So, this idea pretty much came out of nowhere, I'm not gonna lie. I was just reading over a part of MS&TC and this idea hit me.
Butokay, in this Riker and Jeff are 30. Lasey is 4 and Ryan is 2. Takes place a few weeks after "He's Proud of Me" would have taken place, but it is not necessary to read that short story to read this one.
Also, I'm pretty sure I've finally decided that when Riker and Jeff are older they move to somewhere in New York. Probably more upstate than closer to the city, because I couldn't ever see them living near the city.
If there are any other questions, feel free to leave a review of PM me and I will get back to you if I can!
"Watcha got there, Lase?" Riker asked as he watched Lasey toddle towards him, her small arms wrapped around a large book, as well as her woolly mammoth toy. Ryan watched his older sister, eyes curious.
"Picture album. Papa left it on the bed. Can we look?" Lasey asked, huffing out a breath as she dropped the book onto the couch next to Riker and then climbing up. Ryan turned in Riker's lap and giggled, slapping a small hand against the cover of the book. Riker looked down at the album and smiled slightly.
"Sure, sweet pea," Riker added, shifting Ryan in his lap in order to hold the book in his lap as well. Lasey giggled excitedly and scooted closer to Riker's side and hooked her chin over his arm. Riker opened the book to the first page and immediately smiled, seeing a picture of himself, Lily, and Emma standing outside the dorms at Westtown blowing bubbles towards each other.
"Is that Lily?" Lasey asked, pointing to her.
"Mhm. This was when we were in high school like Uncle Darren," Riker told her.
"Did you go to the same school as Uncle Darren?" Lasey asked. "Looks like where he live!"
"Yep. Papa and I did go to the same school as the one Uncle Darren, Dalton, and Shelby go to now," Riker replied. "Uncle Curt and Aunt Alyssa went there too, as did Aunt Arya, Aunt Eliana, and Uncle Blaine."
"Erryone!" Ryan exclaimed excitedly, bouncing slightly in Riker's lap.
"Yep, we all went there," Riker chuckled.
"How come?" Lasey asked, leaning more against Riker's side as she looked at the picture.
"Because that's where we wanted to go to school," Riker replied as he shrugged one shoulder. Lasey just hummed and Ryan giggled, patting at the pages.
"Who dat?" Ryan asked, pointing to Emma.
"That was our friend Emma," Riker replied, resting his chin lightly on top of Ryan's head. Ryan just hummed and then Lasey reached out to turn the page.
"Look! It's Papa!" Lasey giggled, pointing excitedly to a picture where Jeff was looking at the camera sarcastically, hands on his hips. "He makes that face now too."
"Yes, yes he does," Riker chuckled in agreement.
"What now?" Jeff asked as he walked into the room, shaking water out of his hair.
"You make this face," Lasey replied, pointing to the picture. Jeff sighed and leaned over Riker's shoulder and then snorted with laughter.
"Yeah, I do," he added, leaning down and kissing the top of Lasey's head.
"How old were you in these pictures?" Lasey asked, running her fingers over a picture of Riker and Jeff lying in the grass laughing and leaning into each other.
"We were seventeen," Riker told her.
"Wong time go," Ryan commented.
"Yep. It was thirteen years ago," Jeff said, walking around the couch and scooping Lasey up to place her in his lap as he sat down. "Some of these were even before Daddy and I started dating."
"Officially," Riker snorted under his breath. Jeff smirked and rolled his eyes, knocking his shoulder into Riker's and then kissing Riker's cheek.
"How long you and Daddy been together?" Lasey asked, leaning back against Jeff's chest and looking up at him.
"Well, we started dating around thirteen years ago, but we've known each other for twenty-seven years," Jeff told her. Lasey and Ryan's jaws dropped as they looked between their two dads. Riker chuckled and ruffled Ryan's dark hair.
"Long time," Lasey finally breathed.
"Mhm," Riker agreed as they turned another page and immediately snorted with laughter, seeing the picture of himself and George holding kittens while in their Midnight Swallows uniforms.
"Kitties!" Ryan exclaimed happily, pointing at the picture.
"Yep," Riker and Jeff snorted as Ryan giggled.
"Can we get a kitty?" Lasey asked, leaning over to press her cheek to Riker's arm.
"Maybe," Jeff told her. "I've already dealt with one cat in my life. I'm not too excited to deal with another if it is the same as the last one."
"Aw, don't hate on Braxton. He just wanted my love," Riker chuckled as they continued to look through pictures.
"Too much of it," Jeff grumbled. Riker snorted with laughter and leaned over to press a loud kiss to Jeff's cheek, causing him to giggle.
