Disclaimer/: Seeing as Antonio isn't Rocky and Adam's son in canon (that we know of), it's safe to say they're not mine.
Author's Notes/: It's the parents' side of Chapter 13 of Promises! For andthenabannana (by request), IndigoMay, and PunkPinkPower, whose comments on Promises make my day every time I read one.
For anyone who hasn't read Promises yet, a few things of note: Antonio is selectively telepathic, and his family knows he's a Ranger. At this point in time, Jayden doesn't know either of these things.
"Remember not to pick on him," Antonio lectured, looking incredibly serious even as he shifted nervously back and forth. "He's not used to being around people. And don't make fun of him when he starts talking formally." He shot Rocky a pointed look.
Rocky sighed, even as he tried not to smile. "Antonio - "
"He probably won't know what to say either, so don't push him if he doesn't talk. Oh, and if he starts giving off random facts, pretend not to notice or he'll clam up."
"Antonio - "
"He gets embarrassed really easy too, so don't push him."
"Antonio!" Rocky burst out, exasperated. "Geez kiddo, we're not going to interrogate him! Relax!"
"I can't help it," his son protested, looking guilty. "I really want you to like Jayden. He's a great guy. He's just ... "
Whatever Jayden was, they didn't get the chance to find out. A car had stopped a few feet away from them, depositing a lanky teenager with a mop of dusty brown hair. He moved with the grace of someone who'd dedicated their life to martial arts, but dressed in pressed slacks and a button up shirt that looked completely out of place on him. Combined with the tight, controlled expression on his face, it looked like he was walking to his doom.
He stopped just in front of them and bowed. "Mr. DeSantos, Mr. Park. My name is Jayden Shiba. It's an honor to meet you both."
Rocky bit his lip, turning to look at Adam before he started grinning and scared the kid. He was *adorable*.
Adam stared back at him with a pointed frown that very clearly said 'You can't keep him'.
He tried not to pout.
He looked back just in time to see Jayden shrug very slightly at Antonio, who was making a face at him. He forced a smile, trying not to laugh at the silent exchange. "Call me Rocky," he offered, hoping to put the teen more at ease. "Mr. DeSantos makes me feel like a responsible adult."
"Which would never happen," Antonio agreed, smirking at him.
He glared at his miscreant offspring. "Take it back!"
He pounced, making a point to trap Antonio in a headlock and give him a noogie. Relax, kiddo, he thought pointedly. It was a shot in the dark - it tended to be hit or miss if Antonio could pick up on his thoughts or not - but it was worth a try. I'm not gonna eat your boyfriend. You need to calm down so you can calm *him* down.
There was a sigh under his arm that sounded suspiciously like a grumble, but he felt some of the tension leave the teen. He took advantage of the position to plant a kiss on top of his head, grinning triumphantly when Antonio jerked away and scowled at him. "So! Coffee shop?"
Antonio's nose scrunched up in protest; Jayden looked faintly nauseous. "Papa, I just told you - "
"You two can order drinks," he interrupted, rolling his eyes. He hadn't forgotten the lengthy description Antonio had given them about his day and the disaster the Nighlok had caused, but standing around on the sidewalk wasn't going to make either of the boys feel more comfortable. "But I'm hungry, so let's get going."
He fell into step beside Adam out of habit more than anything, and grinned when he saw Antonio and Jayden do the same behind them. "They're adorable," he whispered the moment he was sure they were too distracted with each other to hear him. Jayden still looked painfully uncomfortable, and he saw Antonio reach out to touch his arm with a reassuring smile. By the look on his face he wasn't entirely sure Antonio was even aware that he'd done it. "They're totally smitten with each other."
Adam grumbled something under his breath, but he'd been cranky ever since he'd noticed the new ring on Antonio's necklace. For someone who claimed he'd only moved in with them because he didn't trust Rocky to raise a child by himself, he was incredibly protective of Antonio.
He prodded him gently in the arm. "What was that?"
Adam shook his head, glancing back at the kids. "Tell you later," he murmured.
He looked back to see what he was looking at and noted the tense look on Jayden's face. Poor kid looked like he was giving himself a migraine from sheer nerves alone. "You kids plotting our demise back there?" he called, hoping to distract him.
"We plead the fifth!" Antonio retorted.
Adam looked amused. "I'll give Kim a call then."
Antonio gave them a pouty frown. "Doesn't count. Diplomacy isn't the same thing as law," he argued.
"That depends on the situation actually," Jayden spoke up, looking distracted. "A diplomat is required by the nature of their duties to have legal knowledge. They can't enforce laws, but they can offer legal counsel as long as it's not official." He immediately froze in place with an expression that practically begged for the ground to open up and swallow him.
