Sitting in the living room one afternoon, Monty never realized how long it's been since he felt at peace. A huge reason for this unfamiliar feeling is that his father wasn't around at the moment. Apparently, Colby left for the airport about twenty minutes ago to pick up someone he claimed to be a "very special guest." And that hint alone already made the King of Curry's son suspicious; growing up with him, he knew him long enough to know of his strange standards, especially when it came to the people he befriended. What if this so-called special guest was some muscle-brained jerk who liked to brag about his muscles and push around kids for fun? Those same guys Colby trained with and even likened them a part of his entourage. And he kept insisting they were harmless and wouldn't hurt a fly. Though, if a fly came in contact with them, it would probably be decimated to dust with one strike.
But while he wanted to keep predicting who his father would pick up from the airport, Monty thought he'd enjoy his peace and quiet while he had the chance. Popping potato chips in his mouth by the handful, watching cheesy teen sitcoms when there was nothing else on. It felt satisfying. Times like these didn't come often, so he had every reason to be grateful for these little moments of relaxation. ...at least until Sir. Cuddlekins left the kitchen after having his fill of chow, pouncing onto the couch next to the lazy teen.
"Monty, do you know when Colby will return from the airport?" the kitten asked.
"Heck if I know," Monty took a sip of soda in a red can. "And the airport isn't that far from here anyway, so maybe he'll be back any moment now."
"Hmm... did he tell you who he was picking up from the airport?"
"Nah, I thought you knew. You're the one who likes to spy on him when he's being all sneaky and stuff."
"True, but I figured since he enjoys bothering you about said sneakiness, he'd fill you in."
"Nope, he just said he's inviting over some dude he calls a 'very special guest.' Just wanna know who he is and if he's really as 'very special' as he says he is." the half-Hispanic said with finger quotes.
"Well, it's hard to tell with someone like your father," began Sir. Cuddlekins. "That guy would pull aside a repairman and have a conversation about hot sauces, even when the repairman doesn't like hot sauce."
"Ugh, I still remember that and the time he chatted with a plumber, saying he has a huge respect for people who just show off their butt cracks with pride or whatever. Dude doesn't even try to be discreet when he's meeting people, it's insane."
"Yes, but that's your father in a nutshell. As friendly and outgoing as he appears, you can't help but question what's going on inside of his head."
"Sheesh, even wondering about the craziness in his head gives me the shivers..."
Before he continued to ramble about his peculiar father, Monty jumped at the sound of the door opening, seeing Colby enter with a huge toothy grin on his face.
"What's good, y'all?! Bet you guys are wondering who ol' Colby brought back and trust me, you have every reason to be curious!" chirped the food-fighter master, leaving the door nearly closed for some reason.
"Then, why don't you stop giving us reason to be curious and show us who our guest is." Sir. Cuddlekins spoke.
"Yeah, the one you claim is supposed to be this very special guest. C'mon, dad, we know your definition of special clearly isn't the same as sane person's. Who the fuck did you bring over?" questioned Monty.
"Well, since you asked so nicely in your pottymouth way, here he is! Come in, broski!"
As soon as he heard "broski", Monty had a clue of who the guest could be and walking right in was a male with tousled, wavy neck-length hair and a goatee, standing a few inches taller than Colby. Flashing a smile at the gawking half-Hispanic, the male saw him running from the couch dropping his bowl of potato chips.
"Oh, snap! Uncle Hen..."
But what Monty didn't realize when he was about to hug his uncle was a snoozing infant, snug in a carrier on the mahogany-haired male's chest. Apparently, not one but two very special guests arrived and the boy had no idea how to respond to the newborn he just discovered.
"Wow, son, don't just stop the reunion before you start it! Go on and give your Uncle Henri some love!" encouraged Colby.
"Oh, wait, heh heh. Er, Colby, you mind holding Chicka for a sec?" Henri removed the baby from the carrier, handing her to his step-brother.
"Chicka...?" whispered Monty, getting more confused by the second.
"Sure thing, man! Oh, aren't you a cute, little bundle of sweetness? Keep getting cuter and cuter every time I lay this one eye on ya!" cooed the food-fighting master, rocking the baby a bit.
