Billy Boyd makes a late Christmas visit to Matthew Rippy; Backdated to January 7, 2012 Part 2 @ 01:54 am
Matthew frowns. “That kid is far too sensitive for his own good.” Matthew murmurs. He shakes his head as he watches Noah pat Daisy.”I just pray that he won’t be a target for bullies when he gets to school.”
“He’s very polite for sure, you’ve brought him up so well.” Billy accepts a top up of his drink, and wonders whether he can wait for the pudding to be heated up. He frowns at the bully comment. “Kids will always find things to pick on other kids for, it’s kind of like the chain of life.”
Matthew cuts a piece of pudding and puts it in the microwave, his eyes never leaving Noah and Daisy. “He already has it tough due to having gay parents and his kidney issues. Part of me doesn’t want him to go to school but part of me knows he’ll love it.” He takes the pudding out of the microwave and grabs a spoon from the cutlery drawer and brings it to the table. He places them in front of Billy and sits down, still watching Noah.
“Thanks,” Billy smiles. “You’d think nowadays kids would be over gayness. But they look for anything that’s different. My kid, if I had one, would be teased because his dad speaks funny, and he was a Hobbit. You’re right, he’ll love school. He’s a bright one for sure.”
“You know, he won’t be able to do Phys. Ed or play sports because of his kidney issues which will be another reason the kids will tease him.” Matthew sighs. “I just wish being a parent wasn’t so damn hard.”
“At least he has a caring dad. It’s the ones whose parents don’t care I worry about.” Billy laughs. “Listen to me! As if I know anything about parenting!” Billy looks over at the little boy happily playing with his puppy. “I have to admit he’s like he’s mine I’ve become so attached to him. I never used to like anything to do with kids.”
Matthew shrugs. “To be honest, after what happened to me as a kid, I didn’t think I’d want kids either, but he makes everything in the past seem...I don’t know...worthwhile. Like my brother said to me after Noah was born “You know what not to do to a child.” I’m not so sure about that. I know that I would never do to Noah or any other child I may have, what my father did to me.”
Noah starts giggling; he’s on his back and Daisy is smothering his face in uncontrollable licks. “He has it pretty good,” Billy nods.
“Help Ba Ba! Daisy maken me fall down!” Noah giggles as Daisy licks him as he tries to roll away from her.
Matthew watches for a few seconds before walking over to Noah and calling Daisy to him. She trots over and sits at his side. “Go and wash your face please Ba.”
Noah sits up, nods and runs into the downstairs bathroom. The sound of running water can be heard for a few moments before stopping again. Noah walks out, shaking his hands to dry them. “All doned Ba Ba.”
“Good boy Ba. Thank you.”
“Now you’ve washed your hands you going to rethink pudding?” Billy suggests.
Noah sighs and pretends to think. “Just a little bit pease Billy so Ma Ma won’t getten angry at me for not eaten alla my dinner.” He nods.
“He’s better behaved than I am!” Billy shakes his head. “I’d eat the whole lot if I had a chance. My sister makes a pretty good pudding.”
“Nooo. You say she maked it for us. You hafta share or you be ona naughty step.”
Matthew pours some milk into a plastic tumbler that has a picture of Thunderbird Two and Virgil Tracy on it for Noah and hands it to him. “Tank you Ba Ba.”
“You’re welcome Ba.” He smiles and sits down.
“It’s all organic; that means it’s healthy and you can eat as much as you want because it’s good for you.” Billy laughs. “Magic pudding.”
“What da point of it bein good for you? Ba Ba say pudding is only at Christmas cause it a sumtime food.” Noah nearly spits a mouthful of milk across the table and sounds exactly like Matthew.
“Then you can eat more at Christmas time, and after.” Billy licks his lips and takes another bite.
“Noooo. It no Christmas an I eaten it now.” Noah looks slightly confused.
“It’s our special Christmas Noah, because I couldn’t be here at the real Christmas time.” Billy pushes the small dish of pudding Noah’s way.
Noah looks at Matthew who nods. “Have a taste Ba. It smells yummy.”
Noah picks up the spoon and dips it into the bowl. He raises it to his mouth and nibbles at it. He puts the spoon in the bowl and chews it, looking over at Billy as he swallows.
“Good?” Billy asks.
Noah nods. “Yes tank you Billy. It’s very yummy.”
