Weeks had gone by since Newt arrived at the medic center, and everyday that flew by just brought you both closer together. He had slowly opened up, speaking of his family, his school days, and his interest in creatures. Though, when you pressed him for more details about them he seemed to leave out quite a bit. You couldn’t understand why, of all things to hide, animal knowledge seemed quite tame. But, you stopped bugging him about it, and instead enjoyed the conversations you both had during your breaks.
“Dear god, I’ve gone and trapped myself again, haven’t I?”
The soldier chuckled at your words, looking over the board at you as he debated his next move. You both knew he was going to win, as he always did, but you’d like to think you’ve gotten better at it. Playing chess with him was something that made the times easier, and it was a good distraction for the both of you.
Newt reached over, grabbing his piece and slowly drawing it forward, his fingers slipping over your own as he stopped on your side of the board. At his soft touch you looked up, meeting his beautiful green eyes as he stared at you. It felt like forever, just the two of you glancing at each other, as if the conversation was still going on in your head’s. But, as time ticked by he finally smiled, letting his fingers purposely slide against yours in a slow manner before he knocked your chess piece down.
You laughed joyfully at his victorious smile, and you clapped your hands together as you admitted defeat.
“I do believe I’ve lost every match, Mr. Scamander.”
“There’s always next time, Y/N.”
He settled back into his seat, clearly enjoying your company. He had grown accustomed to your presence every day, and whenever you were absent he found himself completely lost on what to do. It was frightening at times for him, because out there in the trenches, there wasn’t much time to worry about anything but staying alive. And now…now he found himself aching for the company of his nurse, and when you weren’t around he laid in bed, trying not to lose his mind.
“Oh, it’s time to prepare meals. I’ll be a moment.”
You glanced up at the clock, panic setting in when you realized you were behind your schedule. Time always went by fast when in Newt’s company, but neglecting your duties to the other soldiers wasn’t acceptable.
Newt reached for your hand, grabbing it gently as he looked up at you. He wasn’t even sure why he did that, but his mind told him to stop you, to try and keep you near because it was a rare comfort for him.
He didn’t say anything else, but you could tell by the look in his eyes what he wanted. You smiled, giving his hand a soft squeeze before letting it go and apologizing.
“I’m sorry, I’ll be back shortly. I promise.”
The soldier just released you, watching you go down the hall, his heart already beginning to ache from the loneliness.
He rubbed his face, trying to regain whatever dignity he felt he lost just then. Yet, he couldn’t deny what he felt, seeing you leave was something that set many alarms off in his head, and he wanted to jump out of his chair and go after you. But, he resigned himself to writing instead, hoping somehow this would quell the ache inside.
“Alright, soldier, I have your lun-”
You stopped just at his bed, frowning when you saw him hunched over his desk, quill moving quickly across the parchment. He took one glance at you, then hid the letter under a book, smiling to try and defuse the situation.
With a disappointed look, you set his tray down on the edge of the bed, taking a seat next to it as you stirred his soup.
“Mr. Scamander, we’ve know one another for a long time now, you don’t need to hide such things from me.”
The corner of his lips turned up into a grin, and he played with the end of his quill as he spoke truthfully to you.
“It’s not what you think.”
“And what do I think?”
You knew though, what he meant. That somehow he started writing to that girl, Leta, again. It had been a good while since you saw him pen that name, and you had just assumed perhaps that woman had left him. That she grew tired of waiting back home for a man who wouldn’t likely come back anytime soon. And yet, the same conclusion always came back. How could anyone be foolish enough to leave a man like Newt? He was entirely too perfect for words sometimes, and he held a kindness in his eyes you hadn’t seen in any man for quite some time.
Newt leaned forward in his chair, placing a hand over your thigh as he traced the patterns on your dress.
“This isn’t a nurses outfit.”
“My other one was covered in-….well, this was the only thing I could find.”
Newt trailed his eyes along your clothing, taking in all the details. He wanted to etch a perfect picture in his mind of you, something to keep him sane during the lonely nights he was likely to experience once again.
You smiled weakly at him, letting go of the spoon and cupping his cheek instead. “Don’t change the subject.”
He chuckled, sinking back into his chair as he ran a hand through his clean cut hair.
“As I said, it’s not what you think.”
“Then why are you hiding it?”
Before he could respond, the hospital director came rushing down the hall, waving you over in a panic.
“Y/N! New injured, come on!”
She ran back down the other way, her hair a mess, and clothing completely drenched in sweat and blood. Your heart began to race, and you rose without a second thought, leaving Newt once again.
“Then you have your orders, Scamander. I suggest you ready yourself immediately. You’re being thrown into the eastern front.”
Newt saluted to his superior, standing at attention until the man sauntered back down the hall. He felt that familiar dread fill him, and as he looked down at the uniform set neatly on his bed he thought of you and only of you.
You turned the corner of the medical unit, sweat dripping down your brow as exhaustion began to overtake you. But, you weren’t quite done yet, there was still a few hours left in the day, and at least one of them could be spent with Newt.
As you walked down the hallway, smoothing out your smock, you glanced up stopping dead in your tracks when you came face to face with the very soldier you meant to see. Newt stood at his desk, placing his hat on his head, his eyes now meeting your own tear filled ones.
He offered you a sincere smile, and it was that moment that you understood how badly you wanted him to stay here, to never leave and be safe right next to you. You couldn’t help him out there, if he got injured, there was absolutely nothing you could possibly do to make it better, and that thought frightened you.
