Chapter 1: Chapter 1
“It’s already been 6 months, and he’s still hanging around Mint?” Sandee said motioning towards Pete’s retrieving back.
“Hn, he said they are just friends now,” Thada said turning to Sandee.
June had been far too busy teasing Kao because he was getting chubby, which was something that everyone had noticed but June had been the one most excited about it. He was always at Kao’s side poking his belly.
Sandee had turned to look at them and furrowed her brows like she always did when she was in deep thought. “Hey, Kao, did something happen between you and Pete?”
“No, not really...” Kao said looking down at his watch before he was pushing around June as he quickly said, “Ah, I forgot that I had to meet P’Sun today. I should get going.” He ended up carefully rushing down the rest of the stairs and heading towards the exit.
Sandee had seen Pete try and hold Kao’s arm to stop him but Kao had only pulled free and then he was gone. Which had Pete leaving Mint again to come to them with the same question he always asked. “Where is he going?”
“He said he had an appointment with P’Sun,” Sandee said getting frustrated which had her waving her arms in defeat, “You know what, you guys can go eat on your own. I’m not in the mood to deal with your crap.” She said pushing past Thada and leaving in her own direction.
“What?!” Pete said getting angry.
“Hey calm down buddy, they’re just hanging out,” Thada said patting Pete’s shoulder.
Pete had shoved Thada’s hand off his shoulder and pointed an accusing finger at him, “You and I both know that isn’t true.”
Yes, Thada knew that P’Sun liked Kao and time and time again P’Sun would take Kao out in attempt to woo him into dating him. What he didn’t understand was why that bothered Pete, when Kao, himself, didn’t seem to be putting such a big fight over it. In fact, he would go to P’Sun even when the man didn’t come for him.
Mork, P’Sun’s boyfriend, was in the shop when Kao had walked in. Rain, as usual, was sitting down drinking away their stock, instead of helping Mork.
“Kao!” Both Mork and Rain had greeted him before he was being escorted to sit down by Mork, while Rain had gone to get him a cup of water. “Did you walk here?” Mork had asked joining him at the table.
“Yes, but I’m fine. The doctor said it’s perfectly fine to get some exercise while I can,” Kao said silently thanking Rain for the water.
“Still, if you were coming by today you could have called me or Rain. I could have had P’Sun pick you up even,” Mork said seating himself down besides Kao. His hand had naturally gone to caress Kao’s belly. A part of him was a bit envious of Kao’s condition, but he knew that right now even if he wanted the same with P’Sun, they wouldn’t have the proper time to properly care for a baby. The cafe was getting busier and busier and they needed the money to keep investing in the business until they found themselves in a steadier place.
Mork had to admit though, when he had first heard that P’Sun had taken Kao to the clinic because he had fainted. He was pissed, especially when Rain had overheard Kao and P’Sun talking about the pregnancy and had come to tell him. He was livid, but it took Kao explaining for him to calm. But now that he knew and had befriended Kao, he felt nothing but guilt and sad for his given his situation. Kao, was leaning on them because the baby’s daddy didn’t want to be with Kao.
Mork and Rain both knew who the baby’s dad was Pete, but from what they could tell Pete was dating a girl named Mint. Pete seemed to be spending less and less time with Kao, and Kao seemed to not really want to force the existence of the baby on him. They couldn’t understand why he was so hesitant to tell him, but they ultimately respected his decision.
“Ah, Kao,” The three heard P’Sun say which had all three of them turning. P’Sun had his hands full. He was holding a box filled with the new order of coffee grains he and Mork had picked last week.
“Let me help you,” Mork said getting up and pecking his boyfriend’s lips as he took the box from his hands and taking it to the counter to put them up. He had motioned for Rain to come help him, which he had.
That was how their friendship worked. Rain had walked in on Mork and his brother getting frisky in his bedroom. At first it was a little weird to think that Mork had ever been into being done from the back and by his brother of all people. It was easier to accept after seeing how happy Mork made his brother, the only thing he asked from them was not to shag while he was home again. Apart from that, he could hide behind Mork when his brother didn’t agree on something.
“I didn’t know you were coming by today,” P’Sun said with a smile as he sat down across from him.
“I wasn’t but I thought maybe a walk would do me some good,” Kao said with a smile before he was resting his hand his protruding belly. He was nearing his 6th month, and the more days that passed the harder it became to hide the fact that he was pregnant. Right now, he was as June said, ‘fat’. Atleast he looked like he had gained weight. His muscles had disappeared and he had a bit of a small stomach that June had liked touching whenever he had the chance. It was by pure luck that the baby never kicked when June touched it.
“Hn,” P’Sun said with a small hum. He didn’t entirely believed that was the case but he wasn’t going to push it. Instead he had just reached forward and rubbed at his belly, “How have you been feeling?”
He didn’t entirely mind people touching his belly, but it always made him feel a small ounce of longing for Pete. “I’m doing alright, he’s been real gentle this week, but I think it’s almost time that I take Mork up on his offer.”
“Already?” P’Sun said with a slight frown as his hand stopped stroking his belly, “But Kao, what if you stay here?”
Chapter 2: Chapter 2
Thada and June had followed an angry Pete to SunRain Cafe. They had been trying to calm him and stop him the entire way, but something in Pete had just snapped and he just couldn’t be stopped. Even Mint had gotten pissed by Pete’s indifference and left.
“Pete, come on man. What are you trying to do?” Thada said pulling at his shoulder to stop him.
“Be reasonable,” June added.
“He needs to just leave Kao alone,” Pete said shoving him away. He was beyond pissed that P’Sun kept coming around after Kao had rejected him and even more so at Kao too. Why was Kao just going there all the time? Didn’t he say he liked him too?
When they had gotten to the Cafe the three of them had noticed P’Sun had his hand on Kao and he seemed to be growing closer to him. And that had infuriated Pete, because he had slipped from June and Thada and had rushed inside to shove P’Sun away from Kao.
“What the fuck are you doing to him?!” Pete had yelled at him making everyone in the cafe turn to look at them as Pete threw the first punch at him.
“Pete!” Kao had yelled out getting up from his seat to stop him from throwing another.
“Pete!” June and Thada had yelled out as well as they had rushed to aid Kao in holding him back, but it did little to calm him. He kept throwing slurs at Sun while the man was barely getting up from the floor and holding his bruised jaw.
Even Mork had come out from behind the counter glaring daggers at Pete, “What the hell is your problem?!”
“Enough, it’s a misunderstanding” P’Sun had said pulling his spit fire little boyfriend towards him and holding him by the waist.
“P’Sun, I’m so sorry...” Kao had said turning to look at him which had Pete scoffing and saying, “You don’t need to apologize to this bastard.”
“You got a problem with my boyfriend?!” Mork had hissed moving forward only to be held back by P’Sun.
“Boyfriend?!” The confusion from the trio had them look at them like they had grown a second head.
“Er! My boyfriend!” Mork said crossing his arms against his chest.
Kao had only frowned and properly apologized, “I’m really sorry P’Sun and Mork, for the unnecessary commotion. I’ll take them home.” Kao said bowing his head as he turned to motion for them to go. Thada and June had quickly headed towards the door but Pete needed Kao to pull him along with him in order for him to start moving.
“Thada do you mind giving us a bit of privacy?” Kao asked which had the elder nodding his head and pulling a protesting June along with him. Kao had waited for them to disappear into the car before he was turning to look at Pete. “What were you thinking?!”
“No, Pete. You’re jealousy is out of line.” Kao said with a frown before he was poking the elder’s shoulder with his finger, “You said you didn’t want to be together, that you weren’t sure. I told you not to meddle into my life anymore until you were sure about what you wanted. So just go home, Pete and leave me alone!” Kao said about to turn away from him and leave but then he had suddenly felt Pete pull him back.
Pete had wrapped his arms around Kao’s frame and for the first time he had felt the protruding belly that June had been making fun of for the longest. “I can’t Kao, you know I like you a lot. I can’t stand the thought of some-...” Pete had never finished his words because he felt that odd movement against his arms that had him moving away from Kao. “W-What the hell was that?!”
Kao had only smacked Pete’s hands away when he tried to hold him again, “N-Nothing! Stop it Pete!” Kao whined fighting his hands as he kept moving away from the elder.
“What do you mean nothing?! Kao, I felt something” Pete argued as he kept trying to feel again but Kao kept pushing him away. If he wasn’t about to fall Kao would have kept pushing him away. In that moment that Kao had lost his balance Pete’s heart stuttered in a panic and had quickly caught him. He had gently helped him sit down on the bench. “Kao I’m sorry...” Pete had said feeling terrible for almost making him fall but seeing Kao stroke his belly had him frowning.
“I-It’s okay Pete it was an accident,” Kao said gently stroking his belly. His baby was okay and that’s all that mattered, but it had frightened him.
“Kao...what’s going on with you?” Pete asked as he kneeled down before him and gently taking his hand.
Kao had only sighed, he knew if he didn’t tell Pete now he would only pry until he found out. “Do you remember when we had sex that night?” Kao asked making himself and Pete blush a little.
“I remember, how can I not?” Pete said rubbing the back of his neck nervously, “It was the first time I confessed to you.” Which it was, he had been so pissed off by P’Sun trying to make a move on Kao that he had followed them to the restaurant and when he had taken him home he had let the heat of that anger drive him and push Kao into his bed until they had become one. Honestly, it was the best he had ever had and he still thought a lot about that night.
“Something else happened that night too...” Kao said bringing his hands to rest on his belly. “I-I’m pregnant Pete...”
“W-what?” Was all that Pete could really say, there was no way that he was pregnant. No way...no-..shit!
“I didn’t want to tell you because you get weird like this…and I didn’t want to pressure you just because I was having your baby...” Kao said trying to fight back the tears. He knew Pete, and this wasn’t going to be something easy to accept for him. Pete wasn’t even sure he wanted to publicly say he was gay nor that he wanted to date him. So, seeing him back away from him then was what he expected but it didn’t stop it from hurting all the more.
“T-There is no way...” Pete said backing away “I-I got to go...” He said rushing to leave.
Watching him get into his car and drive away was the most painful thing Kao had to do, and he couldn’t hold it in any longer. It was for this very reason that he had avoided telling Pete about it. Because he knew him well to know that something like this wasn’t easy for him to accept, something like a baby and a pregnant male was something to drive Pete away from him.
Mork and Sun had come out to find him crying like this, too. Mork had made Sun leave Kao at home. “Mork said that if you want you can stay with us, or we can take you to his place to stay until the baby is born.” P’Sun said with a small smile.
“Thanks P’Sun,” Kao said as he unbuckled himself. He had been thinking about it for a while and he thought maybe it was best he left for a while, “I think I will come by tomorrow morning with my things so Mork can show me where. I want to get away for a little while.”
“Okay, I will tell him,” P’Sun said before reaching other to take his hand, “We are here for you Kao.”
Chapter 3: Chapter 3
Italics is things that have happened in the past. So, sorry if it confused anyone.
//3 Weeks Later//
Kao had moved out from family’s home near his university and into Mork’s apartment in the city. He had spoken to his professors, who had been very understanding about his situation and had been able to provide an alternative so he wouldn’t miss the remaining semester. So, he had been working from his computer to do his work and emailing it to his professors.
Sandee and the rest of their gang—except Pete—had all reached out via Line when Kao had missed 2 consecutive days from lessons. Kao, however, had said he was fine and had dropped from the classes because he was going to take a break from school.
Immediate ‘why’s’ had followed, which had gone unanswered. Kao didn’t want to talk to them or tell them a reason.
He still got messages from them on the daily, especially from Sandee who asked if it had something to do with Pete and the ‘cafe incident’ with P’Sun, but it too had gone unanswered.
He missed them, really, but he wanted to get away from them for a bit. They were good friends, and he knew they would push Pete more than needed be if they knew what the real reason was and that was the last thing he wanted. He wanted Pete to be with him because he wanted to, not because he had been pressured into doing it. He was more than ready to raise this baby with all the love and care in the world that he could give.
“Kao, the doctor will see you now,” The voice from his nurse said bringing him out from his thoughts.
“Coming,” Kao said with a smile as he carefully stood up from the seat with Mork’s help. This is how it had been for these past few months. Mork would be the one to accompany him to his appointments. He was really grateful towards them for everything. Especially, towards him who would come with him every appointment. Mork had never corrected the doctor when she kept referring to Mork as the baby’s daddy. Heck, even Mork called himself ‘Daddy’ and would often joke to P’Sun about it.
‘P’ look the doctor gave me this picture of my baby. I’m going to raise him well!’ Mork had said proudly showing the sonogram picture the nurse had given him.
‘I got one too,’ Kao said with a smile showing him the identical image he had gotten too.
‘Would you two cut it out!’ P’Sun said sounding upset.
The checkup was very standard, his doctor—who specialized in male pregnancy—had always started their appointments with light conversation about how he had been doing. If there was any discomfort or changes he’s noticed, etc, before the actual checkup started.
“Well he looks to be doing very well,” The doctor said with a smile as she messed with the monitor. The sound was muted so all they could see was the black and white baby’s picture on the monitor, moving ever so slightly. “You might be feeling him move a little more, since it’s almost time.” The doctor said turning towards Kao before she was addressing Mork, “Usually first time dad’s panic more than the mom.”
“Somehow, I can’t help but agree with you doc,” Mork said with a slight chuckle, though he wasn’t saying it about himself but about Pete.
Chapter 4: Chapter 4
When Kao had told Pete he was pregnant, and he had freaked. He’d been spending majority of the time avoiding their gang because Sandee and June—occasionally even Thada—would not shut up about Kao. Especially, when June had let it slip about what had happened at the SunRain cafe.
“What did you do?” Sandee had let out venomously when she had managed to corner him.
“I didn’t do anything,” Pete said furrowing his brows at her. He hated being cornered like this was all his fault, despite known well it was his fault.
“Kao’s dropped out of school so suddenly and that makes me think your dumb self said something,” Sandee had accused as she placed her hand on her hips. Time and time again, Pete had only proven that when something was off between the two it was usually Pete’s fault. It really infuriated Sandee. She tried staying out of it most of the time unless they needed an intervention, but when she had heard Kao had dropped out she could not turn a blind eye to it anymore.
“What?!” Pete said sounding right out surprised. He’d been avoiding Kao like the plague because of what he had told him. That was news to him.
“Kao dropped out of the classes,” Thada had repeated as he moved closer to Sandee, “You would know if you bothered showing up too.”
“So what if he’s dropped? What’s that got to do with me?” Pete had hissed as he stood up from the bench and pushed past Thada and June.
Clearly there was something going on, and Sandee was going to figure it out. She didn’t believe all this crap about her dear friend not having anything to do with it. Pete was far too angry and hostile for it to be nothing as he said.
“What about we ask P’Sun? Eh?” June said with a smile. He hated this kind of tension between their gang so he wanted to help and make the mood a bit lighter, “We can even grab some coffee.”
“Good idea,” Sandee said as she linked her arms with the two boys.
Ever since he Sandee had cornered him, his mind was being driven by guilt. Kao hadn’t really dropped out, right? Sandee was just saying that to get him to reach out to Kao, right?
It didn’t matter how much he wanted to shake that sense of guilt from his mind, it was there and it wasn’t going away. It was ruining his mood, and even though he just wanted to go home and forget he just couldn’t. Forth was dragging him along towards a restaurant by the school.
“Come on, I want to introduce you to some guys,” Forth said with promises that it would ease Pete’s mind of whatever had him so pissy.
“I’m here so get off me,” Pete had nearly hissed as he tried to escape the man’s firm grip. Which to his relief he had let him go, just as they reached the table.
“Forth, your late that means you’re buying,” One of the guys had said jokingly as he moved seats make room for the two.
“Er, I’ll buy then,” Forth had said with a chuckle before he was sitting down. “Guys, this is my friend Pete. Pete this is Tom, Deer, Leo, Pick and Porsche.”
“Hey, what’s up?” They had greeted.
Porsche had passed them both a drink as he said, “Since we’re all here let’s drink.”
“Well since Forth’s buying lets drink as much as we please,” Tom said with a cheeky grin as he wrapped his arm around Porsche.
“I’m not going to protest to that,” Pick had said clinking his glass with the other two idiots, “Cheers!”
“Everyone here is from our program, except Pick and Porsche, they’re from the Veterinarian Program, but they’re pretty cool.” Forth had whispered to Pete before he was pleading to his friends, “Don’t actually overdo it like last time. I’m not going to babysit any of you.”
“That’s right, Forth is on a curfew now,” Deer had said with a little snicker as he hide his smile behind his glass.
“I should tell Beam to visit your department to get this guy a collar.” Tom had joked as he nudged Porsche, making him nearly choke.
“Speak for yourself,” Forth said joining in.
“How come you didn’t invite that friend of yours?” Leo asked Pete from across the table, but seeing the look of confusion on Pete’s face that clearly read ‘what friend?’ Had Leo elaborating, “You know the one with that pretty face, pale skin, and yea high.”
“Kao?” Pete asked furrowing his brows as he put his drink back down. What the hell did this guy want with Kao?
“Yeah, Kao,” Leo said nodding his head, “I thought I’d be meeting him here tonight.”
How was this supposed to be relaxing? When this guy would not shut up about Kao? It had more than just guilt drowning Pete. Possessiveness and anger were mixing in with it, and it was frustrating him to no end.
“Hey, Pete slow down on your drinking,” Forth said taking the bottle from him when he was pouring himself another drink.
“Isn’t that why I came? To drink.” Pete asked but in reality, he still just wanted to go home and not hear Kao’s name.
Chapter 5: PickRome: Turmoil
Everything in his head was a giant mess ever since they had come back from that camping trip. Rome had been so determined to go with Din on that stupid trip to get those stupid photos. He had ended up tagging along because he did not want Din around Rome. Even thinking about it now was making him groan in dismay in the middle of class.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” Forth had whispered to him when Pick had thrashed the text book to his side of the desk.
“How the hell am I supposed to know,” Pick said rubbing his neck as if it would help calm him down. He was pissed, but he had no one else to blame but himself. He wanted to be with Rome but at the same time these stupid feelings he was having for another boy was freaking him out. Especially after he’d let the heat of the moment get him to do THAT with him.
Pick wasn’t stupid, even he could see Din was into Rome and the fucker was not being subtle with his attempts to flirt with Rome in front of him. During meal prep, at night, and even during their hike, Din kept getting in the way and it was starting to piss him off. Especially, when they had disappeared off together the next morning leaving him alone.
He didn’t know what came over him, but the need to find Rome had clouded his better judgment. He had gone into the wilderness unprepared and gotten himself lost. He wasn’t entirely worried about it though, for he had come to find a nice little water fall. ‘Rome will like this’ he had thought as he continued exploring the grounds and eventually losing track of time.
“P’Pick!” He heard that sweet voice calling out to him.
The anger he had felt from being abandon had long since left him, and was only eager to follow his voice until he was sneaking up behind him, startling Rome. He wanted to tell the smaller boy of his findings, but that look of concern in his eyes had the words getting stuck in his throat.
“P’Pick! I was so worried!” Rome had let out wrapping his arms around the elder so suddenly.
Pick had only slowly wrapped his arm around him. He was just internally feeling so happy to see Rome so worried about him. But that feeling had not lasted, because Din’s name was soon leaving Rome’s lips.
He didn’t know what came over him, but he had this need to keep him here longer and away from Din. Pick just wanted to hear his name replace Din’s on Rome’s lips, so he kissed him. And that one kiss and Rome’s little mewl had Pick pushing for more.
“Well you better figure it out, or I’m going to forget we’re friends and actually hit you with the book,” Forth had warned as he pushed the book back to Pick’s side of the desk just as the professor was dismissing their class.
Pick had only scoffed not really taking the threat seriously. Besides, this was the only class he had with Forth this semester. “Yeah, whatever. I’ll see you later,” Pick said lazily collecting his things and heading out of the classroom.
“Are we still on for lunch?” Forth had called out to him, but no answer had been given to him. “What’s his problem?” He ended up mumbling to himself as he hurriedly fished his phone out when it started ringing.
“Ah, Beam,” Forth said with a huge grin.
Instead of going to his next class, Pick had ended up getting in his car and driving 3 hours out to see Porsche. If he put distance between him and the source of his turmoil things would sort themselves out, right?
Chapter 6: PickRome: Wrong
That was the only word repeating itself inside his head. This and that and everything was just wrong. Nothing had been fixed, Rome was still on his mind. The feelings were still there, they hadn’t just gone away as he thought they would and in part it frightened him. It was hard for him to accept that he was feeling like this for another guy. It just wasn’t possible, it shouldn’t be possible…but it was. Every time he thought about Rome and that night, he had this strange feeling running through him. It unsettled him greatly, because he certainly WAS NOT GAY.
He had nearly been here two weeks, burdening Porsche and helping him with their projects at the clinic. Porsche had said that if he was going to be there he might as well do something productive to help ease his mind. It was fun working with the animals and hanging out with the staff after work, heck he even had met up with the only cute girl at the clinic. She was definitely his type, but as much fun as he was having hanging out it just felt wrong. He felt like he was almost cheating on Rome.
“You know, he’s not doing so well,” Porsche had said as he handed his friend a newly opened bottle of beer as he sat back down in his seat. Drinking beer and lazing around at the patio in his room, had become somewhat of a ritual thing after work.
Pick had not really said anything to that, and just silently accepted the beer being handed to him. He wasn’t stupid, he’d hear him and Emma talking on the phone every day. At times, he’d hear Rome’s name come up, but he had pretended not to hear it. He was still troubled by his feelings and he wasn’t sure whether he wanted to let them growing.
“What’s the big deal anyways?” Porsche continued as he let the beer dangle in his hand. “So you like a guy, what does that matter? If he makes you feel right, why should it matter what people think?”
“I’m not fucking gay that’s why!” Pick said glaring at his longtime friend. He didn’t want to have this conversation right now. All he wanted was to sit here and drink his beer without being annoyed about his feelings.
“Tsk!” Porsche let out shaking his head, “Is that what worries you? That people will start calling you gay?”
“Shit, Porsche stop talking already,” Pick groaned out slamming his beer down, desperate to end this conversation.
“I can’t buddy, when you’re here hiding from your damn feelings,” Porsche practically yelled out. He was baffled, he’d never thought Pick could be such a coward.
“Then what the heck do you call what you are doing, huh?” Pick had let out angrily as he stood up from his seat, “You’re hiding from P’Oh, when you should be over there taking responsibility for knocking up his sister!”
Porsche had never stood up so quickly. His face was contorted with anger at what he had just said. “This and that are not the same! I’m going to take responsibility for what I did, so don’t go mixing me in with you!” Porsche said pushing Pick back out of spite. “You’re my friend but you don’t get to do that to someone and then pretend shit didn’t happen?! You knew he liked you, and you made your damn choice that night. No one forced you Pick, so stop trying to find an excuse to take it back! Own up to it you coward.”
He didn’t know what came over him, but hearing Porsche saying that had Pick getting angry. He knew he had no right to be angry, Porsche was right about everything. But he couldn’t stop himself from letting that anger boil over and punching him and for the first time in their lives, they had ended up getting violent with one another. Fists were flying and they ended up thrashing one another on the ground trying to wrestle with one another to get the upper hand and release the anger that had surged from both of them.
Chapter 7: PickRome: Home
After the initial wave of rage they had both had passed, Porsche and Pick had just laid sprawled out on the patio floor. Their chests had risen and fallen rapidly from both parties trying to take catch their breath.
‘Porsche, I’m sorry…’ Pick had said being the first to apologize. One look towards his friend had him frowning. He hadn’t meant to strike him he had been so angry being forced to talk about this, that he had lashed out.
‘Better you get it out of your system with someone who can handle your shit, rather than at Rome,’ Porsche had said with a slight chuckle that had all too quickly turned into a wince as he held his jaw. He had cursed at Pick for using so much force but then again, looking at his longtime friend being just as badly bruised had him calming down.
‘I’m not wrong though. If you like him than that’s it. You like him. Why think about needless things?’
They had talked about it, and decided to return home at the end of the month once Porsche finished his assignment there at the vet clinic. Which could not have been a more excruciating long wait. Pick had to wait nearly another half month, because things had kept being delayed. First with the delivery and even the weather had put things on hold. It was frustrating to say the least, but finally that long awaited day was here and he was more than eager to return home.
He missed Rome.
“Stop taking your sweet ass time!” Pick had yelled out impatiently waiting by the car while Porsche was double checking to make sure he wasn’t forgetting anything. “We got to go!”
“Alright! Geez, I wonder who you’re so eager to go home to,” Porsche had teased stepping out of the small room he had been renting. He wanted to tease his friend a little more, but Pick had gone back to his phone typing away at it and ruining his plans.
