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ma chérie (coucou bébé)

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Patrick balances a gift basket and bouquet of flowers on his knee as he slides his key into the front door of their cottage. He and David were hosting Alexis and Ted at their house for the week leading up to Alexis’s baby shower. The first-time mom wanted to have her baby shower in Schitt’s Creek because it was still home to a good portion of people she loves most in this world.

Patrick had gone to Elmdale to make up a gift basket for Alexis and the baby. She and Ted found out a month ago that they were having a baby girl, and this sent David and Patrick into Full Uncle Mode. Patrick insisted that David take over the Apothecary for the afternoon while he went to the best mommy/baby boutique in Elmdale. Patrick had been an “uncle” several times over to his cousin’s kids, so he had a better idea as to what a first-time mother would want in a little gift basket. David, however, had been in charge of gathering the best moisturizers from the Apothecary to put in the basket.

Patrick sets the basket on the kitchen table as he enters the cottage. He has a few more things to put in it before Alexis and Ted arrive this evening. As soon as they found out the sex of their baby, David bugged Alexis for his future niece’s name. She told him, but he was sworn to secrecy. So, naturally, he told Patrick. And Patrick told Marcy so that she could stitch the baby a blanket with her name on it.

As he entered the kitchen, their Maltese puppy, Stella, came to greet Patrick. Patrick coos at her as she rolls over for belly rubs and pets from her Papa. David had a lot of rules when it came to agreeing to get a puppy: it couldn’t shed, it couldn’t be big, and it had to be aesthetically pleasing. David also insisted on picking the name, but after he suggested Helmut and Givenchy, Patrick asked him to tone it down. They came to the mutual agreement that their dog-daughter’s name was to be Stella (after Stella McCartney, of course).

“Hi, Sweet Stella. Daddy is going to be home in a little bit and then Auntie Alexis and Uncle Ted are going to come for a whole week! And then at the end of the week, we are going to have a big party and everyone’s going to be there. Grandpa Johnny and Mimi Moira! And Mamaw Marcy and Papaw Clint, Auntie Stevie, and Uncle Ted’s mom, Cheryl. Oh, and Twiggy Twyla who gives you the yummy biscuits! And everyone you know, Stella! Are you excited?” She wags her tails and kisses all over Patrick’s face. He smooches her on the nose.

She gives him a soft bark. “Okay, let’s take you on a quick walk before your Dad comes home.” He puts her in her harness and leash and takes her for around the block. Patrick loves Stella, so much, but he longed for a jogging partner. Stella was too little and would never have the stamina for anything other than her walks. Patrick was hoping he’d be able to con David into getting a bigger dog, under the guise of Stella needing a sibling. And then he could have a dog that would jog with him. He’ll get there eventually.

When they return twenty minutes later, Patrick puts the finishing details on the guest room for Ted and Alexis. Patrick runs up stairs to find the little pink silk blanket that Marcy made, folds it evenly, as David taught him, and gently places it in the center of the basket. The baby’s name stitched on the corner of the blanket is tucked in, not visible until Alexis unfolds it. He hears David entering behind him and then sees him struggling to carry (a rather small) box. He chuckles and goes to help his husband.

“Hi,” he kisses David as he takes the box over to the gift basket.

“Hello. Ugh, I just love that blanket so much.” David says as he sees the display. He runs a hand over the silk. Stella jumps on his legs so he bends over to give her kisses and pets.

“I can ask my mom to make you one if you want?” David rolls his eyes.

“Hush, you. Is everything ready in the guest room?”

“Almost.” He hands the bouquet to David. “Want to go put these on the dresser in the guest room?” He grabs a vase and begins filling it up with water.

David holds the flowers up to his nose and inhales. “Absolutely. Are these from Vera?” Vera was there flowers and fruits vendor, an Elmdale native.

“Yep! She had a stand up in the Elmdale Square today so I got these!”

“And where’s my bouquet?” David asks, eyebrows in his hairline.

“Oh, shoot. Still with Vera.” Patrick responds, voice dripping in sarcasm. He hands the vase to David with a kiss. “Go set these up and I’ll try to fit all of these moisturizers in the gift basket.” He swats David on the ass as he ascends the stairs, Stella trailing closely behind him.

“He’s a mean, mean Papa, Stella. Don’t let him fool you.” Patrick just smiles and chuckles to himself.

After carefully arranging the various lotions and creams, he hears David coming back down stairs with Stella pattering behind him. He wraps his arms around Patrick from behind and hooks his chin over Patrick’s shoulder.

