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 Montgomery and Detroit

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ley
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PostSubject: Re: Montgomery and Detroit   Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:49 pm

"This is your room", I said, showing the boy the door of the bedroom he and his sister (sister from like yesterday morning) will be sharing. It started as Summer's room, then my room, and now it holds two tween tennants.

Honestly I am terrified.

I haven't had kids. Montgomery hasn't had kids. Nobody even had younger siblings. I'd say we're fucked. But, if nothing, we both had experiences with stress and traumatic events. In the end, if we don't burn the kids like we burn food, I'd say we're okay.

The boy and his sister should be okay.

I should probably stop calling the boy the boy, right. His name is Patrick. Patrick Blanchette-Shalil. Yes, yes, I lost the surname fight. I swear, I will kill him and bury him and put Montgomery Shalil-Blanchette on his grave. I have no problem with dealing with police. Defeat, on the other hand…

Montgomery walked in, with a little girl holding his hand. The height difference was unbelieveable.

"What took you two so long?" I asked, putting (either a very heavy or just lifted by a very weak man) backpack into the room.

"Katie wanted to look at the flowers", Montgomery said, staring at the little girl. I could understand his bewilderment. Both Katie and Patrick were tiny. Miniscule. Mini humans.

"Flowers?" Patrick immediately got at least ten times more interested.

"Yes, there are flowers outside!" They were half a minute away from jumping around the house, and I think I was a bit too old to start chasing around them.

"Let's go!" Katie skipped towards Patrick and grabbed his sleeve. Before they ran off, she turned to Montgomery, who didn't look any less confused and amazed.

"May we go outside? Please?" Katie was incredibly polite, I learned. Probably the only one in this household.

"Err… Yeah, sure? Just watch out for the cars."

"Thanks!" They both squeaked at the same time.

And they were out.

I may have overestimated this whole parent thing. If it's anything like this, it's going to be extremely easy.

As Montgomery was putting Katie's backpack into the room, I asked a crucial question.

"Hey, why did she immediately turn to you to ask the question, and not to me? Am I the irrelevant parent?" I asked.

"I don't know about parenting, but I know you're the best husband I've ever had, so I'd rather not shoo you away."

"Idiot."

But I kissed that son of a bitch anyway.

Of a dog? I have a feeling I should stop swearing now that we have kids in the house.

XxX

Not even ten minutes after I turned off the light in the bedroom, I heard footsteps and a soft knock on the door.

"Umm…" The child hesitated. I let go of Montgomery's waist and rolled away from the most comfortable position ever. "Dads?" The poor child was having trouble with adjusting.

"Yes, Katie?" said Montgomery, butting me out of the conversation. I kicked his back with my elbow.

"Could I sleep here tonight? Just this one time?" My heart melted. I don't think she gets any cuter than this.

Before Montgomery could reply, I hopped in.

"Of course. Don't let it become a habit though. You have a bed for a reason", I joked a bit. Katie giggled and crawled her way on, over and above us, so that she lay directly between us, clinged to Montgomery.

I could almost hear him mentally high fiving himself.

Another ten minutes after that, Patrick came over, dragging his blanket, and, without a word, curled up at the bottom of the bed.

It wasn't the last time the whole family slept on that bed, but it was the most special one. They brought new warmth to our world.

XxX

While at work, I got a text from Montgomery.

'Stargazing tonight? Blanket, food and stuff. No I'm not trying to be romantic because we have kids, but we could get rid of them for ten minutes or so, right?'

I can't even explain how much I was looking forward to that.

Five hours, a trip to the supermarket and an hour and a half of walking, and we lay on the blanket on a hill, eating some fruit (Montgomery and Katie ate strawberries, Patrick and I watermelon) and waiting for the night to fall.

And, when it did, there weren't many stars which you could see, because we were still relatively close to the city, but the fireflies made up to it.

Patrick and Katie were more interested in fireflies than anything else, so they went off to chase them while Montgomery and I had some alone time.

