Imagine Loki as an eccentric science teacher who’s classroom is across the hall from your English literature class. The two of you are constantly assigned extra curricular activities for your students together as each tries to hide their growing feelings. The students notice and are constantly trying to set the two of you up.
Summary - Your boyfriend is an abusive asshole and you’ve been trying to hide it from Lin and everyone else in the company of Hamilton. Lin has suspected for a while, and you are forced to confess when he notices a bruise on your stomach .
I’m an abuse survivor myself. Not all abuse is the same, and so this fic is not meant to be a universal experience.
To anyone that may be experiencing abuse then my inbox is always open and I will always believe you. Tell a friend or a relative if you are able to. And there are many support lines depending on your town/state/country, talking to someone helps. Stay safe.
Warnings - I’m adding a trigger warning for mentions of emotional and physical abuse.
Your office was dark and silent as you waited for Lin. Down the hall you could hear warm laughter and excited chatter as the cast stayed after the show to meet with the various celebrities in attendance that night. You looked at your watch. If you set off home now then Mark wouldn’t be mad.
Lin had insisted you stay with him tonight. “Remember to wait for me ok? I mean it Y/N, I’m coming to get you as soon as I can get out of here” He’d reminded you minutes before the curtain call that evening.
So now you sat and you waited. You felt like a kid waiting to be picked up after school, and you felt stupid. This was ridiculous. You weren’t a child, you didn’t need need rescuing. You had a home to go and you hated the thought of being a burden to anyone, Lin was probably just being polite. A roar of laughter echoed down the hallway and you flinched. You didn’t want to tear Lin away from all that just to babysit you. You looked at your watch again. If you set off now then you would only be a few minutes late and maybe Mark wouldn’t be that mad. Maybe he’d just shout at you, maybe he wouldn’t hit you.
Lin had promised not tell anyone about the bruise, he’d promised not tell anyone about Mark, until you were ready. You explained you just wanted to work through today, to put all your energy into the mountain of incredibly dumb and mind numbing paperwork Alex had left you so you wouldn’t have to think about anything else, just for today. He hadn’t pushed you, he hadn’t pressed you. He’d nodded solemnly and said “whatever you need” with a devastatingly kind look which just crushed you.
The weight of this secret hung over you both like a dark cloud all day. The Ham4Ham show which he’d been excitedly plotting all day was now postponed and he approached Renee and Oak to take the lead and host instead.
“Hey what happened to the Backstreet Boys thing? You getting nervous about those dance moves huh?” teased Oak.
“Yeah I guess” Lin replied wearily. Renee pushed Oak aside, sensing something amiss and reassured Lin it was fine.
A few hours earlier he had been so excited about doing something so goofy. But now his eyes had lost their sparkle, instead he looked pensive and reserved and you noticed that he kept tensing his hands into tight fists and closing his eyes. And that made it worse, because it was fine for you to feel shitty, but now there was the overwhelming guilt of making Lin feel shitty too. And he didn’t deserve that.
You looked at your watch again. Ok, if you set off now then you’d definitely be home late. Mark would most definitely be in a terrible mood. He would yell at you that you were disgusting, ugly, pathetic, and as long as you kept quiet and apologized maybe he wouldn’t hit you that hard.
At that moment the door to your office swung open and Lin’s head popped round the door
“Hey Y/N, you ready? Sorry it took so long”
You swallowed the panic that had been rising in your chest only moments before and breathed. The sight of Lin’s soft eyes and a face greeting you with such kindness melted away your trepidation. You nodded nervously and Lin stretched out his hand.
“Let’s go” he said, smiling at you. You offered a weak smile in return and he grabbed your hand to lead you out.
“Ok so I’m warning you, I wasn’t expecting company tonight so things might be a little bit messy” laughed Lin as he opened the door to the apartment. It actually wasn’t that bad, you’d expected it to look a lot more chaotic, but there were piles of notebooks, papers, post-its, forgotten projects, and just the usual chaos you were used to seeing around Lin all the time.
“Honestly it’s fine” you mumbled, looking down at the floor. “I’m just so sorry to be putting you out like this, I feel awful, I shouldn’t be here.” You paused as you entered through the door, as though maybe you really should just turn back home right now. Maybe it wasn’t too late.
