For how things usually went in Corpse’s life, this past month had been unbelievable. It was bad enough that he found himself a great group of friends, something he never thought possible, but he also ended up in a relationship with the cutest person to ever grace this planet. Corpse didn’t understand what he did to deserve such a wonderful boyfriend, most of the time he felt selfish for it, but he was going to enjoy it while it lasts. Because like everything else that happened to him, it was eventually going to go to shit.
The first month of their relationship went exceptionally well, Corpse had met Sykkuno’s dad about two weeks ago. It was completely awkward since one of them couldn’t talk and the other didn’t know sign language. Since the ladder’s son wasn’t the best at said hand language, it was difficult. But eventually, they got the hang of it and he was a nicer man than he anticipated. Sykkuno had told him how hesitant he was to accept his son being gay at first and that formed a pretty low opinion of his father. He was expecting glares and snide remarks but Corpse could tell that he really was putting in the effort. So for Sykkuno, he was going to be happy for him.
Just like he suspected, Mykie and Rae were able to fish out the information quickly. Mykie found out not even 3 days after the fact, noticing Corpse’s normal screw-the-world attitude had changed ever so slightly. Especially around a certain brunette who also seemed a little too happy to see Corpse. Of course, she also happened to catch them kissing when she oh-so-rudely barged into his room once. Sykkuno had nearly died of embarrassment that day and Mykie teased her brother endlessly for days after. And then, of course, Rae sniffed out their relationship during school. She noticed Corpse’s little glances towards the senior during lunch and since she knew for a fact that he couldn’t hide shit from her, Corpse ended up spilling the details to her. It took a little more effort to convince her not to tell the rest of their friends.
It was October, Halloween was about 3 weeks away and Sykkuno had been insistent on doing a couple’s costume. It wasn’t like Corpse needed much convincing because there wasn’t anything he wouldn’t do for his boyfriend. They weren’t sure what to dress up as yet and that’s why they were currently sitting in Sykkuno’s house, scrolling through costume ideas. It was a Thursday night, at about 6 pm and they had just finished eating. The brunette’s mom was upstairs showering while his dad was sitting on the couch watching TV. Sykkuno was suggesting things that were a little too cutesy for Corpse but every time he looked at him, he just couldn’t say no.
However, the longer they sat there staring at the computer screen, the more Corpse’s mind drifted off. These past couple of weeks, as amazing as they were, also happened to be some of the worst. He couldn’t explain it, there was a lingering feeling of paranoia hanging in the back of his head for weeks now. Corpse felt like someone was watching him but every time he looked back, he would be met with a whole lot of nothingness. It was infuriated but in the end, he chalked it up to his chemically imbalanced brain. And as much as he wished to accept that, he was beginning to think he wasn’t crazy. That may be, perhaps, someone was watching him. It has begun to affect his sleep to the point where he would either pull all-nighters or sleep in Mykie’s room with her. He didn’t want her to know anything was wrong so he would pull the slick move of watching something with her and then “accidentally” falling asleep. He felt like a child sleeping on the floor of their parent’s bedroom. Though, the lack of sleep was beginning to catch up on him.
It’s gotten to the point where Sykkuno has begun to say something about the deep bags under his eyes. But he insisted nothing was wrong because that was the truth. He had no proof something was off and he knows from past experiences that his brain isn’t always the most reliable. Sykkuno wasn’t convinced however but no matter how much he wanted to, Corpse couldn’t bring himself to tell him. In his mind, it was nothing that the senior needed to concern himself with.
“Hey, you okay Corpse?” Sykkuno pulled him out of his thoughts, a comforting hand on his shoulder. He was wearing his mask so all the brunette could see was his eyes. Glancing back at the couch, he had found that Sykkuno’s dad had turned the TV off and probably went upstairs. He couldn’t even remember hearing him leave. So, he took his mask off and set it to the side, staring at the marble pattern on the counter they were sitting at.
‘Yeah, just tired’ Well, at least it was a little truthful. Sykkuno gave him a skeptical look and since Corpse wasn’t one who handled disappointment well, he crossed his arms on the counter and laid his head down, not looking at his boyfriend. He already felt sick for lying but he didn’t want him to worry. The brunette didn’t say anything, instead of reaching over to massage his scalp. Almost immediately, Corpse melted under his fingers, his eyes sliding shut at the euphoric bliss that came from his massage. He wasn’t used to this treatment, he wasn’t used to actually being cared for. And slowly, his body followed suit, allowing the darkness to envelop his mind.
