06 April 2013 @ 11:20 pm
 
When the Mountie had said he was going, Ray found it even harder to find an excuse not to, which was stupid because all he really wanted to do was go. Not for the chocolate or the Easter eggs or the promise of enough sweet food for him to eat his feelings for a month, but simply because he knew Asher would be there. They'd had arguments before that lasted an hour, a day, maybe even a couple days but none of those had involved his kids. More than a few had revolved around Danica before they'd eventually gotten together but his children were different.

It was the first time Ray was genuinely worried that he'd blown it, which was why he was so reluctant to attend. Had he indulged his selfishness and insensitivity during an argument about absolutely anything else, he didn't think he'd be skulking around the edges of a slowly scattering gathering right now. He and Asher would've hashed it out, maybe lashed out, and moved on. Together. But those kind of qualities coming through when it was never about Ray in the first place? That was so much worse. It had taken him an embarrassingly long time to realize he'd made it all about him instead of concentrating on a little boy and a concerned father who had needed his help. Asher had been - still was, for all he knew - between a rock and a hard place, between his sister and his son, and Ray had turned his back and walked away.

Which was exactly the kind of reaction he was expecting to receive when he looked over through a hooded gaze, waiting for Asher to be alone. He'd already apologised for laughing, thinking that was all he was guilty of. Nervousness, he'd said. The absurdity of the situation. But laughing had just been the tip of the iceberg and it had taken many long, lonely nights in a too-big and too-empty bed for him to see it.

Dropping the piece of straw he'd been fiddling with - Asher hated insecurity - he squared his shoulders just a little and moved over.

"D'you have a minute?"

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