The Danning Beginnings – Chapter Nineteen

“Have fun last night?”

“Yes.”

“What did you do?”

“Talked, had some dinner, watched the sunset, saw a movie.”

Screenshot-364

“You were out late…”

“Yeah.”

“Can I stay out that l–“

“Don’t even think about it.” I pointed my spoon at Cal who hunkered down in his chair, pressing his lips into a thin line. “Maybe when you’re sixteen you can stay out till eleven but not now.”

“Mmmmph. Not fair. You have fun, Kay? Last night?”

Kay jumped, pausing in the archway between the living room and dining room. “Uh–y-yes… Th-thanks.” He sat down and poured himself a bowl of cereal. “So in a c-couple weeks there’s going to be a f-fair in town, it happens every summer. There w-will be rides and games and…crafts and… th-that sort of thing… You w-want to go?”

Cal blinked, as if unsure he was the one being asked. “Uh, I guess. Like, kid rides?”

Screenshot-365

“I… don’t kn-know. Um, ferris wheel. S-s-spinning rides that go r-really fast. It’s a s-s-s-summer fair. If you don’t w-want to go–“

“It’s yeah, sounds fun.” Cal began slurping at his soggy cereal then cast me a look. “You going too, I–Oh man, this is like, a weird family outing thing, right? My dad and his boyfriend and me.”

Kay and I both went red. “Um. Er. Uh. W-w-w-well…” It was me stammering this time, trying to say it without sounding cruel. “Um. K-Kay and I… we haven’t… we h-haven’t…”

Kay broke in, having equal difficulty saying it. “We–we’re j-just… w-went on… it’s n-not…”

Screenshot-367

“Not official,” Cal said and Kay and I both lowered our heads, redder now. “Jeez, sorry to put you on the spot, I wasn’t meaning it like that, I was just making a comment.” My son began mumbling something under his breath that I swear sounded like ‘might as well be’. I nearly choked, quickly glancing at Kay who didn’t seem to have heard. My thoughts from the night before began entering my head again. Just a week. Too fast. I felt a bit dizzy, and was grateful when Cal finished his food so I could make the excuse to leave the table to start up the dishes.

*

On Tuesday Kay drove me to the grocery store, ignoring my protests that he take so much time out of his day for me. The training only took a little over an hour–mostly me getting a feel for the stock room and where things went. It was hardly different from the first grocery store I worked at and the employee helping me remarked about how quickly I picked it up. I smiled and thanked her, not revealing I had previous training in this sort of job.

Screenshot-368

“Hey,” Kay said when I came out of the store. I raised my eyebrows. I had been told it would take an hour and a half, so I had told him two-thirty. It was two-ten. “H-h-how’d it go?”

“Did you wait here?” I looked down and saw he had a book in one hand, then over at a nearby bench. “You did!” I accused.

Kay made an embarrassed noise. “Th-there’s not much p-point in traveling back and f-forth.” I rolled my eyes but said nothing about the fact we were just a five minute drive away. “Did…?”

Screenshot-370

“Let’s get a milkshake or something,” I suggested and he brightened up. Since the ice cream parlor wasn’t too far we just walked, enjoying the summer warmth. We passed by a couple of teenagers with their hands in the other’s back pocket, and I had a fleeting thought of how friendly this town was. If Kay and I walked down such a public street, holding hands, would anyone care? I didn’t care if anyone cared, but–I just really had no idea how this sort of thing worked out. I had heard stories about anti-gay actions in Sunset Valley. Indeed, I suspected part of the hatred about my pregnancy had something to do with homophobes. Not all of it. But part of me doubted all the anger was just from the ‘monstrous’ experiments.

Kay moved a little closer to me to avoid a group of girls, and our fingers brushed together. Screw it, I thought and moved to take his hands. My fingers touched his and then I jerked my hand away before I could hold it. No. I didn’t know how he felt about a public display. PDA obviously wasn’t really cared about, as I spotted a young couple making out on a bench, but every single couple I had seen in Twinbrook thus far, making a sign of PDA, was male/female. Hetero. I couldn’t remember ever seeing any female/female or male/male.

Screenshot-369

But then I felt warmth as his hand wrapped around mine. I looked sideways but Kay kept his eyes ahead. After a second or two when we weren’t stoned to death, the tension ebbed out and I relaxed. Smiling, I squeezed his hand and continued the walk to the parlor.

*

Once I started work, things seemed to get into a routine. For the next few weeks I worked almost every evening other than Saturdays and Sundays, so those were date nights. Since I had mornings and early afternoons off, Kay and I occasionally went out to lunch. I kept up the housework–all the cleaning, cooking, laundry and stuff even though Kay told me to not do as much.

“I don’t mind, besides you won’t let me pay rent,” I pointed out as I put the wet clothes into the dryer.

“B-but with you working…” Kay looked up at me and I smiled back.

Screenshot-371

“I don’t mind. I did as much as this before. The house may have been smaller but…” I shrugged and shut the dryer. “I like it here.”

