Sam, Hannah, Amanda, and Mike had spent the last week at school before break working out the kinks to their new relationship. In public, Amanda and Sam were one couple and Hannah and Mike were another. This was a way for them to get physical contact and comfort in public without having to deal with the fact that their nontraditional relationship wasn’t approved of in the public eye. Throughout the week none of them were alone while at school, they always had someone to lean on.
Hannah was stressed with midterms, Sam and Mike were worried about their grades for the first time in years, and Amanda was working hard to keep them all together. She kept the younger kids organized, busy, and from being a distraction for the older kids. Every night she made dinner for everyone, it wasn’t as complicated as what Sam usually made but it worked well for what they needed.
“Alright, Mac and Cheese and Sandwiches for everyone!” Amanda walked into the dining room where the kids were sitting at the table. Hannah, Sam, and Mike had locked themselves in the living room with their notes and books. Amanda placed in the center of the table a platter of sandwiches next to a large bowl of mac and cheese.
“‘Manda, are they going to be locked in there all week?” Matt looked at the closed door with a sigh. “I haven’t seen Mike all week.”
“And I haven’t seen Sam in the same amount of time.” Cas bounced Sophie in her arms.
“It will only be this week guys, I promise. Now eat up and then we’ll finish your homework ok?” Amanda pressed a kiss to Sophie’s head and walked back to the kitchen to get the sandwiches and pasta for her partners. She walked back to the living room and took a deep breath before pushing open the door.
“Hey guys, I brought you dinner.” She glanced around the room and her shoulders slumped in defeat. Hannah had three different textbooks open around her and was completely surrounded by notes. Sam was sitting with one textbook and was just staring at the wall. Mike was laying on his face with papers surrounding him. Amanda let out a deep sigh and set down the food on a side table before walking further into the room.
She walked over to the couch and picked up one of the soft blankets, wrapping it around Sam’s shoulders and pressing a light kiss to his temple. She felt him relax as soon as he registered it was her, but he didn’t break out of his stupor. She then walked over to Mike with another blanket and a pillow, tucking the pillow under his head and wrapping the blanket around him. He groaned at her when she moved him but she ran her fingers through his hair and he opened his eyes to look at her. He smiled at her sleepily, before closing his eyes again.
Amanda looked over at Hannah and let out a deep sigh, making a plan of action in her head. The first thing she did was collect the loose papers around Hannah, then she slowly started stacking the books. She got most of the books stacked before Hannah noticed.
“What are you? No, wait I need those!” Hannah scrambled for the books but Amanda caught her.
“Hannah, babe, please you need to take a break.” Amanda started rubbing Hannah’s back until she started to relax.
“You’re going to nail finals, but you need to eat and sleep if you’re going to.” Amanda pulled Hannah towards the side table. Hannah put up a little resistance before completely giving up and following her to the table.
“Fine,” Hannah huffed and slumped against the couch, glancing at her boyfriends and sighing. She leaned forward and grabbed Sam’s arms, pulling him until he was completely relaxed against her side. She started playing with his hair working to bring him back to the real world.
Amanda walked back over to Mike and sat down next to him, rubbing his back and playing with his hair. After a few minutes, he groaned and sat up, looking around the room in confusion.
“Welcome back, Mikey.” Amanda stood up and brought the tray of food down to the ground to lay between them all. She grabbed two sandwiches for her and Mike. He took it from her and leaned against her, inhaling the sandwich almost faster than Amanda could blink. She handed him another one and a bowl of pasta, watching him fondly as he ate everything.
“What time is it?” Mike asked, looking around at the group.
“It’s about seven, you all have been in here for about 4 hours.”
“Oh ok,” Mike relaxed against her before sitting up suddenly “The kids! We forgot the kids! Did they do their homework? Did they eat? Did Sophie take her nap?”
“I took care of everything,” Amanda said, reaching out and touching his shoulder. “The kids did their homework, Sophie took her normal nap and took her bottle, the older kids ate, in a little while Cas is going to make sure they all get to bed.”
“God I love you so much,” Mike relaxed against her again, closing his eyes for a second and taking a deep breath.
“You all need to take a break, promise me after finals you’ll take a break.” Amanda glanced over at Hannah and Sam, both of whom were half asleep with their food unfinished in front of them.
“I’ll help you make sure they do,” Mike assured her, resting back against her. “You know I’ve never been worried about my grades or my finals or anything like that. I’ve only been worried about making sure the kids are fed and get to sleep on time and do well in their own school. But now I’m not the only one taking care of them and the future is suddenly more open to me than it has been in a long time.”
