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message 1: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 01, 2018 07:07PM) (new)

Alexander Iaian Kress
(view spoiler)

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

It was past 11 at night and Alexander certainly wasn’t sleeping soundly in bed. The dim streets were only lit by a few amber streetlights as he quickly drove down the empty roads, motivated to his destination. A few cities away lived his sister’s husband and his nephew, and he was not going to turn down the chance of heading over to see the place again when Niko texted him. He hadnt seen them in a week, and they were one of his only family he wanted to see at this point. He found comfort in them, contrary to the relatives he rarely even saw in his childhood, and anybody other than his mother.

He was exhausted, and was surely looking the part: purple underneath his eyes and untamed hair as his exhausted stature made his way down the streets of the suburban neighborhood. But it wasn’t like he had looked any worse or better recently; a couple hours was the best he was able to do in the few weeks since the accident. There was a time where he could manage it, where seven hours of sleep was the usual, but that seemed unattainable at this point. Rather than spending his time tossing his turning and just begging his own fatigued mind for rest, he tried to spend the time wisely by playing piano or writing or simply keeping himself busy. So that was exactly what he was doing now.

A turn down a side street and he was there in front of their house. His blank facade he had been trying, or struggling, to keep ever since the accident nearly faltered as he saw all the lights on in the house. Alyssa lived here for some time, and now she didn’t- he knew he just had to come to accept these stupid small things. Alex found the motivation to push open the shitty car door and make his way up the porch steps to the front door, trying to keep himself from thinking so much about all of this, but the closer he was, the more difficult it got. The door was unlocked and he hesitantly opened it to look inside the house, which certainly still seemed to be awake. He took tentative steps as he looked around, and before he knew it, he was in the same room as Alyssa’s family, just a few feet from Niko. He swallowed thickly and offered a smile. “Hey.” They hadn’t seen eachother since Alyssa’s funeral, a week prior.

message 3: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 25, 2018 11:40AM) (new)

((no, yours is wonderful! i honestly cannot match up to your writing! xD))

Alex’s eyes were on Niko once he entered the empty dining room. Despite the distance between them, a little over a half hour, he hadn’t been given the opportunity to see them often, only stopping by at their house a couple of times. It was all circumstantial, with Zac being so little and them having plans or work, and Alex still being in school... it just simply never came to be a common habit for Alexander to stop by their house. It was different, though, from the last time he was there. It looked like Alyssa in the ways that it was quirky, and her favorite colors decorated the house and made it seem so happy. But the absence of photos, and the mess around the house... It was different.

He took a deep breath to keep himself from faltering when Niko spoke again, turning to his brother in law. He frowned at the exhausted voice; it seemed that all three of them needed rest, though that was predicted. He glanced down to his nephew for a moment, his cheeks red and damp with tears as his curls-identical to his father’s- stuck to his skin as he tried to hide his face while underneath the table. Though only meeting a few times, they had already grown a small special bond, Zac always managing to be a little affectionate to him. He figured it was just because him and his sister always had such a great relationship.

He soon looked back up at Niko, concern in his eyes. He took a step further into the room and looked over his face, blanched with exhaustion. “Get some sleep, yeah?” he asked softly, his voice already gone; it had been that way for days. It was apparent that none of them have been good with sleep. Niko looked like he could fall asleep any moment, and it broke his heart to see him so frustrated and upset regarding his son. It wasn’t long until Alex crouched down so he was able to see the afraid kid under the table, curled up. “Hey, bud,“ he mumbled, offering a small smile. “How’re you holding up?”

message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex looked back up and smiled faintly to the exhausted older male, nodding. He was sure Niko didn’t need the confirmation, it was clear that he needed rest, because he was already heading down the hall to his bedroom to get some sleep. He wasn’t even able to guess how long it had been since any of them had gotten sleep, honestly. He watched as he went down the hall, making sure he headed to his room okay, before looking back to his nephew. He was a small kid, but as he curled up underneath the table in the floor, he looked so much smaller. More or less, Alex shifted so he wasn’t underneath the table as well, and looked to his nephew. He always admired how intelligent he was, how his parents raised him so well. He smiled when Zac recognized him and nodded when he said his name quietly. He listened, much like he was having a conversation with an adult. He didn’t typically talk to younger kids in a high-pitched easy-worded voice. He was gentle, and talked to him steadily so he wouldn’t get anymore worked up. His antics gen made him upset, so he couldn’t imagine how his father must be feeling.

