The apartment is dark, and quiet. Simon stands by the windows in the living room, just looking out at nothing. He's spent a sizely amount of time just pacing back and forth, tugging at his hair and scratching at his chest. He isn't feeling too good. He feels like he's on the brink of collapse, but he just can't have that. He must be strong. He must put this behind him and move on. It's just stupid, resenting someone he cares so much about for something they did months ago.
The lock turns, and everything changes. Nuri's there. Nuri's here, and Lawrence brought him over. This sets off a chain reaction inside Simon. Every firing synapse makes him angrier, more aggravated and spiteful, makes the pain burn just a little bit hotter until he's so angry he cannot speak. He just stands there, heart lodging itself in his throat, blood rushing to and from his face in waves of shame. He can't breathe. He's shaking. They'll have to talk about what happened and he doesn't ever want to talk about it ever again, he just can't deal with things like that, they're too much to handle, they bring too many memories to the surface, he just can't take the pain.
But then... just when he thinks he'll fall apart and crumble, sink into a great big, black hole of nothingness... Nuri's there, steadying him, keeping him from going to pieces with just one touch. His hands are so warm against Simon's face, soothing him even when he doesn't want to be soothed.
"It's okay, baby," Nuri tells him. "I'm sorry, but we need to talk about this..." he hesitates. "I need to talk. I need to explain, and I need you to listen. Can you do that for me?"
He nods, feeling more confused than he feels he ought to be. But there's that deep-set sense of desperation scratching and clawing at the back of his head. Nuri will leave him if he can't do things... If he can't control the fear and just...take it like a man, Nuri will leave him. It's so much easier to just ignore everything. "You did nothing wrong..."
And just like that, Nuri's expressive eyes shift from nervous and apologetic to determined. "That's right. I didn't do anything wrong, and I won't apologize for it. But I didn't mean to hurt you, baby. I love you. I felt like a total jerkoff when I woke up that morning. Not only had I dragged an innocent bystander into my own mess of a life... It was so obvious he was...He wasn't you. I wanted you to be there with me. For a moment there, I thought it was you, and when I realized it wasn't..."
He can't breathe. He can't breathe, can't be what Nuri wants, what he needs, can't ever give him what he deserves. He can't breathe. He just can't...get any air to his lungs.
"Oh, fuck." Nuri's alarmed. Simon can see it in his eyes. "Lawrence! Simon's coat, inner pocket. Paper bag." His voice is so calm, but brooking no argument. The world is blurring. The floor feels unsteady. But Nuri's there, with his strong arms and warm hands. He won't fall, as long as Nuri's there to keep him standing.
Soft. So soft... So cold. But Nuri's warm. He's solid and real and not leaving. Oh, please, don't leave, please don't leave, please don't leave me, Nuri! Please! I'll be good! I'll make you proud of me, please give me another chance, I'll prove it to you, I'll do anything you want me to!
"Stay with me, Simon." His voice is firm, and warm, and soft, but it does nothing to help chase away the rising panic. Vertigo is not a very pleasant feeling, not even when the man you love so much you fear you're losing your mind because of it is there to keep you safe. The couch cushions are soft and too cold against his back. Everything's so cold. Reality is fading. Only the rustle of the paper bag against his mouth keeps the vertigo from swallowing him whole.