Here's a little one shot that I think a few people wanted to see. It's the missing hospital scene between Adam and Aaron. Hope I can do it justice. Kind of wanted to end it a bit more hopefully but it needed to fit in between the scenes we saw on screen. (Also no mention of Aaron taking drugs, I decided to save that angst for another time), I hope some of you like it.
Adam say next to the bed and watched his best mate as he nervously fiddled with his wedding ring. They hadn't spoken much on the way over here. Aaron wearily resting his head on the passenger side window with his eyes closed. Adam was pretty sure he wasn't asleep but he did look done in so he was content to let him be. When they had gotten to the hospital he'd been surprised by how much Aaron had had to lean on him as he helped him into the hospital. He hadn't minded taking his weight though, he'd do anything to help him. He just wished he could carry some of whatever was weighing on his friends mind as easily as he could take his physical weight.
They still hadn't spoken much in the waiting room either. Too many people for Aaron to feel even remotely comfortable opening up to him there. So Adam had waited.
But now they were in the relative privacy of a cubicle waiting for the nurse to return and Adam couldn't wait any longer.
"Aaron talk to me mate" he said putting a hand out to still Aaron's constant ring twisting.
"What do you want me to say?" Aaron asked him, his shoulders slumped.
"Anything as long as it's something. Come on you know you can tell me anything" Adam pleaded with his best mate.
"I know, it's just, you know what I'm like" Aaron looked down at his hands. Adam hated seeing him so defeated looking.
"Yeah, yeah I do, but this…" Adam pointed at his blood stained top, trying to ignore the images of what he'd seen there earlier when he'd pulled his top up.
He knew Aaron self harmed, had always known about it but he'd never seen it before. New cuts and old scars covered his oldest friends stomach and it hurt just to think about. He never really understood why Aaron did it, why anyone did but he knew it was something he did when things got really bad, when he couldn't cope with the dark thoughts that were in his head. The last time had been when his dad had shown up in the village. The thought of what that monster had done to this man that he loved like a brother made his jaw clench with anger. But he thought Aaron had been better since all of that, he'd even been seeing a counsellor.
"What you thought I was over it?" Aaron sounded a little angry.
"Well yeah, I guess".
"That's what Robert said. But that's not how it works, it's not that easy" Aaron sighed and ran a weary hand over his eyes, rubbing hard enough that he must be seeing spots. "It's always there, it's just most of the time I can ignore it, but then stuff happens and….".
"Like your husband knocking up some bird" Adam said tactlessly and Aaron huffed a dry humourless laugh at that.
"Yeah like that and it's like it's right there, waiting".
"I knew you weren't happy about it all, but I had no idea you were struggling this much" Adam felt so bad for not noticing his friend had gotten this bad. "Why didn't you talk to me about it?".
"Because I'm sick of being the weak one, of being the one who can't cope" Aaron wiped angrily at the tears that were spilling down his cheeks. "I hate being this pathetic".
"You're not pathetic" Adam frowned at him.
"Really?" Aaron pointed at his tear stained face. "What do you call this then?"
"You're allowed to cry Aaron" Adam could feel tears pricking at his own eyes at the sight of his friend so upset.
"God I hate this" Aaron said through gritted teeth, "And I hate him".
"No you don't" Adam told him, because he knew Aaron and he knew that wasn't true.
"No, no I don't, but I hate what he's done" Aaron sighed.
"Yeah I get that".
"He said he did it to hurt me" Aaron's voice twisted on the last word. Adam screwed his eyes up in confusion.
"What, why would he?".
"Because when he came to visit me that day, we had a row, I pushed him away. I'd…I wasn't handling things that well" Adam felt like there was something he wasn't telling him, he almost looked guilty.
"I know prison can be tough" Adam said. He remembered his own time really well, he didn't know what he'd do if he ended up in there again.
"You have no idea" Aaron said.
Before he could say anything else the curtain was pushed aside and the nurse returned. She had a bowl of water and some dressings.
"Do you want me to go?" Adam said starting to stand up.
"No" Aaron said sharply and then softer. "Stay, please".
"Of course mate" Adam said sitting back down. He watched as the nurse pulled Aaron's t-shirt up but he couldn't bear to look at the evidence of just how much Aaron was hurting so he watched his face instead.
Aaron kept his eyes on the ceiling, refusing to look either of them in the eye. He winced a couple of times but he never said a word as she cleaned them up and applied a couple of dressings to some of the bigger cuts.
