Chapter 4

Stan hasn't had a drink in close to thirteen years.

In fact, he doesn't think he's had a drink since they moved to Littleton, and his efforts to quit go back even further.

Not many people appreciate the fact that he started trying to get sober before it was even legal for him to consume alcohol, but he's stopped bringing it up because it's a bummer. People don't like talking about shit that bums them out, and frankly neither does Stan. Yeah, he misses booze, but he can handle it.

Even in a bar, which is where Kenny told Stan and Kyle to meet him.

Kyle doesn't drink very much, so that works out well for Stan; however, he can drink and does, especially when they're with Kenny, while Stan gets stuck with ginger ale.

"You okay?" Kyle asks as he swipes a finger through the condensation on his bottle. Stan looks up from the bowl of peanuts on the table between them and gives Kyle his most reassuring smile, but that doesn't deter Kyle. They've known each other for their entire lives; they can see right through each other even when there's no obstruction.

"That funeral was weird, right?" he asks, and Kyle cocks his head.

"I don't know, man," he shrugs.

"I mean," Stan scratches the back of his neck as Kyle folds up a napkin into an origami-like shape. "Like, Carol was upset and Karen was sad. But, like… none of them said anything, you know? And Kenny looked like Damian at the end of the fucking Omen."

Kyle laughs at this and shakes his head, "Fuck off, he did not."

"Okay, not Damian, but," Stan sniffs and props his chin up on his hand. "Like, he just sat there like he was spacing out hardcore. I don't think he heard anything Father Maxi said."

"I didn't either," Kyle shrugs.

"Yeah, but you would've been different if it had been your dad," Stan argues, at which Kyle raises a challenging eyebrow.

"Are you really in the position to be getting high and mighty about anyone's daddy issues, Stan?" he asks, and Stan's only retaliation is to scowl and flip him off.

Kenny did look strange, though. He doesn't presume to know what's going on inside Kenny's head, but he does know that his friend does tend to have a… shall we say, an avoidant personality when it comes to personal stuff. Stan knows how that goes; alcoholism is basically a synonym for 'avoidance'.

And then, like magic, Kyle asks, "Seriously, you all right there, Mayday?"

Stan smiles and knocks his foot against Kyle's under the table. Because he is okay; he's fine. Outside of the strangeness of this afternoon, he's feeling pretty good. Gerald and Sheila told them that they'd look after the kids tonight, that he and Kyle deserve to have a little fun on their own.

Stan told them to call if they have any—any —problems. The boys are a handful on their best days, in ways that Sheila and Gerald probably never had to deal with. Kyle and Ike both went from being twelve-years-old to thirty overnight.

"Dude, if you're uncomfortable, we can tell Kenny to meet us somewhere else," Kyle says as he checks his watch, his voice calm and reassuring like it always is. "Fuck, it's only six o'clock."

"I'm fine," Stan iterates. Personally, he would rather be somewhere else, but this is where Kenny wanted to meet them and Stan is okay with that. He would be happy to see Kenny have any sort of emotional reaction to this day, and if alcohol is going to spur that, then god help them that's what they'll give him.

A few more minutes pass, during which Kyle flicks a peanut shell at Stan's face and Stan retaliates by flicking one back. Then it turns into a game of peanut shell football and Stan just gets one through Kyle's finger field goal post when Kenny plops down beside Kyle, beer in hand, and gives them both a look.

"What's cookin' good lookin'?" Kyle asks as he preps his peanut shell for launch.

"You guys are gross," Kenny shakes his head.

"If a man can't enjoy a good game of peanut football with his husband without being called gross, what hope is there left in the world?" Stan asks, and Kyle laughs. Kenny spent the better part of high school recounting, in explicit detail, his sexual conquests, which made Stan and Kyle a little squeamish to say the least. Disgusting Kenny with their domesticity is one of Stan's guilty pleasures, and his favorite way of giving back.

