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A Little Bit Of Comfort

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I didn’t know what to do, I just knew it needed to stop. Grave after grave after grave. I became tired of hurrying my friends. My family. Instead of moving and turning back to camp, I simply stood there, shovel in my hands that seemed to fragile- so useless. The cold winds that blew in the Glade somehow numbed my Goosebump arms, where I had rolled up my crème to avoid the dirt which seemed to turn black with each lift of my tool. I only felt when lanky yet strong arms wrapped securely around my frame which, with the first nuzzle to my temple, started to shake. Eventually came the tears I could no longer hold back, not after his death. Soon my legs gave in, shovel slipping from my grip just as his life had. Though those arms still caught me, allowing me to slump against his lean body. It was a miracle he could with his injury he’d grown accustomed to. Guilt nipped at the back of my mind but for now he just rubbed soothing circle on my collarbone as he gently descended downwards with me remaining in his security blanket of his arms and scent until we were on the emerald green ground. He accepted my movement as I curled up against him, tears soaking as well as staining his dirt and dust coated shirt. I breathed in his scent of hard work and crop fields which eased my hysteria slightly; slightly...but not enough to cease the tears. My wracking sobs quietened after a long amount of time of us just sitting there as the sun set over the vine-serpent walls where no doubt the eyes of who put them there watched. Except now I didn’t care- not when they’d stolen the life of the only family I had left or even remembered. Thankfully, he let me settle, relaxing into his embrace, patterns now being drawn on my shoulder rather my collarbone as my tear-flowing face and hand rested against his hard chest. Then, barely a hoarse sound, I whispered, “Why?” He froze slightly at that. Even though I wasn’t looking at him I knew he redirected his gaze to the top of my black-haired head. “Why what?” He murmured to me. Though I knew it wasn’t exactly the right time (when was it ever), I shivered at his voice. “Why did they take him and not me?” I whimpered. This time, the male who held me stopped breathing. I could of sworn his heart had skipped a beat. Fearing I had upset him, I bit my lip in worry. Several moments went buy of empty yet oh-so-full silence. Then came a hand to my nape and his mouth dropped into my wild hair. I felt his lips move against my unwashed scalp, “Because you are essential.” It was my turn to tense- this time out of slight hostility. However, he continued on top my head before I could react or let anger fully rise out of my grieving heart, “Though he was too, Chuck knew that Tommy and you were more important. He loved you so much, as much as you loved him, that he had always looked up to you; saw how many times you defended people, even if they were in the wrong. It’s why he did what he did to save you. And, yes: I indeed miss him and always shall-“ The words caught in his throat for a second “-but there is a part of me, as there is in all of us that is thankful that you came back to us...to me. We’ll never forget that brave yet hesitant little soldier brother of yours for his memory...it lives in you without a doubt.” No words, for once, came to mind. The boy who held me withdrew, pulling me back, too, by the shoulders and our eyes met. His beautiful hazel that reminded me of the Glade fields and vines for some reason and my ugly, black dark ones that swallowed up every inch of light- in other words him. Then his hands slid up to the sides of my face where he drew my silent self in and he kissed away my tears. I saw the sheen on his lips as he pulled away. Then he leaned in again, this time, though, it was our lips which met. Slow, memorable and loving. There was no rushed heat there though passion was confirmed in every second they shared their love of one another through physical action. It felt like fireworks lit off in my brain, a warm hum began in my stomach and a world of comfort and serenity settled around us. Until we felt untouchable. If a Griever came barrelling towards us, I doubted it come a step closer with the look I’d give it. Same goes for those Shanks back at camp; flaying them alive seemed a good option if they dared intervene. By the time we pulled back, dusk had claimed the Glade’s sky, a campfire roaring to life behind the boy I’d just kissed. The boy, so beautiful and lovely and strong and pure, who was all I could focus on. No doubt his expression mirrored mine. Love and belonging etched onto the skin of his face. In his eyes where I could read every thought as if it were before me. My face was still being held in his large, callous hands. He ran a thumb over my bottom lip and I shuddered once more. He then leaned in again- not to kiss me, but to rest his forehead against mine. Content coursed through my veins and it was confirmed there was nowhere else I’d rather be (not even with Thomas, who was like an older brother to me, blood or not unknown). So we shared one another’s breath and breathed in our now mixed and mingled scents. This, I thought, This is what Chuck would want for me. This is what I want for me. Only did this end when Gally had sauntered over and shouted that if we didn’t come quick Fry’s cooking would be gone soon. And, oh, did we come as I chased that fucking Shank back across the fields, Newt trying to keep me from skinning the prick. An arm was kept around me that night, anyone who dared so much as look at me earned a challenging scowl from the brunette-blond who I prayed never let go of me. No one truly spoke that night, just ate, hummed or sung. Everyone fell silent as I opened my mouth and sung the song that I only had done for my little, chubby blood brother when he couldn’t sleep; whether due to the Maze turning or the calls of the Griever. Away from turning, churning seas, Above the floating clouds of sheep, Behind the bad of dreams, I promise that where ever you venture, Behind you follows me, Forever yours to keep, So that you shall sleep, Away from those churning, turning seas, Above the floating clouds of sheep, Behind the bad of dreams, I promise that where ever you plan on going, To never keep you slowing, For I am yours to keep, And forever shall I watch over...you sleep. The last words had my voice crack and a near sob escape me again. It would have, too, if it weren’t for the arm around me and bowing of heads of the Gladers who, as well, kept secret the fact they listened those nights I was lulled from my sleep by the twelve-year-old. No doubt they all knew the words off my heart, Thomas and a few others like Fry and Winston mouthing along to the words. Gally simply stared into the fire as I did. My eyes began to droop and, without a word, he took me in his arms and stood. No one questioned it nor did they object as he took me towards the biggest hammock in he shack they shared to sleep in, one we constantly fought over. Obviously, they all knew how much I needed some welcomed luxury. Though I saw out of the corner of my eye, Gally scowl at the male who carried me as we’d passed. As if in warning. A growl had threatened to escape but instead I curled into him, much too exhausted to bother. In the hammock he settled me, one of the few blankets (one of the biggest, too) draping over me entirely. He went to leave me except one tug on his sleeve and our eyes meeting had him sighing and smiling at me before clambering into the hammock. Without hesitation I buried myself within his aura, arms wrapped around each other. Finally, my eyes closed yet not before I heard him whisper: “I love you, Jay. Forever and always, I will love you.”