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Not the Worst Parents in the World

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It's about three in the morning when Cody and Noel hear it. They come out of their rooms at nearly the same time and when they see each other standing there, the noise still coming from the kitchen, Cody's eyes widen. Noel's reaching behind his door for a bat and Cody grabs a large candle and walks behind him towards the kitchen. The sound of pots and pans banging loudly makes them think raccoon or a cat, but the only reason that didn't make sense is because they were seven stories up. They look in the kitchen floor and only see a small child with long blondish brown hair, big glasses falling down his face. He's sitting near a pair of shoes and jeans, long socks falling off their feet and a huge long-sleeved shirt hanging off one shoulder. The sleeves were massive and when the baby looks up at them Cody and Noel give each other a weird look.

"You got a kid I don't know about," Cody asks.

"Dude, that kid is white as hell, it's gotta be yours."

"No, fucking way," he says, "that thing looks like Spock."

And the second they say it they give each other a look an Noel pulls out his phone and calls him. Cody looks at him, "what are you gonna say?"

"I'm gonna tell him to come get his ugly ass kid out of our kitchen."

He narrows his eyes at the phone and cocks his head looking at Cody, "dude, Spock left me a voicemail. It probably says something like 'turns out I have a kid, take care of him while I work.'"

"Well," Cody sighs, "let's see what he has to say."

He puts it on speaker and soon Spock's voice is coming through the phone, "Noel, I don't have a lot of time so you need to listen carefully. I fucked up. I was at a gig a few hours ago and some chick offered me this blunt after my set and she pretty, dude, like really  it doesn't matter, that's not the point. The point is she turned out to be a fuckin' witch and spelled me. I know it sounds crazy and I didn't believe her when she told me but then she made this magic and did weird shit with her hands I just thought she threw some fucking shit into the blunt to make me trip but she didn't. I am one hundred percent not high anymore and I'm freaking out, man. I can't remember shit, I can feel myself getting shorter and my brain getting dumber. She said this shit would make me feel like a kid again but I had no idea this was what she meant. All my shit is in my jeans, I need you to track this chick down and find her because whatever she gave me..."

His voice trails off and he sounds like he's about to cry, "fuck, man, I think it might be fucking permanent. I left a message on Cody's phone too, but you guys can't tell my family or anyone about this shit. I don't want my family finding out or the government trying to do fucking experiments on me, I just  you guys need to help me! Please help me."

They look to the kid on the floor, he couldn't be older than two or three. He looks up at them and Cody heads over to him squatting near him, "hey, buddy."

"You're not buying this shit, are you," Noel asks, calling Spock's number, "this is all bullshit and it's some fucking elaborate prank and Spock is gonna show up any minute and be like 'I can't believe you two idiots actually believed I was a baby.' And he'll never let us hear the end of it. Every time we prove him wrong he'll be like 'Oh, well you remember that time you idiots believed I was a baby?'"

He does the last bit in his fake Spock voice and Cody tilts his head at the kid, "hey, do you know who I am?"

"Cody Ko," he says making sure to say each syllable.

Cody's eyes go wide and he looks up at Noel. Noel shakes his head, "he's in on it, dude, this is just Spock's way of messing with us."

Spock's phone goes off in the pair of jeans and Noel looks down at them. Cody picks them up, "this is his wallet, his cash, his ID, his phone, his keys! Dude, this is Spock."

"It's not him, it's just some little kid," Noel says.

"Noel," Spock says, like he's sounding it out.

"Fine," Noel rolls his eyes, "if you're Spock, tell me this, what's the capital of Nebraska?"

"Fuck you," the kid says.

Noel goes quiet before crossing his arms over his chest and nodding to Cody with wide eyed, "oh shit, this might be Spock."

"Would Spock even know the capital of Nebraska," Cody asks, brows coming together in confusion.

"No," Noel says shaking his head slightly and pointing to the kid, "but he would definitely answer that way if I asked him."

"Okay," he says, "so, what do we do now?"

"Let's leave him at an orphanage," Noel says, "I'll look up some places."

"We are absolutely not doing that," he says, "why don't you go to the store and buy him some diapers and clothes and stuff and I'll watch him and figure out what to do."

"No fucking way, it's three am, I wanna go to bed. Get that shit in the morning."

"Where's he going to sleep, what's he going to eat, where's he gonna shit? Huh? Cause I'll tell you where he'll be shitting if you don't get them."

"Why don't you fucking go and I'll watch him?"

"Because I don't trust you not to call the police and have them deal with this shit."

"We can just leave him at a hospital, you know? People do it all the time."

"What's going to happen if he grows into a person at the orphanage? He's going to be a grown man in a diaper and baby clothes, possibly naked and around a bunch of kids, and you know what? That wont look good. Even worse is if he ends up growing in front of someone and they're like 'Yo, this kid's an alien and we gotta have the government come in a do some tests' or he could be at a park and-"

"God, if you shut the fuck up I'll go get the diapers. Give me his wallet."

"You're using his money," Cody asks, handing him the wallet. Noel narrows his eyes and gestures with his arms, "what, you think I'm buying this shit with my money? Hell no. Now what the fuck am I getting?"

"I'll text you a list of things," he says, "oh, but if there's a sale going on then you should definitely-"

"Just come with me."

He nods, "you're right. We'll just drive really carefully and hope to god we don't get pulled over, I think it's child endangerment if you don't use a car seat."

"We can leave him here and just lock him in the bathroom or something."

"That's probably child abuse so lets not do that," he says, holding out his arms to Spock, "wanna go for a ride?"

He nods and Cody turns to him, "you bought some new underwear the other day, didn't you?"

"Yeah, but they were too small, I gotta return them and  no. No, I'm returning those!"

"Dude, I can't carry this kid with no underwear. If someone sees then I look like a bad dad who doesn't buy his kid underwear and then people start calling the authorities-"

"Oh my god, fine."

He heads into his room and brings out a pair of boxers briefs, tossing them at Cody. Once Spock has them on they're still loose, "give me some duct tape or something."

Noel rummages through a few drawers before finding some. Once Cody wraps it around the underwear a few times he nods, "yeah, that works."

Spock raises his arms at Noel and the man looks down at him, "I know you don't expect me to pick you up."

He frowns and plays with his long hair before looking up at Cody with teary eyes. Cody frowns, "aww, it's okay little Spock, I'll carry you."

Noel rolls his eyes and when Spock makes grabby hands up at Cody the man happily picks him up and puts him on his hip, "Noel's just being a big old d-bag right now, huh?"

Spock nods and Noel glares at the small boy, "just for that, I'm buying you all the baby foods I know you'll hate."

They head down to Cody's car and once Spock is safely buckled in the back he hands the keys to Noel, "you drive, I don't have my contacts in. I only have my glasses and they're really foggy right now."

Noel drives and Cody distracts Spock all the way to the store. When they get there Cody leaves Noel in the car with him, "stay here and I'll be right back."

Noel rolls his eyes and Cody runs off inside. The second the door closes and Cody's gone Noel relaxes against the seat, closing his eyes. Before he can even think about sleep his eyes snap open at the sound of sniffling. He slowly turns to look at Spock who was pulling at his seat belt and reaching for the window.

"Dude, what is wrong with you?"

"Want Cody."

"God, seriously? You're all sad because he went in the store? He's coming back in a minute," he tells him, "stop crying and take a nap, it's like three am, don't you sleep?"

"Cody," he frowns.

He holds onto his hair, nervously trying to see out the window. After a few minutes he lets out a sob and Noel groans, "please don't."

He rubs his eyes, full on crying and whining, "want Cody."

Noel covers his eyes, groaning as loud as Spock cries, "oh my god, dude, okay! I get it! Fuck, at this point, I want Cody to come back to the car too!"

The backseat door opens and Cody speaks, "hey, I got  what's wrong? Why are you crying? Noel, what did you do?"

"Nothing! You left and he just started crying and saying 'want Cody, want Cody.'"

Cody smiles, "aww, it's okay, buddy. I'm here."

Spock smiles and Cody undoes the seat belts and stands him up, wiping his eyes. He changes him into a pull-up before taking the baggy shirt off and holding up the bag he'd got. Cody takes the onesie out and holds it up for the child to see, "look, I got you this skeleton onesie. Do you like it?"

"You bought him that?"

"Yeah, they were already marking down Halloween stuff," he says, helping Spock into it before pulling the zipper up and the hood over his head, "I got him a unicorn one too, it's fluffier so I think it'll be good for him to sleep in."

"Great, can we go now?"

"No, we still have stuff to get," he says, "food, a car seat, a bed, a  oh dude."

"What?"

"Where's he going to sleep?"

"Not in my room," Noel says, "he should sleep in your room, he cries without you."

"You're right," he nods, "well, come in and help me pick out some stuff."

"Just let me sleep, I just wanna sleep, okay? Just leave me in the car."

"Please," he says, "he asked both of us to help him."

He groans when he sees Cody's pouty face and gets out the car, walking in with him. Cody sets Spock in the top of the cart before buckling him in, "why don't you go get the car seat and the bed and stuff and I'll get the foods."

Cody walks to the baby aisle and looks at the foods, "baby food is so expensive when you buy organic. How about some cheap baby food and then for your snacks you can have cheese balls, cookies, and fruit cups? I think that's fine, like, I think you can give a toddler that. What do you think?"

Spock reaches for the carrot one and Cody nods, "right, you're a baby and I'm the adult."

He puts a few different ones in the cart before looking back to the toddler, "I wonder if you can eat big people food. I'll google it. I think you can eat mac and cheese and like chicken nuggets. There's probably more stuff though."

He types it into his phone and a list pops up, "smoothies, cheese string, hot dogs, yogurt  dude, there's so much stuff you can eat. This is great. Let's get tater tots and some macaroni."

When Noel finds him he's putting the car seat in the cart, "here's the car seat, I also found this air mattress thing that like, keeps the kid from rolling out and stuff. Way cheaper than a whole toddler bed."

"Oh that's good," he says, "dude, I just looked it up and he can eat like so much stuff that's not baby food. We can give him big people food."

"Just say regular food, man," he says, "you don't have to call it  doesn't matter, did you get him anything healthy?"

"Of course, I got some fruit and cheese and like yogurt stuff. He's good. We'll probably need another box of pull-ups, some baby wipes, toys."

"We'll get toys at the thrift store. That shit's expensive."

"Dude, can you please not swear in front of him," he starts, putting his hands over Spock's ears, "he already said 'fuck you' earlier. I don't want him thinking it's okay."

"It's fine," he says, moving Cody's hands from his ears, "I'll get the diaper things and the wipes, you just get him a blanket."

He nods, "you're right, he'll need one of those."

He goes to the baby bed section and points to everything, "you want any of these?"

Spock picks the soft pink one that's fluffy and Cody nods, "good choice, very soft."

The boy points to a teddy bear and Cody points to it too, "you want that?"

He nods and Cody picks it off the rack and hands it to him, "I'll get it for you."

He holds the blanket and bear to his chest and Noel finds him and puts the things in the cart before looking up at him, "I think we're good."

"What about clothes?"

"Thrift store," he says, "no sense in buying new clothes, especially since he's two and he'll be in pajamas almost all the time."

"Ooh, that's true," he nods, "what about shampoo?"

"Oh god, are we gonna have to like, give him a bath and wipe his ass and stuff? I don't wanna do any of that shit. Let's just drop him off at some some orphanage, go home and go to bed, and then wake up tomorrow and get breakfast."

Cody gives him a look and Spock looks up at Noel. Cody gestures to the child, "look at him. He asked us to help him and if we asked him to do the same he would have helped us."

"Would he have," Noel asks, narrowing his eyes at the kid, "I don't think he would have."

"Let's just get the shampoo and stuff."

Once they pick it up they head to the register seeing a woman with dark hair looking at them, "you guys just get a baby?"

"Yeah," Cody says, "we adopted him."

"I remember when me and my wife adopted ours," she says, "how old is he?"

"Two," Cody replies.

"Is he picking up the words he isn't supposed to yet," she asks, scanning the items.

"Yeah, is any way to keep him from not doing that?"

"Don't treat the words as a big deal, he wont want to say them if he thinks they're alright to say."

"See," Noel says, "swearing in front of him is fine."

She smiles, "my Katie likes to call everyone the B word. It's actually kind of funny. You know, you should take him to the park if he makes you wanna tear your hair out. He'll run off the energy and teach other kids swear words. Plus you find a lot of parents telling horror stories about their kids that'll make yours look like an angel."

"We'll have to keep that in mind," Cody nods, turning to Noel who's nearly sleeping while standing.

"Your spouse falls asleep like that too? My wife Aleena does that, Katie'll run wild all over the place and when my wife looses sleep she'll just nap standing up. It's crazy."

"Yeah, I don't know, he can just sleep anywhere."

She nods, "how long have you and your husband been married?"

And Noel's eyes open wide at that, "six years in December."

Cody looks to him, impressed Noel was able to bullshit a number that fast without stuttering or anything. Cody nods, "yep. What about you and your wife? Aleena, was it?"

"Yeah, it's been eight and some change," she nods, "it'll be nine years in April."

"Aww, that's nice," Cody nods.

She smiles and finishes ringing up the items and Cody looks at her name tag. Kelsey. He'd have to remember that. She sighs, "that'll be a hundred and forty-six dollars."

Noel uses Spock's card and Cody pats the child's head as she prints the receipt and hands it to him, "you three have a nice night. Maybe I'll see you guys at the park or something."

He nods, "yeah, yeah, you might."

She gives Spock a tiny wave and he waves back with a big grin as they leave the store. Cody smiles as they head out, "she was nice."

"She thought we were fucking."

"Yeah," he nods, "but to be fair we did walk in with a kid, of course she thought we were."

Noel finally smiles for the first time all night, "do you think she thinks your the top or do you think she thinks I'm the top?"

"I don't know, dude. We were talking about going to the park, not what we do in our spare time."

"She definitely thinks you're the bottom. You radiate twink energy."

He narrows his eyes at him, "get in the car."

Once they take the car seat out Cody's fixing it while Noel puts the groceries in the back. He finally fixes it and puts the box, along with the receipt, in the trunk. Once Spock is strapped in they head home. Noel sighs, "fuck I can't wait to be back in my bed asleep."

"Dude, language!"

"He already knows the word!"

"Still," he says, "I don't want him thinking it's okay, we need to stop swearing around him."

"I don't think we swear around him enough," he says, "fuck, shit, pussy, ass-"

Cody rolls his eyes, "can you just be an adult for like two seconds?"

They finally reach the house and load all of the groceries onto the elevator as they ride up a few floors. Cody carries as many with one arm while holding Spock while Noel's got two arms full. Cody manages to unlock the door and when they're in he's setting Spock on the floor as they put everything away. It's quiet, kitchen completely silent except for the light patting Spock is doing on the bottom of a big pot, "Noel?"

"What?"

"How long do you think he'll be like this?"

And Noel stops putting things away, actually thinking about it now that they had everything together. He sighs, "I don't know, hopefully not long. Cause I don't know anything about enrolling a kid in school or any of that shit."

"And we just have to hope he doesn't injure himself or anything because I don't know how we're going to explain why we have a kid that's not ours with a serious injury. I don't know, man, this shit's kind of stressing me out," Cody says. 

And Noel doesn't know what to say to make him feel better. But Cody's brain acts fast and he tries to sound a little more positive.

"Maybe he wont be stuck like this too long," he says, handing Noel the mattress for him to blow up, "maybe it's only for a day or a week or something."

"And if it's not," he asks, "what if it lasts longer than a few weeks? What if it lasts months? What are we gonna do then?"

"I don't know. I don't know, okay, I'll just  I'll figure something out," he says, "let's just not think about that for right now though. Okay?"

He nods and puts the bed in Cody's room, setting it in the floor beside his bed and putting the pink blanket in it. Cody picks Spock up and lays him down, covering him up, but when he turns the light off he hears crying only a few moments later. He turns the light on and the boy is making grabby hands at him and looking as if he's going to start sobbing. Cody picks him up and heads to the living room. Spock's got two tiny fistfuls of Cody's shirt while he lets himself be rocked side to side. Cody rubs his back until he's passed out in his arms. He sits down on the couch alone watching old commercials for portable cookers and looking at the amount of food the woman on screen shoves in them. Soon Noel's coming out with a blanket wrapped around himself. He spots Cody and looks to the TV before lowering his voice, "aren't you tired?"

"Yeah," he says, "but he started crying when I put him in his own bed so I just brought him in here. We have to fix this, dude, it's only day one and I don't know how much of this I can handle."

Noel sits beside him and puts the blanket around him and the toddler. Cody closes his eyes and eventually Noel puts an arm around him and lays Cody's head on his shoulder, "go to sleep, we'll deal with it in the morning."

Cody's barely out while Spock sleeps soundly against his chest. Noel finally feels his eyes get heavy when he watches the woman on TV start making food out of fridge leftovers. He leans his head against his, slow blinking as he feels sleep coming for him. He pats Cody's head and sighs, mumbling.

"We're Noel and Cody, Cody and Noel. We've dealt with so much, this is nothing. You know? We fuckin' got this, dude."

"Noel," Cody says back.

"What?"

"Go to sleep."

Chapter Text

When Noel wakes up he looks around the room, seeing the TV on and Spock sitting in front of it with a container of juice while Cody was in the kitchen. Spock turns to look at him, wet hair and wearing a unicorn onesie. He looks over to the man in the kitchen, the smell of bacon and pancakes filling his nose, "Cody?"

"I'm sorry, dude, were we being too loud," he says, "you can go back to sleep if you want." 

"Nah, I just woke up. What are you doing?" 

"Making breakfast for me and you and cutting up fruit for the little guy."

He gets up and takes his blanket, tossing it onto his bed before heading into the kitchen, "I smell pancakes."

"Yours is on the plate over there," he points behind him as he finishes making the last one.

He puts the pan in the sink, turning everything off and putting butter and syrup on his pancakes. Noel watches him pick up a small bowl of fruit and bring it into the living room with him before handing it to Spock on the floor. He eats them with his hands and watches cartoons while Cody looks like he'd just sat down for the first time this morning. Noel gets his plate ready and takes a seat beside him, "what do you want to do today?"

"We should probably figure out what's going on with Spock. That seems like it should be priority number one for now," Cody tells him.

"Shit, how are we gonna get work done with him around?"

"We'll just put him down for a nap and do it then and if he wakes up we'll just pause. Or we can take turns watching him. It'll be fine, plus if it's music he's still Spock, he'll still be able to tell you what is and isn't good with nods and head shakes."

"Okay, so what do you want to do after breakfast?"

He looks at his watch, "it's almost twelve. We should probably get him some other clothes. We'll head to Spock's place first and then afterwards we can go to the thrift store and stuff."

The boy turns and looks at Cody who points to the TV, "no, it's okay, you can finish watching your cartoons before we go."

He turns back and Noel looks at Spock, "if we still have him by Halloween?"

"Clown costume," Cody asks. 

"Clown costume," Noel nods. 

"What do you want to be for Halloween, Spock," Cody asks in his baby voice.

His eyes light up and he's smiling a toothy grin, "princess!" 

Noel raises his eyebrows, "even better."

"Maybe if we go to the park and Kelsey's there she can teach me how to braid his hair," Cody says.

"Do you actually want to know or do you just think she's pretty?" 

"I don't care," he shrugs, "I just wanna know what to do next. She said she has a kid, maybe she can help us out with this one." 

"I don't know, dude, she seems kind of strange. Something's just kind of off about her vibe."

"Is it that she doesn't want to sleep with you because she's gay?"

