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my night wasn't the best, either.

Chapter Text

Leo POV

It was another hard night. I was on my bed, violently shaking, crying, thoughts whipping around inside my mind and I couldn't feel anything, but at the same time I felt like I was painfully falling fast, and all the voices were screaming. I was so tired of this. It was sometime early in the morning, I knew, and I was all alone. No one to ease me out of this panic attack. The man who was supposed to be my soulmate and lover who slammed the door on me and punched me until I bruised, was the one that I still wanted. He left me when I was weak. What was wrong with me?

I stayed like this for over twenty minutes, but it felt like eternity.

When the hell was over, I laid sprawled out on my bed, still slightly shaking and crying. I wanted someone to hold me, make me feel like my already messed up life that I knew was messed up was okay. I didn't know how I was going to deal with this anymore. I couldn't. The one person that I thought loved me betrayed me. The one person who I was so close to and that I knew I loved, was my mother, and she died over two months ago; and I don't have any family left. I was supposed to pay my bills for my apartment, but soon enough, I wasn't going to be able to do that. My boss fired me from my job shortly after I lost my mother, because 'my sadness affected others.' That was fine. I didn't need a job. But I sort of did.

No one would remember me if I left, I mean. I would just be the unknown body found beneath the bridge, death of an apparent suicide. I wouldn't have to deal with anything, would I now? Nothing would matter. Just the cold air of the fall weather we were having piercing through my skin as I fell up above from the bridge, onto the sharp and icy rocks meeting me at the bottom, along with the harsh and freezing water splashing around them, and shortly, onto my own lifeless body.

I realized that I was still on top of my bed, my body tense, eyes wide, beads of sweat starting to form on my forehead. I was frozen. Had I just been thinking of killing myself? 'Yes, you have', my mind scolded himself. Because what else was I supposed to do? I glanced over at my bedside table with the digital clock on it.

It read 3:43 am.

I figured that if I ended up doing to do something, the ideal time would be now; while everyone in my small Wisconsin town was asleep so I wouldn't have to hurt anyone. I don't want someone to suffer because of me. I'm trying to take out the suffering from this world by leaving it, not causing more. So I decided to do something about it and not be a coward like everyone said I was.

I slowly got out of my bed, knowing that these breaths that I was taking, these steps, would be some of my last. That absolutely terrified the crap out of me. I hated thinking about this stuff because then I would end up going into a dark and lonely space where it was all scary thoughts on why we were even here, and it was hard for me to get out of it. It sounds cliche, but it was so scary and surreal to me. But now, it was all for real. My existence wouldn't be here, and no one would ever know me. Where would I even go after I died? The uncertainty of it all scared me until I was shaking, unable to escape my own mind.

I looked down at my wrists, my shaky hands moving the bracelets that covered them. Scars, all from self harm. I also looked down at my ankles, at my stomach, at my thighs. They all had self harm on them. I didn't exactly feel anything when I looked at them like other people did. I just always felt numb after looking at them; the damage already had been done, both mentally and physically. I also noticed on my wrists the fresher cuts that I had made, recently. When he left. That was one of my worst nights, and the cuts were so deep and intense I had to bandage them up and almost called someone, but I knew I couldn't do that.

All the pain would be gone soon enough.

I slipped on a plain navy blue t-shirt, and gray sweatpants. I figured that if the fall didn't kill me, the cold would eventually, so there would be no room for error. No one would be up, so that took that threat out. Everything else was okay; nothing needed to be done after I left the house. I didn't need a suicide note, because like I said, no one would remember me, no one would read it and be that affected by it if they were someone related to me.

Walking out the door, I took one last look at the apartment complex. The light no one had bother to fix was still out, and I couldn't help thinking that the light was sort of like me. Fixable but no one wanted to take the time to do so. But then I stopped myself because that was dramatic and I hated being dramatic, it made me look like an idiot.

I turned away from the complex and walked on, down the small flight of five concrete stairs and off down the sidewalk. The walk to the bridge was only five minutes away from here.

Five minutes of complete torture. I was a wreck, crying, coughing, shaking, mess. But now I was standing right in front of the rail that was supposed to guard someone from falling, but really, anyone could easily climb over it. I felt like someone was watching me, so I slowly looked over to my right, hoping that it was just paranoia.

There was someone there.

He was quite a bit away, and I didn't know if he could see me. Or at least, I think it was a he. The man looked about my age, like 20, was wearing a jacket, and a yellow scarf loosely wrapped around his neck. He looked like he was looking out onto the water, but it also was a possibility that he was looking at me. I doubted that though, why would he care about me? I was just a random stranger off the street. He doesn't know me. I could be a murderer for all he knew. But then I remembered that no, I didn't want to hurt someone by leaving right in front of them. I didn't want to ruin someone's life just because I was a selfish person that didn't bother to make sure no one was watching.

