But… I have an idea and I’m sorry. Really I am.” Jack didn’t look at Tyler, didn’t meet his gaze. The Irishman wanted to believe him. But couldn’t. His mind told him not to fooled by ‘false kindness’ that Tyler was only putting on a front because Mark and Ethan were there.

 

Jack shuffled a little closer to Mark and climbed onto his knee, seeking protection. Mark took the hint and held Jack gently. Jack nuzzled against Mark as he whispered “It’s… It’s too much Mas-” Jack stopped himself and clung to Mark a little. Mark looked at Tyler and nodded. Tyler knew what that meant.

Tyler moved across the room to the open door and signaled to the nurse who nodded. Tyler looked at Jack as he said “Although, we do have another visitor for you, Jack.” Jack turned to look at Tyler still clinging to Mark.

 

Chica was bounding her way up the hallway, skidding on the corner as she entered the room and ran over to Mark and Jack. Of course, the pup was happy to see her daddy after so long, but she seemed to sense Jack’s distress and gave him a lick.

 

Jack’s eyes were wide as he whispered “C-Chica?” Jack let go of Mark sliding to the floor, once sat on the floor Chica drowned the Irishman in affection, nuzzling and licking at the Irishman wherever she could reach. Jack wasn’t even trying to stop her. He was rubbing her back and encouraging her. Mark could see that Jack was smiling… Like actually smiling. And he started laughing “C-Chica! Chica. Heya girl, it’s been so long. I’ve missed you too Chica. You’re such a good girl. A good girl chica!” The dog yipped and barked appreciatively at Jacks praises and she ended up curling up, literally sat on Jack’s lap.

 

No one spoke, they were all quite happy to watch Jack with Chica. Jack was happy to give Chica lots of pets and praises, he was smiling. He looked happy. And they all knew it wouldn’t last long so they would let Jack remain happy.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack spent his time on the floor, scratching Chica and giving her praises, Chica was such a good pup.

 

However, after two hours, Jack was starting to ache from behind sat on the cold hard floor. He looked up to see that Mark, Tyler and Ethan were busy on their phones. Jack cleared his throat and almost immediately Mark looked at him, Jack bit his lip as he said “M-Mark, can ya help me up?” Mark nodded his head as he said “Of course I can, but I can’t lift you on my own, do you want me to get Rose?” Jack shook his head as he said “She’s probably busy… Maybe Ethan could help?” Mark looked over at Ethan who nodded. The two took hold of Jack carefully, taking what little weight Jack had helping him to stand sitting him on the bed. Jack smiled thankfully, with Jack sat on the bed Chica sat right next to him.

 

Jack had to lay down because of his aches. Chica laid her head on the bed next to Jack giving him a nudge, Jack laughed a little scratching lazily behind the pup’s ear as he whispered “Good Girl Chica. Good girl.”

 

Mark smiled as he said “I wasn’t sure how well behaved she’d be in a hospital, it's so unfamiliar to her. But she seems to be really happy to see you Jack.” he wouldn’t mention the fact that Jack had smiled the whole time Chica was here. He wouldn’t mention how Jack seemed too much calmer, so much more like his old self with Chica hear. He would talk about Chica, she seemed to be helping Jack a lot. Jack nodded his head a little as he whispered “She’s a good dog.” Jack kept scratching behind her ear, more than happy for the attention.

Ethan and Tyler said they were going to leave still tired from their flight. Mark had persuaded them to leave Chica for a while.

 

Rose came in to check on Jack and saw him, laid in bed whispering continuous praises to the Golden Retriever. She smiled softly as she said “Everything okay Sean?” Jack nodded his head as he answered “It’s okay Rose, thanks.” Rose walked over to the bed and knelt down behind Chica stroking her back “She’s very well behaved. You know, we could put her in for therapy training so she could help Jack more, therapy dogs are trained to recognize panic attacks and breaks downs and try to help prevent them and if their owners do end up having an attack they can get help.” Mark looked surprised “You think we could do that for Chica? She’s six years old now.” Rose nodded “We can always try, they’ll put her through six weeks of training then test her to see if she’s learning. If she doesn’t seem to take it in they’ll stop, if she is learning they’ll continue. It means once Jack is at home he won’t need a nurse's supervision. I’ll obviously come by from time to time. But having a therapy dog will remove the need for me to be there every day.” Mark looked at Jack as he asked “Do you think its a good idea?” Jack was silent as he seemed to think “I-I… I guess… I do love Chica and she really helped me today.” Rose smiled as she said “Great, it’s settled then. I’ll talk to the doctor about getting Chica trained to be a therapy dog.”

 

Mark spent about another hour with Jack, but he knew he had to get Chica to Jack’s apartment and for tonight at least, he would need to stay with her. Jack’s house was new, Ireland was new, she would need the familiarity to settle.

 

Mark received a text from Lauren to say she was outside waiting for Mark. Mark and Chica said their goodbyes as Mark lead Chica out of the ward and down to Lauren’s car.

 

With Mark gone, Jack decided he should try to sleep.

Chapter Text

Jack had woken the way he usually did and after waking with from his nightmare he’d been unable to fall back asleep. So he’d been awake scrolling through Tumblr on his phone, in fact, he actually managed to put a Tumblr post up.

 

TheRealJackSepticEye: I know that Mark put out a message two months ago telling everyone they’d found me and since the no one has heard anything. Well, that's because I asked for silence. What happened when I was taken. It was a lot, I won’t lie and say that I’m fine. Because I’m not, for my first two weeks I could barely even walk on my own. I’m going to be recovering for a long time. The medication I’m on his pretty strong, so that's helping, the nurses and doctors have also been a great help. I made this post to update anyone who still actually followed me and to thank the community, I’ve saw the #UnbreakableJSE tag and it’s been helping me while I’m stuck in hospital. I know that at this point my channel and my social media’s have been inactive for six months (My perfect schedule is completely and utterly ruined). I’m sorry to say that I won’t be able to make any videos or anything, while I was away I lost my voice and I got very sick. There won’t be any photos on Instagram for now but I am going to try and post to Twitter and Tumblr (hear) at least once a week.

 

But I want everyone out there to know just how thankful I am for the support and well wishes and all the campaigns people started trying to get information on where I’d disappeared to. I promise to try and be active, like I used to be.

 

Jack posted and put his phone down. On one had it was killing him not being able to record, not being able to post stupid Instagram stories or photos. But on the other hand. Even putting a text post out had been hard, his captors had known about his social media accounts and used information from these sights against him. What if they’d intended for Jack to die. Posting a text post proved that he had survived…

 

He was quick to try and push those thoughts away. If they had wanted to kill him they would have done it themselves or just left him to rot in the basement… Or the cage… They dumped him outside of his own house, so they obviously wanted him to be found.

 

Jack spent some more time on Tumblr. Reblogging and liking art, he saw that his post had lots of retweets and it had been less than an hour. That… Made him a little anxious, but again he would push the thoughts from his mind.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Rose came by as she normally did on a morning, she placed her tray on the table next to Jack’s bed looking at him for a moment “How are you feeling this morning this morning?” Jack shrugged and pulled his duvet closer. Rose let out a sigh “One of those mornings?” Jack nodded his head.

 

Rose could respect when Jack needed space, she opened the door to his room and said “I’ll leave when Mark comes okay… Or do you want to be alone?” Jack shook his head as he said “If Mark comes… He can come in… I won’t turn him away.” Rose nodded before she left.

 

And Jack was alone again. Not that he minded being alone. Well… He both liked and disliked being alone. When he was alone he didn’t have to be scared, didn’t have to worry that the people around him were waiting till he dropped his guard before attacking. And on the other hand, he was left to his own thoughts, that never used to be a problem. Before he was taking being left to his thoughts was a good thing. It gave him time to think… Time to reflect on memories. That was never pleasant.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack’s arms were tied behind his back, his legs tied together. The hunters had positioned him on the floor. Currently, Chris was replacing the bandages around his chest, the bandage protected his newest wounds (His whole body was covered in scars but some of the newer ones needed covering, at least the hunters cared enough to prevent his wounds from becoming infected… Mostly)

 

Chris finally bandaged Jack up, ruffling his hair as he praised with mock affection “Good boy, that's it baby boy.” Jack didn’t respond. He kept his gave down, silently cursing the hunters. He’d learned to do that, instead of lashing out and receiving punishment, he’d remain silent and think about all the ways he’d like to tear the hunters apart.

 

Chris handed the first-aid kit to one of the other hunters as they took it away, he was quick to turn his attention back to Jack as he asked in a sickly-sweet tone “Do you know what we’re going to do today baby boy? We’re going to have some fun.” Jack tried not to show his distaste for that idea. However, Chris clearly picked up on it, that mocking smile leaving him for only to be replaced by an emotionless expression.

 

Jack shuddered under that look swallowing thickly, Chris tutted as he said “Are you being disobedient baby boy?” Jack shook his head no a frightened whimper escaping him, but he didn’t speak. Partly because of how strained his voice was and partly because of what he’d been taught, good pets don’t speak unless told to and he could be a good pet! He could be!

 

Chris tutted like he was trying to scold a child “Now, now baby boy. Good pets do as they’re told. They’re obedient. You’re a good pet aren’t you baby?” Jack nodded his head with a desperate whine, he would be a good boy, he would. He would be a good pet. He’d do anything so long as he didn’t get punished.

 

However, it was clear that Chris had other ideas. He knelt down in front of Jack, Jack forced himself not to pull away, not to let on how much he wanted to flee. The door to the basement open and Jack could already smell his ‘punishment’ wolfsbane. A frightened whimper came from him, at this point he knew that Chris was going to use the wolfsbane on him, but maybe he could beg, try and sweet talk his way out of trouble “P-Please…” his voice was straightened and it wavered with fear but he would still try, it was his only chance to save himself “... Please, I wasn’t being disobedient I promise, I can be a good boy, I can! I’ll do anything… Anything… J-Just not the wolfsbane please.” he was frantic and desperate that showed in his voice.

 

Chris shook his head as he said “I want to believe you baby boy, I really do. But creatures like you, they’re just monsters. You don’t know what it means to be good, that's what we’re teaching you, remember? And wolfsbane is alway effective no matter how stubborn the vampire.”

 

One of the other hunters passed Chris the wolfsbane, Jack was shaking tears rolling down his eyes. He saw Chris fake pout as he said mockingly “Aww baby-boy. I’m sorry, but you know we’re only trying to help you. This is all for your benefit… Do you understand that?” Jack forced himself to look up and he forced a smile as he croaked out “I want to be good… I can take it… It’ll teach me to be a good boy.” Chris grinned as he said “Exactly, that's a good-boy.”

 

Chris pressed the flower against Jack’s arm and Jack screamed, his skin felt like it was on fire, the poisonous flower burning his skin.

 

And the process was repeated until both of Jack’s arms were bright red, the vampire was shuddering laid on the floor, tears rolling down his eyes. He looked up at Chris weakly, his voice barely even there as he asked “Was I a good boy master?” Chris nodded as he said “The best baby. Now you rest, that's your training for today, we’ll see you tomorrow. And because you were so good, we don’t need to put you in the cage, you have the whole room to yourself. Jack only just managed to force himself to smile as he spoke again “Thank you, master…”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack felt something touch his arm and he screamed quickly hitting away whatever had touched him. He heard a yelp and looked to see Rose holding her hand. His eyes widened as Jack quickly apologize “I’m sorry!” Rose shook her head smiling softly as she said “It’s okay Jack, it’s my fault. I startled you, what happened was a completely understandable reaction… Although you seemed kind of zoned out, anything I can help with?”

 

Jack let out a sigh shaking his head mumbling “Just memories…” Rose nodded her head as she said “You have your therapy session this morning, want me to warn her about anything?” Jack looked at Rose as he nodded “Y-Yeah… I was thinking about shortly before I was released… They… I’m not even sure what I’d done wrong but… They decided that they needed to punish me… They… They burnt me with wolfsbane… Which is where some of the blisters came from… Not all of them, someone of them were cigarettes or a lighter… But yeah…” Rose cleared her throat as she said “But you’ve told me because wolfsbane is poisonous.” Jack nodded his head “For vampires it is… The smell is enough to make me sick, it burns if it touches me… And don’t even get me started on what happens if I eat it, or if it gets mixed into my food, which the hunters did a lot…” Rose eyes widened horror written on her face.

 

This was the most Jack had talked about his ordeal and Rose was quickly learning just how badly the hunters had harmed Jack, exactly the kind of torture they put him through “...When they mixed it into my food, the smell of the food cloaked the wolfsbane… Most the time… The food would burn and blister the inside of my mouth and throat and as soon as it reached my stomach it would burn until I eventually threw it back up.” Rose had to shake off the feeling of horror, she smiled for Jack as she said “I’ll tell her, do you need to help to stand today or will you be okay.” Jack shrugged as he said “I’ll try while you got to talk to Doctor Breathnach, if I’m still struggling when you get back I might need help.” there was a small laugh after that. And it made Rose really smile “Okay Jack.”

 

For a moment Jack looked puzzled as he said “You called me Jack?” Rose nodded as she said “Is something wrong?” the vampire was quick to shake his head no “No, not at all… Just… You normally call me Seán… That's all.” Rose shrugged as she said “I hadn’t noticed that I’d never called you Jack before… I mean… I feel like I don’t have to be completely stuck up and professional around you anymore which is why I chose to call you Jack. But if you’d rather I call you Seán I can do that.” Jack shook his head as he said “Either is fine it was just… Different.”

 

Rose nodded her head as she said “Okay well, I’ll only be gone a moment Jack.” Jack nodded his head giving Rose a small smile.

Chapter Text

That Afternoon

 

Jack was laid on his bed with Chica, Nurse Rose had already said it was okay for Chica to be on the bed. Mark was on his phone, playing a game or something. Jack was more than happy to run his fingers through Chica’s fur, whispering praises to her.

 

There was a knock on the door as a voice said “Jack, me and Tyler are here, can we come in?” Jack licked his lip as he nodded “Y-Yeah… Just slow okay?” Ethan was the first to step in, he was carrying a water bottle with blood in. Ethan held the bottle out in front of himself as he said “I thought you might want some, can I put it on your table?” Jack nodded his head forcing a smile.

 

Ethan wanted to call Jack out on how fake that smile was. But he knew it wouldn’t do any good. Instead he placed the bottle on the table next to Jack before backing off, Tyler followed Ethan into the room, but chose to sit by Mark, specifically behind Mark so he was further away from Jack.

 

Ethan sat close to Mark smiling at Jack “Chica seems really happy to be sat next to you.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, she’s getting lots of pets and attention though, so that probably has something to do with it.” Mark chuckled a little as he said “Chica’s a good dog.” Mark wasn’t sure if that could be taken the wrong way, if Jack could get confused and think that Mark had called him ‘good boy’ or ‘good dog’ . Mark made sure to specify that CHICA was a good dog. Ethan chuckled a little as she said “She missed you something terrible Mark, he used to lay on your bed and spend most of her day there.” Mark nodded his head as he said “I kind of expected her too when I left but-” Ethan cut Mark off as he said “There were more important things to do and you needed to get all the documentation for Chica to come over hear, we get it.” Mark smiled a little as he said “Yeah.”

 

There was a knock on the door and the group turned to see Oisin McLoughlin enter the room, he was shooting daggers at Mark upon entry, but once noticing Ethan and Tyler his was was full on glareing hatred at Mark. Mark shrunk back from the look alone, noticing the flicker of red to Oisin’s eyes, Ethan also shrunk back as he whispered “Papa’s hear.”

 

Oisin growled as he said “Jack is recovering from torture inflicted by hunters… So what do you do? Let two HUNTERS into his hospital room!” Mark shook his head as he said “Jack said it was okay, Ethan and Tyler are his fr-” Oisin cut Mark off “Friend with hunters! Do you honestly believe he still wants to be friend with the type of people that nearly killed him.” Mark swallowed thickly trying to compose himself, noticing how Mark looked, Ethan stepped in making sure his eyes were red and his fangs were out “Please sir… Tyler and I aren’t like the hunters that hurt Jack, our group works with vampires, we only go after the vampires that have harmed humans, obviously we know that doesn’t apply to Jack. Jack was taken by rouge hunters… And… We only wish we could have done more, could have helped him in some way.”

 

For a moment it looked like Oisin was going to back down, but his anger returned quickly “Jack told me how Tyler used to treat him, the sort of things he said to Jack. You want me to trust him.” Tyler stood up as he let out a sigh “I treated him unfairly… I became a hunters because all I had ever known was ‘bad’ vampires, apart from Ethan. So when I found out that Jack was a vampire AND that he was dating Mark, I got protective. But Jack never retaliated, never got mad at me. He just took it all in stride and smiled… I might only be hear a week, but I’m working with the Irish hunters while I’m here to try and help them find the group that took Jack and stop them.”

 

Oisin growled, clearly not convinced, however, a voice broke them “Dad stop.” Oisin, Mark, Ethan and Tyler turned to face Jack, he was hiding in Chica’s fur, barely peeking out to look at the rest of the people in the room.

 

Silence filled the room, waiting for someone to say something. Eventually, Jack spoke again “They’re friends… T-They didn’t hurt me… P-Please don’t fight…” Oisin growled and he looked like he was about to argue when Jack whimpered “ They argued… When I ‘ misbehaved ’... When they wanted to punish me … They would argue about who would do it … What they’d do and how long the ‘ punishment ’ would last… I-I…” Jack shuddered and clung to Chica who immediately began to lick at Jack’s face.

 

Oisin, Mark, Ethan and Tyler looked at each in silent agreement, they wouldn’t argue anymore, not when it clearly scared Jack.

 

Chica yipped softly as she licked at Jack’s face catching the tears that were starting to roll down his cheeks. Jack clung to Chica as he whispered “Good pup.” she was, Chica was a good pup. The best pup. She was soft and warm and fluffy and everything Jack needed to stay out of his own head.

 

Jack shifted his position a little, but Chica remained close to Jack. Oisin cleared his throat as he said “You’re… You have a dog now Sean?” Jack nodded his head a little “Mark’s dog Chica… She likes pets and she’s a good dog, she’d been helping.” Oisin raised an eyebrow “Helping?” Jack nodded “If I’m gonna panic she stops me… She’s…” Jack licked his lips “...Like an anchor, something I can latch onto.” Chica nuzzled against Jack giving a soft ‘borf’.

 

Jack stroked Chica’s back and gave her a kiss. She was clearly very appreciative. Oisin let out a soft chuckle “You’ve always got along well with animals. Remember your mother's pony?” Jack giggled a little, or at least as much as he could giggle “That damn thing was scared of EVERYTHING, you couldn’t even feed her without scareing her… But she always liked me.” Oisin nodded “You were the only one that could get close to her.” Jack nodded his head “I approached her slowly and cautiously, talking to her calmly showing her that… I wasn’t gonna hurt her.”

 

Mark smiled a little as he said “Chica’s always liked you as well, it seems you’re just good with animals.” Jack smiled a little nodding his head “I’m an animal lover.”

 

Jack licked his lips as he let out a sigh pulling Chica a little closer, he nuzzled against her seeking comfort. There where four people in the room…

 

Just like the basement, he kept reminding himself, this was hospital, this wasn’t the basement , nor was it the cage that the hunters forced him into. This was HIS hospital room, the room he’d been in for two months now. The room where he was safe , the room where nurses, friends and family cared for and protected him. He had to remember he was SAFE away from the hunters he was SAFE in hospital NOT with the hunters.

 

Mark noticed the glassy look in Jack’s eyes and cursed under his breath, Oisin also seemed to notice as he said in a stern tone “Jack, snap out of it!” Marks eyes widened as he said “Oisin what are you doing!?! Yelling at him won’t help! You have to be calm with him!” Oisin looked offended and Mark shook his head as he said “Save it for later, right now we need to help Jack.”

 

Mark turned his attention to Jack as he said calmly and clearly “Jack it’s Mark, can you hear me? Do you know where you are?” Jack was shaking his head, tears rolling down his cheeks as he sobbed “No… No… No please I’m sorry! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean it! I can be good, I swear I can be good!”

 

Tyler let out a sigh as he said “He was probably over crowded, Ethan and I will come back later when there’s less people.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Good Idea Ty, I’ll see you both later.”

 

Mark got himself on the floor as he said “Jack please, it’s okay. You’re okay, no one is going to hurt you. Chica was on the bed nuzzling against Jack, trying to lick away his tears, Chica was trying everything to get Jack to stop crying. Mark continued to repeat the same assurances “You’re okay Jack.” “It’s okay.” “You’re safe.” “You’re in hospital.” Mark kept saying it calmly and clearly.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

It took twenty minutes of Chica licking, Mark reassuring. But finally Jack calmed down. He was shaking were he sat on the bed and he was clinging to Chica. But he wasn’t begging, he wasn’t screaming anymore.

 

Mark let out a sigh and he noticed a sympathetic look in Oisin’s eyes, the older vampire could see how exhausted Mark was, how defeated he looked… It was the first time since Jack’s capture that the older vampire didn’t appear hostile when he looked at Mark. Oisin offered his hand to Mark as he helped the american to his feet, he looked to Jack then to Mark as he said “You helped him.” Mark nodded his head “Of course I did, I care about him… I’ve dealt with his panic attacks before, I know how to help him.” Oisin nodded his head as he said “Well… I… I’ll give you two some time alone.” Oisin left and Mark grimaced.

Jack let out a sigh as he said “Dad likes you…” Mark turned to look at Jack as he said “Are you sure?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, you’ll have to forgive him, we’ve never been an openly affectionate family. It’s more… We don’t question if we love each other, we just know. We look out for each other and care for each. My dad has always been the more serious, he’s straight to the point, he doesn’t speak a lot… And he can come off as a little cold… But he wants what's best for us, especially me and my eldest sister, we get special treatment… He knows what it's like to be a vampire… He doesn’t want us to suffer for it… Thats why this situation has affected him so much… Ma told me that… He cries a lot… He’ll say he wishes it was him… But the way he looked at you, he likes you… Even when you were arguing he definitely likes you… Just has a different way of showing it.”

 

Mark listened to what Jack said, it was the most Jack had spoken since his capture. Once Jack had finished Mark smiled a little “I guess it's good to know he likes me.” Jack laughed a little “He’s just protective, I remember what your mother and brother were like the first time I met them.” Mark snickered as he said “What Thomas wouldn’t let you sleep in the same room as me so you ended up on the couch for the week.” Jack laughed a little as he said “And he added garlic to the bolognese he made the first night thinking it would put me off and I ate the most.” Mark was laughing as he said “And he got wore a silver cross necklace and you just walked over to him and told him it looked like, his face was priceless!” Jack nodded as he said “Every trick he used to try and get me to stay away I pretty much just laughed at.”

 

Mark let out a sigh but he was still smiling “I remember the first time I met your family. I was tackled by all your nieces and nefus.” Jack shrugged as he said “They warned you, they shouted Markipile before the tackled you.” Mark looked at Jack with a raised eyebrow as he said “Is that why you joined in?” Jack nodded his head as he said “Of course. It’s law, I had to!” Mark snickered as he said “Of course, it’s only logical.”

 

Jack licked his lip as he said “C-Can we try cuddling? While I’m calm at least?” Mark nodded his head as he said “Of course, what do you want me to do?” Jack made grabby hands at Mark as he said “Come hear?” Mark climbed onto the bed and Jack immediately clung to him, Chica decided to climb her way onto Jack’s lap so she sat across both Jack and Marks legs, she nuzzled against Mark’s chest and Jack said “Chica wants her daddy.” Mark nodded as he said “She’s always been affectionate.”

 

Jack clung to Mark and laid his head against Mark’s shoulder. He was feeling tired after his panic, he wanted comfort, to know someone was there more than he actually wanted to cuddle.

Chapter Text

Jack was laid in bed, he’d already woken from the same old nightmares… But that wasn’t what was on his mind anymore, he was thinking back.

 

To before he was taken to the time when he first publicly talked about being a vampire. It was 2018, Jack had been making youtube videos for five years. It was Halloween and he hadn’t planned anything, he’d debated making a dumb skit about being scared of a noise that ended up being a ‘haunted’ teddy bear or something.

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack opened skype and called Mark, the american immediately answering he smiled as he said “Heya Mark.” Mark snickered a little as he said “Halloween huh? You feeling okay?” Jack let out a sigh, on Halloween his eyes would be red, his fangs would be out and he couldn’t change them. It was too do with the fact that Halloween (Or Hallows eve as it used to be called) was originally a holiday were ‘evil spirits’ were supposedly released. Jack didn’t know how exactly that related to vampires. But apparently it did.

 

“I’m fine Mark, I jus’... Ran into a little bit of a problem.” Jack said with a sheepish smile “A problem?” the american questioned, on the screen Jack could see that Mark was looking at him with a raised eyebrow “Yeah… Erm… I wanted to do like a Halloween theme video, but… Kind of forgot until today and… I can’t go on camera like this right? Everyone would know!” Mark seemed to be thinking for a moment as he said “Why can’t you? It’s Halloween, vampires are like Halloween, kids dress up as vampires for trick or treating right? But it’s what you could do with it.”

 

Jack looked at Mark as he said “Are you serious? Mark I can’t tell everyone that I’m a vampire! That doesn’t go down well.” Mark shrugged as he said “I don’t see why you can’t, you’re you Jack. I don’t see you any different not that I know you’re a vampire and I’ve known for two years now, hell we started dating after you told me, we’re still together. Not to mention people know you, you wouldn’t hurt a fly! I’m sure if you make a video and explain things then it’ll be fine!” Jack hummed as he said “You think so?” Mark nodded his head “I do! And no matter what you’ll have the support of me and your other friends.” Jack smiled softly as he said “What would I do without you Mark?” Mark chuckled as he said “Sit in the house avoiding people because ‘oh no red eyes’.” Jack snickered as he said “The red clashes with my green hair! How could you be so insensitive!” Mark placed a hand on his chest as he said over dramatically “Oh no! How could I be so ignorant! Please Jack, can you forgive me?”

 

Jack folded his arms and shook his head as he said “I don’t know… What you did… It was absolutely terrible, how could you not know how much the red clashes with the green! I thought you loved me.” he was not being serious, he was over exaggerating and just joking. Mark laughed a little as he said “I do love you Jack! Please forgive me for my ignorance.” Jack pretended to be thinking for a moment before he nodded his head “Okay, I can forgive you.” Jack made a heart shape with his hands as he cooes “Love you really babe.” Mark smiled softly making a heart shape with his own hands replying “I know you do doof.” Jack stuck his tongue out at Mark before they both burst out laughing.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack remembered being so afraid of what people would think, he remembered calling Mark after he posted the video and practically breaking down in tears worried that he’d thrown his whole career away, that people would hate him. But Mark was there, he kept sending Jack screenshots from the comments and from tumblr or people fans and friends a like supporting him.

 

He noticed himself smiling softly, even after being assured that things were fine, the first time he met up with his friends was a little scary.

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack was pacing back and forth in the kitchen while Mark and Tyler finished making sure the final preparations were ready and the camera’s were set up.

 

Ethan walked in to see Jack pacing and he chuckled a little as he said “Nervous green bean?” Jack jumped a little turning to face Ethan rubbing the back of his neck with a nervous laugh “Kind of… It’s…” Ethan placed his hand on Jack’s shoulder as he said “I get it, this is the first time you’ll have saw Felix, Bob and Wade since you made the video talking about being a vampire, that took a lot of guts, more than I have… And no matter what, Mark, Tyler, me and Robin will be here for you.”

 

Robin joined Ethan as he nodded “Yeah, Look Jack, I might not have known for as long as Mark and I can’t relate in the way Ethan does, but you’re my friend dude! And I know you! So do Bob, Wade and Felix.” Jack let out a sigh and smiled “You’re right, you’re both right… I just need to stop worrying, after all the information is out there now… It’s not like I have to pretend anymore.” Ethan nodded as he handed Jack a bottle of blood. Jack smirked a little as he said “Bottoms up blue boy.” Ethan smirked back as he held up his own “All in one?” Jack nodded as he said “Of course, after all. It’ll be weird enough for the others, they probably don’t want to see this.” Ethan snickered as he teased “Why because you’re a messy drinker?” Jack stuck his tongue out at Ethan as he said “As if you’re any better.”

 

Ethan and Jack were about to try and down their bottles all in one when a loud shout startled them both “WE’RE HERE MARK!” Jack turned to see Bob, Wade and Felix standing at the front door, they saw Jack and Ethan and Wade rubbed the back of his neck “Er… Bad time?” Jack shook his head smiling “Not at all! Mark and Tyler and just making sure the cameras are set up properly outside.” Ethan smiled sheepishly as Felix said “Wait there are two…” Ethan nodded his head “Yeah, but I’m not a brave as Jack is to openly admit it… There’s still a lot of people who don’t trust vampires.” Jack nodded as he said “I know but… I put myself in a position where I had to talk about it… It’s not like I can hide it forever, I did well to hide it for this long.” Bob looked on with a raised eyebrow as he said “So… How long have you been a vampire… If it’s okay to ask?” Jack chuckled a little as he said “I ‘turned’ on my sixteenth birthday… Vampires are born human, and during puberty thats when they turn. And to do that your heart stops beating… It’s not fun…” Bob, Wade and Felix looked on wide eyed “Wait your heart-” Jack cut them off “Yeah, no pulse or heart-beat…” Felix bit his lip before he said “Can I… Test it?” Jack snorted a little but nodded “Yeah, if you want, check the pulse point in my wrist.” Jack held his arm out in front of him.

 

Felix walked over to Jack. Bob and Wade following a little behind, Felix placed his first two fingers against Jack’s wrist and waited, he moved his fingers around trying to find a pulse, but failed each time. Felix blinked a couple times as he said “Woah… Thats freaky…” Jack nodded his head a little as he said “Kind of… Although I think thats the tamest reaction I’ve had.” Felix shrugged as he said “Well you already admitted to being a vampire and knowing any vampire lore… Yeah, I kind of assumed.”

 

Jack looked on with a raised eyebrow as he said “By ‘vampire lore’ do you mean the shit you hear in films? Because half of that is false.” Bob, Wade and Felix all looked intrigued. Jack laughed softly “Well, I’ll go with the most obvious ones, I’m not immortal… I mean vampires normally live to be about 100-140. But it’s not like I’ll live forever and illnesses and wounds can be fatal just like they can for anyone else. Erm… I eat normal food as well as needing blood, I can’t run all that fast, I sleep it’s not like I just never have to sleep. Er… My sense of hearing and sense of smell are stronger than a humans, but that's more for hunting than anything else… I’m stronger than a human but like… Not a lot stronger? If that makes sense, it’s hard to explain.”

 

Bob, Wade and Felix listened intently. By the time Jack had finished talking Mark and Tyler walked in and said “Okay, everything's set up, the water balloons are ready. Lets shoot a video.” Jack smiled as he punched the air cheering “LETS DO IT!” Ethan and Jack looked at each other glancing at the bottles of blood they were about to drink before Bob, Wade and Felix showed. Ethan smirked as he said “As we were saying, bottoms up!” Jack and Ethan raised their bottles to their lips and began to drink the liquid.

 

Mark rolled his eyes as he said “Why is it a competition between you two of who can drink their bottle quicker?” Jack finished first as he smirked at Mark, unbeknownst to the vampire his fangs were extended “Because... We can! It’s fun. It’s not like we’re actually fighting over it.” Mark snickered a little as he said “I’ll never understand it.” Ethan finished putting bottle down on the counter as he said “Watch the fangs Jack, you might bite your lip.” Jac’s tongue ran over his fangs looking surprised before he smiled sheepishly “Hehe… I didn’t notice, you should watch yours as well.” Ethan chuckled as he said “It happens whenever you taste blood, whether it’s from someone or from a bottle, it’s like a natural reaction.” Jack looked at Ethan with a raised eyebrow as he asked “Really?” Ethan nodded. Jack shrugged “Huh? I actually didn’t know that.” Ethan chuckled as he said “Well now you do!”

 

Jack looked to Mark as he said “Is a water balloon fight your idea of a fun video or an excuse for a water balloon fight?” Mark shrugged as he answered “A little bit of both.” Jack rolled his eyes before he kissed Marks cheek. Tyler snickered as he said “I thought it was your excuse to see Jack shirtless.” Mark blushes and Jack looked at him with a smirk and a raised eyebrow “Oh yeah?” Mark shook his head as he said defensively “No! No… After all, you’ll burn in the sun if you have your t-shirt off…” Jack rolled his eyes as he said “So long as I wear sunscreen I’ll be fine Mark.” Ethan nodded as he said “Yeah, it’s not like in Dracula films and shit where he’ll turn to ash.” Mark shook his head as he said “I know that. I just… I worry.”

 

Jack smiled sweetly as he said “I know you do Mark, but I know my limitations, however… If this is your excuse to get my shirt off, you take yours off as well.” Tyler and Ethan fake gagged as they said “Get a room! Not in front of us.” Mark kissed Jack’s cheek as he said “Lets just get outside and record the video already.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack laughed a little at the memory, the water balloon fight had been fun, it was still one of his favorite videos that he’d ever recorded.

 

Although… The aftermath was not fun…

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark did his outro and turned off the camera’s. Jack was saying that he could feel himself beginning to over-heat so he was going to head inside and cool down.

 

Jack was getting a glass of water for everyone, putting ice cubes in the glasses to make sure the water would be nice and cool. His green hair was still a little wet from the water balloon fight.

 

“Put the camera in my work room Ty, I’ll have a look at the footage later.”

 

Jack turned to see Mark entering the room, he smiled as Mark turned to look at him, but Mark’s eyes widened as he said “Oh my god Jack!” Jack was confused as Mark rushed to his side looking concerned “Mark what- AH!” Jack yelped in pain when Mark placed a hand against his skin, he looked down and… Oh dear… His skin was bright red, sun burnt. Jack moved across the kitchen quickly picking up the bottle of sun lotion he’d used looking at the back of the bottle. His eyes widened as he said aloud “Warning… Not waterproof…” Jack looked to Mark and Mark was shaking his head “You didn’t check that before!” Jack gave a sheepish smile as he said “Hehe… Eh… Whoops…” Mark shook his head as he said “I think I have Aleo rub in the first-aid kit, that should help with the burns…”

 

Jack smiled softly at Mark as he said “Thanks babe.” Mark left to go get the first-aid kit while Jack stayed in the kitchen. It actually didn’t take Mark long to return with the first-aid kit, he took the Aleo rub from the kit and got a cloth to rub it in with as he looked at Jack “Ready?” Jack nodded his head as he said “Yeah and before you say anything, I know it's going to hurt a little, don’t pay attention to any of my protests.” Mark shook his head as he said “If it’s bad tell me, we can do it in stages.” Jack rolled his eyes as he said “It’s just a little sunburn.” Mark began to run the Aleo lotion in, Jack hissed a little flinching slightly, Mark paused for a moment but he continue to rub the Aleo lotion across Jack’s skin trying to soothe his burns.

 

Mark was careful as he rubbed the lotion into Jack’s skin, he took his time and apologised every time Jack would flinch or hiss. Mark helped Jack pull his t-shirt back on and kisses his cheek “There we go, sorted and we’ll put some more on before bed.” Jack smiled softly as he kisses Mark lips and whispered “Thanks babe. What would I do without you?” Mark snickered as he said “Suffer from your own stupidity. Hears your lesson, always read the label and make sure your sunscreen is waterproof.”

 

And of course, night came quickly, Jack was getting ready for bed when Mark came into the room with the Aleo  rub. Mark applied the Aleo rub carefully, once Jack’s burns where covered again Jack laid down on the bed. With Jack laid down Mark climbed onto the bed next to Jack, leaning over him, Mark began to lay gentle kisses against the burns on Jack’s chest. Everytime Mark kisses Jack’s burns, he could taste the Aloe rub… It didn’t taste nice. “Ew… Note to self Aleo vera doesn’t taste nice.” Jack looked at Mark as he said “You thought it would taste nice?” Mark laid another gentle kiss against Marks chest and pulled a face from the taste. Jack snickered as he said "If it tastes bad why try again, it doesn't change taste."

 

"I don't knoooow." Mark playfully whines in response giving Jack’s chest another kiss and once again grimacing at the taste, Jack cupped Mark cheek kissing his forehead softly as he said "If it tastes bad don't do it, kiss me instead goober." Mark hummed looking up at Jack as he said "But I'm kissing your wounds better." Jack’s thumb rubbed against Mark’s cheek as he said "But if it tastes bad you shouldn't do it. You can just kiss my lips instead.” Mark seemed to consider what Jack said as he said "Will it make you feel better?" Jack laughed softly nuzzling against Mark as he replied "Any affection from you will help me feel better." Mark pauses, pretending to consider this before kissing Jack. His lips taste like Aloe and Jack can taste it when Mark kisses him. Jack pulls away grimacing as he said  "Ugh, aloe does taste bad." Mark laughed when Jack cringed as he agreed "It’s so gross!"

 

Jack stuck his tongue out as he nodded in agreement "Bad Aleo.” but that only made the taste get on Jack’s lips, he groaned as he said “Ewww! Really bad Aloe.” Mark snickered as he said “You didn’t think that through did you?” Jack shakes his head but he’s s laughing at himself "Ya know I act more than I actually think Mark."

 

"And look where that got you!" Mark teased "I'll have you know not thinking gets me into all sorts of situations, I have never learnt my lesson yet!" Mark snickered as he playfully scolded the other"Well learn damnit!!"

 

"NEVER!" Jack cheered giggling, Mark looked at Jack trying to hide his smirk as he said "I would smack you if you weren’t covered in burns from your thoughtlessness.” Jack folded his arms as he said rather proudly "I will never learn! I will forever be clueless." "DAMNIT JACK" Mark half heartedly yelled. Jack laughed softly as he patted his eyelids at Mark and cooed "But you love me for it."

 

"Mmm... I don't know if I love that you get yourself into these situations... Unless they're funny of course!"

 

"They're always funny." Jack said with a snicker "I've never done anything really harmful, its normally just really dumb. Thats makes it funny!" Mark gently flicked Jack's red skin "I can't really argue with that. Though those burn may.” Jack let out a soft yelp before he said "Touche" Mark snickered as he kissed Mark’s lips before grimacing “Ewww!!! Aloe lips!” Jack snickered as he said “Love ya too Markimoo.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack remember just how much he cared for Mark. How much Mark cared for him… And it all extended beyond that, all of Jack’s friends cared for him, even Ethan and Tyler. Jack’s family cared for him. And… Jack had been taking that for granted before, since his capture it would’ve been easy for all of Jack’s friends and family to call him a lost cause and turn their backs on him. But they hadn’t, they were still by his side, still supporting him, even his friends that weren’t able to travel to Ireland, they messaged him at least once a week.

 

Jack remembered all the happy times, with friends and family. All the times at conventions meeting fans, hearing stories… Fun things… He wanted to do that again. He knew that right now those sorts of things weren’t an option, he could only just hug Mark… But maybe in time, if he could get through his recovery… Maybe he could have times like that again…

 

He could get better right? If he worked on his physiotherapy, did some more walking and some of the exercises that his doctors had advised him. There was the medication that he had as well… He didn’t like the thought of medication, let alone taking it for a long time. But he knew it would help… And Mark was supporting him.

 

He couid get better, if not for himself, for Mark, his his family, for his friends… For his fans. For everyone who had ever cared about him or relied on him.

Chapter Text

 

The next morning, Mark showed up alone. He brought two coffee’s as he normally did. Mark smiled softly as he set Jack’s coffee down “Morning Jack.” Jack’s lips curled up a little as he said “Heya Mark…” Mark sat himself down taking a sip of his coffee, Chica wasn’t with him at the moment, but Jack knew that Chica had already started her training and she would come by later.

 

Jack took a sip of his own coffee as he said “I was thinking last night… About before… Like… About us…” Mark looked at Jack with a raised eyebrow “Before?” Jack nodded his head “R-Remember the water balloon fight video?” Mark smirked a little laughing “Yeah, I remember that. You and your sunburn.” Jack snickered weakly “Yeah… I was thinking about that. And the bad Aleo.”

 

Mark smiled fondly at the memories as he said “Yeah, at least you actually did learn to read the labels on bottles.” Jack snickered as he said “Yeah, I never got sunburn after that… I-I want to be able to do stuff like that again. T-To have fun with friends…” Mark nodded his head as he said “I never expected any less from you Jack, you’re an outgoing person. You like people.” Jack let out a sigh “I used to be… Mark I can’t even walk around the hospital without worrying that someone is trying to hurt me… I’m not gonna be the person  I used to be.”

 

Mark looked at Jack as he said “Well… That really depends on you, if you tell yourself you’re not going to get better. You won’t. It’s probably hard, but you need to think positively, about your situation adn about yourself.”

 

Jack watched Mark as he spoke, listened to what he said, Mark was right. He had to positive… But what was there to be positive about, he let out a sigh “The only thing I can think of that is ‘positive’ about this situation is that I’m not dead… If you can call that positive…” Jack remembered wanting to die, sometimes he still did. He remembered laying in the basement coming in and out of consciousness, wishing that he could go to sleep and never wake up, wishing his torment was over… He would never tell Mark he wanted to die, he’d never tell anyone that he did… That sometimes he still wanted to die.

 

Mark frowned a little as he said “There’s more to be positive about, you’re alive, you’re healing, your family and friends support you fully, your fans are always sending you their best wishes, wanting you to have a swift recovery because they care about you… And while what happened was terrible, you’ll come out of his stronger. I know you will Jack, because thats who you are.”

 

Jack couldn’t really see the positive side of things, but he wouldn’t tell Mark that. Mark worried enough about him, Jack didn’t want to give him more reason to worry. He let out a sigh pulling his legs to his chest “Guess… I just had a rough night and it’s still affecting me… I’ll be…” he wouldn’t say ‘back to normal’ he wouldn’t say ‘okay’ because he knew he wouldn’t “...I’ll get better as the day goes on…” he missed off ‘and have another rough night bringing me back to square one’.

 

Dammit, it was only last night he was promising himself he’d try to be more positive. He looked up at Mark and forced a grin as he said “I will get better.” the words were almost robotic, there was no sincerity behind them no matter how much he’d tried to sound genuine.

 

Mark nearly reeled back from the smile alone, it was so obviously fake, nothing like Seán… And nothing like ‘Jacksepticeye’ . Mark knew that ‘Jacksepticeye’ was still Seán, but it was an exaggerated persona, a character Seán was the personal side to Jack the side that his family and friends saw, the man he was away from a camera. ‘Jacksepticeye’ was the loud irishman on camera, no worries or doubts, no insecurities, he’s confident in everything he does, he’s crazy and silly and people love him for it. Seán was loud, but ‘ Jacksepticeye ’ was louder. Seán had a smile that could light up the room, ‘ Jacksepticeye ’ had a smile that was infectious to all those who saw it…

 

The smile that Jack gave him, was a ‘Anti-Jack’ as you could get. And what Jack said… Mark wanted to cry. Those words were so forced that it always almost painful to hear them. But Mark knew he couldn't mention it, he didn’t want to freak Jack out. He didn’t want Jack to think he’d done wrong. Jack hadn’t done anything wrong. Not really… It was just how forced Jack’s smile and Jack’s words had been that had bothered Mark.  

 

Jack let out a sigh as he said “Why d’ya even still believe in me Mark… I’m just a lost cause.” Mark’s eyes widened as he said “What!? Jack you’re not a lost cause! And I still believe in you because I love you.” Jack looks at Mark for a moment, crimson eyes studying the american. Silence filled the room as Jack looked Mark over.

 

After a moment Jack mumbled “What if I told you I’d killed someone?” Mark was silent for a moment “I-I… You told me you’ve never killed anyone, I remember because when I first found out you were a vampire I asked if the bite was fatal.” Jack grimaced “I don’t mean before… I mean… When I was with the hunters.” Mark was silent as he processed what Jack was saying, if Jack was trying to tell him that at some point he killed one of his captors, Mark wouldn’t care. That sounded bad, but after what Jack went through Mark couldn’t even pretend to feel bad for any of them. As far as he was concerned they all deserved to die. However he knew he had to answer Jack “That's… Kind of vague Jack, what…” he paused rethinking what he was about to say “Do you want to talk about it…”

 

Jack was silent for a moment as he stared dead-eyed at the bed. He remembered what he’d done, he would never forget it. He remembered Aedan. The man who’d done nothing to him… The man he’d killed for no reason. He swallowed thickly as he said “It was… About half way between being taken and being released… Chr-... The leader of the group came down to see me and told me he had a surprise… Two of the others brought this guy down and locked us in the basement. The guy was banging on the door asking to be let out. I felt sorry for him and tried to tell him that begging didn’t help, that they didn’t listen. Apparently, they double as a loan company and he’d missed a couple payments so they kidnapped him brought him to wherever they held me. When they threw him into the basement they told him I was what happened to debtors that didn’t pay…” Jack paused for a moment licking his lips before continuing “... I told him he’d be safe… I found out his name was Aedan, we talked a little… I decided to pass time by sleeping… The next time the leader came down he started cutting Aedan with a knife… I was s-starving and… I-it doesn’t excuse me… D-Doesn’t make things better. I-I… I-I…” Jack choked back a sob and closed his eyes, he began to pull his hair as he whispered “I didn’t want to… He was screaming… And bleeding… And begging… Telling me to kill him… The the leader said… Said hhe’d keep cutting him… And Adean was still begging… P-Pleading with me to kill him… And I… I-I…” Jack shook his head tears rolling down his eyes “I KILLED HIM! And I hate myself for it! Adean had friends and a family and I killed him for no reason… The hunters were right all a wrong. I’m a monster! I deserved everything they did to me! They were teaching me to be good, so I didn’t hurt anyone anymore… I-I… I killed that man Mark…”

 

Mark was shocked… He didn’t think he knew the whole story so he wouldn’t jump to conclusions. For a moment Mark was just silent and still trying to process the whole story or at least what Jack had been able to talk about. But Mark realised that Jack was crying. He had to do something to calm Jack down. Without thinking Mark immediately tried to wrap his arms around Jack. But the vampire pulled away with a distressed whimper. Mark stopped himself as he quickly apologised “I’m sorry Jack! I-I didn’t think!” Jack pulled himself into a ball still crying as he murmured “I killed that man… And I hate myself for it…” Mark bit his lip as he said “I don’t know the full story… So I can’t really say anything about what happened, but… I know you Jack. You wouldn’t have done something like that unless you were pushed to breaking point… And… I’m not going to say that it was okay or that it wasn’t okay. Because I don’t know the full story. But I will tell you that…” he paused trying to think about his words carefully “... I’ll tell you that, the lead hunter was hurting that man right? And I assume that he would’ve kept cutting till the man died?” Jack nodded his head “C-C… The lead hunter promised if I didn’t kill him… He would… But it doesn’t make things better!” Mark let out a sigh “The lead hunter was going to kill him… As awful as it sounds, you did Aedan a favour… He didn’t feel as much pain… You ‘helped’ in a way… And it was bad what happened okay? But I can tell you feel guilty, like you said you hate that it happened. I know that even if it happened before it won’t happen again and that's the important thing.”

 

Jack was still sobbing, his head in his lap. But he was listening to what Mark was saying. But the fact that he was crying made him feel guilty. What right did he have to cry after what he did? Mark was trying to assure him that while what happened was bad, he said he knew it wouldn’t happen again. But how could Mark be so sure? Granted Jack didn’t want to do it, he had tried to hold himself back, he’d tried not to hurt Aedan. To ignore his urges and ignore what the hunters were saying. But he hadn’t, he’d given in to his urges, given in to the hunters and attacked Aedan.

 

Mark placed his hand on the bed in front of Jack, offering the support but not forcing himself on the vampire “I promise you Seán, it’s okay, I… Like I said I don’t blame you… I don’t know the full story. But I know you! I know what you’re like, you wouldn’t have done something like that because you could. It was an accident or you were forced into it… No one can blame you again. And because I know it won’t happen again, I won’t hold it against you.”

 

For a moment Jack stayed curled up. But he was listening, this wasn’t panic, he was still aware of everything going on. This was guilt, plain and simple. He felt terrible for what he’d done. He noticed Marks hands, presented to him palms facing upwards. This was one of the ways Mark had started offering support in. It was up to Jack if he ignored the offer or accepted it. It took him a while but he did eventually unfold himself and place his hands on top of Marks, threading their fingers together holding Marks hands. Mark smiled softly, his thumbs rubbing gently against Jack’s skin.

