lilyleia78: Shaun leaning over about to kiss Zach for the first time (Shelter: first kiss)
[personal profile] lilyleia78
Title: Love Makes a Family
Fandom: Shelter
Pairing: Zach/Shaun, Cody
Rating: G
Genre: Domestic, Est. relationship, fluff, character piece
Word Count: 971
Summary: Shaun's first classroom party solo gives him a case of the nerves and Zach hope for their future.
Note: Written for the [livejournal.com profile] shelter_diner V-day fest 2010. I wrote my own prompt which was Zach and Shaun go to Cody's classroom Valentine’s Day party. Shelter is a truly awesome movie that you can find pimped here at [livejournal.com profile] smallfandomfest. Truly, I can't recommend it enough - pick it up at your video store, put it on your Netflix list - just watch this movie.

Love makes a Family

The panic didn’t set in until he was standing in the school office, signing for his visitors pass. Shaun stared blankly at the space on the sheet for ‘relationship to student’ for so long that the secretary actually started eyeing him with a mix of concern and suspicion, pointedly asking him if he needed assistance. He’d already shown his ID and had it checked against the approved list, but apparently his hesitation was making her nervous.

Did he need assistance? Good question. The problem was that Shaun wasn’t even sure what had him frozen. It wasn’t like he’d never before been to Cody’s school. He’d dropped Cody off, picked him up; he’d brought up forgotten lunches and misplaced homework; he’d chaperoned field trips and collected a sick Cody from the nurse’s office; he’d even attended other school parties. The only difference this time was that Zach wasn’t here to sign the stupid log book, which wasn’t exactly the sort of thing that should induce sudden parental panic in a grown ass man. All in all, Shaun decided he was being a big pussy.

Shaun flashed the secretary a quick, easy smile, scrawled ‘Uncle’ with a flourish, and clipped the laminated ‘guest’ badge to a belt loop on his right hip. Shaun’s not-unimpressive vocabulary didn’t contain a word for his relationship to Cody anyway. He was more than an uncle, somewhat less than a father – caretaker, friend, ally, disciplinarian, co-conspirator, comforter, beloved, competition, and prize – all in one.

At the door to Cody’s classroom, Shaun wanted to pause and observe, give himself time to collect his thoughts and maybe prepare his answer to Cody’s inevitable first question, but a group of women – moms, grandmas, and aunts – were just ahead of him and they waited to go in until he was with them. Shaun smiled to himself: safety in numbers, maybe he wasn’t the only one nervous about a simple classroom party.

As soon as Shaun had cleared the door there was a five year old bundle of energy wrapped around his legs.

“Codes!” Shaun greeted, bending down to lift the boy in the air over his head.

Cody giggled and wrapped his small arms around Shaun’s neck when Shaun settled him on one hip. Cody looked behind Shaun at the door and asked, “Where’s Uncle Zach?”

Shaun kept his grin firmly in place. He’d known Cody was going to ask. It didn’t mean Cody loved him any less. “He’s stuck at his school finishing a project. But! He’s going to try real hard to get here before we get to the cookie portion of the party. You know Uncle Zach never misses a chance to steal our cookies.” Cody giggled again. “So, it’s just you and me for now, buddy. Alright?”

Cody considered that for a minute. “Okay,” he said with a decisive nod. Then, with barely a pause for breath, he was off, “We have juice! And I made cards for you and Zach. And we learned a song to sing once all the parents are here. Wanna see the poster I made for the party?”

“Always,” Shaun said, setting Cody down and letting the boy’s enthusiasm wash away his pointless nerves.

**

Zach hurried down the hallway, hastily clipping his pass to the front of his shirt, hoping that he hadn’t let Cody down, that he’d made it in time to enjoy at least some of the party with his two favorite guys. But the sight that greeted him through the tiny window set into the classroom door made him stop with his hand on the door.

Shaun was balanced precariously on Cody’s miniature chair in front of his kindergartener sized table with Cody perched on his lap, holding up a gigantic glitter-covered heart and swinging it around as he talked animatedly. Zach couldn’t hear what Cody was saying, but Shaun threw back his head and laughed and when the sound reached into the hallway, it warmed something in Zach’s chest.

Zach knew that sometimes Shaun still felt like an outsider, like he was the third wheel – a ridiculous notion from the man who had made them a family. Without Shaun, he was just a kid with a dead-end job trying to look after his nephew; with him, he was part of something bigger than himself. As he watched, Shaun dropped a kiss to the top of Cody’s head and Cody climbed off Shaun’s lap to fetch something front of the room. Zach shook himself from his thoughts and joined Shaun just in time to see Cody carefully choosing a plate of pink-frosted, heart-shaped cookies from the teacher’s desk.

“I knew you’d show up in time to steal my cookies,” Shaun accused laughingly.

“Dude, it’s not my fault you’re helpless against my puppy dogs eyes,” Zach retorted with a smile.

Shaun’s eyes softened in that way that never failed to send a swarm of butterflies straight to Zach’s belly, but Cody returned before he could say anything further.

“Uncle Zach, you made it!” Cody carefully sat the cookies in front of Shaun, who immediately picked one up and licked a strip of icing off the top. Zach rolled his eyes and knelt down to hug his nephew. Cody was chattering happily about posters and juice and cards. “…and now that you’re here we can sing our song because the family’s complete.”

Zach’s throat most certainly did not tighten as he turned his head to look at Shaun before answering, “Yeah, the family’s complete now.” Nope, any hoarseness in Zach’s voice was all because it was dry in this classroom, and not at all because being part of a real family was something he’d be looking for since his mother’s death. That was Zach’s story and he was sticking to it.

But Shaun’s eyes were suspiciously bright.

**
The complete list of my Shelter fiction can be found here.

Date: 2010-02-17 11:08 am (UTC)
defeatedbyabridge: (Default)
From: [personal profile] defeatedbyabridge
AWWWWWWW. I don't know the first thing about the movie but that was just *lovely*. /melts

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