Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.
He walked out of the clinic several hours later with two pills and an informational pamphlet in his jacket pocket and Leah in tow. They were silent as they got into the Subaru; Rhys lit a cigarette and tried not to feel guilty about it, staring out of the window as they made their way towards the apartment. He stifled his tears as best he could, turning his head away from Leah occasionally to swipe a tear away. When they got to the apartment, he led the way inside and into the elevator, resolute in his silence. Ethan was in the kitchen when they arrived.
"How'd it go?" he asked as Rhys came in. Rhys let out a small "fine" without stopping on his way to his bedroom.
"Are you okay?" Ethan called after him.
"Don't want to talk about it,"Rhys said over his shoulder, then retreated into his bedroom and locked the door. It was time to get this over with. He pulled the prescription bag from his jacket pocket and extracted the two pills from their separate bottles, rolling them around in the palm of his hand. For some reason he hesitated, his other hand on his stomach. He remembered what Ethan had said. They couldn’t afford a baby, no matter Rhys’ feelings on the matter. After a minute or so, he took the first medication and swallowed it dry, then stuck the other in his mouth and swallowed it dry as well. The bleeding and cramping would start in a few hours, but for now he laid down on his bed and stared at the ceiling, trying to keep his thoughts together.
He woke up a little while later with a soft start, gazing blearily around the room. He didn't remember falling asleep, but Lip was sitting in his desk chair, watching him. Rhys sighed, turned his eyes back to the ceiling, and lit a cigarette.
"Something's up," Lip said, also lighting a cigarette. Darkness had gathered around them in the room, to where the cherries at the end of their cigarettes and their silhouettes were becoming the only things visible. "This sorta isolation ain't normal, even for you."
"Don't want to talk about it," Rhys sighed, his voice so soft it was barely audible. He took a drag off his cigarette so long and harsh it made his lungs burn.
"What happened at the clinic, dude?"
"God, what, did Ethan give you the 4-1-1?"Rhys groaned, not taking his eyes off the ceiling. "Nothing happened at the fucking clinic."
He was gonna say more but was cut off by his own groan as he grabbed his stomach. The cramping was starting, like a rusty knife had slid into his abdomen and was twisting his organs around. He resisted the urge to roll onto his side, forcing himself to breathe evenly through the pain. He realized he should really get up and put a pad on.
"Are you okay?" Lip was staring at him, eyes the size of dinner plates visible even in the darkness. Rhys struggled to sit up, turning on the bedside lamp and flooding the room in dim yellow light. He breathed in and out shakily through his nose, then hoisted himself to his feet and walked, a bit doubled over, towards his desk where he kept the pads.
"Dude?" Lip asked, still watching him. Rhys sighed softly as he bent over to get a pad from the package on the floor, standing up straight slowly. He glanced at Lip and sighed again.
Lip knit his eyebrows together, but when Rhys made it clear he was about to drop his pants, Lip did as he was told. Rhys put the pad on as quickly as he could, pulled his pants back up, and hobbled his way back to bed. Lip had picked up the written instructions the Planned Parenthood nurse had given Rhys while Rhys wasn't looking. Rhys watched him, but was too tired and in pain to try and take it from him.
"That's private," he muttered, his eyes going from the piece of paper in Lip's hand to Lip's face.
"You're pregnant?" Lip said quietly after a moment, penetrating the silence that had fallen over the room. Rhys stared down at his knees.
"Not anymore," he muttered, laying down on his back again. He could feel Lip's eyes boring into him.
"Who's the dad?" Lip asked stiffly. Rhys rolled his eyes.
"Lip - "
"He has the right to know." Lip's voice was clearly restrained, as if he were forcing himself to be calm. Rhys sat up.
"Even if I knew who the dad was," he snapped, "this - " he gestured to his abdomen - "has nothing to do with him."
"How do you not know who the dad is?" Lip asked, exasperated.
"Keep your voice down!" Rhys hissed, throwing a glance at his closed bedroom door. "Jesus, Lip, I'm kind of in the middle of something here."
"I mean, come on, Rhys. How far along were you? It can't be that hard to figure out."
"I don't see why you care," Rhys pointed out, not looking at him. "You don't have any right to know who I sleep with."
"I'm not asking for a name, dumbass, I just want to know how it's possible for you to not know -"
"Because I sleep with a lot of guys, okay?" Rhys sighed, burying his face in his hands. “I can barely remember yesterday, let alone 10 weeks ago.”
Lip stared at him, something Rhys couldn't recognize flashing over his face. Rhys collapsed onto his back again and began to cry, trying to hold in his sniffling and sobs. He shut his eyes tightly, sucking in a raggedy breath when the bed dipped beside him and then there was an arm around his waist, the warm body of Lip settling in beside him.
"You don't have to go through this alone," Lip said softly, his chin on Rhys' shoulder. Rhys only sobbed harder, shame and regret and sadness coursing through him all at once. He wanted to scream, wanted to push Lip away and make the other boy leave, wanted to be alone. Instead, he only curled onto his side so he was facing Lip and curled closer, gasping for air as Lip gently rubbed his back. Everything hurt, his abdomen and his heart, and with a shaky sigh he curled even closer into Lip's warmth and closed his eyes, drifting away into blackness.