6: “You know how I feel about hysterics”

Ward had gone home with a woman he’d met at the bar the night before while Bear was attempting to stalk the weird woman who watered the plants at their office. The woman he’d met was named Lilah and she had been dancing very charmingly with a couple of her friends, most of whom were also quite good-looking. Ward spent the night at her place, but ducked out early in the morning while she was still asleep so as to avoid having to deal with any awkward explanations about why they wouldn’t be seeing each other ever again. Lilah had mentioned wanting to settle down and get married a few times over the course of one evening so Ward was expecting any discussion about why he didn’t want to begin a relationship with her would not go particularly well.

On his way back to his apartment, he stopped at Luke, Dylan, and Godfrey’s. Their apartment was very well-situated in the city and it happened to be on his way home. Plus, he was hungry and he was hoping that he’d be able to coerce Luke into making him breakfast. If he convinced Dylan that he also wanted Luke to make him breakfast and had him ask instead, Ward was fairly certain he’d be walking out of the situation full of eggs benedict.

When he pushed open the front door of their apartment, Ward found Bill already inside, sitting at the kitchen table and looking worse for wear. Luke was already cooking in the kitchen, Gus sitting at his feet in desperate hope that Luke would take pity on him and feed him something. Godfrey and Dylan were sitting at the kitchen table with Bill, each with a mug in front of them, looking significantly better off.

“I was hoping you’d be making me breakfast,” Ward announced, looking at Luke as he went to join the others at the kitchen table.

“I’m not making you breakfast,” Luke argued without bothering to look up from the stovetop.

“He’s cooking you breakfast,” Godfrey told Ward, who nodded. He took a great amount of pleasure in the fact that Luke put on a couple extra pieces of toast.

“You look good,” Ward told Bill, who groaned and dropped his forehead to the table.

“I think I cried about pandas last night,” he moaned to the tabletop.

“Well, I’m not sure because I didn’t see that, but that seems on brand for you,” Godfrey returned.

“I bet you did something glamourous,” Bill said to Ward, lifting his head up about three inches so he could make brief eye contact before letting his head drop down to the tabletop again. Ward shrugged dismissively, even though Bill couldn’t see him any longer.

“It was alright I guess,” he said as well. “Met a girl named Lilah. It was a nice change of pace. I don’t know, Tre’s been weird lately. I think there’s something wrong with him.”

Dylan snorted into his coffee.

“Buddy, you’re what’s wrong with Tre,” he returned. “You strung him along for like four months and now you’re together, but you don’t want to be exclusive and all he wants is to hold your hand at the mall and buy matching sweaters.”

“For the record, I’m almost one hundred per cent positive that isn’t all he wants,” Godfrey cut in. Ward gave it some thought. He and Tre had been hanging out for a while before Ward said they could properly date. But he had been very clear when he’d said he didn’t want to be exclusive. He just didn’t see the point. In his experience, monogamy rarely worked out. Someone always loved the other person more and someone always ended up disappointed. So Ward had very explicitly told Tre he was going to continue seeing other people and that Tre was obviously completely welcome to do the same. If he had a problem with that, he shouldn’t have agreed to it.

“I didn’t have this many problems when I was dating Julianna,” Ward sighed, thinking back on his last semi-relationship. This time, both Godfrey and Dylan snorted.

“That’s not even a little true,” Bill told Ward, lifting his head off the table incrementally again. “You just have the worst memory in the world.”

“The time you were with Julianna was the worst time in all our lives,” Dylan added. “If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I’d murder you both to save the rest of us.”

“I think I might resent that a little,” Ward said.

“You shouldn’t,” Luke told him, coming over with a skillet full of eggs to begin scooping onto the plates set on the table. “It was fucking horrible. I had to literally drag her off a dance floor one time because she refused to leave until you agreed to be her date to her cousin’s wedding. She was hysterical. You know how I feel about hysterics.”

“I think it’s weird that you have a specific way you feel about hysterics,” Ward returned because he did in fact know how Luke felt about hysterics. “You know, most people have different responses to hysterics for different circumstances. Most people just don’t feel one blanket way about hysterics of any kind for any reason.”

“Most people aren’t as emotionally stunted as Luke,” Dylan cut in. “Most people have more than one emotion.”

“I have a lot of emotions,” Luke countered indignantly.

“Several different eyebrow expressions for rage is not exactly ‘a lot of emotions’,” Dylan told him.

“I’ll withhold eggs from you until you take that back,” Luke replied calmly. It was a very good tactic, especially where Dylan was concerned. His major motivator in life was food. Ward was positive it was how Luke coaxed him into doing a lot of things.

“Fine, I take it back,” Dylan said, holding out his plate. Luke served him the last of the eggs and then smacked him on the head with the spatula he’d been using. Dylan had bits of scrambled egg in his hair, but he didn’t seem to care. Instead, he tore into his breakfast like he hadn’t seen food in months.

On the way back to his own home after breakfast, Ward contemplated his relationship with Tre. The major problem was that he liked him too much to break things off, but he also didn’t think he could handle having to deal with Tre’s dissatisfactions regarding their lack of committed relationship. That probably made him a terrible person. Terrible, but honest. He decided that he was mostly okay with it and let it go.


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