"It's not that," Noel says shaking his head, "something else. I don't know, I kind of get the feeling she knows something's up with us."

"What? No. She's got no idea. She thinks we're two married gay dudes with a baby."

"Gay," Spock says.

And Noel looks to Cody, "I didn't do that one."

"Yeah," Cody says, gesturing his hands trying to find the way to say it, "that's  yeah. Daddy and I are gay for each other. At least in front of anyone who thinks we're his dads." 

Noel's eyes are nearly popping out of his head, "I'm sorry, did you just call me Daddy?"

"Don't," Cody starts, "that's not  I didn't mean it that way. I mean, I know he knows our names and stuff but I don't know what all he remembers. So I think maybe he thinks we're his dads or something."

"Woah, I'm nobody's fuckin' Daddy, alright?"

"Nobody's fucking Daddy," Spock repeats. 

Cody looks to Noel, gesturing towards the child, "dude, stop swearing in front of him. He's picking it up super quick!"

Spock stands and Noel's eating his pancakes, "move out of the way, dude the TV's on."

Cody holds onto his shoulder looking to Spock, eyes full of shock and Noel's extremely confused, "oh, don't get mad at me, he's in the way!"

"No, no, dude, I think he's gonna walk," he says, smiling and patting Noel's shoulder excitedly. 

Noel looks at him in disbelief, "is that a big deal to us? We're not exactly his parents." 

"Yeah, but like, these are his first steps in front of us, aren't you at least a little bit curious to see where he wants to go?"

"Be nice if he could go back to sitting on the floor," Noel says widening his eyes while watching and waiting for him to sit back down.

He walks over to them, legs unsteady as he makes his way over and tries to climb up on the couch. Cody goes to help him up but Noel does it first and when he sits between them he goes back to being quiet. Cody pats his head and Noel finishes up his pancakes, "we finish this episode and then we bail."

 

---

 

They get to Spock's apartment and look around before turning to interrogate him. Noel is the one to speak, "did you leave anything for us to find out how to change you back?"

Spock points at Cody who gives him a confused look, "you left something for me? Where is it?"

He makes grabby hands for him and when Cody picks him up he lays his head on his shoulders, beginning to nap, "okay, so he's not going to be any help and all we have to start this mystery are his phone which is back at our apartment and your voicemail."

"Oh," Noel says clapping, "dude, he said he left you a voicemail too, what did yours say?" 

"I haven't listened to it." 

Cody takes out his phone and goes through his voicemails until he hears Spock's voice, "dude, I'm freaking out, I wish you'd answer your phone. This chick at my gig turned out to be a witch and I got spelled and I'm going to turn into a baby. Yes, I'm serious, no I'm not high. It's a lot to process, I know, I'll leave a message on Noel's phone too. I wrote down a bunch of things for you to try and find her for me. I don't remember her name. It could have been Mina or maybe Nina, something like that. I don't know, she could have made that name up. But I remember her telling me she owned her own business or something and that they make soaps I think or something like that, that seemed like something she wouldn't lie about so you should look into that bit. She said she went to the gig because her friend knew a guy who knew a guy. This isn't fucking helpful, shit! Just um, just look up anything about witches and see if someone did something like this to anybody else! You wont be able to look at footage of me and the chick because they place doesn't have cameras, but I do remember that she has kinda long dark hair. I'm running out of time, I'm gonna call Noel and leave a message for him and then I'm heading to your place. I called you first because I think Noel might try and call child services or some shit if he gets the message first. I know you'll probably believe me and take care of me though. Please, Cody, you gotta help me." 

The message ends and Noel's heading over to a desk, "he wrote a few things for us to look up. This says 'Soap lady is witch. Her name, question mark, question mark, question mark.' Yes, he actually wrote the word 'question mark' three times. 'Do not let Noel drop me off at orphanage or call child services!' He really stresses that part, underlined it and put it in bold and everything. Good thing you were around or else that's where he'd be." 

Cody shrugs, looking around, "I don't know, I feel like you say you'd leave him with someone else but like, you'd take care of him if I couldn't."

"Nah, I wouldn't. He's real lucky you were there." 

"He's not a bad kid. He's a good kid. He only cries when he's left alone. Right now he's napping." 

"And we're fixing his mess, but we wouldn't be fixing it if we left him with-"

"We are not leaving him anywhere," Cody insists, "I wouldn't leave you!"

And Noel takes those words in for a minute, not saying anything before Cody sighs, "and I would hope you wouldn't leave me somewhere."

"Well, I mean, of course I wouldn't leave you somewhere. I'd take care of you because I know you'd take care of me. You're a nice person, you're good to be around. Spock's lucky to have you," he says, voice getting low, "I'm lucky to have you."

"Wait, what's up," Cody asks as he looks up from his phone, "sorry, I was searching soap stores around us that make their own soaps and stuff. What'd you say?"

"I said sometimes I can't fucking stand you. How many stores are do we have to go to?"

"Jeez you're mean today. There's five," he says, "around here anyway."

"Five different places," he asks looking tired.

He shakes his head, "look, you don't have to worry about anything, I'll do all the talking and stuff and you can just look around, smell some soap, hang out with little Spock."

He groans and Cody sighs, "or you could just wait in the car I guess."

He smiles and they drive to the first store with a surfboard sign on the front. Cody gets Spock out of his car seat and totes him in only to come out a minute or two later with him and a disappointed face. Noel leans back, watching him buckle Spock back in, "no luck?"

He shakes his head, "no, this place only had really blonde people with tans working there, I think they were surfers."

He gets in the car and Noel touches the hair on Cody's forehead, "so like you?"

He chuckles and shakes his head, pushing his hair out of his face, "no, they all wore shells and stuff, extremely beachy in there."

He shrugs and they head to the next place, Cody going in and coming out with no luck. Two stores later and they're finally at the last one. The place is huge and when Cody gets out, looking tired Noel gets out too. Cody's giving him a lazy smile, "oh, are you coming in with me on this one?"

"Yeah, it's a big place, I'll walk around with Spock and you can find out about the people. I'll let him look at the colorful soaps and lotions and shit or whatever they got here."

They go in together, Noel carrying Spock while Cody heads to the back. Noel goes through a few aisles until Spock is pointing at a container of bath glitter. He lets him pick it up and shake it and soon thanks god that it's plastic when Spock full force slams it on the floor. 

"Aww, he's adorable," a small voice says.  

Noel nods when he turns to look see the woman he immediately notices that she seems like she just stepped off a professional photo shoot. He smiles and nods, "yeah. Yeah, he's my little man!"

"How old is he," she asks moving in closer to look at the toddler, pushing her long dark red hair out of her face. 

Spock hides his face in Noel's chest, occasionally turning to peek at her as she covers her mouth, "so cute."

"Yeah, he just hit the terrible twos."

"Oh, that must be tough," she says, giving him a sympathetic look.

"Yeah, it's pretty tough, him only having me and all, but I'm powering through it."

"Oh," she says, tucking her hair behind her ear, "is it just you two?"

He nods, "yeah, just me and the little guy. Isn't that right, Spock? It's just you and daddy."

Spock turned and looked up at the woman before beaming at her and nodding, "nobody's fucking daddy."

Noel goes wide eyed and lets out a nervous laugh while he watches the woman nod and walk away, eyes wide in disbelief. He turns back to Spock, glaring, "and now that I'm stuck with you I don't think anyone ever will again."

He heads out of the aisle and sees Cody talking to a tall handsome guy in an apron who's clearly checking him out. They talk for a long minute, the guy shaking his head and gesturing with his hands. Cody nods, saying something and when the guy smiles and gestures like he's explaining something Cody's cheeks turn pink. He gives a little laugh, rubbing the back of his neck and shaking his head nervously. Noel didn't know what to make of the situation but he knew he didn't quite like it. Cody nods and the guy pulls out his phone, handing it to the blond who takes it and types something before handing it back and letting out a nervous laughter before walking away. He's grinning the whole time he walks towards Noel. But his smile disappears when he notices him standing there with Spock. He raises a brow at him and Cody shakes his head, face going back to normal, "the chick isn't here either. We'll have to try another store." 

When Cody leaves the store Noel turns back to look at the tall guy before leaving the store and getting Spock in his car seat. 

"So, what did that guy say to you?"

"Huh," he asks, checking his phone and making sure the volume levels on his phone were up. 

He shrugs, "that guy in there, you were smiling and laughing, did he say something funny?"

"Oh, no, no. I just made a dumb joke and he was giving me a pity laugh. It was just me embarrassing myself for five minutes."

"I don't think he was pity laughing at what you said, he seemed into it," he tells him before thinking, into you. 

"Nah, I don't think so, but he was nice."

Yeah, and extremely into you, he thinks

"Why'd he hand you his phone," he asks. 

Cody takes a breath and shrugs, "he just said there's a chick that works there who matches the description I gave him but that she wasn't working today. But he told me I could give him my number and that he'd text me if she showed up. So we'll see."

"That was nice of him," he says, and Cody nods, seeming as if he didn't really want to talk more about it. Noel sighs, "so where do you wanna go next?"

"We should get Spock some clothes, I don't want him to be stuck in that onesie this whole time."

"Thrift store it is."

 

---

 

When they get to the thrift store Cody is putting Spock in the cart and Noel is trailing along behind them for a while until he sees the glasses rack, "I'm gonna see if they have baby glasses for him."

Cody's brows come together in confusion, "I don't even know when Spock got his prescription glasses, but I think he's kinda blind, they might not even have his kind. Besides, I don't think your eyesight can be that bad when you're a kid, I  you're talking about sunglasses aren't you?"

"Yep, you look for clothes, I'm gonna find him some shades so he looks like more like Spock."

"Looks more like Spock," he asks, "he is Spock."

He leaves Cody to look at the clothes while he tries on a few pairs, checking himself out in the mirror before finding a red and blue pair of Thomas the Tank Engine shades. He smiles and tries them on, the glasses making his face look big and weird. He takes them off and finds a pair of bulky white mom sunglasses and a pair of aviators for himself. He finally heads back to Cody who is currently being walked up to by yet another tall man, only this one was wearing a black jacket, his hair pushed out of his face and his teeth looking straight out of an ad for Colgate. The obnoxiously tan guy is saying something to him and within a few seconds Cody's laughing and the guy is clearly checking him out. Noel really didn't like the idea of these guys just coming up to Cody and Spock. He stands on the other side of the aisle and tries to listen to what the guy is saying.

"Are you sure I don't know you from somewhere? I swear I've seen your face before, maybe the beach?"

Cody shakes his head, "maybe. But if so I don't remember. I'm pretty sure we haven't met though."

"You're right," the guy chuckles, "I think if I'd seen you out and about I would have definitely talked to you."

Cody smiles politely, about to say something when Spock pulls a shirt off the rack making the blond turn to him, "what is it, buddy, you want that one?"

"He's cute," the guy says, "is he yours?"

"Yeah," he says, "do you have any kids?"

"Yeah, one about his age actually," he says, holding up his lock screen to show a picture of a toddler who looked like a younger version of the guy holding the phone, "maybe we could set up a playdate sometime. You and I could get to know each other while the kids play."

"Oh, that sounds-"

"Hey, little man," Noel says, coming around the other side and handing the glasses to Spock, "look what daddy got you."

Cody gives him a strange look and soon Noel's turning to the man, smiling, "hi. Are you a friend of Cody's?"

"This is Caleb," Cody says, "he was asking if I wanted to set up a playdate sometime."

Noel smiles at him, hand patting Spock's head, "our little guy would love that." 

The guy nods, "yeah, mine would too. We've been here for a while but with my job I haven't been able to meet any other parents with kids his age."

He and Cody exchange numbers and while Cody focuses on the phone, Caleb focuses on Noel who's smiling at him and crossing his arms over his chest. Cody hands him back his phone and smiles, "it was nice to meet you. I'm thinking of taking him to the park sometime this week, maybe we could meet there or something?"

"Sounds good. It was nice to meet you too," he nods, looking at the blond before his eyes go back to Noel. 

Once he's gone Cody turns and smiles, "I can't believe we already got Spock a playdate."

"Cody, we're never going to see that human Ken doll again."

"What? How do you know?"

"Because he wanted to fuck you," he says. Just like the guy at the soap store, he thinks but doesn't say out loud. 

He opens his mouth to say something but instead shakes his head and laughs, "no he didn't."

"Yeah," he nods, "he did. The guy was full on flirting with you. That's why I walked over to save you."

"That's what that whole daddy thing was about? I thought you were being kind of weird. But you didn't have to do that, he was just being nice because he saw me alone with Spock. He probably just thought I was a single dad buying clothes and needed some help."

"Yeah," he laughs, "a single dad he could help bend over."

"No," he tells him.

"Uh, yeah. My dude was checking you out, the only playdate he was interested in was one with you."

His cheeks go slightly pink and he smiles, "you really think he was hitting on me?"

"Yeah," he says pausing for a moment, "are you blushing?"

"No," he says, "well, maybe a little. I don't usually get hit on so it's kind of flattering that someone thinks I'm good looking." 

"Dude, of course you're good looking," he says, taking Cody's phone and deleting the number the guy put in before handing it back. Cody watches the guy leave the store and Noel hands him the white glasses, "here, I found these for you."

"I'm good looking," he asks, putting them on and watching Noel help Spock put his on.

"I mean, yeah," he says, sliding the aviators up his nose. Cody smiles and Noel can tell he's not going to like the next sentence out of the blond's mouth, "do you think I'm good looking."

Noel laughs, "oh yeah, you're so fucking hot, especially in those shades." 

Cody smiles and Noel shakes his head, "no, dude not even remotely. But, you know, he thought you were. Dude was super gay for you."

And just like that Cody's smile was gone and he was taking off the glasses, putting them in the cart. Noel cocks his head about to say something when Spock speaks up, "I goed bathroom."

Noel and Cody look to him before looking up at each other. Cody sighs, "take the baby bag and go change him."

"Me? Why do I have to do it?"

"Because I already did it once and I gave him a bath today and I let you sleep the whole morning!"

"Yeah," he says trying to think of something, "but he cries when he's away from you. Remember?"

"Spock," Cody says gently, "do you want Noel to change your diaper for you?"

He nods and Cody's giving Noel a plastic smile, "oh, look at that. He's happy to have you do it!" 

Noel sighs, "was it number one or number two?"

Spock doesn't answer and Noel points at him, "hey. Which. One. Was. It. Answer me."

Spock smiles, "three."

And Noel gets this slightly terrified look on his face, "Cody? What the fuck is number three?"

"Don't know, don't care," he says, holding the bag out for him, "but have fun finding out."

 

---

 

They sit across from each other at lunch and Cody  feels so cold, he still hasn't really spoken to him since the thrift store. Spock has a high chair beside them and Cody's eating his roll silently, buttering it with a hint of annoyance. Noel sighs, "dude, what? What is it? Are you mad at me or something?"

"Why would I be mad at you? You only told me I wasn't remotely good looking, why would that make me upset?"

"It would be weird if I thought you were attractive. I honestly don't know why me saying I don't find you good looking would make you upset." 

"Because it's mean," he blurts, "you could have lied! Spared my feelings like a good friend but you just laughed and told me I wasn't remotely good looking."

Noe goes wide eyed looking a little amused, "Cody, did I hurt your feelings?"

"Yeah," he tells him, his reaction genuine and beginning to make Noel feel like shit, "it did! It hurt my feelings! And I think it was mean the way you said it and it's honestly making me a little more upset seeing you treating my feelings like a joke."

He drinks some of his water, looking for something to say while Spock is looking incredibly uncomfortable as he watches both of them before staring at Noel as if he's waiting for him to say something. Noel sighs, "look, Cody, you're not a bad looking dude or anything, I-"

"Oh, don't," he says, crossing his arms over his chest, "don't even try to give me that fake stuff now just because I'm upset. You said what you meant and you meant what you said. Now stop because we're not talking about it."

"Cody," he says, reaching for his arms. 

"What are you doing?"

"Give me your hand." 

"What, no. What," he asks, pausing, "why?"

He gives him a look and eventually Cody holds out his hand. Noel takes it between his hands and looks him in the eyes, "baby, don't be angry at me, you're so sexy."

Cody rolls his eyes and tries to jerk his hand away, "unbelievable. Still making a joke out of this. I'm not in the mood. Let go."

"Cody Kolodziejzyk."

"Oh, wow," he says going wide eyed, "using my full name are we? You know what? You're something else. You know that?"

"You're so good looking, no! Pretty! No," he smiles nodding, "beautiful."

Cody's no longer looking at him and instead his eyes are searching for the waiter. Noel reaches across the table with one hand and turns Cody's head so he's looking at him. He's looking at him like he's crazy watching as he firmly holds onto Cody's hand while cupping his face. 

"Dude, what are yo-"

"I'd fuck the hell out of you if you asked."

Cody looks at him for a long time before he's finally talking, "you... what?"

"You're on my list." 

"List? What list?"

"If I ever slept with a dude," he says.

"If you're just trying to make me feel better it's-"

"No," he says, "you know how everyone's got a list of people of the same sex that they'd fuck? Most people put down celebrities but like, the only guy in the world I'd  actually fuck is you."

"Really?"

"Yeah," he says, "and if when we turn forty we're still not with anyone we can go gay for each other. And I'll blow your back out whenever you want me to."

"You're just saying all this because you feel bad." 

"Partly," he says, "but I'm not lying about it. If I didn't feel bad I wouldn't have told you the truth. So now you know, if I ever fuck a guy it's gonna be you." 

"You really mean that," he asks, smiling.

"Yeah," he nods, "you're the only guy in the entire world I'd fuck."

They're silent for a moment and Noel's realizing he's been holding onto him for way longer than he thought. An awkward voice interrupts them, "so... did you guys order the steak and fries or..." The waiter looks as though he feels he's intruding on a private moment and Spock is sipping his drink looking between all of them.

They look up and immediately pull their hands away from each other as they nod. Their faces are different shades of red and Noel's doing his best to not make eye contact with any of them as Cody's clearing is throat and trying to explain, "yeah, we  yeah that's us."

He sets the plates down and quickly leaves them alone. When the french fries are put in front of Spock he crushes them in his hands as he eats them. They eat their steak in silence for a minute before they start laughing. Noel shakes his head, "god that was so weird."

"We really need to make sure we give him a tip before we leave," Cody nods. 

Spock pats the table next to Noel before pointing at the ketchup. He gets it for him pouring some on his plate, "don't get that onesie messy, it's brand new."

Spock tries to be careful but they end up putting napkins on his lap and in his shirt so he doesn't spill on himself. They watch him eat, seeing him try hard not to make a mess but end up getting ketchup on his nose and hand. Noel speaks first, "he's kind of a gross ass eater."

"He is, isn't he? We asked you not to make a mess," Cody says, trying to wipe his face with a napkin.

"I clean," he insists, looking to both of them. 

"No," Noel says, "you not. You not clean, you look like a clown on a budget."

"Oh, he does! Dude, do you think we should take pictures of him while he's still all baby like this?"

"Spock probably wouldn't like that."

"So we should do it?"

"Oh absolutely."

 

---

 

Noel's switching the laundry over and Cody's pulling Spock's hair out of his face and attempting a braid. When he messes up the first few times he gives up and puts it in a ponytail. Noel smiles, "you know, we could take him to get his hair cut."

Spock shakes his head and Cody chuckles, "what? You don't want a nice haircut? Don't you wanna be able to see everything better?"

"No," he frowns, "don't want cut. Don't want it!"

"Okay," he laughs, rubbing his back, "no haircuts then. At least for now."

Spock stands up and puts his arms around Cody's neck, hugging him and the blond smiles as he hugs him back, "aww, are you tired, bud?"

