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"With your permission, I'd like to get the paperwork started for Marcus' admission. If one of you would please come with me?"
Inside the room, Raa sat on the gurney with his knees bent, Marcus held against him between them as he rubbed a gentle hand in small circles on his back, the fingers of his other hand playing with Marcus' fingers as he listened to him talk. He breathed deeply and evenly, cheek against Marcus' hair, smelling the sharp sting of the antiseptic they had used to clean Marcus' hair and his cuts, the sterile tang of the white bandages, and the barest hint of Marcus' shampoo beneath it all.
Memorize it, Raa, he thought, taking a deep breath and holding it. Memorize it so you never let it happen again.
"He is disgusting," he muttered from atop Marcus' head. "Him, for what he did to you, and what he did to you was disgusting. You're not gross. You're none of the things he said; you, Marcus Phillip Davenport III, are absolutely beautiful inside and out." He brought Marcus' hand to his lips, resting his lips against them as his eyes slid closed. "And I love you. I love you so... so much." The ache deep inside, which had faded from the terrified agitation it had been when the cop was in the room, and Marcus was so close, and Raa hadn't been able to touch him yet, that had drifted away into near nothingness when Marcus was finally in his arms, blossomed into the sort of sweet pain that clouded every sense, spreading outward throughout Raa's entire body as 'I love you' echoed in his mind like a prayer. He supposed that it was stupid for him to think so keenly on the future as young as both he and Marcus were; still in high school with Marcus a year-and-a-half away from graduation, but Raa knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that he had no future without Marcus in it.
"I'll love you forever."
"If he asks me what day of the week it is, I'll be sorely tempted to answer 'orange'." ~Chang WuFei, The Arrangement.