14. “How can I hate someone that I’m in love with?” Andreil. I am ready for angst (such Christmas spirit, wow)
14. “How can I hate someone that I’m in love with?” (Hi there I combined this with another request, so this is the sequel to my 99 prompt with Neil getting hurt !!)
“All they had in the tooth-rotting section at the corner store was coffee crisp and triple fudge so I got both,” Neil announces, shouldering their door open with his hands full of ice-cream tubs and an array of keys.
He’s taken to wearing them on a lanyard like a school teacher, and Andrew knows he does it because he wants them at hand, near his heart. Renee bought him a fox charm and it hangs between the key to the court and the first one Andrew ever gave him — he’s memorized the shape of it without trying to.
Kevin glances at Neil over the screen of his laptop and stands immediately, walking wordlessly to his room. He retreats to his bedroom whenever Andrew and Neil are in a room together, lately. ‘A precautionary measure’ he’d sneered when Nicky had asked.
“Is that okay?” Neil says, suddenly standing above Andrew, head cocked.
“It’s acceptable,” Andrew replies, and opens his hand. Neil presses the triple fudge into his palm, and produces a plastic spoon from the shopping bag to balance on top.
“I figured you wouldn’t want to wait,” he explains, mouth quirked.
Andrew ignores him, hooking his finger in the plastic seal and breaking it apart. Neil collapses into the couch next to him, tossing his feet up over Andrew’s lap and dropping the bag on the carpet. Andrew looks at him. “It’ll melt.”
“Eat fast,” Neil says, and grabs Andrew’s first spoonful for himself.
“I should’ve let the FBI take you.”
“You should’ve,” Neil says seriously, “Now I’m your problem full-time.” He leans in enough that Andrew can see the chocolate in the corner of his mouth, the complicated relationship between his freckles and his burns —
He’s yanked back to the present by Nicky’s frantic voice, a high discordant thing like a wrong note in a bad piece of music. The rest of the foxes crest over the slant of the hallway, a wave of good intentions that pushes Andrew back into the wall and takes his breath. He can’t deal with them, he can’t escape to somewhere else when prying voices are trying to keep him here. He can’t be fighting to see Neil with foxes holding his hands behind his back.
“What’s the news,” Allison asks when they’re close enough, looking uncharacteristically haggard with her lipstick wearing away and her shirt untucked.
Andrew shakes his head.
“He’s not…” Dan starts to ask, horrified, and Andrew’s fists clench so hard his knuckles crack.
“No,” Matt says firmly. “The monster would be ripping this place apart.”
Andrew produces a knife instantly, and renee catches his wrist, eyes hard and terrible above her smile. “You’re going to get yourself kicked out of the hospital.”
He hates it, he hates it, because it’s the only thing that could’ve made him stop.
He drops the knife on the floor and Renee quietly stoops to pick it up and pocket it.
“He’s going to be okay, Andrew,” Nicky says earnestly, skirting carefully around Renee to stand in front of him.
“He’s survived worse,” Kevin agrees, an old haunted look on his face.
“Don’t,” Andrew says. It’s all he can manage.
There’s a knife in his chest and Neil has the handle; if he dies now the blade never comes out. If he dies it won’t matter how much armour Andrew puts on, the knife is already in, always.