Wait For Me?
Summary: Mark deals with you being deployed to another country, it’s hard and while the two of you still communicate, it simply can’t compare to being with one another in person. But, the thought of you coming back one day, it keeps him sane. (I highly recommend listening to this on repeat while reading! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlbfAYvA_gI - it’s based off of this song after all!)
Heyo guys! I will say, while I have an aunt and uncle in the army, I don’t know too too much about it. So while I did some research, please forgive me if there are any inaccuracies.
“You’ll take care of yourself, won’t you Mark?”
“You know, if anything, I should be the one to say that,” His bittersweet chuckle met your ears, you were already working to remember everything about this man in front you, and his laugh was definitely something you wanted to have in mind.
“I’ll be fine, I promise. Tyler, can you keep an eye on this doof?”
“Absolutely,” Tyler offered you a sincere smile paired with a reassuring nod. You knew he’d stick to his word.
“I don’t need it though…”
“Maybe, but I worry about you. So deal with it,” You teased, the ghost of a laugh passed your lips. Albeit, your eyes held a certain sadness to them- Mark caught this, after all, his eyes never left yours that day.
Your eyes caught the time from one of many clocks overhead, he didn’t want to see it in case his suspicions were correct. It couldn’t be time yet, could it?
“Well, it’s time for me to go,” You took a deep breath from the pressure that built up in your chest, it felt like the weight of the world was crushing you. Reaching over, you hugged Tyler first. He was always like a big brother, maybe that was why he brought a sense of comfort to the hug; it helped to ease your nerves. “See you soon, Tyler.”
“Stay safe, (Y/n).” You simply replied with a smile as you pulled away, your attention returned to the man you loved so dearly.
His strong arms wrapped you up in a hug, clinging onto you like a koala to a tree, he held you in silence. Mark’s mind rushed alongside his heart, you could almost hear it despite the bustling crowd around you, after a few seconds you felt a minuscule splash on your shoulder. You pulled away to find him already in tears, “Oh Mark…” You gathered all your will to hold back your own river that’s on the verge of breaking the dam. Soft hands brushed the tears off his cheek, it was the first time he wouldn’t look at you. “Mark. Look at me, please,” your voice was stern but filled with concern.
“I’m sorry, I just-”
“I know, I know.” He watched as you reached up to press a delicate kiss against his forehead, then nose, and finally, a far too short kiss on his lips, “I love you.”
“I love you too,” He struggled, but managed to put on a brave face for you. “Call me as soon as you can, okay?” His brown hues met your own and watched as they lit up with adoration.
“Already planning on it, baby,” You gave one final smile towards the two men before sparing a glance at the clock, “Behave you two!” A playful, winking expression was the last one Mark saw as you left. His heart swelled as he watched you fixing your military issued cap all while dashing across the airport to security.
He missed you already.
Two months. It had been two months since your deployment and it was… tough. You were the first thing Mark thought about when he woke up and the last when he would fall asleep. Communication was sparse, he was lucky enough to be able to video chat you once a week or so. That helped a lot, for both of you. Albeit, it would never put an end to his worrying.
There were photos of you everywhere; he had you as his lock and home screen, plus the ones of the two of you framed around his house. Out of all the photos, however; there was only one he always kept on him. It was a small photo, but it was his favorite.
It wasn’t anything special, it was merely a photo that was taken a day you and Mark had gone to the park. You were wearing this adorable hat, it was a floppy sunhat and it made you look so cute- ergo, Mark thought he should steal it. You had playfully rolled your eyes and allowed for his silliness to pursue. He had taken the photo at the perfect time, you were in his lap with his free arm around your waist, both of you making adorable yet silly faces at the camera- it was terribly accurate of your relationship. But that’s why Mark never let this picture leave him, because in this simple photograph- there was a world, a memory, where time was forever frozen still in this happiness, there wasn’t any violence he had to be worried about, no war, no heartbreaks, nothing; there was only your love in this world.
After you left, Mark tried to wear only one type of shirt- ones with chest pockets. Why? So he could keep that memory, keep you, close to his heart.
“No way, really?! Mark! I swear the next time we video chat, you better be wearing that deer costume,” You laughed, God, it was refreshing to hear you laugh. You’d been gone for seven months at this time, and while he loved video chatting, it somehow made him realize just how far away you were. Nonetheless, time zones were hell; you were about twelve hours ahead in Iraq.
“I’ll see what I can do,” He teased, his smile softened as he watched your sleepy eyes, you must’ve woken up an hour or so ago. “Tired?”
You shrugged, “Just rough night,” though before he can interrupt you answer the question you knew he was about to ask, “-as in we had a lot of work to do. I’m supplies Mark, I know it’s still dangerous, believe me I know, but our only enemy last night was sorting out MREs.” A smile spread across your lips that you hoped would assure him of your safety. “And how are you?”
His tan hand ran through those messy noir locks of his, a sign of exhaustion or nervousness, possibly both. “I’m doing the best I can, I shouldn’t really complain though should I? You’re out there and I’m just-” Mark caught a glimpse of your raised brow as if to tell him to not even bother continuing that sentence, which enticed a chuckle from him, “Still sassy?”
