((Skipping to move the day ahead))
"O-okay, okay, cool. That's fine..."
This isn't fine at all.
But it would be. James would be responsible. James had help him fix Damion up. Everything was going to be okay.
They made camp among the boxes and tried to get some sleep.
Theo woke that morning with a pained yawn. What a night. Day. Something. It was one of those mornings where you woke up and you weren't quite sure where you were or where you'd been. The sheets slid down his chest as he tried in vain to stretch out before curling back up in bed in grumpy defeat. Five Ten Twenty Sixty Infinite more minutes should fix the haze. It felt like he should be looking for something, or maybe somebody, or...bluuuugh, something was slipping his mind, that was for sure.
"'bout time you crawled out, sunshine. Otherwise I'll have t' come crack yer cocoon myself."
Noises in the kitchen. Sizzling, scraping, snickering...someone was cooking. Who was supposed to be here? His head pounded. Where were Mom and Dad? Why did he hurt so much? Creaking. Whoever was out there was coming around to the apartment-his apartment?-bedroom. His beard scratched against the sheets as he tried to peek out over them with a wince. A large form turned into the doorway.
Oh. Yeah. That checked out. How could he ever forget that face?
"There he is," Hansel grinned down at him, "Come on out and spread them wings for me, we got a big day now." Theo couldn't help but blush sheepishly and slide out of bed. He really must have had a rough night's sleep to have let all this slip.
"Sorry. Not, uh, feeling quite myself yet. Breakfast smells great though!"
"Never disappointed you before, did I? Now stop teasin' me and get dressed."
Theo glanced down and blushed brighter as he caught himself shirtless. It probably shouldn't be quite this embarrassing after...geez, what, 10 years now? Oh shit I hope I didn't forget our anniversary. Today's not our anniversary is it? No, no, that's October, wake up Theo. They wouldn't have double-booked themselves like that anyway. It'd be nice to space the dates out, make sure they all got their equal importance.
Hansel already had a plate for him and had busied himself with some news story on his tablet, he couldn't see from this angle. When Theo sat down to start to eat though, he gave him That Look up over its edge. "Want a little hair of the dog to go with that, chief? You were in a rough way when I came home last night."
His brain was catching up. He wanted to look innocent and confused under his gaze, but now that he'd been walking around he knew exactly why he felt so messed up. There was probably still some whiskey on his breath. He'd just, he'd meant for it to be a nice surprise, and things had gotten out of hand..."I, I tried something kinda dumb last night. Please don't be mad. I just thought, y'know, we're so close and it's been so long, that maybe they'd like to hear about it and this could change their minds, or there'd been enough silence that they'd finally come to regret it, so I tried to call your parents and-" Theo didn't realize he was crying, or that Hansel had gotten up, until he felt his arms wrap around him from behind with a hand circling his chest. "I'm sorry..."
"Shhhh...yer heart was right. Usually is. Just gotta work on yer brain, that's all." Those last words came with a teasing kiss in his hair. "It's alright. I ain't mad. I get it. I wish they were excited for us too." He shifted to leave an arm slung around his shoulder and kissed his cheek. "Don't worry. They'll come 'round someday. Or they'll die and we can quit wastin' the phone call."
Theo didn't know whether to laugh or gape at him, so for the moment he just wrapped his arms tight around his arm to nuzzle against it. "Hey. You're pretty great, you know that?"
"Mm, heard that a time or two. Don't see it myself, but that's why you're the brains." Hansel patted his shoulder. "No more whiskey without me, though. Can't drink that man out of your head. " He snorted. "God knows I've tried."
For a minute or so they were quiet, just drinking in each other's presence. Theo was the one to break the silence. "We're really doing it, aren't we?"
"After all this time it's hard to believe it won't be just us around here anymore."
He could see his smile in the corner of his eye. "You aren't gettin' cold feet at the sound a' pitter patters, are ya?"
"No, no," he laughed out as he swatted at his arm, "It's just, y'know...us? Parents? Even after all this, it's hard to wrap my mind around it. We're so young."
"Eh, pushin' thirty. Don't kid yourself too much there."
"You know what I mean."
Hansel's face went soft at that. "Yeah..." He muttered quietly. "Sometimes I wonder..."
"I'unno. It's not important."
"Come on." Theo's had reached up to caress his cheek. "It's just us. You don't have to be the tough guy here."
That earned him a weak smile. "I'unno, Theo. Sometimes...I just worry about the cycle of it all. My folks never meant for it turn out this way. Makes me wonder if theirs meant for them to turn out that way, or how...hell. It's stupid, ain't it?"
"Nah. I get it. But you know what?"
Theo caught him by the back of the head and pulled him down into a deep kiss. As it broke he leaned up to his ear and whispered "You're gonna be a great dad. Anybody who says otherwise doesn't really know you. Even you."
Hansel's wide, confident grin stretched back across his face. "Finish your breakfast, sunshine. We've gotta go meet our baby boy."
As Theo rose from the chair, his foot caught on one of the legs and he started to fall forward. Fast. Too fast. Way too fast. There were voices in the air. He was crying but he couldn't breathe, couldn't speak, couldn't scream-
His voice echoed back at him inside the empty shipping container. There was a voice on a loudspeaker talking over it.
Who the fuck is Hansel?