When Brandon and I got home from work on Monday, I went inside to get Elliot and then I followed him when he took his car to the body shop. Elliot was just about to drop the key through the night slot when the manager came to the door.
"I was just getting ready to lock up, but I'll take the key for you."
"Thank you, sir. I appreciate you working my car into your busy schedule."
"It's my pleasure. I would hate to see you driving around with it looking like that," he added after glancing over to where Elliot had parked. "Don't worry. I'll get the electric sander and run it over the damaged area before I leave so no one else will be able to read what was scratched into the paint."
"Thanks, I really appreciate that."
"I'll call when it's done and let you know when you can pick it up."
"Ok, and thanks again." Elliot then hopped in the car with me and we headed home.
Trey had dinner ready when we got back, so we called the boys to the table and sat down to eat. During dinner, Elliot told the others about how nice the manager of the body shop had been and what he'd done so no one else would see what had been scrawled into the paint.
"That was really nice of him," Dion agreed.
"Yeah, you should probably leave him a nice tip when you pick the car up," Noah offered.
"Maybe I will," Elliot replied.
After we finished eating, Joshie talked Elliot into playing the 'Peanuts Theme Song' for him again, but Elliot also played some other songs too, including a couple Benny had suggested. It was nice to see the three of them getting along so well.
When bedtime came, Joshie and Benny talked Elliot and Noah into showering with them again, and then they all slept together in Elliot's bed. It was a little crowded with the two younger ones in the middle cuddled against the older pair, but no one complained. I guess it was their way of making the most of Elliot's last week at home for awhile.
Even though he had Brandon's car to use in the interim, Elliot was still antsy about getting his own vehicle back. He said something about it every night at dinner and then asked when we thought it would be done. We merely reminded him that he'd originally been told it should be ready by Friday, so that was most likely when he could pick it up. I think it was why he was so excited when the manager called on Thursday afternoon and told him he could pick it up anytime.
Elliot even managed to talk Trey in to driving him there before we got home from work, so the manager wouldn't have to wait around for one of us to take him later. We were told that when he brought it home he asked Noah, Benny, and Joshie to check it out, and then he took them for a short ride. Needless to say, Brandon and I were mildly surprised when we saw his car in the driveway when we got home from work.
"Wow, they must have done a rush job for you," I remarked when I went inside.
"Yeah, they did and it looks terrific. The insurance company paid for everything except for the deductible, so when I paid my share of the bill I followed Noah's suggestion and left a tip. I told the manager it was for what he'd done when I first brought the car in and for doing such an amazing job. I think in the future he'll let me jump ahead of his other customers if I ever need his help again."
"That's nice, but let's hope you'll never need his services after this," Brandon offered.
I noticed the other boys were getting a little teary eyed when they realized there was only a little more than a day before Elliot would be leaving for school. He was planning on starting out Saturday morning so he'd have Sunday to take it easy before classes began on Monday. That way if he ran into any trouble on the trip back, he'd still have time to resolve the issue without missing any classes.
The four of them also showered and slept together on both Thursday and Friday nights, making the most of the time they had left. I also heard Elliot playing the 'Peanuts Theme Song' and some other tunes for them each night too, probably at the younger pair's suggestion. It was nice to see the four of them so close, although there were still a few minor disagreements, such as when Elliot wanted to stop playing and the younger boys wanted him to continue. I also understood there were a couple of disagreements about one group or the other hogging the PS4 during the day, but Dion or Trey had handled those situations.
After breakfast on Saturday morning, Elliot went upstairs to get his things and then took them out to his car. When he came inside the four boys gave him a hug before he came over to say goodbye to Brandon and me, as well as to Dion and Trey.
"Thanks for all your help while I was home," he told Dion and Trey, "and I'll miss each of you when I'm at school. I didn't realize just how much I liked being here with all of you, but I'll see you again after I take my last final in the spring."
"Just drive safely and obey the speed limit, both on your way there now and when you return at the end of the semester," I urged. "Call us when you get to your room, no matter the time, so we'll know you made it back in one piece."
"Ok, but you worry too much."
"Maybe, but your grandfather always made us call him whenever we went someplace when we were the same age you are now. In fact, he still does it at times." Each of us laughed after I said this.
We then walked Elliot out to his car and waved as he backed out of the driveway and started down the road. It was a bittersweet parting.
"I liked it when Elliot was home," Benny stated as we walked back to the house.
"Me too," Joshie added.
"I liked it best when he let me hang out with him at the mall and took me places," Noah agreed. "I can't wait until I get my license."
"We'll talk about that when you turn sixteen," I replied, which earned me a grin.
"Ok, and I'll hold you to it."
After we went inside, Brandon and I started on our weekend chores while the boys went off to do their own thing. We didn't see them again until lunchtime when we all ate together.
"Are we going to do anything special today, or are we stuck at home?" Noah asked.
"Did you have something in mind?"
"Nah, I just don't want to spend the whole weekend cooped up in the house."
"I wish we could go swimming," Benny offered, innocently.
