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    Dahawk
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Life's Struggles - 12. Becoming Family

‘Isn’t she lovely,

Isn’t she wonderful,

Isn’t she precious’

 

“Five more minutes,” Blu groaned turning over snuggling into Kyle with a kiss to his bare shoulder.

‘Less than one minute old,

I never thought through love we’d be,

Making one as lovely as she,

But isn’t she lovely made from love’

 

“Damn it, Bella.” Blu rolled over reaching for his phone, he swiped to answer the call. “Hi beautiful, Daddy wants you.” He tossed the phone onto Kyle’s chest before snuggling back against his husband's side.

“Hello?” Kyle mumbled as he was forced awake by his loving husband. “And don’t think you’re goin’ back to sleep,” he uttered and tossed the blanket off of the bed.”

“Come back, your all warm and stuff,” Blu whined.

Kyle picked up the water squirt bottle Blu kept beside the bed from when Scarlett lived there and squeezed shooting at the sleeping bastards face.

“DAD!” Bella yelled into the phone to get his attention.

Kyle picked up Blu’s cell, “Oh, hi honey.” He said as he elbowed Blu, “You’re an ass our daughter calls your phone and you chucked it at me and go back to sleep?”

“Dad!” Bella laughed.

“Is something wrong sweetheart?” Kyle asked now that he was awake and more focused.

“No, no, everything is fine. We’re all moved in, Savannah and Tracy are settled. Um…”

“That’s good. Do you want me to send Pop down? He can play interior decorator,” Kyle rolled his eyes, “if the jackass would wake up.”

“I’m awake, Blondie. Thanks to my loving daughter and husband. Don’t you people ever sleep?” Blu grumbled sitting up in bed holding his hand out for his phone back.

“Bella, Pop has decided to grace you now that he’s awake. Love you,” Kyle stated before handing the phone back to Blu.

“Hello, girly, how are you this fine morning?” he asked with a yawn.

Bella laughed. “It’s what? Nearly eleven in the morning where you are, why are you still in bed, pop?”

“Because your damn brother knocked up some chick, that’s why!” Blu smiled negating his bitchiness. He was absolutely besotted with Noah. “We’ve never had a baby, it’s an adjustment.”

“He’s so cute,” Bella cooed.

“Yeah, well, you can wait for your own one, girlie. Like twenty years.” Blu smiled. “So, everyone moved in?”

“Yep, we’re all moved in. We’ve had three orgies already, and had a massive kegger last night.” Bella cheerily listed off the newest activities.

“Ugh, are you trying to give me a heart attack?” Blu screeched.

All that came through the other end of the phone was laughing, and it wasn’t just from Bella.

“I’m coming out there!” Blu exclaimed.

The laughter died quickly.

“Noooo, don’t do that. I was just kidding, pop. I swear.” Bella backtracked as fast as possible. The moment of silence between them felt like forever.

“Is everything okay, daughter of mine?” Blu asked seriously.

A short sigh from Bella. “Yeah, pop everything's good. I just missed you, after spending time with all of you I kind of wish you were here.”

Blu put the phone on speakerphone motioning for Kyle to come to sit on the bed for a moment as he came back from the bathroom. His husband raised his eyebrow. They heard movement on the other end of the call and a door close.

“Bella’s homesick,” Blu told him.

“Aww, our baby missed us.” Kyle spoke sweetly, “At least we know she thinks of us.”

“Hey, sweetheart, what if we send Levi and Brody out to you for the weekend in a couple of weeks. By themselves, of course. You wouldn’t want your dads ruining your rep.” Blu chuckled. Kyle nodded his head in agreement, plus the variation of activities in Levi’s life seemed to keep him upbeat.

“Do you think they’ll want to come?” Bella asked hopefully.

Blu snorted a laugh. “Your brother would love to get away from us at the moment.” Blu then stage whispered, “Your dad is smothering him.”