"Daddy, how come you and Papa knew each other for so long before getting together?" Lasey asked, eyeing a picture in which Jeff was wielding a foam sword over his head clad only in his boxers.
"Well, when we were met we were only three," Riker told her.
"Mhm. And Daddy had to figure some things out before we got together," Jeff added.
"Like what?" Lasey asked as Ryan ran his fingers over a picture of Riker and Jeff sitting with each other in the grass and blowing bubbles as they laughed.
"Daddy had to figure out if he liked boys. Before me he had only dated girls," Jeff replied, running his fingers lightly through Lasey's dirty-blonde hair before starting to braid is loosely.
"Oh," Lasey said, leaning over to look at a picture of Riker and Alyssa where Riker was draped over Alyssa's back and pressing her cheeks together.
"I'll be honest, it took me longer than it should have," Riker chuckled as Ryan shifted in his lap and leaned back against his chest.
"Mhm," Jeff snorted in agreement. Lasey just smiled slightly, leaning back into Jeff's touch as he continued to braid her hair.
"Did you know you wanted to get married when you started dating?" Lasey asked. Riker and Jeff exchanged a look and smiled widely.
"No. It took us a few years before we realized we wanted to marry each other," Jeff said. "But everyone always had faith in us. Some people even before we started dating."
"Like who?" Lasey asked as she looked up at Jeff with big eyes.
"Riker's daddy. He always thought we would end up dating and getting married," Jeff told her. Lasey huffed out a breath, looking back at the album at a picture of Riker and Jeff with everyone in Midnight Swallows after one of their competitions.
"Yep," Riker agreed as he handed the album over to Jeff as Ryan nuzzled into Riker's chest and started to fall asleep. "Our parents started asking us if we were dating when we were eight. Dad latched onto the idea and never let go of it."
"Gramma said that Grampa was very excited about you two," Lasey commented, eyes searching for her dads in the picture of them with the Midnight Swallows.
"Oh yes, he was. He ran around their house screaming with happiness when I told them I was gay," Jeff chuckled as he reached down to point to where he and Riker were standing in the picture, squished between Lily and Joey.
"That's funny," Lasey giggled.
"Mhm," Riker agreed as he rubbed a hand up and down Ryan's back.
"How come there are no pictures of Grampa in this album?" Lasey asked as she turned the page and looked at the new pictures, which were from Halloween of Riker and Jeff's senior year.
"Because Grampa was already gone by this point. He died when Papa and I were twelve," Riker told her. Lasey looked up at Riker then, eyes wide and sad.
"So he never saw you and Papa together?" Lasey asked quietly. Riker pressed his lips together and shook his head.
"Not in person, no. But I know he's been watching over us and that he loves you and Ryan very much," Riker told her, leaning over to kiss her forehead.
"Ryan even looks like Grampa a bit," Jeff said, wrapping his arms lightly around Lasey's stomach. "And that's where he got his name from. Grampa's name was Ryan too."
"Mmh," Lasey hummed, small fingers tracing over the pictures of Riker and Jeff making faces at each other while Alyssa smirked in the background. Then, she giggled as she saw a picture of Riker and Jeff collapsed onto a couch together. Jeff was giggling while Riker had his arms wrapped tightly around Jeff's chest and was making a face, eyebrows knit together and baring his teeth slightly. "That's silly."
"Mhm. Daddy is silly sometimes, huh," Jeff said, smiling and pressing a kiss to the top of Lasey's head.
"Uh huh," she agreed, nodding once and then turning back to the photo album, eyes roaming over the pictures. Riker and Jeff looked at the pictures also, both of them smiling as they thought back to their senior year of high school. Lasey leaned into Jeff's chest as she looked at the pictures and Jeff smiled as he rested his chin lightly on top of her head. Ryan was collapsed against Riker, cheek pressed to Riker's chest and mouth hanging open slightly.
Then, Lasey turned the page again and they came across pictures from that winter break. Some of the pictures were of Riker and Jeff cuddled together on the couch in Riker's living room. They were both clearly asleep and Jeff's arms were wrapped around Riker's shoulders protectively. Lasey turned the page and giggled as she saw a picture of Riker and Jeff sitting on the front steps making faces at the camera as snow fell around them. Despite the snow, Riker had been in a t-shirt while Jeff had been bundled up.
"What happened to Daddy?" Lasey suddenly asked, pointing to where Riker's left hand was facing out slightly with a cut across it.
