Jack felt Mark’s forehead and frowned, concern coming to replace the once humoured expression on his face. “Oh wow, ya weren’t kiddin’ when ya said ya felt ill. Yer burnin’ up”
The older man sighed and lay back in bed, feeling his whole body ache and sweat under the sheets. “I feel like utter shit” He groaned, rubbing his temples when he felt a headache coming on. Jack smiled at him, kissing the top of his head.
“Should I stay home t’day and look after yeh?”
Immediately shaking his head, Mark sat up again though a little too quickly as his head began to throb. “No, I want you to go into work. You have people depending on you today, I don’t want my silly sickness getting in the way” Jack rolled his eyes, letting out a defeated sigh.
“Okay, okay. Ya win, I’ll go t’ work. But if ya start feelin’ worse, don’t hesitate t’ ring me okay?” Mark nodded and smiled sweetly at his boyfriend, the Irishman returning the smile and running his hands through Mark’s sweat soaked locks.
“I’ll be back by lunchtime, I hope ya feel better by then”
And with that, Jack was gone, leaving Mark to suffer his sickness by himself.
Mark regretted his decision to let his boyfriend go to work minutes after he left, it was becoming apparent that without someone to take care of him, he’d be struggling to get through the day.
His head throbbed painfully and his whole body was burning up and aching, sickness came in waves and sometimes, the American was only too sure he was going to vomit. He missed Jack’s calming presence and wished that he was back to look after him like the big baby he was.
Hours passed and within that time, Mark felt no improvement to his health whatsoever. Every time he closed his eyes, pain travelled swift through his body and the nausea served to worsen too.
“Jesus christ..” The older man groaned, sitting up in bed after lying there for what felt like days. Mark stood up on shaky legs and made his way toward the bathroom, nearly losing his balance on the way there and having to lean against the walls in the hallway to evade the dizziness.
He was only too sure he was dying.
He entered the bathroom and leaned against the sink, looking in the mirror to be met with his pasty and sweaty reflection. “Maybe a cold shower will do me good” Mark said, glancing at the shower in question before he looked at the mirror again.
As he stared at his reflection however, a sharp red hint appeared in his eyes before it quickly disappeared again. Mark gasped, surprised and confused to what had just happened.
“I’m probably just hallucinating..” The American mumbled, going over to the shower and starting the taps, allowing the water to run cold before he began to remove his clothes. Disgusted as he realised they’d been stuck to him with sweat.
Mark climbed into the shower and sighed in content when the icy water began to hit at his sweltering body, immediately cooling him much to his satisfaction and easing away the awful headache he’d been having.
After his shower, the older man made his way back to his room and pulled on a fresh pair of pajama pants and an old shirt, feeling better now that he’d cleaned away all the filth that had been stuck to his skin.
Sheer exhaustion got the better of him and he fell asleep, but not before his body began to violently twitch and convulse, Mark having no knowledge as he slept soundly.
His mouth fell open and he began to gag and groan, fitting rapidly on the bed and twisting into unimaginable positions. Dark smoke began to escape his throat and manifest beside him. The manifestation becoming the form of a man who looked exactly like him, only his eyes were coloured black with red pupils shining noticeably.
“Finally, years of being trapped in that idiot and finally I’m free again” The man spoke, looking down at Mark and scoffing when he realised that he probably wouldn’t wake for a long time. Lost to the world in a near comatose state.
Jack arrived home only an hour after, he’d hadn’t had a phone call or text from Mark so he had assumed that he must have been doing better. He placed his keys in the bowl beside their door and took off his jacket, placing it onto the side of the sofa before collapsing on the sofa itself.
“Welcome home baby”
Looking behind him, the Irishman grinned when he saw Mark standing in the hallway, looking almost immediately better than he had been earlier. “Yer lookin’ good, I told ya you’d be better soon!”
The older man chuckled softly and walked over to Jack, sitting down beside him on the couch and leaning in to kiss him on the lips much to the other man’s reluctance. “Jus’ cause ya feelin’ better, doesn’t mean yer not still contagious doofus” He laughed, running his hands through Jack’s hair.
“I just thought I’d give you a little welcome home present..” The sheer tone of his voice had shivers travelling through Jack, biting down on his lip and swallowing thickly. “Wh-what kind of present?”
The American chuckled and began to lay the younger man down on the sofa, pulling up his shirt to reveal his stomach. He leaned down and pressed kisses along it, earning a soft exhale from the man below him.
Feeling excited, Jack stayed exactly where he was and closed his eyes, expecting that Mark was going to surprise him with something new.
A soft chuckle escaped the man as he walked into the kitchen, knowing that Jack was completely and utterly oblivious to his actions as he searched around in the cutlery drawers and pulled out a large steak knife. A dark grin appearing on his face as he made his way back to the other man.
“Keep your eyes closed, it’ll make it more of a surprise..” The Irishman grinned and nodded his head, feeling as Mark pulled up his shirt even more to expose the full length of his belly before he pressed the tip of the knife into his flesh, not stabbing but instead inspecting his skin.
Feeling something sharp pressed against his stomach, Jack tried not to make any fuss about it and guessed that this must have been the surprise. “Ya gonna show me then?”
