A part of him thinks that as a father who doesn't get to see his son except when he's got more than one day off or when he's in the right state, he should be taking Ryder out to do something. He's not sure what but that's the instinct. Instead they're at home (and wow, he can't believe this is home now) and watching the All-Star game because Ryan couldn't bear to miss it. He rounds the corner back into the living room after paying for the pizza and stops for a moment, smiling.
Ryder is sitting on the couch, wearing a small Number 32 jersey and kicking his feet. There's a caramel apple pop in his mouth that Ryan's sure he's going to regret later but he hadn't had the heart to say no. He looks so happy and even happier when Ryan puts the pizza on the table. Ryan sits down, opening his soda and handing Ryder a sippy cup full of horchata. (Melky had been right, Ryder loves it.) His son squeals with happiness, looking so happy to be watching baseball with daddy, that it erases all doubts.
He second guesses himself a lot, sometimes it's hard to believe that there's a person in the world that believes he can do no wrong. The game is punctuated by Ryder's questions and Ryan doesn't devote full attention to the action but it doesn't matter. He lives for moments like this, he doesn't get them nearly often enough. He sifts fingers through Ryder's curls, admonishing his boy to eat his pizza.
“See, right there? Number 53? That's daddy's friend Melky. He said he'd hit a home run for us. Think he'll do it?”
“For us?” Ryder asks, eyes wide. “YES!”
Melky had said it jokingly when calling earlier in the day and Ryan had snorted and told him that he knew better, it would be for Melky's mother and grandma. Melky had told him to play nice and share. But then it's the fourth and Melky hits a homer. Ryder starts jumping up and down and cheering, Ryan scrambles for his phone and records it. His laughter is giddy and breathless in the background and he only stops recording when Ryder squeals 'HE DID IT!' and tackles Ryan.
“He did! You and me got a home run just for us!” Ryan laughs, hugging Ryder against his chest and quickly firing the video off to his mom and Melky both. He hesitates before sending it to Nicole as well.
Ryder spends the rest of the game in his lap, excepting a bathroom break and an ice cream break. He's pleasantly surprised to get a call from Nicole but he remembers why he loved and still loves her when they start talking about Ryder. He glances down at his son, who in spite of his excitement is starting to fall asleep and tells her why Ryder was celebrating.
“But why would he- ohhhhh.” Nicole trails off before clearing her throat. “So, you and Cabrera? I remember you being pretty upset with him for not being Jonny Sanchez.”
“I know. It's weird to me too sometimes. Can't believe I have someone like him. He's amazing, you have no idea. Shit, sorry, you probably don't want to hear this.”
“Watch your mouth in front of our son. But no, I want the dirt. Tell me everything.”
And he does, huffing at her when she laughs at him and teases him but really not minding it in the slightest. She sounds unsure when he tells her that he and Melky are now living together. She wants him to be happy but her worry is their son and Ryan doesn't fault her. He tells her that Ryder will only be seeing Melky briefly the next day and won't comprehend the enormity of the situation. Not that he plans on explaining that quite yet, because his son is too young to understand and it'll be better when he and Melky have been together longer.
They hang up in the bottom of the ninth and the only thing stopping him from shouting with delight when the National League wins is his son asleep in his lap. At 8:30, it's past his bed time anyways and Ryan gets up, smiling happily and carrying Ryder off to bed. He tucks him in and kisses him goodnight, gently tucking his stuffed penguin under his arm.
He goes downstairs to clean up their mess and arrives just in time to see that Melky's been voted MVP. He's very glad that no one is there to see him jump and punch the air. He very sincerely hopes that Ryder does not hear him shout “FUCK YEAH!” at the top of his lungs.
Melky doesn’t really have time to check his phone. Between being glomped by his NL team mates and being voted MVP and checking out his new car, his heart is racing in his chest and there are butterflies in his stomach. His first All-Star Game and he’s so excited. His family is here to see him do right by them and his boyfriend is watching at home. He’s never had so many people so proud of him and it’s overwhelming. The interviews that follow are a blur of hugs and congratulations, everyone sharing their excitement over the home run and the entire win.
Somehow, as amazing as all of this is, it doesn’t quite compare to the video that he finds in his inbox of a small boy in an overlarge jersey, thrilled and excited to have a home run just for him and his daddy. Ryan’s happy laughter ringing through, somewhat tinny but still warming every fiber of his being. The video shakes as the boy surges at the camera and Ryan flips it around, grinning into the camera with Ryder in his lap. “Thanks for the home run Melky!” Ryder joins in, chirping his thank you as the video ends.
He hurries to his family and they crowd around him to watch, laughing with him and thumping him on the back. He’s never felt so loved.