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18+ Language Mature Content

Too Much Blank Space, Not Enough Vomit - Ch. 9.1

by LordStar


Warning: This work has been rated 18+ for language and mature content.

Rhys glanced up from his phone as the elevator doors opened. He and Lip made eye contact and Rhys sighed, stepping into the elevator and turning to face the doors without saying anything. Lip let out a small huff but didn't say anything either.

"I'm sorry," Rhys said eventually, staring straight ahead at the doors. "For attacking you. I was drunk and it was wrong. But you had no right to make that comment yesterday."

Lip remained silent. Rhys felt his anger bubbling.

"Besides, why do you fucking care that I slept with him? Why do you care about who I sleep with at all? It's none of your fucking business."

"I don't care that you're a slut," Lip muttered. "I'm mad about your stupid abortion."

Rhys huffed, sneering. "If I want to sleep around and get abortions, that's within my right, Philip. It has nothing to do with you."

Lip growled. "Do the fucking math, idiot."

Rhys paused, turning to look at him with a frown. "I'm sorry?"

"You were ten weeks along," Lip said slowly, as if Rhys were stupid. Rhys only continued to stare at him. Lip scoffed.

"Jesus fucking Christ, Rhys, get your head out of your ass. You were ten weeks along. We slept together two months ago. Do I have to fucking spell it out?"

Rhys blinked as realization dawned on him. His stomach twisted and he looked away, skin crawling. "I didn't realize."

"Didn't realize it was mine?" Lip hissed quietly, grabbing Rhys by the arm and pulling him closer as the elevator stopped and an elderly woman got on. "Didn't realize that you should have at least consulted me before you just made that decision?"

"Oh please," Rhys snapped, pulling his arm away, "don't tell me you wanted to fucking keep it. You don't even like me, remember?"

Lip growled again. "I said I didn't - "

"And besides, you're poor and I'm poor and we're both fucking kids," Rhys continued, talking over him. "The last thing that baby needed was to be born addicted to drugs to two poor parents that couldn't afford it and didn't even love each other - "

"I said I didn't love you, not that I don't love you," Lip snapped, voice rising enough that the elderly lady gave him a look. Rhys stared at him, dumbfounded.

"And regardless," Lip continued, quieter now, "it wasn't just your decision, Rhys. I would have liked to have been included."

"Well I'm sorry," Rhys sighed. "But it's not like I can go back and change it."

"And now you're just rubbing it in my face by sleeping with all these fucking old guys," Lip leaned back against the corner, crossing one ankle over the other, suddenly aloof. "Acting like what happened between us was just par for the course for you."

Rhys gaped at him. "You're the one with a fucking girlfriend, asshole!"

"Katy's a lesbian, dickface," Lip retorted, not looking at him. "Something you'd know if you'd bothered to bring up the fact that we slept together and talked about it like an adult instead of assuming things and sulking."

Rhys was stunned into silence, unsure what to say. They reached the ground floor and the elevators opened. They walked together to the parking lot in silence.

"We need to talk," Lip said, as Rhys lit a cigarette. The Subaru was parked across the parking lot and Rhys pulled his hood up against the rain.

"Yeah," he said, exhaling smoke. "We do."

"Later," Lip promised, then put a hand across Rhys' cheek and kissed him softly. Rhys' breath got caught in his throat and he was so surprised he didn't kiss back; it was only a second or two before Lip pulled away and turned, walking towards the pickup and getting in. Rhys shook himself out of his trance and walked towards the Subaru.

Leah stared at him for several long seconds after he got in. "He's 'not anything', huh?"

"Shut up," Rhys muttered, not meeting her eye. He was grinning like a maniac, cheeks pleasantly flushed.

"How long as it been since you used?" she asked, wiping the grin from his face. He looked out of the window.

"Three days," he said softly. "But I think about it all the time."

"That's to be expected," she nodded, not taking her eyes off the road. "You need a sponsor."

"You?" he asked, arching an eyebrow. She glanced at him, looking surprised.

"What?"

"I thought you could be my sponsor," he shrugged. "Since we're already friends and you're at my house all the time and we go to meetings together anyway."

To his own surprise, Leah let out a heavy sigh. "I'll have to think about it."

"Um, okay."

"In the meantime, you might want to rethink this thing with Lip. It's not wise to get into a relationship so early in recovery."

"It's complicated," Rhys muttered. "It's not like we're in love or anything. It's just...it's just complicated."

"Complicated," Leah said as they pulled up to a red light, "is never good."


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Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.
— Robert Brault