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Family Dinner

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players only. takes place after the whole gang arrives in L.A.

The walk along the beach had been lovely and quiet. Matt had perched Luca on his shoulders, his son grasping his hair as a primitive method of steering. Kate had slipped an arm through Chris's and they'd all laughed, sung songs, and chattered until reaching the door of the burger joint. Dinner had been fun right up to the point that Luca, tired from a long day, had started to get tearful. Scooping the small boy into his arms Chris had set Luca against his shoulder and sung softly to him as they'd made their way back; by the time they'd reached the house he was fast asleep.

"I assume we're skipping bath time tonight?" Chris says quietly as he lets them inside, already heading for Luca's room.

"Yeah," Kate nods, following behind Chris. "You do not want to wake him now, he's evil incarnate when he's overly tired."

Matt locks up behind them and kicks his shoes off, leaving Chris and Kate to wrestle a sleeping Luca out of his pants and into a nighttime diaper. Only when Kate steps out of the darkened room does he step around her. "There's wine in the refrigerator," he whispers, brushing a kiss against her cheek. When he moves into the room it's to find Chris kneeling beside the bed watching Luca sleep.

Chris smiles up at Matt. "He's such a bundle of energy when he's awake and then he just conks out, dead to the world."

"Yeah, we're lucky he's such a good sleeper now." Stepping up behind Chris Matt puts his hand on his lover's head, his fingers combing through his hair. "He is so beautiful," he adds softly.

"He is," Chris agrees. "Just like his dad," he adds with another smile for Matt.

Matt huffs out a soft laugh. "I wonder what our next one will look like."

Chris rises to his feet, slipping his arm around Matt's waist while they both look down at Luca. "Has the subject come up with Kate?"

Matt nods. "I spoke to her." He leans his head against Chris's shoulder. "Laid out what we'd like to happen, that we use the eggs I already have, so Luca will have a true sibling, that we'd like for her to be our surrogate because she is as much a part of this family as any of us. I told her to think on it and to talk to us both when she's ready."

"Should I say anything or just leave it alone for now?" Chris asks. He doesn't want Kate feeling pressured but he also doesn't want her thinking he can't speak for himself.

"You don't need to defer to me, Chris," Matt murmurs, pulling Chris from the room. "Talk to her if you want to. I thought you and she were creating your own relationship."

"We are, and I'm not deferring to you," Chris points out. "I was asking your opinion. You still know her better and how she best reacts to things."

Matt raises his brows at that, it sounded like a reprimand and he doesn't like it. "She'll be fine, ask her," he replies, letting go of Chris's arm and quickening his pace toward the kitchen and Kate.

"Hey," Chris touches Matt's arm. "Did I say something wrong?" he asks, confused by Matt's sudden change of mood.

Matt comes to a halt, looking up at Chris's confused expression. "What you said, it sounded... bitchy," he says quietly "and not a little condescending."

"I'm sorry. I really didn't mean it that way," Chris says honestly, earnestly. He really didn't and he hadn't thought it sounded that way but interpretation is everything and if he made Matt feel bad...

Matt nods. "Okay, I'm sorry if I was being over-sensitive," he sighs, his shoulders drooping.

"It's been a long day, we're both tired," Chris says softly, reaching for Matt's hand and linking their fingers. "We should go have some wine with Kate and then call it a night."

Matt nods, leading Chris through to where Kate has opened a bottle of wine and poured them each a glass.

"I told Greg he's got most of the day off tomorrow," Chris says as he settles on one of the couches with his wine. "I thought we could sleep in a little, have some breakfast, then walk up the beach in the other direction. There's some amazing tidal pools full of starfish and sea cucumbers and there's a few restaurants along there where we can grab lunch when we're hungry. Then we can uber it back here when we're done."

Matt takes a seat beside Chris and across from where Kate has sat. "Sounds like a plan," he nods, "so long as Luca sleeps well and isn't overtired."

"We can always cut things short or stay closer to home if he's not feeling up to it," Chris offers easily, more than happy to alter their plans as needed. He smiles at Kate. "I know you want to shop for a wedding outfit while we're here. Anything else?"

Her legs curled up under her, Kate tucks her long hair behind her ear before answering. "Luca could do with some new clothes, but I think you and Matt are sorting that, right? If I can, I'd love to have an afternoon in a salon and get my hair cut and my nails done. It's been a long while since I indulged myself like that."

"I'm sure we can arrange that for you," Matt smiles at her. "It's the least you deserve."

"Do you want a whole spa day or just hair and nails?" Chris asks, not wanting to overstep.

