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Hunter has nightmares
But Adam always came, coaxing him out of it. Coaxing the terror from his mind so that he would finally feel safe, but only until it happened again. Each time seeming worse than the time before.
He would always wonder how hard it was for Adam. He thought about it every night before he would fall asleep. How was Adam handling this? How does he feel about being more of a caretaker and parent than a boyfriend?
He’d never ask, too afraid of Adam’s answer. To upset at his own theories on what his lover is actually thinking. Sometimes he would think about it so much that he made himself sick and shaken to the core. And Adam would think it was a mild nightmare.
No, this was well-placed fear about the future. About what may actually happen. It frightened him more than the hands ripping at his throat at night.
Oh, God. His throat. The soft hands closing around his neck with an iron grip, nails digging into his skin. He choked, grabbing at the hands. And the weight on his chest was that of a grown man. Slowly pressing and crushing, forcing a whimper to accompany the whoosh of wind leaving his lungs.
God, God, save him. He could feel the blood trickling from his neck, out from under the sharp, ragged nails. The pain was bitter and biting.
And the dark was pressing in on him from all different sides. Boxing him into the point of being paralyzed. No moving, no thinking. Just raw fear. And the small, desperate noise rising in the back of his throat as his tore at the backs of the hands clenching his neck.
Off. Off! This can’t be happening. It just can’t. How did this happen? How’d they get in? Dear God, help! Can’t breathe, can’t see. Only the dull stars exploding behind his eyes, warning him. And the blood, his blood, running down his neck from those nails.
Someone has to hear him. Someone just has too.
“Hunter! Hunter!” More hands were grabbing. Large, calloused hands pulling his. Grasping his hands and tugging them away. “Fuck, Hunter, wake up!”
His eyes snapped open. The lamp beside him was on, and Adam’s face hovered over him. His eyes were wide and worried.
“Adam. Adam,” his words were between gasps. Adam smoothed his hair, staring him in the eyes. His other hand held both Hunter’s wrists above his head.
Hunter closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on his breathing. God, that happened so quickly. He hadn’t even registered he had fallen asleep. He opened his eyes again and looked right into Adam’s eyes.
“I’m sorry,” he whispered, feeling tears burning his eyes. He swallowed hard, trying to keep everything down.
“Don’t be. It’s not your fault.” He paused, taking Hunter’s state in. “Will you be alright if I left you for a minute?” Hunter’s eyes widened.
“Just a minute. I need to get something for you.” Hunter’s chest constricted, but he swallowed again and nodded slightly.
“Of coarse.” Adam got up and quickly walked out of the room. Hunter laid back and stared at the ceiling, resting a hand on his chest.
He brought his hand up to his face. There was a thin coat of blood on his palm. Oh no. His breath quickened.
This has been happening for years. Never had there been… blood. What was happening to him? He was falling apart. The line between his nightmare and reality was becoming more and more blurred.
But he couldn’t stop starring at the blood. Was it his, or the hand’s that held him so roughly?
And to add all that was bombarding him he could now feel the dull throbbing sting on his neck.
He was tearing himself apart.
“Adam…” he sounded like such a little kid. All weak and frail.
“I’m here, Hunter.” Adam walked in, a damp towel, gauze, tape, and disinfectant in his hands. He strode quickly to the bed, sitting on the edge by Hunter. “I’ll clean you up.” Hunter flashed a watery smile and laid still while Adam gently pressed the towel to his wounds.
He cleaned them in silence. It was deafening. Hunter ached to be held, but Adam was already caring for him the best he could. But he still felt weak and misty-eyes. He wanted to curl into Adam’s arms and cry while he was rocked. He wanted to fall asleep and not worry about what may come to him.
He wanted to be normal again.
Adam finished and they sat there, still wrapped in silence. Hunter ran a hand through his hair, then scooted closer to Adam, laying his head of Adam’s leg.
“How many times do I have to tell you, Hunter? It’s alright.” Hunter wrapped his arms around Adam’s middle and shook his head.
“No. It’s not. It’s not fair that…” Hunter’s words caught in his throat. He swallowed and ignored his burning eyes. “That you have to take care of me like this. It’s not fair that I’m so weak. I wish… I wish we could be normal.” Hunter bit his lip and buried his head into Adam’s abdomen. He took in a shaky breath, holding his tears back.
Adam’s arms finally wrapped around him, pulling Hunter up and closer. He rocked Hunter back and forth, sighing and weaving his hand in Hunter’s hair.
“Hunter…” he paused, tracing lines on Hunter’s naked back, sending shivers down his spine. “Hunter. I don’t care how we do this. I love you.”
“Don’t. Please. I know it’s rough. For both of us, but we’ve got to keep going. Deal with the bad stuff, thrive on the good.” Hunter sighed and relaxed into Adam, feeling more at ease.
“We’ll get though it?”
“We’ll get through it.”