By the way, everyone needs to congratulate my Fiance because today we went to get dog food and the store is fostering FOUR (4) tiny tabby kittens that all look like his favorite cat ever and they let him open the cage and hold them, but after a herculean effort on his part and the crushing realization that the apartment is a disaster already he put all Four (4) Tiny Kittens back, even the one with the white patches that was rubbing against his beard and tried to climb into his sweater.
That was very hard and he deserves a round of applause for not succumbing to temptation.
Warning: graphic descriptions of drug use and heavy angst.
It was your mother who’d provided you with first taste of heroin. You were fourteen then and she’d been a junkie for as long as you could remember, a habit left to her by your absentee of a father, and it hadn’t taken long for you to become addicted too. It was odd, but sharing that nasty had actually served to bring you and your mother closer together. It’d given you a common ground you’d never had before, and it’d taken both of you working together to ensure you got your next fix, working crummy part-time jobs that just about paid the rent and secured your drug of choice with not much left for anything else. You wasted away years like that, lost to oblivion, ashamed but unable to find the will the stop. Take the heroin away and what were you? A high school dropout with no prospects, no dreams and a bad reputation.
It was your mother who’d gotten clean first, too. She’d fallen in love with a man from your local church; a stranger who’d shown her rare kindness and compassion, a better way to live. With his encouragement, a whole lot of help and her fair share of relapses, she’d finally rid herself of it. After that, she’d dedicated herself to getting you clean too. You’d resisted, at first, despite wanting nothing more than to return to that sweet, innocent girl you were once before. You were so convinced that you’d fail, that you’d only let her down, that it took months for you to even try, and years to actually manage abstain for more than a few months at a time.
Now, four years on, you’ve been clean for three, and life has never been better. You’ve got a steady job, and though the pay cheque isn’t the biggest it’s more than enough to make do after so many years of living on nothing. Your mother is still clean, and married now, too. You’ve got a small handful of very good friends and your own little apartment complete with a sweet, albeit slightly aloof, feline friend. The best of it all, though, is your boyfriend; Yoongi.
You’d met him two years ago as a customer in the restaurant where you work, and soon became friends. He liked your dry, sarcastic sense of humour, and you liked his grumpy, old man attitude. Together you made quite the pair, grumbling and griping at one another but knowing there was affection lurking underneath. Eventually, that affection spilled over into something more and you’d been together ever since, inseparable most of the time.
It’d taken you a little while to open up to Yoongi about your past and tell him all the sordid little details about that darkest of times. You were terrified that it’d change the way he saw you or the way he treated you, but if there was one thing you know about Yoongi, it’s that he’s full of surprises. Behind that distant, slightly cold exterior is a heart warmer than anyone else’s you’ve ever known, someone so loving and compassionate that he’d barely even blinked when you’d spilled it all. All he’d done was stroke your cheek, telling you how proud he was of you for ridding yourself of those demons, and how you trusting him enough to tell him had only made him love you all the more.
You’re convinced that you don’t deserve him - not at all - but he seems to think you’re some kind of perfect, always complimenting and praising you. It’s a stark, unsettling contrast to the years you spent feeling so worthless, to the way you still feel and think about yourself even now. You know that Yoongi would think the same, too, if he knew how weak you really are, if he knew the way you still long for a hit every single hour of every single day.
Today is a particularly bad day. There’s no reason for it; your boss gave you very little hassle, the customers were polite. Even the weather’s nice, promising a warm summer’s evening for you to spend with Yoongi on your date tonight. There’s no reason for you to want it, none at all, but God, you do. It’s like an itch you can’t scratch, a constant craving that’s had you biting at at your pencils and pens all day and forgetting people’s orders, and no matter how you try to fight it you can’t silence that little wayward voice in your head. It whispers reassurances and lies, telling you that just one hit won’t hurt, that no one would have to know. And it’s not like just one time would get you addicted again. People don’t become alcoholics from just one glass of wine, right?
Before you know it, you’re seeking it out midway through your walk home. Contrary to popular belief it’s really not that hard to find, especially for someone like you who knows exactly who and what to look for. It’s not even always the people you’d expect, either, and when you finally spot a likely looking dealer it takes you less than five minutes and even fewer spoken words to score and be on your way again, a little packet of brown powder in one pocket and a syringe and needle in the other.
