Nursey likes to come up behind Dex, wrap his arms around him, place one of his hands on Dex’s chest to feel his heartbeat and his chin on the other’s shoulder, always giving a kiss to one side of the neck before rubbing his cheek against the warm skin.
The first times he did that, however, he managed to startle Dex so bad, that the redhead would hit his boyfriend as a reflex with the elbow and leave him with bruises that were “definitely not the fun type” as Nursey had so eloquently grunt out after a particularly nasty hit to his diaphragm.
current situation: sitting in my fluid mechanics lecture, on the verge of tears bc i just thought about how #dead derek nurse would be when dex gets glasses. (i say ‘when’ bc if my boy is a cs major who spends all his time staring at a screen it’s an inevitability.) like ????? dex’s glasses are a little too big on him and they always fall down his face and nursey fucking SWOONS every time dex has to push them up on his nose bc he’s sO CUTE but also he looks so smart in his glasses and so so so soft when he’s wearing his glasses and that oversized sweater of his and nursey’s beanie… rip nursey. cause of death: william poindexter’s Soft Nerd™ aesthetic
(1 of 2). Dex doesn't talk about his home life much. He wears thrift store clothes (not for fashion), has a 2nd-3rd hand computer that he has to rebuild, and is at Samwell on a scholarship. He gets uptight/grumpy with wasted time because between work/hockey/school and maintaining his GPA, he has to FOCUS. Everyone thinks he's got this big family that he's trying to make proud. But, he really just doesn't want to go back home. His mom has been gone for years (dead or left), and his older sister
Okay, there’s two more parts to the prompt, but I’m gonna
say here. Warning for abuse,
specifically parental abuse. Also, minor
character death (parental death). Sorry
if I miss any tw or cw tags that people have blacklisted!
Rodney was staring across the cafeteria with such intense focus, he didn’t even acknowledge when Teyla and Ronan joined the table. Ronan dug right into his meal, while Teyla watched Rodney for a moment.
“Huh?” Came Rodney’s inarticulate reply. He mindlessly shoved some food in his mouth, as if suddenly realizing that a meal was supposed to be happening.
Teyla looked across the cafeteria, sighed and refocused on Rodney. “Rodney. Is something bothering you?”
“Huh? No. Why would something be bothering me?” Rodney asked, then shoveled a forkful of pasta into his cheek.
This invoked a snort of amusement from Ronan, but Rodney barely reacted. Ronan watched for a moment, intoned, “They’re just talking” and returned to his meal.
It at least got Rodney to turn his attention away from John and Jennifer.
“Yeah, they’re talking alright. Talking about me.”
Teyla frowned. “While it is more likely that they are discussing other matters, would you not think it is a good thing if they were to discuss you?”
“Of course not!” Rodney exploded, though thankfully not loud enough to carry across the cafeteria. “It’s my S.O. and my ex-S.O. They could be-oh god. They’re laughing.” Rodney hung his head.
“I thought you and Keller parted as friends,” Ronan said.
“That is right. It was an amicable ending to your engagement. You still enjoy each other’s company as friends. How is it a problem if John and Jennifer share a lunch?” Teyla gestured to the people in question.
“They know things,” Rodney moaned.
“Would they not know the same things?” Teyla asked.
“Well anatomically-ow!” Ronan rubbed the spot on his arm where Teyla punched him, but didn’t seem to be in any real pain.
“It’s not just that,” Rodney said. He seemed to hesitate for a moment before sharing, “Look, I know that I’m not always the easiest person to live with let alone have a relationship with, alright? The last thing I need is the two of them to share the highlights.”
Teyla leaned forward, “Both John and Jennifer care for you, Rodney. You have no reason to be insecure.”
“I am not insecure. I’m just being realistic.” Rodney said, then, “Oh, she’s leaving.”
Sure enough, Jennifer was carrying her tray over and dumping out her leftovers. John sauntered right over with a pair of cookies. He placed one on Rodney’s tray before biting his own.
“What’s up kids?” John asked.
“Can’t you see we’re eating?” Rodney said, gesturing to his now cold meal.
“I see that,” John frowned at Rodney’s now cold meal.
“Oh, no you aren’t-”
“About your conversation with Dr. Keller. He fears that she was conveying information that may embarrass him,” Teyla finished.