He nods and Cody rubs his back, holding him close so he can rest on him, "will you bring that bed in here?"

Noel heads into Cody's room, picking up the inflatable bed and setting it next to his legs. He gently lays him down in it and covers him with a blanket, "take yourself a nap and we'll be right here." 

Cody picks up the bear off the couch and sets it beside him. He pulls it to his chest and closes his eyes, passing out almost instantly. Noel sits on the other side of the couch, watching TV. He wasn't sure what the show was but he was kind of getting into it until Cody's notification tone went off. It had been going off all day but not this much. He picks up the phone, tapping away before setting it to the side. It goes off again and Cody's touching the screen, getting smiley when he sees whatever it is. When it goes off a third time that's when Noel gets curious, "what's up?"

Cody raises his brows before lowering them in confusion, "nothing, why?"

"Your phone keeps going off," he says, "is something wrong?"

"Oh, no. No, I'm sorry, man, is it bothering you? I'll turn it off." 

And even though it's turned down the soft buzz it makes gets Noel to look over and watch Cody smile at the screen. He pretends like he isn't watching and sighs, "who is it?"

"It's just the guy from that soap store, he's been texting me ever since we left."

"About the chick who did this to Spock?"

"Sort of, yeah, he says she works this weekend so we'll have to go check it out." 

He nods and goes back to watching TV until he hears Cody let out a breath of laughter through his nose and begin to tap away at his screen. Noel bounces his leg, rubbing the end of the arm rest, trying to relax but when Cody's sinking more into the couch and not looking away from his phone it puts a feeling in Noel's chest that he doesn't like. It reminds him of the soap guy he saw and how he made Cody laugh, for some reason he didn't like when Cody laughed at that guy's jokes, not in the slightest. 

"Are you even watching this," he asks, a sliver of frustration in his voice.

Cody turns to him, "huh? Yeah. Yeah, I'm watching it, dude."

"Because if you're going to just text on your phone you might as well do it in your room instead of giggling like some school girl in here. It's distracting."

He nods, "you're right. I'm sorry." 

He sets his phone on the table beside him and takes the blanket off the couch, putting it around him, "do you want some of it?"

Noel nods and they scoot to the middle, Cody offering him part of the blanket. Whenever he gets under it Cody's shifting, the phone buzzing on the table next to him and Noel fully expects him to reach for it. What he doesn't expect is for Cody to completely ignore it and instead rest his head on his shoulder. Noel tenses at the contact and the sour feeling inside him replacing itself with something lighter that made him feel weird but in a good way. Cody lifts his head off him immediately after feeling him go still, "sorry, just tired. I didn't mean to." 

"No," Noel shakes his head, "you can, it's fine. We both did yesterday, it's not a big deal."

Cody nods and moves his head back to his shoulder. The phone buzzes once more on the table and when Cody doesn't reach for it the nasty feeling inside him was completely gone and replaced with something softer, something warm. Noel chews his lip in thought before clearing his throat, "do you wanna take him to the park tomorrow after we finish working?"

"Yeah, sure," he says, "but I actually think we should take him to the park before we start working on anything, it'll be good for him to get all his energy out so when I put him down for a nap he stays down for a little while."

"Good," he says, "we'll do that tomorrow then."

Cody adjusts his head and soon Noel's leaning in and resting his head on his, "Spock's got the right idea. I'm kind of tired."

Cody hums, "mhmm."

"Maybe we should take a nap, we deserve it." 

"Yeah, just a little one and just for an hour," Cody says, "I don't want to mess up our sleep schedules too much."

"Yeah, yeah. Just an hour."

Cody shifts his head slightly in a way that lets him put more of his body on Noel. It was slightly strange, but instead of pushing him away Noel finds himself slipping an arm around him lazily wrapping it around his hip. Cody didn't pull away from him and Noel finds himself moving his head just enough to be comforted by the familiar scent of Cody. His body relaxes and, like Spock, the blond is asleep in mere minutes. Noel nods, scooting Cody closer liking the way he feels comfortable in a not so comfortable position. He smiles, closing his eyes as he whispers to himself.

"Just an hour."

Chapter Text

It's official, Noel's going to fucking obliterate Cody's phone. The blond had been on it all morning, smiling and giggling while he ate his food. Spock was sitting in the floor, tearing apart his chocolate chip pancakes and stuffing them in his mouth. And Noel's just sitting there, coffee in hand while his eye's twitching a little. He can feel his leg starting to bounce with the amount of energy inside him as he desperately tries to focus on watching TV. But he can't take it, Cody's soft laughs to himself and the way he's covering his mouth when he eats so he doesn't laugh so hard food comes out. And that's when he says it, "still texting that soap guy?"

"Yeah," he says, not looking up from his phone, "turns out he and I have a lot in common. I think you'd like him, he's really funny."

"Is he," he asks, turning back to the screen a little annoyed.

"Yeah," he says, "he's really funny. He might even be funnier than you."

And something about it hit a certain nerve that made his chest hurt, did he just say what I fucking think he said? Funnier than me? I would love to fucking meet the guy then. Funnier than me, what the fuck has he been saying to Cody all morning?

"Dude," Cody starts, turning to him, "maybe after this whole Spock thing is over we can have him come over to hang out and stuff."

Someone funnier than me? In my house? I don't think so.

"Yeah," he says flatly, "sounds great."

Cody's eyes stay on his phone and when Spock stands with chocolate covered hands and melted chips around his mouth he looks to the blond. When Cody doesn't notice he turns to Noel, "I eated."

"Yeah," he nods, "I can see that. You look like you've been digging in the toilet. Cody, look at this kid."

He looks up and when he sees Spock he smiles, "look at you, little toilet boy."

"Little poop boy," Noel grins when he smiles, "little poopy boy."

"Little poopy boy," Cody laughs, "aww, you're a mess. How'd you even get it on your forehead? Come on, I'll clean you up and get you in some new clothes."

He puts his phone down and stands, picking Spock up and taking him to the bathroom, "oh, man, I think you got some on my shirt. Don't touch me, okay, keep your hands up and away from my face, okay?"

He watches TV before seeing Cody with some fresh clothes before heading into the bathroom with the messy toddler. Once the door closes he looks to Cody's phone, debating on whether or not to look at the texts. He quickly picks it up, unlocking it with a swipe and watching the message app appear for him to read. He freezes when he sees the top of the screen. A pink heart at the beginning and end of the name Luke. He looks to the bathroom before looking back to the name. That's kinda weird. Why would Cody put heart emojis near this guy's name?

Luke: So I have to confess something.

Cody: Yeah?

Luke: The girl I work with named Gina, she's blonde, she doesn't have dark hair or anything. I just told you that because you were really cute and I wanted to keep talking to you.

Cody: I know. I asked a different lady who worked there before I asked you. I actually only walked up to you because I thought you were cute too.

Noel's heart stops and he looks to the bathroom again, hearing him trying to put clothes on Spock. He looks back to the text message. Cute, he thinks, Cody thinks this guy is cute. A new text message pops up while he's holding it and it's from Luke. 

Luke: Another confession, I still want to hang out with you and everything at the beach this weekend but I was sort of hoping it could be a date. It 100% doesn't have to be one though if you don't want it to be, it could just be us getting to know each other as friends first. I just figured I'd throw the idea out there just to see if maybe you were interested in it being a date too.

And when the bathroom door is opening he panics and quickly makes the screen go dark before putting it back where it was. Cody comes out with Spock who was wearing a light blue shirt and a pair of overalls. He squirms in Cody's arms and when he's put down he walks over to the couch and attempts to climb and sit next to Noel. He helps him up and Cody soon takes his spot and picks up his phone again, looking to Noel, "you know, I think he's starting to like you."

Noel nods, looking at Cody turn his screen on and noticing him smile at the message. He's soon tapping something back and his stomach feels sour. He does want it to be a date. When Cody notices, he turns his head cocking it at him, "what's wrong?"

Why didn't you tell me you were gay, he thinks, did you think I'd freak out? Did you think I wouldn't want to live together anymore? Do you not trust me? We're best friends, at least I thought we were.

"Noel," he says, waving his hand in front of his face, "is everything okay?"

You don't trust me. You said we could tell each other anything so why didn't you tell me about this? Why don't you trust me?

"Do I have chocolate on my face," Cody asks, touching his own cheek and mouth. 

"No," he says, "no, nothing. I was just thinking about everything with Spock, you know? Trying to think of different things we need to do and stuff."

"Yeah," he says, "I've been researching in my free time and I've found a few stories like Spock's, but they're all in different states. There was one here and I sent them an email asking how to reverse the situation, but they just said it reversed on its own so I don't know. I don't know how to get him back to an adult, I guess we just wait it out for now, hope it fixes itself."

"I guess while we wait we should just keep taking care of things," he says putting his hand on Spock's head.

The boy beams up at him and Noel can't help but smile back, "we'll need to make a quick stop before we go to the park though, is that okay?" 

Cody nods, "yeah, sure, but you're driving."

 

---

 

He looks at the display case for a long time, before finally choosing one, "yeah, can I get two of these? Roughly the same size each."

The woman nods and hands them to him, "are these alright?" 

He nods, "perfect." 

He hands her his card and she quickly swipes it before handing it back. He rubs his eyes, feeling exhausted, fuck, I should have got a coffee while I was checking out. She already scanned it though, I'll just get one from the machine.

"Do you need a bag?" 

He shakes his head and takes the receipt as he heads to the car. He slips the box into his pocket and gets a drink from the vending machine before going back. He wondered if this purchase was a good idea, what if Cody told him it was stupid and to return it? When he gets in the car Cody's cocking his head, "is that it? We came here for a single coffee, and you didn't even get me one?"

He offers his drink to Cody who takes a drink from it when Noel's pulling a box from his pocket, "I went to get these."

He opens the box and Cody coughs mid drink, spitting a little onto his hands and lap, startling Noel and making him close the box to protect the contents. Cody coughs, getting napkins from the side pocket of the door and wiping his face and before his brows come together in confusion, "I um, uh... What are  what is  what are those?" 

"Wedding rings," he says, opening the box back up. 

"Yeah, dude, I  I know what they are, obviously! I meant why did you buy them," he asks, looking a little fidgety when he looks at them, "I didn't even know you were seeing someone, you never told me. What's her name, have I met her already, how long have you been seeing her?"

"What," he asks, looking at the rings before looking back at him, "no, dude, I bought these for us."

"You bought..."

"We're pretending to be married, right?"

"I mean, yeah, but this is a little-"

"What, they weren't expensive," he says, turning the box back to himself, "do you not like them? You more of a silver kind of guy? Or is it because they're too cheap?"

"No," tells him, "they're fine, they're pretty!"

He sighs, "well, we can always go back in together to return them. I'll walk with you to the jewelry case and you can pick out the prettiest diamond they have if you want. Or whatever kind of fake diamond Walmart sells I guess. We can get some more flashy, maybe some pinkie rings?" 

"No," he says, taking the box and putting one on, "I'm not gonna  I just didn't expect you to buy them that's all."

"We're two dudes with a kid not wearing rings. Also I don't know if you know this but he doesn't exactly look like us and we don't even look like parents."

"Yeah, that's true."

"So if we're playing a married couple who have a kid then we have to have rings," he says pointing to the box, "therefore, rings."

"I guess you're right," he says, handing him the box back, "but if we're going to go all out you should have had them engraved or something."

He laughs, "to say what?"

"I don't know, dude. Forever and always? Something soft like that. Isn't that what married people do? Engrave rings and stuff?"

"Well, I'm sorry you don't like them, sweetheart," he says slipping into his uncle Nole voice, "I'll do better next time."

Cody smiles and rolls his eyes before looking at his hand for a long time, adjusting it on his finger, "how'd you know my ring size anyway?"

He shrugs, voice going back to normal, "I didn't, I just guessed."

"Well, you guessed right," he sighs. 

Noel smiles and reaches over, gently pinching his cheek, "I guess we're just meant to be, aren't we, baby?"

Cody smiles, letting out a breath of laughter before batting at his hand, "enough messing around, dude, let's go."

The drive is short and Cody's on his phone for most of it, texting away while Noel pretends like he doesn't want to chuck the thing out the window. When they pull up Noel's parking and getting Spock out by himself. He clears his throat and soon Cody's looking to him and pocketing his phone when he speaks, "we're here."

Cody gets out and smiles at Spock, "hey, buddy, you want me to let you go down the slide?"

He nods excitedly and Cody takes him off Noel's hip, slipping the phone into his pocket before walking him to the slide. Noel finds and empty bench to drink his coffee on while he watches them. Cody's beaming at the boy, setting him on the top of the slide and watching him go down and clap when he reaches the bottom. He lets him go down it a few times and when Spock goes too fast and almost falls off Noel finds himself lurching forward about to get up. But Cody quickly catches him and raises him into the air like a plane while Noel relaxes back against the wood. His chest and stomach feel weird when he sees Cody take him over to the spring rider in the shape of a blue horse. Spock rocked back and forth on it while Cody made sure he didn't fall off. His eyes go to the blond's face and when he looks up at him his stomach feels sick but in a good way. He looks back to Spock and soon Noel notices he's no longer alone on the bench anymore. He turns, seeing the woman from the store watching Cody. What's her name? Chelsea or Kelsey? Fuck. Cody would know. Why isn't Cody over here dealing with this chick, he thinks.

"He sure seems happy to be a dad," she says. 

Noel nods, turning back to look at him, "yeah, he's ecstatic."

"Are you," she asks, not taking her eyes off the blond.

"Of course I am," he says, "why wouldn't I be? I've got a great life. Perfect kid and a perfect husband."

That felt weird to say out loud to someone.

"Seems like it," she smiles. 

And something about the way her words sounded makes Noel feel like something's not right. He nods, "maybe I just don't seem as excited because my job tires me out all the time. But I am happy, and the work hours are all worth it for them."

"I get that."

"So," he asks, not really interested, "where's your kid?"

"She's with my wife over there," she says, pointing to the other spring rider in the shape of yellow dog.

The woman with dark hair was close to Cody, carefully watching a small girl wearing jeans and a pink and white shirt with unicorns on it. The wife was pretty, dressed in a pair of boots, jeans, and a black jacket but something something about her was oddly familiar even though he knows he's never seen her before. She turns to look at him, eyes meeting his briefly before Spock starts crying. He watches Cody push the long hair from the boy's face looking concerned as the toddler began to bawl.

"So, you and your husband," she says, eyes staying on Cody, "how long did you say you two had been married for?"

He looks to her wife, seeing Spock cry harder when he saw her. He looks to the woman, swearing to himself he definitely saw her eyes briefly turn orange. Spock stops crying near instantly after that and Noel goes wide eyed, opening his mouth to say something. But when the woman smiles at her child and walks her over to the slide Noel remembers the woman beside him, "uh, six years. Yeah, six years in December."

Thank god I fucking remembered that.

"But you only got rings recently," she points out. 

She fucking noticed?!

A wave of panic floods through him as he gives a polite smile, "what?"

"Your rings," she nods, "you weren't wearing them when we met."

"Oh, we had them resized," he says, "we had them resized and cleaned and everything."

"Well, they look great! Like brand new," she nods, waving at the little girl waving to her with a big smile, "almost as if you'd just bought them from Walmart thirty minutes ago." 

Who the fuck is this chick?

Noel's trying to think of something to say while also trying to beam Cody and SOS message via telepathy. She sighs, "you know, showing up to buy a skeleton onesie and diapers at three in the morning is kind of weird. But what's even more weird is walking back in with a toddler wearing a similar skeleton onesie buying everything one would need to care for a new toddler all at once."

Noel swallows hard, hoping Cody will look at him and notice how fucking worried he looks and just head to the car, "we're strange parents. We do a lot of things differently."

"Like pretend you're married so that your grown-man-turned-baby friend wont get taken by the state?"

Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuck, he thinks, Cody, if you can hear me we need to get the fuck out of here. This bitch is fucking onto us, dude!

When Cody finally turns to him he gives him a look that has the blond's smile gone in seconds. His eyes flick over to the cars and Cody takes notice and picks Spock up calmly and takes him to the car. When Cody and Spock are safe he turns to her, giving her his full attention, "what do you want?"

"I don't want anything," she turns, finally looking at him, "I'm just here because it's where I'm supposed to be."

"Your wife," Noel says, "how long have you known she was the one who made Spock a baby?

"You think it was her," she asks, smiling, "what makes you think that?"

"No," he says, "I don't think it. I know it. I saw her eyes a few minutes ago when Spock was crying. They turned orange. She looks familiar even though I haven't seen her? It's the description Spock gave, long dark hair, name that sounds like the ones he gave. And I bet she smells like handmade soap and weed." 

"I think we should all talk about this somewhere more private," she nods. 

"We'll talk here," he says, not moving from his spot.

She chuckles, shaking her head but looking calm, "sure, and then people who overhear us will think you're an insane person with a child you believe to be an adult who's been transformed into a toddler by witches."

Fuck. She's right.

Noel doesn't say anything to that and soon her voice gets softer, giving him a sorry look, "that'll be a quick phone call to the police and you know it. Just go to this address and we'll explain everything okay?"

She slips him a piece of paper and looks to her wife, nodding. And within seconds the three of them are disappearing before his eyes. He looks to Cody who's sitting in the car looking nervous. He stands and heads over, opening the door to a worried Cody, "what's wrong? You gave me a weird look, is everything okay?" 

"Yeah," he says, "we just need to leave now."

"What happened? What did she say?" 

He hands Cody his phone and the paper, "just put this address in."

"No, not until you tell me what's going on. Does she know about Spock?"

Spock looks to him in the back seat and Noel reaches over to Cody, rubbing his back, "don't worry about it, okay? I'm gonna handle it."

He turns to Spock and nods, "and I'm not gonna let anything happen to you, okay?"

He nods and Noel picks his bear up out of the floor before handing it to him and turning back to Cody, "everything's gonna be okay, I promise."

 

---

 

Everything is not okay. Noel is practically forcing himself to relax while Cody's nearly vibrating with nervous energy beside him. Kelsey is sat on the recliner, Katie in her lap letting her messy brown hair get fixed while Aleena's sat on the arm rest, arms across her chest looking at them. Cody's desperately trying to be still, forcibly holding his legs together so they didn't give away how nervous he was. Noel reaches behind him, sitting up straight while he pats Cody's back. He leans in close to his ear, "everything's fine, okay? Just relax."

Cody takes a breath, looking down at Spock who's looking up at him with big eyes. He smiles and pats his head before looking up at them, "your house is really nice. How long have you two lived here?"

"Aleena, say something, you're freaking him out. Katie's even picking up on how nervous he is."

Cody swallows hard and Aleena finally speaks, "look, I know your kid's your friend who got turned into a baby. I know because I'm the one who gave him the blunt."

"You," Cody asks, eyes widening, "you're the witch?!"

"Yeah," she says, "I got invited to go and it was supposed to just be me meeting with this guy who could help me sell some stuff at the next big music gig or whatever. I was waiting in the back room and I saw your friend. He was looking super nervous about something so I offered him a blunt. I told him to take like one or two small hits. It's supposed to make you feel younger for a few hours, help you relax and get the feeling like you can do anything without all the dangerous side effects other drugs have. But your idiot friend smoked the whole thing even though I told him not to."

Spock looks a little pouty and Cody's pulling him closer and letting him lean against him. He pats his head to make him smile while she continues, "if you smoke more than a tiny bit it makes you younger, which clients enjoy. But if you smoke too much it makes you younger and younger until this happens."