 

Mark stared at their hands for a while, tears rolled down his cheeks but they were slowing down as he slowly pulled himself together. Marks thumb kept rubbing against Jack’s skin, it was comforting.

 

He was silent for a while, just staring at their hands, but Mark wouldn’t force him to talk. Jack didn’t look up, but Mark heard what he said, his voice was a whisper, a desperate whisper “Please… You can’t tell anyone what I told you.”

 

Mark nodded his head as he said “It’s okay. I won’t tell anyone. But, I am glad that you told me… That you talked about it. Have you told your therapist?” Jack was silent and still for a moment before he shook his head “...No… I know she tries her best but… I know she doesn’t really trust me… I can’t tell her that. She’ll label me as a monster… I wouldn’t blame her…” Mark let out a sigh as he said “You’re not a monster Jack, no matter what happened.” Jack didn’t argue. But Mark could tell that Jack didn’t agree with what he’d said.

Jack had always struggled with accepting himself as a vampire, before his capture Mark had helped him through his doubts and worries, most of which were completely unfounded and unnecessary. Jack used to always say that he was a monster, because of the way he had to live, because he had to rely on blood. Mark had helped Jack by reminding him that, Jack didn’t hurt humans, he hunted animals most the time and when he did take blood from humans, it was humans who had offered, like his mother, his brothers, his sister, even Mark. They all offered, it was never forced and his bite wasn’t painful.

 

From what Mark could tell, the hunters had completely demolished Jack’s view of himself, they’d made Jack see himself as a monster, made Jack believe that the treatment he’d endured had been ‘training for his own good’. It would take a long time to get through that. Mark knew that. And he would never blame Jack for it. He blamed the hunters, and he swore to himself that he would make them pay.

 

However, he wouldn’t get too caught up in his own thoughts, he would focus on Jack.

 

Jack let out a sigh as he mumbled “I should have a shower… I also have to see my physiotherapist today.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Robin is gonna visit tonight… I have to see my therapist during visiting hours, do you want me to come tonight and stay with you over night or just come in the morning?” Jack shrugged as he replied “Whatever…”

 

That wasn’t really and answer, Mark thought for a moment as he said “I’ll be back tonight.” Jack nodded his head silently.

Chapter Text

Mark returned to Jack that night after his visit to his therapist. The doctor meant well, Mark knew that. But she always said the said things:

You have to let Seán became independent again,
You can’t always be there for Seán,
You have to look after yourself,
Don’t bottle up your feelings,
You can’t live by what-ifs...

But she didn’t understand. No one did.

Mark had been over 5’000 miles away, unable to do anything to find Jack or aid Jack’s family. Mark had been forced to wait four months to find out if his boyfriend, the man he loved was even alive. Of course, Jack’s family understood, somewhat, Oisin and Ciara had waited four months to find out if they would ever see their son again, Malcolm, Lauren, Susan, and Kalen had waited four months to find out if their baby brother was okay. But it was the distance that bothered Mark. Why had he been so far away, he should have been closer, he and Jack should have been together.

Mark always wondered what would have happened. He could imagine it. Jack telling Mark that he was going out to hunt, Mark wishing his boyfriend luck. After two or three hours, worry would have taken over Mark and he would’ve ventured out of the house to look for Jack… Two or three hours, maybe there was the chance of finding Jack or at least alerting Oisin to Jack’s disappearance earlier, allowing the vampire to follow his sons scent. Because that had been the problem, by the time Lauren had realized Jack was missing, the scent was old and hard to follow. If the scent had only been a couple hours old, they could have followed it. Maybe they could have even found Jack and rescued him before his torture.

Mark let out a sigh as he made his way onto the ward. He and Jack had discussed living together, Jack didn’t want to leave Ireland, didn’t want to leave his family. And at the time Mark didn’t want to leave America or leave his family. Now… Mark wished he’d left American, that he hadn’t been as stubborn. Hell now Mark was actually actively looking around for a little two bedroomed house in Ireland! Whether Jack moved with him or they lived in separate houses, they’d still be closer. Mark wouldn’t feel as helpless if Jack somehow disappeared again.

Mark was about to knock on the door when he heard Rose’s voice “He’s already asleep.” Mark turned his head to see Rose walking down the hall “He fell asleep before his physiotherapy and we decided to just let him sleep.” Mark nodded his head a little.

Rose folded her arms across her chest looking into the room “I… I had a little spare time today and I watched some of his youtube videos, the more you know your patient the better you can treat them... “ she looked at Jack through the window, sympathy in her eyes “They really did break him down didn’t they?” Mark nodded his head “He was so outgoing, he was known for being loud and energetic and bubbly, he was a five-year-old in a thirty-year-olds body… He could be serious as well, like when he played games about depression or anxiety or cancer… He wasn’t afraid to be emotional on camera… Talking about his family… And even behind closed doors, when it was just us, he was affectionate, always wanting to be held or wanting to be close.” Mark chuckled a little “His favorite thing to do was to grab a blanket and some snacks… We’d lay on the couch me first and Jack snuggled close with the blanket laid over us. The more he relaxed and made himself comfortable, the closer he try to get, by the end of the night his head would be buried against my pulse point… He’d be asleep by that point and I’d just let him… We’d sleep on the couch and complain about being stiff the next morning.”

Rose smiled a little as she said “I can totally see him being like that… It can happen again, he can be like that again.” Mark let out a sigh his gaze moving away as he said “So people keep telling me…” Mark looked back to Rose to see her gaze moved back to the window, Jack shifted a little in his sleep but he still looked peaceful “... I won’t lie… Getting him back won’t be easy. It will take a while… But he can… He WILL come back.” Mark looked through the window. When Jack was asleep he looked even more sickly than when he was awake, but when he was asleep he was calm for a while, he wasn’t worried about being attacked or threatened or forced to do something. He didn’t have to worry about his ‘training’ or about his torture. Sometimes Mark wished that Jack could sleep his way through recovery. But realistically, he knew that Jack couldn’t.

Rose nudged Mark as she said “You can go in and sleep next to him if you want. I’m working night-shift tonight so you’ll be able to find me if you need to.” Mark nodded his head giving Rose a kind smile “If he wakes up during the night I’ll probably come find you, he seems to like talking to you. And having someone else around when he’s panicking seems to help somewhat.” Rose nodded as she said “He reacts to women better than men. From what we’ve gathered all the hunters who had him were male, so he associate's men with his treatment.”

Mark nodded his head as he opened the door. Rose left as Mark entered the room. The American was quiet as he crept across the room and sat on one of the chairs. He sat down and closed his eyes when he heard a soft voice call “M’rk?” Mark opened his eyes to see Jack staring at him, crimson eyes seeming to be the only visible thing in the dark room. He let out a sigh as he said “Sorry for waking you Jack.” Jack’s gaze moved away “I woke up on my own…” Mark was unconvinced but tried not to let it show. There was a pause between the two and Mark heard Jack moving on the bed “D’ya wanna join me? It can’t be comfortable sleeping in the chair.” Mark shrugged as he said “It’s fine.”

Jack shrugged as he replied “It’s fine if you want to. I’m offering.” Mark licked his lip, thinking for a moment “Do you want me to sleep with you?” there was a pause as Jack seemed to considered what Mark said, after a few moments the vampire replied “...Yeah… But your comfort and what you want to do counts just as much as mine! If you don’t want to sle-” Mark cut Jack off as he said “Why wouldn’t I want to?” Jack was silent for a moment before he shrugged as he mumbled his reply “I don’t know…” Mark looked at Jack as he said “You know I would never say no to you, especially when you’re asking if I want to sleep with you. However, I want to know if you want me to sleep with you.”

Jack didn’t look up at Mark but he did nod his head “I wouldn’t have offered if I didn’t want you too… Or if I was worried…” the answer was mumbled again, but Mark put that down to the fact that Jack had probably woken from a bad dream, or woken in a panic because he heard Mark enter the room.

Jack patted the bed, a signal for Mark to join him. Mark stood up and made his way over to the bed laying down, he was facing Jack. Jack pulled himself closer to Mark and buried his head against the human's pulse point. Mark laid an arm over Jack’s back, he wasn’t holding or grabbing, his arm was just laid over Jack. Jack could very easily pull away if he wanted to.

Jack let out a sigh as he mumbled “I’m sorry for being so difficult all the time.” Mark shushed Jack as he said “After what you went through, you don’t need to apologize.” Jack looked up at Mark as he said “I know if I tell my therapist anything they tell you and my family… I ask her too… I-I struggle to talk about it. I don’t think I could tell you or my family about the stuff I went through... “ Mark licked his lips weighing his options, Jack had recently been asked if he wanted one of the nurses to cut his hair, it was then he’d admitted that he didn’t want anyone to touch his hair, because he was afraid that if they accidentally tugged at his hair he’d panic and think that the hunters were using him again.

Mark’s hand moved to Jack’s head, running his fingers through the vampire's hair, somehow avoiding the knots and managing not to tug on Jack’s hair. For a moment, the vampire was tense, his breath hitching in his throat. But it only lasted for a moment, Mark’s touch was gentle and comforting, there was no force and he was careful not to accidentally pull, it had to be some form of miracle that he didn’t pull.

They laid like this for a while, Jack seeming to relax some in Marks' arms.

In moments like this, it was almost like before. Nights in L.A when Jack would visit or late at night when they retired to their hotel room at a convention. In moments like this Mark could imagine himself and Jack flopping back into bed and laying there, appreciating just having each other.

Mark noticed the sound of Jack breathing calmly, his chest pressed against Mark’s rising and falling. Jack had fallen asleep. Mark pressed a gentle kiss against Jack’s forehead as he whispered “I love you Seán.”

~~~~____~~~~

Mark woke up early that morning, he made his way downstairs, Jack’s apartment… And no Jack. Mark let out a sigh making his way into the kitchen, he put the kettle on to boil as he grabbed himself a mug.

Mark made a coffee and took a sip from the mug. He looked around as he set his mug on the counter. Mark noticed a figure outside the front door, because of the distance between the kitchen and the front door, he couldn’t make out who it was. Mark watched for a moment, maybe it was the mailman?

After a moment there was a knock on the door and the figure seemed to disappear.

Curiosity overcoming him, Mark made his way over to the door, turning the key and opening it. There was a cage left in front of the door. A curled up form trying to hide within the metal bars. Mark crouched down a little trying to see what was inside. His eyes widened and he recognized those eyes, even if they were red, not his usual inviting blue. Mark would know that face anywhere “Jack?” the form in the cage shifted, moving to look. Other than that there was no real reaction. Mark noticed a note next to the cage, he picked up the piece of paper and read it.

To whoever finds me,
You have no need to worry about me. I’ve been trained, I’m a good-boy now.
Ready to serve my master.
Please look after me.

Mark looked back at the form in the cage, he’d shifted position now, he was sat on all four, looking and Mark silent yet expectantly. Now that he was facing Mark, the American could see scars littered across Jack’s body, two of the most notable a heart shape carved into his chest and the words ‘baby-boy’ on his side. Mark just stared silently unable to work out how he should react.

When Mark was silent, Jack crawled over to the bar his frail hand left the confines of the cage bars as he reached towards Mark and placed his hand on top of the American's. In a voice that was less than a whisper, Jack said “Master?” seeing how Jack looked up at him, words rolled out of the American mouth without thought “It’s okay Jackyboy. I’m here for you.” Marks' hand reached into the cage, hand cupping Jack’s cheek. Jack nuzzled against Marks' hand purring.

Mark saw a key on a rope around Jack’s neck, he took the key and tried it on the lock of the cage, hearing the lock click. Mark opened the cage door. Jack crawled out of the cage before sitting in front of Mark nuzzling against him affectionately. There was glazed look to Jack’s eyes as he said robotically “I’m so happy to see you master.” a shiver made it way up Mark’s spine and in his mind, he was pulling away and telling Jack to stop. But apparently, his body had other ideas. He was petting Jack, like an animal. Telling the vampire how good he was, using that nickname “Such a good boy aren’t you, well-done baby-boy.”

Mark was horrified, fighting to try and break free of whatever this was, to assure Jack he didn’t need to do this, that Jack was safe and he didn’t have to talk like that, didn’t have to act like that. But his body was encouraging the behavior.

~~~~____~~~~

Jack woke feeling something against him shudder, noticing whimpers and sobs. It was different and it confused him, his eyes fluttered open to see Mark shaking in his sleep, he was tense and sobbing softly tear rolling down his eyes. Jack wanted to help, Mark was upset and he wanted to do something, he nuzzled against Mark as he said “Mark?”

The American let out a muffled whimper. Jack tried again, moving his head to nuzzle against Mark’s neck as he whispered close to the American ear “Mark?” Mark shook his head as he whimpered. But there was something said. Something that made Jack freeze “Good baby-boy…” Jack shuddered noticing tears coming to his eyes. Why would Mark say that? Mark wouldn’t… Mark was his master… No, he wasn’t! Mark was his BOYFRIEND and Mark needed help.

Pushing thoughts and worries back, Jack nudge Mark with his hand “Mark?” he called a little louder. Mark started clinging to Jack’s t-shirt and Jack’s nerves flared as his mind screamed, he’s going to take your top off, you’re going to be venerable again, Jack shook those thoughts away when Mark choked on a sob. Mark was panicking, he wasn’t trying to do anything. Hell Mark was still asleep!

Jack realizing that nudging Mark wasn’t getting him anywhere, clung to Mark, holding him firmly as he said “Please Mark. Please, it’s okay.”

Mark’s eyes opened quickly, he could feel something holding him, he was clinging to… Mark’s gaze moved to see he was clinging to Jack “Please Mark stop… Please stop…” Jack whimpered. Jack was hoping that he was getting through Mark, hoping to help him. However, all he seemed to do was make things worse. Mark quickly pulled away from Jack he was yelling telling Jack “No! No! No! Stay back! Don’t touch me!” In Marks panic to get away, Mark fell off the bed with a thud.

Already Jack could hear footsteps making their way up the corridor quickly as Rose called “I’m coming Seán!” Jack climbed off the bed and sat on the floor. But Mark was backing away, Jack was still trying to help, he placed his hand in front of him palms up like Mark always did as Jack said calmly “It’s okay Mark, I promise it’s okay.”

Mark, however, shook his head frantically as he said “No! No! It’s not okay. You need to stop Seán.” Jack swallowed thickly “Mas-...” Jack had to correct himself “Mark ple-” but Mark cut him off yelling “No! I’m not! Don’t call me that Seán.” Jack let out a whimper, but he needed to help Mark “S-Sorry Mark I… I slipped up, I didn’t mean it. I know you’re not, but please Mark, please… I want to help.” Mark shook his head pulling himself away from Jack “You don’t need to!” Jack let out a sigh as he said “I know I don’t have to! I want to Mark.”

“Why?!” the American practically barked. Jack was taken back by the tone, but he refused to let his own panic take over “Because you're my boyfriend Mark. I care about you. You’re my BOYFRIEND… I-I didn’t mean to say the other thing okay? I’m sorry that I did… But Mark please trust me, trust me when I tell you it’s okay.” Rose knocked on the door and Jack turned to see her enter with a tray carrying three cups of tea. However, she seemed surprised to see that Mark was the one panicking.

Jack turned his attention back to Mark as he shuffled a little closer speaking softly “Look Mark. I’m okay… Whatever is wrong, I want to help you with it.” Mark watched Jack… He seemed sincere, he noticed the offered hands and slowly Mark reached for them.

Feeling Mark’s hands rest on his own Jack smiled softly “That's great Mark! It is… What… Can I ask what was wrong?” Mark let out a sigh refusing to meet the Irishman's gaze “I had a bad dream… It’s nothing.” Jack was not convinced as he said “Is it okay when I have a bad dream? We both know that it’s not… What happened?” Mark shook his head. He wouldn’t answer, couldn’t. He didn’t think it would help.

But Jack was persistent, he shuffled closer to Mark and cupped his cheek, there was a hint of hesitation in Jack’s eyes. But the main emotion was the concern he held, Jack was concerned about Mark.

Mark pulled away and pushed Jack’s hand away “N-No… Jack no. You don’t have to!” Jack nodded as he said “I know that I don’t. I wanted to. You’re my boyfriend Mark and I love you. I want to help you.” Mark shook his head again curling up into a ball. Jack let out a sigh as he said “You… You used that nick-name… What… What was going on?” Mark glanced up at Jack trying to judge the vampires currently mental state. He looked calm, well… He wasn’t panicking, he was clearly concerned. Mark licked his lips “My nightmares are different to yours Jack… I… I don’t want to upset you…”

Jack shrugged as he said “Mark. I’ve upset you more times than I care to count… I know I have. Listening to you talk about your nightmare is the least I can do.” Mark shook his head. But again, Jack was not going to give up that easy “Please Mark… I won’t force you, just like you don’t force me… But I want to help… I just can’t help if you don’t tell me whats wrong.”

Mark let out a sigh “My nightmare…” the American hesitated. Jack’s nightmares were about his torture, Jack’s nightmares made him relive actual events. Mark’s nightmares were different, he wouldn’t admit that this wasn’t the first time he’d had a nightmare. Mark had nightmares, most the time his nightmares included Mark finding Jack’s dead body… However after the first time, Jack called him master, Mark kept dreaming about different situations where he went along with that the hunters had trained Jack for. He was thankful that he’d never had any sexual dreams. Mark would die if he ever had a nightmare about that sort of thing. But he did dream about treating Jack like an animal, using the nickname that the hunters had given him, referring to him as a ‘pet’. Mark knew logically he would never do it. Never even consider it. But his brain didn’t seem to care. All his brain cared about was what he’d been presented with, it used fact to create fictional situations. Ones that horrified Mark.

Jack didn’t rush Mark. He waited for the American to talk. But Mark feels silent gaze moving to the floor. Jack placed a hand on Mark’s knee, giving Mark a small smile as he said “It’s okay Mark. I’m here and I’m listening.” Mark swallowed thickly “It… It’s bad Jack… And I know what happened in the dream would never… NEVER really happen but…” Jack placed his finger against Marks' lips as he said “I’m getting a few ideas from what you’re saying… So I want you to know that I trust you, I know you’d never hurt me.”

“I wasn’t hurting you…” I was treating you like a pet, I was calling you ‘baby-boy’ treating you the way the hunters would want. Went unsaid. Mark shuddered. But once again Jack persisted “Mark I’m okay. I’m asking you to tell me because I know that no matter what happened in your dream. You’d never hurt me.” `Mark released a breath as he said “Okay so… Apparently, in the dream I was the only one at your apartment when you got dumped… And you were in a cage and there was a note from the hunters talking about how they ‘trained’ you and how… How they wanted you to act… And…” Mark bit his lip pausing. But Jack didn’t rush him.

So far Jack was still calm, Mark was glad that he was still calm. After a moment Mark started speaking again “... They left that note and… I didn’t want to… I was trying to get myself to stop but… I was going along with what they would’ve done… Using that nickname for you… Petting your head and telling you that you were ‘good’... And I hated it! I didn’t want to! I didn’t I swear!” Jack nodded his head not hesitating for a moment as he tried to reassure the other “I get it Mark. You wouldn’t do that I know you wouldn’t… And I know I’m guilty of sometimes falling back into that mindset… C-Calling you Master and… Yeah… Let's not go into it… Point is, I know you wouldn’t do that, I trust you Mark and it's because I trust you, that you were asleep next to me, that I’m still sat with you, that I’m this close you… For fuck sakes Mark, I can’t even get this close to my father! That should tell you something about the level of trust you have.”

Mark let out a sigh “I just… When I woke up and you were holding me… I panicked. I-I thought it was part of my dream…” Jack nodded his head as he said “I can understand that… And I didn’t really help by almost calling you… master… I’m sorry.” Mark shook his head as he said “You don’t need to be sorry...Really Jack it is okay… Just… Just as long as you don’t really see me that way.”

Jack shook his head as he said “No Mark no! Of course, I don’t see you like that. I know you’re not my master! You’re my boyfriend Mark! My boyfriend! And I know that. I know that no one owns me… It’s just that sometimes it’s hard… I go back to the basement… Back to being locked up in a cage like an animal… A-And… And all I know is that I have to behave… I have to do what I was taught to do… S-So they won’t hurt me… And I know they’re not there it’s just… It’s hard sometimes.” Mark opened his arms offering a hug, Jack took it nuzzling against Mark. Mark let out a sigh as he said “I don’t blame you when you do that… I know that it’s not your fault.” Jack let out a sigh as he whispered “I’m glad to hear you say that.”

Rose placed the tray she’d brought in on the floor before sitting by Jack and Mark as she said “We know that you want to help Jack… But you need to admit that there are some problems you need to address as well… It was probably a very stressful wait for you. Especially when you were in a different country.” Mark let out a sigh “It was hard… I… Tyler can tell you that it was only because of him, Ethan and Lauren that I actually got through those four months.” Rose nodded her head as she said “And you didn’t deal with that did you?” Mark shrugged as he said “When I heard that they found Jack alive! I dropped everything and booked the first flight I could to get here. I wanted to help Jack.”

Jack let out a sigh “Mark you… You didn’t-” Mark cut him off “I dropped everything because I wanted to see you, I needed to see you.” Rose looked at Mark as she said “I think you should see your therapist more than once a month, maybe once a week… While Jack went through a lot, you need to accept that you suffered as well, in a different way yes… But you still suffered and you need to work your way through that.” Jack nodded his head in agreement. Mark shook his head as he said “I’ll be fine.” Jack looked up at Mark as he said “Please, if not for yourself, for me? Will you please talk to your therapist more?” Mark looked at Jack for a moment before he let out a sigh, he was never able to say no to Jack “Fine. I will.” Jack smiled and gave Mark’s cheek a kiss.

Mark chuckled a little as he said “You really do have me wrapped around your little finger don’t you.” Jack snickered as he said “It’s a gift.” Rose smiled fondly at the two.

Chapter Text

 

Mark and Jack didn’t go back to sleep. Jack tried to talk to Mark a little about his nightmare, but the American didn’t seem to want to talk.

 

Morning came, Rose brought breakfast and a coffee for the two. Mark left the room to use the bathroom. Jack was alone.

 

Jack took a sip of his coffee, eyes glancing around the room. Nothing. Silence. Relief washed over Jack as he let out a sigh taking another sip from his coffee. Everything seemed to be okay. Until a clatter from outside the room startled Jack. He looked around as if looking for the source of the sound. Eyes scanned every inch of the room but Jack couldn’t see anything. Memories from the basement started to come down.

 

The hunters banging on the door and stamping their feet on the floor boards above him, teasing Jack, making him try to hide, fearful of what they had planned for him this time. Then they would go silent, and Jack would be left with the anxious wait to see if the hunter actually planned to come down or if they were just trying to provoke a reaction. Of course, there were the times where the hunters would wait just to lour Jack into a false sense of security.

 

Jack put his coffee down as he clung to his blanket pulling it closer, old mindsets setting in. Defense mechanisms meant to protect him. The vampire hid beneath the blanket and laid flat on his stomach allowing himself to keep a watchful eye on the open door. An open door left him vulnerable to an attack. But he couldn’t bring himself to get up and close the door. So for now, at least the blanket will do as a shield for now.

 

Silence dragged on as Jack stared dead-eyed at the wall. Lost in his own thoughts, the reality of the hospital, of safety fading as his mind put him back in the cage.

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark had stalled for as long as he could, he didn’t just ‘get breakfast’ he found some spare clothes and managed to wash off a little in the bathroom, he also went for a walk. But eventually he knew he had to return to Jack.

 

The American came back carrying a tray with two plates of sausages and hash browns. However as Mark reached the doorway and saw the glazed look in Jacks eyes as he stared at the wall. A lump formed in the Americans throat, he knew what this meant. But he was hoping that he could maybe talk his way through it… Maybe Jack wasn’t completely lost.

 

Mark made his way into the room slowly trying not to startle Jack. He knew that scaring Jack when he was like this was a bad idea. The American placed the tray down on one of the chairs as he cleared his throat “Seán, are you okay?” Jack let out a frightened yelp as he began to shudder; he ducked his head down and closed his eyes. All of which where bad things. Mark took a moment to keep himself calm. He had to focus on Jack and helping him back. “Seán, Seán… It’s okay. You’re okay.” However, Jack just whimpered trying to make himself smaller.

 

Mark cursed under his breath. This was a bad one. A really bad one . Normally using his name and talking to Jack was enough to help. But Jack flinched away when Mark spoke. Mark crouched down a little as he repeated himself “Seán it’s okay.” Jack whimpered again choking down a sob. Mark hated this.

 

The american licked his lips as he thought about how he should approach this, he knew he could probably call Rose in, but adding more people to the situation when Jack was already panicking never really helped. He stood up slowly as he said “You’re in HOSPITAL Seán. HOSPITAL. It’s okay.” Jack gave a full body shudder and choked down another sob, Mark noticed Jack shift his position a little, he was still curled up in a ball on the bed, his head mostly buried into the mattress, but as he shifted he looked up a little that horrible glassy look in his eyes. He let out a shaky breath “ M-Master … I-I-” Jack choked down another sob.

Jack hated this. Hated them… He could see the dark figure looming over him watching him, probably laughing at how he shook. And he wanted to cry, he wouldn’t. He kept choking back every attempt almost sob that dared try to escape him. He knew he had to please his master. He couldn’t disappoint them, that would lead to punishment.

 

Mark shuddered when Jack used that word. Master . Mark didn’t think he could hold so much hatred for one word. He took a moment to compose himself “Jack, I’m not your Master, I’m Mark . Mark . And I promise you that you’re okay, you don’t need to be worried.” But Jack was not comforted by Mark’s words. He quickly shrunk down again trying to hide again as he whimpered and shook. Mark hated it, hated how Jack was acting how submissive he looked. It made him feel sick. “Seán, I PROMISE you, it’s completely safe! You are safe! I won’t let anyone hurt you.”

 

Jack couldn’t really hear what the other man was saying. It was all too muffled to understand, he didn’t dare ask for clarification, he didn’t want to be hurt. Didn’t want to be punished. He couldn’t handle another punishment “Master… I’m sorry… I-I can be a-a go-od boy. I promise you I can.”

 

Mark’s fists clenched, that was the last thing he wanted to hear. What had triggered Jack? There was nothing in the room that could trigger Jack. What had happened while Mark was away? Dammit, he shouldn’t have stalled for so long. This was his fault! If he hadn’t been so afraid to come and see Jack this probably wouldn't have happened.

 

“J-Jack please!” Mark said desperately, his arms were shaking, his knuckles going white from how much he was clenching his fists. Jack was still shaking and whimper, this time a sob passed his lips and he immediately began to apologise and ramble “I’m sorry! I’m sorry Master I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it, I’ll do better I promise I will! I can do better! I can be a good boy I’ll do whatever you want I promise! I can be obedient for you just please… Please don’t punish me.”

 

Mark shook his head “Seán, no one is going to punish you. I won’t let them you’re safe here.” Jack could see the clenched fists of the hunter in front of him. Jack knew he had to try and show his master how good he could be. Jack pushed himself up a little and crawled across the bed and he nuzzled against the man’s hand.

 

Unfortunately, Mark’s nerves had been frayed from his dream and Jack’s behaviour wasn’t helping. He was losing his temper and the more he tried to push his emotions back and act calm for Jack, the worse he seemed to get. Jack nuzzling against Mark’s hand was his breaking point. Mark went to move his hand away, but moving quickly he didn’t seem to realise that Jack’s head moved. In his attempt to pull away quickly Mark slapped Jack across his face.

 

To Mark’s eyes it seemed to happen in slow motion. He stroke Jack and he saw the horror spark in the vampire’s eyes, he looked at Mark a cruel mixture of upset, surprise and fear. Mark felt pile rising in his throat as his mind screamed. You hit him. You hit Jack. You’re just as bad as the bastards who abused him. Mark took a step back as he heard the whimper that Jack gave, as he saw how Jack shuffled back away from Mark trying to hide in the corner of the bed.

 

Mark backed away as he began to shake. What had he done? Why had he done it!? Fuck, how could he hit Jack! Jack was so fucking scared of being punished for behaviour, so scared of being abused and Mark hit him…

 

Jack would’ve cried out the moment he was hit. But it was like the actual action brought him back to reality. His eyes widened and he scurried back trying to escape his attacker. But he noticed his surroundings, not the basement, but… The hospital… And his ‘attacker’ was Mark? The American looked horrified, guilt in his body language, sorrow and disgust in his eyes. Mark backed away from the bed and fled the room.

 

Already, Jack could hear Rose running up the hallway calling to him “Seán, what's wrong with Ma-” she stopped speaking standing the doorway, her gaze falling to Jack. In particular, the bright red hand shaped mark on Jack’s face. Rose looked between Jack and the direction which Mark had fled. Meanwhile, Jack was floored. Mark had hit him? It was a moment of silence as Jack slowly recalled what lead them to this point, his memory was fuzzy mostly blinded by panic. But now that he knew the ‘man in the room’ was Mark. Jack realised that he’d freaked Mark out. Mark… Mark would never have hit him purposefully.

 

“WAIT!”

 

Rose looked like she was about to follow Mark when Jack called out to her and she stopped because it was the first time she’d heard Jack raise his voice. She looked at Jack as he uncurled from his position a little. “R-Rose it’s okay… I...I set Mark off.” Rose looked at Jack with a raised eyebrow “Are you sure? What happened?” Jack let out a sigh “I… I was in a bad headspace and… He was trying to help and I made things worse… He would never hit me I know that! And I know Mark probably feels awful.”

 

Jack stood up, legs shaking and threatening to give way underneath him. He took hold of his crutches and Rose looked visibly surprised. Jack was shaky as he made his way slowly towards the door, noticing the nurses look of surprise Jack said “I have to see him, let him know it’s okay.” Rose placed a hand on Jack’s shoulder as she said “I think I should talk to him first, if he lashed out and hit you… He might not want to see you. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just… He’ll feel guilty. You know what he’s like.” Jack let out a sigh nodding his head “Okay… But… I’m still gonna make my way up the corridor, it’ll take me half the day to get to the bathroom.”

 

Because if there’s one things Jack and Rose knew for certain, it was that Mark probably locked himself in the bathroom.

 

Rose nodded her head as she said “Okay, I’ll talk to him and if he’s okay to see you I’ll come out and let you know.” Jack nodded his head as Rose turned and made her way down the corridor towards the bathroom, she knocked pushing the door open to see Mark sat, curled up in a ball on the floor, sobbing into his knees. For a moment he looked up, but once seeing who it was he hid his head in his knees mumbling “I fucked up.”

 

Rose shook her head as she said “You didn’t fuck up, I’ve talked to Jack he’s not mad at you.” Mark scoffed “Of course he’s not! Rose he was calling me master again, he was forced not to be mad at the hunters when they hurt him. I HIT him! I hit him and I didn’t mean to but I just… I lost it for a second and… He looked at me and he was TERRIFIED … And I did that to him.” Rose folded her arms as she said “I heard you yelling, the saw you run out… When I went in to see Jack, he was trying to get out of bed to come see you because he didn’t want you to feel guilty. He knows you reacted to his bad headspace, he told me he knows that you would never hurt him.” Mark scoffed “ Don’t you get it? He won't be mad at me, he is going to forgive me, because that's what the hunters taught him! He wasn’t allowed to hate them, he couldn’t be mad at them. He had to sit there and take it because he was the ‘ pet ’ and they were the ‘ masters ’. And it’s sick! And he won’t be mad at me because of what they did and I hate it! I want him to be mad at me because I lashed out.”

 

Rose let out a sigh, she could understand Mark’s frustration. But he needed to see Jack himself, if he saw Jack he would know that this wasn’t part of Jack’s conditioning, this was Jack, the boyfriend who knew how bad Mark would feel. Rose licked her lips as she said “What if Jack came in? I’d stay with you two but, he wants to talk to you.”

 

Mark seemed to consider this for a moment. Rose didn’t rush him and after a while, Mark nodded his head “Okay.” Rose nodded at Mark as she turned to open the bathroom door, Jack was stood outside, the nurse held the door open as she said “He’s okay to see you Jack.” Jack entered the bathroom and Rose allowed the door to close. Jack stood opposite Mark as the Irishman said “I’m sorry Mark I-” but Mark cut Jack off as he said “Don’t apologise! For fuck sake Seán, don’t apologise!” Jack looked at Mark as he said “Don’t tell me not to apologize Mark, I owe you an apology, I push-” Mark cut him off again “You were in a bad headspace. It wasn’t your fault. I shouldn’t have hit you.” Jack frowned “Mar-” Mark cut Jack off as he said “Thats not what you were calling me before.”

 

Jack felt a shudder find its way up his spine, he felt a little… worried… scared… Fuck he didn’t need this now. This was Mark! Mark! His boyfriend. Mark looked at Jack as he said “You called me Master back there… You were scared I would hurt you… So what did I do? I hit you.” Jack let out a sigh “I didn’t mean it. Mark, I know you’re not my master. No one is… I know that but when I’m in a bad headspace its hard. Because all my brain focuses on is what the hunters wanted.”

 

Mark shook his head looking away “Stop it, Seán…” His tone was a little harsh, sending a wave of unease over Jack. He swallowed thickly as he licked his lips. Taking a moment to calm himself down “Mark. I mean it. I know you’re not my master. I know that no one is my master. Mark you’re my boyfriend. My BOYFRIEND. And I love you. I’m not mad at you for what happened because I know you didn’t mean it. I know it was an accident. Because I know you would never hit me.” Mark scoffed as he said “You know?” Jack nodded his head “I do.” Mark looked away.

 

Jack let out a sigh “Okay… I’m sat right here. Hit me.” Mark looked up eyes wide as he asked sounding confused “W-What?” Jack looked at Mark as he said “Hit me. If you think I should be scared of you… That I shouldn’t trust you. If you think for one minute that I shouldn’t trust you that I’m wrong about trusting you. Hit me. Hit me and prove that I should be scared of you.”

 

Jack and Mark maintained eye contact for a while. Neither looking away. Eventually Jack let out a sigh “Mark… If I thought for a moment that you were really my master… That… That you would ‘punish’ me that you would hurt me… I wouldn’t have come in hear to see you. I would have tried to hide or flee. Mark…” there was a pause “Mark you… You have more of my trust than anyone at the minute. And that says a lot… I-I… I struggle to let my ma or my sister touch me. You’ve hugged me. I can hold your hide. I can sit this close to you. Hell, I chased after you when you ran away.”

 

Mark was silent, looking thoughtful and Jack hoped he was getting through to Mark.

 

The moment seemed to drag on forever and Jack’s nerves were fraying quickly. By the time Mark looked back to him Jack was shaking a little. Only just noticeably. And that was when Jack heard the other say “Sit down.” without thought Jack obeyed, not processing where the order came from. Body moving on autopilot; Mark saw how Jack reacted and he let out a sigh. He knew he was being stubborn, maybe too stubborn and now Jack seemed to be lost in his head again. Mark thought quickly before he opened his arms and said calmly “Seán, do you want me to hold you?” Jack’s eyes wandered over Mark for a moment, looking at his face and his open eyes.

 

Slowly, Jack shuffled closer to Mark and laid his head on the humans chest; Mark wrapped his arms loosely around Jack as the vampire let out a sigh “I-I’m sorry Mark… I couldn’t even convince you that I fucking trust you without nearly losing it.” Mark shushed Jack softly as he said “You brought yourself back. You didn’t completely loose it and look at this. I’m holding you and you’re calm. Jack a month ago I couldn’t sit next to you. Now look at us. This is good… And…” Mark let out a sigh “I probably over-reacted to what happened. I’m sorry.” Jack shook his head “No… It was my fault. You told me to stop and I was just so lost in a bad headspace that I didn’t listen.”

 

“And that's not your fault.” Mark said defensively. They looked at each other for a moment before Mark continued “I was… I was sensitive because of my nightmare… When you started calling me master I panicked. I’m apologising.” Jack looked at Mark as he said “How about we both agree to put it behind us. I don’t blame you… And I’m not scared of you.” Mark seemed to agree as he said “So long as you’re not scared of me… We can put it behind us.”

 

Jack smiled softly and he leaned in a little closer; for a moment Mark thought that Jack was going to kiss him. However, Jack stopped and pulled back, his gaze moved down before he looked up at Mark and gave him an appreciative pat on the head instead. Jack stood himself up (With the help of Rose who’d stayed in the bathroom to make sure everything went okay). Mark stood up once Jack was okay and he helped the vampire back to his room, just in time to see Tyler, Ethan and Chica.

Chapter Text

Tyler and Ethan seemed happy to see Jack. Jack was a little on edge because of his almost break down with Mark in the bathroom. But friendly smiles and Mark’s reassuring words seemed to be enough to convince Jack that he was okay to enter his hospital room. And of course, Chica helped as well, it was amazing just how quickly she’d took to her training.

 

Chica padded happily over to Jack and nuzzled against his leg. Jack smiled softly petting the Golden Retriever as he praised “Good girl Chica. Good girl.” Chica gave a happy yip from the praises she was receiving as she nudged Jack forward leading him to his bed. Jack laughed a little as he said “Looks like Chica takes her job seriously. Okay girl, okay I'm going to sit down.” Jack sat in the bed and Chica sat by his legs.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack became distracted by the golden retriever, it was a good thing. With his attention solely on Chica, he managed to ignore all of his ‘training’ all of his doubts, fears, and worries. And while his eyes were on Chica, he was listening to the conversation going on around him and joining in, as if it were completely normal. There was no hesitation or second thought. He was just talking like he used to be able to.

 

After a while, Jack’s gaze moved away from Chica to the window from his room.

 

Outside Jack could see two Garda officers. He pulled himself into a ball shuffling back on the bed.

 

Mark, Rose and Jack's family had held off the police for ad long as they could. The family telling the police what little information Jack had given up. And of course, the Garda could understand that Jack had been abused, he was scared of strangers. It's why for a while they didn't push too much about talking to Jack. But two months was a long time and the Garda had not been able to do anything with the information they had. If the Garda were going to get anywhere, they needed to talk to Jack.

 

However, the normal procedure of bringing the vampire to the station wouldn't work. So they were going to do an informal interview. It would mostly be in Jack's terms, he would be in his hospital room, he could say when enough was enough. But the Garda wanted Jack alone. No Mark, no Tyler or Ethan. That would be the hardest part, Jack had latched onto Mark for reassurance, especially around strangers. But the Garda wanted Jack alone, no one was sure if he could do it. The Garda promised that Chica could stay with Jack so that hopefully he could latch onto Chica if he started to panic.

 

There was a knock on the door and Jack already knew what was coming. Rose walked into the room and let out sigh “Seán, the Garda are here, they want to talk to you… Alone.” Rose looked at Jack if Jack refused she might be able to get the Garda to leave for a little while, a couple days. She could say that she needed to prepare Jack for their visit. They both knew that Jack had been preparing for a while, he let out a sigh as he nodded “O-Okay…” he patted the bed and Chica took her place next to Jack.

 

Mark, Ethan, and Tyler stood up as Mark said “We’ll wait in the cafe… And I’ll bring you a coffee when we’re told we can come back.” Jack nodded as the three left. Rose looked at Jack as she said “I’ll be outside the door if things get too much for you send Chica to get me.” Jack let out a sigh as he mumbled “I have to do this… I can’t hide forever… And not saying anything only lets them get away with it again… They told me I wasn’t the first vampire they had down there and I doubt I’ll be the last.” and that was a scary thought, how many other vampires had those bastards kidnapped and tortured, how many other vampires were abused because they were vampires. What if some of them didn’t survive. He needed to talk to the police…

 

Rose opened the door and the two Garda officers walked in, there was a male and a female, both in full uniform. The female looked uncomfortable the moment her eyes met Jack and Jack instinctively ducked his head. Chica was helping to keep him calm, he wasn’t panicking, but he wasn’t exactly comfortable with two strangers in the room. Rose nodded her head as she said “Jack, these are Officers Laurel and Michael. I’ll be staying in the room just in case.”

 

Jack nodded his head swallowing thickly as he stuttered “N-N-Nice t’ meet you… Bo-oth of you.” Michael smiled as he said “It’s nice to meet you too Jack. Am I okay to call you Jack?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, Jack or Sean are both fine.” Michael smiled “Great, we just want to ask you some questions about your time with the people who took you.” Jack made an uncomfortable noise “It’s… I can try…” Michael nodded as he said “That's all we can ask.”

 

So far so good, Michael was being as friendly as he could be while still remaining professional. He wasn’t rushing Jack or forcing him to do anything.

 

Michael took out his notepad and a pen as he said “So the first question we had for you was about the night you were taken. From your point of view what happened?” Jack licked his lip and swallowed thickly “I…” he took in a breath before exhaling “I’d been talking to my editor Robin, we agree that I would edit my vlog? I think it was a vlog and he would edit my gameplay video… I told him that because my sister was going to be visiting me I thought I should go out hunting. I grabbed my bag and put a clean jacket in there before heading out. I never take my phone with me when I go hunting in case I lose it… A-Anyway… I went to the woods and hid my bag in its usual place, I went further into the woods but it was empty… I knew… I knew something was wrong… I should have turned back.” Jack let out a shaky breath as he whispered “If only I had turned back…” there was a pause as Jack took a moment to settle his nerves “I walked further into the woods… I… I heard a twig snap and I smelt wolfbane. I knew that meant hunters, I ran. I had to get away I knew I did. I was running… I-I thought I was going to get away… Something hit me and I started to slow down… I felt sleepy. But I had to stay away. Had to run. Had to get away.”

 

Jack shook his head “I fell to the floor, unable to move anymore. Two people grabbed me… Started pulling me away. I-I begged… Tried to reason with them… It wasn't enough… I… They sedated me… When I came too again I was locked in the basement… Naked… They threw cold water over me because they were sick of waiting for me to wake up…” Jack shuddered at the memory, unconsciously his fingers grasped at his clothes.

 

Michael wrote everything that Jack said down as he said “Do you know where exactly they kept you?” Jack shook his head no “All I really saw was the basement… Sometimes they would lock me in the cage that was in the basement… Other than that I had no idea where I was.” Jack was shaking a little. Once he’d written down Jack’s answer Michael tried a different approach “I like the colour of your hair.” Jack apparently took the bait as he answered “My hair sucks at the moment… It’s too long and knotted and ew… But I don’t really want sharp objects near me at the moment so it’ll have to do.” Michael nodded a little as he said “Given what you went through that's understandable. Actually, I heard you were a gamer? What's your favorite game of all time?” Jack shrugged a little as he said “I’m a gamer… My favorite game is probably Shadow of the Colossus.”

 

Michael grinned “That game is awesome! I liked the other game that the developer made, The Last Guardian, that game was amazing and Trico was so cute!” Jack laughed a little as he tried to do his best impression of the main character in the game “Turicur!” his voice wavered and threatened to cut out, unable to cope with the pitch he was trying to create. But it was at least understandable. Michael laughed a little as he said “Nice impression dude!” there was a short pause, Jack seemed a lot calmer. Michael was hoping that he could ask another question “Did the people who you were with ever say their names?” Jack shook his head as he looked down at the bed “Kind of… But I doubt they were real names. Chris… Was what they called the leader… Greg was another name… Josh, I think I heard once. But I have no idea if they were real names or not.” Michael nodded his head “That's fine… While you were with the hunters… Could you give us an idea of what they did?”

 

Jack swallowed thickly “I...Well…” he was shaking again, tension rising quickly. Chica nuzzled at Jack and Jack began to pet her head “W-When they first took me… It was cutting… Bruising… Nothing t-too bad. Then they added the sh-shock collar and taser… And they would burn me with wolfsbane or make me eat it so I would throw up… Lots of cutting, bruising, shocking… That's when they would start… Touching me… Using THAT nickname… I-I had to do what they said… Be-Be their perfect pet… They sometimes tied me up in a glass room and left me so the sun would burn me… They used me to put out a cigarette quiet a lot…” Michael wrote down what Jack said. But by the end of his explanation, he looked about ready to break.

 

Michael closed his book as he said “We’ve had quite a bit of information from you today Sean, I think for today we can finish up. But I would like to come back, not tomorrow is the day after okay for you?” It was a moment before Jack could bring himself to answer “I… Yeah… That should be okay.” Michael nodded his head with a soft smile “That's great, you did really well to talk about things today Sean.”

 

Jack nodded his head as Michael and his college left.

 

With the two Garda officers out of the room, Jack let out a sigh, Chica was licking the tears that were starting to roll down his cheeks. He petted her head as he whispered “Good girl Chica. Good girl. Good girl.” Rose let out a sigh “You did well, do you want me to call Mark and the others back or do you want to be alone for a little bit?” Jack pulled Chica close, not that the golden retriever minded “I want to be alone for a while…” Rose nodded her head as she said “That's fine Jack, I’ll leave you as well. But if you need me. Merely press your call button.” Jack nodded his head as he mumbled “Okay… Thanks, Rose…”

 

Rose closed the door behind her as she left. Leaving Jack and Chica to cuddle on the bed. 

Chapter Text

Jack stayed alone for a long time. Rose kept checking in on him but he told her he still wanted to be alone.

 

Mark was suffering from the separation. Jack only secluded himself from others when he’d had a bad panic attack when he was scared of everyone and everything, what if that had happened again? Tyler seemed to pick up on Mark’s unease as he said calmly “Mark, you don’t need to worry, Rose will keep an eye on Jack. If she thought he needed you, she’d come get you.” Mark let out a sigh; if he stopped to think for a moment, he knew that Tyler was right.

 

Mark ran his fingers through his hair pulling out his phone deciding to scroll through Tumblr.

 

Tyler and Ethan exchanged glances but said nothing.

 

A shadow was cast over the group as a female voice said “Mark?” Mark looked away from his phone turning his head to see who was trying to speak with him. He gasped as his eyes met a familiar pair of dark blue eyes “Signe?” Jack’s ex-girlfriend that moved back to Denmark when her mother became ill. She was in Ireland!?

 

The Danish girl nodded as she said “Y-Yeah… Sorry for not calling ahead of time, I just… I was visiting a friend in London and my flight stopped hear, I decided to have a two-day stay-over hear… I mean… I heard that Sean disappeared… I called his sister and she told me you were with him.” Mark nodded his head “Yeah, I spend most my time at the hospital… He… Right now he doesn’t want to see anyone so we’re just waiting.” Signe looked at Mark with a raised eyebrow “Sean doesn’t want to see anyone?” Mark nodded his gaze moving down “Signe… I… There’s no nice way to say this. He’s nothing like the Sean you knew… They hurt him… Hurt him bad. He’s… Signe, he’s scared of other people, he’s covered in scars, he can’t walk... “ Signe looked horrified “But Sean was…” Mark nodded as he said “I know… He… He can pull through it’s just… There’s a lot to pull through.”

 

Signe took a moment clearly composing herself “D-Do you think I could see him?” Mark shrugged a little “I don’t know, he’s really bad Signe, we can’t force it on him… But we can always ask.” Signe nodded as she said “Yes, please Mark. I-I’d really like to see him.”

 

Mark slipped his phone into his pocket standing up, Ethan and Tyler didn’t speak, they simply let Mark get on with it.

 

The American lead Signe through the hospital, trying to prepare her for Jack, if he even wanted company “He’s completely changed Signe. Don’t mention his scars, don’t call him Jackyboy or baby boy… Let him decide if you can come closer or sit next to him, don’t crowd him, don’t call him a good boy…” Mark trailed off turning to look at Signe “Look… I don’t know what you know… But Jack… Those hunters treated him like an animal, made him believe that he was subservient, that he deserved what they did to him… That he had to seek permission from others, that he has to please others… T-That… That other people are his…” Mark choked on the word unable to say it. Signe was looking at him confused “His… What?” she was asking, but part of her wasn’t sure if she actually wanted an answer.

 

Mark took in a breath and let out a sigh “The hunters that took him… Told him that they were hi-his masters… S-Sometimes he thinks other people are his master.” Signe looked visibly sick “So he will…” Mark cut her off “He’ll call you… that and beg for forgiveness if he thinks he’s done wrong. He’ll ramble about how he can be a ‘good boy’... You… I’m not saying you’re going to set him off on purpose… Hell, I trigger him enough. Just, be careful okay? I know that you two were still good friends and I know you’d feel awful if you triggered him into having a panic attack.”

