The shriek that resonates throughout the Oak household is loud enough to break glass, and if he cared to, Blue could have inspected the infrequently used wine glasses in the kitchen to make sure they were still intact. Instead, he slapped his hand over his nose so fast he was afraid of breaking it and then glanced over to his husband, whose hand was halfway to his face.
"Your turn," Blue goaded with a laugh, removing his hand from his face.
"It's your Gengar," Red signed back, hands moving rapidly, and then he pointed to Blue as if to say 'and he's your son' .
"He's your son too," Blue reminded him. "And it's your turn."
Red frowned, but stood regardless, leaving out through the back door, and returning a few minutes later with their grimy-looking four year old.
"Gengar scared me," Hazel whined, before reaching towards Blue, locking his fingers behind his neck. Blue took a deep breath, collecting his son in his arms when Red let go. He really needed to start working out if Hazel still insisted on being held.
"Gengar doesn't mean it, buddy, he just likes to play!"
"Gengar is mean! I was playing with Grimer and he took my shoes and pulled my hair!"
Blue exchanged a quick look with Red when Hazel said this - Hazel wasn't supposed to play with any Pokemon except the grass types without supervision or asking first. Blue would be willing to bet that Gengar knew that and was trying to keep Hazel out of trouble, albeit by scaring the hell out of him.
"I thought you were supposed to be playing with Venusaur and Exeggutor?"
"Oh," Hazel says, and wiggles out of his grasp, as if he wasn't crying two minutes ago. "I'll go play with them now!"
"Wow don't you wish you were as good of a parent as I am?" Blue asks his husband, hand on his hip. Red casually flips him off, before dropping back on to his spot on the couch.
Blue leads the perfect life, and he would like to think that his ten year old self would be very proud, although probably very confused as to why he was married to Red. Especially considering they occasionally still bickered like they were children.
And yet he loved the man more than anything, and loved the life they built together. He loves his cute little three bedroom house in the mountains, and the hundreds of acres of land that they kept all their Pokemon on. Blue's favorite thing in the morning was to watch out the window at Red take care of the Pokemon with the help of their children, and he'd sip his coffee and get ready to go to the gym. Red would kiss him goodbye and pinch his stomach, Hazel would say goodbye with tears in his eyes, and Violet would kiss his cheek and tell him that he didn't make her braids tight enough.
Basically, Blue loves his life. He loves his family. He loves his gym. He even loves the bratty twelve year olds that challenge him because they saw him on a television rerun.
The annual Pumpkaboo festival lands on a Friday this year, so that means that Blue doesn't have to lie and say it's cancelled this year like he did last year. That, and Violet's teacher had told the class about it and it's surprisingly hard to lie to a six year old that had the facts and is just like him .
Red likes to call it karma.
The pumpkaboo festival consists mostly of two things: carving pumpkins for prizes, and ghost pokemon passing out candy. Well behaved ghost Pokemon are allowed to give out to Pokemon that ask (politely , Red had signed to Violet when she squared her shoulders and marched up to Morty's Trevenant to demand candy)
The Oak family owns three ghost types - a Gengar that's been with Blue since he was fifteen, a Froslass that Hazel calls Minty, and doesn't really belong to either of them, but they can't really kick her off the farm, and Red's Banette that freaks the hell out of him, despite its snuggly nature.
Technically Blue is supposed to keep all types of Pokemon on hand for his gym, and have them all trained, ready and on hand, but after his jaunt in Lavender Tower as a ten year old, he's pretty fucking terrified of them, and keeps the bare minimum of one on hand.
After Red has taken the kids around to collect candy from the ghosts, and Blue had stood next to Gengar and helped pass out candy and greet children, Blue takes Violet to the pumpkin carving.
It's more or less a contest for children with adults aiding them, and Blue rolls up his sleeves, ties a smock behind Violet's back, and gets to work helping her scoop out the guts. Red's actually better at it, but they have an unspoken agreement that they have to take turns doing the disgusting tasks, and honestly, Blue has probably won this one, because Red is holding Hazel on his shoulders while Hazel grabs his hair with chocolate covered hands, and is refusing to keep his shoes on.
So, by comparison, having to reach in and grab the slippery strands of guts should be a walk in a park when Red has the energetic toddler. Should be.