Corpse didn’t know how long he slept. What he did know was that it was the best sleep he had gotten in a long time. He couldn’t explain it, sleeping next to your boyfriend while he’s rubbing your scalp just hits differently. And as much as he wanted to just lay there and enjoy it forever, he couldn’t. Especially when he felt a hand gripping his arm, pulling him from the grogginess of sleep. When he lifted his head to meet Sykkuno’s eyes, he was met with a faceful of tears, the other’s eyes focused on something in front of him. He looked terrified and that expression itself was enough to make his blood pressure skyrocket. Corpse turned to see what had freaked Sykkuno so much. And he felt everything around him.
There, standing in the middle of the living room, was his biological father. One arm hung by his side while the other was raised, the light from the lamp glinting off the silver metal of the gun in his hand. He was swaying on his feet and Corpse immediately knew he was drunk. The front door hung on one hinge, the world outside the dark. The junior grabbed Sykkuno’s arm, pulling him behind him for safety. He hardened his expression, unwilling to allow his father to see what kind of effect he had on him.
“We gave you everything,” He slurred, his free hand coming up to grab his hair. “You had food, a bed, and we fucking suffered for you.” His father took a step forward, and instinctively, Corpse took one back. But that seemed to infuriate the man.
“Don’t you fucking move or I’ll shoot him.” He growled, cocking the gun to let him know he meant business. Sykkuno had since grabbed the back of his shirt. He could feel the shorter man shaking but he couldn’t focus on how guilty he felt. He had to keep Sykkuno safe. “You had it made for you. While your mother and I suffered in jail for being good parents.” Corpse glared, bringing his hands together so sign something he knew he wouldn’t understand.
‘You are not my parents’ He seethed, earning a glare from the man who was supposed to be his father. The next thing he knew, the behemoth was charging for him and the couple had to stumble out of the way to barely miss the swing from his free hand. Sykkuno made a beeline for his phone sitting on the kitchen table and Corpse tried to grab his hand to pull him back to safety. He was barely out of reach.
“You took our life, time to teach you a fucking lesson, faggot.” The deafening sound of a gunshot bounced around the inside of his head, a scream coming from Sykkuno piercing his ears, and a sharp pain coming from his throat as something was ripped out of him. But he couldn’t focus on any of that. First, he needed to disarm the man before him, and then he had to check on Sykkuno. The drawback from the gun gave him enough of an opening to get close enough to grab his father’s wrist that was holding the weapon, pulling it taut and swinging an arm up to hit his elbow, successfully dislocating the joint. In the back of his mind, he registered the sound of footsteps coming from behind him.
Corpse watched the gun drop from his grip, his leg coming out to swipe the elder man’s out from under him. Despite the age difference, Corpse stood at the same height as his father, and while the other man weighed more, the teen had years of self-defense training on his side thanks to Mykie’s dad. Not to mention the alcoholism no doubt took its own toll on his health. The second his back hit the floor, Sykkuno’s dad came into view and jumped on the man, holding him down by the shoulders. He looked understandably furious.
“Corpse, there are zip ties in the drawer next to the fridge.” His voice was low and eerily calm. It was something that honestly terrified Corpse. But he understood what he wanted so he got to his feet, rushing to the drawer he stated to grab the packet of zip ties. He grabbed two, helping him flip his father onto his belly, pulling his arms behind his back. He was struggling but it was pointless against two stronger men. They successfully got him secured and Corpse finally let himself check on Sykkuno.
He was on the ground unconscious, his mom kneeling next to him holding a towel to his shoulder. She was crying, and Corpse couldn’t blame her because he already felt the tears running down his cheeks. Her phone was on the ground next to her, 911 already had been dialed with the dispatcher still on the line in case anything else happened. He dropped to his knees, grabbing hold of Sykkuno’s hand. His face was contorted in pain but he wasn’t responding to any touches. But he was breathing and had a pulse so that was good.
The EMTs and police arrive not even two minutes later, the officers immediately handcuffing his father while the paramedics attend to Sykkuno (one attending to the dislocated elbow he inflicted on his dad). The last thing he wanted was to get in the way of the people helping Sykkuno and he let himself be whisked away by the police, even if he was constantly looking back in the house to see how his boyfriend was doing.
