003; real life

144 13 65

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"You promise you'll call if anything happens?  Like, anything at all?" Awsten asks, staring miserably at his packed suitcase.  "If the twins need anything or if anything comes up at the doctor's appointment for little Awsten?"

"Of course," Thea assures him, "and, if you keep calling him little Awsten we might have to name him after you after all."

"No, no, we're not doing that," Awsten dismisses with a quiet laugh.  "I still think Miles is kinda cute.  Sounds rich too.  But I'm a little invested in Chris too so he can become a Marvel king.  But Chris always sounded kinda asshole-ish to me.  Very frat boy chic.  Theodore is still cute as shit.  Call him Theo, definitely.  But no Awsten Jr.  I don't think that's cute."

"Well, regular Awsten is plenty cute so I guess we don't need to go for another one," Thea replies with a small smile, resting her hand on the little baby bump.  "But Theodore is my favorite.  Maybe Theodore Miles Knight."

"I kinda love that," he remarks, pausing briefly, "Theodore Miles Knight.  Theo...can't wait to meet him."

"Me too," Thea agrees with a nod, smiling when she feels the baby kick.  "Oh, someone's got some energy."

"He's kicking?" Awsten inquires, his eyes lighting up.  "Can I feel?"

"You know you can," Thea reminds him, giving a little nod.

He reaches out and sets his hand gently on the bump, biting his lip.

"How does that feel?  Like inside?  Does it feel like he's gonna kick right outta your tummy?" he questions curiously, lingering a moment longer before pulling his hand away.

"Just feels weird.  I don't know," she replies with a shrug, "just weird."

"Hate that I'm gonna be missing any of the weird.  The baby weird and the twins going to school, which is very weird.  They're too tiny for school.  They're babies," he mumbles the last part, shaking his head.  "How 'bout I never tour again?  Just stay here.  You, me, our three little babies.  Sound good?"

"Sounds perfect.  But, tickets are already sold so I don't think you can abandon a sold-out tour, honey," she tells him with a smile.  "But we'll see you at the LA show."

"I'd abandon so many sold-out tours for you and our lil' angels," he says, clearly sad about leaving.  "I wanna tour but I don't wanna tour without you guys."

"I know...but calls every day, texting as much as possible.  We go through this every time, Aws.  We're all still gonna love you just as much when you come home.  You have nothing to worry about."

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The trip to the airport the next morning is filled mostly with Skye rambling about what she knows of the tour so far, comments on how the band will be playing her favorite song and Jade's favorite song on every night of the tour and that she was promised pictures of every stop from Jawn.  Awsten and Thea give a few replies but Skye mostly just talks, always having a lot to say.  Awsten sometimes wonders how much there is in her head that she doesn't say.  She's always talking about something and trying to learn new things.  She tried to get Jawn to teach her photography but he told her he'd teach her when her hands are big enough to hold the camera steady.

They arrive at the airport and head inside, Skye now getting quiet as the fact sets in that Awsten is actually leaving.  Jade holds Awsten's hand, and Skye hesitantly goes for his other one, reaching out for Thea as well.  Thea gives a little smile and holds Skye's hand with her free one.  Her other hand is pulling along Awsten's suitcase.

They stop at the point only passengers can go passed, a moment of quiet between them briefly.

"I wanna go with you, daddy," Jade tells him, sniffling a bit.  "Please, I wanna go."

"I'm sorry, Jay bear, you gotta stay here.  You gotta go to school," he reminds her sadly, trying to keep himself from crying as Jade sheds a few tears.

"I don' wanna go to school, I wanna go with you," she says quietly, wiping away her tears.  Awsten reaches out and holds her hands, giving a little kiss to her knuckles.

"I'll be back real' soon," he reminds her, fighting back his own tears.  "And I'll call every day.  It'll be such a quick tour.  And Uncle Otto and Uncle Jawn are gonna stay a little and visit after the tour is done.  That's cool, huh?"

Jade gives a little shrug, not answering.  Awsten sighs, pulling her into a hug.

"I love you, lil' angel, I'll be home soon," he whispers, hugging her close as she holds onto him as tightly as she can manage.

"I love you too, daddy," she mumbles, sniffling again as a few more tears fall.

They stay like that for a moment before Awsten goes to Skye, kneeling down in from of her like he's done with Jade.

"You gonna be good?" he asks, already knowing what she'll say.

"Mostly," she gives the answer he knew was coming, earning a quiet laugh.

"Don't give mommy too much trouble, okay?  She's got your baby brother giving her tons of trouble in her tummy already.  But give uncle Elijah so much trouble.  You and uncle Kal should tease him about how he can't count," Awsten suggests, getting a nod from Skye.  "Alright, gimme a hug."

She throws herself at him, looping her arms around his neck.  He hugs her tightly until she's ready to let go and then goes to Thea.

"You gonna be mostly good too?" he jokes, forcing out some humor despite wanting to cry.

"Don't think I have much of a choice on that," she teases back, "call me when you land?"

"Of course," he responds with a nod.  "Second that plane is back on the ground, I'll be calling you.  And then I'll call you again before the day is even over 'cause I'm gonna be missing you so much.  And then an extra time when the twins get out of school.  And then at their bedtime too.  And then you should call me before you go to bed too, please.  And I'm sure I can squeeze a pre-show call in too."

"I'll be waiting on every one of those calls.  And I'll definitely call you before I head to sleep," she says, pausing briefly before hugging him, a bit awkwardly with the baby bump.  He returns the gesture before pulling back to kiss her.  "I love you so much."

"I love you so much too...already counting down the days to come home."

After a little more lingering, Awsten finally heads to get his ticket checked so he can board the plane, shedding a few of the tears he held back when saying goodbye to his family.

He hates this.

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