Kyle scoffed, “Sure, it’s me that’s smothering him. Like it was me that took him to the park for a walk and took him clothes shopping. I mean seriously, Babe, the kid isn’t a dog needing a walk.” He held up a finger to stop the rebuttal, “Plus the kid is gay, and he hates shopping.”

“Whatever, I’m gay and I loathe shopping. As you well know, and–”

“DADS!” Bella huffed to get their attention, “I better go, I’ve got a study group meeting for the stupid math credit I need. Thank you for making me feel less homesick.”

“Okay, baby girl. Call us any time, we love you and we’ll get Levi to call you,” Blu said watching his husband as he dropped his towel to put on his underwear.

“I can sense you perving,” Kyle chuckled as his boxer briefs reached their destination. “Why do I feel like a slab of meat in the butcher shop?”

“Ugh, gross. You couldn’t wait until I hung up before you start in on each other. I’m out.” Bella griped and ended the call.

*****

As the family gathered around the table for dinner that night, it was controlled chaos. Link handed off a warmed bottle of formula for Sage to feed Noah, along with a fresh burp rag. Cody and Jonathan were making weird faces toward their nephew, and Noah blew bubbles back at them. Levi and Brody sat watching the weirdness of their family. Blu and Kyle were placing bowls and platters of food on the table while being careful to not lose an arm in a feeding frenzy.

“Levi, Bella called me back and she said if I can get you guys out to California in the morning, she will pick you up at the airport,” Kyle stated as he rounded the table to his seat.

“Yeah, she said we can hit the beach tomorrow afternoon and have a cookout Sunday afternoon,” Levi said as he stabbed a chunk of roast beef on the platter. “We can fly back on Monday since this was a four day weekend. You need to add a pre-summer long weekend into the next school year's schedule.”

“I’ll be sure to take your request into consideration,” Kyle joked as he watched the food vanish from the containers on the table. “I texted Teddy already the jet will be waiting for you at six in the morning. Brody, are you comfortable driving Blu’s car to the airport?” Kyle and Blu had discussed that treating the teens more as adults would help Levi’s sometimes erratic attitude.

Brody nodded, “I’m good. Thanks for trusting me, I…” he squeezed his boyfriend’s hand. “We appreciate it.”

*****

Sage lounged by the pool Saturday afternoon with Noah in his little board shorts resting on his chest singing to the little one.

‘Drove my Chevy to the levee, but the levee was dry

And them good old boys were drinkin’ whiskey and rye’

 

Sage stopped singing looking at the boy, “No drinking til you’re at least twenty-one. Understand?” Noah blew raspberries at his comment. “Okay smarty pants, you’re Dad and me are gonna be watchin’ you.” Then he continued singing the song to Lincoln’s and his son.

“What’s this?” Blu asked scaring the crap out of Sage who thought he was alone.

“Us guys are catchin’ some rays,” Sage checked the sunscreen on Noah, “Gotta impress daddy don’t we Noah?”

Blu chuckled since they were both slathered in sunscreen and laying underneath the big poolside umbrella Sage and Lincoln purchased so they could be outside with the baby.

“Sure, but I meant this?” Blu asked picking up a copy of ‘Catcher in the Rye’ by John Steinbeck.

“Oh,” Sage cleared his throat. “That’s for my English Literature class for college.”

“Really?” Blu asked surprised. “When did you start that? Where are you going to college? When do you go to classes? You’re always here with Noah.”

“Lincoln and I talked right before Noah was born and I enrolled for online studies through B.U.” Noah made some gurgling sounds which made Sage smile, “Both your daddies need to be able to spoil you don’t we buddy?” Sage brushed his finger gently over the babies face.

“Hmm, okay. If you need any help with your courses let me know.” Blu smiled at Sage then reached over and stole Noah walking off with his grandson.

“Kidnapper!” Sage laughed picking his book up getting comfortable to continue reading.

Blu went to the kitchen where Kyle was making sandwiches. “Did you know Sage is taking college classes? Why wouldn’t they tell us? We could have helped a little more than him taking online classes.”

