Social Anxiety (Cake/4)
Requested ? Yes
Summary: You have social anxiety and he tries to help.
A/N: I hope this is okay, the other 2/4 will hopefully be posted sometime this week or this weekend, depending on whether I can get internet at the place I’m staying for NCS. Let me know what you think :)
Clammy hands and rising fear. Too many people; too much noise. You couldn’t handle it; you wanted to get out, to escape the chaotic mess of bodies and booming music. Parties had never been your favourite thing, and this one was bigger, more exaggerated, than any you had ever seen.
A gentle touch on your waist startled
you and your heart rate spiked with fear, dreading the thought of having to
fend off some lech who was looking for a drunken girl and a good time; it
wouldn’t be the first time. But turning your head cautiously, your heart fell into
its previous, yet still unusually fast rhythm, as your eyes landed on Calum,
who had never been far from your side all night. If there was anyone you felt
safe with it was Calum, but in this hazy environment, with music and fear
clouding your senses, not even he could make you feel alright again.
“How are you doing?” he asked, because he knew. Without you telling him, he knew how you were feeling; how anxious you were getting and how there was a rising feeling of panic within you, coursing through your body, in both your stomach and your mind. The mere shrug of your shoulders which you offered up in response told him that you weren’t okay, that you weren’t coping, and when he took hold of your hands to comfort you and felt how clammy they’d become, he knew that he needed to do something. You had gone to that party for him, to make him happy and be there to support him, and now he needed to be there for you; he needed to support you.
“Let’s go home, eh?” he smiled, pulling you closer to him, wrapping an arm around your waist, and guiding you to the nearest exit.
“And thank you for coming tonight, I know how hard it must have been.”
It was as if the fog was lifting, and you could feel your heart rate returning to normal with every step you took away from the club, and with Calum by your side, guiding you home, you felt safe and calm once more.
Things are fine when it’s just the two of you, huddled in the corner of the coffee shop, laughing and chatting away with each other. With nobody else that you have to talk to it’s easy to relax and tune out the rest of the world, but then comes the noise and the chatter and the cheers; the unfamiliar sounds of Luke’s bandmates as they stroll their way towards you. Of course you recognise them, despite having never met or been introduced until this point, you would be a fool not to recognise them, if not from the photos in magazines then from Luke’s almost perfect descriptions of the three boys he spent his days with.
“Hey guys!” Luke beams, beckoning them over, momentarily forgetting about the anxiety that he should know would be bubbling in your stomach. Your face flushes almost immediately as they approach your table, and their gaze flickers across to you.
“Hey, you must be Y/N!” Ashton grins, and you nod, trying to act a normal as you possibly can, but visibly tensing up anyway.
“Nice to meet you,” you mutter quietly, giving a little wave to the guys though your arm remains stiff. Your actions earn you a curious look, but you dismiss it; it’s something that you’re used to with unfamiliar people; people who don’t know about your anxiety. After that, you sit back as Luke chats, or rather shouts, excitedly with his friends, hoping desperately that they won’t speak to you again so the focus won’t be put on you. You’re so consumed with worry and anxiety that you barely notice Luke’s eyes drifting to you, taking in your rosy cheeks and stiff posture.
“Can you just give us a minute actually, guys?” Luke asks, and without question the boys nod their heads, marching over to the counter to order the coffee that they had originally entered the shop for.
“Do you want us to leave?” Luke asks,
his voice soft and his hands reaching out for yours.
“No it’s fine, talk to your friends.”
He eyes you suspiciously, taking in your still stiff and clearly nervous body. With a shaking head and a soft smile on his face, he stands up, signalling for you to wait for just a moment as he makes his way to the boys. Out of earshot he explains to them in the simplest way, with the kindest words, about how you’re feeling, and how you’re maybe not the best around new people, and the boys understand; they get it completely. And so Luke returns to you, and the two of go to say goodbye to the others, with Luke rubbing soft, soothing circles on the skin of your arm to comfort you.
“See you later!”
“Maybe we’ll see you again soon?”
The chorus of kind goodbyes makes you smile despite the knot in your stomach.
“Yeah, it was nice to meet you guys,” you grin, trying to fight back the nervousness and let your speech flow clearly. With that Luke guides you out of the door, assuring you that the guys loved you, and speaking words of how proud he is, how grateful that you had tried so hard with his friends, and how that is all he could ever ask of you.