“You d-d-d-don’t have to do housework to–“

I shut him up with a kiss. I wasn’t sure exactly what we were still, but I was increasingly confident with kissing him. Kay was blushing and smiling when I moved my head back. “I know,” I said. “I don’t mind. Really.”

“Wh-where’s Cal…?”

“Huh? Oh, he’s out,” I replied, twisting my body towards him. “Why?”

Screenshot-372

He reddened even more. “N-no reason.” He started to step away but I got hold of his sleeve.

“No, tell me,” I teased as he avoided my eyes. I tugged his sleeve. “Aw come on, tell me.”

“It’s–it’s–it’s n-n-nothing!” he tried to insist but when his eyes lifted, I couldn’t help but grin.

“Nothing?”

His eyes darted to the door then back towards me, his entire face red now. “W-well…” He bit his bottom lip, looking on the verge of saying something but I knew–or could guess–what he wanted. So I bent my head to kiss him again and he slumped against my body, arms going around me. We had never really done more than just a kiss or two but I really wanted more and apparently so did he.

Screenshot-373

We kissed hard then soft, several little kisses as I moved us towards the couch because I really didn’t think I could stay standing up much longer. We fell down onto the cushions and I held him closely, kissing very hard now. He made little moany noises, then whimpery noises. My fingers moved to his hips and his hands were on my chest.

“Kay?”

“Hmm?”

I held onto his hips, completely unsure as to what to say. His eyes searched mine and then he moved a bit, partially in my lap now. I kissed his chin, then his jaw, then his neck. Kay whimpered again and I could feel the slight vibration in his throat. Then he jerked back, looking at me with what seemed to be slight trepidation.

“What is it?” I asked.

Screenshot-374

His lips moved but no sound came out for a few seconds. Finally, he did speak. “I j-just never th-thought…”

“Thought what?” I asked, kissing his neck again.

He shifted his weight so he was even more in my lap. “I just… never exp-pected… a r-relationship…  or… anything like th-this. I f-figured I’d just…” He stopped, so I stopped kissing his neck to look up at him, “…die alone,” he finished quietly.

After two or three seconds I pulled him even more on me so he was now straddling my lap. “Don’t talk like that,” I said. His gaze slid to the side. “But I understand how you feel. I thought…” My hands settled on his lower back now, as I worked out how to say what I meant. “I was very scared before I came here, before you visited me and brought me the potion and helped me and–well… saved me.”

Screenshot-375

He laughed. “M-my sister is the one th-that fixed your–“

“No. I’m not talking about the physical problems I had. I… care very much for you…” Once again it was right but wrong, and with him sitting here staring at me I knew why. It was developing into much more than just… care. It had been more than just care for a while. But I wasn’t going to say it. Not yet. Because I had no clue how he felt about the whole thing.

“I d-d-d-don’t ever r-remember being as happy as I am now,” he mumbled and I let out a happy laughy sigh sound and then we were kissing again before either of us could say anything else.

Screenshot-376

We continued kissing for several minutes and then my fingers moved to the inside of the back of his shirt. His body jerked when my fingers touched his skin but then he just kissed me again. And then slowly, hesitantly, I felt his tongue against my lips. I opened my mouth a bit more but he withdrew the French kiss and I was just about to initiate one myself when the door burst open.

Screenshot-377

“Dad I’m–Oh come ON!”

Kay jerked back so hard he fell off my lap. I tried grabbing for him but he hit the floor hard, out of my grasp. I slid down to the floor after him, on my knees. “Oh my Watcher, Kay? Are you ok?”

“Y-yeah, I’m f-fine,” he stammered, bursting into a brilliant color of red.

I looked over at Cal who was still at the front door. “What happened to the double feature?” I asked, pulling Kay to his feet.

“Um, they were sent the wrong case. If I go expecting Shining/Cujo, I’m not staying for Driving Miss Daisy instead.”

I folded my arms. “Instead of what?”

Screenshot-379

“Cujo,” he answered, finally shutting the door.

“So, you saw The Shining?”

“Yeah. But the other movie was Driving Miss Daisy and nope, not my thing.”

He moved for the kitchen and I quickly grabbed his arm. “And, uh, what’s ‘Shining’ rated?”

His eyes went huge. “Uhhhhhh… I-I-I don’t know, I d-didn’t see it.”

“You just said you did see it. And if I recall, it’s rated R. As in… adults, or at least adult supervision. And last time I checked fourteen is not adult. And… I wasn’t with you. So… did some other adult take you? Without my permission?”

“Dad!” He pulled his arm away. “Shining isn’t even all that bad compared to a lot of stuff out there. I’ve seen a lot worse.”

Screenshot-378

“Oh? In what?”

“A–” His mouth then snapped shut and he glowered furiously at me. “Nothing. I’m just guessing… that there’s worse out there. Isn’t there worse out there? I didn’t even stay for all the movie anyway. I didn’t know it was rated R until, uh, partway through so I left. I’m a good boy, aren’t I?”

“I thought you left cause you didn’t want to see Driving Miss Daisy.”

