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02 August 2011 @ 05:52 pm
come back to me - mark/eduardo, pg  
written for a fill at the tsn kinkmeme.

oh lord, what even is this.

come back to me

 (what happened)

He wakes up in the hospital.

His ribs are cracked and he’s bruised all over and he can’t remember a thing.

He’s twenty-three years old and it’s been three years since he last had a memory and it’s scary and painful and –

*

They tell him it’s been three years.

They tell him he and Mark are okay now. Dustin’s the one to say it; he looks to the side, almost as though he’s hiding something.

(should have known should have known couldn’t have known)

*

Mark is there when he wakes up.

“Get the fuck out,” Eduardo hisses, because he doesn’t know much right now but he knows this, the anger when he sees Mark, is real, and he holds onto it.

Mark looks broken, lost, and it’s only as he’s leaving that Eduardo notices the flowers he’d been carrying. He sets them down on Eduardo’s dresser and turns his back.

He misses Mark but not like this, not like this.

Eduardo is suddenly so, so tired.

*

And then Dustin and Chris are there.

“You’ve… reconciled,” Dustin tells him, and Eduardo scoffs.

“How could we have? I hate him.”

It’s something he knows – something that’s ingrained in him, no matter what the back of his mind says.

“I hate him.”

(an unseen Mark leaves from behind the curtain, and his heart shatters with each step.)

*

(“What are we going to do?” Chris asks Dustin, looking at a sleeping Eduardo.

Dustin shakes his head. “We have to tell him.”

“No.” Mark looks down. “We can’t. Doctor – doctor said.”

“But you –”

“I’m fine. I’ll live long enough for him to remember me.” Mark smiles, a tight-lipped smile.

Chris shakes his head. “You can’t do this again.”

“I won him back once, I can do it now.”

And he leaves.

They let him.)

*

Time passes oddly for Eduardo. He lies in bed and hears doctors and sometimes, sometimes he is conscious.

“You’ll get your memory back soon,” the doctor tells him, and he has a smile and a hand clapped on his back. “We’ll try to… to fix you.”

Eduardo doesn’t know what to say, can’t say anything, and so he only nods. “Good.”

He doesn’t know if he wants to be fixed.

They’re hiding something from him. Chris and Dustin. They tiptoe around him and Mark doesn’t return when he’s conscious but sometimes, sometimes it smells like he’s been there, like the soap he always used to use, like he did during the depositions, and Eduardo’s heart hurts.

He wakes up wanting to see Mark, touch Mark, hold Mark, and that’s terrifying – because he can’t still be in love with Mark. Not again.

*

He thinks, once, he halfway wakes up to Mark next to him, holding his hand.

“Come back to me,” he’s saying, and it’s like a prayer, almost. “Wardo, Wardo, come back to me.”

He convinces himself it had to be a dream.

*

After a week, he wakes up to find Mark at the foot of his bed, sitting in a chair. He’s nodding off, but his eyes are fixed on Eduardo’s hand.

He looks like he loves Eduardo, and that’s terrifying.

Terrifying.

But still, Eduardo doesn’t move, closes his eyes again, lets Mark have his moment.

He’s always given to Mark, why not let him have this as well?

*

He feels better when Mark’s been there. Even when he’s not awake for it – knowing he was there makes him feel more comfortable.

That’s why it’s so difficult when Mark isn’t there, hasn’t been there.

*

The doctor tells him he can go home after he’s been in the hospital a month. He’s fixed, now. Healed. He’s staying awake for longer periods of time.

“Where do I go?”

The doctor tilts his head. “To your house, Mr. –”

“You’ll go to Mark’s house,” Chris interrupts, shooting the doctor a look. “He can take care of you.”

“Why would he?”

“I told you. You’ve – reconciled.”

“And what the hell is that supposed to mean?” he hisses, sitting up straighter. He’s been able to walk for a while now – but it still hurts.

Chris stares. “I can’t – I can’t explain it. Get – talk to Mark.”