“And you’ll have a great future, I promise Mike. We’ve got your back and we love those kids so much. You’re not the sole provider for them anymore, it’s all of us ok?” Amanda played with his hair and pressed a gentle kiss to the back of his neck.
“I know,” Mike sighed and his eyes flickered closed. “I love you, and I love them.”
“We know.” She pressed another kiss to his head before whispering, “Get some sleep, we’ll all be here when you wake up.”
Mike grumbled at her for a second before he drifted off completely. After a few minutes, the door creaked open and the kids all peaked their heads into the door. Amanda pressed a finger to her lips and then gestured at the sleeping teens. They crept in quietly and settled around the room. Matt laid down with his head on Mike’s lap, Lucy rested her head on Amanda’s, and Cas held Sophie while laying next to Sam.
“Did they eat?” Cas whispered, resting her head against Sam’s shoulder. Sam stirred slightly but calmed down as soon as Cas shushed him. Amanda smiled and nodded before pointing at the door and whispering to them “I’ll meet you in the hall in a second.”
The kids all nodded before quietly slipping out of the room. Amanda looked at her partners and smiled before moving out from under Mike and slipping pillows under all their heads and tucking blankets around their bodies. She pressed a gentle kiss to their foreheads before moving quietly out of the room.
Out in the hall, the kids were all gathered together, Cas gently bouncing the sleepy Sophie in her arms. Amanda reached out and took Sophie, gesturing for all the kids to follow her towards their rooms. As soon as they got into Cas’ room all the kids turned to Amanda with wide eyes.
“Are they ok?” Matt demanded.
“Are they sleeping?” Lucy asked at the same time.
“Are they going to be ok?”
“They are now, yes, and yes. You all have been the best in the world, thank you for working with each other and me to make sure your older siblings can focus. I promise it will all go back to being normal after this week. And you’ll be able to eat more than mac and cheese, sandwiches, and cereal.”
“We don’t mind,” Matt said with a smile. “Mike’s never been this excited about something like this before.”
“Well, hopefully, this weekend I’ll be able to get them to relax, and then all of us will be able to talk more about our future and everything.” Amanda gave them all a hopeful smile and then moved to leave the room. “Now get ready for bed, I’ll see you all in the morning.”
“Love you ‘Manda.” Cas gave her a hug before handing her Sophie.
“Love you too, all of you. Now come on Sophie, let’s go put you to bed! I bet you’re sleepy!” Amanda brought Sophie up to the second floor, deciding to sleep in Sam’s room rather than bring the crib back to her room.
As she climbed into Sam’s bed she felt a brief pang of worry as she thought about her partners sleeping down in the study on the floor. She forced herself to take a deep breath, smelling nothing but Sam before she relaxed into his bed and let herself drift off to sleep.
The next few days passed much the same, but Friday after school everyone was in the best mood they had been in for two weeks. Sam had lifted Hannah up in a hug and spun her around when the final bell of the day rang, and Mike had talked to everyone on the car ride home.
Amanda felt herself relax, pulling into the house and climbing out of the car. She was surprised when Sam caught her arm rather than follow her in.
“Hey Amanda, can I borrow the car for a little while?”
“Yeah, sure. What’s up?” Amanda handed him the keys.
“Nothing much, just need to go out and get a few things.” Sam grinned at her before pressing a kiss to her cheek. She grinned back, following the others back into the house.
“Alright! We’re officially on break now! So no homework! What do you all want to do instead?” Mike asked, moving into the house.
“I want to take a nap,” Lucy said, laying down on the floor in the front room. Matt laid down next to her while Cas wandered off to the library.
“Sam took the car, so ‘Manda, Hannah, what do you want to until Sam gets back.
“A nap actually sounds amazing,” Amanda stretched her arm over her head and held back a yawn.
“I’m with the princess,” Hannah said, wrapping her arm around Amanda’s waist and grinning.
“Alright, to Amanda’s room.” Mike took Amanda’s other hand and lead them both upstairs to Amanda’s room. They all climbed onto the bed, Amanda in the middle with Mike closest to the door. As soon as they all got comfortable they fell asleep almost instantly, wrapped up together and without any worries.
Amanda woke back up to the feeling of someone crawling onto the bed next to her, kissing her cheek and wrapping an arm around her waist. She opened her eyes and saw Sam curled up between her and Mike.
“Hey ‘Manda,” he whispered, running his fingers through her hair.
“Hey Sammy,” she whispered back, stretching out her back and smiling at him. “How long were we asleep?”
“Only an hour, you feeling better?”
