Home Sweet Home (Rumlow X Reader) Chapter Eighteen

Chapter Eighteen – Zombie!

You suck in a breath, almost forgetting to breathe momentarily as you try to figure out Brock’s expression.  Sure, you know Samantha; you know his entire family. You’ve known them since you were a baby. They’re all a great group of people, really kind and understanding, but THIS is a whole different ballgame in this situation, and you have no idea how she will react.

Samantha slowly turns to her brother, raising a well-manicured eyebrow.

– Brock, Can I talk to you for a second?

She calmly asks before she walks into his living room and sits down on his couch. She was drumming her fingers on her knee, waiting for her brother to join her.

Brock looks at you; you nod to him, a quiet answer to the question, “Are you all right?”

Brock leaves the bedroom door open when he leaves for the living room. You’re unsure if it’s because he wants you to follow him or if it’s because he wants you to be able to listen. You’re too shaken up to move, so you sit there. Snatching up one of his pillows and hugging it tight. Is she going to tell?

Brock slowly enters the living room. He knows his sister. This can go one of two ways. Either she’ll yell at him, or she’ll understand. With Samantha, there is no in-between. And there’s no beating around the bush either; the second he sits down, she’ll start to talk. He knows that. He drags his hand through his hair as he sits beside his sister, mentally preparing for what’s to come.

– Well, obviously, Jack doesn’t know because you’re still breathing….

Samantha says, slowly turning her head to look at her brother.

– What were you thinking, Brock? Sleeping with Jack’s daughter?

Samantha continues in a calm tone. She sounds more scared than angry. Brock takes a deep breath.

– Could you choose whether or not you would fall in love with Michael when you met him?

Brock asks. He feels his heart beat faster when he admits to his sister that he’s in love with you.

– No…

Samantha says, lost in a distant memory.

– Wait! What? Are you in love with her?

Samantha asks, snapping back into the present. She looks up at Brock. She also knows her brother; she can see in his eyes if he’s in love or not and if he’s lying or not. Brock looks back at his sister, sending her a little smile as he nods. Samantha’s face lights up; her big smile calms Brock down enough so he smiles back.

– That is amazing, Brock. Congratulations! I’m so happy for you….

Samantha says,giving her brother a loving pat on his head.

– …And her, of course.

Samantha continues nodding her head towards the bedroom.

– Thank you..

Brock says, relieved. Thank God she didn’t yell at him.

– … She…

Brock starts. Then he stops. He’s always been open with Samantha; she’s his sister and one of his best friends. She even knows when and to whom he lost his virginity. But this is different. The age gap, the fact that you’re his best friend’s daughter….

– What?

Samantha asks, looking at her brother with that look that says, “You can tell me anything; I’ll be supportive.” Brock cannot not tell her, and with these feelings he has, it feels good to be able to share them. He knows you do; you probably share everything with your friends, even his size. Not that it bothered him; he had nothing to be ashamed of in that department. Even he knew that.

– I haven’t had one single nightmare since I kissed her….

Brock says, staring out into nothing. It’s true. He hasn’t had one. That feels strange, even though the nightmares were rough and heavy to deal with; he was used to them. For about 14 years, he’d had them. He’d lost count a long time ago of how many nights he’s woken up drenched in sweat, chest heaving, panicked, bile, and screams rising in his throat. Every nightmare took him back here, to that day, the spray of bullets hitting melt, rocks, flesh, blood-soaked bodies, and sand. Everything was a blur until it wasn’t; he was blinking and sputtering sand from his mouth and eyes, pain and adrenaline pumping through his veins. Sometimes after waking up, if he closed his eyes, he could see their faces half-buried in the sand, begging him to save them, help them. They said it’s survivor’s guilt.


He’s awakened by his own screams, soaked in sweat. It feels like he just ran a marathon, his heart beats a million beats per second, and he can still hear the desperate screams for help and the sound of the bomb in his head. The emotions and the memories are overwhelming, sticking their thorns into every fiber of him.

When he finally realizes that he’s awake and home in his bed. He starts the hard task of slowing his breathing down. His whole body hurts, all the way out to his toes.

Brock turns to his right, expecting to see Taylors’ blonde hair on the pillow beside his. But she’s not there. He lifts his head, and she stands beside the bed, a blanket around her. She’s staring at him, annoyed, no angry as it seems. Not an ounce of concern in sight on her part.

– What! is wrong with you?