Mark shows up, then, holding the few possessions Eduardo had at the hospital, and the look on his face is a million different emotions – hope and nerves and everything in between – and Eduardo hates that he can still read him like a book.

He hates it and loves it.

(i love you)

“Are we ready to go?” Mark asks, and the ghost of a smile is on his face.

Eduardo halfway trusts.

*

They’re on the ride home when Eduardo asks.

“Why aren’t you – why aren’t you trying harder?”

“What do you mean?” Mark’s breathing is short.

“You’re – obviously something happened. Something… good. In a sense. But you’re not – not trying to make me believe it.”

Mark shrugs. “It doesn’t mean anything if I make you.”

And, wow, that’s not what he was expecting at all.

He puts a hand on top of Mark’s.

*

They sleep in separate rooms. Mark’s walls are sparse, but Eduardo feels like he remembers – like there should be pictures covering the walls.

He sits down on the couch and he remembers that, too, and he misses the presence of Mark next to him, curling up against his side.

Shit.

(i miss you

why do i miss you?)

*

He watches Mark sleep, sometimes. Not in a creepy way – he just likes to.

Mark seems to relax when he’s asleep. He splays out across the bed, and Eduardo can’t help but smile.

*

Mark isn’t home a lot.

Eduardo pretends he doesn’t know he’s going to the doctor’s.

*

One day, he gets a call.

It’s Chris.

“You have to get down here.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Mark. Hospital. Come – he needs you.”

Eduardo goes.

*

Mark looks so small in the bed.

“Shit,” Eduardo breathes, watching him sleep, and sits down next to him, grabs his hand. “Mark, what’ve you done?”

And there it is – in a flash, everything. I've said that before.

Of course he has – a thousand times.

But –

An apology.

“I’m sorry, Wardo. I’m so sorry.”

Forgiveness.

“That’s all I wanted.”

A kiss.

“I love you.”

A promise.

“Marry me.”


Memories, millions of them. A million moments.

He’s forgotten them all.

“Mark,” he whispers, stroking the back of his hand. “Mark, why didn’t you tell me we were married?”

Because they were, of course they were, and Mark – he’s dying.

“Wardo,” comes the reply, and Mark’s eyes flicker open. He smiles. “Wardo.” He’d laugh, if he weren’t so weak, so tired.

Eduardo’s missed the sound of that, the nickname. He likes the way it rolls off of Mark’s tongue, the soft curve of his lips as he smiles.

It’s the culmination of a thousand days and nights and missed opportunities.

Eduardo kisses him on the forehead. He kisses him for real, then, and they know each other too well for this all to end. He’s braced against Mark’s bed, leaning forward, and pulls away to lean their foreheads together. “I love you, you know.”

Mark smiles, just a bit, panting, and how did Eduardo not know what was going on? “I know.” He pauses. “I love you, too. I’m happy you remember now.”

He closes his eyes.

“I’m going to fix you,” Eduardo promises. “When you get home.”

I’m happy you remember now.

*

Those are Mark’s last words.

*

Eduardo cries at the funeral and Chris hugs him and he misses something he doesn’t fully remember having.

*

Remembering makes everything worse and better and awful and wonderfully sad.

*

The house isn’t the same without him.

It’s not fair that they only had a day together, an hour, a minute – but that’s not true. They had a lifetime together, and they lived it in three years.

(mark lived it)

He remembers what happened but it’s disconnected from him, and that’s the worst part.

Mark deserves more.

*

– he misses his Mark.