He stared at me then groaned. “How long am I grounded for?”

“A week.”

“But–the fair is coming up, I thought we were going?” He looked past me at Kay. “That’s in three days. Am I not allowed to go?”

Screenshot-380

Now I looked at Kay who quickly focused on cleaning the lens of his glasses. “You can go,” I said, looking at my son again. “But everything else, no. Just the fair.”

“Dad! The Shining isn’t even… all that bad…”

“You know, if you had asked me I would have taken you,” I said, giving him a dark look. “Or given you permission.”

“So what’s the problem?!” he demanded.

“Because you never asked me,” I said.

Screenshot-381

“I told you I was going to the double feature at Twinbrook Classics,” he growled. “You could have easily looked it up, or asked me what movies I was going to see but you didn’t. You DIDN’T!” He stomped his foot and then glared. “Penny, I know–but it’s just not right, it’s not fair! I tell him then get in trouble for not telling him and then he–you–you’re fine with me seeing the movie?” He was looking at me now.

“You did not ask me at all, you didn’t tell me anything except you were going to see those movies.”

“But you never cared to ask,” he hissed.

Screenshot-382

That caused me to flinch. “I… I trusted you,” I said.

“I never lied. I went to see a movie you just said you woulda let me go see anyway. So what’s the problem?” he asked. “I t-told you where I was going to be, and when. Okay, so I didn’t out and out tell you what movie I was going to see, but… with you telling me all this is just crazy! I don’t deserve to be grounded for a week. Just because you can’t be bothered with checking up on your own son doesn’t mean you should punish him.”

My jaw clenched and my fingers pressed into my palms. “C-Calcifer!” Kay came forward, wringing his hands. “You sh-shouldn’t–“

“Kay?” I looked at him and he frowned. “Um…”

“Y-yeah, s-s-s-sorry,” he forced out as he adjusted his glasses. “N-not… my business… not my…” He trailed off and then mumbled, “k-kid…I’ll just… um… yeah.” He went to his room, closing the door quietly.

I sucked in some air and pushed my fingertips into my palms even more. “Calcifer…”

Screenshot-383

He looked pretty stricken. “Uh, um, uh…”

I wanted to yell at him, to scream at him. To point out I was the father, he was the son, that my word goes. But then I had a flashback, of my own father yelling me. My house, my rules, you filthy piece of garbage. And… Calcifer did have a point. I could have looked up what movies he would be seeing but I didn’t. He told me when they started, when they should end, and when he’d be home. He told me exactly where he’d be. He just didn’t tell me which movies were going to be playing. But I could have looked them up. And he was fourteen. Not an adult, but certainly not a child.

Screenshot-384

How come you’re such a disappointment? My father’s voice rang heavily in my ears. You never do anything right. Then I jumped, as I could almost feel his knuckles connecting with my chest again.

“You’re not grounded,” I said.

“What?” he asked.

“You’re right, Cal. I could have just looked up the info myself. I mean, you’re not completely out of hot water. But… you’re grounded… for tonight. No dessert. And, uh, kidney beans. For dinner.”

“I hate kidney beans.”

“Well, tough,” I said, trying to hold onto some sort of control even though I knew it had already slipped completely away.

Screenshot-386

Cal sniffled. “Yeah. Well. Fine. I’ll be in my room. Come on, Penny.” He opened his door and after waiting a moment, stepped inside and slammed the door shut.

I sank down on the couch and put my head in my hands, some tears squeezing out of my ducts. I felt like such a failure. I was a failure. A complete failure. I needed to help Cal stop acting out so much–stop getting away with everything–but how could I? Every time I stared into his face, about to yell at him, all I could think of was all the times my dad yelled at me and treated me like shit. Then again I rarely did anything like Cal did. The things I did to ‘deserve’ punishment were things like not joining a sports team, or not having a girlfriend.

Screenshot-387

I then began laughing hysterically. Not having a girlfriend. What girl would ever want you? My dad asked me that a lot and now–and NOW!

“J-Jacob…?” Kay was peering out of his room.

I just laughed harder. “Kay!” I shrieked. “Kay! Oh man, ahahahaa….” I couldn’t stop. “I’m–gay!” I gasped out between laughs. “I’m gay!”

Kay crept out slowly. “And… th-that’s… f-funny?”

“Yes!” I shrieked. “I mean, no!” Then I laughed some more, clutching my stomach. “Ahhh! It’s funny wh-when you think about it! My d-dad! He–he used to tell me that no–no girl would ever want me! And it’s true! Ahahaha! He used to–to make fun of me for not having a ‘real’ girlfriend. So now…” And then more laughter.

Screenshot-388

Kay sat down on the couch next to me. “Are you a-all right?” he asked, hand on my back.

I kept laughing, shaking my head. “No!” I exclaimed. “I let my son act like a wild child and I’m a complete failure as a father and all I can think about is how funny it is that my own father would have flipped out if he knew I was gay!”

I hardly even noticed the darkness on Kay’s face and then he bowed his head low and began wringing his hands. After I managed to stop laughing and was just panting for air, he said, “You’re n-not a f-failure.”

