mine: stills

4

because i believe
as we go through time
that all of the best things
haven’t happened yet

victoriasugden  asked:

17. “I-I’m… I’m trying to change into what I thought you would like… Did it work…?” :)

It happens when they’re in the crowded streets of Leeds on the day of the pride parade. Robert’s clammy hand slips from Aaron’s and flies to his chest, clutching at the front of his shirt like it’s suddenly too tight. Quick to recognise what’s happening, Aaron takes Robert’s arm and leads him into the nearest shop, away from the great mass of rainbow clad people that move as one. A staff member gives them a funny look as they stumble through the doors of H&M, but chooses to ignore them when Robert clasps his knees and starts hyperventilating. Aaron rubs a spiral into his back, trying to offer whatever words he can to ease Robert through the panic attack.

‘It’s okay,’ Aaron says. ‘Just breathe.’

‘I can’t.’

‘You can’t breathe?’

‘No. I can’t do this. I can’t be proud.’

Aaron’s heart cracks at the fearfulness of Robert’s voice. This is supposed to be a celebration.

‘I just wanted you to be proud of me,’ Robert breathes. ‘I-I’m… I’m trying to change into what I thought you would like… Did it work…? Sorry. Of course it didn’t. I’m a mess.’

Aaron crouches down in front of Robert. He thought that he wanted to do this. He thought he was ready. Aaron wasn’t bothered about coming to pride – it had never really been his thing – but when Robert had suggested it he couldn’t say no. He thought it was Robert embracing himself, opening himself up to the world.

He was wrong.

‘I am proud of you,’ Aaron says, cupping Robert’s face in his hands. ‘I’m so proud of you. You don’t have to pretend for me. If you’re not ready, you’re not ready, and that’s okay.’