This is the first in a series of Niff drabbles. I'm doing a 50 prompt challenge and all fics will be added as new chapters :)
Disclaimer: I don't own Glee or the threesixmafia.
Fear n 1. Distress or alarm caused by impending danger or pain. 2. Something that causes distress v 2. Be afraid of (something or someone). Fear for feel anxiety about something. Fearful adj 1. Feeling fear. 2. Causing fear. 3. Informal very unpleasant. Fearfully adv fearless adj fearlessly adv fearsome adj terrifying
– Collins Dictionary 2000
People are foolish when they're scared; they do things that are normally out of character. Sometimes it'll be something unexpected, something that has never even crossed their mind before. It could be anything. Fear is an emotion that everyone has experienced before, and will continue to experience throughout their life.
Amongst humans it is common for fear to affect a person's sanity, causing temporary psychosis which can lead to irrational behaviour. Fear has been known to drive innocent people to murder, some to suicide and trustworthy persons to betrayal.
It is not something we can control and when people are exposed to objects or situations that induce fear little can be done to stop apprehension from arising within them.
It is an overpowering emotion, commonly perceived to be negative, but also believed to be positive in some form. Fear can cause adrenaline to be realised, saving a person's life. It is also something that connects as all; a common ground – many say it is the very thing that makes us human.
Nick was scared of a lot of things, but not an unusual amount, just a lot. Most of those fears were considered rational and normal. For example he couldn't stand needles or heights, they were both rather unpleasant and simply the thought of either one of them made him cringe. He hated mirrors – but only in the dark – and the sight of blood or dead things made him vomit.
One irrational fear he did have involved televisions.
So when Nick and Jeff were in their room at Dalton one Friday evening and Jeff had suggested watching a film Nick froze up. He'd always managed to avoid this situation previously so it had never become a problem but this was kind of unavoidable.
"Nick, did you hear me?" Jeff nudged his best friend from his position on the bed. Nick was now sat on the floor in front of the TV. "Are you up for it? We don't have to if you'd rather just go to bed now."
"No, no, it's okay." He tried to breathe in steadily but he could already feel the panic rising within himself. The buzzing at the back of his mind was screaming for him to stop as he slowly reached out to the on button.
Almost there, he told himself.
Just before his finger could make contact with the shiny black surface an electrifying shiver zapped through his body and he leapt away from the floor. He pounced on Jeff and buried his face in the blonde's chest. He dreaded the moment when he'd have to explain himself. God, Nick felt so pathetic.
"Nick, Nicky, what it is?" Jeff shook him gently, attempting to coax the boy away from his body long enough to figure out what was wrong. "What happened?"
Then he felt dampness on his baggy t-shirt. Nick was crying; soft sobs muffled by his fist in his mouth. "Hey, it's ok." He cooed, stroking his friend's hair comfortingly.
"No, it's not." He panted. "I'm pathetic."
"Feel like talking about it?" Jeff almost laughed. He found Nick's vulnerability adorable, it was a side to him Jeff had never really witnessed before. It reminded him that his best friend was only human.
"Not really." Jeff nudged Nick. "Fine." He took a moment to pull away and dry his eyes. He coughed a few times and sat on the edge of the bed, facing his hands which were fiddling absently in his lap. "I'm scared,"
"Of what?" It came out as a whisper, as if softening his words would make the world seem calmer and less daunting.
Nick mumbled something along the lines of 'Jesus fuck, this is embarrassing' before continuing. "I, Uh, I just don't really like, um… I can't turn on the TV." He knew what Jeff was going to ask next so he saved him the breath and started to explain himself.
"When I was 7 my dad told me I wasn't allowed to watch TV past 10 o'clock. One day I snuck downstairs after he'd gone to bed and when I turned it on the channel was obviously playing a horror film because there was this…" The boys shivered at the memory, recalling it was obviously causing him distress. "It was the most terrifying face I'd ever seen. I had nightmares about it at least once a week until High School. I only get nightmares occasionally but it's still scary as fuck, even now."
Jeff didn't really know what to say. He knew what it was like having a fear like that. He knew what it was like trying to explain that to somebody else and for them to just not get it. It was frustrating and humiliating and generally not a nice thing to do.
"I understand," He shifted on the bed, moving closer to Nick so he could rest a hand on his shoulder. "I mean, I know what it's like having fears that no one gets."
Nick turned to look at him over his shoulder – he must have been crying that whole time because his eyes were as red as anything and his cheeks were soaked. Jeff could hardly stop himself when he shuffled forward and wrapped his arms around the boy, pulling him closer. And that's where they stayed for a good five minutes.
Then Jeff moved – pulling Nick with him - so his back was up against the headboard and Nick was lying on his chest. He seemed calmer now, and a lot less frightened. It was as though the fear had just drifted away and he was left feeling tired and emotionally drained.
It didn't take long for him to fall asleep, a soft 'thank you' playing on his lips.