Is it all over?
"I'm a horrible person. I just walked out. I just walked out on my fiance and my baby." Pete said.
"No, you're not." Patrick told him. "You're just... you're trying your best."
"No, I'm not! I'm running away, just like I run away from every fucking thing on the planet." Pete said. "What am I gonna do?"
"Start dating again." Patrick said.
"Did you just listen to a word I just said?"
"No, I mean take Rachel out. Like when you first started dating. No Pete, just you and Rachel."
"Patrick, she won't even look at me right now, there is no way she'll agree to a date."
"There is. Talk to her.
"Okay, so even if I talk to her - there's no way she'll leave Petey."
"So leave him with me. I can babysit."
"It's not that I don't trust you, you know I do. Rachel's just overprotective."
Pete stopped and watched over Patrick's shoulder.
"What?" Patrick asked frantically, turning around.
"What the hell is that?" Pete asked, pointing to a feline figure slinking by the door.
"Oh, it's a cat." Patrick said.
"A cat." Pete repeated.
"Yeah. Well, I always figured, I can't have a cat because I'm never home. But then I thought, hey, I have kids, I can have a cat, too."
"My God." Pete said.
"It's called Tigger." Patrick said, rolling his eyes. "Guess who named it?"
"Josh." Pete said, managing a laugh.
"Yeah. Could have been worse. Danielle wanted to call it 'Horhay'." He raised his eyebrows. "And, and she swears he's a Moomin, not a cat."
"A what now?"
"A Moomin." Patrick repeated. "Remember, the TV show?"
"Ahhh, yeah. Right."
"Josh, don't touch that." Patrick said, watching Josh stab every single button on the TV remote.
"Do you want to stay up?" He asked. Josh nodded and backed away from the remote, not risking Patrick's rare treat of being allowed to stay up later than bed time.
"So... are you gonna talk to her again?" Patrick asked.
"I have to. She's my fiance." Pete replied. "And I love her."
"Then you know what you gotta do."
"Yeah." Pete agreed. "But I'm not going back tonight. I'm going to give her time to cool off."
"Alright. Well, you can stay in the spare room if you want." Patrick said, standing up. "Now I get my daily workout - trying to get them back upstairs."
"I'll help." Pete said, grabbing Josh as he spotted Patrick rising.
"Good trick." He said to him. "You'll have to learn to outrun me."
Patrick awoke the next morning at around 6AM. Having lived off of early mornings during tour, and now the fact he had two three year olds to look after, he was used to getting up early. He dressed and went downstairs, enjoying the rare moment of peace where he was actually awake before Danielle and Josh, and not being shaken out of his dreams by them jumping on his bed. He found a note on the kitchen counter that said;
'Trick, thank you for letting me crash the night. I appreciate it. I'm gonna go reconcile with Rachel. I have to. I'll call you later if I need that "favor".
In a separate neighborhood, Pete unlocked the front door, half expecting another plate to come crashing its way towards him. It was clear. He tiptoed up the stairs and looked in on his son, not risking picking him up in case he cried and started Rachel off on the wrong foot. He walked to his bedroom and pushed the door open slowly. He looked at Rachel, asleep on her side, curled up, clutching one of Pete's old shirts. She looked so beautiful that Pete couldn't help but melt and sit down to watch her. Her face was blotchy and it was painfully obvious to see she had cried herself to sleep. She had stopped wearing make up since Pete was born, however her eyes were red and swollen.
As though sensing someone was watching her in her sleep, Rachel's eyes opened slowly, blinking slowly as the room swam into view. She sat up slowly, she couldn't move very fast because she was still sore from the birth, but Pete held his finger to his lips as he moved over from the chair to the bed.
"Shh, don't say a word. Just listen to me, please." He said, his voice desperate. Rachel obliged, realizing how much she needed him, and during the night how much she'd regretted what she'd done. She just hoped he wasn't going to leave for good, despite what she'd said.
"I messed up. I was an asshole and I'm sorry. I just want to be a family. Because whatever I say, I love you with all my heart, the way I thought was only possible in movies. I'm not prepared to throw all that away on one stupid fight we had last night, because I know we're stronger than that and we can get through whatever the situation that's going on right now is." He said. He waited for her to absorb his words. Rachel was too tired to argue, she was exhausted, but she couldn't find a point to argue, either.
"I love you, Pete." She said, tears escaping from her eyes.
"I love you, too." Pete said, putting his arms around her and pulling her close. As she leant her head on his chest while she sobbed, Pete kissed her head and smelt the familiar smell of her hair. It had drawn him back to many times before. He closed his eyes and held her tighter.
