Alastair paced around the room, shaking his hands to ease the tension building up. Ever since he woke up to a bed missing his love, he had been worried and frantic. He knows they had gone to bed together. He definitely remembers what had happened. Alastair felt his cheeks heat as he recalled the memories of their night.
He was brought back to the moment as he heard the flat’s front door slam and a loud crash. Alastair stormed outside the bedroom only to find a figure hunched over a broken vase. Sensing his presence, the figure stood up. He turned to Alastair, shocked, and awkwardly gestured to the damaged vase. “I-”
“What the hell, Thomas?” Alastair cut him off.
Thomas was flushed, his nose and ears red, but Alastair sensed that it was from the effects of the alcohol reeking from him. “I’m sorry,”
“I can’t believe this. I wake up to find you gone and I’m worrying my ass off thinking you left me, that perhaps you thought earlier was a mistake. And then here you are- stumbling in drunk!” Alastair was fuming. “What do you have to say for yourself?”
Thomas swayed, obviously having trouble keeping his stance. After a few moments of silence, he said, “You’re angry. Is this about the vase?”
“No, this isn’t about the bloody vase! I don’t care about that!”
“Oh, good,” Thomas sighed in relief.
“Thomas,” Alastair inhaled slowly, giving his temper a chance to cool down. “It’s midnight, where the hell were you?”
“I was… out,” Thomas offered.
Alastair let out a sort of breathless chuckle. “Out? Drinking?”
As an answer, Thomas shrugged, as if it were that simple.
By now, Alastair’s anger calmed down and was replaced with worry yet again, but this time he had a different fear. He remembered a moment at the ball welcoming his family to London, a moment where he overheard Thomas’s nervous voice, ranting about something Alastair did not know of, and a soft voice saying “It’s alright, Tommy, just breathe slowly. In, out, good. It’ll be okay.” He did not recognize the voice and did not see who it belonged to, but whoever it was must’ve been someone close to him. He remembered the stranger’s tone and thought he would give it a chance. He stepped forward slowly, hoping to bring Thomas’s gaze towards him. “Thomas?” When he received no answer, he tried again. “Tommy?”
“Don’t call me that,” Thomas hissed. He looked hard at Alastair, his face screwed up with rage. “Don’t you ever call me that,”
Alastair stepped back, shock rippling through his body. He stared at Thomas, watching as he struggled to keep his temper in check, his chest rising and falling as he huffed. “Thomas?”
Thomas turned his head away, but not before Alastair saw the tears. “Please, don’t call me that. That’s what she called me. It is only for her to use.”
“Thomas, my love, what are you talking about?”
Thomas picked at the bracelet circling his wrist. He recognized that bracelet. It was given to him by- oh. Alastair’s heart broke as he realized who Thomas was talking about. His sister, Barbara. His sister who is now dead. He did not know what to say.
“Today’s the anniversary,” Thomas sniffled. “It’s been a year now. It doesn’t feel right, it’s not fair-“ He broke off, bursting out into tears.
Alastair hurried to Thomas, wrapping his arms best he could around his hulking size. Alastair hated seeing Thomas like this. If it were Cordelia, he knew he would lose his mind and stay lost. It killed him that Thomas was feeling this pain and there was nothing he could do to ease it. But he knew he could help him through the grief. He led Thomas to the couch, letting him curl up into his arms, ignoring the difficulty of the position. They stayed like that for what felt like forever, Thomas crying his heart out for his sister.
When he seemingly calmed down, the tears not coming full force anymore, he whispered, “I miss her...”
Alastair stroked Thomas’s hair, gently massaging his scalp. “I know,”
“Today brought back so many memories of her, I couldn’t handle it, how much I missed her. That’s why I left,” Thomas trembled. “That’s why I went to the Tavern.”
“I understand. Doesn’t mean I approve, but I get why,” Alastair said.
“I should go see my parents today…”
“Do you want me to come?”
“No, no. Thank you, but this is going to be hard enough for them, mourning their daughter with a stranger around isn’t going to help,”
Alastair tilted his head. “A stranger?”
“You know what I mean,” Thomas sighed.
Alastair did know what he meant, but the thought of the distance between him and Thomas’s family hurt.
“What about your other sister?” Alastair questioned.
“Eugenia? I don’t know if she wants to see me,”
“Of course she’ll want to see you, you’re her brother,”
Thomas shook his head lightly. “Barbara’s death changed her,”
Alastair had not had a moment with Eugenia, only brief greetings before she had stood straighter and walked away. He did not know her before Barbara’s death, so he did not know whether she was different or not. “She’s grieving too,”
Thomas did not answer, only stroked his thumb against Alastair’s hand in his.
“I am happy you’re home safe,” Alastair whispered, kissing the top of Thomas’s head.
“You really thought I left you? That I regretted what we did?”
Alastair nodded, shame flowing through him. “I was once in a relationship where I was forced to hide. We could not be together long, so our moments were short. I had feared that that it was happening again. With you,” he clarified.
Thomas looked up, reaching to brush Alastair’s hair out of his eyes. “I am not ashamed of you.”
Alastair was hit with a strong feeling he did not recognize, and reached forward to touch Thomas’s lips with his.
Thomas pulled away, his eyes still closed, as he whispered against Alastair’s lips, “I am truly sorry about the vase,”
Alastair laughed, “You’ll make it up to me,”