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Ginger Tea

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Robbie holds his tongue. Holds his thoughts and words through watching James curl his way to the loo for the third time that hour. As if on cue, the water runs, and the tell-tale muffled sounds of retching starts. "Oh, that's it." Robbie sets his book aside, climbing out of his side of the bed. 

Pottering to the kitchen, he puts the kettle to boil. Reaching into the back of the cupboard, he wrings his hand around a box of ginger tea. He unpacks a bag, putting it to steep the moment the kettle clicks. Laying out a few biscuits on a plate, he takes a seat and waits.

The moment James sees his offering, his blue eyes widen. Chin wobbling. "You know."

"I've had my suspicions." Robbie gestures to his usual seat opposite of him. He waits until James has taken it to push the mug over. "Would you like to say anything?"

"I'm sorry." James mumbles, looking the every molecule of contrition. His slender hands cradle the mug between his palms. Lips twisting miserably. 

"Were you ever going to tell me?" Robbie reaches out and touches the backs of James' hands.

"Eventually. When I figured things out."

"Figured things?"

"Yeah." James lifts his eyes up for a moment before ducking them down again. A wry smile tilts the corners of his lips. "Robbie, you were never with me to be a father for a third time. Us, this," He gestures between them, "We were meant to grow old together. Be partners in dotage-"

"Me first, rather than you." Robbie laughs.

"Well," James shrugs, "The point is neither one of us came into this looking to be parents, but here we are."

"Yes love," Robbie smiles, tugging a hand away from the mug, bringing it to his lips to kiss bony knuckles. "Here we are."

"So what now? Are you ready to be a father to a child that will be younger than your grandson?" James says after a moment, turning his hand to thumb at the corner of Robbie's lips.

"As long as you're with me, I'll be ready for anything."

James leans over to kiss him. "Such a romantic." He teases.

"You'll think otherwise when we have to tell our Lyn. And Innocent and Laura." 

James sits back down and takes a sip of his ginger tea. "We'll get to that bridge when we need to." He says, still holding on to Robbie's hand.