But at this moment, this was something that I had to do, something that was aching in my bones and mind that was slowly luring me over the rail, my physical body unable to stop the urges. I was crying harder than ever, which I didn't realize, but what I did realize was that my hands were sweaty, gently holding onto the edge of the rail. It would be easy just to slip, and be falling, and everything gone far away. I was ready to jump when I felt a hand on my wrist, and I yelped, almost losing my balance and falling. The person that grabbed me took his other hand and put it on my other wrist, and whispered to me, "don't do this."

"Why not?" I whispered back, almost so silent that I wasn't sure he could hear my hoarse voice.

"Because you'll regret it."

"I'll regret nothing." I suddenly snapped, and I felt sort of downcast for doing it, but if he hadn't interrupted me, I wouldn't be here, and I wouldn't have to suffer for all these extra seconds, minutes, maybe even hours after I had been so sure of my decision.

"I don't want you to leave."

"You don't even know me."

"I know that I want you to live."

He then let go, and I was about to finally jump, my right hand leaving the cold metal 'barrier', when he quickly said, "don't do that. I know what you're doing. Talk to me. We can work this out."

I rolled my eyes like a teenage girl and instead decided to sit down, on the thin ledge, just in case. Me jumping off this bridge isn't a closed case. But then I feel him slide his jacket around me, and at first, I don't accept it, but my body's automatic reaction to warmth beats me to it.

"Come home with me. Leave the edge."

It is only now that I turn around to look up at him, carefully maneuvering myself, and I realize that this was the man that I saw, the man that I saw that I thought wouldn't be a threat. I let out a small, almost inaudible growl of anger because I could be dead right now! I wouldn't have to be dealing with this right now! 'There's still time,' the voices remind me. They are right. I have plenty of time. So I make observations instead. The first thing that I noticed was his eyes, an electric blue color that sent shivers down my spine. He didn't have blonde hair though like you would think he would have, it was more of a brown color instead. It was messy, looked like it was a long time since his last haircut or from when it had even been styled; if it ever was. The man put his warm hands on my cold, shaky ones, and repeated himself, "come home with me."

"You don't want me around," I replied, suddenly becoming hardcore self-conscious, automatically removing my hands from his and wrapping them around me, my anxiety levels rising, and I say more quietly, "you don't want me around."

He jumps on that and says back, with an almost pleading voice, "I could have let you jump from that ledge, and I didn't. Come home with me, please."

Well, that was true. If the man truly didn't care, he would have let me die. I realize that I'm screwed, so I sighed, looking down at the sharp rocks and cold water one last time, and climbed back over, averting my eyes from his and instead deciding to look at the ground.

"Follow me."

I resisted against turning around and jumping, which I very well could have done, but I didn't want to betray him, so I didn't. I then all of a sudden felt like crap because I noticed he was shivering and that I was wearing his jacket; wait, when I did I take his jacket? Or did he give it to me? I don't remember. 'Take it off and give it to him, idiot. He's suffering because of you right now.' So I carefully took my jacket off so that he didn't hear the rustling, the cold rushing into my skin, and I walked faster so I could be in the same stride of him. Still walking, I wrapped it around his shoulders and hoarsely said, "sorry. You can have your jacket back. I didn't mean to take it."

He smiled, which I hadn't seen him do, and now really looking at his face, he was sort of cute, and then he said, "it's fine. You can have it, and you didn't take it. I gave it to you."

I felt even worse and dodged his attempt at him trying to put the jacket on me, (probably looking like a little kid) and made a small sound out from my anxiety. I tend to do that and, honestly, I don't know why. If it's loud then sometimes I end up making sounds that I don't want to, and I look weird to others. I notice he doesn't look at me indifferently when the noise comes out of my mouth, only frowns because I won't let him put his jacket on me. Whatever. He's going to have to deal.

Feeling slightly better about myself, I keep behind him for the rest of the walk and almost collide into him when I realized that he stopped in front of a brick apartment building, and he says, "this is where I live."

I say nothing, and he opens the door for me so, I go inside. I awkwardly wait for him to go in front of me to lead me to his apartment, and when he does, I stare at the back of his head as he takes me to the location.

After we are inside, my stomach churning because I can sense the tension in the air, he invites me to sit down. I carefully sit down on his small couch, and he sits on a different chair to give me space, which I appreciate because I don't feel well right now. My mind is slowly unclouding, and my anger is equally slowly rising at the fact that I could be dead right now and not have to suffer anymore in this stupid world.

He breaks the silence and says, "I'm Andy. What's your name?"