John finally sat, right next to Rodney. “That’s absurd. We went over scheduling military physicals and her vacation with Rodney on the mainland.”
Rodney groaned. “I knew it. She told you all about building the fire.”
“Not the fire.”
“Setting up the tent then.”
“Not the tent.”
“The bugs? Because I can explain. It was much bigger than most Earth insects.”
“Not the bugs.”
John eyed Teyla and Ronan for a moment, then leaned over and whispered in Rodney’s ear.
Rodney’s eyes widened. “Oh, that.”
“Yes, Rodney, she suggested that I try to, uh,” John whispered Rodney’s ears again.
“Ah, you know, I’m not doing anything this afternoon, if you want to, ah…”
“I thought you and Zelenka were going to run those simulations this afternoon,” John smirked.
“He can do them himself. It’s not very complicated.” Rodney was already getting up, already tugging on John’s sleeve.
“Excuse us,” John said with a cheeky grin and followed Rodney out of the cafeteria.
y'all it’s 2:35 am and I’m over here cryin over the platonic polyfrogs????
so here’s some bed sharing headcannon bc…. why not
-obviously dex and nursey get dibs share the attic, but they still get on each other’s nerves so ugh
-dex goes downstairs and climbs into chowders bed without saying a word, pushes his face into the pillow so hard chow is worried he’s gonna asphyxiate or somethin
-so chows like “did u two fight?”
-dex just nods
-“I hate it when u fight…”
-“I know…. me too,, I’m sorry”
-chowder just kinda stares at him, before pushing a hand through dex’s hair and turning over to stare at the wall
-“night, dex.” “night, c.”
-but nursey never comes downstairs when he’s sad or angry or needs a friend, he does that quietly by himself on the bottom bunk with the covers over his head.
-nursey comes down when it’s cold, or he can’t sleep.
-he pushes open the door and says “Jesus it’s cold,” and lays down next to him
-“can we cuddle? is that chill?”
-so chowder lays with his head in nursey’s shoulder and nursey curled all around him and it’s nice so he sleeps past his alarm
-and on nights when he cants sleep, chowder knows right away by the set of his shoulders. “cmere,” c will say and nursey will collapse onto the bed and wrap his arms around him and hold tight until he can’t help but sleep
-and sometimes c needs it too so he texts the frog group chat at like 11pm when he knows they’re both awake and prob on Twitter “ok so who’s gonna come cuddle me”
-and totally in sync they both climb out of bed (nursey always offers a hand to dex when he jumps from the top bunk it’s cute ok) and go to cuddle their goalie awh
-and chowder’s like “YAYYYAYYAY!” when he sees them both
-nursey lays against the wall with chowders face pressed into his neck and dex lays up against c’s back with his arms right around his middle
-and when bitty doesn’t even say anything when he wakes them up for breakfast
Ollie’s policy when it came to partying, as well as her life motto, was simply ‘What the hell!’ and thus far, it had gotten her into plenty of trouble.
She was a paparazzi favorite, especially on her wildest of nights. Paparazzi swarmed the teen like flies to rotting fruit, but that wasn’t even the worst of it. Ollie’s opinion was that at least the paparazzi were honest about taking pictures of her and selling them to tabloids and magazines, but what was way worse were the punks who took photos of her on their phones at parties alongside her and then went on to sell them. And that is exactly what happened. Again.
Ollie had been beyond wasted at a party and without her usual sidekick, Dex, who generally watched out for the people sneaking shots of her and usually broke a few phones in the process. She was lying on the floor, her top long gone and her bra clad torso slathered in glitter and sweat, as she held onto a bottle of whiskey in one hand and smoked a cigarette in the other. It was the time of her life. She didn’t even recognize the flash of the camera among the flashing lights going on around her until she woke up the next morning to see herself on every newsstand in Sydney.
“Oh. My. God.” Ollie muttered to herself as she picked up a magazine featuring her on the cover.
Her blood began to boil with rage as she read the article concerning the picture, framing her as the loose, wild, party girl and fuck up of the Hemmings children. The magazine even dared to question Luke’s ability as a parent; asking why and how his youngest was so wild and reckless.