“If you keep texting like that how are we ever going to get there?” Porsche had said only receiving a glare from Pick.
“Just for that, you’re driving,” Pick said tossing the keys at his friend.
“Yes, sir,” Porsche said catching the keys. He didn’t entirely mind, heck he thought it would be safer if he drove rather than Mr. Impatient over there.
Chapter 8: Chapter 5
Pete needed a break from his new friends. Ever since Forth had introduced them to him, they'd all been pretty keen on getting together more frequently that it had eventually become an everyday thing. He had to admit they were all pretty cool guys, but there was one in particular that Pete could not get use to and that was Leo. The guy had this somewhat form of obsession with Kao and would always bother him about this or that related to Kao. At times it even had him wondering if the guy didn’t really already know Kao. It was really starting to piss him off to no end, too, so much that Pick or Tom would have to subdue their annoying friend and turn his attention to something else.
“Kao's not freaking gay!” Pete had ended up saying, lying right through his teeth. He just wanted Leo to stop talking, and more importantly he wanted him to never actually approach Kao with his tactless attempts to flirt. He had already gotten rid of P'Sun--though Mork deserved that credit.
“I don’t know about that,” P’Deer had said putting his drink down on the table as he picked his selection of meat from the hot pot. “Kao did once tell me he was having trouble with a boyfriend of his.”
That news had Pete tensing in his seat. He had no idea P'Deer had even known Kao, much less been that close to him for Kao to be spilling their problems to this senior. Shit! If Kao had said that to him, what else had he told him?
“He has a boyfriend?!” Forth and Tom both had let out utterly shocked, to think their junior was even in a relationship. Kao had always come off as very studious and not really interested in going out with anyone.
“By the look on your face, I guess even you didn’t know,” P’Deer said giving Pete a sympathetic smile. It seemed he had revealed something Kao might have not wanted anyone else to know.
“I guess Pete isn’t that close to Kao after all,” Leo said with a sheepish grin that made Pete want to just punch him.
Leo didn't mention Kao much to him anymore after that, but he did occasionally slip his name here and there. Which Pete was sick of. He really hated this guy.
**The Next Day**
Pete couldn’t shake P’Deer’s words out of his head. The thought of him knowing that this ‘boyfriend’ of Kao was him, had him a little uneasy. So, instead of going to grab lunch with them like usual he had abandon his new gang and gone back to Sandee, June, and Thada.
It wasn’t like him hanging out with other people had affected their friendship. They had been very understanding, since they would still see each other on the daily. Except, today they didn’t really seemed to be themselves. They hadn’t really paid much attention to him—June and Thada strictly speaking. They had been so weird since class that Pete had just been staring at them the entire time like they had lost their shit.
Sandee had barely even yawned and the two were quick to ask if she was okay.
‘Are you feeling tired?’ Thada had whispered to her.
‘If you want I can write down the notes for you, so you can rest,’ June had offered quietly with that goofy smile of his.
‘No, I’m okay,’ She had assured them.
They had just walked into the canteen and sat down at their usual table. When June was suddenly saying, "San, do you want anything to drink? I can get you some tea, P’Sanson said you really like that."
"Yeah, a tea would be great actually," She said taking her bag from Thada and setting it on the desk before resting her arms over it as if preparing to use it as a pillow.
"I'll go buy it then!" June said getting up so quickly and rushing off.
Thada hadn't even bothered sitting down yet, instead he had gently touched her cheeks "You should eat something, you didn't eat breakfast."
"How do you know that?" San had said swatting his hand away from her face, "Let go already, your hands are too hot."
"Your sister messaged me, telling me to make sure you ate," He said before he was asking her what she wanted to eat. Reassuring her that whatever it was she wanted he would go get.
"Chicken curry, sounds good," Sandee said as he mood shifted from annoyed to contentment.
"Okay, I'll be right back then," Thada said finally giving her a smile as he squeezed her cheek lovingly before he, too, was off, leaving only Pete and Sandee.
When Sandee had finally turned to look at Pere she couldn’t help but look at how utterly confused he looked. “Why are you looking at me like that?” She asked tilting her own head a little.
Pete couldn't help but ask, "What the hell is wrong with them? Are they in trouble or something?" He had never seen them acting so nice and attentive to just Sandee. Sure, they did this from time and time, but usually that kind of attention wasn’t selective like it had been all day today.
"Oh, right we didn’t tell you," Sandee said with a slight smile as she turned to fully face him. "Thada and I are having a baby," Sandee said before she started to rant about how they've been trying to hide it because keeping it had not been their first option.
Pete could feel his chest constrict as she kept talking about it. Because Kao, too, was pregnant. It made him feel horrible just being forced to watch how attentive Thada was being to Sandee, while he had ran away from Kao and their baby.
“What are you guys talking about?” Thada had asked when he and June had finally joined the once more at the table. The two had set Sandee’s lunch in front of her. Thada, especially, had taken it upon himself to unwrap the plastic utensils he had been given.
“I was telling Pete about the baby,” Sandee said, which had June clapping his hands excitedly and mumbling some nonsense about being a godfather.
"Oh yeah, we just told our parents too. Which was hell...I thought I was going to be disowned," Thada said as he finally sat down and joined the conversation fully.
"Disowned?" Pete had repeated as bite his own lip as if it would help him think. Maybe Kao was disowned...maybe that's why he wasn’t in school anymore—those thoughts were suddenly running through his head. He hadn't really given it much thought about how hard it was for Kao to tell his mother and sister. Had he even told them? If he had, did they know he was the baby’s dad?
“Shit, Kao…” was the only thing he had mumbled out just below his breath.
"Pete are you okay? You look like you’re going to have a panic attack," June said about to pat his friend's shoulder but the man had just stood up mumbling an 'I have to go.'
"Ey, Pete!" Sandee had yelled after him before turning to the two in confusion, "What just happened?"
"Who knows," Thada said still looking in the direction Pete had disappeared in.
Chapter 9: Chapter 6
Pete had ended up getting in his car and driving back home. There was so much going through his head that he felt like it was going to explode. He really had messed up, he knew he had.
He liked Kao—no, he loved Kao—he could admit to that but he had been unsure about how ready he had been about pursuing those feelings.
He had spent the whole drive trying to call Kao. He wanted to talk to him, and apologize for running away when he had. He was scared, that one night had changed it all for him…for Kao. He wanted to be with Kao, but that uncertainty of that kind of relationship scared him. Now a baby was added to the mix. It was a bigger commitment that involved more than just them now. Their parents would eventually need to know, and he didn’t even have the slightest of clue on how he would even tell his dad.
“Pick up Kao!” Pete had hissed when the voicemail had started to announce the caller was unavailable, yet again. He had quickly hung up, getting ready to call again when Sandee’s name popped up. He didn’t want to talk to her right now. The one he wanted to talk to was Kao, so he had sent her to voicemail. “Sorry San...” He mumbled before dialing Kao’s phone once more.
It didn’t matter how many times he called Kao wasn’t answering. He was really upset with him, wasn’t he? Pete was starting to feel that surge of guilt starting to spill inside of him. He had never felt so frustrated to the point it was physically hurting him.
He was desperate, so incredibly so that he had ended up at Kao’s house. If he wasn’t going to pick up, then he was just going to see him in person.
“Oh, Pete,” Kao’s mom had said when she had opened the door.
Pete couldn’t help but gulp nervously just seeing her standing at the door. What if she knew about the baby? What if she knew what he had done to Kao?
“Kao said his friend would come by,” She said with a gentle smile before she was pulling the door open a little wider, “Come inside, I’m almost done.” Kao’s mother urged.
Pete was thoroughly confused to say the least. He was here trying to see Kao, but like an idiot he had followed Kao’s mom into the kitchen. “Almost done with what mom?” Pete asked a little unsure, but when his eyes had landed on the dessert sitting on top of the table he understood what she had meant.
Was Kao craving this? What else was he craving? He couldn’t help but wonder back to how Thada and June were at going out of their way to get Sandee what she wanted to eat and drink.
‘Kao, I’m sorry…’ Pete thought.
“Kao said he really wanted mango pudding to snack on while studying,” She said with a soft smile as she started to carefully package the pudding into a container. His mother had said how she remembered how hard and long they would study for exams. How she had not really known who Kao would be sharing the snack with, so she’d made more than enough. “Tell Kao to visit, okay?”
Kao wasn’t here at all, he had figured that much out. Where was he was the question he wanted to ask, but he felt embarrassed to ask now when she thought he was here to pick up the snack for Kao. He felt bad just standing here, deceiving her when she was always so kind and sweet to him. “Mom?”
“Hm?” She hummed as she looked up from what she was doing to give him her undivided attention.
“C-Can we talk? It’s about Kao…” Pete asked feeling his heart race nervously.
Chapter 10: KornKnock: A Short
Cho—Korn’s father—had been the most vocal of his disapproval of their relationship. He didn’t care how the world had changed nor how accepted the same-sex was in society now, it was wrong to him. He instead, no he demanded, that Korn take a woman as a wife and stop this nonsense with Knock. However, when Korn had denied it, Cho had vocally disowned him and cut him off from all the financial support he was giving him, and told him never to come back until he reflected.
Yihwa—Korn’s mother—had been shocked just like her husband, but the woman had ultimately supported her son and his decision on partner. Often she would argue with her husband, trying to make him see that he was in the wrong and not their child but that did little to open her husband’s eyes. So, Yihwa would secretly visit her son and son-in-law, going behind her husband’s back and giving the two help with whatever they needed.
Yihwa adored Knock, he was a sweet boy in her eyes and far more grounded than her own child. She really relied on Knock to help punish Korn when he acted out.
It took 2 years, of this distance between her husband and son, before Cho started to realize just how serious Korn was about Knock. It was awkward for him to ask his wife about their son and Knock, and their well being.
Which had surprised Yihwa to say the least. She had never thought her husband would come around. She really had lost hope after so long. So, to hear him say that had her spilling everything that she had longed to tell her spouse since day one.
When Korn turned 26, they had not celebrated his birthday as they usually did and he had complained.
“Shouldn’t we be celebrating me?” Korn said half-jokingly but his words had fallen on deaf ears. Everyone was fawning over his newborn in his ‘wife’s’ arms.
“Not everything is about you,” Yihwa had said to her son before Knock was handing Kit—their son—into her arms.
“Honey, I think it’s my turn to hold my grandson. You and Dewy have been here all week.” Cho protested to his wife, which Pod—Knock’s father—had agreed. Their wives had been at their son’s side helping them with child care while Knock recovered. After all, this was both their families first and only grandchild since both Knock and Korn were only children as well.
“You were scared to hold Korn when he was born,” Yihwa said as if it was reason enough to not hand the baby over to her husband.
“We will celebrate,” Knock said getting up from the couch and going to sit on Korn’s lap, “We need to pick up the cake first. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind taking care of the baby while we go together.”
“Of course not,” Dewy—Knock’s mother—said waving them off.
“See,” Knock said getting up and holding Korn’s hand to help him up as well.
“Alright, let’s go,” Korn said grabbing his keys.
They decided that since today was Korn’s birthday they would not talk about their company or anything work related. Knock had sworn Korn not to answer business calls either. But when Knock had taken a turn that usually took them to work it had Korn sitting up in the passenger’s seat as he said, “Babe, this is the way to work...”
“Seriously, Korn can’t you just be surprised when we get there?” Knock said paying no mind to his question.
“But I thought we agreed on not doing anything work related,” Korn pushed on.
“If you say work one more time I won’t give you your present,” Knock said with a serious tone that practically warned Korn not to test him.
Instead, Korn just sat there in confusion as they drove. It made so much more sense when they stopped at a hotel, on what kind of present Knock had in mind. Especially when he pulled out a bag from the back. “Oh!” was all Korn said before hurrying out of the car after Knock.
Later, when they were cuddled up in bed did Knock tell his husband that this was planned and that their parents will be taking care of Kit for the weekend since it was a special occasion.
Chapter 11: ForthBeam: Strange
These past few weeks things had been rather amiss. Usually, he would be spending lunch time with his friends, because Beam had forbid him from bothering him during lunch time. But at the moment Beam had come over all on his own. He wouldn’t have noticed, if it had not been for Deer pointing Beam out to him standing in the hallway as they walked out of class.
“I have to go,” Forth had said patting his friend’s back before he was rushing over to his boyfriend.
“See you, later. Don’t forget the notes!” Deer called out to him before he was being hollered over to another group of classmates.
Beam looked a little out of place standing in white, surrounded by an ocean of blue engineer blazers. It was kind of cute, but the discomfort on his face had Forth only smiling as he decided to save him from his lonesome.
“Is something wrong?” Forth asked the moment he stood in front of him. There had to be something off for Beam to come all across campus to find him during his lunch period. Not that he wasn’t happy to see Beam.
“No, I just came to have lunch together,” Beam said as a small frown slipped onto his face before he was quickly turning around, “I change my mind, I’ll have lunch by myself.”
“Hey, Hey, Beam don’t go now,” Forth said chasing after him.
Somehow, they had ended up on Beam’s side of the campus and having lunch at the restaurant there. Forth had nearly gobbled down half his plate, but Beam’s was still full. When he had looked down, Forth saw it was because his boyfriend wasn’t at all picking up the food. Instead he was just pushing it around in his plate.
“Beam?” Forth had said reaching out to grab his hand, “What’s the matter?”
“Hm?” Beam had hummed as he stopped moving his hands and actually paid attention to Forth.
“You haven’t touched your food at all,” Forth said as the frown on his face only deepened. He had been with Beam long enough to know there was absolutely something bothering him. It wasn’t related to school, that was for sure, otherwise he’d be yelling at him left and right. No, this kind of worry had nothing to do with school.
“It’s nothing, I’m just worried about a friend,” Beam said with a sigh as he finally set the spoon and fork down.
“Is it P’Oh?” Forth asked. Beam had ton of friends, but the one he actually worried about the most was his doctor buddy, P’Oh—Emma’s big brother, who also was dating his friend Porsche. He had met the doctor twice, because of Beam and there wasn’t much he could say about him. The guy was rather cold and distant, but very smart. He had heard things from Pick and Porsche about the guy, but Beam had always seemed to say otherwise, so he wasn’t entirely sure what to make of his character.
“Hm, he’s been rather strange lately. We have a research paper we need to be working on, but P’Oh has been strange,” Beam said shaking his head. “He’s never kept secrets from me, but now he’s just avoiding my questions. He disappears as soon as class ends, and sometimes he shows up to class angry.”
“That is strange…sounds like Pick,” Forth said without realizing he had.
“Pick? What do you mean?” Beam said pushing his plate to the side so he could lean his elbows on the table.
“Huh?” Forth said before he realized he had spoken those words out loud. “Nothing, I was just saying Pick’s been behaving that way as well. He and Porsche have been a little distant from our group lately.” Well, if he was honest, the two hadn’t been the only ones distant. Even Pete was behaving strangely, more than usual. “I’m betting it has something to do with that, after all Porsche is dating P’Oh’s sister and the three never really got along.”
“Ah…I forget Emma had her baby recently,” Beam’s voice trailed off as the worry seemed to leave him. No one knew better about her, than Beam. P’Oh seemed to confined in him about his sister and their family situation far more than Porsche care to speak of it.
Forth couldn’t help but laugh just seeing his boyfriend return to normal, but boy did he regret it soon after. The smile that Beam had given him had sent chills down his back and nearly backing away a bit afraid.
“I’m not going home with you tonight,” Beam said as he stood up from the table grabbing his bag a little rashly and walking away.
“Beam! I’m sorry! I didn’t mean to laugh! Beam!”
And in fact Beam did not come home that night or the next.
Chapter 12: Chapter 7
Pete had gotten on his knees in front of Kao’s mother. He felt all his guilt rushing through him at once. How was he even going to tell her that Kao had stopped going to school because of him?
“Pete, what’s the matter?” Mrs. Karn—Kao’s mother—asked worriedly as she moved closer to him to try to wipe away the sweat that started forming on his brow from worry.
“Mom, I’m sorry…” Pete had said desperately trying to apologize for what he had done to Kao. For running away back then at the café when he had told him about their baby.
“What are you sorry about? Hm?” She asked in that sweet meek voice of hers that made Pete only feel worse. She tugged at his arm gently, trying to get him off the floor and help him back up onto his feet. But Pete had not budge, and her smile had faltered a little as she started to feel a little bit of concern. “Pete..?”
“I-…I messed up mom… I messed up with Kao,” Pete had let out quietly at first, but the silence that had followed his whispered confession followed it, he had only grown all the more panicked as he lowered his head. His hands had fisted at his knees, too afraid to even look up at Mrs. Karn. There was so much choking up in his chest that he wanted to say but he couldn’t find his voice to say them. All he could do was break down there at her feet, hoping that she would not hate him too much.
He knew that he didn’t deserve to ask to be forgiven, but he really wants to get that chance to have Kao by his side once again with her blessing. He desperately wanted to make things right with Kao.
The sudden gentle touch to his head had Pete looking up, unsure he had heard correctly “M-Mom…?”
“I know, Pete…” Kao’s mom said giving him that same warm smile she had always given him, “I know about the baby.”
“No,” She said patting his hands, “No, Kao didn’t say anything. He must not be ready to tell me just yet,” She said finally being able to get Pete to stand back up from the floor.
“Then how did you find out?” Pete said starting to calm down. He felt this sense of relief washing over him, because she didn’t seem to be mad, just hurt that Kao had not told her.
“Kao left the letter on the desk. When I went to gather his clothes to do the laundry I saw it.” She had not seen it because she was snooping, it had just happened when she had gone to grab the jacket hanging from the back of the chair at Kao’s desk. She had been shocked at first to see it half sticking out of his notebook. At first, the thought of her possibly misreading it had crossed her mind, but when she had pulled it out from the notebook it was undeniable on just what it was. “Kao didn’t tell you right away, hm?”
“He was scared to,” Pete had said with a frown. Kao had every right to be, just look how he had reacted when he had been told. He could feel the guilt eating away at him the more he remembered. “He had every right to be,” it pained him to say and even more so to see Mrs. Karn looking at him with questioning eyes. He couldn’t pretend he hadn’t mistreated Kao, because he had. He just wanted…no he needed to make things right.
“I misunderstood the situation with Sun, again...” He said starting to tell her in the most unbiased way he could.
“Mom! Are you home?!” came Rain’s voice as he strolled in after kicking his shoes off. “The door was open so I let myself in…oh…” Rain’s voice had fallen into a silence as his steps did too. The moment he had stepped into the living room he had found Pete sitting beside Kao’s mother. She was gently petting his head, and for some reason it made Rain feel uneasy.
He had every right to be feeling that way, because one way or another he ended up seated in the passenger’s seat of Pete’s car. He couldn’t have exactly argued with him when Kao’s mom had walked them out of the house and bid them goodbye. He didn’t want to cause a scene in front of her, so now he was in such an uncomfortable disposition.
“Alright, just leave me in the next block. I can find my own way home!” Rain had nearly yelled as he turned to Pete.
“Not until you tell me where Kao is,” Pete said turning his head to glance at him.
“There is no way I’m doing that, so hurry up and stop the car!” Rain had shrieked.
“I need to talk to Kao,” Pete said ignoring his command to let him out. He and Rain had no real sort of affiliation. He had always just been Kao’s friend and junior, one whom Pete had no real desire to get buddy-buddy with considering their history, but right now Pete needed something from Rain. “Please, Rain just tell me where is he.” He said shamelessly begging.
“Tsk…” Rain had enough and reached over to unlock his own door. He had pulled the lock up and was unbuckling himself. Why should he have to tell Pete anyways? Just because he was asking him nicely now? Pete had only hurt and tormented Kao since they were dragged into the same circle. And to Rain, Pete wasn’t someone trustworthy, nor did he like him in the least. So there was no way he was just going to tell Pete where Kao was. Besides Kao didn’t want to see Pete anyhow.
“What the hell are you doing?!” Pete had let out angrily as he grabbed onto Rain’s arm to stop him. He was sent into a panic thinking that the younger would actually just jump out of his car and had only ended up pulling over in mid frenzy.
“I’m getting off!” Rain had grumbled as he pulled his hand away from Pete. There was no way in hell he was going to betray Kao and take Pete to see him. Besides, it was Mork’s place and the man had not wanted anyone to bother Kao since the doctor had asked them to keep him stress-free.
“Are you insane?! Are you just going to jump out of a moving car?!” Pete had ended up nearly yelling in a scolding manner as he turned towards him.
“Er! So insane!” Rain said hurriedly stepping out of the car, and even dared to steal the pudding container—that had been seated between them—as he rushed far away from Pete before he could be stopped.
“Wait, Rain! Dammit that brat!” Pete had let out frustrated as he was left hitting the steering wheel in front of him.
Chapter 13: ThaSan: In
It was 10 am, and he was running late. Sandee had told him to be there by 9:30 am so that they could have some breakfast before they started their long day. Ever since they had decided to do this together, Thada had been trying his best to accommodate Sandee and her moods. He couldn’t really fight her on it, otherwise, he would have to face not just Sandee, but all the San sisters.
At the moment, however, he was biting his inner cheek every time he glanced over at the time. If it had not been for the unexpected traffic, he would have been there with enough time to spare. He had messaged Sandee just to tell her would be late, but she hadn’t answered his Line message.
It was unnerving, to say the least. How mad could she be to not answer him at all?
When he got there, the shop had been open and he had greeted the few early birds looking through the shop. When he walked upstairs, he saw he wasn’t the only one here visiting the Sans’.
“Hey,” Thada had greeted getting the other four men’s attention.
“You’re here too?” R said with a smile as he shook Thada’s hand. The two had grown closer since they were closer in age. Not that Thada didn’t get along with the other guys. They had all gotten very familiar with one another because this particular part of the shop was where the five of them had all gathered on multiple occasions.
“Yeah, we're going shopping,” Thada said vaguely. It was too much trouble telling them about the baby. Besides, it hadn’t been long since the two of them had decided they were going to keep their child. He was already acting ‘stupid’—or so Sandee said. He figured she might not like them suddenly treating her so delicately.
Thada had waii’d to the older guys, which had been received with different forms of greetings from the three. Na had been as formal as always, So was casually just asking him ‘what’s up’, and Matt had just patted his shoulder as he stood up to open up a seat for him.
“Thanks, P’,” Thada said with a grin as he sat down with them to continue whatever conversation they had going on.
The five of them had been chatting for a bit about Matt’s last trip. Apparently he was claiming to have so coincidentally flying next to a celebrity. “I promise, I have pictures!” Matt swore after So said he didn’t believe it.
“Let’s see it then, give it here,” So said holding his hand out towards Matt. However, when they all noticed that Sanrak had walked out it had them all quieting down by just hearing her sweet voice.
“Oh, little brother, why are you out here?” Sanrak said with a smile that had the other guys confused and looking over at Thada.
“Uh, I’m waiting on Sandee. We were supposed to have breakfast together,” Thada explained.
Na kind of felt frustrated because, Sanrak—his girlfriend—had yet to greet him or even look at him.
“She overslept, so we are just about to have breakfast. Sansuay, had an important client early this morning so we are all just gathering now.” Sanrak said holding her hand out, motioning for him—and ONLY him—to come.
“Na, wait for me a little bit,” Sanrak said with a sweet smile before she was guiding Thada into the actual home. The place the boyfriends of the Sans had never before been allowed to enter. Yet here they all stood dumbfounded as finally one of them had disappeared into the home.
The next time they had all gathered there, they had been quick to tackle Thada down with their questions on how he had managed to get them to let him in. They all knew the Sans were strong-headed women and they, out of love and respect—and a little bit of fear—had bent to their rules. Always staying in the sitting area of the shop’s second floor.
The guys were desperate for that kind of acceptance. They all wanted in.
Porsche felt bad for his friend, but there was nothing he could do to help him. Pick had brought this upon himself, so now he was left trying to find a way to talk to the unwilling Rome. One would think it would have been easy talking to him without Emma around. However, P’Oh—Emma’s brother—was acting as a shield for his sister’s best friend, who had been like a little brother to him as well. He was making it difficult for Pick to even get close to the short boy, and every now and then it would turn into fights.
Porsche wanted to help his friend and create an opportunity to talk to him and clear the air, but Emma needed him and so did their son. Phana, their newborn, had come a little earlier than expected. Emma was home resting, but because of the unexpected birth, Phana was still in the hospital, and because of this Porsche was dedicating his time with bouncing from Emma’s house to the hospital as soon as classes came to an end.
Today though, it was different, finally, Phana was going to be able to come home to him and Emma. He was both nervous and excited to get him home to Emma. The drive was a short one from the Hospital to her home, but he had never been left alone with him for that long. At the hospital, he had the guidance and help of the nurses.
