Adam parrish has spent his entire life alone.
From hiding from his father alone to moving out on his own to going to sleep alone every night, wondering if he would ever not be alone. He didn't mind being alone, of course, it was all he had ever known, so it didn't bother him.
But then Ronan Lynch kissed him in his childhood bedroom and Adam was suddenly not so alone. It was Ronan picking him up and dropping him off at school and work and Nino's with Gansey and Blue and Henry and Ronan and feeling like he was no longer a one man army. All around him people were opening up and he was, too.
Of course it didn't mean that everyone still wasn't dealing with the aftermath of the demon, that Ronan wasn't still mourning for his mother, that Gansey wasn't learning how to deal with the loss of Glendower, and Blue with the knowledge that she killed Gansey, and Adam with the knowledge that he almost killed Ronan, would have killed Ronan, if his friends hadn't been there.
Adam Parrish has spent his entire life alone, but was no longer alone. It was a mantra that he sang in his head when days were hard, and even when they weren't, just to delight himself in his little secret that people cared about him.
But on nights like this, his mantra could not help him.
He was holed up in the hallway bathroom at the Barns, curled up against the door heaving into Ronan's hoodie that he normally went to sleep in.
He had had a nightmare that he had actually killed Ronan with his hands, and no one was there to stop it. He had awoken shaken and tear stained, and ran to the bathroom before Ronan could wake up.
What he wanted so desperately now he would not permit himself to have, Ronan. He wanted to curl up in Ronan's lap and sob into his neck and be held by Ronan.
But he could not have such a thing. He would not let himself break down in front of Ronan. He was not alone anymore, but he couldn't let his boyfriend see him like this.
Adam had been having the same nightmares for months, ever since the event itself had occurred, and he had not seemed Ronan for comfort during any of his episodes, not once, no matter how much he yearned to.
Ronan was so kind and warm, Adam wanted to bury his nose in Ronan's neck, and this thought only made him sob harder into the hoodie.
Curled in a tiny ball, with his face covered, Adam cried.
He hated himself for hurting Ronan, who had gifted him lotion and dreamed beautiful things for Adam and took him to shitty diners and when Adam said that he had never been to a movie theater, Ronan took him to see IT and bought him popcorn. Ronan was so good to him and in exchange Adam was crying in his bathroom at four in the morning when he had to get up in an hour to get ready for school.
Adam wanted to go home, well, he wanted to stay, but he didn't deserve to stay and cuddle with Ronan through the night when he was such a terrible person. Adam abruptly took off the hoodie.
He didn't deserve it.
This made Adam cry harder. He loved Ronan's hoodie. It smelled like Ronan and it was so warm and soft. He loved that it was like carrying Ronan around with him.
Adam had been crying so hard that he hasn't noticed that Ronan was right outside the bathroom until he heard the knob turn unsuccessfully, and then a quiet knock.
"Adam?" Ronan asked.
Adam froze. He was caught.
" Adam open the door." Ronan said softly.
Adam tried to stiffle his sobbing, but he couldn't stop crying. He would not let Ronan see him like this. "Open the door, I know your in there."
Adam would do no such thing. He thought about how this might play out. He could open the door and be comforted, but then Ronan would know that he was having nightmares and he would make it his job to get rid of Adam's nightmares. Or he could stay in the bathroom until Ronan gave up and act like it never happened.
He decided that he would do the second one. Ronan didn't need to be worrying about Adam's nightmares when Ronan's were so much worse. Adam was just being melodramatic, was all. Nothing super bad, it was just that Adam was much too sensitive for his own good, he reasoned.
"Adam, I know your in there, open the goddamn door." Ronan said.
Adam let out a stray cry and shoved the hoodie back on. He didn't care if he didn't deserve it, it was so fucking warm and Adam needed comfort.
He hated himself for not being able to open the door. He hated that he was scared that Ronan would decide he was too much work to maintain and leave him. He just, he just,
Wanted. Wanted to be able to open the stupid door and let Ronan in and let himself be held. But he couldn't, he was too much of a coward. " I'm not leaving, Parrish." Ronan voiced from the other side of the door.
With a heaving breath, Adam unlocked the door.
He saw Ronan Lynch step in and shove Adam a couple inches by moving the door. Ronan was wearing nothing but boxers and a worried expression. When he took in the disaster that was Adam Parrish, his eyebrows furrowed further. He closed the door and say down next to Adam against the door, and pulled Adam into his lap.
Adam started to cry again, harder this time, because god dammit Ronan was so warm and his strong arms were wrapped around Adam with one hand running through his hair and his cheek pressed against the top of Adam's head. Adam nuzzled Ronan's throat. " I know you've been having nightmares," Ronan said as he continued to stroke Adam's hair, " I don't know how you don't think I hear you get up every other night, but I didn't know they were this bad."
" M'sorry, I can't help it." Adam retorted through his tears. " Sweet thing, I'm not mad, don't apologize. I just wish you would tell me when your feeling like this. Your not alone Parrish. I wish you would stop acting like you were." Adam shivered at the nickname Ronan had for him. They weren't nickname people, but this special name was the one thing that Adam didn't thing was super cheesey and was sweet.
Now that Adam was in Ronan's arms, Adam didn't know why he was so scared before.
" Its a force of habit," Adam started, " I've been alone for so long that I don't think I know how to be on a team."
" s'okay, we can work on it."
Ronan didn't make Adam tell him about his nightmare, they just sat there until the sun rose and he knew he would be late for school but for once he didn't care, school was almost over anyway, finals were over.
They had been sitting there for at least an hour when Ronan stood up with Adam in his arms and carried them back to Ronan's room.
As Adam stared at Ronan, and Ronan stared at Adam, he had the sudden urge to tell Ronan how much he loved him, but he kept his mouth shut. It was too soon for Adam to make a love confession, even if it was true.
Ronan ran his hand down Adam's check as Adam's eyes got lower and lower over his eyes.
Adam might still be struggling, but he wasn't alone.
When he fell asleep, he had dreams of hooves girls and majestic dreamers.