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Life was still hard, but Oliver managed to stay casual. Tomorrow is another day; that was what he told himself every night. Life was going on, he felt like the time was pushing him. It carried him through life. Weird explaining I know.

The bassist was currently lying on his bed, staring at the ceiling. He was numb. Nothing existed for him except for the ceiling. He didn’t have any invasive thoughts for once. He could have felt good if numbness hadn’t washed over him. He didn’t even know the time. Was it nighttime? He didn’t have a clue. He closed his eyes, feeling tiredness coming onto him. Maybe he would be able to sleep without having to cry.

~~

The boys were ready to eat. They were all sat down around the table, except for Oliver, who was nowhere to be seen, “Oliver?” Flake called and everyone went silent, waiting for an answer from the bassist. It never came.

“Did he go out?” Till asked. Everyone was now reminding himself if they saw the younger man leave. They didn’t see him at all.

“I didn’t see him at all today,” Richard realized and the others nodded as they realized the same.

“Maybe he’s asleep,” Paul suggested, shrugging. Flake frowned and looked at the corridor where the bedrooms were.

“At 7pm?” The keyboardist crossed his arms, “He didn’t leave his room at all, he couldn’t have stayed locked in all day, that’s impossible,” Little did they know that Oliver did stay in his bedroom all day.

“I’m going to check, begin without me,” Schneider said and got up from his chair. He often roomed with Oliver during tours, so it wouldn’t be unusual for the bassist to be woken up by him. He softly knocked on the door. Nothing. He sighed and slowly opened the door to not wake up the taller man if he was sleeping. He immediately noticed the closed curtains because the room was dark. He lit on the light and saw Oliver lying on his bed, flinching as the light of the room blinded him. He was wearing black shorts and a grey t-shirt. He was already in pajamas… Or did he even dress up? Worry began to fill the drummer as he walked closer to the bassist, “Are you okay?” He asked. Oliver only reopened his eyes to stare back at the ceiling. Doom was confused. What was going on here? He looked around and saw a water bottle on the nightstand, meaning that Oliver drank at least one time today. But he didn’t eat. The sudden realization made Schneider jump and sit down on the bed, grabbing Oliver’s shoulders, “Oliver you have to get up, you have to eat something at least,” the drummer sounded worried, and Oliver couldn’t help but feel guilty about it.

He was feeling nothing when he was alone. Why did Schneider have to come in and bother him, reminding how useless he was? He slowly turned his eyes to meet Christoph’s worried ones, “I’m fine…” He croaked out, realizing he could really use of a glass of water as his voice cracked. It was the first time he talked for the day, so his voice was a bit broken. He froze when he noticed the drummer’s hands on his shoulders. Why was he touching him? Did he worry him that much to make him feel the need to touch him? He didn’t like the situation, he felt trapped. Schneider noticed his discomfort and removed his hands from him. Oliver felt cold. He didn’t know why but he missed that touch, even if it was preventing him to move. He must have scared him away as always.

“Did you stay in there all day?” The drummer asked, breaking the silence. Oliver didn’t know what to answer. He was so tired. He had woken up a bit before Christoph came, so he tried to fall sleep again, but it didn’t work. That annoyed him a bit, but he knew that he would have been way more annoyed if Schneider had woken him up, so that calmed him down a bit, “Do you want to want to come eat with us?” The drummer asked softly. Oliver was suspicious. Why was he like that with him?

He wants to manipulate you… He wants you to eat, he wants you to see the others so you’ll be reminded who you really are, a worthless freak.

Fuck, they were back again. Oliver felt like crying. Fucking Schneider couldn’t leave him alone! “No leave me alone,” he simply answered and turned away from the older man, curling up on himself.

Good, withdraw from them. You don’t need them, but remember, they don’t need you either.

That was painful to hear but it was the truth. He heard a sad sigh, “It’s been days since you’ve eaten with us. Are you sure you don’t want to co-”

“I’m fucking sure now get out,” Oliver muttered angrily.

Get the drummer out. Don’t let them get you fat.

The drummer was a bit annoyed. Didn’t he have the right to be worried for his friend? Oliver didn’t spend time with them anymore, he was barely out of his bedroom, he rarely talked, he seemed always tired and he didn’t eat anymore. He couldn’t be… Depressed right? His annoyance due to Oliver’s behavior quickly changed into worry. He looked at the bassist and got up. Something was wrong, “Alright then,” he said and left, looking at his feet. Oliver was now alone and felt relieved when he heard the door close.

Too bad he’s mad at you now. And he’ll go tell the others so will hate you more than they already do.

Tears began to fill the bassist’s eyes. He hadn’t cried today so his nerves where giving up. He was fine as being numb, even if he didn’t feel anything. He was tired of crying, his head was already aching. He held his forehead with his right hand, trying to relieve the pressure. Obviously it didn’t work, it made it worse. He whimpered softly and cried. Everything he had managed to do to stay calm just fell down. He was now at one of his most vulnerable states, where his mind was screaming at him awful things, where he just wanted to butcher his skin with a razor blade or a knife.

Why can’t I be happy!? Why am I not good enough!? What have I done to be like that?!

His mind was screaming his distress. He needed out, and quick.

~~

Christoph came back at the table and sat down next to Till. They were all nearly finished. Schneider hadn’t realized he spent quite some times in the bassist’s bedroom, “Are you okay?” the singer asked, snapping him out of his thoughts. He looked up at them with a worried face.