‘Please, don’t drive too fast.’ He could practically hear Emma’s voice reminding him of the nth amount of time about being careful.
“I wish I could look that happy about going home,” Deer said with a smile as he wrapped an arm around Porsche’s shoulder. “Is the kid finally going home?”
“Yeah, I’m heading to pick him up,” Porsche said not being able to spill his worries about the short ride he would have to take with him to Emma’s.
“You’ll be fine, man, you’re over stressing,” Deer said patting his shoulder. Porsche was that kind of guy, to overthink things when he didn’t need to. He had already been alone with little Phana without Emma, a drive should be any different.
“Thanks, Emma is worried, I guess It’s getting me nervous,” Porsche said with a little chuckle as he headed down the stairwells with him. “We should all go to eat tomorrow, I think Tom said he was coming back from that class trip he was taking.”
“Definitely, It’s been a while. I’ll text Pete and Forth later to let-…”
“HEY! HEY! PICK WHAT THE HECK MAN?!” They suddenly heard Forth’s voice yell getting the two to look back only to see Forth, Beam, and other Medical students holding Pick and Oh on two opposite sides of the hall.
“I am sick and tired of you Oh! Stay the hell out of my business!” Pick had said angrily as he pointed at the other.
“You’re the one who doesn’t quit,” Oh said with a scoff. “Is it too hard for you to understand when someone doesn’t want to talk to you? Take the damn hint and stop bothering him.”
“It has nothing to do with you if he doesn’t want to talk to me let him tell me. I don’t want to hear all this shit from you!” Pick said pushing Forth’s arm away from his, before pushing past everyone. He even was far to pissed to even stop when he saw his best friend, Porsche. Pick had only pushed past him and said a simple ‘not now’.
“What the hell is going on?” Deer said with a frown as he looked at Forth and the other students. It was more than clear that Pick and this other kid had been fighting. The guy, Pick had called Oh, had a nasty bruise at the corner of his lip and his lip had busted open. Even Pick hadn’t looked any better.
“We should get it cleaned up,” Beam said to Oh, who had only nodded his head giving in to his friend.
“It’s a long story,” Forth said letting out a deep sigh before he was looking towards Beam who had said he was going to help Oh treat his lip.
Porsche had only shaken his head, before patting Deer’s shoulder. “It’s better to let Pick explain better when he’s calm,” He said before he was waving at the two and leaving them alone as the other students also dispersed from the hallway.
“Pick and Oh never got along, they’re always at each other’s throats. Whatever happened has to do with this kid from the first year.” Forth said shrugging his shoulders. He had guessed they had been butting heads more so than usual these past few weeks, which was why he had followed them. It was a good thing he had, otherwise who knows, maybe even Beam would have been met with one of their wild swings. Heck, even that little first year would have been dragged in had Oh not sent him away.
“If it’s not Pete being pissy, it’s Pick or Tom. You really know how to pick your friends,” Deer joked.
“Ey, you’re one of them,” Forth retorted before wrapping his arm around the guy, “Come on, I’ll leave with you. Beam is staying to study anyways.”
PeteKao in the next chapters. :D Thanks for being patient guys! I really appreciate everyone who is reading this story and giving me such positive feedback ♥
I will try to update 2-4 chapters every week, if not every 2 weeks.
Chapter 15: Chapter 8
The sound of the bells announcing a new customer had Sun looking up from the table he was currently cleaning. He was about to say that the shop was closed for the day until he saw who it was.
Rain had rushed into the shop and was hurriedly locking the store behind him. “Weren’t you going with Mork to see Kao?” He asked looking at his brother a little amused. Just what exactly was he doing back here?
“I was but I ran into Pete,” He said peeking out the window of the door to make sure the man had not followed him.
“Pete?” Sun repeated as the smile faded from his face. He hadn’t heard that name since the last time Pete had been here at the café. “Kao’s Pete?”
“Yeah, that Pete. I was going to Kao’s house to pick up his pudding from Mrs.Karn and that’s where I found Pete. I couldn’t cause a scene since she walked us out.” Rain had hurriedly explained as he peeked out the crack of the blinds only to see the lights of Pete’s car turn into their driveway. “Shit! You didn’t see me, okay P’?” Rain said rushing away towards the back door with the pudding tightly cradled in his arms.
“Rain!” Sun had called out after him as the frown on his face deepened just watching Rain stumble around the tables. “Ey, Rain?!” He called again but his brother had just hurried out just as quickly as he had come. ‘What was up with him?’ was what he had wondered to himself, but who knew he would actually get an answer to that.
“Rain!” Pete’s angry voice stopped Sun from even trying to chase after his own brother. “I know you are there Rain! Open the door!”
Sun could only sigh as he put the cloth down on the table he had just been cleaning. If he didn’t open the door soon, he was sure it would end up breaking off its hinges with how much Pete was banging on it.
“I’m opening the door, alright?” Sun had said, getting the person on the other side to stop long enough for him to open the door. The moment that it was open though, Sun had just calmly moved out of the way and let Pete come in.
“Where is Rain?” Pete asked turning his attention to Sun. He still didn’t entirely like the elder man. Even if he was dating Mork now. It was hard to forget that he had once had so openly chased after Kao, and because of it, Pete couldn’t bring himself to like him all that much more than he had.
“He left,” Sun said closing the door once more. He wasn’t surprised at all that Pete had not believed him. “I’m telling you he left,” Sun repeated as he followed Pete around the café assuring him that Rain was indeed not behind the counter, nor in the kitchen, and much less the bathroom.
However, it wasn’t until Pete was heading to the stairwell that Sun had to stop him. “I’m telling you he’s not here, Pete!” He said more sternly. Sun wasn’t one to resort to physical means, but someone like Pete needed to physically be stopped in order for things to sink into that thick head of his.
Pete’s brows had only furrowed as he pushed Sun’s hand off his shoulders, “He has to be, I saw him come in. Where else would he be?!”
If he had to guess, he would say Mork’s place, but he wouldn’t tell Pete that with how agitated he was at the moment. Besides, Mork would not be as calm as he was when it came to dealing with someone like Pete. Especially with Kao being there. He didn’t even want to imagine how it would go if the two happen to butt heads. After all, his Mork was not a patient person when dealing with people like Pete. “You need to calm down, you can’t just come to someone else’s work and behave like this,” Sun said letting his hands come to rest back at his sides. “What do you even want with Rain, anyways that you had to chase him all the way here?”
“I don’t want anything with Rain. It’s Kao I want to see,” Pete had scoffed letting his hand run through his hair as if it would help him calm down. “Shit…” Pete had cursed under his breath. ‘That fucking brat got away!’ Pete thought, but looking at Sun once more had Pete putting his hands down. “Your Kao’s friend,” he said matter-a-factly, “You should know where I can find him too.”
An ‘Ah’ had escaped from Sun. Now he understood why Rain was running from him. “Is that why you’re harassing Rain? Because you want to see Kao?”
“I’m not harassing him,” Pete had said frowning.
“What am I supposed to think, when you’re coming in here like that then?” Sun said, before quickly saying. “I get you to want to see Kao, but you have to understand this is now how you go about it.”
“Look, I’m sorry, but I really need to see Kao. I need to apologize to him,” Pete confessed. He hadn’t lied to Mrs. Karn. He truly wanted to set things right with Kao.
“I believe you,” Sun said letting a small smile slip onto his lips. Pete truly seemed to be serious about this. “I wish I could help you, Pete, but I can’t. Kao was really hurt by you, and right now he doesn’t want to see you.”
“I know that!” Pete said gritting his teeth. It didn’t make him feel any less guilty knowing the trio knew about his business. He felt embarrassed to even show his face to them, but they were the only things standing in between him and Kao. “I know, Kao’s upset with me, but I have to make it right. I want to be with him and the baby.” He said as his voice fell a little quiet when he mentioned their baby.
Sun hadn’t missed it, but he also didn’t judge Pete. After all, he had come to know the Pete Kao saw through Kao’s words. Pete was insecure about these things, and the way people would view him if they knew about it. Kao had told him one too many times, for him not to see it now.
“I understand that, but right now isn’t a good time. Mork will never allow you to enter even if I take you. Besides, Kao is not in the best state to deal with all of this.” Sun said as he dug his wallet out of his back pocket.
“Is something wrong with Kao?” Pete asked worriedly, not being able to hide the full extent of his concern for him.
“He’s fine, the doctor put him on bed rest. He wants him to take it easy these last few weeks,” He said pulling the ultrasound picture Mork had given him to take care of for him, because he didn’t want the guys from school prying into it. “Here, the doctor gave Mork a spare.” Mork was going to be angry knowing he was giving it away, but Pete was the baby’s actual dad.
Pete had taken the picture and one look at it had him looking back at Sun, “Thanks, P’.” He said with honest gratitude as a smile had tugged at his lips when he turned towards the picture once more.
“Hm,” Sun had hummed, before patting Pete’s shoulder.
Chapter 16: Chapter 9
"Just be patient, Pete, you owe him," Sun had said to him.
He had left then after calming down a little more. Sun wasn't that bad of a guy, after all, he still couldn't fully find him agreeable but he was grateful for the gift. He hadn't been able to put it down, nor hide the grin on his face every time he looked at it.
He was just running his finger over the half smudged words that read 'Boy, 33 weeks' still very clearly.
"What is this?" He heard all too late before the picture was being snatched from his hands.
"Ey, San!" Pete had let out angrily as he stood up from his desk. "Give it back!" He said holding his hand out towards her.
"Who's ultrasound is this, Pete?" Sandee said as her brows furrowed holding the image even further away from Pete. How can she overlook this?! Pete had been acting strange these past few months. Now she knew why.
"What do you have here, San?" June said with that goofy giggle as he snatched the picture from her back as he and Thada came to join them. But the confusion that had met them had her smacking her lips in annoyance. For one, she was not in the mood for jokes.
"You went to the doctor without me?" Thada said with a frown as he took the picture from June.
"Don't be stupid," She said snatching it back into her hands, "I'm not even that far along, learn to read Thada." She said before motioning towards Pete who was looking even more nervous than angry now. "It's Pete's."
"Pete's pregnant?" June said turning his head to the side, obviously not putting two and two together.
"Ha?" Thada said not being any better than their dear friend.
Pete couldn't help but curse at June's words, as he snatched the picture from Sandee. "It's my business, it's got nothing to do with you all."
"Alright, Alright, no need to be so rude to San," Thada said frowning as he pulled her closer to him when he realized just how actually pissed off Pete was by this. Still, he didn't have to snatch it from their friend's hand like that.
"Is it Mint's? Is this why she's been hanging around lately?" Sandee asked crossing her arms around her chest. She didn't care how much he said it was his business, they were friends. Shouldn't they support each other through everything?
"No way!" June said covering his mouth, almost believing it was possible.
"No way in hell, Mint's won't leave me alone no matter how much I reject her," Pete said putting the picture back into his wallet and back into his pocket where it had been.
"Then it's Pete?" June said jokingly, but the silence that followed and that mortified look on Pete had June laugh falling short. "You're kidding..."
"Pete, you knocked up Kao?" Thada asking more clearly for all of their sake, but before Pete could answer it, Sandee had pulled away from him.
"This is why you two have been acting weird, isn't it? Why Kao dropped out?" Sandee said pointing an accusing finger at him. Suddenly, everything Kao had said to her was making sense. All these hypothetical questions he was asking lately, weren't so hypothetical after all. "What the hell did you tell him Pete?!" Sandee said putting her hands on her hips in such a threatening manner.
"Keep your voice down, San," Pete said looking around to make sure the other students around weren't looking their way.
"Pete," Sandee said more sternly as her brows furrowed even more.
"It had nothing to do with the baby.. well it did but we were fighting for a different reason," Pete said stumbling over his own words. "I'm trying to fix things between us, but I can't just do it so easily. Kao won't answer my calls or messages. He isn't at home, either, I know because I went looking for him the other day. The only people who know where he is, is Rain, Mork, and Sun. Which they won't even tell me." He said starting feel agitated with his situation all over again.
Sandee wanted to be angry with him, but after hearing him say all that so pitifully she couldn't help but feel bad for him.
"Maybe you just need a different approach," Thada provided patting his friend's shoulder in an attempt to comfort him.
"I know that, but I don't even know where to start from," He said sounding defeated already.
"We'll help you find a way Pete," June said patting their friend's back comfortably, "Right, San?"
"Er," She said giving him a sympathetic smile.
Chapter 17: Chapter 10
The older you get the more difficult it is to find time to meet up with friends. Knock could remember the times not so long ago that they had all still been able to gather freely with one another but as time goes on those times just seemed like a distant memory. However, they had all somehow still managed to remain pretty close to their circle of college friends. Occasionally, they would see some of them from time to time whenever work called for it or whenever life allowed it.
Today, however, was one of those rare days they all had managed to find time to meet. Although, this time around they weren’t meeting in their usual pub. Why? Well, they had a celebrity friend of theirs joining them this time. Usually, it was just Mr. Famous’ other half that joined their get-togethers but now the two would be there.
“Are we the first to arrive?” Korn had said with a grin as he nudged at Knock knowingly, but just as he was about to let out a celebratory hurrah he felt an arm wrap around his shoulder.
“Ooh not, even close,” They heard their friend Todd say as he waved his hand towards Knock in greeting.
“I guess that means neither of us pays the tab tonight?” Earth added with a smile as she moved around the two to go hug Knock. “Congratulations the baby. I’m sorry we haven’t been able to come to meet Kit.”
“Don’t worry, about it. I’m sure with the new project we have you two doing it’s hardly given you any time off,” Knock said with a sympathetic smile.
“Not to worry boss, we’re on top of it all. We’re expecting a pretty good sale from our products,” Todd said with such confidence.
“Hey, we’re not here to work. Let’s save it for the next conference meeting,” Korn said being quick to end the work-related conversation there.
Ocean Electric Co. had been a dream that Korn and Knock had brought to life, but that had not gone without the help of their friends who now worked alongside them. Todd and Earth, were both part of the council along with Yong and Nai. Earth was head of the Editing department, while Todd was the head of the Marketing department. Yong and Nai, had an even bigger part in their company—the two ran the Inventions and Test & Safety departments.
The two couples had exchanged greetings before making their way towards the private room hosting their party.
“I hope Mr. Famous ends up being the last one here, that way he can pay the tab,” Earth joked, but as they entered the room they saw Mr. Famous’ wife sitting in the room with a drink in hand and a smug look on his face.
“I thought I’d come in first, call dibs on taking our hand off the bill for us,” Type said with a sly grin slipping onto his lips as he spun the straw between his digits.
“It doesn’t count if Tharn isn’t here with you,” Korn said making his way towards their friend to greet him with a hug, while the rest followed behind him like baby ducklings.
“Who said he isn’t here already?” Type said putting the drink on the table, “He’s getting himself a drink.”
“Oh ho! Mr. Famous can get his own drink now?” Todd joked only to get smacked on the arm by Earth who had muttered a ‘you should learn from him.’
“So who does that leave?” Knock asked sitting on the seat his husband had pulled out for him.
“I think that leaves, Yong, Nai, Cherry, James, Sun and his boyfriend. Right?” Mr. Famous said finally coming into the room along with two waiters carrying a couple of drinks into the room.
“Tharn!” They had all said getting up to greet the man they had been teasing a few minutes ago.
“It’s been a while since we all got together like this,” Tharn said with a chuckle as he hugged every one of their friends in greeting. There was a reason the gang had called the man, ‘Mr. Famous’. It was no secret that the man was in a band since high school, but it was during college that a video of them had gone viral and gained the attention of a scouter. The rest was history.
“Actually, Sun called and said he had to bail. He said something like his boyfriend got sick,” Nai said walking into the room. His eyes had wandered around the room before they landed back on his husband beside him, “I guess we beat James and Cherry.”
“How lucky of us,” Yong said with a chuckle before he was turning towards their friends to greet them all like they usually did—with a hug.
“Sorry, we’re late. We had to drop off Seo at his grandparents.” Nai said in apology before he was finding their way to the empty seats in front of Korn and Knock.
“I guess that means, James and Cherry are paying this tab,” Korn said making all of them burst out in a cheer for not being ‘IT’.
“Aw Fuck!” was the first thing James let out when they had arrived, not 30 minutes later.
“Way to go, Roomie. I told you we should have left earlier,” Cherry threw at him before they were all greeting the last members of their group.
The years had gone by, but they had all still remained the same old friends they had been during college. They had all grown up together, hand in hand through it all. It was a promise they had made and had all taken seriously in not loosing as they grew older.
“Who are you texting?” Tharn had asked wrapping an arm around his wife’s waist. They had not been together for a couple of months since he had been on tour, but Type seemed far to entertained with his phone to pay attention to them now. It made him curious.
“I’m sending this to Sun,” Type said after they had taken a group picture.
“Oh, we should visit him next time,” Tharn said with a grin before turning towards James who had called him to join the conversation about their old college days.
It was well past 12 am and Mork was just laid down on the bed after his shower when he heard Sun’s phone vibrate loudly against the nightstand. Sun had made him shower because his fever was running too high, and now the man was left cleaning the bathroom.
“Who even is texting him so late?” Mork had smacked his lips quietly as he picked up Sun’s phone. He had given a quick glance back towards the bathroom before unlocking the phone. When he saw the picture it had him smiling but seeing the message that came in with it, it left him a little upset.
“Mork, I told you to get some sleep…” Sun said but his words had ended up losing its voice.
“Why didn’t you tell me you were going to go out tonight?” Mork said crossing his arms against his chest, “I could have stayed at home with Kao.”
“Kao’s pregnant, how would he be able to take care of you?” Sun said as a gentle smile came to settle on his face. He had approached their bed and sat by Mork’s legs.
“I can take care of myself just fine,” Mork said as his brows only furrowed in a deeper frown.
“Kao would have only felt bad for getting you sick,” Sun said bringing Mork’s hands to his lips. “Besides I will have other chances to see my friends. I just wanted to take care of you.”
Mork couldn’t help but blush a little at those words. “Don’t talk to me like that, it’s not smooth at all.” He said moving away from him to lay down on the bed.
Sun had only let out a small chuckle as he got off the bed when Mork had tugged at the covers. He had turned off the lights and gotten in bed along with him. As bad as he felt for not going, he was just as glad to be able to spend time with Mork. It wasn’t often that the younger showed his vulnerable side to him like this.
Mork had scooted closer towards Sun, letting himself rearrange the older man’s limbs around himself which had so willingly tightened around him. “It’s cold,” Mork said simply before Sun even got the idea to tease him.
“Hm.” Sun had hummed before he was pressing a kiss to the top of Mork’s head. “Why did you even drink Kao’s strange drink?” He asked curiously.
“It smelled good,” Mork said with a small sigh. It was strange because it had indeed smelled good but the taste was horrible. Whatever concoction he had made, had given him an unpleasant reaction that it left him feeling sick.
Chapter 18: Chapter 11
Italics – flashbacks
Bold Italics – Reading
He had never thought he would come to hate having a day off. It wasn’t that he disliked spending time home alone, but it left him feeling uneasy. Sun had insisted he stay in bed until he was fully recovered but Mork was finding it hard to stay put. Especially when his boyfriend said they had Rain.
There was no doubt that Rain was a good worker, but hearing his friend tell him how busy the café had gotten these couple of days made it difficult for him to just stay in bed for much longer. He had already been in bed for long enough and if he was forced to rest any longer he was going to lose his mind. He felt perfectly fine now, so why wait another day?
There was only so much he trusted Rain and Sun to actually do without him, besides the whole situation with Pete hadn’t gotten any better from what Rain had said to him the other day.
“He’s really scary, Mork! He won’t stop following me wherever I go,” Rain had whined, complaining further about how Pete had even chased him to a friend’s party. “He’s too persistent! Didn’t you say P’Sun told him to back off?”
“Yeah, he did,” Mork said simply. What could they do? After all, they were the only thing standing between Pete and Kao. He didn’t particularly like Pete, especially since that day at the café. He couldn’t understand how Kao could like someone so possessive and full of himself like Pete.
“You have to help me, Mork. I can’t deal with him anymore!” Rain pleaded as he tugged at Mork’s arm.
“What do you want me to do?” Mork asked trying to calm his friend.
“What if we talk to Kao?” Rain said.
“You know we can’t do that,” Mork had simply told him. Kao wasn’t in the best state to be troubled with these things at the moment.
"What are you doing out of bed?" Sun had said when he caught him tying the apron around his waist.
"What does it look like? I'm getting ready to greet our customers," Mork said going to flip the closed sign over and unlocking the front door.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Sun had asked not sounding too convinced by his boyfriend’s words. After all, yesterday Mork was still feeling a little drowsy and had complained for the better half of the night.
“I’m fine, P’Sun,” Mork said holding his hand out to keep him out of his kitchen. “You should go and do a quick look around to make sure everything is ready for the day.” To his relief, Sun had indeed given him the benefit of the doubt and gone to do some last-minute sweeping of their café before the customers came in for the morning rush.
A part of him had thought that Rain might have exaggerated when he had told him about how busy it would be, especially when things had started off like every other day. However, after about 30 minutes into their opening people were crowding into the café trying to grab a drink and slice of cake that even Kitty—P’Sun’s ex had come in to help them. They hadn’t had a break long enough to restock the display case. So, when things had actually begun slowing down Mork had taken it upon himself to restock it while P’Kitty had gone to clean and clear tables with Rain.
“Mork, I’m going to run some errands,” Sun said going to find him in the kitchen. “Will you be okay if I leave?”
“Er, go I think we have it covered,” Mork said waving Sun off while things were still slow in the café. He had ended up following Sun to the door to bid him farewell before going to the back of the café to finish restocking the display. When he had finished he had gone out to help Kitty finish cleaning up. Rain, on the other hand, had taken full advantage that his brother had left and gone to sit at the bar top table with his computer.
“One of these days you’re going to get caught by P’Sun, and I won’t do a thing to stop him,” Mork said as he carried the dirty dishes past him towards the kitchen.
“Never mind that, never mind that, just come check this out,” Rain said suddenly sounding a little too enthusiastic as he waved his friend to look at what had just been sent to him by another one of their mutual friends.
“What is it?” Mork had said putting the tray down on the counter to take a better look at what Rain was trying to show him. Even Kitty had come over to take a look.
“ ‘I am so happy that SunRain Café, was the place the locals recommended I visit. I was completely blown away by this little hidden gem! I have never been to a café where the employees know every single customer by name. The relationship the owners have made with their customers is truly one of a kind. Even a customer, named James said… “The people who’ve come to SunRain Café always come back because they feel like family and are always treated so humbly no matter how old they are.”
I’ve been to many amazing restaurants and cafés, but nothing like SunRain Café. If I lived in Thailand, this would definitely be my absolute favorite place to frequent.’ “ Rain read out to them.
“ ‘I thought the barista was trying to flirt with me at first, boy was I wrong…’ How funny, now I know why P’Sun is so jealous,” Kitty had read out loud as she had caught that particular line in the online article. Which had made Rain laugh at her teasing.
“Who wrote this?” Mork asked ignoring the two as he scrolled through the page and saw several pictures of their café, pastries and even of them. He wasn’t particularly bothered nor did he think P’Sun would be either. The article was very personal almost like a diary. It was well written and it praised them a lot about their service and kindness, but the thing was, Mork didn’t remember speaking to anyone like this.
“It’s P’Kate, she’s an extremely famous travel blogger.” Rain said as he pulled up the picture of the woman. However, when that didn’t seem to strike a chord with Mork it had him saying, “How can you not know who she is?” Rain scolded before he was turning towards Kitty, “You know her, don’t you?”
“Er, Mork she’s a big deal and having her write about the café is such a big deal! No wonder the café has been so busy these days.” Kitty said with an excited squeal as she shook Rain by his shoulder. “I can’t believe P’Kate was in your café!”
Mork had only shaken his head at their excitement before looking back at the woman’s picture again. He did remember seeing her a couple of weeks ago, but he had not remembered doing anything special besides bringing her coffee and a cake, just like he did with everyone else. “Can you send this to me? I’ll show P’Sun later,” Mork said as he picked the tray back up to take them to the sink.
However, when the bells chimed at the door Mork had turned to greet the new customer but his words fell short when he saw who it was. “What are you doing here Pete?” He asked dryly. Just hearing the man’s name being said had Rain excusing himself and rushing to leave before he was harassed for Kao’s whereabouts.
“I know you won’t tell me where he is, but can you at least give him this for me?” Pete said placing the brown gift bag on the counter. He was desperate to have some kind of communication with Kao, but he was trying a different approach as Sandee said. He wanted Kao to see that he would be there not just for him but for their son too.
