010; real life

143 15 26

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Talking to Elijah was more exhausting than Awsten has expected.  He was hoping to come out of the conversation feeling at least half decent but it's always draining to talk about those sort of things, and he knows he's going to have to go over it all again with Thea sooner or later, probably sooner.

When they arrive at the hospital, Awsten's anxiety sparks as it brings back the memories of his own time spent hospitalized.  That doesn't much help his exhaustion.  He's left tired and anxious and certain that he's going to mess this up somehow.  He wants nothing more than to make it all right but he doesn't know how and the fear is building up alongside the anxiousness and he doesn't know how to handle it right now.  Usually, he just lets himself have some time to sit and think and probably cry a little but he's sure that he can't do any of those things right now.

"Hey," Elijah speaks up, noticing Awsten on the way to a downward spiral, "you're not the one who's a patient right now.  They're not gonna keep you here or whatever it is that has you worried.  Just relax.  You can't be freaking out when you go to see Thea."

Awsten only nods, too focused on holding himself together to make sure he doesn't fall apart in front of Thea.  Knowing he needs a minute, he decides to allow himself that.

"I'll be right back," he mumbles, "I'm gonna go use the restroom."

Elijah nods, knowing Awsten doesn't actually have to use the restroom but not calling him out on the lie.  Awsten hurries off to the nearest restroom, glad to find that it's a single stall and he doesn't have to run the risk of anyone coming in while he tries to get a hold on his rapidly spiraling emotions.  He shut and locks the bathroom door and wets his face a little, the cold water oddly grounding.

He splashes his face once more before drying it off, glad that he managed to avoid breaking down.  He was close to tears but he didn't want to allow himself to cry because that always seems to stop him from thinking about anything besides how Emily used to taunt him if he ever cried in front of her.  Crying makes it far too hard to think so stopping and taking a moment to just breathe is his new go-to.  He lets himself push everything aside for just that moment and focuses on keeping himself breathing evenly and then he thinks about what he's doing, where he's at, and what he should do next.

Right now, he's giving himself a moment, in a random hospital bathroom, and the next thing he should do is go see Thea and tell her he's sorry and that he wants to be involved in this, and probably explain everything if she asks him to.  He has a plan and it's something he can control and stick to, another thing he keeps to himself so that no one can take it from him.

That in mind, he leaves that bathroom and goes back to Elijah.

"You ready?" Elijah asks, looking at Awsten with carefully masked worry.  As much as he wants to just give in, he's not quite ready to allow himself to forgive Awsten.  He doesn't trust him just yet and he wants to make sure Thea doesn't end up hurt again because of him.

"Yeah," Awsten confirms with a nod. 

Elijah leads him through the hospital up to see Thea.  Elijah stops them outside of Thea's room, giving Awsten a stern look.

"Do not fuck this up," he warns with a little glare before opening the door.  His expression softens as soon as he sees Thea but Awsten's worry only increases.

"Hey," he greets nervously, feeling unsure of how to handle this.  "We, uh, we should talk...if you're up for it."

"Hey," Thea responds quietly, "we should."

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