Title: Leave My Heart at the Door
Summary: Modern AU. It's Gwaine's last night in London before leaving to see the world. Percival doesn't want him to go.
Word Count: 463
Prompt: #354, "All I Ask"
Author's Notes: As soon as I heard the prompt, I completely got stuck on Adele's All I Ask, so this is inspired by that. Definitely angsty.
Percival stands at the door, knowing he should knock, scared of what will happen when he does. Gwaine would laugh at him if he knew.
"You, scared?" he'd say.
Yes, but he can't admit that to Gwaine, especially not now. Nothing can ruin tonight. Tomorrow will be nightmare enough.
He takes a deep breath. Tries to steady himself. Takes another.
Would this be so hard if Gwaine knew the truth?
It might be worse. He has no idea how Gwaine would react if he discovered the depths of Percival's feelings. Gwaine doesn't do relationships. He's not good at them. He fears abandonment—though he will never admit it—and so he always ensures he's the one to leave first.
After ten years of friendship, after seeing each other through their awful teenaged years, through deaths amongst friends and families, when Percival is on the cusp of entering the so-called grown-up world with his first professional job after uni, Gwaine is leaving London. For good, or so he says. Not for anywhere close, either. He's off to see the world because the walls around Britain are closing in, he claims. First stop: New York City.
Just when Percival needs him the most, Gwaine won't be there. He might stay if Percival had ever asked, but Percival can't do that. He doesn't want Gwaine to stay out of obligation and resent him over the years. He wants Gwaine to stay because there's nowhere else he'd rather be, nobody else he'd rather spend his life with.
But again, that requires Percival admitting to wanting more which can't ever happen.
Instead, he has to endure one last night with Gwaine, one where he has to pretend he's happy for his best friend, one where he's excited about the stories that will come and not terrified that the stories will dwindle away because Gwaine has forgotten everything about his past. Including Percival. Percival needs tonight, because he needs Gwaine, but knowing what's on the other side is slowly killing him.
His phone buzzes. It's Gwaine.
Where the fuck r u? Can't start the party w/o u here.
He leans against the wall next to Gwaine's flat door, out of sight in case someone looks through the peephole, and quickly types back his response.
He closes his eyes. Counts to five. Then to ten. His fingers tremble with the desire to add more to his message.
Don't go. I need you.
But he doesn't.
Inhaling one last time, Percival pushes off the wall and squares himself in front of the door again. He rolls his neck. Relishes the crack it makes. He puts on his best smile, the one he always saves for Gwaine, and shoves aside any visible evidence of his fears.