Xander bit his lip, dropping his gaze, clearly seething, but he responded to Dark and tried to calm down a little.
"I'm glad you're happy," Lance said with a slight smile. "Actually, I was going to ask how the health issues are going. Are you eating well, Alec? Needing any kind of help or anything like that?"
Xander opened his mouth to answer but bit his lip again. Alec glanced worriedly at his brother, feeling confused.
Lance held up a finger. "Hang on, I think I have something for you." He pulled a small metal puzzle game from his vest pocket and held it out to Xander. "When you get that figured out and solved, then you can yell at me all you like. I won't go back on that, but you have to solve it first. You can't interrupt me until then. Deal?"
Xander snorted and took the puzzle. "This is easy." He started moving the pieces around. Then gave Lance a suspicious glare and turned his entire concentration onto the contraption.
Alec swallowed hard before answering, "Yes, sir, I've been eating well. Nothing seems to be wrong, and I'm just... an anti-stress eater? Instead of eating when stressed, I don't eat." He looked down, cheeks going pink in shame.
Lance nodded. "I get it, so- kid. I do. I'd get sick when I was stressed. People thought I was faking it, and that just made it worse. Because it was drawing so much attention."
Alec looked up slowly and nodded. "Yes, like that. I'm sorry that happened to you. Do you still get sicklike that?"
Lance shook his head. "Nope. I got some therapy and managed to change up my life a bit. How about you? You going to do some therapy? Your folks said you were considering it."
Alec nodded. "Yes, sir. I mean, not yet, but we both agreed to go." He glanced at Xander, who was still messing with the metal bits. "Well, I agreed, and I'm supposed to go soon. Xander can't quite make up his mind."
"No shame in that. It's hard to open up to people," Lance said gently. He paused and glanced between the three of them. "I have a really sensitive question I gotta ask you, Alec. It might make people upset. Do you want to talk alone, or are you okay staying here?"
Xander paused and looked at Lance, tensing in suspicion and worry.
Alec glanced between Dark and Xander before turning to Lance again. "I'd... I'd rather stay here. Even if it's embarrassing. I want my family with me."