Taylor almost hisses at him. Maybe she’s scared. He should explain to her that this is normal; you come from deployment after being away from your home, your family, and everything you’ve ever known. Just for PTSD to set in, you suddenly wish you were back out there in the desert because then people wouldn’t look at you like you were a crazy person. As the look, he was getting right now.

Brock opens his mouth to say something, but Taylor cuts him off.

– Seriously? This is the third time in a week you have woken me up screaming like this; it’s the middle of the night. Don’t you care you’re keeping me awake? You’re inconsiderate, Brock. No care at all for my health; I’m not getting enough sleep because of this!

She continues to yell with no regard for his well-being at all.

– T—Tay, I’m sorry. It’s been a rough week, the anniversary and all…

Brock tries to stay calm, but the adrenaline from the memories is still pumping through his veins from the nightmare. The way she stands over him, scowling, he feels panic rising inside his chest. He takes a deep shuttering breath, trying to remember the breathing exercises the V.A. therapist suggested.

– The anniversary… the anniversary. Get over it! You’re back home now; you should be past all of this. I thought you soldiers were supposed to be strong!

Taylor scuffs, spitting the words at him. Uncaring of the way she was kicking an already wounded man.

Brock takes a deep breath, struggling to find the words to explain to her why he’s like this. He’s been trying to for a while, but every time he tries, the words fail him, or she doesn’t have the time to listen to his ‘problems.’ If he’s honest with himself, she doesn’t seem to care. Maybe it’s just too hard for her to take? What he’s been through and seen, it’s…gruesome. And he understands that’s not everyone’s cup of tea; the counselor at the V.A., a Marine Veteran, needed a break after he was done sharing.

It’s easy to say get over it because they weren’t there; they didn’t see what he did; they didn’t do the things he did, the things he can never take back; they don’t have blood on their hands like he does. But don’t they understand that he only wants the nightmares to stop? He thought that he would have support from Taylor, that she would help him work through this; all he could do his hope that she’ll understand someday…soon.

Tossing the covers off, Brock finally gets out of bed and changes the sheets. He knows that Taylor wants him to do that. This isn’t his first nightmare. And he really doesn’t want her to yell at him anymore. Taylor looks at him for a while before she turns to leave the bedroom.

– Where are you going, Sweetness?

Brock asks with the most loving voice he can conjure right now.

– I’m getting a glass of water. You can sleep on the couch for the rest of the night. Just change the sheets first so that I can go back to bed.

Taylor says simply as she leaves the bedroom.

Brock does the same as he’s done twice and several times before that; it’s becoming second nature now. He tossed the saturated sheets in the dirty laundry basket, hauling them straight into the bathroom to the washer to avoid that argument. Even though he’s exhausted and wants to lay back down, future Brock will thank him. Then he locks the bathroom door and gets into the shower. The sweat and the pain in his body make him cold. He needs to take a long hot shower and then go and sleep on the couch. For the third time this week. Why won’t she listen to him?

Brock leans his forearms against the wall, his forehead resting against his hands as the warm water hits his skin; he closes his eyes. He can see their eyes, those young boys who died that day. Barely eighteen, trusting him to keep them safe. Now all that’s left of them is a stone in a row of hundreds; he failed; he failed them all. Why did he survive? Why does he get to go on living? Why did God choose him out of all of them? Why not that 20-year-old boy who had a purpose? He wanted to be a teacher, had a girl back home waiting for him and ring, just waiting to get home and pop the question. So why did he survive? What did he have to give to the world? What was his purpose in life?

He can’t stop the tears trickling down his cheeks; he felt them the second Taylor started to yell at him. But if there is one thing he’ll never do again, it’s cry in front of her. The last time he allowed himself to be vulnerable, she gave him a long-winded speech about how real men weren’t supposed to cry, that he was weak and pathetic. And how could he never really protect and care for her if he was going to be a crybaby? He wanted to care for her, make her happy, and make her feel appreciated. So he held his tears back after that; maybe he was weak. Maybe Taylor was right that he should be over it by now. Perhaps he should be more thankful that he survived; he just doesn’t know how to be.

-Hey, you went somewhere.

Samantha says, brows pinched in concern.

Brock clears his throat, rubbing his face.

– It’s nothing, I’m fine.

– Have you told her?

Samantha asks, slowly placing a hand on his shoulder.

She knows how hard it’s been for Brock; he’s come so far since coming home. He’s built the garage from the ground up, through himself into the work; it was apparent he was running from something. They assumed it was the war; he never talked about it; he was seeing a therapist, so they didn’t push. But the sleepless nights, spinal pain, flashbacks, and all the medication really wore him down, and then there was Taylor.

