Billy Boyd makes a late Christmas visit to Matthew Rippy; Backdated to January 7, 2012 Part 1 @ 01:53 am
Billy places the last piece of tape on the last wrapped gift, his tongue firmly stuck halfway out of his mouth. He hates wrapping gifts; he’s so bad at it. He places all of Noah’s gifts in a bag with cute gnomes on it. The swag of gifts for the Foundation are stuffed into a multitude of carriers, and Matt’s birthday gifts are simply there to carry.
He’s finally able to get to Manderley to visit. His sister has armed him with a homemade organic pudding, saying it’s never too late in the year for pudding. He smiles; it’s like Christmas all over again.
Matthew smiles as he watches Noah who is playing with his new toy train that was a gift from Ma Ma and Pa Pa. He watches as he pushes the “Thomas The Tank Engine” train around the track, while making tooting sounds.
Matthew smiles as he thinks of the last gift he had to give to Noah. A brand new bike, complete with training wheels. “Oh dammit. I forgot to get him a helmet.” He curses under his breath, thinking of how he can keep the bike hidden until he can get to town to buy one.
Billy knocks on Matt’s door, juggling bags of gifts, and his wallet and keys to the hire car. He really should have left some of the gifts in the car and got them out later. “Hey Matt! Hurry up! My arm’s going numb!”
Matt hears the knock and leaves Noah playing on the floor. He jogs to the door and opens it, looking straight at Billy. “Let me help you,” he says, taking some of the bags.
“Thanks. This is the price I pay not making it for your birthday or Christmas,” Billy laughs. “Hey Noah,” he adds to the little boy now hanging off his leg. “And you,” he says to Matt. “Happy Birthday and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” He places a light kiss on Matt’s lips.
Matt returns the kiss, nipping at Billy’s mouth. “And to you. It’s great to see you. Come on inside. The fire’s roaring , hot drinks abound and I’m sure Noah will want to show you what he got from Santa.”
Billy mock rolls his eyes. “Awww! Billy wasn’t a good enough boy for Santa to bring anything!”
He shrugs off his heavy coat. “Oh boy, fire and hot toddies. Just what the doctor ordered. It’s efff...very cold out there!” He just stops himself swearing in front of Noah.
“Ooooh Ba Ba. Billy be ona naughty step. He say a naughty word.”
Matthew looks at Billy in mock horror. “Oh dear. You didn’t did you?” He frowns and shakes his head.
“I certainly did not!” Billy defends himself. “Well, I nearly did, but I didn’t. Anyway, Noah, do you want your presents from Billy or not?”
Noah pretends to think. “Yes pease Billy. I would liken dat very much.”
“Okay. This bag is for you, and these ones are for the Foundation kids. I’d like you to make sure the right kids get the right gifts. No Barbies for the boys, and no Transformers for the girls.” Billy realises he’s just been horrifically sexist. “Unless they want them of course,” he adds.
“Sumtimes da boys play wif dolls an da girls wif cars an boy tings an Ba Ba say dat okay if dey does dat. Nuffin wrong he say.” Noah smiles as he takes the bag from Billy.
“Tank you Billy. You a good boy liken my Da an Ba Ba an Ja.”
Sometimes Billy doesn’t understand a word Noah’s saying, so he simply says, “Open them now. I want to see if you like them.”
Matthew can see that Billy doesn’t have a clue what Noah had said. He smiles and says,””Noah told you that sometimes the Foundation Kids share their toys and the boys play with “girl” toys like dolls and suchlike while the girls play with the boy’s cars and trucks. He also said that I told him it was okay if they did that and that there’s nothing wrong when they do and it’s good that they’re sharing.” Matthew watches as Noah tears the paper carefully, revealing Billy’s gifts.
“I knew you got a new bike Noah, so thought you should be cool riding it around with a Lightning McQueen helmet. The other stuff’s for when you start big boy school.” Billy nods a thanks to Matt for the translation.
“I no have a new bike Billy.” Noah frowns. Behind him, Matthew wheels out the bike. Noah hears him and turns around, nearly passing out at the sight.
He turns to Billy and waggles a finger at him. “How you know dat Billy? I not knowin dat I was gettin a new bike. No way Jose!”
“Well now you’re going to look like the coolest little bikester on the block,” Billy smiles. He loves the way kids react at Christmas. It almost makes him want to have one of his own, but that’s not going to happen between him and Dom!
“Lightning McQueen is so fast Billy. He very speedy.”
“But Ba. You know you’re not allowed to be very speedy in case you have an accident or you hurt someone else.” Matthew frowns.
