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Soft and Sweet

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“It’s not too late to take him with us,” Patrick says, on the verge of tears.

“We can’t, Pat,” Jonny says, pulling his husband towards the door. “We already said goodbye three times. C’mon, we’re going to miss our flight.”

“But, Jonny,” Patrick says softly, lips trembling.

“Oh my god, dude,” Ryan says from where he’s watching from their couch. “It’s just a baby. Chill.”

The sad look on Patrick's face is instantly washed away, quickly replaced by rage. “Chill? Just a baby? Just a-just,” Patrick growls. “Hold me back, Jon or I’m gonna punch him.”

“Shhh,” Vinnie hisses, stomping into the living room from the nursery. “He’s asleep, let’s keep it that way. Why are you two still here? You said bye like twenty minutes ago.”

“Look, it’s the first time we’ll be away from him for longer than a few hours. It’s a pretty big deal,” Jonny explains.

Ryan quirks an eyebrow. “You’re so overdramatic. How can you be this attached to a tiny human that poops and cries every five seconds?”

This time, Jonny holds Patrick back without being told to. “He doesn’t mean it,” Jonny whispers in his ear.

Ryan rolls his eyes. “You’ll be gone for three days. That’s shorter than most of our road trips.”

“Oh god, road trips,” Patrick says, as if he’s suddenly remembering that he plays professional hockey for a living and that he’ll have to be away from his newborn for long periods of time come October.

“Should have thought of that before having a baby,” Ryan mutters.

“Ryan!” Vinnie scolds him.

It’s not that Ryan hates babies or something. They’re fine, cute even. He just doesn’t understand why people always make such a big fuss over them. If he was Patrick or Jonny right now he would have been at the airport hours ago.

“I’m relieving you of your duties,” Patrick says to Ryan and Vinnie. “You are not allowed to bring your negative energy into my house or near my baby.”

“Patrick,” Jonny groans. “They’ll be fine. Come on.”

Patrick shakes his head. “No way, Jon. I’m not leaving Mason alone with these idiots.”

Jonny wraps his arms around Patrick from behind and whispers something in his ear that causes him to blush.

Ryan exchanges a look with Vinnie.

Patrick looks torn before he finally huffs and pushes away from Jonny. “Fine, fine. But you play dirty, Jonathan.”

Jonny looks pleased. “If we leave right this second, I’ll show you exactly how dirty I play once we land in Buffalo.”

Patrick smirks. “Why wait till Buffalo when you can just do me on the plane?”

Vinnie screams in horror just as Ryan rushes over to cover his ears.

Jonny rolls his eyes. “Oh please, like you guys don’t have sex on the regular.”

“Yeah, but this is like hearing your parents talk about sex,” Ryan says, palms resting flat against Vinnie’s ears.

“Alright, let’s go,” Patrick relents. He looks sad again until Jonny takes his hand and squeezes it.

“He’ll be here when we get back,” Jonny reassures him. “Just a few days.”

“Erica just had to get married,” Patrick mutters as they head out.

Jonny pokes his head back in before the door closes. “Call Seabs if you need anything, or me. Do not call Patrick. He’ll just freak out and want to come home.”

“We got it,” Ryan says, removing his hands from Vinnie’s ears. “Go.”

Jonny rolls his eyes and finally closes the door behind him.

Ryan goes to lock it and turns slowly back to Vinnie. “Alone at last!” He doesn’t even make it a foot before Mason starts crying.

Vinnie sighs and heads to the nursery. Ryan reluctantly trails after him. He did not sign up for this shit.

*

“I can still smell it,” Ryan says, sniffing his own shirt and checking for any poop.

“You’re being ridiculous,” Vinnie says, laughing. He’s on the couch with Mason lying on his chest. Ryan’s heart tugs at the sight.

“No, I’m not. That baby has powerful shits, okay?”

“Okay, bud.”

They had spent the day alternating baby duties. Ryan changed his diaper, Vinnie had just fed him and now he was taking his turn as a human mattress. Ryan’s a little jealous, Vinnie as a human mattress sounds hot.

“Alright, your turn,” Vinnie says, slowly turning to face Ryan with Mason still cuddled up to his chest.

“No way,” Ryan says, putting his hands up in resistance. “Little dude practically just pooped on me. He’s not forgiven.”

Vinnie sighs. “Ry, you can’t hold a grudge against a baby.”

“Watch me,” Ryan huffs.

Vinnie leans closer and places a light kiss on Ryan’s cheek. “Please, babe,” he says, softly. “I’m so tired.”

Soft Vinnie is Ryan’s weakness. Fuck.

“Fine,” Ryan relents. Vinnie grins and passes Mason to him. Once he’s settled against Ryan’s chest, Vinnie leans back into his spot and Ryan turns his attention back to the TV.

Every so often, Mason makes a small noise, and smacks his lips together. The sound melts Ryan. He keeps glancing down at him, making sure he’s all tucked in and comfortable. He adjusts Mason’s cap so that it fully covers his little ears and Mason flails an arm out and catches Ryan’s thumb in his fist.

Vinnie looks at him knowingly.

“What?” Ryan asks.

“Nothing,” Vinnie says, fondly.