"Actually, I could take you to the Boys & Girls Club to do that, but you'd have to wear your swimsuits. They won't let you skinny dip in their pool." I teased.
"I know, and I wouldn't want to be naked if there were girls there too," Benny agreed.
"I have a feeling that may change when you get older," I joked. "Is this something you'd all like to do?"
"Yeah," they all chimed in response.
"Joshie, go check with your dads to see if they mind. If they don't, then we'll all get our swimsuits. See if Wyatt and your dads want to go too, and I'll ask Brandon."
Joshie and Benny ran off to do that while I went to find my other half. "That might be fun," Brandon agreed after I presented the idea. "The exercise will be good for both of us."
"Great, so let's go see what Dion and Trey had to say."
Joshie ran up to us when we got back. "My dads want to go too, so we'll all go swimming together," he announced, beaming.
"Great, but that means we'll have to take two vehicles."
"Ok, but I'll tell them I want to ride with you."
"And I'll check to see if Pop wants to go with us," Brandon added.
"Good idea," I concurred. "I don't want him to feel left out or unwanted."
It turned out that Jake was eager to join us as well, so Brandon, I, and our two sons packed our swimsuits and towels in a duffle bag, while Dion and Trey did the same for their family, and Jake packed his own bag.
"You know, after Benny came to live here, I think you've ended up adopting our son too," Dion teased before we headed out to the cars.
"I know and I hope you don't mind."
"Not really, although sometimes I feel bad that he'd rather do stuff with you guys."
"You're always welcome to join us, and you certainly have our permission if you ever want to take Benny to do things with your family, since he's the only one Joshie is really concerned with."
"I'm not so sure about that," Dion responded as he looked me in the eye, while at the same time raising his eyebrows up and down. "I have a feeling he likes being with the rest of you just as much as he enjoys being with Benny."
"Maybe, but I don't think he'd be doing this as much if Benny wasn't here."
After saying that, we all went outside and loaded into the vehicles. Jake rode with Dion, Trey, and Wyatt again, while Joshie hopped in with us.
As soon as we got to the Boys & Girls Club, we went directly to the locker room to change. Although it hadn't dawned on me at the time, this would be the first time that Benny would see his Grandpa Jake naked too.
"Ewww, he's even hairier than you," he said in a whisper.
"Yes, he's quite hairy and a real bear."
"He's a bear?" Benny shot back amazed.
"Not a bear like you might see in the woods, but that's what people call really hairy guys."
As soon as everyone was ready, we headed out to the pool together. To my surprise, there were only a handful of other people there at the time, including the lifeguard. We all jumped in and started swimming, but as soon as the other people left I went over to have a quick chat with the lifeguard.
"Would you mind if we tossed the boys into the air for a bit?"
"I'm not supposed to allow that, but since you and your family are the only ones in the pool I won't stop you."
"Thanks," I told him before I went back to inform Benny and Joshie what he'd agreed to.
We often did this at home when there weren't too many in the pool, so the boys knew what I was talking about. They squealed with joy as each of the adults took turns tossing them into the air and letting them fall back into the water. I know Noah probably would have liked to do this too, but he had grown too big and too heavy for us to accommodate him any longer.
After doing this for a while, we took a break to catch our breath and sat along the edge of the pool with our feet dangling in the water. "That was fun," Benny said as he slid closer to me.
"I'm glad you enjoyed it."
"We should do this more often," Noah added. "There are only a few months when it's warm enough to swim at home, so we should come down here when it gets colder out."
"Yes, we can do that, if you boys want to. It's just that you've never suggested it before."
"Yeah, it was kinda dumb of us not to think of this, huh?"
"Not dumb, you just weren't considering all of your options."
After spending a little more time swimming and horsing around, we went into the locker room to shower, dry off, and change before heading home.
"Thanks, that was lots of fun," Joshie said on the drive back.
"Yes, it was," Brandon agreed. "Just let us know when you want to do it again, because we enjoyed it too."
The boys all cheered after Brandon said this, so I was certain we'd be doing it again in the very near future. When we got home, the boys went off to play video games, while Brandon and Trey turned their attention to dinner and I went to do more of the laundry. This included the towels and swimsuits we'd just used.
After dinner, we discovered that the Star Trek movie with the new cast was going to be playing on TV, so we all went in to watch it. There have been a lot of reincarnations of this series, but now they've gone back and recast the original crew.
It's amazing when you think about all of the differences there are between those of us that live in the house, because we still have one thing in common. We all seem to like science fiction/ fantasy books and movies. Therefore, we all got comfortable and settled in to watch the flick together.
Elliot called while the movie was on, so we paused the show and put him on speakerphone. "I got back a couple of minutes ago and I didn't speed either," he assured us. "I only made one quick stop to pee and get gas, if you were wondering how I got here so quick.”
"I'm glad you made it there safely and the trip went well. Just call once in awhile to let us know how you're doing."
"Ok, I will, and thanks for making my time at home so much fun. And Dad Brandon, thanks for letting me use your car. Benny, Joshie, and Noah I'll see you again this summer. Love you all."
