“I honestly don’t know how you managed to get us dragged into this Kieren Walker.” Simon Monroe whined, actually whined, as he stared down onto the couch where his boyfriend was sat.
“Oh come on Simon, Amy and Philip deserve a night out and they certainly couldn’t take this little guy with them!” Kieren ignored his boyfriend’s petulant whines as he looked affectionately upon the squirming baby in his arms.
“But yer know how terrible I am with kids, Kier.” Almost as if to prove Simon right, a small hiccup came from the child, making the man jump back with an almost inhuman fright. “What was that? Is it okay?”
“First of all, Si, he’s not an it, he’s a he and second of all, he’s fine, just a bit of wind, eh fella?” Lifting the boy slightly from his cradling position, Kieren poised the baby carefully over his shoulder while Simon watched on in wonder. It was a mystery to the Irishman, this whole baby malarky. They couldn’t communicate in words so how was he supposed to know what to do to appease it’s needs? How did Kieren seem to instinctively know what to do and when to do it? He was slightly jealous over the younger man’s apparently innate sense, though mostly it just made Simon see how much more incredible Kieren could be.
“It’s the pros of growing up with a little sister.” It also appeared that his boyfriend could read minds. “I’m not a mind reader Si, I’ve just loved you long enough to be able to read your expressions.”
Kieren flushed pink at the words he had let escape on his tongue; it was true though, he and Simon had been set up, by the mother of the baby boy he now held, a few years ago and since then time had flashed by in a whirlwind of love, romance and domesticity. Still, Kieren had been a shy boy and now he was a shy man and the repressed childhood he’d had was not a great influence on his ability to show strong romantic love without being reduced to a blushing mess.
“Besides, haven’t you ever thought about having kids?”
“I certainly did when I was a naive young kid, when I still thought I would have to grow up and marry a nice young lass, just to appease me dad. But then I grew a pair and decided to be who I was.” Simon explained. “But now? I don’t know. I’m horrible with children and I would definitely mess up, I really don’t want to put a kid through that.”
“Oh, you’re not that bad! Besides… uh, I’d be here, so the kid wouldn’t get screwed up that much would they?” Doe eyes met Simon as he looked down at Kieren, shock washed over him as he realised what the other man was implying. Practically falling onto the couch cushion beside Kieren, all Simon could do was gape disbelievingly at his boyfriend of five years.
“You want kids? With me?” He was dumbstruck, Kieren actually wanted to raise a kid, or even more than one, with him. Even knowing his past, his track record with relationships and his awful parenting skills.
“Of course dumb-dumb. Who else would I want kids with? Who else would be there to read them to sleep with the wonderful words of Yeats and Dickenson? Who else would be the big strong Dad? Certainly not me. You’ll be the one they go to shoulder rides for, you know that right?” Simon couldn’t remember a time when a smile this bright and wide had been present on his boyfriend’s face, it certainly looked like Kieren was eager to do this.
To hell with his fears, if Kieren believed in him this strongly then surely he could at least try to do this.
“Okay.” Simon breathed, and the impossible smile on the other man’s face got impossibly brighter. “We can do this. I might need some practise first though.” Another breathy laugh, he could hardly believe what he was agreeing to. Twenty-eight year old Simon was definitely different to nineteen year old Simon. He was sure that if somehow he gained the ability to travel back in time and tell his past self that in nine years he would be settling down with a nice young boy ready to raise a family, that his past self would have clocked him one and called him insane. But it was true. It was so true and Simon was so ready.
“Good thing we’ve got this little guy here for practise then, I’m sure Amy would let us borrow him anytime.” Kieren grinned cheekily as he gestured the boy gently towards Simon, who was opening his arms up as a gesture to pass the baby over.
Kieren lay the boy delicately into Simon’s strong, warm arms, carefully rearranging his boyfriend so that both he and the baby would be sitting comfortably.
“See? Not that terrible after all are yer?” Grinning, the younger man sat back down beside Simon and leant his head on his shoulder. “I bet the kids will just love your old grandpa jumpers too. They’re so soft!”
“Har har. You think you’re so funny Kieren Walker.”
“I do indeed.” Nuzzling further into his boyfriend’s side, he muttered into the soft wool, “You’ll be a great dad Si, I love you.”
“I love you too.”
“I wonder what our families will think?” Kieren said, yawning as the body heat of his boyfriend began to send him to sleep.
“Yer mum’ll be pleased, I reckon, I think she’s been hoping we’ll make this move, she knows she’s not getting any grandkids outta Jem just yet.” Kieren giggled at the thought of his kickass, twenty year old, metro police officer in training, little sister being a mum - dressed in mum jeans, drinking tea as she packed lunch boxes and kissed a faceless husband good-bye as he goes off to work - no, that was definitely not his little sister’s forte.
“What about Amy? She’s gonna be ecstatic!” The boy in Simon’s arms wiggled slightly, though the Irishman couldn’t determine whether that was down to hearing his mother’s name or just a coincidence.
“Oh no. Our poor kids are gonna have one mental family.”
“That might be Si, but that’s absolutely fantastic. Because they’ll love it, they’ll be ours Simon. Oh wow, I really want this.” Surprised at himself, Kieren lightly brushed a finger over the fluff of hair on top of Amy and Philip’s baby boy.
“Me too, Kier, me too.”