I See You

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15

Pic of Lucas

(present)

I gushed at the sound of my ringtone as it blared from my pocket. "Aw. That's David's tone. It's-it's the instrumentals of one of our wedding songs," I slurred, too drunk to realize I should pick up.

"Get over here." Lucas pulled me toward him so he could reach my pocket, slipping out my phone. He answered it for me and put it on speaker before standing up and crossing over to the window, away from me.

"Hello? It's Lucas." He held a finger to his lips, telling me to be silent but I just played with patterns on the pillow.

"Hi, Lucas it's David."

"Casper's with me, by the way. At my house I mean. Don't know if he mentioned it to you."

"Oh, okay no worries. And no, I didn't see him at home, but I wanted to tell him that Dawn and Royce are back. Could you let him know please?"

My friend's eyebrows furrowed. "Uhh y-yeah. Is he, like... supposed to go back home tonight?"

I giggled, watching Lucas stutter.

"Well, we planned to have a talk with Dawn and I was hoping we could read them bedtime stories because Royce is practically begging me to do so."

I gasped. "Oh, the taaalk. I forgot-"

"Okay, David, I'll let him know right away. Bye!" Lucas quickly hung up and glared at me. "I told you to hush!" He walked back over to me. "You didn't tell him you were coming over to get drunk?"

I shrugged one of my shoulders. "I-I'm a grown man."

He put his hands on his hips and cocked his head to the side, obviously judging me in his mind. "I have to take you home, you know. You can come back for your car when you're sober."

"No," I refused, pouting at him sadly. "I wanna stay here."

"And I would love for you to stay, Cas." He say back down. "You're always welcome here. But there might be a bright side to you being drunk."

I lightly burped. "I'm not drunk," I disbelieved. "Also, I don't follow."

"Well, you never drink. David hasn't seen you like this, and I think he should."

I shut my eyes. "No. Nooo, Lucas, there's a reason I didn't tell him."

"Hey. You came to me for an intervention, correct?"

I nodded.

"Okay. And when have you known my interventions to fail?"

"Just once I think."

He stared at me blankly. "Fine. Once. I'll take it. But if he sees you like this, he'll take care of you and realize being mad at each other isn't worth it. If he doesn't want you using alcohol as an escape to become a recurring theme, I'm sure he's smart enough to stop that from happening. Ugh, my mind. It almost hurts to be this genius."

I rubbed my forehead. "I think I had a lot if tequila."

"If you throw up in or around my house I'll feed you to the wolves."

"I guess I should go home anyway. I'd like to sleep in my bed... oh wait... I went to my guest room, didn't I?"

"You did." He pat the top of my head as I groaned.

**

I couldn't remember much about the ride home, probably because I slept through it but once Lucas made his way past the gates and up to the front door, I was wide awake.

But still woozy nonetheless.

"Lucas," I called, laughing a bit. "I'm taller than you."

He just shrugged, ringing the bell. "Well now we know you're the kind of person who likes to laugh when you drink your weight in alcohol. Better than being a sexual drunk like me."

The door opened and I tried to stand upright as my friend greeted David.

"What's..." my husband's eyes moved over to me and I plastered a smile onto my face.

"He's um... he may have drank just a little bit of tequila."

"Yeah, I can smell that." He held the door open for us to enter though I probably stumbled a bit. "What happened? Casper doesn't drink."

"Look, he came to my house with a bottle in his hands. He said it was either my place or the bar, but he intended to get drunk either way. I just wanted to make sure he got back safe."

I giggled. "I'm back! You succeeded!"

David appeared as if he wanted to say more but he just wrapped an arm around me to keep me supported while we went to the guest room. "Here, sit down for a second." He guided me onto the bed then I looked up at him expectantly.

I heard Dawn's voice and perked up. "Oh, did they have fun? Aww, I bet they saw manta-rays and little whales-" I gasped. "They saw Nemo, didn't they? Royce was so excited to see clownfish."

"He's gonna talk your head off," Lucas warned after following us.

"Could you do me a favor, please? He needs a change of clothes; something he can sleep in. And let Dani know I'll be in here with him so she can watch the kids for the night."

"For sure."

When he left the room, David sat down next to me. He seemed very concerned, but I was way too out of it to pick up on those cues. "I'm hungry. And sleepy."

"I'll bring you food in a second. First I need to get you into something comfortable. I just need to make sure you're okay above anything else."

