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Never Have To Be Alone

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“Hi mom, I’m home!”

Danny’s voice rang out as the door swung open.  He caught it on his foot, letting it shut behind him.

Silence.  No cheerfully bitchy ‘Hey pussyface’, no shower running, and no sound of Roy taking a nap (snoring) in the disheveled bed either.


Danny stepped further into the room.  Roy’s suitcase was laid out on the coffee table, so he knew he had the right room (reception had a key waiting with his name literally on the envelope).  The blackout curtains were drawn against the street lights, and he paused to let his eyes adjust.


It was possible that he’d gone out, but Roy knew Danny was flying in that evening and they’d been planning to go out together.  He hadn’t even bothered stop in to his own room, sending his luggage ahead with a saucy wink to the cute bellman.

Something caught his attention.  Listening intently and squinting in the low light, he could just make out quiet sniffles and the hitched breathing of someone trying not to cry.  Tossing his backpack carelessly towards the couch - not noticing it miss and land on the floor - he moved around the end of the bed to check the other side.

“Oh, Willow...”

The very few times he’d seen him truly upset, Roy was in motion, tapping his foot and clutching a pillow or pacing angrily.  Instead, he sat with his back to the side of the bed, knees tucked to his chest awkwardly as if he’d simply dropped from where he’d been standing, barefoot and with his hoodie half on.

Danny was on the floor beside him before he even realized it, barely registering the shock of his knees hitting the carpet.  He didn’t acknowledge Danny’s presence, forehead pressed to his crossed arms and face hidden in the shadows.  Unsure of the proper reaction, Danny hovered inches away.  If this was a panic attack, he shouldn’t touch without permission, but everything in him cried out at the restraint.

“B?  It’s me.  I’m here.”

The sniffles abruptly cut off, and he saw Roy’s shoulders go rigid with the effort of containing them.  An  attempt at a wobbly smile when he raised his head made Danny’s heart ache.  There were no tears wetting his face, but his beautiful eyes were swollen and red, dull with exhaustion.  His cheeks and nose were puffy and raw looking, as if he’d been rubbing them for a while.

“Hey pussyface.”

Roy’s normally raspy voice was almost inaudible, cracked and brittle.  

Despite the relative warmth, he was shivering, and Danny reached out to tug the hoodie up from where it was hanging off one shoulder.  It seemed woefully inadequate, and a moment later he pulled the duvet straight off the bed, wrapping it around his body.

“Baby?  What’s wrong?”

Roy shrugged, chewing his lip and shaking his head.


“Fucking bullshit.  You’ don’t gotta tell me, but...”

Danny shifted closer as he spoke, sliding under the duvet and wrapping an arm around his shoulders.  He wasn’t expecting the weight sagging against him, or the way Roy’s fingers clutched at his shirt.

Worry growing, he quickly ran through a mental list of possible causes - not Courtney or Darienne, they’d been active in the group chat when he got off the plane; Jamie ought to be vacationing with his daughter; and nothing on social media about their other friends when he checked on the taxi ride from the airport.  Danny tried to back calculate how long Roy could have been sitting here alone.  His flight should have come in the night before, giving him time to settle in and catch up on sleep.  He’d sent a string of emojis into the group chat a few hours ago as well, and nothing seemed out of the ordinary then.

“It’s not family, is it?  Like-“


“You’re okay?”

Danny kissed his temple, nuzzling the messy hair.

“Sure.  Yeah.”


More suppressed shivers.

“It’s...we, he...”

The fact that Roy couldn’t get the name out was deeply disturbing, never mind that Danny knew exactly who he meant.

“Shit, did something happen to-“

Roy raised his head from Danny’s shoulder enough to give a negative shake.

“Did you have a fight?”

If so, it would be impossibly out of proportion.  Roy was the steadiest person he knew, and whatever had him this shaken couldn’t possibly be minor.  Worse, he couldn’t think of what might have caused such a violently emotional reaction to begin with.  If Roy’s boyfriend had done something to upset him that much, Danny was going to go through the roof and to hell with anger management.

“B, if I need to call him and-“

Roy shook his head again.

“It’s over.  We’re done.”