He lifted the knife away and hovered it over his upper abdomen. “Yeah.. I’m gonna show you” Lifting his arm high, he readied himself to stab and launched forward, only to be stopped in his actions by someone grabbing his arm.
“Get the fuck away from him.”
Mark was currently stood behind him, he twisted his arm and the knife fell from his hand as he yelled out in pain. Falling to the ground with a thud as Jack opened his eyes, gasping when he saw two Marks in front of him.
“What in the ever-lovin’ fuck is goin’ on?!” Standing up from the floor, the other man threw himself at Mark and they fell against the sofa, the knife just out of their reach as Jack backed away from them both, confusion getting the better of him.
The older man punched the dark figure in the face and pushed him off of him, running over to Jack and standing in front of him in a protective stance. “Stay away from Jack. You have no reason to hurt him.”
A scoff left the other man and he picked up the knife from the floor, placing his finger at the tip and playing with it. “That’s when you’re wrong. You love him and since my purpose is to destroy your life, why not start by killing Jack?” The man himself hid further behind his lover, feeling terrified.
“Who is that?..” He asked, fear filling him at the aspect of being killed for the sake of getting to Mark. “Oh sorry, did I not introduce myself? I’m Dark, here to make your boyfriend’s life a fucking misery”
Mark glared at him and stepped forward, still remaining protective of the younger man behind him. “I swear to god, if you hurt him. I’ll fucking kill you, Dark.” Snorting, Dark gave him a derivative look.
“Remember the last time you tried to do that Mark? Didn’t end so well did it?” Hints to the large scar going down his torso, the American gritting his teeth as he didn’t want to be reminded of that. He knew for a fact that to defeat Dark, he needed to get him when he was least expecting it.
Taking another step toward him, Mark kept his eyes fully on Dark, not letting him out of his sight. “What must I do, to make you go away?”
Chuckling, the dark man ran his hands through his hair and stared down at the knife in his hand, grinning smugly at him. “Look, Mark. If you even make one wrong move, I’ll gut your boyfriend where he stands” The Irishman gasped, his face paling.
“For fuck’s sake Dark. This has gone on long enough, I got rid of you before. I can do it again”
“Good luck trying then!” And with that, the man charged forward right toward Jack, the younger man attempting to run away but it was apparent that this guy was much faster. Mark chased him, rugby-tackling him to the ground.
Mark successfully pinned his hands to the floor and snatched away the knife, throwing it away from his reach and panting hard as he glared down at the man he’d come to hate throughout his life. “Face it, Dark. You’re done for.”
“Your confidence is cute, I’ll miss it though”
Out of nowhere, a knife manifested itself into Dark’s hand and he gripped it tight, Mark not seeing it. “Mark! Watch out!” Jack cried out, but it was too late. Dark plunged the weapon hard and fast into Mark’s stomach, pulling down the flesh to open him up before he pulled it out. Blood gushing as Mark collapsed to the floor in shock.
Dark stood up and began to laugh, watching as the older man began to twitch and convulse at the unbearable pain caused by the knife wound, blood pooling around him and saturating his clothes.
“Just face it Mark! You’re done for!” He carried on laughing, a dark expression on his face as he watched the man he’d fought so hard to destroy, begin to die.
“Might wanna rephrase yer choice of words..”
Turning around, Dark was met with the sight of Jack as he launched the steak knife from before into his throat, stabbing multiple times before a dark mist escaped the holes now forming in his neck. “NO. NO THIS CAN’T BE!” He tried to yell, his words choked out as he fell to the floor and exploded into a dust cloud, finally erased from existence.
Chucking the knife onto the ground with a loud clatter, Jack ran over to his lover and immediately ripped off his shirt, noticing just how big the stab wound was. “O-oh god.. Mark.. Oh god..”
Mark’s whole body was trembling as he tried to fight through the god awful pain that was threatening to take over him. “J-Jack.. I.. Thank you..” Tears began to fill the Irishman’s eyes, holding his boyfriend’s head on his lap as he started to speak.
“I’m so sorry Mark.. I’m so sorry..” Jack started sobbing, tears falling down and landing on Mark’s blood splattered face. “Don’t a-apologise.. You did n-nothing wrong..” A shaky hand rose up, holding the side of Jack’s face as he stroked at his cheek.
“Please don’t die..”
Tears fell down the American’s cheeks, knowing that was something he couldn’t reassure him about. His whole body began to weaken, knowing that it was beginning to give up on him. “I’m sorry b-baby.. I can’t m-make any promises..”
Hiding his head for a short moment in his shoulder as he cried harder, the younger man leaned down and pressed a soft kiss against Mark’s lips, feeling the other man return it before he reserved his energy for breathing.
“I l-love you so much..” Mark whispered, his hand slipping away from Jack’s face only for the Irishman to grab it and squeeze it tight. “I love yeh too..”
With the last of his energy, Mark smiled at him and allowed his eyes to fall shut, no longer looking up at the gorgeous sight that was his boyfriend. His breathing grew shallow and sharp until his chest stilled, Jack feeling cold rise up in him.