Meanwhile, Back Home

Asher Ryan tapped his room key against the card reader, the flashing red light on the reader turning green as a soft beep sounded. Pushing the door handle down, he walked into the hotel sweet, tugging at his bow tie as he went. After undoing his tie, he unbuttoned the first few buttons of his shirt with his left hand as he slid his other hand into his pocket, fishing out his phone. Unlocking the device, he scrolled through a miles long list of notifications; an email from his management, a couple texts from his siblings, and three missed calls; one from his father, another from his mother, and a missed FaceTime call from his husband, Thomas.

Flopping down onto the bed, Asher kicked off his shoes as he checked his text first. The first batch of messages were from his older brother, Dawn. Opening the pictures, the first one he saw was a picture of Isabella, Dawn’s daughter. Standing in the snow with a smile brighter than the sun, Isabella buried her father in the snow.

Tracing her smile with his thumb, Asher’s heart ached. Although being paid to travel the world and play for millions of adoring fans seemed like a dream job, Asher couldn’t help but think about all that he was missing back home. Isabella had to have grown at least a foot (or serval feet) since the last time Asher had seen her. Dragging his thumb across his screen, his heart squeezed at the sight of baby teeth in his brother’s hand. Another swipe revealed that the teeth had come from Asher’s nephew, Jackson. Smiling up as the camera while his mother held his bottom lip down, Jackson showed off the now empty space where his baby teeth once were.

Staring down at the photo, Asher tried to remember what the small boy’s laughter sounded like. It had been so long since he’d heard his nephew’s voice (even if it was just baby gibberish half the time). With all of Asher’s shows going until late into the night and sometimes into the wee hours of the morning, his brother’s time, Asher never made it off stage in time to see his niece and nephew before they went to bed. Hell, if he didn’t hall ass to his dressing room right after hoping off stage, he sometimes missed his brother too.

Sighing, Asher decided against FaceTiming his brother; he didn’t want to risk waking his brother, Dawn. Insetad, Asher decided to FaceTime his husband, Thomas.

“Hey hand-what’s wrong?” Thomas asked, lying back on his pillow.

Asher sighed heavily. Normally he liked to hear a little about his husband’s day before unloading his troubles, but after seeing those photos of all that he was missing, Asher couldn’t help but feel gloomy.

“I wanna come home.” Asher admitted, sitting up.

After being on the road for the last eight months, Asher was sick of it. Every few days he was in a new city or a new country, hopping from the bus to the stage then from stage back to the bus and then to a hotel (if he was luck). Other than the band, the bus driver, venu security, and screaming fans, Asher never saw anyone. Hell, at this point he was so desperate he’d be happy to see the paparazzi.

“I know baby, I want you home more than anything. Just a few more cities.” Said Thomas.

Asher had to fight the urge not to roll his eyes; Thomas was only trying to be supportive, Asher knew that, but they’d both been saying ‘just a few more cities’ for so long that it was starting to loose it’s meaning.

“I know, I know, I just wish you were here with me.” Asher pouted.

Thomas and touring have never really gotten along. Thomas took many flights, all over to watch Asher and the band play; but as far as slumming it on the bus with Asher and the other guys, that was a no go for Thomas. Claustrophobia and a skin condition that required Thomas to shower about a dozen times a day a and required fresh sheets every night, didn’t play nice with tour buses. It wasn’t like Thomas hadn’t tried though; when he and Asher first started dating Thomas gave the tourbus all his might, but in the end he just couldn’t.

“I really wish I could.” Thomas said, a little edge to his voice.

‘Great, now he feels bad.’ Asher thought to himself as he ran a hand through his hair.

“I’m sorry babe. I know what you meant, I shouldn’t have said it like that. I’m just stressed.” Thomas said, causing Asher to straighten up a bit.

“Wanna tell me about it?” Asher asked.

Talking about whatever was happening back home, even if it wasn’t great, always made Asher feel a little better. Thomas always thought it was silly to update his husband about trivial things like what he had for lunch or sending ‘outfit of the day’ pictures, and he certainly didn’t like giving his husband bad news while he was on the road, but for Asher it was comforting. For Asher, getting constant updates about little changes in his world back home helped him not so far from home; like he was only up the street or a city away rather than half away around the world.

“Well your fucking buddy Hunter, fucked up the sprinkler system again! And waited two fucking days to tell me! I swear that asshole thinks that just because I’m not all machismo, like him and his buddies, that that means I don’t know shit about shit.” Thomas said with a scoff.

Asher couldn’t help but chuckle as he pictured his twig like husband dealing with their meat head grounds keepers. Thomas has never been a bulky guy, as a teen and even into his early twenties, he struggled to bulk up, but that didn’t mean he was weak. Despite having known Thomas since Asher and Thomas were teens, Thomas still manages to surprise his husband with just how strong he actually is.

“You just gotta remind them who’s paying them.” Said Asher.

Thomas scuffed yet again.

“You! You pay them!” Thomas said, very much annoyed.

Asher couldn’t help but chuckle. Of the two men, he was definitely the bread winner, but it was Thomas who managed that ‘bread’. Thomas brought the food, paid the bills, and kept track of their savings. If Asher ever needed money, he always went to his husband. Making music, now that was Asher’s thing.

“Technically you pay them. I don’t even know how much gardening cost!” Asher laughed into the phone.

“Well, tell that to the gardeners! They think I’m just some house husband that sits on his ass all day.” Said Thomas.

Asher couldn’t help but roll his eyes. Despite not giving a fuck what anyone thought, Asher and Thomas weren’t def; people talk, especially when you live the public life of a rockstar. Most of the celebrity gossip rolled off the men’s back, but every now and again, a comment or a article would cut a little. For that reason, Thomas didn’t make public appearances. Sure he went to Asher’s concerts, award shows, and other events, but over the course of the decade that Asher and Thomas have been together, the men have never rarely ever been photographed together, publicly. They’ve appeared in plenty of family and friends’ photo albums, sickenly in love, but only once have they ever been publicly photographed together. A few years ago, during the tenth anniversary of one of Asher’s band’s albums, the husbands were photographed holding hands, their wedding rings on full display, but with all the commotion the band was causing around the couple, no one ever seemed to notice. Then, when the photo was edited for online publication, Thomas was removed from the photo entirely. Asher’s manager was livid when he found out but the couple and the band found it quite hilarious, so much so that they’ve recreated serval photos of the couple, completely removing Thomas from them.

Running a hand through his hair, Asher found himself getting quite drowsy.

“I’ll email them in the morning, my time.” He said sleepily.

“Okay. Text me when you wake up.” Thomas said, causing Asher to hum in agreement.

“I probably wont be able to call until the afternoon your time. Gotta call mom and then Dawn before he goes to work.” Asher said through his drowsy fogg.

“Alright. Well sleep tight, I love you.” Thomas said.

Slipping into the drowsy fog, Asher hummed, before mumbling what he hoped was an ‘I love you’ before succumbing to the fog.

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