Chas felt her heart skip a beat.
Her eyes locked on the man at at the bar, pint in hand as he chatted away innocently to Marlon.
The man who she once loved.
Her son's father.
Her son's rapist.
Slowly, but surely, she managed to force herself to make her presence known, strolling up to the bar with a soft, but bitter smile. They were on a break, after all. "What's got you so eager to come back, then? Thought we'd split." Her tone was low, almost spiteful, as she pursued her lips.
Gordon laughed, shaking his head somewhat mockingly. "What can I say? Can't blame me for cracking first, ya know?" A smirk tugged at the corners of his lips. "Is that a problem? I thought you'd be happy."
"You said you were going to stay away because of Aaron." She reminded bluntly. "I don't think he'd like that you're here."
The brunet quirked a brow. "He's not a child, Chas. He can't ruin our relationship because of his selfishness."
"He's not being selfish, I understand that now." Chas made sure to quieten down slightly, as the pub wasn't that full, and anyone could be listening in. "He's scared… of you."
She watched as his expression faltered, switching for cocky to scarily serious.
"What's he said." It was more of a demand than a question, Chas picking up on his slight raise of volume. "Chas, what's he said–"
"Enough." She chewed her lip, still staring him down. "He's said plenty."
"Whatever he's said, he's lying."
Chas couldn't help but scoff at the excuse. "You don't even know what he's said–"
"I've got Robert on my case already, I don't need you." He spat. "D'you know how bad that makes me look?"
"I don't care." She whispered coldly. "All I care about is keeping my boy safe; away from you."
Gordon sighed, before finishing off his pint. A smirk playing on his lips teasingly as he called out. "Pour us another, will ya, Mar–?"
His words were cut short as Chas's fist collided with his face in one swift motion, causing him to stumble back, barely able to keep his balance.
Everyone had frozen.
"What the hell was that for?!" He yelled, fully aware of his nosebleed.
Chas panted as she slowly dropped her fist, seething. Marlon was frozen, eyes flicking between the two in shock. Ross had nearly choked on his pint, the gobsmacked "holy fuck" escaping his lips as Finn shot him a dirty, but still concerned glance.
"That," She breathed, heart thumping loudly in her chest. "That is for all times my son couldn't fight back."
"He's our son–!"
"No he's not!" She was now shouting, voice broken as tears threatened to fall from her eyes. She knew she was getting too worked up, but she needed to let out all her suppressed anger and guilt. "He's not our son, and he's definitely not yours! He's my son! My boy, my precious little boy; the boy who you hurt!"
Gordon ran his tongue over his teeth, jaw clenched uncomfortably. His stare remained locked with Chas', hyper-aware of the stunned glances. He was the centre of attention, and for all the wrong reasons. He swallowed thickly. He had no words. "Chas, he was misbehaving, you know that–!"
"That doesn't mean you had to rape him!"
And then the tears fell.
She could here people gasping, muttering as their breath hitched.
Aside from her angered, agitated breaths, it was silent.
But the silence was short lived when Adam and Aaron walked in, laughing to themselves.
She watched Aaron pause, taking in the lack of noise, and then taking in the sight of his father… and then all the people staring at him. Ross grimaced upon making eye contact, uncharacteristically quiet and shifty. "Is there a problem…?" He asked, the corners of his mouth curling up as he gave a nervous smile, but in the back of his mind he knew there was.
"No one's died, have they?" Adam joked, but soon fell silent. This was serious. "Yo… what's happened?"
Chas inhaled and exhaled heavily, before harshly wiping her eyes with her hand. "Aaron… I-I'm so sorry…" More tears ran down her cheeks as her son shook his head slowly in disbelief.
Adam turned to look at his best friend, brows narrowed, concerned. "Is there something I should know–?"
"Can… Can you go, please?" Aaron whispered, voice barely audible. "Family matter."
"Adam, go." He repeated, more sternly this time. "I'll catch up in five, or something." Without another word, but only an unsure glance, Adam nodded and walked out, the door closing behind him with a soft thump. As soon he was out of ear shot the brunet flicked his stare anxiously back on his mother. "…Please tell me you didn't."
Chas physically tensed, hoarsely whispering. "I'm sorry."