"I don't think this looks right."
"How does it not look right?"
"It's black! Mac and cheese is not supposed to be black."
"Maybe it's Russian."
"You did not set out to make Russian mac and cheese. You set out to make regular mac and cheese, and you have failed miserably."
"Oh God, we're going to starve to death. I knew it! I knew it!"
"Daddy! Don't let Dad kill us with his food! Save us!"
Jeff chuckled. It was three days after Raven had come to the arena and ended up dying of a heart attack before he could really do long term damage. Those three days had been filled with Jeff not cooking any actual meals because he was still kind of pissed about the whole Mommy thing. He took enough crap about being girly from the others and he wouldn't stand for it within his own family. So that left Randy in charge of the kitchen, and he was failing miserably at cooking, to say the least.
Randy turned around and gave Jeff a desperate look. "Honey, you are man and I hear you roar. Now please, for the love of God, cook for us."
"Oh I'll cook for the kids. But what about you Randy? Shouldn't I punish you a little more?"
"No damn it. I'll be a good boy."
"Yeah," Sid said. "He'll suck your dick right here, right now just to prove it."
Jeff just about fainted as that came out of his ten year old's mouth. "Sid!"
Sid just looked at him innocently. "What? What did I say?"
"Where did you…what…why would you say that?" Randy finally yelled. "Where would you even learn to say something like that?"
"Well I walked in on Ted and Cody once and I made them explain it to me," Sid replied. "I mean, come on! What else was I supposed to do?"
"You were supposed to scream and pretend you never saw anything!" Jeff insisted. "You are too young to know what sex is."
Maggie raised her hand. "He already told me all about it. Does that mean I'm too young too?"
Jeff leaned back against the counter to support himself. Sid was going to be the death of him. "Sid Francis Orton-Hardy--"
"Uh oh," Sid said. He immediately took off running. He knew that when his full name was used, he was in trouble.
"I'll get him," Randy said. He handed Jeff the pan full of the ruined macaroni cheese and began chasing the hyperactive boy.
"Wait for me Dad!" Maggie yelled. "I want to watch you get him!" She took off after him, leaving Jeff and Jack all alone. Jeff dumped the water that was in the pan out into the sink. "Damn it, it's all scalded to the bottom," he grumbled. He showed it to Jack. "Look at that."
Jack wrinkled his nose in disgust. "I'm not eating that."
"I never said you had to." Jeff sighed and threw the pan away. "I'm not even going to try to scrape all of that crap off of there. We've got other pans we can use." He looked over at Jack, who was staring off into space. "You okay honey?"
Jack hesitated before answering. "You know what? I think I actually am." He looked down at his scarred wrists before looking back at Jeff. "I think for the first time in a long time, I actually feel normal."
Jeff smiled and gave Jack a hug. He could tell the teenager wasn't lying. He was just starting to get his old twinkle back into his eyes and he wasn't shunning everyone else's company like he had before. And with Maggie still winning her battle against her cancer, things were starting to go back to normal. "That's great. I'm really happy about that."
Randy came back panting and out of breath. "Sid climbed the tree in the back yard. One of you needs to get him down." He wouldn't do it himself because he had fallen out of a tree once chasing after Sid and had broken his arm in three places.
"I'll do it," Jack volunteered. "But I want permission to whack him with a stick for my troubles."
"Done," Randy agreed. "Go get him kid."
Jeff watched Jack run off with a grin on his face. "He's coming back," he said as he went into Randy's arms. "Our Jack is coming back."
"Yeah," Randy said. "And I couldn't be happier about that." He gave Jeff a kiss. "Now about dinner…"
Jeff grinned. "How about another baby?"
Randy turned a three shades paler. "How about I hurl myself off the roof instead? I love the kids, but three is enough."
"Relax. I was just joking. I just love seeing you twitch."
Randy raised his eyebrows. "Oh really? Well I love making you scream."
Jeff squealed as he was thrown over Randy's shoulder. He was tempted to point out that he still needed to make dinner, but he figured the kids wouldn't starve to death while they had a quickie. Now this is the way things should stay, he thought to himself. No drama, no chaos--just peace.