“Something’s wrong guys,” he sighed and rubbed his face, “He was in his pajamas and his curtains were closed. He didn’t leave his bedroom at all. He had a water bottle barely emptied, he must not have drunk a lot today. And when I asked him to come eat… He got angry, as if eating was something he couldn’t do…” He trailed off, falling into his thoughts.

“This is serious,” Till cleared his throat, “He’s got a problem.”

“We know Till,” Paul sighed, “The problem is that we don’t know how to help him,” everyone knew the small guitarist was right.

“We have to make him eat,” Richard blurted out.

“It’s not that easy Reesh,” Flake shook his head and sighed, “We have to make him feel safe with us, because he doesn’t feel this way. I mean, have you noticed he never stay in the living room or only when there are only like one or two of us in the flat?” The keyboardist scratched the back of his head, “What else did you notice about it? Please tell me I’m not the only one with Schneider who noticed that Ollie was struggling,” he nearly gasped when he said ‘Ollie’. It’s been a long time since they called him by his nickname. Something was definitely wrong. He already knew it but now it was more obvious. He threw a pleading look at Till, Paul and Richard.

“I have to admit, he’s been acting weird during rehearsal,” Till spoke up, “It’s like he doesn’t know how to play our songs anymore. It’s a bit annoying but now… Maybe it’s understandable no?” The others nodded.

“The last time I asked if he was alright he just left,” Paul muttered.

“I didn’t really notice anything,” Richard said sadly, “I’m sorry,” he added. He felt a bit guilty for being completely clueless when the others knew everything.

“Don’t worry,” Till answered, half buried in his thoughts like the rest of the boys. The evening finished quietly. A silent promise was made, they would make Oliver feel better.

~~

Oliver needed a shower, badly. He felt disgusting. He assured himself that everyone had gone to bed so he could leave his bedroom without being seen. He quietly hurried to the bathroom and stripped down his clothes. He avoided looking at himself in the mirror, he didn’t want to see how he looked. He flinched away when he saw a little bit of himself by mistake. He closed his eyes and hopped in the shower. He quickly washed himself, fearing the other would hear him. He then put on fresh clothes, black pajama pants and a white t-shirt. He looked down at the sink and saw a razor. It was Paul’s, he must have forgotten to put it away.

What’s preventing you from cutting right now? No one’s here.

Oliver gulped. He wasn’t sure. The others would discover it at some times, and he didn’t feel like reliving the conversations he had when they had discovered it first.

Just once.

Oliver grabbed the razor and removed the blade. It was shining in his hand, and it seemed sharp. The bassist could nearly feel the relief just by looking at it. His heart began to beat faster as he pulled down his pants and approached the blade near his thigh.

“Can you hurry please? Gotta take a leak,” it was Paul’s voice followed by a knock on the door. Holy fuck.

Don’t stand here you freak, move!

Oliver didn’t think twice. He dropped the blade on the vanity and pulled up his pants, and opened the door quickly before hurrying to his bedroom, passing a really confused Paul. The guitarist stayed frozen for a few seconds before walking into the bathroom to relieve himself. As he was taking care of his business, he couldn’t help but notice that the blade of his razor was detached from the razor. He was sure it was still in place when he shaved himself this morning. He gasped when a horrible thought came to his mind. Oliver didn’t… He tucked himself back in his pants and examined the blade. There wasn’t any blood and it wasn’t wet, so it hadn’t been cleaned. Paul realized he had interrupted him, “Holy shit,” he blurted out. He couldn’t leave like that. What if Oliver wanted to hurt himself again? He quietly left the bathroom and went to Oliver’s bedroom. He slowly opened the door to see the bassist curled up on himself in his bed. He seemed asleep. Paul sighed quietly, ‘We’re going to help you love, you need it,’ he thought to himself before going back to his bedroom.

Oliver was shivering. He was at this close to finally feel pain. A wave of anxiety washed over him. Did Paul saw the blade? Did he know?

He must think you’re a freak. That gives you even less chances for him to love you. Don’t think about him, you know it’s useless.

Oliver let his tears fall down his cheeks and on his pillow. He abandoned the thought of sleeping without crying. It was too good to be true. He was scared of tomorrow, he didn’t want to face the others. Plus he was so hungry… He held his stomach with one hand and rubbed it. It hurt by dint of not eating. It’s been days since he’s eaten a full meal, maybe a little bit over a week. It hurt so much. God he wanted to eat something, but he couldn’t. He had to avoid food as most as possible. The night was going to be long.

~~

The bassist felt crazy. He had to eat something, “Just an apple,” he muttered to himself and sat up. He hoped no one had woken up yet, since it was early in the morning. He quietly hurried into the kitchen and his heart dropped. Till was standing in front of the cupboard, searching for food. Oliver felt his anxiety rise up. He had to leave. He shifted on his tiptoes and began to walk away. Of course, his stomach had to growl because of the hunger at this exact moment. Oliver froze as he heard Till turn around.

