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What A Wonderful World

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Waking up is never a familiar thing, at first. Whenever he opens his eyes enough to register that he’s safe in his bed, it becomes comfortable, it becomes mundane.
There is no cure, however, for the panic blossoming in his heart when he suddenly wakes to peculiar surroundings- a white room, accented with powder-blue, heavy cream comforters, free-fluttering lace curtains; strangest of all, an assemblage of cobalt roses, a few breaths away from withering away like all sense of his familiarity.

A purposeful knock echoes throughout the room, breaking the almost-medical silence. Without warning, a throb of pain reverbs through the bed’s occupant. He jolts, feebly whispering, “Who..?” before the door swings open.

“Ah. You’re awake.” A voice, suave, dripping with a venom that surrenders all ability of the listener to do anything but trust.

Now, anyone else who might have awoken in such a predicament would likely demand answers, but Will found himself too polite for such actions; besides, as he pondered, memories of this voice and whom it belonged to began to surface among the hazy smoke of pain dulling his mind.

Entering the room is suddenly exactly who he expected, tall and handsome; the past months rush back to him, and suddenly he feels stupid for being afraid. Stanford would never hurt him.
Will’s right hand strays up to move what he assumes is a mess of hair that has fallen in the way, obstructing one eye’s vision. An audible gasp slips from his lips as his fingers brush the unmistakable stiffness that could only be a bandage.

“Did you forget?” Stanford approaches the bed, his subtle smirk falling flat as Will quickly scrambles as far away from him as he possibly can. Fear flashes in the smaller man’s eyes as his back bumps the wall.

“Don’t treat me like this, William. After all I’ve done for you?”

“I...” Will shifts uncomfortably against the over-achieving stack of pillows propping him upright.

“You,” Stanford interrupts, “look upset. What’s the matter?” Glancing around, his gaze pauses on the wilting roses. Will follows his eyes, absently chewing at his lower lip.

“Is it the flowers? I will dispose of them immediately.” He reaches out, aiming to grab the drying blooms from their perch on the side-table; Will’s pale hand darts forwards without a thought, grasping Stanford’s wrist gently.

“Leave them,” he whispers. “You brought them for me, right?”

Stanford nods, withdrawing his reach and maneuvering his leather-gloved hand to intertwine with Will’s. “Yes, and I can just as easily bring you fresh ones.”

Will shakes his head. “No. I like these.”
A long moment passes. Stanford regards him quizzically, intense dark eyes seeming to poke through to his very soul, their hands squeezed together with the intensity of an uncertain future.
“Very well,” finally comes the response.
Will carefully pries his hand away from Stanford- who doesn’t seem to notice- smiling sweetly at him all the while.

“I just came to check in on you. Such a taxing... operation has different effects on people.” Stanford doesn’t move any closer this time, simply standing by the bedside.

Trying to ignore the sense of uneasiness clattering around in his head, Will nods, smiles, studies his companion’s face. He watches the way Stanford trails his eyes over him, watches the way his lip curls with the smugness of a smirk when his gaze reaches the bandage, watches the way he straightens his dark blue vest and pivots on his heel without another word.
Will looks away.
A loud click signals his exit, and suddenly Will is alone again; he finds himself wishing desperately for Stanford to come back, to tell him it will all be okay, to tell him his fears are ridiculous, to tell him his eye wasn’t stolen.
William glances again towards the blue roses.
Stanford would never hurt him.