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It wasn't often he found himself under the smaller frame of his roommate. They had wrestled more, earlier in college, a small spat turning into a struggle for dominance. Most often ending with Rhett pinning Link under him saying, 'I'm dead.'

But right now the smaller man was sitting on the blond's waist, hand fisted in his shirt pinning him to the floor. Big fat tears rolled down his face, dripping from Link's chin onto Rhett's neck.

"What's wrong bo?" he tried tentatively.

Link pulled his shoulders up and slammed them painfully into the floor. Rhett hissed softly, that was going to leave a mark. "You know I can't help like this," he gently pressed a palm to Link's thigh, rubbing a thumb over it soothingly.

The brunet let go of Rhett to brush the touch away, his hands forming words his throat couldn't. ' You can't just do this. '

"Do what?" he left his hand lying beside him on the cool floor. Pinned by Link's refusal to be soothed physically.

' Abandon your family for me. Cole texted me. I know you've been blowing off your family Rhett. ' Link's lip trembled and his hands stopped to rub away tears. ' You can't just not see them. '

"Link, they hurt you. And I know I am being petty. It happened so long ago. But I don't want to see her right now. If I do, I'm afraid I'll say something I'll regret," this time Rhett reached up to brush at tears falling from blue eyes.

"I love you. I love them. I'm not picking between the both of you, I just need some time," the blond stayed, unmoving, warm hand pressed to stubbled cheek.

Blue eyes scrutinized Rhett before his hand was brushed aside again. ' You have to call and tell them then. They think you've hit rock bottom. '

Rhett lay there, dumbfounded. His family thought he was on hard drugs and always liquored up? That was not the case. He was only trying to get through school and his part time job so he could spend the remaining time with Link.

"But I haven't?" his own eyes searched Link's unimpressed face. The face that said he had relayed as much to the older McLaughlin sibling. "I'll call mom. I promise."

' You can't tell her about us. ' The tremble to his hands made the younger boy press them to his thighs.

And Rhett was there, not only pinned by the guy himself, but also his words. "What?" was so soft that even he wasn't sure if Link caught them.

Link shook his head before look at Rhett with tear filled eyes, ' I don't want them to take you from me. You're all I have. Please. '

Rhett felt the weight of those silent words, they pressed against his chest until it made a comfortable nest of his aching heart. He would never let them take him away from Link. Rhett was a grown ass man and would never abandon Link like that.

"I won't," he assured the emotional man on his stomach. Rhett was no longer sure if he had said the right words or the wrong words. When he reached for Link again the brunet stood and left Rhett laying there. The soft sound of the bedroom door latching crushing his chest even more.