“So since I won’t be able to drink wine and eat cheese at my leisure for the next week, can I at least have one glass before they get here?” David had been the one to insist that they only eat and drink things Alexis could have too, just as a courtesy. Ultimately, he was going to regret that decision. Patrick turns in his arms and stands on his tip toes to reach David’s lips.

“One glass and that’s it. They are going to be here in like twenty minutes.”

David runs across the kitchen and uncorks the bottle they opened last night. He pours two quick glasses. He shoves one in Patrick’s chest.

“To little Baby C.”

“To Baby C.” They clink their glasses together and throw back their wine.

“Do we have time for a quick blowjob?” David asks as he leads Patrick over to the couch.

“That depends. Who’s giving and who’s receiving?” David scrunches his face at him.

“Never mind, then.” He concedes. Patrick chuckles but tucks David under his arm. Stella jumps into David’s lap and both of their hands gravitate to pet her soft fur.

They chat back and forth about their days, finishing their single cups of wine. Stella suddenly perks up and jumps off David’s lap.

“Oh, who’s there, Stella? Do we have intruders?” David asks, mocking her ferociousness. They both get off the couch and follow Stella to the front door. She’s growling lowly.

“Stella, tell him that it’s just your favorite Auntie Alexis!” Patrick opens the door to greet their guests.

“Stelly!” Alexis flutters into the Brewer-Rose residence and totally disregards the human residents for her dog-niece. Ted enters behind her carrying their bags.

“Alexis! You are six months pregnant! Why are you hunched over on the floor? To pet a dog?” David’s eyebrows knit together.

“Ugh, David! I haven’t seen Stella in months! I miss her! And, like, I’m totally fine. I can do more while being six months pregnant than what you can do before 10 a.m. on any given morning.” David scoffs, but Patrick just nods, as if to say ‘no, that tracks.’ He still gives her a hug anyway.

“How was the flight, Alexis?” Her brother-in-law asks. She boops his nose.

“It was great! Thanks for asking, Patrick.” She gives David a pointed look. “Baby C pretty much slept the whole time.”

“It was a nice, quick flight.” Ted says as he wraps his arm around Alexis’s waist and her protruding belly.

“I can take your bags up to the room if you guys want to get situated in the living room?” Patrick offers. Ted shakes his head.

“I can get them, buddy. Besides, I think momma here needs to slips into something more comfortable.” Alexis, in true fashion, was wearing a nice dress and heels, with several accessories hanging off her wrists and neck.

“Ugh, you’re probably right. These heels, don’t get me wrong, are, like, super comfortable. They’ve got gel in-soles and my OBGYN said they were totally fine. I just can’t quite keep me balance in them.” She grips Ted’s shoulder.

“Okay, let’s get you in slippers.” Ted throws their bags over his shoulder and gently guides Alexis upstairs.

David and Patrick pour a few glasses of water and grab some snacks, then they make their way to the living room. Patrick brings the basket for Alexis into the living room and then curls in to his husband’s warm side. Stella makes herself comfortable in her own bed at the foot of the couch.

When Ted and Alexis come back down, Alexis has her hair in a messy bun and she’s wearing sweats. Her superfluous jewelry removed. She looks relaxed, which is something David doesn’t see a lot from Alexis. Next to her, Ted is carrying a small, white box. Ted sits in the love seat diagonal from the couch and Alexis sits on his lap.

“What’s this?” She says, clapping her hands together.

Patrick chuckles softly. “This is just a little gift that David and I put together for you.” Once Alexis get’s confirmation that the gift is for her, she immediately tears into it. Ted just laughs under her.

“Oh, you guys. Thanks for the hookup on the Rose Apothecary products.” She lightly taps everything around, “I don’t see any lip balms, though.” David narrows his eyes.

“Those are on the way.” They weren’t. He just didn’t think Alexis needed more lip balms.

“Yum. What’s this precious little thing?” Alexis pulls out the pink silk fabric and unfolds it. A breath gets stuck in her throat. “Guys.” Her eyes start to well with tears. Ted hooks his chin over her shoulder and lets out a low whistle.

“My mom made it, Alexis. I hope it’s okay we told her the name of the baby.” Patrick pipes up, leaning forward. Alexis wipes away a stray tear that has fallen on her blushed cheek.

She sniffs loudly, “No, it’s totally okay. This is beautiful, Patrick. Did she stitch it by hand?” She runs a light finger over her daughter’s name.

Patrick smiles, “Yeah, she did. I had a blue one like it when I was little. Also, I’m just going to apologize in advance. My mom knows that she can’t do anything like this for us, so she might smother you guys. If it get’s to be too much, I can always ask her to calm down.” Alexis just laughs and weeps.