Naturally, Ollie picked all of the magazines featuring her and threw them to the ground, crushing them underneath her boots as she stormed off while lighting a cigarette, ignoring the shouts going on behind her.
Dex Irwin was widely liked just about everywhere he went. If it wasn’t for his devilish good looks that he, unlike his identical twin, had no problem using to his advantage, it was for his killer sense of humor and ability to make just about anyone smile. He was the definition of ‘class clown’ all throughout his years of private elementary and middle school, but things shifted when he entered the co-ed high school that all of the other 5SOS kids attended.
No longer was he funny and loveable Dex, now everyone had the impression of him that he was well aware of his semi-celebrity status and felt that he was above everyone else around him simply because he now preferred to spend most, if not, all of his time exclusively with Ollie Hemmings; who had been labelled a celebrity brat long before she entered high school. Suddenly his last name was attached to him and everything he did. He wasn’t just Dex anymore. He was Dex Irwin; rockstar Ashton Irwin’s son.
The adjustment was definitely strange, but Dex could easily let things roll off his back. He didn’t care of other’s opinions of him; especially if the people didn’t even really know him for him. It didn’t bother him until his reputation spread and it was no longer only his fellow classmates that knew of him in that way, but his teachers as well. It was particularly burdening on Dex that his art teacher, Mr. Penham, whom Dex greatly admired, had caught wind of who his father was. Since learning that Dex was a celebrity child, it changed Mr. Penham’s treatment of him. Before, he was a star student in his class; a very unfamiliar feeling for the notorious delinquent Dex. But it was plain to see that Dex had a talent when it came to drawing, painting, sculpting, and really just about any art form available. Mr. Penham had admired him for it, even using Dex’s works as examples for his other students. However, when the cat was let out of the bag that Dex’s name was well known outside of the confines of Mr. Penham’s class and that his father was a wealthy superstar, suspicions rose that maybe Dex wasn’t the passionate student that Mr. Penham had once thought that he was, but instead he was cocky and full of himself and that using Dex as an example would only fuel his self-esteem more.
Then the teacher caught wind of another particularly irritating rumor that Dex just paid talented artists to do his projects for him, which couldn’t have been further from the truth. That was a rumor that particularly got underneath the teenager’s skin considering that Ashton was the only one out of the band who refused to let his kids run free with a credit card, like his Uncle Michael, Calum, and Luke had been guilty of before. Both of Dex’s parents were hard workers and raised their children to be the same, which was why Beau now worked more than a usual 40 hour a week job and rose before the sun to get to work and why Jett excelled as a full time student and worked three nights a week and both Saturday and Sunday at the restaurant. Dex wasn’t exactly like his older brothers, that was a fact that even he could admit. He wasn’t particularly a good student and would much rather spend his days skipping class to run around Sydney with Ollie by his side and he wasn’t looking for employment; he enjoyed his free time at sixteen a little too much. However, he worked hard in Mr. Penham’s class and was an honest and good student and the fact that his last name changed his perception of Dex, was beyond annoying. But Dex lived on with it with no complaints, like the laidback and good-natured boy his parents had raised. He didn’t try to dispute a thing or fight back and just continued to let things go. But Dex finally cracked when a beautiful portrait of Ollie he had done was scrapped for the school’s art show by his teacher because he claimed that ‘it didn’t look like his other work’; when that had been Dex’s goal all along. He was constantly striving to try different things when it came to his art; to be extraordinary and different. He didn’t want all of his pieces to look the same. But here he was; being told that the only way he could get any credit was if all of his art looked precisely like another piece of art he had done. So on his way out of Mr. Penham’s, Dex crashed a shelf-full of ceramic pieces to the floor and stormed out of the classroom with fast-paced steps.
Wilder’s artistic eye had always been best previewed behind the lens of a camera. He couldn’t draw or paint anything more intricate than a stick figure and all instruments looked like strange objects of torture to Wilder, though he was more than fond of the sounds they could produce when played right. But he still had a creative mind and so many imaginative and intricate thoughts that he wasn’t sure how to express until he first picked up an old camera of his mother’s at just six years old. From then on, Wilder was unstoppable.
