“Hey, you don’t have to explain yourself to me. I get it, some people don’t like fights. Personally I love a good brawl but that’s just me” I said, squeezing him a little tighter and hoping what I’d said had helped a little bit.
Maxxie kissed the crook of my neck and snuggled against me slightly. “My brave strong Cay, huh?”
"Yeah, dude, I'm like He-man with style"
He giggled. Is it wrong that I still find that so damn adorable? I feel like a teenage girl.
"Is there anything you wanna watch on TV? I feel like I've been hogging it"
"No, it's okay," he reached up and gently prodded my bruise, “d'you need more ice on that?"
"I think I'm good for now, dollface. Unless ice can cure the fact that the docs don't want me engaging in any "strenuous activities" in case my skull is fractured" I said and I could feel the sad expression that snuck onto my face.
He moved his hand to brush through my hair and I couldn’t but smile. "I don't think it can, but it depends what comes under "strenuous" he said with his own smile.
"I think the scratches down my back count as strenuous" I winked.
"Shame." He said, laughing softly.
I kissed him softly, switching on the TV and watching whatever junk was on air.
Which was when I started thinking about exactly how I got that bruise. Sure I got punched by the sidewalk… If the sidewalk also happens to be called Alex. I’d thought about telling Maxxie God knows how many times now but something made me stop short each time. But he deserved to know, even if I was terrified of how he’d react.
"Max, you know I said this was the sidewalk..."
"It... It kind of wasn't the sidewalk. It was kind of... Uh..."
"It was kind of...?"
He didn’t say anything for a while, visibly shocked. "W-what?"
"We may have run into each other. And I may have been a teeny tiny bit tipsy. There may have been some insults thrown at each other and there's a definite possibility that he may have punched me..."
There was another long pause. A long awkward pause. A horrifically long pocket of silence. I couldn’t stand it.
"Maxxie? Please say something”
"Alex... wouldn't... he... he..."
I wanted to say something. Anything to try and help the situation. But I had no fucking clue what. Words didn’t seem to want to form in my head. Useless piece of shit brain.
"He wouldn't have done anything like that without being provoked," he was almost whispering, his voice ripe with confusion.
I laughed nervously. "Yeah... I may have insulted him first. I can't even remember what he said to me in the first place. I think it was something about you"
There was nothing. No reaction from Maxxie, be it acceptance, denial or anger. Just nothing.
"Sorry," he sniffed and tried to relax. Fuck, why couldn’t this be over yet?
"I... I may have punched back"
"When I was walking away I did genuinely stumble and like faceplant the curb. And he may have kind of sort of kicked me a couple times. But that's a huge maybe because it was dark and I couldn't see and I know the neighbourhood I was in isn't exactly the best place to be if you're gay so it could have just been some random guy. It probably was... Or I might have completely imagined that part. I mean, maybe I kept walking into something. You can get bruises on your chest from that, right? Well, they're not even technically bruises, more like marks. I don't know, I can't even remember what happened. I mean, I think Alex had already walked off before then".
I sat trying to remember what had happened when I felt Maxxie sit up and slide my shirt up to look at the marks on my chest. They weren’t nearly as bad as the bruise on my face but they were larger and looked a lot angrier since they were delicately pressed against my ribcage. I bit my lip as he looked; silently hoping he wouldn’t press on them. My ribs weren’t broken, I’d experienced the feel of that before, but they fucking hurt if you pressed on them too hard.
"I'm sorry, Cay," he whispered, "I'm sorry you've gotten dragged into something that's s'posed to be long gone."
"Ah don't worry, dollface, it'll take more than this to get rid of me" I smiled weakly. For some reason I wasn’t quite sure what I’d said was the truth…