021; real life

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"We don't have to do this today," Thea tells Awsten quietly, "still have, like, half a pregnancy to get through.  We can ask them later."

"No, I'm okay.  We can do it now," Awsten replies hesitantly before stopping to take in a shaky breath.  "As long as you're good with it too.  I just...I need a minute.  I haven't seen either of them in a while."

"They're not mad at you," she assures him, "Elijah probably won't admit it but he worries about you.  He's still your friend."

"Maybe," Awsten mumbles, pushing his hand through his hair.  "I don't know."

"I do," she tells him softly, grabbing his hand.  He gives her a weak smile, clearly not sure of where this is going to go.

"Alright, let's save those words for another day," Awsten is only half joking when he says it, earning a look of shock from Thea.

"Awsten..." she trails off, unsure of what to even say to that.

"Not any time soon," he's quick to clarify, "but, one day, I am gonna ask you to marry me.  You don't have to tell me now what you're gonna say when I ask but I just thought I'd let you know."

"Aws?"

"Yeah?"

"When you do ask," she starts off with a small smile, "I'm gonna say yes."

Awsten grins and kisses her.  She kisses back, glad to finally be at a place where they can do this.  After they pull away, there's a brief moment of silence before Awsten sighs, trying to gather up his courage.

"Okay, let's go talk to them," he says, "and hope this isn't the most awkward thing ever."

They head up to Elijah and Sam's apartment and knock on the door.

"Use your key, dumbass," Elijah calls out from inside, knowing already that it's Thea and Awsten since Thea had texted him and let him know they'd be dropped by.

"No need to be so rude about it, asshole," Thea retorts as she unlocks the door.

"He thrives on cruelty," Sam jokes as Thea and Awsten come in and close the door behind themselves.  "Or at least he pretends to."

"Excuse me, I am not pretending," Elijah argues playfully, "I'm literally just the meanest fucking asshole on the planet."

"Yeah, sure you are," Sam replies sarcastically, rolling his eyes.  "C'mon, come sit down," Sam invites, "you said you wanted to talk about something?"

"Mhm," Thea hums out the confirmation as she and Awsten sit on one of the couches, Awsten gripping her hand tightly.

"Get to the point then, you're interrupting our binge-watching," Elijah jokes as he pauses the show that had been playing on Netflix.

"So, uh, Thea and I talked it through," Awsten starts off when Thea gives him a little nod to encourage him.  "We both agree that y'all would be the best option to be the twins' godparents, if you want to."

"If we want to?" Elijah scoffs, trying to hide his surprise.  "Yeah, of course.  Sam?"

"I'm in.  Gonna spoil the shit outta them both though.  We mighta already started buying stuff," Sam admits, "real' cutesy stuff.  Elijah picked most of it 'cause he's soft."

"Shut up," Elijah mumbles, rolling his eyes, "you're the one who got them fuckin' crystal necklaces to protect them from demons or what-the-fuck-ever."

"That's not soft," Sam is quick to correct, "that's responsible."

"Hey, uh, Elijah," Awsten takes his chance to speak up, trying to reign in his nervousness as he does, "can we talk?  Like, privately?"

Elijah glances briefly towards Thea before looking back to Awsten and giving a nod, motioning for him to follow him to another room.

"What?" Elijah gets right to the point as soon as he and Awsten are alone.  "Are you okay?"

"Yeah...well no, but yeah.  Okay, that's a whole different topic; this is about you," Awsten tries to keep the conversation in the direction he meant to.  "Or, uh, us, I guess.  It's...are you still mad at me?"

"I don't know," Elijah admits with a shrug.  "Not really?  I still don't trust you with Thea.  I know you're trying to get better and I'm so fucking proud of you for that but I still worry that you're gonna quit too soon or just spiral and hurt her again.  I want what's best for both of you and I just don't know if you're what's best for each other."

"I'm trying to be what's best for her," Awsten says with a little frown, "that's just a lot to live up to 'cause she deserves a lot and I can't give her all of that but I'm trying.  And I know that she's what's best for me.  She just...I can't explain it 'cause it makes no sense but I know she's it for me.  I'm gonna marry her one day, if I get lucky enough that she lets me.  I'm not fucking up with her again.  I love her so much.  I won't do anything to hurt her."

"What if you spiral again?" Elijah asks, knowing that it's always a possibility.  "You can't tell me that you haven't thought about it.  You could do the same thing all over again and hurt both of you.  Not to mention the two kids you have on the way."

"I won't," Awsten sounds sure of himself.  "And, that's not even just about me loving her.  I just don't ever wanna be that low again, I don't wanna feel that way again.  I won't ignore all the signs and let myself get outta control like that again.  It fucked up my head real' bad and I'm still coming back from it.  I can't feel like that again.  I don't think I'd survive it.  I'm not going back to that.  I'm doing all my shit for therapy, going to all my appointments and not lying about how I'm doing.  I've got this on track and I'm not trying to say I'll never have bad days 'cause I know that no matter how much effort I out in, some days just fucking suck but I know how to handle it better now instead of letting it build up.  I won't let one bad day become a thousand and end up spiraling 'cause of it.  I'm dealing with things and I'm not gonna quit."

"Okay," Elijah conceded with a nod, honestly glad to finally move forward.  Forcing himself to not be entirely good with Awsten has been exhausting and a lot of the time he had to stop himself from calling and checking up on him.  He knows Awsten is probably fighting against the urge to overextend himself constantly and he knows that if he caves in and jumps into doing too much it will mess up his progress.  "We're good.  Now, seriously, how are you doing with everything?"

"Better than I thought I would," Awsten answers, allowing himself to feel just a little proud of himself.  "I've gotten better at talking to Thea about things instead of just ignoring my feelings and Thea is real' good too.  She lets me talk but doesn't force me too when I don't feel ready and...I don't know, everything's just better with her.  Feels right."

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