The hall stretched on well beyond them, grey, monotonous, and lit in bright white light. Kane's gait fell in line with the man beside him. Throughout the day, Aaron had flashed Kane signs of his current state. His anxiety had flared when one of the new recruits decided to pick a fight with Rath. His fear had surfaced when the alert rang out for an alpha team needed in St. Louis. His dread had slowly bubbled up as they had gotten closer to their meeting with the Army.
For the most part, things had been resolved and Aaron had tampered down his emotions. Just so slightly though, there was a lingering residue each event had left on Aaron. Around everyone else, even the inner six, the leader had physically masked all of these changes.
Aaron's shoulder's briefly pinched back before falling down. Changing out of his uniform had helped, as it always did, but not enough. The t-shirt hung loosely around his waist as he pulled up the bottom to replace his phone in his back pocket. Kane hadn't been planning on staying on base tonight. Yet, he also hadn't started making plans to depart. Aaron would never ask the empath to stay but he possibly also knew he would never have to.
"Well," Aaron finally started, rubbing the stubble on his face for the first time all day, "it looks like I'll be going to Franklin tomorrow with Scarlet, then possibly somewhere in South Africa with Ro."
This base was only open to the inner six, a middle ground where Aaron could remove the mask, refer to his teammates by their names, and slightly relax. His nerves always clung to his emotions though, even here, always ready to serve as the team leader.
"Then?" Kane joked.
"I'm not sure," Aaron flatly answered, pulled out his phone again, and pivoted into his bedroom. Kane didn't even glance at his door across the hall and followed after Aaron.
"Maybe a vacation?" Kane offered as he fell onto Aaron's bed, stretching out before propping his head on his hands.
"Mmm?" Aaron barely questioned as he shut his door with his foot and simultaneously started logging onto his computer.
"A vacation?" Kane sang. The lazy mood he was trying to give off not at all reflecting in Aaron. So he moved on, dropping his hands but remaining propped up to stare down the back in front of him.
The man finally broke from his perpetual work and fully looked at Kane. Grabbing the chair, he pulled it closer to the bed and sat down so their eyes were level.
"Do you think I need a vacation?" Aaron had only really needed a few in his life. Occasionally, he took a few for Kane's sake, but it was enough for him.
"Yes." Kane vaguely gestured to Aaron's body, pulling a sigh out of him.
"I mean I know I'm stressed... but as you said, I don't have anything planned after my trip with Ro. Just keep pushing through." His eyes had fallen and he had begun rubbing his finger over the back of his left hand.
"Where were you thinking?" Aaron asked without looking up. A new light layer of dread started to work into his system. "I need to get some more regular pants," he said, looking down, "and maybe a swimsuit, depending on where we go." The anxiety started to kick in again.
"What if you just come to Chicago? Stay at my place." The rising pressure stopped. "We can eat out for all our meals, hit up a few bars. Or just order take out if we don't want to leave the house." Slowly things started to calm as Aaron looked up to meet Kane's eyes. His gaze left after a second and searched his room as his fingers drummed on the back of his left hand.
"No plans really, we'll just figure it out when you get there," Kane added.
Aaron shifted in his seat so he could put one elbow on the bed, propping his head on his hand. Finally, Kane was able to resume his relaxed position, this time reflecting Aaron and positioned to look directly at him.
"After I get back from my trip with Ro?"
"Are you sure? You hate staying at your house for long."
Kane smiled. "Not if you're there."
Aaron watched Kane for a few more seconds, his eyes roaming slightly. The layers of emotional residue were slipping even further away.
"Alright, I'll put it on my calendar."
"Good," Kane shifted to leave and caught the start of loneliness, so he readjusted himself and laid back down. He wasn't going home tonight. "Good."