“Hey Ollie,” the singer said softly. The bassist sighed quietly before turning toward the older man. He silently waved at him. He didn’t feel like talking, “          Do you want to eat something?” Oliver gulped. If he said yes, Till would give him too much food. He slowly shook his head. He was scared, he wanted to leave. He internally cursed his stomach for revealing his lie. Till looked at his belly, which made the younger man feel really self-conscious. His hands automatically went to cover his stomach. A slight smile drew itself on Till’s face as he walked closer to Oliver, “Stop lying, I’ll make you something,” he said and raised his hand. Oliver got scared and flinched hard, turning his head away, fearing of Till slapping him. The singer put his hand down on Oliver’s shoulder gently and looked at the man with worry, “Did you think I would hit you?” He asked softly. The bassist opened his eyes at the gentle touch, staring at the hand. He felt his skin burn under Till’s hand. He knew he would think about this touch of a few hours. Till looked down and removed it slowly, leaving coldness washing over Oliver, who already missed the touch. The bassist looked away and lowered his head.

You scared him away, good job freak. That’s why no one wants to touch you, you’re too weird.

Oliver stared at the floor as his sight got blurry from the tears that were filling his eyes. He shook his head to answer Till’s question and walked away to his bedroom, feeling the incoming breakdown. He closed the door and fell on his bed, clutching his covers to himself as he let out quiet sobs. He curled up on himself, wanting to make himself as little as possible, and cried.

They would all be better without you. You need to leave. Just kill yourself already.

The poor bassist cried harder into his covers that were now soaked in tears. He didn’t feel hungry that much anymore, sadness at taken control over it. He didn’t want anyone to see him like this, they wouldn’t be ready. They would only judge him, or laugh at him about how weak he was. He planted his nails into the back of his head, wanting to feel pain.

Useless, worthless, annoying, bothering, just disappear.

“Stop…” he muttered to his thoughts. He couldn’t take it anymore. He just wanted to sleep, so he wouldn’t feel anything anymore. That was going to be long.

Till stood alone in the kitchen. Why was Oliver avoiding eating? That was too weird. The singer frowned and walked to the bassist’s bedroom. His heart broke as he heard cries and sobs. Oliver really wasn’t okay. He didn’t knock, he just walked in and found the poor bassist curled up in a ball, holding his covers tightly to himself, sobbing in them. Till felt a pang of sadness, he couldn’t stay still and do nothing. He sat down on the bed and wrapped his arms around the younger man and pulled him to his chest, tucking his head under his neck. He rubbed the back of his head with his thumb, “It’s okay Ollie, I’m here, you’re not alone,” He said softly.

Oliver felt overwhelmed. He wasn’t used of being hugged like this, but it felt good. It was the first time someone comforted him like that. He let go of his covers and hugged Till back, really tightly, crying into his neck.

You’re bothering him, he’d be eating peacefully if you weren’t here. You’re too much Freak, just get out.

He flinched at the thought and sobbed harder. Till didn’t let go of him, “What’s wrong Ollie? What’s eating you up? What’s making you so sad?” Till felt really sad for the younger man, he didn’t deserve to be in this state. He held him tighter and rubbed his back, “Please talk to me Oliver… I won’t tell the others if you don’t want me to… Don’t keep everything to yourself, it will only get you hurt. You know I’m right,” Oliver indeed knew he was right. He took deep breaths, trying to calm down.

Don’t tell him! He will only use it against you!

Oliver got even more anxious. What if he told the others despite having promised to not say anything? He couldn’t take the risk. He would lose the band, his friends… Paul. His eyes suddenly opened at the thought of the small man. The man who would never love him. Tears rolled down his cheeks again, that love pained him so much, “I’m here Ollie…” he heard a soft mutter coming from Till. It was nice. He liked the feeling of being held, “I’m sorry, I know you don’t like to be touched, but I felt it was the only good thing to do,” the singer added and that crushed Oliver. He craved to be touched. He was just weird at reacting to the touch. He slowly shook his head, “You don’t mind being touched?” Till asked, confused. Oliver shook his head again and hugged the singer tighter, whimpering. Something clicked into Till’s mind, his eyes widened at the realization, “Holy shit…” he held the younger man tighter, “I’m so sorry Ollie no one knew you wanted hugs and all… We always thought you didn’t like being touched, you always seemed scared… Like earlier in the kitchen,” he paused, “I’m so sorry,” he didn’t know what to say anymore.

Oliver felt relieved. One of his heavy weights had been lifted off his shoulders. There still was work to do, but it was a beginning. Till could feel it. He knew the bassist’s struggle was deeper than that, but he decided to not push too much, “I know there’s more, do you want to talk about it?” He asked, giving the taller man the choice. He felt a bit dumb because Oliver hadn’t said a word from the beginning. He wasn’t crying anymore at least, only sniffling from time to time with tears in his eyes. The singer gently wiped the tears away on his visible cheek. Oliver smiled slightly. He didn’t think something like that would ever happen to him. Seeing that made Till smile at the sight, “Do you?” He asked and Oliver looked down and nodded. It was the only way to get through this, Oliver had accepted it sometimes ago, “Alright then,” Till thought for a few seconds, “Do you want to write it down if you don’t feel comfortable enough to talk?” The bassist shrugged. Till knew it meant yes. He carefully got up, patting the younger man’s head gently before finding a piece of paper and a pen, “Here,” he gave them to Oliver before sitting back on the bed next to him. Oliver began writing as his thoughts submerged him.

You’re being too vulnerable, he’ll know everything!

I have depression and anxiety

Writing that was a challenge for the bassist. It was like revealing a huge part of himself. Till stared at the paper. Everything made sense now. The poor bassist, left alone with his thoughts… He couldn’t be happy. Till understood everything, and he could help him now, “I’m sorry Ollie,” he said and put his arm around the younger man’s shoulders, squeezing them affectionately. Oliver shrugged, it wasn’t Till’s fault, it was his own fault.