“And if I refuse?” Mork said not budging to reach for the bag. Kao and he had grown closer over the months, and because he was one of the few people Kao had to talk to he had come to know a bit more of Pete—or at least the Pete Kao saw. Mork didn’t want his friend to be hurt again, so that’s why he had been the biggest voice opposing to let him know about Kao, apart from Kao’s own.
“Please, Mork, I’m only asking you for this one favor,” Pete had practically pleaded as he said, “It’s for the baby.”
“And how would you even know what to buy the baby?” Mork said letting go of the tray in his hands when Kitty pulled it out of his hands with a quiet ‘I’ll take this, while you two talk’ before she too was quietly removing herself from the middle of their conversation.
“P’Sun gave me the sonogram picture, the last time I came by. Sandee, helped me pick things out so I know they’re the right size. Look, can’t you just give it to him for me?” Pete asked as he pushed the bag towards Mork.
“Er…but I’m not promising anything,” Mork said taking the bag in his hand.
“Thanks,” Pete said giving him an awkward smile before he was leaving back out of the café. In midst of it, he ran into P’Sun who he decided to be somewhat civil with considering Mork had taken the gift. He was in a happier mood so he had greeted P’Sun briefly before heading on his way.
“He seems happy,” Sun said when he had come into the café to kiss his boyfriend’s head, but to his surprise, Mork had moved away from him. “What’s wrong? Did you fight with him?” Sun asked worriedly since Mork seemed to be in a bad mood. “Mork?”
However, Mork had only placed the gift under the counter for the time being before crossing his arms against his chest as he said, “You gave him MY sonogram picture of baby Mini?”
“Oh…” Sun said bringing his hand up to scratch at his nape nervously.
“Oh? Oh? Is that all you have to say for yourself?!” Mork huffed angrily before he was moving past him.
“Don’t be angry, hm?” Sun said reaching out for his boyfriend, this time though Mork let him grab his hand. “I know the baby means a lot to you, but Pete wanted to know about Kao and their son were doing. He’s been kept away from it all this time, I thought to give him this much would have been okay.”
At that Mork couldn’t help but sigh, he knew Sun was right but it wasn’t their choice whether Pete got to know or not, but Kao’s. “Er, I’ll forgive you this once,” He said before pulling away from his boyfriend as he motioned towards Sun’s hanging apron. “Now get to work, I don’t pay you for just looking pretty.”
“Very Funny,” Sun said shaking his head, but doing as Mork said none the less.
Chapter 19: Chapter 12
LINE Message: SANDEE
We are all worried Kao. You’ve been gone for too long. Are you okay?? Call me okay?
LINE Message: SANDEE
If you don’t want to talk to Pete, then talk to us at the very least. You’re friends are worried.
LINE Message: JUNE
Can’t you call us? We miss you boy! You’re friends want to see you.
LINE Message: JUNE
Kao can’t you just give Pete the chance to make up?
LINE Message: SANDEE
I know you don’t want to talk about it but Kao, please give Pete the chance to talk to you.
LINE Message: THADA
Kao, I know you don’t want to see him but you should talk to him.
Those were a few of the many messages that he had received from his friends. At least the few he had actually read—he didn’t even dare to open Pete’s messages. Sandee had called him several times but every time it rang he couldn’t bring himself to answer because he knew that she could somehow talk him into seeing Pete and that was something he wasn’t ready to do.
He was still hurt and angry at Pete for how he had been acting towards him since before he had known about the baby and every moment after. Besides, he knew Pete far too well to know he wouldn’t fully accept it completely for all that it was that came with being a father. At least not in the way Kao needed him to. Pete was a bit homophobic at the beginning of their friendship and even after they had shared their first time together. Pete had far too many doubts about who he was and the choice they both had made that night. It was that same insecurity why Kao wasn’t sure he wanted to speak to Pete.
He loved Pete, he could admit that out loud, but he had always known about his own sexuality and had the time to explore and come to terms with it. Pete hadn’t, he was just realizing it for himself and with how things were at the moment it was a lot to take in and adjust to, and for that Kao couldn’t fault him for.
However, he had a baby on the way, and it wouldn’t be fair for their child to have to go through every bit of Pete’s insecurities, fears, and doubts. He didn’t want to hurt himself nor their son with taking this kind of risk of trusting that Pete wouldn’t change his mind along the way. A part of him had thought about this more times than he would have liked, but what else was there to occupy his mind when the hours alone were far too long?
He didn’t want to keep Pete away forever. He wanted him to be in their son’s life if he wanted to be, even if they weren’t together. All Kao wanted was to know he could trust Pete not to break their son’s heart.
“Kao, I’m home.” He heard the familiar voice of Mork’s echo into the room as footsteps followed.
Soon the younger man was walking into the room with a brown bag in hand and a not so pleasant expression on his face.
“How was work?” Kao asked as a soft smile stretched onto his face. He had moved himself a little back to support his weight against the backrest of the bed. “What did you bring me this time?” He had asked curiously getting to accustomed to these frequent little snacks Mork sneaked to him from the café.
“It was busy, P’Sun thinks that this might become a regular thing for us for a little while especially since a popular online blogger wrote about our café,” Mork said with a smile as he sat down on the other side of the bed that Kao was not occupying, before he was holding the bag out towards him with a, “Why don’t you have a look.”
“That’s great! Hopefully, it helps SunRain café become busier,” Kao said with a smile as he focused his attention on exploring the contents of the bag.
“Hopefully, it would be good for P’Sun,” Mork said a little hopeful. After all, the café at the moment was doing okay but he knew they were barely getting by.
Kao had pulled out a couple of onesies with matching hats, all in shades of blue and green with all kinds of little patterns. “Mork, when did you get all of these?” Kao had said feeling his eyes water from the kind gift. The man had always joked that he would be the one to buy the first baby item for him. He couldn’t help but tear up just imagining that soon a little baby will be wearing this.
“They’re from Pete,” Mork said getting Kao’s to turn towards him.
“Pete?” Kao said almost in disbelief as a frown started to settle onto his face.
Mork had nodded his head, he wanted to joke and lighten the mood but Rain’s words had flooded to his mind. It made him sigh just thinking about it, but Rain was right maybe Kao should talk to Pete. “We didn’t want to say anything because we didn’t want to stress you, but Pete’s been coming around the café a lot asking to see you.” He said feeling a little sorry they had hidden it from him for this long. It’s just Mork, himself, didn’t trust Pete not to hurt Kao again but somehow looking at this gift it proved something to him. Pete was trying his best to be a part of their lives and that was something that he nor anyone could stand in the way of. “I think maybe you should talk to him, Kao. At least hear him out.”
“Yeah, maybe you’re right…” Kao said letting his hands caress the fabric of the onsie in his hand as a small smile settled onto his face.
After dinner, Mork had gone to his bedroom to get some sleep and Kao couldn’t blame him. If things were as he had told him, then he must be exhausted from running around all day in the café. Besides, with the weekend coming to an end Mork would have classes tomorrow.
He had looked over at the clock sitting on the night stand and bit his lower light. ‘It’s only 11pm, Pete would still be awake, right?’ He thought to himself as he let his thumb run over the screen of his phone. It was easy to pull up Pete’s contact but pressing the call button hadn’t been so easy. He had avoided seeing any of his messages or talking to him for so long that he wasn’t sure if he could.
He wasn’t sure how long he had just stared at Pete’s number, hoping for something to happen. It wasn’t until he suddenly saw a hand press the call button for him that it had him turning to see Mork standing there with his toothbrush hanging between his teeth.
“How long were you going to stare at that?” Mork said motioning towards his phone.
Kao didn’t know what to say. He wasn’t sure he wanted to call in the first place, but looking at the bag sitting beside him still it had him looking down at his phone again. He knew they both could hear the ringing coming from his phone, and for a moment he wished Pete wouldn’t answer.
‘Kao?’ They both heard suddenly.
“I did the hard part, now just talk to him,” Mork said gently patting his shoulder before he was heading back out of the room to let him talk.
‘Kao? Kao are you there?’
Kao had brought the phone up to his ear before he was saying, “I’m here Pete.” He hadn’t even thought about what he was going to say to Pete at all, but just hearing his voice now made Kao tear up. “Pete, I’m so sorry…” He chocked out suddenly.
‘What are you sorry about, huh? I’m the one who should be apologizing to you. If it wasn’t for me you wouldn’t have had to be so afraid…’ Pete said before he was letting out a breathy sigh into the phone. ‘Kao, I’m so sorry. I was stupid. I was scared, I…I don’t even know, I was just a lot of things at that moment.’
“You were stupid,” Kao agreed to bring his hand up to try and wipe away his own tears but it was no use. The more he wiped them away the more fell to replace the ones he had just wiped away. Even hearing Pete let out a small chuckle was making him cry. He had not known he had just longed to hear his voice this much. “…and I am scared, Pete, I’m very scared.”
‘I want to see you, Kao,’ Pete had pleaded but when Kao had not responded he had quickly said, ‘I know you probably don’t want to see me right now but let me be there for you and our son. Even if right now it has to be like this, I’ll be here. I just…I just want to be there when he’s here.’ Pete said feeling his hands start to sweat. Kao wasn’t saying anything to him anymore and that was making him nervous. What if he didn’t want to let him be there anymore? What if…
“Tomorrow,” Kao said letting out a shaky breath as he tried not to let his sob be heard, “Tomorrow, I have an appointment at 10 in the morning...”
‘I’ll be there! I’ll be there! I’ll pick you up,’ Pete had said eagerly before Kao could even tell him where to pick him up.
When he had hung up the call Pete had let out a relieved sigh as he patted his chest. Kao had just called him, right? He couldn’t believe it, that he had to just check his recent calls just to prove he had not dreamt it. He would be lying if he said he hadn’t expected it, but he was glad Kao had reached out. He was about to let out an excited cheer when he realized his dad was standing by the entryway of the living-room.
“Dad…” Pete said sounding a little startled as the smile on his face quickly faded.
“I think we need to have a talk, don’t we?” Nick, Pete’s father, said with an unreadable stare.
Chapter 20: Chapter 13
I know this has been a chapter I've kept from posting in a while, but I had to figure out what I wanted Pete's Dad to say for future chapters. Of course, I think keeping him the same as the drama was important but there is something I wasn't sure whether to reveal with him now or in a later chapter. So It took longer than normal. Anyways, I hope you like this short chapter!
“Pete?” Pete’s father said as he leaned forward.
They both had been seated in silence for a while, waiting for the other to talk. The father, wanting to give his son the opportunity to explain without it feeling too much like an interrogation, while the son was hoping his father would tell him just what exactly he had heard so he can muster the courage to talk about it.
His palms were sweating even after he had wiped them off on his pants, but hearing his father call his name had him letting out a gush of air. “I don’t even know how to start this dad...” He said as he ran his hand through his hair. This was just not an easy thing to say, but he had to do it. It wasn’t like they could keep hiding this fact forever. “This is just a lot harder than talking to Mrs. Karn,” He said under his breath.
Nick had only smiled a little as he reached out to pat his son’s knee, “Take your time to gather your words, hm? I’ll listen to anything you have to say.” He said in an attempt to ease his son from becoming more of a nervous wreck than he already was.
Pete had no idea how to even tell his dad when the situation had been so different from when he had told Mrs. Karn. He was worried about disappointing his dad, but even with how much he feared that, Kao was already this far along. It wasn’t like he could hide a son from his own dad, not when he wanted to be there for his son and Kao. He had to tell his dad one way or another, he thought as he let out a small sigh.
“Ah…” Pete said suddenly remembering about the picture that P’ Sun had given him. He had pulled out his wallet from his back pocket and carefully slipped the picture from its slot. His hand was shaking a little as he held it out towards his own dad. “I…I’m really sorry for not telling you sooner dad…” Pete said opening his mouth to try and explain himself, but his father had only reached out to stop him.
“There is no need to apologize to me, too. I heard you sincerely apologize to Kao already,” His father said giving him a gentle smile. He was sure the two had their reasons for being so quiet about it. “I heard how excited you are about this. I just hope that you take proper responsibility because a baby is a lot of work.”
His father’s words had Pete grinning from ear to ear, “I know, dad, but I’ll do everything I can to be a good dad like you to my son.”
“I know you will, son,” Nick said with a smile as he patted his son’s knee, “You should go get some proper rest if you are going to see Kao tomorrow.”
Pete couldn’t help letting his smile widen even more at the reminder of his meeting with Kao tomorrow. “Thanks, dad. I’ll make sure to bring Kao home soon,” He said before heading up the stairs feeling much lighter now that he had that weight off his shoulders. How could he have so worried? However, before his mind could wander more he subconsciously touched his pockets. He had rushed back downstairs just to find his dad still lingering in the living room looking down at the picture he had handed him earlier.
He felt a little sheepish as he asked for his picture back from his own dad, but he really didn’t want to have it missing from his wallet. It was a surprising treasure that Sun had given him.
A smile had spread onto his father’s face he looked at his son acting so differently. “You forgot this,” His father said with a soft smile as he had reached the photo back to his son. Which had surprisingly gotten him a hug from his overly joyous son?
“Thanks, Dad,” Pete had said with a goofy grin. He had pulled away and bidding his father a goodnight before he was rushing back upstairs to sleep. It was hard to fall asleep when he was looking forward to finally seeing Kao.
At 7 in the morning, P’Sun had shown up at Mork’s apartment. They had been dating for almost 2 years, and the one thing they had learned about their relationship was that neither could really be away from the other for far too long. They were both independent in most things, but when it came to their love Mork depended on Sun in the same way Sun depended on Mork. They had quickly become comfortable with one another, and built trust within their relationship—something that Kitty and Rain swore was one of a kind.
Sure, Mork had his own place but he wasn’t really using it for anything other than a storage spot—the same place that Kao now stayed in—or for those nights Rain didn’t need any of their distractions. Sometimes, it acted as an escape for Rain when the two brothers had fights and were being too stubborn to admit that either of them was wrong.
Sun had gotten into bed with him after locking up and putting away the few treats he had brought over for Kao. He had let his arm wrap around Mork’s waist as he pulled him closer to him so they could enjoy the morning with small cuddles. There was no need to fill in the silence when gentle touches carried the words of ‘I love you’s and ‘I missed you’s.
“Kao’s worried,” Mork said gently caressing the hand resting against his belly. He had stayed up with the guy after he had finished his call with Pete. He wasn’t sure what they had spoken about once he had walked out of Kao’s room—other than the appointment—but it seemed it hadn’t really brought him the peace Mork had hoped for. “He told Pete to come but he spent the better half of the night worrying about today.”
“Maybe you should go with them to help ease Kao...baby steps,” Sun said offering his boyfriend a solution. He knew how much Mork had shared Kao’s worries and how involved he had become with the baby. He had proven to be a good uncle and brother to Kao and baby Mini.
Mork was silent for a moment trying to consider it but in the end, he shook his head. “If I do that Pete and Kao won’t be able to talk in peace. Pete really wants this chance...” Mork said turning around to face Sun. It wasn’t like he wanted to do Pete any favors especially after all the hurt he’s caused Kao, but he knew how much Kao had hoped for Pete to accept them and want them. Kao had never stopped loving Pete despite the distance he had put between them.
They had spoken about Pete once or twice when they were alone and every time Kao would get this look in his eyes that almost made it seem like they were sparkling. It wasn’t just the light reflecting on them, it was so much more. All the pain he had felt, the love, the longing, and sadness, it was all there whenever he thought about Pete. If he had to guess, then, probably despite everything he was going through, Kao’s heart didn’t know how to stop loving and longing for Pete and that was something Mork could understand.
There had been a time that P’Sun had this prejudice against him, because of how they had met. Even he had to admit it hadn’t been the best first impression he could have made, and because of it Sun had been reluctant to give him a second chance on that first impression. It was the most painful part of their history, but they had worked through it. At times, he wondered if it was why Sun was the way he was now—so open with him. He just hoped that Pete was serious about trying, for Kao and their son’s sake. He really hoped the man was capable of changing for the better and give them the chance to be a normal family. Baby Mini deserved that much.
Sun’s hand had come up to gently caress his thumb along Mork’s cheek, “Maybe we should get up and make breakfast. I’m afraid if we stay in bed longer you might find new things to stress over,” he said gently placing a kiss to his forehead making the younger laugh a little at the comment.
It was the sounds of soft whispers and pans that had him waking up, and not the sweet melody of his alarm that now was beginning to ring on the nightstand beside the bed. Kao had stretched an arm out to silence it as the worries from the night before found a way back into his head.
He had spent so much time hiding away from Pete, and that left him a little more than nervous about today. For one, this was the first time Pete would be seeing him like this and knowing that he was carrying their son. He was scared about it if he was being honest. What if Pete freaked out on him, again? He didn’t think he could take another rejection nor see that look of uncertainty in his eyes again.
The soft knock at his door had saved him from the panic that was beginning to rise within him.
“Kao? Are you awake?” Mork’s soft voice came from the other side of the door before it went on, “Come get some breakfast.”
“Hm, I’ll be right there,” Kao said despite the fact that he was laying his head back down on his pillow. He didn’t think he was ready to see Pete just yet. There were too many ‘what ifs’ roaming through his head and a lingering fear well growing within him that was making him feel doubt about today.
Ever since he had sat down with them, he had just been pushing around the berries on his plate but never picking it up towards his mouth. Sun and Mork had exchanged a knowing glance between themselves out of concern for Kao’s inner turmoil. They could practically feel how stressed and worried Kao was the closer it got to 9 am.
However, Mork couldn’t just there and let Kao’s worries consume him. “You’re worrying too much,” Mork said gently reaching a hand out to pat his hand before he was motioning towards his breakfast so that he could focus on his meal. “I don’t think he will run away this time,” He said with a soft smile as he collected a piece of berry from the top of his own pancake to feed Kao.
“How can you be sure?” Kao asked with a small sigh before he was looking up at Mork and Sun with a frown.
“Kao, if it’s any comfort what-so-ever, Pete’s been trying his best to reach you. I’d like to think that it is enough to prove he’s being sincere about wanting to be there,” Sun said with a smile. It was true, he had been trying his hardest to find a way to reach Kao. Sun didn’t think Pete was cynical enough to just have done all of that just to be cruel.
“That’s right. Besides, Pete isn’t one to apologize even if he was in the wrong. You’ve said so yourself, and yet he begged you for a chance. Doesn’t that say something?” Mork said trying to further ease his worries.
Just hearing this made Kao’s cheeks heat up with joy, but the smile on his face wasn’t reaching his eyes. “I’m just scared, he’ll change his mind about us again...” He said in a low voice. They had spoken a little about them and even tried to make amends but it wasn’t like they had spoken enough to ease the worries he was left with. He wanted to believe those words that sounded so sincere, but Pete was Pete. He was a lot less confident in this particular aspect of himself than Kao was. He couldn’t exactly bring himself to fault him completely for it, for he had known just how unsure Pete was about it since the day they had accidentally kissed.
“If it comes to that, then just know you will always have us to help you with baby Mini,” Mork said squeezing his hand in a comforting manner while his other hand had naturally reached for Sun’s hand. And as if that small gesture had begged for a supportive response from his boyfriend, Sun had nodded his head agreeing with Mork. “If anything, I can just leave Sun and marry you,” Mork said deciding to joke around to lighten up the mood. He didn’t want to put more stress on Kao than they already had.
“You don’t need to go that far!” Sun had said pulling Mork’s hand away from Kao’s and pulling the younger man to himself, which had thankfully worked to make Kao laugh.
“Thank you, both for everything,” Kao genuinely said as he gently rubbed his belly. He was grateful to the two for everything they had done for him, but he had also thought about it long and hard. He had been hiding away from so many other people, not just Pete. He knew that sooner or later he would have to eventually tell his mom if he wanted to return to school and to work. Even if Sun and Mork were perfectly fine with helping him, he knew they had their own relationship they needed to prioritize and a business to run. While he owed his mother an explanation for lying to her all this time. Eventually, he would need to get back on his own two feet, too.
The sound of the doorbell had rung—interrupting his thoughts. It even had the laughs stilling from Mork before their gazes had all turned towards the door. “That must be, Pete,” Sun said looking at the time on his watch.
“I’ll get it then,” Mork said pulling away from Sun’s embrace and standing up. He had quickly pointed a finger at Kao and motioned down towards his breakfast like a stern mother, “Eat something, before you leave,” as he shuffled his way towards the door.
Opening the door, and seeing an equally worried Pete had Mork smiling a little to himself. At least, that was a good sign, right? It showed he at least was aware enough of his situation to have that face on.
“Hey, uh...I’m picking up Kao, we had an appointment to get to..?” Pete asked sounding so unlike himself. Almost as if he were a child meeting his girlfriend’s parent for the first time. It was just awkward, to say the least, though Mork wasn’t really bothered by it.
“Actually, do you mind if we talk for a minute?” Mork asked blocking the door before Pete could even think of stepping into the apartment.
So sorry this has been a while coming, but I have a few chapters written down. I just don't know whether I want to skip and bounce through the story or leave it as it is. >.<
Chapter 22: Chapter 15
Mork had grabbed the house keys of the hook on the wall before he was guiding Pete back out into the hallway. He hadn’t really waited for an answer before he was ultimately forcing Pete to step back. Nor did he fully let that defensive wall build within Pete either. “Relax, I don’t want to argue with you. I just wanted to talk to you about Kao.”
“What about Kao?” Pete asked not being able to help the furrow of his brows. Kao was the one person he wanted to see more than anything right now, yet Mork was holding him out here for who knows what.
“For one, don’t you dare give Kao any coffee. His doctor said it would be best not to drink any for now. If I didn’t tell you now, I’m sure he would take advantage of your lack of knowledge on this stuff,” Mork said which had unknowingly thrown Pete off guard.
“Huh?” Pete said not being able to hide how confused he was. This wasn’t exactly what he thought Mork wanted to talk about concerning Kao. He had expected the man to adhere to demanding anything and everything to make this appointment with Kao difficult for him to enjoy alone. He never imagined he’d get this kind of thing thrown at him.
“I said no coffee, no sushi, no raw food. Got it? It’s not good for the baby nor Kao.” Mork said crossing his arms against his chest only continuing on when Pete had given him a stupefied nod. It was important he made Pete aware of the things the doctor had told them to stay away from. After all, he was serious about what he had told P’Sun. He wanted to give the two the chance to make amends in person.
“Why do you know so much about this?” Pete asked out of pure curiosity when he could finally process the information he was being given.
“Because I’ve been the one going to all his appointments with him,” Mork said matter-of-factly. He hadn’t really said it to make Pete feel bad, it was simply the truth even if Pete gave him that guilt-ridden look. “Look Pete, as much as we’ve been there for Kao, he’s only ever really wanted you to be there at his side, and you are. You’re here now. So, whip that look off your face and makes this one count.” He said gently patting the man’s shoulder in an attempt to reassure him that he still had a chance. That’s all he intended to say. He wanted Pete to know that he had a good thing here and if he was stupid and careless he would be losing it forever. “Kao loves you way more than you deserve, you know?”
“I know...” Pete said feeling a little sheepish. Sandee had told him the same countless times, too, but somehow it made him feel worse hearing it from Mork. “Thank you, for taking care of Kao for me. I promise I’ll try my best to make things right with him.”
The sincerity behind those words had Mork’s features softening a little before he was letting out a small hum, “Er, that’s all Kao’s ever wanted.” He said simply before he was adding, “Come on, I’m sure we’ve made Kao worry for taking so long. Besides, Sun and I have to get going too.” Mork said as an off note before he was finally leading Pete inside.
As they had walked in, Pete could feel himself losing his nerve. Talking to Kao on the phone was one thing, but facing him was a whole different ball game. He couldn’t really help himself from cowering behind Mork as they walked further into the apartment building. He was aware of how nervous he was getting because his defensive mechanism was doing its best to calm him down by noticing the things around Mork’s apartment. For example, was Mork always this well off? How can he even afford this apartment? He was sure he was working at the café out of necessity. Who else lives here? Why aren’t there any pictures around?
“Pete?” He heard Kao call him which had Pete turn his attention towards him in a heartbeat. He hadn’t seen him in so long, that now that he was looking at him he couldn’t help but see how different he looked. Kao’s chubby face had slimmed a little, his hair had become longer and shiner. Even his lips seemed to have more color than he remembered.
“Why don’t you sit and wait for Kao to finish eating,” Mork said to help the suddenly silent Pete out before he was motioning for Sun, “Sun and I have to get going. We left P’Kitty to open the café for us,” He said to Kao as if he needed to give him a reason why they were leaving him alone with Pete.