 

Signe nodded her head shooting Mark a kind smile “Thanks, Mark… Honestly, I’m glad you’re not the jealous type.” Mark shrugged as he said “You two came to a mutual break-up. Jack and I got together like a year later, I’m not gonna make him stop talking to you. And I know that despite everything he’ll be happy to see you. As I said, you two were still really close. Jack is allowed to have friends.” Signe nodded, she looked at Mark before she said “If… If I can ask. Has this whole mess made you… More protective of him? I mean… Not to sound rude but if it were me I’d be acting like his guard dog.” Mark chuckled a little as he said “Yeah, it’s definitely made me more protective of him. I always feel like I have to be there for him. But realistically, I know he also needs to get used to time alone. It’s why if he tells me he doesn’t want to see anyone. I’ll leave him alone. No matter how much I want to go see him.” Signe giggled as she said “So you ‘escorting’ me to Jack’s room if your excuse to go see him.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Just a little.”

 

Signe giggles as she held a finger to her lips as she said “Well, your secret is safe with me… I just…” there was a pause as she let out a sigh “...I really hope he wants to see me.” Mark gave the Danish girl a reassuring pat on the back as he said “Hey, don’t worry too much. I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you. He’s had some time alone today… But he might be on edge, the police asked him questions about… About his time with the hunters. It never goes well.” Signe nodded her head “I’ll keep that in mind. Thanks, Mark.”

 

They reached the door and Mark knocked, from inside he heard the nurse's voice “Can I help you?” Mark licked his lips as he pushed the door open a little “Rose, one of Jack’s friends has come to see him. Signe, she wants to know if it’s okay to come in.”

 

Jack immediately looked at Mark the moment the name left his lips “Si-Signe?” Mark nodded his head “Yeah, she said that she’s visiting a friend in London and her flight stopped here, she’s staying in Ireland for two days. But she wanted to see you; if you’re okay with that.”

 

Jack just stared at Mark as he explained Signe’s situation, Jack’s mind was reeling, why was Signe here? Why would she bother staying in Ireland for two days? Granted, Signe only left because of her mother's illness. Jack remembered hearing that Mrs Hansen had fallen ill, Signe was so upset and Jack had paid for her to spend a month in Denmark. Jack stayed at home that month, Signe and Jack kept contact through Skype, talking whenever they could. Signe returned home at the end of the month and burst into tears as she explained just how ill her mother was. Jack couldn’t keep Signe from her family and had told her they’d work on packing most of Signe’s things and she could return to Denmark to stay with her mother.

 

For a while, they kept dating, but it wasn’t easy. The timezones weren’t too bad, there was only an hours difference in time. But Jack was dedicated to youtube, Signe was dedicated to her mother. By the time they’d both found some spare time at the end of the day they would be too exhausted to hold a proper conversation. Most of the time one of them would fall asleep mid-call.

 

Eventually, they both decided that it would be better for them both to come to a mutual break. They remained friends of course, and they stayed in contact. Signe’s mother passed away about 9 months after their break-up. Jack did his best to console the grieving Dane. Signe was the first person Jack told about dating Mark and she had been so happy for the vampire, happy that he was able to find someone else.

 

But despite all of it, Jack was confused. Ireland was cold, there wasn’t much here for Signe, two days was a long time for a flight stop off.

 

“Jack.” Jack shook his head snapping from his daze looking a little embarrassed that he’d zoned out “If she wants to come in… I’m okay now, Chica helped a lot.” Mark smiled a little as he nodded, he signaled Signe to come into the room, Mark opting to stand by the door.

 

As soon as Signe stepped into the room Chica let out a soft bark and ran over to investigate the new person. Signe smiled and offered Chica the back of her hand to smell “Heya girl, are you keeping Jack company.” Chica sniffed at Signe’s hand for a moment before she returned to Jack’s side giving his leg a nuzzle. Jack smiled down at Chica as he whispered “Good girl.”

 

Signe didn’t move from where she was stood, remembering what Mark had said about letting Jack decide if she could come closer “It’s nice to see you, Sean.” Jack nodded his head as he said quietly “You too Signe. Why don’t you grab a seat and sit down… You and Mark…” Signe smiled a little nodding her head, Mark also smiled as he said “You seem to be in a little higher spirits now.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, like I said ChIca helped a lot.” Mark nodded his head in understanding, he knew it was hard for Jack. But he also knew that the Irishman was trying and that was what mattered most to Mark.

 

Signe and Mark took a seat, Jack’s hand began to run fingers through Chica’s fur. Signe cleared her throat as she said “It’s really good to be back in Ireland. I sometimes forget how much I loved the quiet of this country.” Jack shrugged as he said “I don’t see why you’d miss it… It’s cold most the time. There’s not a lot here…” There was no hesitation in Signe as she replied “You’re here and you’re my friend. Mark is my friend as well. Not only that but I like Ireland, I always liked Ireland.” Mark nodded his head in agreement with Signe “Yeah, Jack Ireland is beautiful.”

 

The vampire seemed to curl in on himself pulling his knees to his chest. He didn’t want pity… He didn’t want Signe to feel sorry for him.

 

Signe and Mark exchanged glances, it was clear that Jack was starting to retreat into his own thoughts again. There was a moment of silence between them before Signe said “You have Chica.” Jack looked to the Danish girl, taking the bait, he nodded a small smile playing across his lips “Yeah, Tyler and Ethan brought her here to Mark. I don’t know how but they got her into the hospital… My nurse and therapist thought that dog therapy would help. Chica goes to training to learn how to be a real therapy dog… If her training is successful she’ll be able to sense when I’m having a panic attack and she can help.” Signe smiled as she said “By the looks of things she already takes her job very seriously. She’s such a good dog.” Jack nodded his head as he scratched Chica behind her ear “She is. She really does help.” Chica gave a happy yip and licked Jack’s hand as it moved away from her ear.

 

Signe smiled fondly at the Golden Retriever “Well, I’m glad you finally have a dog. I know you always wanted one.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… B-But she’s not really my dog, she’s Mark’s dog!” Mark laughed a little as he said “She belongs to both of us Jack, right now you need her more than me so I don’t mind letting you keep Chica by your side.” Jack gave Mark a little smile, in his own way. Jack couldn’t quite get his lips to form a smile. But Mark was slowly becoming used to seeing the joy in Jack’s eyes, slowly beginning to recognize when Jack was trying to smile, trying to show his appreciation. It always made Mark happy to see Jack’s smile.

 

Signe seemed to pick up on it as well, gaining a small smile of her own “I’m actually going to London to meet up with Marzia, Felix’s wife?” Jack nodded his head a little but suddenly stopped looking confused “W-Wife? I thought they weren’t getting married until-” Signe cut Jack off as she said “They got married in July, er… Five months ago.” Jack looked shocked “They got married already? B-But I wanted to be there for them I-” Jack looked to Mark. Mark let out a sigh “They married about a month before you can back. I-I’m sorry I didn’t think to mention it before. A lot of people were invited… A-Actually… Felix left a seat for you.”

 

Mark remembered, he’d made the trip to Britain to support his friend, he was sat on the front row next to Ethan and Tyler. There was a seat next to him with a name tag on “Sean” Felix had always planned for Jack and Mark to be present when he married Marzia. Jack and Mark were his closest friends, of course, they had to be there for the Swede’s big day… Even though Jack was missing… As they planned the wedding Jack was included “If Jack comes he has to have a shamrock badge on!” “He sits on the front row, I want my best buddy there.” “Jack can take the photo as we cut the cake!” “Jack totally has to be in charge of the bachelor's party.” All the way through the plans Jack was kept in mind. And Mark remembered how devastated Felix was a week before the Wedding without Jack. Mark had done his best to be there for Felix. But they were all upset about Jack. Marzia suggested postponing the wedding but after a year and a half of planning, he didn’t want to wait any longer.

 

Jack’s gaze moved down to the bed as he mumbled “Can’t believe I missed it… I would’ve been the best ring man.” Mark didn’t know how to help Jack “Maybe we should invite Felix to come see you? It’s been so long since you two talked.” Jack looked up looking between Mark and Signe as the Danish girl nodded “If you want, I can tell Marzia to talk to him.” Jack nodded his head “Y-Yeah! That's a good idea. I’d love to see Felix again.”

 

Mark smiled as he said “I can send him a text, or we can leave it to Signe.” Jack shrugged as he said “Whichever, Felix might be busy anyway.” Mark nodded as he said “True, I’ll drop him a text and… Maybe you can talk to him over Skype or something?” Jack looked visibly uncomfortable at the mention of Skype, that meant a camera. Cameras had humiliated him before “M-Maybe not… I could talk to him through DM’s though.” Mark nodded as he said “Whatever you’re comfortable with.” Jack shrugged a little before he mumbled “I can message him later.”

 

Jack closed off again, he pulled his knees to his chest and clung to his Sam plushie. Signe and Mark tried to keep him talking, but after a while, he went silent. Signe said Goodbye to Jack and said that she would probably visit tomorrow. Mark told Jack he’d walk her out. Jack still didn’t reply.

 

They closed Jack’s door and Signe crumbled, she appeared to be on the verge of tears as she whispered “They really broke him didn’t they?” Mark let out a sigh “He’s had a rough day, honestly he’s doing better than he was when we first found him. And he’ll keep improving.” Signe took a moment to compose herself before nodding, smiling at Mark “You’re - …. You’re right it’s just… Seeing him like that…” Mark nodded as he crossed his arms over his chest “It’s hard… And seeing him look so… Vulnerable… It's hard to see and sometimes it feels like Jack’s gone. But I know he’s not.”

“That's why you’re here right?” Signe said with a smile. Mark nodded as he said “Everyday I see how strong he is, how he fights to try and recover… I see glimpses of the Jack that those hunters tried to get rid of… Every little glimpse, every small piece of Jack that I see, it’s proof that he’s still there. That Jack CAN come back.”

 

And that was true, Mark truly believed there was hope for Jack. Mark could see just how strong Jack was, how much he persevered through everything. And it was inspiring for Mark to see, to see Jack a man who had been left for dead, trying to get better so he can live again.

Chapter Text

The following day

 

Jack had slept pretty well last night, he had a nightmare of course, but it hadn’t been too bad. With Rose’s help, he had managed to calm down quickly and actually got back to sleep after the nightmare.

 

Jack actually woke when he heard Rose calling his name. He stirred rubbing his eye, voice slurred as he said “What? Huh… I’m up.” Rose chuckled a little as she said “You had a decent rest then?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… Sort of…” Rose looked at Jack as she said “It’s 11 am Sean, your mothers hear to see you.”

 

Suddenly Jack was awake “11?” Rose nodded her head “I didn’t want to wake you, but I also didn’t want you to sleep the day away.” Jack sat himself up nodding “Yeah… yeah. Don’t worry about it.” Rose smiled at Jack as she said “Mark asked me to give you this carrier bag, he said he wrapped your mother's presents and will be coming by at 11:30, he also told me to remind you he’d pick up some flowers.”

 

Rose put the white plastic carrier bag full of gift-wrapped birthday presents at the end of the bed. Jack nodded his head a little as he said “Thanks. I almost forgot.” Rose chuckled a little as she said “I’ll let your mother in and I’ll go and make you a coffee.”

 

Rose turned her back to Jack as she opened the door, letting Jack’s mother and father in.

 

Ciara smiled at her son waving, she didn’t close the distance between them like she wanted too. She didn’t wrap her son in a tight embrace. She waved and sat down. Jack knew how much his mother wanted a hug, he and Mark had been practicing… That sounded pathetic. But they had! When Jack was feeling brave enough Mark would hug him, let his arms touch scars, let his fingers press against skin that was still tender. Mark set Jack off a lot during their practice, but Jack was getting better and if anything, he wanted to give his mother a hug on her birthday.

 

Jack had hoped that Chica would be here by the time his mother visited but it seems that she was busy with her training. Jack sat himself up some more, legs hanging off the bed. Jack sat like that for a moment trying to pull himself together, he smiled for his mother as he said “Happy Birthday Ma.” Ciara looked surprised as she said “You… Remembered Sean?” Jack nodded as he said “Of course I did. Why would I forget your birthday?” Ciara looked like she was about to answer, but no words came.

 

Jack grabbed his crutches and took a deep breath as he stood himself up. The look in Ciara’s eyes was some sort of mix between surprise and joy as Jack stood up. On his own! (Albeit aided by crutches but it was close enough to being on his own for Ciara). “Sean?” the Irish woman questioned Jack aimed another smile, weaker than his last at his mother as he said “I wanted to hug you… But… Careful okay? Some of my wounds are still sore, not to tight.” Jack hated restricting his mother, telling her that she had to be careful. But Jack knew if she squeezed too hard, held him wrong, touched the wrong part of him he’d lose himself and fall into a bad headspace. If that happened he knew his mother would hate herself.

 

Ciara couldn’t believe it, Jack was asking for a hug, she was quick to nod opening her arms. Jack made his way over to his mother, legs wobbling beneath his weight, but he crossed to the room, his father taking Jack’s crutches allowing the vampire to lay against his mother, wrapping arms around her frame. Ciara wrapped her arms around Jack, almost squeezing instinctually, it had been so long since the Irish woman had held her son. She wanted to hold him and never let him go. But his words from less than five minutes ago kept echoing around her mind,

 

Careful okay?

Some of my wounds are still sore, not too tight.

 

Her arms held but didn’t restrict Jack’s movement, it would be easy for him to pull away if he wanted to. Ciara secretly hoped he won’t feel the need to pull away, her hand rested on the upper part of his back, rubbing gently. Jack noticed a shiver make its way up his spine, panic trying to take over. He refused to let it happen. He was going to hug his MOTHER . It shouldn’t be that hard to do. After a moment he had to pull back before he could get lost in his thoughts.

 

He forced a smile for his mother as he said “I’m glad to see you today, ma.” Oisin handed Jack his crutches back as Jack thanked his father, he remained stood up but put some space between himself and his parents. Ciara was grinning at Jack as she said “It’s really good to see you! To see you stood up and walking and-” she paused as she looked at Jack gesturing towards him “You hugged me.... Jack I- I’m so happy for you!” Jack turned to the bed as he himself gesture to the bag of gifts “These are for you! For your birthday.”

 

Ciara’s face fell to a look of surprise as she stuttered out “J-Jack you… You didn’t need to… How did you-” Jack cut his mother off as he said “Mark helped me. Quite a lot actually… But I wanted to do this for you.” Ciara wore an affectionate smile as she looked at Jack “But Sean you didn’t need to do this.” Jack shrugged as he said “I wanted to.” Ciara was quick to wipe her eyes to rid herself of tears that were starting to form. Jack sat on the edge of the bed as he grabbed on of the presents and held it out for his mother “This one I choose for your personally.” Ciara took the present pulling a chair over.

 

She sat down and tore open the gift wrap. Inside she could see a black box, but it didn’t look like anything special.

 

Once the wrapping paper was off, she realized the box had to be opened. Placing the box on her lap she carefully lifted the lid of the box to see the back of a photo frame. The Irish woman lifted the photo frame out and turned it around so she could see. Her heart melting as her eyes locked against the photo.

 

The photo showed Jack when he was younger, cuddled up to his mother asleep. Jack smiled a little as he said “Lauren helped me find the photo, but I chose the frame… There’s a note in the wrapping paper… The writing is a little messy. Sorry, my hands are still fucked.” Ciara placed the photo frame on the floor carefully not wanting to accidentally break it before he looked through the gift wrap on the floor to find the note.

 

Opening the note she could see how shakey Jack’s writing was, however it was still readable: Dear Mum, I was away for a while. And sometimes it probably feels like I’m still missing. But don’t for a minute think that I don’t love you. Because I do. It’s harder for me to show it now. And I know that I make you upset a lot. I know that seeing me act the way I do probably kills you. But I’m trying to get better. So happy birthday mum, from your son. The boy who loves you and always will.

 

Ciara tried not to cry, but it was always so easy to get the tears flowing.  She wiped her eyes as she sniffled “Oh Jack it’s lovely.” Jack smiled softly “I tried. Like I said the handwriting is terrible. But… Yeah.” Ciara was shaking her head as she said “No, no Sean. It’s amazing it’s absolutely amazing. You don’t need to worry. It’s… It’s the best gift I’ve ever received.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack gave his mother all the gifts that he and Mark had gotten for her, as well as getting her the picture. Jack and Mark got her a box of chocolates, a bottle of wine, a bracelet and when Mark arrived he brought a fresh bouquet of flowers. Ciara seemed more than happy for all the gifts thanking both Jack and Mark. Oisin even smiled at Mark. And Jack stayed calm. He was almost like his old self, managing to give his mum and dad a hug before leaving.

 

As evening came, Jack was finally alone. By alone, he meant with Mark and Chica. Chica was laid at the end of the bed. Mark sat on a chair close by, his eyes were heavy and they kept closing. Mark forcing himself to stay awake.

 

Jack frowned as he said “Mark can we cuddle?” Mark looked to Jack as he moved to the lay at the edge of the bed patting the empty space beside him. Mark looked confused as he said “Are you sure?” Jack nodded his head, he was sure. Mark looked tired and even if Jack was a little nervous, he wanted Mark next to him. He wanted to hug him. While he was feeling it. Mark climbed in beside Jack as he whispered “Just let me know whats okay.” Jack took Marks hand and placed it on his arm as he laid facing Mark, he smiled softly as he said “This is okay. I promise you.”

 

Mark feel asleep quickly. And Jack shuffled closer, his hand moving to cup Mark’s cheek as he whispered “I want to get better… For you… For my family… Because I miss this… I miss, hugs and kisses and not being constantly afraid.” Jack closed the space between them, his lips gently brushing against Mark’s forehead giving the American a tender kiss as he whispered “I love you… I wish I could show it more…”

Chapter Text

 

That Night

 

Mark woke to hear Jack sniffling. He blinked a couple times opening his eyes, still half asleep. Jack was curled up in a ball, hugging his knees. Mark realized he had his hand on Jack and quickly pulled only, hearing Jack whimper as he cursed under his breath.

 

Mark was quick to get out of the bed, Chica stirred and ran to Jack’s side nudging him with her nose “Chica…” Jack whispered between hiccuped sobs. “Jack, you’re okay y-” he was cut off as Jack said “I know… I-I-I…” Mark was stumped… Jack seemed aware of his surroundings, he wasn’t lost in his head. Jack was shaking as he whimpered “I’m sorry.” Mark was even more confused “Sorry? Sorry for what?”

 

Jack looked up a little, eyes streaming with tears “I… I ki-kissed you… But you couldn’t… Couldn’t…”

 

Mark was silent. Jack had kissed him. He licked his lips as he said “You kissed me in my sleep?” Jack was nodding as he sobbed. Mark shook his head “Jack that… That's fine.” Jack shook his head as he rambled “No! No, it’s not. It’s bad!” Mark offered his hands to Jack palms up “Jack it’s okay, I’m not mad you can kiss me whenever you want. Day, night, asleep, awake, it doesn’t matter.” Jack was shaking his head “No, no, no… It’s wrong… I’m not allowed… I-I need… You need to say it’s okay. I shouldn’t have done it… I shouldn’t and I’m sorry.”

 

Mark shushed Jack as he said “Easy there, look… Okay you didn’t ask and consent is important but… C’mon Jack it was a kiss. You, my BOYFRIEND, kissed me. I know you wouldn’t do anything bad. I trust you completely Jack.” Jack looked up at Mark, he didn’t look mad… But that made it worse.

Jack remembered all the times Jack had woken up to their hands touching him. Kissing and biting his roughly. It’s why Jack was so upset. He knew why consent was important… Even if Mark was his boyfriend, that didn’t make things better. In fact… It made things worse! He’d abused Mark’s trust by kissing him.

 

Mark was rubbing Jack’s arm as he spoke softly “Jack I’m not mad. You’re allowed to kiss me. You are. You can kiss me whenever you want.” Jack was sobbing as he shook his head “I should have asked…” Mark shushed Jack as he said “Jack…” assuring the Irishman that things were fine didn’t seem to be helping him. So Mark decided on a different approach “Look Jack… What I’m gonna ask… If gonna be bad. And I’m only doing it to prove a point okay?” Jack looked confused but nodded his head. Mark let out a long breath as he said “If we were doing something… Sexual. And I said stop, would you?”

 

Jack was quick to nod “Of course I would! Of course! I would never do anything unwanted to you or anyone!” Mark nodded his head as he said “See, that's my point, you would never do anything like that to anyone. I know that… There are things that went on while you were away and those things were terrible… But just because you had to suffer through that, doesn’t mean that you’ll ever do anything like that.”

 

The vampire was still sobbing, trying to hide his face and his tears. But he did listen to Mark, the American sounded so sure of himself like he knew what he was talking about. Like he trusted what he was saying. And Mark was sure that Jack HADN’T upset him. Jack wiped his eyes looking up a little Mark was smiling softly at Jack as he asked in a calm and quiet tone “Can I hold you?” Jack nodded his head already shuffling closer to Mark, right now he wanted to be held, to be comforted. Mark opened his arms before wrapping them loosely around Jack, holding but not restricting the way he was getting used to holding Jack.

 

The vampire nuzzled against the human's shoulder still sobbing softly. Jack whined in the back of his throat. Mark shushed him softly rubbing his back. Rubbing had the possibility of being too much like petting and it might set Jack off. Mark was hesitant, but desperate to console his boyfriend. Jack tensed for a moment as Mark began to rub his back, but soon relaxed when no attack followed. Jack let out a small purr as he leaned against Mark.

 

The American would never admit his relief when Jack didn’t fall into a full-blown panic. He let out a contented sigh before he whispered “Can I kiss you Jack?” there was a pause before Jack nodded pulling back a little, Mark’s grip was loose enough that when Jack began to move he wasn’t restricted. The two looked at each other for a moment, Mark leaned in closer to Jack before kissing the vampire softly. The kiss was a gentle press of lips, but it definitely conveyed Mark’s sincerity. Jack was hesitant, his body tensing up as his lips pressed against Mark’s. Jack had to keep his eyes open to remind himself he was kissing Mark. Mark was safe, Mark wouldn’t hurt him.

 

Mark let out a pleased hum, hoping it would help. Jack’s body remained tense, even as they pulled away. A shaky breath left the vampire's lips and Mark shuffled back a little his arms leaving Jack “Sorry…” Mark apologized. But Jack was quick to shake his head “N-No...No it's okay… It’s just me… You’re fine.”

 

Mark nodded his head a little as he said “Are you okay now? Do you want some tea or I can let you cuddle Chica for a little?” Jack was silent as he thought for a moment “T-Tea would be nice… It normally helps me calm down. And I’d like Chica cuddles.” Mark nodded with a smile as he patted the bed, signaling Chica to jump up on the bed. The golden retriever didn’t need telling twice. She jumped up and nuzzled Jack, tail wagging happily. Mark looked at Jack as he said “I’ll go make some tea. I’ll be right back.” Jack nodded his head with a smile as he said “Okay, thanks, Mark.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

As promised, Mark was quick as he went to make some tea. He placed Jack’s mug on the table next to the bed as Mark pulled a chair over to the bed so he could sit down. Jack picked up his own mug taking a sip, he smiled as he looked up at Mark “You’re getting better at making tea at least.” Mark snickered as he said “I might have been practicing.” Jack giggled a little as he said “Oh really? Trying to impress me?” Mark shrugged as he said drawing out the word “Maybe.”

 

Jack smiled a little at Mark as he said “Awww, how sweet of you.” Mark chuckled as he said “I try.”

Chapter Text

Mark woke to something repeatedly poking him. Groaning, his eyes fluttered open to see Jack sitting next to him. For a moment, Mark was confused as to why the Irishman was prodding him so early before he remembered “It’s Christmas.”

 

Jack grinned more as he replied “Christmas at the McLoughlins might I add, you’re gonna see exactly what Christmas was like for me growing up, down to living in the log cabin.”

 

“Oh boy..! Log cabin..!” Mark sleepily cheered then yawned as he stretched his arms above his head. His hands gently bumped against the wooden walls and a shiver went through Mark from how cold the wall was. The room was a little chilly, the American noticed while becoming more away,  but not too bad all things considered. When Mark brought his attention back to Jack, his boyfriend was presenting him with a mug. “Some hot chocolate with cream and marshmallows to keep you warm.”

 

A look of surprise passed on the American face before Mark chuckled. Quickly, he moved to sit up and move close to Jack, kissing the vampire’s cheek  “You spoil me.” He cooed dreamily.

 

Jack smiled against Mark’s lips and returned the kiss with his own. “You deserve it. You came all the way out here to the bitter cold of Ireland to be here with my family. You’re sure that your family is okay with you spending Christmas here this year?”

 

Mark couldn’t help rolling his eyes at the question, the same question Jack had been asking for three days since Mark arrived The American gave a light-hearted chuckle answering, “It’s kind of late for that question considering that I’m here and it’s Christmas day, but yes! My family is fine with me staying with you this year, don’t worry about it.”  The American gave a reassuring smile before taking the hot chocolate from Jack. The touch of the cup already warming his hand.

 

Jack smiled a little back, saying, “So long as you’re sure.” Mark nodded while blowing into his mug. His focus appeared to be entirely on his drink. The Irishman couldn’t help snickering little then continuing with what he wanted to explain. “Mally and Dylan will be arriving in about an hour. So we should probably get dressed once you’re finished!” Despite having the mug very close to his face, Mark could see the excitement in his lover's eyes. “I bet it’ll be nice to see your brother again.” He commented while smiling behind his drink. Jack nodded in eager agreement.“Yeah, Mally is my eldest brother, we’ve always been close.”  

 

Mark smiled more from seeing Jack being so happy. In fact, Mark was practically overwhelmed with how adorable his boyfriend was being. Taking a big sip of his hot chocolate and swallowing it, he quickly put his cup down to give Jack more kisses, targeting his cheek again. The Irishman about to return the kiss until a knock on his door broke their moment. Door opening, Mrs McLoughlin walked in. Mark greeted the woman while Jack got up from the bed. He went straight over to his mother, wrapping his arms around her in a hug and greeting her loudly.

 

“Merry Christmas Sean!” The Irish Woman laughed from the display of affection and Jack chuckled a little, kissing his mother's cheek.

 

“Merry Christmas Ma. Did Dad wake you up?”

 

“No, your sister, she arrived with her twins early. I thought I’d make sure you two weren’t… Enjoying yourselves before I let the kids in.”

 

Jack’s cheeks immediately flushed as he cried, “Ma!”

 

Ciara laughed at her son’s expense and even Mark was snickering a little from the bed. Although, he had clearly gone flush from the comment too. “Oh come on Sean, you’re both grown adults. You can do that sort of thing! But it would be awkward if your niece and nephew saw that. That's all I meant.” Jack rolled his eyes as he said “Considering we were expecting the family to arrive early, we weren’t doing anything like that.”

 

Ciara laughed as she ruffled Jack’s hair “Well, you two should get dressed quickly. Moira and Micheál are very excited. Jack nodded his head as he said “We won’t be too long Ma.”

 

Ciara smiled as she left the couple to themselves. Jack turned his attention back to Mark smiling “You know I have a lot of nieces and nephews right?” Mark nodded his head. Jack chuckled as he said “Are you prepared to be used as a human climbing frame?” Mark hummed pretending to consider the idea before he said “I’m sure I can handle it.” Jack smirked as he said “Dylan is a huge Markiplier fan, he might ask some questions.” Mark shrugged with a smile as he said “I can handle it, but you Mr McLoughlin need to stop worrying. I am happy to be here and I’m really excited to meet your brother, sisters, nieces and nephews.”

 

Mark got up from the bed and walked over to Jack giving him a kiss. Jack smiled a little against Mark’s lips as they both pulled away. Jack let out his sigh as he said “I know I’m a worry wart, I just want to make sure that we leave a good impression. I’m used to my family and our crazy antics, we’re all loud and boisterous and excitable I-” Mark cut Jack off with another quick kiss. “Jack, chill… I’ve put up with your craziness for five years now, I’m sure I can handle your family.” Mark’s tone was light and playful as he spoke, but the sincerity was there.

 

Jack smiled a little looking slightly embarrassed about all his worrying. Mark wrapped his arms around Jack pulling him into a hug, in turn, the vampire buried his head in the space between Mark’s neck and shoulder, able to feel Marks pulse instantly relaxing him. Jack let out a sigh as he said “Okay, okay… I’ll try to stop worrying.” Mark chuckled a little as he said “Let's get dressed so we don’t keep your family waiting.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

As more and more of the McLoughlin family arrived, Mark realized just how big the family was. Ciara and Oisin had five children and most of those children had children of their own Malcolm, Susan, Kalen, Lauren and Jack. Malcolm had one son Dylan, Susan had twins Moira and Micheál, Kalen had three children Conor, Lewis and Robin, Lauren had a toddler called Bailey.

 

Mark was astounded that Ciara was able to cook for everyone, she refused to let anyone help. Mark felt a little bad but Jack assured her that his mother preferred to cook alone, she only got stressed when people tried to help.

 

Once dinner had finished the family went outside for a game of football. Of course, Jack failed to mention how competitive his family were.

 

The family were split so that the children were playing against the adults. Dylan, Moria, Micheál, Conor, Lewis and Robin were facing Jack, Mark, Malcolm, Kalen, Susan and Lauren. The adults, while competitive, were also giving the children a fair chance.

 

Ciara called telling the family that there was five minutes left of the game. Losing by two goals Dylan yelled “PILE ON UNCLE SEAN!”

 

Jack’s face fell and he stopped in his tracks, he was starting to back away as he saw everyone turn to look at him “No. No pile on. No.” The family were slowly closing in, Jack was backing away.

 

However, Jack was grabbed suddenly and tackled to the floor as Mark cheered “PILE ON!” before Jack could say anything he felt the pile on getting heavier as each of the children piled on. Around him, Jack could hear his brothers and sisters snickering. Jack was clawing at the ground as he said “I submit! Have mercy on me.” Mark chuckled as he said “Sorry not sorry Sean.” After a minute or so Jack’s siblings encouraged them to get off the pile telling them “Don’t break Uncle Sean just yet.” With all the children removed from the pile, Jack said “Mark, please. Can you get off me.” Mark shook his head before he nuzzled against Jack and wrapped his arms around the vampire “No, I think I’m comfortable here.”

 

Jack whined playfully as he said “No Mark please have mercy.”

 

Eventually, Mark did let Jack up. And by the time he did let Jack up the game had finished. Jack got up and punched Marks arm lightly “It’s a good job I love you goof.” Mark faked being hurt, rubbing the arm that Jack didn’t hit as he said “Ouchie… Please don’t hurt me Jackie-Boy.” Jack chuckled a little kissing Marks cheek as he said “Never, I’d never hurt you.” Mark smiled as he said “I know.”

~~~~____~~~~

 

As night closed in, the siblings departed to their respective homes, Malcolm and Dylan staying with Jack and Mark. Dylan was asleep in the bedroom on an air mattress. Malcolm, Jack and Mark were watching a film.


Jack was cuddled up to Mark as they watched the film, Marks arm wrapped around Jack holding him close. Jack let out a happy purr. Malcolm chuckled as he said “Some things never change do they, Sean?” Jack stuck his tongue out at his brother as he said “I like hugs. I’m allowed to like hugs.” Malcolm laughed “I didn’t say that you couldn’t like hugs, but I was more referring to you purring, you always purr when you’re happy.” Jack shrugged as he said “Well, I am happy. It’s not often we all get to be together. And I’m even more happy because Mark got to be here.” Malcolm smiled at Jack “It is nice when we can all get together.” Jack nodded his head.

Mark gave Jack a kiss as he said “I’ve really enjoyed today. Your nieces and nephews are adorable.” Jack chuckled a little as he said “Mad as hell.” Mark shrugged as he said “I don’t know. I put up with you, so I think I can handle your nieces and nephews.” Jack poked Marks rips lightly as he said “Rude.” Mark snickered as he kissed Jacks nose “You still love me though.” Jack nodded and nuzzled Mark as he purred “Of course I do goof.”

Chapter Text

Just as they had agreed, the Police returned to ask more questions. Unfortunately, Jack was having a bad day, lots of things triggered him that morning. And Jack ended up closing himself off. He was curled up in a ball on the bed, hidden beneath his blanket, clutching at his Sam plushie.

 

Mark tried to get Jack to talk a little, about anything. But he wouldn’t budge, he’d completely shut down. There wasn’t anyway to bring Jack back from this, at least not one Mark knew. He just had to keep talking and wait it out.

 

But time wasn’t on their side, Mark could see the two Guarda Officers from the other day stood outside. Rose was clearly trying to warn them about Jack’s current state. Mark would be told to leave.

 

There was a knock on the door as the two officers entered, Michael the male officer who seemed to be a little more understanding than his female colleague entered first and spoke softly “Good afternoon Sean. It’s Michael again. Do you think you can answer some questions?”  everyone waited for an answer, they watched as the lump under the covers shifted and ever so slowly Jacks hear poked out. He looked to Mark, the to the two officers “M-Maybe… I… I don’t really know…” for Jack to admit that he didn’t know if he could answer questions, they knew it was bad. Michael pulled a face clearly not convinced by the answer “Okay… Well, we’ll try. But Sean, if you can’t answer a question just let me know okay? We can always try again.”

 

The vampire nodded, Mark stood up and moved to leave, when something grabbed him and held him firmly, Mark turned to see Jack holding onto his wrist “Mark?” his tone was helpless and lost. Mark looked to Michael as he shrugged “If Jack would feel better having you hear, I’m okay with that.” Jack let out a whine tugging Marks wrist a little. But that didn’t really help Mark much, it only made him worry that Jack had fallen into a bad headspace “Jack, do you want me to stay?” Jack looked up at Mark wordlessly.

 

Mark did wait, giving Jack time to answer, but after a while it was clear that he wasn’t answering. Mark tried again “Jack? Do you want me to stay? You can speak you know.” Jack swallowed thickly gaze falling away.

 

He wanted to answer, but he remembered being punished for asking for things. He didn’t think that Mark was going to punish him. It had been four months since Jack’s release, he trusted Mark not to punish him… But there were two other people in the room, two he didn’t know and more importantly didn’t trust. What if they punished him for asking Mark to stay. Jack shuddered. Mark licked his lips as he said “Are you okay Jack? You can talk to me.” Jack’s gaze moved to the two Guarda Officers before back to Mark as he whined.

 

Mark now understood. He crouched down and shuffled as close as he could to the bed “Whisper to me okay.” Jack nodded as he shuffled closer to the end of the bed, he was so close to Mark, Jack whispered softly “Please stay… I need you.” even in the whisper Jack’s tone sounded broken and defeated. Mark would never say no to Jack. Especially when he sounded so broken. Mark nodded his head as he said “Okay, I’ll stay and if at any point you want me to leave, I will.” Jack nodded his head and nuzzled himself against Marks chest. The human wrapped his arms around Jack protectively kissing the top of his head as he whispered “Are you sure that you’re okay with this Jack?” Jack took in a deep breath and let it out slowly “Y-yeah, I should be.” Mark rubbed Jack’s back in attempt to comfort him “When you’re ready okay.” Michael nodded his head “We can take as long as you like Sean, don’t worry.”

 

Jack took a couple moments to calm his nerves, Marks constant praises and rubbing his back helped to calm him down a little “I… I think I’m okay to answer questions now.” Michael smiled a little “Okay, so the first thing we would like to know is… What exactly did they do, we would like as many details as you can give is possible.” of course, Michael meant that they needed answers, but seeing how tense and scared Jack seemed today, he thought it best to ask if it was okay. After all, he could come back and ask again another day if Jack couldn’t answer.

“So Jack, the first thing I would like to ask you is, what did they do when you first arrived?” Jack went rigid from the question alone and he shifted uncomfortably “H-Honest… The beginning wasn’t so bad… Compared to everything that happened at least… I told you they sedated me… I… I don’t know how long I was out, but I woke up to a bucket of cold water being thrown over me. When I woke I was naked, they’d taken my clothes from me. They beat me up… They beat me until I was coughing up blood and then they left.” Jack let out a sigh “That… Happened for about a week? I think… Time wasn’t something I could really measure.” Michael listened intently and nodded as he made notes of what Jack was saying “Okay then… So the treatment they gave you did it increase or at least… Did it get worse the more time passed?” Jack nodded his head “Y-yeah… Kicking and punching was first, then the shock collar… A little after that they started to cut me as well as punching me, after that they would burn me with a lighter, cigarettes or w-wolfsbane.” Jack shuddered and for a moment flinched away by reflex.

 

It was a long moment before the vampire could bring himself to speak again, his tone wavered as he kept trying to answer “It was around this point that they… They insisted on keeping me in a c-cage… T-Then came the whip… And the sexual stuff… I had to crawl around on all four li-” he stopped himself before he actually said ‘like a good pet’. Jack shuddered and tried to hide himself against Mark, seeking comfort in Marks warmth. Michael could see how Jack slowly unraveled and decided to stop Jack “Thats a lot of useful information, Jack… If at any time in the future you want to tell us more then let us know… I’d like to ask something of you.” Jack looked to the Guarda Officer, still clinging and mostly hiding against Mark, but trying to show that he was listening to the other. Michael took a breath as he said “We need to take some photos of your scars as evidence… Obviously, the hospital took some at the beginning… But we need to see the scars that are more permanent… If that's okay.”

 

Jack squeaked and immediately buried himself completely against Mark. No cameras he didn’t want to be ‘showed off’ again. He didn’t want anyone to see him, he didn’t want to be exposed like that.  Mark ran his fingers through Jacks hair trying to soothe him. Jack whined against Mark as he whispered “Not again…” Mark was confused “Again?” Jack shook his head as he pulled away from Mark, he was trying to get away and Mark immediately stood up and backed off.

 

Jack pulled away from the figure holding him. He didn’t want more photos, he didn’t want them to make fun of him anymore, to take more photos for their sick scrapbook. Didn’t they have enough already? Jack shuffled back trying to get away, not seeing the reality of the situation . He ducked his head submissively, he was down on all fours. Maybe if he was a good-boy, they wouldn’t force him to have photos taken.

 

Seeing Jack look so scared Michael almost wanted to be sick. He’d never saw Jack’s panics. If the vampire was this bad… What the fuck had those people done to him? Michael knew he didn’t have all the answers, he knew there was still more for Jack to disclose. But for this level of trauma… Michael didn’t want to think about the severity of Jack’s abuse. The Guarda Officer backed away as he said “It doesn’t matter… I mean… It's okay. You don’t have to do anything.”

 

“It’s okay. It won’t take long.” one of the men said. Jack squeaked and immediately regretted it. The man who had been holding him was reaching for him again and Jack jumped back, dropping off something. To scared to question it Jack looked for his escape routes. He saw a hiding space and quickly crawled beneath it, hiding in the same space.

 

Jack squeaked and jumped back falling off the bed when Mark offered his hands to Jack, palms up. Once on the floor the vampire crawled under the bed and already, Rose, Michael and Mark could hear Jack crying. They all exchanged worried glances, this was one of Jack’s worst panics to date. Mark couldn’t help. They had already realised that because of his treatment Jack was scared of men. No matter how friendly he presented himself, no matter how kind he acted. Jack would only be scared of him. Mark gestured to Rose as he said “Why don’t you try.” Rose pointed to herself “Me? What ca-!” Rose was cut off as the three heard Jack whimper “I’m a good-boy.”

 

Mark licked his lips as he said “Chica is training, I can have her here in a few minutes. Rose, try and talk to him, keep your tone light and as feminine as possible.” Rose nodded her head. Mark was quick to run out of the room through the hospital. He needed Chica, she might be the only one that could help.

 

Rose knelt down on the floor peering under the bed, Jack was curled up in a ball, flinching and shuffling back as soon as he saw Rose “Sean, it’s Rose. Your nurse. Can you hear me?” Jack shook his head and clenched his fists sniffling “I’m sorry master. I’m sorry. Please don’t punish me.” Rose shook her head as she said “No, Sean. No one is going to ‘punish you’ remember? That doesn’t happen anymore. You’re not with those bad people Sean. You’re safe. You’re safe in hospital.” Jack whined “Master please don’t punish me. I’m sorry… I-I can be good. I am good.”

 

Jack was gone, Rose could see that much. She kept trying to reassure Jack he was fine, kept trying to reassert Jack with reality. But it wasn’t working.

 

Mark returned Golden Retriever in tow. Mark pointed to the bed as he said “Go on Chica-pica, Jack needs your help.” Rose moved out the way as the Golden Retriever nosed under the bed, tail wagging. Jack shrieked and the group were sure he would flee. But then they heard him say in a confused tone “Fluffy?”

 

Jack was assaulted by something large. He shrieked and almost fled, until he noticed something fluffy rubbing against him, the large thing pulled back and Jack reached forwards, hands cautiously feeling. “Fluffy?” Fluffy that was definitely fluffy. Something wet licked his cheek “Wet?” the wet thing licked his cheek again and it was… A tongue? And there was panting and… Dog breath? It was all wrong. Well, not wrong but different and not at all what Jack was used to. It wasn’t what normally happened with the hunters.

 

Chica was under the bed with Jack for nearly twenty minutes. Finally, Chica was able to get Jack out from under the bed. The vampire refused to make eye-contact with anyone, hiding his head behind Chica. Michael told Rose to let the police know when Jack was ready to answer questions. Rose said it might be a while but she would keep in touch.

 

Rose stayed with Mark and Jack. But Jack refused to leave Chica’s side. Eventually, they decided it was probably best to leave Jack alone with Chica so he could calm down. Rose promised to keep an eye on Jack.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack was sat on the bed, knees pulled to his chest, one hand resting on Chica’s back, petting her. The other was clutching the blanket he was sat on. Jack felt so embarrassed that he’d lost it like that. It was bad enough when he freaked out in front of Mark, but to do it in front of someone who was practically a stranger. Jack felt awful. Not to mention that was his worst panic. He was blinded a scenario that only he could see. He hated to think that the poor Guarda Officer had gotten caught in the middle of it all. He was at least glad that Chica had pulled him out of his head. He wasn’t sure that anyone else would have been able to do that.

 

Jack refused to eat anything that day, he didn’t want to eat anything, he didn’t feel hungry he just wanted to be left alone. Mark asked if he could come to see Jack again, but Jack still wanted to be left alone. Eventually, Jack fell asleep with Chica cuddled next to him.

Chapter Text

It had been eight months since Jack had been free of his captors . Recovery had been slow, but Jack was improving.  When he had first arrived at the hospital, Jack was malnourished to the point where supporting his own weight was as much of a challenge as climbing a mountain to a healthy man. Within eight months, the Irishman was back to what the doctors considered to be a healthy weight . He at least didn’t look like a skeleton anymore, Jack had remarked once while looking over himself, His break-downs had become less violent and less frequent. Jack could sleep for longer periods of time without disruption. Nightmare were still frequent for the vampire. However, once Jack calmed himself down, he was able to fall back asleep again which was a great improvement. He had become  less scared of people he’d became familiar with, Mark, Ciara, Oisin, Lauren, Kalen, Malcolm and Susan were all able to hug Jack again. His mother was even able to kiss Jack’s forehead.

 

But the best improvement was probably Jack’s eyes! While he was weak, his eyes were red constantly, a symbol of what little strength Jack had . The fact that he was a vampire was possibly the only thing keeping him alive. But finally, Jack’s eyes were back to blue, showing that the Irishman was back to being physically healthy.

 

Rose walked into the room and pulled the blinds open, glancing back at Jack and spotting him, the vampire flinched for a moment but soon relaxed. It was pleasant sight to see the vampire being calm with blinds open. Getting Jack used to natural light had been hard. During his time in the hospital , Jack had explained that the hunters had left him locked into place under a window. To add to his suffering, mirrors had been placed by the window. No matter what time of day it was, Jack was exposed to sunlight from sunrise to sunset.  Sun wasn’t usually a problem for vampires. Jack could go outside and walk around fine; so long as he was wearing sunblock and he kept his outdoor trips short. After being in direct sunlight for a whole day Jack’s skin was blistering and burnt. To add to his suffering, the hunters were usually not satisfied with just burning him. With Jack’s skin bright red, blistered and sore, the hunters would whip him.

 

The first time Rose opened the blinds in Jack’s room, the vampire had tried to hide under the bed, screaming and begging the nurse to close the blinds. It took a long time for Jack to get used to natural light, even in small doses . Jack would sometimes stand in front of the window for an hour before he managed to open the blinds.

 

Once done fixing the window, Rose turned to Jack, about to tell him just how well she thought he was doing, when she noticed his eyes. She let out a light gasp and Jack quickly reacted with a confused look.  “Are you alright Sean?” She asked, stepping closer to the bed. Jack nodded his head, still looking slightly confused. “I’m fine actually, why?” Rose pointed to her eyes as she said, “Y-Your eyes are blue?” Jack blinked a couple times, almost unsure he had heard the nurse correctly. “They are?” Rose nodded, “Yes… Is that normal or….” Jack let out a sigh, (before weakly chuckling. It was sort of understandable to not think it’s normal.) “My eyes are naturally blue, all my family have blue eyes… But because of what the hunters did, I was sick and well… You know how I was… I probably wouldn’t have survived if it hadn’t been for the fact that I was a vampire. After all, a vampire can survive a lot more than a human can because our bodys heal themselves faster… I guess if my eyes are blue it means that I’m better now?” Rose smiled brightly, “Well that's good. The blue certainly does suit you.”

 

“Thanks…Mark once said something similar.”  Jack chuckled a little, recalling the memory fondly. Rose smiled as she said, “I also have some good news for you today.”

 

“Oh?” Jack said a small amount of hesitance showing in his tone, a remaining part of his trauma. The nurse nodded. “Yeah, you’ve been doing so well recently and obviously you’re a lot better than you were when you first arrived. We wanted to see how you’d react at home for a few hours.” Jack was shocked by the news. Home . Wow… He hadn’t been home since his capture. Home… Jack didn’t know what to think. “Home?” he questioned, seemingly unable to do anything else other than question it. Rose nodded her head again. “At your apartment, Robin and Lauren are going out for the day, Lauren needed to go see her children. So Mark and I will be taking you back to your apartment and seeing how things go. The hope is that we can get you used to living at home and in a couple months you won’t need to stay here all the time.”

 

Jack shook his head a little, trying to shake off his shock from the news. “It’s been eight months since I was at home…” Rose looked a little confused, then her expression change to one of withheld sorrow “Eight? Jack that’s only the time you’ve been recovering, before that you were missing for four months… It’s been about a year since you were at your apartment...”

 

“A year…” Jack whispered. A sinking feeling made it way into the Irishman, then suddenly, he became hyper aware of everything he’d missed. “I went missing in October…” That meant Jack had missed Christmas, his own birthday, his parents’ anniversary, Malcolm and Kalen’s birthday, Mark’s birthday, Felix’s wedding, all the convention he had promised to be at, and so much more than Jack wanted to process “H-How did I not realise how long it had been?”  Jack looked to Rose. His voice and eyes giving way to his distress. Rose responded by trying to offer him some comfort and clarity. “Well, losing track of time can be a symptom of trauma. You have mentioned before about being unable to tell how much time passed while the hunters had you.” Jack’s gaze moved to his phone, he hadn’t posted a video for a year and his community still made fan-art, still posted, still liked, still re-blogged, still sent him their best wishes. It was insane to think that Jack was still relevant after so long. “A year…” Jack repeated shaking his head as he cursed softly “Fuck.”

 

How had it been a year? A whole year. He couldn’t get passed it.

 

Jack looked so lost as he stared at his phone. It was so horrible to see after his eyes had been so bright earlier, yet she could understand why. A whole year of Jack’s life had passed him and he’d been totally unaware of it.   “I’m sorry Sean… I… I didn’t realise that you didn’t know.” Rose apologised. Hearing Rose apologise, Jack was quick to snap out of his thoughts “It’s not your fault. You don’t need to be sorry. it’s just… I always used to worry about how short my youtube career could be... I would worry that if I stopped creating or took a break, everyone would just kind of move on… But hear we are. A whole year on and people still post stuff and send me their best wishes and… My channel still get a decent amount of views considering nothing new has been posted in over a year!”

 

Rose smiled a little, “More people care than you realise, Sean.” Jack nodded. “I-I guess… It’s… It’s amazing really, I… I can’t even put it into words.” Rose turned to leave as she said, “I’ll bring you something to eat and a cup of coffee while we wait for Mark. The we’ll head to your apartment.” Jack called out a thanks before returning to his phone, feeling like making a very thankful tweet.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

When Mark arrived, Rose and Mark worked on getting Jack out of the hospital. It was… A challenge. While Jack was recovering, his legs were still weak. He hadn’t quite managed to regain enough strength in his legs to stand on his own yet. He was better than he used to be, but still relied on his crutches.

 

Getting Jack out of the hospital was the easy part of the experiment. Getting the vampire into a car,  a confined space, for the hour and a half drive from Dublin hospital to Athlone was a little harder. At first Jack was clearly hesitant. The slam of the car door made him yelp and jump back, but Mark was there to talk to him, easing him to sit in the backseat next to Jack.

 

Thankfully, Jack was okay in the car. The worry was that Jack would panic being in a small space, but being able to listen to the radio and watching the car traveled through Ireland had helped Jack to stay calm. Seeing his surroundings as the scenery passed them kept Jack grounded, reminding him of reality, It reminded him that he wasn’t trapped, merely traveling.

 

Finally, Rose pulled the car up outside Jack’s apartment. She switched her sat-nav off, putting it in the glove box as she got out of the car. Mark swiftly got out of the car and came over to the other side, ready to help Jack out of the car.  Jack smiled softly, thanking the American for his assistance. Jack and Mark walked down the path way first.

 

At the door, Mark took his keys out and unlocked the door. With the door opened, Jack stepped in, eyes scanning his surroundings. He was taking in everything slowly. It looked more or less the same to what he remembered, albeit probably cleaner. He would need to find a way to thank his sister properly. She really had looked after his apartment, her and Robin. The small group entered the apartment. Instinctively, Jack made his way to the kitchen. Once in the kitchen, he went over to the sink and crouched down. He opened the cupboard under the sink snickering a little. Mark had been closely following Jack, wanting to see how he would react, what he would do. When he opened the cupboard, Mark tilted his head to the side, slightly confused on the particular interest.“What is it?” Jack turned to face Mark as he said, “This is the little fridge I had installed so I could store blood without filling my actual fridge.”

 

Mark smiled a little with amusement,“Is it empty?”

 

Jack shook his head “No, looks like it hasn’t been touched since I left… Er… Well obviously. But it probably needs to go out, blood only keeps so long. It’s been in there for a year…” Jack closed the little fridge as he stood up bones creaking as he did so. He shrugged as he said, “I’ll get round to it eventually.” Turning away from the fridge, Jack saw Mark in the doorway. Jack looked around as he said “It’s surprising that everything still looks the same… I really need to give my thanks to Lauren and Robin.”

 

Mark smiled a little,  “They’ve really looked after this place.”

 

“Yeah. I can tell.”

 

“I know that I spent like 95% of my time at the hospital with you, but when I’m here, I can see the amount of care she puts into making sure this place stays the same. She cleans the apartment almost religiously.”

 

“I can see, it’s cleaner than when I lived here!”  Jack commented with a tiny smirk.

 

The two fell silent as Jack gazed around the room, taking in everything again. However, the silence did not last, broken by Mark making a sudden noise. “Oh!”They even kept all your mail, do you want to go through it?” Jack blinked a couple times, taking a moment to come out of his thought. “My mail?”

 

“Yeah, any letters that came through addressed to you. No one opened them.” Mark signaled for Jack to follow hm as they moved through the house. The american made his way towards the cupboard by the door. He opened one of the cupboard doors and pulled out a box that was filled with envelopes. Mark carried the box into the living room and placed it down. Jack following him the entire time. Jack sat on the couch, near where Mark placed the box. He took the lid off the box and started to pull out envelopes. Most of them looked like rent receipts and bank statements, they were obviously important, but would mostly be the same and half of them would be useless to him at this point. There were a few that appeared to be hand written, from friends or relatives most likely.

 

One in particular stood out to him. It was a yellow envelope that had his name and address on. It was thicker than a letter, like it had multiple pieces of paper or something similar inside. Jack opened the envelope carefully, curious of it content.

 

A note fell out, landing on the vampires knee. Placing the envelope to the side, Jack decided to look at the note first. He picked up the note, it read:


Dear Mr McLoughlin, Happy 33rd Birthday, these photos aren’t much. But we hope you like them and that they remind you of special times.

 

33rd Birthday, so his birthday last year…

 

Photos?

 

Maybe something from a convention, Jack reasoned. Last year was the year he was released. In about a week, he’d be 34… He’d missed a whole year of his life. Shaking his head to avoid getting stuck in his thoughts, Jack decided to focus on the envelope and its contents again. Placing the note to the side, Jack pulled out a stack of photos.

 

Looking at the first one, Jack felt himself freeze.

 

It was a picture of him, laid in that basement, naked apart from a pair of boxers, passed out. But free of injuries.

 

Hesitantly, he moved to the next photo. The hunters were kicking him as he cowered beneath them, bruises clearly starting to form… Had they really documented everything?

He didn’t want to, in fact he couldn’t …! Jack flipped through each of the photos. Unable to really process, just trying to work out what each image showed. These images were a literal timeline of his torment. He could recall each memory from each image with ease.

 

Jack screamed.

 

He wasn’t even looking at the photos anymore.He didn’t need to see them. The stack of photos had ended up on the ground but Jack had not noticed. He knocked the envelope to the floor as well, blind to his actions. He was screaming as loudly as he could. This was less nightmarish hallucinations. And more realisation… The hunters had his address, they sent him all the photos.

 

They knew where he lived.

They could come back

.They could take him again.

They could be watching.

What if they knew he was hear again?

If they knew that he was with Mark…

 

Jack didn't want to think about it.

Chapter Text

WARNING: EXPLICIT CONTENT/TRIGGER WARNING, DESCRIPTIONS OF PHYSICAL ABUSE, RAPE AND CONDITIONING.

 

Mark had been making coffee for everyone when he heard a scream. A loud scream that was full of terror. The shock of the sound causing him to drop one of the mugs he had been holding. However, the fallen cup was completely forgotten as the American switched into action, running for the living room. He spotted Jack on the couch, surrounded by papers. The Irishman didn’t notice him come, staring at the wall and continuing to scream.

 

“Jack?! Jack? What happened? What’s wrong?” Mark had to shout to be heard over the screaming. As Mark moves closer, he could see how vacant the vampire’s eyes were.  He wasn't sure of what to do, but he tried to remain calm while getting the other man’s attention. Avoiding getting too close, he stayed a few feet away from the vampire.

 

The American voice had managed to break Jack from his screaming and his gaze moved away from the wall to Mark. Jack’s blue eyes clearly full of fear.  Quickly standing up, the Irishman ran to the window, locking it and pulling the curtains shut. The American took the sight of Jack moving as a sign to move closer. Reaching a hand to place on his lover’s shoulder, Mark was nearly touching the vampire before halting his action, catching Jack’s whispers to himself.

 

“I can’t go back. They can’t get me. I can’t. I can’t. I won’t go back.”

 

Jack turned from the window and moved around the American with ease, completely ignoring his presence. Mark felt his stomach drop, knowing fully well that Jack was still experiencing one of his panic attacks. Following the vampire with his eyes, Mark could tell Jack was heading to the next window, where the Irishman repeated to lock and shut the curtains. Unsure if disrupting Jack would only cause him to start screaming again, Mark remained silent, watching Jack until the Irishman left the living room.

 

Once alone, Mark’s attention was drawn to the papers scattered on the floor next to the couch... Normally, he wouldn’t pry into Jack’s business, but A gut feeling told him that these paper had something to do with Jack’s current state. The American hoped that maybe by looking through, he’d get a clue to what had triggered the vampire. There was no promise that Mark would find anything, but he wanted to be sure for Jack’s sake. After all, Mark would need to know what was going on with the vampire and know what to avoid. They wanted Jack to heal, knowing more of what was the vampire’s trigger would hopefully help with working with Jack to deal with his fears.

 

As the American knelt down to pick them up, he noticed that some of the papers were actually photos. Collecting them together, it didn’t take Mark long to realize what had caused Jack’s reaction. The photo on the top of the pile showed a pale chest, covered in blood. In the middle of the chest, Mark could clearly see a bleeding wound in the shape of a heart. Mark knew that scar. It was one that hadn’t finished healing and probably never would. The photo must’ve been taken shortly after they carved into Jack’s chest. Although, Jack had mentioned that they repeatedly cut into the scar so that it wouldn’t heal. Mark absently reasoned that It was possible the photo was from one of the assaults.

 

His horror was at the forefront of his mind, completely wrapped up and sickened by what the picture in his hand was showing him. Automatically, the American’s hands moved to the next image. Jack sat in a cage in a dog-like position. His chest was bandaged up, indicating to be after the first photo. There were visible cuts, bruises and burn marks littering his naked skin. His damaged hair frizzed outward, looking to have recently been pulled a lot . At first, Mark didn’t understand the photo.  It was just Jack, albeit in a humiliating position. Mark hated to pose it like this, but there wasn’t anything significant about Jack’s injuries, at least not like the first photo. The American was assuming that each photo had to be from a specific torment. His gaze traveled across the bars of the cage, searching for more information, before stopping on Jack’s pleading eyes. As Mark looked closer, he noticed something white running from the corner of Jack’s mouth.

 

Mark should have expected this.


Jack had only ever managed to say that the hunters had ‘touched’ him. He wasn’t able to go into specifics, but from the injuries and bruising the doctors and nurses found, it became obvious that Jack had been raped… And… Well... Mark knew what the white ‘liquid’ running down Jack’s chin was. It made his stomach turn.


Feeling like he was going to be sick, Mark was quick to move to the next photo. As awful he felt it was, the American really couldn’t take seeing Jack in such a state.Although, the next photos provided no better result.  The vampire’s hands were bound in front of him. His legs forcibly kept open by a spreader bar. His face was being pushed down and squashed against the floor by a pair of tanned hands. There were bruises around Jack’s ass, a sex toy being held inside of the Irishman.

 

Mark was quick to move to the next one. Only the more he moved through the photos, the more sexual and perverse they got. A sharp pain dug its way into Mark’s heart. He wanted to throw the pictures away from him, and yet his fingers only gripped the papers tightly. He needed to go to Jack, the American tried to reason with himself between racing thoughts. Mark told his legs to stand, but they remain on the ground, heavy as lead. Traitorous hands pulled the next picture to the front.

He needed to stop. Right now, he needed to help Jack. The Irishman was the one who was having the mental break down…

 

Finally, his fingers allowed the horrible images to fall to the floor. Mark forced himself up to his feet and started heading out of the room. Mark didn’t know how he was going to talk to Jack, but he had to try and ease the vampire’s fear in any way he could.

It didn't take long for the American to find Jack, who was checking a window. Mark announced his presence softly before moving closer.  The vampire looked at him, fear still clear in his eyes.  Mark slowly offered his hand, and Jack brought himself to take his lover’s offer. Closing the space between the two, the American wrapped his arms around Jack and held him.

 

“It’s okay. No one is getting in okay. And no one is taking you. I won’t let them, not now, not ever again.” Mark said in hush voice while rubbing the vampire’s back  Jack whined against Mark’s shoulder.

“I can't go back. I can’t. I won’t Mark… Don’t make me go back.” The Irishman pleaded desperately, repeating the same things over and over again

 

The American held a little tighter on to the vampire, trying to ground the other man. His hand rubbing small circles on Jack’s back. Gently, he kissed his forehead. “No one will take you and no one is going to make you go back there, Jack… I’ll get rid of those photos. Don’t worry.” Mark reassured. Jack shifted a little in his hold, and the American allowed the Irishman to pull away. “I’ll take those photos away. You get comfortable, talk with Rose, and I’ll make some coffee.”

Jack managed a weak smile in response, and he kissed Marks cheek. The American grinned a little more before swiftly pulling away from the vampire. He called for Rose as he headed back towards the living room, telling her to go to Jack while he handled something. Quickly, Mark grabbed the stack of photos and the envelope. Being careful not to look at the pictures, he slid all the papers back into the envelope then shoved it into his pocket.  The American had said that he was going to get rid of the photos, but it seemed more logical to take them to the police station.In the meantime, Mark would keep the envelope out of sight. It was better for Jack.

 

Going back to the kitchen, Mark saw the smashed mug from earlier. The American groaned as he found a brush and dustpan so he could clean up. While sweeping, Mark made a mental note to remember to buy Jack a new mug. After the broken mug was thrown out, Mark went to make coffee again. He made three cups of coffee, one for Jack, one for Rose and one for himself.

 

Once finished, the American called for the others to join him. Slowly and cautiously, Jack made his way into the kitchen and over to the table, sitting down. Rose following closely behind. Mark brought the three mugs over from and counter and placed them in front of their owners. Jack reached for his and took a sip.  Mark took notice that Jack still looked a little fragile. Deciding it was best to keep any conversation light and casual, Mark took a moment to think over his works before saying, “Maybe after we’ve finished our coffee we could play on your Nintendo Switch or your PlayStation, Mario Kart or rocket league maybe?”

 

Jack nodded his head, managing a somewhat stronger smile than earlier, “Yeah! I-I… I’d like that.”

 

Mark smiled back eagerly, taking a sip from his coffee. Rose smiled as well, clearly pleased with how the thing were going.

 

“It would be nice to be able to relax a little… While still technically working.” She offered playfully, The vampire nodded his head with more certainty and smiling a little stronger, which was encouraging.

 

Once finishing their coffee, The three moved to the living room to relax the rest of the afternoon with video games.

