Wednesday: April 18, 2029
11:50 AM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, KITCHEN
“Daddy!” Castor screeched from his place on the counter.
Bo smiled as he walked into the kitchen. “Hey, buddy.” He pulled the toddler from the counter, swinging him around to rest on his hip. “Where’s Pollux?”
“Down for a nap,” Timothy said. He reached out and smoothed his hand over the back of Castor’s head. “Your kids are amazing, Bo.”
“Thank you. They were good for you, then?”
“Oh, definitely. All of them were perfect.”
A smile tugged at one corner of Bo’s mouth. “Good.”
Timothy leaned back against the counter, tucking his hands into his pockets. “Enjoy your night?”
“Yeah,” Bo whispered. “It was great.”
“That’s good. You look better than you did before you guys left yesterday.”
Bo nodded. “Birthdays are hard for me, even now. They’ve gotten easier since Jensen came along, but…” He lifted his shoulders.
“Sorry about that.”
“It’s not your fault. My mother’s the one who hit me that day, Tim, not you,” Bo said. He cleared his throat, looking down as Castor wrapped a hand around Dallas’s cross necklace. “On the drive back here, I was doing some research. I found a woman who’s working on a new way to help cancer patients. It’s supposed to shrink the cells faster, and the goal is to do it without as many side effects. You don’t have to be as miserable as chemo made you.”
Timothy offered a smile. “Kid, I saw over thirty doctors. I’m not going to sit through some experimental treatment and hope for the best.”
“It’s been around for six years, Tim. So many people have tried it. It has a ninety-three-percent four-year survival rate, Tim.”
“So does chemotherapy with prostate cancer. I’m in the seven percent,” Timothy said. “Bo, kid, I appreciate that you’re trying, but I’m okay,” he said softly. “I’m okay with this. I’m okay with dying. I just want to spend what time I do have with my family.”
“Are you sure?”
“I’m sure, kiddo. I know you want a different answer, but I can’t risk going back to the way I felt when I was doing chemo. I’m eating healthier, I’m exercising, I have energy during the day, I sleep well at night.” Timothy lifted his shoulders. “This is working for me, Bo. I want to spend my time left with you guys and my family back home. That’s it.”
“Okay,” Bo said quietly. “Well… you know you’re welcome here anytime.”
Bo sighed, turning to kiss the top of Castor’s head. “Jensen and I have to go back to work. I just wanted to stop in and check on the boys.”
“Well, you guys go on, then. I’m just gonna finish up lunch and then we’ll head over to the park for the afternoon,” Timothy said.
“Good. They’ll like that.” Bo hugged Castor before setting him back down on the counter. “Are you staying tonight?”
“Yeah, my flight’s not until Saturday. Is that all right?”
“That’s fine,” Bo assured with a nod. He pressed a kiss to Castor’s forehead. “I love you.”
“Love you, too, Daddy.”
Bo smiled. He drew in a breath before wrapping Timothy in a hug. “Call me if either one of them gets to be too rowdy, okay? Jensen will come get them and bring them to the station.”
“Sure, Bo.” Timothy laid a hand on the back of Bo’s head. “I know you’ve convinced yourself that it’s gonna be hard when I’m gone, but you’ll be okay. You’ve been just fine all these years without me, when I was nothing but the bastard father that abandoned you. Now you’ll just have good memories, too. So… so you’ll be okay.”
Bo nodded. “Thanks,” he whispered.
“No problem, Bo.”
10:06 PM; CLINSTONE, THE AUSTEN-TAYLOR HOUSEHOLD, MASTER BEDROOM
Bo sat propped up against the headboard, Pollux asleep on his chest. Castor lay asleep beside him, Kayla and Amber on Jensen’s side of the bed. It didn’t surprise Bo that the kids had flocked to him after they’d gotten home from school that afternoon. They had been worried about him the last month, constantly asking Jensen if he was getting any better.
He had heard Amber refer to him as ‘the sad one’ once, but he had done his best to shrug it off. She hadn’t been wrong, as he was, indeed, the sad one, and he knew that she hadn’t meant it to hurt him.
Jensen sat down on the edge of the bed, offering a smile. “Doing okay?” he asked. Bo nodded. “Good.” He squeezed Bo’s thigh and laid back at the foot of the bed, arms crossed over his chest. “Want me to start getting them to bed?”
Bo lifted one shoulder. “Whenever you’re ready to go to sleep, I suppose. Otherwise, I’m okay.”
“Well, then my happy ass can sleep right here,” Jensen said. Bo chuckled softly. “I think we need a bigger bed, Eli.”
Jensen uncrossed his arms, laying a hand on Bo’s leg. “We should upgrade to a California King.”
“That can’t be that much bigger than a Queen, right?”
Jensen snorted. “Eli, babe, you gotta dive into the mattress world for, like, two seconds.” Bo rolled his eyes. “We’d have another four inches in length and, like, twelve in width.”
“Maybe we’ll go mattress shopping after Tim heads back to Tom’s.”
“Hell, works for me.”
Lightly, Bo kicked Jensen’s thigh. “I love you.”
Jensen smiled broadly at the blonde. “I love you, too, Eli.”
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