"We love you too," we all chimed in before he hung up. Then we hit the play button to resume the movie again and watched the rest of it.
When it ended, we let Joshie and Benny skip their shower, since they'd taken one earlier at the pool. Dion, Trey, Brandon, and I all went up with the boys to tuck them in and kissed them both goodnight.
"It's neat when you all do this together," Joshie pointed out as he looked at the four of us.
"Yeah, but call Noah and have him come here too," Benny urged, so Brandon went to Noah's room to get him. Noah came over clad only in his underwear, because he'd been in bed when Brandon got there.
"Dang, so now you need the whole family to put you to bed," he griped playfully.
"Yeah, because we love all of you," Benny replied. I think he'd responded in this manner because of the way we'd ended the phone call with Elliot, who had told us the same thing.
"Ok, as long as you put it that way then I don't mind," Noah said before bending down to give both boys a kiss and wishing them pleasant dreams before returning to his room.
"I'm really glad I got to come here to live," Benny confirmed just before I turned out the light.
"We are too," Brandon and I agreed.
"Me too," Joshie chirped. His fathers had already left to go downstairs so they weren't there at the time, but we filled them in when we caught up with them a minute later.
Sunday morning as we finished eating breakfast, I decided to see what the boys wanted to do today.
"How would you guys like to go to see a movie this afternoon?" I asked.
"Sure, but what exactly do you have in mind?" Noah replied. "Is there a certain movie you want to see?"
"Not really. I just thought it would be something fun to do together."
"Ok. So what's playing?"
"I'm not sure, but we can jump online, log into Moviefone, and check," I countered. We were soon looking at the listing of the movies playing locally.
"What's 'Into the Woods' about?" Noah wanted to know.
"It's a musical based on several Grimm Brothers' fairy tales. Brandon and I saw it performed on stage, but I'm not sure if it's something you boys would enjoy. It's kind of dark, so it might not be appropriate for the younger group."
"How about 'Annie'?" Joshie suggested.
"Nah, I've heard the song 'Tomorrow' more times than I want to already," Noah groaned. "Besides, I don't really want to see a stupid musical." I think his statement just confirmed that he wasn't gay.
"How about 'The Penguins of Madagascar'," I offered as an alternative.
"Yeah, that would be good," Benny agreed.
"I'm not sure I want to see that," Noah moaned, rolling his eyes.
"Come on, Noah," Benny urged. "You've watched the shows 'bout them on Nickelodeon with me and Joshie before."
"Yeah, I guess I have, haven't I. Ok, it's better than staying home," he conceded.
Dion and Trey agreed to take Wyatt and join us, but Jake opted not to go with us this time. Once that had been settled, the rest of us loaded into the vehicles and set out for the cinema complex at the mall.
In addition to enjoying the popcorn and drinks we'd purchased, the movie was quite enjoyable as well. We all found it funny, especially the boys, and they couldn't stop talking about it afterward. I didn't think it was the best of the Madagascar movies, but it was still entertaining, even for us parents.
"That was really funny," Benny enthused.
"Yeah, and there was enough humor in it for everyone, even the older guys" Noah added.
"Older, like in us or you?" Brandon asked.
"All of us, including you really old dudes," Noah replied tongue-in-cheek. If I hadn't been driving and could have reached him, I would have playfully cuffed him for that remark.
When we arrived at home we discovered that Dion and Trey had enjoyed the movie too, but not nearly as much as Wyatt. "I wike penwins," he informed us.
"Yes, they were really cute, weren't they?" Brandon agreed.
"I wiked Skipper duh best."
"He was definitely the one in charge," I confirmed, "but they were all cute and funny."
I was glad we'd found something that everyone had enjoyed, each in his own way. The humor could be interpreted and appreciated on different levels, including some sexual nuances, so it truly was enjoyable for more than just the kids.
After dinner, we spent the rest of the night chilling out as we prepared to return to work and school the following day. Benny and Joshie talked Noah into showering with them again, but we questioned whether we should let them all sleep together.
"Maybe you should sleep in your own beds tonight, so you'll get a good night's rest," I offered.
"I sleep really good when I was with Joshie, Noah, and Elliot," Benny retorted.
"Me too," Joshie concurred.
"I don't mind and don't have a problem sleeping with them either," Noah confirmed. "Neither one moves around very much and it's kinda nice when they both cuddle with me."
I glanced at Brandon before I made up my mind. "Well, if you'll agree that you won't horse around and think you'll get enough sleep, then I guess we can let you do it again."
"Thanks, Dads," Benny and Noah replied.
"Yeah, thanks, Uncle Danny and Uncle Brandon. I really like doing this too," Joshie chimed in.
"Ok, just get to sleep," I added as they settled into bed, and then Brandon and I kissed each one goodnight. "Joshie, your dads will be up shortly to say goodnight too."
"K," he said, before Brandon and I went downstairs and sent the other pair up.
Brandon and I only stayed up for another hour before we turned in as well. It had been a busy, but fun weekend, so we wanted to get plenty of rest for the upcoming day.