It seems to take forever for you to get home after that. It’d been too easy and now you’re too eager, fiddling with the packet inside your pocket with shaking fingers, biting your lip in anticipation. You practically run up the stairs of your apartment when you get there, flinging off your coat as you shut the door and retrieving the paraphernalia as you check the clock. Yoongi said he’d pick you up at seven; that gives you six hours to get high and come down again. Plenty of time.
Grabbing a spoon from the kitchen and a lighter from the drawer you rush into your bedroom, breathing rapidly as you spread it all out on your bedspread and begin the little ritual of preparation. It comes back to you far too quickly, like it’s been no time at all, and within minutes you’ve melted the powder into a liquid and drawn it up, a pair of your pantyhose tied around your upper arm to get at your veins.
You’re just about to slide the needle into your arm when your phone vibrates, making you pause with the bevel of the needle poised ready to slide through your paper-thin skin. You glance over at where it rests on the bedside table to see Yoongi’s name flashing on the screen, and for a moment you almost come to your senses, hesitating for a minute more until your phone goes dark again. You missed his call, and now it’s just you, the needle, and the brown murky liquid inside which promises such ecstasy.
No one will ever know.
Just this once.
A sharp scratch, your finger pressing on the plunger of the syringe and then the warmth of it entering your veins as you exhale. You place the needle and syringe on the table, untangling the pantyhouse from your arm and managing to sink back into your pillows with a blissful sigh as it hits. It’s instant euphoria, a feeling of weightlessness that you’d forgotten how much you missed, and once that initial high has gone the drowsiness comes next, your eyes and limbs heavy, your mouth dry. You vaguely think that you should’ve set an alarm as your eyelids slide closed, sleep pulling you under deep and swift.
Yoongi knocks at your door, a small smile on his lips and rocking on his heels as he waits for you to answer. He knows he looks like a schmuck stood there with a posy in his hand, but he also knows they’re your favourite and he knows the way your face lights up whenever he brings you flowers, so stand there like a schmuck he does.
After a couple of minutes he starts getting impatient - you’re usually really quick to answer to door, practically throwing yourself into his arms - but tonight he can’t even hear you moving around inside when he leans closer to the door. He knocks once more but doesn’t give it long before experimentally trying the handle. It’s unlocked, which is odd in itself, and Yoongi can feel the hairs on the back of his neck starting to rise as he steps into your silent apartment. He’s not sure what it is but something doesn’t feel right, and when he calls out your name to no reply that feeling only gets stronger.
Yoongi pads through your living room, abandoning your flowers on the coffee table and almost jumping out of his skin when your cat suddenly rubs around his ankles. Hopefully you’ve just gone out and forgotten to lock your door - that way you won’t have heard the girly way he just screamed. Still, he’s not sure if it’s just his imagination but he could swear even your tabby looks concerned, eyes wider than usual as she turns her back to him and slinks off towards your bedroom, pausing at the door to cast a glance back at Yoongi before slipping inside.
Instinctively, he follows, trying to fight the panic he can feel rising in his chest. Your bedroom is dim when he walks inside, your curtains drawn and the lights off. Your cat jumps up onto the bed, meowing quietly, and it’s then that he notices the shape of your body underneath the covers. Yoongi chuckles, the tension from his shoulders disappearing as relief floods through him. Of course you’re just napping; you’re always napping, and he has come over earlier than you’d originally both planned. Yoongi sits himself gingerly on the edge of your bed, placing a hand on your shoulder and squeezing gently, calling your name.
“Wake up, sleepy head.” He keeps his voice soft and playful, jiggling you a little more as you fail to respond, smiling down at your sleeping face. “Time to wake up.” Again, he gives you a little shake - one that gradually gets harder and more urgent the longer you say nothing. Your eyelids don’t even twitch, not even when he touches your face, brushing his thumb across your cheek. In fact, now that he looks closer… are you even breathing?
Fear’s gripping his chest so tight that Yoongi can barely shout your name as he yanks back the covers, his voice coming out tight and strained. He grabs at each of your limbs, climbing onto the bed and shaking you as he kneels beside you, brushing your cat out of the way.