"So, Monty, about that hug?" the Brazilian beckoned his arms at the boy with a chuckle.
"Oh! Right, my bad," the spiky-haired boy shared an embrace with his uncle, glancing back at the baby cuddled in his father's arms. She just looked so peaceful as she slept and dare he thought, precious? "Uh, what brings you to Dim Some, Uncle Hen? Thought you were crazy busy with business back in Brazil."
Like Colby who was dead-set on becoming a prominent figure in the food-fighting circuit, Henri always felt the need to encourage children to have an interest in the sport. In Brazil, food-fighting did pick up several fans since he was a teenager, but that was mostly in young adults. The former fighter wanted to get more kids interested in food-fighting as well since it seemed like a more healthy and productive activity than getting caught up in crimes and gangs. That's when the Brazilian created a special program for the youth to teach them about food-fighting and food in general, showing them how to have an appreciation for cooking and how it's produced. While it became a huge success for the most part, Henri knew he couldn't be satisfied with his project just yet.
"Actually, I am, so this is technically a business trip," chuckled the male with the beauty mark. "I told you both about Operation: Sabor and how it really took off since it became a reality."
"Heh heh and uh, you're welcome for letting me pull some strings to help ya get ya where ya are now." teased Colby, nudging his grinning sibling's side.
"Alright, you're right, Colb. Wouldn't be fair to take all the credit for this but thanks to its success, I just knew I had to branch out and promote Operation: Sabor by opening more youth centers across America and depending on how well that goes, I could go back and do the same for the rest of South America."
"Oh, awesome. Good stuff, Uncle Hen, but you never told me about that baby you got here." Monty pointed out as the orange tabby trotted up to Henri.
"Same with me, but I suppose it's a pleasure to see you again, Henri." Sir. Cuddlekins said, putting a smile on the Brazilian's face.
"Oh, ho, ho, good to see you too, Mr. Cat. Heh, Colby told me all about what happened with ya. Nice to see you're still around, doing your thing." beamed Henri.
"Yep, it's great that we're all having this family reunion but Hen and I got a TON of catching up to do." Colby spoke.
"And here I was thinking I had a chance to rest my bones since the flight but of course, Colby insisted we should hang out again like old times."
"But what about the baby?" asked the half-Hispanic.
"Ah, glad you asked! Here ya go, kiddo!" With that, the male with the eye-patch laid the sleeping infant in his confused son's arms. "While me and your uncle are out, you and Sir. Snuggles are gonna keep an eye on your lil' cousin, Chicka!"
"Wait, what?! But I don't know sh-squat about babysitting! Heck, I don't even like kids, especially pint-sized ones like this one!"
"And I bet they think lowly of you as well, young man." sneered Sir. Cuddlekins, licking his paws.
"Shut your muzzle, Cudds!" spat Monty.
"Aw, it hasn't been a minute since you held that baby and you're already doubting yourself? Mont, looking after a little girl shouldn't be too tough for ya, given how quickly you can adapt to things. It's like I keep telling ya, the biggest tool that can help ya get through anything is your brain!" encouraged Colby.
"But you also keep telling me that my brain's so huge, I got a freakishly huge forehead as a result... which isn't that huge, by the way!"
"I know, I know, just messing... but seriously, it's huge. You could probably hang a picture frame on that thing."
"Or even a poster." added the kitten.
"Hah, good one, Sir. Snuggles!"
"Aw, leave him alone, you guys," Henri chuckled, handing Monty a shoulder bag. "Here, Monty, that's everything you need for Chicka: diapers, food, kiddy music CDs. If you ever need anything, please don't be afraid to call us. And thanks for looking after Chicka for me."
"Uh, sure..." croaked Monty.
"And that's our cue to skedaddle! See ya, Mont, don't get too mopey while we're gone, alright?" Colby chirped, about to leave with his step-brother.
"Easier said than done. You both have a good time and Colby, don't take Henri out for drinks, you know he's a lightweight." the orange kitten warned, receiving a dismissive wave.
"Oh, don't even worry, ya worry-puss. Let's move, broski, fun times and food await!"
"And you know I'm all about fun times and food. Catch you later, guys! Again, call us if you need anything!" waved Henri, closing the door.