"Wow, this is stupid," Violet says loudly, when the spoon they've been using to gut the pumpkin slips from her grip and the goop that it was holding smacks her in the face. Some of the other people participating look at her with frowns, and Blue can already imagine the article headlines - "Blue Oak can't parent! Compilation of the gym leader's worst parenting fails".
"Violet, honey, we don't say that kind of stuff. Let's say 'hey this is frustrating, dad, can you help me?'."
"No," Violet replied, stomping her foot. "I don't want to carve my pumpkin anymore, this. Is. Stupid."
"Then we can go home," Blue replied easily, and then sighed when he realized that was certainly going to ensue a meltdown. Sure enough, tears trickle from Violet's eyes, and she stabs her spoon into the soft flesh of the pumpkin, before darting back towards Red.
If people weren't staring before, they definitely were now.
Violet goes to her room angry, because that's how she is, exactly like her dad, and he has to call Daisy, to confirm, yes, he was as dramatic at six and would often proclaim that everyone hated him for so much as suggesting he took a bath.
He doesn't talk to his grandfather much anymore, but he calls him too for peace of mind, and Professor Oak confirms Daisy's story, and tells him at his third Pumpkaboo festival he threw his pumpkin across the judging tables when he lost.
Still, even after he hangs up the phone with his grandpa, he doesn't feel right. So, he goes to her room, with all it's sparkly decoration of the door and her name painted in loopy letters, and knocks on her door.
"Go away Hazel," Violet says from inside.
"It's Dad," He replies. "The cute one," He adds for clarification.
"I don't want to talk right now." The door opens nonetheless, revealing a really pissed off looking Violet, holding his Sylveon hostage in her arms. Sylveon's feet touch the floor, since she's half the size of Violet, and she's purring as if she doesn't know she's in a hostage negotiation situation.
"You don't have to talk if you don't want to, but do you want to help me tuck the Pokemon in? Papa and Hazel already started."
Violet hesitates, but her love for Pokemon wins out, and she drops her hostage to go and put her shoes on. Sylveon purrs and wraps her tendril around Blue's wrist, as if silently begging him to pick her up. He rolls his eyes, following Violet outside.
Tucking the Pokemon in isn't something they have to do, but it's a ritual they started when Violet was a year and a half old to signal bedtime: they'd tuck the pokemon in, take a bath, brush teeth, braid her hair, and read a book. The Pokemon didn't seem to mind, and Violet adored it. Since then, Hazel had also grown to love it, and the Pokemon get antsy if no one comes out to give them hugs.
Hazel and Red are in one of the barns that's lit up, it has heat lamps and a fire that stays burning with the help of a self-feeding wood system. The fire types tend to be some of the more gentle Pokemon that they own, which sounds crazy, and Blue definitely hadn't believed his grandfather until one of the Donphan tried to mow down his daughter when it got too excited.
Arcanine is the first to come and say goodnight, shoving his big, wet nose against Blue's face and sniffing. Blue rubs his head, and Violet reaches up to grab him around the neck and hug him. Arcanine tolerates it for all of thirty seconds, before gently shaking Violet off and returning to his bed.
Hazel mostly likes to bug the pyroar that sits closest to the fire, hanging off it and brushing it's long mane. Red holds him tightly while he sits on the back of the pyroar, and he brushes it out while humming a tune.
Violet doesn't say anything while they wish the pokemon goodnight, just as she promised, but when they go inside for baths, she definitely seems happier.
The next morning, when Blue is simultaneously trying to get himself ready, feed Hazel breakfast, make coffee, and braid Violet's hair for school (Red is still sleeping, the asshole), Violet leans up and kisses him on the cheek when he clips her bow to finish.
"I'm sorry for getting angry at you yesterday, daddy," She says, and then carefully wraps her arms around him for a hug.
If Blue's heart could burst in to a million pieces with happiness right now, it would.
Haha thank you to everyone that has left kudos/commented/bookmarked! It means a lot to me ♡
Probably won't be mentioned heavily/or at all, but worth noting that in my fic, Blue is a trans man, and the kids ARE biologically his and Red's, however, they were carried by a surrogate!
Lance has this amazing thing that he refers to as career interest day - which is just a fancy way of saying "bring your child to work and look cute for the media so more kids start doing League Challenges". It's a drag and honestly, so much worse when you take into account that Lance doesn't have children and is exempt from this really, really terrible idea.