"Could it be a year already?" I asked, straightening up to a sitting position. Our rings shone dully in moonlight.

"I don't know, could it?" he replied and closed his eyes. There weren't any, but I could easily imagine stars dancing in his hair.

I couldn't resist him. I don't know how I survived without him before.

I put my fingers in his hair and pulled him in for a kiss. He responded lazily, almost sleepily. It was so slow, and so delicate, it didn't even move his glasses up his nose. The kiss lasted for a minute or so, and we stopped before it turned anything less than innocent, both not to traumatise Katie and Patrick and also to keep the serene feeling floating in the air. He backed off and lay back, me next to him.

"It's pretty here", he said slowly, and I could predict that he'd fall asleep soon.

"Mhm. Would be better if there were more stars, though", I said and closed my eyes. There was nothing more to see than clouds, anyway.

"Wasn't there a song, something like, 'kiss me, under the milky twilight'? Well, that's how I feel now."

"Milky twilight? That sounds wrong", I said, but I think I recognise the song.

"Shut up, you sound wrong."

We stayed there until one am, when both the kids and Montgomery were too tired to do anything, so I had to carry them all home, one by one.

I didn't complain. I love my family even when they're a heavy weight on my shoulder.

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PostSubject: Re: Montgomery and Detroit   Wed Sep 02, 2015 10:57 pm

I haven't been this excited for years. This was going to be the best Christmas ever.

I was never the religious type, much like Montgomery. In my family, Christmas was an excuse to spend money on food and think of cool presents. After I left for college, the holiday was almost overlooked, and after, too many things were happening to pay attention to it.

Two years too late, I made a reunion with Christmas. I took kids and Montgomery out to buy a tree, encouraged them to get crafty with the presents, I even forced Montgomery to sit down and do some DIYs with Katie and Patrick to decorate the house. (We ended up with some pretty fancy paper decorations from Montgomery and some pretty shitty from the kids, but what did you expect from a couple of angsty twelve-year-olds.)

Montgomery and I got Katie an original Woodstock tee, which was awfully hard to find, and a new keyboard for Patrick, because we ruined the last one. Accidentally.

Now, could you imagine Montgomery's smugness when Katie went full hippie and started singing some Indian mantras and music from Hair? How the hell did that kid become just like he was, but to the more extreme level? Genetically definitely not. Montgomery was emo hippie; Katie was yoga hippie.

And Patrick? I don't know where he is getting his rolemodels from. See, Patrick wants to be a video game programmer. And he's doing quite good for a kid, but he doesn't have anyone in the family to talk about his life calling or whatever.

But we were making it work.

I got a 'I may be a nerd, but I'm a nerd with a doctorate' t-shirt from Montgomery. Montgomery got a little secret envelope from me.

"Wow, so imaginative", he commented as he was tearing it open.

"You're the one to speak", I snorted.

I put a paper in the envelope which said, 'open the front door'. He looked at me as if I was mad.

"If you're making this into some kind of a lame scavenger hunt, let me just tell you, I'm not going anywhere outside. It's minus fifty Celsius outside."

"First off", I smirked, "It's minus five. Second, it is not a scavenger hunt. And third, if you don't open the door quickly, your present will run away."

He only looked more confused so I grabbed his hand and dragged him to the front door, the younglings following not long after, whispering guesses of the present.

And I must say, it was the best present I could've ever got. It's not even an exaggeration.

He opened the door after I instructed him to do so.

In a closed basket, there was a small sleeping puppy. A red Australian Shepherd.

"I thought about naming him without you", I said, carefully watching his blank, unmoving face. "But then I thought, you named the first one, it's only fair that you name the second one."

"Ringo Two", he said without blinking.

"No", I replied.

The puppy heard us and let out a tiny and adorable yawn before looking up.

Montgomery turned his head to me, his eyes big and childlike.

"You're welcome", I offered.

He hugged me, burying his face in my neck so the children couldn't hear a sharp exhale and a sniff.

As much as we helped Ringo, Ringo helped Montgomery. And Ringo Two will be just a reminder.

