She sees him. Even with all the masks he hides himself under.

She sees him.

He's not a good person. He knows this, and it eats at him like a potion left to fester at the bottom of a cauldron. It itches. So he applies the only cures he knows how.

He acts.

He straightens his spine, and puts as many words as necessary around him. As many as it takes to keep himself together. Because when he starts to look too close he'll stumble. He'll crack and shatter and he's not sure what will happen to him after that.

He's seen his father broken and that's warning enough.

She should know that better than anyone, the things he's done. He's confessed at her unwilling, captive side more than once.

And yet.

She stills says there's good in him. Says she can see it.

She always could see things no one else could. Things that may not exist to anyone but her.

And maybe, he thinks, as he sits beside her – lets her hold his hand, lets her keep him close – that's all he needs. Or at least, it's the best place to start.

To be good enough for her.