"How're you doing, dude?" Stan chuckles as a peanut shell hits him square in the chin.

"Fine," Kenny shrugs and takes a long sip of his beer. "Just happy to be out of the house for a little bit."

Stan nods. "Karen and David came today," he prompts, and Kenny makes this small noise of either annoyance or disgust, Stan can't really tell.

"David just… pisses me off," Kenny grumbles and takes another sip of his beer.

"He is really annoyingly handsome," Kyle agrees. "Like, how do you get that handsome?"

It gets Kenny to smile, at least, which is a good thing.

Stan's phone starts buzzing in his pocket as Kenny starts talking. He plans on ignoring all his calls tonight anyway (unless Sheila or Gerald call to say that the boys had burned down their house), but the moment he sees 'Dad' on the screen of his phone… he doesn't think he's ever hit that little red button so fast in his life.

"What the fuck was that?" Kyle asks.

"Nothing," Stan shakes his head, because on top of everything he doesn't want to prove Kyle right about anything tonight, let alone his own daddy issues. But two seconds later his dad calls back and Stan can't take it. He pushes the phone toward Kyle and asks, "Please, please, please answer it?"

Kyle takes one look at the screen and barks out a laugh, "Fuck no, I'm not answering that."

"Is that the fucking Imperial March from Star Wars?" Kenny asks. "For your dad? That's cold shit, dude."

Stan ignores the comment (as well as the veritable slew of comments about dads he could throw back) and turns to Kyle, all but begging now, "I will get under this table right now and suck your dick if you answer this, please."

The phone goes to voicemail then and Kyle just shakes his head. "There, problem solved."

The phone goes off again, and Stan smacks his forehead against the table. "Please, Kyle, I'm the father of your children," he whines.

"All right!" Kyle snaps and grabs the phone. "You're such a fucking baby, Jesus Christ. Hello?—Hey, Randy."

Stan feels a small wave of relief wash over him, even though Kyle glares daggers at him. "No, we're not at the house, we're up in South Park," Kyle says, and Stan actually wilts at that. His dad doesn't come by too often, but when he does it's always unscheduled.

"Jesus, Marsh," Kenny shakes his head at Kyle before turning to Stan. "I had no idea you had him so whipped."

Kenny laughs as Kyle punches him on the shoulder, and continues, "Actually, I don't think you can be pussy-whipped when there's no pussy in the relationship."

He ignores Kyle's warning glare and offers, "Ass-whipped?"

Stan hums and takes a sip of ginger ale. "Better," he nods. "But cock-whipped probably suits more of our purposes."

"Ugh," Kenny hides his face in his hands. "Now I can't un-see you slapping Kyle in the face with your dick."

Kyle hangs up then and gives Kenny this look as he hands Stan his phone. "What his dick does to my face is between his dick and my face, sir," Kyle implores, which only makes Stan laugh until Kyle turns to him and raises an eyebrow. "And I seem to remember a promise of dick-sucking for that."

"Ah, that was for the second call," Stan clarifies. "You don't get anything now."

"Hey fellas," comes a soft interruption. The three of them look up to see Butters standing at the table beside them, a smile on his face and what looks like a root beer clutched close to his chest. "Mind if I join you?"

"Sure," Stan shrugs and slides over in the booth to make more room for Butters. Stan hasn't really kept in contact with Butters—in fact, he doesn't know too many people who have. He didn't even know that Butters was in South Park, to be perfectly honest. Word on the street was that he'd followed Cartman wherever he'd gone after high school.

"How're you doin', Kenny?" Butters asks as he sets his root beer down on the table. Kenny looks caught off guard to be asked such a thing, but Kyle and Stan both find themselves watching attentively as Kenny fishes for an answer.

"Uh… I'm fine? I guess?" he shrugs and brings a hand up to the back of his neck. "Thanks for the pie; we demolished that fucker when we got back from the service."

