Noah woke once more, an intense pressure on his bladder. Glancing to the other side of the bed, he noticed that Owen had already gotten up, probably running down to the supermarket or to pick up some coffee and, for Noah, hot chocolate. Following the immense trouble it took to stand up, he plodded down the hall to the bathroom. Thankfully, he had been granted an exemption from the usual morning sickness pregnancy had cursed him with.
Oh wait, we should back up real fast. You see, Noah was a trans man. Though he had had top surgery before Total Drama, he had figured that was enough. He decided that that was all he needed and didn’t bother with anything else, meaning he could get pregnant. And he had.
Noah pushed the bathroom door open, flicked the light on, and immediately wet his pants when he saw at least a dozen people crammed in his bathroom, standing there silently. “SURPRISE!” the roughly fifteen people shouted, waving streamers and throwing confetti. Three seconds of awkward silence passed before Noah realized who was standing there. “DJ? Izzy? Eva?” he fumbled out, “What are you doing in my bathroom? And with thirteen of our friends? And also Alejandro?”
“Hey!” Alejandro was not pleased.
Izzy broke through the cramped crowd in the bathroom and put a friendly arm around Noah, “Good news Noah! I realized that you weren’t having a baby shower and I decided to throw you one! Aren’t you glad?”
“No,” Noah tugged his shirt down to cover the wet spot on his pants, “And why are you in my bathroom?”
“It’s a baby shower! Baby,” she poked Noah’s stomach, “Shower!” She gestured towards the shower. “I thought you were supposed to be the smart one.”
“Izzy,” he died a little inside, “You do realize that I have to shower? And it’ll be like forty minutes before I’m ready? And that Owen’s out shopping?”
“I told you,” DJ spoke up, “I told you we should have waited.”
“Oh…..” Izzy froze briefly before bouncing out the door and waving the others out, “We’ll just wait! It’s all we ever do on this mortal coil, anyways.” One by one, the guests filed out. DJ and Eva regretting letting Izzy organize the party, Katie and Sadie giggling about something, Alejandro grumbling about Noah’s comment, Cody and Harold smiling sheepishly, Lindsey and Tyler fawning over something on their phones, Beth, Geoff, Gwen, Emma, Kitty, and Ezekiel were next. Bringing up the rear was Duncan, who showed Noah a picture of him, standing in the bathroom doorway and staring at the guests with a terrified look on his face. “You shoulda seen your face!” he cackled as he walked off.
Freshly washed and with a new pair of pants, Noah exited the bathroom and took in the living room before him. The chairs and couches had been pushed up against the walls, and several more were placed out to provide more seating. Three tables were set up with as much food as they could hold. It looked like a perfect party, except for one thing-the people. Most of his former Total Drama cast mates were gathered sitting, eating, and chatting. He could also spot Emma and Kitty, as well as DJ’s mommas. If he hurried he could avoid them all and make it back to the bedroom in time for the NCIS season premiere. Unfortunately, someone-an awfully cute someone-approached him before he could. Owen handed Noah his hot cocoa before wrapping him in a gentle hug, “Buddy,” he covered Noah’s face with kisses, “Can you believe this party they’re throwing for us? Isn’t it great!”
“Great isn’t the word I’d use for it,” Noah stood still and memorized the hug; he’d need something happy to hold onto if he was going to make it through the day. “Anyways, NCIS is on and I need to make sure Gibbs survives the episode.”
Once again his plan was foiled when Bridgette approached with a cardboard box, “Not so fast, bucko,” she held out the box, revealing it to be filled to the brim with fresh strawberries, “Geoff drove an hour to get these fresh from the farm and it would be a shame if they went to waste.”
Face to face with his biggest craving, Noah struggled to act disinterested, “They don’t have to go to waste, just give them to me.”
Bridgette smiled slyly, “Well if you want some, feel free to grab them. They’ll be all the way over there.” She pointed all the way across the room to the door, where an end table the perfect size for a box of strawberries had been set up. All that stood between it and Noah was a sea of people, most of whom he didn’t really want to talk to that much. He quickly spotted Bridgette pushing through the crowd, strawberries in hand. If he moved quickly he could intercept her. Unfortunately, he could not move quickly. After not even four steps an arm grabbed him and held him in place.
“HEY EVERYONE!” Geoff shouted with a strong grip on Noah’s sweater, “The star of the show is here!” That caught everyone’s attention, and they gathered in a loose semicircle around the two. Geoff gave Bridgette a salute as she hurried off with the fruit. Noah tried to keep his eyes on Bridgette, but he lost her among the crowd and the barrage of congrats and questions.
