Declan decides to reinstate the Lynch family tradition of celebrating St. Patrick’s Day
o Growing up this was Niall Lynch’s favorite holiday and the family went all out
o Imagine young Ronan, Declan, and Matthew performing at local festivals
o Kilts may or may not have been involved
o Church was a must
Ronan takes Opal and Matthew up to Declan’s apartment in D.C.
o They are so LOUD in the car
o They fight and sing stupid songs and play car games
o Ronan yells at them but he secretly loves it
Adam drives up from college. He’s never celebrated St. Patrick’s Day and he’s nervous/excited about the family reunion. Declan is intimidating af
o But Declan’s totally cool and gives up his room for the “newlyweds” as he likes to call Ronan and Adam pretty much every chance he gets
o Matthew and Opal camp out in the living room
o Declan shares the guest room with his “housemate” (who turns out to be JIANG!! Ronan is shocked and keeps muttering to Adam about the “fucking plot twist”)
Family hijinks ensue
o Seriously competitive Apples to Apples
o Candy Land with Opal
o A very late night game of poker after Opal goes to bed
o Ronan and Declan are definitely pre-gaming; Adam and Jiang exchange mutual looks of resignation
St. Patrick’s Day arrives!!
o Declan’s got this all planned out. First he gets them all to mass. Almost everyone sleeps through the majority of the service. Declan is very Annoyed
o Irish Breakfast with Irish Breakfast Tea because ofc
o Wardrobe: y’all know they were kitted out in all the green. Blue sent Ronan T-shirts for him and Adam to wear: Ronan’s says “Kiss Me I’m an Asshole” and Adam’s says “Pynch: Est. 2016”, both are in green, Ronan’s is a muscle tee; Adam is confused by his shirt. Declan further surprises everyone by wearing one of Niall’s kilts. Jiang says he looks very handsome and Declan Blushes so bad. Matthew is wearing green everything: pants, shirt, shoes, he even sprays temporary green color in his hair. Opal is wearing a super cute dress with an Irish flag pattern. Jiang is looking quite dapper with a white button-up and a green tie.
Next stop: the Parade. They stand outside forever and it’s cold so they’re just this huddle. Adam thoughtfully brought thermos of tea for them to share. Ronan brought a flask. Matthew brought pickle flavored Pringles. They are Good to Go
o Somehow they get to the very front of the barricades lining the parade route. Ronan puts Opal on his shoulders anyways and she is delighted, having the time of her life. Adam takes a million pictures and sends them to Blue, Henry, and Gansey
Afterwards they go to one of the local Irish pubs and it is madness. They wait almost two hours for a table. Opal falls asleep on Ronan’s shoulder. Ronan’s flask is mysteriously not empty and he confesses that it’s a dream object and never runs dry. While they wait the boys tell Adam and Jiang about Niall and Aurora, about growing up at the Barns and some of the crazy legends their father would tell them about Ireland
The pub is well worth the wait. Everyone gets a different dish and they all end of sharing. Declan works some magic and gets them pitchers of Guinness (Matthew is not allowed to drink and he’s quite sulky about it)
There is live music and, after drinking a lot, Ronan gets it into his mind that he should join the group and play everyone a song?!!! Adam is dying of laughter and of course films the whole thing. Even sloshed Ronan is an impeccable musician and everyone wants him to keep playing so he does
Perhaps the most hilarious/unexpected moment is when Ronan and Declan join in the impromptu Riverdance dance off. Matthew can’t believe that these two drunken idiots are related to him. Jiang is deceased because Declan dancing in that kilt… Adam’s phone is running out of storage because Jesus Christ this has to be saved for posterity
Eventually they stagger back to the apartment. Ronan and Declan are singing The Rocky Road to Dublin at the top of their lungs the entire way; they keep making the song faster and faster until it’s just a bunch of loud, high-pitched slurring
Jiang helps Declan to bed, Adam gets Opal settled in for the night, Ronan finds his father’s guitar in Declan’s room and plays mournful Irish tunes until Adam makes him stop. Once they’re cuddled up in bed Ronan tells Adam more about Niall. They make plans to visit his hometown in Ireland
The next morning is Hangover Central but they all agree it was worth it
Mother’s Day was a bitch. At least it was for the Lynch Brothers and, by extension, Adam Parrish. Crammed into their usual pew, Declan, Matthew, and Ronan sat with bent heads as the priest delivered the special homily recognizing and honoring all the mothers, and especially the Holy Virgin Mary for bringing our Lord and Savior into the world to save us all. Ronan dug his fingernails into his wrist and focused on that instead of crying. Matthew was sniffling. Declan had a hard, removed look in his eyes. Aurora Lynch had passed less than a month ago.
