"Shhh," Pete says, pulling on his son's tiny Converse boots. "We'll go get breakfast, 'kay?"
Bronx nods, little hands pushed at his mouth. "No wake Mikey," he said in a hushed giggle.
"No wake Mikey," Pete repeats, grinning, and lifting his little boy into his arms. He presses a kiss to Bronx's cheek, and holds his index finger to his mouth as he hears a huffing noise and someone shuffling around in the bed in the next room.
Bronx giggles again, holds his own finger to his mouth and says, "Shhh daddy! You'll wake Mikey!"
Pete raises his eyebrows and laughs lightly, before he grabs Mikey's grey beanie hat and his keys from the table in the hall and quietly makes his way out out of the apartment.
Pete knows he's getting strange looks from passers by as he walks down the street with Bronx in his arms. Some of the looks are from people who know him, know who he is; some are due to the fact the little boy in his arms is wearing green Christmas pyjamas in the middle of March. Not that Pete cares mind you. He smiles at a young girl, probably around sixteen or something, when she gawks at him as he passes the table she's sat at outside a small cafe.
Bronx squirms in his arms a little, and pushes at Pete's chest. "Want down," he whines, and Pete rolls his eyes. He knows that Bronx loves the attention he gets in the street almost as much as Pete does. He supposes that's what happens when you're dad is Pete Wentz.
There's a Starbucks just two or three blocks from Pete's apartment in Los Angeles, and that's where he's heading now. Two doors away from that, there's a little bakers that Bronx just loves. They all know his name, and it's not because of who is father is, it's because every time Pete takes his little boy in, Bronx's face just lights up and presses his nose against the glass to stare at all the baked goods. The older lady who works behind the counter will take Bronx's hand and lead him back, and let him pick his own bagel and his own chocolate éclair, all the time cooing over him, telling Pete, "I've never seen such an Angelic looking child! Look at those curls!"
Pete pauses and sets Bronx down on the sidewalk, then takes his hand. Bronx runs his free hand over his hair, pushing the curls from his face as they walk. It's only a matter of seconds before Pete can hear Bronx muttering to himself, playing some game in his head, swinging his father's hand and jumping over every third crack in the sidewalk.
When they get to the Starbucks, Bronx tries to drag Pete towards the little family bakers.
"Daddy!" He whines, and Pete rolls his eyes. He leans down and pushes his face against Bronx's cheek. "We'll go in after I get Mikey's coffee, okay?"
Bronx sighs dramatically, but lets his father lead him inside the Starbucks coffee house. Pete picks Bronx up in his arms again -- the place isn't too busy, because it's still quite early, but he always gets a small wave of panic that Bronx might wander away when Pete's eyes are on the menu board.
"Mikey wants that one," Bronx whispers into Pete's ear, pointing at a girl leaving the counter with a chocolate frappacino.
"Oh yeah?" Pete says, eyebrows raised. "Mikey wants it, or you want it?"
Bronx giggles. "Me!"
Pete shakes his head, and kisses Bronx's cheek. "We'll get you something next door, okay?"
Bronx nods, but continues to point out interesting looking drinks as Pete gives his order to the barista. As they wait for their coffee, Pete lets Bronx back onto the ground, but keeps a firm but gentle grip on his hand. Bronx swings around a little, tugging on his father's arm, and Pete just grins. He loves it when he has Bronx. He knows he's lucky, compared to most other divorced parents -- he and Ashlee never had any problems with the custody side of things, they worked everything out perfectly. Pete supposed the fact that Ashlee was the one called it quits was probably why. Sure, Pete missed the Hell out of the kid when he was back with his mother, but it helped knowing he'd be back soon.
And then there’s Mikey. Pete's stomach still gives a little jolt each and every time he even thinks of Mikey's name. It's been years since they first met, years since that Warped Tour, but it still feels like it’s brand new every time Mikey sends him an email, or a text, saying he’s gonna be in town.
Pete still doesn't know what it is they have, what it is they're doing, really. He's not sure if it's love, lust, or just routine, but it makes him happy, and he thinks it makes Mikey happy too. It must, if Mikey insists on staying with Pete rather than his own brother when he's in L.A., right? Pete loves waking up in messed up sheets with Mikey's face pressed into his neck. He loves it even more when he wakes up with Bronx jumping on the bed, insisting Mikey and Pete play pirates or softball with him at six am.
Bronx adores Mikey. Ever since Mikey had shown up that one time without telling Pete he was in town, and Bronx had squinted up at him with a confused look, unsure of who the stranger in front of him was, and Mikey had just sat down in the centre of the living room and joined in a game of Barbie vs. Pete's Stormtroopers collection, Bronx had pretty much taken to Mikey. Also, it probably helped that Mikey had let Bronx pick out a unicorn at the Build-A-Bear store when they'd been shopping.