"Okay, bye," sighed Monty, looking down at the baby he held. "Welp, that's that... looks like I'm stuck with this brat for a while. And they really think I know how to look after kids... tch, great. Yet another curveball keeping me from having a chill day for once. Perfect, just perfect."
"Now, Monty, while you claim you want nothing to do with babysitting and you're terrible at it, which isn't surprising looking at you-" began Sir. Cuddlekins.
"Oh, screw off!"
"The truth hurts, son. Instead of grumbling, just try to do this for your uncle and show him and Colby that you're capable of taking care of the baby."
"I mean, I guess I'll try. Just don't know the first thing about looking after one. Cudds, before you became a mangy furball, did you ever had kids?"
"Nope, and I never dreamed of having one. They're tiny migraines with limbs." described the orange tabby, pouncing onto the couch as Monty walked over.
"Pfft, you're not wrong. I never thought about having kids either, but dad'll probably bug me to have one just he can have a grandchild to coo over and force 'em to take my place on his so-called 'King of Curry' throne. Like I had a place there, to begin with. At least, the baby's asleep so all I gotta do is chill and hope she won't wake up screaming."
But of course, the half-Hispanic had to jinx himself by sitting on the remote, which made the volume of the TV increase by a deafening amount. In turn, the laugh track and yelling from the sitcom was enough to cause the baby to stir and burst into tears. If there's anything Monty knew about babies or children in general, it's that whenever one cries, it needed to be handled immediately. ...yet, he didn't have a clue on how to stop the shrill sobbing.
"Aww, dang it! Why'd I have to fucking curse myself, why?!" the spiky-haired boy exclaimed over the baby's whining.
"You're just an unlucky person, young man. Learn to accept it than complain about it. Also, you should probably act fast in stopping the baby's crying, rather than sit there and look helpless." sneered Sir. Cuddlekins.
"Oh, shut up, Cudds! You're just a lousy cat, you're lucky you can't do squat to help me! Crap, what do I do?"
"You could try rocking her, for starters."
"Ah, right," Monty began to cradle the infant awkwardly, doing it rather carelessly so the child seemed to wobble back and forth. "Uh, there, there? Y-You're gonna be okay, I think? You're gonna be good? ...uh, what's another thing you say to a baby when they're bawling their eyes out?"
"Beats me, do I look like one of those nannies on television?" the kitten quipped.
"No, 'cause they don't just sit around and say dumb, unhelpful stuff. Maybe singing to her could help? Ugh, but my singing is garbage!"
"Cudds, zip it! Um, what to sing? Twinkle, twinkle, little star..." the half-Hispanic began with out-of-tune, shaky singing, only to make the Chicka cry even louder. "Ey, I know I'm not the best singer out there, you little brat, cut a dude some slack! What's it gonna take for you to stop crying? Oh, I know, you're probably hungry, aren't you?"
Ignoring the care bag Henri gave him, Monty took a spicy potato chip and placed it near the baby's open, quivering mouth.
"Here, eat it! You don't have to chew since you don't have teeth, but you can gulp it down if that's easier for ya."
"Yes, and then, the baby could possibly choke and die and Henri will lose every bit of respect for you." snarked Sir. Cuddlekins.
"Shut the hell up! Yeah, this is impossible. I haven't spent five minutes with this brat and I'm already proving to be a lousy babysitter... wait, I got it!" Monty chirped, about to grab his phone from his shorts pocket.
"Got what, a migraine?"
"Nah, but I'm getting there. Gotta hit up a few guys who have some real experience with this. ...hey, Ronnie? Sorry to-huh, what crying? Oh, it would be loud enough for you to hear it, huh? Well, anyway, since you already have a clue what's going on, mind if you and Rika could come over real quick? ...cool, thanks, and hurry! This little brat's projectile tears are soaking my clothes!"
About five minutes later, the twins Ronnie and Rika showed up at Monty's door, where both were amused to see the disheveled boy, after countless failed attempts to pacify the sobbing Chicka.
"Hey-o!" beamed the bubbly blue boy.
"Yikes, someone's having a rough time keeping that baby calm. Monty, how can you be this bad at taking care of a baby? I mean, not that it surprises me but-" began the pigtailed girl, stepping inside the apartment with her brother.