Stan gives Kyle a look now, but it's met with one that simply conveys, "Stay out of it."

They've talked about this a hundred times, though, and Stan is getting pretty fucking impatient. Kenny lives like a monk nowadays, and call Stan crazy, but that's just not fucking right. He does it for his girls, Stan gets that, but they're old enough now that they'd understand their dad going out with someone.

Some people can go it alone. Some people like it that way. Stan has never seen his mom happier than she's been in the last decade, all because she's better at being alone than she is at being a babysitter to her (ex)husband and kids.

Kenny is not good at being alone.

Also, Stan has ten bucks riding on whether or not Kenny would actually date a dude, and he intends on winning that.

"How's everything with you, Butters?" Stan asks, and still he gets a glare from Kyle. He's just trying to make small talk, for fuck's sake.

No agenda whatsoever.

At all.

"Oh, I reckon I can't complain," Butters shrugs, smiling. "How're you?"

Kyle raises his eyebrow at Stan, but Stan shakes his head and turns back to Butters and responds, "Pretty well."

"You guys have kids, right?" Butters asks as Kenny pulls out his phone.

"Yeah, two boys," Stan nods, knowing full well that Kyle hates this kind of small talk enough to interrupt it.

Today he's chosen to distract everyone by knocking Kenny's phone out of his hand and sending it skidding across the bar floor.

"Whoops," Kyle drones.

"Are you fucking serious right now, dickhead?" Kenny snaps.

"It's a Nokia, you're fine," Kyle shakes his head. Kenny punches Kyle on the shoulder, hard, before moving to retrieve the phone.

Butters moves first, however, holding up a hand as he offers a bright, "I'll get it."

Before Kenny can even respond, Butters is bent over under a table close by, patting around for the phone.

And Kenny is staring right at the denim stretching over his ass. Stan looks back at Kyle, who gives him an innocent shrug and downs the rest of his beer.

Fuck, Stan loves this man.

"Here you go, Kenny," Butters sits back down and places the phone in front of Kenny. "Though, full disclosure, it might be time to look for a new phone."

"Thanks," Kenny quips back and shoves the phone back in his pocket. "What brings you here?"

"Ah," Butters gives a nervous laugh and looks down at his bottle. "I don't suppose you'd believe me if I said they had the best sarsaparilla in the state?"

Unceremoniously, Kenny plucks the bottle from Butters' hand and takes a sip, only to pull a face not a moment later. "You're right, I would not believe you if you said that," he says, and smiles back at Butters when he smiles at him.

"All right," Kyle coughs and pulls out his wallet. "I think the first wave of the cheer up brigade has done enough for one night." He pulls a condom out of his wallet and slaps it on the table in front of Kenny. "Safety first boys, remember that."

He then climbs over Kenny and looks back at Stan, who is torn between outright laughter and hiding his face in his hands.

"Sorry," he murmurs as Butters scoots out of the booth to let Stan by him. "Um, give us a call later or something, Kenny," Stan gives him a wave before grabbing Kyle by the back of the shirt and hauling him out of the bar.

"What the fuck was that?" Stan asks.

"Aw, dude," Kyle groans. "Don't get all pissy. I'm not into sitting in on them eye-fucking all night, okay? Kenny's got someone to talk to now, and maybe we can, like," he shifts inward and crosses his arms over his chest. "I don't know, we could go for a walk or something," he says.

Stan draws back at that, waiting a moment before he asks, "You want to go for a walk?"

He loves Kyle more than anything, but he came to terms long ago with the fact that Kyle is not the romantic type. Even something like taking a walk is enough to get him to roll his eyes and launch into a diatribe about the conspiracies revolving around the media's portrayal of romance and love.

"Yeah, dude," Kyle nods. "No kids, it's a nice night…" He reaches forward and grabs one of Stan's hands in both of his, pulling Stan in close so he can kiss him. Stan can taste the beer on his tongue and draws back.