“I be careful Ba Ba. “Specially if dere is other peoples around,” Noah nods.
“And Matt. I missed your birthday, and Christmas, so these are for you.” Billy hands the packs of books to Matt.
“Thank you, but you didn’t have to do that. I got plenty.” Matt sits down and unwraps the gifts. “Oh cool. I’ve been looking at that book at the bookshop for a while. Guess I don’t have to buy it now.” He looks at Billy. “How did you know that I wanted that exact book?”
“Psychic I guess,” Billy shrugs. “That and I spoke to a certain little someone who watches his daddy very, very carefully.”
“Ba. Did you tell Billy what Ba Ba likes?”
Noah seems unsure of what to say. “I did Ba Ba only cause I wanna you to have nice tings an I know you’s love reading when I see you ina big chair reading near da fire an you’s readin to me when I goes to bed”
Matthew smiles. “Thank you for telling Billy Ba. That was very helpful and I know you love to help people.
Noah grins and nods. “Yes I do like doin dat.”
“He was very helpful,” Billy nods. “Well, after all that time taken wrapping, the presents seem to have been unwrapped pretty quickly,” he laughs.
Matthew grins. “That’s why I only put mine in gift bags. They are truly God’s greatest gift...pardon the pun...to mankind.”
“So did you two have an awesome Christmas?” Billy smiles and accepts a very welcome hot drink from Matt.
“Sure did. We did the usual. Church where Noah played one of the Three Wise Men in the Nativity Play on Christmas Eve, opened one gift on Christmas Eve before bed, up early for breakfast and gifts, back to church for Christmas Morning Service and then to Noah’s Ark for gifts and lunch with our clients, Foundation Staff and volunteers,” Matt answers as Noah piles his school supplies on the table.
“Noah there’s one small pack of pencils to practise with,” Billy explains before taking a sip of his drink. “You need to be ready for big boy school and know how to use them. The rest you keep nice and neat for the first day.”
Noah nods. “Tank you Billy.” He looks at the pencils carefully and takes one out of the packet. He holds it between his thumb and first finger and presses it to the paper. He sticks his tongue out as he carefully writes.
“I don’t know why you’re going to school Noah, you already know so much.” Billy smiles and fondly ruffles Noah’s hair. “Sorry I couldn’t make it earlier Matt. I finally made it home to Glasgow and spent some time with my sister. I hadn’t managed to do that in a long time.”
Noah looks up. “I hasta go to school Billy cause I’s a big boy now.” He puts his head down and concentrates on his writing once again.
“No need to explain. Family is important at this time of the year.” Matthew smiles as he sips his hot drink. “You’re here now and that’s all that matters.”
“My sister made you a pudding,” Billy remembers. “Totally organic and natural sugars for the little one so he won’t be running around on a sugar high.” Billy laughs. “I told her all about you too, and she said I had to bring food as well as gifts.”
“Oh that’s so kind of her. Tell her thank you and it doesn’t matter about sugar as Noah seems to be on a natural high all year around.”
Matthew thinks for a moment and frowns. “I hate to think what you said to her.”
Just then a beagle puppy runs into the room, skidding on the wooden floor. Noah squeals and throws his pencil onto the table. “Daisy! Whatcha doin’ crazy puppy?” He rushes over to her and wraps his arms around her.
“Billy. Meet Daisy.” Matthew winks.
“Now I did bring a gift for the newest family member too.” Billy smiles scritching the neck of the wriggly puppy who has finally escaped the embraces of Noah. “Some doggy treats and a toy, but don’t tell her that until she’s unwrapped it.”
“That’s silly Billy. She a puppy an not has hands to unwrap it.” Noah waggles a finger at Billy and puts his hands on his hips.
“Maybe you could help her open it Ba because you are such an awesome helper,” Matthew suggests.
“My puppy rips the paper off herself” Billy nods. “However, Daisy’s lucky she has a helper like you Noah.”
“You not tell me you’s has a puppy Billy. What she name an what she like?” Noah forgets Daisy and her gifts and walks over to where Billy is sitting with Matthew. He has his hands on his hips and head tilted to his left shoulder in what Matthew calls his “Oh Really?” look.
“She’s a grown up puppy. Her name is Griffin, and she’s hairier than Daisy.” Billy sighs. “I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like, but she has fun being walked by a very nice lady called Anne.
Noah looks very concerned and goes and sits in the corner where Daisy is sitting. He sits and pats her, frowning at Billy. Daisy puts her paws on Noah’s knees and looks up at her young master.
“What’s the matter mate?” Billy asks, noting the look on Noah’s face.