I smiled. "You're too sweet." I rested my head on his shoulder. "And you're a great pillow."

When Lucas returned, they both helped me into a warm sweater, soft sweatpants, and a pair of socks. Dani came with a tray of food and water on a portable table.

I sat up excitedly. "Ooh, I'm being pampered."

"Trust me, babe, that's not what this is," she said, setting down a bottle of pain reliever pills. "You'll be needing these in the morning." I watched her leave, a dumb smile still on my oblivious face.

"I'll take it from here. Thanks, Lucas."

"Actually, could I say something? I would've let Cas stay with me the night and you would've never known he got wasted. But I decided against it. He told me what's been going on, and I wanted you to know that whatever he's dealing with is exactly what drove him to this point. I know you. The last thing you want is for alcohol to become his escape when you have always been his refuge. I mean, If you think about it, you two technically weren't supposed to be together. I thought the world was against me but nope. You guys had everything stacked against you. First you were his teacher, then you had major surgery, and right after that you dealt with your ex returning from the dead for crying out loud. Not to mention your heinous father.  And all the other BS you two managed to overcome. So, from my standpoint, this obstacle needs to blow over in like 7.3 seconds tops."

"I appreciate you saying that. Truly. You didn't have to, considering I spent all of last night knocking sense into myself, but... thank you."

"You're welcome. I'm sort of on a roll, and I hear that even therapists need therapy. That being said, if you ever need an unqualified self-proclaimed psychiatrist..."

"Absolutely, I'll give you a call."

"That was so cute. I wish I had a replay button," I piped up, lifting a hand to my heart. I had practically devoured the food and was ready to fall asleep for 3 days.

"Okay, I'll leave you guys to it. I'll take this for you." Lucas left the water and pill bottle then carried the food and table out the room. David shut the door and lightly sighed.

"You wanna know the truth-truth?" I started. "About Avery? I quit as his doctor. Yup, I resurrected him." I couldn't help but laugh when I thought about Jesus for a second. But I quickly grew serious. "Then I walked out on him because I knew I was way too attached. So he probably thinks I never gave a shit about him, but I did. He doesn't have support. His brother doesn't speak to him. His own friend didn't bother to visit him—I mean who does that? The guy has cancer. How do you just not show up?" I shrugged in confusion. "He's got no one. All he has is chocolate pudding and the memories of his parents."

"Casper..."

"He likes chocolate pudding. Y-you should meet him. We should go to the hospital tomorrow so you can meet him."

"Cas—"

"Please? You'd like him David! You two are so similar, it's crazy! You both do that thing where like... if I'm in a bad mood you say the silliest thing to make me smile. You know how you do that right? I think I-I miss him. I shouldn't have quit as his doctor." My shoulders drooped sadly. "I'm the worst. I'm an awful husband, an awful father and an awful doctor too."

"No," he disagreed, sitting beside me. "That is far from the truth. And if you really believe that, then that's my failure not yours."

"I'm just angry at myself because... I haven't done right by you and I haven't done right by Dawn. I'm a shitty dad."

"You're not, love. I promise you're not." He stroked my hair.

"Sometimes I think about her getting older and disagreeing with me on everything. Or fighting with me. What if I'm not there for her when she needs me because I'm too busy working? It's scary to think about."

"You're an amazing dad. You always have been. She not only knows it, but she feels it because she loves you with her entire being. And quite frankly, she'd never talk back to you because I'll put the fear of god in her myself if she tries it."

I was amused by that. "No you wouldn't, you melt at the sight of her. You coddle them both."

"I like to spoil my babies, but when it comes to you I will always stand my ground."

"I'm still afraid though. When I saw Avery flatlining, I imagined it was you on that bed, and suddenly that DNR didn't matter. I couldn't just let you die."

"Love, I'm not dying." He held my hand. "I'm alive because of you, remember?"

"We're all dying. One day we won't exist, our friends and family won't exist and we can't even stop it. All the animals and bugs won't exist. Unless we go extinct then animals somehow evolve into more human beings."

"Hey now. You leave the existential midlife crisis to me."

I giggled and he softly smiled. "Come on, you should sleep. And you need to be on your side. I honestly don't think you're that drunk."

"I'm drunk? No I'm not."

I heard him laugh.

"Will you stay with me?" I asked, lying down so he could tuck a pillow behind me to keep me on my side.

"I always will."

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