I was doing what I always do at two in the afternoon, sleep, when something poked me.
"What?" I opened my eyes a little and saw Nicky. He just smiled at me. I ran a hand down his face. "Where's Daddy?"
Nick didn't tell me anything. I looked behind him, but Drew wasn't there. Groaning, I stood up and picked him up too.
"Well, we're just going to have to find him, huh?"
I carried him out of the room with me, sighing a little. When I got to the living room, Lucas was there, lounging on the couch.
"Where's Fang?" I asked him.
"With Drew," he said, not looking away from the TV.
"I'm not in the mood, Lucas."
"You know what," I said, bouncing Nick a little. "Telling me that he has Drew doesn't help me any."
"You're in such a bad mood and I haven't even done anything."
"I'm serious, Lucas-"
"He went to visit Tyler," he said, getting off the couch and walking away. I sighed, sitting down on the couch.
A year ago, on New Years, Tabitha announced to all of us that she was leaving to live with Lydia. We didn't have long to deal with her and her drama, though, because the twins were born premature that same month. Of course, we couldn't catch a break when that July, Tyler went in for his checkup and found out that his cancer is back. If Murphy doesn't have a law about this, he should.
"What do you want to do, Nick?"
He just stared at me. Now sixteen months old, he was able to talk, he has said dada five times, but didn't like to. Drew was all about trying to though. Nick had been smaller than him though and did everything slower.
"Do you wanna…go see what your brothers are doing?" I stood up and started up the stairs.
Tabitha still had her own room, but she wasn't the only one. Lucas had the whole attic to himself now that Tyler wasn't here. Yes, Fang had given up his attic, instead either giving his stuff to Damien, Luther, or Bone or just putting it into the garage. Cody and James shared a room and Lance and Chris got Tyler and Lucas's old room. Jason also had a room to himself, but we had told Tyler that if he wanted, he could make Lucas share with him. Tyler said no and happily took the attic with his younger brother, though he still made like he hated it, just for the hell of it, I guess. Or to make us feel worse than we already do, which is hard.
"Hi, Jay," I said, coming into his room. "You wanna play with-"
"Shhh, Max," he said, not looking up. "Vegeta is about to defeat Goku!"
Did I forget to mention that the majority of Fang's stuff went to the boys?
"Well, Nicky can play too," I said, setting him down next to the toys. "Huh, Nick?"
He just stared up at me, wanting me to pick him back up. Sighing, I did so, giving him a kiss on the head. Nick was very attached to me, even more so than his twin.
"See? He's not smart enough," Jason said, going back to his action figures.
"Jason, you little…don't say things like that about him."
"You just like him better than me," he whined.
Maybe. "No, I do not."
"Yes, you do," he said. "You just like Tyler and Nick because they're both retards."
What freaking seven year old knows that word? Oh, right, one that lives in our house.
"Talk to your dad about it."
"He's with Tyler and you'll forget before he gets home."
I left because he was probably right.
Drew cuddled against his oldest brother, smiling. Tyler, who was tired, ran a hand down the baby's head, sighing a little. His dad was with Dr. Martinez, talking about 'life'. That was code for money. Tyler knew, he just couldn't do anything to stop it so he chose to ignore it. Besides, they like to pretend he is oblivious to the fact that she was paying for most of his medical bills and almost all their other bills.
"What's wrong, Drew?" He asked the baby as he closed his eyes. "Aren't you sleepy?"
Drew patted Tyler's chest, giggling as the older boy ran a hand down his head again. The baby loved his big brother.
"Alright, Ty," Fang said, walking into Tyler's new room. Though he was not originally happy, nor would he ever be, with his son moving in with Dr. Martinez, he understood the reasoning behind this and respected it. Tyler needed peace and quiet when he wasn't at the hospital and their house wasn't it at all.
"Alright what?" He mumbled, not opening his eyes.
