So I’m working and babysitting my nieces, the older one is watching Modern Family and she put on the episode with Andy’s first appearence and daodifnenioefri, he is so freakin’ cuteeeeeeeeeee, i’m getting super distracteeeeeed.
hm let people, but especially let fucking teenagers, be “edgy” if they want to, alright?
let us dye our hair and rip up our clothes
let us write shitty poetry and let us complain on our blogs
let us listen to dark music and let us wax poetic about graveyards and eyeliner
let us listen to angsty music let us draw weird art let us fucking live!!
don’t try to shit on fucking kids for being interested in shit and trying to express themselves because it’s “”“edgy”“” and “”“cringey”“”
support the baby punks and goths and emos and alllll of that shit
there’s literally no reason to be mean about it. protect the edgy kids.
“Is Bruce in here?” Tim figured he might be— Bruce spent a lot of time in the children’s wing of Wayne Enterprises. There were a dozen or so kids in daycare most weekdays, and Bruce liked to hang out.
Tim liked to hang out too. They had nice snacks, and he’d known most of the kids since they were toddlers. And sometimes naps were mandatory.
“Conference call,” Damian told him. (For someone who claimed to hate naps, snackfood, kids, and humanity in general, Damian also spent a lot of time in the children’s wing.) “I don’t know where.”
He went back to what he was doing, which was arranging a set of pewter soldiers into a complex model of a battlefield, presumably for the benefit of the preschooler sitting next to him.
“The Battle of Issus, 333 BC.”
“Right, obviously.” Tim decided he was curious, so he settled down on the mats to watch. Damian finished his model; he pulled a marker from the art table and used it as a pointer.
“Okay. This is the Macedonian army, outnumbered but in the better tactical position, south of the Pinarus River. Their leader is Alexander the Great. And this—” He pointed to his enemy line. “—is the Achaemenid Empire. They’re about to lose.”
Damian tapped his marker on the Macedonian right. “This is the companion calvary, Alexander’s elite force, and they—” he cut off when he noticed his pupil digging in the toy bin, clearly distracted. The kid came up with a battered Transformer, which he set behind Damian’s lines.
“Elliot. Alexander did not have robots.”
“But,” said Tim, rummaging through the box himself, “did he have wizards?” He pulled a bearded magician out of the tub and held it up for Damian to see.
“You know he didn’t.”
Tim passed the wizard to Elliot. “But what if he did?”
“How would that go?”
“Abracadabra, Alexander!” Elliot yelled, gleefully smashing through Damian’s entire left flank.
“Damn it, Drake.” Damian sighed in frustration— not quite the rise Tim was hoping for, but still something. He dropped Elliot’s discarded robot back into the box.
“I don’t know what you were expecting,” Tim told him. “Elliot’s four. He’s too young for— what is this— military history?”
“He was doing fine before you showed up.” Damian started to re-erect his soldiers, but he gave it up after Elliot came in for a second pass. “Which is typical, isn’t it?”
“Thank you.” Damian crossed his arms. “Fine. I’ll bite. When is he supposed to learn this kind of thing?”
“High school? Maybe never.”
“That can’t be right.”
“Have I ever lied to you?”
“Frequently.” Damian rolled his eyes. “I’m getting a second opinion.”
Damian checked the room for potential allies. “Thomas?” he called over his shoulder, “You learned military strategy as a kid, right?”
Duke looked up from the book he was reading to a pair of kindergardeners. “Just you, man.”
“Told you.” Tim fished a bag of plastic ninja from the toy box and arranged them pointedly into a row. “How are you still surprised by this kind of thing?”
Damian glared at him. “Okay, first of all? I’m not a— hold on a second. Elliot!”
Elliot froze with a large, plastic dinosaur held aloft over the battlefield. He drew it sheepishly back to his chest. “Sorry.”
“Not in the calvary wing,” Damian told him. “You’ll scare the horses.”
“Here?” Elliot pointed to the front of the phalanx.
“Aim for his center.” Damian turned back to Tim. “Anyway. Why are you still talking to me? I thought we had an agreement about unnecessary contact.”