XxX

Montgomery had bad dreams. Not often, but when he did, it was hard to calm him down after.

He was quiet, but tossed and turned around the bed so I had to wake him up.

"Montgomery?" I put my hand on his shoulder and shook him. "Wake up."

He'd open his eyes in horror, and a part of me would crumble to pieces.

"It's a dream", I said and pulled him to sit up. He put his forehead on my shoulder and controlled his breathing, inching away from a panic attack. There was nothing I could do to help, but comb his hair gently with my fingers and rocked him lightly, as if a child.

He never wanted to talk about his dreams, but I could almost guess. I didn't want to know, either way.

He pulled away and took my jaw into his hands, as if to assure I was real, not something his mind came up with. There were tears on his face, his hair covered his left eye, and there was some blood on his lip; it wasn't rare that he bit through it while sleeping.

I didn't talk, but when he leaned in and kissed me forcefully, I couldn't keep myself from whimpering. He was trying to make me more present to him, that much I've realised, but at night it was hard to focus on anything but the metal taste of him in my mouth and his tears on my cheek.

When he was sure I wasn't an illusion, he let go of me and pushed us both back to lie down, so he could curl himself up to me and stay awake for the night. He can't fall asleep after the nightmares.

We don't talk about these episodes. Some things we just don't talk about. But that's okay. We acknowledge their existence, but never mention them. It's not the best solution, but it works.

I might have made it up, but I believe that those nights have got easier when we got the dog (who was, by the way, female, so the 'Ringo' part of the name fell out and left us with a shitty name. We literally named the dog 'Two'.)

We may not talk about these things, but we find ways to solve them, so that there's no reason to talk about them.

At some things we failed as a couple. There are no couple names, no romantic gestures, no dates. But I think we have it good. We screw around more. Friends first, then everything else. After all, your husband is your best friend, right?

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PostSubject: Re: Montgomery and Detroit   Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:02 pm

Fridays completely destroy me.

On Fridays there's always more work to be done, and that heavy weight of weekend lurking past your shoulder is dragging you in, and weather is always shitty in this part of the world, and and. When I come home I throw myself onto the sofa and ignore the real life passing around me.

And the real life, in this scenario, is:

Two, sniffing my arm and making sure I'm alive, then proceeding to jump about and make noise;

Katie and Patrick, coming home from school, turning on the tv and settling down on the two armchairs we got last autumn;

And, lastly and leastly, the husband dearest, who makes tea, lifts my legs, sits on the sofa (where my legs were), and throws my legs back where they were, but now with extra elevation from his thighs.

"What movie is on", Patrick asked and flipped through the programmes.

"The question is, are there any movies on", Katie got up and headed to the back of the sofa. Kitchen, I guess. I didn't turn my head to watch her. Too much work.

"It's eight thirty on a Friday, if there were any movies, they'd be shitty movies", Patrick huffed.

"Language", I warned, half-arsedly, while Montgomery straight-up barked an 'oi' towards him.

"Now you're awake", Patrick shook his head at me, "you were asleep a minute ago."

"It's called 'dad sleeping'. You're never fully out."

"Yeah right", Montgomery took the remote from Patrick. "It's called 'Detroit sleeping'. You sleep only when you feel like it, and when you don't, you nag your husband." He looked at me meaningfully.

"That's not what you said last night", I replied.

"Ah, eww", I heard Katie's voice, while Patrick just turned his head away.

"What are you doing in the kitchen anyways", Montgomery looked at her.

"Erm, not sure."

"But now that you're in there", Patrick perched up, "you could make something to eat."

Montgomery and I pretty much zoned out then, and when Patrick went to the kitchen as well, Montgomery left his mug on the coffee table and somehow managed to fit between me and the sofa, throwing his arm over me during the process.

I completely relaxed against him.

I never get to be the small spoon. Montgomery, even though he's at least four inches taller than me, seemingly ignored the rules; whoever be taller shall be the larger spoon. But whenever the situation is different, like this—

It felt like the best thing in the world.