(come back to me)
 
 
Lelaleladancer18 on August 3rd, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
:(
It was a happier ending, but I still felt like crying. Wonderful job though.
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 01:57 am (UTC)
I'm sorry you wanted to cry, but thank you!
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 01:55 am (UTC)
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)
I'M SORRY OKAY D:
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 02:05 am (UTC)
I feel like maybe I should fix them for myself and think of idk maybe somewhere along the way, during the times when Eduardo would sit on the sofa in the unfamiliar house that he strangely refers to as home even if his set of memories tell him otherwise, he would have, idk, caught Mark's hand at some point and allowed himself to trace Mark's face with the pads of his fingertips until the feel of his skin would be seared into his memory which would have triggered things to come tumbling back then they'd have time AAAAAAH IDK

rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 02:09 am (UTC)
WHY ARE YOU KILLING ME WITH THIS
WHY DO YOU INSIST ON IT

is it bad that i want to write their history together from mark's point of view and their time together have him like realize that eduardo doesn't remember him and the wanting to tell him but the not being able to and then the dying happy because eduardo knows

AHHHHHHHHH
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 02:19 am (UTC)
AHHHHHHHH and maybe at some point when Dustin and Chris are quietly raging at him but not pushing because they're afraid Mark might have, like, passed earlier because of his illness and the fact that his most major pillar of support doesn't even remember him, Mark would have thought that if maybe Eduardo doesn't remember him before he dies, Mark would take comfort with the fact that it would mean Wardo wouldn't feel hurt and Mark wouldn't feel like he left Eduardo on his own.

In sickness and in health, they say. And Mark is grateful enough to have had a few years of being able to reach for Eduardo's hand, of feeling Wardo move above him, and of hearing Wardo say his name all quiet and full of fondness that gives Mark the kind of high he gets from wiring in, except in exponential form.

AHHHH just think of the quiet mornings when the sunlight filters through the windows and Mark would wake up and feel like he has something to live for when he blinks his eyes open and Eduardo would be there, giving him a small smile.

I THINK YOU BROKE ME
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
And Chris, during the moments when Mark would tell them to please let Eduardo remember on his own time, Chris would have said "Mark, you don't have the time. You're dying."

And Mark would get stony faced and his breathing would get difficult. "I didn't know that tell me more," he would have snapped out.

Chris would simultaneously feel awful and frustrated because Chris thought they were finally, finally getting what they deserved. The four of them. And he would sometimes stand guard in Mark's house when visiting hours in hospital are done, when Dustin finally managed to coax Mark into fucking sleep, you asshole, you're going to die before you give Eduardo the chance to remember you.

Chris wishes the world would just give Mark and Eduardo a break; the happiness they deserved for being able to glue themselves back together from the damage they've done to each other themselves—a miracle in and of itself.

ahhhhhhAAAAAAAHHHH
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 02:30 am (UTC)
so what I'm getting from this is that we're each writing it, y/y?

because Mark watches him sleep. And not in the creepy way - he just does. And he prays, even though he's never believed in any sort of god, because there's nothing else for him to do, nowhere else for him to turn.

And the accident is his fault - on one level he knows that's not true but on another, more carnal level - well, he was going to get Mark something to eat because it was all about Mark's illness and Mark's happiness and now it's Eduardo in a bed and Mark alone.

ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 02:39 am (UTC)
LMAO I'M AFRAID TO START ANOTHER FILE I HAVE 2 WIPs THAT ARE EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTING ;_;

ahhhhhhhhhhhh and it's his fault. It's not logical, it's not rational, but Mark knows he won't be able to ignore the fact that if maybe he isn't ill, if maybe he's eaten the soup, if maybe he didn't need to eat so he can take his medications, if he had just stopped Eduardo from heading out the front door, if if if. So many ifs and should haves that Mark would give his life to change.

In his most darkest hour, he would even think that if he knew that taking care of him would lead to this; would lead to Eduardo getting hurt, would lead back to a full circle, then Mark would have even preferred never to have reconciled with him in the first place.

But he's too selfish for that. He always have been. Especially now when he's traced every crevasse of Eduardo's body with the flat of his tongue; knows what Eduardo tastes like on the back of his throat.

Mark thinks he's paying the price for that now; he's paying for his selfishness as he hears the words I hate him, as he sees Eduardo flinch whenever he would reach over to touch to make sure he's still alive.

