aaron is not bad himself too

it’s headcanon time bitches, buckle up:

fortunately, Neil Josten doesn’t get sick often. but it still happens, from time to time, and when he does it’s absolutely frightening. he doesn’t pretend everything’s fine, not really, not the way everyone expects him to. he doesn’t even barricate himself up in his room and “waits for death to take him”, like Nicky. he doesn’t get bitchy like Kevin, or irritating like Aaron, or disappears like Andrew. He just shuts down, completely. He’s still up, he still practices. But he’s not present. He just goes through the motions, sometimes he doesn’t talk for days. He just boards himself up in his own mind, too focused on being fine to do much at all, not even focusing on the outside world. When he does get sick, it’s always bad, like some sort of retribution for always escaping seasonal colds and the occasional flu. When he does, sometimes his thoughts get tangled up, and he forgets. He forgets his mother is not there to beat him up if he’s anything other than fine. He forgets he doesn’t have to be vigilant 24/7, because his father could find him. He forgets he’s not alone, and has to do everything on his own. He forgets, he forgets, and sometimes not even Andrew knows what to do.

Oh, Robert.

Whose worst nightmare came true because Aaron disregarded the severity of his emotional anxiety and psychological trauma.

Who had inaccurate labels forced upon him, first by Aaron and then by everyone else.

Who finally found the guts to affirm his own identity, only to find himself boxed in by negative stereotypes.

Who submissively puts up with horrible verbal attacks from others for Aaron’s sake.

Who made a new start for himself but is still living in the shadow of his past mistakes.

Who turned himself inside out for Aaron yet is seen as having a static personality.

Who tries so hard to do the right thing but is always accused of selfish motives.

Who immediately started treating Aaron’s little sister as his own even though she was horrible towards him.

Who willfully moved into an uncomfortable living space to make Aaron’s sister more comfortable.

Who finally had one friend that Aaron expected him to cast off, disbelieving in platonic relationships and not trusting him.

Who makes big gestures to assuage Aaron’s insecurities, while his own are a source of jokes and jibes for Aaron.

Who does everything he can to show his love and dedication to someone who refuses to see it.

Who wears himself thin trying to help Aaron, when Aaron seems not to be trying to help himself.

Who gives his time, energy, money, self-respect, support, emotional defenses, physical well-being, last breath of air, all of his future, all of himself to Aaron and their relationship.

Who has nothing left to give when Aaron still finds him lacking.

I’m not surprised he turned to Rebecca (not that I think it’s okay). Drunk, unable to make a thoughtful decision, it makes sense that he’d turn to someone who likes him as he is, prefers him with flaws. She’s not asking him to give up anything, much less everything, and that’s already enough. And for one night, with a bottle of whisky flowing through his veins, he can let himself think that’s enough for him too.

anyway, so, ya know what i’d love to see:

so robert’s in one of those really distressed moods, just super frustrated because something or the other’s happened and he just wants to go home.

so he comes home, walks into the backroom of the pub, where aaron’s busy in the kitchen making tea (not tea tea as in the drinking tea, but tea tea and is the meal) and he sees robert and instantly knows he isn’t feeling too great, meanwhile robert’s just slumped himself on the sofa.

so aaron comes over and sits next to him, looks at him, and then says “bad day at the office?”. robert doesn’t reply. aaron asks, “guessing you don’t wanna talk about it either then?” and robert still doesn’t reply.

then aaron takes one of robert’s hands into his and uses his other hand to turn robert’s face to his so robert’s facing him.

and then all aaron does, simply, is mouth the words “i love you” to robert, and then just give him one of those FULL ON BEAMING smiles where you can see his eyes crinkle. that’s it. that’s all he does.

and there’s a smile that’s slowly making it’s way across robert’s face and, oh man, he just instantly feels at ease. feels his shoulders relax, and he wraps his arm around aaron and just full on cuddles him, nuzzles him and breathes aaron in, the smell of petrol and metal and gel and it’s a scent you wouldn’t usually associate with comfort and feeling zen, but that’s what aaron smells like and it washes over robert, seeps into him and he exhales and says “i love you too.”