"A whole day?" Kate returns, it's not so much a question of what Chris meant than it is one of 'can I really have that?'.

Matt smiles, sipping his wine, his gaze moving between his lover and his best friend.

Chris nods. "As Matt said, it's the least we can do for you. I can book you in and they'll give you a whole menu of treatments to choose from, serve you lunch, do your hair and nails. I'll make sure you have a driver there and back." He smiles. "Full day of pampering."

Grinning, Kate nods. "I would love that. And are we each having a date with you while we're down here?" Shifting her gaze to Matt she arches her brow in question. It's been a few weeks since she and Chris had managed some quality time alone and given that Matt had raised the question of her acting as their surrogate she's both keen to re-enforce her new relationship with Chris and give him an opportunity to broach the subject himself.

Chris grins. "I'd enjoy that very much. Matt has me doing the whole fancy dressed-to-the-nines dinner out," he says, smile widening, reaching for Matt's hand and linking their fingers again. "Do you want the same or would you like something more laidback?"

"Laidback is good," Kate relaxes back against the cushions. "I'm sure you'll be wanting to avoid as many press opportunities as possible, so let's do something on the quiet."

Chris grins, smiling at them both. He brings Matt's hand to his mouth and presses a kiss to the back. "I've got the perfect place in mind," he says, boggling a little at how quickly their calendar is filling up. "Hey, do we want to get Luca in to see Santa down here or in Canada?"

"In Canada, he has no sense of time scales yet, so it's probably best we wait until a few days beforehand so he can enjoy the anticipation," Matt explains, sipping his wine. "And will you want to sit on Santa's knee this year?" Matt directs the question at Kate with a grin that suggests there is a story there.

Chris raises an eyebrow at that. "This year?"

Kate flips Matt the bird and rolls her eyes. "Yes, I've been a very good girl this year," she announces archly. "Unlike you, you bitch."

Matt laughs at that. "Well, it makes a change for me to be getting all the action, doesn't it?" he throws back, tipping his head to rest it on Chris's shoulder and fluttering his lashes at her.

Chris chuckles but wisely keeps out of things, sipping at his wine as he listens intently.

"Kate fucked a Santa one year," Matt finally decides to let Chris in on at least part of the story. "He wore his beard the whole time so she tells me."

"Kinky," Chris says with a grin, eyes glinting with mischief.

"I was drunk," Kate shakes her head. "I was drunk and it was possibly the worst sex I've ever had." She shudders in mock revulsion at the memory.

"Which was no excuse for pissing on him," Matt cuts in, laughing hard now.

Eyes widening, Chris tries to figure that one out for a moment before shaking his head. "C'mon. Now I have to have the whole story," he says. "You pissed on the guy?"

"By accident!" Kate exclaims, throwing Matt a look promising retribution. "It was at a party, there was a lot of alcohol being passed around, some guy turned up in a full Santa outfit, I think in hindsight it was some sleazy move to get attention. Well, I had had enough to drink that it worked, some hours in I sat on his lap and we got chatting, decided to go and find somewhere more private. Which we did... one thing led to another and we ended up fucking, and it was so, fucking boring, wasn't even a nice dick," she shakes her head, lip curled in disgust.

"So you pissed on him in revenge?" Chris teases.

"No, I got impatient so I flipped him on his back and started to ride him because I wasn't going to walk away without getting my happy ending," Kate continues, taking another drink of her wine and briefly wondering how in the hell life has lead her to a point where she's explaining past sexual misadventures to Chris Hemsworth. "I don't think he liked me taking the lead so he grabbed my hips and rammed up as if trying to assert himself, he did it so freaking hard that my whole groin area," here she waves a hand over herself to indicate where, as if Chris couldn't figure that for himself, "kinda spasmed or something and the next second my bladder gives up and I piss all over him, while he's still inside me. It was gross."

"I can imagine," Chris says. While he's not averse to piss play, this is a whole other thing. "That sucks," he adds with full sympathy. "But at least he got what he deserved," he grins, assuming the guy wasn't into it.

"Yeah," Kate snorts. "He realized before I did what had happened, he pushed me off and started yelling at me and calling me all kinds of vile names, so I tugged my dress down, flipped my hair over my shoulder and strode out of there like a fucking Queen. I had to get this one to come to get me because no cab would pick me up as I stank."

Matt lifts his glass in a toast at the mention of his act of chivalry.

Chris smiles and kisses the top of Matt's head. "It must be hard to meet people or even make a decent hook-up living up where you do and being so busy with Matt and Luca," he observes.