Edited at 2011-08-03 02:42 am (UTC)
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 02:45 am (UTC)
well i'm starting it now UGH LOOK WHAT YOU'VE DONE TO ME
i was going to start my mark/eduardo preschool AU but now I'M WRITING THIS WHAT IS MY LIFE

Mark hides behind the curtain because he's scared. He's scared of Eduardo hating him again - and that's crazy, because - because he's been through it before, hasn't he? He's already done it - already been hated, already gotten better.

But losing him again, having and then losing and then having again and losing again would be too much; too awful.

And so he hides. He hides and he hopes and he wants to tell him. Chris and Dustin tell him that he has to - but he won't, can't, because what if Wardo doesn't believe him?

This Eduardo isn't his Wardo. This Eduardo isn't his reason for living, his reason for being, because the day that Wardo said yes was the day he became more important than Facebook.

And now the tables are turned and Mark knows what he felt like all of those years.
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 03:13 am (UTC)
He tries to fight it.

He really does.

Dustin can see it.

Mark fights the darkness pulsating at the corners of his vision.

He fights the temptation to fall towards the comforts only unconsciousness can bring because he's afraid, he's so very afraid that if he closes his eyes, he wouldn't be able to open them again.

That he won't be able to wait for Eduardo. And he doesn't want that.

"Eduardo doesn't deserve me giving up on him", Mark had said.

So he watches as Mark fights his own body even if he's wracked by pain.

Dustin knows Mark's doing everything he can not to leave Eduardo. He's taken things Dustin wouldn't have been able to survive and had stayed standing because he's Mark and he's a stubborn fucker like that.

But Dustin figures no one stops bleeding out with just the determination to do it.




yeah idk what this is TAKE MY LAPTOP AWAY FROM ME
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 03:20 am (UTC)
I WILL NOT THAT IS LOVELY.

At the beginning, when he got sick, Wardo was always there. He held his hand and rubbed the back of his palm and he soothed him.

Now, he takes his pills on his own and he reaches for a hand that isn't there.

He gets the closest he ever has to crying.

(Mark doesn't cry.)

Chris tries to help him, tries to be there, but Mark doesn't need him.

He doesn't need anyone but he wants Eduardo and that's the worst of it.

He goes to visit every day and stays for hours on end and he leaves when Eduardo wakes. He doesn't drink coffee, only water, and he can hear Eduardo's voice -

"No more Red Bull, Mark."

- in his ear.

He never had caffeine again.



LOL WHAT EVEN IS THIS
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 03:34 am (UTC)
OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
Chris almost loses it one time. Threatens Mark that he's going to tell Eduardo if he doesn't at least go home for a few hours to sleep. Five hours, Mark, that's all I ask, he'd say. Because Chris can barely hold back the complete helplessness he feels when he sees Mark squeeze his eyes shut, pales a little more than he already is.

He sics Dustin at him because in the moments when Chris wasn't around and Eduardo was away, Mark somehow learned how to listen to Dustin.

He watches Dustin grip Mark's shoulder as tight as he can, knows he sees Mark flinch but doesn't let go anyway. He hears Dustin say "Don't test Chris, Mark, you know how he gets," trying for a light tone but falling flat and exhausted.

When he sees Mark fall, when he finally finally witnesses Mark cave under stress; Chris never felt more terrified in his life.

Because this is Mark who Chris had witnessed going through a 48 hour coding binge with nothing but Red Bull in him, Chris witnessed him not eating anything substancial but still somehow managing to keep his empire at the top of the chain, but he's never seen Mark physically fold in on himself. Not even during the depositions. Not even after.

He makes his way quickly to where Mark is on his knees, biting his lips as if trying not to cry out in pain. And he's fighting still. Mark's fighting. But Chris knows they don't have much time; not now when his lips are tinged blue and his hands going colder by the second.

Chris rushes him to hospital and tries to tune out Dustin's sobs.