She points to Spock, "it's happened to another person and I thought I worked everything out so it would only last a few hours since that incident lasted a week. But I got the blunts mixed up with another one I created. The one I created being way stronger than any of the other ones."

"Stronger," he asks, incredulously, "what do you--what does that mean for Spock?"

"It means," Kelsey says, "that unlike the other blunt this one wont wear off in a few days."

"Hold up, are you saying that this shit is gonna last longer," Noel asks pointing to Spock, "that he's gonna be like this for a few months?"

"That's the tricky part, this one is a lot stronger than anything I've ever made. It's good for clients who wanna be young! But the thing is I really don't know how long it'll last," Aleena tells him. 

"Aleena," Kelsey sighs. 

"Okay! So I know how long it's gonna last," she admits, "it's kind of, sort of, permanent."

"Kinda sorta fucking what," Noel asks in disbelief.

"Permanent," she repeats.

"No, see, it can't be permanent," Noel starts, Cody chiming in, "you're a witch, aren't you? Can't you just undo it with like a spell or maybe a potion or something?"

"Nothing can undo it," she says. 

"Aleena, stop lying," Kelsey says, hands stopping in Katie's hair.

The woman rolls her eyes, "okay, fine. It's not exactly permanent but I can't help you. I could if you had some fairy blood but fairies died out years ago. The only thing that can break this now is true love."

Noel shakes his head, "wait. What? You mean, like, some Disney channel bullshit? Like, true love's kiss?"

"He's a baby," Cody exclaims. 

"Which is why it's complicated," Aleena sighs, "but with magic, true love is supposedly a cure-all. But I've never seen it in action reversing any spells so who knows?"  

"Fuck, so, he's stuck stuck," Noel asks, brows raising.

"Afraid so. At least until he ages naturally."

"There's no other magic that can fix it? No potion or spell or something," Noel asks, "no, like, quest level shit we gotta look for at some dangerous location or whatever? Nothing we can slay a monster to get?"

"This is real life, not some fucking video game," she says, brows coming together in frustration, "look, I'm sorry. I wish I had an answer for you but I don't. Kels, I think the food is ready to be picked up, I'm gonna head out."

"No! No you're not," Noel says, "you two are gonna stay and help me sort this shit out. Cody can go get your food." 

"He doesn't even know where it is," Aleena says, looking annoyed. 

"So tell him where it is and he'll be back." 

When she stands up and gives him a look Kelsey's taking her hand, her anger leaving at the touch, "babe, just take Cody and Spock with you and I'll talk with him, okay?"

"Whatever," she says, and when Cody stands she snaps her fingers, the three of them disappearing and only Katie and Kelsey remaining with Noel. He clenches his fists as he tenses up and she shakes her head, "don't worry, your friends are fine. They come back alive."

"If she hurts either of them I'll-"

"She wouldn't," she says, cutting him off, "I've seen it already, he'll return safe and sound."

"So what? She's a witch and you're some kinda what? Fortune teller or some shit?"

"Seer," she corrects, "I see the future."

"Can you see when Spock goes back into an adult?"

"I'm sorry," she says, "but any time I see him he's a child."

He groans and rubs his face, "so we're just stuck with him?"

"It's not so bad," she says, "you get used to them after a while."

When he turns Katie is right beside him letting out a loud bark in his ear. Noel backs from her, nearly shitting himself at the sound, "what the fuck?"

She grins at him and barks three more times mimicking the way he said the words before speaking carefully, "what the fuck."

Kelsey opens her mouth to say something but instead sighs and pats her head, "yeah. You said it right, sweetie. Why don't you go play with your toys?"

She hops in place before running to the other room. Kelsey looks after her giving a soft smile, "Katie isn't human either, she's a werewolf. We found her on our trip to the mountains in the road, her mother and father were..."

She trails off and shakes her head before turning to him, "we took her in. We were a little reluctant to actually keep her. We called social services to get her, they have a supernatural department that deals with kids who are different. But they could never catch her and Aleena and I didn't want to just leave her. So we eventually got her to trust us by leaving meat out for her. And when she finally trusted us enough to stay when we got closer to her we didn't wanna make her not trust people by giving her up."

"Why are you telling me this story," he asks. 

"I'm telling you this story," she says, "because we didn't know shit about kids either. But she's pretty great. You really do get used to having them, they grow on you. Like an adorable barky little mold."

"I don't think I want anything growing on me."

She shrugs, "Cody doesn't seem to mind. I think he's kind of enjoying being a dad." 

"Yeah, well, that's because he's good at it. People like Cody are just good at shit like that. He's just this insanely positive person. Everyone just likes him automatically, it's just hard to hate him," he says, "he's a good guy and he's way better at all this parenting shit than I am."

"You will be too eventually."

"Is Aleena good at it," he asks.

"She wasn't at first, I remember when I said I wanted to keep her. She was like 'Kels, when I said we should adopt a dog this isn't what I meant.' But Katie saw me and Aleena holding hands and she did just the same. She reached up and took Aleena's hand and just gave us this sort of look and we couldn't help it. We wanted to protect her from everything." 

"Sounds like Cody," Noel says.

"Aleena still wanted to call some werewolf dens and see if any of them would take care of her and welcome her into their pack."

"Sounds like me." 

"But I told her we were already Katie's pack and Aleena seemed like she'd been thinking it too."
 
"I don't know, your wife seems kinda cold."

"She's really not cold, she's a big softie," Kelsey explains, "and even though she seems like she doesn't like either of you I promise that isn't it. She's kind of upset with herself because she can't help you. She feels responsible for everything and she'd been researching day and night the second it happened. But she can't fix it for you so she seems annoyed when really she just feels guilty and frustrated with herself."

When Cody and Spock appear they're looking to Aleena whose setting down food and crossing her arms over her chest looking at Noel, "I'm sorry, okay? I'm not pissed at you, I'm pissed at myself." 

Noel's a little taken back by her apology and she gestures her head towards Cody, "I thought leaving to get food would get me out of a having Kelsey guilt trip me into apologizing to someone else but this one over here is just Kelsey with a dick."

Kelsey smiles and Aleena rolls her eyes, "so yeah, I'm sorry."

Noel stays quiet, and looks to Cody who looks to him before his eyes flick over to Aleena and back a few times. And when he still doesn't say anything Cody's eyes go wide and look between him and Aleena, using his head to gesture towards her and mouth the words 'say it back.'

He rolls his eyes, "I'm sorry too, I'm not mad at you, I'm just mad at the situation."

He looks over to the toddler Cody's holding, "and Spock for not fucking listening."

"Language," Cody says quickly. 

Katie runs into the room chanting, "food! Food! Food! Food!"

"Yeah, I'm gonna let you have it, Katie," Aleena says, "but you gotta eat slowly, okay?" 

She nods before her smile falls and she sniffs the air, walking around before she gets to Cody's leg. He sets Spock down, "maybe she wants to play with him."

She sniffs Cody's leg, completely ignoring Spock before looking up at him and making grabby hands. He looks confused but turns to Aleena who shrugs and Kelsey who seems curious, "go ahead. She never wants anyone to pick her up. She barely lets us." 

Cody picks her up and she shoves her face against his neck smelling intensely and making him hold her away a few inches away from him. When she pulls back she looks confused, "different."

He cocks his head at her and looks to them as she crawls up him until she's sitting on his shoulders and holding onto his head, patting out the syllables on his hair, "I'm Katie. Kay-dee."

"I'm Cody," he says, "Co-dee." 

"Cody," she repeats, patting out each syllable on his head, "Cody different."

Cody lifts her off his shoulders and sets her on the couch beside the other man. Noel goes completely still when she holds onto his arm, "not different!"

"What's that mean," he asks, looking up at Kelsey.

She shrugs, "I don't know, Katie doesn't like being around people. This is actually the most she's ever talked to any strangers."

"Strong," Katie says, patting Noel's face, "he is alpha. I'm Katie. Kay-dee."

"I'm Noel. No-el," he tells her before pointing to Cody, "is he an alpha?"

She shakes her head, patting out the syllables on the couch, "omega."

"Maybe that's why you're different. I'm the alpha of the room."

Katie shakes her head patting her chest, "no. I'm alpha."

Noel looks at her and she gets off the couch patting Kelsey's knee before hugging Aleena's leg, "this my pack. Not yours."

"Oh," he nods, "okay, I got you."

He points to Spock and then to Cody, "well, they're my pack."

"Speaking of packs," Aleena says heading over to a computer. She picks up a manila envelope a hands it to the dark haired man, "I can't get you a spell or anything but I got you this from one of my contacts, it should help you two with your whole man-turned-boy situation."

He takes it and Cody sits down beside him watching him open it up to see Spock's name on a bunch of documents, "what's all this?" 

"You don't have to worry about anyone trying to take him from you now," she says, taking a bite of some food.  

Noel takes out a birth certificate, "you made his last name Miller? That's probably for the best with Cody's last name."

"I don't understand," Cody says, shaking his head as he looks to the papers.

"It's because your last name is fuckin' complicated, dude," he says, "Spock can't spell it as an adult and now he's like three, so he's extra dumb."

"No," Cody says, "I meant I don't understand what all this is, not the last name thing, genius. And for the last time, stop swearing in front of him."

"Oh," Noel says, "yeah, it looks like standard identification shit. Social security card, passport, medical records... uh, wait..."

He looks closer at the paper, "what is this?"
 
"Congratulations," Aleena says, handing Katie a chicken tender, "it's a boy."

"What," Noel asks.

"Yeah, what," Cody says, cocking his head as he reads, "what's this? Certificate of adoption..."

"It means he's all yours, no one can take him from you," Kelsey smiles, leaning forwards and tapping the words at the top, "he's officially your son."

Chapter Text

Noel wakes up to the sound of crying and he pulls the pillow over his head, waiting for Cody to deal with it. Spock cries louder and he starts wondering why Cody hasn't woken up yet. The sobbing doesn't stop and eventually he's groaning when he checks the clock and sees that it's seven in the morning. When he gets up and heads for Cody's room he's pissed. He opens the door flicking on the light seeing Spock standing on the air mattress face red while snot and tears run down his face. Cody's bed was empty and he immediately panics. He picks Spock up, taking him into the bathroom and sitting him on the counter, wiping his face and calling Cody's phone. He hears it ring once, twice, three times, voicemail. He ends the call and tries again and when Cody doesn't answer he's sighing. This time when it goes to voicemail he's talking, "dude, where the fuck are you? Spock is crying and wont stop, just listen."

Spock is sobbing and he holds the phone to him, "want papa Cody."

"That's you," Noel says, bringing the phone back, "you heard him, so get home fast. Where even are you? You know what, doesn't matter, just get here as fast as you can."

He hangs up and the toddler's sniffling and crying while he looks up at him. Noel wipes his face, "stop crying, please stop crying. Okay? Cody's going to come back any minute." 

"Want Cody," he says, "want papa."

"Yeah, believe me, I know. But you and I are gonna be quiet right now, okay?" 

He sobs and Noel holds his shoulders, "stop crying." 

When he doesn't stop Noel groans, "stop! Look, man, I'm not Cody. I'll leave you outside a church and then you know what? You'll be raised by nuns, is that what you want? You wanna be raised by fuckin' nuns? Cause I will, dude. I'll leave you on those steps so fucking fast."

When he cries harder Noel can feel himself getting a headache. He sighs, trying to keep himself from getting angry while thinking out loud, "don't get mad, don't get mad. Just rock him and let him tire himself out. He can't cry forever."

He picks him up, holding him close and rocking him side to side and rubbing his back. He gets a combination of bodily fluids on him, mainly tears and snot, but there is some drool when he finally stops. When he's done crying Noel's cleaning the toddler's face and changing his own shirt before picking him up again when Spock makes grabby hands for him. He picks him up, heading into the living room and laying on the couch. The toddler eventually closes his eyes as he falls asleep and soon he does the same. He only wakes when he hears movement in the apartment. His eyes crack open and he sees that Cody had put a blanket over him and Spock. He looks to him and Cody shakes his head, dropping his voice to a whisper, "hey, it's just me, you can go back to sleep."

But Noel isn't tired anymore and he carefully sits up, taking Spock into Cody's room and laying him on the air mattress, covering him with a blanket before gently closing the door and heading back to Cody. He's pissed at this point and he's sure the man can tell by looking at his face. Normally he'd try and be casual, ask certain questions that get him the answer he's looking for without just flat out asking. But he doesn't have the energy to dance around shit, not right now. He's pissed and tired right now and he's determined to get an answer, "where the fuck have you been for-"

He cuts himself off to check his watch, "eight fucking hours?"

Cody's brows come together and he shakes his head, "I haven't been gone for-"

He checks Noel's watch, "oh! I guess I have."

"Where the fuck were you," he asks, sternly. 

"I went to the beach, I went to de-stress but I guess I was having so much fun I lost track of time."

At the beach for eight fucking hours? God even you should know that's a stupid lie.

"Why didn't you tell me where you were going? Why didn't you answer your phone?"

"I didn't plan on being gone that long, I was going to be back before you two woke up. I turned my phone off so I wouldn't be distracting during my-"

Date, Noel's mind finishes. Cody shrugs, "you know, my time at the beach surfing and swimming and stuff. Look, I'm sorry. I should have said something."

Fuck, that's right, Cody's date was this weekend I guess it was today. Hold on, he went on a date for eight fucking hours? Just how fucking great is this guy?

"I just," Noel shakes his head, his brain thinking, want to know why you're hiding this Luke thing from me.

Noel continues to talk, "this whole parent thing freaks me out and I don't know what to do when I'm alone with him. I can't do this without you."

And I hate the thought of you out with some surfer bro while I'm here cleaning tears and snot off some whiny toddler.

"I swear I'll never leave that long again without telling you. And I'll leave my phone on so you can call me if you need me."

He nods and looks to Cody's hand, "where's your ring?" 

He looks to his hand, "huh? Oh, I put it in my wallet, I didn't want to lose it."

He didn't want to wear it in front of him.

He takes it out of his wallet and slips it on his finger before showing his hand to him. When he puts his hand down he pats his shoulder, "I'm gonna shower, I have to get the rest of this sand off me."

He nods and Cody heads to the bathroom. Once he's had a shower Spock's awake so Cody gives him a bath and changes him, letting Noel watch TV in the living room. He's tired but with the way Cody's lying he knows he wont be able to sleep until he's able to get answers about his date. When he's out Cody's brushing his hair while simultaneously texting. Noel can feel himself getting irritated with knowing the secret but not being allowed to say anything about it because he isn't supposed to know. The man's smiling, quickly responding to each message and when Noel finally gets irritated enough he speaks as calmly as he can, "who are you texting?"

"Nobody," he says, "just a friend." 

But the giggling and smiling let him know he's lying. It made his leg practically vibrate with energy with how badly he wanted to snatch his phone and confront him about it. There were a million things he wanted to say right now but he couldn't and, fuck, it was so hard to not say anything. When Cody successfully pulls Spock's hair out of his face and into a ponytail he turns to Noel, "dude, I can sense you're still mad at me. Why don't I pay for lunch, you know, make it up to you?"

Noel's up in half a second, grabbing his keys and slipping his shoes on without a word.

 

---

 

The restaurant is a little pricey, but kids eat free so Noel doesn't feel too bad about it. When Cody's phone goes off on the table from a few messages Noel's glaring at it, and for the first time Cody takes notice. He quickly replies and turns it off, pocketing it, "sorry. I turned it off, no more distractions, I'm all yours." 

And Noel know can't help but feel satisfied when Cody says that. He holds back a smile thinking to himself, fuck, I'm such a fucking jealous friend. Noel chews a roll and the blond beams at him, "you seem really tired." 

"I am, man. I was up all last night working, it was the only time I could get work done without Spock making noise."

Cody nods, "I know, I haven't been able to get anything done yet, but I think tonight when he goes to sleep I'm going to try working on some beats. I've got one that sounds okay but it needs some work."

"You should send it to me, let me see how it sounds."

He nods, "I will later. I listened to your voicemail you left earlier."

"Yeah?"

He smiles, "yeah, he called me papa Cody."

"Yeah," he asks, "and?"

He shrugs, "I don't know, it was nice. Made me feel like a real dad."

"You are a real dad, remember? We both are. Those chicks practically stuck us with him."

"No, yeah, I know," he starts, "I just... it got me thinking, you know, about kids. I think when I get married I want to have some."

"What are you talking about," Noel asks, buttering his roll without looking up, "I already gave you a ring and our names are on the birth certificate, what more do you want from me?"

Cody chuckles, "I know we're legally his parents until he turns into regular Spock but I'm not talking about that right now. I mean when I actually get married and everything to someone who loves me and wants to be with me. It's got me thinking about being a dad for an actual baby who wasn't originally a grown person."

"Yeah, so, what? You like being a dad?" 

"It's kind of cool," he says, "being a parent, teaching them how to be adults and watching them grow. I think I like being a dad."

"Yeah," he asks, "so when do you want me to take you to the courthouse and marry you?"

He laughs, "I'm serious, dude. If this whole Spock situation turns itself around and he goes back to being an adult I think I might adopt a kid." 

Noel laughs, "get rid of one only to get another? You're going to be one of those dads who gets empty nest syndrome." 

He shakes his head, "shut up. I'm serious!"

"You know, I think you have to be married to adopt a kid."

"So I'll get married," he tells him, picking up a roll, "I'll find someone who wants the same things I do and I'll marry them and we'll adopt a baby or two."

"Two babies? Jeez, you've had Spock for less than a month, calm down."

He nods, "I know but I've always entertained the idea of kids, taking care of Spock just makes me realize that I want that idea to become a reality. Not right this second but eventually. What about you, do you want kids?"

"I don't know. Maybe," he says, chewing and trying to talk, "I guess if my girl wants one then I'll give her one."

Cody laughs, looking around for the waiter, "how generous of you." 

"Look, kids kind of suck. You get nothing done, they're snotty, they're whiny, they poop all the time, they expect food at all hours. Not having kids sounds way better than having them, you know?" 

"Yeah," he says, "but when you have them they're super cute and they look up to you and you get to teach them all the stuff your parents taught you except better."

"I guess. You'll have to get a girlfriend first," he says. And the moment he says it he regrets it. He watches the way Cody shifts and slightly nods, "yeah, yeah, I guess so."

It's awkward for a minute until their food is placed in front of them. They eat sort of quietly while Spock looks between them. Noel sighs, "you know, I think it'll be weird if you get a girlfriend." 

"Yeah," Cody asks, "why's that?" 

Because you're gay as hell and lying about it.

"Because we're married," he says, taking a bite of his food, "be kind of shitty to do me dirty like that, especially since I'd never cheat on you." 

And the awkwardness seems to melt as Cody laughs, "yeah right. You so would, you check out chicks all the time. You'd be the worst person for me to get married to."

And something about the way he says it puts a feeling in his chest that makes him focus on the way Cody still looks stuck in his own thoughts. 

"It's just looking," he says, reaching out to holds his hand, "I'd never leave you for any of them. You're my baby."

Cody rolls his eyes and takes his hand away slow, "just eat your food, man. And you better eat it all because I'm paying for it."

"Nah," he says, smiling at him and taking Cody's hand again, playing with the ring on his finger, "I'll pay for it, my baby shouldn't be paying for anything."

"Not your baby," he says, this time not pulling his hand away. 

"This ring on your finger says otherwise," he tells him, tapping it before pulling his hand away and getting some food onto his fork, "I promised to love and cherish you in that Walmart parking lot and I'm a man of my goddamn word, Cody."

And Cody bites back a laugh, "shut up before someone hears you." 

