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Lucas was hesitant at first, gently knocking on the side of the door as he entered the room. He gripped at the pack of cards like a lifesaver. However, all such feelings flew out the room when he heard the tone of Nathan's voice. A simple "you came", had never felt more welcoming to him. He offered a bashful shrug, smiling without teeth.

Cautiously, he positioned himself on the end of Nathan's bed, fiddling with the thin sheets.

Lucas was finally starting to ease up, shoulders sinking, until he heard Nathan speak. His eyebrows drew together at the sound of the apology. He shook his head. It was ridiculous for Nathan to be apologizing to him. To him, and for him. For his father who threatened to hit him. Lucas wouldn't consider himself the luckiest guy in the world, but he was eternally thankful that his relationship with his father was nothing like that of Nathan's and his. A barrage of words welled up inside him. He had so much to say. Lucas could tell that Nathan was going through difficulty over the issue though, and held his tongue for a moment. He would have fashioned his teeth into knives with the sharp, concise words he could say, but settled for a simple "don't be silly". There was no need for his opinion, he reminded himself. 

Really, he felt Nathan had absolutely nothing to apologize for. If anyone had to apologize in the room, it would be him.

"That... didn't go as planned. I'm sorry too. So there's no need to thank me", he spoke slowly, savoring each word.

"I mean, I'm not sorry I stepped in. I'd rather you than me. I mean—", he blushed. Objectively, there should be nothing wrong with him saying that. Something inside him felt vulnerable though, he couldn't pinpoint what, but he felt exposed by that one simple admission. Scratching at his already disheveled hair, Lucas sighed. He took a few deep breaths, composing himself once again. 

"I was expecting to look cooler, you know? More professional. But seriously, I'm sorry if my stepping in made things worse between your you and your father. That really wasn't what I wanted. Forgive me?", he bit out, glancing up towards the man across from him. He truly hoped he didn't just tear a wide one through the already gaping rift. He wouldn't be able to face the other man again if he had. 

Lucas searched Nathan's face, but the latter had turned his gaze down. Lucas felt queasy. He couldn't get a good look at his face, but Nathan's eyes looked glassy, reflecting the bright white light. 

"Hey...", he shifted over towards the head of the bed, closer to Nathan. Gingerly, he raised his hand to place it on the other's shoulder. If he didn't know better he would say he was trembling. He hoped Nathan wasn't mad, but maybe that would have been better. Lucas was awful at comforting people. He always found himself at a loss for words, he was more of a physical person in regards to comfort. 


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Lucas Odierno