He could create breathtaking images, images that had only previously existed in his mind, and make them come to life with a simple click of a camera. His social media was chalk full of photographs displaying his talent and even went on to display the talents of others as he was notorious for taking photos of the other kids or even his parents without them looking. Some of his favorites included pictures of Jack and Jett hard at work in the studio, reminiscent of the photographs his mother was once famous for capturing as the photographer for 5 Seconds Of Summer, pictures of Ollie smoking cigarettes idly outside during hangouts with the Irwin twins, pictures of Jett and Lark side by side at the family’s piano, pictures of his ever lovely mother painting, and candid shots of Beau and Thea simply being madly in love with one another. And finally after many, many years of having their photographs taken unknowingly, the 5SOS kids gave in and would model for Wilder; making some of his very best photo ideas a reality.
His favorite models included: Thea, for her interesting eyes and feminine features and because she was simply undeniably a stunner, Ollie, for her pale white skin and electric blue eyes and often wildly pigmented, long hair, and his brother, Dex, who had been Wilder’s main object of interest since the very first time he began taking photographs. But over time, Wilder began to love all of the kids and what they brought to the table as models. For example, Cat’s liveliness shone in all of his pictures and her eyes remained bright in every shot he took of her, whether she was aware or not.
He recently had been begging Cassie to allow him to photograph her, but like his sister Lark, she had always been so shy behind a lens, though she was beyond gorgeous and had a body that would make Kate Moss cringe with jealousy. After a month or so of Wilder’s subtle harassment however, Cassie gave in and allowed him to take her picture in his makeshift studio set up in a small corner of his mother’s spacious art studio. While Wilder was certainly one of the most shy of the Irwin children, he had an ability to make his subjects comfortable. He didn’t worry about being taken too seriously and would often make his models laugh or goof about with them to make them feel more confident. And often, Wilder’s favorite shots were the ones he caught of people smiling or giggling or doing something plain silly in front of the camera. He captured one of Cassie Hemmings’ sweet and shy smile, with blush rising to her cheeks as she looked away from the camera, but still caught the light in perfect angles and decided that it was the one he wanted to post.
And with her permission, he did just that.
The photo of Cassie was an overnight sensation. Wilder woke up to thousands of likes and positive comments, with the few negative thrown in, but they were unavoidable. However what he didn’t know was that since posting the stunning picture of the eldest Hemmings, she had been the one to receive most of the hate concerning the way she looked in the photo. People tore down her smile, or profile, or body simply because they could and Cassie was not at all used to that sort of reaction. The comments and messages sent the teenager into a deep depression as she opted out of school the following day and remained beneath her comforter instead. Once Wilder received word of why Cassie had been absent from her sister, he had never felt so awful; convincing himself that it was entirely his fault and that he shouldn’t have pestered her.
He took the photo down immediately with a heavy heart, endlessly confused and heartbroken as to why anyone could say awful things about his art or Cassie’s lovely self just because they were available to the world due to who their parents happened to be.
It was funny that her brothers had been the ones to beg her to join them for a day out at the beach when for so many years it had been the other way around. When Lark was younger, she always wanted to join Beau and Jett on their adventures; holding a firm belief that her older brothers were the coolest people she knew. But the more Lark grew, the more introverted she became. These days, Lark would much rather spend time at the seat of the Irwin’s piano; a seat that might as well have had her name engraved into it. Lark simply enjoyed solace and being alone with her thoughts. She found it easier to create that way. However, she had been suffering from a spout of writer’s block lately so she figured that maybe a day out at the beach might bring her some inspiration.
Lark was entirely content sitting on the sand and letting the smooth grains run through her fingers as she watched her brothers among the waves. They had spent time trying to convince her to let them teach her to surf along with them, but the thought terrified the fifteen year old. She was certain that she wouldn’t be able to glide gracefully along the waves the way her brothers did. Anyway, she was happy to just sit and watch; the salty air and sunshine being the best kind of escape. Nothing could have bothered Lark as she sat in the sand, her long, curly crimson locks being blown freely by the Australian breeze. Nothing except the sudden shutter of a camera.
Lark’s head snapped to the side to see a boy about Jett’s age photographing her as she sat on the beach in a pair of high-waisted shorts and a bikini top. Her heart began to race as she searched among her brother’s things for a towel to shield herself. When she finally did locate Beau’s green and white beach towel, she threw it over herself, effectively hiding her face and striking red hair from the boy with the camera.