Don’t be

“You just don’t deserve that,” Till sighed. He had depression in the past so he knew what the other man was feeling. Oliver shrugged again, “I guess this is a part with your hunger. You don’t eat with us anymore. We are worried sick you know?” Till looked at him with a pained expression, which made the bassist look down guiltily, “Do you want to tell me why?” Till chose his words carefully, to not rush Oliver. The taller man sighed quietly and wrote down in his paper.

I have eating disorder  anorexia

“I see,” Till rubbed Oliver’s shoulder with his thumb, “You aren’t fat you know. At the contrary, you are really skinny. I know you don’t see it this way, but can you trust me on that? Or even us? I mean, only if you want me to explain to them,” Till suggested. He would never betray the bassist, because he would lose his trust and never gain it again. The singer knew Oliver didn’t trust easily. The latter nodded.

Please do, but I don’t want to be here while you explain

Till nodded. He would respect all of Oliver’s decision, “Alright then, when do you want me to tell them?”

Today would be fine

Till smiled. This misadventure would end soon, “Good, do you have anything else to mention?” He wanted to be sure that he didn’t miss anything. Oliver blushed and looked away. He hesitated telling Till about his crush on Paul. Would he judge him? He tried something.

I love someone

Till was surprised, because Oliver had been hiding it very well. Normally, when you’re in love with someone, it’s quite obvious if you don’t know how to hide your feeling. He felt a dumb for being surprised, of course he wouldn’t have noticed since Oliver was never with them.

“Who is it? Do I know her?” Oliver cringed at the word ‘her’. It was going to be difficult. He nodded, since it was the truth, but not a ‘her’ as he said. Till thought for a minute. Who did he and Oliver know at the same time? “Is it someone close to us?” Oliver nodded. Till was a bit lost, because no girls were close to them, except… “You like Schneider’s sister?” He looked up at him and Oliver couldn’t help but chuckle. It’s been a long time since he laughed. It made Till smile, because Oliver seemed released from his heavy sadness. The bassist shook his head and looked down, a slight smile still on his lips. Till sighed, who could it be?! It wasn’t any girl he knew so… Wait, “Is it a man?” He asked, telling his thoughts out loud. Oliver’s smile disappeared and nodded slowly. That made more sense, “Oh okay, you could have told me from the beginning you know,” Till nudged Oliver slightly. The younger man nodded, leaving Till think, “Is it someone from the band?” Oliver gulped and nodded. He was getting anxious, and Till saw it, “No need to be anxious, I’m not judging you or anything. Love is love eh?” The singer reassured. Oliver didn’t feel reassured yet, since Till still didn’t know who he liked, “So, let’s proceed by elimination,” Till rubbed his chin, thinking, “Flake?” Oliver shook his head, “Richard,” Oliver made a disgusted face and Till laughed, “Understandable, he’s a lot to handle,” he paused and calmed himself, “Schneider then? I would understand, the guy is really cool,” Oliver smiled in approval but shook his head again. That only left… “Paul?” Oliver’s smile dropped and looked down. He slowly nodded, slightly noticing Till’s smile getting bigger on his face, “How cute, I won’t tell him, if that’s what you’re afraid of. I’ll give you the time to talk to him, okay?” Oliver nodded. He felt relieved that he had finally talked about it to someone, “Good, I’ll talk to them,” he sat up, “Please go eat something, if you’re not doing this for me, do it at least for Paul, he’s very worried about you, and he cares about you, okay?” Oliver nodded despite the harmful thoughts that were going in his mind.

You know he’s lying. If Paul cared, he would talk to you, he would have stayed with you, he would have followed you when you left, but he didn’t. Paul doesn’t care about you, only Till is, and yet, he’s only caring because he saw you cry. He would never have paid attention to you if you had controlled yourself.

The bassist stayed casual as Till smiled and left. When the door was finally closed, he let his tears fall down his cheeks. He was starting regretting telling everything to Till. What if they all decided to kick him out? He clenched his teeth, trying to suppress his sobs and buried his face in his pillow as he lied down on the bed. Fortunately, sleep took the best of him this time, so he fell fast asleep, avoiding a long time of cries and sobs.

~~

Till was a bit anxious. He was aware that he knew a lot about Oliver’s life now, and that only him had the power to make the others understand, since Oliver was too scared to do it himself. He wasn’t mad at him, he understood why he wouldn’t do it. He stood in the kitchen, making breakfast for himself and the others. He quickly went back to Oliver’s room to put some pancakes on his nightstand before coming back. The poor guy was sleeping, this conversation must have been exhausting for him, even if he didn’t talk. Flake was the first one to wake up, “Morgen,” he said groggily. Till smiled slightly and turned toward him.

“Hey,” He answered as Flake prepared his coffee. Paul, Schneider and Richard soon joined them, Till knew it was the time to talk. As everyone was sat around the table eating peacefully, Till sat up and cleared his throat, “I have to talk to you all,” he began, waiting for approval.

“What’s wrong?” Paul asked as he noticed that Till was worried. The singer sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He didn’t want to make them sad a worry them, but it had to be done.