"I fell on a piece of glass and had to get stitches in my hand," Riker told her, holding out his left hand for her to see the scar. Lasey huffed out a breath, and then looked back at the picture, eyebrows knit together. Jeff watched her carefully, wondering what she was thinking about.
"What happened to your wrist, Daddy?" Lasey suddenly asked, pointing to where there was a thin cut running along Riker's exposed left wrist. "Was that from the glass too?"
"Uh, no," Riker replied hesitantly as he exchanged a glance with Jeff. "It wasn't from the glass."
"What happened then?" Lasey asked as she looked up at Riker, eyes curious. Riker let out a breath, one hand still rubbing Ryan's back.
"Daddy wasn't in a very good place back then, sweet pea," Jeff finally said. Lasey looked up at Jeff with a confused expression before looking back over at Riker and shifting slightly to grab onto Riker's free wrist. She ran her thumb lightly over the skin, eyebrows still knit together.
"Lots of scars," she commented simply. Jeff looked worried, but Riker just took a deep breath.
"Yeah. Remember how I have to take those medications every day?" Riker asked. Lasey looked up at him and nodded once. "Those medications help me to feel better. I had a lot of trouble with things when I wasn't on medications that worked right. For the longest time I was on meds that help with one of my problems, but not both of them."
"So why are there scars?" Lasey asked, expression still confused.
"Well, if I got really upset I would do bad things to myself, sweetie. It's not something I'm proud of. I almost scared Papa to death with it once," Riker told her. Lasey looked back at Jeff, who nodded slightly as he held back the tears that threatened to fall.
"Did Papa help make you better?" Lasey asked. Riker smiled slightly and nodded.
"He helped make me better a lot. He was there for me throughout all those years I struggled," Riker told her. Lasey smiled widely, nuzzling back into Jeff's chest. Jeff smiled slightly and rested his chin back on top of Lasey's head.
"How come you had problems, Daddy?" Lasey asked, tilting her head to the side slightly. Riker huffed out a breath and shifted Ryan against his chest slightly.
"I had problems because of things that happened when my daddy died. I had a lot of trouble sleeping and stuff," Riker said. Lasey nodded once.
"But Papa was there for you? And Gramma?" Lasey asked. Riker smiled widely and nodded.
"Papa has been by my side ever since then. It's been eighteen years, and he still sticks by me," Riker told her as he reached out to tap her nose, causing her to giggle.
"You and Papa love each other lots, huh?" Lasey asked, looking between Riker and Jeff.
"Mhm. We love each other so much. That's why we had you and Ryan. This way we get to share all our love with you guys," Jeff told her, leaning down to press a noisy kiss to Lasey's cheek and make her giggle again.
"I love you too, Papa," Lasey giggled, nuzzling into Jeff's chest as he smiled and held her tightly. Then, she looked over at Riker. "I love you lots too, Daddy. I don't ever want you to be sad and do bad things to yourself anymore."
"Don't you worry your pretty little head, Lase. I've got you and Ryan and Papa to keep me grounded now," Riker chuckled, leaning over to kiss her forehead. Lasey just smiled and scrunched up her nose in the exact way Jeff did most of the time.
"Now, c'mon. This has been enough excitement for one night. Bed time," Jeff said, shutting the photo album and then adjusting Lasey in his arms to stand up.
"Mkay, Papa," Lasey said, resting her head on Jeff's shoulder and yawning. Riker chuckled and followed Jeff down the hallway, Ryan held closely to his chest.
"Alright. If you're good all night we can have homemade waffles in the morning, okay?" Jeff asked.
"Mhm," Lasey hummed as she crawled under the covers of her bed and snuggled into them as she held her woolly mammoth toy tight to her chest. Riker just smiled slightly as he placed Ryan in his bed and tucked him in before kissing his forehead.
"Night, Lase. I love you," Riker said as he walked over to kiss her forehead as well.
"Mmh. Love you too, Daddy," Lasey said, smiling and kissing Riker's nose before giggling and falling back into her sheets.
"Sleep well, sweetie pie," Jeff said, kissing Lasey's forehead.
"Night, Papa. Love you," Lasey breathed out.
"Love you too," Jeff replied before he and Riker left the room and headed into their own. Once in their own room, Riker and Jeff looked at each other and let out deep breaths. "So, that conversation happened a lot earlier than I thought it would."
"I know," Riker breathed out before walking over to Jeff and pulling him into a tight hug. "I'm still sorry, you know."
"I know you are," Jeff replied, turning his head to kiss Riker's neck lightly. "But for me, it's just enough that you're still here. I love you."
"I love you too," Riker said, smiling and kissing Jeff once before they got ready for bed.