He grabbed the letter from his desk, and with a brisk pace he moved towards you, his boots scuffing across the ground.
You choked back your sobs, a painful tightening feeling developing in your chest as you did. But, crying wasn’t going to solve anything, and if this would be the last time you see him…well, you needed to be braver for him.
Newt nodded down at you, trying to remain positive as he brushed a strand of your hair behind your ear.
You looked up at him, lifting a hand towards his face but at the last minute you lost all your resolve and you simply laid it against his jacket. You traced the metal of his many pins, trying to distract yourself from the idea of losing him.
He brought his hand up, holding it over your own that was clutching tightly to him, and rubbed his thumb over your knuckles, trying to offer some comfort. But, there wasn’t much else he could do now. He would be leaving tonight, that much was certain, no matter how desperately he wanted to stay with you.
His name escaped your lips in a broken cry, and you walked forward, laying your forehead against his strong chest. His warmth enveloped you, creating a sensation that managed to bring you ease for once. It took all your strength not to break down and cry, to hold him and beg him to stay, but when he slowly wrapped an arm around you, that was it.
Newt sighed deeply, resting his chin atop your head as he took you into his arms. This contact was foreign to him, at least as far as he could remember. He hadn’t been this close to anyone in years, and just the feeling of your body clinging to him was enough to make him grit his teeth and fight back the tears that threatened to fall.
“I’m so sorry.”
He pulled back from you, smiling as best he could under the circumstances. He fished through his jacket, pulling out the letter and placing it into your hands.
“Please make sure that reaches her. It’s important.”
Despite your emotions, you simply nodded, wanting to give him some hope even if it was sending out a letter to another woman that seemed to have his full affections.
Newt let out a soft chuckle, wiping a few of your tears away before leaning down and kissing your cheek. His lips lingered there for a moment, but whatever he was thinking he decided against it.
“Don’t read it.”
Even through all your blushing, you looked up at his handsome face, wondering why he’d say such a thing. It’s not like you ever peered into his other letters, you always took them to the post, and that was it. But, when you noticed the grin on his features, something told you he wanted you to do the exact opposite.
He walked passed you, turning one last time with a small smile before heading towards the many other soldiers ready to be shipped out once again. Your eyes never left his back, and you stood silent there in the hall until he was just a memory again. Hopelessness filled your mind, and you sank back into his bed, feeling like your whole world was swept from under you. You traced the wax seal on his letter, and when you turned it over your eyes widened.
There, in his handwriting, was your name. Not Theseus, not Leta, yours. With the quickest of movements, you broke the seal, and hastily opened the parchment.
I do believe I’ve grown quite fond of you over these weeks, perhaps even more than I care to admit…words cannot express my gratitude for your most gracious care. So, allow me to just say, thank you.
If I had not bore witness to your pretty face every morning, with a tray of awful food in hand, I might’ve very well lost my mind.
Even now, you think this letter to be for another, my apologies for hiding it. I assure you, this woman you believe to be my sweetheart couldn’t be any less so…I really can’t say much of her now days. People change…I’ve changed.
I owe that to you. To you, who has given me the strength to continue, and to have something…someone, to return to once this war is over. If you’ll have me…
May we meet again, under far better circumstances.
P.S. Do practice your chess, you’re quite awful at it.”
Ladies and gentlemen alike, there will be no new chapter of I’d start a war for you this week, at least as it stands right now. I know that they’re short chapters but I’m not doing very well still after about four days of already not doing well. I really need to be focusing on putting my own mental health first.
There will, however, continue to be reposting of my old works, once I figure out what order to post them in. :P Decisions, decisions… Maybe ‘Gradations’ later today, with some ‘Behind Closed Doors’ – Reylux or Reyux, or even Reytaka??
Anyway, the point of all this is:
Please, please, please put your own mental health first before all others. That may seem a callous thing to say (and in some situations it definitely is), but as a primary caregiver I did the person I’m caring for a vast disservice by having multiple emotional episodes when I was the one who was supposed to be caring for them. Instead they ended up caring for me and it made me feel incredibly guilty. I fixed how I go about my caregiving now, and how I deal with it when not ‘on the job’, but it still sticks with me every moment. I just needed to learn when to let it out and when not to. I love this person and I never ever want to see them hurt.
It’s like that airplane safety announcement: put on your own mask before helping a child next to you, or those around you who might need help. If you don’t, you might pass out/die before you can even come close to putting the mask on the child beside you, thus causing even more death/injury than if you had simply followed the directions.
So… sorry for the long rambling post. I noticed problems with myself this past week, and I just wanted to share in case there were any other people in the same situation as I am.
Also: Please seek help – professional help – if you feel you can’t do this alone. There is no shame, no stigma, in going. And if you’re worried about people finding out, there are definitely ways to work around it, especially with stuff like phone therapy.
Thank you for listening/reading/understanding. You all are amazing and understanding, and if what I say here can help even one person beside myself… Yeah. It’s worth it.
P.S.: This applies to really any mental health issue. You can’t help those around you, or be an active citizen or member of a community or family, if you don’t take care of yourself first, you know? Don’t do it to the exclusion of other people
i didn’t even talk about it here but i turned 23 last week and i got star wars easter eggs & soap bubbles and a blu-ray of rogue one as a gift so my star wars lesbian lifestyle is still going pretty strong