"Dude, are you drunk after one beer?" Stan laughs.

"I'm not drunk!" Kyle flips him off. "I want to take a walk with you, that's all."

"That's all?" Stan reiterates, and then folds his arms. "I know you're only with me for my roguishly handsome good looks, but at least attempt a little subtlety."

Kyle rolls his eyes and says, "Your dad said he has a surprise, and since we weren't at the house he's going to come up here tonight and tell us. Or just you, actually. If he tries to tell me, I'm not going to be listening. Can we please just take a walk before you start—"

But it's too late. Randy's surprises do not turn out well. They have never turned out well, and the last time he had one was six years ago, when he'd turned up on Stan and Kyle's doorstep, married.

"Nope," Stan shakes his head, then his hands. "Fuck this. Fuck this so hard. I don't want a surprise, dude, I just want to sit in your basement and eat shitty food and never, ever come out again." He doesn't realize he's jumping up and down until Kyle grabs him by the shoulders and forces him to stay still.

"Fuck, man," Kyle keeps his voice steady. "Just fucking breathe for a minute, okay? You're okay, you're fine."

Stan takes a deep breath and nods, gradually coming back to himself as he feels Kyle's hands knead soothing circles into his shoulders.

"Did you…" Kyle begins. "You brought your meds, right?"

Stan rolls his eyes. Forget your meds once on a weekend trip to visit your friend in Reno and suddenly you're lashed to it for life.

"Yeah, I brought my meds," Stan shoves his hands in his pockets. "Doesn't mean I'm dying to see my dad and his inappropriately aged wife."

Kyle gives a knowing, silent nod before he wraps an arm around Stan's shoulder and rests their heads together. He gives Stan a kiss on the cheek and noses at his hair.

"Come on," he nips at Stan's earlobe. "I've got an idea."

"Uh-oh," Stan raises his eyebrows. "That can't be good."

Kyle gives him an affronted scowl and prods him in the gut. "I have great ideas," he says, which makes Stan laugh and rub the back of his neck. He and Kyle are the same height, more or less, and Kyle fits against him like a puzzle piece, as corny as that might sound.

Stan likes corny things like that.

"What did you have in mind?" he asks.

Kyle tips his head up so he can look at the sky. He sighs before turning back to Stan and asks, "You got cash?"

"Sweet, are we going on a coke binge?" Stan asks, giving Kyle a stupid, open-mouthed smile. Kyle hiccups out this goofy laugh, this one that he always gets when he's seriously caught off-guard, and Stan pulls him into a kiss by the front of his shirt.

Kyle tastes good, like always. Even with the beer on his tongue, he still tastes like Kyle.

"Okay," Kyle grins when they pull apart. "Okay, come on. Let's get out of here."

They drive to the gas station and get gigantic slushies from the bored-looking attendant—some teenager who pops her gum over her copy of Cosmo as she regards them with knowing eyes. Stan just sips loudly at his slushie in response as Kyle pays.

Then Kyle drives them into town and parks outside the arcade, and Stan gets a whole host of fuzzy feelings in his chest. Kyle knows him, plain and simple.

The greatest part of it all is watching Kyle put cash into the quarters machine and forgetting how fast the change comes pouring out of the spout at the bottom. They spend a good portion of time picking up quarters off of the floor and stuffing them into their pockets. When they're done, they rush past all the deserted machines, back to where the first person shooter games are lined up against a wall.

Stan may or may not superimpose Randy Marsh's face onto a few of the rudimentary, blocky zombies on his screen.

"You know," Stan says as he reaches into his pocket for more quarters. "If we asked, my Uncle Jimbo would totally let us go and shoot actual targets at the range."

Kyle makes a noncommittal grunt as he takes a long slurp of his slushie. "Video games are better," he says. "If I accidentally shoot off anyone's face here, I don't feel too bad."

"You're not going to shoot anyone's face off if you use real guns," Stan rolls his eyes, at which point Kyle raises an eyebrow at him and grins.