“Hey, I know,” he assured quietly, reaching out tentively and testing a hand over Zac’s as he clutched his knees to his chest. “I do too.” Just a couple weeks without his sister and he was falling apart, and he certainly hadn’t gotten much better dealing with it. He chewed on his lip as he looked over the upset boy, his heart shattering when the boy couldn’t calm himself down. “Breathe for me, okay? I know you can’t sleep right now, that’s okay. It’s okah. Can you take a deep breath like me?” He demonstrated, inhaling gently and closingbjs eyes before breathing out.

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex watched as the boy worked himself up more and more, wishing more than ever that he could ease the poor kid’s anxiety. His hands reaching out prompted him to shift closer and lift Zac into his arms. The two managed to form a connection with eachother in the few times they interacted, and it was clear his nephew was attached to him. Maybe it was the fact that they didn’t see eachother often, or his gentle and quiet nature, or maybe it was just the fact that he looked so much alike to Alyssa. Dark thick hair that complimented his honey eyes whilst freckles decorated over his fair skin. He could even see the Kress side of the family in Zac, which always seemed to put a slight smile in his face. He loved his nephew.

“C’mere,” he mumbled as the boy scrambled closer, picking him up and bringing him to his lap. He held him gently, swaying a little as he pressed a gentle kiss to the top of his head, threading his fingers carefully through his dark curls. He listened to his trembling voice as he held him close, humming a soft tune absentmindedly.
“I know, bud. I want her here, too,” he agreed quietly, rocking him a little as he sobbed. “She shouldn’t have gone, too many people love her, right? I love her,” he empathized. If anyone were to see them right now, it would be a ridiculous sight. But it felt right in the moment as Zac began to calm down more. “Your dad loves you so much, and her, too, but Im sure you know that. Don’t you? Nobody’s gonna be leaving you, bud. I promise.” He hummed softly as he combed through his hair, trying to get him to calm down before he could talk more with him.

message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex held him close, swaying and nearly inaudible humming as he listened to the shaking voice. The dining room amplified each sound, though the table hushed them much more. “Your daddy isn’t mad at you, love, I promise you that. He’s upset, like you. Handles it differently, yeah? You don’t have to go to bed if you don’t want to,” he assured, his voice low and gentle as his nephew tucked his head close to his chest. He knew he would have to get Zac to get some rest of eventually, but he couldn’t do it now when he was crying underneath the table. It wasn’t like he had places to go anyway the next day, he assumed they hadn’t left their house too often. Soon the poor boy’s exhaustion would eventually take over as it had his father’s, and he would do the best he could to ease him prior to that. Years and years of his sleep deprivation taught him that he couldn’t force sleep upon Zac. “It’s hard to sleep, it’s scary sometimes. Even if it is just your mind playing tricks on you. I understand.” And it was true, he did. He couldn’t imagine the toll Alyssa had taken on a child’s mind contrary to Alex’s. He ran a hand gently through Zac’s hair as he sniffled softly, holding him close and not daring to let go as he cried.

Both his blank facade he had tried to keep and the soothing character seemed to crack as Zac continued to talk of the other people leaving him. It made him want to never let go to assure his nephew that he wouldn’t leave as long as that was what he wanted. The broken family didn’t deserve to be left. None of them deserved any of this, quite frankly. Alyssa was perfect in everyone’s eyes if she was in their life. Her leaving the wkrld was like losing an essential to happiness, it seemed to be in Alex’s eyes. Nobody appeared to be able to move on. It hurt to see how they were holding up, the house a complete wreck and the people inside unable to cope. “I’m not going to leave you, okay? I would never. Do you want me to stay?” he asked the boy quietly, who had buried his head into the soft fabric of his shirt.

message 7: by [deleted user] (last edited Jun 26, 2018 09:16AM) (new)

Alex shook his head and held him close, resting his own head on the little boy’s for a moment, humming softly whilst listening to Zac’s hectic breathing calm furthermore, fortunately. It hurt his heart to see the tiny boy so upset, especially when all he could see was his own older sister. His own older sister who found comfort in him when they had to deal with their rough home life, his own older sister who he found his own comfort in whenever his nights got worse. And now he didn’t have anyone. He had a shitty apartment, cities away, and a bachelor’s in psychology that couldn’t get him anywhere recently. He currently had a job, ringing people up at the bakery whilst occasionally watching over a high school friend’s kids when necessary. He didn’t have a path anymore like he used to, and it had definitely hit its dead end after two weeks ago.