~~~~____~~~~

After a few hours, Mark left Jack and Rose downstairs to play a couple rounds of rocket league. Escaping upstairs and closing himself off in Jack's old office, he retrieved the envelope from his pocket. The American placed the stack of photos on the desk with an uneasy sigh. He could do this.  They were just photos… Just photos…

Just photos that would show him what the hunters made Jack suffer through, photos that were likely to be graphic and gory and from what he’d seen, sexually explicit.

Fuck.

 

He didn’t want to do this. It felt cowardly and selfish, but he really didn’t want to know the extent of Jack’s torture… But at the same time, he also felt that he needed to know.

Believing that if he knew what Jack went through he’d be able to help more. It was a logical assumption. If he knew what Jack had experienced, he would know what had the possibility to trigger Jack. Ultimately, Mark felt that if he wanted to help Jack… He needed to look through some of the photos.

 

Mark’s gaze moved the envelope. Earlier, while fumbling with the package in private, he had noticed there was a USB drive inside the envelope. Mark decided that he would also find out what was in the USB too. Carefully opening the envelope, Mark fished his fingers in for the device. Occasionally, His fingers would brush against the smooth surface of one of the photos and the American would get a terrible chill up his spine.

 

However, it didn’t take long for Mark to grab the drive and pull it out. After having the device properly checked for antivirus and malware software was up to date, Mark loaded up his laptop and plugged the drive in.

 

Already, the drive’s name had come up, McLoughin_Sean_Scrapbook. It was probably named specifically. In fact, it was almost like it had been labeled so it could be filed… Like these people kept evidence of everyone they’d ever taken… If that was true, that might be useful to the police.

 

Mark opened the driver to see video files loading up. The thumbnails were black. The sight didn’t ease Mark’s nerves. The files were dated…

 

Mark scrolled to the bottom to see the first one titled: 22/02/2023. Jack was taken the night of the twenty-first. If the title was actually a date, then the video was made the day after he was taken.

Mark played the video. It opened showing Jack, laid in nothing but his boxers, on the floor. To Mark’s short relief, the vampire looked completely unharmed. A voice came through the speakers, and Mark could tell that it had been edited with effects. No one would be able to recognize the voice and assign it to a person… Typical. The American was about to become frustrated when the speaker brought his attention back to the video.

 

“Look at him. He looks so peaceful,” Even if effects had been used to conceal the real voice, Mark could tell how mocking that statement had been.

 

“He’ll be fun to play with.” another voice chimed in.

“Fun to break too.” another voiced said with an echoing chuckle. There were a few moments of silence.

 

“Well. I’m bored. Let's wake him up.”

 

A figure came into view, wearing a mask and gloves to cover any skin. The masked person was carrying what appeared to be a heavy bucket. Hoisting the bucket up with two hands, they dumped its content on to Jack. Water came down on to the vampire, startling him awake. His eyes wide with confusion and fright as he scanned the room. It was possible to see the Irishman shivering and to see ice cubes on the ground.

“Sorry for the abrupt wake-up, blood-sucker. But we were getting bored and this is a lot more entertaining.” the first voice cooed, mockingly.

 

Jack rubbed the water away from his eyes and tried to stand but stopped while trying to pull his knees forward. Apparently noticing something, Jack looked behind him. The camera moved to one side, and Mark could see Jack’ eyes widened again. Suddenly With new angle, Jack and Mark both realized that there were two shackles around Jack’s ankles. The chains the shackles were connected to were big and thick. Jack tried to break free, pulling and clawing at both the shackles and the chains. But he couldn’t. The hunters laughed at him.

 

While Mark watched Jack struggled, his mind trailed away in thought about what could have happened had the American been closer. If he and Jack had lived together like they always talked about, maybe they could have found Jack and all he would’ve experienced was a bit of cold water. Familiar guilt started to push its way into Mark’s thought but the computer screen suddenly going black pulled him back into focus.

The video made a jump cut. Jack was no longer trying to break free.  It was unclear how much time had passed, but the vampire appeared exhausted and scared. Three men surrounded the poor Irishman.  To Mark’s disappointment and frustration, the camera left the men’s faces out of the shot and their bodies were still covered with dark clothing. These videos were evidence, but they didn’t really help figure out the identity of Jacks captors.

 

“Please… I can assure, I-I’ve never hurt anyone. I never killed anyone… I don’t hunt humans… I use animal blood most of the time. I am not a danger to anyone. There is no need to do this. I am not a threat.” Jack pleaded, trying to reason with the men.  Clearly, he realized the severity of the situation… Granted being chained up would probably give you the impression these people weren’t messing around.

 

The second voice chuckled as he said “We honestly don’t care… All we care about is the fact that you’re a monster. And we have a certain treatment that we give monsters.”

 

Jack froze, clearly picking up on the threat in the other man’s tone. Jack shuffled back away from one of the men, but he ended up against a wall. Two of the men came forwards, grabbing Jack by the arms and forcing him to his feet. Both men held the vampire firmly. Barely reacting to the man’s struggles and thrashes. Jack couldn't escape. A small whimper came from the vampire as he could do nothing to stop his third captor from getting closer to him.

 

Marke watching, just as helplessly as Jack, as the vampire was punched full force.

Punch, after punch after punch, Jack begged them to stop. He begged them to have mercy. He told them that he would do whatever they wanted. His captors weren’t listening. Mark’s stomach twisted the longer the ordeal went on, the more Jack’s legs threaten to give out but weren’t allowed to. At one point, the vampire went limp, but the two other hunters held him up, forcing Jack to take more. Jack looked like he was close to vomiting… He was punched again.

 

Jack coughed, blood dripping from his lips, but this only seemed to urge his captors more. They laughed and continued, making him cough up more and more blood. Finally, the Irishman was dropped, immediately collapsing into the puddle of blood he'd coughed up. Clearly struggling, Jack was still coughing and gasping.

“Oh Jack…” The American whispered. His fingers brushing up against the screen where it displayed his lover’s broken body. They’d beaten Jack to a bloody pulp on the first day, and Jack had actually said before that being beaten was ‘tame’... The idea of what else those monsters had done to make being nearly beaten to death tame made Mark’s blood run cold.

Despite how he was feeling, Mark persisted, looking through the pictures. After skipping through some, he found one photo that nearly matched the thumbnail of one of the video. That was… Interesting. Maybe a coincidence, the American thought, but judging by the amount of photos and the amount of video files, the hunters most likely had at least one picture for each of the videos.

Mark played the next video. This one started with Jack laid on the floor, shuddering. He was begging the hunters to let him go, but they weren’t saying anything, not even laughing. The camera stayed on the Irishman. After a couple minutes of begging, Jack changed tactics, “My absence will be noticed. There are people out there who will know I’m missing by now. No matter how well hidden you think you have me. They’ll find me! They will. Just let me go… I’ll make something up, I’ll say I got lost or something.”

 

Once again, Jack’s captors seemed to ignore him. The video was entirely just watching Jack try to reason with his captors. The men were silent the whole time. It was almost more unnerving than when the hunters did speak. Mark could only imagine how Jack must’ve felt, to have all three of them just standing and staring at him.

Mark went through about a months worth of videos. For each video, he managed to find a photo that seemed to be a screenshot from the video or taken after the video. Mark watched as Jack had been beaten, collared, whipped, cut, shocked, burned, caged, and forced to eat wolfsbane. There were a few points where Mark had to grab the bin from under the desk, sure he would throw up.

 

The treatment Jack endured was… Was brutal…  Mark didn’t know how Jack had survived. He didn’t think he would have.

 

For as many time as Mark was nearly sick while watching, there was only one video to make him lose it.
This video…

 

As the hunters walked over to Jack, the obvious leader spoke to Jack like he was a dog. After months of the abuse Mark had witnessed and Jack had endured, the vampire was going along with it. A sinking feeling hit Mark. The American. couldn’t help shaking his head and pleading for his lover to fight as Jack sat himself up, positioning himself on all fours. He was looking up at the man before him. The camera positioned in such a way that the man's face was concealed to Mark again. Jack’s eyes glassy and vacant… He’s not doing this because he wants to… He’s doing it because he has to because if he does, he won’t be hurt and he’ll be rewarded.

 

It was a sick sense of conditioning. Getting Jack to act like their pet, just so he could avoid a beating, but it had worked.

“Who's a good boy? We have a surprise for you today baby-boy. Do you want to know what it is?” the leader’s distorted voice cooed. Jack tilted his head to the side questioningly, like Chica did when Mark asked her something. The hinges of the metal cage squeaked as the leader let Jack out. The man was pointing to the space in front of him as he instructed Jack to join him. For a moment, Mark saw hesitation and fear in his lover’s eyes and he didn’t move.

 

“Fight Jack…” Mark whispered as if Jack could hear him. Of course, these were all past events. Jack was alone with these monsters. The vampire crawled slowly and cautiously out of the cage. Once by the man's side, he was praising Jack, stroking his hair and petting his head.

One of the hunters presented Jack with an open mouth gag, and Mark dry-heaved at the sight of it. By this point, he should see these surprises coming, but his brain refused to process what was going on until it was right in front of him.

 

Suddenly, resistances flickered in the vampire’s tired eyes. He closed his mouth and pulled back from the gag that was being held close to his face. Mark felt relieved to see Jack still fighting… But the relief was short-lived.  Jack didn’t get too far, backing himself into his cage, and the leader was already towering over Jack, scolding Jack for being ‘ disobedient ’ and ‘ refusing to obey ’. With ease, Jack was picked up and thrown across the room. The vampire made a pained yelp as he made harsh impact with the wall. Mark’s own gasp echoing  Jack yelped. The vampire was begging for forgiveness, struggling to sit himself up.

 

“I didn’t mean it…! I wasn’t refusing, I swear… I can be a good boy…”

 

Mark was already too familiar with hearing those rambles from Jack and now he knew exactly where they came from. Why when Jack fell into a panic attack he would repeat about how he could be a good boy.

 

This was what happened when he didn’t.

Mark watched as the one hunter pinned Jack to the floor and took out a knife. He stopped the video turning away from his screen, knowing what came next

 

They… They would… They would carve that fucking nick-name into his side…

 

Jack didn’t want Mark to see his scars…

 

He’d only saw the one on his chest as Rose had needed help to bandage it before. Mark hadn’t saw any lower down.

 

That scar…

 

The nickname “baby boy” was carved into his side where the waistband of his pants would lie… Because of how specific that carving was, Mark could guess they had made sure it would last.

 

Jack was stuck with that horrible nickname forever. It didn’t matter if friends and relatives avoided it. Those words were there, literally stuck to Jack forever.

Mark was sick.

Chapter Text

After collecting himself enough to focus without interruption, Mark spent the best part of his afternoon going through the photos and videos. He’d managed to put the photos into a sequential order, starting with Jack’s first day to his release.

 

Once he’d finished, the American had to give himself a moment to calm down and clear his head. He also needed to clean out the evidence of what had once been in the bin… He’d already emptied it, pouring the vomit into the toilet and  flushing it away, but he still needed to sterilise it too and do something about the smell. The sexual ones… Those videos has been the hardest to watch. And if Mark was honest, some of them he barely been able to stomach. Some of the videos, he only got a couple minutes in before switching them off.

 

Often, Mark had to mute the videos when the hunters would use his name on Jack. They would compare themselves to Mark. Telling Jack, “I bet Mark loves this. “ and “It’s why Mark sticks around you, ya know.” Repeatedly, the hunters would tell Jack that Mark didn’t love him…

 

Hearing his name was sometimes too much for the American, but leaving the sound on allowed Mark new i insight into the vampire’s behaviors. The reasons why Jack had been so reluctant to trust Mark. The reasons why he didn’t want to see Mark and why for a long time Jack questioned if Mark really did love him.

 

After taking his needed moment, Mark went downstairs, bring the bin with him, and headed for the kitchen. The living room was quiet. Taking a short peek into the hall, the american could see Rose and Jack sorting through some papers. Not wanting to draw attention, Mark silently grabbed bleach and some paper towels then took his things into the bathroom. From there, he washed out the bin thoroughly.

 

Finished cleaning, Mark brought the bin back upstair, putting it back in the office. He put the USB drive, the photos, and the letter back into the envelope to keep them safe, making another mental note to take everything to the police station as soon as possible. Although, Mark debated if he should at least tell Jack’s family what the envelope was first. He didn’t want them to think he was hiding information about their son from them. He could also be honest about his decision to look through the pictures and files. It was the right thing to do.

 

However, the American put away these questions and possible actions for later, It was more important for Mark to be with Jack.

 

As Mark entered the living room, the two on the couch looked up from their paper to Mark. Jack simply nodded while Rose pulled a face, concern clear in her features. Mark felt a bit of discomfort from the look, knowing he had worried the nurse. Before he would sit with them, the American wanted to speak to Rose privately. Having her attention, He motioned for her to follow him. Complying, Rose got up, heading into the kitchen with Mark. The American lead Rose to the farthest end of the kitchen as she asked, “Where have you been? What were you been doing?” Mark sighed  leaning his weight on to his shoulder against the hallway wall. His gaze trailed to the floor, unable to look Rose in the eyes. “I-I was-... I looked at those photos… And there were videos on a USB drive… It is a literal timeline of everything that happened to Jack… I-I…”

 

Mark trailed off, shaking his head. Despite wanting to speak, his mouth was struggling to make steady words. Rose waited patiently as the american continuously opened his mouth, only to shut it again. Fighting with himself to speak was only making Mark more frustrated than he already was.  His fingers went through his hair, grasping and pulling at it. “Fuck! What those bastards did to him!!” The American suddenly snapped, pushing off the wall from the burst of anger. Realizing that he had shouted, Mark’s face dropped and the two both looked toward the doorway to the living room. They wait a moment to listen for movement or for Jack to call out to Mark  but nothing came. Either, the Irishman didn’t hear or didn’t want to get involve. After waiting a minute, Rose decided to take her turn to speak.

 

“I can’t blame you for being curious I just…” She paused before letting out a sigh of her own. “Be careful what you say about it to Jack. Things like that are sensitive… Everything he endured. Physical abuse… Rape… Most the time, victims don’t want people to know. They think it's… Embarrassing or shameful.” Mark nodded, moving back to lean against the wall. “Yeah I know… I… I wasn’t going to make a big thing about it.  I just… It sounds weird, but I-… Knowing what they did to him, I just… “ The american trailed off, chewing at his bottom lip. He needed to speak. Even if it was hard for him, it was best to get out some of his current thoughts before seeing Jack. “...He survived THAT and he’s getting better. It just makes me so proud of him…!” For as horrible as what he had seen was, Mark felt so much admiration for Jack.  It was all he could say on the matter, without tripping over his words. Jack had been through hell, survived it, and he was recovering. He would never be back to the person he was… But he would get better! He was getting better and to Mark that meant so much!

 

“ I mean- I was always proud of him, even when I had a vague idea... But knowing the extent of it all and seeing how far he’s come…” Rose nodded her head with a soft smile, “I only have a vague idea of what Jack went through, from what he’s said and the injuries we saw while treating him… Even with that vague idea seeing how far he’s come. It is really amazing. It does give you a sense of pride… Feeling so happy for him.”

Mark nodded in agreement, grinning a little.  “I’m so proud that Jack got through that.”


~~~~____~~~~

A few minutes after the two had returned to the living room, Rose announced her leave to the surprise

The men were surprised to say the least that the nurse was leaving already, but she quickly explained that she needed to go home for the night.  Rose would return later that day.

 

Alone for the next couple of hours until Lauren and Robin returned, Mark and Jack put on a movie. Jack picked the film while Mark made some popcorn and hot chocolate. By the time the Irishman had picked out a disney film, Mark was handing him a mug. A coffee table was pulled up to the couch for the popcorn bowl to sit on, and the American settled down on the opposite side of the couch to Jack.  Jack had a blanket wrapped around him. His Sam plushie hidden within the blanket. Jack always had his plushie close. It was an anchor, especially when Chica wasn’t around.

To the American’s surprise, Jack shuffled closer when the movie started and settled himself next to Mark. The american grinned, clearly happy that Jack felt comfortable enough to sit this close. After the vampire’s earlier panic, Mark was not expecting Jack to be cuddly mood. He let his hand rest close to Jack’s knee, offering the contact only if the Irishman wanted it. The vampire held on to his hot chocolate. They sat in silence while watching the film.

 

After several minutes, Jack’s nails started tapped against the ceramic. Occasionally, he would look to Mark for a moment before his gaze would fall away. It became obvious to both of them that Jack wanted to say something but was struggling to get started. His lover remained quiet, waiting until finally Jack managed to say what was on his mind “Y-You saw those photos… Didn’t you?” Jack was managing to hold his gaze after finally asking his question. Mark wanted to say no, having hard time looking the Irishman in the eyes. However, the american didn’t want to lie. He wanted to be honest with the vampire, especially when it came to something as important as his trauma.  

 

“Yeah… I… I’m sorry. I just… I thought if I knew more about what happened I could help you more.” Jack nodded a little, slowly look away from Mark. He then ducked his head and pulled his knees closer to himself, trying to hide in his blanket “...They told me they were taking photos to make a scrapbook…I didn’t think they-... I mean…”

 

“Scrapbook…” The American repeated absently, recalling the title of the file in the USB. Contemplating telling Jack about what he found, Mark sat up a little. In thought again, Jack was quiet for the moment. The american placed his hand gently onto lover’s knee, to which the Irishman allowed “W-Why send them here?”

 

“To hurt you.” Mark offered, giving Jack’s knee the softest of squeezes. Jack kept still, not looking to face the other man. Chewing at his bottom lip, the american tried to explain himself with better words. He worried that telling Jack about what he found would only upset the vampire more.“They knew you’d end up here or in the  hospital. They left you outside your own home.... I doubt that was accidental. T-they knew how seeing those photos would affect you.” Jack swallowed thickly, “You saw them… I-I… I’m not mad… Please don’t think I’m mad. I just… I didn’t want you to see me like that... S-So weak and helpless and… See what they did to me.”

 

The american felt a little relief when the vampire said that he wasn’t mad, but a hint of guilt settled in soon after. Jack still didn’t know about the videos, and not telling the vampire about them felt like lying.

Opening his mouth to speak, Mark had to quickly shut it, not wanting to freak out the other man by saying the wrong thing or showing an overreaction. If he wanted to break this news, it was probably best to do it slowly. Giving himself a moment to think, Mark tried again to speak  “....Those photos were bad, okay. And seeing what they did to you made me hate them- those monsters more than ever…. But J-Jack… In that envelope… There was a USB drive. Do you know about that?”

 

Jack’s head whipped around to face his lover. His eyes widened, bewildered and frightened, as he stuttered out, “W-What?” Wincing from both the fear in the vampire’s eyes and voice, Mark nodded, swallowing thickly, This was going to be hard for both them, especially for Jack, but he deserved to know “I… I looked… I saw all of it. The drive-... The drive was even fucking named after you. They called it a scrapbook …” Mark spitted the last word out with as much venom as he could manage. But he swiftly regretted showing his anger as he heard Jack let out a shaky breath. Mark could see him shuttering out of the corner of his eyes. Shutting his eyes and taking a slow breath in, the American continued on what he had to say. “There were videos…They wanted to hurt you… By reminding you of all of it”

 

The vampire pulled the blanket over his head, moving away from Mark.  Tears were already pooling and trailing down his cheek as he sniffled, “You must hate me.” Mark’s eyes snapped open, confused and distressed. Without thinking, he tried to pull the blanket away from Jack so he could see him. “Hate you? Jack, what are you talking about??”



Jack sobbed, holding tightly onto the blanket when it was yanked. “Seeing how they u-used me…! What I did for them…”

 

Realizing he was only making the situation worse by trying to force the Irishman to look at him, Mark released the blanket. The Irishman bundled up tighter in the blanket. Waiting patiently nearby, It took a moment, but soon Jack’s sobbeds quieted down. Mark slowly placed his hand on to the vampire’s back. Jack tensed at the unexpected touch but after a minute, his body went slack again. Rubbing Jack's back comfortingly, the American spoke softly.“ No, Jack. I’m not mad. I don’t hate you. You did what you had to. You… You were surviving. You didn’t want them to hurt you. I know that you couldn’t say no to them...  Jack, I am not mad at you because THEY raped you. I would never be mad at YOU for what THEY did, okay?”

 

Gradually, while Mark spoke, Jack started to peek out from under the blanket. Redden eyes from tears stared out and pleaded for comfort, to which Mark offered a hug. The vampire immediately shuffled closer until he closed the space between him and Mark then collapsed into his lover’s outstretched arms. His own arms left the blanket to wrap tightly around. Tears soaking into Mark’s lucky flannel shirt as the vampire sobbed, “I hated it… I hated it…! I hated what they did to me…! How they just used me like I was a sex toy or s-something…! How it didn’t matter what I wanted…! And-! And...  they-they convinced me that sex was the only reason you stayed with m-me… T-That you didn’t l-love me…”

 

Interrupted by hiccups and gasps for breath,  the vampire’s words dissolved into louder sobs. His fingers grasping onto Mark’s shirt like he was afraid he’d unravel further if he were to let go. His lover continued to rubbed Jack’s back. “It’s okay. Let it out...What those monsters did was awful, what they would tell you and how they treated you… It was all awful… I won’t let that happen again…! I love you so much and… and… If I had just been here with you… maybe this wouldn’t have happen… I’m sorry, Jack...“

 

As if a switch had been turned off, Jack pulled back to look at Mark. His cheeks were still tear-stained,eyes red and puffy from crying, but he wasn’t sobbing anymore. It showed that he wasn’t panicking, which was a relief given the topic matter. Instead, here was a question in Jack’s eyes.  A new feeling of guilt started to form in Mark. He didn’t mean to spin the conversation onto himself, but now Jack was worried.

“W-What do you mean? Why are you sorry? Wha-”

 

The American cut Jack off, trying to explain himself, “Jack, we’ve been dating for eight years. And for the sake of argument, we’d been dating seven years before you were taken. We’d talked about living together, me coming hear or even you moving to L.A… But I was too stubborn to move. I didn’t want to leave L.A...”

 

Jack frowned, clearly not pleased with Mark’s answer. “But I didn’t want to leave Ireland either. You can’t blame yourself.”  

 

“I’m not blaming myself-” Mark tried to argue, but even he knew that wasn’t entirely true. Refusing to back down, the american continued to explain. “Jack, if I’d been here. If I had lived with you; I would have noticed that you hadn’t come home! I could have told your father earlier. We-!… We might have found you...”

 

Swiftly, The vampire shook his head, “Mark, you can’t know that…! Y-You can’t live by what ifs.”

 

Mark’s gaze was moving away from Jack, guilt showing on his features. Noticing this, Jack wrapped his arms around the man, clinging to him. “Mark, please… You’re blaming yourself for this. Please don’t blame yourself. Not even for a moment.”

“But if I’d been here-” It was Jack’s turn to cut Mark off as he said, “I knew something was wrong that night… I hunt in the same spot, every time… When I got there, it was silent and dead… Nothing was around. And I know that means that something had scared away the animals… But instead of turning back and trying some other time or someplace else, I made my way further into the woods. I knew that it wasn’t safe, that someone or something was out there… And I made a stupid mistake.”

 

“Jack-!” Mark hastily shushed Jack once the man dipped too far into negativity. “How could you know anyone would be that cruel?? Okay, you might have known something was out there… But there was no way of knowing what it was... Or the extent of their torture… Jack, no one could have known that!”

 

Jack went quiet. Left in silence, Mark started to worry that he said something wrong. However, the vampire soon made the tiniest smile and nodded as he said, “So if I can’t blame myself for being out there. You can’t blame yourself based on what ifs.”

Not willing to argue when his lover was smiling at him, Mark nodded as well. He was then rewarded with a kiss on the cheek from Jack. The American let out a sigh, easing back against the couch and gently holding the vampire. Jack had a point. He was blaming himself based on a what if. It was something his therapist had been trying to help him with, but he still had worries and doubts. “Can I ask you something? You can say no if-”

 

“Ask me anything.” Jack said without hesitation. He snuggled a little bit closer to the American, and Mark couldn’t help smiling despite his nerves. Licking his lips  before he asked his question, his voice went quiet.

 

“Do you still think the only reason I love you is for sex?”

 

“What no! No Mark, no!” Jack nearly shouted, sounding almost offended. His eyes  were again“ That was- That was just fear that they placed in me… A stupid thought I should never have even considered. Mark-”

The vampire had to stop, knowing he was pushing his emotional limits. He took a breath then continued,“Mark, you’ve stuck by me for eight years. My highs and my lows… And… And I can’t thank you enough. Our relationship was never about sex. Never. You were supportive, someone who could help me through my doubts and make me smile. And… And yes. At first, because of everything that happened with the hunters, I did believe that… But you proved that you cared. That what we had… What we have is more than sex.”

 

Sitting up, the vampire kissed his lover’s lips and cupped his cheek, “I love you Mark… And I know you love me. When I was in hospital, when I was too scared to make eye-contact. Or when I was so afraid to speak in case I was punished… You stuck by me. You would stay at the hospital all hours of the day. You were there for me when I woke up screaming and scared… And look at us now, Mark! We’re sitting in my living room and… And I’m so happy to have you here. I’m so happy that you’ve stuck by me all this time when so many other people would have left me and my bullshit.”

 

Once Mark was sure Jack was finished, he gently returned the favor, kissing Jack. “Never refer to your trauma as bullshit, Jack. Those monsters tried to break you. Emotionally, mentally and physically. For a long time, you were so badly hurt that you couldn’t stand. And you’ve pulled through! I’ve watched you overcome hurdles. I’ve watched you overcome the fears that they placed in you. And I am so fucking proud of your strength...! I’m so proud of how far you’ve come, Jack! You’re amazing and I love you! You’re just- I can’t even think of a word strong enough to describe exactly how proud of you I am, or how happy I am for you. And how… How excited-?  I am to help you through all of this, If that makes sense? I just-” The man trailed off, a little breathless from his rambling of love and admiration. “I just never want to leave you alone again, Jack. I want to stay with you…”

 

Jack let out a breath, while he would never turn Mark away there was also another issue “But your family, Ethan, Ty-”  Mark swiftly interrupted, giving a reassuring smile. “Will understand. I still have to sort out a visa, okay? Rose has helped me a lot with staying here legally for so long. Technically, I should have left two months ago, but because I’ve been helping you, I’m here until your doctors think you can handle yourself.”

 

There was a pause before Mark said “I think that you and I should find a place. Somewhere small for us; me, you and Chica… Obviously, we don’t have to, but let me explain my reasoning.  You were left tied up outside your house. Those hunters had your address… Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think they will come back. From what the police have found out, they never come back to see their victims… But… I guess… I worry too much. I don’t trust this place. And I don’t want you to be alone wherever you go.”

Jack was silent for a moment. Mark had a point. The hunters knew his address, knew where he lived. It would be better to move The thought of those bastards coming back for Jack had crossed his mind more often than the vampire would admit to.  He had mentioned his concerns to Rose earlier and expressed an interest in moving. After thinking it over, Jack nodded his head, “Moving… Had crossed my mind. And if you want to stay, we could get a place together. If you’re sure you want to leave L.A… Please… Don’t feel the need to move just because of me.”

“I’m not moving just because of you, Jack. I… I’ve actually grown to really like Ireland.” The American said with a bit of cheeky grin. “My family and my friends will understand me wanting to live somewhere else. And I could always visit.”

 

Jack smiled a little as he pulled himself closer to Mark and settled against the American, “We can look into it tomorrow… For now, I kind of want cuddles.”

 

“Yeah, I rather have cuddles too.” The American cooed, adjusting a little so he could hold Jack while both facing the TV.  “We don’t have to start looking right this minute or anything. You can have all the cuddles you want, Jack.”







Chapter Text

Lauren and Robin returned from their day out. Rose seeming to arrive at the same time.

 

The group had decided that seeing as Jack seemed to be comfortable, it might be worth seeing how Jack would sleep at home. After searching the house they managed to sort some sleeping arrangements. Robin was in the guest room sleeping on an old mattress, Rose and Lauren were sleeping in the living room Rose on the couch and Lauren on a spare mattress once used for soundproofing Jacks recording room. Mark and Jack were sharing Jack’s room. Jack in the bed and Mark on an old air mattress.

 

They had all retired to bed early.

 

Mark wasn’t sure what the time was, he knew he’d been asleep and that was all he knew. He woke startled hearing Jack screaming. Nightmares. Fuck! Mark looked to see Jack fighting with his blanket, he was tangled in it, thrashing around screaming and muttering “Let me go! Let me go! Please stop!” Mark was going on the assumption that Jack wasn’t aware of his current surroundings. The door swung open and Lauren ran into the room “ STOP! ” Mark snapped seeing how the Irish girl reached for Jack.

 

Lauren glared at Mark about to yell at him, how dare he stop her from helping her little brother. Mark didn’t let her yell, he placed a finger to his lips as if anticipating her lash out “Jack’s panicking, touching him isn’t going to help. Talk calmly and quietly.” For a moment Lauren was still and silent, suddenly her expression softened. She KNEW not to touch Jack. Or she should. Yet hearing Jack screaming, it was like a secondary instinct, she had wanted to grab him and hold him close. That would have been a disaster.

 

Letting out a sigh Lauren released her moment of irrational anger nodding her head. Mark stood up, he could hear the sound of the kettle boiling and someone moving around, opening cupboards. Rose had probably gone to make tea.

 

Lauren was already trying to talk Jack down “Sean, you’re okay. Sean, it’s okay just for a moment just breath.” However, his sisters words only seemed to worsen the panic “No. No, No, NO!” Mark placed a hand on Laurens' shoulder and she shook her head. Mark cleared his throat as he said “Jack. You’re at home . Home in your own bed surrounded by friends and family. You’re Safe . Safe at home.” Mark was hoping that by emphasizing keywords it might help to pull Jack through his thoughts.

 

Jack whined as he said “Can’t move. C-Can’t… Stuck !” Mark licked his lips “Jack it’s just your blanket. Your blanket.” Jack was still thrashing violently, only seeming to get more stuck in his blankets. Mark shook his head “Okay Jack, I’m going to try and untangle you okay? It’s just me. Just Mark and I’ll talk you through everything okay.” Mark waited for a moment, no objection came so Mark decided that he could try to help free Jack.

 

He made his way over to the bed slowly, talking Jack through as he promised, describing what he was doing. Jack wasn’t thrashing as much, but he was still trying to get out, squirming. Mark started at the bottom of the bed, working on freeing Jack’s legs first, narrating each movement, talking Jack through everything he did. Jack wasn’t squirming anymore and seemed to accept the help. But he was very clearly still distressed “Mark! Mark! Stuck… C-Can’t… I don’t want to be vulnerable again… Please.”

 

“It’s okay Jack, I’m getting this blanket off you… I would question how you got so wrapped up. But that can come later. Once I get this blanket off I’ll move away okay. Rose is making tea, would you like some?”

 

Eventually, Mark got the blanket off Jack and put it on the floor, quickly backing off and giving the vampire his space. Jack was sat on the bed with his head down. Rose brought tea for Jack and set it down on the bedside counter. Mark was sat on the mattress in the corner of the room and Lauren was stood by the door.

 

They remained silent for a while. Jack ended up sipping at his tea. But he still remained silent. Rose wanted to allow Mark and Jack time to talk, even if she was the ‘ professional ’ she knew that Mark could talk to Jack on a more personal level and that was what he needed. Rose cleared her throat before she said “Lauren, why don’t you and I have some tea, downstairs. Let Jack calm down a little.” Lauren nodded her head as she let herself be lead out of the room

 

Jack and Mark were left alone Mark shifted where he sat noticing Jack’s gaze move to meet his own before falling back to the floor. “Are you alright?” Mark finally asked. Jack mumbled his reply “Fine.” Mark rolled his eyes as he said “Do you maybe want to sound more convincing?” Jack looked up at Mark as he said flatly “I panicked because of a fucking blanket Mark. I’m fine outside of being completely embarrassed!” Mark licked his lips as he said “Did you know what was happening?” Jack turned his head away shaking his head “I… All I knew was I couldn’t move. And it was like I was blind… It was so much like… Like that room… I-I heard your voice which helped a little but... “ Jack grumbled something unintelligible.

 

Mark looked at the other as he said “Jack… I haven’t been through what you went through. But if I woke up unable to see and tangled or tied up or unable to move. I would shit myself. Your reaction was understandable.” Jack growled a little as he said “Mark… I was in my own fucking house, in my own bed! It was a bla-” Mark cut Jack off as he said “But you didn’t know that. And once you realized what was going on it was easy for you to calm down. No one judges you. So you don’t need to beat yourself up about it.”

 

Jack let out a sigh “But-” Mark stopped Jack as he said “No buts… Jack, you’re allowed to panic. You’re not used to being in your home and like you said you couldn’t move and you felt like you couldn’t see. Your reaction was understandable.” Jack looked at Mark for a moment, the two of them silent. Finally, Jack let out a sigh as he said “You’re too good to me.” Mark shook his head as he said “Not too good, just honest.” 

Chapter Text

The following morning, Jack had to return to the hospital for his therapy session. Mark was there to help Rose get Jack into the car. However, the American needed to run some errands, so he couldn’t be around afterward. and assured Jack that he would visit the Irishman soon. What Mark didn’t tell Jack was that his errand was to rent a car and pick up Felix from Dublin airport.

 

After a long time of planning and preparing Felix for what he was okay to do in front of Jack, the Swede was finally coming to Ireland to see his friend. They’d decided to leave it a surprise, to the point of Felix talking about how he was going to be ‘ busy ’ and probably wouldn’t be online to talk to Jack the night before.

 

Mark waited ten minutes then left the house walking to the local car rental. Seeing as he was going to be here for a while helping Jack recover he decided that he should probably look into renting a car (Even if he’d already been in Ireland for eight months). While he appreciated Lauren’s help driving him to and from the hospital and helping him when Mark went grocery shopping, if he was going to be here for another year then he wanted to drive his own car.

 

The process was simple, the rental place warned Mark “In Ireland, we drive on the opposite side of the road to you Americans, and you’ll need to fill the car up if you're making a long journey.” Mark thanked the man as he left, making a stop at a petrol station before he started his drive to Dublin airport.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark had come prepared as he parked in a quiet corner of the parking lot, he opened the boot of his car and pulled out a black hoodie and a beanie. The American hid his hair with the beanie as best as he could and put the black jacket on. It wasn’t much in the way of a disguise, but it would help conceal his identity. Mark knew he and Felix both had lots of fans. While normally meeting fans in public was a joy, right now he wanted to avoid it. If a fan met Mark they would want a photo and they would post it on twitter. Mark and Felix wanted to keep Felix’s visit a secret, they needed to make sure no one recognized them.

 

Mark grabbed the sign he brought with him and took a felt-tip marker from his pocket as he wrote on the sign “Swedish Meatball”. Mark and Felix had already agreed that this would be their ‘ code word ’ of sorts. After all, the name Felix Kjellberg was recognizable even outside of youtube.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark stood by the gates holding the sign. Felix had informed Mark that he would be wearing a blue hoodie and some form of baseball cap. Mark spotted Felix instantly giving him a little wave. Felix smiled and waved back hurrying up. They two greeted each other quickly and made their way to the parking lot.

 

Once at the car, the two got in and Mark looked at the swede smiling “Glad you could make it man.” Felix grinned as he said “No problem bro, anything for Jack!” Mark let out a sigh “He’s… Not doing well. He had a really bad panic attack last night. But I’m sure he’ll be happy to see you after so long.”

 

Felix smiled a little as he said “I’ll be glad to see him after so long as well. I’ve missed my buddy.” Mark nodded his head as he said “I’m sure he missed you too. He was so upset when he heard that he’d missed your wedding.” Felix let out a sigh “It would’ve been cool if he’d been there.” there was a short pause before Felix shook his head “But that doesn’t matter now, Jack’s back! And… And he’s going to get better.” Mark smiled at the swede’s optimism “Yeah, he is getting better. And I know this visit will mean a lot to him.” Felix grinned when Mark said that clearly happy to hear that his appearance might help improve the Irishman's mood.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

It didn't take the two very long to finally reach the hospital, Felix left his suitcase in the car as Mark lead him into the hospital.

 

The two didn't talk as they entered Jacks ward, they wanted this visit to be a surprise ( at least mostly). Mark would need to ask if Felix could come in, but at least if it was Mark who told Jack Felix was hear it would be a surprise.

 

Mark knocked on the door, there was silence and that normally wasn’t good. Mark waited… Nothing, he knocked again and this time called “Sean?” still no answer. Mark was trying not to let his concern show, Jack normally answered him, it didn't make sense why Jack was ignoring him, Unless the vampire had fallen into a bad headspace. That… Wasn't good.

 

Mark knocked a third time calling, doing his best to keep his tone calm and neutral “Sean? It’s Mark, can I come in?” Finally, Mark got a reply, only it didn’t come from inside the room, Jack’s voice was echoing around him coming from up the hallway “Yeah, if you want to Mark.” Mark turned quickly to see Jack and Rose making their way down the hallway. Mark would never admit the relief that washed over him seeing Jack walking down the hallway “Hehe, Sorry. I didn’t realize you weren’t in your room.” Jack chuckled a little as he said “I decided to have a shower… You were busy so I-” it looked like Jack was trying to justify that he’d been in the shower. Mark was shaking his head with a  smile as he said “Don’t worry about it, you can do other things Jack. You don’t have to just wait around for me all the time. I’m glad you had a shower.”

 

As Jack got closer, he saw someone stood next to Mark, reflexively he stopped walking trying to assess the danger, unable to tell who it was stood with Mark. Only able to tell that there was another figure there. Paranoia kicking in, worrying and dread filling him, he didn’t seem to notice that when he stopped moving, so did Rose.

 

Mark clearly picked up on the Irishman's hesitance, seeing both Jack and Rose stop walking it was probably better to just tell Jack now, surprises were always hard for Jack, they had to be careful not to let Jack get too far into his own head “I told you I’d come by Jack, I also have a surprise for you. Felix is here!” the Swede grinned and waved as he called to the Irishman “Heya bro! Long time no see.”

 

Jack instantly relaxed with Marks reassurance and the voice to confirm who it was. Jack continued walking down the hallway so that he was stood in front of the American and the Swede.

 

The Irishman gave a weak smile. The group went into Jack's hospital room. The Swede seemed to be taking note of the room, not that there was much to take note off, it was a generic hospital room, although there were some of Jack’s things dotted around the room, his laptop, his Nintendo switch, his phone, a couple of his Sam plushies. It was clear that Jack pretty much lived here. Mark grabbed two chairs, one for himself and one for Felix. The two humans sat down as Jack got himself settled. Sitting on his bed and pulling his blanket close.

 

Mark could see Jack was on edge, it must’ve been a rough morning while Mark was away. Casual conversation was always good “I rented a car while I’m here finally.  So I don’t have to rely on your sister all the time. Not that I don’t appreciate what your sister has done for me.” Jack looked at Mark and managed a small smile “That's good… That you got a car I mean…” Mark nodded his head as he said “Maybe one day I could take you to McDonald's drive through and we could get some good ol’ fast food.” Mark offered to go to the drive-through because he knew Jack wouldn’t be able to handle going into the restaurant.

 

Jack seemed to consider what Mark said before nodding “M-Maybe… It probably depends on my mood at the time.” Mark nodded his head as he said “That’s okay.” Jack’s gaze moved to Felix.

 

The Swede couldn’t help but notice how Jack watched him, Felix felt a heavy feeling settling into his chest, Jack watched him like a wounded animal, scared yet ready to defend himself, as if he was expecting to be attacked any minute. Felix cleared his throat as he said “I’m sorry I didn’t come soon Sean. Marzia and I have been super busy and there were all these conventions that I promised to be at-” Jack cut Felix off “I hope you didn’t leave your responsibilities just for me.”

 

Jack didn’t want pity, he didn’t want anyone to leave their lives behind just for him. Mark kept assuring Jack that he hadn’t just up and left, but Jack didn’t believe it. Mark was in America thousands of miles away from his life and Mark hadn’t uploaded any videos since he arrived. Jack did NOT want Felix to do the same.

 

Felix shook his head as he said “Of course I didn’t. But I wanted to visit you, I prepared some videos and stuff for today no one will know I’ve left.” Jack pulled a face as he said “What about Marzia, you guys are married now.” Felix smiled a little as he replied “Marzia told me that she thought I should come.” Jack was looking at Felix, trying to work out if he was telling the truth or not. Jack couldn’t see any signs of falsehood.

 

Jack let out a sigh “I’m… I’m glad to see you… It’s just…” Jack’s hands instinctively reached for his collar as his fingers began to absently toy with the little metal ring and out the corner of his eye, he saw the look of horror etched across Felix’s face. Jack remembered that look, the look his mother and sister wore when they saw the collar, the look Mark wore when Jack called him ‘ master ’ that look of horror disappointment was always aimed at him. He was a bad pet…

 

Jack quickly curled himself in on himself trying to hide. He didn’t want to be punished. Jack had gotten lost in his head, blinded by old memories and paranoia, Jack didn’t realize where he was.

 

Mark felt his chest tighten seeing the light behind the vampire's eyes fade, his face fell until he looked blank, then he curled in on himself. Felix looked confused and reached towards Jack. Mark grabbed the Swede’s wrist and shook his head “Stop.” Felix looked at Mark, confused but trusting. Mark knew more about Jack’s current condition than he did.

 

Mark backed off, not being quiet as he pushed his chair back, Felix followed Mark’s example. Mark crouched down and once again Felix followed suit. Mark cleared his throat as he said calmly “Jack? Jack? Can you hear me?”

 

There was a frightened whimper from the vampire who ducked his head. This panic wasn’t one of his worst. Jack was understanding most of what was going on, he knew he wasn’t with the hunters, knew he wasn’t trapped. But his frayed nerves and paranoid mind told him that he had been bad. That whoever he was with was mad at him and that he had to beg for forgiveness. “I-I’m sorry.” he crocked, finding his voice.

 

Mark shook his head, hating how weak Jack’s voice sounded. It was something that seemed to happen more often. Something that hadn’t been a problem before. Jack could sometimes lose his voice because of his conditioning. And after seeing the videos where the hunters asked Jack and question then beat him and told him off because ‘pets don’t talk’. Mark couldn’t blame Jack for not wanting to speak.

 

Mark placed his hands on the edge of the bed, palms up in an offer of support. Jack was staring at Mark's hands, as if waiting for an attack. Mark let out a sigh as he said “Sean, it’s Mark. It’s Mark, do you want to hold my hands Jack?” shakily Jack took Mark's hands, he held Mark’s hands and squeezed. Jack's mouth opened, but no sound came. Jack hid his head. Mark licked his lips as he said “Can you talk?” Jack’s eyes moved up to Mark, their gaze locking, Jack’s eyes seemed to ask “How do you know?” Mark watched Jack’s movement and noticed the vampire shake his head.

No words. Mark bit his lip and hummed eyes looking around the room, he noticed a pen and paper on the table. Mark wriggled one of his hands free grabbing the paper and pen, before offering it to Jack “If you can’t find your voice, why not try this?” Jack's eyes fell on the paper. His hand picked up the pen. Crooked fingers held the pen awkwardly and he wrote shakily, hands still not used to working in such a away after being broken and bent out of shape so many times.

 

Jack wrote what Mark had guessed Jack would ask: How did you know?

 

Mark looked at Jack as he said “I told you I saw those videos. I know what they would do… What they did to you.”

 

Jack froze. Mark wanted to diffuse the situation before Jack could fall into panic again “I’m not going to treat you any different okay? Jack, I love and care for you. I care about you so much! No matter what, what they did, what they said, what you’ve been through, none of it matters to me Jack.” Jack seemed to settle again. His gaze moved to Felix before he ducked his head. Mark was about to encourage Felix to tell Jack he was okay; but Felix was already speaking “Look, Jack, we all know that you were taken, we all know you suffered through some terrible things… None of us are going to think less of you for it. Your friends and family care for you. We know that there will be good times, there will be hard times.” there was a pause as Felix let out a sigh “None of us can understand what you’re going through, not even the professionals. But what we can do, is be there for you. Support you in any way you want.”

 

Jack was looking at Felix as he spoke, and the Swede’s words resonated with him. Jack’s lips curled up a little and Mark recognized the smile, smiling back “See Jack, we all just want to do our best for you.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

With Jack calmer, they were able to go back to normal conversation. Mark made a passing comment that he and Jack were looking into moving house, finding somewhere together in Ireland. Felix was listening to what the two were saying when he cut in “I don’t want to sound rude but, is Ireland the best place?” Jack and Mark both looked confused. Felix continued “Don’t get me wrong, Ireland is beautiful and its Jack’s home, his family live here… But… This is where Jack was kidnapped, those people could still be out there.”

 

Jack ducked his head, Mark let out a sigh “From what we’ve been able to gather about these people they don’t come back to their victims. But we… Well, we were moving because they had his address, they left him outside his own house… Moving seems logical.” Jack swallowed thickly as he said “But… Felix has a point… These people are in Ireland right? And not just Athlone, but all over, right?” Mark nodded his head. Jack was silent for a moment before he managed to say “So does moving really make me safer?”

 

Mark was silent as he considered what Jack had asked, telling Jack that he was safe would be lying, telling Jack that he wasn’t safe could be disastrous. After a moment Mark replied “Honestly, I don’t know. I can’t tell you if you’ll be safe or not… Because no one can say that for certain.”

 

Felix let out a sigh as he said “I’ll shoot straight with you both, it’s not just me who’s been worried about Jack. Dan, Phil, Tom, PJ they’ve all be worried about him. If you two moved to Brighton you’d have a support system, so if anything like this happened again we’d be able to help instead of being in a different country praying to hear that Jacks been found.” Mark let out a sigh, he understood how Felix felt, when Jack was taken Mark had been so far away, he’d felt so helpless, he never wanted that to happen again. But moving country might be more than Jack could handle “Felix… None of us want anything like that to happen ever again. None of us want to be miles away when we’re needed… But moving that far is complicated. For right now, I think our focus is getting Jack well enough to be out of the hospital.” Jack nodded his head in agreement “Mark is right, for now, we’re just thinking about moving. We can’t really do anything till the doctors think I’m well enough to live at home.” Felix nodded his head as he said “Well, if you did want to move to Briton, hit me up and I can help you guys look for a decent place.”

 

Jack and Mark smiled kindly at the Swede as Jack said “Thanks Felix, we appreciate it. But like I said, right now we need to focus on Jack’s recovery.” Felix nodded as he said “Well, while you’re doing that if either of you need anything, remember you have friends. You can always talk to us.” Mark smiled as he said “I really appreciate it Fe, it might be good to see Dan and Phil, for more than five minutes in an elevator.”

 

Felix laughed as he said “I’m sure they’ll feel the same way.”

 

Chapter Text

Rose came by in the afternoon. Felix and Mark were still with Jack when the nurse came by. She smiled as she said “Feeling okay Jack?” the vampire nodded his head as head said “I’m okay.” Rose smiled a little more as she said “That's good… I was with one of my younger patients earlier today on the children’s ward.” the nurses smile faltered “He apparently saw you walking to your room earlier, he was telling me how big a fan he is of you and Mark…” the nurse trailed off.

 

Jack could tell that something about this patient was upsetting her, he gave her a moment to collect herself but she remained silent, so Jack tried to find out some more information “What’s wrong with him?” The nurse let out a breath “Cancer… Terminal.” Jack felt his heart shutter in his chest, no wonder this had upset Rose. The nurse looked to Jack as she said “He asked the make a wish foundation if he could meet PewDiePie, but apparently a lot of people asked for that so they decline his request.” as soon as the woman had stopped speaking Felix chimed in “I can go see him, if that's okay.” The nurse looked at the other clearly confused, Jack let out a small chuckle as he said “Thats PewDiePie… But I think we can do one better than that.” Felix and Rose looked at Jack expectantly as the vampire said “Why don’t all three of us go? Poor kid is going through hell, he had his make a wish declined…” Mark could see how confident Jack felt about his idea “I would love to, it’d probably mean so much to him!” Felix nodded in agreement.

 

Rose was beaming as she said “Oh! I know he’ll love it.”

 

Rose lead the group to the children's ward. Jack said that the other should hang back so they could surprise the boy. Rose entered the room with Jack as she chimed “Sam, I have a surprise for you.” the boy who had been laid in bed with has back to the door turned around to face Rose. As soon as he turned around his eyes widened and he sat up. Jack smiled softly as he said “A little birdie told me that you might need a little cheering up.” the boy’s eyes were wide as he stuttered “W-What?” Jack smiled softly as he replied “You asked make a wish if you could meet PewDiePie. But I think I’m better than PewDiePie. I am green PewDiePie!”

 

Sam laughed a little. Jack took a seat as he said “But do you know what's better than green PewDiePie?” Sam looked intrigued as he said “What?” Jack looked to the doorway as Mark and Felix walked in. Already Jack could see how big Sam was smiling, his eyes almost sparkling. This was what Jack loved most about youtube, what he’d always loved most about youtube.

 

Already Sam was cheering “Markiplier! PewDiePie!” The boy ran over to the two adults as they entered the room, he grabbed Mark and clung to him before doing the same to Felix. Mark and Felix ushered the boy back over to his bed. Mark sat next to Jack placing a hand on the vampire’s knee. Jack placed his hand giving Mark’s a gentle squeeze. He could tell that Mark was worried about him, normally in situations where Jack was with strangers it was easier to trigger a panic attack. However, even Jack could tell this was different, he didn’t feel instantly scared of Sam. Sam was a sick child, he looked almost as bad as Jack did. If anything, Jack held sympathy for the boy. He wanted the boy to feel a little happiness, even if his current situation seemed to be bad.

 

Jack knew, Cancer was bad, he’d lost family to cancer. Although there was some statistic out there that most people know someone or have family that have passed away due to cancer. Terminal cancer… The boy looked no older than 12 and he’d already been told that there was nothing they could do but prolong the end.

 

If Jack could do anything, he wanted to try and help this boy while he was here. If talking to him made the boy happy, Jack would come by everyday.

 

The boy as grining and bouncing up and down. Felix laughed a little as he said “When I heard there was someone here who wanted to see me, I had to come by.” The three youtubers were sat by the bed as the boy rambled about how much it meant for all three of the men to be here. Jack gave the boy a smile as he said “Well, it’s no trouble for us to be here. I’m here anyway, Mark and Felix were visiting me.”