"Okay, hop on the Bash Monty train along with Cudds, that's just what I need right now, Rik. Really appreciate it." sighed Monty, still trying to rock the baby in his arms.
"Hey, someone has to be blunt enough to tell you where you're going wrong, who better to do that than me?"
"Perhaps I could be a contender. Good afternoon to you both." Sir. Cuddlekins trotted up to the kids.
"Hey, Sir. Cuddlekins!"
"There's our cute kitty companion we all know and love! Heh heh, uh... Monty, as much as I wanna give you props for trying, could you hand the little guy to me?" Ronnie beckoned for the bawling infant.
"Pfft, she's all yours. Heck, since you're both better at this than me, maybe you could gimme a few pointers." the spiky-haired boy passed Chicka off to his pal, not wasting a second in gently cradling her. Almost instantly, the shrill wails of the baby began to fade.
"Aww, hey there, you widdle cutie wudie! Don't you cry now, you're in Ronnie's hands now! Well, technically, you're in my arms but you should have no reason to cry when I'm around! Shhh, shhh... that's right, you're gonna be fine. Everything's gonna be fine, cutie pie."
And that's when Rika joined in the soothing of the infant as she started to sing, "Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are. Up above the world so high, like a diamond in the sky. Twinkle, twinkle, little star. How I wonder what you are..."
Much to Monty and Sir. Cuddlekins' surprise, baby Chicka had fallen back into a peaceful sleep, all thanks to the twins' expertise in tending to children. It was almost like seeing something in need of repair get fixed instantly.
"And she's out like a light," Ronnie whispered, smiling at his sister. "Score one more for the pro babysitters!"
"Yuh-huh!" Rika fist-bumped her brother, turning to Monty with his jaw still on the floor. "See, Monty? That's how you're supposed to stop a baby from crying, hope you got some mental notes of that."
"I sure did. Man, you both made calming that little brat so easy, how'd you do it?" asked the spiky-haired boy.
"Simple, experience. Which you clearly lack." the orange kitten answered for the twins.
"Oh, get off my ass already, Cudds."
"But he's right, though, and all that experience comes from babysitting our cousins since we were nine!" grinned Ronnie.
"And trust me, it was agonizing at first but after a while, it gets easier. So easy that you know what the baby wants even before they do!" added Rika.
"Huh. So, is there some kind of way I can prepare for this stuff or...?" questioned Monty.
"Nope! It's all impromptu, my friend! Heh, that's another fun word to say, impromptu! That aside, we should probably chill while the baby's asleep. That way you can get a break, Monterey!" the feathery-haired boy chirped.
"Yeah, 'cause you know you could use one." goaded the girl in pink, elbowing her friend's side.
"Ugh, you got that right..."
The gang decided to kill some time by watching TV but it wasn't until another ten minutes later that baby Chicka woke up sobbing again.
"Oh, no, looks like someone didn't have a very happy dream. What's wrong, sweetie pie? Need some cuddles? You cold?" cooed Ronnie, trying to rock the baby again but to no avail.
"Dang it, just when we got a few minutes of peace, this twerp starts whining again. Man, remind me to never babysit again or have kids of my own." groaned Monty.
"Duly noted," smirked Rika. "Maybe she's crying because she's hungry. Did you feed her already?"
"No, he has not." sneered Sir. Cuddlekins, lying on the girl's lap.
"Hey, I didn't know if she was hungry or not, screw off! I even tried to give her a potato chip but apparently, that's the last thing you wanna give a baby," the half-Hispanic then glanced at the bag Henri gave him before he left. "Oh, right, Uncle Henri left me this bag of stuff for the baby, so there has to be some food for this little runt."
"And you don't seem to have a high-chair so I'll just hold onto her while you give her num-nums!" the bubbly blue boy suggested.
"Awesome, thanks. Now, to see what kind of baby food we got."
"Way ahead of you," Rika found a section of the bag and took out three small jars colored cream yellow, pale green, and whitish-brown. "So, we got banana, peas, and... wait, there's actually chicken-flavored baby food? Welp, definitely not giving my kids that in the future. Take your pick, Monty."
