“I don’t know if we should be doing this,” Steve said as Tony reached out to ring their neighbor’s doorbell. “If Peter finds out we’re over here he’s going to be really embarrassed.”
“Steve, honey, we’ve talked about this; we have to do what’s best for our son. If he doesn’t learn to be mortified by his parents now he may never get the chance, and then he’ll never end up in therapy, and then he'll never be successful, because behind every successful man there is a well-paid therapist. Trust me.”
Whether Steve would concede or argue became inconsequential as door flew open and a petulant teenage girl stormed through the two of them.
“I get blamed for everything around here!” Raven all but screamed to her fathers who were giving chase.
“No one is blaming you,” Charles insisted, giving Steve and Tony and apologetic nod in greeting as he wheeled passed them. Erik, Charles’s husband, stopped in the doorway looking far less apologetic.
“Can I help you gentlemen?” Erik asked, creating quite the barrier to his home now that the door was out of the equation.
“Should we come back later?” Steve asked.
“It’s a treat to hear all the screaming up close for once,” Tony said at the same time.
Not surprisingly Tony was the one Erik decided to respond to, “And it delights me that you now have the opportunity to experience it as at close a range as I do. Just be glad Sean is at soccer, he’s the real loud one.”
Charles joined them, sans his daughter, “Sorry about that,” he apologized. “It’s just been complete drama this morning; my husband caught our son Alex burning Hank’s cardigans but Alex swears it must’ve been Raven in his shape. Obviously it can get confusing around here.”
“I hope you weren't too hard on Raven,” Erik distinctly avoided Charles’s eyes. “I lied, I burned Hank’s wardrobe. And before you say anything just think of how hard atime he’s been having at school and how little those faggy jackets are going to help. Not that you don’t look great in them.”
“What was it you needed?” Charles asked Tony and Steve, deciding to completely ignore Erik.
“It’s about your son; the one who lives in the tree house.” Tony nodded toward the backyard as if it wasn’t clear what he meant.
“He’s not our son,” Erik quickly informed them.
“We haven’t officially adopted him,” Charles explained tentatively, “he just sort of… refuses to leave. What exactly is he doing now?”
Before Tony could say anything Steve placed a quieting hand on his arm. “We’ve noticed that he spends most of his time using binoculars to stare into our son’s bedroom and were concerned with how…” He was at a loss for any sort of diplomatic wording.
“He’s weird and creepy and we don’t want him around Peter,” Tony finished for him.
“It’s okay,” Erik responded to the horrified look on Steve’s face, “We agree. Come on around the back and we’ll have a word with him.”
Once in the backyard the men looked up into what they all knew to be an unusually quiet tree house. It might have fooled most people but the four of them had enough of a history in dealing with children and the criminally insane to know a silent tree house was a deadly tree house.
“Wade,” Charles called up, “We need to talk to you.”
“Ocupado,” a thickly (and inaccurately) accented voice answered back and Wade’s masked face eased into sight through the hole at the bottom of his makeshift home.
“You leave that boy next door alone,” Erik ordered.
“You tell him to stop being so sexy,” Wade countered.
Tony had started up the ladder before he finished the last syllable. “I’ll beat you so hard you’ll forget you can’t die!”
Wade disappeared as suddenly as he appeared and a plume of Taco Bell wrappers rained down in his wake. Steve moved to put an end to what could only end badly but Erik and Charles simultaneously gestured for him to hold.
“Honestly,” Charles said over the deafening tones of the physical struggle overhead, “if Tony can get him out of there it would be doing us a huge favor.”
“I’m going to miss me when I’m gone!” Wade shouted a warning to whoever was listening, but nobody was.