~~~~____~~~~

The boy excitedly told the three youtubers about his favorite games, his favorite series for each of the youtubers, his favorite collab video that they’d done, they even got Jack’s switch and played a couple rounds of Mario Kart.

 

Time got away from the group, they were only made aware of how much time had passed when Sam’s parents showed up fro evening visits. Jack was first to notice the rather large male accompanied by woman that seemed tiny by comparison. Jack grabbed Marks hand and squeezed when he saw the man, unable to take his eyes off him. God dammit not now! Any time but now. Jack tried to redirect his focus, looking back to Sam. Who was now running over to the man.

 

“Daddy!” Sam cheered as he pounced at the man, the man caught him in his arms and placed Sam on his back giving him a piggy-back. Seeing the look in the man’s eyes, helped to ease some of Jack’s tension. It was a fatherly look. One he recognised from his own father. It was the woman who looked to the three men, seeming to be shocked “What’s this?” Sam grinned as he said “PewDiePie, JackSepticEye and Markiplier came to see me!” Jack smiled softly as he said “A little birdie told us that Sam’s make a wish had been declined. This way he can make a different wish and he’s still got to see us… Even if he only asked for Felix.” The woman smiled as she said “Thank you all so much! We know that this has probably meant so much to Sam.” Jack laughed a little as he said “It’s been no trouble really, I’m here anyway… Recovering, if Sam wants I can come by every now and again and we can play some video games together.” Sam nodded his head up and down quickly “Yes! Yes that would be awesome!” Jack smiled as he said “It’s settled then. I’ll come visit every so often. Afterall, being stuck in your hospital room all day can get boring.”

 

Jack stood up, Mark supporting the vampire when he appeared to wobble. Mark smiled as he said “Well, we’ll let your parents talk with you now. See you later.” Sam waved goodbye as Mark and Felix helped Jack back to his room.

 

It took them a while, after being up and active for most of the day Jack’s legs were starting to fail him not quite used to so much activity. However they made it back without any accidents. They sat Jack on his bed ad the vampire laid himself down.

 

Mark was wearing a small smile as he said “You did really well with Sam today.” Jack smiled back as he said “It’s easy to be calm around a kid… Let alone a sick kid… His dad almost set me off…” Mark nodded his head as he said “I guessed, but you managed to hold yourself together. You were able to keep yourself calm around him and you didn’t fall into a bad headspace. You did great Jack, you should be proud of yourself!”

 

Mark was praising Jack and he knew that Mark had a point. Jack had held himself together even when he felt scared. Jack smiled softly as he said “Y-Yeah… I guess it’s good that I was able to hold myself together… But that was because I didn’t want Sam to see how bad I am. I haven’t told my community what happened, not really. All they know is that I was kidnapped and now I need to recover.”

 

Felix looked on with a raised eyebrow as he asked “Is it wise to keep this information from your community?” Jack let out a sigh “Probably not but… Sam is what 10? 12? People his age don’t need to know what happened… Especially if they’re vampires. A lot of young vampires come to watch my videos because they feel like… They don’t have to hide. Even though vampires can live openly alongside humans a lot of people still don’t trust vampires…” Jack let out a sigh “I would hate for any of my viewers to be scared that this could happen to them.” The swede nodded, he could understand and appreciate what Jack was saying. It was a worry, in fact it was probably better that Jacks community didn’t know, especially for the younger viewers or any other vampires. “Yeah, yeah. That makes sense.”

 

Mark let out a sigh “Jack’s been having less breakdowns… And from what we saw today he’s learning how to hold himself together.” Jack let out a sigh “It’s getting easier to recognise when my brain is trying to zone out… But it’s still kind of hard to hold it together. I guess… I guess I’ll just have to learn… Practise makes perfect…” Mark and Felix both nodded their heads.

Chapter Text

Felix stayed in Ireland for three days before returning home. When Jack wasn’t at home, he was spending time with Sam at the hospital.

 

Apparently, spending time with Sam was helping both of them. Sam’s mother was visiting for the night, Jack got up to say his goodbye grabbing his crutches when the woman said “Jack, may I speak to you in private for a moment.” there was a ball of anxiety in the Irishman's chest but he agreed “Sure.” Jack knew this woman a little, she seemed nice enough, he had nothing to worry about.

 

At least, that's what he told himself.

 

The woman lead jack into the hallway. If he was stood in the hallway she couldn’t hurt him, there were plenty of staff around. He was safe, that knowledge helped to alleviate some of the tension Jack was feeling. “Jack I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate you spending time with my son. He’s always so happy after you’ve been.” the vampire smiled softly “It’s no problem, actually… If anything I should be thanking your son. Being able to talk to someone other than friends or family or nurses has been helping me a lot.” The woman nodded, but Jack noticed the smile she was wearing fade “I hope I’m not rude at all when I ask this but… You channel went silent for a long time, in fact, Sam tells me there’s still no new content, there was a rumor that you’d been kidnapped. C-Can I ask what happened?” Jack froze swallowing thickly. The question had been expected but it still wasn’t easy for him. Jack took a breath in before letting out a sigh “I was kidnapped… L-Locked in a basement and… Beaten… Among other things… I-I’m sorry, I can’t- can’t talk about it more than that but… I-I’d rather just try and get on with my life, I don’t… Don’t want to remember that.”

 

The woman nodded, it was clear that it was hard for Jack to talk about and she wouldn’t push him into talking about it “That's fine I… Mostly wanted to know if the kidnap thing was fake news or not… I hope you get better soon.” Jack managed to give the other a woman a smile, relieved that she didn’t press for more details “T-Thank you… If Sam ever wants someone to talk to, let him know that Nurse Rose can bring him to my room.” The woman nodded her head smiling as she said “I’m sure he’ll appreciate the sentiment.”

 

Jack returned to his own room to see Mark and Chica waiting. Mark smiled softly as he said “You visiting Sam again?” The vampire nodded his head as he answered “Yeah, he’s a really sweet kid.” Mark nodded his head “Yeah, I’m glad that you two seem to be getting along at least.”

 

Jack nodded as he said “He’s a cool kid, fun to hang around with.”  Jack sat himself on the edge of his bed. Mark smiled back “I’m sure he thinks the same about you.”

 

The vampire laid down letting out a sigh, even if he did enjoy spending time with his new found friend, he did notice how exhausted he felt at the end of the day. Jack made grabby hands at Mark as he said “Can we cuddle?” Mark nodded his head as he said “Of course, you know you only need to ask.” the human climbed into bed beside Jack. The vampire clinging to his lover nuzzling against him. Mark laid a gentle kiss on the top of Jack’s head.

 

Jack hummed as he laid his head on the human's chest, he closed his eyes letting out a breath. Laid like this Jack could hear the humans heartbeat. The vampire let out a purr as he whispered “I love you.” Mark placed his hand on Jack’s back as he said “I love you too.” Jack looked up at Mark as he asked “Can I kiss you?” Mark nodded his head as he said “You can kiss me whenever you like.” The vampire kissed Marks cheek. Mark smiled softly.

 

Jack laid his head on the human's chest again as he let out a sigh “When I was in that basement… I used to try and imagine you were there with me, holding me… Telling me that everything was going to be okay.” Mark held onto Jack a little tighter as he kissed the other and whispered “You don’t have to imagine it anymore. I’m here, I’m here I’m not leaving you and I can kiss you as much as you want me to, I can hold you as much as you want me to. Everything is going to be okay.”

 

Jack’s fingers curled around Mark’s t-shirt holding it tightly “I used to close my eyes and remember all the nights we would spend together, sitting up until 2 am cuddling or talking or watching a movie. I held onto those memories so I didn’t have to think about what was really happening.” Mark shushes the other as he says “It’s okay. It’s okay Sean, you don’t need to think about those things anymore. Because I’m here and if you want me to I’ll sit with you till 2 am cuddling and talking about nothing, I’ll sit there and watch a movie with you until we both pass out. No one will hurt you, not while I’m around.”

 

The vampire kept his hold of the human and he let out a soft purr “I’m glad you’re here Mark… I don’t always say it… I don’t always show it, but I am glad. I’m really happy that you came here and that you’ve stuck by me.” Mark peppered the other’s face with kisses humming softly “You deserve it, you’re worth so much more Sean. I wish I could do more for you. I wish that I was able to make everything better. But I know things don’t work like that. So I’m going to do whatever it takes to help you get through your recovery if that means I stay by your side day and night I will.” Jack gave the other a kiss as he said “I’m glad that you’re here. I-I want to be able to show you how much that means but… I’m scared… N-Not physically… I’m not scared of you. But… It’s like no matter how much I trust someone or how much I want to be able to do something. My body is… Is scared, I can’t stop that. I-I want to be able to hug you and kiss you all the time. But… But it’s hard. It’s so hard.”

 

Mark rubbed the others back as he said “You don’t need to hug and kiss me all the time. All you need is to focus on your recovery and let me know how I can help.” Jack nodded his head as he said “If you say so.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The two settled down together, laying on the bed enjoying each others company. Eventually, the couple fell asleep, arms wrapped around each other.

 

Rose came by to check on the two late at night as she was doing her rounds. But seeing the two so peaceful, she decided to leave them.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack woke the next morning with Mark still wrapped around him. Sleepy and not quiet functioning, there was a moment of panic from the vampire as he tried to work out what was going on.  

 

However, once he did realize, he was able to calm himself down and continue to indulge in sleepy cuddles. Jack held the other a little tighter as he whispered “I calmed myself down.” even if Mark was asleep and no one else was around to hear him, he wanted to say it out loud. Because he had calmed himself down, he had kept himself under control. For him, it was a massive show of his progress since his first day away from the hunters.

 

In fact, it wasn’t just Jack being able to keep himself calm, but he actually fell asleep again while cuddling Mark. And he was only woken up again when the nurse woke both Mark and Jack up.

 

The nurse had knocked but got no answer, she pushed the door open to see the two men were still fast asleep. Chica was following the nurse, having come back from her morning training session. She nosed her way into the room and walked over to the bed laying under the bed. Rose cleared her throat as she called “Mark, Jack, you two awake?” the reply she got was an incoherent grumble from both men. The nurse couldn’t help but chuckle as she said “C’mon boys,  it’s midday!” Suddenly Jack sat up “Midday?” Rose nodded her head as she answered calmly “Yes, you two seemed pretty comfortable so I thought I’d leave you to sleep as long as you could, of course now you have visitors.”

 

Jack and Mark looked a little embarrassed. The two of them sat up, Chica taking the chance to jump up onto the bed for pets from her boys.  Rose stayed in the room talking to the couple for a while, at least until they were interrupted by a knock on the door. Rose got up to answer the door,  looking a little surprised, however, she let the guest in. 

 

Michael the Guarda Officer was back, however this time he was not in uniform and he was not accompanied by his usual co-officer. The man nodded his head as he said “Good afternoon you two.” Jack gave the other a small smile “Hey, is… Is something wrong?” Michael shook his head “Not wrong it’s just… There has been another-” there was a pause as the male clearly considered his words “Another incident of a vampire going missing in the middle of the night… From what we’ve been able to gather it’s the same people who took Jack.

 

Jack tensed and swallowed thickly. Michael let out a sigh “In Northern Ireland… A town called Aghalee. A woman aged only 23.” Jack let out a shaky breath “So they’re still taking people.” Michael nodded “It would seem so… And I thought it was only fair that you should know. From what I’ve overheard the Guarda from Aghalee would like to ask you some questions. Not today… Probably within the next couple of days though.”

 

Jack nodded his head as he managed to say “T-Thanks for the warning…” Michael smiled softly “I thought that it would at least give you time to try and prepare yourself.”

 

“I appreciate it.” Jack said with a smile and a nod. Mark decided to try and change the subject a little noticing Jacks tension “So do they have you in plain clothes today or?” Michael shook his head “It’s my day off, I only really came to warn Jack about the visit.”

 

Michael gave his final nod to Jack and Mark as he said “I’ll be on my way. I hope you both have a pleasant day.” Jack cleared his throat as he said “I hope you enjoy your day off Michael.” The Officer gave Jack a kind smile as he left.

Chapter Text

The Two Weeks Later.

 

Mark had been asked to spend a night away from Jack. When the American arrived the next morning,  something was off. None of the nurses would look at him. Having spent months around the hospital, the nurses would always greet him with either a little wave or a cheerful good morning. For the nurses to almost ignore him, Mark knew something was wrong. Mark just hoped it had nothing to do with Jack. He continued to make his way through the hospital, moving a little faster from his concern. Mark needed to see Jack.

 

Reaching Jack’s room, Markc knocked, but there was no answer. Fuck! Jack was doing so well yesterday. He hadn’t woken from a nightmare in weeks. Jack was often tense but manage to hold himself together most days. Yesterday had been such a good day for Jack!

 

Mark knocked again as he called, “Sean, it’s Mark. Can I come in?” While waiting for an answer, Mark felt a tap on his back. Startled, the american quickly  turned to see red eyes. There was a moment of excitement in the american’s heart before realize the person before him wasn’t Jack. From his appearance, Mark assumed he was one of the nurses.

 

“You’re Mark?” The nurse asked, his fangs showing when he spoke. “Your friend had a very bad panic attack during the night… He managed to disturb some of his lasting scars, he also started clawing at his own skin... His nurses have been trying to bandage and clear his wounds, but it’s been difficult.” The man let out a sigh and Mark saw the man's eyes shift from red to green “He didn’t want to be touched… But at the same time we needed to put some bandages over his wounds.”

 

Mark nodded his head as he listen quietly. His gaze falling away as his thoughts drifted away into worried thoughts.

“Rose, his nurse, is worried about him…” The other man continued. “She said that Jack had been showing major improvement the day before”

 

The american nodded some more, absently crossing his arm and squeezing them around his body. “Yeah… Jack had a really good day yesterday…. But… Good days and bad days happen, right?”

 

“Right. In recovery, there are period of great improvement and relapse.” The nurse let out a sigh, “Jack has been responding better to other vampires… He may still be a little on edge when you see him so I would suggest using caution.  Rose is bringing him back to his room as we speak.”

 

“It makes sense that he reacts better around vampires. He wasn’t hurt by vampires… He was hurt by humans.” Mark commented his gaze moving away. The nurse wore a look of sympathy as he placed a hand on the American’s shoulder “Just… Look after him okay.” Mark nodded his head as he said “I will.” The nurse looked like he was going to say more, but his mouth shut, instead turning as he walked away. Mark pondered what the nurse could be thinking. He probably couldn’t imagine what it was like for a vampire, to see just what Jack was like after his treatment… The wounds that he held… Not to mention, the police had chosen to share the photos and videos that they hunters had sent to Jack’s house, with the hospital staff. Anyone who had something to do with Jack’s case had saw those photos and videos.

 

The only good thing that had come from that whole mess was that the nurses that Jack had initially threatened, felt guilty for treating Jack with such unapologetic caution. Jack hadn’t threatened them maliciously, or because he would actually harm them. At the time, he was just scared and confused.

 

However, Mark didn’t have time to ponder or worry about these things. He had more important things to focus on.  Jack was going to be fragile.

 

After a minute or less, Mark could see Jack being lead down the hallway by Rose. He had a blanket over his head, hiding most of his face… In fact, it was only because the other nurse had told Mark about Jack coming with Rose that the American was able to recognise the other. Jack was clearly trying to hide, which meant that Mark would have to tread very carefully.

 

As the vampire got closer, the American was able to see more of the vampire’s features. Jack’s skin was pale, a sickly shade of white, similar to when he first arrived at the hospital. There were dark bags under the vampires eyes showing how tired he must’ve been, and he shuffled around holding onto the blanket that was draped over him. His eyes were vacant and lifeless. Mark could tell that Jack was still lost in his head.  After so much improvement, seeing his lover like this was a stab to the heart for Mark.

 

Making too sharp of an inhale from the sight, the American ended up coughing a little. He backed up to both allow room for the two and to try steady himself .  Rose lead Jack into the room, and Jack crawled into bed, hiding under more blankets. Mark had quietly followed Rose and Jack into the room before sitting down. At times like these, Mark wished Chica could be here, but his pup was at her training session. Unfortunately, they would have to rely on communication for now. Although, Mark guessed that Chica might be the only thing that could help Jack right now.



Rose let out a sigh, stepping away from the vampire as she looked to Mark. She gestured for him to stand up as she quietly exit the room. Mark didn’t want to leave, having finally gotten a chance to see Jack, but he follewed the nurse’s silent instructions anyways, going into the hallway. “It was a bad one...”  She started, her voice soft. “ I know… One of the other nurses told me.” He said, imitating her level of softness. Rose looked physically upset and exhausted. Her gaze moved back to Jack. “He was clawing at his skin… Screaming… He said it hurts… It burned… Of course, nothing was happening to him at the time and we couldn’t find anything physically wrong with him...”

 

“So a nightmare?”The American offered, to which Rose hummed, “He’d been asleep previously… He’s been sleeping soundly for a few weeks now, so I’ve been leaving him alone for most of the night. It was only because I had heard screaming that I noticed something was wrong.”

 

There was a pause from the nurse as she chewed at her bottom lip.  Mark could tell there was more she wanted to say, but something prevented her. After a moment, she said, “If something has triggered him, we need to find out what to avoid another panic as bad as that one… Because of the way he was acting, some of the more senior nurses wanted to restrain him, tie him to his bed… I was able to talk them out of it this time. I knew restraining him would only make Jack worse… However, they made it clear that if he appears to be a danger to himself or to other again, they’d have to restrain him.”

 

“But if you restrained him while he was in a bad headspace-” Mark bluntly began to argue, but stopped once Rose nodded her head.

 

“I know… But next time, it might not be my choice. I’m not a senior nurse. They’ve let me look after Jack, but only because I was the only one who didn’t leave him when he panicked initially. I knew Jack wasn’t actually threatening us… He was just scared…” Rose trailed off. However, she must have known that Mark was ready to argue again, because she quickly added. “The senior nurses run the ward. If they believe it’s in Jack’s best interest to be restrained… I won’t be able to convince them otherwise.”

 

Mark shook his head, attempting to shake off the urge to argue more. “For now, we should focus on Jack, and making sure he’s calm. We can try and talk to Jack about his panic later.” Going back into the room, Mark cleared his throat a subtle way of announcing his presence to the vampire. Keeping his tone light and calm as he spoke,“Morning Jack.”

 

Jack didn’t reply. Mark wasn’t expecting him to, but he did see Jack peek out from the blankets to look at him.  Eye contact was good, a good sign that Jack was at least interested in his presences.

 

“Laure, Kalen, and  Susan are supposed to be visiting you tonight. Your parents are having a date night but promised to come by tomorrow.” Mark explained, casually while keeping his tone calm. He could see the blankets move a little as Jack’s head nodded a little.

 

No words…

 

When Jack was first released, it was hard for him to hold a conversation. Mark had seen quite a few of the videos where the hunters would punish Jack for speaking. Then when Jack stopped talking, they would ask him a question or make him speak just to punish him for it. However, nine months after being released, Jack was getting better. His periods of silences were less frequent. A silence like this one meant one of two things.

 

A: Bad headspace

 

B: Aftermath of a bad panic attack.

 

Mark was leaning more toward the aftermath of a panic attack. Jack’s eyes may be vacant, but he seemed to be listening to Mark and taking in what was said. He didn’t seem to be scared or frightened by Mark, which was common when Jack was suffering from a bad headspace.

 

“Chica is almost finished with her training! Her teacher said that it’ll probably be another three months before her daily lessons end. After that, she’ll still need lessons once a week. Therapy training takes a long time to master apparently.” The American jokingly added, smiling at the other man. He couldn't be sure if Jack was smile with blankets covering him, but there was a bit of light in Jack’s eyes to show he appreciated the humor. “But when she’s not in lessons, she’ll be a proper therapy dog.”

 

Jack once more nodded his head. Listening. Even if Jack wasn’t talking, listening was good.

 

Mark was quiet for a few seconds, searching his brain for the next topic, “I saw a trailer for a new game! It looks like something you might like.”

 

As the American continued to explain the game, Jack would nod where appropriate, showing that he was indeed listening, despite remaining silent. That was a good thing at least.

 

Mark kept trying different topics.

  • Games
  • Youtube
  • Memories
  • Movies
  • Songs

 

Jack hadn’t spoken a word. Mark didn’t want to show his disappointment to his lover. He was trying to keep talking, hoping that a conversation would help to bring Jack’s voice back. Jack’s constant silence might be the worst part of his torture. The Irishman was always a loud mouth, loud and proud. Mark had always loved that about Jack. Instead of sparking a conversation like Mark had hoped, Jack merely continued to nod. His eyes were still focused on Mark, showing attention to him, but his lips reaming sealed.

 

The conversation fell silent while the American searched for his next topic. Fortunately, Mark didn’t have to worry about the next topic when Chica was finally brought in by one of her trainers. She immediately padded over to Jack and nudged his leg. Jack brought a hand out from under the blanket to scratch behind her ear. The blankets were pushed to side enough to show a small smile. Still no words, but this was an improvement. Mark went back to his thoughts then he said “Tom and my step-mom were wanting to come visit. It’s been so long since they saw you.”

 

Jack raised his head up, looking surprised. His mouth opened, almost like he was going to speak, but no sound. Jack hung his head again, looking to Chica, and Mark could tell what Jack was thinking.“Hey, don’t beat yourself up, okay?”

 

The vampire peered over at Mark again and let out a sigh. Shuffling over to the edge of the bed, the Irishman took out his phone and began to type something.

 

At first, Mark didn’t understand what the vampire was up to, and then his phone pinged from his pocket. Mark took out his phone seeing a text from Jack.

Jack: I’m sorry I’m like this…

Mark: You don’t need to apologise, it’s okay. I understand.

Jack: Your step-mom wants to visit?

Mark: Yeah! She says she misses her little Irish bean. :D

Jack: Your step-mom thinks so highly of me.

Mark: It’s only my mom that gives you the protective parent act. And even she loves you!

Jack: Wait, I have mama Fischbach's approval?

Mark: Of course you do.  <3 

 

Peeking up from his phone, Mark could see that Jack was wearing a giddy little grin

 

Jack: If Tom and your Step-Mom visit they could meet my family!

Mark: They could, I could see if my Mom is up for visiting as well and we can make sure all the family meets.  Could be a lot of fun

Jack: Everyone except me… Mark as much as I want our families to meet… I don’t know if I could handle a crowd that size. We’re talking five total siblings and four parents as well as you, me and Chica.

Mark: Maybe we should get all your family here first, then have you meet with my moms and brother. If you can do it while our families are separated together should be fine right?

Jack: In theory.

 

The rest of the conversation was held through text. It was better than nothing.

 

A few hours later, Mark had left the room to go and get them both some food. Mark was craving a burger, so he left the hospital and went to the McDonalds down the road. When he returned, Chica was laying next to Jack on the bed, her head on Jack’s knee. Mark gave Jack a smile as he offered a sandwich, “Big Mac?”

 

Jack nodded his head smiling as he reached for the offered bag of food. Mark let Jack take his food as he set to work on sorting himself out. Mark put down his bag. He grabbed a straw and put it in Jack’s drink, pushing it closer, “I wasn’t sure what drink you’d want so I got a diet coke.” Mark looked to Jack to see him nodding his head. Mark sat down.“I was craving burgers. Although I’ve been told that European McDonalds don’t taste the same as American ones, not sure if it's true or not. Guess I’ll find out.” The Irishman shrugged.

 

The two ate in silence. Mark offered to find some music or something to put on as background noise, but Jack didn’t seem interested in that idea.

 

It was quiet for a while. Even after they’d finished eating, Jack remained silent, and Mark had resorted to scrolling through Tumblr on his phone.

 

Mark hadn’t really been paying close attention to the time. He’d been kind of zoned out until Jack finally spoke “M-Mark?”

 

The voice was quiet, just a little louder than a whisper, but Jack was finally speaking! Mark nearly shot up in his seat as he gave the Irishman his full attention. He stayed where he was, keeping his voice the same calm tone he had been using. “Yeah, Jack?”

 

Jack’s gaze moved down, looking at his own lap. He fidgeted with something, clearly nervous “I-I wanted to ask you a question.”

 

Mark nodded his head as he replied, “Okay, you know you can ask me anything. What’s the question?”

 

Jack took a deep breath in, before letting it out slowly, he repeated this a couple times, apparently trying to collect himself. Whatever it was, Mark was getting the feeling that it was a sensitive topic. He mentally prepared himself for whatever the vampire was going to say, reminding himself to be calm. He wouldn’t push Jack to talk when the vampire was clearly struggling.

 

“My scars… the ones I disturbed… They’re gonna need cleaning.”

 

Mark licked his lips, not entirely sure where this was going. “Okay, do you want me to get Rose or-?” Jack shook his head, he was silent for another long moment before he said, “C-Can you do it for me? I need to have a bath anyway… S-So…” Jack trailed off.  Mark gave the other man a few moments, but it was clear that Jack didn’t want to continue

 

“You want me to help clean you off, in the bathroom?”

 

Jack licked his lips, hesitating, “Y-Yeah… Well… Not just the bathroom… I-I want you to help me when I’m sitting in the bathtub.”

 

Mark was taken back by the request. Jack would be naked in the bathtub, and he was inviting him into the room. Not wanting to appear hesitant, Mark quickly answered, “Okay, just let me know when you want me in there, and… Well, just you’re in control. If you feel uncomfortable while we’re in there, you can tell me to leave, okay?”

 

Jack nodded his head, “I know… It’s why I asked you. I-I know I can trust you.”

 

The American couldn’t help smiling a little from hearing that. Even though it wasn’t the first time Mark had said it, every time he heard it, it still meant a lot to him.

 

Taking a deep breath, Jack let out a sigh, “Well, we shouldn’t wait around. I’ll only get anxious if we keep putting it off...”

 

“Okay, do you want to go ahead and I’ll wait outside for you to tell me to come in?”

 

Jack nodded, standing up. “That… Sounds like a good idea. Thanks.”  The vampire went into the bathroom and closed the door. His hand hesitated over the lock. Normally, he would lock the door behind him. However, if Mark was going to get in the bathroom to help, Jack would need to leave it open. The vampire let out another sigh, moving away from the door.

 

There was a music player in here. Rose brought it in when she realised that Jack was able to keep calmer when he could divert his focus away from being naked. Being vulnerable .  Jack pressed play and the first song to come on was a Linkin Park song. Jack always loved Linkin Park. It reminded him of being a teenager and playing with his old band. It reminded him of rocking out to rock and metal with Malcolm.  

 

With the music playing, Jack moved across the room and turned the water, adding some bubble bath to the water.  The bathroom was big because it was made for hospital use. When Jack first woke, the nurses would wheel him around in a wheelchair; The bathroom was accessible to a patient, even if they were unable to walk.

 

It didn’t take too long for the bath to fill. Jack checked the temperature, putting his hand in the water. Not too hot, not too cold. Just right.  

 

Jack striped off his clothes, leaving them in a pile in a corner. Being naked was hard for Jack. He was naked for so long in the basement that he associated being naked, being exposed as being vulnerable. There was a moment where Jack was still, standing by the bath as he rationalized his thoughts. He wasn’t with the hunters. He was in the hospital, alone in the bathroom, while Mark waited outside. Jack was safe. He knew he was safe… But his frayed mind remained scared and cautious.

 

After giving himself a few moments, the vampire was able to get himself into the bath. He sat for a moment, settling himself before he finally called out for Mark.

 

“Mark, you there?”

 

“Yeah, everything okay?” the American’s reply came, calm tone, not too loud. Jack appreciated that Mark was trying to be as helpful as he could, even though it was hard to help him most of the time. Jack took a deep breath in then let it out slowly. “Yeah… Y-You can come in now. I’m okay.” The door opened and Mark stepped in, closing the door behind him.

 

“C-Can you lock it?” Jack asked. It was best to lock the door so people knew the room was in use. Mark nodded and locked the door.

 

Not wanting to move closer, Mark waited by the door as he said with a calm smile, “Nice taste in music." breaking benjamin song was playing at the moment. Mark wasn’t a big rock or metal fan, but after dating Jack for so long, he recognized some songs and artists and could appreciate some of the softer songs.

 

Jack chuckled a little. “Never took you for a metal head.”

 

Mark shrugged, smiling more, “I’m not, but I’ve known you long enough to pick up on some things.”

 

“Am I that bad of an influence?” The vampire chuckled some more. There was humor in his eyes again.

 

Mark was happily able to indulge in the joke as well; However, he wouldn’t talk down to Jack. “I wouldn’t say you’re a bad influence. I would say you’re a musical influence. My playlist has gotten bigger since I started dating you.”

 

Through the whole exchange, Jack had been watching Mark’s face. The American wasn’t trying to look at Jack’s lower half… Not that he could really see beneath the bubbles. Mark also wasn’t touching him. He was standing by the door, clearly waiting for Jack to tell him it was okay to move closer. All of it helped to ease Jack.He gestured for his lover to come closer, and Mark slowly did so. He sat just next to Jack, but still not reaching for or touching the vampire. Mark’s hands were on his knees, visible to Jack. The man was clearly doing all he could to help Jack’s anxiety and the vampire definitely appreciated it.

 

“It’s my back I need you to do. But first I-I…” the vampire finally manage to say, but his stuttering stopped him from explaining for a second. “Y-You have to know that… I… I’m sorry that it’s this one... That you’re going to see…! I-I’m sorry that it was this scar.” Jack started to ramble, lowering his whole body into the water as if attempting to hide. He couldn’t hide. He needed to let Mark help.

 

Mark was a little confused by Jack’s sudden apology.  “You’re sorry about a scar? Why?”

 

Jack sat low in the water for a little bit before shifting his position so his back was facing Mark.  Letting out a shaky breath, Jack said, “J-Just… You’ll see.”

Chapter Text

Mark hadn’t been staring, as hard as it was not too look. This was the first time he’d seen Jack without clothes since his capture. However, he had seen the photos of Jack exposed, all the wounds, cuts, burns, whip marks. Mark was being told he could look.

 

Well, he’d been told to clean Jack’s back, but that meant he had to see what he was doing. As Jack turned around, Mark’s gaze moved to Jack’s back. However, as his eyes moved across the vampire's back, seeing faint cuts and whip marks that had healed as much as they ever would, the main scar was red. Clearly, it would still be very sore. Marks heart dropped seeing the scar; Although, it wasn’t because of physical pain that was caused from a scar like that one. It was because of what the scar was.  It was a word. A horrible, horrible word that Mark knew had been used against Jack. And not just by the hunters…

 

“Parasite.”

 

That horrible word consumed Mark, making the human feel sick to his stomach. And what was worse, Mark had used against Jack in the past.