Now, for the most part, Blue doesn't really care. Violet has gone with him the last two years (mainly because Hazel had been a baby who needed bottles and diaper changes, and then Hazel had been an unruly toddler who probably would have gotten motion sick on the tiles for fucking around with them), and she was, good, or as good as his hellspawn can get. She had talked to his ace trainers and helped him pick out what Pokemon to use in battles, ate lunch with him at the cafe across the street, and then went out for ice cream afterwards.
Really, the issue is that a lot of people in the league don't have kids. Being part of the league is a full time job and more, and kids are, well, a lot. Blue is one of the few with children - Koga has Janice, but she's a gym leader herself, and Brock has a baby girl now, but Blue's really the only one that participates in it, mostly because Lance twists his arm and threatens a write-up if he doesn't.
Originally, Blue had planned on taking Violet with him, but when he had dutifully woke up that morning at five, only to find the other side of the bed empty. He considered tucking himself back in for another half an hour because he never got the bed to himself.
Instead he got up, dressed, and walked to the kitchen to start getting breakfast around and making coffee. Hazel sits at the table, freshly shampooed and his best clothes on, holding a lunch box in his lap. Blue eyes him, and then walks in to the kitchen to find his husband pouring a large mug of coffee.
"Is this your doing?" He asks, before taking a sip of his coffee. Blistering hot and so black it tastes like gravel - just the way he likes it. He eyes Red suspiciously.
"Violet has school," Red signs back, his face unreadable. "I can get her ready."
Red already takes her to school, since Vermillion Elementary didn't start until eight and most days Blue was at his gym by seven. However, the whole situation reeks of Red omitting some facts, mostly the ones that involve Red getting to stay home without Hazel and Blue having to take Hazel to his gym.
"I was going to take Violet to the gym with me, since Hazel's not completely potty trained yet," Blue explained.
Red pointed at Hazel sitting primly in the dining room, his hair slick and his ledyba bento that he insisted he had wrapped up in his arms. "He's been up since four - he wants to go with dad, he said."
Damn, Red really knew how to end fights, and Blue was the damn fool who kept falling for his children loving him. He sighed, and downed the rest of his coffee.
"Alright, kiddo, let's go to the gym!"
Hazel is good throughout the pidgeot ride. He sits on Blue's lap, still holding his bento, and Blue's one too, which Red had handed him while Blue glares at him and Hazel digs his elbows into his chest. Blue has to tighten the diaper bag around him as tight as it can, and then leaned over Hazel to box him in and keep them safe while they ride.
Blue had worried about Violet, because he hadn't had time to braid her hair like she had it done every morning and he's honestly not sure if Red even knows what a ponytail holder is. He imagines she's going to walk into school with her pajamas still on and her hair pulled back into a lopsided ponytail.
Not that Red is incompetent - he just doesn't really get the whole fashion coordination thing Violet has going on right now. It's a thing with her and her other friends where they all wear matching braids and bows and friendship bracelets with eeveelutions - Blue did it too when he was six.
When they arrive at the Gym - five to seven, Hazel jumps off pidgeot and darts to the (thankfully) locked doors.
"We gotta go to the back, Hazel."
"But we go this way with papa!"
"Yeah, but the fridge is in the back," Blue reminds him, pointing to the bentos. Neither has anything that needs refrigerated in them, but this seems to appease Hazel nonetheless, and he pulls himself off the glass to follow him through the side door.
Hazel insists on putting their bentos in the fridge by himself, and while he does that Blue fills Hazel's sippy cup with water and drops a few sweet berries in to it, something to keep him occupied and hydrated. He also places the diaper bag on the counter and unloads the snack cup filled with goldeen crackers, a couple of toys, his stuffed togepi, and the golden object - the last pacifier. It had been an uphill battle to get rid of it, and it was a battle that Blue and Red were most certainly losing - Hazel could sniff that thing out miles away, and no amount of hiding them would stop him.
Blue had finally put his foot down - two weeks after Hazel turned three - and cut off the nipples to all but one pacifier and told Hazel he could only use it at night for bed, and if he lost it, it was gone forever. However, as much as Blue tends to stick by his word, he had packed it just in case there was a huge meltdown in the middle of the day.
"Alright," He says, once Hazel has finally, finally , finished putting the lunches away, and has his snacks and water in hand. "You ready to help dad do some Pokemon battles?"
On a normal day, the gym tends to be, well, boring. Blue doesn't get many challengers, and so he spends most of it doing paperwork, boosting morale with his trainers, or taking care of his Pokemon.