“Aw, come on! Don’t be like that. Just give me one good shot I can sell to TMZ!” He shouted.
Lark buried her feet in the sand and shut her eyes tightly, hoping that if she kept them closed for long enough that the next time she dared to open her baby blues he would be long gone.
He was insistent, coming closer and closer to Lark with his phone in hand.
“Just give me one good one of you in that bikini, Irwin, and I’ll leave you alone.” He said next, his voice sounding nearer and nearer.
Almost the second the stranger’s fingers reached out to curl around the towel Lark was holding firmly around herself she heard Beau’s voice, low and angry, “Hey! What the fuck?!”
He and Jett emerged from the waves, sopping wet and dropping their surfboards in the sand just a few inches from Lark’s pink painted toenails.
“I’m just trying to get a good picture of your pretty little sister here.” He explained, sounding sleazier than ever.
“Yeah? Well clearly she doesn’t want her picture taken, so back the fuck off.” Jett replied, an intense anger rising up in his chest.
“Or what?” The boy challenged foolishly as the next sound Lark heard was a punch thrown followed by a grunt of pain.
Lark threw Beau’s towel from herself to inspect the scene with wide eyes. Jett’s fist was still clenched from the blow he had given when the boy dropped his phone into the sand and reciprocated by punching her brother hard and fast on the left side of his face.
“Jett!” Lark screeched.
The stranger had done it now, however. Jett was strong and when he was full of rage, even stronger yet, but Beau was even bigger and broader and mightier than his brother and when you dared to mess with someone Beau loved, Mr. Sunshine disappeared.
Beau threw two quick punches, first to the boy’s stomach and then one perfect blow to his jaw, effectively pushing him to the sand. Lark was crying almost hysterically now as the scene played out in front of her like the most awful horror film. She almost wished she had just let him take her picture as now many more people with their phones and cameras in hand flocked to the scene to capture pictures of the two eldest Irwin boys beating the shit out of the boy that dared to harass their sister.
“Jett, you okay?” Beau checked quickly on his brother, who was still holding a large hand to his face.
Jett nodded in response.
“Okay, get Lark. We’re going home, come on.” Beau instructed as he turned on his heel to pick up his and his brother’s boards.
“Come on, Larkus.” Jett called to his sister, using one of her pet names in an effort to soothe her.
Lark grasped Jett’s hand as he lifted her up from the sand.
“Get on my back, alright? And keep that towel over you.” Jett told her.
He didn’t care much if his picture was all over the tabloids, but he knew that his sister would.
Lark complied, wrapping her hands around Jett’s broad shoulders and locking her legs around his waist as she continued to shield herself beneath her brother’s towel on the walk home; the sounds of cameras clicking all around them.
Calum was more than confused when he spotted his little boy sitting alone at the dining room table after school, his backpack still on his back, and looking more miserable than ever as he traced mindless doodles into the hard, wooden surface of the table before him.
“Hey, bud!” Calum called to his son as he pulled up a chair opposite of him.
“Hi, Daddy.” Ryker replied softly, his lifeless tone of voice hurting Calum’s heart a bit.
“Where’s Dylan?” He asked.
Dylan Harson was Ryker’s best friend practically since Calum and his wife had discovered that Mrs. Harson just across the street was pregnant with a little boy at the same time they were. Ever since, Dylan and Ryker were almost as inseparable as Cat and Thea; making Calum and his wife often feel that they had four kids instead of only two. But that suited them just fine, they loved Cat and Dylan just like they really were their own and welcomed their presence with open arms and hearts.
“He’s sick. His brother gave him a cold.” Ryker replied, his large brown eyes still staring at the table.
“Well, why don’t you go out and play with some of the other neighborhood kids? Like, what about some of the kids on your soccer team? They live close, don’t they? I’d give you a ride!” Calum offered cheerily, but his son’s eyes remained just as gloomy as before as he shook his head from side to side.
“They won’t play with me outside of practice.” He said, thoroughly perplexing his father.
Ryker was just about the sweetest kid you could ever meet. All of the kids at school liked him and all of his teachers. Calum couldn’t understand why any of the neighborhood kids wouldn’t give him a chance.
“Why not?” He asked.
