Hiya! So here's yet another Asher/Gar one shot.

Setting: Gar and Asher on their journey to the coast. Gar thoughts on Asher's mood... maybe a little Gar/Asher unrequited.

Can be read as either close brotherly friendship or unrequited slash love; whichever you prefer.

Gar P.O.V:

It's been a long journey to get here and we've still got another three days travel before we reach Westwailing.

I'm stiff and ache in places I never knew could ache.

But that's nothing compared to the sullenness and silence of Asher this entire journey. And I've had enough of it. It's time to get to the bottom of all this. By Barl he should be happy about this trip, he's always spoken so highly of it and his father will be there! I just don't understand this, at all. It's almost as if he's not happy to be going to the festival... but that's preposterous he's a fisherman first and foremost... he's always been pointing that out to me.

'But not lately he hasn't... lately it's been as though he's always been a City Olken... or that he's always been there with you... been your friend... he's been acting exactly as your Assistant should.' That treacherous voice, in the furthest depths of your mind that you try not to listen to says.

An ominous feeling settles into your chest as this. Almost as if warning you that something you won't like is about to come.

Casting a glance over at him, you try not to wince at the dark brooding look destroying those usually strong chiselled handsome features of his. Feeling your sink as you realise he won't look at you anymore, that somehow you've lost him and you don't know why.

Any argument, we can always walk away from as friends once more... so why now? Why now am I to be shut out, shunted aside? He was fine when we left the city and fine before that, so what is it? What have I done to deserve this treatment by him of all people? I thought we had an understanding... a connection. So what's changed?

I'm trying and failing to convince myself that his attitude has nothing to do with me, that it's something else... that Darran or Wilbur have just irked him... but he's always been able to handle them and shake it off. He and Matt parted on friendly terms. And everyone's been treating and acting the same around him as always.

The closer we get to Westwailing, the worse his mood gets.

He hasn't seen his family and friends in over a year... he should be happy to see them and he's coming back with a prominent position and lots of gold. They'll be proud of what he's done and become. There's no reason not to be... so it can't be that.

Then what? You'd think he'd want to go home and see his family... wait home...

I force myself not to tense or yank on Balodair's reigns as it hits me.

'Asher's going home... he's leaving after the festival... that's why the atmosphere... because he can't find the way to tell me.' This realisation hit me like a ton of bricks.

I could scarcely believe it but it had to be the case, what else could make him this withdrawn and sullen with me.

I wish I could have just been angry or outraged with him for doing this but all I felt was despair and betrayal. I could feel my heart plummeting and breaking. I'd thought he'd stay with me, that we were in this together and now I realise that he'd been lying. That he'd never intended to remain. And worse still he wasn't even going to give me any warning; just up and leave me. It was almost too much for me to bear.

I fought to remain in my saddle and keep my face neutral, in the standard mask that comes with being a prince.

That voice in the back of my mind pipes up once more and this time I can't ignore what it says. 'How could you honestly think he'd actually stay; that he'd feel the same way as you do! You were nothing more than a pay check to him, a means for some money. And you sure gave him plenty of that. You caved in to every little demand he made and then some. You gave him everything he could want and more and still it's not enough, is it? He still going and leaving you all alone. You're nothing more than a useless cripple and who wants to be around that?'

I try my best not to sniffle at this; wouldn't do for me to fall apart. Not only is this very public but Darran wouldn't leave me alone for a moment and probably insist I drink some nasty soup and ride in the carriage with him for the rest of the trip or something equally as irritating. But I just can't believe Asher could do this to me.

Glancing back over at him, I see he's still looking straight ahead with a dark glower and aura surrounding his whole being. He won't even look my way though I know he knows I'm looking.

Again I feel my heart breaking, but this time from the realisation that I am once more going to be alone, that he will never feel and look at me the same way I see him.

If that's the case, then the very least I can do, is to make this easier for him. If he wants to leave, then at this Inn I'll question him until he's angry and then snap at him. Better we part angry; that way he has no obligations to come back or feel guilty about leaving me. Better one of us gets to leave whole and free because I'm pretty sure this is going to destroy me. I know I can no longer go on without Asher beside me but I want him with me because he wants to be there not because I've tricked or forced him into it.

So I guess a cripple like me was never meant for happiness.

Okay, so this is it. Please, give me a review; let me know what you thought!