What she did to Brock was almost worse than what he had gone through over there; that might be dramatic, but Samantha did not like Taylor a damn bit. The first time they met, something cold and uninviting in that she-devil’s eyes gave Samantha the heebie-jeebies. But by then, the viper had already sunken her claws into Brock, and for whatever reason, he loved her, or the version of herself she made up to trap him. Samantha wanted to smack her brother in the face and tell him to wake up and see this woman for what she was, but he was looking through rose-colored glasses.

So she did want any good sister would do; she was supportive, listened when he needed an ear and gave advice she knew he wasn’t going to take. He would see it in his own time, and boy, did he ever! Taylor was highly narcissistic, it was always the Taylor show, and if it wasn’t, she made Brock’s life a living hell. She loved that he was a United States Army Veteran; she loved the attention that got her, but she didn’t love the PTSD that came along with it.

– I haven’t even told her that I had nightmares.

Brock replies. Still looking out into space, lost in his feelings for you. It’s intoxicating; if he’s completely honest with himself, he never thought he’d ever fall in love again after Taylor. But, before you sprayed him with pepper spray that day, he suddenly saw you in a new light. Love works in mysterious ways and with pepper spray, apparently.

-You should tell her; you need to tell her. Having PTSD and nightmares does not make you less of a man.

She says firmly, knowing fully that he was made to feel otherwise.

-What if something happens, and she doesn’t know and tries to wake you? Brock, you could seriously hurt her, and I can right now; that would just kill you.

Samantha’s voice softens as she looks at her brother.

– I…

Brock starts, dragging his hand over his face.

– Hey, Brock. I know that it’s scary. But I can already tell that she loves you. She won’t love you any less if you tell her this.

Samantha says, still looking at her brother.

Brock swallows, looking back at his sister. How can he tell you this? Should he tell you about how Taylor reacted as well? Or should he wait until he actually has a nightmare? Who is he kidding? Samantha is right. He could seriously hurt you. Although you probably already know a thing or two about this because of Jack. That is what you know from standing outside Jack’s bedroom. And experiencing it when you’re right next to the person… That is another story he’s not sure you’re ready to hear yet.

Samantha puts her hand on his knee.

– YN is not Taylor. She is nothing like Taylor; nobody is like Taylor.

Samantha says, pulling a small smile from her brother. 

She feels so bad for her brother and what he went through with that woman. Samantha doesn’t even have a word for it. That she-devil broke Brock down piece by piece. And Brock did an amazing job building himself back up again. Samantha was proud of him for that. And she wanted him to be happy. But she understood that it was hard. Taylor showed him how cruel love can be. And it was hard to recover from that.

– I know that— I do know that, it’s just hard, you know. How do you tell someone, “Hey, if I wake up screaming, don’t touch me; I might break you’re arm.”

Brock huffs, leaning back and taking a deep, shaky breath fighting the tears that were threatening to unleash themselves.

– I wish I knew; I truly do. You know, Brock. You are allowed to cry.

Samantha tells him, reaching out for him as he stands up.

– I know that, Samantha!

He snaps, immediately regretting it. 

Samantha gets up as well; she knows she has overstayed her welcome. No need to push anymore. Every time she mentions crying to Brock, he shuts entirely down. Samantha knows she screwed up. She walks out into the hall.

– Will you call Mom, Brock, please?

She asks.

– Yeah. I’ll call her.

Brock replies with a nod

She pauses at the door momentarily; taking a deep breath, she opens the door and steps out. There is no need to push anymore; he’ll open up in his own time. And he has his therapist, who probably helps him a bit, but Samantha can’t help but miss the time he opened up to her.

You stay in bed even after you hear the door close behind Samantha. It might be a good idea to let Brock have a few minutes, you didn’t hear the conversation, but the footsteps moving away didn’t sound too happy.  If you can be selfish for just a minute, you’re just thankful it wasn’t; Dad wasn’t at the door, but you’re still shaken up.

– Hungry?

Brock’s voice from the bedroom door, you’re head snaps in that direction.

– Want breakfast in bed?

Brock continues, an amused look on his face as he slowly walks over to the bed; he sits down on the bed. You crawl behind him; all you want is to lean your head against his back. But you stop yourself from reaching out. Maybe this relationship wasn’t such a good idea after all, and maybe he’s starting to realize that too.

– YN, are you hungry?

He asks again, slowly turning to face you. You look into his eyes. Is he sad? What did Samantha say to him?

– A little…

You mumble; you want to ask how the conversation with Samantha went. But you can’t seem to find the right words.