“I talked to Oliver,” He just said. He didn’t want to spill everything yet. Everyone’s face saddened, as expected, “The first thing is… He let us think that he didn’t like being touched… When he needed it the most,” he lowered his gaze, feeling guilty.

“Wait… What do you mean?” Paul looked up at him, his eyes filled with worry and anxiousness. Till sighed, it was hard for him as well to tell Oliver’s secret, even if he was allowed to.

“He has… Depression, anxiety… and anorexia. That’s why he looked so sad and didn’t eat.”

“Holy--”

“Before you say anything,” Till cut Richard off, “He was really uncomfortable about talking about it. He didn’t talk, so I had to give him paper so he had to write down what he wanted to let me know. I have to admit I feel guilty for everything that had happened to him, because we didn’t reach out to him, and he needed us, badly. We left him alone with his thoughts, and that nearly killed him. Do you all remember when we found his cuts?” Till felt tears pearling in his eyes as he talked. The others nodded, all looking down.

 “I interrupted him during the night,” Paul said flatly. Till immediately looked up at him in a desperate way.

“What?”

“I had to go to the bathroom. When I stood in front of the door there was light coming from under it, so I thought Richard was in here, since he always takes a lot of time,” he threw an apologetic smile at the other guitarist, “I knocked, and then Oliver opened the door and left very quickly. I didn’t have the time to call for him, he was already in his bedroom. So in entered in the bathroom and I noticed that the blade of my razor wasn’t in my razor anymore. Then I understood. I checked to see if there was blood on it, if Oliver had really hurt himself. There wasn’t any, so I guessed I bothered him. I wanted to go talk to him about it, but when I opened the door he was sleeping, and I didn’t want to wake him up,” Paul explained, letting out his worry.

“Oh my God…” Flake blurted out. Paul didn’t wait anymore and went to Oliver’s bedroom. He was ready to give him all the comfort he needed and missed during those years. He opened the door and closed it to give them privacy and climbed on the bed, spooning the bassist tightly, tears filling his eyes. It was weird because Oliver was way taller than him. He felt the warmth of the bassist body, telling him that he was alive, and that he was here, with them. Paul didn’t know why his heart was beating so fast, but he just knew he was really relieved to find him here, sleeping peacefully.

~~

Oliver felt a weight coming from behind him, and arms wrapped around him. That wasn’t normal. He slowly opened his eyes and looked down and saw small arms wrapped around his stomach. What the fuck? “Who’s this?” He muttered with a shaky voice, filled of fear. Who dared to intrude in his bedroom while he was sleeping?

“It’s me,” Paul’s voice answered. Oliver got scared and jerked away from the small guitarist. What was he doing here?!

Till told him, he knows, he will stop being your friend, you disgusted him, he hates you now.

“What… What are you doing here?” Oliver said as he sat on the bed. Paul did the same and looked down.

“Till told us… A-And I’m so sorry for not noticing Ollie I swear I would have comforted you every time you felt down I’m so sorry I didn’t do anything, you’re one of my best friend don’t ever forget about that I’m here for you now,” Paul cut off his rambling by wrapping his arms around the bassist tightly. Oliver cringed at the word ‘best friend’, he knew it wasn’t a good thing, but at least that meant Till hadn’t told him about this part. He was shocked as well. He thought they would all hate him. His heart started to beat faster as he wrapped his arms around the small guitarist. He wished he could do this every day. He rested his head on the older man’s one, and closed his eyes. He felt safe in Paul’s arms, no thoughts were here to disagree. He froze when he heard the door open. He looked up to see Christoph followed by Till, Flake and Richard. He held Paul tighter, a bit impressed by everyone coming to him at the same time.

“Hey,” Doom smiled at him and sat on the chair next to the bed. Oliver smiled slightly at him but the drummer frowned as Richard opened the curtains, “Oh no did you cry?” Oliver made a confused face before bringing his hand to his cheek, feeling the dampness of his tearstains on them. He immediately looked down rubbed his face. Paul held him tighter and rubbed his back.

“We’re all sorry Oliver, for not having done anything to help you,” Flake said. The others all nodded.

“It’s okay…” The younger man muttered shyly. He wasn’t feeling too sad now, he had Paul cuddling with him, and that was the world.

“It’s not,” Paul muttered in his neck.

“We have to do something for you today, what would you be up to?” Flake asked. Oliver shrugged. He didn’t really do anything anymore.

“I don’t know… Maybe we could play a bit?” He proposed and the others nodded.

“Alright then.”

~~

A few hours later, the boys were rehearsing. This time, everything felt good. They were all in a cheerful mood and Oliver felt full again. But the feeling of not being loved by Paul stayed.

He was just being friendly, he doesn’t care about you. Look at how he forgotten the hug you had this morning. All around Richard now.

Oliver looked down. He hated ruining the mood, so he just turned away, hiding his sadness. Why were his shields giving up on him right now?

Just look at them. They are so happy with each other. Why aren’t they dating so you would know that Paul would never love you? Paul doesn’t need someone broken, he needs someone cool and perfect, like Richard is.

Oliver clenched his teeth. He didn’t want to think negatively in front of the others. He sighed quietly and focused back on his bass, plucking the strings to find a new riff. Nothing came to him.

“Are you okay?” He heard Paul ask and froze. He silently nodded and kept his attention on his bass. Paul wasn’t convinced but didn’t push, not sure of what to do. He walked toward Till who was in the other room, “I think Ollie is sad again,” he whispered to him and the singer took a glance at the bassist. He was withdrawing on himself, his back turned to everyone with an empty look, staring at his bass in his arms. That wasn’t good.