I gulped in a few more deep breaths before I could respond. “I feel like it.”

Screenshot-389

“Wh-why did you… r-remove his… grounding?” he asked.

“Cause… he doesn’t deserve it for me being a bad parent.” I gulped again and then clenched my jaw. “This r-really isn’t your business.”

He stuck his chin out and looked at his bedroom door. I thought he was just going to run off again but instead he reached over and put my hand in a death grip. “J-Jacob, we’re dating. You are my business. If s-s-something upsets you, th-that’s my business. I’m… not… in any p-place right now to t-tell you how to raise Calcifer. I don’t know much of anyth-thing about raising kids. But I do know you sh-shouldn’t beat yourself up over being a ‘bad parent’ because you’re not. You l-love him… and you do what you c-can for him, for his s-sake without…” He stopped and then looked down again. “You love him,” he said again, “and he loves you. B-but…”

Screenshot-390

“But?” I tried getting my hand free but he was holding it extremely tightly.

“But you sh-shouldn’t let him get away with everything. Every kid n-needs discipline in some w-way.”

I jerked my hand hard, hurting my wrist as I did so. He let go, more from surprise than anything. “What do you know?” I got up quickly and then scowled, probably looking a lot like my son. “Your parents probably lavished attention on you and your sister, you’re both so–so–so damn smart! My father hit me! I am not going down that road with Calcifer.”

Screenshot-391

“My f-f-f-father beat me!” Kay was standing with tears now dripping down his face. “Don’t p-pretend to know anything about m-my past because you d-don’t! You’re not the only one whose f-f-f-father hit them!” He hiccuped and then backed away, furiously wiping his eyes. I started to move towards him but before I could say anything, he continued talking. “As I said, I d-d-don’t know much but I do see that not doing anyth-thing is hurting you and I c-can’t stand that! Ground him, t-take away privileges–d-do what you n-need to that is f-far from anything physical.”

I furrowed my brow, squinting at him now. “You’re right,” I said. “I don’t know anything about your past.”

He looked startled at that. “W-w-well I… d-d-don’t think it’s v-very important…”

“Oh.”

“Wh-what?”

“Nothing.” I sat back down and began picking at my nails. “So… you think I should ground him?”

“I think l-letting him do as he p-pleases hurts you as m-much as it cripples him.”

“Cripples?”

Screenshot-392

He sat back down as well. “L-letting children get away with everything puts th-them in the mindset that they can r-really get away with everything, and w-wouldn’t that cause problems wh-when they’re older? I know C-Cal is a smart boy and understands r-right from wrong, but…”

Now he stopped completely. I sighed and elbowed him gently. “Go on, say it, I can take whatever you want to say.”

“I th-think he purposely presses your b-buttons. Maybe part of it is b-because you don’t believe him about Penny.”

“Not Penny again,” I moaned.

“She is a v-very important part of his life, and you’re his f-father. He wants you t-to respect him and acting like he’s c-crazy because of P-Penny is not exactly r-respect. Maybe there’s more to it th-then that but I have the f-feeling that’s part of it.”

Screenshot-394

I gulped and felt extremely guilty. “I… l-lied to him… as a kid…”

“About wh-what?”

“Him. I told him for most his life he had a mother who left. And then he found old newspaper articles and did research on his own, and that’s when he really started acting out. When he found out I had been pregnant, and I had lied to him. He… he thinks he’s… not normal because of all of that.” I was hit with realization, my eyes snapping wide open. “And now I treat him like he isn’t normal, because of Penny. Oh Watcher. You’re right. Almost everyone around him treated him like something to be avoided. I’m one of the few people he had in his life for stability and I… it’s all my fault…”

Kay’s hand went on my thigh. “No. D-don’t blame yourself. Please.”

“You just said it is my fault for treating him like he’s insane.”

Screenshot-396

“Th-that’s not what I meant. I just m-meant I think he acts out like he d-does to invoke r-reaction from you.”

“So, I should ignore it completely when he acts out?”

He shook his head. “N-no. But stick to your g-guns. When you g-ground him, ground him. Don’t back down.”

Now I chuckled and slid closer to him, putting my hand on his. “I thought I was the one supposed to be giving you advice on how to parent,” I teased him.

He chuckled as well, blushing a bit. “W-well, I just… don’t like seeing you so upset and… I j-just… think about wh-what I’d do if… if… if…”

“If he were yours?” I finished for him.

Screenshot-397

Kay reacted as if I had zapped him, jumping a bit and looking terrified. “Uh, y-yes,” he said, swallowing. “I s-suppose so.”

“I’ll ground him,” I said. “In a little bit. There’s something else I’d rather do now.” I leaned in for a kiss, but he pulled back.

“Wh–what about…?” He looked at Cal’s door.

“I think he knows we kiss,” I said.

Kay squeaked and then smiled a bit. “W-well, y-yeah, b-b-but… he might… he…”

Screenshot-398

“Besides, what’s so strange about him seeing me kiss my–my–” Now or never, really. “–my boyfriend?” He jumped again and went deep red, stammering out syllables without any words attached to them. I ran a thumb over his knuckles, grinning. “If that’s what we are…?”