“I’ll tell Mary you said that,” he beams. “She was asking me where I was off to after I left Glasgow, and I said it was to visit a nice little boy and his daddy.”
“Who Mary Billy? Is she a nice lady?” Noah asks, taking another bite.
Matthew sips his drink and listens to the conversation.
“Mary’s my sister, and she’s a nice lady sometimes,” Billy laughs. “You don’t have a brother or sister do you Noah?”
“Noo. But Ba Ba say I be a good big bruvva sumday.” Noah answers, shaking his head.
“You not telling me something?” Billy mouths at Matt.
“Maybe,” Matthew answers while stuffing his mouth with more pudding.
“You can’t just say that!” Billy whispers. “You have to tell what’s going on when Noah’s asleep.”
Matthew makes a show of licking his lips and fingers clean. “Sure. Be more than happy to.” He shrugs. “Please thank Mary for us. This pudding is awesome.”
“Fucking tease!” Billy mouths.
Matthew licks his lips. “You love it,” he mouths back grinning.
Billy’s attention is taken away by Noah, who is pulling at his trousers. “What do you want buddy?” Billy asks. “More pudding?” Then he spots the pile of presents, and Noah’s determined little look on his face. “Oh, you got more to show me huh?”
Noah nods. “Look at my Thomas train Billy. Toot Toot.” He points to where his Thomas the Tank Engine train set is set up on the floor. “Ba Ma Ma an Pa Pa given dat to me.”
“That is so cool!” Billy kneels on the floor. “May I touch it? I’d love to have a go.”
Noah looks at Matthew who nods. “Sure you can Billy but no braken it or no play an go ina naughty corner.”
Billy struggles to understand what Noah has just said, but he makes out ‘braken’ and ‘naughty corner’ and gets the gist. “I’ll be very careful I promise. He places his hand over his heart. “Toot toot” he calls out as he pushes the little engine along the track.
“I’s dat Fat Controller.” Noah says in his best deep voice. “Go dis way Thomas. No be naughty.” He shakes his finger at the train.
“Okay Mr. Fat Controller,” Billy says in his best Thomas voice. “I’ll go the way you say. I’m not naughty.”
Noah frowns at Thomas. “You better not or I get cross.” He uses his best grown up voice.
“I’ll be good, I promise Mr. Fat Controller.” Billy makes a tooting sound and starts moving the engine in the direction Noah Fat Controller has indicated.
Noah folds his arms and watches carefully. Daisy runs over and knocks the train off the track. “Naughty Daisy!!” Noah yells.
“She didn’t know,” Billy soothes. “Come here girl and stay out of the way.” He plonks the licky puppy on his lap and shields her from trouble with his arm.
‘She braken it Billy. Naughty Daisy!” Noah’s bottom lip shakes. “Go ‘way Daisy! You braken Thomas.”
“Thomas is fine Noah. Look!” Billy makes a very loud tooting sound again and gets Thomas moving. “Daisy didn’t cause any trouble at all.”
Noah watches Billy and nods. “You no allowed to braken toys Daisy. You can watch but no braken dem” he tells Daisy and sits on the floor near Billy.
“She’s only little Noah. You have to teach her what’s right and wrong. She doesn’t understand. All she sees is something moving and she wants to chase it. That’s what puppies do,” Billy explains.
“Did your doggy do dat when she was little liken Daisy?” Noah asks, moving closer to Billy.
“Well I don’t have a Thomas set like you Noah, so no. However, she did chew my door, and my wall, and she ate my slippers,” Billy laughs.
“Eaten slippers! Oh no! Dat so naughty! Dat why Ba Ba say we put alla shoes ‘way so she no getten dem. Whatcha do?”
“Panicked she’d be sick,” Billy reminisces. “Then watched bits of slipper come out the other end.”
“Slipper poopy. Poor doggy but dat teached her no doin dat again.”
“They don’t remember Noah. You have to tell them every time. She wouldn’t know why her poopy was slippery.”
Noah looks worried. “I tells Daisy no eaten shoes or she has shoe poopy.” He nods.
“There’s nothing worse than shoe poopy,” Billy laughs.
“But your doggy is okay right? She no sick?” Noah asks worriedly.
“No I watched her carefully and she just pooped it out. She’s fine Noah. As happy as Larry.”
“Dat good.” Noah nods, “Even when she eaten shoes.” He reaches over and pats Daisy. “You no do dat Daisy. You be good.”