And Noel's getting his food off his utensil before pointing it at Cody, "you are my husband! And no matter how ugly our son is that'll never change." 

Cody goes wide eyed and pats Spock's head laughing, "dude, don't say that. He's not ugly. You're not ugly, Spock. You're handsome. You're a very handsome boy."

"We really gotta get him a haircut, he keeps getting it in his food," he says, cutting the act and getting more food on his fork, "we can do that after Halloween so he can be a princess with long hair."

Cody nods, taking a bite of his potatoes before softening his voice for Spock, "what princess do you want to be, buddy?"

"Sleeping Beauty," he says eating his macaroni.

"Yeah? What color dress do you want? Blue? Yellow?"

"Pink."

"We'll have to pick that up afterwards," Noel says, cutting up Spock's chicken tenders into small bites, "now eat your chicken and don't you get ketchup all over yourself again."

 

---

 

When they're at the store going through costumes Spock likes them all and pulls them off the rack, "want this."

"You can't be a sexy witch," Cody explains, "one, this doesn't fit you because it's for adults. Two, it's wrong to let your kid wear sexy costumes, and even if it's not it sounds gross so you're not going to be that. And three I don't know if we're going trick or treating with Aleena, Kelsey, and Katie yet and I feel like if we did and you wore that it'd be offensive. So let's just put this back."

"Want this," he points. 

"These are fishnet stockings."

"You know," Noel says, "Spock may be a baby who doesn't remember much but he still remembers how much of a hoe he was."

"Let's not call our toddler a hoe," Cody says, "especially in public, okay? Someone's gonna hear you." 

They go through different costumes before finally finding a pink princess dress. Cody turns to him, "here you go, one princess dress with a tiara." 

"Want this," he says pointing to a costume his size that doubled as a onesie.

"The dinosaur outfit," he asks. 

Spock nods. 

"Well, you're only getting one," Noel says, "pick."

"Both." 

"No," he says, "one. Princes or dinosaur."

"Princess dinosaur!"

"No," he says sternly, "one." 

"Both," he says. 

"Noel," Cody sighs, "just let him get both." 

"No, we're not giving in on this one. You spoil him."

He shrugs, "he's a baby, he needs to be a little spoiled sometimes."

Spock beams at him and Noel shakes his head, "this is the last thing he gets from this place. Two costumes and nothing else."

"Should we get costumes," Cody asks, "we'll have to take him trick or treating." 

"We absolutely do not have to do that. He's a grown man and we're grown grown men." 

"No," Cody says, "he's a toddler, toddlers go trick or treating with their parents. We're his parents." 

"No," Noel says, "we're not taking him trick or treating."

Cody frowns and looks pouty as he eyes the adult costumes and eventually Noel looks at the costumes throwing two in the cart, "we'll get these inflatable yellow suits when we take him, and we're not staying out all night because I've got stuff to work on."

"Thank you!" 

When Cody seems happier Noel feels better and it makes him want to make Cody laugh. The feeling in his chest moves to his stomach, warming it and he can't help but wonder why seeing Cody smile makes him this happy. 

"Don't thank me, let's just pay and go home."

 

---

 

Cody's texting the entire way home while Noel drives and soon his grip on the steering wheel is tight enough that he feels like he might end up bending it. He knows that if Cody just told him about Luke he wouldn't be upset because then he wouldn't feel like Cody doesn't trust him. Cody's not giggling or laughing or even smiling so far and when they get to a red light Cody takes a breath, "hey, dude can I talk to you about something?"

"Yeah, man, what's up?" 

Cody's voice gets kind of quiet and he's refusing to look at him when he speaks, instead focusing on the floor, "we've been friends for a really long time, haven't we?"

"Yeah," he says, "we've always been friends, man, nothing could change that."

"Good," he nods, "that's good because there's something I wanna tell you. And it's not  well, it is a big deal but like, it's not a big deal, you know? It's just something I've been meaning to tell you for a while but never really found the right time to."

"Yeah," he asks, raising his brows. 

"Yeah."

"Well? What is it?"

"I like," he starts, soon beginning to freeze up. His mouth hangs open and it hits Noel that this might be the moment he's been waiting for ever since he read his texts. Cody looks tense, his hands looking a little shaky before he manages to speak, "uhm... bar soaps."

And Noel raises a single brows as the light turns green and he's driving again, "bar soaps?"

"Yeah. Yeah, that's what I said, wow, okay," he says, closing his eyes and shaking his head and looking embarrassed before opening his eyes and continuing, "so, I really like bar soaps. There are a lot of different kinds of soaps in the world, you know?"

"Uh huh..."

"There are softer soaps and those soaps are great, they're cute and pretty to look at and everything and they look and smell nice and stuff but they just don't... feel right to me. I don't like those kind of soaps and I never really have. Like ever."

"Okay," he nods, "well, what kind of soaps do you like?"

"The bar kind," he says, struggling to explain, "they look good and smell good and they're better, rougher, more handsome, more rugged. I tried softer soaps for a while and I really tried to like them but I just didn't. It felt wrong. I couldn't stop thinking about the bar soaps. They just feel right, you know?"

And Noel's quiet, Cody fidgeting with his fingers, feet shifting like he just can't get comfortable. Noel can practically hear the blond's hear racing as he refuses to look at him, "uh... is that weird? Does it make things different between us? Does it, like  does it bother you that I like those kind of soaps?"

"No," he says quickly, "no, dude, no! That's fine! That's completely fine that you like those kinds of soaps!"

And Noel watches a wave of relief wash over Cody as he turns to look at him, "it is?"

"Yeah, dude, of course it is. I don't care what fucking soaps you like. You could like every soap! Just because you like bar soaps doesn't mean things are going to change between us. You'll still be my best friend, I'll still want to live with you and everything. You just like bar soaps and that's good. That's fine!"

He smiles, though he still isn't quite relaxed, "okay."

Noel licks his lips, smiling as he shrugs, "so, you like bars, huh?"

"Yeah," he smile, rubbing the back of his neck as he chuckles nervously.

"Do you prefer little white bars or big black bars?"

And Cody laughs, relaxing as he rubs his face, "Jesus Christ, dude. I like all kinds of bars, okay? I don't really have a preference."

"All kinds," he asks incredulously, before wiggling his brows at him, "so you're kind of a little bar slut, huh?"

"Stop," he says, gesturing his hands for him to quit, "okay? I absolutely regret telling you."

"I don't," he says, "I'm glad you told me."

The car is silent, Cody turning to check on Spock who's got his bear in his arms napping with it. He smiles and turns back, adjusting his seat slightly. Noel's thumbs tap against the wheel and Cody turns, "what's wrong?"

"Nothing," he says, "just, these soaps got me thinking."

Cody laughs, raising a brow, "what? You want to know if I'm interested in any of the bars you know?"

"No. Well, yeah. But I was just wondering if that means you're seeing that guy you met the other day. The one you've been texting a lot."

"His name is Luke," he says, "and yeah, we're sort of seeing each other but it's nothing serious right now."

And Cody's going back to texting. Noel figured, once Cody told him about being gay and Luke, that the unpleasant feeling in his chest would go away. There was no secret for him to be upset about anymore, so why was he still upset? Why am I so mad about this? Why do I not want to share my friend, am I really this much of a jealous person?

"Why didn't you tell me about all this before? Did you think I wouldn't want to live together anymore," he asks. 

"I just didn't want things to be weird between us," he says, "besides, I kind of thought you already knew." 

"Why would you think I already knew?" 

"Well, I mean," he raises his shoulders before dropping them, cheeks turning pink, "I kind of had a really big crush on you when we first met."

And something about that makes him feel different different. The sick feeling in his chest now replaced with something confused, heart feeling like it's skipped a few beats, his hands a little shaky for a few seconds. Oh, wait, what the fuck?

"You had a crush on me? Why," he asks. 

"You were funny and nice and I thought you were really good looking, which you are, you're all of those things. You were just really fun to be around and you could always make me laugh and, I don't know, man. I guess it just made me like you."

Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. Hold the fuck up.

Cody sighs and gives a shrug, "but of course we got closer and everything I knew you weren't into guys so those feelings calmed down."

There's a sinking feeling in his chest and Noel finally realizes why he feels different but he doesn't know what to do about it. He doesn't know what to do with any of the information Cody's just given him. The Cody being gay thing was just something he read but never really had confirmed until now and now that Cody had said it he couldn't help but want him to take it back. He didn't want to believe Cody liked guys, more specifically Luke. Because that meant he was going to have to share Cody with another man. And it wasn't like this guy just wanted to be friends with Cody, Noel actually wished that was all it was so he didn't feel this green feeling creeping around inside him. But Luke likes Cody. Luke wants Cody. Luke wants to touch Cody and kiss him and fuck him and Noel doesn't think he's okay with that. No. He knows he's not okay with that. 

"And by calmed down I mean I don't feel anything for you anymore," he says, kind of rushed.

And that hits him harder than anything ever has. That giddy feeling in him now gone and replaced with a dull ache.

"I just used to, you know, but it's not like that anymore so you don't have to worry about that," he explains, looking nervous and embarrassed, "I'm not going to, like, creep on you or whatever you're thinking right now. I didn't even creep on you when I did like you like that!"

"I wasn't thinking about any of that," he says, "I was thinking about if that's why you were gone earlier."

"Oh," he says, "yeah, that was kind of a date with Luke. I wanted to tell you but that meant coming out to you and if I'd done that before the date I would have been thinking about it and wouldn't have been focused on spending time with him. I definitely would have left the date early to make sure you and I were still good."

"How was it," he asks before emphasizing the next part, "you guys' first date."

And he hates the way it sounds coming out of his mouth. He didn't like knowing that it was a date. Reading it on a screen was fine because he could pretend it was some sort of friendly joke between Luke and Cody that he just wasn't in on. But hearing Cody call it a date just makes him aware that he's rubbing the knee of his jeans because his hands are sweating. He's not looking forward to actually hearing the details and wishes he knew how to make Cody stop talking without sounding rude or mean.

"It wasn't exactly our first date, we've been out really early for coffee a few times while you and Spock were sleeping. But it was good," he nods, "we went out for breakfast and we went out on his friend's jet skis and then a long long walk on the beach. He's really funny and he's super nice to me, and near the end of our date we went under the pier and everything and this wave came in super hard and nearly knocked me over but then he caught me and he kissed me and it was..." 

He trails off and looks as if he's remembering the moment and Noel wants to vomit. Cody turns to look at him noticing how uninterested and annoyed he looked before shaking his head, "it was fine. It was good, you know? Just a regular date between two people."

And Noel's throat feels weird, like he's about to cry but without the tears, "so are you gonna see him again?"

"Uh, yeah," he says, "yeah, I hope so. There were a few moments where I was kind of awkward and weird but hopefully he still wants to see me again."

"Why wouldn't he," he asks, looking back to the road, "you're nice and you're funny and you're attractive."

Attractive? I really just said that.

Cody smiles, "oh, thanks, man."

He shrugs, trying not to think about it and when they pull up at the house Cody turns to Noel, "you know, whatever chick ends up with you she's going to be so lucky."

"Yeah," he asks, taking off his seat belt.

"Yeah," he says, "I'm really lucky."

And it stays in the air for a minute until Noel turns to him and Cody gets to chuckling and stuttering, "not like I'm your chick or whatever, that's weird. I don't know why I said it like that. I just meant it in like in a friend way, like, I'm lucky to have you. You're a great friend."

And hearing the word friend come out of Cody's mouth put the same feeling in his chest as it did in grade school when girls would say that to him. Friend. Cody goes to get out of the car and Noel's hand is shooting out to grab his, stopping him from leaving the seat. He turns to face him, cocking his head, "what's up?"

And he's got no idea what to say. What the fuck do I say? I don't want to be just your friend? I don't wanna hear about Luke or how he kissed you and I hate seeing you texting him all the time? I thought I was being a jealous friend and just didn't want you to like him more but that's not it at all. He doesn't know how long he's been sitting here holding Cody's hand and just staring at him like a lunatic but he hasn't let go yet. He still hasn't found the right words to say yet. Think of something. Say something, you fucking moron! He's just looking at you.

He opens his mouth but Cody speaks first, "Noel? Is everything okay?"

No, it's not. It's not okay because I think I fucking like you and I don't know if I'm ready to admit that out loud yet.

Cody looks at him like he's holding his breath, waiting for him to say something as he watches him in curiosity. Noel closes his mouth and smiles, ignoring the feeling in his chest and letting go of his hand with a nod, "um, you're a great friend too."

Cody gives a weak smile, getting out of the car with a few bags. Once he's heading inside Noel rests his head on the steering wheel, hitting his head against the horn a few times. He groans and repeats his own words out loud, "you're a great friend too. Fucking idiot. God I'm so fucking stupid."

He leans back in his seat before seeing Spock looking at him in the rear view mirror laughing, "what are you laughing at?"

"Fucking idiot," he laughs and Noel narrows his eyes. 

"Shut up, Spock." 

Chapter Text

A warm hand slides up the front of Noel's shirt, going underneath to feel his chest as a weight settles on his hips, "holy shit have you been working out?"

"Nah," he smiles before shrugging, "well, maybe just a little."

"You look really good," he says tracing the lines down his chest, "like, really good."

"You're looking pretty good too, Cody," he says, seeing Cody in a pair of boxer briefs, rocking his hips against his. Noel's eyes drink him in before he's biting his lip at the feeling of Cody grinding into him. He gasps and lets out a soft moan before his hands go to the belt around Noel's jeans, "I don't know why I stopped thinking about you. You're the perfect guy for me." 

"Am I?"

He nods, "you're so smart and hot and you're so funny. You're the funniest guy I know. I've never laughed harder at anyone else's jokes."

Once he's pulling the belt off he leans down to kiss Noel's neck and he reaches up to grab onto his hips, eyes nearly rolling back when Cody finds the right spot. The hands undo the button of his jeans and unzip them and Cody pulls back to look at him, "do you want me as much as I want you?"

He nods, "yeah. Yeah, Cody, I want you."

Cody kisses down his neck, pushing his shirt up to kiss down Noel's stomach. Once he's got his jeans down his hips he's taking his time, rubbing his dick through his underwear. 

"What are you doing," he asks.

Cody inches the underwear down, keeping his eyes on Noel's the whole time his dick springs free. Noel looks from his erection to Cody before the blond's smiling, "can I see if you taste as good as you look?"

He nods eagerly at him and Cody's hand wraps around the base of his cock before he's licking a long line up his shaft. His lips wrap around the tip sucking it and slowly inching his way down. He moves a hand to his hair and Cody's eyes look up to him, big and the dark green almost looking brown before they flutter closed as he bobs his head. 

"Cody," he breathes.

He pulls off and pumps him slow, "it's so big. It's way bigger than I thought it would be. I'm not sure if I'm gonna be able to take it."

"You don't have to try and deepthroat it," he says, "I'm fine with just this." 

"I wasn't talking about my mouth," he says, letting go and pushing his underwear down slow while Noel watched him.

He tosses them to the side before he's climbing back onto his hips, his hole already lubed up and ready. Noel grabs the space between his thigh and his hip and holds him still. Once he's reaching under himself and positioning Noel's cock Cody sinks down on him, mouth falling open as his hands sit on his chest to steady himself, "Noel!"

"Holy shit," he says, "Cody."

"Is this okay," he asks, "or did you want to be on top of me when you fucked me?" 

"No, baby, this is good," he says, "go ahead and start riding me." 

"Noel," he moans, hips coming up and down. 

"Fuck, you're so tight."

"Tight for you," he says, closing his eyes and letting his head fall back while he rides him faster, "only for you, Noel."

"Yeah, Cody, say my name just like that," he says reaching back and grabbing Cody's ass. 

"Noel!"

"Fuck, Cody."

"Noel," he hears, "Noel, dude, wake up! Wake up!" 

He sits up fast, eyes opening to see how dark the room is except for the lamp near him. Cody's standing above him, glasses on and looking down at him in bed concerned. He looks up and pulls the blanket closer to him to cover the erection he can feel between his legs. He wipes his eyes, voice groggy, "Cody?"

"Hey," he says, rubbing his shoulder, "are you okay? You were making these loud groans like you were in pain."

"I was," he asks.

Fuck, he heard me?

He nods, "I thought you were dying, scared the hell out of me. You kept calling out my name so I thought I was going to have to call an ambulance."

He shakes his head, "no, you don't have to do that. I'm fine." 

"Are you sure? You're sweating like crazy."

"Yeah," he says, "yeah, I'm fine."

"Jesus, dude, what were you dreaming about anyway?"

He shakes his head, "nothing. It was just a nightmare, I don't wanna talk about it." 

"Oh, okay," he says, "well, I'm gonna go back to sleep unless you want me to get you anything. Do you want some water? I'll go get you some." 

Noel reaches out a grabs his hand before he can leave and Cody turns to look at him curiously, "what, did you want something else?"

He thinks about it for a minute, wanting to tell Cody about his feelings. And just as he's about to he chickens out and nods instead, letting go of his hand, "will you stay with me in here? Just for tonight?"

He nods, "yeah. Yeah, okay. I can do that. Just let move Spock's bed and stuff in here first."

He leaves the room and Noel goes to his drawer, grabbing a pair of fresh underwear and heading into the bathroom. He uses a cold wet cloth to get rid of his boner and clean himself up. Once he changes into a new pair, tossing the other ones in the laundry basket he heads back to his room. Cody had moved the air mattress beside them and carefully tucked Spock back in. Noel gets in bed, turning the lamp on and watching Cody slide in beside him and pull the blanket over his shoulder. He smiles and Cody narrows his eyes smiling back, "why are you smiling?"

He shakes his head, "nothing. Just not used to seeing you in your glasses."

He takes them off and puts them on the side table, holding one of the pillows to his chest and resting his head on the other, "I know, they make me look like an old man."

"Nah, you look good in them. You look like Cody."

"I hate that I'm not sure if that's a compliment," he says.

"I just mean you look cute."

"That one definitely isn't a compliment. You're definitely making fun of me."

"I'm not. You do, you're cute."

"You think I look cute," he asks.

"Of course I do, you're my fucking husband." 

He grins wide before hiding his face in his pillow, "I can't believe we're fake married but legally have a kid." 

"We skipped a step," he says, moving closer, "we didn't need a ceremony. We just needed Spock to be a dumbass and get himself turned into a baby. Look at us now, we're parents."

"It's kind of like, we had a kid," Cody starts, "but they were older so they were out of our hair, but then they had a kid and didn't know how to deal with that kid so they left him with us. And like, they said they'd be back."

"But they're not coming back," Noel finishes. 

"They're never coming back," he nods, "never, not even going to send a post card."

"I can't believe our child left us and then gave us another child. Such a fucking dick move." 

"Big dick move," Cody says before shrugging, "I don't know, I kind of like him though." 

"Seriously," he asks. 

He nods, "yeah, he's kind of adorable and he gets really excited when I show him different beats. He helped me make one the other day. He's still pretty good at judging them even as a baby. He's pretty good at answering yes or no questions. He's not good at talking though and he doesn't know all the words I'm saying but he's pretty good at nodding along with it."

"You really like him," he asks. 

"Yeah, I think so. It was stressful at first, it still is sometimes, but I don't know. Seeing him smiling is kind of cute. And sometimes he'll shit his pants in public and it's loud and even though I'm mad I have to clean him up it's still kind of funny."

"Fart jokes are always funny," he says, "gross as hell but still funny."

"I know I should be hoping he goes back to being adult Spock, and I do sometimes. But other times I kind of don't want him to grow up. Does that make me a bad friend?"

"Nah," he tells him, "I think that just means you like being a dad." 

