She woke up, curled on her side in the doorway to her room. Frozen on the floor, she listened for Sky, but couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary.
Sitting up, she peeks into the living room, crawling a little so as to see him better. His forehead is creased seemingly in worry, nose buried in his teddy, wedged tightly up against the arm of the couch.
God, this was going to be a long hard road…
She sat at the kitchen table, head propped up on her hand, looking at him. She just wished she could just, fix everything. Show him that he had nothing to be afraid of from them, but it didn’t work that way.
He woke up slowly, with that awful kind of waking where he was half awake and half asleep. Fears and nagging worries and “I must do this…” ran through his head as he tried to open his eyes.
Finally, he rolled over and sat up, his pajama shirt all twisted up around his shoulders and arms, hair messed up.
He blinks, hurriedly smoothing down his hair and tugging his shirt down. “G-Good morning ma’am. I am so sorry, about last night, I’m so sorry.”
“No no, it’s okay, you don’t have to be sorry. Are you feeling alright?”
He remembered the right answer from yesterday. “Y-yes ma’am.”
She smiled, and poured another bowl of cereal. He set about untangling himself from blankets, without accidentally losing his pants as well, and padded over.
Maybe this would be the routine, eating breakfast together and her explaining what would happen. God, he hoped so.
She hands him a bowl, and it’s brown flakes with raisins and little clusters in it. Despite looking like cardboard it’s very good, and he makes a note to mention it, should him and Max play that game again.
“So, plan for today so far, I have to do some laundry and vacuum, and you can rest and read until Max and Jack come over tonight. Unless you would prefer something else?”
His whole stomach was twisted up. This was a trick, he was positive. But he didn’t know how to work around it. He knew he should be doing the chores, but also was afraid that if he argued, he’d be in trouble too.
“I- I can vacuum and do laundry ma’am. I’ll do a very good job, I promise, ma’am.”
Abby sighed, internally smacking herself. She should have thought this through earlier.
“Well, I’m going to do the chores, because it’s mostly me who makes the mess, but, if you really wanted to help, we could work together and make it fun?”
He still wasn’t completely sure it wasn’t a trick, but he was afraid to argue… “Yes ma’am.”
She smiled, so he knew he wasn’t in trouble, but it was so sad behind the eyes he knew it wasn’t the right answer. I’ll try harder next time.
Breakfast was over quickly, dishes in the dishwasher, and Abby started to hunt down a ponytail holder. Once that was taken care of and her hair was out of her face, she started to stuff all of the laundry into a big fabric bag.
He helped too, hunting down all the dirty clothes, going so far as to look under the bed, the couch, and in the bathroom cupboards.
The laundry room was only a couple yards away, but she remembered what Kim had talked about. Anyone on “the other side” would use anything they could to discredit them, and Sky being with her could cause their group to crumble.
“I’m just going to go start this really quickly, and I’ll be right back okay?”
He remembers too, and his promise to stay secret. He wasn’t sure why but he would do it.
And so, while Abby hurried to the laundry room and started the clothes, Sky puttered around. He didn’t know where the vacuum was, but he started to pick up things that were on the floor, making the bed, just little things.
He felt…restless. Uneasy, but it was difficult to describe. He wasn’t afraid like how he normally was, in a blank terror ranging to watchful caution.
Maybe nervous fit better. He just desperately wanted her to like him, but everything he had done before wasn’t working now.
Maybe he was broken.
It didn’t take long for Abby to book it back to the apartment, hoping no weirdo messed with her dirty laundry. Sky jumped a little, but soon they had eased back into a little rhythm, like when they were sorting through his stuff.
She vacuumed, while he walked beside her and sprinkled cleaning powder ahead of her. They make their way through the apartment side by side, listening to the hum of the vacuum.
They folded up the bed, Sky carefully tucking the blankets and sheets into a basket beside the couch while Abby messed with the ancient VCR player.
She had already thought of a movie that might be good to watch, something light and sweet, and it was about dogs and cats. Easy. Even though setting up the VCR so she could play it was a pain in the ass.
She turned around from her spot on the floor to see Sky standing awkwardly in the middle of the room. “Yes?”
“Is-Is there anything else I can do?”
“Uh, not for now…” she checked her watch. Nearly noon.
“Let me finish this up, then I’ll make lunch and the laundry will probably be done, alright? You could do some more reading, or something?”
“You still don’t have to call me ma’am.”
“I’m sorry, m-“
“It’s okay, I won’t be mad if you do, I just thought it might help you not be scared. You have as much value as I do.”
He didn’t know what to say to that. But thankfully, she didn’t seem to require an answer. She just gave him a sweet smile, and turned back to the VCR.
(These next couple sections are going to be an emotional roller coaster, so buckle up and please keep all limbs inside the ride.
Tagging @httyd-chocolate @mortiferum-solanum @comfortforthepain @whumpywhumper @whumping-every-day @degeneration-fest @whatwasmyprevioususername @albarnesauthor @panickedscorpio @theawesomeawkward @secrettheoristofwhump @robinshouseofwhump @0idril0 @inpainandsuffering @genesissane @lilyvonpseudonym @latenightcupsofcoffee @gonna-feel-that-tomorrow @lionhxartx @quirkykayleetam @whale-intestines @fallingstormphoenix @gnawingonhumanbones @maraudersmarvelwhump @haro-whumps @slam-whump @whump-my-dude If I missed anyone let me know, or if you would like to be tagged!)