I hesitate, because I've just met him, and I'm scolding myself for not looking at him or his apartment more closely to see if he might like, kidnap me, or something? I don't know, but I feel extremely trapped right now and unsafe. I decide not to lie about my name despite everything in me telling me otherwise, so I roughly say, because my voice still isn't the best from all the crying, "Leo."

He faintly smiles and looks off somewhere not physically in here, and quietly says, "that was my brother's name. Before he died."

My attention level goes up, but instead of asking him about his brother, I instead change the subject and ask, "why were you at the bridge in the first place?" I glance over at the clock to check the time. "it's four-thirty in the morning now."

He snaps his attention over at me, looking up, and not where ever he was, and says, looking down, "my night wasn't the best either."

Chapter Text

Leo P.O.V

I look into his eyes, trying to read him, but now it's his turn to avoid my gaze. I don't say anything, and I feel bad.

I sit in complete torturous silence, silently pleading for him to start a conversation because I think I'm going to have an anxiety attack from how overwhelming the quiet is, the voices inside becoming louder and louder, but outside, silence. But the voices were heavier than the silence.

Finally, he says something, gets out of where he was, and asks, "how did you end up at the bridge?"

Again, I could lie. It takes everything from me not to because everything's telling me not to trust Andy. But he looks nice, both in a personality-way and to be honest, in a good-looking way too. Looks like someone that could be trusted, I argue over everything crashing around in my head. However, it only makes it worse; now it's hard for me to think and I don't remember what he just asked me. I must have looked out of it because he repeats himself and asks with a slight stammer, "how did... y-you end up at the bridge?" then he hastily adds, "if you d-d-don't mind s-saying. Sorry."

Oh, sweet Mary Joseph. I don't want to answer this question, not right now. My eyes nervously dart around the room looking for an escape route if I need one, and out of nervous habit, I start scratching the back of my hands and bouncing my knee, desperate for something to bring me back into this conversation and not let the anxiety take me away. Andy notices and says, "you don't have to tell me. It's fine, it really is."

But it's not 'fine,' so I keep on scratching though, harder this time, trying to force myself to tell him, and I'm making sharp movements with my head that I can't control, and I keep on readjusting my posture. I know he's staring at me, judging me, wanting me out of his apartment, wishing he never picked this hell of a person up. I know he's trying to figure me out. But my eyes keep their distance away looking into Andy's and they, instead, keep on wildly looking around his apartment, more often than not looking at the window and the door painfully needing to leave and calm down.

Harder than I've scratched them before, I do one more hard swipe on my right hand, and I'm bleeding now, but manage to say on the verge of crying very quickly, the words almost slurred together, "I was there because there's nothing left."

At the sight of the blood, he pops up from his seat and rushes over next to me, takes my hands, and despite his fast tone he gently says to me, "hey, hey, it's okay, you're okay. I'm sorry. You should have told me when you were ready. I shouldn't have just bluntly asked you. That was my fault."

I ignore Andy's attempt to calm me down because it only makes me more uneasy, this wasn't his fault, and I desperately ache to take my hands away from his, and I'm shaking again. I accidentally let out a small high pitched whine in during trying not to cry, and I feel like dying. I did not just whine in front of Andy, but the problem is that I did and he probably thinks I'm both an idiot and a child now. That's flipping wonderful.

Andy P.O.V

I could tell he was uncomfortable because he was bouncing his leg up and down and scratching at his hands, which I hadn't seen anyone do before. It hurt, seeing him like that, and I was stuck, and I didn't know how to help him. But now he was scratching harder and harder, and on one of his hands, there was blood, so I swore inside of my head and quickly jumped up and went over to him. He wouldn't look at me, kept on darting between looking at the door and window. Oh. He was trying to find a way out; I'm an idiot for not noticing that in the first place. He most likely felt trapped, and to be honest, it wasn't the most unexpected reaction, of course. I took my hands and held his, which might have been too intimate for someone that I just met and the same for him, but I wanted to show him that it was okay.

I don't think it had the effect I wanted.

Leo now looked like he wanted to crawl up inside himself, and he was shaking, biting his lip so I think he wouldn't start crying, so I let go, and his uncertainty dropped a little bit. Okay, mental note, he doesn't like to be touched when he's unstable like that. That's fine. I just wanted to hold him until he felt better, make him feel loved and show that he deserved to be here and not at the bottom of the bridge, his body broken and lifeless on top of the icy rocks. Suddenly he let out a whine, which I wasn't expecting, but now I'm realizing that he probably was trying not to cry and that I was most likely making Leo worse by the second and I feel like crap for doing so. Nice going, dude, I think to myself.

I whispered to him, "let's go bandage your hand, okay? We don't want it to get infected."