“No way, you’re staying. I mean it. You spent the whole cab back here apologizing, you are now entering a no apology zone, ok? No more apologies.” He gave you his best school teacher frown, the one that he used in rehearsals to make you laugh, and you squeezed out a small smile
You place your bag down on the couch, feeling everything move around you in slow motion. You felt like you were under water. When did this become your life? It was an almost an out of body experience where you could see yourself from above, feeling sorry for this mess of a girl in Lin’s apartment. You wondered when you had become this weak.
“I said are these ok?”
You realized Lin had been talking to you and you’d zoned out. You’d been doing that a lot lately.
Lin gestured at the clean towels in his hands.
“I thought you might need a shower, I just got you some towels. There’s some stuff to sleep in as well, it’s all clean I promise”. He smiled warmly at you but his eyes were still clouded in darkness. The face of someone so desperately trying to cheer you up while masking their own pain. You nodded and smiled and headed to the bathroom.
The hot shower felt good against your sore stiff muscles. Your body ached, and your belly was tender to touch. You looked down at your skin now marked in a map of bruises, some old, some new, and vowed to yourself that there would be no more new bruises after tonight. Mark would never hit you again.
You dried off and smiled to yourself as you unfolded the Ducktales t-shirt and sweatpants Lin had left you. The jersey felt soft against your skin, smelling of peppermint and fabric softener. You headed back to the lounge and for a second you watched Lin as he sat, unaware of your gaze. He sat on the edge of the couch, his hands clasped together in a tight fist which rested on his knees, bouncing up and down in agitation. He cricked his neck. There was a rage in his eyes which he’d been hiding from you. You’d seen it briefly that afternoon when you’d first shown him the bruise, but he’d worn a fake smile all evening for your benefit. But here was the same murderous look on his face, the anger that had scared you, and you felt an instant pang of guilt for making him feel this way.
“Thanks for the shower” you said, making your presence known. Lin looked up at you, the rage instantly melting from his face, and he smiled at you.
“And thanks for all this” you said gesturing to the camomile tea he’d prepared and the blankets and pillows on the couch which he’d set up.
“Oh this is for me, you’ll be sleeping in my bed tonight” said Lin, moving over so you could sit down next to him.
Lin held up his hands in protest. “Y’N there’s no way in hell I’m letting you sleep on this couch ok? No arguments. The bed is yours.” You sat down clutching the mug of tea for warmth and gave a resigned nod.
“God I’m so sorry…” you began
“Hey, this is a no apology zone remember? “ He smiled at you in reassurance and his smile, god, it was more than you deserved right now.
“I’m sorry. I know you said no apologies, but god I’m so sorry” You blinked back the tears forming in your eyes as Lin affectionately placed his hand on your shoulder with a soft squeeze letting you know that it was ok.
“Talk to me” Lin said gently.
And you talked.
You finally talked.
All the things you hadn’t been able to say, finally got said. You told him how things weren’t always like this. How the early days of your relationship with Mark had been fun, how he’d made you feel good, how he used to be a nice guy. But then how he’d lost his job and ended up moving in with you far too quickly and now it doesn’t feel like your home anymore.
Lin didn’t look away, he nodded at you to continue, he never interrupted. When you found yourself unable to form words when things get too difficult, he lightly traced small soft circles on your shoulder with his thumb, inviting you to continue, but never pressuring you to speak. His eyes showing you that he unequivocally believed you.
In a moment of quiet you sipped your tea which had now turned cold.
“And when did he first hit you?” asked Lin, his tone solemn quiet.
“It wasn’t hitting to begin with” You explained. “He’d say things, yell things. He’d yell at me that I was a slut, that I was a whore, that I was disgusting. He’d tell me I was pathetic, that nobody would want me, he made me feel grateful that he even wanted me. He laughed at me, said that my music, my work was worthless, that soon everyone would see I was worthless. And after a while I guess I just started to believe it too. I know that sounds stupid. I mean I know I’m stupid.”
Lin shook his head and stared at the floor, his mouth opened then closed, as though he was about to speak but forced himself not to before taking a breath.
“You aren’t stupid” he whispered.
You told him about the first time he’d hit you. The black eye, the marks on your wrist, the way he’d pulled your hair.
You told him about how Mark had seen the video, about how Jasmine’s words had antagonized him. How angry he’d been.
“And if that wasn’t enough, he heard me drunkenly refer to you as cute in that video, and boy was he gonna punish me for that”.