"I need to get home," he said, coming over to the bed. "Are you okay?"
No, he wasn't. Fang felt like hugging him, but Tyler didn't like that. And kissing him on the head was out of the question. Instead, he just picked up Drew.
"Drew says bye," Fang said, staring at his oldest living son. "Okay?"
"Yeah," Tyler mumbled, starting to drift off. "Close the door on…"
"Night, buddy," his father mumbled as he pushed the hair off his son's forehead. "We love you."
"Do you stuff your bra?"
Tabitha didn't look up from her homework. "Nope."
"Huh," Adeem said, scratching his head. "Figured you did."
"If this is some lead into a joke, I'm not in the mood."
He played a minor chord on his guitar. "I just meant that everyone is saying that you are."
"Just because Jenna got caught, doesn't mean-"
"That you'll get caught?"
She grabbed his pillow from behind her and threw it at her. "You're so immature."
"Oh, because fifteen is so much more mature than fourteen? My mistake," he said, playing another chord. He was seated on the floor while she was on the bed, probably because she liked to feel power over him or something.
She went back to her homework. "I don't stuff my bra. End of story."
"I was just thinking, you know, if you really wanted to prove it-"
Her cell went off, interrupting him, which was really unfortunate seeing as she just loved to tell him no.
"Hello?" She rolled her eyes. "No, Max, I don't. Nope. Dad said that he'd pick me up. Bye."
"What she want?"
"Finally woke up long enough to worry about how I was getting home."
He started absently strumming. "So what's the update with your mom?"
"Oh, you know…nothing new," she said, not looking at him. At first, the promise was high for Tabitha to finally get out of town. But as the time got closer for Tabitha to fly out and visit her mom, the phone calls stopped. Then Lydia would call again…only to change phone numbers. Or 'accidentally' delete her from her facebook. Tabitha understood though, right? Right? Lydia was trying.
He sighed, staring at her. Adeem found it hard to complain about Tabitha's naivety with her bio mom because it had stopped her running away fantasies…for now at least.
"You know, Tabitha, people think that we're having sex."
"People also think I'm stuffing my bra."
"And that you're a bitch."
She made a face at him. "The point is, I don't care."
"When exactly do you want to have sex? Because, I mean, come on."
"What do you mean come on?"
"What are you waiting for?" He stopped playing. "Seriously."
"Nothing," she said, going back to her homework.
"You haven't even let me grope you yet."
"Are you really going to do this right now?"
"You're acting like I have to let you feel me up."
"You kind of should, all the time I've put into you."
"Alright, you know what?" She closed her English book. "I'm not doing this, so have fun talking to yourself."
"Wait," he said as she started for the door. "Calm down, alright?"
She sat back down. "Whatever."
Adeem went back to his guitar. "I'm going to Jake's party tomorrow. You coming?"
"Can't," she said.
He groaned. "I don't wanna. Where are your parents?"
"Work. Well, Max is at the hospital with Ty."
"He's not in the hospital right now."
"He's going in tomorrow for something," she said, rolling her eyes. "Wish they'd just let him die."
"What? Save us time and money."
"You're so…heartless," he said, shaking his head. "They talk about Christians being so great, but I'm Muslim and even Neo Nazis think I'm a better person."
"Shut up," she said, rolling her eyes."
He just smiled at her. "I'm hungry."
"Really sucks to be you."
I was in the living room with Nicky, playing with him, when Fang came home.
"Hey, Nick," Fang said, coming over to us. Drew, who was in his arms, sounded off too.
"Come here," I said as Fang leaned down to give me Drew. "Did you have fun with Daddy?"
Nick, who didn't want Fang to pick him up, whined when he did. Fang just kissed his head.
"Where is everybody?" Fang asked.
"They're all in their rooms," I said as he sat Nick back down. "You need to pick up Tabitha."
He groaned. "Can you? I'm tired."