“Im sorry, bud,” he mumbled, and he meant it. He couldn’t imagine how Alyssa’s passing seemed in his 3-year-old nephew’s eyes. He rocked him gently as they sat underneath the table together. “Your daddy, he’s very tired. Like you. He doesn’t know how to handle it, He didn’t mean to get angry, he loves you too much for that.” He rubbed his back gently as he sniffled in his arms, wishing he could make this any easier for Zac, but it wasn’t like he could will this all away. The only thing he wanted at this point was Alyssa back, and his nephew must feel the same, too. His brother-in-law, as well. He listened quietly to Zac as he continued, biting down hard on his lip as he heard his words. Surely the nightmares stemmed from Alyssa, so he could predict how traumatic that must be, the concept repeating every time his mind tried to rest. Alex knew that. He pulled back for a moment, but only for the sake of seeing his little nephew. He was so strong, holding up with this. He wanted to do anything and everything to make this easier for him if he couldn’t do it for himself. His words broke his heart more and more the more he spoke. He smiled crookedly to him and reached out to carefully wipe away the warm tears from his reddened, tear-stained face, puffy from the crying. “I won’t leave then. Only if that’s okay with you.”

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex shook his head to agree with the little boy’s statement, rocking him a little in his arms without even realizing. He didn’t want to be vulnerable, but the more time that passed, the more his facade cracked as he realized just how much he was falling apart. He had an unsteady job that could barely even provide for himself and any once -friends giving him unwanted sympathy he didn’t know how to accept. His mental health was never too bad once he learned to manage his sleep to an extent, but that had gone down the drain.
“It isn’t fair. You’re right,” he mumbled, wiping the last of tears away from Zac’s reddened cheek. Alyssa was the last of people who deserved to die, and everyone knew that who was in her life. WHich was why it was such a surprise when she left everyone on this earth.
The offer that Zac mumbled caught him offguard, and he snapped himself out of his thoughts. “Yeah... yeah, of course,” he assured softly, a warm smile tugging on his lips because of the boy that was his nephew. He always wished he had the opportunity to be around their perfect family more, be able to spend time with his perfect nephew. It had been over three years and he had grown so much, already displaying the features of both parents. And he was smart, he was so smart. Alex should’ve expected that, having Alyssa be his mother. He was just so happy and proud of the kid, and he was still so young. And yet so grown up... he wished he could shake that from his mind. “C’mon, let’s get out from under this table, okay?” he offered, shifting so Zac was in his arms as he shifted so he wasn’t under the dining room table anymore. He pressed a kiss to his forehead before he stood up, absentmindedly humming softly when he wasn’t talking. He stepped around the dining room, swaying the little boy in his arms before he looked to him. “Show me the way.”

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex nodded at the boy’s gentle words, thankful that Zac had finally managed to calm down. Not because it made things easier for Alex, but because he felt horrible that somebody so young was going through something so traumatic. Alyssa was intelligent and admired and strong and brave and was the last person who deserved to die. It wasn’t fair. It wasn’t fair at all. Alyssa and him got through so much together, they depended on eachother, and though that changed as they drifted and years passed, Alex felt like he needed her. And her son? Zac had to be beyond heartbroken, the absence of the other parent in the house for weeks now. He held him close and resting his head on the boy’s, absentmindedly humming under his breath as he listened to the directions and headed down the same hall Niko had gone down earlier. He hoped he had gotten some sleep.