Sun had simply cleared up their plates from the table before grabbing his and Mork’s coats from the hanger. “Call us when you get home, okay?” Sun said more to Kao than to Pete before he was making his way towards his boyfriend to usher him out of the apartment.
It was a little more than awkward to be left alone with Pete, but it seemed he wasn’t the only one feeling it. Pete hadn’t really said anything either, he had just stood there in the same spot he had been standing in until Kao asked if he wanted to sit. He couldn’t even find his appetite with how much Pete was staring at him. “D-Do you want some?” Kao motioned to his plate.
“No,” He said before he was quickly adding, “I, uh, I ate before coming here.”
“Pete…” Kao began as he shifted a little in his seat but Pete had only cut him off.
“I know!” He said bringing his hand up to nurse at his neck nervously as he deviated his eyes, “I just don’t want to say something stupid even though I want to talk to you… I just really don’t want to mess this up because I don’t want you to change your mind about me being here.”
For some reason, that made Kao smile to hear him say it. Pete was really trying his best as Mork and Sun said, wasn’t he? He never thought he’d hear Pete talk like this ever, and it was honestly a little saddening to hear just as equally as it was moving. He wasn’t angry like he had been those last couple of days. Instead, he was a little skittish and worried as he had never seen him be. “Pete, I never wanted to deny you the chance to be there for our baby Mini,” Kao said honestly.
“What about for you? Can’t I be there for you, too?” Pete asked reaching his hand out to take Kao’s hand. His fingers had gently played with Kao’s, letting their digits intertwined together.
For a moment, Kao had welcomed the gentle touch but his words had him pulling away, “You being here is more than enough for me,” He said with a sheepish smile.
“You know, that’s not what I meant..,” Pete said letting a visible frown settle onto his face. He wanted Kao to give them a chance to be together. He knew he had already fucked it up once before, but he was serious about it. He loved Kao, and he had put them both in a lot of ups and downs to find out just how serious he was about Kao.
Even Kao had ended up frowning, too. How could he answer that? The last time they had come across this conversation Pete had backtracked and taken it all back saying he needed time. “We should go, the hospital isn’t close by,” Kao said struggling to get up from his seat. A small little groan had escaped him from how taxing just getting up on his own was becoming.
For a moment, Pete lost his words when he saw just how extended Kao’s belly had gotten these couple of months. He hadn’t even realized he had stood up himself until he was standing in front of Kao. “M-May I?” He asked glancing up at him despite having his arms hovering over his belly.
This little change of subject was more than welcomed by Kao, that he had pulled Pete’s hand the rest of the way to cup his baby bump, “You don’t have to ask. He’s your son.” He said not being able to help but stare at Pete’s face to see what kind of face he’d make.
His lips had curled upwards into a smile as he looked down at Kao’s belly. He couldn’t help but be encouraged to trail his hands around the roundness of his belly, both from astonishment and curiosity. He thought it would feel soft under his touch, but it was firm and warm. However, when he felt the little tap against his palm he had been startled and pulled away from Kao when he groaned in discomfort. “I’m so sorry, Kao! I didn’t mean to hurt you!” He let out a little worried.
“I’m fine, Pete. He’s just kicking, he’s been doing that more often these days,” Kao said not being able to hold in his laugh as he brought Pete’s hand back to his belly so he could feel the movement again.
“Does it hurt?” Pete asked relaxing a little at the sensation of the small taps beneath his hand. It was weird to feel but looking at Kao, it seemed these little motions made him feel so happy, and in return Pete, himself, found himself mirroring Kao’s smile.
“It doesn’t,” He said feeling his smile soften a little before he was looking at the clock on the wall. It was well past 9:30, “But we really should go now.”
Chapter 23: PickRome: I'll Be There pt. 1
“Ey, Rome!” Emma had called out to him for the nth time.
“I’m really sorry, Em’. I spaced,” Rome said finally turning his attention towards his friend. He really did feel bad about continuously spacing. Especially, since Emma had been sharing her own worries about her newborn child.
Emma’s face had softened a little seeing Rome’s face crease into a frown once again. Ever since she had come home, Rome had been spending time with her after classes trying his best to catch her up on what she missed during her time in the hospital. Despite his own worries tormenting him, he was trying his best to be a good friend to her. She had reached her hand out to hold his, “You should talk to him,” Emma said in a soft voice as an equally careful smile, “Rome, you can’t run away from him forever. Eventually, you’ll have to talk to him.”
“I know...” Rome said with a small sigh as he squeezed her hand back trying to ease her mind from his worries with that small gesture. “I’m scared, Emma. P’Pick is so unpredictable and I can’t afford to give him the time to figure things out anymore,” he said with all the honesty and dread he felt in his heart.
The truth was Rome couldn’t afford to play anymore. In fact, there was so little he could afford at the moment, and that was something both she and her brother, P’Oh, knew. That’s why P’Oh had been very persistent in protecting him from P’Pick. Because of him, Rome had already been put in a difficult situation that he had no way out of. At least, not in a way that wouldn’t leave a scar in his heart.
It was hard not to feel his pain when she had gone through the same with Porsche. Rome had made his mind, but unlike her, her dear friend’s decision had not been received with the support of his family, and was forced to lean on them. Rome had always been like a son to her parents, so they had promised to help him with anything he needed for as long as he needed. She still remembers crying with Rome that night when he had come to them with a bruised cheek.
“Er...but P’Pick is still his daddy. You should give him the opportunity to make his decision on his own.” Emma said motioning to his belly, which had Rome’s hands instinctively shooting up to wrap around the bump. “He might surprise you.”
Rome wanted to protest but Porsche’s voice behind him had both of them panicked.
“What did you say?!” Porsche’s voice had come out a little louder than he had expected, but walking in on that had his eyes nearly popping out of their sockets. He had been shocked beyond belief that his mouth had no consideration for the sleeping infant in his very arms at that moment. Which ultimately had made the infant in his arms burst into tears, being startled awake by his daddy’s loud voice.
“Porsche!” Emma had scolded putting her pencil down as she got up from her chair to go take Phana from his arms to try and calm the baby. Her eyes had raised up from her child for a moment to give Rome an apologetic look. She had never meant to have her boyfriend hear her and she was worried that Rome would be upset with her considering their ‘boyfriends’ are best friends.
“Rome...is it true?” Porsche had asked as he approached the smaller boy, as he watched him struggle to his feet to back away from him. The motion had only made the fact seem very obvious as his hoodie seemed to bend against his frame for a moment before it seemed to fade beneath the baggy hoodie that it left him wondering if he had seen correctly.
“Please, don’t tell P’Pick,” Rome had begged as he grabbed onto Porsche’s hand. “Please, don’t tell him.”
“How can I not?” Porsche asked pulling his hand away from Rome as he rose it to cover his mouth in frustration. His eyes had found Emma’s eyes and asked, “You knew about this? How long have you been keeping this a secret?” He asked her as she carefully shifted Phana in her arms.
“Since Rome found out,” P’Oh said coming into the room. He had pulled his arms out of his pockets and folded them against his chest in obvious disapproval at the topic. “I don’t see how this is any of your business, Porsche. Taking care of my sister and nephew is as far as you should be concerned.”
“P’/ P’Oh!” Both Rome and Emma had said in two different tones. Rome was worried P’Oh would start a fight with Porsche, while Emma was upset at P’Oh’s tone with Porsche. She knew her brother still had a bit of a distaste for her boyfriend but he was Phana’s father and he wasn’t going to stop ever being that.
She wanted them to get along for the sake of her son. The last thing she wanted was for Phana to grow up seeing them fight all the time.
P’Oh, though, had only scoffed as he unfolded his arms, “What?” He said looking at the two for a moment before turning his gaze back at Porsche, “THIS really isn’t any of his business. If Rome wants to say anything, it’s for him to decide without ANYONE trying to convince him it’s the ‘least he can do’ for Pick.” It clearly came out a little too aggressive, because Rome had only moved between them and clung to his arm trying to pull him out of the room before the tension got worse.
“Please,” Rome pleaded, not just for his own sake, but for his dear friend Emma’s sake, “Please, let’s go, I’m getting hungry, P.”
One look at Rome’s face had P’Oh letting out a sigh before his features had finally relaxed a little, “Okay, let’s go then.” He said letting himself be tugged out of his sister’s bedroom without much protest.
Chapter 24: PickRome: I'll Be There pt. 2
He had never underestimated his own abilities until now. For one, his belly in itself was the obstacle keeping him from climbing the shelves and reaching those delicious Sour Cream & Onion Lay’s chips. Before, he wouldn’t think twice before climbing that shelf and grabbing his snack, but the worry of ‘what if’ kept him well planted on the ground and not even daring to consider it. He didn’t want to risk hurting himself, not when he had been extra careful these couple of months.
‘I’ll just ask P’Oh…’ Rome had ended up deciding about to turn away from the shelf, but that’s when he noticed a hand reaching past him and bringing the chips down for him. A wide smile had raised onto his face as he lifted his hands to grab the bag. “Thank you so much!” Rome had said wrapping his arms around the chips in such a happy embrace as he turned to meet the face of the person. However, the smile he had on his face had seized when he noticed Pick standing there instead of a stranger.
“I finally caught you alone,” Pick said leaning his arms against the shelf to barricade Rome. He has spent so many weeks just trying to catch him alone without his bodyguard. He had never thought it would have been in the middle of the market when he wasn’t really trying to find him. In fact, he had been here because the guys were having a party at Forth’s and they had asked him to pick up some ice for the booze, but when he had seen Rome walk down the aisle all alone he had left his friends' side in a rush.
“I don’t want to talk to you,” Rome had said bringing the bag of chips up to cover his view of Pick. For one, seeing him so suddenly looking like that had Rome’s cheeks heating up as the color rushed to them.
“Well, that’s too bad, because I want to talk to you,” Pick said grabbing onto Rome’s arm to lower it down so that he wasn’t staring at the bag. He had taken a step closer towards Rome, almost having his forehead touching against his. He was close enough that he could feel the ends of his hair tickle his forehead. “Just please listen to what I have to say.” Pick said softening his tone in a small plea.
“Just what do you think you’re doing in the middle of the store?” P’Oh said grabbing Pick by the shoulder and pulling him away from Rome. The look on his face said it all. He was not happy to have Pick there with Rome at all. It was no different from the look he gave Porsche whenever he came around to his house to see his sister. It was that look of a protective brother ready to fight off someone he thought was not worthy of his sibling.
Pick had only fixed his shirt as he scoffed, “I should have known you’d be here too. It’s the weekend, P’ don’t bodyguards take the weekends off?”
“We don’t. Neither do assholes, from the look of it,” P’Oh said as he grabbed Rome’s hand and pulled him towards him, “Let’s go, Rome.”
“P’…” Rome had begun to say but only to cut himself off when Pick had grabbed onto his hand too.
“Rome’s not going anywhere. We have a pending conversation, so back off Oh.” Pick said tugging a little on Rome’s arm, enough to force the smaller male to step towards him.
P’Oh’s brows had only furrowed as he turned back towards Pick as he held Rome’s hand a little tighter. “Rome doesn’t want to talk to you! Why can’t you get that through your thick skull?! You’ve done more than enough so just let him be!”
Even if those words were true, Pick couldn’t help but get angry hearing them come from P’Oh. “That has nothing to do with you! It’s between me and Rome, so butt out of it!”
“Ow! Let go of me, you two are hurting me!” Rome had ended up whining when the two had tightened their grips on his wrists. His eyes had gotten watery from the two’s mishandling. He knew that they hated each other so much—even since before Emma and he had met them. He just didn’t think it’d be to this extent that they’d take it out on him.
“Rome, I’m sorry/I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it,” Both Pick and P’Oh had let out losing the heat in their voice as they let go of him and became the most worrywart version of themselves, as they tried their best to nurse at his wrists. “Does it still hurt?” Pick asked gently letting his thumb trail over the reddening handprint on Rome’s wrist.
“You should have let him go when I said so. All you do is hurt him,” P’Oh said pulling Rome’s hand from Pick’s hand.
Before Pick could even get mad and start again with P’Oh, Rome had quickly pulled his arms from him and said, “P’! I want to talk to Pick, alone.” The silence and the look of uncertainty and obvious disapproval in P’Oh’s eyes had Rome letting out a small “Please, P’.”
At that, P’Oh had only let out a sigh before he was bringing his hand up to cup Rome’s cheek—which made Pick’s brows furrow at the intimate touch. “You and Em are too soft on these idiots,” He whispered to him before he was saying, “Fine, you win.” And when he had turned to look at Pick, that gentle gaze had hardened as he whispered to him, “I better not hear that you made him cry, or I’ll break your legs.” He didn’t want Rome to hear his threat but he wanted Pick to know that he should watch himself.
Pick had only scoffed as P’Oh had pushed past him. He really hated that guy’s guts, but turning his eyes towards Rome he felt himself calming down from the rising anger within him. His hand had reached towards his, “Come on, We should talk somewhere else.” He said gently tugging him to get out of the store.
“W-wait, P’Pick! My chips, I need to pay for them!” Rome had let out not budging from his spot even though Pick had tried to tug him along.
They had gone back to pay for the chips—at least Pick had—before he had taken them out towards his car. Pick had driven them out towards the quiet park that they had often driven through before. It felt rather nostalgic seeing the playground through the window. It wasn’t until the quiet rumbling of the car had seized that Rome had turned back towards Pick.
“Rome…I’m really sorry for being a coward,” Pick said shifting in his seat so that he could face Rome. “I’m sorry it took this long to admit it to you, but I’m saying it now. I’m sorry I’ve been an idiot, that I got jealous of Din,” Pick said not being able to hide just how angry just saying his name made him, and if it wasn’t for the fact that Rome had leaned into his touch he probably would have only fumed further. Pick had ended up shaking his head to get rid of Din out of his head, while his hand moved down to push the bag of chips out of the way. Even they were starting to bug him with how much Rome was trying his best to use them as a shield.
Rome had tried to grab the chips to keep them where they were but it was no use, Pick had moved them far from his reach that all he could do was cower away from him when he got closer to him. “Stop…” He said holding his hands out to keep him at bay. He had felt so comfortable for a moment, but the moment that bag had left his side he had felt his worries and insecurities come crawling into his chest. He had always wanted Pick to say this to him, but the thing was things were complicated now. “I forgive you, P’Pick…but I can’t.”
“Yes, you can…” Pick said moving Rome’s hand up to his lips and pressing a gentle kiss to his fingertips before he was moving them out of his way, “I want to be with you. I want us to be together, officially.”
“You’ll change your mind… You always do,” Rome said feeling his voice break. How could he feel so happy and so sad at the same time? Pick wanted to be with him, but that didn’t mean he would want the baby.
“You think I’ll leave you alone again because of this?” Pick asked with a frown as he placed his hand gently on the curve of Rome’s belly. “Have I really hurt you that deep that you think so little of me?” He had chuckled a little but it wasn’t from joy, it was a sad and forced smile he had put on. “Rome…I wanted to be there sooner, but you kept hiding behind P’Oh…”
“Y-You knew?” Rome couldn’t help but choke out as the tears had begun to trail down his own cheeks. When Pick had only nod had Rome gripping onto Pick’s hand. His voice had hitched in a sob as he let out a quiet ‘I’m sorry’.
Pick had only turned his hand in Rome’s grip so that he could properly hold his hand, “You think I wouldn’t have noticed something was different? I’ve been chasing you for weeks, I’d be stupid not to have noticed that the boy I love was pregnant.”
“Y-You love me?” Rome had sobbed at him with tear staining cheeks, eyes getting puffy from crying.
He wasn’t sure how others would have reacted to seeing Rome looking at them like that, but Pick only felt his heart melt. His hands had moved up to whip his face clean, “I do,” Pick said quietly as he leaned in to kiss his forehead. “I hope you know I’m not asking you to be my boyfriend, but my wife.”
Well, that didn’t do anything to stop Rome from crying at all.
Chapter 25: Chapter 16
Ever since they had been married, they had spent more time away from one another than they had together. Tharn had always had to spend time away from Type because his band—4SEN—was always practicing and preparing for comebacks, tours, fan meetings, radio shows, etc. After everything they had been through, Type had to be patient because this was Tharn’s dream. Besides his husband had never tried to come in between his dreams or goals.
“You really couldn’t have just let this be a normal day, huh?” Techno said letting the last bit of his question come out as a cooing sound since his attention was on the baby who was happily kicked against his thigh and all too contently suckling at the pacifier in his mouth.
“No, you know Tharn is back in town and the paparazzi always follows him here,” Type said gently adjusting his son on his lap so he wasn’t kicking Techno anymore.
“Hm,” Techno hummed as he squinted his eyes at his friend as if he didn’t really believe him. Sure, his friend and Tharn had always agreed on keeping their son out of the eyes of the hungry media but usually, they’d meet at a restaurant on the other side of town, where they both lived. So, for them to reserve SunRain cafe for themselves had Techno believing he was doing this as more than just a favor for P’Sun. After all, the man had helped Type a lot when Tharn was away. He was one of the few of Tharn’s friends he really had gotten close to. He was close to the others, but not like he was with P’Sun. From what Techno knew, the two of them spoke often. Until Sun started dating this new kid.
Speaking of which, Techno’s eyes had gone to the ‘boy’ walking over to them with their drinks and cake.
“I’m really sorry about this. Rain suddenly asked P’Sun to take him to school,” Mork said giving them both an apologetic smile as he placed a caramel macchiato along with a rainbow cake with vanilla icing and rainbow sprinkles in front of Techno, before moving to carefully place the vanilla bean latte and strawberry cheesecake at a safe distance from the baby’s reach within Type’s lap. He even had brought a small bowl of soft crackers for the baby that was safe for him to eat.
“Hey, Nong, we didn’t order these,” Type said motioning to the cakes and baby snacks. He had a small frown on his face when Techno had elbowed him gently to shut up. After all his motto was ‘never say no to free food’.
“It’s on the house,” Mork said giving him a friendly smile, “You’re P’Sun’s friends so please enjoy it. If there is anything else I can get you, let me know. Otherwise, P’Sun should be back shortly,” He said bowing his head slightly before he was walking back to the counter where P’Kitty was now at, with her head peeking over to him with curiosity.
“I didn’t know P’Sun knew P’Type,” Kitty whispered to Mork as she tied the knot on her apron.
“You know them?” Mork asked her as he set the wooden tray down so he could begin to prep things for P’Sun for later in the day when they opened the cafe back up.
“Who doesn’t? That’s P’Tharn’s wife.” She said with this excited little tone to her voice but seeing the confusion in Mork’s eyes had her frowning, “Mork, how can you not know who Tharn is?” She asked before she was pulling her phone out to show him the pictures of the hottest boy group 4SEN.
When he looked at it that’s when he had let out a knowing ‘oh’, “The girls in our class are crazy about them,” Mork said remembering all those times he’s heard the girls huddle and talk about the group or trading photo cards and merch.
“I’m not surprised, they are so popular,” Kitty said a little too cheerful that it made Mork realize that she was a fan of 4SEN as well. “This is P’Tharn, P’Type’s husband,” Kitty said pulling up a picture of the man which made Mork let out a small ‘wow’. “Ey, I saw that,” Kitty teased nudging him playfully.
[The picture she showed him.]
“See what?” Mork said shoving her back as he shook his head a little as he moved from her before he was going to finish prepping the display case.
“Oh come on Mork, it’s not a crime to admit someone else besides P’Sun is handsome. You aren’t cheating on him,” Kitty said going to lean against the display case.
“I know that, but I didn’t mean it like that. It’s just he looks so different from the picture P’Type sent,” Mork said honestly. He should know though, idol photo shoots were always taken in a way to bring attention to their audience, while the group photo P’Type had sent from their gathering had made the man look just like any normal person. He looked more relaxed, too, from what he remembered
“What photo?” Kitty asked curiously but Mork hadn’t had the chance to reply to her because the door of the cafe was being pulled open making the chimes ring and successfully bringing their attention towards three men walking in: Sun, Tharn, and a stranger to both Kitty and Mork.
Sun was walking in laughing at something the other man besides him had said, while a Tharn had only shaken his head at the comment. All of them had walked in helping P’Sun carry in their groceries. Which had Mork walking over to them along with Kitty—who was trying to hold in her squeal as she clung to Mork’s arm.
“Here, we can take that from you,” Mork said taking the flower sack from one of the strangers before he was walking over to P’Sun, “You’re friends have been waiting a while for you to come home.” While Kitty had gone to take the other packages from P’Tharn’s hands.
“I know, Tharn had messaged his wife to let him know already,” P’Sun whispered to him before he was letting his hand wrap around his waist to stop him from leaving him, “Why don’t you leave things on the counter, for now, I want to introduce you and Kitty to my friends.”
“Hm, after we get them some drinks first,” Mork said with a small smile as he leaned in to press a quick peck to P’Sun’s lips. Which had earned them a few teasing words from P’Sun’s friends.
“Ey, so comfortable doing this in front of people,” the stranger said teasing them. “If you keep that up, I’ll start blushing!”
“They do this every time one of them comes back,” P’Kitty had joined in getting Tharn and the other stranger to look at her, “They’re pretty open with their relationship.”
“Really?” Tharn said getting the knowing grin on his face as he turned towards Sun. “Just how open have you been?”
“Er…enough stop teasing, why don’t we go sit. Type and Techno have been waiting long enough,” Sun said making the two turn in the direction of their wives as they saw them talking amongst themselves and not really sparing a glance at them.
Tharn had simply smiled and excused himself before he was heading straight to Type and their son. The moment he had come into the young child’s line of view he started wiggling impatiently as a big smile slipped onto his face. His hands were stretched out towards Tharn, making grabby hands at him, which Tharn had only been all too happy to scoop him up into his arms. “Sorry we’re late, Kla wanted to go shopping with Sun, like the good old days,” Tharn said sitting beside his wife after giving his head a quick kiss before seating himself with little Korn on his lap.
“Shopping?” Techno said leaning forward to eye Tharn in disbelief, “P’Tharn, my husband doesn’t shop on his own. He never had, Kla is a blue blood young master.” Techno said bringing up old teasing words that people used to call his husband because he had in fact been born into a rich family. Mind you, Techno has never seen the man actually enthusiastic about doing the shopping himself either. “Even now he has people who shop for him,” Techno said with a huff.
“Hey, don’t diss your husband,” Kla said squishing Techno’s cheeks making his lips purse from it before he was smiling softly at Techno’s attempt to grin like that. “And don’t you mean ‘we’?” Kengkla hands had loosened up and sat besides Techno before looking over at the three in the kitchen for a brief moment, “Actually, we wanted to talk to Sun alone for a bit, you know? We’re all worried too.”
“Mork’s a good guy,” Tharn said gently patting his husband’s hand, “Sun is really serious about that kid.”
“But is Mork serious about Sun?” Type asked with a small frown before he was saying, “I don’t want to see him hurt like with Pin.”
That was something they had all agreed on. Pin had been a big smudge left in Sun’s life. For a moment they had all thought she was a good girl, someone well matched for their kind friend but they had all been wrong about that. No one had realized what kind of person she really was until they had realized the damage she had caused their dear friend when she left him. It was a tough time for Sun and for them—his friends—to deal with it alongside him. So it was natural for them to worry about this kid Sun was dating. They didn’t want to see Sun so broken again.
“He’s a good guy,” Tharn had said in a softer tone as he took Type’s hand in his. He gently let his thumb caress alongside his wife’s thumb in an attempt to ease his worries. “If he wasn’t serious about Sun, do you think he’d have that look on his face?” He asked pointing toward the three with his chin.
There was such a comfortable air around the three. The young woman was laughing at something by their side, but Sun eyes were on Mork who was helping him with his apron. If one focused on Sun, they would notice how comfortable he was being helped, like if this was something normal for him. And if he focused on Mork, he could see just how gentle and careful he was being with the small task. He had this small smile on his face as he looked up at Sun as his hands fell from his waist. He had even leaned up to press a gentle kiss to Sun’s lips before they had moved together towards the coffee machine. The young woman had moved away from them to prepare the desserts while Sun and Mork worked side by side in such comfortable sync.
Their atmosphere was comfortable and peaceful enough that anyone would think they were steady. However, Type wasn’t one to trust easily by the cute display. “That doesn’t mean anything,” Type said with a small frown as he looked away from the couple. “We don’t know Mork enough.” He said getting Techno to agree with him.
“No,” Kla said as he leaned his elbow on the table, while he focused on rubbing Korn’s tiny hands with his digits, “But Sun really seems to love him. You should have heard the way he spoke about the kid on our way here.”
“What did he say?” Techno and Type both asked a little curiously.