He makes the call.
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 03:40 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
okay so you've made me cry IN A COMMENT ON MY OWN DAMN STORY



Mark doesn't want Eduardo to know. He doesn't want him to see him like this - small and helpless and frightened.

Because that's what he is.

And there's no Eduardo to pick up the pieces, to fold him back together, and he can't - he can't be seen like this.

And then he's coming in and holding his hand and - he remembers. Something shifts in his face and he knows, he remembers the long nights and the lazy days, and Mark is euphoric.

He wants to spit it out - to say it, over and over. "I love you I love you I love you." He wants to write it in code all over Wardo but he's tired, so tired, now, and Wardo - well, he knows.

That's it. This is the end.

"I love you," he manages, just once, and another sentence, and he lets his eyes close, lets his hand be held. He lets himself be comforted, for the first time in far too long.

Wardo's grip on his hand is tight and Mark lets himself go.
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 04:04 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
I'M ACTUALLY UGLY CRYING AND FIGHTING THE HEAVINESS OF MY EYES DAMN IT WOMAN


For the longest time After, Eduardo won't remember screaming.

He won't remember getting pulled back by a Dustin who is sobbing against his nape.

He won't remember Chris who somehow did what Eduardo should have been doing— making arrangements, telling their families, choosing the clothes Mark would have to—Mark would want to wear for the rest of time.

All he would remember of that morning are Mark's words, the flat line on the electrocardiogram and then pinging (constant, unending, please oh god no please not now please no)

He would be driven to his home (and it's his home, it is, it was, it will be, it won't be, Eduardo doesn't know because Mark had been there and now he isn't and now he couldn't come back and where does that leave Eduardo? What does that make this house?) and he would be consoled by people that blur past Eduardo's conscious thought, too busy being flooded back by sensations he can no longer explain in present tense and future tense.

He would zone out and his next memory would be of Mark's mother finding him clinging to the sweatshirt Eduardo's seen him wear since Kirkland. His next memory would be of smelling something that almost almost reminds him of Mark, sobbing and clinging against his mother in law and saying things that he doesn't even understand himself.

"Eduardo, my son," she would say, cupping his face with palms that don't fit right. "I've lost Mark already, I don't want to lose you too."

And Eduardo would try, he swears, promises, clings, and begs for something, everything, and nothing.

"Be strong, Eduardo."

But Eduardo doesn't know how to when he has no one left to be strong for.









HELP

Edited at 2011-08-03 04:06 am (UTC)
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 04:13 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
FUCK EVERYTHING
i'm turning this into an actual fic eventually because FUCK gahhh





Eduardo can't handle the funeral.

Chris and Dustin don't leave him alone, and he's grabbing at their hands in his too-tight suit and Mark's mother - his sweet mother - is crying without tears and screaming without words and -

he can't take this.

He goes to the bathroom and splashes water on his face and he tries, he tries.

He tries to remember and to forget and he does everything and nothing and and and.

Dustin follows him in after a moment and holds him, and they're sitting on the floor and they don't say anything, don't do anything but breathe.

He's gone.

He wants to feel bad, to let Dustin have his mourning period, but how do you mourn something you don't remember having, something you feel the loss of without realizing the full extent?

Dustin holds him, and after a long while, Eduardo cries.







I HATE EVERYTHING.
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 04:32 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
LMAO YOU'VE RUINED MY LIFE IM JUST SAYING. Maybe we should just like, c/p everything and do some ninja editing I DONT EVEN KNOW IM SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING FOR MY WIPs ;__;

"Do you think he'll be alright?"

Dustin snorts bitterly, dragging his hand down his face to wipe another wave of tears that just won't stop no matter how hard he tries. "I think," he starts. "I think we'll just have to make sure that he does."

"Yeah"

and they do what they do best, the three left of the two and the two trying to keep the other one afloat.

There are meetings about the distributions of shares, meetings about wills and legal management and bracing for a potential crisis with investors. Chris uses everything he can, every strategy he learned to keep a firm grip on keeping things how Mark would have wanted.