They had placed him in one of the many police cars outside, most likely to ask him what exactly had happened but upon realizing he couldn’t talk, they had to find an officer that knew sign language. They didn’t find one, but there was a paramedic that knew it so they stood by to interpret.
“Alright kid, just tell us what happened and your relationship to the suspect if any.” And so for the next couple of minutes, he told them exactly what occurred, that he was his biological father and his motives for the attack. They wrote down his story and began talking amongst themselves, Corpse’s eyes trailed on Sykkuno’s body attached to the stretcher. They were loading him into the ambulance, his mom trailing closely behind. He wished he could be there with him but he knew that he wasn’t allowed and it wasn’t like he deserved to comfort Sykkuno for something that was completely his fault. And he knew his family would hate him after this, and they had every reason to.
Corpse was crying again by the time his own family pulled up. Mykie was the first one to reach him, throwing her arms around his neck as the two of them just sat there crying. Her parents came shortly after, giving him a squeeze before they began talking to the officers at the scene. The ambulance had since driven off as well as the car that held his degenerate father. Mykie pulled back after a bit, putting a hand under his chin to make him meet her eye.
“How are you doing?” She asked softly. He wanted to tell her everything, how much he wanted to just disappear, and how this had just completely destroyed him mentally. And most importantly, he needed someone to know what he’s done.
‘Sykkuno got shot because of me’ Was all she got from him, wrapping him yet another hug. She told him it wasn’t his fault, that he couldn’t blame himself for this. But he could and he will. His father was trying to get at him and he went through Sykkuno to get it done. How could that be anyone else’s fault but his own? And as they were leaving, Corpse got a glimpse of a beat-up brown car parked several houses down. Everything seemed to click.
All those weeks spent in paranoia wasn’t his imagination. Each time he felt someone watching him, there was always that car in the distance. But it was something that wasn’t significant to his brain at the time. But now, the thought absolutely horrified him. His father was scouting him. He had been watching him for weeks and getting to familiarize himself with his routine. As much as the thought made him sick, he wished that he decided to strike when Corpse was alone.
Sykkuno knew that man before he started talking. He could see the features that he shared with Corpse. The light dusting of freckles on his cheeks, the same nose shape, and even the way his hair curled. It all happened two hours after Corpse fell asleep, his boyfriend snoring lightly in the seat next to him. As messy as his hair was, it was so soft. His reverie was broken by that man breaking down his front door, leaving the piece of wood hanging on a single hinge. From there, everything just escalated.
He could barely process everything that was happening, the words that man was spewing cut him right to his core. He wanted to tell Corpse none of it was true, that they weren’t good parents and he has the family he deserves. But at the same time, he was honest to god terrified to talk. His mind was set on getting his phone. And so he took the first opportunity he got, barely coming within reach of him before the sound reached him and a sharp, burning pain enveloped his left shoulder. He dropped, his eyes shutting with tears as he held his fresh wound. He had never experienced pain like this and Sykkuno could practically feel his body going into shock. The last he remembered was blearily seeing his parents come rushing down the stairs before his world turned black.
When he woke to the smell of antiseptic and blindingly white ceilings, it took a moment for him to recover his thoughts. Initially, he couldn’t remember how he got there but the more he willed his mind to think about it, the more it came back to him. Piece by piece, he was gathering a full story only to realize he has no idea what became of Corpse. The beeping hovering in his eardrums picked up in speed when he shot into a sitting position, immediately causing him to groan in pain as a set of hands gently pushed back to lay down.
“Take it easy, sweetie.” His mom’s honey-like voice reached him, pulling him out of his stupor to look at her. Her eyes were red and puffy, her hair in a messy ponytail, but she was smiling, ecstatic to see that her son was finally awake. “You’ve been out for two days.” But he didn’t care about that.
“Corpse? What happened to Corpse?” His throat was dry and his question came out as a mere whisper, his mom reaching next to her to help him drink his water. He gladly took it, the liquid never being so refreshing before. She wore a worried expression on her face which made his heart skip a beat, something that definitely showed up on the monitor he was attached to.
“He’s not hurt if that’s what you mean. But…” She hesitated, combing out the strands of his hair. “I don’t think he’s doing too well mentally. He told us who that man was.” Her voice was ever so gentle, finally coming to meet his gaze. She was worried about his boyfriend, that much he could tell, and if he wasn’t so worried too he would’ve found it to be sweet.
