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Carter, the Building's Dad, Apparently

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Carter was upset.

Well, more like inconvenienced, but he was going to be upset if Sadie didn’t get back soon, because he may be known as the “dad” of the building, but having all of the children whose parents were currently at work inside of his apartment, fighting over the blankets and who would share with whom was getting to be a bit too much for him.

It’s not like Carter was new to this. If anything, he was used to having Shelly over during the week, happy to babysit for her parents while they were away, Felix becoming a semi-permanent guest in his and Sadie’s apartment seeing as his parents were constantly traveling and all of his other family living too far away for him to live there and keep attending the same school. Oftentimes, Carter was the one asked to watch over the other kids when their parents were away too, as all the parents knew he was responsible enough to care for their kids and not hurt them.

Sadie, on the other hand, wasn’t quite as trusted with the adults. Whether it be her hair or the fact that she dressed as a rebellious teen, no one knew, but the kids seemed to like her as much as the parents didn’t. Whenever Julian was over she’d let him raid her closet, offering him some tips on wearing makeup, even if his parents didn’t approve of it.

But see, the thing is, even if all of these kids were over often, that didn’t mean that they were over at the same time. Carter knew how to deal with them on their own, but as a collected group he had absolutely no idea what to do. If Walt was here, he could probably give him some advice and help out, but he was out with Sadie and Zia to go buy groceries (Carter didn’t know why the three of them had to all go together, seeing as grocery shopping was at most a two-person job majority of the time, but he was too preoccupied with trying to find out why the heating wasn’t working to really question it).

When he heard a knock on the door he breathed a sigh of relief, hoping that it was his sister on the other side. Looking through the peephole, he saw that it was actually the landlady, Bast, and opened the door before he could even question where his sister was for the nth time that day. “Hey, Bast.”

She gave him her signature cat-like grin. “Hello, Carter. I see you have all of the kids with you.”

“Yeah, they needed someone to make sure that they didn’t freeze.” He shrugged and turned to look at where Cleo and Jaz were cuddled up, Cleo lightly reading the book aloud to Jaz and whoever else was listening. He turned back. “Did you want to join?”

Bast shook her head. “No, no. I came here to update you, actually. We called someone earlier to take a look at our boiler, and it should be fixed in about an hour.”

Carter sighed in relief. “Thanks for telling me.”

“Of course. I should be heading to the other tenants in order to tell them, so good luck with the kids.”

“Thank you.” He closed the door behind her and watched the room.

That was a relief, at least. Now they wouldn’t have to sleep at night with the building still freezing, hopefully. It would be a mess if they did, considering how Shelly and the rest of the “Ankle Biters” were hiding out under his blankets, and there was no doubt in his mind that there were people in Sadie’s bed as well.

The only person who didn’t seem phased at all by the cold was Felix, who was sat by the window with only his clothes watching the snow fall, Julian next to him trying to sneakily wrap him under the blanket.

Luckily, despite the heat being out, everything else still worked fine, so instead of a bunch of kids bored out of their minds, there were some sitting in front of the tv, all sharing a blanket.

When the heat came back on an hour and a half later, everyone had cheered for joy, glad that they could go around without the cold nipping at every part of their bodies. Most of the kids stayed until their parents picked them up, until the only people left at the apartment was Carter, Jaz, Cleo, Julian, and Felix. They all helped him pick up the blankets that had been left around the apartment, before they left as well, leaving Carter all alone.

Half an hour later, while eating the small dinner that he had prepared himself, he heard the door open. He got up and walked to the door, where he saw Sadie trying to shush Walt, Zia behind of them rolling her eyes.

“Where have all three of you been?” They froze at the sound of his voice and good, because they had been gone for the entire day without even telling him what they were doing, because grocery shopping shouldn’t take three hours.

“Shopping?” Sadie shrugged, a sheepish smile on her face as she lifted the bags in her hand. At his raise on an eyebrow she added, “Okay, so we may have gone out to eat without you, but we were hungry, okay?”

“So, the three of you were gone for three hours because you decided to grab a bite to eat before shopping, leaving me for two and a half hours with everyone in the apartment while the heater was out, and you didn’t think that you should tell me?”

“Wait what? The heater went out?” That was Zia talking this time, as she moved inside and towards the kitchen to put away the bags in her hands. “You should have told us, we would have tried to come home sooner.”

Carter sighed, rubbing a hand down his face. “It doesn’t even really matter anymore, honestly. It was fixed soon enough. I just wish that one of you had thought to tell me where you were.” Carter looked at all of the bags in their hands. “Now, go put everything you bought away.”

“You’re not going to help us?” He looked at Walt. “Never mind, that was a stupid question.”

Carter nodded. “Yeah, I’m going to bed now. Try not to break anything. Zia, you can come to my room when you’re done if you’re staying the night.”

She nodded at him and he left the room. Today was more eventful than he thought it would be, but it wasn’t as bad as it could have been.