Ryker brought his small shoulders up to his ears in a shrug.
“Their parents won’t let them.”
With that final piece of information, Calum’s confusion was transforming into anger.
“Why not?” He repeated, feeling heat rise to his face.
“I dunno. They don’t like rock stars, I guess.” Ryker explained in the simple terms of a child, but Calum fully understood.
The same thing had happened when Thea was a little girl. Although she was sweeter than raw sugar and genuine and kind, she was outcasted by many other kids her age because of their parent’s opinions of him. Thea could have had a plethora of friends if she wanted, or if she was anyone else’s child but his, but usually stuck so close to Cat, because she went through the same struggles as she, with Michael as her father. The thought that this was happening again to his little boy made Calum’s blood boil. And yet, he wasn’t sure how to feel as he set his eyes on Ryker’s sad face. He didn’t know if he was angry because people couldn’t give his children a chance, or heartbroken because the only reason that they wouldn’t was because of him.
Calum stood from the table, using all of his willpower not to walk around the neighborhood banging on doors and cursing people out for treating his son like a leper because he had achieved fame, and ruffled Ryker’s dark hair.
“I’m sorry, bud.” Calum mumbled sincerely before walking away, not wanting Ryker to see him in such a conflicted emotional state.
DISCOURSE: 1) dex's class background & relationship w/ money is undoubtedly foundational to his character but im sick+tired of reading self-insert narratives re: nursey... white people really got a kink for telling black men he's privileged or something, u know, derek as an Capitalist Vessel even tho he's black, muslim/jewish, queer. we gotta strive for balance/nuance !! his family's success is not the same as the hiltons' !! 2) Dysfunctional Brown/Black Families trope 3) lesbians are good moms
phoenix you just changed tea time to 9:15pm central time and the chamomile is piping hot!!!
FINALLY posting Part 2 to this. Thanks for the patience!
Wilder greeted Brian at the front gate with the widest smile his face had ever managed before. Brian’s dark blonde locks seemed shorter, or maybe it was just that they were combed back.
His smile gleaned against his deeply tanned skin and his eyes were sweet like caramel. They became sweeter yet as he set his eyes on Wilder in his carefully selected outfit for the evening. He wore a formal blue collared shirt and brown trousers, with matching sleek belt and shoes.
“I feel very underdressed!” Brian exclaimed in place of greeting as he approached.
He wore a simple light gray and blue henley, board shorts, and a pair of sandals.
Wilder shook his head, before nudging his glasses up his nose.
“You look….great.” Wilder said, holding back a million other compliments inside of his artistic mind.
Brian shook his head with a smile as he leaned in to wrap his arms around Wilder. Wilder was almost shocked by his affection, but once he was within his arms relaxation became easy. They pulled back smiling. Wilder let the thought cross his mind, how much he wanted to kiss his lips as he peered into the boy’s honey-colored eyes, but the thought was too intimidating.
“So…let’s go…meet my family!” Wilder stammered awkwardly, tripping over himself as he turned around.
Brian chuckled softly under his breath at the Irwin boy’s endearing clumsiness. He reached out for his hand, twining his fingers through his and squeezing them reassuringly.
“I’m sure I’ll love them.”
Wilder grinned and felt far more confident in his family as he stood on the porch with Brian’s hand held in his. He inhaled deeply before ringing the bell to his own home.
Thea arrived at the screen door looking goddess-like as usual, even if her face was scrunched in confusion as to why Wilder was ringing the bell for access into his own house.
She wore a black tank top, cropped just to her ribcage and a high-waisted midi skirt, falling just at her knees. The skirt was a mix of rich gold and red and blue and complimented her in every way. Her wild waves of dark to light fell over her shoulders as she opened the door.
“You do know you live here, right?” Thea asked him jokingly.
“Ha-ha.” He deadpanned.
“Oh my god, is this your sister?” Brian asked, referring to Thea.
“No. Well, kinda. But not technically. She’s my brother’s girlfriend.” Wilder explained.
“Beau. Oldest.” Wilder clarified.
Thea outstretched her hand, covered in her ever growing collection of rings, to Brian.
“Nice to meet you.” She said with a smile, as she stepped aside and held the door open for the boys to enter.
