He eyed the various clothes in his closet. There wasn't much. A few shirts, a jacket, a heavy winter coat, two pairs of blue jeans, and a packed army duffle. A bit pathetic he knew. But the kid-that blasted kid-had absolutely insisted he put on a costume.
Wolf hated Halloween. He had always hated Halloween and he was pretty sure he would continue hating Halloween once this particular Halloween was over. But he'd promised he'd take the kid-the small one not the big one-out for the night. He hadn't realized he'd be needing a costume to go along with the chaperoning.
He hated that sound. The teen would always shout like that when he was particularly agitated or otherwise in a rush. Wolf eyed the closet again and then his eyes settled on the army bag. He shrugged and resigned himself.
"What?" Alex ignored the snap. His part-guardian, part-roommate was always snapping at something or someone. Although Boyd, the cute little one-year-old baby, never felt the brunt of Wolf's anger. Boyd, as Alex's little boy, was probably the closest thing Wolf would ever have to a grandson. Not that Wolf liked being called Grammpy at the age of thirty-four. Though, it made Alex laugh.
"What are you wearing?" the seventeen-year-old asked. He eyed Wolf as the man came out of his room, wearing his army fatigues.
"You told to me to wear a costume," Wolf said unconcerned as he bent down and picked up Boyd from his place on the floor.
"That's not a costume!" Alex protested. "Those are your work clothes!"
"Only we know that," Wolf replied. Alex rolled his eyes and continued frantically trying to get ready for his shift at the eatery down the street.
"Whatever," Alex said. "Just remember to only go to the people we know."
"We know people?" Wolf asked, only half joking. Wolf wasn't that social and most of his friends he only saw when on duty. Alex was always either working or taking care of his illegitimate son (Wolf didn't even know the mother's name). When he was with friends they were either Wolf's friends or the one other boy that hadn't fled Alex's life.
"Your Unit is expecting you!" Alex shouted on his way out of the door. "Bye, Boyd!" Wolf looked at the door of the basement flat and then looked at the little baby in his arms. Alex had bought Boyd a small skeleton costume and even he had to admit that the baby looked adorable.
"Well, are you ready to go see my annoying teammates?" Wolf asked and the blond haired, brown eyed boy gurgled happily. If you had asked Wolf six months ago if he would be taking care of a one-year-old baby and that baby's teenaged father he would have laughed. But know he had Boyd and Alex in his life and it didn't actually feel all that crazy.
Wolf actually liked the both of them. Although, he admittedly liked Boyd much more. Both kids stank but there was hope that Boyd would still grow out of that.
"Ey! Ey! Ey!" Boyd chanted imitating Alex at his most annoying. Wolf rolled his eyes.
"I'll take that as a yes," Wolf replied before gathering up the baby bag and leaving the flat.
"That's not a costume," was the first thing Eagle said when he opened the door to his small home in Chelsea, surprisingly close to Alex's old home. Eagle-or Andy-was dressed as a vampire complete with fangs and fake blood smeared around the mouth.
"It is tonight," Wolf said vainly trying to defend his so-called 'costume'.
"Whatever," Eagle sighed with a roll of his eyes. "Hi Boyd!" The vampiric teammate stole the small skeleton from Wolf's arms and disappeared into the house without another word. Wolf followed with his own eye roll. It was a family party with a bunch Eagle's friends and family walking around in normal clothes while every kid was decked out in Halloween garb. All expect the K-Unit hosts. Snake was Frankenstein this year and Fox had turned up as James Bond. Wolf had to fight down an insane bout of giggles.
Wolf didn't see Boyd for the rest of their time there. He drank a little, talked to some people, and ignored Snake's ribbing.
"At least Ben had to go to an actual costume store," the medic told him with a small slur. He'd had a little too much of the adult punch Eagle had been handing out. "You just looked through your dirty clothes hamper."
"It was clean!" Wolf exclaimed, offended.