“Wake up, c’mon,” he growls through gritted teeth, taking hold of your chin and turning your head from the side to the ceiling to frantically scan for any signs of life, but when he lets go your head just lolls to the side again, your beautiful hair falling across your face. His fingers fumble at your neck, groping around to try and find your pulse, his own thundering in his ears, so loud that it’s almost deafening. Eventually he finds it, and when he does he has to choke back a sob.
You’re alive, thank god you’re still alive, but by the thready feel of your pulse under Yoongi’s fingertips he’s not sure it’s for long. It’s so slow and weak, your breathing just as slow and shallow - you need an ambulance, and you need it now. He gropes for his phone in his pockets and then curses when he realises he left it in the car, both of his hands raking through his hair as his eyes scan your room to finally land on your phone where it lies on the bedside table.
Yoongi makes a grab for it, hands shaking, already dialling when he notices what else was sat surrounding your phone before he so hastily snatched it up. A spoon, a needle, a syringe, and a packet holding the remnants of a brown powder he doesn’t recognise. Oh, he can guess what it is though, he knows all too well.
“I think… I think my girlfriend has taken an overdose,” he states to the operator, gazing down at you and taking your hand in his. His voice is suddenly entirely emotionless, as though he’s in a daze, momentarily detached from the situation. Your skin… it’s so clammy.
The operator asks him a series of questions which he manages to answer even though he’s only half listening, his eyes fixed on your chest, obsessed with watching the shallow rise and fall of your chest. It’s stupid, but Yoongi feels like if lets his gaze shift even for a second the next time he looks it won’t move at all, and that sends a chill down his spine so potent that it freezes his insides, making him physically shudder.
The kind, softly spoken woman on the end of the line tells him to stay with you - as if he’d go anywhere else - and that an ambulance is only minutes away from the address he’d croaked out. She asks him to stay on the phone, too, just in case anything changes, and though Yoongi keeps the line open he places the it back on the table so that he’s free to touch you with both his hands. He rolls you onto your back and lies himself down next to you, placing his head on your chest as he repeats your name again at again, the dull thud of your heartbeat in his ear the only thing keeping him from keeping him from breaking down completely.
Or so he thought. On the other end of the phone the operator hears a man begin to sob, and lying there at your side Yoongi’s whole body begins to heave; great, wracking cries ripping through him as he clutches at your body. He wraps you up in his arms as he has so many times before, his tears soaking through your shirt and turning it transparent, begging you to wake up so many times that his throat becomes hoarse.
“You can’t,” he tells you fiercely, clutching the fabric of your pants in his fist and roughly tugging at it, punctuating every word. “You can’t leave me, you can’t, please.” Yoongi presses his face into you, inhaling your scent and filling his lungs till he can no longer, a broken wail falling from his lips to be smothered by the soft swell of your stomach.
“I can’t do this without you, baby… I just… I can’t.”
“Please… you can’t leave me here all on my own.”
“Nothing makes any sense without you.”
“Just… don’t. I need you.”
“I love you. Please.”
When the ambulance crew mercifully arrives, only minutes later, it’s to a harrowing sight. A girl lying prone on her bed, pale and barely breathing, limbs limp and unresponsive - a boy curled around her sobbing his heart out, rocking the both of them as he pleads over and over for anyone, someone to listen and not to take her away. They almost have to wrestle you from Yoongi’s arms, so desperate is he not to be separated from you, uncaring that so many strangers are witnessing him cry and scream, tearing at his hair.
One of them stays with him as they wheel you into the ambulance, standing together on the pavement watching on as you disappear inside, an oxygen mask covering your pretty face. It’s silent tears that streak Yoongi’s pale face now, an unfamiliar man’s arm placed comfortingly around his shoulder. The sirens start and then they’re speeding away, taking you with them, and Yoongi can no longer watch. He closes his eyes, pressing his lips together as he says a silent prayer that that won’t be the last memory he ever has of holding you in his arms.
He gives himself barely a minute before climbing into his own car and starting the engine, roughly wiping his tears on the sleeve of his jacket and taking hold of the steering wheel, clenching his jaw. Yoongi makes himself a silent promise as he chases after you through the busy streets, driving way too fast but barely hearing the protesting car horns around him.
Where you go, he’ll follow; whether it be hospital, rehab or something more lasting, more permanent… as long as he’s by your side.