“We get to look for them tomorrow, Daddy?” Blaine asked, gaze focused intently on the egg as he dipped it into dye.
Noah smiled, “I am told that’s the way Easter works.”
Kurt had been quiet, tongue stuck between his teeth as he carefully drew intricate designs on his egg with a crayon. “We look for the eggs, but there’s candy too. You remembered to get us candy too, right Daddy?”
Blaine scoffed, “Daddy doesn’t buy the candy. The Easter Bunny does.”
“There is no Easter Bunny, stupid.”
Blaine looked up, glaring at Kurt, “Don’t call me stupid. Santa Claus came, so the Easter Bunny will too.” He looked at Noah uncertainly, “Right Daddy?”
Blaine knew that there wasn’t really an Easter Bunny, but it was fun that they got to pretend. Cooper had told him there was no Easter Bunny when he was little, and it had kind of ruined the holiday.
“The Easter Bunny will come for you angel,” Noah replied. He figured the bunny could come during naptime. It would be a good way to encourage naps anyway.
“But not Kurt. Because he doesn’t come if you don’t believe.” Blaine threw a ‘so there’ look at Kurt.
“The Easter Bunny will bring you both candy. Are you two almost finished?”
Kurt shook his head, and Noah stood. “I’m going to order us some dinner while you work then, okay? What would you like?”
“Pizza! I want pizza Daddy!” Blaine told him, standing up from the table and bouncing around to stand next to him.
Noah ran a hand through Kurt’s hair, “Is that okay with you baby?”
“‘k Daddy,” Kurt didn’t look up from where he was bent over his art, and Noah and Blaine left him to his work.
Following Daddy around the apartment, right hand clutching Daddy’s belt and his left thumb in his mouth, Blaine was quiet, thinking.
Once Daddy called for the pizza, he calmly shepherded Blaine to the couch, pulling him down onto his lap.
“What’s got you so quiet munchkin?” he asked.
Blaine didn’t want to take his thumb out, and he knew that Daddy would insist. Rather than saying anything, he shrugged, rubbing his cheek against Daddy’s tee shirt.
Noah let it go, playing with Blaine’s curls and waiting him out. After a while, Blaine said, “I know there’s no Easter Bunny, Daddy.”
When Noah didn’t say anything, Blaine continued.
“He’s just pretend. I know.”
Noah nodded, “He’s pretend, but a lot of the stuff you do is pretend. I’m not really a tickle monster.”
Blaine nodded, slipping his thumb back in his mouth, satisfied that Daddy understood.
He was clingy the rest of the night, following Daddy everywhere. Kurt got frustrated at one point, when Daddy was cleaning up from dinner, and Kurt wanted to go and color in the living room.
“Come on Blaine,” he insisted, pulling.
Blaine shook his head, thumb in his mouth. He’d stopped briefly so that he could eat, but he was sucking it again. “Don’t wanna. Wanna stay with Daddy.”
“I want you to play with me,” Kurt whined.
Noah stopped what he was doing, turning to look at them. Because Blaine was still holding onto him, Blaine ended up behind Daddy again. With a sigh, Daddy took Blaine’s arm and dragged him around so that he was standing by Kurt.
“We’re not doing this,” he lectured. “Kurt, Blaine wants to stay in here. Why don’t you go and get the coloring books? You can color at the counter.”
Kurt pouted, the familiar expression making Noah want to sigh again.
“Don’t wanna. Wanna color in the living room.”
“I understand that baby,” Noah forced himself to remain patient. “Blaine wants to stay in here. So you can either color by yourself, or you can bring the coloring books in here, but please stop tugging at him. He doesn’t want to go to the living room.”
Kurt turned, stalking out of the kitchen, and Noah picked Blaine up. Sitting him onto the counter, he leaned forward, resting his forehead against Blaine’s. “What’s with the limpet routine munchkin?”
Blaine shrugged. He genuinely didn’t know why he wanted to be with Daddy right now. He loved Kurt, and he loved coloring. Normally, he would have happily left Daddy to the dishes while he played with Kurt. But today, he just wanted Daddy.
Noah knew that Blaine got like this sometimes, and Daddy never really knew when it was coming, or why. Going through their usual routine though, Daddy figured he should check. “Are you sleepy?”
“Nu uh,” Blaine said.