Lin turned his head to stare at you in that moment, his eyes were wild.
“It was nothing, I was drunk, but he heard it. And that’s why it’s my fault. That night he…. Well I don’t think I can even say out loud the things he called me that night, I don’t think I ever want to hear those words again” You swallowed hard.
“That night I guess I was just a punching bag for him. He told me he’d hit me where nobody would see. He punched me so hard I couldn’t breathe. I just remember him kicking me in the stomach and then nothing. I think I passed out from the pain.”
You swirled the mug of half drunk cold tea in your hands and breathed deeply. You had said it. You’d finally told someone. You felt lighter and free but also in utter shock from your own words, you’d not heard them said out loud before.
You looked over at Lin. He was still staring at the floor. His knee bounced while slowly shaking his head. His hands were in two tight fists, his knuckles white which he flexed and tensed. He muttered in Spanish under his breath
“…Voy a matarlo”
He looked up at you. He couldn’t keep the anger out of his face this time.
“I’m sorry. I just… god I just can’t believe that someone has done this to you!” He spat out in a rage. “That this fucking scumbag thought he had the right to do this to you. It just….”
Lin sat back against the couch, running his hands back through his hair, exhaling in exasperation.
He looked at you biting his lip, biting back the rage and steadying himself.
He lowered his voice.
“This wasn’t your fault. You know that right?”
“I know. But it’s also hard to really know that. When you hear that you’re a giant piece of shit for 4 months straight that becomes the only truth that you really know.”
Your eyelids felt heavy and you rubbed your temples. It was 3am. You’d talked for most of the night and you suddenly felt exhausted.
“Come on, let’s get you to bed. I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have made you talk about this so much.” Lin said, standing up and reaching out his hand.
“Hey, this is the no apology zone remember” you said smiling sleepily, and you grabbed his hand as he lead you to the bedroom.
You couldn’t keep your eyes open and Lin pulled back the sheets while you climbed in bed. You wanted to say more, you wanted to apologize at least a hundred times more, explain that you weren’t stupid, you wanted to figure out a plan of action, figure out what you were going to do about Mark, and then add a few more apologies in for good measure. But all you could mumble out was a sleepy “thank you” as your head hit the pillow.
Lin pulled the blanket over you and gently kissed your temple while whispering “Goodnight” before turning out the light and leaving you to sleep.
You woke up just 3 hours later in a panic. Where were you? Where was Mark? You caught your breath and tried to calm yourself down. Your eyes adjusted and you realised you were in Lin’s room. Last night’s confessional came flooding back and you realised it was ok, you were safe. Mark wasn’t here.
You sat up in bed. The blanket, the pillows, your t-shirt all smelled of Lin: peppermint, his coconut shampoo, and something else, something warm and familiar. Looking at the empty space next to you in the bed you felt a pang of loneliness and the dawning realisation that you wished Lin was there with you. You rubbed your tired eyes. It was far too early in the morning to be having these kinds of confusing feelings. You at least needed coffee before sorting through those emotions.
You crept out of bed, heading down the hall hoping to get a glass of water from the kitchen without waking Lin. You stood in the doorway and a smile crept on your face. You didn’t have to worry about waking Lin. It was 6am and Lin was sitting cross legged on the sofa eating cereal watching cartoons with a dopey contented smile on his face.
“Morning!” you croaked
“Hey sleepyhead” he grinned moving up to give you space to join him on the sofa.
“Why are you even awake?” you laughed as you climbed up next to him, resting your head against his shoulder.
“I could ask you the same” he smiled.
He set his bowl of cereal down, putting his arm around you and greeting you with a friendly forehead kiss, which made your skin tingle. Oh yeah, this was definitely adding to the confusing crush building in your head. But you didn’t move away, you felt safe, and warm, and happy for the first time in months.
“So I’m guessing you didn’t sleep much?” he asked.
“Nah” you sighed. “But it’s ok, I actually feel good. There’s just still so much to sort out though.”
“This definitely calls for coffee then!”
Lin jumped up and brought back the pot of coffee from the kitchen and two mugs and for the rest of the morning you quietly watched old episodes of Powerpuff Girls under the blanket on the sofa in a comfortable sleepy silence. You were so relieved that he hadn’t pressed you for more details, thankful that he hadn’t tried to get you to talk any more. You were all cried out, and you were so grateful that there was no expectation for you to continue the intense conversations from the night before.