He remembers the time Mark told them that he's dying. And he remembers feeling an anger he thought would consume him because he doesn't know who to be angry at.

He remembers the day Mark sat him down, tells him things that start with 'when I'm dead, I'd like you to—' and end with '—I don't know if I've ever told you this, Prada. But you— Facebook wouldn't be Facebook without its secret weapon.'

So he does things and cajoles Dustin into going back like he's gone back to Facebook just to keep each other close. Dustin doesn't need to be told twice. He uses his hold and reacquaints himself with being CTO as Chris tries to balance and juggle things that he never thought he'd ever need to.

They watch as Eduardo makes his way in Facebook for the very first time since Mark... leftand Chris feels a sense of something blooming in his chest when Eduardo greets them with an albeit forced-looking smile.

On a random day months after Mark, Chris, Dustin and Eduardo find themselves the only ones left in the conference room where a meeting just took place. They stare at each other and Chris laughs out a "well, I can almost hear Mark's sarcastic retorts in my head", referring to one of the executive board member who tried to dissuade voters from voting for something Mark had once pushed for.

Eduardo smiles. Chris would say it was even more like a huff of a laugh.

But Dustin remains quiet, staring at the empty seat on the left that they never let anyone else sit on.

He looks at Chris and Eduardo, face blank and pale. Then he says,

"I don't— you two. I don't think I'd be able to survive if I lose another one of you. So I— Chris, Wardo, I— just. Please. Don't. Don't let. Don't die. Okay?"

Chris tries to pretend he's not crying.





STOP ME
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
I AM A TERRIBLE INFLUENCE but yes, let's! BAAAH ME TOO. OH WELL. also MY HEART OH MY GOD WHAT.
ahha i'm supposed to be asleep. ><


Dustin cries more than he'd like to admit.

He tries to play strong, tries to help Wardo - but he can't, okay, he can't always be that guy because he can't have someone else relying on him. Not now. Not after - Mark.

He can't say the word died and it's stupid but he can't.

Wardo's getting better, though, remembering more, and every time he's overjoyed at a memory, at a flash of something, Dustin reminds himself that he was lucky to have been friends with Mark, to remember everything.

(He remembers being nineteen and in awe of the focus Mark had. He remembers thinking he could never be that focused on anything.

It turns out he was wrong. He'd had to do that, for the funeral, give his all into it because Eduardo wouldn't.)

Chris sits with him, and Dustin thinks that maybe he understands. Chris sits and puts a hand on his arm and they breathe together.

He wants to be the Facebook four again, wants them to be as happy as they were in the good old days. He sees the way Wardo's face is drawn in and he wants to hold him, wants to fix him, fix everything.

He wants Mark back, acerbic comments and all. He wants to be fired three times a week and he wants to play Mario Kart drunk and just -

He wants to see Wardo again, too. He wants the Wardo who would laugh, who would be happy, let himself be happy.

But he's gone.

Maybe they all are.
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 04:42 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
CRYING

MAYBE WE SHOULD SLEEP...

BECAUSE YESTERDAY I TOLD MYSELF, SELF, YOU ARE GETTING THOSE BUSHES YOU CALL EYEBROWS THREADED.

AND NOW IT'S NOT YESTERDAY ANYMORE AND MY EYEBROWS STILL LOOK LIKE THEY'RE LEAVES ON A TREE DURING SPRING.
rumpledlinenrumpledlinen on August 3rd, 2011 04:44 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
I THINK

WE SHOULD

I HAVE DRIVER'S ED TOMORROW AND THE TEACHER'S GOING TO GO 'PLEASE DON'T HIT THAT PEDESTRIAN' AND I'M GOING TO BE LIKE WELL SHIT.
A.ohnvm on August 3rd, 2011 04:46 am (UTC)
Re: OH MAN WHAT IS THIS
TELL YOUR TEACHER THE FUCKS YOU GIVE ARE AT THE CLEANERS.

GOODNIGHT

LAHV, OHNVM.