Monday rolled around, and Chester couldn't wait. He was going to meet Aurelia's mums and stay with Aurelia for ages and it would be the first time he ever played with a friend! Amethyst and Barnaby always got to play with friends and now, he would get to do that too! He finally had a friend to play with!
"What games do you think she would like to play?" Chester asked, speaking too fast for his dads to understand him. "Do we play tag? What if she likes board games I've never played before or TV shows that I haven't seen? What if I accidentally upset her and she never wants to talk to me again?"
"Look, buddy, you're going to be fine," Beckett replied. "Just get into the car and try to calm down."
"Are you picking me up or will Dad do that?" Chester toyed with the sleeve of his school jumper. Aurelia was his first friend. He couldn't mess this up.
"I think I'll pick you up," Beckett decided. "I need to spend more time with you, anyway." Chester smiled up at him innocently.
"Can you and me get food together sometimes?" Chester asked. "Papa and I do it and I get worried. It's like you're missing out on all the fun." Beckett deflated a little, but smiled as he took his son's hand and led him out to the car to go to school.
At the end of the school day, Chester stood excitedly with Aurelia as they waited for Aurelia's mums. "How long will I stay at your house? Will I get to go there again? Will you come to mine?" the redheaded boy asked.
"I don't know," Aurelia admitted. "But I think that this will be a lot of fun."
"Me too!" Chester giggled. The two stood around excitedly in the playground until Aurelia's mums came over.
"Aurelia! Chester! Get over here!" Nicola cooed. Chester giggled and waved as he ran over to her. She was all bright colours, wearing a yellow jumper and white jeans. She seemed nice.
"Chester's going to stay with us forever, won't he?" Aurelia begged. "Maybe we can have sleepovers at each other's houses. He can stay in my room."
"Chester is a boy; he can't stay in your room," Aurelia's other mum replied. "He'll need his own room if he's sleeping over. And his dads' permission." Chester was a little scared of her. She wore almost all black. Black leather boots, a black calf-length trench coat with a belt to fasten it and a black beanie. The only non-black things she had were a white shirt and her pale skin.
"OK," Chester replied, nodding. He didn't entirely know why, but he felt like he needed to obey her and do as she said immediately.
"Emily, try to be mindful of your tone around Chester. He doesn't know us," Nicola replied. So that was Aurelia's other mum's name. Aurelia's mums' names were Nicola and Emily. "Chester, don't worry too much about Emily. She forgot her coffee this morning and it's messed up her whole day." Aurelia giggled.
"Mum gets like that sometimes," Aurelia told Chester, nodding wisely as they walked to the car. Chester nodded back, feeling unsure. "But don't worry, I told them all about you. I told them about how fluffy and cute you are, and how you're so giggly when we tickle you."
"Aurelia, no!" Chester whimpered.
"I also told them you were nice and a good friend," she replied. "They like you." Chester smiled again as he got into their car. As they drove to Aurelia's house, the two began to mess around with each other in the back seat.
"Bet you can't hold still and stay quiet until you get to my house," Aurelia hissed, smiling.
"What do you mean?" the redhead asked.
"I get to tickle you, and you can't laugh or move at all. If you can't do it, I'll tell my mums that you're ticklish and they can tickle you. And if you can, I'll get you all the snacks you want."
Chester did some thinking. One the one hand, Aurelia was a ruthless tickler and if her mums were anything like her, then he was doomed. But on the other hand, she would get him all the snacks he could eat. He tentatively nodded. Aurelia grinned and pounced on him, grinning as Chester tried and failed to stay still and stay quiet. He burst out into laughter hysterically once her fingers hit a sensitive spot on his ribs. He had just wanted snacks, but it was so hard for him to just stay still.
"OK, OK! YOU WIN!" Chester giggled, as Aurelia grinned sadistically. "I can't take it!"
"Chester, Aurelia isn't going too hard on you, is she?" Nicola asked, as her wife drove the car.
"It tickles!" Chester giggled, hunched over in the car seat. Aurelia smiled as she petted Chester's head, upon which sat a head of rapidly growing red hair. It was almost at his shoulders.
"You're so cute like this, Chester," Aurelia teased. "I wish I could keep you in my house and play with you whenever I want."
"Are you even allowed to do that?"
"No, she isn't," Emily replied. "Aurelia, you know that you can't have Chester living in your house."
"He can sleep downstairs!" Aurelia proposed.
"I think my dads would miss me," Chester pointed out, waiting for the inevitable backlash. "Sorry, Aurelia."
"It's OK. My mums would miss me, too." The two young amputees sat in the car in a sort of comfortable silence until it came to a final stop in front of a house. It was painted blue with a white door and had pink and purple flowers growing in pots tied to the gate outside.
"Your house looks like the pretty ones in movies!" Chester exclaimed, his eyes wide open in shock.
"Oh, thank you!" Nicola cooed. "Good to know that someone notices." She shot an uncharacteristically annoyed look at Emily, who seemed to shrink into the floor. She didn't seem very scary anymore.
"Chester, they're a little silly," Aurelia hissed. Chester giggled and started getting out of the car. He felt a little uneasy, but it worked out. Aurelia hopped out without difficulty and went up to the door, happily waiting for her mums to let them into the house.
"Do you have pets?" Chester asked.
Aurelia sighed sadly. "No. Mama said that they're too expensive. Do you have pets?"
"Yes! We have a cat called Lovelace! He is so cute and he snuggles me in my room! He's a black cat and he purrs loudly," Chester said proudly. "You can pick him up and play with him and he doesn't ever scratch! He's the best!"
"Step aside, we have the keys," Nicola replied, opening the door for the two small children. Chester and Aurelia giggled and rushed in, taking their shoes off and placing them in a shoe rack under the stairs. Then Aurelia dragged her young friend into the living room for more tickles. Screams of laughter echoed through the house as the two mums listened on with pride and a little bit of worry.