“He’s cute when he isn’t crying or producing any bodily fluids,” Ryan admits.

“He is, isn’t he?”

“Yeah,” Ryan says, glancing back down at Mason. “Are we sure Kaner’s the father? They look nothing alike.”

Vinnie laughs. “Did you expect him to be born with a receding hairline and muscles?”

Ryan rolls his eyes just as Mason starts blinking awake. “Your father’s nowhere near as cute as you, huh? Isn’t that right?” Ryan coos.

Vinnie scoots closer to Ryan and rests his chin on his shoulder. “He’s so precious,” Vinnie whispers in amazement.

Ryan scoffs. “The baby’s got nothing on you, Vin,” he says, turning his head for a kiss.

Vinnie rolls his eyes but kisses him anyway.

*

Ryan jolts awake to a shrieking sound. “I got him last time,” he groans.

“I got him two times before that, you lazy piece of shit,” Vinnie grumbles, getting out of bed. “I don’t even know why I’m with you sometimes. You never do anything, never carry your own weight. I swear you just-” he continues to mutter as he crosses the room to pick Mason up out of his crib.

After what seems like hours but probably just minutes, Mason calms down a little. Ryan lies in bed watching Vinnie bounce Mason in his arms. “Be a good boy, Mase,” he coos. “Please don’t cry again if you care about your uncles’ sanity.”

Ryan smiles. Soft Vinnie is on another level when he’s with Mason. Ryan can’t resist it. He gets out of bed and makes his way over to them.

“I got him,” Vinnie says as Ryan approaches. “You good for nothing asshole.”

Ryan wraps his arms around Vinnie’s waist from behind and rests his cheek against Vinnie’s. “I love you,” he whispers in the silence.

Vinnie pulls Mason closer and drops a kiss on his forehead. “I love you, too,” he says before placing Mason back into his crib.

“I was talking to you,” Ryan says.

Vinnie turns in his arms to face him and wraps his arms around Ryan’s chest. “I was too,” he mumbles into his neck.

Ryan kisses Vinnie’s cheek again. “I want one. Can we have one?”

Vinnie pulls away. “A baby?”

Ryan nods as Vinnie searches his face for any signs that he’s joking.

“We aren’t even married,” Vinnie says, smiling and shaking his head.

“Okay. Let’s do that then,” Ryan says, leaning closer for a kiss.

“What the fuck kind of a proposal?” Vinnie mutters, pulling completely away from Ryan. “You’re just sleep deprived.”

Ryan shakes his head. “No I’m not. I want you and I want to raise a family with you. I’ll want the same in the morning too. Seeing you with Mase, I know you're going to be an amazing dad, Vin.”

Vinnie doesn’t say anything. He turns and gets back into bed.

Ryan feels a stab of rejection before he follows. He curls up behind Vinnie and hesitantly puts his arms around him.

“Just so you know,” Vinnie says into the quiet darkness. “You're going to be an amazing dad too. Also, I expect a ring and an actual proposal.”

Ryan sighs in relief and tightens his hold on him. “You got it.”

“We’re not telling anyone Tazer and Kaner’s baby is the reason why you proposed,” Vinnie mutters. “We’d never live it down.”

Ryan cringes at the thought. “Yeah, no one can know,” he agrees.

Vinnie turns in his arms and captures his lips in a kiss. Ryan threads his fingers through his soft curls and opens up for him. It’s passionate, hungry, and a promise of a lifetime of more.

*

“Where is he?” Patrick shouts, frantic as he rushes into the house.

“In the nursery with Vin,” Ryan says from his spot on the couch. “Calm down.”

Patrick runs to the nursery just as Jonny trudges into the house with their bags. Patrick reemerges with Mason in his arms and a wide smile on his face. Jonny walks over to them and bends down to kiss Mason on the forehead. “Hi, baby.”

Vinnie joins them in the living room and starts collecting their things. They already packed up their clothes that morning, they just have to grab the smaller things like chargers and laptops.

“Did he give you any trouble?” Jonny asks.

“No more than any other baby would,” Vinnie replies.

“Thank you,” Patrick says, not looking away from Mason. “Mase, say bye-bye to your uncles.”

Ryan hears someone squeak in protest. Oh, it was him. He squeaked in protest.

“Got attached, eh?” Jonny asks, smirking.

“Maybe,” Ryan mumbles.

Vinnie scoffs. “A little more than attached. He proposed to me because of Mason.”

“No!” Ryan screams in agony. "Why did you say that?"

“Shit,” Vinnie says, realizing what he just did. “Fuck.”

Patrick laughs. “Oh man. Mason, who’s the best baby ever? You are. Yes, you are.”

Jonny grins at them, looking proud. “Be sure to thank our child in your vows.”

Ryan gives him the middle finger before going over to Mason. He tugs the cap securely over Mason's little ear and runs his finger over his soft cheek. “Bye, little buddy.”

Vinnie comes up and tucks a finger inside Mason’s hand for him to grip. “Bye, Mason. Please poop all day.”

Ryan chuckles as he grabs their bags and takes Vinnie’s hand. “You’ll throw up a bit too if you love your uncles.”

Mason coos and drools out some vomit on cue.