“Do you feel sick? Does your tummy hurt, or your head?”
Blaine shook his head. He felt fine; he just wanted his daddy.
Running his fingers through Blaine’s unruly curls one last time, Daddy picked him up. Settling Blaine on his hip, he went around the kitchen, finishing wiping things down one handed. If Blaine wanted to be near him right now, they could do that.
Sometimes, it seemed like he was like this right before he got debilitating headaches. Maybe he should take some medicine just in case. As Daddy was wondering if that’s what they should do, Kurt came back into the kitchen.
“Come build with me Blaine?” Rather than sounding angry and demanding, it was an offer.
Blaine started to shake his head, but Daddy interrupted, “Can I come too?”
Kurt brightened at that. Grabbing Daddy’s hand, he pulled him into the living room.
Blaine settled onto the floor with Daddy and Kurt. He got more interested in the blocks as time passed, and he soon had a pretty good approximation of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Smiling, he tugged on Daddy’s hand, “See Daddy?”
“I see. It’s beautiful.” Noah was happy to see that Blaine seemed less sad. He didn’t want to break the spell, but he knew that both boys needed baths.
Rather than tell them that, he asked, “Are we doing both baths together, or do you want to take turns?”
Kurt uncharacteristically remained silent, watching Blaine. When he didn’t offer a suggestion, Kurt prodded, “You pick Blaine.”
“Together?” Blaine asked, watching Kurt carefully. He wasn’t used to that. Kurt normally had definite opinions on how things would go.
“Pick up first boys,” Daddy instructed. Standing, he stretched to crack his back. “I’m going to go and run your bath. I want all the blocks up when I get back please.”
“No fair Daddy,” Kurt complained. “You played too.” Kurt could tell that Blaine was going to have a temper tantrum about Daddy leaving him to do something, anything. It was better if Daddy stayed here.
Normally, he would tell Kurt that they needed to clean up because he said so, but he followed Kurt’s gaze to Blaine, who was sitting in the middle of the living room floor, muscles tensed. Daddy sat back down. “You’re right baby. Monkey,” he made eye contact with Blaine, “can you help Daddy and Kurt pick up please?’
Blaine had relaxed upon seeing Noah sit back down, and he nodded. He could be a good helper.
They got the blocks cleared away quickly, and then they went to the bathroom. Blaine was right behind Noah, right hand a familiar weight on the back of Noah’s belt. He did manage to convince Blaine to let go long enough to begin running the bath. He was pleasantly surprised when he turned back to the boys to find Kurt helping Blaine pull his shirt off.
Normally, any attempts for Kurt to play ‘big brother’ led to an argument, but Blaine docilely allowed Kurt to undress him. Once that was accomplished, Kurt quickly stripped off his own clothing, and the boys climbed into the tub.
Kurt and Daddy talked during the bath, but Blaine remained quiet. Even Kurt’s offer to play with boats with him, something that Kurt was almost never willing to do, made Blaine smile.
Daddy hurried through the baths, taking them out one at a time to dry them off. Getting them both into pajamas, they returned to the living room.
“Movie Daddy,” Kurt insisted, tugging on Noah’s hand.
Daddy looked at Blaine, who was resting his head against Daddy’s shoulder. “Does that sound good to you munchkin?”
“Can we watch Charlie Brown?” Blaine garbled around his thumb.
“Thumb out,” Daddy said patiently.
“He said can we watch Charlie Brown,” Kurt said impatiently. He knew that Daddy didn’t like Blaine talking with his thumb in his mouth, but Blaine was sad today.
Noah pulled his hand free from Kurt’s and wrapped it around Blaine’s left wrist. Tugging gently, he pulled the thumb out. “What would you like to watch?”
Burying his face against Daddy’s shoulder, Blaine mumbled, “Charlie Brown.” As soon as he had, Noah let go of his hand and the thumb went right back into his mouth.
Looking at Kurt, who was glaring reproachfully at him, Daddy said, “Is that okay with you baby?”
Kurt nodded, and went to get the DVD. Daddy sat on the couch with Blaine, holding out an arm to Kurt when he was done.
His baby’s opinion of that plan was pretty clear when he instead squeezed himself into the space next to Blaine. Noah raised, an eyebrow but stayed silent.
“Why don’t I make some popcorn?” he offered. “I can get you a bottle too. Do you want some chocolate milk munchkin?”