"Yeah, sure," I said as Drew started wiggling. Letting him go, I watched as he shakily stood up and walked the short distance to the chair. Fang picked him up, giving the baby a kiss. Nicky didn't walk yet. He could craw though.
"Now?" Fang asked. "I mean, she's probably waiting."
I got up and picked Nick up. "Should I take him?"
Fang shook his head. "He doesn't like the car."
"He doesn't like anything."
"Bring him here," he said. I sat him down in Fang's lap, next to his brother. Drew started crying though.
"I'll take Andrew," I said, lifting him up. "You wanna go? Huh, big boy?"
He giggled, now fine. Ugh. Babies.
Nick stared up at his dad, not really happy with this solution. It wasn't that he didn't like Daddy, he did, but not unless Mommy was around.
"You been good today, Nick?" Fang asked him. "Huh? Maybe you can see Ty next time, huh?"
Yawning, the baby decided not to cry for Mommy, because she probably wouldn't come back. Daddy started talking to him, but Nicholas didn't care to hear him. He made a noise, starting to whine a little.
"What's wrong?" Fang ran a hand down his head. "Huh? You sleepy?"
Standing up, Fang took Nick to his and his twin's bedroom, laying him down in the crib. "Go to sleep then, I guess."
Fang covered him over before leaving. When he got back to the living room, Lucas was waiting for him.
"Put it on the baseball game," Fang said.
"You need to pay the electric bill tomorrow," the eleven year old said. "Don't forget."
"Yeah, yeah," Fang said, closing his eyes. "What's for dinner?"
"Shouldn't I be asking that?"
"I've been too busy to go to the store," his father said.
"Can't you right now?"
"I got off work two hours ago, spent an hour with your brother, and then came home, so no, Lucas, I can't."
"Whatever," he said, pushing up off the couch. "I'm going out."
Fang ignored him, not caring at all. Lucas was just a little, ungrateful brat. He acted like they chose for Tyler to get sick so that Ty would become the center of attention.
"What?" He opened his eyes to see Lance and Chris in front of him.
"Chris don't understand how to count to a hundred and he has to if he's gonna get out of kindergarten!"
"Well, help him, Lance," Fang said.
"I can't! He won't listen to me," Lance said, shaking his head a little.
"Chris, Lance is smart."
"He can't read, he can barely write. What's so smart about him?"
"I can too read! A little…"
Fang sighed. "Just work it out, okay boys? I'm tired."
"I don't wanna leave kindergarten," Chris complained, sticking his tongue out at his friend. "So I won't."
"Fine! Stay a baby forever!"
Shaking his head, Fang said, "Chris, if you stay a baby forever, one day, even Nick will be bigger than you."
"And, you know what happens to the baby in the family."
"Um, yes, but you should say it just to remind Lance."
"Well, we all know that the youngest in the family never gets a girlfriend."
That's it? Chris rolled his eyes. "Girls are icky."
"They are not," Fang said, frowning at him. "You don't like boys, do you? Like…you don't wanna kiss boys, right?"
"Ew! Kissing is how you get cooties," Chris told his father.
"Yeah," Lance agreed, nodding his head.
"Then do I have cooties? I kiss Mommy."
"No," Chris said, him and Lance both laughing at Fang's stupidity.
"Max isn't a girl," Lance said, rolling his eyes. "Just like Tank's a dog, not a boy."
"So you're comparing Max to a dog?"
"What does compare mean?" Chris asked.
"See? Pretty soon, Nick will know what words mean and you won't."
"Fine," Chris said, looking at Lance. "Teach me to count."
"I dunno," he said, walking back up the stairs. "My agenda's a little on the heavy side right now. I can squeeze you in between Scooby Doo and Power Rangers, I guess."
"But that's when Full House comes on!"
"That's a girl show."
After they were gone, Fang was only able to sleep for a moment before Nick started crying. Slowly, he got up and went to tend to the baby. He needed his diaper changed. Drew was very interested in trying to pee in the potty. Nick, not so much.