‘things you said that made me feel like shit’ – okay, I know this is super cheating, but I just couldn’t bear to have Jemma or Fitz say something like this especially with current canon haha. So it’s a different kind of heartache!
“I hate you!” James screams, his face scrunched up in the devastating combination of impotent fury and heartbreak that only the very young can manage. “I hate you and I wish I’d never been born!”
Every cell in Fitz’s body seems to still; synapses refuse to fire in his brain. Is this parenthood? he wonders. He hadn’t known letting a piece of your own heart free into the world would mean there was the possibility of it returning ashamed and angry and wishing for annihilation as some nuclear option solution.
“I think you should go to your room now,” Fitz says, voice even and unflinching. “Just go to your room and stay there until you’ve calmed down.”
James turns and runs, stomping so loudly that dirty dishes rattle in the sink. He slams his bedroom door shut and Fitz winces at the echoing sound.
Fitz presses his fingers against the bridge of his nose, feeling slightly dizzy at how quickly the situation had spun out of control. He replays his own words in his head and can’t see where he might have avoided the escalation. But of course he’s missing something. What other explanation could there be?
He walks to James’s bedroom door and knocks softly. When there’s no response he rests his forehead against the wood and closes his eyes.
“I just want you to know that I love you, James,” he says. “Nothing will change that, okay?”
“Go away!” James yells, and so Fitz does. What else is there to do when your own son hates you? What more can possibly be said?
When Jemma arrives from a late shift in the lab, the usually-cheery house is eerily silent and dark.
“Fitz?” she calls. “James?” She’s not worried, per se, but living the sort of life she’s lived has given her an edge. Sometimes, she still sees monsters lurking in the corners.
She finds Fitz first, sitting at the kitchen table with his head resting against his arms. She can sense sorrow thick as molasses pooling from him.
“Fitz?” she asks again, more softly this time. She sits down next to him and rests a hand on his shoulder, which finally causes him to look up. She can tell he’s been crying and her immediate reaction is to worry about their son.
“He’s fine,” Fitz says, as if reading her thoughts. He jerks his head over his shoulder, in the vague direction of their son’s bedroom. “We got into an…argument.”
“Oh, Fitz,” Jemma says in sympathy. James was normally the sweetest, most well-behaved boy, tender enough to melt your heart, but in the past year he’d decided yelling was the best way to air his frustrations.
“I’m absolute shite at this,” Fitz whispers, burying his head into his arms again. “I have no idea what to say to him.”
“You are not! It’s just a phase…I hope.” She realizes at the same time that Fitz scoffs that she probably hadn’t been very reassuring.
“He said,” and here Fitz lowers his voice even more, as if what James has said is some demon that can be brought forth by simply uttering its name, “he said he hated me and that he wished he’d never been born. That’s…Jemma, he’s eight and his biggest regret is that he exists.”
Jemma’s heart clenches tightly and she chokes on the inhale. Talk of regrets is, all these years later, still a delicate balancing act in their household. She rests her head against his arm, gripping his elbow with her hand. “Fitz, that’s not his biggest regret. He was just throwing a tantrum. He said the same thing to me the other week.”
At this, Fitz looks up, his normally bright eyes dulled with pain but questioning nonetheless. “He said that to you? You didn’t mention it.”
Jemma scrunches up her face, realizing suddenly that she hadn’t. “Of course I was going to,” she shrugs. “But then your mum came to pick him up and he was happy as ever when he came back. And we were in the middle of that big project. It just slipped my mind.”
“It slipped your mind?” Fitz repeats incredulously, as if he can’t imagine how something so awfully momentous could have fallen into the background of their lives.
Jemma smiles, running her hands lightly through his overgrown curls. “One of the boys at school was yelling at his mum the other day. I think they’re all feeding off each other a bit. Anyway, honestly, I don’t think it’s a huge deal. Children say these things. Didn’t you ever say something like that to your mum when you were a kid?”