“You know Paul, he really enjoyed the hug you gave him earlier. You seem to have an effect on him,” Till answered with a smile. He wanted to make Paul understand that he was really important for the bassist, that he should be the one comforting him. Paul, as innocent he was, smiled back and jogged happily toward Oliver and wrapped his arms around his neck from behind.

Oliver froze and looked at the owner of the arms that were wrapped around him. It was Paul. He put his bass on its stand and sat up, lifting Paul’s legs against his waist, “Want me to carry you?” The bassist asked, smiling slightly. Paul nodded, smiling as well.

“I just wanted to hug you but I guess this is fine too,” Paul gently rubbed his cheek against Oliver’s like a cat. He was determinate to make the younger man feel happy.

“Alright then,” Oliver began walking around with Paul on his back, “I feel like I’m holding a little backpack,” He chuckled to himself and Paul pouted.

“Hey I’m not that small, you’re just a giant,” He said in a fake-annoyed tone. Oliver blushed and continued his journey. His negativity quickly faded away as he stayed with Paul.

“Did you turn in to a bag Paul?” Richard chuckled as he saw them. Oliver blushed more and looked down.

“Oh shut up. At least Oliver is tall and strong enough to carry me,” Paul smiled evilly and wrapped his arms around Oliver tighter to not slip from his grip. Richard playfully rolled his eyes.

“Be careful Ollie, you’re going to be stuck with him, he won’t let you go,” Oliver chuckled as well.

“That’s okay for me,” he turned his head toward Paul, who pressed a soft kiss to his cheek.

“Thanks,” he smiled, “Can we go to the kitchen please? I want to grab something to eat,” he then asked. Oliver was a blushing mess. He didn’t get why Paul was being so affectionate with him.

“At you service,” the bassist answered and went to the kitchen. He let Paul open the cupboard, it was a stage arrangement. Oliver nearly got the door in the face, Paul nearly made a glass fall when he took the box of biscuits. Oliver felt his muscles give up, he gently put Paul on the kitchen table like he would do for a little child. Paul was now happily eating his cookies. Oliver sat next to him. He felt really happy now, all his worries had disappeared… For now. He didn’t want to go back to the flat, he would be again confronted to his thoughts. His smile dropped a bit as he was staring at the floor. He didn’t even notice the cookie that was placed in front of him.

“Ollie you’re here?” Paul asked, waving the cookie in front of Oliver’s eyes. The bassist snapped out of his thoughts and looked up at Paul.

“Yes sorry,” he quickly answered.

“No problem, you want a cookie?” The small guitarist held a cookie for Oliver. The taller man’s stomach dropped. It’s been a long time since he ate one. He had eaten the half of a pancake this morning. He hoped Till wasn’t too mad at him. He eyed the cookie without knowing what to do. It was only a cookie right?

But what if he wants you to eat more after?

That made him hesitate. He didn’t know what he should say.

“Please take it,” Paul said, “I know you didn’t eat a lot today. One cookie won’t make you fat, don’t worry about that,” he reassured. It seemed to work since Oliver carefully took the cookie. It made Paul smile. Oliver felt good for making Paul smile. He wanted to make people happy and smile, because he knew how it felt to feel really bad, and he didn’t want that to happen to anyone. He took a small bite. It tasted good. His stomach wasn’t really happy at the idea of food but Oliver didn’t really care. He could eat one, it didn’t matter that much. He finished it. He didn’t feel too hungry anymore.

“Thank you,” he said, smiling slightly.

“You’re welcome, I’m glad you ate. I know it must have been difficult for you,” Paul leaned against him and rested his head on his shoulder. Oliver still had to get used to the touch Paul gave him, but he didn’t mind it. It was nice feeling loved, even by someone who didn’t love him in the same way. Even having talked to Till about it, he wouldn’t do anything about it, since he knew he didn’t have a chance with him. That saddened him a little but he accepted that fact, even if hope always stayed a bit.

“Only a little bit,” he replied and put his head on Paul’s. The situation was nice. He still didn’t get why Paul always stayed with him when there was Richard.

“Guys let’s go,” Till called. Paul and Oliver sat up from the table and left, smiling at each other.

~~

Dinner was fine. Oliver didn’t eat a lot, but it was a beginning. The boys were tired from the day, so they got ready for bed. Oliver felt weird when he walked into his bedroom. He put on his pajamas and climbed into his bed. He managed to fall asleep without crying. Unfortunately, the feeling of coldness and loneliness always stayed, because he knew his happiness wouldn’t last long.

Oliver went into the living room to find Paul. He sat next to him on the couch and smiled at him slightly. Paul didn’t even look at him. Oliver lowered his head. His thigh accidentally brushed against Paul’s who growled, “Can you just leave? We don’t need you here, God you’re so annoying!” The guitarist sounded so annoyed. It crushed Oliver, who tried to sit up but hands on his shoulders prevented him. He looked up to see Richard, a dark look fixed to him.

“We can’t bear your mood swings anymore Riedel,” he heard Till say right in front of him. Then a punch was thrown at his face and he felt himself scream, “That’s why you’re out of Rammstein get out.”

Oliver couldn’t move, he was stuck. He was terrified of being hit, “Go away, we don’t want you here,” he heard Schneider’s voice.