“You know it, baby, always.”
The genuine smile that crossed his expression was a rare sight by now, it filled you with joy to see it again. His kind eyes stared into your own, “I really miss you.”
“I miss you too, Mark… You’ll wait for me, right?”
Your question perplexed him, it wasn’t something he’d expect to hear you ask, “What?”
“You’ll wait for me to come home?”
“Of course.” How could he do anything else?
His thumb traced circles on that photo while his other hand absentmindedly petted the golden dog beside him. He had noticed that even Chica was a little less playful after you left, she missed you too, huh?
During a call, you swore that it would get easier as time went on, soon sorrow would turn into excitement as Mark would be able to count the days down until you come home. Yet, the heavy cloud of heartache still lingered, even after ten months. It was tough, to say the least. Some days were better than others, love was hard; especially when the person you love was an ocean away.
The one thing he was thankful for out of all that’s happened though is that he never felt alone. His memories of you, photos of you, it all helped to fill in the missing gaps in his life that belonged to you. And talking to you, whether on the phone and hearing your wake-up voice or watching you laugh and smile over video chat, it brought life back to his soul. It was one of the only things he looked forward to.
The phone rang.
He set down the photo and gave Chica a pat before he picked it up, “Hello?”
The call was short. After a few minutes, he had already said goodbye.
But that didn’t stop him from dropping the phone as he stood in the center of his kitchen paralyzed. Whether he knew it or not, his face was drenched in hot tears that had been running down his cheeks since the man over the phone started talking.
There was an ambush on supply caravans, the crossfire between the armies got messy and… And you had gotten entangled in that mess.
You were in critical condition and things weren’t looking up.
He told Mark to, “Be prepared for the worse.”
Mark couldn’t sleep that night, instead, he just sobbed.
He was defeated.
All the stars in the sky looked as if they were dimmed; the light in his life was erased from existence.
It was a week after the call. Yet only more of them kept coming, the first few he ignored. Mark didn’t want to hear the final news, he didn’t want to here if you…
Though, he eventually answered them. The photograph was in his hand- he was so nervous he almost caused it to fold. Mark stopped himself before that could happen, he didn’t want to damage you in that world too. When he finally picked up, his feelings of despair faded and were instead replaced with hope, hope that grew into something bigger like the wild flowers at daybreak, it bloomed into something joyous.
You’d been showing improvement!
His smile never ceased to stop that day and would willingly admit that a few tears fell from pure elation. Whether it was foolish or not, ever since that day he believed you would be in his arms again, it was only a matter of time.
When he went outside with Chica later, he noticed how the sun appeared to shine a bit brighter than before.
“I told you I would be okay, Mark,” Your sweet, calm voice reminded him over the phone, to which he shook his head at.
“You almost died! That’s not-”
“But the point is that I didn’t,” You interrupted, he heard the smile in your voice. He was certain you imagined his worried expression as he spoke as well.
“I know… God, I am so happy that you’re alright. How are you healing up?”
“Pretty good, we have amazing doctors here. They told me to keep the workload on a minimum for now, but overall-” A doorbell interrupted you- the familiar rang through the phone. “Do you wanna get that?”
“No, you’re more important,” He reassured before adding, “Plus I wasn’t expecting anyone today, it might be the Girl Scouts with their ever tempting cookies.”
It rang again. Your laugh echoed over the speaker, how he missed that melody, “It seems like they really want you to answer, Mark. I’ll wait, just go ahead and check- though if it is girls selling cookies, how about you get me some?”
Mark chuckled, “Why not, but I’m still taking you with me,” He headed to the door, twisting the knob to open it. “Plus, I can never remember-” But as Mark looked to see who was at the door, he only met those loving eyes he’d missed so dearly.
You were still in uniform as you leaned against the door frame. Eyebrows quirked up at his gobsmacked expression, “I’m guessing that my surprise worked?” Oh God, how fast could his heart beat before it would become a firework of euphoria? He couldn’t believe it- there you were, after almost thirteen months, there you were. This wasn’t a photograph nor was it a computer screen; this was real life.
He stood frozen, shocked and amazed. It wasn’t long until you watched as tears fell from his eyes, which completely broke your heart. In that instant, you embraced him tightly with every fiber of your being, the familiar embrace was what sent you into tears soon after. Mark was thawed from his frozen state and pulled you close to him, it was tight and while you’d almost expect it to hurt, the adrenaline and endorphins must have blinded you to the pain- you were rather thankful for that.
“You’re back?” His question was mumbled by your hair but you nodded nonetheless.
“I was scheduled to come back in fourteen months, but after the accident, they figured, why not now? It was only a few weeks away,” You explained, head nuzzled into the crook of his neck.
Mark began to loosen his grip but held you close all the same, “I hope you know I’m never letting you go.”
You smiled warmly, pulling back a bit as you stared up into those big brown orbs of his, “Good, ‘cause I don’t want you to.”
I’ve realized I made Mark cry a lot in this, but that’s okay. I feel like it’s accurate lol EIther way, I hope you all enjoyed this wonderfully angsty but fluffy story, please tell me if you did! :)