His nose in my hair, his chest againts my spin, one leg over my thigh. I could feel his heartbeat.

He moved his head to kiss my neck and whisper a question into my ear.

"Long day?"

"It always is on a Friday."

"Don't hate Fridays."

"I don't", I argued, "it's just that they're exhausting."

"Kids are exhausting, and yet we decided to get them."

"True. Ei, kids", I called out, "we decided to return you."

"Too late", Katie popped out of the kitchen whisking something. "The return deadline was six months, I counted."

"Now you're stuck with us forever", Patrick said, taking out the plates.

"Nope, just until you're eighteen."

I don't know if this kind of teasing exists in all households with adopted children, but since Katie and Patrick were as 'quirky' as we are, it worked.

I say quirky, because that's what my mother, in lack of a more fitting English word, calls us . And we rolled with it.

"You misread the contract", Katie said, and the male population of the Blanchette-Shalil family collectively groaned. That tone was more than recognisable.

Katie was in debate club in school. Actually, scratch that, she was the debate club. If you give her a topic, she can talk for hours. Luckily, she seemed tired, like me, so the 'educating' rant didn't last for too long.

Hm. It's more of an illuminati theory than anything else.

"It didn't say until we're eighteen, it said for eighteen years. See, it's every parent's duty , with a few honourable exceptions, to be with their children until they're mature, but because you got as not as newborns, but as tweens, so you have to add eighteen to our age when we were adopted, and we're staying here until that age." She stopped whisking and took a deep breath, and Patrick patted her back.

"Breathe, Katie."

"You're supposed to be on my side, you jerk."

"You're not supposed to speak shit against people who give us food!"

"Parents", I offered, but the duo ignored me.

"Idiot!"

"Moron!"

Montgomery smirked.

"When I was fifteen, I used much worse words", he said, watching as the bickering of children slowly lost its heat and they walked back to the kitchen, talking about their Maths teacher.

"Around your parents?" I asked. "I know I did, too, but never around the elderly."

"So are we now the elderly? Are we considered old?"

"Nahh", I sat up and grabbed the remote to change the channel. "I mean, you are, but I'm not."

"You're a year and a half older than me", Montgomery pointed out.

"Shush, that is irrelevant."

"How—"

I discovered a long time ago that the best way to shut Montgomery up was to kiss him. So kiss him I did. A big, wet, sloppy smack.

Montgomery nearly pushed me off of the sofa. I survived only because I held onto his shirt.

"You nearly killed me", I complained.

"I know what you're trying to do and that is not going to work out."

"How so? It always works."

"Does not."

"Does too."

"And they say we're kids", I heard mumbling from the two.

"We're old enough to behave like kids", I decided.

"Yeah, because that makes sense", Katie snorted.

"The kids are correct", said the husband. "You are stupid." Thanks, husband.

Katie and Patrick walked out of the kitchen, one holding a plate, and the other one nutella, jam and sugar.

"Anybody up for pancakes?"

They may not be mine genetically, but I've passed all my good traits on them.

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PostSubject: Re: Montgomery and Detroit   Wed Sep 02, 2015 11:08 pm

"What time is it?" I asked, panting lightly into his neck. I wasn't a teenager anymore. Hell, I wasn't a teenager to start with. Some things need to be recovered from.

"Too early, but well worth it", Montgomery made a grunt as he kissed me, this time noticeably less in rush.

"No, you arse, I'm asking because it's a work day. While some of us don't have a regular job—"

"—But still make more money than the others…"

"Okay, that's rude."

"I learn from the best."

And I'll be damned if his grin wasn't the stupidest and loveliest thing that ever existed.

"Oh, shut up", I said, rolling us around on the bed (or just throwing Montgomery off of me) to kiss him again.

I instantly got lost in him, his mouth occupying all my senses but sight. The taste was completely familiar, and, yet, so necessary.

And while kissing seemed like a perfectly valid pastime, I had to stay the reasonable, down-to-earth one.