But even as she says it, even as Fitz’s eyes widen at her question, she knows he never did. Fitz and his mum had been each other’s only allies. It had been the two of them—against his father, against a world they wanted to believe was beautiful despite its cruelty, despite how horribly it had let them down. No, Fitz would never have told his mother he hated her, would never have even thought it.
Jemma wraps her arms around her husband, as if she can shield him from everything. From bullets, from evil organizations infiltrating their lives, from an eight-year-old’s careless words.
“I love you,” she says, peppering kisses along his face. “I love you and James loves you and you are an excellent father. We’ll talk to him together, okay?”
Fitz melts into her, nodding carefully. Jemma sighs. Marriage and parenthood were her two favorite things she’d ever experienced in a lifetime of amazing experiences, but how was she to know letting pieces of your heart reside in other people could amplify your own sorrow?
Jemma places a kiss against his forehead, breathing in the scent of home, knowing her heart had never completely been her own anyway.
Fitz jerks awake, not entirely certain where he is, when he realizes his son is standing at his bedside.
“Daddy?” he whispers, voice thick with tears, and Fitz sits up in concern.
“What is it, James? Are you okay?” Next to him, Jemma hasn’t even stirred.
James shakes his head at the question and throws himself into Fitz’s arms, crying wretchedly into his chest. “I’m sorry, Daddy. I didn’t mean it. I don’t know why I said it. I love you, I promise.”
Fitz draws his legs up so that James is cocooned in his arms and rocks him gently, like he’d done when he was young. James usually fidgets out of his grasp if he feels he’s in any way being treated like a baby, but now he relaxes into Fitz’s embrace, nearly boneless with relief.
“I love you, too, James,” Fitz says against the top of his son’s head. His soft hair reminds Fitz of when he’d been just a baby, of cupping his perfect head in his hands and being terrified and enamored beyond belief.
“You’re my best friend,” James says quietly, and Fitz loses the battle with his own tears at the admission.
“It’s okay,” Fitz reassures him. “It’s going to be okay.” They sit this way for a while, Fitz gently stroking his son’s hair, before he realizes that James is about to fall asleep in his arms.
“How about I take you back to bed?” he asks, but James grips Fitz’s waist tighter and shakes his head.
“Okay,” Fitz says, pretending to think carefully. “How about you stay in here tonight, and tomorrow we make Mummy pancakes so she doesn’t get cross with us?”
James nods and allows Fitz to carefully lift him from his arms and place him in between his parents. Fitz shifts to his side so he’s facing James and kisses his cheek. “Let’s just go to sleep. You’ll feel better in the morning.”
Jemma moves in her sleep suddenly and James widens his eyes, putting a finger to his lips to shush his father. Fitz nods in agreement and they both hold their breath. A moment passes, and then another, and then Jemma turns until she’s curled up protectively against James, still sound asleep.
James grins over at Fitz and then snuggles closer to him. They’re both asleep within minutes.
Which of the children is the biggest dork? They deserve a hug.
Well, the kids are all dorky in their own way, so it’s hard to compare.
Luckily enough for you, I made a graph to explain !!
Some of them, like Hanayo, Ruby and Kotori were very hard to put in there, but we counted their very specific sense of humor in. So these three are a little apart.
As you can see, you’ve got four categories.
The clumsy looney square is for the kids who trip over nothing, don’t get the jokes but laugh anyway, and the likes. They don’t expect to be funny, but somehow they’re glad they are.
The Living gag zone is for the kids who have come to terms and embraced their dork side. It’s part of them, they wouldn’t be themselves without it and they’re very attached to humor.
The sneaky prankster corner is for a bunch of kids who get into mischief within a heart beat, but you’ll never find out it’s actually their work if you don’t know them very well.
The denial land is for the most unfortunate ones. They don’t want to be funny, but somehow they are. Some of them are even hilarious, but they don’t want to hear about it. It will haunt them for days. Every time somebody dares to mention their unintentional jokes they scream internally (or externally, depending on the kid.)
There you have it, it’s actually a good way to know the type of kids you’re interacting with !
By the way mod Nocti belongs in the clumsy looney square idk what you’ll do with this information but h e y