"sixsmith, you ass."
rufus merely gave him a sheepish smile which made the corner of his eyes crinkle in joy. and in that moment, all of robert's petty annoyance of rufus causing his lollipop to fall vanished, and all he could feel was pure love for him.
"yea? what about it?" rufus responded smugly, which resulted in robert chuckling heartily at his comeback.
"best ass i've ever had," robert replied, winking. he'll be damned if he went down without a fight.
rufus flushed red at that and his gaze swept their surroundings quickly to check if anyone heard anything.
"correction: only ass you've ever had," rufus retorted, lowering his voice as they walked past a couple seated on the bench by the path in the park.
"no truer words spoken," robert relented, his eyes soft as he watched rufus attempt to fix his hair that was being blown messy by the breeze.
"leave it be, the breeze isn't going to stop anytime soon," robert said, chuckling.
he resisted the urge to reach over and smooth rufus' hair down himself. they were in public, he reminded himself. sometimes, it was moments like these that killed him the most. his lover being right next to him, yet he couldn't touch him, couldn't express his affection.
sometimes, he even questions himself, would things be different if rufus hadn't convinced him to turn down the amanuensis job. at least then there would've been a reasonable reason for them to be apart. right now, it wasn't that they were apart, in fact, they were joined at the hip 24/7, but there was an invisible barrier between them, an unspoken boundary set by the people around them.
if people were to find out what goes on behind closed doors, rufus would be a 'disgrace' to the sixsmiths and robert would be shunned from being a renowned composer. they had big dreams and expectations to live up to, and this might destroy it all, even if it were the only thing that made them happy.
robert's head snapped up from where they were boring holes into the music scores spread around him on the floor. rufus was standing at their bedroom door, clothes and hair dishevelled, eyes red and wet from tears.
"oh, rufus... what happened?"
"my father... he knows. he knows we're..." rufus tried to say, but ended up breaking down. robert shot up from his position on the floor and went to bring rufus into his arms. he quietly held onto rufus tightly as sobs wrecked his lover's body. his heart ached at how much this was affecting rufus.
"rufus, do you..."
"... do you wanna... perhaps run away? we could go anywhere you want to. we can start anew. no one will know who we are," robert said. the more he thought of it, the more certain he was of his plan. rufus considered it for a moment.
"but we don't have enough to afford-"
"i don't know about you, but i've been producing scores and selling them off to young aspiring musicians at pretty decent prices. just saying," robert said before giving a nonchalant shrug.
rufus pulled back from his embrace to gauge how serious robert was being.
"did you really...?"
"what if i did?" robert challenged.
"I WOULD MARRY YOU!" rufus exclaimed.
"then you should start planning the wedding because we're leaving this hellhole first thing tomorrow morning!"
rufus was smiling so wide his face could split. he reached forward to pull robert to his chest, hugging him so tight he was squeezing the air out of him.
"i am literally so in love with you, frobisher."
"and if anyone were to know you the way i do, they would be as in love with you as i am, sixsmith."