"Congratulations man!" "How are you feeling?" "You excited for the party?" "So are you ever gonna replace that plant?"
Noah never answered any of the questions or comments. He just looked at Geoff, who still had a grasp on him. "You too?"
"No", Geoff laughed. "For you two", he pointed at Noah's stomach. Before Noah could respond to Geoff's bad joke, a certain voice stood out from the rest
Noah groaned before turning at the voice's direction. There was only one voice he knew that would botch his name like that. "This is so exciting", Lindsay squealed and shook her fist together. "You ready to see the baby today?"
Noah glared at her for a moment, before shaking his own fist and putting on a fake smile. "No", he answered, mocking Lindsay's excitement. "Baby isn't due for another 2 months."
Lindsay's smile changed to a frown and she visibly drooped. "Oh."
"Well", Noah got loose from Geoff's grip. "I have had a ball, but NCIS is waiting for me." But before he left, a different pastier arm grabbed.
"Aw come on man", Gwen said, pulling him back. "It's your own shower. Are you really gonna ditch it for a crime show?"
"Yes", Noah bluntly answered with a straight face.
Gwen stared at him, she should've known what the answer was. She took Noah a bit to the side away from Geoff's view. "Look. We get it. Parties aren't your thing with your whole "I hate everybody" attitude. And one antisocial to another, I respect that. But, Izzy, Eva, and Geoff worked hard on this."
"So the Surfers are in on it too? Well if they think they're gonna guest judge on my show again, they have another-"
"Noah", Gwen interrupted. "They did this for you, and Owen. And I know I'm probably the last person to say this, but, you could give this party a chance. You might have fun."
Noah looked around at all the people currently invading his living room, listening to some story Geoff was telling. He really didn't want them at a party, let alone one in his own apartment. But then again, his husband was laughing and having a good time. Maybe he could wait a few minutes before kicking them out.
"Fine", he agreed to keep the party going. "But only because they brought strawberries here." Gwen rolled her eyes. She supposed she could live with that.
Noah half-heartedly walked back towards the crowd. "So", he said to Geoff, Izzy, and Eva. "I guess I have you three to "thank" for this?"
Izzy nodded, and snapped a party hat on Noah's head. "And don't worry! We thought of everything! The food, the games, the decorations", she listed off as she snapped a second party hat on Noah's stomach. "So you don't have to lift a finger" she booped his nose for emphasis. Emphasis on what was unknown, but that's just Izzy for you.
Noah flicked Izzy's hand off his nose and looked at the decorations. All the tables and balloons, and the banner over his wall. It was pretty impressive for an hour's work and…. Wait a minute. There was no way they could move all his furniture, set up tables, and decorate over the hour he was getting ready. Even with the help of all the people from his bathroom. And how did they even get into his bathroom? Then Noah remembered exactly who two of the masterminds were.
“Did...did you guys come here during the night”, he asked cautiously.
“Yeah”, Eva smirked. “It was pretty easy.”
Duncan was sleeping on Noah and Owens' couch, snoring lightly. A huddle of pet corgis laid around the couch beside him. After getting out of jail, Duncan had managed to reconnect with Courtney and things had been going well for a while. Unfortunately, they had hit another dry spell and, too cheap to rent his own place, Duncan was crashing on Noah and Owen’s couch while he patched things up with the ex-CIT. Due to his felon status, he had had a hard time getting a job, but Owen had graciously offered him a cameraman position on the cooking show he and Noah hosted.
Suddenly, Duncan awoke to a loud crash, and witnessed the front door falling to the floor. The corgis, also now awake, start barking wildly as Duncan tries to keep them quiet. It didn't last long though, when they saw who was entering. Izzy and Eva came through the door, carrying boxes of party decor and a large banner. Behind them, Ezekiel trailed along on all fours, wearing party hats all over his head, and carrying streamers in his mouth.
Duncan groaned and got off the couch to start taking the boxes to the kitchen. “I told you guys I would open the door."
“We know”, Izzy said. “But it’s more fun this way.”
"Well, that explains the draft.” Noah thought aloud, before taking another sip from his hot chocolate. He glanced across the room warily, desperately eyeing the strawberries. Maybe if he made a run for it, he would be able to get some without being stopped. The problem with that was he had never been able to run fast in his life, least of all when he was pregnant. “Fine,” he grimaced, “Guess I’ll go,” he grimaced harder, “Socialize.” He took a few steps before one of DJ’s mommas grabbed him by the arm and pulled him into a conversation. He was SO going to regret this.