"A couple of these are showing early signs of infection" the nurse said. "I'll get the Doctor to prescribe you some antibiotics" she said gathering the rest of her supplies up. "Might be a bit more of a wait though".
"That's fine" Adam answered for Aaron when he didn't say anything.
"So prison then?" Adam said as soon as they were alone again.
"I don't want to talk about it" Aaron shifted uncomfortably on the bed.
"Of course you don't, it's you" Adam laughed. "But it looks like we're going to be here a while, so spill".
"Like you said prison can be tough" Aaron shrugged.
"Nah it's more than that" Adam wasn't going to let him off the hook that easy. If there were talking then they were going to do it properly. Who knew when Aaron would open up again.
"I just… they found out who I was" Aaron was back to fiddling with his ring again.
"You mean that you're gay?".
"Yeah that…and" Aaron looked at him them, meeting his eye as he told him the next part, "who my dad was".
"I don't understand, why would that make it worse, none of that was your fault?"
"There was this guy, Jason" he almost spat the name out. "He made it his mission to make my life miserable and when he found out who I was then it just gave him more ammunition".
"Ah mate" Adam said. How much crap did the guy have to go through, it was so unfair.
"He was in when…Gordon..was there. He said he talked him into topping himself. He even locked me in his cell one night, showed me where he hung himself" Aaron gave a little sob as he told him that and Adam couldn't hold back any longer. He leaned over and pulled his mate into a hug.
"I'm so sorry mate" he said, feeling his shoulder getting wet with tears.
Aaron pulled back after a minute and wiped his hands over his eyes again.
"Sorry" he said pointing at where his tears had stained Adam's top.
"Don't worry about it" Adam reassured him. "What's a bit of snot between friends", he gave another little laugh. Because that's what he did, he lightened the mood. He always figured it was why they were such good friends. He made things lighter, took away a little of the darkness that always seemed to surround Aaron, he just wished he could make it go away forever.
"So anyway, I didn't want to tell Robert, I didn't want him worrying so I pushed him away, told him I didn't need him".
"That's when he slept with Rebecca?"
Aaron bit his lip and nodded.
"To hurt you?" Adam repeated Aaron's words from earlier. "Why?".
"Because that's what Robert does, I lash out or I hurt myself but he hurts the people he loves, twists things around so people end up hating him. We're both all kinds of messed up".
"Yeah maybe" Adam said and Aaron frowned at him, obviously not expecting him to agree. "Oh come on you said it".
"I know and it's true. I love him but I'm just so tired of all this. I don't think I can do it anymore".
"What you're thinking of breaking up with him?".
"I'm just so fed up of everything always being so hard. He told me once, more than once actually, that I deserve to be happy".
"He's right" Adam interrupted. "You do, God Aaron you've been through so much shit, more than anyone should have to. I wish I could make it all go away. I want to see you happy too, everyone does. I know Robert wants that more than anything".
"I just don't see how I can be if things stay the way they are. It shouldn't be this hard, I shouldn't have to fight for everything, I'm just so tired Adam" and he looked it, he looked exhausted and Adam's heart broke for him.
"I used to not be able to imagine my future without him in it, only now she's in it to, her and the baby, Robert's son. A constant reminder of when he hurt me and I don't think I can live with that".
"So you'd rather a future without him in it?" Adam asked.
"I don't know" Aaron admitted as he shook his head. "But I can't go on like this" he looked at his bloodstained top before turning weary eyes back on him.
"No you can't" Adam told him. They sat in silence for a little while then, not sure what else to say. Adam could almost feel Aaron thinking.
The nurse came back in with a prescription for antibiotics and some leaflets in her hand.
"You're free to go now, please take the time to read these" she said in a gentle tone as she passed them to Aaron. Adam saw the way his face flushed with embarrassment and risked taking a peek at the leaflets in his hand. They were about self harm but based on the picture on the front they were clearly aimed at teenage girls.
"Thanks" Aaron said to her and hastily shoved them in his back pocket. "You coming?" he said to Adam as he got off the bed.
"Yeah, where to though?" Adam asked getting up and following him out of the cubicle.
"Home, I need to speak to Robert" Adam could tell by the tone of his voice that he'd made a decision now, whether it was the right one remained to be seen.
The two of them made their way out of the hospital. Adam didn't hold onto him now but he kept close in case he needed him, he always would, he was his best mate after all. Well brother really.