"You wanna come watch the game with Daddy?" He took the baby with him after he changed him. "Mommy and Drew will be back with Tabby soon. You like Tabitha, huh?"
Nick curled against Fang after he sat down in the chair, yawning some more. He napped against Fang until Max got back.
"You brought food."
"Yep," I said, shifting Drew to my other arm. "Burgers."
"Boys!" Fang yelled. "Come eat."
When we were all in the kitchen, passing out food, I mentioned to Fang that Jason had called Nick stupid. I left out retard because I wasn't as mad anymore.
Fang popped him in the back of the head, making Jason whine.
"Fang, I wanted you to talk to him, not hit him."
"Should have been more specific."
I sighed, giving Chris his fries. "Where's Luke?"
"How should I know?"
"Because he's your son."
"Get off my back, alright?" He snapped. He went and picked Drew up out of his highchair and walked away. Nick, who was in his highchair, started whining. Fang's yelling was upsetting him. Fang turned around and picked him up too and walked back out.
"Fang, they need to eat and go to bed."
"Shut up, Max."
I went and sat down at the table, letting Tabitha pass out the food to the boys. They all ran off to eat in the living room, but I didn't move.
"Where's your food?" Tabitha asked. "There's only enough left for Dad."
"I'm not eating."
She got her food before leaving, probably headed upstairs. I stayed in the kitchen for awhile before feeding the dog and cats.
"They need to eat," I told Fang a few minutes later as I came into the bedroom. "Now."
He was half asleep on the bed, Drew playing with toys on the bed while Nick slept on Fang's chest.
"Do whatever you want, Max."
I picked the two of them up before walking away.
"It's Friday!" Jason yelled.
"Thanks, Rebecca, but so what?"
"I should be able to not do my homework until Sunday!"
"No, because then you won't want to then either," Tabitha said from the couch.
"I'mma tell Mom that you were mean and not to let you baby sit ever again!"
"Good," Tabitha said.
Lance looked up from his toys. "When's Adeem gonna get here?"
"Soon," she said, turning on the TV. Not liking the noise, Nick began to cry.
"Jay, get Nick out of the playpen."
Grumbling, he pulled the baby out and sat him on the ground. Nick kept crying. Where was Mommy? Jason was mean, loud, and had sat him down to hard.
"Don't hurt him, Jason, or else I will have Cody sit on your head."
Jason huffed before stomping off upstairs.
"You better be going to do your homework," she called after him as she got up to go pick up Nick.
"Maybe I am, maybe I'm not!"
Nick was hard to consol once he was so worked up, but she got him to calm down.
"Watch Drew, Lance. I'm going to put Nick down."
"You're gonna kill him?"
"Put him down in his crib, stupid."
The following Monday had Tyler out of the hospital, but stuck at home. He was trying to sleep when Dr. Martinez came into the room.
"Tyler, did you finish your schoolwork?"
He just grunted. She had bought him his own laptop so that he could take online classes. Great. Tabitha had pitched a fit and gotten her own laptop too and so did Lucas. His was still better though.
"Well, I'm out of town all this week, remember, so I won't be here to take care of you."
What? How had that slipped his mind? Tyler forced his eyes open. "Where are you going?"
"A convention, Tyler. We've talked about this," she said. "You told me that you would be okay if I went. Will you?"
"Yeah, I guess so."
"Good," she said, but then she sighed. "Are you sure? I won't go if you need me."
"I'll be okay."
She nodded. "Your Dad or Max will be by to check on you. They said that they'd stay, if you want them to."
"I'll be fine," he said, closing his eyes again.
"If you're sure."
After she left, he went back to sleep, only to be woken up three hours later.
I jumped, but then evened out my breathing. "Don't scare me like that, Tyler. I thought you were asleep."
"What are you doing?"
"You don't need to," he said, watching me. "I can do that."