"Eh... let's go with banana. You like bananas, don't ya?" Monty grinned a bit at the cooing baby, given the baby food and a small, plastic spoon from Rika. "I'll take whatever you said as a yes. Alright, here we go. You better not spit out what I feed ya, alright? You already had the nerve to get my favorite shirt wet. Uh... how do I do this? Do I just shove the food in her mouth?"
"Ugh, you really don't know anything about taking care of a baby, do you?"
"No shit, I don't! So instead of judging me like you always do, gimme some help!"
"Just make a game out it! You know how parents on TV would take a spoonful of baby food and they would move it around so it's flying like an airplane? That's like the most funnest way to feed a baby!" explained Ronnie.
"And they're also like, 'Here comes the airplane about to fly right into this little guy's mouth!' or something. You catch our drift, Monty?" Rika added.
And that gave Monty an idea when he smirked, "I do, and I think I know an even better way to go about that."
Taking some pureed banana from the small jar, Monty started gliding the spoon around, moving it toward Chicka's bemused face.
"And here comes the luchador, making a high-flying dive off the corner about to do a spinning pile-driver on your tongue!"
He slipped the spoonful into the baby's mouth, cooing for more of the pureed banana. Seems like she enjoyed the half-Hispanic's method of feeding her.
"Huh... that works, I guess." shrugged Rika, slightly impressed.
"Heh heh, that was pretty good, Monty! Use that wrasslin' lingo to your advantage!" encourage Ronnie with a huge grin.
"Will do, and if you thought that was something, wait 'til ya hear about the heel with the outrageous German suplex!" smirked Monty.
Giving baby Chicka her lunch went surprisingly well for someone who never liked taking care of children. Made Monty wonder, did he really have the potential to be a great babysitter? Probably not as experienced as Ronnie and Rika, but he could see himself getting there with enough practice... and motivation, if he really wanted to push himself, but it wasn't like him to overexert himself. With the baby fed, the gang resumed their binge-watching while Chicka rested in Monty's arms. Nothing could possibly keep them from enjoying another episode of cheesy sitcom goodness until...
"Oh! What the heck is-Monty, are you serious right now?! Really?!" exclaimed Rika, glaring at the half-Hispanic after picking up a strong sulfur scent in the air.
"The heck do you mean?! If you really think I farted when I got THIS on this shit dispenser on me, you're on a whole new level of stupid." Monty sneered back.
"Goodness, I wasn't aware that bananas were capable of producing such a stench. Perhaps they were a safe choice compared to the peas and chicken baby foods." Sir. Cuddlekins remarked, covering his nose with his paw.
"Sheesh, you got that right. And I've eaten enough chicken and peas together to know they are not a perfect match in the poop department."
"Heh, didn't know you were an expert on that, Monty," giggled Ronnie before he cooed at the baby. "Aww, did you do that? Did you go poopie-poopie? Hmm? Did you just go poopie-poopie in your diapee-diapee?"
"Ron, I get what you're trying to do but the baby babble isn't helping at all." the spiky-haired boy scolded.
"Neither is you sitting here and doing nothing. You know the drill, Monty, time for you to experience your first ever diaper change." smirked the pigtailed girl as her friend groaned.
"Aw, man... at least, get all this stuff off the table first."
"Wait, you're really gonna do it on the coffee table? Why not on your bed?"
"One, 'cause it's more convenient and two, I'm not taking any chances getting baby piss and shit on my bed. So, screw that."
"Well, that works for me! Let's get this diaper changed, people!" chirped the feathery-haired boy.
With the magazines, bowl of chips, and cups removed from the coffee table, Chicka laid on a towel beside a fresh diaper, wipes, and a bottle of floral-scented baby powder. She was free from her light yellow onesie. And Monty was about to confront his toughest challenge ever since he was born: the baby's soiled diaper.
"Holy fuck, it smells even worse without her onesie on! Ugh, do I really have to do this?"
"You have to, son. You can never avoid doing this when it comes to taking care of babies, it's inevitable." stated Sir. Cuddlekins, lying on Rika's shoulder.
"Geez, you didn't have to put it that way, Cudds." huffed the half-Hispanic.
"What are you waiting for?! Stop running your mouth and take off the diaper! You can't expect it to change itself!" demanded Rika.
