055; real life

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Settling in to some sense of normality has seemed impossible to Awsten, but he's making progress. Slow progress but progress nonetheless.

The months tick by and Awsten eventually starts being able to sleep without having nightmares every night.  The nightmares come and go now, some nights he can rest easy and some nights are more difficult to get through.  He sticks to his promise to himself to block anyone online who tries to cause problems, which helps more than he'd really expected it to.  Getting back into therapy is his biggest progress point, he's sure.  It took a some time for him to daily life before he was ready to bring that back in but he's glad he did, having found new ways to cope with everything and receiving the ever-helpful reminder that no one will hate him or judge him for taking a break from doing too much when things get too hard.  It's not an easy process by any means but it's moving along as the days and months go by, leaving Awsten a little better as he deals with things. 

Right now, things are as close to okay as they've been in what feels like forever and Awsten is grateful for that, and proud of himself for getting to it.

"Daddy!" Skye's shouting interrupts Awsten's moment of self-reflection as she comes barreling in, holding Jade's hand to pull her along. "We're gonna be late for Nick's party!"

"Nope," Awsten dismisses with a little laugh, "we've still got an hour, lil' angels. Go relax!"

"But what about all the time it takes to drive?" Jade brings up, clearly the one to have begun the issue of needing to leave. "There might be a lotta other cars out and if we get stuck we will be late and then you gotta tell Nick's mom why we're late."

"Jade, sweetie, we will not be late, I promise.  We're leaving in twenty minutes.  I'll set an alarm and everything if you want," he offers, earning a nod.

"Okay!  We're gonna go play 'til it's time to go," Skye announces before pausing, her eyes lighting up, "you wanna come play too, daddy?  Barbie is helping Captain America save Woody from the evil baseball!"

"The evil baseball?  Oh god!  We better go save Woody," Awsten gives an overdramatic reaction, hurrying with the twins back to the playroom.

They hang out in there for a while before Awsten's alarm goes off, signaling that it's time to head out.  They arrive at the party and Awsten debates with himself about whether or not he's really okay leaving the twins for this.  He was invited to stay, of course. Nick's parents had assured him that he's more than welcome for the party but Awsten has other plans, though he's not even sure he wants to make good on those other plans.  Part of him is tempted to just spend the few hours at home getting some rest.  Last night had been one of the more difficult nights to get through.  But he's sure he'll regret it if he doesn't follow through, so he drops the twins off at the party and talks with Nick's mom briefly to make sure she calls him if anything happens or if the twins want to come home early or just about any other minor thing.  He hates leaving them, and Jade doesn't seem eager to be without him either so he makes sure to stop to tell her that if she wants to go home at all just ask Nick's parents to call him and he'll be right over to pick them up.

After dropping them off, Awsten heads out to follow through on his own plans for the day.  He takes a few moments in the car when he first arrives, trying to prepare himself for the unexpectedly large crowd.  Once he feels ready, he gets out and heads towards the sign-in booth where he's greeted with a bright smile, clearly being recognized.

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