"It's fine," I told him, walking out of the room. When I came back, he was asleep again. Sighing, I went over to Nick, who was playing on the floor, and picked him up.
"Wanna get in bed with Tyler?" I asked him, setting him up there. Tyler groaned a little when Nick touched his stomach, so I started to pick him up again.
"It's fine," Tyler said, holding onto him. "He doesn't need to move."
"Are you okay?" I asked, starting to pick up his room. "You looked bad after chemo yesterday."
"I'm okay," he sad as Nick cuddled against his side. "I thought that you had work?"
"I do," I said, finishing picking up. "But Luther won't care that much."
Nick began to cry for no reason and Tyler gave him back to me. Turns out, he just wanted me to hold him.
"Is he walking yet?"
"No," I said as he wrapped his arms around my neck. "But he will. Just not yet."
"What about talking?"
"You worry about yourself," I told Tyler, going to kiss his head. "Are you hungry? I'll make you something before I go."
"Max, your food is worse that chemo."
"Shut up," I said, rolling my eyes at him. "Your dad will be here later."
Tyler groaned. "Why can't you all just leave me alone?"
"Because, Tyler, we love you," I told him. "Huh, Nick?"
He just stared at me, wanting to leave now.
"Damien, it's not fair though. He gives raises to everyone, but you, and you've been there forever!"
"Still, Cameron, what do you want me to do?"
She sighed. "I just think that you should talk to him about it."
"And say what?"
Cameron glanced up from the TV. "Damien, say what you think. Whatever that may be."
He sighed, looking down at the ground. Vanessa was sitting there, waiting for him to acknowledge her.
The almost two year old giggled, reaching up for him. "Daddy!"
Damien picked her up and gave her a kiss. "Can you pick up Sam from school today, Cam? Me and Vanessa are going to take a nap. Huh Nessa?"
She patted his face, giggling. Mommy was nice, but Daddy was the best thing in the world. When he was around, she had someone to play with and never got yelled at by Samantha or Mommy.
"Yeah, sure," Cameron said, now no longer concerned with his job. Hello, Judge Mathis was on.
"See how much fun everyone had at the party, except for us and the losers that didn't get invited?"
Tabitha rolled her eyes, leaning against Adeem's locker. The bell would ring in less than a minute so the hall was clear, but they didn't care about being late.
"So what, Adeem? You missed one party."
"That was a senior party, Tabitha," he said, leaning closer to her. "Do you know how many freshmen were allowed to go? Only the ones that made the JV basketball team and us. That means something."
"Not really," she said, pushing him away. "I'm going to class. You stay out here and whine for as long as you like."
"Would you think less of me if I did porn?"
"There's no possible way that I could think less of you, Luther."
He frowned at me. "I think that I'd be a star."
"I would think less of the woman that agreed to do porn with you."
Bone walking in stopped the conversation, thank God.
"Pizza," he said, walking over to us.
"Good," I said as he sat the box down on the counter. "I'm hungry."
"Really?" Luther looked at me. "You don't think that you need to starve a little more?"
"Are you calling me fat?"
"Not at all."
I sighed. "Never mind, Bone. I'm not hungry."
He shrugged, kissing my head. "More for us."
I sighed, getting up. "I'm going to do inventory."
"You mean sleep on the couch in the office?" Luther asked.
Do you ever feel like you've been somewhere for too long?
"Well, Mr. Fish, I think that your complaints are legit."
"Thank you, Mr. Bear."
"But, I have a family to feed, you see, so…rawr!"
Fang had never been one to play with puppets, but for his boys he would learn.
Drew giggled as Fang finished his play. He didn't understand that the fish had been eaten by the bear, so he was fine. Still all giggles, he reach out and grabbed Fang's hand, wanting to cuddle with the bear. Fang let him have the puppet before looking at Nick.