“Nice to meet you. You are so beautiful. Do you model?” Brian asked Thea, causing her immediately to flush bright red.
“Oh, uh. N-no. I mean for Wilder sometimes, but you know I’m not really tall enough.” Thea struggled to say.
Wilder almost wanted to walk over and give Thea a big hug, finding it immensely comforting that he was in fact not the only one who Brian Adler could so easily turn to mush.
“Oh. Well that’s silly. You’re so gorgeous.” He responded.
“Thank you.” Thea said, bringing her hands to her crimson cheeks.
“Hey, lay off the sweet talk!” Beau teased as he descended the stairs with a charming smile.
“This is my brother, Beau.” Wilder introduced him as he entered the room, looping an arm around Thea’s trim waist.
“Nice to meet you, Brian. We hear about you all the time.” Beau said, thoroughly embarrassing his little brother.
“We really do.” Thea added with a small nod.
“Guys!” Wilder nearly shouted, his cheeks burning red hot.
“Well, I wish I heard a little more about all of you!” Brian responded sweetly.
“Good luck with that, Wilder is ashamed of our existence.” Lark piped up as she was the next to descend the staircase, having just changed from her worn out overalls to a modest navy dress for dinner.
“No, no. I’ve heard of you. You must be Lark.” Brian said as Lark stood on the other side of her eldest brother.
Lark’s bright smile stretched from ear to ear, complimented just by the fact that her brother had mentioned her to his handsome quasi-boyfriend.
“I am! Great to finally meet you, Brian.” She greeted.
“It’s great to meet you! I’ve heard that you’re quite the prodigy on that piano. I’d love for you to play a song if we have time.” Brian said, causing Lark’s dainty hands to rush to her cheeks in order to hide the blush forming there.
“I don’t know about prodigy…” She replied modestly, ducking her head down to look to the floor.
“Hey, Brian. Sup, nerd.” Dex said in place of greeting, tapping the back of his twin’s head as he passed.
Wilder readjusted his glasses that Dex had effectively put out of their place.
“That would be the twin.” Wilder explained as Brian watched Dex walk by with amused eyes.
“Okay, guys! Dinner time!” Mrs. Irwin’s voice chimed from the kitchen doorway, leading into the family’s large dining room.
The evening went on forever for Wilder Irwin, who was more than embarrassed by just about every little thing his crazy family members did, but Brian, who happened to be an Army brat and only child, loved every moment spent with the Irwins. Brian proved himself to be even more charming than Wilder had originally thought, causing all of his siblings and even parents to blush or stumble over their words at least once. He fit right in; easily engaging in the constant flow of loud conversation and laughing and joking along with everyone at the table, while Wilder just sat quietly with a smile on his face, overjoyed by how easy everything seemed to be with Brian. After dinner, and a small performance by Lark, Wilder and Brian took to the streets of Sydney for a late night stroll.
“So, how did I do?” Brian asked him with a nudge to his shoulder.
“I’m pretty positive everyone loves you.” Wilder confirmed with a small laugh.
“Really? I didn’t talk too much?” Brian asked.
Wilder cocked his head to the side, squinting slightly. He couldn’t exactly lie to him.
“Well…” Wilder began.
“Oh no!” Brian burst.
Wilder laughed and rubbed his back comfortingly with his flat palm.
“It’s okay. They loved you anyway. You talked too much. I talked too little. It was just the perfect balance we needed.” He said.
Brian smiled as they walked contently in silence for a moment.
“You were perfect.” Wilder repeated as he replayed the evening over in his mind.
“They might even like you more than me.” He added with a small chuckle.
“That’s impossible.” Brian laughed in response.
Wilder scrunched up his face.
“I wouldn’t be so sure!” He replied.
Brian didn’t laugh this time. He instead moved to stand in front of the shy Irwin boy beneath the starry Sydney sky.
“I would be. You’re entirely likeable.” Brian insisted, causing yet another blush and smile to rise onto Wilder’s face.
Before losing the nerve, Brian moved in, locking eyes with Wilder for a split second before stamping a chaste kiss to his lips and pulling back with a mumbled apology as, for the first time ever, Brian was the one who was blushing. Wilder found it so endearing that he ignored Brian’s apology altogether and instead pulled him in for another lasting kiss.