“He said that He knows you are worried about him and that he appreciates the concern, but Mork isn’t like anyone He’s ever met before. That he’s never loved anyone like he loves Mork. Even what he once felt for Pin doesn’t even come close to what he feels for Mork.” Sun said with a smile as he came to stand behind Type and Techno. Which had the two looking up at him a little embarrassed. “I really do appreciate it, but Mork is a good guy. I’ve judged him wrongly once myself and hurt him because of it and yet he’s still here despite it all putting up with this friend of yours.”
Techno was one to quickly recover from his embarrassment, and being caught once by Sun had him glancing back to make sure the man’s partner was still in the kitchen before he was leaning towards him to ask, “Being so sweet like this, Sun, just how long have you two been dating?”
“2 years,” Sun said with a small chuckle.
“2 Years and you never thought about mention it to me before?” Type had asked with a small frown, feeling a little betrayed considering they talked often.
“Well, I didn’t want to jinx it. Besides, I had a lot to make up for before I could introduce him to you all,” Sun said turning back when he heard Kitty’s voice call to him to come to help Mork. “After all he’s the one I plan to marry one day soon.”
Chapter 26: PickRome: Friends
Those two words kept tormenting Prosche. They had been brothers to one another since middle school, and since then they had shared every thought and worry with the other. So, this secret Emma and Rome—though really it was threatened by P’Oh—was killing him slowly to keep. He had been avoiding the very person he called, best friend. All because he knew he was loose-tongued. He may or may have not cried into Emma’s arms about the whole ordeal that was straining his friendship with Pick—he wasn’t proud of that.
He hadn’t seen Pick in so long until the man had decided to kidnap him from Emma’s front door and drag him out to their usual hangout with their group of friends. With every passing minute he was growing even more nervous, neither of them had spoken other than to ask for a drink when the waitress had come around to their table.
“What the fucks wrong with you?” Pick had asked with no real heat behind his words. If anything he had been just as worried as Porsche. It was one thing for his friend to disappear to take care of his kid and girlfriend but to completely go MIA on him, was so unlike him.
Porshe had only sighed out before he was turning to look at Pick with the most miserable look he had ever seen him have. He had opened his mouth to speak but he had only forced it closed. “I can’t say,” Porsche had settled for before he was looking away from his friend in fear the confusion in his eyes would just have his mouth rolling with the confession at the tip of his tongue.
“Because…?” Pick asked confused before he was grinning to himself, “Had a fight with Emma again? Or with Oh?” He asked curiously, since the only times he had seen his friend make a face like that usually involved one of the two.
Porsche had only frowned before shaking his head as he simply said, “with Rome.”
Now, that had Pick losing his smile and furrowing his brows. “What do you mean you fought with Rome?” Pick asked as the tone in his voice got a little too dangerously low, “When did you even see him?” He asked not remembering any conversation with Rome that had involved any incident with his friend.
“I’m not supposed to say….” Porsche muttered to himself before he was letting out a loud frustrated sigh, “I can’t take it anymore!!!!!!!” he blurted out as he banged his hands on the table before he was turning towards Pick—startling him in the process.
“Why the fuck are you yelling!?” Pick said only irritated as he was moving back and away from his friend.
“Don’t freak out, okay?” Porsche said holding his hands out as if it would help keep Pick calm. “Are you calm?”
“What the hell….if you don’t start talking, I won’t be.” Pick said furrowing his brows even more.
“Rome’s pregnant!” Porsche said before covering his mouth as if he had just made the biggest mistake of his life. Oh man, the inner panic he was having had him standing in case he needed to catch his friends when he exploded—because that was sure to come.
Pick had just raised a brow at him before he was saying, “And?”
“And it’s yours,” Porsche said before he was waiting for his friend to freak but when he hadn’t he had just yelled himself, “Why aren’t you saying anything?! Why aren’t you freaking out?! I’m freaking out!”
Pick had only laughed before he said, “I knew.”
“You knew? How?!” Porsche asked a little too bewildered as he fell back into his seat ignoring the stares he had earned himself.
“How could I not, Rome is so petite, it was strange seeing him suddenly wear baggier clothes than usual. Besides. I followed him and P’Oh to the clinics. I’d be stupid to overlook the places they visited,” Pick said rubbing at his neck uncomfortable with the memories. He wasn’t proud of the things he did nor the things that had crossed his mind at first to get to that conclusion first. “Is this why you’ve been avoiding me?” Pick asked honestly.
“Yup,” Porsche said stupidly as he nodded his head once.
“You-…!” Pick had hissed wanting to punch his friend but had only smacked his own forehead, “Can you stop doing that then? I don’t know shit about raising a kid and I don’t want to leave everything to Rome.” He confessed.
Porsche couldn’t help but get this stupid look on his face as he coed at the man in front of him, “I’m going to call the cops.”
“If you keep joking like that, I’ll give you a better reason to call the cops,” Pick had said kicking Porsche chair under the table.
“I’m a dad, how can you think of leaving my son an orphan?” Porsche had frowned.
“Trust me, Phana is better off without you. Dick…” Pick countered, letting the last word fall off his lips in a whisper. They had already disturbed the ambiance in the restaurant enough as it was.
He wasn’t entirely sure how they had dropped the jokes, but eventually, they had managed to be serious enough to talk about kids and then their upcoming graduation in the spring. Arthit—the name his father had given his unborn son—should be born around that time and he knew Rome had no plans of taking a semester off. He wanted to be prepared so that he didn’t need to depend too much on Rome. He wanted Rome to rely on him and be able to focus on his classes, but his friend was being a little shit.
Chapter 27: Chapter 17
Kao didn’t even know why he had become such a nervous wreck, even when Pete had done nothing but reassure him about wanting to be here with him. Maybe it was just because he was scared about a lot of things at that moment and Pete was one of them. He felt like he was just waiting for it this sweet moment to end, like if he was waiting for Pete to say this was too much to handle again. But he wasn’t, instead, Pete was there holding his hand as they waited for the doctor.
“Are you always this nervous when you come with Mork?” Pete asked scooting his chair closer towards the observation table where Kao was sitting. He had smiled a little when Kao’s grip had tightened around his hand.
“No…” Kao admitted, “Pete, I’m scared you’ll leave.” He said without thinking and instantly regretting it when the smile on Pete’s face had faded with his words. “Pete, I didn’t mea-…” he wanted to so desperately apologize but Pete had stopped him in mid-word with a single kiss to his knuckles.
Pete admitted, that he’s failed him several times before, so it was natural that Kao couldn’t fully trust in him. But, it hurt him nonetheless to realize just how deeply he had hurt the one person he truly loved. And it wasn’t just Kao who he had hurt… Pete couldn’t help but lower his eyes down to his belly. He had let his hand gently caress Kao’s protruding belly, feeling the little flutters of his son’s movements as a smile slipped back onto his face. They hadn’t properly met yet, and he was already messing up with his own son. He was scared—he hated to admit it, but even with his resolve, the fear of screwing up again was still there. He wanted to be a good father to their son, just as much as Kao wanted him to be.
“I’m not going anywhere, Kao,” He said gently letting his thumb caress the back of his hand, “I know you can’t really believe in me, right now but I promise, I won’t leave you both anymore. I want to be here more than anything in the world.” He said sounding so genuine that it frighten Kao.
Pete was doing everything he could at that moment to reassure him that he would stick around for it all, but still, there was this little voice in Kao’s head that plagued him with all those times Pete had failed to keep his word. Yet, the Pete staring into his eyes, had Kao’s heart skipping a beat and made him feel every ounce of that immense love he had for him, and wanting to let him grip to that small strand of hope he’s always had for Pete. But his head, being ever so logical, didn’t fail to remind him of all those times Pete backed away from him. It chipped away at his heart more and more with every letdown. He didn’t know if he could fully believe in him now… and moreover, it would be just him anymore who Pete would be letting down.
It was one thing for Pete to do this to him, but for him to subject their baby through it. He wasn’t sure whether he wanted his son to know that pain.
“Believe in me, Kao.” Pete begged gently tugging at his hands while giving him such a genuine look that made Kao want to believe him so foolishly.
They hadn’t really had the chance to continue the conversation when they heard the knock on the door to alert them that someone was coming in. The doctor had pulled open the door and stepped in with a smile on his face, as per usual, as he greeted Kao with, “How’s my favorite patient doing?” he said before turning towards Pete, “Ah, you’ve got someone new accompanying you today. Hi, I’m Dr. Im.”
“I’ve been feeling much better,” Kao had said turning towards Pete, wanting to introduce him but for some reason, he didn’t know how to introduce him. ‘My friend’ didn’t sound right, but then again so didn’t ‘My boyfriend’.
Pete had stood up for a moment, if only to properly greet the doctor, “I’m Pete, Kao’s boyfriend, and baby Mini’s father. It’s nice to officially meet you, Doc. I’ve heard a lot about you from, Mork.” Pete said like it was the most natural thing to say—not to mention completely surprising Kao with how confidently he had said those words.
“Oh, well it’s a pleasure to finally get to meet you, Pete. You both have a really good friend in Mork,” The doctor said with a smile before he was turning towards Kao. It was obvious that the doctor had been confused, considering the one at Kao’s side during these past few months had been Mork, though being the professional that he was, he had just turned his attention to checking on Kao’s health and the baby’s. “How have you been feeling? Have you had any discomfort since the last time I saw you?” he asked moving to sit in his chair.
“No, I think the bed rest helped,” Kao said with a small smile as he gently rubbed his belly.
“That’s good, you’ve given yourself the proper rest then,” He said turning to him as he moved closer to him to grab the blanket that had been prepared for him already. He gently unfolded it and held it up like a curtain as he asked Kao to undo his pants and pull his shirt up. “Daddy, if you want could you help me place this over his lap?” He said handing the blanket to Pete—who had been just looking at them quietly.
When Pete had taken it, the doctor had turned towards the monitor to turn it on and prepare it for the sonogram. Kao, on the other hand, had struggled a little in undoing his own pants that he had ended up looking towards Pete with this pathetic look that just begged for help. Pete couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle as he moved forward to help him. “Let me,” he said grabbing the waistband of Kao’s jeans.
Kao had only laid back against the seat trying his best to suck in his belly while pulling his shirt up as told by the doctor. He couldn’t help but look at the ceiling trying to let the feeling and motion of Pete’s hands tell him just when Pete loosen the knot. “Did you get it?” He asked reaching a hand to feel the best that he could.
“Yeah, I got it,” Pete said pulling his hands back to place the blanket just below his belly to cover the sight of his exposed underwear. It was one thing for Pete to see Kao’s belly over his clothes, but to see it bare had him reaching unknowingly to feel the roundness of it. Which had Kao whining a bit in discomfort. “I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to...” Pete had said pulling his hand away a bit frightening.
“No… it’s not your fault,” Kao said rubbing just under his belly as if easing the pain. “He’s just very active today,” Kao said finally letting the smile come back onto his face, which was all it took to ease Pete again.
The doctor couldn’t help but smile at him and say, “It’s normal, you’re getting close to your due date so you might be feeling the baby moving into position.” The doctor said before he was bringing a bottle to Kao’s belly, “I know, you know what this is, but since this is daddy’s first time here with us, I’ll explain. What I’m doing is going to put this gel on Kao’s belly, it’ll help us see the baby.” He said explaining everything to Pete as he showed him the wand and how it worked.
The entire time, it was like he wasn’t even there. Pete was just asking questions and getting information from the doctor on how to better accommodate him and their baby. He asked him about the things Mork had told him—which had Kao a bit confused on when he even had the chance to talk to Mork about these things.
“Pete…you’re asking too much,” Kao had said at one point blushing from embarrassment.
“it’s alright, Kao, it’s normal that your partner wants to know these things. In fact, I’m impressed, wished more dads were this interested in getting involved with mommy and the baby.” The doctor said patting Pete on the shoulder. “Just don’t panic on him, during the delivery.”
“Gee, thanks,” Pete said rubbing the back of his neck. This doctor really was teasing him, just now, wasn’t he? “Just how bad can it be?” Pete asked rhetorically. He hadn’t really asked San nor Thada about the actual delivery. Sandee had only taught him about clothes sizes and not more, maybe he will ask once he got the chance.
“Alright, why don’t we check on the baby, now,” The doctor said to the two, before he was placing the wand over Kao’s belly. He slowly glided it over his belly until he got a good view of the baby. “There he is,” The doctor said with a smile as he turned towards the two.
“That’s him?” Pete said with an ever-growing smile as he scooted closer to Kao.
“Yes, and from the looks of it, he’s looking perfectly healthy.” The doctor said turning to Kao when he noticed that worried look on his face. Which seemed to be all Kao needed to hear to relax onto the bed, before turning his attention to Pete.
He didn’t think Pete would have been like this during the visit to the doctor. He was so ecstatic being able to see the image of their son on the monitor, and even more so to receive that same picture of their baby. Pete, surprised Kao, to say the least. He wasn’t sure how today would have turned out, but just seeing him hold that picture like it was the most precious thing he had had Kao feeling so much lighter. Pete, really wanted this, didn’t he?
The doctor had turned the monitor off and grabbed a clean napkin to give to Kao so that he could clean the gel off his stomach, while he addressed his attention to Pete. “It seems it’s been helping, so I’d like Kao to remain on bed rest until it’s time. I want to make sure we aren’t hit with any surprises during delivery, so I’d like you to keep things as they have been.” He said before he was quickly adding, “Oh and say ‘hello’ to Mork for me,” The doctor said leaving them with the nurse that had walked in moments ago.
It really hit Kao, when Pete had helped him into the car and with strapping the seatbelt for him. He didn’t know why but that gentleness he was suddenly showing him—so much care he was giving him, and those sneaking touches to his belly had Kao just letting out a “You’re really going to stay?”
Which had completely surprised Pete—who at the moment had been buckling him in. It took him a moment to realize what Kao had asked, but once he had Pete couldn’t help but smile at him, “I am,” Pete said bringing his hands to cup Kao’s chubby cheeks as he leaned his forehead against his. “I’m staying for good if you let me.”
“I want you too,” Kao said feeling his eyes begin to blur with tears. “Pete, if you’re serious, then don’t leave us again.” He said wrapping his arms around Pete’s neck.
Pete hadn’t expected him to cry, so it had him pulling away from him if only to try and calm him, and just as he was going to whip away his tears, Kao’s belly began to grumble. Which had turned their worries into laughter. “How about you get some food in you?” Pete said pressing a small peck to his nose.
“Yes, please.” Kao had simply said as the smile soften once again onto his face.
Chapter 28: ThaSan: 100/50
They had all been gathered in the actual living room within the San’s home. Sandee had been seated in the love seat with her sisters while Thada had been in the recliner all by himself. They had all crowded around Sandee wanting to know what the doctor had said.
After all, they had heard the news when the two had told Mama San not too long ago. The eldest of the San sisters was the one that had taken it upon herself for scolding them about being so irresponsible.
‘With all the millions of ways to prevent a pregnancy, you two idiots couldn’t have used one?!’ was what she had said that day, among other things that had sprung out in the heat of her anger and disappointment in Sandee and Thada. Apart from her words, the other sisters hadn’t said much, for their sister had said pretty much what had been on everyone’s mind.
However, Mama San hadn’t been the least bit angry. In fact, she was ecstatic about the news. Why? Well, all this time she had been focused on marrying off Sanrak, that now she hoped that Sandee and he married before the baby was born—something that he had Sandee had yet to talk about—now that the two had thought it over and decided to keep it. Naturally, he couldn’t help but think about marriage now, just he didn’t know how to bring it up with Sandee. He wasn’t even sure that Sandee would want to marry him, she’d always had made sure he knew that there were ‘options’.
Their anger and disappointment had subsided since then, but Thada had always felt a bit uncomfortable coming here. He was still getting used to being able to come into the actual San House. Unlike, before, where he would be waiting outside with the rest of the San’s boyfriends.
“He said the baby is doing well, she’s a little small but that wasn’t really a concern,” Sandee said summarizing pretty much the important things she remembered.
“You mean he is small,” Thada corrected as he pulled out the spare sonogram picture they had given him. “Here P’Sansuay, you said you wanted a copy of him right?”
Sansuay had only grinned happily going to take the picture from him. She had big plans on doing something special for them with every picture she took of them and the pictures Thada kept getting for her from their doctor’s visits. “Thank you,” She said with a smile as Sanwan had come over to fawn over the picture with her.
“You really must want a son, huh?” Sanson said with a cheeky grin.
“Hate to break it to you little brother, but I’m sure it’s a girl,” Sanrak said with a smile as she cradled her cup of coffee in her hands.
“It’s a boy, I’m telling you,” Thada had argued.
“No way, it’s definitely a girl. I mean look around, our family is mostly female,” Sanrak said matter-of-factly.
“Well she’s not wrong about that,” Sandee and Sanwan said in union.
“That doesn’t mean anything,” Thada said, genetically there was a 50/50 chance. So he could be having a son.
However, when Sandee was 18 weeks, they found out the gender of their baby. Sandee had given her boyfriend a sympathetic look, “Hey, I’m sure maybe the next one will be a boy,” She said trying to comfort him.
“I’ll never doubt your sisters again,” He half-joked wrapping his arms tightly around her. He wasn’t really upset with having a girl, he had just been so excitedly settled with the idea of a son so this was a new feeling. He would have to protect his daughter from all the boys.
“So, were we right or were we right?” Sanson asked as soon as they spotted them walking into the shop.
Thada had only groaned in displeasure, he didn’t need their teasing right now.
Chapter 29: Chapter 18
Kao’s craving had led Pete to the other side of the city because Kao had wanted a particular dish from a particular place. He couldn’t help but wonder just how Mork and Sun had been able to manage all this time, especially with their café. But just seeing how happily Kao was eating in the passenger seat beside him, had Pete smiling to himself. “Is it that good?” Pete had asked watching Kao stuff the piece of the roasted duck into his mouth.
Kao had only hummed at him, as he reached a piece of duck towards Pete to give him a taste of it. “Here, try it.” He said as his eyes grew big waiting for Pete to savor the taste.
Pete had chewed on it quietly, trying to savor the taste of it to see what Kao thought made this special from any other place’s roasted duck. However, Pete couldn’t help but think that it didn’t taste all that different than the roasted duck from the restaurant just around the corner from the clinic—that he had tried to take Kao to. But, being him, he couldn’t help but exaggerate for Kao. “mmm~! It’s definitely delicious,” he said letting his voice express that sincerity after swallowing the food in his mouth before he was half leaning over to Kao’s side of the seat. “Can I have another piece?”
Pete’s answer had Kao smiling even wider as he nodded his head in approval of Pete’s words. “It’s the best place to get the roasted duck!” He said all too happy to share his food with him. It just became natural after that, to feed himself 2 pieces before giving Pete one. After all, he was eating for two so it made sense that he’d get more.
The soft music playing on the stereo had helped keep the atmosphere so calm and peaceful between them both, that Kao hadn’t even noticed the route Pete was taking. It wasn’t until he had gotten a glimpse of those very recognizable yellow swings that he knew just where exactly he was.
“Pete…what are you doing? This isn’t the way to Mork’s apartment,” he asked turning towards him as his brows began to knit together both from anger and fear.
“I’m taking you home, where else?” Pete said making it sound like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
“Why are you taking me home?!” Kao had said beginning to get agitated, “Just stop the car!” Kao said moving the food bags out of his lap. Which had Pete panicking thinking Kao was going to jump out of his car.
“Kao, what are you doing?!” Pete had said frantically stopping the car as quickly and as gently as possible. The last thing he wanted was to hurt Kao and their child because he was being a reckless driver, moreover, there were far too many cars driving past them that it had him panicked and reaching over to grab Kao’s hand to stop him.
“I never said I wanted to come here…” Kao said angrily as he tried his best to move away from Pete while trying to unbuckle himself. “I’m not ready to go back yet, Pete….My mom, s-she doesn’t….” Kao tried to say as he tightened his grip on the seatbelt. He could feel his eyes burning with the tears trying to spill from them, and his heartbeat faster with the panic rising within him at just being here.
“Kao, listen to me,” Pete begged, inching closer to him as much as he could. He pulled his hand away from the seatbelt, pulling his hand into his in hopes of trying to calm him—even if just a little bit before he heard what he needed to say. “Kao…your mom knows about us, she knows about the baby.” He said making his voice as soft and as gentle as he could, but that didn’t really seem to have helped Kao.
“Why would you tell her?!” Kao had yelled pulling his hands away from his. He couldn’t help but feel his heart sink so painfully slow into his stomach just hearing those words. He had never once come out to her about his sexuality, but nowhere Pete was saying he had already outed him—not just about his sexual preference but about the baby! “How could you tell her, Pete!? Why would you do this to me?” Kao had cried out.
“I didn’t do it to hurt you…” Pete said letting his brows crease. Just seeing Kao cry was making him feel this ache in his chest. He hadn’t wanted to hurt him, much less make him cry like this. “She figured it out on her own,” He said desperately trying to explain himself, “She saw the pregnancy results from the Hospital on your desk. I just admitted that it was my son.” He said but just hearing him sob had Pete shifting in his seat. He had turned his whole body to face him as he reached over to cup his cheeks.
“I wouldn’t have brought you home if I wasn’t sure you and our son would be welcomed,” Pete said pressing a kiss to his face. “Please, just trust me okay? She’s been patiently waiting for you to come home. So, let me take you home, okay?” He practically begged.
“O-Okay…” Kao had said between a sob.
He was by no means ready, but Pete was asking him to trust him.
Chapter 30: Chapter 19
When they had headed back towards the table, Sun had taken the tray from Mork’s hands and ushered him and Kitty to sit down first before he was even setting the tray down on the table. “I want to formally introduce my boyfriend, Mork, and our good friend Kitty.” He said with a smile as motioned to them both—although, with Mork, Sun had gently flicked his under chin in a loving way making Mork look at him with such a sweet smile.
“It’s nice to meet you,” They both had said with a smile, while Mork had grabbed Sun’s hand and pulled it away from his face and just held it on his lap, beneath the table.
The sweet little act wasn’t missed from the group, which had Techno eyeing Type with a knowing look. “I’m sure you know those two, so there is no point in introducing them.” He said—not missing the way Kitty had nodded her head as if saying ‘yes, we know them’—before he was motioning towards the baby in Tharn’s arms. “This precious baby, is their son, Korn.” Techno said with a smile, “I’m Techno, and this hunk beside me, is my husband, Kengkla.”
“Hunk, huh? Are you trying to flirt with me?” Kla couldn’t help but tease his own wife making Techno give him a look of disgust. Although, if you looked closely, there was this tint of pink dusted over his cheeks.
Sun couldn’t help but chuckle and shake his head, even Tharn seemed to find it a bit amusing.
“P’Tharn, P’Type, I didn’t know your son was this big already,” Kitty cooed at the baby just finding it so endearing to see the baby nibbling at the snacks Mork had brought him. She had never thought she would see her idol in such a domestic setting—with a baby slobbering over his hand and leaving traces of soft crackers over it.
It seemed the talk about his son had Type softening from that look he had been giving them moments ago. “Ah, that’s because Tharn made sure the media couldn’t get pictures of Korn.” He said gently caressing his child’s cheek, which had baby Korn turning towards his mother with those big round eyes and that toothless smile. “Goodness, Korn, you’re making a mess,” Type had cooed going to grab a napkin only to see Mork handing him one.
“He’s so adorable, P, he’s definitely going to be a heartbreaker when he grows up,” Kitty said which had only had Techno adding to it with his own 2 cents.
Sun had ended up changing the topic to Techno, asking him how the others were—considering he had let Todd’s name slip. They had all been busy talking about their friends and how the gathering had gone, that they had completely changed their focus. It was so nice for Sun to hear that their friends had all been doing well and had started already forming their own families. The idea had him glancing at Mork for a moment only to see that his focus hadn’t been on the conversation but on the baby who was staring at him as well.
Tharn, being the one to notice, had only looked at the younger male and said, “Want to hold him?” He knew his wife wasn’t particularly comfortable with letting strangers hold their son, yet but even Type seemed to had not put a stop to it.
“Are you sure, it’s okay?” Mork had asked already unfolding his hands.
“Sure, it seems Korn likes you,” Type said with a soft smile directed towards his son. He wasn’t sure about Mork, yet, but Korn seemed to be.
“See, it’s okay,” Tharn said carefully getting up to hand his son over to Mork.
It was a bit awkward, but Mork couldn’t help but smile at the child that had settled into his arms. The baby had just leaned back into the crease of his arm and kicked his little legs just trying to reach out to him. Mork felt his heart skip a beat just seeing him and thinking that baby Mini would be like this one day. “It’s different than I imaged,” He said to Sun when he felt his boyfriend lean in to ruffle Korn’s hair.
