I love your writing so much if you're still doing robron prompts could you do the first time they get heckled in the street by homophobes for like holding hands or kissing or something and who you'd think would react worse I'm in a really angsty mood and want to make myself cry ahaa
It’s a completely normal, average day when it happens. They’re in Tesco, Aaron leaning on the trolley as they browse the aisles, aimlessly chatting about what they want for dinner, and if they should get some beers in (Aaron is talking about how he fancies a barbecue, the weather was supposed to be good that weekend, and there was nothing like some burgers and an endless supply of beer in the sun to start a weekend right.)
“You forgot your biscuits,” Robert said, depositing a double pack of chocolate bourbons into their trolley, leaning in to press a kiss to Aaron’s lips. It was something he’d done a thousand times in public now, less and less anxiety about being open, and proud of who he was and who he was married to sitting heavily in his chest.
And then he hears it.
“That’s disgusting, right where people can see n’all. Have they got no shame?”
Robert freezes, and feels sick to his stomach as the words ring in his mind, the world spinning around him as he looks around for the source of the comment. Theres another man, standing by the biscuits, a friend in tow, and he’s looking at them with genuine disgust in his eyes.
“You want to say that again?” Aaron was defensive immediately, face red and hands balled into fists as he glares at the stranger. “Go on, I fucking dare ya, say it again.”
Before the stranger could make another comment, there’s a manager standing between them, a young looking woman who tries her best to ease the situation before gets out of hand.
Robert stands, frozen, as the manager tries to direct the stranger on, tries to placate Aaron with kind words and the promise of a money off voucher for their shopping.
“I don’t want a voucher,” Aaron is trying to be calm, but anger oozes from his every pore, every inch of him. He’s practically bristling, ready for a fight, ready to defend himself and their marriage. “I want to do my shopping with my husband and not have ignorant pricks like ‘im try and tell me I’m disgusting.”
He’s standing up for them.
He’s standing up for them, both of them, and Robert’s frozen to his spot on the aisle, one hand gripping the cool metal of the trolley slightly. Robert can only watch, as Aaron has a few more words with the manager and accepts her apology with a furrowed brow, and Robert’s barely even able to put one foot in front of the other as they head for the checkouts, Aaron giving him a worried look as he hands his card over, paying for the shopping Robert had haphazardly thrown into the trolley.
He doesn’t even really remember doing it.
All he remembers is those strangers words.
Right where people can see.
Have they no shame?
“Robert?” Aaron’s hands are on his face now, familiar hands on his cheeks, his neck, something that should make him feel calm, feel safe, but he just wants to panic, is afraid that stranger might be close by, might say something, or God, do something -
“I froze,” Robert blurted, hating how upset he felt, hating how he couldn’t react. “I didn’t say anything. I just stood there, and I took it.”
“Hey, you didn’t have to say anything,” Aaron shook his head. “We don’t have to defend what we have to any ignorant bastard who can’t keep his mouth shut in Tesco. Yeah? You don’t need to defend us to anyone.”
“But you did,” Robert mumbled, throat thick with tears he was refusing to cry. He wasn’t going to break down in a Tesco fucking carpark, with a bag of oranges in one hand and a trolley half full of beer next to him.
“You know me, always looking for a fight,” Aaron tried to joke, prising the shopping Robert was holding from him, dumping it in the boot. “It’s okay, Robert - I get how terrifying it can be to have someone be like that.”
“Yeah,” Aaron’s voice was soft, tired, as though he’d been through this a thousand times. “I’ve been out for a lot longer than you have.”
“Does it ever hurt less?” Robert asked, gaze dropping to the floor, to his shoes, the concrete he was standing on suddenly very interesting.
Robert looked up sharply, the sick feeling rising in his stomach again. Was this going to be the rest of his life, off hand comments in Tesco telling him he was disgusting for loving another man and daring to not be ashamed of it?
“But you get a thick skin,” Aaron said, emptying the last of their shopping into the boot. “And no one, no one is ever going to make me feel ashamed of loving you, I’m not to let them win.”
Robert imagined for a second, what it would feel like to hide, to be ashamed again, to keep his love, his husband behind closed doors, to only love him where no one else could see, and he held his head a little higher, stood a little prouder.
“I’m not letting them win either,” Robert declared, giving Aaron’s hip a squeeze, reaching into his trouser pocket for the car keys, not caring who saw. “I’m proud of who we are.”