"Dang, will you chill out, Rik?! In case you forgot, this is my first time doing this so don't rush me!"
"Yeah, take it easy, Ri-Ri. Mont's well on his way to becoming to a pro babysitter like us, let's cut him some slack." chuckled Ronnie.
"Fine, but where's the fun in that?" pouted the girl in pink.
"Don't you worry, Monterey, we'll talk ya through it. Now, just peel the diaper off."
"But wouldn't that mean I'd have to see her-" began Monty as Rika let out a frustrated sigh.
"Yes, now hurry up and do it!" ordered the bluenette.
With one half of the diaper pulled down after Monty carefully removed the tape on the sides that held it together, the gang had been greeted to a mashed mixture of excrement that had a more prominent smell than before.
"Oh, geez, that was one heck of a poopie. Yuck..." groaned the bubbly blue boy, holding his nose.
"No duh, so what do I do now? Do I have to wipe all this?" asked the spiky-haired boy.
"Yes, the sooner you do it, the sooner we won't have to smell this any longer! Do it!" Rika nudged her pal, handing him a few baby wipes.
"Okay, okay! Aw, crap, the shit I put up with on a regular basis..."
"Heh heh, I see what you did there!" grinned Ronnie.
"Not now, Ron!" Monty yelled, quickly by carefully wiping away the mess from Chicka's bottom. "Okay, that's done but that didn't completely kill the smell. So I just grab another diaper and put it on her, right?"
"Now you're getting it! Look at you becoming pro babysitter material, Monterey, so proud of ya!"
"Don't celebrate just yet, you know how to carefully secure the diaper around her so it won't slip off?" asked the pigtailed girl as Monty worked on it.
"Think I got it handled, Rik... just gotta move that there, do something with this here and... boom! Killed it! Hah hah, that was ridiculously easy, holy crap!" the half-Hispanic smirked to himself, pumping his fists.
"Whooo, way to go, Monty! Mon-ty, Mon-ty, Mon-ty!" chanted the feathery-haired boy.
"Uh, hold on, you missed one important step." reminded Rika.
"Which is...?" Monty raised one of his brows suspiciously.
"The powder, genius! You forgot the powder, you said you didn't get rid of the smell completely and you had a freakin' bottle of powder sitting right there! Why didn't you put the powder on her?!"
"Well, fuck, you could've told me that ahead of time instead of letting me know at the last minute! God, it's like you never miss a chance to mess with me, don't ya?"
"Nope, and you should be used it to by now."
"Ugh... okay, no problem. I don't have to untape the diaper again, I can just sprinkle some in like this," Tugging the front of Chicka's diaper, Monty was about to put the powder in through the fold until the baby leaked a thin stream of urine on him. "Aaaagh, fuck! Goddamn it, you little shit, why'd you have to piss on me?! Getting soaked by your tears was annoying enough!"
"And that was effective." snarked Sir. Cuddlekins as the twins both burst out laughing at their friend's mishap.
"Hah hah, see? That would've have happened if you just powdered her before you were done! Don't you feel stupid now!" goaded Rika.
"Aw, don't get so upset, Monty. This little cutie didn't mean to pee on your parade!" giggled Ronnie.
"Wow, real comical, guys. Real comical. If you excuse me, I gotta get myself changed." sighed the half-Hispanic, heading for his room.
"Better yet, just take a shower!" hollered the bluenette.
"And don't forget the-" began the bubbly blue boy.
"Leave me alone about deodorant!" shouted Monty.
Done with his shower, Monty sat on the couch between the twins, holding Chicka while they went back to watching TV like nothing happened. Sure, everything that happened earlier with the baby felt like a roller-coaster but now, he finally felt at ease. He could go back to watching sitcoms with his friends and kitten, no fussy baby to interrupt things(at least, not at the moment), everything about this moment felt perfect.
"Ah, man... finally, I can really get back into chill mode." Monty sighed, after sharing a bout of laughter with the twins from hearing a joke.
"You totes deserve it, my pal, and! I hereby dub a certified pro babysitter! Boop!" declared Ronnie with a grin, poking his pal's forehead.
"Whoa, now, Ron, a pro? That's kind of a stretch, don't you think?" smirked Rika. "But it's nice to see you getting the hang of things, even if you were a little slow in doing so."