Matthew stands in the doorway watching. He smiles and listens to what is going on.
“Anyway Mister isn’t it close to your bed time? And Daisy’s?” Billy reminds Noah.
Noah looks over at Matthew who nods. “If you want to go to the movies to see The Muppets tomorrow, yes it is time for a bath and bed.”
Noah pouts but nods. “I do wanna see dat Ba Ba.”
“I know you do and so do I. Give Billy a kiss then upstairs to Kate please Ba.”
Noah runs over to Billy and jumps in his lap. “Luff you.” He hugs Billy and kisses his cheek.
“Love you too Noah.” Billy ruffles Noah’s hair. “Sleep well and enjoy The Muppets tomorrow.”
“I will. Bye bye Billy. Noah stands and walk over to Matthew who kisses his cheek. He walks to the stairs, Daisy following behind him and disappears into the nursery a short while later.
Matthew stands behind Billy, waiting to see how long it takes for him to notice.
“So what was the comment about more kids?” Billy asks without turning around. Years of studying martial arts have sharpened his senses.
“Now I’m in full remission, it may happen sooner rather than later.”
“You seriously planning Matt? That’s awesome!’ Billy turns around and embraces his friend in a big hug.
Matthew nods against Billy’s chest. “We always said we didn’t want Ba to be an only child and I think he’s old enough.”
“Looking at the way he keeps Daisy under check he’ll be an awesome older brother. Although the new little one’s going to permanently live on the naughty step!” Billy laughs.
“Just planning at the moment. Nothing is set in stone.” Matthew reaches up and lays his hands flat on Billy’s chest, looking into his eyes.
“Yeah?” Billy asks. It’s an unusual move from Matt.
Matthew shakes his head and moves away. “Yeah. I think it’s time before Noah gets too old.”
“Before he gets too used to being the only one?” Billy pours Matt a supportive drink. This is serious business.
Matthew takes the offered drink with a slight smile. “ Yeah. Kinda.” He sighs softly and sips the drink, looking away from Billy. “Don’t get me wrong. Ba is a good kid and is not spoilt. He loves the kids at Noah’s Ark and all.” He takes more of a mouthful and blinks.
“So why do you want another one?” Billy’s a friend, and he wants to be sure Matt is making the right decision.
Matthew shrugs. “I don’t know. I...I want to prove that bastard wrong.”
Billy thinks that’s not necessarily the best reason, but he needs to choose his words carefully. “You really want another one though yeah?”
Matthew nods. “Yeah. I’d love a little girl, although another boy would be awesome too. I can just see Ba looking out for his sister or brother and being so protective of her or him. I even have names for the new little one in my head.” He shrugs, feeling slightly silly revealing this to Billy.
‘So tell,” Billy smiles.
Matthew blushes. “Well, one of my favourite crime writers is Dashiell Hammett, the guy who wrote “The Maltese Falcon” that the Bogart movie was based on, so that would be his first name and then I think his name would be William and then Conrad or Carson or maybe Watson after Doctor Watson in Sherlock Holmes, or Holmes himself or Alexander, with his mother’s surname being his fourth name. That’s what I did with Noah. Noah, Pryce after my brother Pryce Noah who killed himself when he realised he was gay, John after Papa and my brother and Taylor after his Mama--Isabelle Taylor. Need some help narrowing it down.” He clears his throat and continues. “I’m not really sure about the girl’s name yet. Still working on that.”
“If it’s a boy you want to have William in there?” Billy beams.
“Yeah. Of course but only if it’s okay.” Matthew regrets telling Billy that he would proudly name his son for him. He looks away and nervously runs his hands through his hair.
“But it’s nothing to do with me yeah? You just like the name...” Billy gives a nervous giggle. “William sounds distinguished. Billy sounds..bouncy.”
Matthew’s face falls and he turns away. “Nothing to do with you at all. Just like the name.” His shoulders drop and he sighs softly.
Billy wonders what the sigh is about. “Whatever sex or name the baby is, it’ll be a lucky baby to be brought up by you,” he says encouragingly.
Matthew blushes. “That’s very kind of you to say. Half the time, like most parents I guess, I have no darn clue what I’m doing. Just make it up as I go along and hope I’m not scarring the kid for life.” He swallows and looks over at Billy. “I just wonder if I’m not sending Ba to a shrink when he’s older.”
