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The royal tea party

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When Chase came home from work today, that last thing he thought he’d see was his arch nemesis, a person that’s caused him so much pain and trouble, having a tea party with his kids. And yet here he was.

Anti sat crouched down in a tiny chair, holding a tiny teacup. Little, multicolored bandages were sprinkled all over his neck and he had a plastic flower crown on his head.

“Oh hi dad!” Sam, Chase’s youngest, smiled. “Me an’ Anti are having a tea party.”

“I’m the king of Bandage Land,” Anti said, deadpanned.

“You should join us!” Carmilia held out a tea cup and pointed to the empty chair across from Anti.

Chase stared at Anti, feeling conflicted. Judging by the setup, and the drawings scattered around the floor, he’s been here for a few hours. Neither of the kids seemed hurt, and Anti seems to have let them bandage up his neck…

What the hell?

He takes a seat and takes the cup. It’s just flat soda, but he drinks it anyway.

“So… Your majesty. What are you doing in this kingdom?” He asks, deciding to play along with whatever’s happening.

“I want your kids.” He replied. There wasn’t any malice, or anything sinister, it was just a general statement.

“Yeah. I’d like to keep my kids.”

The kids disappear into the kitchen to get more “tea,” leaving Chase and Anti to awkwardly stare at each other.

“So Anti,” Chase said coldly, “Why are you with my kids, and why shouldn’t I call Jackie or Henrik right now?”

“I haven’t even done anything!” The demon sweats.

“Yet.”

“Okay, so I’ll admit I came here to kidnap your kids. I really thought you’d have a babysitter.”

“Caramel is twelve, she’s old enough to watch her brother for a few hours.”

“That just sounds like bad parenting.”

Chase rolls his eyes and pulls out his phone, his thumb hovering over Jackie’s contact.

“Wait! Okay I know nothing about good or bad parenting. Don’t call him!”

Chase raised an eyebrow. “You still haven’t given me a good reason why I shouldn’t.”

“Because I didn’t kidnap your kids.” He smiles nervously. “So, I didn’t do anything wrong.”

“You still broke into my house, and attempted to kidnap my kids. Sounds like a pretty good reason to call Jackie.” It may have been a little sadistic, but he liked seeing Anti get nervous and even scared.

“Because I want to be better, and I can’t be better if I’m locked up in a cell in a third world country and no one will hear me out!” He nearly screams, causing the kids to come running back in with soda and cheese and crackers.

“There shall be no arguing at the royal tea party!” Caramila shouted.

“Yes queen Caramel.” Anti bowed his head respectfully.

Chase put his phone up and whispered. “Fine, I’ll give you one chance, because my kids like you. But I still don’t trust you one bit.”

Anti nodded.

***

Anti disappeared after the kids got bored of the whole tea party thing, and Chase flopped on the couch to enjoy some quality time to himself.

He turned on a random show and started flipping through apps on his phone.

The soft sound of static distracted him. At first he thought it might be the kids doing something until he noticed Anti sitting next to him.

He was curled up, just watching the show. When he was this close, Chase noticed how small he seemed.

He wasn’t doing anything bad, so Chase let him be. Until he felt a weight on top of him and found Anti draped over his legs.

“What are you doing?”

“Lying down. Is that a crime?”

“No… I’m just confused.”

He was still conflicted about letting Anti be here in the first place, but at the same time he found himself strangely enjoying Anti’s company.

He was about to do something very stupid.

Slowly and pulled Anti up to lie beside him. Anti yelped softly, staring at him confused.

“You know how you pointed out that I don’t have a babysitter? Well the kids seem to like you, so how would you like to be the babysitter?”

He blinks slowly. “Me?”

“Is there someone else here I don’t know about?” He gave a friendly smile.

“You want me to watch your kids?”

“Are we speaking the same language here? Yes. You wanted to redeem yourself right?”

“I-I-” He’d absolutely love to hang out with those kids all day, but he didn’t think he’d actually be able to.

“Going once.” Chase smiled. “Going twice.”

“I’d love to!” Anti burst out, his cheeks turning red. “I mean if that’s ok.”

“Why would I have offered it if it wasn’t ok?”

Anti could think of plenty of reasons why, but Chase wasn’t like that.

“Well you can have your first job today. Make sure the kids turn off their electronics at ten.” Chase wrapped a gentle arm around him. “Until then, I guess you can go do whatever? Just don’t cause a mess.”

Anti shivers, leaning against him lightly. “I think I’d like to just stay here a bit.”

Chase blushes. “Alright.”

And so, the night was fine.