“Hm, he moves a lot more than Mini does, huh?” Sun joked making a face at the baby, which earned him this excited little gurgle from Korn.
Mork couldn’t help but shake his head at that as he carefully adjusted Korn in his arms, afraid he would choke if he stayed laying down. Mork’s fingers were gently whipping away the crumbs from his face gently cooing at him when he squealed at him so happily.
It was a golden opportunity that Techno couldn’t let go of, so he had naturally let his mouth run. “We heard you were sick, N’Mork.?” He said giving Sun this look as he motioned towards the baby in Mork’s arms, “Could it be that you’re hiding something?” He said insinuating something meant for Sun, though Mork had caught it.
“Ah...It’s not like that P,” Mork said with an awkward chuckle as he handed the baby back to Tharn. It wasn’t like the idea made him uncomfortable, but it sure was odd to get it from a stranger. He and Sun, hadn’t even had that conversation so he wasn’t sure what he thought about it. Did he want to have kids? But seeing him pull away from him had Mork excusing himself for a moment to answer the call that couldn’t have come at a better time.
Sun had only looked towards Mork’s retrieving back as he went before he was looking towards Techno—who was being scolded by his husband for making a bad joke. “It’s okay,” Sun assured that it wasn’t a big deal. Actually, maybe, Techno had opened up the conversation for them. They hadn’t really spoken much about the future together—outside, from the future they hoped for the café—but Sun wanted to talk about it more and more with every passing day.
He wanted to marry Mork and have a family with him. He had never been sure about sharing his future with anyone else like he was about him. He really wanted to hurry up and propose.
Kitty, on the other hand, had only helped ease the tension made from Techno’s joke. “Don’t worry, Mork isn’t someone to take a joke like that to heart. He’s probably just worried about Kao.” Kitty said getting their attention on her.
“Who’s Kao?” Type had asked raising a brow.
Chapter 31: Chapter 20
He had hidden away because of Pete, but he hadn’t stopped to think of what his mother would think of him. Now, that he was there being helped out of the car, he couldn’t help but feel a wave of emotions rushing towards him. He was afraid she’d be disappointed in him. He was her eldest and only son and this is how he had ended up. Pregnant and nearly abandoned…
“Pete…I change my mind…” Kao said gripping tighter onto his hand, refusing to take another step away from the car. He could feel his legs shaking and his palms beginning to sweat.
“It’s going to be okay, I promise,” Pete assured him as he moved his arm to wrap around his waist for support. “We’ve already made it this far.” He knew this was a scary thing to do, telling one's parents wasn’t easy—heck he had nearly shit his pants when he had told his own dad. But the worst part of it had been admitting to Mrs. Karn what he had done to her son. The worst part was over, Kao wouldn’t have to face it alone. “I’m right here with you,” Pete said.
Those words must have put Kao at ease, because he had found his courage enough to keep walking beside Pete, despite the look of wanting to cry. Pete could still feel his hands trembling in his, so he had just fixed their hands so that they were laced together.
When they had reached the front door, Pete had been the one to knock on the door. He had straightened himself out when he felt Kao lean into him—almost like he was trying to hide. It was kind of cute, had he not looked so terrified.
As the door opened, Pete had turned towards it only to see Gift, Kao’s sister, standing there ready to greet whatever stranger was at their door, but when her eyes landed on Kao her smile had faded. It worried Pete to see her because he had not seen the younger girl at all.
“Uh…” He began but Gift had only erupted in a huge squeal and ran the two steps down to them.
“P’Kao!” She said startling her brother before she was going on, “P’Kao, thank goodness! I thought I was going to miss my nephew being born!” She said completely elated as she squeezing between them to wrap her arms around both of them in the best way that she could.
It was awkward for Pete to say the least, he had not even kept her in mind when he had come to see Kao’s mom. But from the looks of it didn’t seem as though Gift was upset with him or Kao. Just one look at Kao had him almost looking a little sympathetically at him. Kao’s eyes looked so puffy and red from crying, even now, there were renewed tears streaming down his cheeks as he returned his sister's embrace.
“W-When did you get home?” Kao had asked blinking away the tears in his eyes. He couldn’t believe he hadn’t thought of her either. She had begged to go on this volunteer trip for a few months that he had completely forgotten. Gift had always looked up to him, and he couldn’t help but feel that she shouldn’t be so happy about this. He was being a terrible role model to her.
Gift had just pulled away from them and focused her attention on Pete as she crossed her arms behind her back, “I knew liked my brother, but I didn’t think it would be this much.”
Pete, for once, couldn’t help but feel shy by her words. His eyes had diverted away from her, while his blood rushed to his cheeks. He couldn’t think of a single thing to say to that without feeling like he would giggle like a schoolgirl.
“Gift,” Kao had half scolded—though he was also a bit embarrassed and so unwilling to look at Pete at that moment.
She felt a little pleased with herself to see just how sincere their feelings showed on their face. The moment she had arrived home she had gone to find her brother to tell him about all of her adventures. However, when she couldn’t find him she had quickly asked her mom about his whereabouts—so ready to go out and find him because she simply couldn’t wait to tell him about the friends she had made nor the boy she had met. But hearing about Kao and Pete’s situation, she had completely forgotten about it and been so eagerly waiting for them to come home so that she could hear all about the baby.
“Come on, P’Kao, P’Pete, mom was just setting the table!” Gift said rushing back up the steps and waving them in.
Pete couldn’t help but chuckle a little as he turned towards Kao, “She seems very excited about you coming home.” He said before adding, “See we are off to a good start.”
“You’re too optimistic,” Kao had half smiled as he rubbed his face trying to ride the tears staining them.
The second surprise came once they had been ushered into the dining room. There, sitting at the table was Pete’s dad so comfortably chatting away with Mrs. Karn. The atmosphere around the two seemed to be great. They were all smiles and soft whispers being shared between them.
“Dad, what are you doing here?” He asked a bit surprised. Bring Kao to see his mom was one thing, but he hadn’t thought of taking him to see his dad just, yet.
Just the sound of Pete’s voice had both of them turning their way, “Kao,” His mother had said standing up from her seat—seemingly just as surprised as them to see them. Even his father had stood up along with her, but after a moment, Mrs. Karn had come to their side to pull Kao into a seat.
His dad had only smiled at him with that gentle smile of his as he spoke, “What do you mean? Kao is also my son now. As your father, I came to offer my hand to help with anything Kao may need.” He had gently patted Pete’s arm before he was turning towards Kao. “He’s a good kid, Pete, take good care of them.”
“I know, I will,” Pete had said with a smile as he watched Kao cry into his mother’s hands. He hated seeing him cry, but he knew they weren’t due to sadness. He must have really missed his mom.
Chapter 32: Chapter 21
“Please, Mork,” Rain begged from the other side of the line.
“Rain, if your brother finds out that you only asked him to drive you to school to go run off on a date and cut class, he’s going to kill you.” Mork had groaned into his hand. Sun had been late with his meeting with his friends over this? And now, here was Rain asking him to cover for him so that he could run off on a trip with this said girl. “Rain…”
“Come on, Mork! Don’t act like you and P’Sun won’t benefit from me being out of the house for a weekend.” Rain had said—and Mork hated that he could just picture the kind of face his friend was surely making.
“THAT is not the point!” Mork said a little embarrassed and annoyed. “I don’t like lying to P’Sun for you.”
“I promise I will tell him when I come back! Just help me this once!” Rain pleaded.
There was a point where he would go along with Rain schemes but back then P’Sun had thought it was him, who had suggested the ideas. Rain had always gotten them into trouble, but now that he was on this end he could see why P’Sun was constantly worrying about him. Rain was just a wild person at heart. So unpredictable, but that’s what had made him so fun to be around. Because you never knew what kind of excitement the day would bring with Rain around. However, Mork felt like he was pasted that. All he wanted now was to settle down start a business of his own as P’Sun had done.
“Fine, but you better tell him the moment you are back.” Mork had said leaning against the gate to the patio.
“Woohoo! Thanks, Mork! I will bring you back a shell from the beach!” Rain cheered so happily that Mork couldn’t help but smile as he shook his head.
“Er…If I don’t get it, I’m telling P’Sun to fire you.” He joked before hanging upon his friend just as he was about to complain.
“I could still fire him if you ask me nicely,” Sun had said wrapping his arms around Mork’s waist—and unintentionally making Mork jump a little.
“P’Sun!” Mork had let out in relief as he relaxed into his boyfriend’s embrace. “It’s rude to listen to other people’s conversations.” He said letting his hands gently caress the man’s hands against his midsection.
“It’s also inconsiderate to promise to lie to me for him,” Sun said with a smile as he leaned down to kiss Mork’s shoulder tenderly. He should be upset, but he really couldn’t bring himself to be all that mad at the moment. Rain was just giving him an opportunity to carry out his own plan. Mork just didn’t know what awaited him these next couple of days.
“So, you did hear all of it then?” Mork said with a small sigh as he tugged at Sun’s arms to loosen their hold. He had turned around to face him as he wrapped his arms around his shoulders, “What am I supposed to do? I want to understand him as a friend, but as your boyfriend, I also understand your worries.”
“Don’t worry about it right now, leave Rain to me,” P’Sun said bringing his hand to cup Mork’s cheek. He had leaned in to press a kiss to his forehead and then his nose, slowly pressing kisses across his cheeks down to his dimples.
“P’Sun, if you keep this up your friends are going to come looking for you,” Mork had said, though he really didn’t want to put a stop to the gentle touches being fluttered around his skin. If they were alone...just maybe…
“Just one more kiss then,” Sun had said pulling Mork in for a proper kiss. It was short, sweet, and full of love and lingering with regret it couldn’t last a moment longer. As much as Sun wanted to take advantage of this moment, Mork was right, they had guests that they could not neglect. Sun had slipped his hand into his boyfriend’s own and let their fingers lace, and with one tug he was guiding him back inside.
“P’Sun, I know what I said to Rain, but don’t be too hard on him,” Mork said letting himself be tugged along. As much as he joked with Rain about getting him into trouble, he didn’t actually wish to see the two brothers fight more than they usually did.
“That depends on Rain and if he can dare to tell the truth,” Sun said honestly. As grateful as he was for this opportunity, his brother had wasted his time for no reason. Rain was pushing his luck, and that was something they both knew whether they said it out loud or not. But for Mork’s sake, he wouldn’t be too hard with his punishment.
Chapter 33: Chapter 22
It had been such an eventful day, more so for Kao than himself, but still, he had been so unprepared for it all. When he had thought about his future, he had never thought about past the moment he was living in. He had always thought he’d deal with life a day at a time, but now he seemed to be thinking more and more about the future. He thought about Kao and their baby. He wanted to give them a normal family, but he knew if he asked Kao about ‘IT’ it wouldn’t be a good outcome. Kao was scared to trust him fully right now.
Yet, he had asked him to stay with him. Pete had shifted a little closer to Kao’s sleeping form, and carefully let his hand wander over the curve of his belly. He was so fascinated by it—by how different he was compared to Sandee, and especially by the little flutters of movements against his palm.
He wasn’t sure why he had gotten the sudden urge to talk to it, but he had found his words just slipping before he could catch himself. “You got stuck with the worst father…” He said in a low whisper, “Ka-..your mom, he’s disappointed in me, but he still wants me here…. I’m kind of scared kid.” His smile couldn’t help but sadden when admitting to it.
He hadn’t even noticed that Kao’s eyes had fluttered open and was listening in to his conversation. He couldn’t help but ask the one question he had feared asking him. “Do you regret it?” He asked turning his head to look at him, though he couldn’t really see him in the darkness. “…Sleeping with me?”
The question had startled him. He almost felt embarrassed being caught talking to his belly, but that look on his face had this lump forming in his throat. “No, I don’t…I’m just scared Kao,” he said honestly to him, this time. “I’ve messed up with you… what if I can’t be a good father to In? What if I mess up with him too?” Pete said letting his hands pull away from Kao’s midsection, unsure if afraid they weren’t welcome there. What he had said to Kao about wanting this, was true, but he still had fears. He had a bad temper and he knew he could be extremely possessive with Kao—things Kao had said he hated about him before.
Kao couldn’t help but reach his hands to stop Pete’s hands from leaving his belly. He had gently pulled them back onto it, silently instructing them to keep rubbing his bump. “I think you will be a good dad, Pete. You really love the baby and I think that is more than enough,” Kao said remembering how Pete had behaved at the clinic. He wasn’t sure how nor when he had gotten the baby’s sonogram but had noticed the picture that had already been in his wallet. He just hadn’t said anything because he thought maybe Mork had given it to him. “I’m scared too, but we will learn together to take care of In.” Kao said with a soft smile.
Intradit, ‘In’ for short, had been the name Pete’s father had chosen for their son. Pete’s dad had insisted he wanted to name his first grandchild this because he wanted the baby to have a strong name that matched with Kao and Pete’s. Even Kao’s mother had seemed to like the name, and Kao had no objection to it—he hadn’t even been able to pick a name just yet. He thought In was perfect.
It was comforting to hear that from him. Kao hadn’t lost all his faith in him. “Kao, I really want to kiss you,” He said not sure whether he would be allowed to do it or not.
Kao hadn’t really thought Pete would ask, he had always been so aggressive about doing whatever he wanted to him. So for him to ask, had Kao letting out a small laugh as he held his arms out to him. “You can do it,” He said giving Pete his permission.
Pete hadn’t wasted a minute after hearing that, but he wasn’t careless like before. Instead, he had carefully moved over him to reach his lips. He could feel his body shudder at Kao’s fingertips sliding across the back of his neck. And when their lips met the kiss was soft, slow, gently melting into more. He could feel the warmth of Kao’s breath against his cheek as their lips molded into one another; building the heat between them the more they pressed into it.
That kiss told them just how much they liked this, how much this feeling was missed, but even so all it took was one wondering hand to have Kao pulling away begging Pete to stop. “No, Pete, we can’t!” Kao had said frantically trying to wiggle away from him.
“I’m sorry, Kao, I’m so sorry,” Pete had said quickly as he pulled away from him. He had almost gotten carried away and messed up again. Of course, Kao wouldn’t want to do it. He was so stupid for letting just one heated kiss make him forget about keeping himself in check.
“It’s not that…Pete, my mom, and sister…” Kao said quickly not wanting Pete to misunderstand but he also didn’t want to do it when his mom and sister were just next doors to them. The tint on his cheeks had only darkened just thinking about being heard.
That realization had Pete laughing, though it wasn’t particularly funny as it was unfortunate. “I get it, but I’m still sorry, I should have been more careful…” He said before he was getting off the bed, “I better go call Mork, I promised I’d keep him updated on you.”
“Okay,” Kao had simply said letting himself get comfortable as he watched Pete leave to the terrace.
Chapter 34: ForthBeam: Sincere
Between the two, Forth was definitely the more sentimental and romantic one. Beam knew that, and he had never once tried to deny it, but there were moments that he could be romantic and cute—or so Forth said. Still, there were times that he’d overhear Forth’s friends question their relationship.
‘Aren’t you just getting carried away on your own, Forth?’
‘Beam doesn’t even seem to like you. Are you sure he didn’t just agree so you’d leave him alone?’
‘That is probably it! I mean we haven’t seen you go look for him as much as before.’
‘Yeah, what kind of boyfriend doesn’t want to spend time with his significant other?’
Remembering those words always hurt him a little more every time. He knew he wasn’t exactly the romantic type. Sure, he had dated before but he had never really loved any of them. So, to naturally act on his feelings was different than faking them. Forth always made him feel special and teased him in a way that left him a feeling a little warm inside. He was also a little scared because even now, Forth was slowly consuming his mind when he wasn’t supposed to be.
“Easy there, it’s not that difficult of a worksheet,” P’Oh said getting a little taken aback by Beam—who had decided to smack his cheeks would urge him to focus.
“Yeah…sorry, I was falling asleep,” Beam lied as he pretended to yawn just to really sell it.
Beam and Oh, had been seated at a table on the second floor of the lounge area within their department building—it had been their usual place to study and go over the materials for the next class. Becoming a doctor, always seemed like such a dream to many of the students that had come into this program, but the reality of it was that it was a lot of work. They were constantly drowning in new materials, projects, and exams. If he wasn’t so determined to become a doctor, he would have given up long ago.
Every now and then he’d look towards his friend, Oh. The guy was just as focused as him, he supposed that was what had made them get along so well. They both had a goal in mind and were so unwilling to deviate from it. Beam had only lowered his eyes back to his worksheet tried his best to get back on track.
However, the small little commotion from the ground floor, had Oh’s eyes deviating down only to spot what had the girls so excited. “Hey, isn’t that your boyfriend?” the moment P’Oh had spoken up, that had Beam losing focus yet again, and looking in the direction P’Oh was looking. There he saw Forth getting caught up by the girls in their department, all eager to say ‘Hi’ to the ever so friendly and kind Engineer upperclassman.
Beam should have been used to this by now, he knew Forth had always been a people magnet. He was handsome, kind, and gentle with people, that was just who he was as a person. However, Beam had never known he could be so jealous over someone either, so it was troubling him to see the way women clung to his boyfriend or the way they smiled at him or even called his name.
However, before Beam could snap the pencil in his hand Oh had pulled his attention away. “Are you seriously dating that guy?” He asked him as he looked down at Forth trying to excuse himself once he had spotted them. “I thought you hated him?”
“I never hated him,” Beam had said honestly. He may have thought him to be an overly confident guy, annoying even, but never had he hated the man. He had just thought they were too different to be considered friends. Forth had always been openly gay, while Beam had been closeted and honestly, overly focused on his career to have wanted to give dating a priority in his life.
“You both are an odd match,” Oh said honestly as he watched Forth reach the top stairs and disappear behind the bookshelves trying to make his way around to them.
“I know,” Beam said setting the poor pencil down to mark his place in his workbook before he was standing up from his seat when he saw Forth peak out from around the shelves. He couldn’t help but let a small smile slip onto his face as he saw his boyfriend wave at him quietly and point at the bag in his hand as he mouthed ‘I brought you lunch’. “But I like him,” Beam said excusing himself to make his way to Forth with a regained scowl.
“What are you doing here?” Beam had said to Forth as he crossed his arms against his chest.
“You’re not going home, tonight, right? So, I brought you dinner,” Forth said with a smile as he reached a hand out to caress Beam’s cheek. Since the touch wasn’t unwelcomed, Forth had leaned in to steal a kiss from him.
At that, Beam had reacted with a slap to his arm and a pinch to his side, “Nasty! We are in a library, learn to keep your hands to yourself.” His cheeks had turned red.
Forth, had only laughed despite the light ticklish feeling left behind in his arm and the burning in his side. Instead, he had reached his hand out to hold Beam’s hand and lace their fingers together as he said, “Come on, the food is getting cold.”
“Fine, only for a little bit. I still have a lot to cover,” Beam said letting himself be pulled along, and when Forth had turned Beam couldn’t help but let a small smile slip onto his face.
P’Oh couldn’t help but sign as he leaned his head into his palm as he watched the two disappear around the corner. “Everyone is so stupidly in love.” He said shaking his head, though, in reality, he was happy for his friend. Forth was an idiot, but Beam always seemed happy to see that tower.
Chapter 35: TharnType: Plus One
Ever since they had left Sun’s cafe, Type had been in a bad mood. Tharn, for the life of him, couldn’t think of a reason as to why he would be so upset. His wife hadn’t seemed to be that worried about Mork anymore. Heck, the two had even wandered off for a moment upstairs, so they could put Korn down for a nap. He had assumed that their private conversation had gone well since he had told him that he approved of Mork—though not in those exact words. However, on the ride home, his wife had kept on ignoring him and even headed straight into the nursery to put Korn down for bed, leaving him to wait in their bedroom until he returned.
As the hour passed, Tharn had showered and readied himself for bed, yet his wife hadn’t come to their bedroom. Type was actively avoiding him, huh? Tharn had just sighed as he got out of bed to go look for him. They had been together for a long time and had their share of disputes to know they hated leaving these kinds of issues for another day. Whatever was bugging his wife, he wanted to know so they could get past it and sleep together. He didn’t want to spend this break fighting with him.
He had walked down the few steps to their son’s nursery to look for him, but Type wasn’t there. He waited until he had closed the door back up before calling his wife’s name, “Type?” He had moved down the long corridor to the other side of their home, carefully opening doors in hopes of finding him. All his wondering had led him downstairs only to find him sitting at the dining table nursing a mug in his hands.
“Honey, why didn’t you come to bed?” Tharn had said carefully moving towards him. He had carefully pulled the chair out from beside him, afraid that the noise would wake up their son. He winced a little when he heard the legs screech against the floor. “Type?” He called again when his wife had not even turned to look at him. “You’ve been a little off since we left Sun’s place. If it’s because of something I said, I’m sorry. Believe me, the last thing I wanted was to hurt you,” He said as his hand naturally had gone to rest against his wife’s thigh.
However, the contact had not been welcomed by Type at all. He had simply pushed his hand away and moved further up in his chair. He had curled his legs up into the chair as he let out a long sigh. “I’m not mad at you P’…”
“How am I supposed to believe that when you’ve been giving me the silent treatment since we left the café?” Tharn had said with a small frown. He felt himself getting frustrated with his own words and even more so with Type’s actions. But that hadn’t lasted very long before Type was stretching his hand to grab onto his. That little touch had him calming down almost instantly, and curling his fingers around the much more delicate hand.
“When I took Korn in for his checkup, Dr. Pin said I didn’t look okay so he insisted I get a checkup. He was afraid that perhaps I had developed Postpartum preeclampsia,” Type said squeezing his husband’s hands as a way to reassure him before he could begin to worry. “Yesterday, when I was with Mork upstairs, Dr. Pin called. It turns out it wasn’t postpartum preeclampsia, which I'm relieved. I just was surprised that it turned out to be because of the baby.”
It took Tharn a minute before he was stupidly said, “Wait…what?” For one, Type had not said anything about this checkup. He distinctively remembered him saying that Korn was healthy, a little chubby but that it was perfectly within the norm for a 6-month-old baby. This entire time he had been worried about it all on his own. He wanted to be mad at him for keeping something like that to himself, but the actual diagnosis was far too joyous for the anger to fully settle within him. “We are having another baby?” He grinned widely, not being able to contain his excitement as he pulled Type closer.
“Tharn!” Type had whined out in protest, despite doing nothing to stop his husband from switching him onto his lap. However, when Tharn had tried to kiss him, which he did protest with so much vigor. He had done his best to push Tharn’s face away from him. He knew his husband and himself enough to know that if they kissed it wouldn’t just be a kiss, and they were not done talking.
“But why did that have you so upset? Did you not want another?” Tharn asked once he had settled for kissing Type’s palms.
“You know I do,” Type said whipping his hands on Tharn’s expensive shirt before he was leaning back against Tharn’s chest. He had changed professions because he wanted to start a family. They had both been so focused on their careers and he was so grateful for all the support Tharn had given him in his dream to go pro. Tharn had even waited for him to decide when the right time was for them to have a family. So, having another baby was definitely the issue. “I’ve been so careless. These couple of weeks we have been going out drinking and meeting up with old friends…what if all that harms the baby?”
That had completely escaped him, but he understood why Type had been so upset. After all, ever since they had come home they had been constantly going out at night to meet up with their friends or they had been within Techno and Kengkla’s company. “It’s not your fault, Type. We didn’t know.” He said trying to soothe that look on his face, “Let’s make an appointment with your doctor and check on the baby, hm?”
“I promise the baby’s going to be okay,” He tried to reassure before he was urging him to go to bed and get some rest.
The following day, they had dropped off Korn with Techno and Kengkla for the morning, while they had headed to the doctor’s office. The amount of relief Type had felt hearing the professional assure him the baby was okay—though he recommended he stop drinking.
And when they had told their friends—and primary babysitters—about it, Techno had insisted they celebrate with tea and biscuits.
Type wasn’t sure why, but he had even shared the news with his new friend, Mork.
Chapter 36: ForthBeam: Jealousy
They had walked outside to sit at the picnic tables. Beam had sat across from Forth as he had pulled the bag towards himself to get the cup of coffee that had been safely tucked inside. Although, when he noticed the additional one, he had only looked up at his boyfriend with furrowed brows. “Why did you bring three?” He asked eyeing him with suspicion. Clearly one was for him, but the third one?
“It’s for your friend, Oh,” Forth said taking out the tray of food for his beloved. He had opened it and set it in front of him before reaching for the utensils. “You said you were going to stay with him to study. Whenever you two study, you are always staying here overnight. I figured he could use it, too.” He said finally sitting down across from him before he was even reaching to grab his own cup of coffee.