"Oh, this was a few years ago," Kate waves it off. "Since Luca came along and Dylan disappeared my priorities changed. I had to be there for my two boys and that meant a new home and a new lifestyle. Out went the partying and mischief, replaced by diapers, baking and raising hens..."

"So... you're as celibate as Matt's been?" Chris asks, boggling just a little at the idea of the two of them in the prime of their lives living like monks.

That earns Chris an elbow in the ribs. "I'm right here, you know," Matt rumbles.

"Oh hell no," Kate laughs shaking her head. "I do get out, especially since Brother Matthew here decided that socializing was passe and he'd rather stay at home with Lulu. I have a couple of male friends I can hit up when I need to party."

"Friends with benefits," Chris says with a smile, reaching for the wine and offering to top them all up.

"Booty calls," Kate agrees, leaning in so Chris can top up her glass. "I don't suppose you know any hot movie stars who like a little no-strings fun, do you?" Kate's teasing, evidenced by how she's watching for Matt's reaction from the corner of her eye.

"Actually, I probably do," Chris says with a laugh, topping up Matt's glass and then emptying the bottle into his own. "But you'd have to give me a better description to go on than 'hot'." He grins. "Who do you find attractive?"

"I like guys who are comfortable in their own body and in their sexuality," Kate offers a half shrug. "I have a preference for brown eyes and I like them a little rough and ready." She muses for a moment. "Mark Ruffalo. He's hot."

Chris grins. "He's also married and very committed but that gives me a much better idea of what you like," he says, keeping Matt snugged in close as they sip at their wine. Thinking that Citadel would be perfect for Kate but Matt would probably have his head if he suggested it. "Let me think on it for a bit."

Kate bursts out laughing. "I was kidding! I think one movie star in the family is quite enough."

"You said no-strings fun," Chris points out. "If we're going for commitment, then I'll look at a whole different group," he teases.

Matt pulls away at that to look askance at his lover. "What is that supposed to mean? Actors are only good for no strings attached fun huh? Well fuck!"

Chris thinks back over what he said. "That's not what I meant," he explains quickly. "I was just thinking one group of friends when she said sheer fun and it wouldn't be the same group I'd consider if she were looking for something serious."

The corner of Matt's mouth twitches and then he gives up trying to not laugh. "Relax, Cowboy, I was teasing."

"Thank god," Chris laughs, relieved, shaking his head and making a face at Kate. "I thought I was in shit."

"Cowboy?" It's the first time Kate has heard what is clearly a pet name.

Chris looks at Matt. "Yeah. I don't know how that started. I guess because I'm up for Joe?"

Matt nods, "Yeah, because of Joe." He doesn't elaborate further, not wanting to share a very intimate moment even with Kate. Smothering a yawn he presses closer to Chris, leaning his head against his lover's shoulder.

"Do I get to carry you to bed too?" Chris murmurs, smiling, kissing the top of Matt's head.

A soft huff of amusement at the suggestion and he shakes his head. "No."

Smiling at the two men, Kate rolls to her feet. "I am going for a shower then I'm hitting bed, I shall leave you two lovebirds alone." She leans in and busses kisses against both their cheeks. "Try and keep the noise down," she quips mischievously as she leaves the room.

Chris smiles, watching her go. "I might have to gag you," he teases Matt. "Or soundproof our room."

"I do not make that much noise," Matt protests, though to be fair he's really tired and may not be up for much fun tonight.

"No, you don't," Chris agrees. "Mostly." Laughing as he drops another kiss on Matt's head. "Want a back rub and you can just go to sleep?"

"To be fair, I think I'm too tired even to enjoy a back rub." Matt shuffles forward and pushes up. "C'mon let's go to bed, otherwise I'll just fall asleep on you right here."

"Okay. Just let me make sure we're all locked up," Chris says, checking the sliders and moving the wineglasses and the empty bottle to the kitchen to be dealt with in the morning.

By the time Chris joins Matt in the bedroom, Matt is already in bed.

Chris quickly washes up, strips down and climbs into bed, wrapping his arm around Matt. "You okay? Just tired?" he asks, checking in.

"Exhausted," Matt admits, not entirely sure why he's just so damned tired. "I'm sure I'll feel better with a decent night's sleep."

"Well, we're not in any rush in the morning so just sleep in," Chris says. "I'll take care of Lulu."

Matt presses close, snugging up against Chris and closing his eyes, moments later he's fast asleep.

[feedback welcome. comments screened.]