"It's so nice to see that Aurelia has friends," Nicola smiled.
"Don't you think that we should get him out of there?" Emily asked, fiddling with the sleeve of her leather jacket. "Aurelia can be quite ruthless."
"Oh, she's just playing. It's best not to intervene unless we hear screams for help, crying or a loud thud." Nicola started preparing a cup of tea for herself in front of her shocked wife.
"And you're just drinking tea? That's it, I'm checking on them." Emily replied, going into the living room where her daughter and school friend were and sticking her head into the crack in the door. Chester screamed with laughter as Aurelia got a good hold of his remaining foot to subject it to more tickles.
"Chester's so ticklish, Mum!" Aurelia giggled. "And he can't leave because we made a bet!"
"You should probably let him have a little break if you're going to continue." Emily watched as Chester rapidly lost air and became even more red, before deciding that she had to stop this. Picking up Chester, she took him to the other sofa so he could recover. Aurelia pouted as Chester gasped for air in Emily's arms.
"You're nice," Chester muttered, curling up into a ball. "Thank you." He breathed deeply and his eyes drooped downwards.
"Aurelia, you need to know that you can't always go as rough as you want to," Emily lectured, petting the boy's head. "Look at Chester. He's exhausted. He can't keep doing this for as long as you can."
"Oh," the short-haired girl replied, looking down at the floor. "Sorry, Chester." Chester groaned as he picked himself up off the sofa. Emily decided to step out of the room to give them a moment.
"I'm OK," Chester murmured. Aurelia hugged the boy and began petting him.
"It's OK, Chester. I'm sorry." Aurelia petted him like a puppy.
"It's fine, though."
"But I was mean. I'll be gentle with you from now on, I promise."
The girl smiled as she retrieved the remote. "Good. Now I'll bring you something for you to watch."
The room was now very quiet, save for the TV. "OK, now I'm worried," Nicola said, breaking the silence between her and her wife. "Silence is generally a very worrying sign."
"I'll check on them." Emily sighed as she went to see what was going on, but Nicola went in her place.
"No, it's my turn. I'll do it," Nicola replied. She walked in and found Chester and Aurelia watching TV. "Oh, that's good. You're watching TV together. Is this a good part?" She got no response. "Hello? Why aren't you responding?" She walked right in front of them and shoved a hand into her mouth.
Chester and Aurelia had fallen asleep next to each other.
And it was adorable.
This changed everything. If they were awake, then she would have asked them some questions about what they were watching. But their eyes were closed, so Nicola would have to watch her step. She sidestepped out and rushed to find her wife.
"You won't believe this," she giggled, doing her best to keep her voice down.
"What are you whispering for?" Emily asked.
"Come look! It's adorable!" Nicola dragged her wife over to their daughter and their daughter's best friend. Emily gasped. Nicola shoved a hand in front of her mouth.
"This is adorable," Emily eventually remarked. She took a single photo, her smile growing wider and wider on her face. "I think that Chester's dads would like to see this."
"Are you sure?" Nicola asked.
"Yeah, they'll love it," Emily replied.
"Chester seems rather skittish, though. And I think he might be scared of you a little."
"What?" Emily's shoulders slumped forward. "Why? Is it the clothes? I bet it's the clothes. I don't want him to be scared of me! My daughter's friends can't be scared of me!"
"It's OK. I'll just talk to him when they wake up. Once he gets to know me, it'll be fine." Emily looked over at Chester, peacefully sleeping on their sofa. "He's going to like me. I know he will."
Chester and Aurelia woke up next to each other, yawning and stretching. "How long were we asleep for?" Chester groaned.
"I don't know. About an hour," Aurelia sighed. "I'll get my mums." She sat up and began to stand, but was forced back down by gravity and the confines of her own body. "I can't. Too tired. And my leg hurts."
"Aurelia? Are you and Chester OK?" Emily asked, sticking her head through the door. Chester nodded and smiled uneasily.
"Pain. In my leg. It hurts," Aurelia replied.
"It's OK. I've got you both," Emily soothed. Chester was uncharacteristically stiff next to her, unsure of his next step. She was supposed to be the scary one out of Aurelia's two mums, but she was so cosy and nice to him.
"Your mums are nice," Chester murmured, making Aurelia and Emily laugh.
"Yeah, they're the best," Aurelia grinned.
"Just like how my dads are the best for me," Chester said, stretching out on the sofa. He would be OK with Aurelia and her mum, just existing like that forever.
But then the doorbell rang.
"I'll get it for you," Emily replied. She got up, stretching for a few seconds, and then walked to the door. Beckett waved awkwardly when it was opened.
"Hi, I'm one of Chester's dads. I'm here to pick him up," Beckett replied. Chester groaned.
"Do I have to?" Chester groaned. "I like it here."
"You can come back again sometime later," Beckett sighed. Chester sighed and went to get his shoes and school bag.
"Bye, Aurelia. I'll miss you." Chester waved at his friend before he finally left. When he was in the car and finally moving towards home, he began to babble.
"It was great! Aurelia and me were playing and we watched TV and fell asleep and her mums were nice and I want her to come back to our house! She can meet you properly and maybe Sawyer can come over!"
"How about you plan that when you get home, OK?" Beckett proposed. Chester nodded.
It's getting late. By the time I get him home, he'll be too tired and I'll easily be able to bring him to bed, he thought. It's just a waiting game, Beckett. It's just a waiting game.
At home, Chester babbled even more about his day to a very tired Beckett and Dwayne. "That nap probably wasn't a good idea," Dwayne muttered.
"I know," Beckett groaned.