It wasn’t long until they had reached the blue and purple door that Zac had directed them to. Alex pushed open the door, and he recognized the artwork immediately: it was none other than his sister’s. Each swirl and star and cluster in the galaxy appeared to be Alyssa’s exact style of all the doodles she hid on the walls of her room. “I really like your room, bud,” he said softly, admiring each small detail of the room as he stepped inside, focusing on not zoning out again. He pressed one more gentle kiss to Zac’s forehead under his curls before sitting on the petite chair on the all across the room. He could tell how exhausted both of them were, but Alex could hide it better. Zac was slouched in his arm, breathing slowing, and whenever he caught a glimpse, his eyes were nearly closed. He couldn’t help but smile fondly at the sight.

message 10: by [deleted user] (new)

Another glance to his beautiful nephew and he was sound asleep, breathing slowed and facial features soft as he held him close. Alex smiled softly at the sight; he had finally gone to sleep, and for that he was beyond grateful. Not because it made things easier for him, but Zac needed the sleep. More than anyone. The past two weeks, surely everyone had trouble sleeping. But maybe it had really affected them most. Alex couldn’t recall when the last time he had slept, it had been days since he slipped off into even a few hours. His brain and his body rebuffed even the thought of exhaustion. His nights were spent thinking, or writing, or playing until the neighbors got angry. Alex didn’t care; he was angry at the rest of the world. Angry that someone as wonderful as his sister had his life abruptly robbed from her and the people around her as if it was meant to be. It was never meant to be.

“Goodnight, bud,” he whispered to him, tucking his head close and pressing a gentle kiss to Zac’s temple. His heart broke to think that he may wake up to a horrible nightmare, it was bound to happen at one point. Once he was sure he had definitely slipped off into a full sleep, Alex took a breath and stood up, holding the little boy in his arms and afraid to let go and leave him alone. He figured he would try the pull-ups though, and to get him in bed. As he shuffled into the living room, lights still on, he flickered off a couple lights so the house was merely dim, resting on the couch and reaching over to the box of the pull-ups. Opened, but completely full. As he reached over, the poor boy shifted in his sleep, causing an once of worry to eventually invade Alex’s head.after he stirred some, Alex figured it wasn’t the best idea. If he were to wet the bed, he would take the blame. He would give Zac a bath and wash the sheets and apologize, but another day he would have to ask Zac to trust him if he refused to put on the pull-ups again for his father.

Alex hummed a tune softly and breathily as he rested back on the couch, head nestled under a pillow and limbs tangled in a kid’s blanket beneath him. He didn’t mind. He closed his eyes and thought as Zac curled up in his chest, grounding himself by listening to his own heartbeat and the faint breathing of his nephew. Maybe things could be okay.He laid there for at least an hour or two until his brain began to zone out, everything in his mind fighting to stay awake for as long as he could.

message 11: by [deleted user] (new)

Maybe he had slept for around an hour at one point, but his mind fought for him to stay awake once the clock ticked 3 am. He laid there, eyes closed and body unwilling to move, in the dim bedroom for what felt like forever, until stirring soon led to a shriek for help. Alex’s eyes flew open and he jolted up a bit, willing away merely the idea of sleep as he realized what was happening. It was none other than his poor nephew, crying for help that he couldn’t receive. It was the damn nightmare again. And his exhausted brain willed himself that he had done the right thing, but they had simply gone full circle with Zac being brought back to his bed to sleep only to wake up to that horrendous nightmare all over again. It made his heart hurt in his chest. He sat up as Zachary scrambled out of the damp sheets, hysteric. He couldn’t blame him.
“Hey, hey, Zac? It’s okay, youre okay. You’re awake,” he tried to assure in a hushed tone, combing his fingers through his mussed curls as he cried, eyes clenched shut as tears streamed down his reddened cheeks. It made the emotion Alex had been hiding for the past two weeks want to all come crashing down now more than ever. “you’re awake...” He shushed him softly, not to make him be quietly, but in a comforting way that assured him thing were alright despite the situation that had impacted them all so harshly.
It wasn’t long until footsteps down the hall revealed his father standing in the doorway, Alex quickly turning to see him. “Im sorry, I didn’t... I should’ve-“ he stopped himself when he realized he couldn’t change anything at this point. He should’ve stayed completely awake, should’ve put a pull-up on him, should’ve just left. Burn mothing could make things better now that Zac had awoken again, screaming and sobbing for his mother as if she’s could come running from her bedroom and tell him that everything was alright as she once did for her little brother.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex watched as the exhausted young father walked into the room to his son, whose body was practically shaking with the sobs. He reached out to him as he scrambled away, blatantly afraid of everything around him as the panic consumed his small mind. Niko has picked him up from the wet sheets the boy was crawling out of and sat across the bed from Alex as he fully sat up. The male’s hair was a mess despite being tied up, and his eyes showed simply exhaustion as he became acquainted to the things around him whilst comforting his son. This must’ve been their life for the past two weeks, it seemed, and his heart ached for this family that had been split apart by some driver in a rush.