Leo didn't say anything but did stand up when I carefully pulled a little at his wrist to indicate to do so. Still avoiding my eyes and continuing making small sharp movements out of anxiety but not scratching his hands anymore, he followed me into the bathroom.

But what I saw made my stomach clench and my eyes widened. Crap. There was a razor blade on my counter. When had I forgotten to put that away? When did I take that out in the first place? I don't remember right now, but holy crap. Crap, crap, crap. I can't have Leo see that. I hurled myself over by the counter, took the blade, and quickly shoved it into the drawer beneath it. Okay, I knew he definitely, sure as hell, saw me react, but I'm not sure if he saw the razor blade. I hope he didn't.

So I instead turned around, and Leo wasn't shaking anymore, but instead was looking up into my eyes, focused, trying to read me or something. Shit. He must have seen it. How couldn't he have? Now I'm screwed.

Leo P.O.V

I didn't want to get up; I didn't want Andy's help. I just didn't want to bother him or waste his time on me, but when he reached down and tugged on my wrist, I got up anyway. I was so tired of denying everything, and I didn't feel like struggling.

Anyways, I followed him, and on the short way there, there were pictures on his walls of Andy and who must have been his brother, because he looked just like him except younger and had glasses. That slightly calmed me down for some reason, seeing them. The same dark, messy hair and the same radiant blue eyes. I didn't realize we were in his bathroom until Andy reacted to something and sprang on top of it then rushed to put it in the drawer beneath it. What was that reaction supposed to be? What was he so desperate to hide that I couldn't see?

Andy slowly turned around and said, "Why don't you sit on the bathtub? I'll get the bandages and stuff out, but they're in my kitchen. Is it okay if I leave you here for a moment?"

"Sure, that's okay," I replied.

He left, and I feel bad for doing this, but I had to see what caused such a horrible reaction from him so, I got up and carefully opened the drawer he closed, and it had, you know, random stuff, Q-tips, a comb, wait-

There was a razor blade on top. No, no, no.

That was what he was trying to hide.

I stood in front of the drawer in awe at it, because certainly, Andy wouldn't self-harm? But he looked so put together?

Oh, you idiot. That's why he was there at the bridge. He said he wasn't having the best night either.

All of a sudden, there is a small voice behind me, but it is Andy's. Shit. "Leo?"

I look over at him, and he has the bandages and stuff, but he also has a hurt facial expression. "why were you looking in there?"

I know he knows. I know that he knows why I was looking in there, but I am a deer in headlights, stuck, unable to form words.

He breaks the silence. "Why don't you sit down on the bathtub and I will fix your hands?"

He is the master of changing the conversation. But he can't hide the fear and the unsure factor of his voice. I go and sit down, and I feel horrible. I knew I shouldn't have done that. He probably hates me now, and I don't blame him. That was a pretty shit move of myself.

On the way over to me, he closes the drawer and looks a little too long inside it. Andy then bends down on his knees and takes my right hand, the one that was bleeding, and starts silently bandaging it.

Andy P.O.V

I find the bandages and Neosporin in the drawer with a bunch of other mismatched things, and make my way over back to the bathroom, and what I see Leo doing is something that I didn't think of, something that a bundle of cursing went through my head when I saw him.

He was looking inside the drawer that I had hastily shoved my blade in.

I watch him for a few moments and see the look of pain on his face, so I say quietly, "Leo?"

He turns around and looks absolutely mortified when he sees me. He's been caught.

I try not to look hurt but I don't think it's working, and I ask him so quietly it was softer than a whisper, "why were you in there?"

I know why he was in there, of course. I'm not an idiot. I shouldn't be surprised he went in there. But here we are.

I don't feel like talking about it, so I say as a distraction because the tension is getting thicker by the second, "why don't you sit down on the bathtub and I will fix your hands?"

He goes and sits on the bathtub.

And I go over and shut the drawer, looking inside, and the only word that forms in my mind is 'crap' because damn, I've gotten myself into quite the position right now.

I walk over to him and mindlessly put bandages over the scrapes and then tell him that he can go sit in the living room while I put the stuff away.

I while I'm doing this I'm wondering what the heck I'm supposed to do, mainly because I don't know what I'm supposed to do in this situation, exactly.

I have to ask him about it, of course, I know that, because it's not the sort of thing that you just dismiss and never talk about again. And because he was about to jump off the bridge and kill himself, he most likely self-harms too, which isn't the worst assumption. I'm not saying I hope he does because it's a horrible thing (ironic coming from me), but I just think he does, or at least, there's a high probability.

I go over to the living room and down across from him on the chair I was sitting on earlier. Leo is sitting where he was before also. He's staring at the ground, probably thinking about what just happened.

