Come Find Me VI
So this is a little short, but at least I got something done? I hope you like it anyway, sorry for the delay. This is a turning point in the story. I promise, things get a little better from here. Also @cosmic-melodies, since you asked.
Anxiety jerked his jaw out of Roman’s grip. Roman let him, but didn’t let his gaze shift off the other side. He didn’t know what was going on here, but he knew it was serious. Part of him wanted to go right now and fetch Logic and Morality. But at the same time he didn’t want to risk Anxiety clamming up even more.
“So,” he began slowly, his mind racing. “There are several things I need to address. But let’s start simple. Why weren’t you eating?”
Anxiety wasn’t looking at him. “Why the fuck should I tell you,” he said, his shoulders hunching in.
“Because what you seem to believe,” Roman snapped, frustration and worry bubbling up from within him. “I actually do care about what happens to you! And actually, you know what, let’s start there instead. Why on earth would you think we don’t care about you? We fight, yes, but that doesn’t mean I hate you. That doesn’t mean I want to see you hurt. That doesn’t mean I want to see you like this!”
“You know Princey,” Anxiety said, his hands fiddling with the hem of his jacket, “You’re really good at those pretty words and promises. A real charmer, if you will. But see the thing is, it’s your actions that show the truth. So I don’t think you guys don’t care about me. I know you don’t. So you don’t have to lie and play nice because you think it makes you a hero. Just forget we ever had this conversation and go back to your oh so perfect life. I don’t care anymore.”
Roman’s frown deepened. Anxiety didn’t sound angry like he had before. Now he just sounded defeated. Not to mention what he was actually saying was disturbing.
“You said something about that earlier,” he said, trying to recall the exact words. “Something about learning your lesson, and then later how it took a week for us to find you this time. Wh-what were you talking about.”
“It doesn’t fucking matter, okay,” Anxiety told him, his hands beginning to ball into fists. “Nothing fucking matters anymore.”
Roman stared at him. This wasn’t good. He had to figure out where all this was coming from, but if Anxiety couldn’t talk to him, how on earth was he supposed to do that?
Think, Roman, think, he thought. Use your creativity, and work it out.
Okay, he thought. Anxiety hasn’t eaten in week, uh, that’s the same amount of time he talking about us taking to find him. Find. That’s an interring choice of words. And earlier he sounded really upset about why I did come in, talking about how it wasn’t because we cared…
“Did you want us to find you?” he blurted out, things suddenly clicking into place.
“Right now I want you to leave me alone.” Anxiety snarled, his shoulders hunching in defensively.
But Roman wasn’t deterred.
“You wanted us to search for you,” he said, mind racing furiously. “You wanted us to notice that you were gone, to prove that we cared, that we’d help you. And we-“
“Didn’t.” Anxiety finished for him. “Yeah, I noticed that. I mean, I guess part of me always knew, but this past week just helped to make that little fact crystal clear.”
Roman was going to be sick. This was a disaster. They-he had messed up so badly.
“Anxiety, that’s not true. I am so sorry, I, we didn't” he stammered out.
“Really, Roman?” Anxiety rolled his eyes. “I thought we went over this. Telling me a pretty lie won’t magically make this all better. And you know what, maybe this all of best. Now I know what to expect, instead of hop- whatever. Point is, it’s done.”
Roman felt helpless. He could have stopped this days ago. He’d been right by Anxiety’s door, and if he had just reached out and knocked, things would have been better. But he hadn’t, and now he might broken Anxiety’s trust in him forever. And Anxiety was right, there were no words to fix this.
But, maybe, actions might.
The beginnings of a plan beginning to swirl inside his mind, Roman reached out and wrapped his arms around Anxiety.
I’m going to make this up to you, he vowed silently. For what kind of prince would I be if I ignored the injury I so callously dealt you.
Anxiety shoved him away. “Get off,” he hissed.
Prince let him.
“I’m going to go talk to Morality about making soup for lunch,” he said. “I’ll be back soon to bring you some more water though. Try not to move too much. You need to let your body recover.”
Anxiety scoffed “Yeah, yeah, do whatever the hell you want. I really could not care less.”
But Roman could hear the lie in his voice. Anxiety did care what he and the others did, more than he had ever realized.
“I’ll be back soon,” he repeated, then headed towards the door.
Morality was probably in the common room. The trick would be not revealing why he wanted soup. Maybe he could play the random craving card.
True, telling the others might make things easier, and Roman did think they would need to learn at some point what had happened, but he’d promised not to say anything to them. And right now he had already lost enough Anxiety’s trust. He didn’t need to lose anymore.