Adam sat on the steps outside of the St. Agnes apartment, listening to the drone of the pipe organ and waiting for Ronan to emerge. He had not seen or spoken with his mother in months.
Blue Sargent was currently deep into the 300 Fox Way Mother’s Day Madness. It was a day when all the childbearing women of the household were given free reign to order about their offspring. Typically this meant asking for extravagant breakfasts, massages, and calling out a never-ending chorus of “fix me another drink, will you?” Blue and Orla were grimly making mojitos in the kitchen, the fresh mint giving Blue all sorts of flashbacks to time spent with Gansey. Orla was quickly getting frustrated with her lack of attention.
Gansey had declined to visit DC for the usual champagne brunch at his family’s home. His mother was, of course, deep into her political campaign and she had been most disappointed when Gansey couldn’t come, especially because it would mean he that was missing her fundraising gala. Helen had called numerous times to berate him but Gansey had only replied that he could not leave Ronan alone.
Ronan was not alone, even if Gansey had left, he wouldn’t have been alone. He had Adam now, as well as Declan and Matthew. It was shocking and wonderful to spend time with Declan and enjoy it. But the reunion with Declan reminded Ronan of one awful truth: Declan had never been reunited with their mother. All those trips to Cabeswater—bringing Matthew along but excluding Declan—Ronan didn’t think he would ever forgive himself.
Henry Cheng was spending the day with his mother and he rather wished that he was not. His mother was…complicated. What did one do when the person who birthed them and raised them went through a radical transformation and became a Power? Henry spent the morning at his mother’s side, entertaining himself with RoboBee while she did the things that she did. Lots of phone calls were involved and meeting with intense looking men in suits, including former hitman, Mr. Gray.
After the morning service at St. Agnes was over Ronan fetched Adam and the two of them went back to the Barns. Matthew and Declan joined them. Later, Gansey arrived with Blue and Henry. Ronan had stripped out of his Sunday suit and was sprawled on the lawn in his usual attire of shredded jeans and black muscle tee. Adam was lying on the grass next to him and he was helping Opal make crowns out of daisies and clover and Queen Anne’s lace. Chainsaw stalked around the trio, making her usual raven commentary that only Opal and Ronan could decipher. Declan was grilling and Matthew stood at his elbow, chattering away and holding whatever Declan told him to. The scene was remarkably similar to Ronan’s eighteenth birthday party except that they all looked tired and sad.
Blue settled down next to Ronan and showed him how to blow on a blade of grass to make it whistle. Ronan, being the musician of the bunch, mastered the skill and before long he and Blue and Opal were composing grass symphonies. Adam contented himself with chewing on a long stem of grass and applauding. Henry and Gansey gravitated to the grill. Gansey quizzed Declan about his apartment and the dream business. Henry, whose mother was tied to the trade of dream objects, supplied his insights. Matthew got bored and ran over to play with Opal; they had ganged up on Ronan and before long the three of them descended into a loud, tangled mess of limbs.
Adam watched with a fond smile, silently wondering at these strange dream creatures. He wondered most of all about Ronan, who had given life to both Opal and Matthew, becoming, in a sense, mother and father and brother to them. He had also given life to a host of dream animals and the recently departed Cabeswater (Adam felt a pang remembering the spectacular forest). With a deep, heartfelt sigh Adam decided that Ronan was probably one of the few people alive to know, on some level, what it was like to be a god. Gods made something from nothing, populating the world with their creations. With all of his imagination and power and his ability bring forth the perfect partner (rather like Niall had done with Aurora), Adam was again overcome with the knowledge that Ronan had chosen him. He was dating a god…
Declan interrupted the wrestling match to announce that lunch was ready. Everyone gathered around the picnic blankets. There were hotdogs and hamburgers with the fixings, potato salad, chips, slaw, baked beans, deviled eggs, fruit, cupcakes, tea, and a pitcher of mint mojitos that Blue had smuggled out of the house. The food came from the grocery store deli but the cooks there were good, getting the down home food just right. Everyone loaded up their plates and dug in. Opal was soon a mess and Ronan fussed at her and tried to clean her face off but she kept batting his hands away. Ronan gave up with a frustrated huff and Blue laughed, asking if he was finding child rearing to be difficult. Ronan smirked and tousled Opal’s hair, “You have no idea.”