Owen surveyed the crowd at the party. It had certainly been a surprise to find so many in their cramped apartment when he woke up, but he was more than happy to host. Everyone was smiling and laughing, even Noah. Well, not exactly Noah. Though he held the same bored expression as usual, Owen could tell that his hubby was reluctantly enjoying himself. Over time he had become accustomed to Noah’s way of showing emotion. The corners of his mouth were slightly raised, he was slouching a bit, and his hands were clasped in front of his stomach, holding his hot chocolate. To everyone else, he looked like he always did. In Owen’s eyes, however, Noah was practically bouncing off the walls. Not everyone was happy, though. A certain Spaniard stood in front of the bathroom, worriedly texting someone. Owen trotted over td and greeted Alejandro, “Al…..ejandro!” he still used the nickname on accident sometimes, “What's getting your goat, buddy?”
Alejandro waved his hand, brushing off any concerns, “Nothing to worry about, amigo. Heather’s been holed up in the bathroom for the last half hour and she isn’t responding to my texts. As I like to say, es nada.”
“Have you tried knocking?” Owen stroked his beard as he tried to think.
“No response. I’m sure she’s fine, I’ll just wait and-“ Alejandro was interrupted by the bathroom door opening and Heather stepping out, her hair had been hastily put up in a ponytail, she was slightly pale, and she smelled of cleaning supplies. “¡Mi amor!” the Spaniard wrapped an arm around his wife and planted a kiss on her cheek, “Are you okay?”
“Yes,” she sounded a bit shaken up, “Just an upset stomach. Soda never agrees with me this early in the morning.”
“That was an awfully long time just for soda.”
“I swear it’s fine. My stomach’s just been really touchy recently.”
“Are you sick?”
“Please sweetie, you don’t need to worry. I’m feeling better now; we can enjoy the party.” Heather smiled softly, but Alejandro frowned a little bit.
Owen coughed and caught the attention of the other two, “You know there’s a doctor at the party right? We can just ask him to give you a quick check-up!”
“Oh that’s really not necesse-“ Heather frantically tried to stop Owen.
“Ohhhhhhh DJ!” he called across the room. DJ, who was making paper flowers with Beth, heard his name and looked up. Seeing it was Owen who called for him, he politely paused their flower making session and hustled over.
“What’s up, guys?” he greeted, nodding at each of the three gathered around the bathroom. He turned to Owen. "Everything ok? Is Noah alright?" DJ was Noah's doctor throughout his pregnancy, mostly due to them living three floors away from each other.
"Yeah he's having a good time", Owen pointed to his husband, looking the same as ever. "But, it's actually about Heather."
“Heather has not been feeling well,” Alejandro explained, “And we were wondering if you could run through her symptoms quickly to ensure it’s nothing serious.”
“You cannot seriously be going along with this.”
“Shush, mi amor,” Alejandro said in a sweet tone that made Heather roll her eyes.
Content with his help, Owen wandered off to continue mingling with the other guests. DJ pulled up the notes app on his phone and an illegal pdf copy he had made of his med school textbook. “Nausea?”
“Obviously,” she rolled her eyes.
“Peeing a lot?”
DJ’s eyes narrowed a little, and he quickly jumped to a specific page of his pdf, “Congestion?”
“Probably just allergies, but yeah.”
“Soreness in the chest area?”
She frowned a bit, “I mean, yes? Haven’t you asked enough questions already?”
“One more. Have you had, er, that time of month, recently?”
“You’re pregnant.” Both Heather and Alejandro froze, assuming shocked expressions. Though Heather’s quickly turned to one of horror, Alejandro’s became one of pure, unbridled excitement. Before either could say anything, he grabbed Heather by the shoulders and swept her into a kiss. After a full thirty seconds of DJ standing there awkwardly, Alejandro broke the embrace.
“I can’t believe it,” an ecstatic smile spread across his face, “This is the best day of my life.”
DJ coughed before they could continue, “The symptoms match, but you should probably make sure. There’s a pharmacy a fifteen minute drive from here. Might want to swing by and grab a test.” Not wanting to watch them make out any longer, he crossed the room and returned to making paper flowers.
“I...I did not expect this,” Heather stammered out. “Everything’s going to be different.”
“Yes,” Alejandro hugged her, nestling her head under his chin, “They’re going to be so much better.” Heather stretched up to her tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the cheek.
Halfway across the room and in a much less romantic scenario, Duncan sat a table, looking over photos on his phone with Sierra.
