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The Memories That Remain

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Lewis woke up and found the room was still pitch black. He glanced at the clock resting on the nightstand, the time read ‘1:22 am’. He yawned and rolled over, intending to spoon up behind Dick, but he found the other side of the bed was empty. He pursed his lips and felt that the mattress had grown cold where Dick usually slept. He sighed, worry bubbling up inside him, and he sat up. He rubbed his eyes and grabbed his robe. He got up, put it on, and left their room searching for his boyfriend.

A few minutes later he found Dick in the kitchen. Dick stood next to the window, staring out of it with an empty gaze. His arms were crossed and goosebumps covered his skin due to the cold. Lewis frowned and walked to him. He went up behind him and carefully wrapped his arms around his waist, and rested his head on Dick’s shoulder. Dick only shifted slightly, but other than that he didn’t acknowledge Lewis’ presence. Lewis’ concern grew even more, and he willed himself to stay calm, knowing he wouldn’t hell the situation any of he freaked out.

Lewis mumbled, “Dick, darling, why don’t you come back to bed.”

Dick stayed silent and shivered a little as a cold breeze blew in through the open window. Lewis sighed shut the window, then he took his robe off and put it on Dick, before wrapping his arms around him again.

Lewis said, “Darling, I’m worried about you.”

“Why?”

Lewis couldn’t help but roll his eyes, in his defense though that was a stupid question.

“Because,” Lewis indulged him, “You’re my boyfriend and I love and care about you very much. And it hurts and scares me to see you like this. It’s not like you.”

Dick mumbled, “Can’t help it.”

“I know you can’t. Just wish you’d talk to me more about what was bugging you. That’s all.”

He kissed Dick’s cheek, and let his lips linger for a little bit before pulling away.

Dick sniffed, “It’s complicated.”

“I didn’t say I needed to understand, I just said I wished you talked to me more about what happens to make you get like this. It really does scare me.”

Dick sighed, and Lewis knew he had run out of excuses.

Lewis said, “Go sit down. I’ll make you some tea then we can talk. Okay?”

Dick nodded and listened. He sat at the table and rested his head on his arms, nervously bouncing his leg. Lewis quietly made Dick his tea, knowing exactly how he liked it. He then made himself some coffee and he sat across from Dick.

He handed him the mug, “Here you go darling.”

Dick smiled a little, “Thanks dear.”

Lewis took a sip of his hot coffee then looked back at Dick.

“So, tell me, what’s going on in that head of yours Dick?”

Dick bit his lip, “It’s constant. I’m constantly bombarded with flashbacks to the war. Whether it be in France, Holland, Belgium, Germany, or Austria. No part his left unvisited. It’s always the bad memories too. Never the good ones. Even in my sleep I relive it. Although, sometimes it’s not flashbacks. But other morbid images of things that could have happened. Like the time during Market Garden you almost got shot in the head. Except this time, you weren’t so lucky, and it pierced your helmet. You never die instantly. Always slow, drawn out for an excruciating amount of time. And you beg for me to end it. So I do. And oh my god Lewis....I could never...I couldn’t ever do something like that to you. And it hurts me so much, even though it’s completely made up. My own head had turned against me and I feel completely powerless. I hate it Lew, I hate it so much.”

Lewis took in his words and he grabbed Dick’s hand and pressed a kiss to it, squeezing it affectionately. He then rested the palm against his cheek, rubbing Dick’s wrist comfortingly.

Lewis’ heart aches for his boyfriend, and he wanted nothing more than to be able to take his pain away. He wanted to see Dick happy again.

Lewis whispered, “My love, my love, my love...”

Dick whimpered and tears streamed down his cheeks. Lewis moved and pulled Dick onto his lap and held him tightly. He rubbed Dick’s back slowly.

“Let it out. It’s okay to cry, just let it out.”

Dick buried his face into the crook of Lewis’ neck and sobbed, the force of his sobs shaking his body. Lewis just let him cry and rocked him gently. Cooing encouraging and loving things to him.

Dick slowly started calming down and Lewis continued to hold him.

Lewis asked, “Wanna head back to bed? We don’t have to sleep. We can snuggle.”

Dick nodded, still clinging to Lewis. Lewis stood up, holding Dick, and he walked them to their bedroom. He gently laid him down on the bed then climbed under the covers next to him. They laid so they were facing each other, Lewis rested a hand on the side of Dick’s cheek, and tangled their legs. Dick placed an arm over Lewis’ waist.

Lewis murmured, “You were a wonderful soldier Dick, this doesn’t make you weak. You realize that, right?”

Dick nodded, but looked unsure.

Lewis chuckled, “The only damn high up I trusted. Knew I could count on you to make the right choice for Easy. The men loved you, hell they still do. Should hear some of the things they write about you in their letters to me. They act like you walk on water. They adore you.”

Dick smiled a little and Lewis pecked him on the lips.

Lewis hummed, “My darling lover. So brave and strong.”

Dick blushed and slid closer to Lewis. Burying his face in Lewis’ chest, seeking comfort. Lewis played with his hair and only went back to sleep once he was sure Dick was asleep.