|And Then There Was
Author: XxAlicexX PM
Luke/Noah Noah watches his family growRated: Fiction K - English - Family - Words: 2,313 - Reviews: 5 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 2 - Published: 11-08-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4642574
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Title: And Then There Was…
Word Count: 2233
Spoilers: Zilch, Future!fic.
Disclaimer: I do not own the boys (wish I did 'cause they are just so yummy) and this is written for no profit and just for fun
You and Luke had fought and fought for that moment, and when you finally got handed a baby you realized that you had no idea what you had gotten yourself in for. There was a lot of screaming and crying and diaper changes involved, but then there was a lot of laughter and smiles involved as well, so over all it seemed to balance out.
She was beautiful, 6 months old and just gorgeous. She already had rich dark hair and the biggest, brownest eyes you had ever seen. Later, people would say she was a mix of both of her parents. You called her Charlotte and Luke called her Cocoa, which you always said sounded like a stripper but Luke, as he had said many times, was Lucinda Walsh's grandson and called her that anyway.
Everything with Charlotte was new to you. Luke had gone through it all with his little sisters and knew exactly how to handle the baby and look after her and feed her, but Luke wasn't always around so you just had to learn, and learn quickly. And it surprised you just how quickly both you and Luke relaxed into the role of 'Dad' but it seemed to come naturally.
You worked as a team; you and Luke, when one yelled the other compromised, when one panicked the other calmed. There was one incident, when Charlotte was about four, where she fell over and split her knee open. There was a lot of blood and a lot of tears and Luke panicked so much he looked like he was going to cry himself. You took Charlotte and cleaned her wound, kissed it better and she was right as rain - children are extraordinarily resilient. But you realized that Luke's reaction was natural, it wasn't just blood it was his baby's blood. And even now at twenty-seven, she is still, and always will be, your baby.
When she was seven she asked why she didn't have a Mom and a Dad. You had to explain to her that her biological parents had died and that you loved her as if she were your own. You had to explain to her that even though you and Luke were both men it didn't mean that you loved each other any less and not to let anyone tell her anything different. You had to explain that even if it wasn't conventional, you were a family.
When Charlotte was nine, you decided to adopt again. The decision hadn't come out of the blue, you had been thinking about it for years but you were always thinking of what was best for Charlotte. When you told her, she had cried and screamed and shouted and told you that she hated you. When Luke started to cry, she'd been shocked into silence by the sight. You stood behind Luke with your hand on his shoulder and told her to go to her room. She had emerged fifteen minutes later, running straight for Luke, telling him she never meant anything and that she was sorry and that she wouldn't mind a new baby if he was happy.
In fact it was three new babies, and they weren't really babies. The custody battle had been long and tough but you finally had your children. They were three brothers who had been through so much that you just wanted to get them home and protect them from any more hardship. You were their last chance to stay together. Social services had had a lot of interest from couples wanting to adopt the youngest, Robbie, who was a chubby and happy three year old, but very little interest for the other two. Edward was twelve and Tom was nine and so had exceeded the cute and cuddly stage.
There was a famous anecdote that you used, and still do, tell at parties much to Robbie's embarrassment. That first year, whenever you would take him out shopping, he would make noises loud enough to attract the attention of the entire aisle and when he had every shopper's attention, he would beam at all of them. You always watched in utter amazement at the smiles people would produce for your little boy.
Charlotte adored all the boys but Robbie and she seemed to form a special bond. She was forever protecting him. Even when he was eight and she was fourteen and he got into a scrap in the playground. The story goes that she took Robbie by the hand and marched right up to the bully, who happened to be her age, and said 'I think you owe my little brother an apology'. The bully had laughed and said that they weren't even related by blood, at which point, Charlotte got so mad she punched him, right in the jaw. She got suspended for that and Luke got really mad and upset and you stood there and supported him – parents have to form a united front - but you were secretly proud.
Then there was Edward. Ed was the oldest of the brothers at twelve. He was a very angry young man, having grown up with an abusive father and absent mother.
There was one time when Ed and Luke got into a terrible fight. Ed had physically lashed out at Luke while yelling 'You are not my father'. Luke had shielded himself from the attack. 'No, but neither are you.' Ed had just looked at Luke for a long time, and then had crumpled to the floor and Luke had kneeled down and embraced the boy. He didn't say anything just held Ed to him while he cried.
That was somewhat of a turning point with Edward. He matured into a caring, protective man, who was always looking out for his siblings. Especially Tom.
Tom was a different story altogether. You could not meet a kinder, sweeter child than Tom. He was fragile and gentle and you could see the hurt in his eyes. He was the middle child, nine, and according to the file, had had to bare the brunt of his father's aggression on more than one occasion.
Your whole family seemed to be there to protect Tom, sometimes even from himself. Luke seemed to see a lot of himself in Tom. But then when Tom was sixteen, it all got too much and he tried to kill himself. You had all thought that he was getting better. He had just got better at hiding it. Ed was the one who had found him and called an ambulance.