 

~~~~____~~~~

2016

 

Mark made his way downstairs and into the living room flopping down on the couch with a tired sigh. Making this video was harder than Mark had first anticipated and he was struggling to meet his deadline. At least he had all the footage, if he needed to he could pull a couple all-nighters. A date with Markiplier , an idea for a Valentine's day video Mark had, he’d planned it, recorded it (With the help of good friends Amy, Katherine, Tyler, Ethan and Pamela). Editing was hard, trying to make sure all the footage fit together in a coherent way. And editing the ‘Darkiplier’ segment was proving to be a nightmare. (Mark had killed three computers so far trying to get the computer to process it all). He knew it would have a worthy pay off, it was a project that Mark cared about and loved deeply, even if it was testing his stress levels.

 

Well, the video wasn’t the only thing challenging his stress levels. Ever since Tyler found out that Jack was a vampire, Tyler had made it clear that he did not agree with Mark’s choice in boyfriend. Mark had tried to placate Tyler, telling him that Mark had known Jack for a long time, not only that but Jack had always been a vampire… That information had only made him worse! Instead, Tyler kept trying to argue that Jack had kept the fact that he was a vampire a secret for years and only told Mark when he was put in a position where he couldn’t really lie.

 

Mark trusted Jack, he knew that Tyler was just being over-protective, he knew that his friend was a dedicated hunter, it was natural for Tyler to be cautious. But the constant comments from Tyler and his friend's watchful eye whenever Jack was around was not helping to ease Mark’s stress if anything it made him worse.

 

Mark had been sat on the couch with his eyes closed trying to give himself a moment to relax. Mark had kind of zoned out lost to his thoughts until he felt the couch shift as someone climbed on next to him. A familiar purr sounded next to him as cool skin pressed against him, Mark opened his eyes to see Jack sat on the couch nuzzling him. Letting out a sigh Mark shifted his position, pulling away from Jack a little.

 

Jack, only able to sense his boyfriend's sour mood was trying to help to cheer Mark up one of the few ways he knew how. Jack placed a kiss on Mark’s cheek noticing the human smile a little. Mark rolled his eyes as he teased “Goober.” Jack smirked a little, happy that he at least got Mark to react “But I’m your Goober.” Mark kissed Jack’s cheek back humming “Of course and I wouldn’t have it any other way.” Jack let out a happy noise making Mark laugh a little.

 

The two decided to indulge in some late evening cuddles, not really talking, although to be honest, they both appreciate the silent company.

 

Peace would not last, five minutes later Tyler walked into the room, already glaring daggers at Jack who tried to hide behind Mark. Mark looked at Tyler, his expression saying ‘drop it’. But of course, Tyler wasn’t going to listen, Tyler was stubborn. “Mark, you okay?” the older man asked sounding almost accusatory “Just taking a little break from work before I lose my mind.” Mark replied, trying to sound playful, he didn’t his tone held an annoyed edge to it. Tyler clearly picked up on it “And Jack?” The vampire shrugged “Hugging Mark while he’s taking a break.” Jack buried his head between Mark’s shoulder and neck where he could rest his face against the human's pulse point, soaking up Mark’s scent and Mark’s warmth.

 

Tyler muttered something and Mark snapped “Stop!” Tyler looked surprised, so did Jack. Mark let out a sigh “Tyler, I know what you’re going to say, the same thing you’ve been saying since Jack got here. I don’t want to hear it right now.” Tyler looked insulted as he turned away, watching Jack as he left the room.

 

Jack kept his place buried against Mark, finding comfort in being able to feel and hear Mark’s pulse as well as being able to smell his scent. It was something that Jack found quite relaxing. It was probably an instinctual thing, but Jack didn’t really care.

 

Jack was nuzzling at Mark’s neck and there was a moment where the human was going to push the vampire away, until he saw how content Jack looked. Mark couldn’t push Jack away when he looked so happy.

 

Jack let out a happy hum and he laid kisses to Mark’s neck trying to show his appreciation for the man he was with. Mark began to shift, not realizing that Mark didn’t want the affection, Jack licked the other's neck giggling. Jack was shoved away harshly as Mark stood up.

 

Kissing was okay, it was affectionate, right? Mark tried to reason. But in the back of his mind, he was reminded that it had been a couple days since Jack fed, it wasn’t a problem, not really… Although if he let Jack feed from him Tyler would make sure that Jack never heard the end of it. Mark shifted trying to pull away without outright rejecting the vampire. Jack didn’t seem to take the hint, that's when Mark felt the tongue against his neck, the wet muscle that ran up his vein. He shoved Jack away and jumped to his feet.

 

Jack hadn’t expected it and he looked up at Mark confused, but Mark could only glare at the vampire, anger clear in the man's expression and body language. “M-Mark?” the vampire stuttered voice sounding hurt. The American turned away. Jack stood himself up and took a step towards the human, placing a hand on Mark’s shoulder “Mark? Babe? W-What-” Jack was cut off as Mark pushed his hand away. Jack took a step back “I-Is this about what I-” Mark cut Jack off “I don’t want to talk about it right now.”

 

That answer was not enough for the vampire “Don’t want to talk? You just rejected me twice and you don’t want to talk? What’s going on Mark I’m on-” Jack was cut off again as Mark yelled “Can’t you just leave me alone!?” Jack let out a surprised yelp in the face of the American’s fury. Jack cleared his throat brushing aside his moment of weakness “Mark, love I-” Mark was walking away. Jack’s concern was quickly changing to frustration.

 

“Nuh-uh. No. you don’t get to just shove me away and yell at me. Mark whatever this is we should talk about it are you okay?” Mark scoffed as he said “I didn’t think you’d care.” what was said was in no way Mark’s actual thoughts, he was just so stressed and frustrated and now he was mad because of all the emotions and thoughts whirling around his head. The Irishman found himself to be on the receiving end of the American’s growing rage. “Talk? What about? There’s nothing to talk about!” Once again the American turned his back to the vampire and attempted to walk away.

 

A growl rumbled from the vampire's throat as he said “Stop turning your back on me for one moment. We’re going to talk about what's wrong with you tonight!”

 

“Wrong with me!” the American yelled “Nothing is wrong with me.” Jack couldn’t believe what the other was saying “Nothing wrong? Then why are you acting like this, why are you-” he paused briefly rephrasing what he was saying “What the hell are we arguing about.” There was a pause between the two. Mark rolled his eyes “I don’t expect you to understand. Just- Leave me alone… Okay?” Jack looked at his hand, still holding onto Marks wrist, Mark testingly pulled against Jack’s hold but the vampire didn’t let go. “Mark please…” at this point Jack was practically begging the other to talk to him, his tone soft and pleading.

 

“Let it go Jack.” Mark deadpanned. “No!” Jack finally snapped, his eyes flashing red for a moment as his frustration spiked “No, we’re going to sit down and talk okay? I want to know whats wrong Mark, I want to know because I love you, I care about you i-”. The flash of the vampire's eyes only made the American worse he cut Jack off as he yelled “No! Let go of me, let go. I hate you!” Jack froze, letting go of Mark the American pulled back. Jack looked to be on the verge of tears “W-What?”

 

“I hate you.” Mark repeated, his tone low and cold showing no hesitation he didn’t know where the words came from. He didn’t hate Jack, he loved Jack. But apparently this was the way his brain had gone, it was too late to back out now.

 

Jack felt his throat close up on him. The thoughts that Jack had suppressed about what Mark really thought about him resurfacing ‘you’re a monster’, ‘just a vampire’, ‘why would he love you?’, ‘he’s an informant for the LA hunters, he’s using you’. Tears rolled down the vampires cheeks. Upset turned to anger as the vampire snarled “You hate me, huh?” the vampire took in a deep breath letting out a long sigh, trying to gain his composure, he wouldn’t cry, not in front of Mark “I guess the truth always comes out eventually doesn’t it. Don’t worry about it, the feeling is mutual.”

 

It cut like a knife to hear Jack say that, but anger blocked out all reason. If anything, Mark’s hurt feelings only made him worse. He wanted to hurt Jack back "Ha- Good! Guess I don't need to be your meal ticket anymore, parasite ." Mark said, with purposeful maliciousness. Jack physically flinched at the word, monster, blood-sucker… So many words Mark could have used… Parasite…

 

The worst part about it was that Jack couldn’t argue it, by definition a vampire was a form of parasite, feeding on others to survive. Jack turned away from the other as he growled “I can’t believe I was stupid enough to trust you, to believe anyone could love a monster!” There was a clear crack in the American’s fury as he suddenly seemed to realize the weight of the situation, the reality of what was going on around him. Why had he said he hated Jack? Why hadn’t he just told his boyfriend that he was stressed and annoyed with Tyler? A feeling of guilt started to seep in, but there was still anger in the American. Mark wouldn’t let his guilt show. Mark turned away from Jack crossing his arms “Get out of here.”

 

Jack didn’t need telling twice. He grabbed his coat and left Mark’s house.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

It was only after Jack had time to calm down that he realized, Mark had kicked him out. Jack was in L.A thousands of miles away from anywhere familiar. Not only that but Mark still had all of Jack’s belonging and his flight wasn’t for another week. Jack decided he would give Mark an hour or so to cool off before he went to collect his things and find a hotel he could stay in.

 

Two hours after their argument Jack was making his way back to Mark’s house. Jack knocked on the door and he heard voices from inside “It’s okay Mark, I’ll get it.” Jack could see a blob of blue on the other side of the door before he was greeted by Ethan. The young vampire clearly looked surprised. Obviously, Mark had told Ethan about the argument (Probably Tyler too). Great… Jack let out a sigh as he held up his hand “I’m not here to argue anymore. I just want to grab my stuff and I’ll go.” Ethan licked his lips as he said “Jack… Mark… Mark wants to talk to you.” Jack was surprised, but nodded as he said “Sure. I owe him that much.” Ethan stepped out of the way as Jack entered the house. Ethan closed the door before leading Jack through to the living room.

 

Mark was on the couch, Tyler sat next to him. Tyler glared at Jack as he entered the room “You better have a damn good excuse for-” Ethan shook his head at Tyler as he said “Jack said he wanted to collect his belongings but I think that Mark and Jack should talk.” Mark looked up as soon as Ethan said Jack’s name. Jack could see Mark’s eyes were red and puffy, his cheeks tearstained. Mark stood up and ran over to Jack quickly clinging to him “I’m so sorry Jack I didn’t mean it!”

 

Jack pushed Mark away as he said “But you’re right. I am a para-” Mark cut Jack off “You’re not. You’re not I-I… I was upset and angry and- It doesn’t matter about me… All that matters is I took my emotions out on you and I shouldn’t have, I’m sorry. You don’t have to leave. I don’t hate you. I love you, Sean. You know I do… B-But… After everything, if you-” Jack placed his finger to Marks lips silencing the other “Mark. A vampire by definition is a parasite. I didn’t help the situation by getting mad in return.

 

Mark shook his head as he took hold of Jack’s hands “No, it’s not your fault. It’s not. Don’t blame yourself. Please don't blame yourself. This was all on me and I’m so sorry Sean.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Present

 

Mark had called Jack a parasite before, because he knew how much that word would hurt him. Now, that word was permanently scarred into his back. Mark could place when this happened, shortly before Jack’s release, the picture had showed Jack’s back covered in blood, Mark had assumed they’d just cut it a lot… Not… Not this.

 

Mark had actually zoned out, he was only brought back to his sense when a wet hand was placed on top of his own. Mark snapped back to reality with a shake of his head. Jack had turned around to face Mark, he looked concerned. “I-I’m sorry.” Mark stuttered his apology. Jack’s gaze moved down “You remember it don’t you...Our first fight?” Mark nodded his head “Yeah… D-Did they-” Jack shook his head “No they would call me that whenever I had to feed…” It didn’t make Mark feel any better “You know it’s not true don’t you?” Jack didn’t reply, he kept his head down “Jack. It’s not true. You’re not a parasite.”

 

Jack didn’t reply. Mark wanted to argue, but he knew that Jack probably didn’t believe that he wasn’t a parasite. It was something Jack had struggled with in the past, Mark had helped him through it once, he would do it again.

 

Mark is staring at his back. Jack pulled his knees to his chest trying to make himself smaller. It’s not that he thinks Mark would do anything that Jack wouldn’t approve of. But, it was hard. Jack hated being naked in front of people, he couldn’t even be naked in front of himself.

 

The American noticed that Jack was trying to make himself smaller. It was clear that Jack’s nerves were on edge. Pulling himself away from his thoughts Mark focused on Jack. However, before he could he needed to do something. Jack probably wouldn’t like it. But Mark could always ask “Jack?” Mark noticed Jack turn his head to look back a little “Can I… Can I touch the scar? Is that okay?” Jack was silent for a moment before nodding.

 

With Jack’s permission, Mark placed his pointer finger against the bottom of the letter ‘P’. Jack flinched at the initial touch taking in a gasp. Mark waited, but Jack didn’t push him away. Jack slowly began to run his finger across each of the letters feeling the rough skin below. Jack let out a shaky breath as he stuttered “W-What are you doing?” Mark let out a sigh “Just touching the scar… Jack can- Can I kiss your back?”

 

Jack was surprised by the question “K-Kiss it? Why? All the scars an-” Mark cut Jack off “Your scars don’t mean I love you any less. I love you, scars and all. And I want to show you that.” Jack ducked his head as he said “You’re too good to me…” Mark shook his head as he said “Not too good, just giving you the attention and affection you deserve.” Jack let out a sigh “I want to believe you… But look at me, Mark… They didn’t just torture me, the humiliated me... “

 

Mark wanted to argue, but he knew he couldn’t “That… I think that's what they wanted, they wanted you to feel that way… But look at you. Nine months on and you’re getting better, you’re getting strength back in your legs. You’re doing so well and I’m so proud of you.” Jack shook his head “I guess I’m having a hard time seeing that myself…” Mark let out a sigh “I know I can’t convince you of anything. But I still want to show you how much I love you.”

 

Mark leaned forward and placed a gentle kiss on Jack’s shoulder. Jack tensed for a moment before relaxing. Mark kept placing kisses against Jack’s back, with the first few kisses Jack tensed at the initial touch but relaxed each time. Slowly Jack became used to the sensation of kisses against his back, there was no roughness or force to it. Mark wasn’t biting, he was kissing. His lips were so gentle as they pressed against his skin. Jack soon began to enjoy the kisses, pressing into Mark’s touch.

Mark took his time kissing every inch of the vampires back whispering his love and praises to the vampire.

“I love you, Sean.”

“You make me so happy.”

“I’m so proud of you.”

“Proud of everything you’ve done.”

“You inspire me.”

“You’re so wonderful.”

“I want to help you.”

“I want to make sure you’re always happy.”

“I want to give you all the love you deserve.”

“You deserve all the love in the world.”

 

The continued kisses and praises helped to ease Jack’s nerves a lot, in fact, he felt calmer than he’d felt all day.

 

After Mark had finished kissing Jack, he picked up a sponge as he said “Ready for that backwash?” Jack nodded his head smiling softly “Yeah, go ahead.”

Chapter Text

The Following Day

 

Nurse Rose knocked on the door before entering “Good Morning Sean.” Jack nodded his head, he hadn’t slept that night. Feeling far too anxious during the evening, he’d asked if Mark would leave him alone for the night. Jack had woken at sometime between 3 and 5 am screaming and had remained awake since.

 

He was calmer now, but still on edge. “Mornin’ Rose.” Jack mumbled his reply. Rose cleared her throat giving the other a patient smile “I have a surprise visitor for you this morning.”

 

Jack perked up a little, interested to see who would be visiting him this early. The door opened all the way to reveal Sam. Jack’s eyes widened as he saw the boy. Sam’s skin looked grey, his hair was starting to come out, he looked sad. Seeing Sam was like flicking a switch for the Irishman, his nerves subsided and quickly started to want to comfort the little boy “Sam?”

 

Jack climbed off his bed and took a step towards the boy. Sam looked up and half smiled “Hi Jack… I-I’m sorry I-” the boy began to sniffle. Jack shushed the other and he pulled Sam into a comforting hug “Hey, hey… It’s okay.” Sam was sobbing against Jack’s shoulder as he croaked “I don’t want to die.” Jack tried to not to hold onto the boy tighter hearing that, his heart practically shattered in his chest “It’s going to be okay Sam.”

 

A more optimistic Jack would have argued “ You’re not going to die. ” Jack’s optimism had been beaten out of him. He was getting some of his old energy and enthusiasm back, but it was slow. Not only that Jack was pretty sure that Sam knew his cancer was terminal, telling him “ You’re not going to die. ” would be out right lying. The sad fact was that Sam was a dying child. Terminal mean that they couldn’t cure him. Sam was dying... He might not die right this second, it could be days, weeks, months, years… Jack rubbed Sam’s back as he said “I promise you it’s gonna be okay Sam. Your You’re strong okay? I’m so proud of how strong you are. You can fight this!” Sam pulled away from Jack and the vampire used his finger to wipe the boys tears away.

 

Sam sniffled a little as he said in a quiet voice “What happened to you anyway? Why are you in hear?” Jack flinched. It was a question he didn't want to have to answer. Not to Sam… But also, Sam deserved honesty. Jack swallowed thickly before letting out a sigh “I was taken by vampire hunters… I’ll spare you the gorey details… I-It’s better than you don’t hear exactly what they did… But after four months of being with them I was dumped outside my home, severely malnourished, unable to stand on my own… And suffering a form of PTSD. It took me a long time to get used to being around people who didn’t want to hurt me… I was always scared… Scared that people were going to start beating me again… Even though I knew logically no one was going to hurt me.”

 

Sam looked shocked blinking his eyes, his jaw slack “I-I didn’t-” Jack cut him off “I didn’t want anyone to know… I didn’t post anything on Twitter, I asked my family and friends not to say anything. I didn’t want people to worry… I didn’t want my fans to know the reality of what happened, ever since I admitted that I was a vampire a lot of younger vampires have come to my channel because they don’t feel so weird or outcasted. I was open about being a vampire, I was honest… It meant that people didn't have to feel so alone. And the community where so accepting of everyone who said they were a vampire… If people found out what happened to me they’d be scared… I didn’t want that.”

 

Sam nodded his head letting out a sigh “I-I know it’s not the same, but for a while I didn’t want to tell my friends that I was sick…” Jack looked at Sam as he said “People keep telling you it gets easier don’t they?” Sam nodded “Yeah, but I don’t believe them…” Jack nudged the other as he said “If I can learn to talk to people again, you can pull this through. No matter what life throws at you Sam I want you to remember something.” The boy looked up at Jack as he asked “What’s that?” Jack pulled the boy close hugging him as he said £You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. Don’t let anything or anyone put you down.”

 

Sam held onto Jack as he said “Don’t let anyone knock you down Jack. You’ve helped some many of your subscribers over the years, we all believe in you.” Jack smiled softly as he said “Thanks… Seeing all the supportive messages and fan-art and stuff on tumblr has really helped. Sam gave a small smile back to Jack.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Both Jack and Sam seemed to have perk up after their talk. Sam had climbed into bed so he and Jack could lay down. Jack kept an arm wrapped around Sam. At this point, Jack had kind of became like a brother or an uncle to Sam. Sam’s family where more than happy to let Jack play this part, seeing how happy it made Sam.

 

There was a knock on the door and Jack looked to see Sam’s mother come in. She smiled softly as Jack placed a finger to his lips shushing the woman. The woman came into the room as quietly as possible pulling a chair over and sitting down. “Morning Sean.” Jack smiled a little “Morning Lilly.” The woman looked at her son, sorrow in her eyes “He was really upset yesterday… I thought he might come see you.” Jack let out a sigh “He told me he scared to die.” Lily swallowed thickly nodding her head “Yeah… They told him yesterday…” Lily’s gaze moved to Jack as she asked softly “May I ask you a personal question Sean?” Jack shrugged “Sure…” Lily clear her throat but was silent not answering immediately. After a short pause she asked “Did you ever fear dying… While you were missing?”

 

Jack let out a sigh “In the beginning… I did… I would beg them not to hurt me… After a while… After the near constant physical, sexual and emotional abuse… I wanted them to kill me. I wanted to die so I wouldn’t have to go through it any more.” Lily kept her gaze on Jack as she said “I can’t imagine what it was like… I know that I don’t know you very well but… I’m glad you got through that Sean. I’m glad you’ve been able to help my son at least a little, he speaks so highly of you all the time, being able to see you is the highlight of his day.”

 

Jack noticed himself smiling a little “It… Its nice that he feels that way. I’m glad I’ve been able to help…  If I’m honest, I enjoy Sam’s company as well, he’s fun to ha

ng around with and learning to talk to people again without being scared has been amazing.” Lily smiled “I’m glad that Sam had been able to do that for you… From what little I understand of your situation, I can only guess how hard readjusting to normality has been. It’s amazing that after everything you’ve been able to come back to yourself and get better.” Jack let out a sigh “Better… Better than I was… But I doubt I’m ever going to be myself again.”

 

The woman tilted her head to the side seeming to be a little confused “What do you mean?” Jack let out a sigh “Sometimes I feel like I take one step forward and two steps back. I’ll be doing really well in terms of recovery for a while and then something sets me off or triggers something and it’s almost like we’re back at square one. I’m sick of the constant backwards and forwards, getting better then relapsing… It’s… It’s exhausting.” Lily wore a sympathetic look as Jack explained his situation, his thoughts on his recovery. The woman placed her hand on Jack’s knee as she spoke softly “Recovering is never easy, physical recovery, wounds… Cuts… Anything like that, they heal the quickest. But you also need to remember that it wasn’t just physical abuse that you have to get over, it’s psychological, you went through a lot of mental trauma… It’s not always easy to get through those things. There will be set backs. There will be hard times. But your friends and family will always stick by you. They believe in you. So even if you feel like you can’t believe in yourself… Know that there are a lot of people out there, who do believe in you.”

 

Jack was staring at the woman’s hand caught between falling into a panic and listening to her. Touching was always risky with Jack, especially since he’d been triggered yesterday. However, Lily’s words seemed to resonate with Jack. He noticed himself calming down as he focused on what she had to say. Once she had finished speaking, he looked at her finally making eye contact. They looked at each other for a moment, both silent. Slowly Jack began to smile “T-Thank you… I… I need to try and be more positive.” Lily gave a light hearted chuckle “It’s not always easy. But I’m sure that you will be able to do it Sean.”



Chapter Text

Three weeks later

 

Jack had his high and low moments, but he hadn’t had a panic attack as bad as his last one. The scars that he’d disturbed were more or less healed. Jack was walking on his own completely unaided. The doctors had managed to lower his medication.

 

Finally, 11 months after Jack’s release, things were looking up.

 

Rose was late visiting Jack that morning, in fact, she didn’t come by till the afternoon. As she walked in, she gave Jack and Mark a smiled, but both could tell it was fake.

 

“W-What’s going on?” Jack asked with concern. Rose let out a sigh “Well, it depends if you want the good news or the bad news.”

 

“Bad.” Jack answered immediately a form of hesitation in his eyes, he didn’t like the sound of ‘abd news’ but at least if he heard the bad first, hearing the good news after might ease him. Rose nodded her head letting out a breath “The hospital board has decided to move me to Athlone hospital. One of their senior nurses retired, and they want me to fill the role.” Jack blinked “You're leaving? B-But who will-” Rose stopped Jack as she said “That leads into the good news. You see, after myself and your doctors have been monitoring your progress, they think that you’re okay to go home.” Jack was staring at Rose, surprise was written across his face. His eyes lighting up with both dread and glee. He’d been back and forth between home and hospital for 3 months, supposedly getting him ready to move back home. But, to no longer see the nurses and doctors he’d come to call his friends, it didn’t really feel like good news…

 

“I-I… Rose that… It’s good that I can go home but what about everyone here?” Rose chuckled softly “You’ll still have some doctors appointments hear in Dublin with the doctors that know your case… And seeing as I’m moving to Athlone, I’ll come by to see you. I’ll also be in charge of making sure you take your medication and that your recovery is still progressing.” Jack let out a sigh “I know that… I’ve been spending time at home recently… It’s just… Moving away and not being here everyday… It’s… It’s different.”

 

Different, strange, new… It was hard for Jack. It always made him more anxious, Jack clung to familiarity, routine. But at the same time, he’d be in his own apartment, he’d be able to stay in his own bed. He’d have his computer back! He’d have all his gaming consoles back! Maybe being home would be a good thing… Maybe he could heal more at home that he was here after all his physical injuries had healed, or at least 95% of them had healed.

 

Rose let out a sigh as she pulled a seat close “I’ll be honest, I’m really going to miss seeing you all the time, Jack. I-I know it’s unprofessional of me to say something like this but… I’ve come to call you a friend.” Rose was smiling so genuinely. Her emerald eyes showing her sincerity. Jack couldn’t help but smile back “I’ll miss it too but… You technically know where I live, you can always visit me.”

 

Rose smiled some more as she nodded “I-I would like that.” Having been quiet through most of the conversation, Mark quickly spoke up. “You’re always welcome Rose, in fact, let me give you my number. That way if you want to come to see Jack, I can let him know you’re coming.” The nurse nodded her head “My phone is in my locker right now, but before I leave after my shift tonight, I’ll make sure to get your number and Jack’s… If that’s okay.” Jack nodded, smiling. “Of course it’s okay! I thought you knew by now that I saw you as a friend.”

 

Rose grinned “A-A friend.” Mark and Jack nodded in agreement “Of course, Rose…” Jack paused letting out a sigh “You’ve gone above and beyond to help me while I’ve been here… You stayed to help when all the other nurses literally ran away. I owe you so much Rose, you believed in me when very few people did.” Rose shrugged “I’ll admit, I did think about running away like the others did. But you were scared, I could see how- How terrified you looked… I couldn’t leave you.” Jack smiled at Rose “I’m glad you didn’t… But it has always made me wonder… If all the nurses had left, what would have happened.” Rose chuckled a little “Higher ups would have been made to look after you… Erm…” Rose pulled a face “Actually, that's not funny. They take their jobs very seriously. If you panicked in front of them and started lashing out they would have just restrained you.”

 

Jack made a distressed noise at the mere mention of being tied to the bed. Rose let out a sigh “I won’t lie, Sean, I’ve been very lenient with you. You’ve gotten away with a lot. Had I followed normal procedures… I don’t think you’d be going home today. There are a lot of things I’ve done, I’ve bent the rules were necessary. Because I realized you were a special case, we’ve treated torture victims but never as bad as you were.” Jack let out a sigh “I know you bent the rules… I know that… I know you haven’t really followed all the normal rules. I-I thank you, Rose. I have so much to thank you for. When I was first released…” Jack's throat closed up on him. He wouldn’t say he wanted to die. He knew hearing that would kill both Mark and Rose “...When I was first released, let's just say I didn’t think I’d make it… I thought… I thought I’d never get better, never heal… That I’d just be broken for the rest of my life.”

 

Mark placed his hand on Jack’s knee, the two look at each other as Mark leaned in and gave Jack’s cheek a kiss. Jack blushed a little from the affection as Mark said “No matter what Jack, I would have been right by your side.” Jack smiled a little as he said “I have so much to thank you for as well, Mark. I don’t know what I would have done without your support and help.”

 

Jack owed both so much. They’d helped him physically and emotionally in some cases.

 

Later that day, Mark packed a suitcase for Jack, making sure that anything they’d brought Jack to make his hospital stay more comfortable went home with Jack.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

When Rose’s shift finished that night she personally drove Jack and Mark back to the Irishman’s apartment before saying her goodbyes.

 

Mark lead Jack inside where he was greeted by his sister Lauren and Robin. Jack smiled softly as Lauren wrapped her arms around him in a loose hug. Not restricting, as much as Lauren wanted to squeeze her brother and hold him close, she knew Jack had new boundaries, ones that she would respect. Robin gave Jack a loose hug patting Jack’s back as he said “Welcome home dude, we ordered Chinese because your sister and I were too lazy to cook.”

 

Jack snickered a little “You didn’t have to order out, I could have fixed myself something.” Robin shrugged “Well now you don’t have too, Chinese is on the way.” Lauren let out a sigh “It’s good to see you, Sean. Of course, now that you’re home for good Robin and I will probably be going to our own homes.” Jack pulled a face as he said “You don’t have to leave straight away, especially Robin, we need to get Robin a flight back to Sweden sorted.” Lauren shrugged “My kids need me at home. I’ll come to visit you most days still. Also, when I arranged to come to visit you before everything happened... I had something to tell you. I bought a house close by so I could be closer to my family.” Jack grinned as he said “Close by?” Lauren nodded “About twenty minutes walk.”

 

“That's great!” Jack said clearly happy to hear the news. It also explained how Lauren had been able to look after her children and look after Jack’s house. Robin chuckled a little “I’ll have to sort my flight tickets out that might take a couple days, but I can always stay in a hotel, I wouldn’t want to be a bother. I just came to stay with your sister for moral support.” Lauren smiled at Robin as she said “If you like you can stay at my place.”

 

“Look-” Mark started interrupting Robin and Lauren “We can sort out this stuff tomorrow. Right now I think we all just need to relax a little. We can eat some food, play some games and then in the morning we can think about plane tickets and where everyone is going to be staying.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah, look… It’s late and all of this is confusing and hard to think about.”

 

Lauren and Robin looked at each other before nodding in agreement. It would be a lot easier to sort things out tomorrow. And if Jack wasn’t in a rush to have his house to himself neither Robin or Lauren would object to spending time with Jack.

 

Mark helped Jack to put all of his things away. And by the time they had finished putting Jacks belongings in their place, the take-out that Robin and Lauren had ordered arrived.

 

The group ate and shared conversation, mainly it was Jack catching up on both Robin and Lauren’s life, not just Robin and Lauren’s but Jack was trying to find out just how much he’d missed. It would be his birthday in a month. It was scary to think that he’d spent pretty much a year in hospital but the vampire did manage to find some comfort in knowing that he was getting better. Jack felt better in himself, he’d witnessed his own physical transformation into health.

 

His mental health was not so good, still suffering from Agoraphobia, anthrophobia, anxiety, depression, a small case of paranoia as well as the panic attacks the vampire still suffered. He was still having therapy sessions. Still seeing the doctors and nurses to try and overcome the remaining wounds left by trauma.

 

But he was at least able to talk to people he trusted, he was calm around family and close friends. Anything was an improvement from what he had been. That had to be a good thing. In reality, it was a good thing… But Jack’s mind had some less than positive thoughts. He tried to ignore them and remind himself that he was getting better, slowly but surely and that was a good thing.

 

It was 10 pm. Jack’s stomach growled at him as the vampire let out a sigh. It had been a while since he’d had any blood. He probably should check his fridge for blood… But that also felt like effort. Mark noticed, turning his head to look at his lover as he asked simply “Hungry?” Jack pulled a face “Kind of… But I’m also very lazy.” Mark snickered as he said “I can always get you a blood bag out of the fridge Jack.” Lauren cleared her throat as she said “Actually, there aren’t any. I went to the butchers earlier today but he didn’t have any left. But he promised me he’d have some tomorrow.”

 

Jack pulled his knees to his chest. He could wait till tomorrow. It wasn’t like the hunters hadn’t starved him before. Waiting one day was better than being left until Jack was desperate and willing to do anything to feed. Mark nudged Jack gently as he said “If you want you know you can always bite me, Jack.”

 

At the mention of biting Jack quickly became defensive, pulling as far away from Mark possible shaking his head “No! No! I don’t need to. I won’t! I can wait. I can wait!” Mark saw how scared Jack looked, heard the fear and desperation in his tone. Heard the panic in his tone and he knew he needed to calm the other “Hey, hey easy! Okay? You don’t have to, it was just an offer.”

 

Jack kept himself curled in a ball in the corner of the couch away from Mark “I don’t need you too… I won’t hurt you ever again. I won’t… Not you, not anyone.”

 

Mark shook his head “Your bite doesn’t hurt Jack and I know you would never harm anyone. I’m never going to force you to feed Sean. I just want you to know that if you ever want my help. I’m here for you and you know that. How many times have I helped you out before? I like helping you, Sean.”

 

Jack shook his head as he let out a sigh “I’m never going to do that to anyone ever again.” He would wait to feed, he could. He didn’t want to hurt Mark… Not the way he hurt Aedan… Not to mention the hunters had showed him how much his bite hurt. Jack remembered how it felt as they stabbed Jack in the neck with two razor blades and held them there. Jack would never bite anyone ever again. No matter the reason.

 

Mark could see the shadowed look in Jack’s eyes. He knew why… He remembered what Jack told him about the man the hunters threw in for Jack as food. The man Jack had killed, but only because the hunters had starved him to a point where Jack couldn’t control himself. Jack blamed himself of course after all the hunters made sure Jack felt responsible. No matter how much Mark assured Jack that he wasn’t the monster he saw himself as it didn’t work. Jack still felt guilty for the death of that man. Mark could only try and be supportive in other ways.

Chapter Text

The group retired to bed, Robin and Lauren in the guest room, Jack and Mark in Jack’s room (Although Mark was sleeping on a spare mattress in the room while Jack took the bed). Being at home was enough new stimuli for Jack, they didn’t need to add sharing a bed with Mark, it would be far to easy to cause a panic.

 

It didn’t matter in the end. Mark was woken by Jack screaming. He was quick to jump into action trying to catch the vampire's attention. He was knelt by the side of Jack’s bed as he offered his hands to his lover, palms up not forcing himself on the vampire, not grabbing, just trying to break Jack away from his panic.

 

“Sean.”

“Sean.”

“SEAN!”

“Sean, can you hear me? Look at my hands, palms up, you can take them if you want.”

 

Jack’s screaming stopped but he was sobbing, he looked at Mark’s eyes before his gaze moved down to the offered hands. Mark wanted to reach for Jack, wanted to cup his cheek, kiss him and tell him everything would be okay. But when Jack was panicking that was a bad idea. Jack stared helplessly at Mark, gaze moving between his face and hands as he sobbed. Before he quickly grabbed Mark, clinging to the man as he rambled “Mark. Mark. Mark don’t let them take me. Don’t let them take me. I can’t- I can’t go back. CAN’T! Don’t make me go back!” Mark shushed Jack rubbing his back as he shushed Jack “It’s okay. It’s okay… No one else is hear. We’re at home, your home. Robin and Lauren and in the next room. It’s just us. You’re not going anywhere, not now not ever again I promise you.” This was something that happened a lot while Jack was at home. They were looking for a new place, the worry of what might happen if the hunters came back was something both Jack and Mark didn’t want to think about.



ings were okay. They were safe at home alone.

 

Slowly, Jack seemed to come back to reality. Slowly realizing that everything was fine. That the hunters had not forced their way into his home to capture him. That he was safe. Mark made a cup of tea for Jack. Hoping that the gesture would be familiar enough to calm Jack further. Mark and Jack were left alone in the vampires bedroom. Jack had found himself laid with his head pressed against his lover’s chest. The sound of Mark’s heartbeat bringing a calm to the vampire.

 

Mark was more than happy to keep his arms wrapped around the vampire holding him. Jack had already fallen asleep, but Mark was still awake. He was enjoying just having Jack in his arms. Robin and Lauren had already gone to bed. Chica was curled up asleep at the foot of Jack’s bed, Robin had let her in when Jack started screaming but luckily they hadn’t needed her this time. It at least meant that while Jack’s panic had been bad, it wasn’t as severe as some of the panic attacks he had.

 

Mark laid a gentle kiss to the top of vampires head as he whispered “I love you, Sean. No matter what. You’re my world, you mean so much to me. I want to protect you, I never want to leave you again. I-I can’t lose you again.” A tear rolled down the humans cheek and he forced himself not to grip at Jack as he held his breath not wanting to cry “I used to lay awake every night staring at my phone… Waiting… Waiting for a text, a call… Something, hoping someone had found you or had some information.” Mark gave Jack’s head another kiss “I want to hold you in my arms and never let you go. I want to kiss you and hug you and just smother you in affection and show you how much I love you… Show you how much I missed you...”

 

It was at night when Mark felt confident enough to voice the thoughts swirling around himself. He would tell Jack everything, even if he wasn’t listening. Mark rested his head on top of Jack’s as he closed his eyes. With his eyes closed, Mark could imagine that Jack was never tortured. He could pretend that they were in L.A safe and sound, Jack had never been harmed and they were enjoying each other presence, no words needed. So long as they had each other…

 

It was a lovely thought. Mark held onto what people kept telling him “ Jack can be like that again, but you need to be patient and give him time to get over his trauma. ” Mark knew that healing took time. Mark would forever curse the hunters who took him. Although Karma works in mysterious ways. Mark just had to hope that someday these men would get their just desert.  

 

Mark trailed off falling silent. Instead, he just held Jack enjoying the simplicity of just being able to hold Jack while he slept.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark must have fallen asleep, he didn’t remember falling asleep. All he knew was that something was moving and Mark remembered that he had been holding Jack. Mark was quick to let go shifting his position to sit up. Jack had backed away from Mark to the opposite end of the bed, he was looking around the room before his gaze moved to Mark. Jack hung his head as he apologized quietly “I’m sorry I fell asleep on you. I hope I didn’t keep you awake.” Mark shook his head as he said “You didn’t keep me up, it’s fine. I don’t mind you sleeping on me. Did you sleep okay?” Jack nodded his head “Y-Yeah, I slept really well. Thanks, Mark.”

 

Mark gave his lover a smile “You don’t need to thank me.” Jack let out a long breath as he said “I-I have something to tell you though…” Mark tilted his head to the side a little his expression showing his interest “You do?” Jack nodded his head, anxiety rising quickly he was fidgeting and a shiver made its way down Jack’s spine.

 

Jack hadn’t been completely asleep when Mark started talking last night, he’d heard what Mark said and he appreciated the sentiment, he could hear the compassion Mark had held in his voice. But what if Mark didn’t want him to know? However, Mark was calm, his expression was intrigued yet open. Mark didn’t look like he was about to lash out which help Jack to ease just a little.

 

“I-I… I wasn’t exactly a-asleep last night when you were… T-Talking.” Mark’s face immediately fell and he looked worried “Jack, I-I can explain honestly I can!” Jack shook his head “Wait no! It’s not… Not a bad thing. I just-” Jack stopped and took in a shaky breath “I didn’t want to pretend I didn’t know you’d been talking. I… I actually appreciated what you said. I just-” Jack gave a full-body shudder and was silent for a moment. Mark didn’t rush Jack and let the vampire take his time to gather his thoughts “I felt bad for listening when you thought you were alone… I’m never gonna be mad at you for talking, whether you’re telling me you love or angry or sad or anything else. I will never be upset with you for talking... I-I just…”

 

Jack could remember it, how the hunters would punish him for talking. He couldn’t even talk to himself when they left. They were ALWAYS listening.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Flashback.

 

Jack was left in the corner of the room, bloody and beaten, face being squashed against the metal bars of his cage. He didn’t have the strength to move. His body shuddered because of pain, because it was cold and because of sickness. He tried to sit himself up but his body collapsed and he ended up laid on his side whimpering. Everything hurt and his body felt numb. It was only because he could see his arms and legs that Jack knew they were still attached. It was like being paralyzed and that scared him.

 

Jack couldn’t move. He tried to wriggle his fingers but all he could do was twitch. Jack began to sob as he whispered to himself voice hoarse and strained “N-No… No… M-Move please.” His fingers gave another almost unnoticeable twitch before falling still. Jack whimpered “No! No. No No. No.  No.” He couldn’t move. A distressed noise escaped the vampire as he summoned all the strength he had. Jack had to move. He had to! He strained making pained noises as pain shot through his body.

 

Jack could hear movement from upstairs and he cursed desperately trying to move. But only have his limbs twitch before stilling. He needed to move. He needed to hide, he couldn’t take another beating. Not so soon! The door opened, the hinges squeaking as it was pushed open “Now, now baby-boy. Did we give your permission to speak.” Jack shrunk back as much as he could, trying to make himself small and submissive. Chris was already walking towards Jack “Move? What are you trying to move?”

 

Jack was asked a question, surely they wanted him to answer “I-I wanted… I wanted to move my-myself.” Jack was slapped hard across his face and he bit his tongue to prevent himself from yelling out “Did I tell you to speak boy?” Jack shook his head no, tears were running down his cheek. Jack saw the look of joy in Chris’s eyes “You’re such a bad-boy. Speaking without being asked to. You know what happens to bad-boys don't you.” Jack ducked his head a tiny whimper sounding in the back of his throat “Good boys don’t speak unless they’re told do.” A sharp shock ran through Jack’s body from his collar. And Jack clenched his fists, closed his eyes and bit his tongue. He couldn’t make a noise. He had to be good! Jack was kicked in the stomach and he coughed having the wind knocked out of him. Someone was now behind him and he was kicked again, the kick disturbing a scar on his back. Jack somehow managed to remain silent.

 

Jack was beaten until he was falling in and out of consciousness. Lying broken on the floor (Even more so than he had been twenty minutes ago). Chris knelt down and petted Jack’s head “Have you learned your lesson?” Jack nodded his head, no words. Chris smiled as he ran fingers through Jack’s hair with mock affection “That’s my good boy. Tell me, who are you a good boy for. Speak.”

 

That was his permission, managing to find his voice Jack cracked “I’m a good boy for my masters…” Jack knew that was the hunters wanted to hear. It’s why he said it. Chris gave Jack one last pet. Before leaving.

 

Jack accepted the fact that he couldn’t move and he laid there, he wanted to cry but was too scared. What if they heard. He DID NOT want a third beating.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Present

 

Jack fell silent by reflex, hanging his head. Mark saw the look in Jack’s eyes, thinking quickly Mark grabbed his phone from the bedside table and opened the notepad handing it to Jack. For a moment Jack was confused before he seemed to remember Mark had saw the videos. He knew what the hunters had done and this was a way for Mark to reach out to Jack. Jack typed out what he wanted to say on Mark’s phone before showing it to him

 

I remember what it was like with the hunters, they didn’t want me to speak. They would leave and I would think that I was safe for a moment. Crying, talking, making any form of noise I wasn’t allowed to make a sound. They always knew when I had made a noise even if they hadn’t been in the room and they would come and punish me for it because pets don’t talk. Not without permission. And I knew I had heard you when you thought I was asleep and I felt bad because I didn’t want to listen into something private. I’m sorry.  

 

After reading Jack’s message Mark let out a sigh “I don’t care that you listened, it’s nothing I wouldn’t tell you to your face anyway.” Jack looked up at Mark “You’re sure that you’re not mad?” Mark nodded and replied without hesitation “I’m sure.” Jack smiled gratefully at Mark as he said “T-Thanks for understanding Mark.” The human smiled back as he said “It's no problem Jack, you don’t need to thank me for that.” Mark opened his arms in an offer of comfort. Jack took the offer gratefully hiding his face against Mark’s chest.

 

Mark put his hand on Jack’s back rubbing gently feeling tension slowly ease out of the vampires muscles. He laid a gentle kiss to the top of Jack’s head as he whispered “If I ever wanted a private conversation, I probably would leave the room.” Jack clung to Mark a little “You’re allowed to say whatever you want whe-” Mark cut Jack off “That’s not what I was saying. I was… I was trying to say that you never have to worry about overhearing me. If for whatever reason I wanted privacy I would shut myself away in the spare room. And maybe we should think about safe spaces.”

 

Jack looked up a little confused “Safe spaces?” Mark nodded his head “Yes, a space in the house where you can come to be alone. A place where I can go to be alone.” Jack looked as though he was thinking for a moment “Well, the easiest way to do it would probably be bedrooms. My bedroom is my safe space and when Lauren and Robin leave the guest room can be your safe space.” Mark smiled a little as he said “That sounds like it would work… And I think we should talk about this properly later and set out rules for each of us. But right now I want breakfast.”

 

Jack gave Mark’s cheek a soft kiss as he said “Me too. French toast?” Mark hummed “I think I’d be up for french toast.”

 

Chapter Text

After eating breakfast Lauren packed her things and returned home, Robin packing his own things and opting to stay with Lauren while he sorted a flight home out. Mark and Jack were left alone as Lauren closed the door behind her and Robin promising that she would call Jack later. The house was quiet, after eating breakfast Jack retreated to his bedroom. Mark had followed him and asked if Jack wanted company, but Jack had insisted that he was fine.

 

That was three hours ago, it was almost 2 pm now and Jack hadn’t come out of his room, hadn’t spoken to Mark, Jack hadn’t even text Mark which was how Jack had started communicating when he lost his voice. Mark had cleaned downstairs, he’d managed to work out how to get Jack’s central heating working to warm the house through; Mark had made lunch, nothing too special he’d made soup. It was January and the weather outside was a lot colder than Mark was used to. Not only was that but because of how sick Jack had been his immune system was still weak, it was best to keep Jack warm to avoid Jack catching a flu.

 

Mark took hold of the bowl of soup that he’d prepared for Jack carrying it upstairs. The bedroom door was closed. Mark knocked as he called softly “Jack, it’s just Mark I wanted to know if you were hungry, I made soup.”

 

“Come in…” was the mumbled reply that Jack gave. Mark pushed open the door to see that Jack’s bedroom was a mess, there were blankets all over the floor, the blinds had been pulled shut (Even though Mark knew he opened them this morning) clothes accompanied the blankets on the floor as well as a horde of Sam plushies both fan-made and produced by Jack’s merch company.

 

Mark made his way across the room being careful not to trip and spill the soup as he tried to make his way towards the bed, he placed the bowl down carefully on the bedside cabinet. There was a moment of silence as Mark allowed his gaze to move over to Jack. Or rather the lump on the bed that was hidden beneath a fluffy blanket that Mark assumed was Jack. He must’ve gotten lost in his head. Mark decided against lifting the blanket, instead, he tried something else “Mind if I join you?”

 

The blanket was lifted as the lump under the blanket shifted, moving over to allow Mark to get in. Mark took the invite climbing in beside Jack. He didn’t grab or try to hold, he didn’t touch but he could see Jack. The vampires eyes were glowing red, his stomach growled. And it dawned on Mark what was wrong “I forgot to go to the butchers…” Jack had been in need of blood last night and he had refused to drink from Mark. Mark had forgotten and now Jack was clearly starving “ ‘S not your fault.” Jack mumbled. Mark didn’t think Jack would accept, but he at least had to try, he held his wrist out in front of him as he said calmly “My offer still stands.”

 

Normally Jack fed from Mark’s neck, but Mark knew that because of what happened with Aedan Jack probably wouldn’t go for his neck. At the offer, Jack made a distressed noise shaking his head, trying to pull back. Mark quickly pulled his wrist away from Jack seeing the vampires reaction. That was bad “Okay, okay… It was just an offer. I have soup, why don’t you eat that and I’ll go out now and I’ll go get you some blood.” Jack hummed as if he were thinking; however Jack didn’t get to reply there was knock from the front door that ran through the house before Lauren’s voice followed “Mark, Jack, it’s just me. I remembered that I promised to go to the butchers this morning. He had some blood in for Jack!”

 

Mark and Jack looked at each other as Jack whispered “I’m sure she’s psychic.” Mark climbed out of bed and made his way down to see Lauren at the front door, she’d opened the door but she hadn’t entered. She looked worried and Mark nodded as he said quietly “He’d upstairs. I brought him some soup to eat.” Lauren nodded her head. She handed Mark a white cardboard box “That has fourteen blood bags in, it should last Jack two weeks.” Mark smiled with a small nod “Thanks, Lauren.” The woman gave Mark a nod before turning to leave “I’ll call one of you later today but right now I have a few errands to run. See you later!”

 

“Bye!” Mark called as Lauren got back into her car. Mark carried the box through to the kitchen putting the blood bags in Jack’s fridge below the sink. When Mark and Jack first started dating holding a blood bag made Mark queasy, however, after almost nine years Mark was over the queasiness. Keeping one of the blood bags out for Jack to use now Mark put the cardboard box by the back door and made a mental note to recycle it later.

 

Mark was quick to grab the blood bag he left out and make his way back to Jack. Once in the bedroom again Mark cleared his throat, Jack was no longer hidden, he was eating his soup. His eyes were still red but Mark knew that was because he needed blood. Mark placed the blood bag next to Jack as he said “Do you mind if I try and tidy your room a little? I wouldn’t want you to trip.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… It’s okay… M’ sorry about the mess… I-I wanted my fluffy blanket and couldn't find it… Got kind of freaked out when I couldn’t find it.” Well at least that explained the mess. Mark shrugged as he said calmly and casually “No problem, I get freaked as well when I can’t find things.” Mark started to tidy, picking up and folding the discarded blankets and he found the cupboard where they belonged.

 

As Mark picked up the discarded clothes he noticed that the t-shirt was torn. He looked at Jack to see the vampire hang his head “It was… A pretty bad freak out. N-Nothing bled.” Mark picked up the discarded clothes as he said “Remind me to buy you a new t-shirt okay.” Jack made a vague noise that sounded like he was agreeing.

 

As Mark turned around Jack was biting into the blood bag, before Jack could notice Mark turned away and busied himself with something, anything. Jack was so scared about feeding in front of people now, Mark didn’t want Jack to believe he was staring. Mark walked over to the window as he said “Want me to open these?”

 

“Please…” Jack answered although he sounded conflicted. Mark turned to face Jack, the vampire's eyes back to their natural blue, he looked guilty. Mark was trying to think, maybe because he’d already opened the curtains this morning? Jack swallowed thickly as he said “Ya shouldn't have to do all this for me.” Mark shrugged “I don’t mind, sometimes cleaning is therapeutic…” Jack let out a sigh “I-I’m sorry about this… About me… You have a million and one things that you could be doing, instead, you're here in Ireland looking after me.”

 

Mark frowned as he looked at Jack “Don’t say that Sean, I have nothing better I’d rather be doing. I want to help you, I want to look after you. I love you, Sean, I want to be there for you no matter what that takes.” Jack let out a sigh “Still… This is my house, I should be tidying my own room.”

 

Mark shrugged “I don’t mind helping out, chances are if I didn’t want to do it, I wouldn’t be tidying, I’d just leave it.” it was half true. If Mark was feeling really lazy he’d just leave the room as it was figuring that only himself and Jack would see it. But right now Mark knew that Jack might not want to do things like tidy the house or wash dishes, considering Mark was currently living with the Irishman he didn’t mind doing some of the house work. Especially while Jack was still fragile, while Mark wanted to give Jack control, let Jack have agency in his own life, he didn’t want Jack to feel completely alone and at a loss because everyday tasks seemed to be hard or not what he was used to.

 

Trying to give Jack normality in his life would take time; Mark was prepared to be patient and supportive. Jack pulled a face and Mark got the feeling that Jack wasn’t entirely convinced “You can’t stay here and look after me for the rest of your life… Your family will want to see you, your friends will want to see you. America is your home and Ireland is mine.” Mark looked at Jack as he said “America may be where I live… But I think I realised something…” Jack looked up a little tilting his head to the side “What’s that?” Mark made his way over to the bed and sat down offering Jack his hands. Jack took them, Mark was looking at their hands for a moment, then he looked to Jack’s face making sure to keep eye contact “I want to tell you but… First I need you to know… I’m not saying it to try and put a claim over you or anything, okay? You’re- You’re more than able to tell me I’m being dumb, you can say you don’t accept what I’m saying I jus-”

 

Jack cut Mark off as he said “I trust you Mark… You have my complete trust, I love you. And I promise I won’t feel like you’re claiming me or anything. I know you wouldn’t do that.” Mark nodded his head as he took a deep breath in before letting out a long sigh “Okay… While you were missing I realised that… I may live in L.A, but it never really feels like home until you’re there with me… And even being over here in Ireland. I don’t care where I live… I don’t care if it’s Ireland, American or anywhere else. I just… I feel at home when I’m with you.”  

 

Jack was watching Mark’s face and he couldn’t help but blush a little at what Mark said, he looked down but his cheeks were bright red.

 

Mark however only saw Jack lowering his head. Worry set in, what if Jack didn’t appreciate it. What if he felt like Mark was putting some form of claim on him. Mark let go of Jack’s hands shuffling back “J-Jack?”

 

As Jack looked up there were tears in his eyes and he was sniffling. Mark cursed softly “Shit, Jack I’m sorry! F-Forget I-” Jack kissed Mark silencing his doubts and apologises. Mark however, believing Jack had fallen into his head pushed Jack away “N-No Jack you don- Don’t force yourself to do this.” Jack shook his head as he shuffled closer to Mark “Wait… Mark I- It’s okay. I kissed you because I wanted to. I kissed you because I love you, dork.” Mark blinked looking confused “But you looked away and you were crying an-” Jack laughed “I looked away because you flustered me! And I wa- Well, I was crying but not because I was upset or scared. I was… I was happy, it sounds dumb but it always makes me happy when you start talking about how you fell. And it reassures me that you still love me, that you always loved me.”

 

Mark couldn’t help the relieved sigh he let out, he opened his arms and Jack took the offer, climbing into his lovers lap and cuddling against him “Never worry about telling me how much you love me or anything like that, you do have a claim on me Mark, the same claim I hold to you. We’re boyfriends. That is your claim, that doesn’t mean you own me. That means that we’re at a mutual agreement that we love each other.” Mark kissed Jack cheek humming “I love you, Sean McLoughlin.” Jack let out a little purr as he said “I love you, Mark Fischbach.” Jack gave Mark a gentle kiss before he said “How about we both tidy the room.” Mark smiled from the affection as he said “Okay.”

 

Jack knew Mark couldn’t understand. Jack had relied on his routine while he was in the hospital. When he had his routine he knew what to expect. Without that routine Jack found himself on edge constantly, anxiety constantly bubbling inside him ready to spill over at any time. Anything could trigger him, hell he’d been triggered because he couldn’t find his blanket! Mark would never understand but Jack at least found comfort in Mark’s support.

 

Mark may not understand but he didn’t think less of Jack, he knew it would be hard for Jack and he understood that a set routine had helped. All they needed to do was make a new routine. Jack would be okay. Mark would make sure of that.

Chapter Text

A couple weeks later

 

Jack was laid down and curled up in his bed, wrapped in a white fluffy. This was how Jack spent most days, Chica sometimes ventured in to check on him and Mark came in regularly to see him, talk to him and try and encourage him to eat.

 

Mark stood in the doorway to the bedroom as he said “Okay, so last time before I leave to the store, do you need anything?” Jack shook his head no. Mark pulled a face as he said “And you’re sure you’ll be okay while I go to the store?” Jack nodded his head as he mumbled “Jus’ go Mark… Not like I can get into too much trouble.” Mark let out a reluctant sigh as he left, he could be heard making his way down the stairs and grabbing his jacket before finally. The front door closed, the locking clicking as Mark locked the door behind him.

 

Jack curled in on himself tighter, clinging to the blanket as if it were a shield. He knew it wasn’t, he knew that if the hunters came back or where hiding or if they got into the house there would be no hiding, nothing to protect him…  

 

And he knew the thought of the hunters getting in, finding him again were mostly paranoid, the doors were locked, the windows were locked, Mark had personally bought a high-end security system that would immediately alert the Garda is someone forced their way into the house. Not to mention that after both Tyler and the police had done research into Jack’s disappearance they found out that the hunters have never yet come back to see a victim after their release.

 

That should have been a comforting thought…

 

But Jack couldn’t get past his paranoia, couldn’t get past the ‘what if’. What if they changed their tactic, waited until Jack felt safe then attacked? It was a thought that made Jack shudder. But that wasn’t the only thing that troubled him, it had been almost a year since his release… A week since his release from the hospital, and everything seemed wrong.

 

In the hospital there was routine, wake up because of night terrors, tea, pretend to sleep, have breakfast, see physiotherapist/therapist (It depended on which wanted to see him), Family visits in the afternoon, spent an hour or two on Tumblr, change bandages, more Tumblr, night visits, bed.

 

That was his routine, that became normality… But now things were different. It was just Jack, Mark and Chica, family visited less often, his therapists and nurse came three times a week, Tumblr was still hear… But it was all wrong, he didn’t have his routine to rely on anymore. Jack had been told that being at home would help his recovery, that familiarity of his belongings, his home, his ‘safe place’, would help.

 

But all that came of being at home was more paranoia, more anxiety about ‘what ifs’. And what was worse, the hunters knew where he lived, they had dumped him outside his own door, it had been a few months since Jack found the envelope that the hunters had left. Jack hated seeing those photos, seeing what the hunters had reduced him to… And the USB drive. Jack didn’t look at it, didn’t dare look at the drive. He knew Mark had, he knew that Mark had saw the videos and photos. Jack wasn’t entirely sure how to feel about that knowledge. On one hand, it was better Mark now understood a few more of Jack’s triggers, he knew what might upset the vampire. But at the same time, Jack couldn’t escape the knowledge that Mark knew, Mark had saw Jack at his worst, saw the state the hunters had put him in. Jack never wanted Mark to know what it had been like, what the hunters had down to Jack.

 

Jack had been laid on the bed for a while, the bed was his ‘safe place’ most of the time. It was comfy, it was warm, it smelt like Mark. That told his brain he was safe. Or at least safer than anywhere else in the house. But after a while, Mark’s scent dissipates, replaced by his own. Jack groans as he sits himself up, eyes scanning the room, nothing has moved. His clothes are still on the floor, there’s a collection of Sam plushies dotted around the room ranging from fan-made to the ones he sells, small to jumbo. His Sam’s were familiar, fan-made ones smelt like conventions, they held happy memories, Mark used them when Jack woke up in a really bad headspace. Green wasn’t a color he saw in the basement, it was always black, grey, red (Specifically blood). Green was not used against him (Thank god!).

 

Jack stood himself up. His legs were better, however, he still needed to be careful and take his time. He moved slowly, trying to be silent. He reached the end of the room and sniffed the air peering out into the hallway.

 

No one… No unusual scents… He made his way out of the room cautiously, eyes constantly checking his surroundings. He made his way further into the hallway, he wanted something to drink so the kitchen sounded like a good idea.

 

Jack made his way to the staircase, giving himself a moment. He watched the door, as if waiting for it to open. Jack knew it wouldn’t. Logically he knew that no one was going to break in, no one was going to kidnap him again. But paranoia did not listen to logical or rational thought. Jack could make sure no one would get in. All Jack needed to do was put the keys in the lock on the inside of the door. That way no one with a door key could get in and Jack could use himself to block the door. Or he could hide, Jack could put the key in the door stopping friends and family from getting inside the Jack could curl up and die.

 

Jack would no longer be a bother to Mark. He would no longer be a burden to those he cared about, he could just curl up and die and no one would need to worry about him anymore. That sounded like a good idea. At least to Jack’s paranoid mind, it did . His friends and family could move on with their lives and be happy without him.

 

Jack grabbed his keys and put them in the lock, now no one could get in, he was alone in his house and free to curl up and die.

 

The Irishman moved through the house before taking his place on the couch, curling into a ball allowing his eyes to close. Peace surrounded him and his thoughts seemed to slow and quiet. He was allowed to just enjoy it.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark placed the shopping bags by down by his feet as he put his key in the door, but it wouldn’t go in properly. Mark took the key out and tried again, but it was like something was stopping him from putting the key into the lock properly which only served to make the American worry. Maybe Jack had to answer the door and had forgotten to take his key out, Mark tried to reason. The American knocked as he called out “Sean, Sean? Everything okay in there? I can’t get in.”

 

Jack had been laid on the couch and was slowly dozing off until he heard the knock on the door. Startled by the noise Jack fell into panic grabbing a pillow and covering his head with it. The voice came again “Sean, Sean it’s Mark.” Jack swallowed thickly. Mark was going to be mad at him, he’d locked Mark out. Mark was going to be really, really mad. The vampire looked around frantically trying to find a good hiding place.


“Jack, Jack! Sean, are you in there? Please… Just come to the door I want to know you’re okay.” Mark’s worry was growing quickly. If Jack was panicking and scared he may have locked the door and Mark was prepared to be patient and talk Jack out of his head, but to do that he would need Jack to at least come to the door.

 

The vampire whimpered. If he went to the door would Mark be able to grab him? No, surely not… The door was locked there was no way for Mark to get in without Jack’s say so. The vampire could humor Mark… Talking wouldn’t hurt… The vampire crawled out of the living room into the hallway and over to the door sitting with his back to it “M’ here.” he mumbled.

 

Mark could hear movement from within the house and in the window, he saw Jack moving through the house on all fours. This is bad, he thought to himself. This is bad. Mark knew Jack had been made to walk around on all fours during his time with the hunters, no thanks to those videos, Mark had a rather detailed insight into his boyfriend's torture. As far as Mark knew Jack had never fallen into a bad headspace and walked around on all fours. Maybe he was scared? It would be better if Mark could get inside but for now, talking would have to do.

 

“Is everything okay Sean?” Mark asked calmly, he made sure it was loud enough to be heard through the door, but not shouting or aggressive.

 

Jack was silent for a moment before he replied “M’ fine. Don’t worry.” Mark chuckled lightly “Well, as long as you’re fine, I was just wondering… Why I can’t open the door? Can I ask that?” Jack swallowed thickly “W-What?” Mark could hear the tone the vampire used, his voice shook. Mark backed tracked “It’s okay. It’s okay, if you locked the door I’m not mad… And you don’t have to let me in just yet. I just wanted to talk to you about this.” Jack licked his lips “My keys are in the back of the door.” he admitted and immediately curled up into a ball.

 

“Okay, so that explains why I can’t get in.” Mark said with a nod “Did anything happen while I was out? Someone come to the door?”

 

“NO…” Jack said quickly. He knew why he’d locked the door but saying it out loud would crush Mark. Mark hummed from the other side of the door as he said “Okay, is there anything you want to talk about?” the vampire shook his head but remained silent.

 

The lack of answer brewed concern for the American “Sean? Sean you still there?” “Yeah… I’m still here Mark…” the vampire replied. Mark let out a sigh of relief “Okay… What’s going on… I want to help, but if I don’t know what you’re thinking, what you’re feeling… It’s hard for me to know what to say or what to do.” Jack let out a long sigh behind the door “I don’t want you to care… To worry… I want… I want to be out of your way, no a bother anymore…” Mark hated how negatively Jack was talking, like he didn’t matter “Sean, you’re not a bother to anyone, we’re here because we want to be, because we care.” Jack could feel tears welling up behind his eyes “I was getting better… I thought I could be normal again… I wanted to be normal again… B-But… Look at me… Look at what’s happened after I was released from the hospital, I’m back to square one… It was stupid to think I could change. I’m too broken.”

 

“You’re not broken Sean, and as for ‘back to square one’ if you really were back to square one, I wouldn’t be talking to you right now… It’s been hard but we expected this, you had a routine, something to rely on for a sense of normality while you were in the hospital. Here we haven’t got that yet. We’re finding our feet, so long as we can create a routine, things to keep you occupied and healing and progressing, it’ll be fine… And I’ll be there every step of the way. Because I care about you, because I want to help you get better. Because I love you, so much.”

 

Jack was crying now. Because he knew logically Mark was right. Mark was always right. And the realization that when left to his own devices Jack had thought it a better idea to curl up and die than try to get better… It was a scary thought. How many times had he been a voice of inspiration to others, how many times had he told people how important they were and no matter what they had to stay strong… It was like he couldn’t even take his own advice. Jack managed to stand himself up and unlock the door opening it to face Mark. Jack collapsed into the man's arms as he began to sob.

 

Mark held the vampire and rubbed his back as he said “It’s okay Sean. It’s okay.” Jack shook his head as he mumbled “It’s not okay.” Mark shushed the other as he said “It is. I promise you it is.” Jack shook his head “I tried to lock you out… I-I thought I could… Disappear… If I didn’t let anyone in.”

 

Mark tried not to react, he really did. But he failed, he ended up gripping onto Jack a little tighter “Like I said, it’s okay. We just need to get you used to a new routine.” Jack let out a sigh as he said “You’re too good to me.” Mark once again shushed the other as he said “I’m not, I just treat you the way you deserve.” Jack hide his face against his lover’s chest. He would forever be thankful for Mark’s patience, he would always be in debt to Mark for how much he put up with helping to care for Jack.

 

Jack promised himself that one day he would show Mark how much all of his help meant. Mark had sacrificed so much, the vampire didn’t care if Mark said it was nothing, to Jack it was everything. Sometimes Mark was the only one able to talk some sense into Jack, the only one to keep him grounded. Mark had given up so much, he moved away from home, he made a youtube video maybe once a month now, if that, Mark spent most of his time with Jack. Mark always said it was fine, that he wanted to do it, but Jack still wanted to show how much all of Mark’s sacrifice had meant to the vampire.

Chapter Text

Chapter 54

 

Three weeks later.

 

Jack was getting more used to being at home. He’d calmed down a lot and hadn’t tried to lock Mark out again which was good. It would be Jack’s birthday in about a week and the family had talked and decided that while they still wanted to celebrate Jack’s birthday, the massive party’s that were known to be part of McLoughlin tradition were probably out of Jack’s reach and it would be better to keep the birthday celebration as calm and quiet as possible.

 

Jack agreed that if they had to do something for his birthday it had to be a quiet affair. Jack still was not good in groups, being around all of his family could be troublesome (Especially seeing as there were so many of them). Currently, Jack was sitting on the couch while Mark recorded a video. Mark was starting to have a more regular upload schedule now. Well, he normally posted one video a week. It was better than nothing, even though Jack insisted that he was fine, Mark continued to look after him, ignoring his youtube work.

 

At least if Mark worked for one day a week, it erased some of Jack’s guilt, not all of it but some of it.

 

Jack had his laptop and was scrolling through Tumblr, it was always a good way to try and relax, at least a little. Also by focusing on something else he could distract himself from his anxieties and his paranoia.

 

Recently he and Mark had been looking into a new house, they planned to move, the hunters still knew Jack’s address and moving seemed like it was a safe option. Felix had once suggested moving to Briton and creating a support system. It sounded like a good option. But Jack was unsure he’d be able to make the trip. Even the change from being in the hospital to being in his home had thrown Jack off. Moving to a new country would not be good. In fact, right now it was possibly one of the worst things he could do.

 

While searching they had found a place not too far from his sister. This place seemed to have everything they would need, it was close to town so they could walk Chica or even make the occasional shopping trip on foot instead of needing a car, being so close to Jack’s family meant they had a support system. Not only that but this place was also close enough to the woods that when Jack felt well enough he could he would have an easy access to a place to hunt. The price wasn’t too bad and for not at least this place seemed promising, the couple wanted to look around a little more and be sure this was the place. But Jack was cautious about how long they looked around, someone could buy this house before them.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark finally finished work and joined Jack, the sat on the couch opposite the vampire as he said “I ordered us some Pizza, I couldn’t be bothered to cook tonight and I think we both deserve Pizza.” The Irishman shrugged “I haven’t done that much this week.” Mark shook his head “Jack you cleaned the house and started packing away some of your things in case we decide when and where we’re moving to. That's a good amount of work this week, you deserve a chill night.” Recently Jack had started doing some chores around the house, it was progress.

 

Mark gave his lover a kiss on the cheek as he said “Tom and my mom arrive tomorrow, will they be okay to stay here? I can always book them a hotel if you think it would be too much.” The vampire shook his head “No… No… We can’t just make your family stay in some hotel… I’ll be fine… B-But you might wanna warn them about how bad things can get… W-With the panic attacks and stuff?” Mark nodded his head “I mentioned it to them and they’ve been on call a few times when you’ve woken up scared and screaming.” Jack nodded his head.

 

He didn’t want to disturb Tom or Mark’s mother, but Jack couldn’t control his panic attacks. He hated the thought of waking either of his visitors screaming and crying, possibly begging to not be hurt by an attacker that only Jack could see. But hopefully, things would be okay. After all, now that Jack was getting used to being at home he had fewer panic attacks. Things were improving and Jack knew Mark’s family. Things should be okay.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The Fischbach's arrived, Mark had warmed them on the drive over that Jack was still fragile. But it was still a worry for the American. Tom went upstairs as Mark told him where he would find the spare room. Mrs Fischbach ventured into the living room to find Jack. The Irishman looked paler than she remembered, still appearing to be fraile, his eyes were vacant as he stared at the wall, lost in thought. Knowing what she did about Sean’s condition she decided it might be best to let Mark pull Jack out of his thoughts, she moved across the room quietly taking a seat in the far corner. Jack didn’t look once, he just stared at the wall.

 

Mark walked in noticing his mother watching Jack, noticing Jack watching the wall vacantly “Sean?” Mark said softly entering Jack’s field of vision. The Irishman shook his head before giving Mark a smile “Hi… Sorry was I spacing out?” Mark shrugged as he said “It’s not a problem, everything okay?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah… I was just thinking,” Mark moved to sit beside Jack “Thinking about what?” Jack shrugged as he looked away “You’ll laugh.” Mark shook his head and placed a gentle hand on Jack’s knee “Not at all.” Jack licked his lips before letting out a sigh “I was thinking about maybe playing a game later then I started to think about all the new releases I missed… I got a lot of gaming to catch up on.”

 

Mark’s smile widened, he knew by now when Jack was lying. This time Jack was telling the truth, the Irishman had zoned out while thinking about video games, a fairly normal thing to think about. It was progress and when they had both been worried about how Jack would react to having more people in the house being distracted by normal everyday thoughts was definitely better than panic. Jack turned his head a little and noticed Mrs Fischbach. Giving her a small smile. Mrs Fischbach gave the Irishman a kind smile. Jack licked his lips as he said “Was your flight up okay?”

 

Mrs Fischbach nodded her head “It was, thank you for asking Sean. How are you?” Jack’s smile widened a little “I’m good.”   Mrs Fischbach looked relieved to hear it, in all honesty Mark looked relieved “Is there anything you need to do today?” Mark asked the vampire, changing the subject slightly “No… My ma text while you were meeting your mother, Malcolm just landed at Dublin, he wanted to know if it would be okay to see me. I said yes.” Jack looked apprehensive, as if he was expecting to be yelled at for wanting to see his brother, Mark smiled as he said “That’s great! Tom can meet one of your siblings while he’s here and it’s always nice to see Malcolm.” Jack was smiling again relief in his eyes. “If Tom wants to meet Mally I’m sure he’d be up for it.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

It was forty-five minutes before Malcolm arrived. He knocked before he entered, Mark and Tom where there to greet him. Malcolm looked surprised but smiled anyway “Is Jack still okay to see me?” The American nodded his head “Yeah, Jack’s been doing good today.” Malcolm looked surprised but it also wasn't a bad surprise. Mark nodded his head “He seems to have finally calmed down at home. My family is staying for a couple days.” Malcolm looked at Mark with a raised eyebrow “Is that a good thing?” Mark shrugged “I asked Jack and he said it would be okay. But only time will really tell.” Malcolm nodded his head folding his arms “I just hope he’s okay, you know what he’s like. It can change.” Mark nodded his head “It can be difficult for him but he’s come a long way from what he was.”

 

Malcolm knew, he’d been keeping track of Jack and his recovery, even though he left Ireland and returned to his family in Paris, Malcolm called Jack most days and if Jack wasn’t up to talking he would talk to Mark or his mother. Jack had come a long way from the man he was in hospital that first time. Malcolm’s heart broke seeing his brother that way and when the photos and videos were released, Malcolm had thrown up seeing the images, he hadn’t been able to watch the videos… As soon as they started to make Jack beg… Malcolm had lost count of how much he’d thrown up. He forced his way through just as he knew Mark had because they wanted to see, wanted to know so that maybe they could help Jack more. Malcolm had vented to Mark about how much he hated the bastards that kidnapped his brother, he’d sworn that he’d do whatever it took to make them feel what his mother felt.

 

Mark understood but reminded Malcolm that revenge probably wasn’t what Jack wanted, Jack had felt that humiliation and for as much as Jack himself hated the hunters, he would not want to make anyone feel what he had felt. Malcolm agreed, Jack wouldn’t want that no matter how much those sick bastards deserved it.

 

The Irishman let out a sigh “So where is Jack now?” Mark gestured to the living room “Playing Mario Kart. Games with no violence or gore have been helping to distract him, there aren’t very many games we own like that so we’re doing the best with what we have.” Malcolm nodded his head “I can imagine.”

 

The two made their way back to the living room, Tom following behind. Jack was sat on the couch Chica laid by his side. It was clear Jack’s focus was on this game and if you ignored the dull matted hair, the scars that lingered across his skin, it was almost like the old Jack was sat there, like nothing had happened and everything was fine. Everyone knew that wasn’t the case but the glimpses of the old Jack, the way he could distract himself from his anxieties and worries, how he could just focus on something else and relax for a while. It showed everyone that Jack COULD come back, it was possible for him to get over his trauma.

 

The round of Mario Kart that Jack had been playing finished and he finally turned to face his brother, despite the tired look in his eyes (clearly caused by lack of sleep). Jack was smiling he looked genuinely happy to see his brother and for Malcolm, it took all of his self-restraint not to throw himself across the room and hug Jack. He didn’t, touching could still be hard for Jack instead Malcolm was smiling back as he said “It’s good to see you, Sean.” Jack’s smile widened just a little “Good to see you too Mally.” Chica had her head on Jack’s knee and he was scratching her head gently, she clearly appreciated the attention.

 

Malcolm came into the room a little more and took a seat on the armchair that was opposite Jack, Mark, in turn, took a seat at the opposite end of the couch where Jack was sat “How’s everything been in France?” Jack asked. Malcolm shrugged “Dylan’s been asking after you a lot he wants to make sure his Uncle Sean is okay.” Jack nodded his head “I’m… I’m as okay as I can be.” it was more optimism than Jack had shown in months. More positivity when talking about himself, it had to be a good sign, it had to! Both Malcolm and Mark held onto that.

Chapter Text

Jack and Mark had retired to bed. They were in seperate room. Mark’s mother was in the spare room. Malcolm and Tom had decided to sleep downstairs.

 

Malcolm was laid on the couch and Tom was laid on an air mattress. They had talked a little today and found they had a few things in common. But mostly they were trying to make sure they didn’t trigger Jack. Having so many people around him for so long hadn’t been good. Jack was very fragile and when Jack made his excuses to go to bed everyone knew he was on the edge of a breakdown.

 

Tom licked his lips as he said “My mom and I are sorry about what happened to Jack.” Malcolm turn to look at the other male “We’re all sorry… But it happens, some people are still scared of vampires, still see them as monster, they still believe that they need to hunt vampires.” Tom shook his head “It’s wrong! I may not have treated Jack fairly when I found out that he was a vampire and he was dating Mark. But Jack proved to me that he cared deeply for Mark, that even if Jack was a vampire it didn’t make him evil.” Malcolm chuckled “If it’s any consolation when we found out Mark was an informant for the L.A hunter's me, my brother and my sisters totally went protective elder sibling on Mark.”  Tom snickered “Mark told me, he said he understood the reaction. He was a little intimidated by you though.” Malcolm laughed as he said “What?”

 

Tom nodded his head and giggled “I got a text that said something like Big buff irishman might kill me and he’s human.” Malcolm was laughing “Oh my god! I would be more scared of Susan or my ma! Susan is the other vampire in our family she’s very protective of all her family and ma, she may be half my size but she knows how to give you a good-hiding.”

 

The two settled their laughter as Malcolm said “Unless Mark was mistreating Jack we wouldn’t have done anything. It’s just Jack’s the baby of the family, we all just want to make sure he’s okay… Not to mention how public he’s been about being a vampire. We knew that it could have put a price of Jack’s head.” Tom nodded his head “To be honest Mark, my mum and I were surprised how accepting people were when Jack came out as a vampire. We knew what he was and we already knew his safe but he had what 20 million subscribers? 20 million people sat behind keyboards waiting to judge him? We were all a little worried. But Jack’s community pulled through as they always do. It’s honestly amazing how they’re always so supportive of everything Jack does.”

 

Malcolm let out a breath “Seeing how his community banded together the way they did… And when that other girl went missing three months back… How they actively tried to keep that information out his tag.” Thomas nodded “Yeah… So these hunters keep taking vampires?” Malcolm shrugged “Seems like it, taking Jack brought more attention to it. So the police realised what was going on earlier but… They still haven’t found the hunters or the girl. We just hope they find the girl when she’s let go.”

 

Thomas hummed in thought “So what, these people kidnap vampires, torture them and then let them go?” Malcolm nodded “From what we can gather yes, the police said there had been three or four reported incidents in the last two years that were similar to Jack. Unfortunately those vampires had been hurt so much that they couldn’t trust friends or family. They lashed out and threatened humans… One of them even killed their own mother… From what Jack has said they always told him he was a monster that needed ‘training’... ‘Taming’... They seem to see vampires as beasts that can’t control themselves.”

 

Thomas sat up and looked at the other male “What if that’s what they want? These other vampires started acting like monsters after their treatment right? They became aggressive and mistrustful… What if these hunters are purposefully trying to make these vampires snap at humans so humans won’t trust them anymore.” Malcolm felt himself freeze. Could it be, he sat up and looked at Malcolm “When Jack came out… He was angry with Mark, he was growling at Mark… It was only because of how much he still cared that Jack didn’t attack. That and his legs were fucked…”

 

The hunters were trying to turn vampires into the monsters they saw them as. And if enough people saw that vampires were attacking and killing innocent humans… Vampires would be hated and hunted again!

 

“They fucked up with Jack right? They didn’t realise he had any sort of media influence as far as the hunters were concerned… They didn’t expect to have so much attention put on them.” Malcolm licked his lips “From what Jack said they didn’t know who Jack was until we asked for information on social media… I’m just thinking… The vampires that started to attack and kill when they felt threatened… They were injured just like Jack was… But Jack didn’t… Well he threatened but he didn’t attack.” Thomas shrugged “They said three or four that they’d heard of, how many vampires went missing and no one noticed. How many people were attacked and kill by vampires and it seems like there was no motive. Jack’s scared of feeding right so we can assume that the other vampires that were taken would also be scared of feeding.”

 

Malcolm took out his phone and did a quick search “There’s a total of 7 incidents where humans were attacked and killed by a vampire, but no blood was taken… These hunters have been running their operation for a while… They- If this is all connected including Jack they’ve taken 12 people, plus that girl that just went missing 13.”

 

Thomas and Malcolm exchanged glances “We need to take this to the police station.” the two men nodded as they got up. Neither bothered dressing properly, they grabbed shoes and got in Malcolm’s car.

 