"Your face is way too nice for me to want to take the chance," he shrugs and leans forward to peck a quick kiss to Stan's lips. It's not often that affectionate Kyle makes himself known, and it makes Stan's palms sweat and his heart beat crazy fast.

Even after so long, Kyle still does that to him.

Kyle catches him looking at him then and, with an uncomfortable shift asks, "What?"

"I love you," Stan supplies instantly, and Kyle's cheeks actually turn a little pink. When they'd first gotten together, Kyle went beet red when Stan said that; he's gotten better since then, but Stan must have caught him off-guard this time. So, he leans forward and gives Kyle a reassuring kiss.

And then they accidentally end up making out against House of the Dead until the owner catches them and kicks them out for 'lewd behavior'.

"Would it be lewd if we weren't two men?" Kyle challenges as the owner walks them out.

"Yes!" the older man snaps back. "Do you know how many times I had to toss that McCormick kid out of here for attempting to defile nearly every girl in town in my bathrooms? This is an arcade, not the chicken ranch. We got kids in here."

Stan and Kyle look quizzically at each other on that one, eyebrows raised and trying to keep in their laughter until they're back in the car and out of earshot.

Whether or not this is retaliation, Stan's not sure, but they end up making out in the backseat while still parked out in front of the arcade. Not that the streets of South Park are particularly overrun by people, but it is risky behavior for anyone, seeing how it's not even all the way dark yet.

They only stop when Stan's phone vibrates with a text from Randy that reads "at ur moms. thot ud be here. where r u?"

"Fuck," Stan sighs and sits up as Kyle adjusts the pull of his jeans. Stan texts his dad back, 'on our way' and slides back into the front seat. Kyle drives again, because otherwise Stan might have an anxiety attack and drive them into a street lamp.

As much as he loves them, Stan doesn't want to leave his boys in the care of their grandparents. Stan and Kyle made it out of their clutches relatively unscathed, but Stan couldn't imagine subjecting the boys to it.

Randy's car is there when they get to Sharon's. Stan knew it would be, but seeing it for real makes his stomach go sour. Before Stan can get out, Kyle pulls him back and cups his face in his hands.

"You're fine, honey," Kyle murmurs softly, and that's enough to melt Stan's spine. Pet names are out of the realm of Kyle's use and understanding, but every once in a while he lets one slip, and every once in a while Stan is overcome by this infallible happiness that can get him through even the toughest situations.

It'll be interesting to see how that holds up now.

They walk up to the house and push inside, where Stan's mom is sitting in her work clothes still, legs crossed and looking pissed off as his dad's new wife, Amanda, goes on about her wonderful life in retail.

"Oh, thank god," she actually says when Stan and Kyle walk in the door. She stands and, as she walks past Stan and Kyle, unhooks her bra through the back of her shirt. Stan rests his forehead on Kyle's shoulder in an attempt to erase the offending image from memory, but to no avail.

"It's my house," she says, "I can unhook my bra wherever I damn well please."

Kyle snorts far too loudly and threads his fingers through Stan's hair. Maybe he's being affectionate because he knows that it grosses Randy out. In fact, that's exactly what would give Kyle reason to be affectionate.

"Uh, hi," Stan greets and detaches himself so he can take his mom's place in the armchair. Kyle stands close by, and straightens out a picture on the wall nearby to indicate that he is absolutely not listening.

"Hey, Stan," Randy greets with a smile. He dyes his hair and wears clothes that are ten years too young for him; it would probably annoy Stan more if he had to see his dad all the time. "Good to see you."

Stan gives him a tepid smile in return and nods his head.

"I thought the boys would be with you," Randy continues.

"We were out," Stan supplies, "Gerald and Sheila are watching them." He waits a few beats before he offers, "If you're around for the night, maybe you can see them tomorrow morning."