Kyle shrugged his shoulders, “No. I didn’t know but think about it, babe, they have a baby and are making decisions as a family.”

Lincoln came out of the laundry room with a basket of Noah’s freshly laundered and folded clothes. Seeing Noah in Blu’s arms he stopped and gave his son a kiss on the forehead, “Where’s your Poppa? He’s supposed to be studying and you were supposed to be napping.” Noah swished his hand in the air basically giving his dad a go away motion.

Link chuckled. “That’s great pop, what are you teaching my son?”

“That his grampy is awesome,” Blu nuzzled Noah, “and he thinks I’m right.”

Pulling back with a knowing look on his face, Link laughed. “Yeah, well, awesome grampy you have possession which means you have to take care of business.” He strolled off laughing the whole way to his room.

“I’m gonna go… uh… give Sage a sandwich so he has energy for studying,” Kyle stated grabbing the platter, “Wipes and stuff well you know where they are. Good luck his number twos are nasty.” He hustled out toward the pool.

“We don’t care do we little one.” Blu sniffed at the baby nearly gagging. “Ew, you really are your father’s kid, huh?” he wandered off to clean the bundle of pungent fragrance.

*****

Blu passed Jonathan and Cody on the stairs. “Boys, dad has sandwiches out by the pool for lunch. Why don’t you change into your swim trunks? You can go for a swim after lunch.”

“Yes!” Jonathan pumped his fist in the air. “Can Kasey and Shawn come over?”

“Um…” Blu mentally checked his bank account. “Yeah, fine.” He sighed.

“Awesome.” Jonathan couldn’t get upstairs quick enough while Cody followed closely behind texting their cousins.

Blu wandered out to the pool where he found his husband and Link and his not so better half chatting about their new normal with the baby.

“I don’t know, Dad,” Sage said to Kyle. “I just want… like you know. I have to do better, it’s not just about me anymore, we’re a family now and I want to be able to show Noah or any future kids we have that I’m good enough for them.”

Link leaned into Sage, “Babe, you are more than enough for us.” His heart hurt a little for his boyfriend. Sage had never explored his feelings on the matter with Lincoln.

“I want to be a good role model for our kids, you know?” Sage answered self-consciously.

Blu sat down next to Kyle on the lounge giving Noah to Kyle.

“You’re doing the right thing, Sage, but if you're not doing it for yourself it’s going to be a hard slog to get anywhere,” Blu told him. “What’s the end result for you, once you get your degree? What degree are you heading toward?”

“Well, I want to teach English Literature,” Sage stated as he brushed his hair out of his eyes.

“Really?” Blu narrowed his eyes at the young man. “Why?”

“I know I don’t look smart. But I’ve been tested and either the tests are completely off their rocker or I am.” Sage shrugged, “After the sh– crap with my parents I tested out of school. I love reading so that’s what I did with every spare moment. As a kid, you can sorta get lost in a world where things aren’t as bad as life seems to deal a person. Or go on an adventure and forget everything going on around you. There is no hate because you’re gay, or over the color of your skin, or because you’re different than somebody else or poor. I just feel like I can teach kids there are books and stuff to act as a buffer from the everyday world.”

“Wow, okay.” Blu took an assessing look at Sage. “You’re holding something back, there’s more?”

Sage averted his gaze momentarily, nodding when he focused back on Blu. The older man saw the subtle movement in the young boy who fidgeted a tad. When his shoulder slumped Blu knew he was right.

“What is it?” Blu asked with a smirk.

“Well, I’d also like to write.” He bit his bottom lip pensively warring with himself of how much to give away. “I was thinking,” he let out a breath, “thinking since we have Noah, I might try and write a children's book. I’d just have to find someone to do the illustrations.” He finished waiting for judgment from the two older men who would one day become his in-laws. His experience from his own parents was always a let down why would these two men be any different. He was surprised by the reaction he got.