"Hello, Nick," he made the fish say. Nick started crying. He didn't think that the puppets were fun. They were scary. Groaning, Fang took off the puppet and pulled his youngest to him.
"Don't cry, buddy," he said, kissing his head. "You're okay."
He wrapped his arms around his daddy, wanting him to protect him from the mean looking fish.
"You big scaredy cat, Nicky," Fang mumbled, holding his baby to him. "You let Mommy turn you soft. You're my son; you're not allowed to be soft. You don't wanna be Lucas, do you?"
He moved away from Fang and started sucking on his thumb. Fang had never had a kid that sucked their thumb instead of a pacifier. It was weird to him, but Max told him that he himself was an avid thumb sucker until they turned eight and Jeb forced him to stop.
Now finished with the bear, Drew dropped it and looked at Fang. He saw that he was holding his twin and got jealous, so he started crying too.
"Come here," Fang said, pulling him into his lap too. "You two are crybabies, huh? It's okay. I love you anyways."
"I don't know, Vanessa, it looks terminal," Samantha said, looking at her sister's tongue. "I think that we're going to have to give you away."
Cameron groaned from the couch. "Leave her alone, Samantha."
"We're playing doctor," she defended. "And my name is not Samantha."
"I am not calling you Beyoncé."
"Why not?" She turned away from her sister, who took the opportunity to run off. "Everyone else is."
"Name one person."
"He'd call you Neil Armstrong if you asked him to."
"Yeah, like I'd ever want to be called that," she said, turning back to find that her sister was gone. "Where are you, Vanessa? Your examination is not done!"
Looking over at the couch, she saw that Vanessa had run to her mother for protection. Frowning, Samantha watched as the younger child crawled into her mom's lap. The worst part was that Cameron let her. She ever gave her a kiss on the head to calm her down. How was that even remotely fair? Cameron never held Samantha willingly.
"Stop yelling, Samantha," Cameron said, going back to the TV as Vanessa smiled victoriously from her mommy's lap. "You're upsetting the baby."
Moments after the eight year old ran up the stairs, Damien came through the front door.
"Thanks a lot, Cameron."
"You're welcome," she said, glancing at him. "But to be clear, what did I do exactly?"
He was seething. Ooh, she was so scared…
"You told me to ask David for a raise."
"So I did."
"I'm not getting where the anger is coming from."
"He fired me."
She blinked. "Wait, what?"
He nodded. "You told me to ask for a raise. I told him that it wasn't fair that I had been here forever, late only once, and never get a raise. I said that I have a lot of other people scouting me that would treat me better than him. He said that I was fired, then, and to have a nice life with one of those people."
"I never told you to lie, Damien!"
"Yeah, but you told me to say what came to mind. That's what came to mind," he defended. "It's in all the movies."
"And what is the outcome?"
"Well…if it's a comedy…the guy gets fired."
"He gets his job back at the end of the movie though!"
She sighed, looking down at her daughter in her lap. "All I know is that you had better find another job. I mean it, Damien. I'm not having you sit around and whine about your life."
"Well, what do you want me to do? He refuses to take me back."
"Then move on, Damien."
She sighed, looking at him again. "You said that there were other people after you."
"I don't know if you suddenly got brain damage, but I was lying, Cameron."
"I am aware, stupid, but I meant you should find a new job." She went back to the TV. "I mean, come on, they are not the only tattoo shop around. Better yet, shoot higher than tattooing. Maybe an art teacher. Something."
"I don't like how you make my job sound."
"Ex job, Damien," she said. "And, I have no problem with tattoo artist, as long as they're not my husband."
"Whatever, Cameron," he said, stomping up the stairs. "Beyoncé! You wanna play house?"
She groaned. No, there was no way she was letting that be jobless for too long.
Yeah, pretty sure this will be the last story in the series, because honestly, I'm running out of names. I spent the past two days coming up with this one's title and I have to say, I like it just because it's fun to say. Eternity…hehe.