"He called me papa the other day and I kinda almost cried." 

"Dude." 

"I know," he sighs, "I know that's lame. It's so lame."

"No, no, I get it. You like taking care of him."

"I do," he says, "you know, today is officially Halloween. You know what that means?" 

"We are not taking that little shit trick-or-treating."

"Oh, come on, it'll be fun," he says, "we can get in the car after collecting all his candy we get to eat it and he can't."

"Cody, if you want candy I will buy you candy. You don't have to put on some costume and possibly get some razor-bladed candy from strangers."

"I know," he says, "but I wanna have kids some day and I could use the dad practice." 

"He's gonna be so pissed when he goes back to normal," Noel says.

"We can eat it in front of him when we get home. Let him eat some apples while we watch TV and pig out. It'll be great."

Cody closes his eyes and Noel looks over his face before turning the lamp off, "yeah, okay, we can go trick or treating." 

 

---

 

When Noel wakes up he's on his side, a head pressed to his chest, his arms around a warm body. He looks down seeing Cody pressed against him, his arm lazily draping around his waist as he's close enough that his hair is almost in his face. Cody shifts when Noel attempts to move and his cheek is soon rubbing against his chest, holding him closer. Noel can feel his heart racing and when Cody starts to move he closes his eyes. He soon wakes up, pulling his head back to look at him and notice how close they are. He puts his head back against his chest and holds him closer, face rubbing against him.

Noel pulls him closer and he can feel Cody's cheeks rising in a smile. He sighs, tension leaving his arms. Just as he was about to 'wake up' he hears Spock crying. Cody's smile is gone and he groans, pulling from him and reluctantly getting up. Noel opens his eyes, before stretching and Cody looks to him, "you can go back to sleep, I've got him." 

He shakes his head and gets up, picking Spock up from his bed and patting the spot between Cody's neck and his shoulder. He takes Spock into the kitchen, putting on some coffee before heading into the bathroom. He cleans up the toddler and puts him in a new pull up, letting him stand on the sink. The boy reaches up and pats his face liking the sound it makes and Noel narrows his eyes, "look, kid. I'm not Cody, I don't think of you as my kid, okay? So don't touch my face." 

He squeezes Noel's nose and the man frowns, "ow, stop it." 

His voice drops into a nasally sound and Spock giggles causing Noel to raise his brows, "oh, you think it's funny, you little shit? Let's go then."

Spock lets go and claps, going back to holding his nose. He smiles and jumps slightly and when Noel pulls his hand away he's picking him up, heading into the living room and throwing him up into the air, catching him when he starts to fall. He's laughing and when Noel's arms get tired he's patting his cheeks and hugging him, "again, daddy, again!"

And it throws Noel off, "wait, what did you just say?" 

He pulls him back to look at him and Spock is beaming up at him and clapping as the coffee pot going off. He puts him on his hip, while he gets the small table off and sets him in his high chair. Once he's got the table back on he's putting some dry cereal in front of him and a bottle of milk. He eats it happily while watching Noel with a certain fascination in his eyes. He fixes his coffee and tries not to think about it, but inevitably does so. Spock called him daddy, he thinks Noel is his father. He pulls a chair up next to the high chair and he's already got the kid's full attention, "Spock. I'm gonna ask you something and I want you to tell me the answer. Can you do that?"

He doesn't say yes or no, he just shoves more cereal into his mouth and nods. When he goes to look at another noise Noel's holding his face, "what's my name?"

"What are you doing," Cody asks behind him. 

He turns to him, "shh shh shh. Just watch this. Spock, do you know what my name?"

"Daddy," he says spitting out a little cereal when he says it. Noel points to Cody, "and who is that?"

"Papa," he says. 

Noel turns to Cody and gives him a look that's a cross between shocked and scared. But Cody doesn't seem worried, he smiles and leans down, ruffling Spock's hair, "that's right. Good job, buddy!"

Noel blinks a few times, "am I in the fucking twilight zone right now? Cody, we're not his dads." 

"Language," he says covering Spock's ears, "what's the problem? Our names are on his adoption papers. Legally we're his parents."

He looks at the toddler silently eating the last few bites of his cereal, "yeah, I guess we are it's just..."

Kind of seems like he thinks we're a family.

"Finally sinking in that we have a kid together," he finishes.

Cody lets go of Spock and pats the top of Noel's head before heading into the kitchen, "well, while you have your life crisis what do you want me to make you for breakfast?"

Noel gets up and heads into the kitchen, "I'll make breakfast. What do you want? Pancakes? Eggs? Omelette?"

"Uh, pancakes and eggs."

"Pancakes and eggs," he repeats, "do you want bacon?"

"Yeah."

He gets everything out of the fridge while Cody sits on the counter watching him. Noel scrambles one egg and puts it to the side letting it cool before he gives it to Spock. Cody's smiling, "you've gotten better with him."

"I should be better with him," he says, "we've had him a little while now."

"You're gonna be great with kids after this."

"Yeah," he asks, "I think you'll be even better. You're gonna be a good dad."

"Thanks," he says, getting off the counter and grabbing a napkin to clean Spock's mouth up with, "but I'm already a dad to this little guy." 

He picks him up out of his chair and puts him on his hip. Spock is clinging to his shirt and Cody's pushing the hair out of his face, "we really should cut his hair. He keeps getting food in it." 

"I'll take him to get it done later on this week."

"Do you think you could do it this coming up Friday," he asks, heading into the living room and setting Spock down in front of the TV, turning on Sesame Street.

"Yeah, sure. What are you doing Friday?"

"I have another date with Luke."

And his heart stops and he watches the food cook in the pans as he shakes his head slightly to himself, another date? How many times has he seen him just this week?

"Oh yeah," he asks. 

"Yeah," he says, heading back into the kitchen, "it'll be around lunch time but who knows how long we'll be out together? We lost track last time on our big date."

"That's fine," Noel says, "if you want to go hang out for a while with him that's fine."

It's not.

"Are you sure," he asks. 

No.

"Yeah," he says, and that sour feeling returns to his chest, "sure."

"Hey, if he and I start to get closer and we still have baby Spock how will we explain him?"

"Don't worry about that. I'll figure something out," he says, plating Cody's food and handing it to him.

He smiles and puts his plate to the side, hugging him. Noel is startled, arms open, one hand holding a spatula. He sets it down before bringing his arms around him. Cody's smiling, "you really are the best, man."

He's warm in his arms and he smells good. Has Cody always smelled this good, he thinks, I don't want him to pull away. He's not aware of how long he's been holding Cody until the blond is talking, "uh, dude, I think your pancake is burning." 

And then he's snapped back into his thoughts and pulling from him, putting the pancake on his plate and shaking his head, "I can scrape that side off. I'm not worried about it."

He scrapes off the side of his pancake and heads into the living room, sitting beside Cody on the couch. He looks to the blond seeing him happily eating everything on his plate, "you're a really good cook."

"Thanks," he says, trying to think of a way to casually bring up the date Cody has, "so, how's the whole Luke thing going?"

"It's good," he says, "we talked a lot more last night before I heard you in your room. What was your dream about anyway?"

"I don't want to talk about it. Why don't you tell me more about Luke?"

"He's sweet. He looks kind of like a surfer but he's not a surfer bro, you know? He's really tall and he's got these big muscles and everything and he's so cute."

"So you're into guys like that," he asks, "tall with big muscles?"

"No," he says, "well, I don't really know. I just know he's really nice and funny and he's a really good kisser."

"Right."

"I'm sorry," Cody shakes his head, "is this weird for you?"

"No," he says, "it's fine."

"Cause I know that you're not used to hearing about two guys being together and I tend to go on and on about stuff. It's just that I'm really excited because this is the first guy I've seen in a long time."

In a long time?!

"You've seen other guys before," he asks, not really meaning to but it slipped.

"Yeah, I've dated four other guys before."

Four other guys have put their hands on Cody. I really don't like knowing that.

"Yeah," he asks, "they all just a pile of muscles on legs?"

He laughs, "no! Not all of them have muscles like that."

"Why didn't you ever tell me about them?"

He shrugs, "I just didn't know if you'd be okay with knowing."

"We've been best friends for forever. Of course I'd be okay with knowing. And now that you're out I've got so many questions."

"Yeah," he laughs, "like what? Like if I take it up the ass or not?"

And Noel doesn't say anything and instead looks at Cody who raises both brows before laughing. Noel doesn't laugh or look embarrassed, he just watches him and shrugs, "what, like you wouldn't want to know if it was me?"

"I mean, I guess I would if I'd just found out after we've known each other for years, but I feel like you wouldn't really wanna know the answer."

"Oh, I do," he nods, "so which is it? Top? Bottom? Do you do both?"

He doesn't meet Noel's eyes and pokes his breakfast with a fork as he bounces his leg, speaking softer, "the second one."

"And you like, like that," he asks, "being the bottom and having things shoved up your-"

He cuts himself off when Cody gives him a sharp look. He's soon nodding, trying not to say something stupid, "okay, okay, cool."

"Cool," Cody asks, trying not to laugh as he focuses back on the TV, "Jesus, lets just not talk about that stuff, okay?"

Noel hears the cookie monster on TV but he's still looking at Cody, eyeing his body before he speaks, "so, are you a bottom because you radiate twink energy?"

And Cody sighs, "I'm not a twink, I have muscles. If either of us is a twink it's you. You're the scrawny one." 

"Nah," he says, "I'm more of a twunk."

"God, I never thought I'd ever have to hear you say that sentence," he laughs, "and I'd be the twunk, you're just a twink."

"Nah," he says, shaking his head.

"Yeah," he nods, "when you're muscles are bigger like mine are-"

"Wow," he says. 

Cody continues with a smile, "and you can bench press me then I'll call you a twunk. But only then!"

"Once I'm ripped it's over for you dude! Also, I can probably bench you right now no problem."

"You can't," he says, "you couldn't even pick me up."

"You wanna bet," he asks, turning to face him with wide eyes.

Cody finishes a bite before setting his plate beside him on the table, "yeah, okay, how much?"

"If I can pick you up no problem then we're going back to the store, returning our costumes, and I'll go as a dinosaur and you get to go as a princess," Noel says. 

He snorts, "sure, fine. Doesn't matter cause you wont be able to lift me. And if I win, which I will, you have to pay for dinner wherever we go tonight. And I'm feeling kind of expensive today."

Noel puts his stuff to the side and stands up and Spock glances at them before turning back to the TV. Cody holds his arms up slightly waiting to be picked up bridal style but when Noel is in front of him he's picking him up and getting Cody's legs around his waist, making the blond's arms flail before going around his neck. His hands are under Cody's thighs, eyes looking up at him. His mouth is open and they're less than a foot away from each other's faces. Cody shakes his head, "this doesn't count because I'm holding onto you!"

"Then let go, dude," he says.

"No, I don't want you to drop me," he says, voice softening. 

"I'm not gonna fuckin' drop you, man, just let go."

"Walk over to that wall so if I fall backwards I can catch myself and not bust my ass."

He does as he asks and soon Cody's hands go to his shoulders and Noel's hands slide up, holding him up by the place between his thighs and his ass. When Cody lets go he doesn't fall backwards and Noel smiles, "told you I could pick you up."

"Only because you had my help!"

"I still lifted you," he says, giving a smug smile, "you know, you're gonna look so pretty in that princess dress."

He rolls his eyes, crossing his arms over his chest as he's leaning from him, lowering his voice, "fuck you." 

When Cody falls back his arms shoot out to catch himself. Noel quickly decides to help by pushing him up against the wall hard so he doesn't fall down. The move catches him but knocks the breath out of Cody when their hips collide. And when he feels just how pressed up against him he is it's enough to make Noel start to get hard in his sweatpants. The blond's eyes are wide, mouth open from the collision and Noel's heart is racing. Fuck, he looks so fucking good like that. Cody's watching him look over his face before stopping on the deep green eyes that seem to be waiting for something. 

Holy shit this is real, this isn't a dream. This is real and I want this. His eyes drop to Noel's mouth quickly before looking back to his eyes and for a moment he thinks Cody wants him to kiss him. And he wants to, fuck he wants to, but he knows that isn't what Cody wants. Their hips are firmly pressed together and Noel's brain takes note that this is the closest he's ever been to Cody in his entire life. What would this feel like if we were naked? What would it feel like to kiss him right now? He leans in a little and Cody's eyes close. His heart feels like it's beating in his stomach and he wonders if Cody can feel it. He leans in closer, their noses so close to touching. Fuck, this is happening.

The sound of the TV begins to fill the room, a police siren on screen getting louder and louder by the second. And Cody's eyes are open and Noel is setting him down and putting distance between them, as he turns to look at Spock. The toddler is playing with the remote, fingers smushing the volume and channel button. Noel goes over, taking it from him before shaking his head, "this ain't a toy, bitch."

"Mine," he says trying to reach for it, "it mine, bitch!"

"No it not," Noel says practically hearing Cody's disapproval in his silence, "it not yours."

"It mine," he frowns. 

"Oh no, don't you start with that crying shit. I'm not dealing with it, kid."

"Give it back," he says, tearing up, "it mine."

Cody takes it from Noel, turning the TV down before popping the batteries out and sliding the back on again as he hands it to him, "here, buddy. You can play with it now." 

Cody pats Noel's shoulder, but only for a second. And when Noel's turning towards him he doesn't look him in the eyes. Cody shakes his head sighing, "I think I'm gonna take a shower. Can you try not to swear or get into an argument with our child while I do so?" 

Our child, he thinks, that sounds strange to hear.

"Yeah," he says, "we'll leave after." 

Spock happily presses the buttons and Cody hands Noel the batteries, "sure, I do still have to pick up my costume."

He nods and when Cody's in the bathroom he glares at Spock, "you are such a fucking cockblock."

Spock smiles big and goes back to mashing the remote buttons.

 

---

 

Noel looks over at Cody in the pink princess costume that matched the dress Spock was wearing over his dinosaur suit. Noel bought fake diamond jewelry and a tiara that glittered as if it was real. He smiled over at him, "you look like a pageant mom who used to be a beauty queen but got old and now she's trying to live vicariously through her daughter."

Cody turns to him, unamused as he smiles at his own joke. When he doesn't respond he keeps talking, "you look like you're about to audition your child for the show Toddlers and Tiaras."

"I swear to god I'll jump out of this car if you keep talking." 

"Don't do that," he says, reaching over and adjusting the necklace around Cody's throat, "you'll ruin your outfit. How will you win the pageant then?"

"I hate you so much, dude." 

"Why? You look great. Like a real princess," he says, "Spock, what do you think of Cody's outfit?"

"Papa is pretty," he says. 

"You hear that," he smiles, "he thinks you're pretty." 

"Spock thinks dolphins are pretty! Spock thought the trash can was pretty this morning."

"Papa is pretty girl," Spock says. 

"Aww," Noel says, pinching Cody's cheek, "papa is a pretty girl, isn't he?"

Cody glares at him and they pull up to the first church, "alright, Spock, let's go get some candy!"

They get out and Cody's soon picking Spock up and carrying him on his hip, "you ready to get some candy, buddy?"

"Yeah! I want candy!"

"We're gonna get some," Cody says, "here, hold your pumpkin."

He takes the pumpkin bucket and holds it out as they head to the first car. They rack up a lot of candy, nearly getting half a pumpkin full before heading back to the car. Cody buckles him back up and gets in the car, lifting his dress so he could get back in. Noel's smiling the whole time and when Cody turns to him he looks at him annoyed, "what?" 

"Nothing, you just look so dainty and sweet getting back in here. You ever thought about wearing dresses before? You lifted it like you've watched a lot of princess movies growing up." 

"Shut up," he says, "just drive." 

"Yes, Your Highness." 

"I'll kill you in this church parking lot, you'll be the last dinosaur killed on this Earth. But this time instead of some meteors or something it'll be my fists."

"Cute," he nods, driving off. 

Cody shakes his head and picks up his phone when he gets a text. He smiles at his screen and Noel doesn't even have to peek at the contact name to know who it is. Cody taps away at the screen, laughing softly to himself occasionally until they pull up at a long strip of houses getting stopped at for candy. They stop outside them and Noel parks, watching Cody still grinning at his screen, "need me to open the door for you, princess?"

Cody puts the phone to his ear when it starts ringing and grins, "hey, what's up?"

And Noel relaxes against the seat and the door, looking at him in disbelief. 

"I'm taking a kid trick or treating."

And when he listens closely he can hear Luke, "yeah? You in costume?" 

"Yeah, I sent you a picture of it before you called. Check your messages," he says, picking a piece of candy from the bucket and unwrapping it. 

"You look kind of fuckin' good in that."

He laughs, "are you into stuff like that?"

"Not normally, you told me the dress was extremely pink but wow. It looks good. It'll match my prince costume."

Fuck, Noel thinks, a fucking prince costume? This fucking guy.

"I have to see it, where are you?"

"I'm at the church close to the Starbucks we went to."

"Oh, I know where that is. We'll be there in a second." 

Noel goes wide eyed and Luke's got a smile in his tone, "I'll be waiting for you, princess."

Noel rolls his eyes and Cody shakes his head with a small laugh, "see you in a second."

He laughs and they hang up. Cody turns to Noel smile not leaving, "hey, can we swing by a church super quick? I just want to say hi to Luke. Spock can get candy there too." 

He wants to say no, but Cody's got those big pleading doe eyes and he can't bring himself to say no, "yeah, sure." 

He turns the car on and heads to the church. It wasn't hard to miss, this one had games and food and giant bouncy castles. He pulled into a parking spot and Cody's opening the door, looking around and fidgeting with his hands before he stops and looks to his finger. He slips off the gold band and hands it to Noel, "here. I'll only see him for like five minutes tops, I swear and then I'll be right back!" 

He takes the ring, slipping it onto his other finger and getting out of the car, watching Cody lift his dress and rush around, searching for Luke. 

"Daddy is mad," Spock says pointing at him, "I give you hug."

"Let's just get your candy and get the fuck out of here." 

Spock claps happily and lets Noel pick him up out of his car seat. Spock hugs him and pats his face gently as Noel nods, "yes, thank you." 

Once he's out and his pumpkin bucket is emptied into a Walmart bag in the back seat they make their way around. And while Spock was saying trick or treat softly and occasionally burying his head in his chest when he saw a particularly scary costume Noel was smiling politely at everyone while searching for Cody. He looks around for a pink dress but doesn't see him anywhere. Eventually Spock is patting his cheek and he looks to him, "what is it, do you see papa? Is he with someone?"

"I done," he says. 

He turns to him seeing they'd already walked around the entire parking lot and collected all of the candy from each trunk. He nods, "you are, aren't you?"

"Want papa," he says. 

"I know, I'm looking for him."

He searches around a little more, not seeing any sign of Cody. He wonders what they're talking about, if Luke's complimenting Cody like he did on the phone. He rolls his eyes, even his voice was perfect. It was strong and deep and Noel was stuck between hating him and hating himself for wanting to be more like him. He hated how excited Cody got at the thought of seeing him. He feels Spock tug on the shoulder of his costume, "Daddy."

"Hm," he asks, eyes scanning the crowd, "what is it, little man?"

"I goed bathroom," he says. 

And Noel's eyes are on him in an instant, "no. No, not today, not right now you don't."

"I goed bathroom," he says again.

He groans and heads to the car, replacing the plastic pumpkin with a diaper bag, but as he was about to close the door he spotted a pink mass near a tree out of the corner of his eye. He looks up seeing soap guy's mouth on Cody's and, even though it's only for a moment, Noel thinks it lasted longer than he thinks it should have. Luke's mouth goes to his neck and Cody's eyes open, irises rolling back as he grips the man's costume. His mouth falls open and Noel's does with him, the sick feeling in his stomach getting worse. I'm actually going to throw up. He's turning away quickly heading into the church so he doesn't have to watch him. Once he's in the bathroom he sets Spock on the baby changer.