"We'll get through it, sweetheart. We will. I promise."
"Definitely." He said, confidently. He paused and sighed.
"The first thing is to talk it over. By ourselves. I'm going to take you out to dinner tonight and we can talk, okay?"
"What about Pete?"
"Patrick offered to look after him. See? You don't need to worry."
"I didn't mean anything I said last night, Pete." Rachel said, and she showed him her hand, which was supporting his engagement ring once more.
"Good." He replied, fingering the ring.
"Quit crying your eyes out, baby." Pete said, with a small laugh at the lyric reference. Rachel smiled and held onto him tightly. Their intimacy was interrupted, however, by Pete crying in the next room. Rachel stiffened, as did Pete.
"I've got him." Pete said, standing up and looking at Rachel, who nodded with a smile.
"Hey, pal!" Pete said, excitedly, picking his son up. "Aw, man, this feels so good. I looked forward to this for seven months."
He rocked him slowly back and forth and whispered as he fell back asleep.
"Everything will be fine. Don't you worry."
"Yo, Josh, rise and shine!" Patrick called, opening Josh's curtains and turning around while Josh pulled the covers up over his head. Danielle followed him, already up and still in her pajamas.
"Hey, you're meant to do that when you're a teenager and I moan at you to stop wasting the day. It's six thirty, you're usually up by now." Patrick said.
"No!" Josh said.
"Come on." Patrick said, lifting him up. "Bath time."
He put him down on the ground and grabbed his collar as Josh tried to run away.
"Oi. Don't try that. Come on, quick march." He said, guiding him into the bathroom while Danielle danced ahead.
"Right. Strip." He said to them both, nodding towards the bath. "Big day ahead."
"Where are we going?" Josh asked, giving up and wriggling out of his pajamas while Patrick put Danielle in the bath.
"We, are going to spend the morning, uh, playing, I'm guessing. And at night, we, are going to babysit." Patrick said, helping Josh to pull his shirt off before lifting him into the bath.
"You can't sit on babies!" Danielle said, shaking her head wildly, causing bubbles to fly everywhere.
"No, you don't actually sit on them." Patrick said, wiping bubbles off his face on his shoulder. "You look after them."
"Yay!" Danielle said.
"And you," Patrick said to Josh, "Are going to be my main man."
"Does Uncle Pete and Auntie Rachel not like the baby?" Danielle asked.
"Oh, they do. They love him very much." Patrick said. "In fact, so much that it sort of made them very tired."
"So why don't they sleep?"
Patrick laughed to himself. Sometimes kids solutions sounded so much better to adult ones.
"Well, they will, and that's why we need to look after Pete junior. So he doesn't wake them up."
Danielle and Josh nodded.
"So you guys will help me, yeah?" He asked. Danielle nodded while Josh shrugged half heartedly.
"You'll grow a lot more attached when he's older, Joshy." Patrick said, blowing bubbles onto Josh. "He'll be like your little pal you can show off to."
Danielle held a plastic cup up to Patrick's face, which was filled with bath water and topped with water.
"Lovely." Patrick said, pretending to drink it but letting it drip back into the bath. "You make the best coffee ever."
"I know." Danielle said proudly.
"So will you two behave for me tonight when we have little Petey over?"
"Can we dress him up?" Danielle asked.
"Mmm, not until he's a bit older." Patrick said.
"Can we play with him then?"
Patrick clicked his tongue.
"Mmm, not at the moment. Right now we just have to make sure he's okay."
"Is he sick?"
"No, he's just very small, and he can't do things for himself. So we have to do it for him."
"Lazy." Josh said.
"He's not lazy, Joshy. He's just too small to do things."
"So what do we do?" Danielle asked.
"We," Patrick said as he tipped water over her head, making her giggle. "Are going to make sure he eats, change him and make sure he goes to sleep."
He lifted them both out of the bath and after he dressed them, they shot downstairs.
"Oi! If you're going to watch a DVD... then we watch what I want to watch." Patrick said, moving them out of the way and lying down in front of the television.
"No!" Josh said, jumping on him and wriggling around.
"Excuse me, I'm the daddy and I say we watch Jungle Book." Patrick said, sitting up so Josh slid down.
"No TV." Danielle said, switching it back off. She had a bossy streak in her, she liked to order people around and keep things in order. She would frequently scold Joe for smoking, or would tell Andy off for screaming at the TV when basketball was on, or he was playing a video game.
"Why do we never get to play with anything I want to play with?" Patrick pretended to moan as Josh picked out a handful of his toys from the box.
"It's okay, Daddy. We can play with the train later." Danielle said, patting his arm.