“Uh–uh–uh–I–o–“

“If not that’s fine, I don’t mind–“

“NO!” He darkened even more somehow. “I m-mean, n-no. We–if you–if we–are w-w-we?”

“I’d like to be. If you want to be.”

His head nodded so slightly that at first I thought he was trembling. “Y-yes,” he whispered. “I–I want to b-be…”

Screenshot-399

I kissed him and then pulled him into my arms, hugging tightly, the roller coaster of emotion coming to a stop for now at complete joy.

The Danning Beginnings – Chapter Eighteen

I had Kay sit on the couch and put his head between his knees since he looked like he was about to be really sick or faint or both. I fetched him a glass of water and a damp washcloth, giving him the first and using the second one to wipe his forehead. After he took a few sips of water, he sat up straight and pat the couch next to him.

I sat down, rubbing his back. “Your sister’s pregnant?” I asked in shock though not as much shock as he was obviously in, poor guy. Not that I blamed him.

Screenshot-295

“Sh–she says… yes… sh-she’s pregnant…” He clutched the water glass then set it down. “She said she’s p-p-pregnant. And…”

“And?” I felt an inward flinch of fear at the thought of what she might have planned. I never pegged Jay as a kid-lover. I just hoped that didn’t mean what my stomach was churning about.

“Sh… she w-w-w-wants me to–take care of it.” Kay stared at me. “She s-s-says that she doesn’t have the… time and… th-that… she w-wants me to.” He sucked in a deep breath and now stared at his shaky hands. “She’s pregnant. J-Jacob, she–she’s–sh-she can’t be. I d-d-don’t understand. She’d never.”

My fingers curled against the fabric of his shirt. “Kay, she–” Ugh this was weird saying. “I mean, you’re entering, um, a relationship, why would you think your sister wouldn’t?”

His jaw went a bit slack. “No. N-no! She wouldn’t! Sh–she doesn’t b-believe in that!”

Screenshot-298

“What, relationships?”

“No! You d-d-d-don’t know her! I do!”

“No offense but a lot of brothers don’t ever think of their sisters as women. But, she is a woman.”

“No.”

“What?”

Kay winced. “I m-mean, I know sh-she’s a woman b-b-but it’s not her. This isn’t n-normal. This c-can’t be true.”

“Kay, I think–“

Screenshot-299

No, you don’t underst-stand!” He began pulling at his hair looking very desperate. “My s-s-sister… she’s asexual.” My eyebrows lifted and he stuck his lower lip out. “She’s n-never been in a relationship. Ever.”

“Um, well, you don’t have to be in a relationship to have se–“

“NO!” Now he was staring at me in horror. “N-n-n-no, she’d n-never!”

No point pressing that button so I switched tactics. “You’ve never been in a relationship either, so…”

He shook his head violently. “Th-that’s different.”

“How so?”

“It’s n-not like I wasn’t interested, or t-trying. I–liked g-guys before. I just never… had the ch-chance.” He pressed his lips tight together as he stared at me. “My s-sister is different. She’s never b-b-been interested.”

Screenshot-296

“And she tells you everything?”

“Yes.”

“Do you tell her everything?”

“Yes.”

“So… you’ve never kept anything from her. Apart from the whole vampire thing recently.”

“N… no…”

“The youth potion you gave me?”

“She knows.”

“You told her.”

Screenshot-301

He flushed dark. “Sh-she figured it out b-b-but I w–“

“You gonna tell her about us?”

“Ah.”

“So, you’re not?”

Now he scowled at me. “In c-c-case you forgot, sh-she wasn’t s-speaking to me for this entire t-t-time.”

“You liked me before, right? Before we–told each other?” I asked and he shrugged then nodded. “Did she know?”

“…N…no… but th-this is completely d-different, and I w-w-will tell her. This is n-not the same thing. If I… d-d-did… that… I would’ve told her.”

Screenshot-302

“You would have told your sister you had sex.”

Now he was even brighter red and he jumped to his feet, pacing quickly.. “Uh, w-w-well, um, uh…”

I rose as well, put my hands on his shoulders. “Kay. Look, I know you two are very close but there are always things someone doesn’t tell their sibling, even if they’re twins. And your sister… she did… because she’s pregnant now. I think the more important issue is not whether she did or didn’t, because she obviously did, but the fact she is going to have a baby and she wants you to raise it. Isn’t that just a wee bit bigger of an issue than what caused it?”

His lower lip drooped more. “She c-c-can’t be pregnant.”

Screenshot-303

He wasn’t going to let it go, so I pulled him close and kissed him hard on the lips. He fell against me, fingers digging against my chest. I closed my eyes and held him tighter, his body against mine. Most likely he could feel my erection but I didn’t care, I just kept kissing him for many seconds until I finally released him. He stumbled back, fingers brushing against his lips.

“Better?” I asked.