I take a breath, and say, "Leo, we have to talk about this."

He just looks up at me with tears in his eyes.

Chapter Text

Leo P.O.V

Andy told me to go sit down and felt like when he wasn't looking about just leaving his apartment. I violated his privacy and didn't deserve to be here. Why the hell did I do that? However, I didn't have a lot of time to think about it because soon he walked over and sat down where he had been sitting previously, sucks in a breath, and says, "Leo, we have to talk about this."

I looked up at him and didn't realize I was about to cry, which wow, 'nice going Leo, you look like a flipping weak person now; not that you didn't already, you messed that up the moment you met that boy, idiot,' the voice inside criticized me. I knew we had to talk about this, and I knew that I had to accept what I did and move on. I wished that I could read his mind right now because I had no idea what was going on in there. I wanted to know how mad he was at me and how I could change it and how I could make everything better.

"I'm sorry," I say, because I am, and I don't know how else to say it.

Without hesitation, he replies, "I know you are."

There's more silence as I try to understand how to convey physically how sorry I am to him, but he says, "I don't want your apologies, I get it. We're human. We mess up. Curiosity gets the better of us, and we end up doing things that our mind tells us otherwise. I just wanted to let you know that we're in this together and that we're not going to use that thing that was in that drawer to hurt ourselves ever again."

Well, I certainly wasn't expecting that answer from him. I subconsciously wrap my arms around myself, making sure he can't see the scars or the fresher cuts that were scattered around on my wrists. I knew that this stupid attempt to hide them was futile as how could Andy not have seen them when he was bandaging my hands, underneath the bracelets? If he did see them though, he didn't say anything. That was why Andy said that to me; he must have seen. Or just assumed, but that was dumb as the evidence was all over my body.

Whatever. Andy was going to find out anyway whether I liked it or not.

Shit, how long have we been sitting here? Fantastic, I did it again. I get up because I have to be moving right now, and Andy's eyes follow me as I get up. He probably thinks I'm crazy and is judging me and wants me out of his apartment. It's not the most surprising idea. The thought of his eyes watching me almost makes me sit back down in itself, but I don't. I walk over to his window. In the distance, you can see the bridge. I wonder how many times he's come over here and has stared at it, if at all. Did he think about killing himself only tonight, or has it been a recurring thing that runs through his mind often? Or has he always been suicidal, but something triggered him, and that's why he was down there?

My thoughts are interrupted by a hand on my shoulder. I jump, not used to human contact yet. Andy didn't grab me hard; it was just a light touch to show that he was there, but that only made me feel worse, more distant from this planet than I already was, as he didn't have to do any of this. He was also probably tired of me ignoring all his questions.

"Leo."

Andy POV

Leo tried apologizing to me, but I quickly brushed it off. I don't know why. Any other human being would be extremely angry right now, but I wasn't. More so embarrassed, I guess. No one knew that I self-harmed, until now, obviously, and I didn't know how to convey feelings about it right now.

Without any warning, Leo just got up and walked over to my window, and started staring out of it. My eyes automatically followed him, and I wondered what he was doing. I hope he wasn't planning to jump out of it, but since it wasn't that high anyway it would be profusely difficult for him to die, so I knocked that thought out of my head. I just wanted to know what was on his mind, because I was planning on dying before I got old but seeing him also at the bridge made me think twice. Then I realized that duh, that you could see the bridge from the window. I hoped that he wasn't planning on going there again.

Because if Leo died, then I would too. I wouldn't ever tell him that though. I wanted to, desperately. Wanted to show him how loved he was and that he was needed here.

But it was up to him whether or not he believed it, and I knew that.

How still he was standing was scaring me, so I silently got up and went behind him, and put my hand on his shoulder. It was cold, but he wasn't shivering. It was almost like he wasn't there, not in his body; gone away with his thoughts somewhere. I stood behind him quietly observing the back of him for a solid minute, before saying, "Leo," to bring him out of where he was.

However, I didn't think it through what I was going to say next, and he didn't turn around at the sound of his name. I took my hand off of his shoulder because it was starting to get awkward and I didn't know what to do.

"Do you, uh, want some tea?"

Wow. I just reached a new low in socialization.

He still didn't acknowledge my presence, but he was starting to scratch his hands again despite there being bandages there. I had to distract him because I knew that if he started this again, it would be bad for both of us.

"Leo. Leo," I shook his shoulder, but he still didn't answer. I didn't know where he was right now, mentally at least. His breathing level increased, "Leo! You're here, right now, you're standing next to me, and you're in my apartment, you're not where you are right now mentally, alright?"