Pete snaps out of his thoughts when the barista tells him his order is ready, Pete tells Bronx to stay by his side as he lifts the cardboard cup holder, and he thanks the barista. He ushers Bronx towards the door, but Bronx is already quickening his pace as they aim for the bakers.
"Hey," Pete says as Bronx bounces a few feet in front of him. "Don't go too far."
Bronx nods his head without looking back and keeps going, skipping slightly, before he stops outside the door. Pete can already see the baker lady waving at Bronx through the glass door. He bumps his back against the door to open it, careful to not drop his coffees (Hell mend him if he drops Mikey's beloved coffee, Jesus). Bronx is already bouncing at the counter, little hands smudged up against the glass as the lady behind the counter grins down at him.
"Hello Angel," she smiles, and is already making her way around the counter before Pete's even managed to get near it.
"Hi!" Bronx squees gleefully, waving ecstatically.
"So," she says, taking Bronx's hand. "What would my little Angel like today then?"
Bronx giggles and Pete can't help but grin as the lady lifts his son up to peer into the glass display, eyes wide.
"Can I get that one?" Bronx says after a few seconds of deliberation, pointing at a funny shaped bagel.
Pete almost rolls his eyes. Of course his son would have to go for the one bagel that sticks out from all the rest. He's proud as punch.
Pete picks out some sandwiches and another bagel and pays for their breakfast as Bronx jumps around on the floor, holding onto the juice cup in his hands. He hates it that the lady always charges him less than she should -- he knows she's doing it to be nice, because she likes his kid, but it makes him feel bad, knowing that the little store is owned by her and her husband, and he can more than afford to pay for his breakfast. She never lets him pay more though, but settles for allowing him to push a twenty into the charity box sat by the cash register.
"Ready to go?" Pete asks his son, and Bronx nods with a huge grin on his face. "Okay," Pete says. "Let's go wake Mikey."
"Yay!" Bronx giggles, and insists his father let him carry his own breakfast.
Mikey's still asleep when Pete and Bronx get in the door, and Bronx shushes his father as they make their way into Pete's master bedroom. They kick off their shoes in an almost identical fashion, keeping an awkward hold on the items in their hands. Bronx looks up at Pete with a questioning face, and Pete nods, smirking slightly.
Bronx's face lights up, and almost without a second's pause, he goes barrelling onto the bed at lightening speed, and climbs up the comforter, yelling, "Wake up Mikey! We got breakfast! Mikey! Wake up!"
Pete tries not to laugh as a confused looking Mikey appears out of the top of the comforter, blinking down at the maniac child accosting him in bed. Bronx giggles and jumps up and down, and Mikey screws up his face.
For a few seconds, Pete's stomach drops, and he thinks that Mikey's going to complain, going to ask Pete if he can make Bronx stop.
"You little monster!" Mikey smirks all of a sudden, and his long thin arms appear out of the sheets and wrap around Bronx's midsection, and he drags the little boy down onto the mattress. Bronx giggles and squeals as Mikey tickles him, and Pete lets out a small sigh of relief. He knows Mikey adores Bronx as much as Bronx does Mikey, but he still gets worried that one day something might happen, one day Mikey might not want to take spontaneous trips across states to be stuck with a toddler all weekend.
"We got breakfast!" Bronx says again, and he sits up against the pillows. He holds up his hands to Mikey, showing him his new juice cup and little white packet containing his deformed bagel.
"Awesome," Mikey grins, and he shuffles up the bed a little, sitting next to Bronx. "Did I get anything?" He asks, looking from Bronx to Pete, and Pete realises that Mikey is wearing one of his shirts. He can't remember Mikey taking one, but then again, it had been three am that he'd arrived after the long trip.
"Daddy got you coffee!" Bronx says happily, pulling open his little paper bag.
Mikey looks up with wide eyes, and Pete won't lie, as much as he loved Mikey's old glasses, he loves how bright and clear Mikey's eyes look these days.
"Because I'm awesome," Pete smiles, and he walks closer to the bed and crawls up the mattress carefully, holding out the cup holder to Mikey. Mikey makes a little happy moan before he takes his coffee and he smiles down at Bronx who is already picking apart the bread in his hands.
"Breakfast in bed with my two favourite guys," Mikey says as Pete folds his legs and sits in front of him and Bronx. "I could get used to this."
Mikey flashes Pete a huge smile, and you know what? So could Pete.