“Let’s see,” Sierra mused, “You got one with some spittle flying out of his mouth, that’s 25. Flailing his arms wildly, 20. His eyes have somehow turned red in this one, 30. Didn’t you say he peed his pants when you scared him?”
“Yeah,” Duncan chuckled, “You could see the wet spot form when we yelled ‘surprise’.”
“Did you get a picture with the wet spot in frame?”
“I don’t think so. Maybe if we enhance a bit we’ll be able to see it?”
“That’s not how photography works. Look, this here,” she pointed to Duncan’s phone, “all together is worth $75. Get me a picture of Noah having wet his pants and I’ll throw in another $100 on top.”
“Why do you even need a picture of that?”
“Some people have very strange, for lack of a better word, "interests".”
“Well,” Duncan considered, “This is definitely ethically wrong, but I am strapped for cash right now so it’s a deal.” They shook on it and Duncan casually stood up to go find Noah. However, before he could even take one step, Alejandro ran up and grabbed him by the shoulders.
“Heather’s pregnant!” he cried gleefully before dashing off. Filing that away to congratulate Alejandro on later, Duncan headed to the buffet to grab a tall glass of punch for the party boy. How hard would it be to make him pee himself? His bladder was like the size of a walnut.
Unbeknownst to Duncan and Sierra, someone had been watching their conversation. Although years of physical and mental therapy, not to mention the care of Eva and Izzy, had done wonders for Ezekiel, he still had not regained his speech or completely lost his animalistic instincts. So when he heard Duncan plotting against his neighbor, Ezekiel sprung into action. He knew trying to communicate with the other humans would take too long, so he went elsewhere for help.
Noah and Owen had five corgis; Eyeballs, London, Coconut, Squeegee, and Chewy. Currently they were napping in a pile on the couch where Duncan usually slept. Ezekiel nudged them and awoke them. After a bit of grunting, pointing, and growling, he managed to make his point: keep Duncan away from Noah. Four of the corgis set out to follow Duncan, but one had a special task. Chewy headed off to Noah and Owen’s bedroom to bring in special forces.
When he was young, Noah’s family adopted a golden retriever, who had quickly bonded with Noah and was named Ark. After moving in with Owen, Noah had taken Ark off his parent’s hands and the elderly pup now resided with them. One the retriever was woken up from her nap, Chewy informed Ark of the scenario. Ready to protect her owner, Ark trotted out of the bedroom and into the fray. Duncan wouldn’t be taking any photos of Noah pissing his pants. Not today, and not ever.
"Heather's pregnant!" Noah's conversation with Eva was interrupted when he was suddenly forced into a hug by Alejandro, his hot chocolate almost spilling in the process. Alejandro then went to hug Eva beside him.
Alejandro suddenly stopped himself when he was met by Eva's cold glare that screamed ‘hug me and it'll be the last thing your arms do’. He awkwardly put his arms down and started heading to Emma. Noah rolled his eyes as he took another drink from his cocoa. Of course even at his own party, he somehow managed to get usurped by Total Drama's old ‘enemy couple’.
"I can’t believe Heather got pregnant at my baby shower", he grumbled.
Eva laughed. "When you put it like that, it sounds a lot different and a lot worse."
Alejandro had finished hugging Emma, the last person he had told the news. Though, not quite the last person he hugged.
"Hey", Owen flagged Alejandro down. "I heard you're gonna be a dad too!" He stretched his arms out as he walked closer to Alejandro. "Bring it in, Palejandro!"
Alejandro winced. While he was on better terms with Owen now, he still wasn't keen on Owen's insistence of physical affection. "Ohh….Owen that isn't really necessa-"
Alejandro was cut off when his mouth met Owen's tuxedo shirt. He couldn't breathe, and he was pretty sure he heard his spine snap for a second. The smothering torture lasted five seconds, before Owen's grasp loosened and Alejandro gasped for air. He wondered how Noah had lasted through that for almost a decade.
"I'm so happy for you buddy", Owen didn't at all seem to notice Alejandro's struggle. He looked around at the other guests. "Well, where's the new mommy?"
"She drove down to the pharmacy to get an actual pregnancy test", Alejandro explained, his breathing regulated. He then realized he might have gotten excited a little too early when telling everybody.
Owen gasped. "Is that safe? What if she IS pregnant?
"Owen, you know pregnant people can drive, right?"
Owen didn't answer the question, and instead just stared blanky, like this was a new revelation. And Alejandro realized that was because for Owen, it was. "Have you not been letting Noah drive?"
