Requested ~ Kinda
Trigger warnings ~ talks and explains about a panic attack, and anxiety
Back in November i wrote an Ashton imagine called Warm Showers. A lot of people messaged me asking me to write more like it and i intended to have one up a while ago but just never really got around to it. I started this a few months ago and since i have been putting a lot of smut up lately i decided i needed a break from writing smut so i finished this. :) please keep in mind i am not trying to romanticize anxiety on any level. I based this off of something that happened to me in the past with my anxiety and how i coped/cope with my anxiety. Please don’t read this if any of those warnings are trigging to you. Remember I’m always here if you guys ever need to talk. Love you guys :*
Luke Imagine ~
“Babe you’re sure you’re alright with going out to lunch with me right?” Luke asked coming up from behind me, wrapping his long arms around me comfortingly.
“Yes Luke.” I smiled faintly.
Going out and doing things was never my strong suit. Struggling with anxiety was something i’d learned to deal with since i was young. I wasn’t quite sure what ever really triggered my anxiety but one day everything just became extremely bad. But luckily i had the most amazing boyfriend ever who was willing to help me in every way possible.
Together we’ve been working on me getting out of the house more. Just running some earns, going to the movies or even just to the grocery store. Every little thing i did without having a panic attack or melt down was a mini mountain i concurred. And concurring those things felt amazing.
Today Luke and the boys planned to meet up for lunch at the local diner. Each of them bringing their girlfriends, just a way everyone could catch up considering they were on break from touring for a while. Luke didn’t pressure me into going. In fact if anything he tried to talk me out of going. He didn’t want to push me, overwhelm me. But i felt it was important i went to this with him.
“It’s just lunch right?” I swallowed hard starting to feel panicked over having to go to anything else.
“Just lunch and then straight back here.” Luke whispered, kissing the side of my neck.
“Okay, i’m ready.” I exhaled shakily.
Taking my one hand in his Luke unwrapped his arms from around me. Twirling me like a little ballerina until i was facing him. He pulled me close and gently pressed his forehead to mine.
“You’ll be fine love.” He whispered before pecking my lips.
“It’s so good to see you [Y/N]!” Ashton cheered engulfing me in a massive hug.
“You too Ash.” I smiled melting into his hug. He was who i was closet to out of all the boys. Minus Luke that is.
“So how’s everything?” He asked placing a calming hand on my back as we walked into the diner.
“So, so it’s about the same.” I breathed out.
“You okay being here?” He asked genuinely.
“Um, yeah.” I nodded.
“That didn’t sound like a good yeah but i’m not gonna push it.” He giggled lightly making me join in. “Now lets go eat some food!”
The hostess brought us to our table. Telling us the waiter would be right over. Each of us grabbed a menu and began looking for what we wanted. The diner was crowded, a lot of chatter filling the air. I began to feel uneasy but tried pushing it aside.
My mouth felt dry and i felt like i had a lump in my throat. I tried taking a deep breath through my nose to relax me but it didn’t do much. Moving closer to Luke he noticed my movement and looked at me questioningly. I shot him a reassuring smile doing my best to cover up how i was already crumbling apart inside and we hadn’t even ordered yet.
I was in my own world. No longer even processing what was going on around me. I decided on a turkey sandwich figuring it’d just be the easiest thing to eat.
“[Y/N]?” Luke called causing me to jump letting out a yelp.
Looking up everyone was staring at me with concern on their faces. The waiter stood patiently at the end of the table. Tapping his pen against his notepad.
“What?” I asked.
“What would you like to eat ma'am?” The waiter asked.
“I’ll just have a turkey sandwich please.” I mumbled.
With the nod of his head he flipped his notepad shut and walked away. Seemingly semi annoyed i made him take longer to get the orders than he had expected. Sighing, i looked down and began fiddling with my thumbs.
“Baby are you okay?” Luke asked. My body lightly jerked at his words. “You seem a bit jumpy.”
“I’m fine it’s just a little hot in here.” I said straightening out.
“Do you want to go get some fresh air?”
“Lucas i’m fine.” I snapped.
“[Y/N] i just want to make sure you’re alright.” He sighed.
“I know i’m sorry.” I muttered.
Wrapping my arms around his torso i shut my eyes. Letting his sweet embrace relax me a bit. He rested his chin on my head and i could feel everyone’s eyes on me making me feel worse.
“It’s okay [Y/N].” Ashton soothed rubbing his hand over my back.
“Just please don’t let me go.” I whispered into Luke’s chest.
“I’m not going anywhere.” He said.
I could feel his chin moving on top of my head but i couldn’t hear him talking. I assumed he was mouthing to act normal or something because right after that - even though i couldn’t see them - i didn’t feel watched anymore.
“So hows everyone’s break been so far?” Ashton asked trying to make this as normal as possible.
“Good, i think this is the first time i’ve left the house.” Michael snickered.
“That’s not a shock.” Luke laughed.
“Pretty laid back. I miss preforming though.” Calum said.
There was a collective hum amongst the boys. All of them loved to preform. It was one of the most important things to them. Even when they had time off they were always playing their instruments. Most nights i fell asleep to Luke strumming random calming tones on his acoustic.
After that i began to zone out. Focusing on the conversation only made me feel worse. The thought of having to be a part of it made me want to crawl under the table and never come out. My grip on Luke tightened slightly while he calmingly ran his hand up and down my arm.
“If there’s anything i can do to help let me know.” Luke whispered in my ear. “And if you just want to leave say the word and we can go.”
