He was drinking more than he usually did; that was the first thing Tim noticed.
Gareth Keenan sat by himself at their favorite pub Chasers and was currently surrounded by empty mugs of beer, and he was working to add another to their number.
Tim frowned and he tilted his head to one side, debating whether or not he should walk over and try to talk to him.
He decided that it wasn't worth it at the moment to try and walk over and instead he nursed his own bottle as he tried to figure out what could be the matter with him.
Gareth had come into the work as his usual stupid wanker self and for the most part he was all right, until he got a phone call.
"Hello. Gareth Keenan?"
Tim had been working at his desk, typing at his computer when he noticed the change on Gareth's face. He looked up, keeping his hands on the keyboard to look like he was doing something.
Gareth's face fell and Tim noticed almost a kind of panic as he sat up and tried to turn his face away so that he couldn't hear him.
"When did she..? And da' was with her? But I thought we said that he…He forced his way in? Feck…"
Gareth had gotten up then and went into one of the back rooms and he did not come out until it was time to leave.
As he passed by, Tim thought that his eyes looked red and watery from crying.
Tim shook his head slowly and he looked back at Gareth.
The frail looking man had just finished off his twelfth mug of beer and slowly was trying to force himself onto his feet to get another.
Shaking his head, Tim looked up at the ceiling for the moment asking for help from above before he then walked over and rested a hand on his arm, pushing him back down into his chair.
"I think you've had enough for tonight, mate." Tim said, sitting down beside him to make sure that he couldn't get back up.
Gareth made a face but he said nothing, mumbling as he folded his arms on the table and then pressed his forehead against them.
Tim looked down at him and he sighed as he shook his head.
"What's the matter mate?" he asked.
Tim shrugged then and he took a sip from his own bottle as he waited to see if Gareth would tell him what was wrong.
That was it.
Tim frowned and he angrily slammed a hand down on the table, making Gareth's mugs jump a little as he got up.
Blinking owlishly Gareth looked up in faint surprise.
"I give up, Gareth! I was just trying to be a friend and find out what's the matter! But all you want to do is be a stupid twat so you know what? Go feck yourself!"
Gareth was silent as he watched Tim storm away, heading over to be with some of the others from work who had been watching the two in curiosity.
"What was his problem?" Keith asked, indicating Gareth with a tilt of his head.
"His problem? He's a fecking son of a bitch!" Tim snapped.
That set him off.
In one fluid motion Gareth was up and charging towards Tim, his hands clenched into tight fists.
"You stupid git!" he raged, flailing his thin arms around. "Don't you ever say that about me mum! Ever! Me mum was a saint! She dealt with shite you couldn't even possibly think of! Me mum…me mum…"
His anger slowly started to subside and he began to sway on his feet as he looked down at the ground. The look on his face changed to one of sorrow and Tim felt sorry for him.
"Your mum what, Gareth?" he asked gently.
Gareth lost it then and his face crinkled up as he started to sob, clutching onto the front of Tim's shirt as he wept into his chest, his entire body trembling.
"She died!" he wailed miserably and Tim could only stand there as the frail man held onto him tightly, keeping his arms held out to show that he was not hugging Gareth.
"Gareth…" he said, but he soon fell silent. What could he possibly say to make the man feel better?
Looking around he frowned when he saw some people snickering, making limp gestures with their hands.
And then he realized that just standing there with his arms held out made it worse and awkwardly he hugged Gareth, rubbing his trembling back.
"It's ok, Gareth." He said gently, slowly soothing down the trembling as best as he could. "Just calm down, aye? I'll take you home."
Slowly Gareth controlled himself and with a sniff he slowly stood up straight, rubbing at his eyes before looking at Tim in faint surprise.
"What?" Tim shrugged a bit and set his bottle down on the table.
"It'll have to wait a bit but I will."
Gareth smiled faintly despite himself and he nodded as he let Tim sit him back down on a chair.
"Do you think you could tell me about her?" Tim asked gently. "To pass the time?"
Gareth wiped his nose with the back of his hand and slowly he nodded his head.
"I guess so." He mumbled.
Tim smiled and he leaned back, listening as Gareth talked about his mother in the most reverent of tones.