“Please don’t…” he muttered.

The bassist gasped as he opened his eyes. He sat down and looked around him. He was alone, no one was here to hurt him. He felt tears rolling down his cheeks. He knew no one would comfort him, he would never go wake up someone to help him, it wasn’t fair. He brought his knees to his chest and rocked back and forth to calm down. He wiped his tears away and sniffled. He tried to not cry too loud, or he would be fucked.

Unbeknownst to him, the boys were all awake behind his door deciding on what to do.

“We can’t let him like that,” Flake muttered.

“We can’t all walk in like that,” Schneider replied, “He was a bit overwhelmed when we did it. One of us has to go in here,” he looked up at his band mates. All the looks fell on Paul, who nodded.

“I’ll take care of that,” he said.

“Take a good care of your lover,” Richard chuckled quietly.

“He’s not my lover,” Paul rolled his eyes.

“Yet,” They all said at the same time. Paul was taken aback. Was he that obvious?

“He doesn’t even like me,” The small guitarist rolled his eyes.

“You’d be surprised,” Till winked at him and Paul frowned. He just walked into the bedroom quietly.

Oliver froze when he saw light coming from the door. He looked up to see Paul. What was he doing here?! The guitarist walked closer to him and sat next to him, “I’m here for you, what happened?” He wrapped his arms around the bassist. Oliver unfolded his body and buried his face into Paul’s neck.

“Just a nightmare…” he answered quietly, “Did I wake you up?” Paul sighed.

“We all heard a yell coming from your bedroom. You must have been sleeping when you did it, so don’t feel guilty about it okay?” Oliver felt guilty anyway. He should have controlled himself better. He nodded anyway. Paul squeezed him, “You could really use of someone to keep you safe for the night, can I stay with you?” Oliver felt his heart beat really fast. He slowly nodded and closed his eyes, feeling tiredness washing over him. He felt Paul’s thumbs wiping his tears away, “Let’s sleep Love,” Oliver felt himself blush at the nickname and let Paul lie him down. They were cuddling, Paul had buried his face into Oliver’s neck and was holding him tightly. The bassist never slept with someone, but he didn’t care at the moment. He was so tired. He slightly tensed up when he felt a kiss being pressed in to his neck, “Goodnight Ollie, love you,” Paul muttered. Oliver was too scared to answer. He just squeezed the small guitarist as an answer and fell asleep.

~~

“They are so cute together don’t you think?” Richard whispered as he looked at the sleeping guys on the bed. Till smiled slightly.

“I hope they will finally acknowledge their feelings,” Flake thought out loud.

“They will, don’t worry about that,” Till reassured.

~~

Oliver slowly opened his heavy eyes and immediately noticed Paul sleeping against his chest. He was so cute. He carefully rubbed his head, a slight smile plastering itself on his face. He felt Paul stir in his arms.

“Morgen Paulchen,” he muttered. The older man rubbed his eyes.

“Morgen Ollie, slept well?” He answered and looked at the bassist with love in his eyes, but Oliver didn’t notice it.

“Yes, thanks to you,” Paul awed at him and snuggled closer to him.

“It was nothing, you’re a very good hugger you know?” Oliver blushed at the praise and looked away, still smiling.

“I’m not, you are,” he answered, knowing where it would lead. Paul poked him in the ribs.

“No you are, don’t argue with me Riedel you know you won’t win this,” the smaller man tickled the bassist’s side, who yelped.

“Hey stop that!” Oliver laughed and tickled the man back, who wiggled around. They tickled each other until Paul found a very ticklish spot in Oliver’s neck, which resulted as him being the dominant one of the ‘fight’. He soon found himself straddling the younger man’s hips. Oliver froze and looked up at Paul with his mouth slightly open. Paul’s eyes soon found Oliver’s ones, they stared at each other. Oliver’s look fell into Paul’s, he was hypnotized by his blue/grey eyes. He never watched them closely, since he would just look like a psycho. His anxiety rose up when Paul leaned in. What was he doing?! No he couldn’t do that! Paul seemed to notice Oliver’s distress because he suddenly stopped and leaned back, looking down.

“I’m sorry, I don’t know what I was thinking,” the guitarist muttered ashamedly. Oliver’s heart dropped. He was going to kiss him.

Of course you ruined everything again. But remember, it’s a trap. He just wants you to feel better, he doesn’t have feelings for you, he never will.

Oliver looked away, sadness filling him. He felt so stupid. He couldn’t protest out loud, so he just took Paul’s hand in his. The small guitarist immediately looked at their hands, and understood, “You don’t mind?” He asked softly. Oliver shook his head, despite the thoughts running into his mind.

It’s a lie he doesn’t care he’s playing with you he doesn’t want to kiss you he’s just being nice.