“Do you have your headphones?” I mumbled.
“Mm, hm.” He hummed.
Digging into his pocket he pulled out his headphones handing them over. I took them with a small thank you and plugged them into my phone turning on some music. Music was always my escape and sanity, there was nothing else like it.
Backing away from Luke i sat up in my seat. Michael’s girlfriend smiled softly at me as she caught my glance. Everyone there knew what i dealt with so they understood which was nice. Reaching over Luke brushed his finger over my cheek making me smile softly. He could tell i was already a little more relaxed.
“Whatcha listening to?” Ashton wrote out on his placemat.
“Vegas Skies by The Cab.” I wrote back.
Luke looked over at our written out conversation before reaching for his phone as he began typing.
“I like that song too.” Luke texted.
I smiled weakly at him, giving him a small nod.
Soon after that the waiter returned with our food. Everyone was quick to dig in since they were hungry but i was hesitant. Even though i knew no one was watching me. It felt like everyones eyes were on me.
Not wanting to be rude while we ate i took out the headphones placing them in my lap. I stared at the sandwich that had been placed in front of me and no longer felt hungry. The sight of it almost made me sick.
Pushing the plate forward a bit i slumped back in the seat closing me eyes while i messed with the corner of my placemat.
“Is there something wrong with your sandwich ma'am?” The waiters voice made me jump.
“N-no.” I stuttered.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
“Yes.” I whispered.
“Alright well if any of you need anything just let me know.” With that he walked off.
Sure it was stupid. Small general diner conflict anyone could have. But having to talk to the waiter pushed me over the edge i had already been teetering on.
My heart was pounding in my chest and it felt like someone was sat on my lungs. My hands began to shake and my body felt cold and tingly. All i wanted to do was cry. Tears welled in my eyes as i turned to Luke. His focus was on Michael across the table as they were mid conversation. I opened my mouth to talk but nothing came out.
With my shaky hand i grabbed Luke’s arm bringing his attention from Michael to me and he immediately knew what was wrong. I was having a full blown panic attack at this point. Luke went right into fight mode wanting to help me.
“I can’t breathe.” I panted.
“Hey, hey, hey. Shh, i got you.” He held my shoulders. “Slow deep breaths in and out.”
“I-it’s not helping.” I cried. “P-people are staring.”
“Ignore them baby. Now breathe.” He inhaled deeply with me. “And let it out.”
“Luke.” I panicked.
Bringing his forehead to mine he stared into my eyes. His thumb rubbed over my cheek wiping away the tears. I could see the pain in his eyes. Every time this happened he felt so bad because he couldn’t just make it stop for me.
“Close yours eyes and focus on breathing.” He said.
Closing my eyes i took a deep breath in my nose and let it out my mouth. This continued for a few minutes which seemed to feel like years. At some points i felt worse and others i felt better. Luke’s touch never left mine and he kept whispering little encouragements to help me through it.
Once i could finally catch my breath and didn’t feel like my head was going to explode anymore i completely broke down crying into Luke’s chest. I wanted so badly to get through the day without a panic attack. But it didn’t happen.
“I think it’s over.” I breathed heavily. “I wanna go home.” I whispered.
“I think that’s a good idea.” Luke said.
“Are you okay?” Ashton asked as Luke and i started to get up.
“Yeah i just, i need to go home.” I smiled meekly. “I’m sorry for ruining lunch.”
“You didn’t ruin anything [Y/N]. As long as you’re okay that’s all that matters.” Michael smiled.
Once we got home i took a much needed shower and a nap. I had put on a pair of sweats and one of Luke’s T-shirts. I cuddled up under the blanket on our bed and passed out in no time considering i was extremely tired from the panic attack.
Luke had stayed in the room with me nervous of me having another panic attack. Sometimes after having one i had another one later. So he sat on the end of the bed playing FIFA while i slept.
Once i woke up i quietly sat there watching him. I felt bad we couldn’t stay and finish lunch with the boys. I knew it was important to Luke to see them and i didn’t want to stop him from that. But i also didn’t want to make him go alone, i wanted to go for him. I just couldn’t handle it.
Slinking down the bed i wrapped my arms around his waist. Resting my head between his shoulder blades. I nuzzled my cheek into his skin sighing at his touch.
“How are you feeling love?” Luke asked pausing his game.
“Better.” I said.
“Good,” he smiled turning to give me a kiss. “I’m not going to lie you had me pretty scared earlier. It seemed like a bad one.”
“It was…” I muttered. “I feel really bad; about lunch and all.”
“Don’t. As long as you’re okay that’s all that matters.” He said.
“But it was important to you and you had to leave early.” I mumbled playing with the tie of the sweatpants.
“You’re important to me. I can meet up with the boys another time. But you breathing normally is more important than anything else.” He assured running his fingers through my hair. “I’m proud of you though.”
“Why? I went out and had a panic attack. That’s not something to be proud of.” I asked confused.
“You went out. You were out around a lot of people for a long time before you got extremely overwhelmed. That’s good, it’s a step in the right direction. Sure you panicked, that doesn’t take away the victory of you leaving the house to do something.”
“I guess you’re right.”
Luke outstretched his long arms offering a hug. Which i couldn’t refuse. I mean who couldn’t?
I buried my face in his chest as he enveloped me in his arms. When i was in Luke’s arms it was like all the worries of the world left and i wished he could’ve held me forever.
“It’ll take time but everything will get better. I’ll be right by your side every step of the way.” Luke whispered.
“I don’t know what i’d do without you.”