“You know you can stay here for as long as you need” Lin said finally, breaking the silence. “You don’t have to figure anything out just yet, we can deal with Mark stuff later when you’re feeling up to it.”
You nodded. You weren’t able to make any of the big decisions that morning. Decisions such as whether to go to the police, how to get Mark out of your home, how to move on with your life, and why you felt this strange nervous flutter inside you when Lin smiled at you. They would all need to wait for another time.
“Thank you” you said earnestly. “Honestly, for everything, just… thank you.”
He smiled before pulling you back into another hug. It’s a friendly gesture, you told yourself. But still, you felt tingles of confusion and excitement ripple through you as he pulled you back under his arm and kissed the side of your head. You shivered and turned to face him, your nose practically touching his. Your skin felt electric.
This wasn’t just a friendly gesture.
Neither of you spoke. Neither of you looked away. He glanced down at your lips, his mouth opened and he gently cupped your cheek with his hand. He looked up at your eyes searching to see if this was ok. You saw the corners of his mouth turning up ever so slightly before he pulled you close to him and closed his eyes.
He kissed you so softly it tickled your lips. A small soft butterfly kiss that seemed to linger in slow motion as his bottom lip dragged lightly against yours. It lasted a second before Lin pulled back, removing his hand from your face and shaking his head, his eyes already full of apologies.
“God, I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have done that” He shook his head and bit his lip.
You looked from his eyes, down to his lips and you didn’t even think. You leaned in and kissed him again. You caught him by surprise and pressed your lips to his. He slowly began to kiss you back. They were small delicate quick kisses at first, turning into deep hungry desperate kisses, and you felt his hand in your hair, holding the back of your head pulling you closer to him, and his other hand caressing your cheek while his lips danced with yours. Strands of his hair brushed against your face as your pressed closer.
His lips felt urgent and warm and you felt his hand move from your cheek, slowly moving down your arm before wrapping around your waist. You gasped, your skin was still so tender to touch and you suddenly broke away from his lips, moving his hand away from the sore and aching bruise on your waist.
“Oh shit…” Lin began
“It’s ok it’s ok, I just… It still hurts” you winced.
“God, Y/N I’m so sorry.”
“Hey, we’re in a no apology zone, remember?” You smiled, but Lin didn’t smile back. He stared down at your waist where you’d lifted up the t-shirt to inspect your bruise. Your skin was dark purple and blue, with yellow edges and his eyes were wide in panic.
“No, this is too soon. You’re vulnerable and not ok, and I don’t want to take advantage of you. I shouldn’t have done that.”
There was a stunned silence, and your face flushed with embarrassment. Of course he didn’t want to kiss you. Who would want to kiss you? You were ugly and pathetic, and isn’t this what Mark had always told you? You were worthless, you were nothing, you were a joke, and you all you heard was Mark’s cruel laughter ringing in your head.
“It’s ok” you said softly. “It was my fault, it was stupid. Let’s pretend that never happened ok? We’re just friends, I was confused and I overstepped, I’m sorry.”
(Mark was right, I’m pathetic. I’m ugly. I’m a joke)
You looked back at the tv, suddenly finding yourself incredibly immersed and engrossed in the latest Powerpuff Girls adventures avoiding all eye contact with Lin.
“Hey Y/N really, it’s ok, you didn’t overstep, I really wanted to…”
You cut him off
“Hey, so I should probably get dressed” you exclaimed, a little too brightly. “And I might need to head to Target and pick up some underwear or something.” You began clearing up the the mugs and Lin’s forgotten cereal bowl.
“And we still have Ham4Ham to work on today. I hope you’ve been practicing your Backstreet Boys!” You forced a wide grin.
Lin’s eyes narrowed.
“Are you ok?”
“Of course!” you smiled.
(I’m ugly. I’m worthless)
“Are we ok?”
You sighed and closed your eyes. “Yes of course we are. You’re absolutely right, that shouldn’t have happened. Let’s just keep things light and easy today, I think that’s all my brain can handle.”
(Mark was right)
Lin looked at you, studying your face before nodding slowly in agreement.
“Whatever you need, I’ve got you.”
You nodded, unable to speak. Faking a smile and holding it together had become your speciality.
Thanks for reading. The 5th and final chapter is coming soonhere!