You can all blame @moonboy-bin for this one.
(based on the idea that Wilhelm talks to the snowglobe Erik gave him whenever he wishes he could speak to his brother)
It's been four days since Wilhelm has returned to Hillerska after the Christmas break. Four days of Simon and Wilhelm skirting around each other like they're strangers. Four days of Wilhelm feeling like his heart is outside his body, broken and unprotected. Four days of desperately wanting Simon to look at him, see him, and hold him like he used to. Four days of absolute misery.
Wilhelm thought being away at the palace would be the worse part, but he was wrong. He was so absolutely wrong. Wilhelm had been able to get through the motions of his old life, his life before Simon. He became numb to everything, which sure, wasn't the best coping mechanism, but it got him through to the end of the day. But here, at Hillerska, where there are constant reminders of Simon, going through the motions is that much more difficult.
He can't dress in the morning without picturing Simon looking up at him from the bed. He can't do homework without thinking about all the times Simon and him got distracted by each other's mouths, necks, arms, legs, just touching anywhere they could. And worse, Wilhelm can't forget their conversations, the ones when they knew no one was looking, when it was just them, when they told each other their deepest secrets. Things so personal they could barely admit them to themselves.
It was the first time Wilhelm didn't feel so alone, so afraid, so overwhelmed.
Wilhelm's back presses harder against the wall behind him as he brings his knees to his chest. The mattress creaks below him as his fingers tighten their grip on his hair. He holds a breath, counting one, two, three, exhale. It's something his brother taught him to do.
Fuck, Wilhelm would give anything to talk to Erik right now, to hear his brother's voice, even just to tease him, and tell Wilhelm how much of an idiot he's being.
Wilhelm's eyes shift to the desk beside him, to the small globe that sits on top of it, reminding him of the person he lost. The brother he lost. Wilhelm reaches over and closes his fingers over the base of the globe. Moving to cradle it in his hands, staring down at the thing with enough determination, he's sure it'll make his brother appear in front of him. But it won't work. He knows because he's tried it before. It never works.
"Erik," Wilhelm whispers, chest going tight when he says the name. He tries not to say it that often. It only reminds him of how much it hurts. "Erik, I don't know what to do," he goes on, even quieter now, "I miss you. You'd know exactly what to say. You always knew what to say." A tear slips from Wilhelm's eye and drops on the glass dome, rolling down the curved side, and distorting the crown that rests on the frog's head. "I miss you, I miss you so much," his tears come quicker, "I never got to tell you about him, not fully. I never got to tell you about the way he smiles when he sings, about how stupidly soft his curls are, about how smart and determined he is, about how much I love–" There's a knock on the door.
Wilhelm quickly discards the globe back on the desk and uses his sleeves to wipe away the tear tracks on his cheeks, "yes?" he croaks.
"Sir," Malin sounds, "dinner will be over soon. Would you like me to bring you a plate?"
"Yes," Wilhelm says, so quiet he's not even sure Malin will hear, but she must because after about five minutes, there's another knock on the door.
When Wilhelm opens it, he's met with a plate of food, topped more full than he probably needs. Malin gives him a sympathetic smile and hands it to him. He thanks her again and moves back to sit on his bed, alone.
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I love to talk about how touchstarved Wille is as much as the next dumbass, but I'd like to change the focus of the conversation for a moment away from examples of his being touchstarved to how he engages in touch when he does get it. Wille wants touch, but he doesn't seek to be held, he seeks to hold. Even in e4 when he says "hold me" to Simon, Wille is actually the one holding him.
I think that we can see really well the reason for this in his hug with Erik. It's a sweet moment in some ways, but it's also really clear that Wille is clinging to his brother like his life depends on it. Someone pointed out the moment after this as one where Wille is very much Alone™️ (cant remember who, lmk if you have the post pls lol).
Wille is touchstarved, but it's not just that, it's also that when he does receive touch he holds, because he's scared that if someone holds him they'll let go.
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