I moved him to face me, and his eyes looked possessed. He didn't look 'there,' if you know what I mean. Looking into my eyes, but not really looking. He was scaring me, bad. I didn't know what to do, how to get him back. All of a sudden he started mumbling, "no, no, no, no. Leave me alone. Please, please, leave me alone. Stop it, just for once leave me alone. I didn't do anything to you, and you don't need to make me feel like this, all the damn time."

I hoped he wasn't talking about me, but I wasn't sure. I shook him again, trying, but failing, to ground him. He tried moving, getting out of my grip, and towards the door, but I didn't let him. Leo was stronger than he looked, and it was hard for me to get him to stay. The mumbling was getting louder, into full-blown talking, into almost shouting. At this point, I was crying, because I was scared. I was scared, alright? If the person you were talking to just all of a sudden had a giant freakout after not even appearing to have something wrong, I would think you would act similarly.

All of a sudden, he dropped, just freaking dropped, onto the ground; sort of like a noodle, and curled up into a sobbing ball that was rocking back and forth. The bluntness of it all caught me off guard, and I stood there for a few moments in surprise, watching him intently. He was now audibly talking, although you couldn't understand him very well because of the crying. "No, no, no, no, please, I'm sorry, I won't do it again, I won't do it again, I'll leave, tonight, and I'll make sure I do it right this time, and I'll do what you say! I'll do what you say, please don't hurt me! Leave me alone, please, please, please!"

Shit. He was one of the people who had voices inside his head, wasn't he? That would make sense. That was who he was talking to now.

Wait, 'I'll leave, tonight, and I'll make sure I do it right this time'?

No. Shit. Why was I so stupid?

Leo was planning to kill himself, again, tonight. The voice wanted him dead and was trying to convince him that others too wanted the same. But that was wrong, so so wrong. The voice told him he was worthless and didn't deserve to be here and that he messed everything up including his own suicide, and that he would punish him if he did it wrong again. What did that mean, though? Punishing? Oh.

Self-harm. The voice made Leo hurt himself.

The thought of it made me sick, and I bent down and held on to Leo, telling him that it was alright and that what he was hearing was lies, and that he was safe here. I wasn't sure if he could hear me, in fact, I was almost a hundred percent sure he couldn't, but it was worth the try. He wasn't talking anymore, just crying. Rocking back and forth, and I was holding onto his hands so he wouldn't scratch them.

About twenty minutes later, Leo had been knocked out. He must have been so tired from today, and I don't blame him. It was now 7 in the morning. And we were both laying on the floor, and I was still holding him. I didn't want him to leave. But I figured the hard floor wasn't very comfortable, so I very carefully maneuvered myself around him, and since he didn't look like he weighed a lot, I picked Leo up and carried him into my bedroom. Just as I was setting him down, his eyes burst open, he jerked automatically, and I let out a small yelp. Thankfully he was over the bed and not the ground, because otherwise that would have hurt when he fell. I shushed Leo despite his groggy protests on how I should sleep in my own bed and he could have slept on the ground and just simply told him to get under the covers, and that he needed sleep. He gave in, most likely from the tiredness, and was soon back asleep in about five minutes.

Leaving my room and getting settled on the couch, I went over everything that had just happened in the last few hours. I had to form a plan, because if Leo was going to stay with me, then I had to find a better job because the one I currently had was barely supporting me.

Tonight was going to be a long night- or rather, morning, as it was early- for me and I wasn't ready for it. I just wanted to sleep, not over-think everything. But at the same time, I had to.

Chapter Text

Andy POV

I glance over drowsily at the clock. It is now 7:42 am. It has only been half an hour, but it feels like it's been hours. Trying to keep myself awake is hard despite all the nights that I'm usually up because I'm constantly overthinking, so I don't know why I feel like I'm going to pass out from sleep deprivation at this moment. But I can't let Leo leave the house because he's unpredictable and even if he just said he was going to the store or something, I wouldn't trust him.

My eyes keep on closing, and I force them to open again, but I'm not sure how long I'm going to be able to keep this up.

Leo POV

I'm standing at the edge of the bridge, over the railing. It's so loud, people are screaming inside my head, some voices that I hadn't even heard before, but all of them telling and ordering me to jump and fall to my death. I want to listen. I want to listen to them so badly. But something tells me that I shouldn't;

yet I do.

I'm falling, fast. I'm crying and screaming and at this moment remembering that the one thing that was inside me telling me I shouldn't was Andy and how I left him and how he has nobody now and how this has been one huge mistake; but it's too late, and I feel the heavy impact of the rocks below smashing my head and my body like a rag doll.

