Henrik sat up in bed, his heart racing from the dream he had been experiencing. John had been in it, as well as Roxanna, and they had been fighting over him. When he had tried to break up the fight, John had pushed him away in order to get at Roxanna once more, and he had watched in horror as his best friend chased off the woman he cared for so deeply. "Now we'll always be together," John had murmured in his ear after he'd returned to his side, and that was what had woken him up. The dread those words caused were enough to tell him that he had made the entirely wrong decision in pushing Roxanna away after his attempt to take his own life.
Glancing over at John's bed, he saw his friend was still sleeping, blissfully unaware of the fact that Henrik was finding himself ready to make a life altering decision. After all, he had no idea how Roxanna would react to what he wanted to tell her. She could very well decide that his issues were too much to deal with, along with her mother, and school, and tell him that she was much better off without him in her life, bringing her down. That had been his greatest fear, which John had done nothing to allay. Shaking his head, Henrik slipped out of his bed and padded over to his dresser, grabbing out a fresh pair of trouser and a sweater.
A quick glance at his watch told him that it was way too early in the morning, but they had always kept odd hours as they worked on their research, and he hoped that this was the case with her that morning. Slipping his feet into loafers, Henrik quickly made his bed before slinging his satchel over his shoulder and making his way from his room. The halls were empty, unsurprisingly, which worked perfectly for Henrik as he slowly made his way out of the dormitory and over to their lab. He needed to think, to ruminate, to lose himself in all the myriad ways that this revelation had to go completely wrong. It wasn't until he was standing outside the door, taking shallow breaths, that he realized he had almost worked himself into a full-blown panic attack.
Resting his palm against the wood of the door, Henrik tried to get control of himself, knowing that Roxanna would be able to read him like a book from the moment she looked at him if he didn't. Once he felt like he looked more normal, he unlocked the door and entered, looking around for Roxanna. She was asleep on the sofa, as she usually was when not working on her research. The blanket had slipped to around her waist, and Henrik crouched next to her, reaching out to brush a piece of hair out of her face. There was something so lovely about the way she slept, and a part of him wanted to be able to see that face every day of his life.
Shaking his head a little, he pulled the blanket up around her chest before sitting on the floor and resting his back against the sofa. Reaching up, he took hold of one of her hands and threaded their fingers together as he let his head thump back against the cushion of the sofa, his eyes closing heavily as waited for her to wake up. It didn't take too long for him to feel her fingers tighten around his, and a sad smile curved his lips upwards as he felt her sit up, her hand never leaving his.
"Henrik?" she asked, sleepy confusion filling her gravelly morning voice. "What time is it?"
"Too early. I couldn't sleep," he said, a feeling of disappointment flooding through his system when she shook her hand free from his. And then, she was sliding off the sofa to sit next to him, her arm curving around his waist as she allowed her head to thump down on his chest.
"I worry about you, Henrik," she said through a yawn, her grip tightening on his waist as she rubbed her cheek against his shirt, obviously trying to make herself more comfortable. "You've been pulling away from me lately, and I've missed talking to you, seeing you after hours in the library, and all that. Have I done something wrong?"
Those words stabbed at his heart, and he shook his head as he brought his hand down to rest on her shoulder. "It wasn't anything that you did, Roxanna. This is completely me and my hang-ups. John suggested that it might be for the best if I didn't burden you with my troubles, since you have to worry about your mum."
"And what are your troubles, Henrik?" she asked as she started to run her hand up and down his side, trying to comfort him as she waited for him to open up a little more. It was hard to break the easy silence that fell over the room, and he synced their breathing in a way to try and gain the courage to speak to her, to let her in on his weakness. "You don't have to be afraid to tell me, you know. I love you, and there's nothing you could say that would make me think less of you and that brilliant brain of yours."
Once more, he was amazed by the easy way she spoke about her feelings. He had never been able to have that casualness about him, but for her, it was as natural as breathing. "I don't feel brilliant at the moment," he finally said as tightened his hand around the ball of her shoulder, needing to find a way to collect himself before he spoke again. "My mother died of depression."
Those words seemed to hang in the air, and he listened to the rough breath that Roxanna drew in as her fingers dug into the meat of his back. "Henrik…"
"It happened when I was a child, but her depression has always been with me, like a black cloud that sometimes hovers over me, and sometimes trails along behind me. But it's a part of who I am. I get dark moods, where everything seems so bleak, and there appears to be no light in the valley that I'm walking through." She nodded slowly, but from the tense way she was holding herself, Henrik knew that she wanted to say something, but was holding back, allowing him to work his way through what he wanted to say. "The darkness in me became overwhelming two weeks ago. I walked into a lake with no intention of ever turning around, because I didn't want to be a burden on you and John any longer. Somehow, somehow, John knew what was going through my mind, since he found me, and pulled me back from the brink."
His voice trembled a little, and he pursed his lips together as he tried to keep control of his emotions, since he didn't want to cry on her shoulder, to show her how weak he was. The silence had turned jagged in that moment, and the first sob caught in his throat. It only took a moment, but then Roxanna was turning towards him, wrapping both arms around him in a tight hug before pulling his head down onto her breasts, her fingers running through his hair as she murmured soothingly in his ear, allowing him to release his feelings in her arms.