~~~~____~~~

 

“This is… This blows the case wide open!” Michael said “We had tried to cross references similar incidents but… This… How did you even come up with this?” Malcolm shrugged “We questioned why someone would do this. Then we remembered that Jack said they would always call him a monster. But we all know vampires aren’t monsters… So we kind of came up with a what-if. What if the hunters were making the vampires fearful on purpose triggering flight or fight until the vampires felt like all the could do was fight.”

 

Michael shook his head “If it’s possible, I’d like to talk to Jack tomorrow. I need him to tell me everything.” Malcolm shook his head “I don’t know… He’s still so easy to trigger.” Michael appeared to be thinking “Talk to him in the morning. I’ll come and we can do it in a place where he feels safe, he can have people there to support him. I’ll make the conversation as comfortable as possible. I’ve tried to be considerate, I’ve tried to not push him to talk and I understand it will be hard. But without information I don’t think I can go anywhere with this case. I got so far with what Jack has told me and the information we’ve been able to piece together from what the nurses knew and little bits he said to family and friends… But if we don’t pull together a full story this might happen again… If this new girl is ever released I’ll also need to talk to her.” Malcolm and Thomas nodded.

 

Leaving the police station Thomas said “I’ll take my mom out tomorrow so hopefully that officer can talk to Jack. He needs a calm environment.” Malcolm nodded “Yeah. I know it’s gonna be hard… I’m not sure if he will be able to talk… But we have to try. That girl has been missing for three and a half months… That means if they release her at the same time as Jack, we have two weeks till she’s released.” Thomas shook his head “I hadn’t thought of that.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The next morning

 

Malcolm and Thomas were having breakfast when Mark came downstairs. He looked tired and the two men were already apprehensive about telling Mark what they had theorised last night. Mark sat at the dining table as he said “I’m sorry if Jack woke you guys last night. He had a panic attack.”

 

“We went out last night… To the police station.” Malcolm started. Mark looked at him confused “Why?” Malcolm sighed “We were talking last night and we think we worked out a motive for the hunters… They want to prove that vampires are monsters… So they torture a vampire until they break, until they start to rely on animalistic instincts. Marks eyes were wide.

 

Mark couldn’t believe that he hadn’t worked it out before. Thomas let out a sigh “The police officer dealing with Jack’s case can’t progress without information. He’s coming by today and he wants the full story.” Mark paused for a moment before nodding his head “Yeah… We guessed. Jack’s been trying to prepare for this for months… I might take a while but he said last night after his panic attack he wants to talk about it… All of it…” Thomas nodded his head “I’m gonna take Mom out for the day so she won’t be in the way. Jack will be scared enough we don’t need to add a large crowd to the situation.” Mark nodded his head in agreement “Good idea.”

 

Malcolm nodded “I’ll go and make sure Ma doesn’t visit. So it can be you Michael and Jack.” Mark smiled softly as he said “I appreciate the help guys, I do thank you.”

Chapter Text

AUTHORS NOTE DO NOT SKIP: This chapter is going to be heavy. Jack WILL be confessing EVERYTHING, so things have only been hinted at, some things have been explicitly stated. Jack will be talking about being abuse, physically, sexually, emotionally and mentally, he will be talking about conditioning, he will be talking about all the things he did in the room, all the things that the hunters put him through. This is going to be emotional for Jack and it is not going to be a fun chapter. Please keep that in mind before reading. For the sake of writing and because a few of the situations appeared as chapters or as flashbacks when Jack was having a nightmare some of the conversation has been shortened.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Malcolm, Thomas and Mrs Fischbach had left. Michael had arrived and Mark was making tea. To Michael’s credit he was keeping the atmosphere as casual as possible, he was alone and in his plain clothes, joggy bottoms and a gaming t-shirt. The only thing he had was his phone and a notepad. Jack had already been warned that the phone was recording the conversation. But a phone on the desk was normal and pretty common place he could try to forget that it was switched on, listening to him.

 

Mark returned with three cups off tea, handing one to Jack, one to Michael and keeping one himself. Mark sat on the couch close to Jack but giving the vampire his personal space. Chica was laid by Jack’s feet. The vampire had his favorite blanket laid across his shoulders and his Sam plush was on the coffee table in front of him. He could do this… He needed to. The memories kept haunting him, he’d been researching and had found that most people said venting could help with trauma.

 

The police had all the photos and the video files but it only showed them what the hunters recorded, it didn’t tell them everything… They needed Jack’s story to add background to those photos and videos.

 

Jack ran his fingers through his hair as he let out a sigh “I guess I should start at the beginning?” Michael nodded his head “It always helps to start where it all began.” Jack nodded his head and swallowed thickly “I was hunting. My sister was going to visit and I wanted to make sure I was prepared… I couldn’t find anything and I know… I KNOW that when the woods look empty something or someone has scared away possible prey. I should have turned back… But I didn’t… I kept searching but got distracted when I smelt wolfsbane. Wolfsbane is poisonous to vampires, it can make us sick sometimes it can be fatal. Wolfsbane doesn’t grow in that part of the woods so it could only be one thing. Vampire hunters, I gave up hunting and decided to go home. I wasn’t starving, I could feed at some other time. I was almost out of the woods when something sharp pricked my neck… A blow dart… I’m not dumb, I knew they were trying to sedate me. I started to run I needed to get home or to my parents log cabin, somewhere safe! I-I lost the use of my legs as the drug from the dart started to take effect. I asked them to let me go. I promised that I meant no harm, they just stared down at me till I lost consciousness.”

 

Jack shrugged a little falling silent for a moment “I don’t remember traveling… I don’t know where they took me or how I got there… I just know I woke up in a basement naked. They threw freezing cold water over me, bored of waiting for me to wake naturally. There were thick iron shackles around my ankles, too thick for me to snap… To heavy to allow me to move around too much. Realising I couldn’t escape I started to plead… To explain… I would never hurt anyone… They didn’t care they just saw a vampire… They forced me to stand… I whimpered unable to fight against they… The drug they used to knock me out was still in my system I barely had any of my strength. I was punched full force to the stomach knocking the wind out of me. They just kept punching… Punching and punching and I felt weak and light headed I started to cough up blood… They didn’t stop… You guys have the videos… When they eventually let me go I collapsed into a pool of blood that I’d just coughed up. They kicked me and I was thrown across the room hitting a wall…” Jack rubbed the back of his head at the memory “That was just the first day…”

 

Jack was silent for a longer moment this time. His fingers rand across the surface of his Sam plush, feeling the plush texture. Finally he spoke “I had no concept of time in the basement… But judging by how long I was away and how many times they came to see me, the longer I was there, the shorter time restbite I had… At first I think they came by once a day… By the end of my ordeal I barely had any time to rest it was near constant beatings and ‘training’ and sexual acts and-” Jack’s gagged and gave a full body shudder. Michael was nodding his head “Lets just focus on the beginning first, we’ll get to the more… Graphic parts of your ordeal when we get there.”

 

Jack cleared his throat “The next time they came in they just stared at me… They kept that blasted camera on me… Told me they were going to keep a ‘scrapbook’...” Jack shook his head as he whispered his voice almost inaudible “Sick bastards…” Mark offered his hands to the vampire, noticing the tears behind Jack’s eyes. Jack carefully took hold of Mark’s hand and gave it a squeeze. “They stuck to beating me for a while… At least three or four days… That's when they brought my collar in…” Jack paused as his free hand ran over the leather strap… Jack licked his lips “It was originally a shock collar… They had just found out about my channel because of a post on twitter appealing for information about where I could have gone…” Jack snickered a little “I was so smug about the fact that people knew I was missing, any fear I felt was erased I was running on an epic high, people will find me, they’ll free me… They showed me the twitter post and I laughed at them, they kicked me for that… While I was preoccupied trying to recover from the kick they put the collar on me. I tried to take it off and shock ran through my body… I kept trying to argue and they kept shocking me… I couldn’t take it and passed out at one point… They left. When I could use my arms again I took the collar off and threw it away… The next time they came in they made me put it back on… When I didn’t they got a tazer… They managed to restart my heart which I didn’t even think was possible, it was so painful and I-I... It felt like dying again.”

 

Jack let out a sigh “From the beginning they tried to tell me that my family, my friends… Even Mark didn’t really care for me. They would let me see Mark’s videos if I was good… I only found out after I was released they made a fake version of youtube and changed Mark’s videos so they cut out where Mark kept asking for information about what could have happened to me. And when Mark stopped uploading, youtube stopped being my reward for good behaviour… But that was like half way through my time with the hunters.” Mark nodded his head “It was two months in I stopped uploading because my community could tell the videos were forced… I was trying to make videos as a distraction, so I could try to think of something other than what might be happening to you… It didn’t work. I would burst into tears at the drop of hat.”

 

Jack licked his lips “For the first month the abuse was mainly, punching, kicking, cutting me with a knife, shocking me with the collar and whipping me…” There was a pause as Jack swallowed thickly “This was when they started to lock me in a cage, they told me that's where I belonged that it was safer for everyone if I was in the cage. They started to put my food in a pet bowl… At first I refused to eat it… But at one point I was so hungry and I knew that the meals they gave me didn’t come often. I started to eat it with my hands at first… But then they said I had to eat on all four like… Like a-” Jack was struggling tears were rolling down his eyes. The voice that he knew belonged to Chris was taunting him in his head “Good boys eat on all fours. You HAVE to be a good boy.” The vampire yelped in response to the voice that only he could hear.

 

Mark gave Jack’s hand a gentle squeeze, a reassurance that he was here and he was still supporting Jack. In turn, Jack clung to Mark and hid his face against the American’s chest as he croaked “I can be good.” Mark shushed Jack as he said “It’s okay Sean. They aren’t here remember? It’s just me, you and Michael.” Chica was trying not nose her head in between Jack and Mark to lick at Jack’s face. The wet nose and soft fur seemed to pull Jack out of his head, he hadn’t had a full blown panic attack, he was still mostly himself. Chica was licking at Jack’s face as he whispered “Good girl.”

 

Mark made a mental note to give her a little extra food as reward tonight, Chica was going to have to work hard to keep Jack sane today.

 

Jack took ten minutes to calm down, but he did calm down enough to continue “They told me I had to be on all fours… Like a good boy… Of course I tried to argue at first, that lead to more beatings. Sometimes they mixed wolfsbane into my food… Being poisonous if I consumed it the wolfsbane would make me feel really sick and it would cause me to throw up constantly.”” Jack pulled his knees to his chest and rested his head in his lap “I think… I think that half way through my time there is when I stopped fighting… I wanted to fight! I did… I just…” Jack stopped and swallowed thickly “It was easier to just do what they wanted, to go along with what they said be the perfect and tame pet they wanted me to be. If I wasn’t ‘bad’ I got rewards; they didn’t beat me, they would let me watch old youtube videos from Mark or my other friends…”

 

Michael nodded his head, he could see Jack was starting to shudder, it was only just noticeable but it was there. Taking a break would probably be best, the conversation had been going on for a few hours as Jack described everything he endured. The Police Officer put his pen and paper down as he said “We’ve talked a lot, it’s probably best to take a break.” Jack nodded his head silently. Michael paused for a moment a little worried that things had been pushed too far.

 

Mark offered Jack his hands, palms up, it was silent offer and the offer the american always gave the irishman when he was lost in his head. Jack kept looking between Mark’s face and his hands.

Talking about what they said, talking about what the hunters did always made Jack loose himself a little. He was lucky that this time he wasn’t completely lost. While everything seemed a little fuzzy and disorientated he was aware that he wasn’t with the hunters, he was in his home, he was with Mark. Mark his boyfriend, the man that helped to look after him for almost a year now. He was safe with Mark and knowing that, now that his brain finally accepted that Mark was safe, Jack found it easier to start to calm again. Jack took the hands and gave Mark a squeeze, his way of showing he was still mostly there, letting out a long breath Jack managed to say “A break… Break would be much appreciated right now.”

 

Michael left the room to give Mark and Jack space. Jack let out a shuddering breath his body releasing tension that he didn’t even know he was holding. Mark gave the vampire a small smile. Jack managed a small smile back.

 

Mark shuffled back a little as he said “More tea? Or maybe a coffee this time, what would help you?” Jack slicked his lips “Chica and coffee… N-Not to be rude but… I think… I know talking about when the abuse got serious… Talking about the beatings and being made to act and think like I was nothing more than a household pet… Talking about the… The sexual side of things is gonna be hard… I don’t think comfort from you… Hell comfort from anyone would help… Only Chica because she’s like nothing from that basement, I might have been treated like a pet but there was no actual animals if that makes sense?”

 

Mark nodded as Jack explained “People hurt you in the basement. But dogs didn’t hurt you. It makes sense that you get more comfort from Chica than you do me.” Jack was smiling, thankful that Mark could try to understand “Thanks Mark.” Jack said trying to show his appreciation for not being upset with the fact that in this case Mark’s help might only send Jack further into his head.

 

Mark to shuffled back a little and invited Chica to sit with Jack on the couch “I’ll make coffee, do you want biscuits or any other snacks?” Jack hummed as he said “Do we have any cookies left?” Mark rolled his eyes with a small chuckle “I think we should have some, of course the mighty Jacksepticeye wants cookies, do you need a blood-bag or?” Jack paused before he shrugged “I had some yesterday so I don’t really feel hungry in that way. More just craving cookies right now.” Mark nodded his head, now that Jack was getting stronger he didn’t need to feed as much. Mark would have prefered that he fed everyday to make sure that Jack stayed healthy, but he also couldn’t force Jack to feed.

 

Mark went into the kitchen and set the kettle to boil as he searched for cookies.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

After making coffee for Jack and finding a packet of cookies that Mark had hidden away from Jack the American returned to the living room to find Chica snuggling Jack. Mark placed the coffee and the cookies down on the coffee table and Michael walked in.

 

The officer looked over at the couple as he said “Are you okay to continue Sean?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah. I think I am… It’s gonna be hard and I can’t promise I won’t lose myself to a bad headspace. But I need to say it out loud… Talk about it… It’s the only way I’m gonna get over it. I can’t run forever.” It was something that Jack’s doctors encouraged but didn’t force. Jack still suffered from panic attacks and nightmares, he still found it hard to allow people to touch him, he still yelped if someone raised their voice.

 

Michael nodded his head as he said “When you’re ready to continue Sean, go a head.”

 

Jack ended up petting Chica for a while. Trying to summon his courage again, keeping his focus on Chica he could pretend that was who he was talking to. That was how he had started talking more at the hospital. Jack had struggled to talk after his torment, he was a pet he wasn’t allowed to speak not unless instructed to. So when he was focusing on Chica he could pretend that he was just talking to Chica. Chica wouldn’t punish him for talking.

 

Of course Jack knew logically no one was going to. He’d gotten past the fear of Mark suddenly deciding to punish him. But with the addition of Michael, sure Jack had gotten to know the officer and trusted him to some extent. His problem was that Jack knew this conversation was going to probably send him into his head and that part of his mind didn’t care who he had come to know or trust, that part of his head still focused on his torment. With that in mind Jack knew it would be better to use all the ways he knew to try and reduce his stress and keep himself calm. It was the only way he would get through this.

 

Licking his lips the vampire finally managed to continue his voice quiet yet calm “I don’t know how they did it but… But they always seemed to know when I was talking, whether they were in the room or somewhere else… Maybe they had microphones or something… I don’t know but they always knew and they didn’t like when I talked… They didn’t like when I made noise, they… They wanted me to be silent. A-a-a pet only speaks when instructed to…” Jack licked his lips again and reached for his plushie squeezing it firmly “It’s why when I was released I was scared to speak… Even when I got my voice back I couldn’t talk…”

 

“When I started to do as they asked to avoid beatings… That's when the sexual abuse started… I could take being called a pet, being made to eat out of a dog bowl, crawling around on all fours but… But anything to do with sex… I started fighting again, so the beatings came back… The first time they beat me until I couldn't move because of the pain they then tied me down on me back; my legs were spread apart and they use a dildo…” Jack swallowed thickly “Thinking back I’m glad the my first experiences with sexual abuse came from a toy… They would use the toy to fuck me or if they were feeling generous they could get me to suck the dildo and make it wet before they used it on me…”

 

Jack shuddered “I wish I had a time frame so I could talk a little more clearly… But I forget… Sometimes the events become jumbled around in order… Either way... Whenever they used the toy on me or worse made me ride them or give them a blow job… I tried to fight back and my gag reflex… Well…” Jack paused and shudder curling up a little “They made it their personal mission to ‘fix it’. It’s not a problem for me anymore.”

 

Mark could have gagged at the thought, Jack had a terrible gag reflex, he’d mentioned in his videos when doing bean boozled and Mark had realised how bad it was a couple times while they tried to enjoy their time together. But for the hunters to personally try to and ‘fix’ Jack’s gag reflex, had they just forced Jack to take it until he stopped gagging. Was Jack’s gag reflex took as a protest and they punished him for it?

 

Jack shook his head “They only used toys at first… I guess that's something to be thankful for. But still… They really enjoyed dirty talking, telling me how much I liked what they were doing, telling me how this is what someone liked me deserved, telling me that a vampire should please and serve humans instead of feeding from them…” Jack looked like he was going to continue but paused and licked his lips, his gaze moved to Mark and he stared at him for a while “They would say how much more I would enjoy what they were doing if it were Mark doing those things to me…. Saying those things to me… They wanted to destroy my relationship to Mark... That… That sex was the only reason that Mark stuck around.” Michael was making notes, not that Jack really noticed he was staring at Chica and keeping eye contact with her as he spoke. Michael cleared his throat as he said “And… I’m sure I probably don’t need to ask this but for the sake of clarity, were any of the sexual advances consensual?” Jack shook his head no “Never… Sometimes if they don’t stimulate me enough to make me hard… They’d give me some form of pill or drug. If the drug didn’t make me hard it would make me loopy or knock me out… Sometimes I would wake up to them leaning over me and touching me or using me as nothing more that somewhere to stick their dicks.”

 

Michael nodded his head trying not to show how horrified that information made him. Mark was just as sickened Jack let out a long breath “They kept bringing Mark into my torture, it happened more often when they started the sexual stuff “They wanted to make sure I would never trust him again… Because I had admitted in videos how Mark had helped me accept myself a little more, he helped me to see that vampires aren’t always viewed as monsters and being a vampire doesn’t make you inherently evil. The hunters… They wanted to undo all of that. And after everything they would tell me, everything they showed me… Even if it was faked… My trust in Mark was broken.”

 

Jack looked at Mark almost helplessly, he hated that he had believed the hunters, that he’d allowed them to convince that Mark didn’t care.  The vampire’s hands came rest on the leather strap as he started to absently play with the collar he wore.

 

Jack had stopped talking. Michael cleared his throat as he said calmly “Are you still with me Sean?” Jack nodded his head “Yeah I guess… Other than explaining every time they would use me there’s not too much to talk about.They forced me to masterbate for them like it was some form of performance, they forced me to give them blow-jobs and if my efforts weren’t good enough they face fucked me and forced to take them all the way in no matter how much I choked or how my body started to protest, they groped me continously and would fuck me whenever they felt like it...” Michael nodded his heads “And your three most noteable scars… The wound on your neck, the heart on your chest and the words name on your side, can you talk about those?”

 

Jack took in a breath “I almost forgot about those…” Not that he could really forget, he could only momentarily forget the incidents and where exactly they fell in the timeline of his torment.” Jack licked his lips “The first one was the name… That’s what they would call me… It happened when first tried to get me to use an open mouth gag… That was towards the first sexual thing they tried… I refused and they told me they were going to teach me a lesson… The pain was unbearable but I knew I couldn’t thrash around it could cause more injury… So I laid there and… Screamed as they cut me like I was nothing more than a piece of meat…”

 

It took Jack a moment before he could continue “The second one was the wound on my neck… They sent someone in and… I didn’t want to…” Jack was tearing up and curling into a ball as much as he could, Chica sensed the oncoming panic and quickly set to work trying to distract him, she nuzzled at him and pawed at him, a low whine coming from her. Jack held onto her “Chica… Chica I…” he sniffled. Mark shuffled just close enough to offer Jack his hands.