Kyle grinned and Blu was still wearing his smirk like a damn jackal. “I know just the person who can help you out with that,” Blu told him.

“Check with Mom, she’s always been the artistic one since I became a part of the family and she loves planning,” Kyle suggested to the teen.

“Plus,” Blu laughed, “she’s driving dad crazy since they retired.”

Lincoln chuckled, “Grandpa is just grumpy because Grammy gives us all of the cookies when we visit.”

“Mom’s cookies are pretty good.” Kyle smiled thinking of the last time Lily had sent home a batch of her homemade chocolate chip cookies, they came close to being a family favorite only outdone by Kaleb’s cheesecake. Hmm, cheesecake. He gave a sleeping Noah to Link, then pulled his phone out of his pocket calling Kaleb.

“Hello, my favorite brother,” Kyle said into the phone.

“I wouldn’t call you just to get pastries,” he pouted.

“Okay,” he huffed, “Fine. Yes please.” He grinned at Blu.

“Thank you, favorite brother.” Kyle ended the call.

“We’ll have cheesecakes, yes that’s plural, and some kind of new ginger and coconut cookie he’s concocted in about an hour,” said Kyle with a cheeky grin.

“Yes!” Jonathan exclaimed from behind his dads making them both jump a foot in the air.

Kyle brought his hand to his chest. “Warn a guy, jesus.”

All the boys laughed while Jonathan sheepishly apologized. “Sorry, dad.” He wrapped his little arms around Kyles's neck.

“Okay, you boys eat. Then you can go in the pool once it’s digested,” Blu told them putting his arm around Kyle’s waist since Jonathan basically leaped at the food like a ravenous dog.

“I got an interesting letter the other day, Dad.” Lincoln looked at Kyle, “I thought I was done with music, once I uh… well, once Noah was in his mom’s stomach.” Link kissed the baby on the forehead, “But then I got a brochure for Berklee College of Music, Sage and I talked about it. We both agreed that I have to go to college so our family can support itself. Over the summer I want to apply for school that way, come next school year I can focus on finishing high school. Maybe even take a few online college courses to get a headstart on it.”

It took a moment for Kyle to gather his thoughts. “Hmm, I think… I think that’s a good plan. Have you thought about daycare for Noah for your senior year?”

“What about Sage and college?” Blu asked.

Sage sat forward in the chair, “Dad, Pop, we talked about Noah a lot. I’m gonna get my degree through online studies for the most part. I might have an occasional class that I have to pop into the college for, but I will take care of Noah. I want Link to follow his dream of music, I love listening to him play songs for Noah and me. And wow he sings like an angel to us.” Lincoln turned red from the praise from Sage.

“You’re important too, Sage,” Lincoln told his boyfriend.

“I know baby, we talked about this. I don’t have the ambition or desire like you do. You have to do this Lincoln, I thought we had sorted this out already. To be happy, all of us as a family, we need you to follow your dream. I’m happy with our decision.” Sage glanced over at Blu and Kyle quickly hoping they agreed or didn’t think he was half-assing his college education.

Kyle smiled at the pair, “I’m glad to see you’re both concerned about the future of your family and each other. Your relationship is going to rely on communication, and self-sacrifice for your son.”

“Sage,” Blu said standing up, “can I have a quick word?”

“Yes Sir,” Sage said worriedly following Blu into the kitchen.

The two stared at each other for a few long long silent minutes. Blu blinked then squared his shoulders.

“Are you sure about this, Sage. You understand what you’re sacrificing?”

Sage nodded his head, “I’m not sacrificing anything. I’m making the right decision for Lincoln and my family. I know I don’t want our kids growing up not knowing how much their dads love them, just like each of your kids know.”

“I know you love Noah and Lincoln. Look,” Blu sighed, “this is something you better be absolutely positive about. When you have a family a man has to be solid, if you change your mind it’s not as easy to just walk away.”

“Pop, if you want me to walk away. I’m not. I swear to god I will fight for them,” Sage pointed toward Link and Noah through the sliding glass door.

