Six months later, Oliver was beginning to crawl and make vague, talking sounds. Gerard had brought a high chair into his studio so that he could be with Oliver while he worked on the comic he was collaborating on with Grant. He could hear Oliver gurgling from beside him as he chewed on a plastic toy they’d bought for him. He had started teething a few weeks ago, making him drool everywhere and chew everything.
“Ya-ya!” He shrieked happily, kicking his legs against the chair. Gerard turned to look at him.
“Yeah, Ollie, ya-ya!” Gerard repeated, a smile across his face. He continued drawing out his character carefully, using the expensive black brush pen to mark the paper. He spent most of his days like this, drawing in his studios with Oliver or meeting his editor for Umbrella Academy with Oliver or meeting colleagues with Oliver. He pretty much went everywhere with his son.
At around one Oliver started to get whiny again and so Gerard took a break to feed him and to check if he needed changing.
“Hey, Ollie,” He laughed, dragging out the ‘l’, picking Oliver up and blowing a raspberry on his stomach. Oliver shrieked and gurgled, drool spilling down his chin. Gerard wiped it off with a wet wipe and carried Oliver around for a bit, bouncing him up and down. He set Oliver on the floor as he made some coffee and watched him roll around, pushing himself up and staring at everything, his now brown eyes wide and curious. His hair had grown and was brown and messy around his head. He waved his chubby fists at Gerard and made a face, opening his mouth wide. Gerard laughed and scooped him up after he’d finished his coffee.
“Are we going to go and see daddy at work now so we can say buh-bye to him before he goes to England?” Gerard asked Oliver in his ridiculous baby voice. Oliver grabbed his hair and mouthed at his face in response. Gerard kissed his head and kept trying to bounce him as he picked up his house keys and his car keys.
“Baby, baby,” He sing-songed, balancing Oliver on his hip and smiling at him fondly. He strapped Oliver into his child seat and brushed his forehead with a kiss before leaving to see Frank before he had to accompany three of his bands as they toured together across Europe and so that he could speak to some record companies over there too.
It was a half-hour drive to Frank’s office with Oliver gazing everywhere as Gerard drove. He was always very curious and alert and ready to take things in. He stared at Gerard with wide, wide eyes when they stopped at traffic lights and Gerard laughed at his expression. He parked in Frank’s office car park and picked Oliver up to rest on his hip, poking his nose.
He came into Frank’s office pretty regularly, so he found it easy to navigate through the various floors and corridors, but what wasn’t so easy was trying to get to Frank’s office without people stopping him to ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ over Oliver. He finally managed to get to Frank’s office after being seriously waylaid by a group of women who were intent on picking up Oliver themselves and looking at him. Gerard finally knocked on Frank’s office door and waited for the ‘come in’.
“Hey, Frankie,” Gerard greeted him, “We came to say bye.”
Frank looked up from his stack of paperwork and beamed at them.
“My two favourite boys!” Frank exclaimed. Gerard laughed and held Oliver out to Frank.
“What time are you going?” Gerard asked, glancing at the suitcase in the corner.
“About five, I think, and I’m going to join up with the tour in London,” Frank said, standing up and bouncing Oliver in his arms, “I’ll miss you two.”
“We’ll miss you, too,” Gerard smiled, going over to Frank and leaning on him. Frank kissed him and let Oliver tug at his hair.
“Hey, hey, hey, Ollie,” Frank chided, ducking and trying not to let Oliver rip his hair out. Gerard laughed and prised Oliver’s fist open, “How about we go out for lunch before I go.”
“Sounds good,” Gerard said, “Just let me get Ollie’s bag and we can go to that Italian down the road.”
“Exactly,” Frank said, reaching behind him to turn his computer off while balancing Oliver in his grip, “Does that sound good, Ollie?”
He blew a raspberry onto Oliver’s stomach, causing Oliver to shriek and giggle.