He slowly adjusted his glasses and gave a tiny nod. “I’m s-sorry for f-flipping out like that. It’s just so hard to b-believe she’d ever d-do such a thing, and–if I k-keep babbling like this, wi–would you kiss me like that again?”

I cracked a grin. “No. If you stay calm, though, I might.”

His fingers touched his lips again. “She d-d-didn’t even t-tell me who the f-father is.” His eyes flickered around in thought and he began biting at one fingernail. “Wh-what… if…”

“Hmm? If what?” I asked when he was silent.

Screenshot-305

“N-nothing. It’s not… I don’t th-think it is… it sh-shouldn’t be…” He let out a whimper and then inched closer to me. “I d-don’t know what to think, Jacob. Th-this doesn’t sound like her at–at all! I m-m-mean at all. And… sh-she wants me to… t-take care of her… baby…?”  He searched my face as if I had an answer for all this confusion. “I d-don’t know how to… take care of… b-babies… I don’t know–anything. I’ve always w-wanted… but I don’t… I d-don’t…”

“Kay. Kay–look at me.” I held onto his arms. “You’re not alone. All right? I’m here too. I know how to take care of children. I know how to change diapers and prepare bottles and all of that. I worked in a daycare, remember?” He just frowned at that. “Whatever is going on, you’re not alone.”

“You’ll s-stay…?”

Screenshot-306

“Yes. We’ve already talked about that. A lot. Your idea, yeah?”

He shrugged and them pushed his glasses up. “Y-yeah but I figured all of th-this would’ve changed it. A b-b-baby in the house, my sister’s baby, sh-she can’t be having a baby! She–she’d n-never!” His voice rose to a high pitch as he plunged down into denial once more. I knew no matter what I said I simply couldn’t help him right now, so I just sat down and rubbed his back while he continued to babble about the impossibility of his sister having sex.

*

It took quite a long time to get anymore information about Kay, not that there really was any information. All she told him was that she was ‘around thirty-four weeks from giving birth’ and that she did not want anything to do with the baby, so she was giving it to Kay.

“That’s all?” I asked.

Screenshot-308

“Sh-she told me she’d c-c-call in a f-few months with more information, s-such as the sex, and she just h-hung up without another word,” he sighed. “Th-thirty-f-f-four weeks… th-that means… she w-w-was… she–right around th-the time we…” He trailed off without saying it but I knew exactly what he was meaning: the fight. Kay had broken down, withdrawing into himself. His sister must’ve… had sex as a reaction to the situation.

“W-will she b… be bringing the baby in as a… newborn?” I asked.

His shoulders slid forward a bit. “I don’t kn-know. My sister… is n-not exactly… the type of person who c-c-could deal with a baby. I can only assume w-we’ll be g-getting the baby right after its born… I don’t even know h-how she’s g-g-going to have the baby… I just–can’t–even…” He gave me a look of horror. “Who is sh-she going to get to help…? She’d never go a r-regular hospital.”

Screenshot-307

“She must have a plan, if she’s going through with having the baby.”

“I g-guess…” He took off his glasses and began cleaning one of the lenses off. “This is too insane. It’s n-not… right. My sister… a baby… and–and w-we… are g-going to have a baby in the house.”

“I’ll need to tell Cal,” I sighed. “So we’ll probably be getting the baby–hmm, when? April, right?”

“Yeah th-that sounds about right. And… you’ll s-still be here… r-right?”

I touched his hand then slid my fingers in between his. His muscles tightened and I held onto his hand tightly. “I want to be,” I told him. “And I’ll do everything I can to help with the baby, ok?”

“Thank y-y-you, Jacob. I…”

“Mm?”

Screenshot-309

He smiled and put his head on my shoulder. “I don’t kn-know what I’d d-d-do without you.”

*

I waited until morning before telling Cal. Like usual he was up a bit later than Kay and I were, stumbling into the dining room and grumbling about something or other. I set a plate of toast and omelet down in front of him then flopped back onto a chair. Only a minor, split-second of pain stabbed me then it disappeared. I grinned. It was good not having to live with the constant, excruciating pain I used to deal with.

“Need to talk to you,” I told him.

Cal peered at me over his glass of OJ. “I didn’t do anything!”

“I didn’t say you did… it’s just about some things we need to talk about. About us. And Kay. And living here.” I leaned forward and tried to figure out exactly what to tell him. How to say it. “We’ll be living here with Kay for a while, yeah?”

Screenshot-310

“Yeah, I figured now that you’re like, dating and stuff.” He jammed his fork into the eggs and began cutting off bits and pieces. “It’s easier for us to stay here than to scrimp and save for a tiny, crappy little hut like before. Is that all you need to tell me?”

I ground my teeth together, picking at the tabletop. Crappy little hut. I didn’t blame him for saying that, we barely had anything and were jammed in together like sardines in a can; but it still made me feel really bad that I couldn’t provide better. “I want to tell you that in–in a few months, there will be a–another person here.”