“Mhm,” Sam nuzzled into her neck pressing a kiss to it before sitting up and starting to wake up everyone else. Mike and Hannah grumbled as they woke up until they saw Sam.
“Is it ready?” Hannah asked, jumping out of bed and stretching.
“Yep, if you all want to come down with me please,” Sam took Amanda’s hand and let Hannah and Mike lead the way downstairs. Mike and Hannah practically ran into the kitchen, leaving a confused Amanda with Sam.
“Sammy, what’s going on?”
“You’ll find out,” Sam nudged Amanda toward the kitchen. Amanda rolled her eyes then moved into the kitchen, freezing as soon as she saw Mike and Hannah holding bouquets of flowers and a cake being held by Cas between them. She turned to Sam and realized that he also had a bouquet of flowers.
“This is a thank you for putting up with us when we were being the worst during finals. And so we can officially ask you out.” Sam gestured to the cake, which when Amanda took a closer look at it she saw that it read ‘Would you like to go on a date?’.
“I uh, I-” Amanda pressed her hands to her mouth as she looked around them all. Sam was holding red roses, Mike had multicolored tulips, and Hannah was holding lilacs. She felt the tears fill her eyes and immediately Mike and Hannah’s faces filled with panic.
“Oh shit Amanda! No was it too much? Was it too soon?” Mike stepped forward and reached out to her. She took his hand and started laughing through the tears.
“No no! It’s not, I’m just, a little overwhelmed. This is the sweetest thing anyone has ever done for me. I love you all so much.” She reached out and pulled Mike into a hug, feeling Sam and Hannah join in.
“We love you too,” Sam whispered in her ear, leaning in close. “And to prove that to you, we are taking you out tomorrow. We’re taking you to a movie and dinner. That movie you’ve wanted to see, uh, the Labyrinth?”
“You guys don’t have to do this.” Amanda buried her face in Mike’s neck.
“But we want to, princess,” Hannah said, working her way between Sam and Mike. “We want to treat you and take care of you the way you took care of us.”
“Alright, of course, I will. I will be delighted to date you.”
“Finally!” Cas said, reminding them all of her presence before moving out of the room, taking the cake with her. They all burst out laughing, breaking apart before following Cas out of the kitchen. Amanda took all of her flowers, holding them all close, smiling at her partners and dreaming about tomorrow.
When they made it to the dining room, all the kids had forks and had extra ones for the teenagers. As soon as the cake was set down they all started eating, happy to be together and with the hopes for the future building inside them.
“Alright, you kids going to be alright?” Hannah asked, running her fingers through her hair one last time.
“Yep, we have two new VHS tapes, two pizza’s, and ice cream in the freezer. Sophie’s dinner is in the fridge,” Cas recited, smiling up at her from her spot in the couch. Matt was on the floor reading a book and Lucy was laying on the loveseat.
“Perfect!” Amanda came into the room wearing one of her favorite sweaters and a pair of black slacks. Hannah has been convinced to wear a nice sweater but couldn’t be talked out of her jeans.
“You look very nice Amanda,” Hannah said, smiling up at her.
“So do you,” Amanda pulled her into a hug before adjusting her necklace when she pulled back. “When are the boys going to show up?”
“Any minute, I can’t believe they wanted to do this.”
“They’re trying to make it official. You know show up at the house, pick us up, take us out, drop us off.”
“And then what? Are they just going to circle the block and then come in?”
“That’s what they said.” The doorbell rang, cutting them off from any more conversation.
“Ok kids, be good!” Hannah said, walking with Amanda to the front door.
“Have fun! We won’t wait up for you!” Cas called. Amanda rolled her eyes and then opened the door with a smile. Mike and Sam were standing on the porch each holding a bouquet of flowers for the girl they were “taking”. They all knew that they were going together but as far as the world was concerned they were on a double date.
Sam handed his bouquet of multicolored roses to Amanda along with a kiss to the cheek. Mike was more shy as he handed Hannah a bouquet of random flowers in multiple colors. He hesitated before kissing her cheek, to the point where she reached out and grabbed his arm to pull him close.
“Are you girls ready to go?” Sam asked, pulling Amanda out of the doorway and onto the porch.
“Of course, been waiting for you.”
“Wonderful, then let’s go!” Sam led the small procession off of the porch and towards the car, which Amanda had lent him the keys for.
Amanda slid into the passenger seat and took Sam’s hand once more while Hannah and Mike climbed into the back. Hannah was curled into Mike’s arms, the two of them having a quiet conversation in the back while Amanda and Sam bickered about the music. As they drove towards their date, they all had a sense of peace and contentedness that they had never felt before.