You hadn’t left the apartment in days, resigning yourself to the confines of your small room. Your hair was ratty, reflecting the lack of maintenance that you had performed on yourself lately. Lately, it was hard enough for you to pull yourself out of bed, feeling weighed down by your own self-loathing.
No matter what you did, it never felt like it was enough. You were always getting in the way, leaping into situations head first when you had no business being there in the first place. There wasn’t a moment in which you didn’t feel alone in your insignificance, like the world would continue just fine without you in it.
When the realization hit you that you were probably even getting in Ignis’s way, of all people, you fled to your home. Every call he sent your way was declined until the voicemails that he left behind were too much for you to bear. Frustrated, you turned your phone off.
He deserves better.
The first couple of days were quiet. You were alone with your thoughts, swimming in doubt and a king sized duvet. As time passed, you found yourself sinking deeper and deeper into the pit of your depression, resting against the familiarity of rock bottom. You almost didn’t want to feel better. There was something satisfying about the loneliness, like you were finally giving everyone else the freedom that they wanted.
On the fourth day, there was a knock on your door. It was gentle, so quiet that you almost didn’t hear it.
You sank deeper into the covers, hiding in a makeshift cave. If you curled in on yourself enough, you thought, maybe you would disappear. Maybe they would leave you alone, and you could be in solitude once more.
A few moments passed in silence, and you were beginning to believe that the visitor had left, but your apartment door creaked open. Peeking from under your duvet, your eyes searched for the intruder, body tensing when you saw a familiar figure.
His glasses shone under the dim lighting of your home as he worked his way towards your room. You were frozen in place, a statue of yourself watching as the man you loved found your still form.
“Y/N,” his voice was nearly a whisper when he saw you, concern pooling in his eyes, “Where have you been?”
“It doesn’t matter,” you croaked, “Go away.”
“I’d rather stay,” he responded, pulling the duvet from your body with gentle hands, “If that’s alright.”
You forced yourself to sit on the edge of your bed, head hung low as you remained silent. He was worried about you. You hated it when he worried.
Sighing, he lowered himself to sit by your side. You felt one of his hands snake around your side, the other reaching for your hair. For a while, the two of you sat in silence, enjoying the other’s company. When he finally spoke again, you could feel the concern in his voice.
“It’s been rather lonely without you,” he said quietly, fingers working at a particularly nasty knot in your hair, “I’ve missed you.”
“I’m sure it’s been easier, though,” you muttered, “I hate to be a burden.”
“You’ve never been a burden,” he replied.
“I’m always a burden.”
His hand tightened around your waist – you could feel his eyes on you, searching for an opening.
Your mind was screaming. Why would you point it out? What if he leaves?
Heart racing, you turned to look at him.
What if he wants to leave?
“You can go, if you want,” your voice was small as you made the suggestion, “I wouldn’t blame you, really.”
His eyes widened for a moment before relaxing, his lips turning upwards into a comforting smile.
“I could never leave you, Y/N,” his words rang with sincerity, “I love you.”
You couldn’t stop your mouth from moving.
You let your eyes travel across his features as he thought, brows furrowed as he concentrated on his answer. You had memorized the hollows of his cheeks. You could draw a map of his lips. Without breaking a sweat, you could navigate the oceans in his eyes.
You didn’t deserve him.
“There’s something special about you,” he began, hands still weaving through your hair, “Your presence, in itself, relaxes me.”
You noticed now that his hair was tousled, as if he had ran his fingers through it too many times. The front of his shirt had come untucked, revealing wrinkles that he must have missed with his iron. The cool, collected Ignis that you knew seemed to have come undone in your absence.
“Special?” You repeated, solidifying the thought in your mind. He thought you were special.
“Of course,” he removed his hand from your hair, reaching for one of your free hands, “You mean a great deal to me, Y/N.”
His thumb rubbed circles into the back of your palm as he bore his heart to you, soothing the monsters in your soul. Slowly, you relaxed.
“You’re worth more than you will ever know. I couldn’t bear to be without you.”
His voice was begging for you to believe him, and little by little, you did. Ignis loved you for all that you were, even during the worst of times. He wanted you here, with him, for as long as possible.
More than anything, he loved you.
A small voice was still in the back of your mind, shooting pellets of negativity into your thoughts every few moments, but you pushed it away. You didn’t deserve him, but you wanted to, and for now that would be enough. You were enough.
“I love you,” you whispered, “I love you so much.”
“And I love you,” he replied as he stood from your bed, keeping your hand in his own. Gently, he pulled you to your feet, “Let’s get you cleaned up, shall we?”
Nodding, you followed him to your bathroom, watching him as he rummaged through the various drawers by your sink. In front of you stood the man you loved, and in turn, the man who loved you. The stars you saw in his eyes mirrored the ones he often found in your own. The pounding in your chest each time he drew near was in time with his own heart, thumping in a rhythm unique to the two of you. You belonged to each other.
After several minutes, he found your hairbrush. With a gentle smile, he allowed you to sit down and resigned himself to detangling your hair. Letting out a contented sigh, you closed your eyes.
“Y/N, darling,” he called, to which you responded with a soft hum.
“Please, don’t disappear like that again.”
You smiled, allowing your eyes to remain closed as you focused on the gentle tug of the hairbrush on your scalp. You had a feeling that you wouldn’t be hitting rock bottom again anytime soon, with Ignis around. You were going to be okay.