“Wh–really?!” He leaped up, nearly knocking the chair over. “Dad, is that true? I mean, seriously true? Oh my gosh–I can’t believe it, this is wonderful, th-this is GREAT!”

“It… is?”

Screenshot-311

“YES!” He flung his arms around me, hugging tightly. “Thank you SO much! Where’s Kay?! I know he’s behind this–I need to thank him! Kay!” He started to run off but I grabbed him by the back of the shirt.

“Whoa hold your horses there, kiddo. Why are you so excited? I didn’t think you’d be happy at all.”

“What?! Why wouldn’t I be–no… oh WATCHER no!” He slammed his fist against my arm to get me to let him go. “This is ridiculous!”

“Cal!” I rubbed my arm as he stomped a few feet away from me, glaring at me. “That hurt! Apologize, or you’re grounded!”

“Yeah well you shouldn’t have made it seem like Kay was getting the potion ready for Penny!”

Screenshot-312

“Oh jeez, Cal–I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to–I am so sorry. You’re right. I wasn’t clear, I wasn’t thinking, and I’m sorry.”

Cal tucked his arms over his chest and glowered. “Am I still grounded?”

“No.”

“So what the hell were you talking about? A new ‘person’ if it’s not Penny?”

“A baby.”

His eyes grew and his mouth opened. “Oh–my–Watcher–hell–seriously? Like, really, seriously?” He reached up and grabbed his hair, pulling hard. “YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS!”

“Cal…”

Screenshot-313

“So0–what? When’s the baby gonna be here? No, let me guess. Eight months.”

“Well, yes–“

“Am I not good enough? Is that it? Or you being young–is that why you want a new kid?”

“Cal–?”

“Start over? A different parent than me? Of course it is!”

“Cal!”

“You don’t even know who my other parent is. Why? Why?! Did I do something wrong? Is–is it cause you think I’m crazy?!”

Screenshot-314

“CALCIFER!” I shouted and he clamped his mouth shut. “What the hell are you talking about?!” He punched the wall and left the dining room. I followed him in and Kay was getting up from his computer, watching us both with bewilderment. “Calcifer Danevbie you tell me what the matter is right now or else–“

“Or else WHAT?!” He spun around and slammed his foot down on the ground. “You’re just gonna trade me in anyway!”

“Trade you–what?! What are you going on about?!”

“It’s cause I’m crazy, hmm? Yes? I knew it. It’s because you think I am insane! I’m not insane! Tell him, Kay! Tell him!”

“Wh-what’s going on…?” Kay came over closer, pushing some of his hair back. “Cal?”

My son had tears in his eyes now which he angrily wiped off. “Like any of you c-care. You are in on it too.”

“In on what?” I asked.

Screenshot-315

“The baby!” He flung an arm out and was now pointing at me. “Your new pregnancy! Your new baby!”

“Holy–no! Oh, Calcifer, I’m not… I’m not… I’m not pregnant. Why would you even think I was?”

Cal looked like a balloon deflating. “Uhhh… what? But then the new baby…?”

“His sister’s pregnant.” I indicated Kay who bowed his head. “She wants him to take care of it. That’s what I was telling you, not that I’m… pregnant… how the heck would I even be pregnant?”

“The surgery,” he mumbled. “When you said there’d be a baby, I–I just thought… you wanted… a better kid… and that you were pregnant… and when you said it’d be eight months I thought… but I was–ohh… Wait, that psycho doctor is knocked up? Who the hell’d ever touch her?!”

Screenshot-317

“Cal… I love you. You’re my son. I love you with all my heart, I’d never ‘trade’ you in or anything.” I put my arms around him, hugging tightly, grateful he wasn’t trying to fight it. “I love you. Don’t you dare ever think otherwise.” I let go, keeping my eyes on his.

He pursed his lips and then breathed out. “Yeah, I know. S-sorry, I guess I just kinda… flipped out. I thought you got all pregnant again or something.”

“You’re the best kid I could ever ask for.”

“But you think I’m crazy!”

“I don’t think you’re crazy,” I lied. “I just think you have a very active imagination. Nothing wrong with that. Even if one day I have more kids, I’d never love them more than you.”

Cal bumped his shoulder against me in what I could only assume was his version of a hug, then he backed away. “So your sister’s really preggo?”

“Um, y-yes.”

Screenshot-318

“And she wants you to raise the baby? Jeez, why doesn’t that surprise me?”

“Uh…” Kay gave me a freaked-out look.

“Cal,” I stared but my son kept talking.

“I mean, she’s such a crazy bitch! It doesn’t surprise me she’d just abandon her own baby.”

Kay flinched and then went to sit back at the computer. I grabbed Cal’s arm and dragged him back into the dining room. “Don’t say something like that in front of him,” I hissed out.

Cal got his arm free. “Why? It’s the truth. She’s a b–“

Screenshot-319

“I don’t care what you think about her but don’t voice your opinions about her around Kay. He’s her twin, and he loves her.” I reached for him but he moved out of reach. “At least have some respect for him, all right?”

“What kind of bimbo abandons her own baby?”