Spock didn't notice them, or if he did he didn't give Noel a look of pity. After a few seconds the sick feeling goes away and the toddler is laughing when Noel places him on the changing table and grabs his feet as he fakes a smile, "no kicking this time, you got it?"

He kicks his hand and Noel pulls his hand back, "oh you'd better be glad you're not an adult, boy, because I would choke slam you into this koala station so fast."

"Fuck you," he says in a tiny voice that Noel can't help but laugh at. 

"No, fuck you," Noel smiles 

"Fuck you," Spock says.

"I'm not the one who went and shit my pants so fuck you." 

The door closes behind him and he hears Cody's voice, "are you swearing at a toddler?"

And his smile's gone. He shrugs and points to the toddler, "he started it." 

"You're an adult," he reminds him, "and we're in a church, dude. You can't swear here." 

"Daddy swear," Spock says. 

"Yeah, well, daddy has a big potty mouth," Cody agrees, placing a hand on his shoulder. 

"You know," he says forcing himself to sound okay, "when he calls me daddy it's cute and innocent but when you do it it's kinda kinky." 

"Noel, now is not the time nor the place, we're in a church bathroom with God and a toddler present," he gestures to Spock.

"How did everything with Luke go," he asks, changing the subject, wondering if Cody would tell him anything. 

He nods, "it was good, we saw each other, took some pictures."

Made out against a tree in front of God and everyone here at this church.

"Fun," Noel says, no hint of emotion in him. 

"Are you okay to take care of him this Friday, if not I can see if Kelsey and Aleena will watch him. I think Spock gets along with Katie."

"I'll take him over there," he says, "I've got some stuff I wanna talk to them about anyway."

"Okay," he says, "let's get home and pig out on some candy." 

Once Spock's changed Noel's throwing everything away and Cody's slipping the ring on Noel's finger back onto his and picking up the toddler, "up we go!"

Spock hold's onto Cody's dress while he's on his hip, "did you have fun?"

They head out of the church towards the car, Noel carrying the bag behind him while he can't help but love watching the way Cody smiles when he's talking to the toddler. We really are like a family. Like a not so perfect family, he smiles. Spock is nodding happily along with Cody until a certain voice reaches their ears, "what a terrible father, dressing his little boy up in a princess dress. If his dad wants to prance around like that do it in private, you know? Don't make your kid do that gay shit."

Noel stops dead in his tracks the moment those words hit his ears. Cody stops for a minute, Spock looking up at him and cocking his head but instead of turning to the guy he just fakes a smile at the toddler and continues to walk towards the car. And even though he's still upset about the Luke situation and wants to avoid thinking about him and his best friend he's still always in 'protect Cody' mode and he'll be damned if just sits here and says nothing. 

"The fuck did you just say," Noel asks, turning to the guy sitting by his car in a portable chair while two other guys hand out candy. 

"No, hey," Cody says shaking his head and turning to hold onto Noel's shoulder, "it's fine, dude, lets just go." 

Cody's voice sounds weak and tired, like he's heard all this before and it makes Noel's blood boil. He clenches his fist and shakes his head, not worried about the fact that he might fist fight an old man while wearing a dinosaur costume and end up on a few online videos.

"No, no, no. No fucking way," Noel says, "I wanna hear what this piece of shit motherfucker just said." 

The guy clams up when Noel pulls the hood off his costume, "cause it sounded like you were talking shit about my fucking husband."

Holy shit that feels good to say.

"Noel. It's fine," Cody says going over to hold onto his shoulder and lower his voice, "let's just go. We got Spock's candy already, let's just bail, okay?" 

"Poor kid," the guy says, "he'll never grow up normal with those two."

"Listen here you crusty ass piece of shit," Noel says, "my husband is a damn good dad. And there ain't nothing wrong with wearing a fuckin' dress. If my kid wants to wear a dinosaur costume and a princess dress then he'll goddamn wear it. And if you keep talking fucking shit I'm gonna take you out right here. In front of God and everybody." 

He points to the old man nodding, "that's right, your dusty ass will be the next fuckin' dinosaur to go extinct in this fuckin' parking lot you say another word."

When the man goes silent Noel raises his brows and turns his head, "you got something else to fuckin' say?"

The old man looks away from him and he nods, "yeah, that's what I thought." Noel pats Spock's shoulder, "hey, Spock, tell this piece of shit your favorite words." 

"Fuck you," Spock says looking at the old man with an angry face. 

"That's my fuckin' boy," he says, patting the dinosaur head on Spock.

Cody smiles and Noel's glaring at the guy before wrapping an arm around Cody's waist and leading him to the car. Noel puts Spock in his seat while Cody's getting in the car. Once they're all strapped in they're driving off, Cody looking at him almost the entire drive as if he's a completely different person. He sighs, "I know, I know, I swore so much in front of Spock just now. I'm sorry, but that guy was the worst! He was a dick and I was just trying to be-"

"Amazing," he says, eyes wide as he looks at him, "you're amazing, dude!" 

"You're not mad at me?"

"No, of course I'm not mad. I'm just, 'woah.'  You got angry at that guy and you defended me! You and Spock swore at an old man for me. You were... holy shit! I'm still in shock from it all. I don't know, I just didn't expect you to defend me like that."

"Yeah, well, you're my boy," he says and Cody snorts and raises a brow, "I'm your boy?"

"My husband," he says, "it'd be shitty if I was your husband who didn't defend you in front of some dickhead." 

"You really didn't have to do that," he says. 

"Yeah," he says, "I did. I had to do it this time and I'll do it every time after this one because no one talks shit about you, ever! Not in front of me." 

"I'm lucky you're my husband I guess. I don't ever say anything when people say stuff like that about me."

"Yeah, well, I'm always gonna say something," he tells him. 

"That might get you into fights you can't win."

"Then I'll get my ass handed to me those times and fuck shit up every other time."

He smiles, "you really are my best friend, you know that?" 

He nods, "you're my best friend too."

Spock claps behind them and they look to him nodding as Cody talks, "you're our best friend too, Spock, but no more swearing." 

Spock covers his mouth and Cody nods, "good. Same goes for you, Noel. No more swearing." 

"I'm probably gonna keep doing it, but I'll try not to in front of the kid," he nods, looking towards the road, feeling a sense of pride when Cody watches him.

"That's good enough I guess," he says, playing with the ring on his finger. Noel has the urge to reach over and take his hand in his but grips the wheel instead, "I'm starving, let's get some food. What do you guys want?"

"Macaroni," Spock says. 

"I don't care," Cody tells him, "somewhere with a drive thru because I'm not walking in anywhere with this."

"Why? No one's gonna say anything to you while I'm here, and if they do I'll beat their ass."

"You're insane," Cody says. And Noel's nodding, proud of himself that he didn't get that warm feeling Cody normally put in his stomach when he smiled or laughed. He focuses on driving until he notices Cody staring out of his peripheral. He glances over at him seeing a goofy grin on his face as he looked to him, "what?"

"Nothing," he smiles, "nothing, it's just good to know I've got a great husband."

And the warmth those words put in Noel's stomach make his heart race and his cheeks flush pink. He hopes to god Cody doesn't notice and when the younger man turns to look at Spock he's nearly letting out a sigh of relief. He watches him in the mirror, the man handing Spock his teddy bear before turning back in his seat and buckling up. He picks up the pumpkin and goes through the candy, "you want one? I can feed it to you while you drive."

God you're fucking killing me in the best way possible, Cody.

Chapter Text

Noel's sat behind Kelsey, braiding her hair like she showed him how while she braids Katie's hair and Katie 'braids' Spock's hair, "so like, what's the point of a braid?"

"It looks nice," Kelsey says, "all the hair stays in place for the most part. It's just more effective than a ponytail. Plus when you take it down it makes your hair do a cool little wavy thing." 

"I don't think I'm doing this right," he tells her.

"You probably aren't, but it's good practice!"

Within a second Aleena is back, holding up the restaurant bags with a giant smile, "snagged them without anyone noticing."

"You stole Chik-fil-a," Noel asks. 

"Obviously," she says, passing out each item, "I'm not buying it and putting my money into a homophobic company's pocket." 

Kelsey smiles, "you're the best, babe."

Aleena winks at her and Noel takes his food and shrugs, figuring out what he was going to eat first. He gets up and moves to sit on the couch as Aleena gets behind Kelsey and fixes the mess Noel made of her hair while the other woman occasionally holds up her drink and sandwich so she can still eat while her fingers work through the dark hair. 

"I've still got questions about all this," Noel starts, looking between them.

"The lesbian thing or the Spock thing?"

"The magic thing," he starts, "but we'll probably circle back to those two things later. How did you guys even meet? Is there a magic place or something?"

"When we were kids we met in our dreams," Kelsey says, "but we didn't meet face to face until we bumped into each other for the first time as adults. We just knew everything about each other from all the years we spent together when we were asleep. But there are places where magical beings like to go."

"Are there a lot of magical beings out there?"

"Obviously," Aleena says, "we're not the only ones. Magic is all around us. Everyone has traces of magic in them, just some more than others."

"So me and Spock have magic stuff?"

"Yeah," she nods. 

"Do you want to find out what kind of magic you have in your blood," Kelsey asks.

"Sure," he says.

He finishes his sandwich before tossing the wrapper in the bag. Kelsey retrieves a wooden board with a swirled circle in the center. The rest of the board was strange though, just covered in tiny dips no bigger than the head of a pin. She instructs Noel to put his hand on the board. Once his finger is in the center she nods, "stay still or it might poke you twice." 

"Poke me twice," he asks. 

There's a sharp pain in his finger and he pulls his hand away. The drop of blood gets in the circle and she hands him a paper towel. The red dot sits in the center for a while, unmoving and she looks surprised, "that can't be right."

"Maybe you didn't put enough blood on it," Aleena says, "squeeze your finger onto the circle."

Noel does as she asks but nothing happens the blood sits still and Katie looks to him as Kelsey speaks, "I don't understand."

"He should have traces of something in his veins I mean unless he's just got some of weird gene or something. Maybe your family steered clear of supernaturals," Aleena says, "I mean, not even a small percent? It's kinda weird. So he's just normal?"

"First of all, ow," Noel says, "second of all, obviously I'm normal. It just means I'm not different."

Katie goes over to him, climbing on the couch and sitting down beside him, patting his hand, "not different. Not different like me."

"Yeah," he says, "I guess I'm not different like you guys."

She nods grinning big before Kelsey sighs, "we would have went trick or treating with you but the full moon was happening and Katie needed to change and Aleena had a few spells that can only be done during a full moon."

"What do you do with her when she changes? You just take her in the woods?" 

"Run," Katie says, "I like to run."

"Oh yeah?" 

"What do you like," she asks, "what you do?"

"I watch TV," he says, "take naps." 

Her brows come together in confusion and she cocks her head, "You watch TV? In house?"

"Yeah, where do you watch TV?"

"I don't. I go run."

"Katie loves running," Kelsey nods, "she'll do that all night and then when she changes back she'll nap for twelve hours."

"Where you change," Katie asks, looking up at him. 

"Oh, no," he says, "I don't change."

She looks confused and turns to Aleena, "what is it, baby?"

Katie shakes her head, "he is not different."

She nods, "yeah, but that's a good thing, we're different. He kind of fits in here with us, don't you think?"

"Not yet," she says, "he not fit yet."

She gets up and grabs a ball before walking over to Spock and setting it beside him. He picks it up and chucks it down the hall and Katie is quick to run across the wood floor and pick it up before running it back to him. Noel watches her in curiosity before turning back to the women. Aleena is the first one to speak up, "she's been acting kind of weird ever since she met you guys. She keeps asking when you're coming over." 

"Me and Cody?"

"No," she says, "just you. She wants to run with you, she's got the idea that alphas need to run together. I think she'll start thinking of you as one of the pack if we continue to be friends."

He smiles and Kelsey casually changes the subject, "speaking of continuing to be friends, what's with you and Cody?"

Jesus Christ, am I that fucking obvious? No, no, I can't be. Play dumb.

"What do you mean?"

"I was just wondering how long you've been friends? You two seem comfortable enough to raise a kid so you must be good friends."

"Yeah," he says, "me and Cody have known each other a while. We met in college, we were roommates then and we're still roommates now."

"All this time," Aleena asks, "and you haven't found someone to settle down with?"

He shrugs, "just been busy I guess."

"Interesting," Aleena nods looking at him for a while before looking to Kelsey who shakes her head.

The other woman gives a nod and Katie sits in her lap. Noel finishes braiding Spock's hair back out of his face before tying it. There's a question lingering on his tongue but he isn't quite sure how to ask without making himself obvious. He chews his lips for a moment before deciding to just come out an ask, "so, I've got a question... about the whole lesbian thing."

Aleena rolls her eyes, "dude, you have to know how it works by now. They make plenty of videos, you've probably looked at dozens of them by now."

"Yeah, obviously, who hasn't? But that's not what I'm trying to ask. I just wanna know, like, how did you guys know you were... You know?"

They give each other a look and Kelsey shrugs, "I mean, I've always looked at girls. I wanted to be around them all the time, I never really wanted to be around guys in a more than friend kind of way. When I found out about kissing I only really wanted to do it with other girls. Like, sure I thought about kissing guys but the thought of it being a girl was just better to me. A lot of the time you just know."

Aleena shrugs, "I looked at guys a lot because I knew girls were supposed to, but I was never really into them. I liked them as friends and I did date a few but it just felt off, you know? But when I found out girls could like girls? I felt relieved. And all those times I was looking at other girls growing up and didn't know why made complete sense. Especially the dreams I'd have with Kelsey. But I didn't know I liked girls until maybe seventeen? Eighteen?"

Kelsey smiles and takes the other woman's hands and Aleena nods, "most of the time you just know."

"But it's totally normal to realize it later on in life like your twenties or thirties or even your seventies," Kelsey adds.

He nods and the blue eyed woman cocks her head, "is there anything you wanna talk about?"

"Daddy gay," Spock says. 

Kelsey looks to Aleena before looking to Spock, "well that's probably not it."

"No, no, it is," Noel says, "daddy gay. Daddy is super gay I think, okay so long story short some stuff happened and I had this dream."

His eyes widen so they understand what he's talking about. 

"Gross," Aleena says, "continue."

"And it was really eye opening and everything but now I don't know what to do about it because the guy I like-"

"Cody," Aleena and Kelsey say in unison biting into more of their food as he talks. 

"Cody," he corrects himself, "is in love with someone else."

"I don't think he is," Aleena tells him, "he kind of stares at you, he's got this kind of longing look in his eyes, like you're his entire world. It's like he's been in love with you since the day he met you."

"Yeah," Kelsey says, "he looks like he's been waiting on you to make a move for years."

"He came out to me the other day. I already knew but he just now told me after all this time."

"Ooh," Aleena says, looking pained, "that must've been hard for him if he just told you, what did you say?" 

"I told him it was fine, it'll always be fine. And he told me he used to have a thing for me and then I realized why I didn't want him hanging around Luke and he hit me with a 'but don't worry cause I don't feel that way about you anymore!' and now I can't stop thinking about it and wondering what they're doing right now."

"How tall is Luke," Aleena asks. 

He groans, covering his face and leaning back against the couch as she winces, "yikes, taller than you, huh?"

"He's a fucking pretty boy and is perfect according to Cody. He likes everything he likes and makes him laugh, oh and did I mention he's six foot four or something? Because he is and Cody's into him!"

"Sounds like he's going to be into Cody pretty soon if you know what I mean," Aleena says quieter to Kelsey. 

Noel hears and frowns, Kelsey gives her a look before she nods, looking to Spock and waving for him to go. Spock gets off the couch and walks with Katie to the TV away from them and Noel groans again. Kelsey goes over and sits beside him patting his back, "it's okay, buddy."

"Yeah! I didn't even mean that," Aleena nods, "I'm sure Cody will see his dick or something and it'll be so small he'll run right back home to you!"

"You don't really think that," he tells her, rubbing his forehead when he begins to get a headache.

"Not in the slightest," she nods, "you said, what? Six four?"

"Yeah, dude's probably packin'," Kelsey tells him, "but like, Cody's been in love with you for longer so it doesn't matter because you've still got the advantage."

"I don't think so," he tells her, "the guy's perfect. I wish I knew what they were doing right now, probably on the most perfect date ever about to have the most perfect kiss before they go up to our apartment and have the most perfect se--oh my god! Oh my god what if they're in our apartment right now?!"

"I can look for you if you want," Kelsey says.

He looks to her with curious eyes, "you can?"

"Yeah," she nods, "do you have something of his?"

He takes the other ring off his finger and gives it to her. She holds it between her hands and closes her eyes. When she opens them again they're a milky color with a hint of mint green. Her pupil was gone and she looks almost catatonic with the way she isn't responding, "something's not right."

"What do you mean," he asks, quickly, "is Cody okay? What are they doing?"

"They're making out," she says, "but that's not the weird part, the weird part is that he's not human." 

"What do you mean, how can you tell?"

"He's got this really dark vibe, it's like this sort of glow around him but it's not normal. It's darker, way more supernatural."

"What does that mean for Cody," he asks, straightening up and his heart beginning to race, "is he gonna hurt Cody?"

"Oh believe me, he is not hurting him."

Noel's eyes go wide and he snatches the ring from her hand, her eyes going back to normal. He puts it back on his finger, looking away from them, "what kind of glow is it?"

"I can't be sure," Kelsey says, "I think he might be a vampire." 

And his eyes snap up, "vampire? As in like blood drinking vampire?"

"It was a dark red, like a maroon or a muddy red color so yeah. I think so."

"That's a vampire," Aleena nods. 

"Well, what are we standing here for? We have to find him, we have to get him away from Cody. He'll eat him!"

"I don't think he wanted to kill him, he seemed like he really liked him. But that might be because of Cody's vibe. His is this sort of rainbowish white glow, I've never seen it before. It's kind of strong for a human."

"Rainbowish white," Aleena says confused, "I'll have to look that one up."

She heads into another room and Noel looks to Kelsey who shrugs, "he didn't seem like he was going to hurt him, and they were in a public place! I think Cody'll be fine."

"That doesn't make me feel better," he says, "maybe I should call him, he said he'd keep his phone on. I'll tell him to come home and then I'll break the news Luke's a vampire." 

"I don't see why you're not more excited," Aleena shouts from the other room, "it means he'll have to stop seeing Luke and that means you'll have a shot with him."

"I'm not telling him Luke's a vampire to get with him," he explains, "I just want him safe! And I'm not looking forward to telling him because I know how much Cody likes him."

"Yeah, but they haven't been dating long, he'll get over him fast," Kelsey says.

He takes out his phone, dialing his number. After a few seconds Cody picks up giggling, "hello?"

He can hear the sound of music loud in his ears along with what sounds like kissing, but he tries not to think about it, "hey, Cody, it's me. Something came up and I need you to come home right now." 

"I can't hear you, what," he asks, louder.

"Who is that," he hears another voice ask and Noel's gripping the phone tighter, "they sound mad."

"It's my roommate," he says. 

"Cody. Come home. Now," he says louder.

"I can't hear you, it's too loud," he says, words sounding lazy and slurred. 

Oh, please don't be drunk right now.

"Your roommate," Luke asks, laughing, "what do they want? Don't they know you're out with me?"