When you knew he was going to be okay, you remember all standing around his hospital bed, and Charlotte crying and telling him how stupid he was. Robbie had hugged him. Ed had said nothing and you knew all he wanted to know was 'Why? Why didn't you talk to me?'
Tom was sent to therapy and for a horrible moment, you thought that he was going to be taken away from you, but the therapist said that there was very little that you and Luke could have done. It didn't stop you from feeling guilty. Over time, Tom's therapy sessions were reduced and after about two years Tom was finally told he would no longer need to attend.
In those two years a lot happened. Charlotte finally felt that it was safe to bring her new boyfriend to the house, considering what happened with the first boy she had brought home. You all had hated him. His name was Dirk and his hair was too long and he had a motorcycle.
Charlotte was only seventeen, too young to ride on a motorcycle with her crazy boyfriend, and when you and Luke had made your concerns quite clear and the boy had the audacity to tell you to 'chill', you had firmly escorted Dirk and his motorcycle off the premises. Charlotte had been mortified, claiming that she could never show her face at school again and shut herself in her room until hunger set in.
This new guy however, was named Will and had normal length hair and no motorcycle. He was a friend of Tom's, and had been running round your house ever since he was about ten. But now he was dating Charlotte and your whole relationship with Will changed. He was no longer the little boy who played cars with your son, he was the young man who wanted to have sex with your daughter.
It took awhile, Luke was better at being civil than you and once you got past that fact and stopped glaring at the poor kid, you realized that this was still the Will who used to pull Charlotte's hair and the same Will who was always lurking around your house when Tom didn't really feel like going out. This was Will, and Will you approved of. He made Charlotte happy and that was enough for you.
Edward had moved out and into the university halls, but was coming back to the house so often to collect various bits of laundry, he eventually realized he would save a lot more money in the long run if he just moved back in. You were sure that although Luke made a fuss, and told him that he had to make his own way in the world, that he was happy that they would have their family under one roof again.
It was important to you that right from the beginning your children would know that what ever they decided to do with their lives, you and Luke would support them one hundred percent. Well that wasn't completely true, some things required a little bit of parental guidance, but mostly you let them make their own decisions.
So when on his eighteenth birthday, Tom told you he was gay you were totally cool with it, even if you did feel a little faint. You don't think you had ever seen Luke look so proud but you think he always secretly knew, or secretly hoped anyway. Tom had once asked how you and Luke had come out to your parents. Now there was one long and complicated story.
And then in those two years some things didn't change. Robbie was still Robbie, cheerful and bright, blue eyed and blonde. You were sure he would become quite the heart breaker.
So now you sit here, nearly 10 years later, at your daughters wedding, your hand on Luke's thigh, watching your daughter's first dance with her husband. She's come along way from that tiny baby that was placed in your arms by a social worker 27 years ago. And now that you think about it, so have you and Luke. It was never smooth sailing, you had some immense fights that would go down in history, but you always came out stronger and you always thought it was worth fighting just for the make-up sex afterwards. You think you may have scarred Robbie for life on more than one occasion.
As you look around the hall, you can see couples dancing and the band playing. Robbie is flirting with one of the waitresses who is handing out flutes of champagne. You were right when you said he would be a heart breaker. He has grown tall and muscular and his blue eyes sparkle when he laughs. And you know that when Robbie settles down it will be for good and who ever he ends up with will be a lucky girl.
And then there is Ed, sitting in the corner, cradling a baby in his arms. Your grandchild. You can't believe you have a grandchild, if she wasn't so beautiful; it would make you feel old. When she was born you and Luke had been in the waiting room and Ed had come out looking so tired but so happy, with tears in his eyes. He told you that he had a little girl, Sophie. You and Luke had jumped up and down like maniacs and enveloped Edward in a hug. He had cried.
A clinking of glasses caught your attention and Tom stood up toasting the happy couple. His speech was a mixture of funny anecdotes, embarrassing stories and beautiful moments. You guessed that was what happened when your sister marries your best friend. You raise your glass to the bride and groom while everyone else does the same. The man next to Tom puts his arm around your son and Tom turns to smile at his boyfriend. You smile to yourself.
'Hey, what are you thinking about?' Luke turns to you and kisses your cheek.
'I'm just thinking about the kids. We did good, didn't we?' You smile.
'Yeah we did good. We have four happy children. We completed a mission that, at some points seemed impossible.'
'So are you still doubting your happy ending Luke Snyder?'
'No.' He looks over at Will and Charlotte, who are now dancing together. He looks at Tom and Sean who are laughing together. He looks at Ed leaning over his wife to coo at his baby. He tries to look for Robbie but surprisingly enough both he and the waitress have disappeared.
'No doubt in my mind.' He kisses you and you stand and lead your partner, your friend, you lover to the dance floor. What sort of wedding would it be if the Brides' fathers didn't embarrass her.