I wake up shaking, crying and screaming. I also realize I'm sweating, but that it wasn't real. That wasn't real. I keep telling myself this, but it's not working. I'm fine physically at the moment, but I guess mentally I'm not. You don't just have recurring dreams about killing yourself, that's not normal. And I know it's not normal, but I don't know how to stop them. What I do know is that I have to make this dream a reality, but there's running that was coming from the hallway, and I realize it's Andy. I woke him up. Good freaking job, Leo.

But I can't let him see me like this, so I jump out of bed and sprint into his closet, hastily close the door, but not all the way because the dark terrifies me and curl into a ball in the corner. Shit, why am I like this? He's running into the room, I can tell by his fast footsteps, and I hear the strain of panic in his voice when he calls my name when he sees that I'm not there sleeping. "Leo?"

I don't respond. There's frantic movement, looking around the room, most likely, and this gives me time to compose myself and calm down. All of a sudden Andy opens the closet door, and I see the fear on his face fade into relief. This whole thing has been a mistake, and I know it has. My impulses are shit, and why I act on them so fast without thinking about them first, I couldn't tell you. I brace myself for his shouting at me and possibly kicking me out.

"Why are you in there?" he asks quietly, which surprises me. I thought for sure he would yell at me.

I want to tell him stuff, about my nightmares, but I don't want to drag him down worrying about something that isn't his problem. He's already letting me stay at his place. He notices my hesitation and says, "you don't have to tell me. But sometime, will you? I just want to help you, Leo. I don't want you to suffer."

I avoid his gaze. 'He's lying, why would anyone care about a freak like you? When he leaves, you're going to that bridge. You're going to jump off, and everyone is going to be glad you did. That's the one thing that you won't be able to screw up, but to be honest your stupid ass will probably find a way.'

I decide to listen to the voice instead of answering Andy because at this point it's just less painless, and besides, he is much more stronger than me, and I know it.

"Why don't you get out of the closet? You can come into the living room with me."

Still, I don't say anything, and I feel myself slipping from reality, but I get out of the closet and follow him down the hallway into his living room. Andy sits down on the couch, and I decide to sit next to him instead of the other chair. I think this takes Andy by surprise, because of his face's emotion changes. I mean, I would be surprised too, I guess.

Andy pulls out his phone, the light illuminating his face, from his pocket and swipes through his phone until he finds Spotify and presses it. He then goes through his playlist, but as I'm looking at them, they're all in Japanese. I wonder why Andy did that. Did he know how to speak Japanese? Except for one, I noticed. That one was in lowercase and said, 'clickclack.' That was sort of weird. However, the one he clicked on said 'ていちょう.' I would have to ask him what that one meant later if I remembered. His phone started playing a song called 'Kettering' by the Antlers. It was a gentle song, and I liked how sharp but dull his words came out of the singer's mouth. Andy rolled his head back and closed his eyes, setting his phone down on the small coffee table in front of him.

I waited through the song, which I enjoyed because it was a good song, and another song called 'Hope There's Someone' by Antony and the Johnsons (I greatly enjoyed that one too) for my plan to sneak out and jump off. I carefully got up as the next song played, and glancing down, was called 'Videotape' by Radiohead. It also sounded stunning, and I wanted to listen to it, but I couldn't wait any longer.

I had to jump off of the stupid bridge and make everyone happy because everyone is lying to me. Including Andy. The world is lying to me; we all live in one big lie and death is the only way to escape it, but only to receive further nothingness which I will admit doesn't make sense, but nothing in this world of what our insignificant human bodies can perceive makes sense either, so. Because people like to make things up to try to improve, make excuses and hide death, but it doesn't work on me. I see through the lies. I know the truth, and it is that we all exist for nothing because in the end we are nothing and eventually none of us will be remembered, and all of the useless things we accomplished will be for nothing. From what I understand, others try and fix these people that see the world in such a way, make them feel like they're invalid because of the way they see things and call us insane. But their attempts of help don't work; we're too far gone into our own minds.

I bring myself into reality just enough to know where I am, but nothing around me feels real, including my own body. I stare at Andy, looking him over. Is this Andy? Who is Andy? Is this an imposter? Is this a real human being? Am I real human being? Is he plotting to kill me, looking for easy prey? What is real, and will we ever know? I don't feel anything except pain. But no one will ever be able to classify what is pain either, so that's freaking worthless too. I am tired of all the questions and how I can't feel real in my own body.

 

I slowly walk over his legs and over to the door, and he stirs but doesn't wake up. I silently open the door and sneak out without sound. Walking down the hallway, the pain inside related to anxiety and myself that is telling me to die intensifies, and I want to cry. I didn't ask for this. I didn't ask for me to become like this, to have life be a daily struggle with each breath I take.