"Kids have school", I said. Montgomery opened his eyes and looked at me in his special a là Montgomery way, which basically meant 'Why didn't anybody stop me when I was considering marrying this stupid wanker'.

"Don't be a buzzkill. Kids have their alarm clocks, they're not eleven anymore, they can wake up by themselves."

"Katie can't."

"Patrick will wake her up and knock her up with caffeine so she'll be awake."

"Whose smart idea was to had kids?" I groaned and rolled off of him.

"Yours, but we went through with it anyway."

"Aw, fuck you."

"Been there, done that."

I sighed. Can't even pretend I'm not enjoying it when Montgomery gets all rebel and rude. If I was to make a list of my favourite Montgomerys, it would be on place three.

Second being shy, sincere, and utterly adorable Montgomery, that appears whenever anyone asks when we fell in love and I answer 'I guess I always knew', or when we watch cheesy romcoms, because why not. That Montgomery doesn't kiss, he hugs and cuddles, and doesn't let me walk into the bathroom when he's showering.

First place is omnidestructive, clumsy, spontaneous Montgomery. It's that Montgomery who, within less than three minutes, booked us all a trip to a small place in Scotland because he heard from Summer that there you can see falling stars every minute. This Montgomery will hold conversations in his head with himself, and then ask me if I'm listening. He will suddenly kiss me in public, just because he felt like it. He leaves me blushing.

No matter how many Montgomerys I got to know throughout nearly ten years of this relationship, I never feel like I fully know him, because I know that tomorrow he might wake up as an aspiring writer and write a full notebook of gothic poems about black roses and bloody tears. (Okay, that is a very unlikely scenario.)

My point being, Montgomery keeps on changing, and I keep on falling in love with him.

He and the kids and the dog (and parents, but that's default) are the only steady points in my life. Friends come and go, work colleagues also, bosses, secretaries, patients.

Leonard is out god knows where, probably directing a C list movie. Neither Montgomery nor I have seen him from that one particular night when we called him and Mischka home for a dinner party and Montgomery got really pissed after Leonard said that children are awful, so he told him that 'he'd never have kids with him anyway because no YOU'RE awful and also because we're both male but that's irrelevant'. I still mention that sometimes. It gets me either making out against a wall or a middle finger.

Mischka got a job in Canada, where her cousins live, so she moved there. We skype twice a year or so. She still didn't catch a husband, but I don't think she needs one. Montgomery often brings her up and asks, 'why couldn't have I gone her way'.

Summer is still, unfortunately, a fixed point in our lives. (There was that time when Montgomery and I travelled to Scotland for a week to meet Summer's new family and they got Montgomery drunk and he said that Summer's husband was hot, ten outta ten, to which the husband said you too. Summer and I locked ourselves in a ski supply shed until our cheating husbands apologised. But that's a story for another time and another place, which is never. We don't talk about The Great Drunk Shed incident.)

We go to visit her and she goes to visit us. The kids adore her even though she sunk all of their dreams when she told them that all the fairytales were, and I quote, 'fake lies. It's all marketing, kids, which will make you believe in miracles 'n crap, but none o' that shit happens, you hear me' after which we had to physically drag her away because she was about to rant about, what was it, feminism in Pixar movies?

She's as strange as ever. Nothing has changed.

"We're still getting up", I said.

"Ugh."

When we got dressed, Montgomery went to the bathroom to do something with his hair and put on his bracelets. He did nothing on the hair area, but the bracelets were on.

Montgomery's bracelet collection grew incredibly when kids discovered bracelet making and used up all the things they could to make a million bracelets. You could easily tell which were theirs, because they were the only ones in colour.

He wears all of them. He even got rid of some of his older ones so there would be space for the colourful ones.

And how do I end this piece of work? Life continues, whether you write it down or not. I'll still wake up to the same doofus, I'll still listen to the same old (and getting older) music, I'll still eat my pancakes with marmelade, he with sugar and the kids with nutella. Life doesn't end. It just becomes a new story, and each one is worth telling.

He was my story.

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