“Where is he?” Sykkuno would admit that he was a tad disappointed that he wasn’t here. From what Corpse has told him, he didn’t always have the most stable mind and he knew at one point he was suicidal or at least had suicidal ideation. Sykkuno didn’t think he would go that but the anxiety clawing at his chest made him question otherwise.
“Don’t worry, he’ll be back. He’s spent most if not all of the last two days with you. It's very cute, by the way. But he had a doctor’s appointment he couldn’t skip. He should be here soon.” So that time waiting was spent on him getting questioned by a police officer and checked upon by his own doctor. He wasn’t focusing though, his eyes were trained on the open door of his hospital room. Admittedly, the immense pain his shoulder was in since waking up was a huge distraction and he ended up having to ask if he could have some sort of pain medication. They got him some pills, probably Tylenol, he honestly wasn’t sure, and he was at least able to take those without help. Just as he finished swallowing the second pill, his boyfriend walked into the room. Just from looking at him, he could tell his mom was right in every way.
He was wearing the same all-black attire he usually does however the bags under his eyes were prominent, his posture was slouched and defeated, his hair was a mess that looks like he hasn’t taken care of it in days, and his eyes were filled with so little life. Much to his own surprise, he had ditched the face mask and he made a mental reminder to ask later. Sykkuno expected him to smile, to hug him, and say how worried he was and that he was glad he was okay. What he got, however, were two beautiful chocolate brown eyes filled with so much guilt and sadness.
“I’ll leave you two alone.” His mom left a kiss on his cheek before walking out the door, leaving her son staring and his boyfriend who wouldn’t so much as look at him. Eventually, though, Corpse took the seat his mom was once sitting at. Now, his eyes were trained on the tiled ground, twirling the rings decorating his fingers. The silence became too suffocating for Sykkuno.
“S-So, uhm, how was your appointment?” He stuttered awkwardly, trying to get something, anything, out of Corpse. But he was failing miserably, the younger man holding the same position he had since he sat down. Sykkuno felt the tears pricking at his eyes because he just wasn’t sure what he did to upset Corpse. Did he say something that made him mad? Did Corpse blame him for what happened? The doctor said he was most likely going to have a scar once his wound healed. Did Corpse not like that? Oh god, was Corpse going to break up with him?
‘This is my fault. I’m sorry’ Corpse signed after what felt like an eternity, but his head remained unmoved. Sykkuno could see now that his hands were shaking, his knuckles turning white as he gripped his sleeves. He needed a hug, and that’s exactly what he was going to get. So, with very little precaution about his own physical condition, Sykkuno sat up without the support of the bed, slowly swinging his legs over the side so he was fully facing his boyfriend. As soon as his feet came into view, Corpse finally met his eyes. They were tearful and broken but he looked worried.
His wonderfully amazing hands found their way on his good shoulder and side, trying to coax him back onto the bed but Sykkuno refused. Instead, he wrapped one arm (the one he could lift) around his broad shoulders while the other came to rest on his shaking hands.
“I don’t blame you for this, I never could. Your father’s actions are not yours to take the fall for.” Sykkuno whispered into his ear, hoping his words would convince him. But things were never that easy and Corpse pulled back almost as soon as the hug happened. He was still meeting his gaze though, which was good, but this time his eyes were full of desperation. Like he was trying to get him to understand something but he just couldn’t figure out what.
‘He hurt you to get to me’ His signing was sloppier than usual, making it hard for Sykkuno to understand but he was able to piece it together. And when the brunette repeated the same thing he said previously, Corpse let out a huff to show that he was exasperated.
‘How is this not my fault?’ The raven-haired junior was glaring at the bedsheets now. ‘If I had just done a better job of protecting you, you wouldn’t be here.” Sykkuno hated when Corpse said such things about himself, so, in the best way he knew how he decided it had to stop. His good arm came to rest a hand against his cheek, pulling the teen who was in much better shape to bend so they were level before Sykkuno closed the last few inches between their lips. It had done its job of successfully getting Corpse to stop signing such things, instead, those hands came to rest on his hips. His boyfriend didn’t pull away this time and Sykkuno allowed himself to be pushed back onto the bed.
It wasn’t until Corpse drew back did Sykkuno notice he was coaxed to lay down again completely. He shot him a look that could only be described as pouting which earned just the smallest of smiles from the junior but hey, it was better than nothing and the brunette was going to take that as a win. Sykkuno reached over to hold his boyfriend’s hand, they were still shaking after all, and he had to remind himself that Corpse struggles with bad anxiety. The past two days had probably hell for him but now that he’s awake, he would be there for him.
