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Just Like You

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Icarus Nathaniel Snow-Pitch was by far the most defiant, most strenuous child I have ever met.

So how in the world is he my son?

When we adopted him from a Mage adoption agency, he looked up at us with his big, bright cerulean blue eyes and I felt my heart—if I have one—stop right there. He was perfect.

He was the most precious kid in elementary school. Making sure the other children were included in the playground games. ‘No child gets left behind!’ He would shout from the top of the slide, wearing the same red cape Simon got him for Christmas one year. Even if he just met the child, they would instantly become the best of friends. There were so many playdates at our house, I lost count. There was not a single kid who didn't enjoy his company. I always thought to myself that he was going to be like this all his life; charming and kind-hearted.

Middle school was just the same—although he did stop wearing the cape, it’s tucked away nicely in his closet—he still made friends, got the best grades in his class and he was still smiling that precious grin. He was going to become a star.

And then the teen years happened.

At first it was the small things. Refusing to do the dishes, sleeping in on school days, rolling his eyes at every comment. He never took a joke. At first Simon assured me that it was all part of growing up. He said every 16 year old goes through a phase where suddenly your jokes aren’t funny anymore, they’re embarrassing, hormones are a raging bull, ready to attack moment.

“It’s all completely natural, Baz,” Simon would say and kiss my neck like the way he used to when we, ourselves were young and rambunctious. His lips still make me crave wanting more. Even if we are 40 year olds with a volatile teenager living under our roof.

“Completely natural…” I repeated, hoping he was right.

He was wrong. Even if I’m still completely in love with him, Simon Snow-Pitch is still as daft as he was when he was 18.

Icarus Nathaniel was a monster.

SIMON

I think Baz is over-reacting.

Nate is just a teenager, he’s still growing up. He still has time to change his defiant ways.

Or at least that’s what I thought.

I guess Baz was right about Icarus becoming more and more of a, and excuse my language towards my child, a bit of an ass.

“Just because you said so, doesn’t mean I have to,” Nate said, crossing his arms over his chest. His once blonde curls, now dyed black, fell over his eyes. This was going to be difficult.

“It’s just for the weekend, it’s not like it’s going to kill you.” Baz said, tapping his foot impatiently. “Now please, get n the car so we can leave.” His voice was becoming more and more stern, that’s when I know he’s trying to lost his cool.

“I’m not spending the weekend at that creepy as hell house,” he said, “Even if Grandpa and Grandma want to see me. There are ghosts and wraiths, plus there is not an internet connection for miles.”

“Your father is just as afraid of those bastards much like yourself, and yet, he’s still coming. I’m sure you can live without the internet, Icarus. Now get in the car before I spell you in myself..” He threatened. His voice raised at the end, I thought for sure Nate was going to cave and get in. Only he didn’t.

His lips curled into a familiar, troublesome smirk and I swear I felt my heart stop right there.

Merlin and Morgana, my son has turned into my husband. How come I never saw the resemblance before?

“And if I don’t, you’re going to bite me?”

I swear, in all my life, I never saw Baz more angry. Even when we were young and going at each other’s throats, he never looked like this before. Even though Baz has accepted his vampirism long ago, and it doesn’t affect his emotions anymore, Nathaniel (my pride and joy) should not have gone for the lowest blow. (Much like somebody I know long ago) I sat in car, watching, because I knew that if I stepped in, something was going to be set ablaze.

“Then you can say goodbye to whatever dream you had about moving out, and exploring the world because I swear Icarus if you don’t-”

I jumped out of the car with as much guts as possible and reached out to touch Baz’s arm. I stopped him before he could say anything he would regret.

“Baz, let me talk to him, okay?”

Baz took one long look at our son, who was still standing there with a reluctant look. Baz nodded and got in the driver’s seat of our car.

When Baz was out of sight, I walked up to Nate and sighed.

“Okay, kid, tell me, what’s up?” I said. I learned something over the years that when a kid is more passive-aggressive something is usually eating up at them. It’s worth a shot to try and understand what is going on in the mind of our capricious teenager.

I was right because his eyes look away from mine. His whole expression faded.

“Nothing…”

I raised an eyebrow at him—Baz rubbed off on me over the years—and encouraged him to continue. He let out a groan.

“Are you really make me gonna say it? Come on Dad, I thought you were cooler than that” I nodded and stood there. Sure, between Baz and me, I’m the most rational parent, weird considering I used to just act on impulse, who would have thought I’d up as the responsible parent.

“I am a 100% more cooler than anyone, ask anyone at the PTA meetings and they’ll agree with me,” I say, “now answer my question.”

“Fine,” he said with a groan and ran a hand through his dark curls, “it’s not about me, it’s about father.”

“What about your father?”

“Don’t think I never noticed how judgemental Grandpa is towards Father and his decisions in leaving politics to become a writer,” he said in a huff. “The tension between those two is so thick you can practically cut it with a knife. I’m only doing this for Father’s sake because I know he is just as reluctant about seeing Grandpa and Grandma as much as myself.”

And here I thought the worst of our kid. He wasn’t doing this for himself, he was doing this for Baz. Years have passed but Malcolm is still as harsh on Baz as he was when he was younger. Of course Baz was trying his best to avoid visiting his parents—and my inlaws—but he knew that he owed it to Daphne who made him promise to visit as much as possible so Baz agreed to spending the weekend.

“Nathaniel, your father made it this far in life, putting up with your grandfather’s judgement, he can withstand a few more years. Besides,” I lean towards Nate and whisper, “we have a plan that involves a ‘stomach flu’ so that we can leave early.”

Of course it’s petty of us to fake an illness to avoid the Grimm-Pitch manor but if we stayed there for more than 24 hours, Baz might actually consider driving a stake through his heart.

That seems to appeal to Nathaniel because he smiles and finally gives in, getting in the backseat of our car. That’s one point for me and zero for Baz, I think to myself with a proud smile as I hop in the passenger's seat. Baz gives me a look as if to say ‘how in the bloody hell did you convince him?’ I simply shrug and smile.

Icarus has already put his headphones in his ear, blaring the music so loud I fear for his hearing in the future.

Only two more years and it’s off to college.