Mischa isn't stupid; he knows that happily ever afters only happen in fairytales. Still, he'd thought that as soon as Tom got over the horrible assault that almost tore them apart, everything would be better. Perhaps not fairytale happy right away, but better. Instead, they seem to be falling apart, and quite spectacularly so.
What Mischa doesn't take into account is the fact that violence has long-term consequences -- consequences that are threatening to shake the very foundation of Tom and Mischa's relationship. Because Mischa can handle Tom's weakness, but he can't face his own. He doesn't have a choice, though. Not if they're going to make it.
As Mischa and Tom struggle to rebuild their relationship, it turns out that happily ever after is damn hard work. It's also wildly kinky, because Tom and Mischa have to build a new trust in the playroom as well. One scene at a time, Mischa and Tom explore their new limits, and that's the kind of work that Mischa likes. After all, that's what badass Doms do.