"To be honest, I can't even be mad that you said that, Rik. Babysitting really isn't easy, it's not something you gotta prepare yourself for-I mean, yeah, you definitely have to be mentally prepared, but you really have to think on your feet. Dang... I think this might've given me a whole new respect for people with kids." remarked the spiky-haired boy, rocking the baby a little.
"Cool to hear, Monterey!" the feathery-haired boy chimed in.
"Glad to hear about your change of heart, young man, but does this mean you wouldn't mind having a child or two of your own?" asked Sir. Cuddlekins, resting on Ronnie's lap.
"Eh, heh heh heh... heck no," chuckled Monty with a sardonic smile, startled by his phone ringing. "Aw, crap, must be dad... and he wants to video chat, what?"
"Don't question it, just do it!" urged Rika, nudging her buddy's side with a playful grin.
"Okay, okay, could you stop being so pushy? Sheesh..."
Accepting the chat request, the gang saw a live feed from Colby's phone with the food-fighting master on camera at what appeared to be a sports bar from the classic rock music in the background.
"What's good, y'all? Oh, wow, the gang's all here! Heh heh, you asked 'em to help ya look after lil' Chicka, didn't ya, Monty? I know ya too well, buddy!" teased Colby as the twins waved at the phone.
"Apparently, you do, dad..." Monty grinned a bit, rolling his eyes.
"Hi, Uncle Colby! We were just teaching Monty what being a super good babysitter is all about!" chirped Ronnie.
"But wait, who's that other guy?" Rika asked when Henri also appeared on camera.
"Ah, sorry for not introducing myself but I'm Henri, Colby's step-brother and Monty's uncle. He told me a lot about you guys and... since you're Sage's kids, I can definitely see her in both of you." the Brazilian said with a gentle smile.
"Um... thanks, sir, and you seem like a pretty nice guy yourself."
"But don't just change the subject all willy-nilly, you said you know our mama! So if my detective skills are on-point, which they usually are, you must've had a thing for her too! Am I right or not?! Did ya date, did ya kiss her? Tell me everything, spill! Spill it!" prodded the bubbly blue boy.
"Got ya covered, kiddo, I'll text ya everything ya need to know." winked Colby.
"Eeeeee, Uncle Colby, you are officially the second-best human being I know! Next to mama, of course."
"Really, Colby, you're just going to spill my secrets to a kid I barely know?" sighed Henri.
"You barely know him, but soon you'll love like him another son like I do!" claimed Colby.
"Moving on... I take it you're planning on coming home soon?" questioned Sir. Cuddlekins.
"Not exactly, got about two hours of catching up left in us before we head back. Which means, you'll have to look after Chicka a little longer, I really hope you don't mind. I'm really thankful that you're all taking care of her, especially you, Monty. I know she must be a handful." the mahogany-haired boy spoke with another chuckle.
"Yep, you're not wrong but anything to make ya happy, Uncle Hen." Monty grinned back as the baby cooed.
"Heh, sounds to me like lil' Chicka's got a soft spot for ya, Mont! Please tell me the feeling's mutual, please!" pleaded the King of Curry.
"Eh, it's kinda mutual. But we'll let you get back to your catching up or whatever and don't get too hammered, alright?"
"Puh-lease! I got, like, six beers in me and I am feeling gooooooood!"
"No worries, Monty, I'll be driving him home," assured Henri with a grin. "But yeah, we'll see you guys later. Again, call us if anything happens with Chicka."
"See y'all later!"
After the gang said their goodbyes before the video chat ended, Monty put his phone away and focused his eyes back on Chicka. Not only did she look so comfortable in his arms, she even smiled at him. It's like her way of thanking him for everything he did to take care of her and to return the reward, the half-Hispanic simply grinned back.
"Awww, you two really love each other! Mind if I snap a photo of this beautiful family moment?" offered Ronnie.
"Please don't. Last thing we need is the boy to subjected to another shower of tears." sneered the orange kitten.
"So, Monty, all that aside, think you got it in you for another two hours of babysitting?" Rika asked with a smirk.
"Pfft, nope," Monty continued to smile at the cooing baby. "But I'll try my best to truck through it."