“Oh…” Paul smiled slightly and blushed, “Can I kiss you then?” Oliver looked back at the older man and nodded. His face felt like fire, it was really hot and red. He stared at Paul’s lips as he leaned down slowly. A hand found itself on his cheek, stroking it gently. Oliver reciprocated it on Paul’s cheek. Suddenly, Paul’s lips fell on his. His eyes opened widely as his heart was pounding into his chest. His whole body felt like fire as he pushed his lips back against Paul’s. He had never kissed someone, so he didn’t know what he was doing. Paul leaned back slightly and pressed another kiss on his lips. Oliver could see something into the smaller man’s eyes. He didn’t know what it was but he knew it was a positive thing. The sound of their lips meeting each other again and again filled the room, Oliver feeling full each time their lips met. Oliver’s hands made their way to the other man’s hips, gripping them, while Paul’s both held his cheeks, stoking them with his thumbs. They wouldn’t let go of each other. Paul had closed his eyes, that meant he trusted him. Oliver did the same as their lips met again. Paul’s lips were soft, and he definitely was a good kisser. They also tasted good, he didn’t have a bad morning breath. He barely held back a soft moan when Paul gently bit his lower lip. It felt good. All his worries had washed away as soon their lips met. Oliver was a blushing mess, his whole face was red, but Paul didn’t seem to care. The feeling their nose touching each other as they kissed was making Oliver safe, that Paul was always with him during his good moment. Paul gently pecked his lips a last time, a bit longer than the other kisses, and leaned back slightly, his forehead resting against Oliver’s burning one. They both opened their eyes and Paul felt a pang of sadness when he saw tears filling the younger man’s eyes, “What’s wrong? Did I hurt you?” Oliver smiled and shook his head.

“No, it’s just that I never felt like that before,” he admitted, looking down. Paul looked at him sadly and pressed his lips against his, this time in a slow and long kiss. It took Oliver by surprise, but he knew it voiced everything that Paul didn’t say out loud. The older man softly gave his lips another kiss.

“You don’t deserve what happened to you,” he whispered softly, stroking gently his cheeks, “I’m here to remedy that, if you want me to,” the bassist’s eyes widened.

“W-Wha--”

“All I’m saying is, that I love you, and I want to take care of you, to help you through this and protect you from you nasty thoughts,” Paul cut him off. Oliver’s head started to ache.

He’s lying it’s false he can’t love you he’s just saying it to reassure you it’s a trick you’re too broken for him you don’t deserve him he can find way better than you!

“Y-You can find better than me…” Oliver looked away sadly. He always believed his thoughts, so it was hard for him to hear that he was loved. Paul shook his head. He leaned back and let Oliver sit, but still stayed on his lap.

“I don’t need better than you. You are great enough, even more than enough, even if you don’t think like it,” Oliver felt himself blush more. Unfortunately he still wasn’t convinced. He internally wished he could believe Paul without over thinking everything he said.

“But you can’t love me…Why me?” Paul sighed. He wasn’t mad at Oliver for not believing him, he knew it was hard for him.

“Because you are you. You are tall, really good looking, you have a wonderful personality, you always were patient with me when I talked too much and the others just left… I mean, you don’t see it, but I can assure you that you are a great person,” Paul was smiling the whole time. Oliver stayed silent. He didn’t know what to say, no one ever told him that. He just rested his head on Paul’s shoulder and held him tighter. Paul chuckled softly and rubbed his back, “I love you, please don’t ever doubt that,” Oliver inhaled loudly.

“I love you too, and I won’t.”

They stayed like this, hugging each other and sometimes stealing kisses, until someone walked in.

“Well well well,” Richard grinned with his hands on his hips, “Would you look at that,” Oliver froze and looked down. Everything was new to him, and he wasn’t ready to tell the others yet.

“I-It’s not…” Oliver began but trailed off, his shyness overcoming him. Paul smiled and kissed his cheek, making him blush really hard since they were being watched.

“Don’t be jealous Richard,” Paul chuckled and Oliver smiled despite his embarrassment, “I have to tell you, he’s mine now, so back off,” Richard burst in laughers.

“Don’t worry about that, I’ll leave you alone then,” he waved at them and left the bedroom, “Ollie and Paul are being gay in the bedroom, it’s quite cute if you ask me!” He yelled through the flat, making everyone jump.

“Richard shut up!” Paul yelled back and held Oliver tighter, “I won’t let him take you away from me okay?” Oliver smiled rested his head on Paul’s, “Y’know… when I said you were mine… Well… It’s mainly because I want you to be mine, but we’ve never made it official so…” Paul leaned back and took Oliver’s hands in his, “Oliver Riedel, the best bassist in the world, the best giant ever,” they both laughed at that, “Will you be my boyfriend?” Oliver felt tears pealing in his eyes. No one ever asked him this, no one ever made him feel loved and important. No thoughts opposed his choice. He nodded and hugged Paul tightly, who hugged back gladly.

“I love you,” the younger man muttered and Paul squeezed him.

“I love you too, boyfriend,” Oliver chuckled at the nickname.

He felt really happy for the first time in years. It was like a dream, he became Paul’s boyfriend, something he always thought impossible. He would treat Paul they way he wanted to be treated, he would treat him good, and never let him down. He would make him happy.

~~

A few days later, the band was chilling in the living room, watching some documentaries that Richard insisted to watch. Paul and Oliver were curled up on the couch, Paul resting against his chest. Oliver felt full again. He still had dark times, but they were lesser and lesser. Paul was always here to comfort him, and that was the best thing ever.

His train of thoughts broke when he felt a kiss being pressed into his neck. He looked down at Paul who was smiling gently, “Yes?” He whispered to the older man.

“Nothing, just loving you,” Paul shrugged and buried his face into his boyfriend’s neck, pressing kiss to it from time to time. Oliver chuckled and held him tighter.

He really felt he belonged here now. He talked with everyone, he went out with them. Even if he was discreet he was always included, never left out. He was glad he talked about it.

Actually, his struggle being noticed was a good thing.