I open the door and allow the cold to hit me, numb me with its pain. The delicate freezing air feels so lovely on my skin, and so for a couple of minutes, I allow myself to stand in the doorway. Then I realize that I am wasting time and that I must leave, now. So I silently shut the door as it is early in the morning and I don't wake anyone up, and I retrace my steps back to the bridge.

Soon I am standing on the edge of the bridge again, death only a few hundred feet away.

But god damn it, I hear more footsteps, but this time, violent, desperate, and fast, and I slowly with a disgusted expression turn my head around, and it's Andy.

Of course.

Why can't he just freaking let me die?

He's behind me as I let myself go, and fall. I think to myself that I will finally be free, and everyone will be happy. That it will all end, after all this suffering that I have gone through in this stupid life.

But then I feel most possibly the tightest grip on my wrist that I have and probably will ever feel, and I screech because I don't want this. I jerk around, trying to get away and continue falling, but Andy manages to grab my other flailing arm, and with a huge pull, he pulls me up to the edge and heaves me over, and doesn't let go of me. Understandable.

I sit in shock, mainly because well, that isn't something that normally happens when you try and kill yourself.

Andy POV

I wake up and don't feel a body next to me. Naturally, I freak out, because the freaking boy is gone. I jump up from the couch and hastily shove on shoes, and I run out the door, down the hallway, and out the apartment building's door. I know exactly where he is, and I don't think I've ever run faster than I have at this moment.

I see him at the bridge. He's on the edge of it. Not near it, looking down, but on the other side of the railing and looking down. I run even faster, pushing my body to go faster, faster, faster. I cannot let him die. Suddenly I am almost there, fingertips away. Before he starts to fall into the death trap of icy and cold rocks below.

It's as if the world and time stop, including my breathing, as I without hesitation, reach over and grab his wrist with a vice-like grip instead of watching. I am not letting him die.

He is bucking around, trying to get out of my grip. While he is doing this, I take my other arm, and I grab his other wrist. With all of my strength that I possibly could have, I heave him over the railing and onto the frozen ground. I am not letting him die.

I did not let him die.

Leo stays in the spot that I pulled him over in, and I'm still holding on to him. Almost as strong, but I have let up a little bit.

I still can't breathe though, and I feel myself hyperventilating, panic overtaking my body despite the fact that he isn't dead. Leo's staring at me now, and I want to run away because no no no, he can't see me having a panic attack. But I'm incapable of doing anything despite how unsafe and exposed I feel.

Leo POV

Shit's starting to come back to me when I realize that Andy's breathing really fast and he looks like he's drowning, but he's not in water. He's having a panic attack, fuck. I'm terrible at handling these with myself, let alone with another person's. I carefully get up and gently tug at his arms to get up with me even though I know that I shouldn't touch him. He flinches really badly and escapes my touch, so I go back down to his level.

"Andy, let's go home, we'll be safer there. But if you won't let me touch you we won't be able to go home." I whisper to him, as I don't want to startle him with a loud voice.

He doesn't say anything, just avoids eye contact and is holding himself. I stand back up again, and I say again, "Andy, let's go."

I am being met by terrified eyes and a shaking mess. Andy looks like he's about to cry and it hurts like hell knowing that I did this to him, but I'm going to have to punish myself later and focus on him right now instead of me.

I decide to try and pull him up again, and he doesn't flinch as bad but stands up at my touch. But he's still breathing really heavily and irregularly, and just when I get him standing, he falls to the ground and I just barely catch him before his face smashes into the dirt.

I got myself into this mess, and I'm going to have to get me out of it.

He's crying now and has curled himself up into a little ball.

I decide to do the worst possible thing that you could do when someone is having a panic attack: pick them up and run them over to their house.

Andy is freaking out even more now, and I'm just repeating the word 'sorry' over and over again, and he's really heavy, but I know that if I don't get him home, it might be worse. It's also hard trying to run with him in my arms, because he's an adult man and not some little kid. Not to be rude.

After forever, I yank open the door and rush to his apartment, and I'm surprised at myself that I remember which one it is. Or maybe it's the only open door. Shit, that could have been bad. Whatever. I quickly go inside of it, and gently sit Andy on the couch. I sprint over and shut (the goddamn door) the door and back to him. His face is inside his shirt and I can hear him crying. I sit next to him and ask him if he can hear me.

No response, obviously, but he does twitch his head.

I take that as a yes and continue speaking.

"Hey, hey. I hope you can hear me. If you can, focus on my voice. We'll get through this together, alright? Try breathing with me, please, Andy."

I remove his shirt from his face and look into his glistening eyes. I repeat what I say. "Breathe with me, alright?"

We do breathing stuff together, and pretty soon he's okay.

"I'm sorry, Leo," Andy whispers.

I don't say it's fine because it's not, because this wasn't his fault.