Pair: Ohm x Cartoonz
Word Count: 1260
Trigger Warning(s): hints at self-harm, chain-smoking
Writer: Me/johnny_writes [wattpad]
Dt: @emesbii bc there highkey needs to be more Ohmtoonz
It was a late February night, I listened to porch swings creaking with the weight of the neighbourhood. Listening to the soft night-murmurs of the grown people on our street. I stood on the porch, scanning everything around. The only sign of life was the lit cigarette smoldering between my fingers. I sucked on the cigarette like it was the only thing anchoring me to the world.
It was cold, a slight breeze making it seem just a little bit colder. But I tried not to let the cooler temperature get to me. I took a hard drag from my cigarette, the cherry flaring, and lit the end of a new one off the old one before stubbing it out. I had already smoked a pack and a half, so another one wasn’t anything special. Even though I told myself I was only going to smoke one, I got carried away and on autopilot. Smoking a full pack or two was a normal thing for me. Luke has always had a disapprobation about smoking and cigarettes. He almost went addle when he found out that I chained-smoked daily, but what could he do? Nothing.
The porch light flicked on and the front door opened. Luke peered his head out. I brought the cigarette up to my lips and turned to him.
“Hey, the temperature is dropping, you should come inside soon,” he said. I sucked on the cigarette and held the smoke in for what felt like forever. When I exhaled, it was like I’d blown the last dusty remnants of my hope out with it. I nodded. He shut the front door and turned off the light, leaving me alone in the dark…again.
Eventually I stubbed out my cigarette, going inside our warm home. I hung up my coat and took off my shoes. I toss my half empty cigarette pack onto the coffee table, laying down on the couch. I heard Luke walk down the stairs, coming into the living room. I motioned him over. I wanted to be closer to him. He laid on top of me, snaking his long arms around my upper torso. I draped my arm across his back, my hand on his shoulder. He put his lips on mine and loved the after taste. He smiled sweetly, but it almost seemed forced. It didn’t look like his genuine smile. He chuckled. His chuckle always made me smile.
“Your lips taste like cigarettes and regrets,” Luke said. His big chestnut eyes looking at me. Lively. Observant. Beautiful and captivating. Drawing me in.
My smile wavered slightly. I drummed my fingertips on his shoulder before I moved my hand to the back of his head. I tried to think of something to say. But nothing. I couldn’t think of an excuse or a subject change or anything. My mind was blank. I wanted to tell him everything, but I’m unable to. Speechless. Tongue twisted. I wanted to tell him how I was nowhere close to overcoming my nicotine addiction. My chain-smoking. I am trying to quit, it’s not easy. Trying to quell an addiction of any kind is difficult. It’s not like I can just tell myself that I never want to touch another cigarette again in my life and I magically no longer crave these cancer sticks. It ain’t that simple.
I wish it was simple, though.
“Oh,” I finally mutter.
“You know, Ryan,” he said. “There is a reason, there is a story behind every single cigarette you smoke, right?”
Those beautiful eyes glaze over all shiny like little bruises.
“I know,” I whispered.
“Then why can’t you tell me?”
“It’s…I don’t think I can, Lukey.”
I drummed my fingertips on his neck. I didn’t know how to answer his question; notwithstanding, I didn’t want to answer his question. The answer I have should be kept cloistered.
“It’s nothing,” I say. “I promise Luke.”
“It’s not nothing, Ryan,” he retorts. “I’m worried and I thought that you trusted me.”
“I do trust you, but don’t worry.”
Luke sighs. I could tell he was getting annoyed and fed up with me. He gets up. He starts going up the stairs. “Great. Now I smell like fucking…cigarettes. I’m going to take a shower.”
I bolt up from the couch, following him upstairs. I didn’t want to cry, but I felt my eyes burning.
“Luke, please. Wait—”
“No! Leave me alone so I can take a damn shower!” he yells tersely. “I fucking hate smelling like cigarettes, and you know that, Ryan.”
I stopped. I just stare at him. My heart was palpitating hard against my ribcage, and I was sure that Luke could hear it. I was afflicted with him in dismal silence. I wanted to say something, but it felt like my tongue was tied. The anxiety I was suppressing was climbing up my throat, clawing at my oesophagus. It felt like bile burning through the mucus coated tissue. I balled my hands into fists. He was about to walk away when I tersely spoke.
“I’m sorry for smelling like cigarettes when you wanted to smell roses, and having bloodshot eyes when you wanted to look into a meadow, and having scars on my wrists and thighs and hips and stomach where you wanted to touch,” I mewled. “I just don’t know how to take care of my body other than destroying it.”
I couldn’t help it. I broke down in front of him. On the stairs. My face was buried in my hands. My body shook with each sob. Luke sat next to me, trying to calm me down. He wrapped his arms around me, pulling me closer to him. He shushed me, cooing words of reassurance into my ear softly. I shook and trembled in his arms.
“I wish that I was what you wanted,” my voice was muffled by my hands.
“Don’t say that. You are what I wanted,” Luke kissed my cheek. I wanted to stay like. In his grasp. Close together. I needed this. I brought my hands away from my face, hugging Luke tightly. I buried my face in his shoulder. He was so warm. He was so much warmer than I expected. But I didn’t mind. It felt…nice. With him soothing me, rocking us side to side gently, pecking my cheek every now and then. Lovingly.
Inevitably I calmed down. Luke pulled my face away from his shoulder, making me look at him. Into those eyes of his. He gave me a weak smile; a smile that looked sympathetic and pitiful at the same time. “I know you can eventually quit,” he said. “It’ll just take a while.”
“I know,” I said in a quiet, private voice.
Luke brought my face closer to his, connected our mouths in a tender kiss. He moved his hands to the sides of my face, holding me there. His lips against mine is the most peaceful thing I have ever encountered. His hands on my face and back are the most beautiful feelings I have ever felt. He makes me feel warm. The effect his touch has on me, is the same effect the sun has on the earth after a hurricane, or a cold night. When Luke pulled away, he giggled. He rested his forehead against mine. “Your lips still taste like regret and cigarettes.”
I smiled despite myself. “I’m sure it’ll always taste like that vaguely, even after I quit smoking.”
“Regret and Cigarettes„ sounds like a poem or song.