That answer had Beam a little surprised, but even so, the corners of his lips were turning upwards into a smile. “Thanks,” he said quickly before he was digging into the soup Forth had brought him. It was these little thoughtful things about Forth that he had loved so much, even though they had always been the root of his troubles. For a moment he couldn’t help but look aimlessly at the green onion floating about in his soup. Forth was always like this with him, that’s why his friends thought their relationship was one-sided. Even P’Oh seemed to think so to some extent.
“He looked in a better mood, I suppose he and Pick sorted out their problems,” Forth said with a smile as he watched Beam more or less scarf down the soup like if he had been starved.
He had taken a minute to whip his mouth before he was saying, “Now, that you mention it, he does seem like it.” He agreed. His friend had been in a much more relaxed mood. Oh was even staying longer after classes and even started to grab lunch with him again. Even the complaints about his sister’s boyfriend had seemed to lessen. “That’s why he’s wanted to cramp in some extra study time.” He explained before taking a sit of his drink.
“I’m glad, even Pick has been rather passive. He hasn’t been hanging out with us after school as much anymore,” Forth said leaning his chin into his palm as he let out a small sigh. “Seems everyone is slowly running off on their own.” He said which had Beam slamming his spoon down on the table.
“I’m done, so leave,” He said taking Oh’s drink with him and leaving a rather confused Forth behind.
“What did I say?” Forth had muttered to himself as he watched Beam leave him there to pick up. “He’s always so quick to change his mood.” He said smiling to himself, being only far too happy to see Beam had at least gotten some food into him.
While Beam was fuming. He hated to admit it but sometimes he was jealous of the way Forth seemed to miss his friends. He was jealous of their time together. When he had returned back to their table he had just placed the drink in front of Oh in a way that had the other man looking at him with a raised brow.
"What's the matter? Trouble in paradise?" Oh had teased, clearly noticing his friend's sudden sour mood. Although, he didn't really question the drink and happily took a sip of it.
"Shut up and drink it!" Beam had hissed before he was shoving himself back into his studies.
P'Oh had only snickered and sipped at the drink before he was turning towards the stairs when he heard the commotion again. Forth was heading back out and it seemed some girls were trying to follow. "If you keep being like this, maybe one day one of them is going to snatch him right out from under you."
"Let them try, see if I care," Beam said scribbling angrily into his notebook, though his eyes did wander over to Forth in time to see him blow him a kiss, and with the anger, he currently felt he couldn't help but flick him off instead.
Chapter 37: Chapter 23
The loud sound of an alarm had startled him awake, disoriented him even, but his real confusion was coming from the movement on the bed beside him. “Hmm?” He had groaned out sleepily as he tried to pry his eyes open though he failed. Instead, he had let his eyes fall back close, sleep was weighing on him far more than his need to wake up fully. That is until he felt a shy hand coming to stroke his belly. “What time is it?” He asked groggily from sleep as he adjusted his hands under his cheek.
“It’s 6 am,” Pete letting his eyes raise up to look at Kao, “Did I wake you up?” He asked worried he had. All he had wanted was to feel the baby. He didn’t think he would have that need as much as June did. Plus it was all new to him. He had never shared his bed with Kao like this—not while pregnant at least—so he had been afraid he had hurt the baby in some way overnight.
It took Kao a minute to answer, but when he had it had Pete relaxing at that simple ‘No.’ He had shifted a little closer to the center of the bed before he was stretching his hand out to grab onto Pete’s hand. “Your hands are warm,” Kao said pressing them against his belly, which had Pete’s smile softening.
“Are you cold? Should I turn off the aircon?” He asked letting his hands run over his belly with a bit more confidence. He had pulled his hands away long enough to pull the covers further up on Kao’s body.
“No, that’s okay,” Kao had said moving a bit to sit up on the bed, that’s when he noticed Pete’s clothes. “Are you going somewhere?” He asked curiously considering he had not mentioned anything last night.
He had almost forgotten he had been in the middle of getting dressed for school. He had his half of the project to hand into Sandee today and if he dared skip he knew the woman would just come after him. “Yeah, I have to meet San and Thada for a project. I’ll be back as soon as I can,” He promised before he was looking at his watch. He had finished collecting his belongings before he had returned to Kao to kiss his head.
And it just so happened to be when Mrs. Karn had come in to check on them. He couldn’t help but feel his cheeks light up at being caught. “Um…I gotta go,” Pete said with a sheepish grin as he greeted Kao’s mom on the way out.
“He’s a sweet boy,” Mrs. Karn had said with a smile as she went to her child’s side. “How about some breakfast?” She said sitting down beside him. “Pete told me about the doctor’s order. So, what should we have today?” She asked in that sweet voice of her as she assured her son she could make whatever he craved.
“If you let me pick, I might trouble you, mom,” Kao said with a small giggle.
Once he had gotten to school he was a bit impatient for the class to begin. His leg was bouncing up and down as he looked at the clock.
“What’s the matter, Pete? Nervous about telling San you didn’t do your half?” June teased as he wrapped his arms around Pete’s shoulders.
“Shut up! The assignment wasn’t even hard,” Pete had said pushing his friend away before he was turning to face him properly to greet him properly. “What about you? Did you get your half done?” He asked before he was turning when he had heard Sandee’s annoyed voice.
“Absolutely not! He came over last asking Thada and me for help,” Sandee said glaring at June daring him to even try lying about it. It wasn’t that she was upset about helping him with it, but last night had been a rather troubling time for them both. For one, it was their date night and Sandee had wanted to just watch a movie with her boyfriend and talk about the baby. They might have been careless about getting pregnant but now that they had decided to keep her, they both had wanted to prove to her sisters that they could fully take responsibility. Thada had picked up a part-time job and Sandee too was working. They had finally had a day to themselves and June had to come over and ruin their entire evening. He had even stayed well past midnight with Thada.
June had sheepishly smiled at her before he was saying, “I’m sorry San, I had no idea! I swear!” He begged as he slowly move away from Pete in case she decided to reach for him.
“Nothing we can do about it now,” Thada said placing Sandee’s bag on the desk before helping her sit down before he was even taking his seat beside her.
Pete had only shaken his head at their friend before he was looking through his own bag for his half of the report before her anger was directed at him. “I brought the report,” He said placing the packet on her desk. “You can look through it, and I’ll type it up once I get back home.” He said trying to ease that angry look on her face.
“That’s fine, I’ll look it over during break,” She said before she was finally remembering the thing she had actually been curious about. “You were meeting Kao yesterday, right? How did it go?” She asked turning to look at him with a much calmer demeanor.
“Oh! That’s right! You went to see Kao. How is our little marshmallow?” June had cooed making Pete furrow his brows at him.
“I think it went okay,” Pete said trying to figure out how to better word everything. “He was a little nervous,” He admitted, though he didn’t want to say that the reason for it had been him. Kao was almost due and here he was trying to jump into this at this late stage of his pregnancy. Kao had already done all the hard work, he’d been through a lot and been just fine without him. “Sandee, what if I’m no good at it?” Pete said looking at her with worries in the world of being a father and a partner.
“Don’t you dare say that,” Sandee said gently reaching for his hand. “I don’t think anyone expects you to be perfect at this, just be there. That’s all I’d want if I were Kao.” She said.
“You love them don’t you?” Thada had asked. He wasn’t saying love was all it took, but it was the most important part to make every effort count regardless if he screwed up along the way. Kao was the type to forgive everything if Pete tried earnestly to be there.
“I do,” Pete said with a small smile. He loved Kao and In, though it had taken him the longest to even admit it to them. “I do love them, but I can’t help but worry. The baby is almost here and we are still trying to work things out between us.” He had promised Kao to be there for them, and that was something he didn’t plan to go back on. It’s just that Kao hadn’t seemed to really believe him and he didn’t know how to make him trust him.
Chapter 38: Chapter 24
Last night, had been far too much. He felt like he had let those feelings he still felt get the best of him, that now he just left him feeling a little embarrassed. It’s not like he wasn’t aware that Pete liked him, but what if he was just getting carried away by the moment again?
Kao had rubbed at his belly as he sighed to himself. He didn’t think he could do it anymore. In was almost here and that’s all he should be worried about, but with Pete here it had made him even more afraid than he had first been. He had promised he’d be there for the both of them but he was afraid of being let down. And to make things even more complicated, their families were now aware of this and were under the impression they were together.
He wanted to believe him “…because I really love him,” He sighed out without thinking. Which had only startled him to hear Pete’s voice.
“Are you talking about the baby?” He asked setting his bag down by the door before he was making his way towards the bed. He had carefully laid down beside him and reaching out to join Kao’s hand on his belly.
It was a bit embarrassing to have him hear that, but he hadn’t really wanted to admit he was talking about him. So, he had just pretended not to have heard the question. Besides, it wasn’t like Pete particularly minded when he kept his eyes on his belly. The warmth of Pete’s hand had Kao relaxing as he changed the subject, “I didn’t think you’d become here right after school,” He said honestly.
“Why wouldn’t I be? I want to spend time with you and the baby,” Pete said focusing on the little flutters that greeted him against his palm. It was still very strange to feel that little push against his palm, but it had a strange way of making him feel so excited. “He’s very active,” Pete said scooting closer to Kao so that he could easily reach him with both of his hands.
“Hm, he seems to be moving a lot more these days,” He said letting a small groan escape him when the baby seemed to have kicked him a little harder that time.
“Does it hurt?” Pete asked a little worried. The doctor had said these movements were normal but it still seemed to put a lot of discomfort on Kao. It bothered him, that he wanted to ask if there was anything the doctor had suggested to do during these occasions.
As much as Pete wanted to be there for the baby, he had spent the night with him. Kao had thought that perhaps he would go home first and not come straight back to him. He had taken his words lightly when he had said he’d be back soon, but he couldn’t help keep that little flutter in his heart from rising. “It’s okay, it doesn’t hurt,” He assured letting his smile settle onto his face once more before he was asking about his project. “How's your project coming along?” He asked.
The question had seemed to have pulled Pete away long enough to look at him, “Ah! That reminds me why I came up here in the first place,” He said with a small chuckle before he was saying, “I should have called you before I brought them, but Sandee and the rest wanted to come to see you. If you don’t feel up to it, I can ask them to go home for today,” he said. He had never planned for the trio to want to follow him home to see Kao, but Sandee had insisted on seeing him. After all, she wanted to tell Kao of her news and also scold him for not contacting them all these months.
Kao had been a little taken aback by his words. He hadn’t been ready to see them so soon, much less like this. He had been a bit afraid, to say the least. For one, he had never spoken to then since he had moved into Mork’s apartment. “Can I say no to this?” Kao had asked a little sheepishly. He was nervous to face them like this and much more of being interrogated or scolded.
“You can,” Pete had assured him as he reached out to hold his hand, “But I promise you, they’re here to tell you something important. Sandee, especially, wanted to share this with you herself.”
“Did something happen to her?” Kao said sounding a little worried now.
“Hm, something like that,” Pete said with a small grin that made Kao feel a little suspicious. “It’s your decision though. We don’t have to do this today.”
“You’re an idiot, Forth,” His friend Tom said to his friend.
“No kidding, man, you’re more like a butler than a boyfriend. Whatever, he wants you to do, without a question.” Leo said with a small sigh as he had patted his friend’s shoulder.
“I don’t normally like butting in, but Forth aren’t you being too trusting? He’s your boyfriend but he’s spending more time with Oh than he is with you. I mean he actually seems to genuinely enjoy his company. The man even stays over at his place….I might be more possessive than you, I suppose, but doesn’t that bother you at all?” Deer had asked him generally curious about his situation.
“They’re just friends, why would I be jealous?” Forth had asked with a raised brow. It’s not like he hadn’t been jealous of Oh at first, but over time he had just felt like their relationship wouldn’t ever cross that line. He supposed it was Beam’s assurance that gave him that peace of mind.
“Do you guys even do normal couple things? ‘Cause the more you tell us about him, the more I’m convinced this is one-sided.” Tom said shrugging his shoulders.
“We do, but Beam is trying to focus more on becoming a doctor,” He said typing away at his phone before he was getting up from his seat. “I got to go,” He said with a grin promising to buy them lunch next time.
It had taken him two days of coaxing to get Beam to agree to come home. However, Beam had refused to leave P’Oh’s house on his own and said that if Forth really wanted him home that he should come to get him. Which naturally, Forth had been all too happy to make the drive to get his boyfriend. And when he had gotten there he had seemed to look rather exhausted.
“Did you two stay up studying?” He asked taking his bag to put in the back seat so that he could lay comfortably in the passenger’s seat. There were very few times that Beam had looked that terrible. His dark circles weren’t as bad as before, but his under eyes were a little puffier than usual. Almost as he had been sleep-deprived.
“No,” Beam had groaned moving towards him as he naturally did when he had been in need of some affection. There were very few times Beam initiated anything, but he seemed to have wanted it just at that moment. He had leaned over into Forth’s space to wrap his arms around his right arm. He had nuzzled into it, “I was tricked into babysitting, Phana. P’Oh’s sister and her boyfriend wanted to go on a date and we got stuck taking care of him. I didn’t think they were so much work.” He said mumbling something that had Forth more than a little surprised.
‘Let’s not have a baby too soon.’ He had mumbled before he had fallen asleep against him.
A/N: I hope you all don't mind that I will probably be writing more of ForthBeam ad other couples in the future chapters. I don't know whether you guys will mind the glimpse into the future, but let me know ouob !
Chapter 40: Chapter 25
He felt a little tricked after Pete had left him alone to fetch their friends. Pete had purposely worried him into agreeing, that now he had this uncomfortable flutter in his stomach that made him feel like he was nauseous. He had even shifted a bit on the bed trying to find a way to hide himself…though he had stopped when he felt the baby kick him again. What was he even trying to do? They were all friends, sooner or later they would find out about the baby.
“Kao, we’re coming in,” Pete’s voice had come ringing along with the soft knock on his door.
He couldn’t help but try to slow his breathing before he was even turning towards the door just as Pete’s head peek in. It made him relax all the more to see Pete being silly and mouth at him once again that they were coming in as he made an ‘okay’ sigh with his fingers. “Hm~” He had hummed deciding to return the sign to him.
“Move aside, I’m a guest!” June said kicking Pete a little before he was slipping past him and into the bedroom. Once he had seen Kao, he couldn’t help but smile wide as he said, “Kao! Where have you been?” He said going to sit beside him and automatically reaching for his belly without warning. The whole display had Pete glaring at him, though it hadn’t really registered to anyone until June had taken the liberty to join Kao on the bed and start kissing his belly.
“HEY!” Pete had practically growled at him.
“It’s okay, Pete, I don’t mind it,” Kao had said with a small smile before he was looking at down at the unbothered June—who was simply having a whole conversation with the baby, “Mork, Rain, and Kitty would often do this too,” He said with a small grin before he was turning towards him to see Sandee put her arms on Pete’s shoulder.
“It’s June, you can’t stop him even if you tried,” She said before she was moving towards Kao with a smile on her face. “It’s been a long time since you’ve all been together like this,” She said with a smile. She really wanted to scold him and ask why he hadn’t told her anything. She understood why he had hidden from Pete, but her? Regardless, she didn’t want to put pressure on him.
“I’m really sorry, I know I should have tried to reach out sooner,” He said with a sheepish smile. He knew his problem had been with Pete, but they were all friends. If Sandee had known about this earlier, she’d probably fight with Pete. He hadn’t wanted to give Pete more of a reason to hate him or the baby. Before his thoughts could run away in guilt he was quick to ask, “Pete said there was something wrong with you. Are you okay?”
“What?” She said turning to look at him just to see Pete turn away from her, but seeing Thada pat his stomach had her saying, “Oh! That,” She said before she was turning towards Kao with a small chuckle, “You can hardly tell when I’m dressed like this, but I’m going to have a baby as well.” She said placing a hand over the swell of her belly.
“You are?” He said going wide-eyed in surprise at the news before he was turning towards Thada who had come to wrap his arm around Sandee’s waist. It didn’t take him too long to connect the dots and much less for his smile to return to his face as he said, “Congratulations, San & Thada. I had no idea…Pete never said anything,” He said sounding like he wanted to ask more about it.
“I bet,” Sandee said sitting down when Pete had pulled Kao’s desk chair over for her. “He’s been so worried over you both, that I’m sure it slipped his mind to mention it.” She said honestly. They were both her friends and she had known about their feelings for one another, though she hadn’t meddled in their relationship at all. However, knowing how stressed Pete felt by Kao’s reluctance she had thought of helping a little but just seeing the look on his face when she had said those words had her smiling a little more thinking that it would be fine on their own.
The guilty look on Pete’s face had Sandee saying, “I’m not mad, I prefer telling Kao on my own. Besides, it gives us something new to talk about.”
Since it seemed everyone was getting comfortable on the bed with Kao, he didn’t think they had planned on leaving anytime soon. So, Pete had simply said, “Kao, I’ll go get us something to eat.”
“I’ll go with you, San hasn’t eaten either.” Thada said before he was turning towards Sandee, “Text me if there is anything specific you want.”
“Don’t forget about me!” June had called out almost in despair. He wanted to eat, too.
“Okay,” She said with a small hum before she was turning towards her friends. Kao had this look on him that almost looked a bit longing towards Pete—though the idiot, seemed to only smile a little wider at him. She supposed things were still rocky between them.
“Yeah, Yeah, I got you,” Pete had said rolling his eyes as he nudged Thada to get going.
When they had left Sandee couldn’t help but ask, “How are you, Kao?”
Chapter 41: [F] TharnType: Brothers
Just wanted to let you know that when you see '[F]' these are future snippets. ouob
There had been a small bounce to his step as he walked into his family home calling out for his mother. "Mom, you're favorite child is here!" He called out heading into the living room, but instead of finding his mother, he found his elder brother.
"King," Korn had said looking up from his book.
"Oh, P'Korn you're here too." He said going to greet his brother properly, though he had only gone on to ask. "Where is mom?"
Korn had only looked behind him before he was looking back at him, "Mom said he can't make it, tonight. The guys wanted to practice a bit more, so your date's going to have to wait until the weekend."
"What a bummer," King had sighed though he had noticed Korn's gaze. "Ah, I came alone. Khlui said he was going to stay with Intouch at his apartment." That seemed to ease his brother up.
"You should check on him more often, you know Khlui likes to goof off," Korn said sitting on the table in front of him when his brother had come to join him on the couch.
"What do you want me to do? You know that brat likes to run off playing matchmaker. Besides, I've tried and I can't really say anything when his grades aren't suffering. It'd be a different matter if he was actually failing," King said laying his head back against the couch. He envied Khlui's brain, but it's not like his grades were lacking either. However, that was mostly because he studied as his life depended on it. "You know dad keeps saying we should just leave him be." He said as an afterthought.
"Hmm" Korn had hummed just so that his brother knew he was listening. "If we did, who knows what kind of trouble he'd get himself into..."
King had only sighed at that. He knew how much his elder brother worried about them, especially, when Khlui had always been like this. They both had thought their parents had fed him too much into the idea 'true love' cliché. Khlui wasn't like them who hadn't really been sold on the idea of it and weren't that interested in romance, to begin with. Khlui had always felt stronger for people who were in love, especially growing up and seeing just how in love their parents still were. He wanted that for every couple in love. He wants to help them get together like if it was his personal mission to make it so. Though, the irony of it was that Khlui had never been in love himself despite the number of boys and girls that seemed interested in him.
"Should we go eat?" Korn had said turning to his brother. He wasn't an idiot to the workings of his younger brother. These little dates with their mom always served as a way for King to let out whatever had been bugging him.
"Yeah, I'm starving!" King said moving to get up.
Once they were in his brother's car driving to one of their usual places, that's when he finally decided to speak up again. "How are things with your girlfriend?" King asked just to fill in the silence.
"We broke up," Korn said simply sounding like that fact didn't bother him at all.
"What a bummer, she was a nice girl," King said though his tone was flat. If he were honest, he'd admit he wasn't really fond of her. She was nice and all, but they didn't seem to match each other at all.
Korn didn't even bother to say anything on the matter either. He had only dated her because she'd confessed to him, but they had hardly been a normal couple. It felt no different from being colleagues. They'd spent many nights at the office simply working to have ever gone on dates.
"Hey, P', how do you know when you like someone?" King had asked which had his heart nearly jumping out of his chest when his brother came to a nasty stop at the light. "WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT?!" King had yelled not letting go of the handle of the door as he turned towards his brother.
"Y-You like someone?!" Korn had said looking at him in utter shock. He didn't think King would have ever liked anyone.
Chapter 42: Chapter 26
“Scared,” Kao said honestly letting his hands rest against his belly the moment June had pulled away, “It went by so fast, that I don’t know if I’m ready.”
That was something she could relate to. She had spent as much time ignoring the fact of the actual birth itself. “You’ve got a lot of support, Kao. You mom, Gift, and Pete.” Sandee said reaching her hand out to hold his. “I know I didn’t mention everyone, but we’re all here for you,” she said giving him an assuring smile.
“I know,” Kao said returning the smile with one much softer.
“Pete’s been very excited about it. All he talks about is the baby,” June had said with a small chuckle. Their friend had been so worked up about it since he confessed about wanting to be a good parent and a good partner. “He probably won’t tell you this himself, but he’s really worried about failing you.”
“He is?” Kao found himself saying. “He’s worrying over nothing…”
“I don’t know about that, Kao. He feels your reluctance to accept him. He’s trying his best to hide his feelings because he knows he hurt you,” She said not being able to help herself. June had started something she didn’t want to do herself, but now that the conversation was in the air she couldn’t hold her words back. “Did you fall out of love with him?”
That question had thrown Kao off. His heart was racing with guilt in understanding just what exactly those words were implying. “No,” Kao said shaking his head as his fingers fidgeted. “I still love him, a lot…Pete’s just hasn’t made it easy. Every time I want to believe he’s ready to accept us, he gets even more scared than before and pulls away. And it’s not just me now, San. As much as I love him, I don’t want to force him…In will always be our baby, but we don’t have to be together because of him. I want Pete to know that he has that option...” Kao said unable to fight the tears building up in his eyes.
Being pregnant was a pain because just seeing Kao tear up, her own eyes were getting foggy. She had let out a shaky breath trying to calm herself before she even spoke, “Kao, I think Pete’s been trying to tell you that he doesn’t want that. He’s just too stupid to say it properly.”
June had only been a little startled not knowing what to do or who to comfort first. “Please don’t cry…” He begged, looking so hopeless as he turned to Sandee trying to reach out to her but then turning towards Kao when he wailed.
When the two came back, they walked in to find tissues scattered on the bed and floor and two very puffy-eyed Kao and San. “What the hell happened?” Pete said setting the food down before he was making his way to Kao to check on him.
Thada, too, had put the food down before he was rushing to Sandee’s side all worried. “What’s wrong?” He asked gently stroking her head when she had just leaned against his stomach to hide her face. “San?”
“You were gone too long,” Sandee had simply sniffed against him letting her arms wrap around his waist.
Thada had only turned to look at June and Kao—who was also being cared for so diligently by Pete. They hadn’t been gone that long, where they? “If I had known, I would have taken you with us,” Thada said letting a small smile slip onto his face as he focus his attention back on his girlfriend.
Pete on the other was gently whipping away the renewed tears falling down Kao’s cheeks. He wasn’t sure why he started crying, but just seeing those eyes looking at him so sadly had him softly saying, “What’s the matter? Why are you crying?” He really didn’t want to see him crying like this. His fingers were gently stroking beneath his eyes. “Whatever it was, I’m sure it’ll be okay,” he said completely thinking that perhaps they had argued a bit.
Kao’s hand had come up to grab Pete’s wrist, he really wanted to say explain the situation to him and to confess his feelings again…but just looking around had Kao only nodding his head as he did his best to smile at Pete. “I’m okay…it’s just hormones,” Kao said bringing his hands up to finish cleaning his face.
Pete wanted to say something when Kao had pulled away from him. That sadden look had said it all, but June had only interrupted as he usually did. “Why didn’t you tell us you two picked a name for the baby?”
“You did?” Thada said turning towards them as he looked down at Sandee was she was pushing away from him to turn to look at them again, though her makeup had run a little.
“My dad insisted on picking the name,” Pete said with a smile before he was looking at Kao, “He’s going to be named ‘Intradit’.”
“That’s a beautiful name, Kao, Pete,” Sandee said which had Thada agreeing with her. “We can’t wait to meet him.”
“When are you due?” Thada said unknowingly starting an entire conversation about the babies between Sandee and Kao, which ultimately left no room for the three of them.
“Nice going, Thada,” June said whining how he wanted to stay with Kao but Sandee had ended up moving him so she could get on the bed with him instead.