Blu chuckled. “Me and you,” he said shaking his head, “we suck at communicating. That’s not what I meant or what I want. Not even a little bit. I want you to be sure you’ll be happy with online courses, don’t you want to go to college? Have that experience?”

Sage shook his head, “My family is important,” he laughed softly, “I’m not a big people person. Heck, I’m the hippy surfer dude,” he shrugged his shoulders. “I don’t care what anybody says or thinks of me anymore, the only thing that will ever matter is my family.”

“I get that, Sage, I do. Okay, how about we make a deal?” Blu asked.

“I’m listening. If I don’t say anything I can’t jump to conclusions,” Sage chuckled – it seemed like no matter what either Blu or himself says one or the other has always jumped to conclusions.

“About time you shut up,” Blu joked. He turned serious again broaching the subject that had been on his mind a lot the closer the two boys became. “I want you to apply to college,” Blu held up his hand, “ not finished. I want you to apply to college when Link does. If you are accepted into BU you can always defer if you’re happy with the way things are going. You keep up with your online courses while Link is at school next year. This next part is non-negotiable, if at any time you feel trapped or restless you come to me, and Kyle we’ll organize a scholarship for you to go to school. But if you still feel the same way when it comes to changing to actually go to college and you’re happy with life and want to continue online learning, you won’t get any crap from me. What do you think?”

“I’m okay, but you do realize I am already accepted to B.U. I just decided I want to be an online studies program. I may have to go to an occasional class on campus to fulfill requirements, but that is it.” Sage said to his future father-in-law. “One other thing, Sir. I want you to know my intentions. I plan to ask Lincoln to marry me, I want us to be in a committed relationship. Noah deserves to have his dads married.”

“I understand how you feel, but my concern is for all of you. Right now we are talking about you and your education the relationship stuff was never in question. So, the non-negotiable part of the deal?” Blu asked testily.

“One sec. I’ll be right back,” Sage ran into the bedroom grabbing his college acceptance letter from B.U. before returning to Blu handing him the letter. “Here, Pop, I don’t want you doubting I am already accepted to B.U. I’ve spoken to counselor’s of admission and they extended the option of being in classes on campus.”

“That’s not really what I was talking about Sage.” Blu handed back the letter without reading it. “I trust you were telling me the truth. My thing is you’re young, I trust you know yourself, but we all change. I want to know that you have me and Kyle. I want you to come to us if you need help if you’re feeling trapped or restless. Usually, these feelings pass by, but you have to address them. Having a family can be hard sometimes and you and Link won’t always agree. We may be Link’s parents but he brought you into this crazy ass family and now you’re stuck with us. Promise me, you’ll come to us if you start to feel overwhelmed or pressured. We’re here to help and have your best interests at heart.”

Sage smiled, “Okay, how about we agree if I feel like I need help I’ll come to both you and dad after I talk to Link?”

“I can live with that. Also, if you need help with your classes, I’m all ears. I’ve been there, and not that long ago.” Blu smiled. “Okay, piss off. I’m sick of talking to you.” He went to the fridge and grabbed the two pitchers of fresh lemonade he’d made earlier in the morning. “Grab some glasses and take them with you.”

“Yes Grampy,” Sage joked grabbing what he was told, humming a tune to himself.

“Oh, and I wasn’t kidding about the scholarship. Kyle and I have talked about it. We want to help. Now hold the damn door open for me I have my hands full.”

Sage opened the door speaking loudly, “Just don’t hit me no more. I promise to behave,” he joked and grinned ear to ear.

“It’s not like I hit you in the face, shit head.”

“Oh, I’m saving for my doctorate now. Your new fee is ten dollars per word.” Kasey ran over dripping on Blu’s foot holding out his hand motioning for the money. “Cash or direct deposit?”

“Hey Blondie,” Blu called out as he walked closer to his family, “what’s the penalty for bribing teachers at school?”