 

“Aedan Connors we know of him… Sean I believe it only right to tell you… At least after seeing the video they made. He didn’t die… He was reported missing by family and found 72 hours later a vampire bite mark on his neck… He’d been turned he told us that he loaned money from a company that has since seemingly disappeared… That they’d thrown him in a room with a vampire they hadn’t fed for days…” Jack’s eyes were still watering, he looked shocked “H-He was-” Michael nodded his head “Aedan remembered a syringe… Apparently they had vampire’s blood already and gave it to him before they threw him in there… They turned him using a vampire’s blood and to make sure the change happened faster they tried to get you to drink his blood and it worked.”

 

Jack shook his head “All this time… They told me he died! Reminded me constantly that he died! That I killed him.” Michael nodded his head “We know… I mean… I didn’t really have the courage to watch the videos until very recently… And obviously we haven’t been able to pass information about Aeden onto anyone else because of witness protection… He has helped us a little with what little he knows about the people who took you.” Jack couldn’t believe it, he was shocked and very literally stunned into silence, his mind was reeling “Aeden was alive… Alive… Well he was a vampire now but he was okay.

 

They ended up taking another break while Jack wrapped his head around the fact that the man he had practically drained dry and killed, wasn’t dead. His confusion turned to anger. Of course he wasn’t dead and OF COURSE the hunters didn’t tell him. They knew how guilty he would feel thinking he'd killed someone. The hunters had used that and almost fed on it, allowing Jacks guilt to fuel them and drive them. They played Jack!

 

Eventually Jack managed to calm down enough to talk about his final scar “The last one was the heart… There’s not a lot of story to it… They said vampire’s were heartless and that they proved we didn’t have to be by… Well everything they did to me was supposed to prove that vampires weren’t heartless that if ‘trained’ vampires could be caring.”

 

Jack felt like a weight had been lifted. He had talked about his torture and yes he got a little lost a few times… But talking about it. Talking about it and getting some answers having someone listen to him and just listen, they didn’t offer advice or judge him. Mark and Michael had just listened to him. Mark offered support and comfort when Jack needed it. Other than that Jack had been left to talk, to vent and it relieved him because it wasn’t all caught up inside… Now it was all out in the open.

 

Mark opened his arms in offer of a hug and the vampire accepted it shuffling close “I’m so proud of you for this.” Jack smiled softly as he whispered “I’m proud of me too.”

 

They both knew that two months ago Jack would not have been able to talk. He would have gone back into his head and possible relapsed. He wouldn’t have been able to do what he had just done and hold himself together as well as he had.

 

Chapter Text

Later that night

 

Jack had closed himself off after Michael left; Mark expected it and had let Jack have his privacy. The American brought some food for Jack, feeling lazy he’d ordered in Pizza and given Jack half. The vampire had asked Mark to leave the food outside his room.

 

It was now 10 pm. Mark was getting read to call it a night. After letting Chica out to do her business he let her head upstairs to go sleep with Jack. Before Mark never used to let Chica sleep on a human bed but seeing as she was now Jack’s therapy dog it made sense for her to stay with him. Originally they had a doggy bed for her, but after a week of nightmare filled nights they had realised that Jack responded well to sleeping with Chica cuddled up to him.

 

Mark picked up his phone sliding it into his pocket, he got himself a glass of water and headed up to bed.

 

As he reached the top of the staircase Jack was poking his head out of his bedroom. Mark paused for a moment noticing that Jack looked like he was going to say something. The vampire licked his lips as he looked at his lover “D-Do you maybe want to cuddle a little?” Jack looked apprehensive, his eyes were red and puffy it was clear that he had been crying.

 

Mark answered immediately “Of course, we can always cuddle whenever you like, just let me put my phone in my room and put my pajamas on.” Jack nodded his head as he said “Just knock on my door when you’re ready.”  The vampire retreated back into his room as Mark went to his own room to put his pajamas on.

 

It didn’t take the American long to get changed and put his phone onto charge. As he did he left his room and went to knock on Jack’s door. The knock was just heavy enough to make a noise, he wasn’t trying to startle the vampire, just make the vampire aware of his presence. There was a small pause before the vampire’s voice could be heard from inside the room “C’mon in.”

 

Mark opened the door and entered, the room was a little bit of a mess, blankets and plushies thrown across the floor, the pizza box Mark had given him was on the desk by the door, the pizza had at least been eaten. Mark made his way over to the bed and the vampire was already shuffling over and patting the bed inviting Mark for snuggles. Of course Mark accepted it gratefully. The American climbed in under the sheets but allowed Jack to have his personal space, he was used to this and it had almost become like a second nature.

 

Jack thoroughly appreciated all of Mark’s effort to tailor his actions the vampires comfort. He would never be able to thank Mark enough.

 

“Everything okay, Sean?” Mark asked casually. Jack shrugged and licked his lips “Y-Yes and no…” Mark shuffled just an inch closer. Jack didn’t refuse him, the vampire waited a moment as he gave himself time to try and collect this thoughts “I… I HAD to do what I did today, I know I did… But at the same time I… It brought back a lot of things I had tried to ignore and forget, a lot of thoughts and feelings and memories that I never ever wanted to acknowledge again.” Mark nodded his head to show he was listening “It’s got to be hard to have to recount those incidents, to remember and describe.” There was pause before Mark continued “And I’m so proud of you, so proud of what you’ve overcome and I promise you Sean. I’m going to stick by your side no matter what, I love you Sean; I’ll always love you no matter what.”

 

Mark had his hands above the bed trying to offer them to Jack. Jack took hold of the humans hands and gave a squeeze. Mark smiled softly and pulled Jack’s hands to his lips giving them a kiss. Jack let out a hum to show his appreciation for the affection “It’s just… In a way I’m relieved, I feel better for talking about it and I’m glad I did it. But in another way… In another way I feel plagued by the things I tried to forget and I don’t know… I just…” Jack made a frustrated noise “It’s like my brain is caught between falling into old mindsets but also not doing that because… Because I don’t want to lose myself to that again. I don’t want to go back there to being the… The pet they wanted me to be… I hate acting like that because that's not me, it’s- It’s like something else takes over, I just go blank and empty and numb and that… THAT scares me more than being abused. Just sitting there silent and I’m there but I’m not and I do whatever I need to so that I can survive… So I don’t get beat… And I know you wouldn’t, I know if I ended up like that you would try to bring me back but… Being lost in my head…” Jack didn’t finish what he was saying, he let go of Mark’s hand and started to curl up trying to tuck his head into his knees a litteral ball beneath his blankets.

 

Mark let out a sigh “I- I’m not going to sugar coat it okay? So please… Please don’t think I’m talking down to you. I just… I don’t think that handling this conversation with kiddy gloves is going to help. This is going to be brutal honesty from me.” Mark licked his lips “I can’t relate to what you’re feeling. I can’t understand… I can’t imagine being trapped in my own body frozen… I can’t imagine being made into a doll or pet… Forced to do whatever someone else wants of me. But I can offer support here and now. I can try and get you through, pull you out of your head when you’re lost. I will reassure you that you’re safe until I lose my voice. I will talk and sing and just do whatever it takes to help you. I’d give anything to see you happy Sean. I’d do anything to make sure you get better… I would take your place in a heartbeat.”

 

Jack’s gaze moved to meet Marks. The american took in a deep breath before letting it out “It’s always hard to hear about what happened to you… To have those photos and videos play out in my head… And I hate to think that you had to go through that, that you suffered all of that. And- And I hate that everything they did hurt you so much. I hate that they tried to break you.”

 

Mark let out a frustrated noise as he said “I hate it and I can’t help but feel angry when I think about it. And I- I should have been here should have ignored what your sister said and just flew out to Ireland and looked myself.” Jack tried to take hold of Mark’s hand “What would you have done if you did fly all the way here. Sit in some hotel room and mope around, search endlessly throughout the woods and the town for any sign of where I’d gone? They hid me away, I don’t even know where they kept me, only that it place with a basement. The police couldn’t find me, even the Irish hunters had no leads… I don’t want to say that I don’t think you could find me, I don’t want to put you down like that but… Well, no one could find me, no one knew where to look there was very few leads these hunters covered their tracks!”

 

Mark shook his head, he could feel the sting of tears that were threatening to fall. He wouldn’t cry. HE WOULDN’T! He had nothing to cry about.

 

Jack hung his head “I-I… It’s… It’s hard. It’s so hard Mark I! I want to be back to what I was, back to normal! But that’s never gonna happen and I get so upset because I see how much I hurt you and my ma and my dad and my siblings and- It’s not fair, none of you should have to deal with the wreck those hunters left behind. But you do and I hate it! I hate being such a hind-” Mark cut Jack off, his voice a little more aggressive than he actually intended but it caught Jack’s attention and clearly made him listen “Stop!” Mark gave himself a moment to adjust his tone “Stop right there Sean, you’re not a hindrance or a burden. We love you Sean, that's why we’re here. Not because we feel like we have to, not because its some noble cause or something it’s because we love and care about you.” Mark was sniffling now and cursing himself for it, he’d been on the verge of tears before and this was putting him over the edge “I-I’m sorry to get emotional Sean. I-I shouldn’t be crying.” Mark was wiping at his eyes trying to get rid of his tears.

 

Mark was crying and Jack felt guilty, Mark was crying because of him, because Jack couldn’t see anything positive about his situation because he often thought it would be easier if he wasn’t in Mark’s way. Jack took hold of Mark’s hands and gave a squeeze trying to offer his support “Mark please don’t feel bad I-” Jack could feel tears behind his eye “I’m sorry… I’m sorry Mark. I just… You de-deserve better.”

 

Mark knew Jack was trying to help, he knew because it was how Mark always helped Jack, offering his hands as a contact point and giving his hands a squeeze to reassure him that the comfort was still there. Jack was trying to help Mark when Mark should be the one helping Jack! Mark was shaking his head “No Sean, never say that. I could never do better, you’re the best thing for me. You always have been. I-I wish you could see yourself the way I see you. I don’t care what happened to you Sean, that doesn’t matter to me, what matters is you’re here and alive and I love you so fucking much Sean.”

 

Jack was sniffling as he tried to hold himself together “I-I… I hate being like this… I always feel like I’m annoying you. I want to get better but it seems every time I seem to get better I end up taking two steps back. Like today, your mum and Tom were here and Malcolm was here and I wasn’t freaking out… But now… Now I don’t know if I could be around them, after talking about everything.”

 

Mark let out a sigh “It’s okay to feel vulnerable Sean. And after everything I can understand you not being okay with feeling vulnerable. What I want you to know is that you can be vulnerable and I’ll be here for you, if that means you want to be alone I’ll be around the house, if you want my comfort I’ll be with you as long as you want. Because I love you.”

 

Jack was starting to sob as he said “Can you hold me?” Mark nodded his head and opened his arm in offer of support to the vampire. Jack clung to Mark and started to cry against his lovers chest. Mark was also crying with him.  “I’ll always be there Jack, I just sometimes don’t know when the best time for physical comfort is, it’s why I wait for you to ask.”

 

Jack tried to bury himself against his lover “It took me a while but now, I feel safe when I'm with you… I like being in your arms when my brain isn’t focusing on the hunters and what they would have wanted.” Mark nodded his head “I can only imagine how hard it is for you. But you have people here who want to support you.”

Chapter Text

Chapter 58:

 

March 3rd 2025

 

It had taken a lot of planning, finding a safe place for Jack, making sure the police had installed their security system into the house, finding a way to transport all of their possessions in one trip. But finally the day was hear. With the help of Felix (PewDiePie), Dan Howell, Phil Lester, PJ (Kick the PJ) and Tom Ridgewell (TomSka) they were finally able to move houses.

 

Brighton was the best place for Jack and Mark to move to, they were close to a support network of friends who could help them, Jack’s sisters Lauren and Susan had recently moved to Brighton with their own children. Not only that being close to a beach gave Jack somewhere to relax, he and Mark could drive down to the beach and sit in the car enjoying the view if nothing else.

 

While Jack’s was anxious even he knew this was the best thing he could do. All he could think about was that the hunters had his address they had left him outside his own home, not only that but they had sent him the photos and videos from his time in the basement. He needed to move away. The police had installed a security system that would immediately alert the closest Police department that Jack’s house had been broken into, this was better, it was better to be away from where everything happened..

 

Having survived the ferry from Ireland to England now Jack had to survive one of the longest car journey’s he had been on since his capture. Chica and Jack were in the back of the car while Mark drove. Phil would be meeting them halfway in Gaydon, Warwickshire at which point Mark would join Jack in the back of the car and Phil would drive them the rest of the way.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The drive from Athlone to Dublin ferry port had been an hour and a half, then Mark stayed with Jack in the car for the hour and twenty minute ferry passage from Dublin to Holyhead and then there was a three and a half hour drive from Holyhead to Gaydon where they would be meeting Phil.

 

By the time the couple arrived at their meeting point Mark was starting to feel tired. 6 hours of being in a car traveling was tiring the American out. Mark got into the back of the car and Chica snuggled next to him. Phil got into the driver's seat and turned to look at Jack who gave the tiniest of smile. Phil’s red eyes helped to ease Jack’s nerves of being around someone other than Mark. “Good to see you my dude.” Jack managed to say with what sounded like enthusiasm. Phil beamed “You too! I know traveling can be dull, now worries, got about another two or three hours before we get to your new place. Dan is meeting us there.” Jack nodded his head “How have things been between you and Dan?” Mark asked. Phil shrugged “Things have been good. We have the usual arguments, what toppings belong on Pizza, whose turn it is to do Laundry. You know just teasing and shit…” Phil trailed off his gaze flickering away “Dan wanted to meet with you guys before this…”

 

“How come?” Jack asked sounding curious. Phil’s gaze flickered away “He felt awful when he heard you went missing. He wanted to reach out to try and help you, like you helped both of us.”

 

Jack remembered the first time Dan and Phil met up with himself and Mark, you know outside of the passing conversations at VidCon that seemed to be a regular occurrence. Dan and Phil had visited Jack and Mark in Ireland in 2017.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

September 2017

 

There was a knock on the door and Jack smiled at Mark “That's probably Dan and Phil.” Mark smiled back “It’ll be great to see them, you know for more than five minutes in an elevator.” Jack snickered as he said “Funny, Dan said the same when I invited the two over.”

 

Jack got up from the couch and answered the door, he greeted the two Brits with a grin, Phil hugged the vampire as he said “Hey Jack.” Jack was surprised by the hug but didn’t pull away, instead he wrapped his arms around the Brit as he chuckled “Good to see you too dude!” Chica came barking up the hall and all of a sudden Phil let go of Jack as he exclaimed “Dan they have a dog!” Mark snickered as he said “I couldn’t get anyone to dog sit, so Chica came with me on my visit.” Dan chuckled as he said “Phil isn’t complaining, he’s an animal lover, if our landlord allowed it we’d probably have a dog ourselves.” Jack chuckled a little. Chica had come to inspect the visitors but was now happy to leave them alone nudging Jacks hand asking for pets. Jack scratched behind Chica’s ears laughing a little “She just likes attention.”

 

“Like someone else I know.” Mark added teasingly. Jack stuck his tongue out at Mark as he said “I could say the same about you.” Mark flipped Jack off “It’s not wrong to like cuddles Jack.” The vampire rolled his eyes as he said rather cheekily “I never said it was, you did.” Mark looked like he was going to argue, but abruptly stopped. “How dare you use my words against me.” Jack snickered “Shouldn’t jump to conclusions.” Dan chuckled “I was kind of surprised when Jack told us that you too finally grew some balls and asked each other out.” Mark shrugged “I- Well. I wanted to say that I was surprised when Phil confirmed that you two were dating but… The internet has been screaming it for years.” Phil shrugged “Well okay yeah, you got us there. But in our defense we didn’t get together straight away, it was like 2014?”

 

Dan nodded his head as he continued “Honestly at first we sort of played up the whole thing, it was just a joke because of Tumblr. Then I kind of realised that maybe there was an attraction there, so I talked to Phil. We both kind of awkwardly admitted that we kind of felt something but weren’t sure what to do so we took things slowly.”

 

Mark snickered “Sounds similar to someone I know.” Mark’s gaze moved to Jack as the Irishman went red “I-I have no idea what you’re talking about!” Mark snickered. Jack let out a sigh folding his arms “I had been in America for about a week staying with Mark for collabs and stuff. We’d gotten pretty close in that week and if I’m honest after getting over the whole starstruck phase because the Youtuber I liked actually spoke to me… I realised that I had a crush on Mark. I eventually came out with it kind of expecting Mark to turn me down. Instead he told me that we could try and take things slowly and if nothing happened we would still be friends. That was a year ago.”

 

Phil had his arm over Dan’s shoulders as they smiled “So gay I love it.” Dan snickered teasing the two. Jack playfully flipped the Brit off “Oh yeah like you’re any better.”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The group were having a great time together, they’d been bowling, gotten Pizza, played video games made a few collab videos, played cards against humanity.

 

It had been four days since the British couple arrived and four days since Jack had been able to feed. Mark and Jack were in Jack’s bed room, Dan and Phil in the guest room.

 

Jack’s stomach growled as the Irishman groaned. Mark turned to face Jack as he said simply “Hungry?” Jack nodded his head looking guilty “That's not the word to describe it. It’s been four days Mark.” Mark let out a sigh “We’ve been super busy, I guess we both got distracted.” Jack nodded his head “Yeah. Do you mind if I-” Mark sat up and so did Jack. The human shuffled close to Jack as he said “You know I don’t. Come here.” Mark wrapped arms around Jack as the vampire buried himself against the humans neck, right against Mark’s pulse point. The vampires stomach gave a painful growl. Jack held his boyfriend in his arms and kissed the humans neck “You’re so selfless. I’m so lucky to have you in my life. I sometimes feel like I don’t tell you that enough.” Mark gave a dismissive wave of his hand as he said “Stop being so mushy goober. I do what I can to help you when you need it because I love you. I want to make sure you’re okay. Also I get lots of sleepy cuddles out of it.”

 

Jack laughed softly “An ulterior motive. I see how it is.” Mark kissed the vampires cheek “Well, in this instance, yes, but I also just like helping you.” Jack gave Mark a gentle kiss on the lips “Normally I’m all for giving mutual love and being all soppy and shit. But I’m really hungry, reschedule appreciation hour till tomorrow?” Mark laughed “We don’t have to have an appreciation hour. I understand, go for it.” With Mark’s go ahead Jack moved his head back to his lovers neck, his fangs elongated his eyes started to glow red. Mark kept his hand on the back of Jack’s head running fingers through his hair.

 

Jack was as careful as he could be biting into Mark, his fangs easily piercing the flesh of his lovers neck. Mark kept running fingers through Jack’s hair. The vampire as always kept in mind just how much blood he was taking, he was slow and careful, savouring every mouthful.

 

When Jack removed his fangs from Marks neck he licked the last few drops of blood from the wound. Mark let out a tired sigh and Jack couldn’t help but chuckle “Okay, come here you.” Mark was quick to cling to the vampire as Jack eased them both into laying down. With the two layed down it wasn’t long before they were falling asleep.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack was the first to wake. Or so he thought. When he woke he realised Mark was no longer in bed. Jack got up quickly looking confused, leaving his bedroom Jack could smell bacon. Mark had gotten up because he was hungry. Of course.

 

Mark was in the kitchen making breakfast for the group, Dan and Phil were apparently getting dressed and ready for the day. Jack had been dead to the world when Mark woke. Currently Mark was yet to actually get dressed, having slept in a pair of shorts last night he woke up really hungry (As was normal after Jack had fed from him). Phil walked into the kitchen greeting the american “Morning Mark, sleep well?” Mark turned to face Phil as he said “Yeah, you and Dan sleep okay?” Phil looked shocked as he looked at Mark, it was at this point that Mark thought about the marks on his neck, bite marks didn’t heal instantly, they would still be visible. Oh fuck! Phil walked over to Mark and placed his hand right on the wound. It wasn’t sore just there, Mark gently pushed Phil’s hand away “It’s erm… Something I’ve had for a long time. No need to worry about it.” Phil cleared his throat “I-I… Sorry dude I just…” there was a pause from the Brit as he backed away “Y-You know what it doesn’t matter. I-I’m going to check on Dan.” Mark didn’t really have time to say anything else before Phil was making his way upstairs.

 

Jack had put a t-shirt on and his ripped jeans as he made his way towards the stairs he heard Phil’s slightly panicked voice “Dan, Dan! For god sakes Dan get up!” Jack knew it was rude to eavesdrop but this sounded important. He stopped close to the door listening. “What is it Phil?” Dan groaned sounding to be half asleep.

 

Phil nudged Dan again as the younger man sat himself up rubbing sleep from his eyes “Dan, I-I think Jack is a vampire and I think he’s feeding from Mark.” Dan was suddenly awake “Wait what?” Phil nodded his head “I saw a bite wound on Mark and he tried to tell me it was something he’s had for a long time! Dan we need-” Dan cut Phil off “Woah, chill okay. For now we only have a suspicion, okay? We can’t do anything based on what MIGHT be a bite wound.” Phil shook his head “Dan, he has no heartbeat!”

 

Jack swallowed thickly, of course… Mark got up to make food and he won’t have bothered with clothes. Phil must’ve saw, shit! But that still didn’t explain how Phil knew Jack didn’t have a heartbeat. Jack made his way downstairs quickly walking over to Mark, Mark was indeed shirtless. Jack licked his lips “Mark, Phil knows and he told Dan.” Mark looked over his shoulder “I’m sorry, I didn’t think.” Jack was clearly anxious “Mark… The way they talked they sounded like hunters! Mark I’m not prepared to defend myself, not when I know they have every right to judge me.” Mark turned and placed his hand on Jack’s shoulder “Jack relax. Even if they are hunters they can’t do anything, I told you it was okay. It was my choice.” Jack let out a long sigh. “Y-You’re right.”

 

Dan and Phil came downstairs Phil smiling at Jack and Mark “Morning, sorry I kind of realised Dan probably hadn’t gotten out of bed.” Mark shrugged “No worries, you two are just in time, bacon’s ready!”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack and Mark were watching TV while Dan and Phil were upstairs. Jack let out a sigh “You don’t think they’re gonna do something do you?” Mark shrugged “I don’t know.” Jack tried to hide himself against Mark as he whispered “What if they hate me?” Mark shushed Jack and held him “They won’t they’re your friends. Tyler and Ethan don’t hate you and they’re hunters.” Jack looked up at Mark as he said “But Ethan is a vampire, does that really count?” Mark shrugged “Ethan is a vampire that works with the L.A hunters because hunters only go after the vampire that deserve it, the ones that kill because they can. You didn’t kill me and you’ve never hurt me. They can’t do anything.” Jack gave Mark as kiss as he said “What would I do without you?” Mark snickered “Worry constantly and probably have more grey hair than you already do.”

 

Jack playfully hit Mark as he said “Asshole, I’m not grey haired just yet.” Mark chuckled “Sure, not yet, but you have more grey hair than I do.” Jack let out a sigh “What if Phil is a vampire… That could explain how he knew I didn’t have a heartbeat…” Mark nodded “Yeah it would.” Jack hummed in thought as he said “I think I know how we can catch them out, but I’m going to need your help.”

 

“Oh?” Mark said with a raised eyebrow “Did Tyler make you bring the dagger he coated in wolfsbane?” Mark nodded his head “Yeah but it’s in my suitcase.” Jack nodded his head “Here’s my plan-”

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Mark and Jack had put their plan into action. Phil wandered into the kitchen as Mark said “Hey Phil! Do me a favour, pass me the knife from that counter next to you, the one with the golden handle.” Phil nodded his head as he said “Sure thing, just let me- AH!” Phil yelped as his hand came into contact with knife. Jack turned around and growled his eyes flashing red “We were right.” Phil’s eyes widened before he snarled “I knew it!” Dan had wandered into the kitchen and Phil was quick to stand in front of him growling at Jack. Jack couldn’t believe it out of everyone in the world Phil Lester, a vampire?

 

He couldn’t focus on that right now. Jack tried to take a step towards Phil but the British vampire hissed and bared his fangs at his eyes flashing red. Jack shook his head “Phil what are you doing?” Phil straightened his back glareing at Jack “You’ve been using Mark!” Jack’s eyes widened at the accusation “What? Using him, using him how!?!” Phil scoffed “Don’t play dumb! I saw the bite marks on his neck.” Jack scoffed “And that means what?” Phil growled, his had himself stood firmly in front of Dan, a protective stance “You bit him! Used him for blood!” Jack was more than just a little offended “So? What does that-” Phil cut the other off as he snapped “You USED him! You call him your friend, worse-! You call him your partner, your boyfriend and you do that to him!?”

 

It was as if all of a sudden realisation dawned on him “W-Wait you think- Phil!” Jack was offended he tried to keep the outrage out of his tone but failed “You think I’d pretend to love Mark just so I could bite him from time to time! Thats low!” Phil growled “Thats all vampires do! They attack and feed on innocent victims, what did you have to do to force Mark into this? Did he even know what he was doing?” Jack’s eyes widened and his mouth went wide at the accusation “What do you even fucking think of me!?!” Mark looked confused “What is he talking about?” Jack looked at Mark and then back to Phil “He thinks that I hypnotised you.” Mark’s eyes were wide “What the fuck!? Phil, Jack is supposed to be your friend.”

 

Mark reaction only seemed to anger the brit more “Likely story.” Mark cleared his throat as he stated calmly  Jack “If Jack was somehow controlling me, why would I have tricked you with the wolfsbane dagger.” Phil shook his head a feral snarl rumbling from his throat. Sensing his boyfriends growing anger (as well as Phil’s) Mark stood in between the two vampires “I told Jack he could! It’s a long story but we have a deal, when I’m with Jack if he needs blood he can ask me. Because all four of us had been busy Jack had forgotten to hunt and he didn’t have any blood in the house, so before we went to sleep I let him bite me.” Dan placed a hand on Phil’s shoulder “Just like I told you Phil, an explanation. Now do you want to calm down.” Phil turned to Dan, his friends blue eyes now glowing red. Dan swallowed thickly, the younger Brit was clearly anxious with red eyes on him and Jack seemed to catch onto something “Dan’s not used to seeing you like this… Is he Phil…” Phil turned back to Jack, his eyes were still red and his fangs had yet to retract “I try not to get like this in front of Dan. I-” Jack stepped passed Mark “You weren’t born like this were you?”

 

Phil shook his head “After a night out with some of the people I lived with at University… I kind of woke up on the corner of a street my head hurt an-” Jack let out a sigh “Turned by a vampire that attacked you for no reason.” Phil folded his arms and looked to the floor “Dan was visiting and I lost it… I bit him and I cou- couldn’t stop… He passed out from blood loss. I thought I’d killed him! I was so upset… After an hour or so he woke up and he was terrified… For good reason.” Jack’s gaze moved to Dan who was still stood behind Phil “I tried to help him, we worked out a way to help with his blood lust, coconut water.” Jack’s eyes widened as he looked a little concerned “You know that's not a permanent fix right?” Phil nodded “Yeah we know, I go out into the woods and hunt every now and again.” Jack nodded his head “Other than the one time you’ve admitted to you haven’t had human blood have you?” Phil shook his head eyes wide and fearful “No! No I can’t! What if-” the panic in the Brit’s voice was clear and Jack placed a finger to his lips silencing him “Okay, so let me explain my situation. My dad is a vampire, my mum is human. Out of all five children my eldest sister and myself are vampires. Our dad taught us all we needed to know and our mum used to let us feed from her now and again. You can feed from humans without a problem so long as you know when to stop, you don’t take more than a pint, which should fill you anyway.”

 

Phil looked surprised “Your dad… So you were born, you know-” Jack nodded “If you want, I can try and help you, teach you to control yourself a little more.” Phil nodded his head. Jack gave the other a small smile “Well, first lesson getting your eyes back to normal and allowing your fangs to retract. The appearance is triggered by two things, instinct or anger. Either way you look ‘normal’ again you need to try calming down. Take a deep breath in, hold it for a couple seconds then slowly let it out.” Phil did as he was asked his eyes slowly turning back to their natural shade of blue, his fangs retracting slowly.

 

Mark smiled at Dan, Dan licked his lips clearly hesitant “I don’t… I don’t have to do what Mark does do I?” Mark, Jack and Phil seemed to reply in unison “No.” Dan looked guilty and Jack could understand why “Mark offers because he wants to and I only ask because I know he’s okay with it.” Dan nodded his head. Phil took hold of Dan’s hand as he said “I would never ask you to do it, never.” Dan’s gaze flickered up to meet Phil’s as Phil gave Dan a kiss. Dan smiled a little guilt seeming to ease for him.

 

“When you were first bitten by a vampire, it was scary right?” Mark asked, Dan nodded “A-A little. Not that I’m scared of Phil I-” Mark cut Dan off before his worries could consume him “I was scared at first as well, Jack lost it because he was hungry and he chased me. But I was able to look past that, knowing that Jack was a friend whom I had trusted for years. Because of that I was able to let Jack bite me. It might take a while to get over the fear and you might never get over it. All you need to know if that Phil is still your friend and your partner, no matter what.” Dan nodded as he gave Phil’s hand a squeeze.

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Present

 

Jack had gotten a little lost in thought, he was snapped back to reality as Chica nudged his hand “Huh?” Phil gave Jack a patient smile “I said, Dan also wanted you to know he got over his fear of vampires, he got over his fear of being bitten.” Jack felt himself smiling “That’s… That’s a amazing!” Phil nodded “It was about a month before you went missing that Dan decided he wanted to work on it, or at least wanted to not be scared of being bitten. So we worked on it.”

 

Jack’s gaze moved to Mark and Phil “D-Dan asked you to-” Phil nodded “Yeah at first I didn’t I would just get close and kiss him or something and when he felt comfortable enough with me being that close, I started actually biting him-” as Phil talked, clearly proud that he’d helped Dan overcome this fear. Jack couldn’t help but rub at the side of his neck. He remembered it, when the hunters showed him how painful a vampire’s bite was… Dan was putting himself through that because of him.

 

Mark saw the way Jack’s eyes glazed over “Phil-” Mark said his tone a little worried. Phil stopped mid sentence and suddenly noticed “Oh no! I-I’m sorry I-” Mark shook his head and gave Jack’s hand a squeeze “Jack you still with us?” Jack was silent and vacant eyed. Mark cursed softly trying again “Jack? Jack can you hear me it’s okay.” Jack blinked a couple times and shook his head before trying to hide his head in lap. He hadn’t let go of Mark’s hand yet, the american gave a gentle squeeze, Jack squeezed back “I-I’m sorry.” Jack apologised weakly sounding like he was on the verge of tears.

 

“You don’t need to be Jack… Ph-Phil didn’t know.” Phil looked confused “K-Know what? Did I put my foot in my mouth?” Jack shook his head “No, no Phil. You didn’t do anything… I just-” Jack let out a frustrated noise “People shouldn’t have to tip-toe around me constantly.” Mark let out a sigh “It comes with getting better Jack, nothing changes over night.” Jack took in a deep breath and let it out “The hunters that took me decided to show me what a vampires bite felt like… Using two blades they stuck them into the side of my neck and held them there… I-I screamed it was so painful… I just… Knowing that’s what it feels like.”

 

“But it doesn’t!” Mark and Phil argued. Mark was confused as Phil said “The vampire that attacked me took blood first, the whole sensation was numb.” Mark nodded in agreement, “You really don’t feel anything Jack, I promise and when we meet up with Dan he can also tell you.” Jack shook his head “I want to believe you but-” it was like his brain wouldn’t let him. It told him that Mark and Phil were friends, they just wanted to cheer Jack up. Mark nodded his head “It’s okay Jack we get it.” Phil nodded his head. Jack licked his lips “Can we… Can we just head off? Not that I’m trying to rush you at all Phil.” Phil nodded his head “No worries we can head off. Brighton here we come!”

Chapter Text

Phil had the radio on for background noise as he drove. Jack, Mark and Chica were in the back, Chica was snuggled up to the vampire and Mark scrolled through twitter on his phone. The internet didn’t know about the move, the internet didn’t NEED to know. They needed to keep the whole thing secret, they wouldn’t mention England and they wouldn’t mention Brighton. Felix had promised to visit once Mark had given the okay. Once Dan and Phil had helped the couple to move in Mark would see how well Jack was coping. That would most likely dictate if Felix visited or not. 

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

The car pulled up outside the new house, Mark gave Jack a gentle nudge as he said “You ready?” Jack licked his lips and nodded his head. As he got out of the car, he could already see Dan and Phil in an embrace. Chica was stood by Jack’s side, her nose nudged his hand, it was reassurance that she was there and Jack greatly appreciated it in return Jack gave Chica head scritches. The dog gave a small bark wagging her tail. Dan’s gave moved to meet Jack’s as he gave the Irishman a wave. 

 

The Irishman waved back managing to force a smile for the other. 

 

Dan could tell it was forced and it made him hesitant. Dan and Phil had been warned about Jack’s mental state, he was still fragile and this journey would be taxing enough of him. Dan wanted to be friendly and open, easily approachable for the Irishman but it wasn’t easy as Mark had warned them. Dan cleared his throat as he said “Hey! How are you?” Jack shrugged a little but gave no verbal reply. Dan offered his hands to Jack, palms up, Jack stared at the hands for a moment. 

 

Mark offered hands to Jack, Mark was safe. 

Dan was offering his hands to Jack, Dan was safe, at least for now. 

 

Jack gently placed his hands on top of Dan’s as he locked fingers, Dan almost pulled back noticing how boney Jack’s fingers still seemed to be. But Jack was showing trust, Mark had said the easiest way to offer comfort was to offer your hands. Jack was holding Dan’s hands. Dan gave the most gentle of squeezes and Jack squeezed back. Dan saw the vampire lick his lips as his gaze flickered up to meet hazel eyes “Hi Dan.” the greeting was just above a whisper but he was talking. Mark looked proud and it made Dan feel proud, in fact, he couldn’t hide it, he beamed at Jack in reply “Hey, good to see you dude, welcome England.” Dan and Jack laughed softly. Mark joined the two as he said “Well, Chica seems to have run inside to investigate, that might also mean pee all over, should we head inside. Dan was nice enough to put all our furniture in the house already so we only need to unpack personal belongings and PJ recommended a Pizza place for us tonight.” 

 

Jack smiled at Mark as he said “That's all… Great… Thanks for the help Dan, y-you too Phil.” Dan shrugged as he said “No biggie, anything for a friend in need.” Jack gave the smallest of nods, he could understand the brits feelings, even now Jack still wanted to help his friends, even if at times it seemed to be an almost impossible task.” 

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

Jack ended up having a panic attack, Mark brought him down but the vampire had insisted he be left alone. Dan and Phil helped Mark to unpack and move some of the furniture around but they soon left and returned to their own home. Mark advised Felix not to visit but he could always DM Jack to talk. 

 

Mark was starting to feel hungry, it was 7 pm. The American made his way upstairs, past Jack’s room to his own (The room next to Jack’s to be precise). As he passed the door he heard a muffled voice and paused “Sean?” Mark turned towards the door and took a step closer “Mark, i-is that you?” 

 

“Yeah, it’s me, Sean, everything alright?” Mark kept his tine calm and as quiet as he could, while still wanting his voice to be heard. “Y-Yeah, I’m better. C-Can you come in?” “Yeah.” Mark’s reply was quick, but not over-eager. Mark entered the room to see Jack sat on his bed, the Irishman’s boxes had been left in his room, it looked like Jack had attempted to unpack but stopped partway. It was an attempt at least. “Heya Jack.” Mark said with a small smile; the vampire in question managed a small smile back “Hey…” Mark was happy to see Jack smiling, smiling was good. “Everything okay?” Mark had to ask, a little worried about why Jack had wanted him in here, Jack nodded his head as he said “I’m better I just… I’m kind of hungry I was wondering when we were ordering Pizza.” Mark laughed softly “Well, funny thing is, I was coming up here to put my pyjama’s on and ask you when you wanted Pizza.” Jack snickered a little as he commented “Great minds think alike.” 

 

Jack stood himself up and made his way downstairs as Mark changed into a pair of joggers. As Mark joined Jack downstairs he ordered the Pizza before sitting on the couch. Sat on the couch Jack was already petting Chica and whispering praises to her. The vampire let out a tired sigh “I’m gonna need to apologise to Dan and Phil aren’t I?” Mark was confused “Apologise?” Jack nodded his head silently, Mark frowned “Why would you need to apologise?” Jack made a vague hand gesture but it was clear that Mark still didn’t know what was happening “I had a panic attack, I should apologise.” Mark shook his head “J-Jack you don’t need to apologise for having a panic attack. Dan and Phil know you’ve been through hell and that you’re still recovering. They aren’t going to judge you.” Jack pulled a face, he looked frustrated but he didn’t say anything. “Jack, you did so much today. You travelled on a ferry! This was the longest journey you’ve been on since the incident. Not only that but Phil got in the car with us and drove us, someone who you haven’t gotten used to being around was in a confined space with you and you were fine. I’m so fucking proud of how much you’ve done today! No one knew how this would go and you’ve done so well.” 

 

When Mark put it like that, he had done well. It’s just that he wasn't thinking about it like that. Jack hadn’t been able to see his accomplishments in the way Mark was able to. Having Mark’s outside view helped to put things into focus a little more. Jack licked his lips as his gaze flickered to Mark “Do you think that maybe… We could sleep together tonight?” Mark blinked a couple of times as he offered “In the same room?” Jack rolled his eyes with a light laugh “Well yes, but… I was more thinking of in the same bed.” Mark was surprised, Jack wanted to be in the same bed after a panic attack? The human shrugged “If you want to, any particular reason why?” Jack shrugged back “I want to be close to you… After everything, I feel safe around you. Being in a new place is gonna be hard enough if I have something familiar then maybe it won’t be so bad.” Mark could understand the others thought process, he nodded with a smile as he said “We can at least try it and if it doesn’t work out then we can… Think about it a little more and work something out from there.” 

 

~~~~____~~~~

 

11 pm 

 

Mark and Jack made sure all of the doors were locked before they both made their way up to Jack’s bedroom. The American made a quick pitstop to his room putting his phone on charge, as the human made his way to the bedroom he could see the door had been left open. Mark entered the room and closed the door softly. Jack gave Mark a small smile and patted the bed next to him. Chica had made herself comfortable on the doggy bed in the corner. 

 

Mark climbed into bed beside his partner and gave him a gentle kiss. Jack hummed his approval “Thanks Mark, for everything.” Mark shrugged as he said “It’s no problem, I get to help you and I get to give you cuddles. We both win.” Jack laughed softly as he teased “Oh, I see how it is. You’re only in this for the snuggles.” Jack folded his arms pretending to be upset. Mark didn’t notice that the Irishman was joking however, worrying that his comment had truly upset Jack and brought back memories of the hunters he was quick to retract “Wait no! That’s not what I was saying, I like helping you, hugs are a bonus, they’re not necessary, I don’t need hu-”  Jack cut Mark off, placing a finger to the American’s lips “Wait, Mark. I’m not mad that you want hugs, I was just teasing a little. I know that you’re here because I asked you to…” Jack trailed off his gaze moving away “I just- I hope that’s not the only reason you’re here.” Mark shook his head offering his hands to Jack's palms up “Never. I’m not just here because you asked me. I care about you and that's why I’m here.” there was a pause before Mark continued “If I’m honest, I’ve always liked sleeping next to you, having you there. It’s nice.” 

 

Jack managed a small smile for his lover as he gave Mark a kiss on the cheek taking his hands “I appreciate it, really, you have no idea how much I appreciate it. I still have doubts and fears that I know logically aren’t real… It’s just after everything-” Jack trailed off. But Mark knew what he was trying to say “That’s why when you have these doubts and worries, I want you to be honest with, to tell me what you’re thinking so I can help you. I will tell you time and again until I lose my voice that I’m here by my choice. That I want to be here for you no matter what.” 

 

The two men settled themselves to lay down, Jack finding himself comfortable laid next to Mark, his head against the human's chest. Mark wrapped an arm lazily around his partner, holding him loosely meaning if Jack felt the need he could easily push the arm away. Mark knew that if Jack was going to panic it was better for Jack to have an easy ‘escape’ whether that meant pushing the arm away or physically pulling away from Mark and keeping his distance. 

 

Mark stayed awake for a while just staring at the roof, it was like his brain didn’t want to settle, he remembered reading somewhere before that it was the unfamiliar environment that prevented you sleeping. An instinctual need for the familiarity of home. Jack gave Mark a gentle squeeze as he nuzzled closer. Mark moved his hand to play with Jack’s hair as he whispered “You okay?” Jack nodded his head as he replied softly “Yeah, just struggling to settle into sleep.” Mark laughed softly “Ditto.” Jack whined as he said, “But sleep.” Mark hummed as he said “Sleep is good, but so is this right now.” Jack looked up at Mark as he snickered “You fucking cheeseball!” Mark stuck his tongue out at the other as he chuckled “You know it. I’m a big ol’ softie, I just want snuggles man.” Jack let out a purr as he seemed to pull himself closer “Then let me give you the snuggles.” Mark gave Jack the gentlest of squeezes as he teased “Jackieboy snuggles are the best snuggles.” Jack laughed softly as he said “Kiss arse, you’re just saying that.” Mark hummed as he said “Well, I might be just a little biased, but I am not just ‘kissing your arse’ I mean it. Your hugs are like magic, you have a real gift.” 

 

Jack lightly tapped Mark as he said “Stop it, you’ll make me blush if you’re not careful.” Mark gave the vampire a kiss on the cheek “You’re cute when you blush, so that’s not really a threat.” Jack looked away and Mark knew when he was pushing too much. He continued to play with his partner's hair as he said “Well, I wouldn’t be opposed to doing this a little more often.” Jack took the bait, the change of conversation “Doing what?” Mark shrugged as he said “Laying here, talking to you. Nothing else going on just me and you, talking.” Jack smiled softly “I wouldn’t be opposed either, you can talk shit for hours.” Jack was laughing softly as he gave Mark a kiss. Mark’s mouth opened in shock but he was laughing “How dare you? Here’s me being cheesy and you accuse me of talking shit.” Jack giggled as he said “Don’t worry, I still like you.” Mark hummed as he said “I suppose that’s a good thing, who else would put up with my constant rambling.” Jack and Mark came to the natural end of the conversation. Mark noticed as Jack seemed to slump against him slightly, leaning into him more, he’d fallen asleep. With the vampire asleep Mark noticed his body suddenly starting to shut down itself, his eyes too heavy to keep open. 

Chapter Text

That Night

 

Screaming was what woke the human, startled Mark made a noise that was something caught between a snore and a yelp, he sat up quickly. That was when he noticed the vampire practically curled up in the corner of the bed, the screaming had stopped but Jack was now sobbing violenting mumbling the same thing over and over “I can’t go back.” “I won’t go back.” “You can’t take me back.” Mark climbed off the bed and knelt down on the floor, having calmed himself down from the initial shock of being woken up by Jack’s screams Mark was now able to focus on helping his partner. Chica had jumped onto the bed and was nosing at the vampire’s arms trying to get them away from his face. 

 

“Sean, Sean, can you hear me? If you can hear me nod.” Mark paused but got no reaction other male, the vampire still caught in his own mantra. Mark swallowed thickly and took in a long breath before letting out a sigh in attempts to force the tension out of his limbs. “Sean, it’s okay you’re at home Sean. At home in your own room. Can you hear me, Sean?” Mark kept repeating his name, kept repeating the word ‘home’; he was hoping to catch the vampires attention. This was all normal and Mark knew all he could do was try to talk Jack down. 

 

Mark kept going and going and going. Forty-five minutes had passed and Jack hadn’t stopped sobbing and was yet to give the American any indication that he’d managed to pull out of his own head. Realising that this was one of the Irishman’s worse panic’s the American tried a different approach, one he’d had to use in hospital in Sean’s early recovery days, singing. 

 

Mark tried to think quickly a song, he needed a song. The first one that came to mind was Anchor by Skillet, he guessed that would do “Drifting beneath the horizon, Body is weak but I'm trying, To make it to shore, but I'm falling short, I need You more.” okay so Mark knew his rendition wasn’t perfect but he was trying. 

 

The further he got into the song the more he noticed Jack’s begging stop, he was sobbing but not as violently. Mark knew better than to mention it and kept on singing 

 

“You are my anchor. So steady me, steady me now. You are my anchor, You're keeping my feet on the ground. In angry oceans, You've never broken through, Every wave of the storm, You are my anchor. So steady me, steady me now. Come steady me, steady me now”

 

As Mark came to the end of the song he needed another one, Diary of Jane? Not as calm a song as Anchor, but Diary of Jane had an acoustic version that was pretty calming to listen to. Okay mental note, tomorrow look up and learn some better songs! 

 

Mark got to the end of Diary of Jane and was trying to think of another. The vampire was no longer sobbing which had to be a good thing. There was a moment of silence between the two before Jack managed to ask “D-Did you just sing Diary of Jane?” Mark laughed a little flustered “Yeah… My musical library is pretty short when I haven’t had any coffee.” Jack snorted “Oh my god you dork!” Mark pretended to be offended “Hey! Have you ever heard the acoustic version of that song? It’s pretty good.” The vampire took in a deep breath before letting it out slowly “I woke you up didn’t I?” Mark shrugged as he said without hesitation “No biggie.” Jack frowned “But it is! I’m sorry.” Mark was shaking his head “I really don’t mind Sean. I want to help you especially when you’re scared.” Jack hunched over trying to hide his lap, knees tucked to his chest “Scared of nothing.” the reply was mumbled with spite aimed at the vampire himself. Mark frowned “Moving was always gonna be hard Jack. You rely on what is familiar, this-” Mark paused gesturing to the room “-may be all of your things, but it’s in an unfamiliar environment. It was bound to trigger you.” 

 

The vampire didn’t reply, he turned his head away. Mark let out a sigh as he said “I don’t blame you and I really don’t want you to blame yourself.” Jack shook his head “I blame me… We’d gotten over this... Okay, I had the occasional nightmare still… I still woke blinded by panic but… Not this bad… How long was I gone for?” Mark let out a breath “Just under an hour… But Jack this was bound to trigger you. Once you get comfortable, get settled the nightmares won’t be there. We got over them once and we can do it again.” 

 

“You think so?” the vampire mumbled, he was looking up ever so slightly and if Mark looked close enough he would notice the flicker of hope in his lover's eyes “I do.” Mark answered with a smile. Jack was slowly relaxing, knees no longer pressed tightly to his chest, head no longer buried in his lap “Do you want Tea or do you want to try and sleep?” Jack hummed in thought before he replied “I think I would like tea… If you don’t mind… I-I know it’s late or early but I kind of like when we get to have a cup of tea and talk.” Mark gave Jack a gentle smile “Then it’s tea we shall have.” Mark stood up sparing a glance at Jack as he asked “Can I kiss you?” there was a pause, Jack clearly giving the question some thought. After a moment the vampire shook his head “N-No. Not right now.” Mark nodded his head as he said “Okay, you and Chica can cuddle for a bit while I go and make tea.” 

 

Chica was already sat in Jack’s lap the vampire absently petting her, after a panic, he tended to pet her for a while, his way of thanking her for helping or at least trying to help. 

 

Mark wasn’t quite as he began to make the tea, mugs were placed on the counter and he searched through the cupboards for teabags and sugar. 

 

Mark returned with two mugs of tea, Jack reached for his with grabby hands. Mark laughed as he allowed the vampire to take it. Mark sat at the opposite end of the bed to the vampire, allowing Jack his space. Jack sipped at his tea before smiling “You’re learning to make a proper cup of tea. I’m proud.” Mark placed his hand against his chest as he said clearly over-exaggerating “Excuse me, sir! I have been making tea for over a year, I had to learn at some point.” Mark and Jack were giggling lightly as they sipped at their tea. 

 

Mark talked aimlessly about whatever sprung to mind, the consistent noise and the familiarity of Mark’s voice helped to calm the vampire, as did the tea. They finished their drinks and Jack had started to chip into the conversation.

 

Mark took hold of Jack’s mug as he placed it on the bedside table alongside his own “Do you want to try to sleep again?” The vampire nodded his head. Mark smiled softly “Do you want to be alone?” there was a moment as the vampire considered what he was asked “N-No. I still want you to stay here, it’s okay…” 

 

Jack crawled over to the human and laid down, Mark waited for Jack to make himself comfortable before he joined his partner and laid down to make himself comfortable. Mark was comfortable his eyes slowly sliding closed. Mark wasn’t quite asleep, that was when he noticed Jack pulling himself closer to snuggle against his lover.