"What do you want," Cody laughs, "I'm a little busy right now, Noel." 

"Noel," Luke asks, "that's a pretty name. Tell her her name is pretty."

Cody's giggling and Noel feels as if he's got enough strength to crush the phone in his hand right now and enough energy to walk wherever his friend was and drag him home, "Cody. Get home right now. It's important."

"I can't hear you, I'll be home in an hour or two, okay? I wanna dance for a while longer." 

"More fun for me," Luke's voice says. 

"Cody, don't hang up! Do not hang-"

The call ends and he calls back but Cody doesn't answer. He turns back to Kelsey, pocketing his phone as Aleena walks in, "did you say rainbowish white?"

She nods, "yeah, it was like when a camera hits the sun and you see white but also like, thin rainbow lines. It was kind of like that but it wasn't strong like yours or mine. It was definitely stronger than a regular human vibe though." 

"Yeah," she nods, "because it's a normal vibe color. Did you say you saw a vampire with him?"

"Yeah," she nods, "I'm positive."

"Well, no wonder the guy is interested in him, Cody's got fairy blood, probably not pure enough to transform Spock back if that's what you were wondering, but just enough that he doesn't have certain looks fairies have. But by being half fairy or even a quarter you can still pass as human."

She turns the book towards them to see the words across the top of the page, "I'm surprised he hasn't been approached by multiple beings."

"Is having fairy blood bad," he asks. 

"No, it's just rare, it's supposed to be irresistible to vampires. Well, to a lot of creatures really, fairy blood makes someone more friendly and happy. It also says it makes them more attractive to others, humans and supernaturals."

"So, what do we do? What do I do to keep him safe from that guy?"

"I guess warn him and hope he listens to you and stays cautious, at least until he knows everything about this guy."

 

---

 

Noel's waiting on the couch, Spock asleep in Cody's room by the time the front door opens. His leg stops bouncing and he's off the couch in seconds when Cody comes stumbling in the living room. He almost falls down after tripping over a few pairs of shoes, but Noel's catching him and he's laughing before beaming when he sees him, "hey, Noel! What's good, man, you should have come to the club with me. It was so much fun!"

"You're drunk." 

"No," he shakes his head, "no, I'm not drunk. I'm not, I'm just a little tipsy that's all."

He nearly falls when he takes another step forward and the other man holds him up again. He's giggling when he leans against Noel, "okay, I'm actually a little drunk right now."

"I know," he sighs, "come on, let's get you in bed. Walk with me to my room."

"Your room," he asks, smiling and sliding his arms around Noel's neck, "what are you gonna do to me in your room?"

"Put your drunk ass to sleep so you don't wake Spock up," he says, "come on." 

"We should make cake," he says, trying to walk back to the kitchen, "when's the last time you had cake? We should make some together!"

"No," he says, catching him by the waist, "you're going to bed. You're going to bed and in the morning we're going to have a serious talk about a few things." 

"I want cake," he pouts. 

"Bed," he says sternly. 

"Cake!"

"I don't know why I'm arguing with you, you're drunk and I'm not. Which means I can do this." 

He turns him to face him before he picks Cody up, making the other man laugh and hold onto him. His legs wrap around him as he walked towards his room and Noel can't help but like the way his legs feel around him. Cody smiles down at him, arms relaxing more around his neck until he's pressing his forehead to his and chuckling, "you're so strong." 

He moves him over to the bed, dropping him onto the mattress. The drunk man is up on his knees in seconds, hands sliding up his chest, "mmm, I kind of like it when you manhandle me. It's hot."

He pushes Cody back when he feels a stirring in his pants. No, no, no, no. Not right now. No, he thinks. Cody smiles up at him as he's laid back against the mattress and when he sits up on his knees again he's batting his eyes, "you look good. You always look good."

"You're drunk." 

"And you wanna fuck me," he says, smile across his face.

His heart stops when he hears those words, "what?" 

"You can if you want," he nods, "want me on top? I might not be good at riding horses, but I'm really good at riding-"

Noel slaps a hand over his mouth and Cody's eyes go wide, "shut up, Cody." 

After a few seconds he nods, hands coming up to wrap around his wrist and pull the hand off him. He slowly sucks his fingers into his mouth and Noel pulls his hand from him, hating how good his lips felt around him. Cody smiles and cocks a brow, "what? You want my mouth around something else?"

"I don't want you like this," he says quickly, holding up his hands so Cody wouldn't touch him, "just go to sleep, okay? We'll talk in the morning." 

He frowns and stands up, beginning to strip off his clothes. Noel looks over him wide eyed, "what are you doing?" 

"Getting ready for bed. I'm not sleeping in my jeans or this shirt."

Once he's got them off he reaches for his underwear before noticing Noel's been staring the whole time. He grins lazily at him, "what? You wanna take them off me instead?"

He heads over to his drawer, grabbing a pair of sweatpants and a t-shirt before tossing them to him, "put those on and go to sleep."

"Yes, Sir," he says, giving him a salute before pulling them on and laying against the bed, limbs spread eagle. Noel rolls his eyes but changes into sweatpants before he heads into the kitchen. He grabs a bottle of water from the fridge and a bottle of ibuprofen from the bathroom. Once he's back in his room he puts it on the nightstand by Cody before crawling in next to him and turning towards the wall. Before he can turn the lamp off he feels Cody's arms come around him and he takes them off, "no."

"You don't want to do anything? I thought you said I was on your list," he says, "you never messed around with guys in college, don't you wanna know what fucking a guy feels like?"

He looks over his shoulder at him and Cody gives a drunk smile, "I can be your experiment. I'll do all the work and you can just lay back. You can even cum inside me if you want. I promise I wont tell anybody. It can just be our secret."

And there's something in his voice that makes Noel's chest hurt. He turns to him and Cody's hands leave his sides to touch his chest, "we can just do other stuff if that's easier. I can go down on you."

His fingertips go down to his waistband and Noel holds his hand, keeping him from trying anything. Cody shakes his head smiling, "you don't have to go down on me. I can just get you off if you want."

He leans in to kiss him but Noel pulls back, "I don't want that."

And it's partly true, he doesn't want him drunk. He wants him of course, but not right now. Not like this. Cody frowns, "we can try kissing. Can I kiss you? Just once? You don't have to kiss me back."

Noel reaches up to touch his face, half to keep him from trying to kiss him and half just feeling like he needs to be touching him. Just something to let him know he's there. Cody's eyes close, his cheek rubbing against his palm before his eyes open again voice sounding tired, "yeah, okay. No kissing either, I got it."

He stays quiet for a minute and Cody gives him a different look, he looks hurt and Noel hates it but soon Cody's giving him a small smile, "can you... Will you hold me?"

And Noel opens is mouth and Cody's smile falls slightly, "just like this? Just for a little bit longer?"

"Yeah. Yeah, I can do that."

He reaches up to hold onto Noel's hand before his smile is gone completely, "you must think I'm pretty pathetic. Just always getting close to you, always wanting whatever I can get from you."

"I don't think that," he whispers, gently stroking his face. 

And after a second Cody lets out a pitiful laugh before his eyes tear up, "I only wanna be closer to you because I love you."

"What," he asks, the words barely coming out above a whisper.

"I've always loved you, I probably wont ever stop," he says, closing his eyes so Noel couldn't watch him cry, "so if this is all I get then I'm okay with that. This is enough for me. Your friendship is enough for me."

His eyes open and the tears run out the corners. Noel brushes them away with his thumb, watching the dark green eyes gaze into his. his heart feels like it's being squeezed when Cody smiles once more, "being next to you is all I need." 

He's pulling him to his chest fast letting his arms come around him and hug him tight, "just go to sleep, Cody." 

"You wont let go of me, will you," he asks, sounding as if he was going to cry.

"No," he says, holding him a little tighter and rubbing his back, "no I wont let go of you."

"You promise?" 

"Yeah," he whispers past the lump forming in his throat, "I promise."

He can feel tears slipping from his own eyes and he quickly wipes them before rubbing Cody's back again. He holds onto him, feeling him begin to relax in his arms. Noel pulls the blanket up over their shoulders and leans his head down closer to his until he gets a face full of hair. He thinks about pressing a kiss to his forehead but decides against it and instead pushes the dirty blond hair out of his eyes making Cody sigh. He closes his lids and soon he feels sleep coming for him. He can't remember the last time he was this comfortable holding someone. He smiles and his eyelids give in to sleep and even though he's relaxing he keeps his promise to Cody, he doesn't let go.

Chapter Text

He wakes up when he feels something rubbing against his crotch. His eyes open and Noel's got his face close to the familiar head of hair. It's soft and slightly tickles his nose but he likes how sweet he smells. He looks down seeing Cody's ass pressed back against him. He's tempted to move his hips a little closer but decides not to, not wanting to possibly wake him. He moves a hand around him, fingers accidentally brushing against the exposed skin below the hem of his shirt. Cody hums, hips pushing back against his. His hand comes up to rest on Noel's slightly pushing it down to the crotch of Cody's sweatpants.

Holy shit this is so fucking gay. I need to move my hand away before he thinks I'm trying to feel him up.

Cody lets out a breath, hips eventually shifting again. His hand moves lower and Cody sighs, hips moving up against his hand.

Is he grinding into my hand?

Cody moves his hips back against him before rocking them forward against his palm and sighing. Oh my god. He is. Oh fuck. Oh shit. Don't get hard. Don't get hard. Move your fucking hand!

Cody turns to face him, eyes closed and hair falling into his face. Noel's hand is now on Cody's ass and he wonders what would happen if he just grabbed his ass. Would it be soft? I bet it would be, his ass would be so soft. He moves his hand up around his lower back swearing in his head, fuck I need to get laid.

He finally looks to his face and instantly he's smiling. His hair is falling and Noel carefully pushes it out of his face, supernaturally beautiful, huh? I know he's part fairy but he looks more like an angel.

He can feel him start to wake up and he closes his eyes, pulling him in closer. His arms eventually go around him and he rests his head against his chest. Noel rests his head on top of his, taking a deep breath before trying not to tense all his muscles. They lay there comfortably for a minute until they hear Spock crying. When Cody doesn't move Noel doesn't either. The younger man moves in closer and Noel speaks, "should we go get him?"

Cody nearly jumps out of his skin and lets go instantly, looking as if he'd been caught doing something he shouldn't have been. Noel opens his eyes and looks at him before getting up, "alright, I'll go get him. You just rest here."

He watches Cody sit up and immediately hold onto the side of his head, "oh my god."

"Bedside table," he points.

Cody looks to the nightstand and Noel heads into the other room, turning the light on and seeing Spock jumping on his bed, "Daddy!"

"Yeah, I'm here, kid." 

He picks him up and gives him a look, "did you poop your pants?" 

He shakes his head.

"Pee?"

He shakes it again and Noel smiles, "then you get whatever you want for breakfast." 

"Want cake!"

"Cake," he asks, "I meant something we have here already." 

"Want cake," he frowns. 

He rolls his eyes, "I did say you could have whatever you wanted. Fine, I'll order cake. What kind of cake do you want?" 

"Chocolate."

He nods and carries him into the kitchen ordering cake while making he and Cody a cup of coffee. After a minute, the hungover man walks into the living room and Spock perks up, "papa!"

"Inside voice, Spock," Cody says, "okay? Papa's got a headache."

Noel hands him a cup of coffee and pats his shoulder, "good morning."

"Morning," he says back, sitting on the couch.

He sets Spock in front of the TV with his bear and turns on some cartoons. Noel grabs his coffee and takes his seat beside him, watching him sip from his mug, "did you already make him breakfast?"

"It's on its way," he says, "now my question for you, do you remember anything from last night?"

"Bits and pieces," he starts, trailing off before taking another sip of his coffee. He sets it to the side before panicking, "why? Did I do anything?" 

"You did plenty," he says leaning closer.

Cody turns to look at him and goes wide eyed, "what?"

"You really don't remember," he asks, "I thought you said I was the best you've ever had. I guess I'm not good enough for you to remember me." 

"Wait, hold on. You--are you saying that we..."

He watches Cody think for a minute before his mouth falls open after Noel raises a brow at him, "I... uh, i-is that why I'm wearing your clothes? Because we.. You and I-"

"You and I," he smiles, lacing their fingers, "we're kind of good together, don't you think? I mean, I'm pretty inexperience but you? Well, I guess you said it best last night. You can't ride horses but you can certainly ride-"

Cody pulls his hand from his and slaps it over Noel's mouth looking shocked, "oh my god!"

Noel's wiggling his brows and pulling his hand away, "oh my god, oh my god, oh my god. We really? But I don't... I thought you were..."

"Hey, Cody?"

"Yeah," he asks, eyes quickly moving back and forth between Noel's and his mouth. Noel smiles and shakes his head, "I'm fucking with you."

And Cody closes his eyes shaking his head, "god you're such a fucking asshole, you know that?"

"Hey, watch your mouth," he chuckles, pointing to Spock, "we've got a child present."

"You're the worst, I thought we'd seriously-"

"No," he says, "you were drunk. I'm not gonna have sex with you while you're drunk. Jesus, dude, I know I'm not that much of a good person but I'm not a fucking monster."

"You're right," he says, "you're right, I'm sorry I even thought you would do something like that."

And Noel sips his coffee before Cody turns, "wait, did you say 'while I'm drunk-'"

"You were throwing yourself at me though," he says speaking over him so he doesn't have to answer the question, "pretty hard too, you're kind of a flirty drunk. Did you know that?" 

"I threw myself at you? What did I do? What did I say to you?"

He shrugs, "you kept wanting us to do it. You even took your clothes off. But I made you put those on."

He groans, "I'm so sorry."

"Don't be, it's kind of funny watching you regret your decisions so early in the morning."

"Funny for you," he says. 

He takes off the ring on his finger and hands it to Cody. He puts it on and Noel nods watching him sip his drink, "that reminds me, you sucked my fingers last night." 

And Cody nearly coughs up his coffee, he wipes his mouth with the sleeve of his shirt before turning to him, "I what?!"

"You sucked my fingers last night," he nods, "no one's ever done that to me before."

"I think I'm gonna vomit," he says. 

"Why? My hands were clean."

"No, just the fact that I threw myself at you and sucked your fingers like some-"

"Hoe?"

"I'm not a hoe," he says, closing his eyes and rubbing his head. When it's quiet between them and the only sound is the sound of the TV Noel shrugs, "I didn't hate it."

Cody turns to him, his expression looking crossed between surprised and regret. He raises his shoulders, "I mean, it was definitely weird. But I probably wouldn't stop you if you wanted to do it again." 

He lifts his hand up to Cody's mouth, fingertip brushing across his bottom lip, "wanna do it again?"

He smacks Noel's hand away looking tired, "you're such a dick. I'm gonna go shower."

"I ordered cake," he says.

"It's eight thirty in the morning."

"Spock wanted cake. So did you last night. He wanted chocolate cake," he says, "and you wanted your cake racially ambiguous."

Cody turns to him giving him a look of annoyance and Noel can't help but smile. Cody picks up one of the couch pillows and tosses it at him, "you're so funny, Noel, can't believe you don't have a girlfriend yet!"

"Ooh," he smiles, "that one hurt, I'll be honest. That one cut me deep. But it's okay because I've still got a husband who hits on me even when he's drunk."

Cody heads to the bathroom and Spock stands up from his spot and walks over to him. He's crawling up on the couch with some help and when he's on the cushions he leans against Noel and hugs his bear. He pats Spock's head and watches him watch the TV. Soon he leans towards him, wrapping an arm around Noel's arm and sucking the thumb on his free hand. His head is resting against him and he doesn't make a noise, he just sits quietly and presses his head into Noel's arm when he's giggling. Hm, he thinks, maybe kids aren't so bad.

 

---

 

When Cody comes into the kitchen he's using a towel to dry his head while he's only wearing jeans and socks, "have you seen my pink shirt? I can't find it anywhere."

"No," he says, "might be in the dryer." 

He walks over to the laundry room and Noel looks back to Spock, watching the toddler squish cake between his hands. He shakes his head, "eat it, don't just play with it."

He shoves his fingers in his mouth smiling up at him as he licks his hands clean, the smear of chocolate cake still on his face, "I clean!"

"I don't think you know what clean means," he tells him getting a wet wash cloth.

He wipes his hands and face and when Cody comes back in the living room he has to do a double take. Cody had taken the towel off and was currently trying to flip his shirt inside out so he could put it on. He looks over his ribs seeing purple and yellow bruises and when he looks near his face he's got purple and red marks down his neck and around his collarbone. How the fuck did I not notice those last night? He couldn't tell which ones were hickeys and which ones were fingerprints, but he knew the bigger ones were definitely hand prints.

When Cody goes to put his shirt on Noel's stopping him, "woah, woah, hold up. What's all that?"

"What?" 

"Are you kidding? Those marks, Cody! Why do you have giant bruises all over your body?"

"Oh, Luke gave me them."

"He what," Noel asks, eyes widening as he began to get angry. 

Cody shakes his head, "I should have phrased that better, that's my fault. Just relax, okay? It's not what you think. He's just really strong and gets a little too rough sometimes, but it's okay. I actually kind of like it." 

His brows come together in disgust and Noel tries to shake the image of Luke's hands on Cody, "look, we need to talk about Luke." 

"What about him," he asks, "look if it's the bruises that's bothering you I'll tell him to be more careful. But you really don't need to worry, they don't hurt or anything. I'm only a little sore, I-"

"He's a vampire," Noel blurts. 

His shoulders relax and he narrows his eyes at him, "I--how do you know he's a vampire?"

"I had Kelsey use her abilities to see what you and Luke were doing and when I did she said he had a vampire glow and she knows all about stuff like that so he's really a vampire."

He closes his eyes and shakes his head before looking upset, "you had Kelsey spy on me?"

"You're missing the point," he says, "Luke's a blood sucking creature. This isn't some shit like he wears contacts, buys fangs, I mean he's real. He's a real vampire, Cody!"

"I know that!"

And Noel's shoulders drop and he's taken back, "you-? You know that? How do you know that?"

"Uh, because he told me, genius!"

"And you're still seeing him, you're still with him?"

"Yeah, because he likes me! And, for your information, he hasn't even bit me!"

"He hasn't?"

"No! Did your little spy not tell you that? We've only made out. He doesn't want to hurt me, he good to me, he's as careful as he can be with someone like me!"

"But the bruises look lik-"

"I know they look bad. But they're fine. I am fine, not that you bothered to ask. He's still figuring out how much strength he can use with me. That doesn't matter, why did you even have Kelsey spy on me? That's not something best friends do. You're acting kind of creepy."

"I'm acting creepy?"

"Yeah! You are! And I know you're protective of me or whatever because we're friends-"

"Exactly! We're friends. Which means you should trust me when I say you should stop seeing him or you might end up as his next meal!"

"You don't need to concern yourself with my love life!"

"Well one of us has to be concerned. And since you want danger sucking on your throat I guess it's going to have to be me!"

"He's not doing anything I don't like. And he doesn't want to bite me, he gets his own blood from a supplier! No, you know what? I can't do this. I'm not doing this with you! Stay out of this, okay?"

"Cody, I think maybe you should listen to me on this one!"

"And I think you should just mind your own business!"

Noel doesn't say anything to that and the whole house is silent again apart from the cartoons playing in the background. Cody pulls his shirt on fast and angry before he heads over to the table, picking Spock up and giving him a small smile, "hey, buddy, do you wanna help papa with work?"

Spock nods and Cody heads into his room, closing the door while glaring at the other man the whole time. He groans and sits down, putting his head in his hands and rubbing his face, fuck, there was probably a better way I should have handled all that.