“Not sure we have a policy?” Kyle said with a laugh, “Is the bribe a good one?”

“No, it hits us right in the wallet?” Blu groused.

“I can hit you in the balls,” Kasey balled his fist, “I accidentally hit Shawn in them n’ he said a really bad word.”

“Okay,” Blu said giving Kyle a ‘What the fuck?’ look. “I was thinking more a semester of lunch detentions.”

 *****

“Pass the potatoes shorty?” Link asked Jonathan.

“So, Link, Sage,” Kyle said passing the roasted pumpkin to Cody. “Me and pop have been talking.” Both boys stopped putting their forks down on their plates giving their dads their full attention. “We were wondering if you would both like to have an apartment over the garage built for your little family?”

“Why?” Link asked sadly. “Don’t you like having us here?”

“Son, we love having you here. You’d still be here. Just you would have larger bedrooms for you and sage, and Noah would have his own room.” Kyle explained. “Maybe even a little study for Sage.”

“It would have a kitchenette for you, your own bathroom. It wouldn’t be huge or anything but it would be your own space, it’ll be bigger than what you have now and you can always come to the main house just like you are now.” Blu informed them.

“So we would still be a part of the family, right? We didn’t like piss nobody off?” Sage asked skeptically.

“What? No! But you’re a family to your own as well. You’ll both be busy with study and the baby, you don’t need the extra chaos around here as more of a distraction. Trust me, you’ll be thankful for the peace and quiet. This is still your home, your room is moving is all.” Blu smiled. “And, your still close enough for me to steal, I mean take Noah.”

Lincoln and Sage both smiled while Noah drooled down Sage’s shoulder.

Sage dabbed at the goop running down his shirt. “Just make sure we have access to the laundry room. I don’t think we can keep enough clothes clean. And that is gross little dude, but you’re cute so it’s okay.”

“Stay out of the laundry room,” Blu said waving his fork between the two of them. “We’ll make sure you have your own.” He turned to Kyle worriedly. “They’re having their own laundry room right?”

“Yes, Dear.”

Link smirked at his pop, who filled his fork with mash potato and slingshot it at his son getting him right in the forehead. Kyle laughed at the expression on Link’s face and said to his husband, “Good shot, babe.”

“La pop est un crétin,” Lincoln grumbled under his breath while taking Cody’s napkin and wiping the food from his head.

Jonathan smirked, “Pop’s a jackass?”

Cody attempted to cover their little brother’s mouth, however, he ended up falling out of the chair laughing at him over translating Link’s comment. The laughing ended with a faceful of mash potato and Jonathan looking guilty as he looked down at him.

“Pop told me too.” He shrugged his little shoulder apologetically.

Hope each of you enjoyed this installment.

Remember leave reactions and comments, we enjoy hearing from you guys.

To each of you stay safe, practice social distancing. And love one another.

Aaron Hawke & JT Babbage
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Chapter Comments

I like after Blu and Sage had their heart to heart and they went back to join the others Sage yells "Just don't hit me no more.I promise to behave" lol. nice calm chapter well as calm as these guys can get at least.

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I love this family and the chaos that surrounds them I hope to some day have a family like that 

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Wonderful chapter. It's great that Blu and Sage have cleared the air finally. Love the idea of a flat for Link, Sage and Noah. This story just keeps getting better and  better.

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I get the feeling of "calm before the storm"...  I could live with many more volumes to follow in this series!  This family is both real and idealistic!   Would that all families had this amount of love, fun, support for each other, and the ability to work together through challenges!  Great work!

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On ‎6‎/‎6‎/‎2020 at 11:48 PM, weinerdog said:

I like after Blu and Sage had their heart to heart and they went back to join the others Sage yells "Just don't hit me no more.I promise to behave" lol. nice calm chapter well as calm as these guys can get at least.

I liked and laughed at that part too! I think Blu has become very fond of Sage!

 

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I think Blu has finally truly accepted Sage into the family!  I'm happy!! Another great chapter!  Thank you.

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