“You’re saner than a lot of people I know,” Billy reassures. “Including me,” he jokes.
Matthew snorts. “Not giving me a whole lot of credit there you know.” He winks. “You know, if the child is a boy, he will have William as one of his names for you. I mean why wouldn’t I want to name my child for one of my dearest friends and possible guardians of said child.” He shrugs.
“Possible guardian?” Billy nearly chokes on the words. “Now you’re acting insane Matt!”
“Why? Why the hell is that insane? I don’t get why you’re so against this?” Matthew stands and starts to pace.”You are my best damn friend and I want to do this.” Matthew tries not to shout so he doesn’t wake Noah. He thinks for a moment. “You know what? Forget it! If you’re that against it, I’ll think of another name and find someone else to be guardian.”
“Matt calm down, I was only joking. The ‘insane’ quip was about me not you. I just don’t feel I’m worthy of being a guardian that’s all.” Billy gently grabs Matt’s arm. “You know how much I care for Noah and you.”
Matthew spins around to face Billy. “It’s fine to say you care, but showing it is another thing altogether.”
“Matt, it’s my insecurities we’re talking about here, not my intentions.”
“Like I said. Forget it. I’ve obviously misjudged you.” Matthew’s voice is hardly above a whisper. He yanks his arm free and walks into the living room, stopping to put Thomas and his friends away.
He stands and stretches. “Oh well. I guess it’s up to Billy to decide. But no matter what he decides, my son, if I have another, will have William somewhere in his name.” Matthew mutters. “And if Billy doesn’t like it, he can suck it up and get over it.” He grins to himself as he puts the final train in the box.
“And I’ll be as proud as punch if he does,” Billy assures.
Matthew spins around, not having heard Billy behind him. “I thought your insecurities wouldn’t allow it.”
“It’s not a case of allowing Matt, it’s a case of feeling confident. I would love to be a guardian for Noah and Little Billy if he comes along. It’s being certain I’d do a good job which is in the back of my mind.” Billy looks Matt straight in the eye. “I think I’ve said it before. I watch you look after Noah, and I don’t know how you do it. All I think I can be is funny Uncle Billy who pops by with presents every now and again, and plays.”
Matthew looks Billy in the eye. “That’s the best part. The not knowing. I mean you’d know what to do if Noah was in danger right? Or if he was scared or whatever because your instincts would take over. And the rest? Well, you and he learn together. You make mistakes...God knows I’ve made my share...and you go on. The best part is when you look into his eyes and see the love for you that is shining there or he tells you how much he loves you with a big beaming smile or a squishy squeezy hug, that’s when you know you’ve done things right.”
“Can I give you a squishy squeezy hug Matt? You are amazing!”
“What? Do you even know how to give squishy squeezies? There is a very special way to do it.” Matthew blushes. “Ba would be devastated if you got it wrong.”
“Show me...just in case.” Billy grins.
Matthew takes Billy in his arms and squeezes tight. He loosens the squeeze and then squishes Billy against his body. “There you go.”
“I think I can do that quite adequately.” Billy grins.
“Prove it,” Matthew challenges.
Billy reconnects with Matt. He wraps his arms around him and pulls him in tight. “I love you, and I love that scallywag Noah, and if there’s a little Billy or Billyina I’ll love him or her. Thanks so much for trusting me to be such a major part of your lives.”
Matthew melts against Billy, but manages to stay upright. “Love you too. You mean the world to me. Trusting you is the easiest thing in the world to do and I do it with Noah and any other child or children we may have. I meant what I said when I said that you are one of my best friends.” Matthew kisses Billy on the forehead and smiles. “So does this mean you’ll be Noah’s guardian?” he asks warily, resting his forehead against Billy’s.
Billy pulls away for just a moment. “You betcha!”
Matthew pulls away, expecting Billy to say no. “What? Huh?” He opens and closes his mouth, doing his best impression of a dead fish.
“I’ll be the guardian,” Billy smiles. “But you’d better damn well take extra care of yourself Mister!” Billy pokes Matt’s chest.
“Already had three brain tumours. Don’t want to repeat that any time soon. Although my severe latex allergy and asthma is an ongoing concern. But I’ll do my best to stay alive for as long as possible.” Matthew rolls his eyes and grabs Billy’s hand before it can poke a hole in his chest wall.