Randy lights up at that and nods, "Yeah. Yeah, we haven't seen 'em since Christmas. That'd be great."

Already, Stan feels exhausted. This is by no means a terrible interaction either, and still Stan just wants to curl up in bed with Kyle and the kids and never come out again.

"So," he drums his fingers on his knees. "What's the surprise?"

Randy and Amanda look at each other in this absolutely specific way that can't mean anything other than what they're about to say. Stan doesn't even have time to recognize, process, and react to it before Randy comes out with, "Amanda is pregnant! Isn't that great?"

Kyle responds for both him and Stan by accidentally knocking one of Sharon's knick-knacks off of the shelf above the TV and sailing to the floor.

"Shit," he mutters and stoops immediately to retrieve it, just as Stan gives a very confused, "What?"

"We're gonna have a baby!" Randy reiterates, smile just as big and wide as ever.

Great. So Stan wasn't hallucinating. His eyes slip shut as the information sinks in. He can hear the blood rushing in his ears, feel his heart pounding so hard in his chest he thinks it might bust. There is no way in hell that they're being serious, right? His dad's old, and he's already got two kids, and five grandkids. What in the hell does he need another—

Stan stops the moment he opens his eyes.

His dad and Amanda look happy, and Stan can't help but wonder how. His dad may not be old, but definitely too old to be having a baby with a woman who's younger than his youngest kid.

Apart from that, he really doesn't know how he's supposed to respond to this. He's in his thirties; he asked for a baby brother for Christmas when he was five (because that was when Kyle got his).

There is some serious delay on this wish crap.

He snaps out of it when he realizes that his dad and Amanda are looking at him expectantly, and offers them a smile. "That's great, guys," he says and wilts in relief when Kyle glances at his watch and loudly declares, "Wow, is that the time?"

"Aw, you guys have to go?" Randy asks, but Amanda gets to that before Kyle or Stan can.

"Now, they have two babies that they have to get home to," she coos. "Plus, you and I have a few things to do tonight anyway." She pets a perfectly manicured hand over Randy's hair and gives what she obviously thinks is a sly smile.

Suddenly Stan is very ill.

Though lightheaded, he gets up to shake his dad's hand, and then to give Amanda a half-hearted 'congratulations' and a hug. Rather than wait for Kyle to do the same, he goes immediately up to his old room before his dad is even out the door and hides under his bed.

Childish, absolutely absurd, and far too dusty, sure, but it's the only thing that's going to keep him from launching into a complete nervous breakdown. Kyle is, of course, hot on his tail, and it's not another minute before he sees Kyle's shoes and his mom's socks right in his face.

"Oh, lord, what happened now?" Sharon asks.

"Leave me to die," Stan mutters in response, only then he starts coughing fit and has to scramble out anyway. Kyle helps him to his feet and picks a clump of dust off of his shirt, while Sharon crosses her arms over her chest and sighs.

"Honey, not that I'm not fond of your melodrama, but would you mind telling me what's going on?" she asks. "Normally your dad doesn't drop by without some sort of agenda."

Stan hides his face in Kyle's neck, so Kyle wraps his arms around Stan's shoulder and relays to Sharon the brief exchange with Randy.

"Oh, for the love of god," Sharon mutters, and when Stan looks over he sees her pinching the bridge of her nose and shaking her head. "Honey, I know your dad's an idiot, but what do you care?"

Stan pulls away from Kyle and blinks a few times. "What?"

"Eh," Kyle shoves his hands in his pockets and gives Stan this apologetic look. "I mean, she's got a point, dude. You're an adult; it'd be different if you were thirteen or something, but—"

"Exactly," his mom nods.

"Ew!" Stan sticks out his tongue. "Guys, this is gross! Amanda is twenty-nine. Dad's, like… old."

"Well-said," Kyle quips, and Stan gives him a look. So, he continues a little more helpfully, "Dude, we know it's gross; no one's saying it's not."