"Mm, Hm," was all the Frankenstein said before he wandered away to find Eagle and his 'Magic Juice'.
By ten that night, Wolf figured he'd better get Boyd home. Alex would be off work soon and he would want Boyd home by the time he was. Wolf had quickly found out that Alex was insanely attached to Boyd. The soldier was pretty sure that Alex's attachment went above and beyond the normal father-child bond. Alex almost seemed incapable of doing anything without the boy. Wolf thought he understood. Boyd was literally the only family Alex had left and with the baby being a baby and Alex being Alex there was a significant amount of risk to Boyd's life.
Wolf found Boyd asleep on the big bed in Eagle's room along with several other toddlers who had passed out a long time ago. The kid was adorable even though he still had his little bone mask on. Wolf picked him up and left the house with Snake who was too drunk to drive himself. Wolf decided to just take him home and put him on the couch. He didn't want to get a call in the morning telling him Snake had died of alcohol poisoning. He would then be required to explain why they were drinking in the first place when they were on leave from active duty.
"Ugh," Frankenstein said as he collapsed on the couch in Wolf's flat. "When does the other kid get home?"
"Anytime now," Wolf replied setting the now awake-but quiet-Boyd on Snake's lap. He then turned the plastic Jack-o-Lantern bucket upside down to dump all the candy he'd stolen onto the coffee table. "Hey, Boyd, try this one." He handed a small Reese's Peanut Butter cup to Snake who took off Boyd's mask in order to feed him. Both soldiers froze in complete horror. Where there should have been a small blond haired baby there was a little Asian boy. That was decidedly not Boyd.
"Oh my God," Snake said slowly, emphasizing each word through his complete and utter shock.
"That's not Boyd," Wolf said, trying desperately to catch up with what he was seeing. "Oh my god!"
"Where is Boyd?" Snake asked sounding a little panicked. Wolf felt a little panicked himself. What the hell was he going to tell Alex? Don't worry, I've got a nice replacement for the baby I just lost. This one's cute too, don't you think? That would not go over well.
"Wait," Snake said. "This is the Wong kid."
"I know it's the wrong kid!" Wolf snapped, trying to reel in a panic attack. "Where's Boyd!"
"No, I mean this is Jimmy Wong," Snake said. "His parents live just up the street."
"Do you think they have Boyd?" Wolf asked.
Wolf reached for the phone just beside the couch when it suddenly started to ring.
"Hello?" he asked eagerly and he was rewarded.
"Mr. Alvarez, this is Dave Wong. It think you have my son," said a voice he didn't recognize but was infinitely happy to hear.
"Yes, yes," Wolf said quickly.
"We have Boyd," Wong said.
"Oh thank god," Wolf breathed out.
"Do you mind if we come over?" Wong asked and Wolf quickly gave the other man his address. Once he hung up the phone he had to bend over, his hands on his knees.
"I need to puke," he said.
Unfortunately, that was the exact moment they heard Alex's key in the lock. Wolf straightened up quickly, still feeling as if he was about to hurl that night's mixture of beer and candy.
"Hey," Alex called, hanging up his coat. "How was Boyd?"
"Heeey!" Wolf said, slinking into the corridor and blocking Alex's view of the living room.
"Hey," the teen said, looking at Wolf oddly. Wolf never made a point to greet him when the teen got home from work. Usually the soldier just shouted at him to come get his 'little snot-monster'.
"How was work?" Wolf asked still blocking Alex from moving further into the flat.
"Fine," Alex said still uncertain. "Where's Boyd?"
"Ah," Wolf said, desperately trying to come up with something that wouldn't make Alex take Boyd and leave. "About that."
"What happened?" Alex cut in looking horribly concerned. Wolf decided that now was the time to just blurt it out.
"I accidentally took home the wrong kid."
"What?" Alex exclaimed. He then pushed around the soldier and stormed into the living room where the Asian baby-Wolf had already forgotten his name-was bouncing quite happily on Snake's knee. "Oh my God!"