On bring your kid to work day, however, there are a few challenges lined up and scheduled for the day. The greeter informs him off this when he steps out into the actual gym, and he sighs, because he had been hoping to get away with doing a few mock battles with the ace trainers and then taking Hazel for ice cream and going home.
"First challenge is at eight-thirty boss."
He sighs again, more audibly.
Red doesn't know what to do with Violet, when she sleepily glares at him in her school uniform. He had helped her button the blouse and managed to tie her ribbon (not as neatly as Blue, but still), and they had bagels and orange juice, and he had brushed her hair out like he's seen Blue do a million times, and pulled her hair upward, snapped a hair tie around it, and fastened the big pink bow to it.
"Papa, it's crooked, and you missed a bunch of pieces," She says, and pulls at some strands to make a point.
"Sorry," He signs. She huffs and pulls it all down, rebrushing it.
"I guess it can stay down for today." She rolls her eyes, and stands up to find her school bag. "Why did dad take Hazel? I wanted him to do my hair."
"Because." Red pauses to think, trying to decide how to explain it without confusing Violet with the sign language. She had a better grasp of it than Hazel, but carrying long conversations with her is difficult. "Hazel wanted dad."
"I want dad too!"
"I know," Red signs, and brushes a piece of hair from Violet's face. "I do too. But we've got to share him sometimes."
At exactly three in the afternoon, Blue cuts his last gym battle short. "Come back tomorrow and finish," He says, recalling his Clefable. The challenger had five badges - he's sure waiting another day wouldn't cause any issues.
"That's not fair, that should count as a forfeit!"
Blue sighs and rubs his eyes with the back of his hand. "Listen, buddy, it's time for me to go home. My kid is here and he hasn't napped yet, so you can either leave, or I can have Machamp escort you out."
The man seems to think for a second, before deciding to leave. Blue puts away the pokeballs he used for the battle and scrawls on a signature for the battle document. Hazel is curled up in his ace trainer, Ida, half asleep, holding his togepi.
"Don't let him sleep now, he'll be up all night," Blue says, and gingerly picks his son up from her arms. He sleepily locks his legs around Blue's waist, turning his head against Blue's neck.
"Yeah, I lied to the challenger. I'm just ready to go home."
"I'll go get the bag for you," She says, and scurries away towards the back. Blue awkwardly holds Hazel, jostling him to keep him awake.
"I bet papa made dinner, what do you hope it is?"
"Noodles. Cold soba. Is it too cold for cold soba?"
"Maybe," Blue replies. "Maybe we'll just have regular soba noodles."
The door to the gym opens with a tinkle, and he hears someone being greeted, but told that the gym is preparing to close for the day, so please come back and challenge tomorrow. Ida returns with the diaper bag, the empty bentos packed, and it barely zipped with how full it was. Blue thanks her, and make his way to the front of the gym to leave.
They pick up Violet from school before going home, and when she spots them for her by the gates, she runs and jumps in to his arms, long hair flying everywhere.
"What's up with your hair?"
"Papa didn't know how to do it! Or my bow! Teacher Nagisa had to fix it for me. It was terrible, dad. And he made my bagel with nutella, he knows that's only for special occasions!"
"I'll show papa how to do it later," Blue promises, even though he's definitely not going to do that.
Violet continues to talk about her horrible morning with Red the whole way home, although she loses all animosity when Pidgeot lands on the farm and she practically breaks the door down to get to her papa.
Dinner isn't ready yet, but Red is in the middle of making it while the kids climb on him and greet them. Blue unpacks the diaper bag and take care of the bentos, and then sets the table. Hazel cries when he finds out it's not soba, but it's okay, because he's used to making instant soba at this point.
After they eat and get the kids to bed, Red wraps his arms around Blue while he does the dishes.
"If you're not scrubbing I don't want you on me," Blue singsongs, splashing some bubbles at his husband. He follows it with a quick kiss when Red reaches in to rinse the washed ones.
"I missed you today," Red signs, in between rinsing and stacking the dishes. He leans his head against Blue's shoulder, because he's a little bit shorter and he can't rest his chin on Blue's head anymore.
"Aw, I missed you too," Blue says, and leans over to kiss his husband again, although he bites his lower lip too, because that's how he is. "And you have me all night now."
Blue likes to think that it's suggestive enough and they had a nice sensual night, but after the dishes are done and they've moved to the couch, Blue lasts all of three kisses and Red taking off his shirt before promptly falling asleep.