"Still pretending there's nothing wrong, then?"
Robert froze in the middle of making tea and turned around to face his husband. "I didn't reckon something was."
Aaron rolled his eyes at him. "Ya've been acting weird ever since I brought up having more kids, Rob. Don't pretend you haven't." Robert opened his mouth to reply but Aaron cut him off. "No more secrets, remember?"
At that Robert raised an eyebrow. "But only as long as those secrets are mine, yeah?"
"We're not having a go, Rob, no matter how much you try. We're talking about this." Robert pressed his lips together, turning off the stove. "If you don't want more kids, if it's too soon, you can just tell me, ya know that, don't ya?"
"It's a bit more complicated than that."
"Then tell me," Aaron took his husband hand, leading him to the couch. "Com'n Rob, I swear I won't be mad, whatever it is, and Seb is enough for me if that's all the kids you want."
"But you want more kids."
"Yeah, told ya I always wanted a brother, I reckon Seb will too." At that Robert flinched. "Is that what this is about? Seb having siblings?"
"What if he ends up resenting them, us, like I did? What if he ends up feeling like he wasn't good enough for us?" His voice broke a bit an Aaron squeezed the hand he was still holding. "I don't want that for him."
"Do you think I'll love the new kid more? Because of all the Rebecca stuff?" Aaron asked, genuinely curious.
Robert shook his head furiously. "No! I know you won't, you're an amazing dad. It's me I'm worried about."
"Why's that? You're amazing with Seb and you adore him, I don't reckon that'll change just because we've got another."
"It changed for my father, didn't it?" Rob shrugged his shoulders. "Maybe it's in my blood." Aaron buffed. "I can't risk it, Aaron. I... Ya know how much that messed me up. Dad preferring Andy over me. And I don't want Seb to hate his siblings, because I do, as much as I love Andy there's a part of me that will always hate him. And it's not because he's tried to off me more than once. How messed up is that? My brother trying to murder me, that I can forgive. I even kinda made my peace with him killing mom. But dad protecting him when he wouldn't me? Him being the son Dad wanted? That I can't forgive him for, even if it's not his fault. What kind of a bloke those that make me?"
"One that had a fucked up dad, just like me. Do you think anything about Gordon's in my blood?"
Robert snapped his head up to look at Aaron. "Never," he said completely serious. "And I'll destroy anyone who dares to imply that."
"Good," Aaron nodded. "Because you are nothing like Jack."
Robert laughed bitterly. "Yeah, he made that pretty clear.
"What I meant is that you won't ever make any of our kids feel unwanted or a disappointment. Just look at the way you've handled all that stuff with Liv! You were brilliant." Robert rolled his eyes. "I mean it, Rob. And I know you, I know what you'd do for the people you love and I know that any kid would be lucky to have you as a father, Seb is. The fact that you're even worrying about it at all is prove that he'll never have to second guess how much you love him."
"You mean that?" Robert's voice was broken againand Aaron felt the urge to go back in time and punch Jack for ever making him feel like he wasn't good enough.
"Wouldn't said if I didn't," he said instead. "I also meant it when I said that if you don't want more kids, or if it's too soon, it's fine."
Robert shook his head. "I do want more kids with you, I want a family, a big one, of our own. I see the way you're with Liv and I want that for Seb."
"You know, Vic once told me you're kind of an amazing big brother yourself," Aaron told him. "So not all your relationships with siblings are messed up."
"That's different, though. She's a girl and far younger than me, she was never competition."
"No kid of ours is ever going to have to compete for our love," Aaron said categorically. "But we could get a girl if that's easier for ya."
Robert nodded. "Yeah, maybe that be better. At least for the first one."
"The first one, eh?"
"I mean I did say big family, didn't I?" Robert finally smiled and Aaron's whole body sinked in relief. "Though we may need to rob a bank if she's as quick as Liv to discovers how fast you are to spit up money at the mention of her period."
"Very funny," Aaron shoved him lightly away causing Robert to retailed by throwing a pillow at him.
Their eyes snapped up at hearing the front door. "I interrupted something soppy, didn't I?" Liv rolled her eyes at them. "Is tea ready? I'm starving."
Robert and Aaron shared an amused look, maybe a girl wasn't that good of an idea after all. Or maybe it was the best one.