"Hey, Alex, how was work?"
"Where is my son?" Alex shouted.
"He's on his way home," Wolf said assuredly.
"Yeah, he's with a family judge and a pediatrician," Snake said. "He's safer with them than with us."
"Clearly," the teen said coldly. Wolf hadn't heard a tone like that since Brecon Beacons. He then turned to Wolf with a death glare. "What did you do?"
"He kidnapped a judge's kid," Snake said unhelpfully. Wolf glared at him. He then collapsed in the armchair by the couch.
"I didn't kidnap him," Wolf snapped. "I just grabbed someone else's kid, brought him home, and gave him some candy." Both Alex and Snake just looked at him.
"Please don't tell that story to anyone," Snake said blankly. "Especially to the police."
"How could you lose Boyd?" Alex snapped. The teen looked ready to snap.
"They all look alike!" Wolf defended. "Apparently, the skeleton isn't all that original of a costume."
"I can't believe you lost Boyd!"
Before Wolf could attempt to calm Alex down there was a knock at the door. Alex took off back towards the door and had it opened before Snake could even get off the couch with the other baby.
"Boyd!" Alex exclaimed and took his baby from an Asian man Wolf vaguely remembered from Eagle's house. "Hi baby." The teen didn't even try to think the other man, he just disappeared with Boyd towards the living room. Snake came forward and handed the other baby back to his own father.
"Sorry about all this," Wolf said apologetically trying to block his stumbling teammate from view. The fact that Snake was drunk would only make this situation look even worse than it was.
"It's okay," the other man said and looked apologetic as well. "I didn't notice either. I'm never buying a costume with a mask again."
"Same here man," Wolf agreed wholeheartedly. Although, he hadn't bought the costume in the first place. The two quickly said their goodbyes and Wolf closed and locked the door. By the time he'd gotten back to the living room, Snake was lying the couch watching the telly and Alex had already changed Boyd into his neon green nightie. The teen had the baby held firmly in his arms, gently patting him on his butt. Boyd was already dead asleep. Alex glared at him when the soldier stepped into the room.
"Sorry," Wolf said.
"I knew I should have left him with Tom tonight," Alex snapped and Wolf felt genuinely hurt. Tom was the most irresponsible person Wolf had ever met. Even though it was clear that Tom loved Boyd almost as much as Alex did, Wolf was surprised that Alex would leave the two of them alone.
"It was an honest mistake Alex," Wolf said. "And Boyd's perfectly fine. He had a great time tonight."
"He did?" Alex asked eagerly.
"Yeah," Wolf said, sitting down on the coffee table across from Alex. "He did."
"I really wanted to be with him for his first Halloween," Alex said still patting Boyd. Wolf smiled a little.
"I know," Wolf said. "But he didn't even notice you were gone. He doesn't notice much of anything."
Alex just shook his head. Wolf didn't think it was important to make memories with a small, squash thing that didn't even notice what was happening around him. And that was as close as Wolf got to admitting that he wanted to be a part of those memories. The soldier only ever said such things when he wasn't involved. Alex could tell that Wolf cared more for Boyd than for Alex. It didn't bother the teen. He himself liked Boyd more than he liked Wolf.
"Next time I leave him with you," Alex said. "Don't lose him."
With the underlying forgiveness in that instruction, Alex stood up and took the baby back into their room. Wolf didn't expect to see him for the rest of the night but he felt infinitely relieved that Alex wouldn't be mad forever.
"Huh," Snake laughed. "Look Rey, this guy lost his kid too."
Wolf looked over his shoulder at the telly to see a late-night family comedy show. He knew this episode from his bouts of insomnia. It was one where a father loses his kid in a department store only to find him playing in the toys section.
"Shut up, Frankenstein," Wolf snapped and stood up to go to the kitchen.
He needed a beer.
Wolf still hated Halloween.
This story was based off of an episode of Last Man Standing, Last Halloween Standing.