– Princess…

Brock says, gently cupping your face before leaning in to kiss you. He is leaning his forehead into yours when he breaks the kiss. You look into his eyes, trying to read them.

– I need to tell you something…

He sighs, tucking a piece of hair behind your ear. How will he tell you this? What the hell should he say? He has absolutely no idea. His eyes flicker away from yours for a second, not long, almost unnoticeable, but it’s long enough to make you nervous.

– Brock…

You let out a shaking breath, trying to hold your tears back. Here it comes, you think. You’re too young for him. This was a bad idea.

– Hey, Princess. What is it?

Brock asks, concern written all over his face. He places a soft kiss on your forehead before he wraps you in a hug. He holds you close for several minutes before he lies down on the bed. He lies down on his side, gesturing for you to do the same. So you follow suit, face to face, he laces his fingers with yours. 

– I need you to do me a favor, YN…

He almost laughs at himself. A favor? He knows he has to tell you this, tell you what you should and shouldn’t do, if he has a nightmare. But…. He should be the strong one here. Not only is he the man in this relationship, but he’s also a lot older than you. He should protect you, not the other way around.

– Mhmm…

You hum in reply. You’re still trying to figure out what comes next. You did get nosy today; you probably looked at stuff you shouldn’t have. And you are undoubtedly a lot younger than him. And AND he is your dad’s best friend. Let’s remember that significant factor.

– If I….

Brock starts, then he stops and clears his throat. No, that approach feels wrong. What if you tell him you can’t handle this? Fuck, he should have told you before he slept with you.

– If you ever wake up…

He tries again. Fuck this. Every way sounds stupid. And God, how he wants to protect you, protect you from everything, even from him. Maybe you see him as this strong, untouchable hero type. He knows how Jack told you the story. Brock the hero. He doesn’t feel like one, at least not now.

You look at him. Obviously, he wants to tell you something, but it sounds like he can’t find the right words. So you move a bit closer to him, trying to offer some comfort.

– Brock…

You say, giving him a reassuring smile. Whatever he’s about to tell you, you’ll take it. You can do this, YN! You tell yourself.

Brock clears his throat again, looking into your eyes. You almost look scared. He should tell you, rip the band-aid off. This, him not saying anything business, is scaring you, and that’s the last thing he wants to do.

– If I ever get a nightmare when you’re around…

Brock tells you. Nightmare. Fucking nightmares. Taylor was probably right; no one will ever love him. He’s just weak and pathetic. Anyway, there’s no turning back now. If you leave, you’ll go—nothing he can do about that.

You keep looking at him. His eyes are both concerned and sad. Is he going to tell you about his nightmares? And how should you react to that? Maybe he doesn’t want you to sleep in his arms anymore. What did you think when you started this YN? He’s a decorated soldier. A Veteran. And 26 years older than you. He went to war before you were even born. You close your eyes and take another shaky breath.

– Please, please, YN. Whatever happens, DON’T try to wake me up. I….

He stops. He can’t make himself say the sentence out loud. “I could seriously hurt you!” He doesn’t even want to think about that. He can almost feel his heart bleeding just by thinking about the words.

– I know, Brock…

You say softly, understanding what he’s been trying to say. Without thinking, you wrap your arms around him, holding him close. You’ve been ripped out of your sleep by your dad screaming more than once. And your grandparents told you about how your dad changed after the war. You remember how your dad sat you down and told you what you should NEVER do when he was disassociating. That you should stay away and never try to wake him up. You always knew that he loved you. Your dad would give his life for you. Is Brock going to tell you the same thing? His pill bottles are still fresh in your mind.

– I know…

You repeat, burying your face in his hair; he smells so safe and strong.

– I know what could happen, and I know that you would never do it on purpose.

You say, rubbing his shoulders and doing your best to comfort him. You can tell that wasn’t easy for him to bring up, and you’re proud of him for telling you. It was clear he needed some reassurance, and you were going to give it to him; he didn’t need to be strong all of the time. That must be so exhausting.

-Thank you for telling me.

You whisper into his thick dark locks.

He lets out a shuttering breath that breaks your heart.

-It’s okay, Brock; I’m not going anywhere.

You say softly, running your finger through his hair.

– I love you, YN.

He whispers it is saying your name like a prayer.

– I love you so, so much.

He says softly again; he sounds relieved. Your heart breaks again that he thought you’re reaction would have been different. He looks up at you; you lean in closer, pressing your lips against his warm, soft lips.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please reload

Please Wait

This website uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you accept our use of cookies.  Learn more