After their bellies were full it was time for remembrances. Declan started. He talked about Aurora, getting choked up as he told about how she always knew when he was having a bad day, how she would find a way to make him smile. Ronan did not talk and Matthew cried. Adam said that Aurora had shown him what a mother should be and that he had loved every moment he had spent with her. Blue and Gansey chimed in with their memories of golden Aurora visiting with them beneath the boughs of Cabeswater.
They did not speak of the mothers who were still living, though they did raise a glass in honor of mothers in general. At some point Henry made the comment about Gansey deserving recognition for mothering them all through their years at Aglionby. Adam asked if Gansey wasn’t more of a father figure and Ronan answered, gruffly, that he was both. “He nags like a mother but then he gets all authoritarian like a father.” Gansey looked affronted but Blue agreed, teasing him for his dad jokes and dad fashion choices. It was decided that Gansey could be an honorary mother and Opal solemnly placed the flower crown she made on his head.
The day drew to a close and they went their separate ways: Blue returned to 300 Fox Way, Adam to St. Agnes, Henry to Aglionby, and Gansey to Monmouth. Declan and Matthew stayed with Ronan at the Barns. The brothers sat on the front porch and watched the sun set behind the trees. Opal raced around the lawn, chasing fireflies and shrieking in the language of the trees. Ronan found it ironic that Opal, originally named Orphan Girl, had since gained an unlikely family while he and his brothers had become the true orphans. They were all the family they had in this world.
Matthew nodded off and Declan woke him and sent him inside to sleep. Before Declan retired for the night he placed his hand on Ronan’s shoulder and squeezed. “Mom would be proud of you,” he murmured. “Dad, too. You’re a hell of a guy, Ronan, and I’m so damn lucky that you’re my brother.”
Ronan sat on the steps until it grew uncomfortably cool. Opal was curled up next to him, her head in his lap. He watched as the lightning bugs settled down and the deer crept out of the woods. It seemed impossible that the world kept going now that Niall and Aurora were gone. He felt a twinge in his heart and recalled the ghost of a boy who had been his friend. Gone but not forgotten. Ronan sighed deeply and picked up Opal, cradling her to his chest as he went into the house. Ronan put Opal to bed, brushing the hair out of her eyes, and watched the dream girl sleep. So many things had changed, were still changing, but Ronan would not forget the loved ones who had passed on. He scratched at the still itchy skin over his hipbone where the tattoo text spelled out remembered. As long as he and his brothers lived Aurora would not be forgotten.
OK OK Adam always reads Opal bedtime stories, so one day when he’s reading his biology textbook, like in the evening, Opal runs over and declares, “Story time!” because Adam’s holding a book so it’s story time, this is her understanding of what her favorite human does. And he’s like, “uh, you wanna read one of your story books” and she’s like “no read this one” so that’s how Ronan walked in on Adam reading to Opal about photosynthesis.
[Combining some of my favorite characters from my fave series is a struggle! Basically, for this story, the guys are around the same age, mid-30s. The girls are both seven (does Opal age??? I need to know! for this fic she does not). Please suspend your disbelief and join me…]
Adam has been at a conference in Atlanta for the past week and it has been hell. Not so much that Atlanta is hell (though it’s definitely hot enough) but because being away from Ronan and Opal is a Struggle. The big city is also a bit of a shock from quiet mornings at the Barns where he can work from his home office.
The good news is that Ronan agreed to drive down with Opal for the weekend. They’ve been visiting different tourist spots in the city but today, for Father’s Day, they’re going to take Opal to the aquarium. She’s been looking forward to it ever since Ronan told her about it a week ago. Whale sharks? Jellyfish? Dolphins? Penguins? Otters? She wants to see it all!
Going to Atlanta wasn’t really a planned event for Andrew and Neil. Earlier in the week the Maserati had started having issues and the closest dealership was in Atlanta and the soonest Andrew could make the trip was Sunday so… here they are. Neil wouldn’t hear of Andrew going by himself because it’s Father’s Day and he wants to spend the day with Andrew and Miki, their adopted daughter.
According to the dealership the repairs will take some time. Neil had figured that might be the case so he pre-purchased tickets to the aquarium for the three of them. Andrew grumbles about being trapped in building full of screaming children but really he doesn’t mind. He might even be looking forward to seeing the whale sharks, not that he’ll tell Neil. Miki is ecstatic. She jabbers the whole drive to Atlanta and will only eat Goldfish crackers. Neil smiles fondly and tells her about the different animals they’ll see.