Rocky had to fight the urge to pull him into a hug and ruffle his hair. Geez, he was adorable. Shy *and* nerdy? No wonder Antonio was so smitten.
"I'll go for that," he said instead, giving the boys a flippant grin. "Give her a call, Adam. And have her bring Zack and Will along while she's at it, so we can have them arrested after we've proven their conspiracy." Because Kim would love Jayden as much as he already did, and Zack would want to meet his future step-son-in-law.
Antonio looked put out. "Jayden, you're not supposed to give ideas to the enemy. You're on my side here, remember?"
Jayden frowned. "I'm always on your side."
... Oh, crud. Did I say that out loud?
The coffee shop they found was crowded, but luckily there wasn't much of a line. He turned to ask the boys what they wanted and winced at the sight of them both surreptitiously checking the exits. They were Rangers, all right. Poor kids.
Antonio bounced up to the counter with a bright grin, Jayden following behind him with a wary expression. "Hi! I'd like - "
A huffy sigh. "... I'll have a large cherry smoothie. And you're not having tea."
"I'd like a medium caramel macchiato, please."
"Make it a large. What do you guys want?"
He had to look away to keep them from seeing him the grin on his face. They were hijacking each other's orders. How much cuter could these kids *get*?
Aisha is going to be so disappointed she missed this.
" - And a large hot chocolate."
He jerked back around at the sound of Adam's voice. "And a strawberry cheesecake!"
His husband gave a long, put-upon sigh. "And a slice of the strawberry cheesecake please," he amended.
He glanced at Antonio, raising his eyebrows in silent offer. Antonio made a queasy face and shook his head again. He shrugged, looking along the counter to see if there was anything else he was interested in. There was a display with Tanya's newest single, but he dismissed it; he already had a copy of the full CD.
"That's really not necessary, Jayden," he heard Adam protest.
"It's nothing, Sir. I insist."
He choked, looking at Adam in shock as Jayden ducked his head and went to the other end of the counter to wait. 'Sir'? He was barely thirteen years older than this kid!
Adam shook his head slowly after a moment, glancing after Jayden with another frown.
It was a silent mutual decision to escape outside once their orders were ready. The sidewalk was busy and well-lit, but not nearly so claustrophobic as the store had been. Rocky dug into his cheesecake with a happy sigh, sticking his tongue out at Adam when his husband rolled his eyes.
"So how did you two become friends?" he asked curiously when the silence finally started to get to him. "I mean, Antonio told us how you met at the market. But how'd you get to be friends?"
Jayden hesitated, giving a small shrug. "Well, we met a few months after I lost my family."
Rocky froze in mid-step. Did he just say ... ? Oh, way to go, DeSantos, he groaned mentally.
But Jayden was still speaking, his eyes firmly focused on the drink in his hand. "It's sort of hard to explain, but ... We'd agreed to play together the day after we met. But there was a huge storm that night and into the next day. Ji said we'd have to get together another time and sent me off to train." He paused, and a tiny smile flickered across his face. "... And then I heard a knock at the front door. Antonio snuck out and came over, even with the weather as bad as it was. And when I asked him why, all he said was - "
" - I promised," Antonio finished.
They smiled at each other.
"He's never broken a promise to me since." Jayden shrugged again and fell silent, but there was something about his expression that made it feel like there was more behind the story he didn't want to share.
Whatever it was, Antonio clearly felt it too. He bumped shoulders with Jayden, shooting him a light, teasing grin. "Hey, you're the one who was nice enough to play with the fish boy." He leaned in, and there was a moment of drink stealing and elbows as they bickered quietly.
But what Rocky saw was the look between them afterward. Silent but warm, full of more emotions than he cared to name. And yet there was a subtly intensity to it that made his breath catch.
Oh, yeah. His boy was in love.
He smiled to himself, taking a sip of his hot chocolate and moving to catch Adam's fingers with his own. Well, I guess they all gotta grow up sometime, he mused thoughtfully.
"So," he spoke up as they finished waving goodbye to the kids. "What do you think of our new son-in-law?"
"They're not married yet," Adam grumbled.
"Yet," he agreed. He nudged him with an elbow. "So?"
There was a long sigh. "He asked me about Bridge," Adam admitted reluctantly. "How he was doing. He's polite, well-mannered. Smart."
Rocky grinned knowingly. "You hate him."
"I wouldn't have to if he wasn't engaged to Antonio," Adam groused, looking annoyed.
"Because he's absolutely perfect for him," he agreed, wrapping an arm around Adam's shoulders. "And they're ridiculously in love, and there's nothing we can do about it."
Adam grumbled bitterly under his breath, and Rocky grinned even brighter.
He couldn't wait for the wedding.