"No. I didn't want something to happen to him, just in case. I actually hid his car keys at one point", Owen scratched the back of his head. "Though I can't really remember where I put them."
Alejandro looked at Owen. It was a little overboard, but was Owen actually…. thinking? Could it be that all this time Alejandro didn't think the big guy had a brain, he actually did?
"You've been really protective about Noah, haven't you amigo?"
Owen nodded. "I have to be! I mean, I never want anything to happen to my little buddy, but I ESPECIALLY don't want him hurt in his condition now! And you'll have to be with Heather too! You don't want something bad to happen to her or the baby, you know?"
Alejandro was shocked. He never thought he'd lived to see the day where Owen had a point.
"So", Alejandro wanted clarification that his hearing was working right, "I need to be more protective of Heather now?"
"Definitely", Owen pulled Alejandro by the shoulder into an arm hold. "Al, bud...I mean, Alejandro, bud, there is a LOT to learn about becoming a dad-to-be. First of all, when they get morning sickness"
Alejandro blinked as Owen started listing a bunch of other things he had been doing to take care of Noah. He suddenly felt like he was gonna regret the rest of the party.
Over two hours after he had set out, Noah finally made it to the strawberry table. It had taken talking to everyone at the party, in some cases multiple times, but he was finally going to get his reward. Bridgette was standing waiting with a smirk on her face. She went to say something, but Noah held a finger up, silencing her. He grabbed three of the paper trays next to the strawberry crate, and overloaded all three with the fruit. Tossing his empty hot chocolate cup in the trash, he began devouring his treats like a python swallowing its prey whole. Sometimes he didn’t even bother eating around the tops. In ten minutes all sixty strawberries he had taken were gone. The two pound crate of strawberries was nearly empty. “So,” Bridgette spoke up a bit fearfully, “I take it you’ve been having cravings.”
“No not at all,” noticing a strawberry still left on Bridgette’s plate, he grabbed it and quickly ate it, “Why do you say that?”
Cody, blissfully unaware, approached the strawberries, “Oh hey! I didn’t know there were strawberries.” He reaches for the crate.
Noah karate chopped Cody’s arm, making him yelp in pain, “Not for you,” he growled at the geek. With that out of the way, he turned to Bridgette, “So how have things been going for you?”
Bridgette placed a free hand on her stomach, which was very clearly pregnant, “Once you hit number four, it stops being all that stressful. Gets a lot less exciting, though.”
Noah nodded. He was definitely never getting pregnant again after this.
Elsewhere in the room, making paper flowers with Beth, Tyler stared at Noah curiously. “Y’know Beth, how exactly did Noah get pregnant. I thought it was just women who could do that.”
Beth shrugged, “I don’t know. On the farm we used to joke that if you got a bit too frisky with a horse then-“
“No offense but I really don’t want to hear the rest of that thought.”
Beth shrugged again, “That’s fair.” She tapped her chin thoughtfully, “Why don’t you just ask him? Or Owen?”
“I can’t ask him why he’s pregnant! That’s rude!”
“What about DJ? He’s been helping Noah out with stuff, maybe he’ll know.”
Tyler stood up and smiled dopily, “Great idea Beth! Nothing could ever go wrong!” He shot finger guns at her and strolled off to find DJ.
Back at the strawberries, Noah groaned and winced in discomfort. It seemed like the baby realized the party was for them, and was now kicking wildly from inside Noah's stomach. They clearly wanted the attention a lot more than the father.
But that was only the second thing bothering him right now.
“Some elephants are pregnant for up to twenty two months", Harold spat out from the top of his head. "Hamster pregnancies on the other hand can be as short as sixteen days.”
Noah looked over at Cody, and made a mocking hand talking. Cody snickered as Harold continued, not noticing a thing.
Noah sighed and put a hand on his stomach. Cody stopped snickering and looked concerned. "What's wrong man?"
"Kicking", Noah answered. Cody looked excitedly, and started to put an arm out. "Can I feel it?"
Cody put his arm back, a little disappointed.
Noah looked around his slightly cramped apartment. He probably wouldn't ever admit it, but so far, things weren't as bad as he thought they would be. True, he had been forced into five conversations and currently a friend babbling his ear off, but it was mostly tolerable. He could definitely imagine worse things that could happen.
Speak of the devil. Everyone's heads turned to the front space in Noah and Owens' wall, which had previously held their door. Standing in there, a beer keg in tow, stood a slightly older, but still recognizable, Chef Hatchet and Chris McLean.
"Now this party can REALLY get started!"
Noah groaned. As if this party couldn't get anymore forced.