Aaron couldn’t help but be worried by the desperate look on Robert’s face, the wild way his husband’s eyes looked. “Robert, hey - what’s wrong?”
Robert wasn’t the type to wear his heart on his sleeve, and most of the time, it took a fair bit of coaxing for Aaron to get him to open up, but not tonight. Clearly, there was something very wrong.
“Tell me you need me.” Robert blurted, tears welling in his eyes.
“Do you need me? Because - because I feel like nobody needs me anymore.” Robert admitted. “Vic’s all grown up now, she’s got a baby of her own, and Liv’s off to university in September, and I feel like nobody needs me, not anymore. I’m useless, Aaron, and I hate it.”
Aaron couldn’t handle seeing Robert like this, seeing his husband so upset. “You’re not useless, you idiot,” he shook his head, gathering Robert into a tight hug. “I wouldn’t be able to cope without you.”
Robert clung to him, burying his face in Aaron’s neck. “You’d be fine.”
“No.” Aaron ran a hand through the soft hair at the back of Robert’s neck, digging his fingers into the clothed skin of Robert’s hip. “I wouldn’t be here, if it wasn’t for you. You got my through some of the hardest times of my life, Robert. Do you really think I’d get through counselling every single week if it wasn’t for you driving me there and back?”
Robert stayed silent, his tears soaking into the material of Aaron’s jumper.
“And who would cook me dinner if you weren’t around, eh? I’d be living off pot noodles and toast if I didn’t have you,” Aaron joked, pressing his lips to the side of Robert’s head. “I need you, Robert. I need you to look after me, I need you to be my best friend. I need you to help me figure out what setting to use that bloody washing machine on!”
Robert laughed at that one, a tiny little laugh that was like music to Aaron’s ears.
“I need you,” Aaron repeated. “I’m always going to need you.”