Noah frowns at Billy. “You no love your doggy. Dat maken me sad. Ba Ba say you have to love your doggy an puppy lots an you don’t do dat.” Noah crosses his arms across his chest.
“I do love her Noah. That’s why when I have to be away I spend a lot of money to make sure someone looks after her properly. I’m not lucky like you and spend all day at home with my puppy.” Billy gives Noah a gentle smile. “You and Daisy are the luckiest puppy and boy alive.”
“Why you not take ‘er wif you? Ba Ba say when we go ona plane, my puppies come too.” Noah looks up at Billy, still frowning.
“Noah sometimes the places I work are dangerous for puppies. You don’t want me taking Griffin to dangerous places do you?” Billy reasons.
“No but she can stay at...never mind.” Noah turns his back to Billy and stares at the wall.
“She can’t stay with me,” Billy says. “My boss doesn’t let me. She’s safer and happier with Anne and when I come home I bring her lots of treats.”
“Why you have a doggy den? You ‘posed to look after ‘er” Noah kicks the wall in anger. “You naughty no lookin’ after ‘er.”
“I saved Griffin Noah. A naughty man was not looking after her; really not looking after her. He left her in the pound, and I adopted her. Like your daddy looks after kids with no mummies and daddies.” Billy hopes he can win this one. Things often go down a totally unexpected road with Noah.
Noah turns to face Billy. “You’s tooked ‘er to your house an looken after ‘er? Ba Ba do dat wif Langdon too. He tolded me dat.”
“Yes I tooked her to my house.” Billy shakes his head and corrects himself. “I took her to my house. She hadn’t been very well looked after.”
“Dat naughty. You’s have to looken after animals.” Noah turns back to the wall, Daisy by his side.
“You do,” Billy agrees patting Noah’s back. “That’s why people like you and I have Daisy and Griffin”
Noah nods and pats Daisy. “I’s have Langdon too. He Ba Ba’s puppy but I help looken after ‘im too.” He faces Billy, watching him carefully.
“You run a right zoo here don’t you?” Billy laughs, relieved Noah has turned around to face him now.
“I love da zoo!” Noah giggles. “But we no have lions an tigers an elephants at my house. No way!” He shakes his head quickly, giggling.
“No?” Billy laughs. “I’m sure I saw a lion or two looking out the window when I walked up the path! And I bet there’s an elephant in the yard.”
“I wish! Ba Ba say dey’s zoo animals an hafta stay at da zoo but we go lotsa times to see em” Noah giggles. “An Ba Ba say alla animals maken a big poopy messes dat the peoples at da zoo hafta fix” He holds his nose and waves his hand under it .“Stinky poopy.”
“I bet the elephant leaves a huge poopy mess!” Billy’s relieved Noah is now happy again. “Imagine the size of the nappy he’d have to wear!”
“He not go to potty cause he too big an he squishy it when he sit down.” Noah slaps his leg, laughing uproariously.
“And imagine the tiger trying to get the toilet paper off the roll. He’d rip it to shreds!” Billy is now in uncontrollable giggles too.
Matthew walks in at the sound of the laughter. “Can anyone join the joke or just special friends?” He asks.
“An da giraffe would breaken da roof down cause he neck is soooo long.” Noah giggles, holding his sides.
“And the hippo would be making all the water flow out of the pool,” Billy adds. He’s so into the joke he doesn’t notice Matt come in.
Noah looks up and sees Matthew. He stops laughing and wipes his nose on his sleeve. “Sowwy Ba Ba for maken a noise.”
“That’s okay Ba. You and Billy were having fun. You were doing nothing wrong. I just came to see what was so funny.” Matthew answers, handing him a tissue.
“Ha ha! Does daddy have a monkey in his room?” Billy giggles holding out a hand for a tissue too. Tears are rolling down his face, and he can barely breathe.
Noah nods. “A toy one ona his bed wif a tiger an elephant.” Noah looks over at Matthew who is nodding.
“Sure do. The monkey’s name is Molly and the tiger is Ninestein after a character in one of my favourite Gerry Anderson shows” he answers, handing Billy a tissue from a nearby box.
The conversation has turned sensible; time for Billy to wipe his eyes and regain control. “So, who’s for pudding?” he asks.
Noah shakes his head. “No tank you Billy. I’s no hungry no more.” He turns to watch Daisy eat her treats.
Matthew looks concerned. “Are you sure Ba? Billy’s sister made it just for us.”
“I sure Ba Ba. I don’t wanna none tank you.”
“Well more for us then,” Billy jokes. The he says seriously, “We’ll leave you some to eat later.” Billy turns to Matt. “I must admit I’m starving as usual. Been travelling forever.”