“There are–some cases where it is better for a mother to give her baby to someone who can care for it better,” I put in quickly. Cal made a face. “I’m sure Doctor Redding is just a very busy woman. She values her, uh, career and scientific research and stuff. That doesn’t make her a bitch, or a bimbo. And she’s not abandoning the baby. She giving her baby to someone she trusts more than anyone else in the world. That sound like abandonment to you?”

Screenshot-320

He made even more of a face and stuck his tongue out. “Yes. Mostly. Okay I dunno. But you know her, she is a bitch. Only reason she’s giving the baby to Kay is probably cause he’s the only person she knows.”

“She could have just as easily given the baby to some sort of social service, to an adoption agency.”

“Why are you standing up for her, Dad?” Cal groaned.

“Because I care about Kay.” Those were the right words but they felt a bit wrong as I spoke them. “He loves his sister. Completely. And she is giving the baby to someone she cares about, and isn’t just…”

Cal must’ve noticed the look on my face because he sighed as he messed with his hair. “Yeah, sorry Dad. I–I guess she does have a positive mark for giving the kid away instead of… killing…”

Screenshot-321

“Like Nicky did,” I finished for him. “Doctor Redding is making a different choice, and one I personally prefer. I don’t… harbor the same feelings you have for her, which you know, really confuses me why you seem to take this worse than me.” Anger filled his face so I coughed and began speaking quickly. “She’s not that bad, Cal.”

“Look at how much she hurt her own brother though! She–and he–and–ergh. So, we’re getting the doctor’s little bra–uh, kid? We’re gonna have a baby here? Crying and–and–being all smelly?”

I let out a heavy breath and smiled. “Yeah. You won’t really need to do anything. Kay and I will be taking care of the child.”

Screenshot-322

Cal’s mouth opened and shut and he got this really weird look on his face. He mumbled something under his breath but just waved a hand at me when I inquired what it was. “Will this change me getting Penny real?”

“Um. Er. That’s something you’ll have to, uh, talk to, um, about with Kay. I can’t really give you any advice in that area.”

Cal plopped down at the table and returned to eating his food which was now cold. I trotted into the living room, coming up behind Kay and putting a hand on his shoulder. He jumped, but gave me what I knew to be a false smile. “Don’t mind Cal,” I whispered, leaning in close to him. “He’s just full of teenage angst.”

Kay gave a light giggle. “I kn-know. I understand, I’m n-n-not mad or anything. I know he… d-dislikes her…” He began wringing his hands so I snatched them in mine, and planted a kiss on the back of one of them.

Screenshot-323

“He dislikes everything other than Penny, and that hair of his,” I said.

“I HEARD THAT!” Cal shrieked, luckily not in a pissed-off tone. Kay and I both grinned, and I released his hands so he could go back to the work he was doing.

*

Screenshot-327

That night, Kay and I went on another date. We chatted in the park for quite a long time, listening to people playing music, then had some hot dogs and ice cream as we watched the sun set. After that, another movie. It was such a teenagery date that I wound up bursting into laughter when we got back in the car. Kay gave me a quizzical look and when I managed to tell him what was so amusing, he began chuckling as well.

“It’s just so weird being so young again,” I said, once I caught my breath. “No pain. And… going out… on dates…”

“I th-think there’s a f-fair going on in a c-couple weeks, do you w-want to go…? C-Cal could come too, of course.”

I reached over and held his hand. “Sounds great.”

When we got back to the house, it was like the week before–all dark, except for Cal’s room. But when we went in we loitered for a moment, and Cal never came out of his room. So this time we managed a goodnight kiss.

Screenshot-325

It was very soft, and my lips lingered on his for several seconds. A buzzy, tingly, bright feeling swept through my body. It felt like someone had stuck my hand in a socket or something. Complete with bright lights bursting under my closed eyes. It was a lot like the feelings I had felt before but this time it felt more intense which was strange since our kiss was a lot less intense than it had been before. When we parted and I looked into his face I realized my feelings for him were more intense than before, and that’s why it seemed so in that kiss.

“Goodnight…” I said.

“G-g-g-goodnight…”

I drifted into my room and fell back onto the bed, fully dressed. Everything in my mind was gone and I could think only of him. In just one week, how could it possibly be this–this–this? Because we lived together? Or is there something else? I wondered as I pulled my shirts off. I had always believed in soul mates… Could it possibly be such a thing? Why was I so scared at the thought of–of it being so? Because we just started a week ago…? Because being homosexual was so new to me?

Screenshot-326

I finally forced myself to dwell on something else, and my mind turned to the news from the day before. In eightish months, there’d be a baby in the house. Even though I was of no relation to the baby and technically not the one whose care it would be put in, I was really looking forward to holding a tiny little baby again.

Wow….

I just realized it’s been over 3 weeks since the last update. I am really sorry, I will try to get some chapters out this week. Things just have not been well for me. Argh. Anyway, I wanted to apologize, and promise at least 2 chapters coming this week if not more. Depends on how much I get written of this, and my other 2. Sorry! And thanks for your patience.

~sErin