"It's like I always tell you," his mom chimes in. "It's his life, not yours. You think I'm thrilled about this? We have our own lives, though, Stanley. And if your dad wants to make another kid with the first girl who would marry him, god help her—"

"Wh—no!" Stan exclaims. "You guys, this is fucking—gah!" He clamps his hands over his ears and screws his eyes shut.

"Stan, you're overreacting—"

"What if I'm not," Stan snaps as Kyle tries to reach out and touch him. "If anything, you guys are underreacting."

"That's not a thing, Stan," Kyle gives a frank response, despite the fact that he can be (and usually is) the absolute height of melodrama when the situation calls for it.

"Stan, you've got a family," his mom reasons. "You are a grown up. What is the grown up reaction to this situation?"

Stan almost bellows something childish and stupid, but when met with the firm and steady gazes of both his mother and Kyle, he shrinks back and mutters under his breath, "Don't overreact."

"That's right," his mom nods. "Now, you boys have had a long day, I suggest you get some rest while you can."

Kyle looks at him in a way that makes him think that that's probably the best idea. Stan lets his mom hug him and tell him everything's going to be okay, invites them over for dinner tomorrow night, and then she mutters something to Kyle on the way out that makes him laugh.

The drive back to the Broflovskis' is silent. Kyle doesn't try to pull Stan out of the foul mood he's spiraling into, and Stan doesn't want to admit that this is bugging him far more than it should. Kyle is already right enough as it is.

When they get inside, Henry and Ethan are sacked out with Indy on the floor; Ethan curled protectively around Henry and Indy nuzzled up to them both. It's legitimately one of the most precious things Stan has ever seen, and Kyle is quick to pull out his phone and snap a picture.

Sheila is in the kitchen, dressed in her nightgown and working on a crossword puzzle when they shut the door softly behind them. She tiptoes over, careful not to disturb the boys, and says, "They are just the sweetest, oh my goodness."

"Ah," Kyle nods and sets his keys on the table by the door. "So it is possible."

Henry is the first to stir at the sound of Kyle's voice. He detaches himself from Ethan, who wakes a moment after, and drags himself past his grandma and into Kyle's arms.

"Aw, hey derpus," Kyle chuckles as he plucks Henry off the floor. Ethan is much too big to be picked up (as he likes to remind Stan), but he is groggy and therefore especially snuggly as he latches onto Stan's leg.

"C'mere," Stan stoops and hoists Ethan up into his arms.

He is way too big to carry.

Something about that makes Stan's eyes prick with tears and hold onto him tightly.

"Daddy, ow," Ethan mutters, and Stan loosens his grip. He and Kyle trudge up the stairs and try to put the boys in Ike's room, but both refuse.

"I wanna sleep with you and daddy," Henry buries his face in Kyle's neck.

"Me too," Ethan murmurs.

"Guys, there's not enough room in daddy's old bed," Kyle says, but it's clear that the boys will not be falling asleep again without them. Stan gives Kyle a look that's met with a tired shrug. If worse comes to worse, they'll let the boys fall asleep and then put them back in their own beds.

Except that doesn't even happen. No sooner are Stan and Kyle in their pajamas and ready for bed are the four of them tucked up in Stan's old bed together. The boys are quick to fall asleep, and Kyle would be too if he didn't know Stan was still reeling over the events of the day.

"You know you're just going to be a bag and a half of dicks tomorrow if you don't sleep, right?" Kyle asks, eyes shut and hand flopped over his head. Stan grabs it and nuzzles at Henry's hair.

Kyle squeezes his hand and opens his eyes.

Stan loves Kyle's eyes.

"Worry about it tomorrow," Kyle yawns and shuts his eyes again.

It's the soundest advice Stan has gotten all night. He shuts his eyes, cuddles his baby closer, and slips off into sleep.

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading and taking time to let me know what you think. I know my multi-chapter updates have been slow, so thank you ever so for sticking around and being patient!