Blaine sat up straight, shaking his head. “Stay and watch with me Daddy.”
“I’ll do it,” Kurt said, standing up. Irritation with Daddy’s treatment of Blaine aside, Kurt didn’t want a spanking, and he stopped to look at Daddy, silently requesting permission.
“Thank you,” Daddy told him, moving over so that he was seated on one end of the couch with Blaine leaning against him. He paused the DVD, waiting for Kurt to return. Raising his hand up to Blaine’s hair, he played with his curls.
“My good boy,” he murmured, watching as Blaine rubbed the forefinger and thumb of his right hand together. “Kurt?” he called into the kitchen, “could you please get Boofus and Blaine’s blanket too?”
Kurt didn’t say anything, but Noah heard him walking around the apartment. A moment later, he showed up, gently arranging the blanket around Blaine’s shoulders and sticking Boofus into his hand. “I’ll be back in a minute,” he said.
When he returned, he had a bowl of popcorn, two bottles of water, and a baby bottle with chocolate milk in it. Sitting next to Blaine, he settled himself down. “Ready.”
Daddy turned on the movie, pulling at Blaine until he was cradled in his arms. He wordlessly pulled Blaine’s thumb back out and slid the bottle into his mouth instead. “Drink your milk baby.”
Blaine fell asleep shortly after he finished his bottle, and Kurt and Daddy watched the rest of the movie while Blaine snored quietly, stretched across both of them. Kurt protectively fixed the blanket so that Blaine’s feet were covered, and he refused to move, even when he really had to pee.
Once the movie ended, Noah looked at Kurt. “Did you want to watch Charlie Brown? I figured you would want something else.”
“I wanted Easter Parade,” Kurt said, looking at Blaine. “Daddy, why does he get like this?”
“I don’t know kiddo. He’s okay though. He’ll be happy by the time he wakes up tomorrow. Do you want to watch Easter Parade?”
Kurt shook his head. “He’s going to be sore if we let him sleep out here like this. He needs to go to bed.”
“I can put him to bed, and then we can watch.”
Kurt shook his head resolutely. “He’ll be scared if he wakes up, and you’re not there. Is okay Daddy; we can go to bed.”
Noah carefully eased himself out from underneath Blaine, turning to pick him up. Carrying him back to the bedroom, he covered him up with the down comforter, brushing his curls away from his forehead. Blaine had Boofus hugged tightly to his chest, and he was still wrapped up his blanket.
Going back out to the living room, he was surprised to see that Kurt was cleaning up. “Daddy,” he whispered, “go back to bed. If Blaine wakes up, he needs you.”
“If Blaine wakes up,” Daddy replied, taking the empty popcorn bowl away from Kurt, “then he will come and get me.” Hugging Kurt, he pressed his lips to Kurt’s forehead. “I haven’t gotten any time with my baby today.”
Kurt shrugged, “Blaine needed you more.”
Sitting on the couch, Noah pulled Kurt onto his lap. “So you don’t need me?”
“I always need you, but Blaine needed you more today Daddy. It’s okay. I’m a big boy.” Curling into Noah’s chest, Kurt explained himself seriously. “Blaine is littler than me all the time, but today he was sad too. So he needed you more.”
“I love you, you know that?”
“I know that Daddy,” Kurt said scornfully. “You love me, and you love Blaine. And Blaine loves me and you. And I love you and Blaine. And today, Blaine needed you more. And now we have to go to bed because if he wakes up, and you’re not there, he’s going to be upset.”
Standing up, Kurt started toward the bedroom, looking over his shoulder he said, “You gotta hide the eggs first though Daddy. I’ll cuddle with Blaine ‘till you’re done.”
“The Easter Bunny has to hide the eggs,” Daddy told him.
Turning fully, hands on his hips, Kurt said, “Blaine wants to pretend he still believes in the Easter Bunny, but that’s because he’s littler than me. So hide them so he’s s’prised when he wakes up tomorrow.” Turning back around, he took another step before he stopped. “And ‘member he’s a shorty. If he can’t reach ‘em ‘cause you hid them up high, he’s going to get cranky.”
“Don’t call him a shorty,” Noah said, even as he went to grab the eggs. He might as well hide them before Blaine got up. Then maybe he could nap with the boys tomorrow anyway.