“I’m okay, Corpse. They gave me some pain meds so I don’t hurt as much and I’ll be able to leave tomorrow.” He shot him the most reassuring smile he could, watching the tension slowly leave Corpse’s face. Sykkuno has learned to not cover his mouth around his boyfriend, mostly because the other would literally wrestle him to the floor and tickle him every time he tried. And maybe, just maybe, he was a little more confident in the way his smile looked.
“So, my mom said you stayed with me the whole time.” Corpse blushed at that, a beautiful sight to behold. He remembered when they first started dating, he told Sykkuno he had been self-conscious of the light dusting of freckles on his cheeks and nose because of a previous relationship he was in. And personally, he couldn’t understand why because they were so gorgeous in every sense of the word. That was his little mission; make Corpse like his freckles because the way he blushed accentuated them beautifully.
‘I wanted to make sure you were okay’ Sykkuno’s heart fluttered at the way Corpse rubbed the back of his neck. ‘But your friends were here too’ He signed quickly, acting like that changed anything. It didn’t, but Sykkuno was still appreciative they came to check upon him. When something like this happens, it really tests who your true friends are. Most would probably be put off by the fact some crazed guy after your boyfriend shot you, and while he trusted his friends more than anything, he was happy to know he had such an amazing group of people by his side.
“Our friends.” Sykkuno corrected, earning another small, embarrassed smile from his boyfriend. Sometimes, he would forget that the people they were friends with weren’t just being nice to him because they were Sykkuno’s best friends, but because they actually liked him. Corpse had explained it was a habit he picked up years ago. Another thing added to the list of how to make his boyfriend see he was worthy of people’s love.
Just like the doctor promised, he was released from the hospital the next day. He had to wear a sling until his shoulder healed so as to not cause any further damage. They also prescribed Sykkuno some pain medication because tomorrow and the next day were most likely going to be bad. Corpse said he was going to be with him the entire time taking care of him, which Sykkuno said he could do that himself but who was he to say no. That day the brunette woke up, Corpse asked him to translate something for his parents. He agreed but was quite hesitant to say what his boyfriend wanted them to hear. It was him apologizing to his parents for causing this, forgetting their son shot for something that didn’t involve him, and for not telling him about his past because even though he didn’t think his dad would go that far, he was clearly wrong. But Sykkuno’s mom had waved the apology off, proclaiming that he did everything to protect her son which was more than she could ask for. And his dad eloquently said a 16-year-old was not to blame for the actions of his 40-year-old, deadbeat dad.
Their friends were there when he was discharged, the entire group going to Sykkuno’s house to celebrate. The blood from his injury had since been cleaned and there wasn’t a single sign that there had been an altercation in that living room. But being there still made the bile rise in his throat and from the way Corpse was shaking and the fast rise and fall of his chest showed he wasn’t too any better either. He took his hand, squeezing it with a nervous smile. They would get through this together. Corpse was wearing his face mask again, explaining yesterday that his parents saw his face so he didn’t see a point in wearing it around them but their friends were still in the dark. They did, however, find out about their relationship which was to be expected.
And even though they knew, Sykkuno noticed how Corpse seemed hesitant to touch him. Even if it was as innocent as holding hands or hugging. It took a lot for Sykkuno to accept that it wasn’t because Corpse didn’t want to, it was because he still believed he didn’t deserve the senior, especially after what happened with his father. So Sykkuno tried not to take it to heart, but he would be lying if he said it didn’t hurt just a little bit.
As expected, his friends teased them relentlessly, especially Toast who was fake crying. He was spouting how proud he was like a dad, even giving Corpse a half-assed threat speech. ‘Hurt him, it’ll be 10x worse for you’ sort of thing and even though he hid it behind a shit-eating grin, Sykkuno could hear that there was some truth behind it.
Their friends left at 8 that night, it was Monday tomorrow and they had to go back to school. Corpse lingered at the door, his hands practically glued to his side. He had to go home too but as Sykkuno went in for a hug, he took a step back and waved, before turning on his heel to walk down the street.
The process of healing both physically and mentally was going to be rough, and Sykkuno had to remind him that Corpse needed to heal too. He can’t take his behavior personally. Now he just wished his tear ducts would understand that too.