“It’s perfect. Besides, it’s not like Mimi Moira is the most maternal person we know. She’s not stitching my daughter any blankets, that’s for sure.” She traces her daughter’s name again. “Cherry Rose Mullens is so lucky to have such an amazing family that loves her.” Ted glides a hand over his daughter’s acrobatic routine in her mother’s womb. “She even stitched a little cherry and a rose at the bottom. I’ll have to call Marcy and thank her.”

“Yeah, absolutely.”

Even David gets misty eyed. He runs a light finger under his eyes and then pulls Patrick’s arm over him. Alexis opens the rest of the basket, and she pulls out various items for her and Cherry.

David adored his niece’s name. When Alexis told him what it was last month, he spent the whole night in happy tears because it was so wonderful. While the name wasn’t traditional, it was a perfect choice. Both Ted and Alexis wanted to use family names if possible, but their mother’s names are Moira and Cheryl, so they decided not to pass those names on to their next generation. Rose was obviously going to be in their child’s name in some capacity, but they didn’t think it would be the best first name for their girl. So Alexis, ever the innovator, suggested spicing up Cheryl, making it modern and fun. David would have thought the next logical step from Cheryl was Sherry, but Alexis was a full-send kind of girl. And that’s how Cherry came to be.

David was used to having the fact that his last name was a common noun thrown around, used to hearing the puns. He didn’t want poor Cherry Rose to have to deal with the same thing her whole life, especially with Ted Mullens as her father. However, before she was born, he was going to take slight advantage of it. So he tied it in to Alexis’s baby shower. The theme being “The Cherry On Top.” Alexis and Ted were on board and that’s all that mattered.

Alexis unwraps the last little box in the basket, revealing a matching knit red hat and booties for Cherry. She gushes and thanks David and Patrick again.

“Now, Cherry wanted you guys to have something. She wanted to ask you guys a little question.” Alexis says as she hands them the white box Ted carried down earlier. David raises an eyebrow at her, but turns to Patrick to open it. He’s greeted with a framed sonograph picture with the words “Uncle David and Uncle Patrick” written on top, and “Will you be my Godparents?” on the bottom. David lets out a muffled sob.

“Are you sure?” He asks his sister and brother-in-law.

“I mean, at first I suggested Patrick and Twyla, but Ted said that for logistical reasons I should just ask you and Patrick instead. You know, because you guys are married and live together and all of that gross domestic stuff.”

David pulls a megawatt smile, gets up from the couch, and pulls Alexis off of Ted’s lap into a hug. With her bump tight between them, he can feel Cherry kicking around in there.

“Of course, Alexis.” He whispers into her hair. “Of course I’ll be her godfather. I love you.” Age and distance from his family had made David softer than he’d publicly admit, but Alexis knew this so she got his full sincerity.

“I love you, too, David. There’s no one else I’d want to have in Cherry’s corner than you and Pat. And I know you’ll love her and take great care of her, because you took such great care of me. And I was a mess.” David cries into his sister’s shoulder.

“Alexis, it’s been my pleasure getting to take care of you. I mean, not the years when I was bailing you out of embassies and protecting you from Somali pirates, but like all of the other times. Let’s just hope and pray that Cherry is the nice kind of fun. Not the reckless kind, like her mother.”

“One can only hope.” When they tear away from each other, Patrick is patting Ted’s back in a very bro-like manner. He moves to hug Alexis, so David retreats to give Ted a hug.

“Thank you, Alexis.” Patrick tells her.

“No, I’m pretty sure I’m meant to be thanking you.” Patrick quirks his mouth to the side and pulls Alexis in close to whisper in her ear.

“David is really happy for you. And he’s super excited to be an uncle. I know he’s absolutely tickled to be her godfather. And I am, too. It’s and honor that you’ve asked us Alexis. We can’t wait to meet her.”

Instead of responding, Alexis just hugs Patrick tighter and kisses his cheek. When they pull apart, everyone settles back into where they were sitting. David pulls the picture frame into his hands.

“Where should we put this? On the mantle above the fireplace or on the dresser in our bedroom?” David asks.

“I think on the mantle,” Patrick says after a second of thinking. “I want everyone who comes into our home to see our little niece and goddaughter.” Patrick kisses his cheek.

David looks at the picture, the little black and white photo that vaguely looked person-shaped.

“I agree. We need to show off our little Cherry.” So David puts it on the mantle and then tucks himself back in to Patrick’s side. Stella hops into his laps, her head rests on Patrick’s leg while David holds her body and pets her soft fur. They spend the rest of the night talking about how life will change once Cherry arrives. David’s never been more excited.