Okay so the response to my previous Alex/Mark story was insane. I honestly didn't believe that there were as many people who loved them being together as much as I did but I was apparently wrong. I've wanted to do this for a while but I put it off since I have so many stories on the go (seriously it's getting ridiculous now). However I can't keep it hidden anymore.
Basically this is going to be an Alex/Mark series which will contain 10 chapters (hence the title 10 Reasons) and although the chapters are all related they are not necessarily in any kind of chronological order (that would require too much forethought and planning – something I don't have the ability to do). There's no reason for the 10 reasons other than that's as many reasons as I could think up.
Summary: 10 reasons why Mark loves Alex.
He eats cereal straight out of the box
It wasn't a habit you'd noticed when the two of you were simply dating. You'd spotted it once or maybe twice but in all honesty your brain hadn't registered that there was anything weird. It's only after he moves into your apartment that you realise it's a habit.
The first time it wasn't something you thought was weird at all really. Well at first you had, coming home to see a grown man eating cereal out of the box wasn't something you saw every day, but mostly you'd dismissed it. Truth be told it had been a while since either of you had done any grocery shopping. Thinking nothing of it you settled down next to him and ordered a pizza before making a mental note to stop and pick up a few things on the way home tomorrow since he had the later shift.
The second time you're not really in any kind of mood to think about it. A simple breast reduction had gone completely wrong when the woman had reacted badly to the anaesthetic. It had happened before and unfortunately it was just a fact of life. Sometimes it just happens. You'd had to bring her back twice on the table and couldn't do the reduction that she had wanted, something that had her filing a complaint about you when she woke up. Of course, you know that complaint won't go anywhere, you did everything by the book but that's not the point. Then compound that by getting thrown up on not once but twice and you have a pretty bad day. With all that going on it doesn't really register when you head through the door and see him once again eating cereal out of the box.
The third time is when you stop and think. You don't ask about it right away but after seeing him eating cereal from the damn box three times you realise you probably should mention something. When you eventually bring it up he shrugs and simply says 'habit I guess'.
After the fourth time an idea pops into your head. Alex isn't much of a cook and although he can avoid giving himself food poisoning when he needs to there's a big difference between that and being able to make a half decent meal. Not that you're bragging but you've lived alone for a long time and you've taught yourself the basics of being in a kitchen. Proud of yourself for realising the problem you make a point of dragging him into the kitchen whenever you get chance and teaching him what you taught yourself. True to form he picks it up quickly and you're surprised to find that you enjoy cooking together. It's not something you've ever really thought of before but the two of you have fun. Cleaning up the kitchen later however proves to be less enjoyable.
Two weeks later when you come home and see him making dinner you smile for a moment. Right up until you spot the open cereal box on the counter. It really shouldn't bother you but it really does. Not because he's doing it – let's face it there are far worse habits he could have – but because you have no idea why. Honestly at this point you don't even really think that he's aware that he's doing it.
So it's not because he can't cook. Although it's only been a few weeks he knows enough to cook a couple of meals so it's not that.
It's two days before another idea pops into your head.
Maybe he just needs something to snack on. People do.
When you get chance a few days later you head over to the store and pick up a few snack items for him to have. Heading home you give yourself a congratulatory pat on the back for figuring the whole thing out. Now he doesn't have to snack on cereal. It occurs to you at some point on the trip home that you should probably just talk to him about it but you dismiss that thought just as quickly. No need. You've figured it out.
The happiness at figuring out the problem lasts for three days before you head on home and once again see him eating cereal from the box. That night whilst laying in bed you run over the words he'd said weeks ago in your mind.
Habit I guess.
Why would eating cereal directly from the box become a habit?
Let's face facts it's not exactly a normal one.
You can't put a pin on why this is bothering you so much. He could have worse habits alcohol, drugs…why does him eating cereal from the box bother you so much?
Because it's a puzzle.
Puzzles really bother you. Not having the answers really bothers you and it always has. You hate not knowing. Sighing you roll over the pieces of the problem in your mind as Alex shuffles beside you in an attempt to get comfortable.
Eating cereal from the box is something kids do.
Hell you're pretty sure you did it as a child but you grew out of it.
All kids grow out of it.
They've got plenty of food in the house so it's not like he's hungry-
Something snaps in your mind and a realisation sets over you like a wave. A horrific, awful wave tat makes you go cold all over.
You know enough about his childhood to know that it was anything but good. He's told you before about ending up in juvie for stealing food when there wasn't any in the house. It's at this point that it occurs to you that cereal was cheap.
How many times did he have dry cereal for dinner because it's the only thing in the house?
How many nights had he gone hungry because there was nothing in the house?
All of a sudden the answer is staring you in the face and you really don't like it. With the horrible truth in your mind a dark feeling settles in your stomach. You've never thought about it before, never given it too much thought, but now your mind questions. Just how bad was his childhood? Just how hard were things for him?
From then on you stop worrying about the cereal and accept it for what it is. A habit left over from an awful childhood. If you make a point of keeping his favourite cereal in the house at all times then that's no one's business but your own.
Okay so that went a little bit west of where I had intended but I got there in the end.
Keep your eyes peeled for Reason #2.