I could see it in Maxxie’s eyes. He was blaming himself for everything. And fuck me if I knew how to convince him otherwise. Rambling might do the trick, right?
I was still huggling him when I pressed my lips to his ear and whispered “It’s not your fault”
"It's not my fault Gage died. But the rest of it..." he bit his lip.
"None of it's your fault"
He buried his head in my shoulder and I stroked his hair.
"I'm serious, Maxxie. You can't blame yourself for any of this"
“Too late” he mumbled. Too late?
"I'm already blaming myself. I have been for the last ten minutes"
I huggled him a bit more. "Well stop"
He huggled back and I kissed his forehead. He tried to smile and I felt my face pull into a worried expression.
I smiled a little. "I'd be better if you stopped blaming yourself"
He unburied his head from my neck and kissed me. "I'm trying. Easier said than done"
"There is no way you could have caused this, okay?" I said, kissing back.
"He spent his time in hospital missing me and clung to the first person that came along to try and get over me. How can you say there's no way I caused this?"
"I don't know how to explain it" I sort of mumbled.
"What's there to explain?"
I thought about it for a moment, trying to think of the best way to word it. "I know it looks bad and there's plenty of things that should make it your fault. But it's not, I swear"
Maxxie was quiet. He didn’t say anything, just hugged me tighter.
"Please believe me" I said quietly.
"I do" he kissed my shoulder and I traced a pattern on his neck.
"No more blaming yourself"
"No more blaming myself"
I smiled and kissed him. "And you better not be lying"
"I'm doing my best, Hadley"
I stroked his hair again. "You've got nothing to be sorry for"
He laughed slightly. "I'm being a pathetic wreck. It's the last thing you need right now"
I kissed his forehead and he rested his head on my shoulder.
“Should we go back and see him?" he asked.
"What would either of us say?"
"I... I dunno"
"We'll think of something"
I cuddled him, humming quietly when he snuggled against me as I played with his hair. We stayed like that for what seemed like an age, the only change being him shifting occasionally as if he was about to move back but ultimately stayed where he was. I didn’t mind him staying there but I wasn’t quite so keen on how quiet he was being.
"I love you" he mumbled and I smiled.
"I love you too" I kissed the top of his head. "I love you so fucking much"