Soon little arms reached out to him desperately, sobbing even harder than before. Alex had heard his words clearly through his cries. Picked him up from across the bed and held him as the bawling controlled everything in his small body as he trembled. He glanced at Niko with uncertainty in his eyes as Zac buried his head into his chest and wrapped his arms around his neck. He tucked his nose in his nephew’s curls and held him close. “It’s Alex, bud. Everything’s okay, alright? I promise. You’re in your bed, it was a dream. A bad dream. I know, it’s okay. I’m sorry,” he whispered to him, closing his eyes. He didn’t care what time it was, or that he was in dire need of a shower now, because this boy was in mental pain that didn’t even seem to go away when he slept. Alex knew that feeling.

((sorry, this is super short))

message 13: by [deleted user] (new)

((aw thank you! but your replies always manage to be written so beautifully, so I could say the same to you))

And he was right, too. It wasn’t okay because someone had hit the one person Alex had trusted and loved throughout his life and killed her with her car speeding down the road. Alyssa was dead and he had yet to even allow that to get to his head because it was already hurting enough. Because she couldn’t come back and hold her son who she loved beyond words and kiss her wonderful husband and talk honestly to her brother who she had been through so much with. Because she was gone and that was how it was going to be forever.

Alex pulled his head away when he felt Zac move in his gentle arms to look into his eyes. He nodded and feathered an angel kiss near his eyelid as his nephew searched for anything that could comfort him, make him feel better. But the only thing that did was his mother. He listened to the unknown words roll from Niko’s mouth, and he smiled softly as Zac attempted to calm down through his tears and shaking. In his heart. After another few seconds of him clinging to his damp shirt and shaking and crying, Alex opened his mouth. “Breathe, okay? Just focus on the air leaving and entering your lungs,” he mumbled gently, wanting to be able to talk to him once he wasn’t physically safe and okay.

message 14: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex shifted a little to give Niko some room on the minuscule bed that was his nephew’s, holding him close as he wrapped his arms and legs around him tightly and buried his head into his chest. He listened as he breathing slowed over time with their assuring words and touch. He honestly wanted to do anything and everything he could for the poor boy who was suffering with them through Alyssa’s tragic death that nobody wasn’t prepared for. Jen didn’t think anyone ever would be. He didn’t care for now that he was damp now that Zac had soiled the sheets, because he was worried about his nephew for now. Soon he would have the opportunity to shower, but it certainly wasn’t his priority right now.
“It’s okay, really. You were asleep, you didn’t mean to. Let’s get you cleaned up, yeah?” he offered to him quietly, shifting so his legs were resting on the floor, planning on heading to the kitchen to get him some water before they could get him in the bath or shower, and possibly getting him into those pull-ups. He stood eventually and kept his hold on Zac. He couldn’t quite imagine the extremity of his thoughts and feelings going on in his mind.

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex bit down hard his cheek as he stood, slightly rocking the sniffling boy in his arms as he hummed, as per usual. His mind had resorted to anything it could to distract him from the reality he was surrounded in, but now everything was crashing down. He didn’t know how to handle something so heartwrenching like everyone’s else who faced the real world, that was why he hadn’t quite processed it all yet. And now he felt like he could almost face it, almost face the fact that his only sister was killed in a wreck weeks ago and he was too afraid to even accept it just yet, even when everyone was trying to move on.
He was snapped out of the thoughts that he was nearly drowning in when he heard the small boy’s voice as he rested gingerly on his shoulder, followed the other young male say his name. He looked up and over to Niko before realizing what he said and nodding slightly, offering a small smile to him as he handed Zac back to his father, them making their way to the bathroom while Alex separated and walked to the kitchen to get him some water like Nikoli suggested. After all the tears and hysterics, he probably needed to get hydrated.

Only one kitchen light was on in the colorful yet dim room when Alexander walked in. And it still felt so empty despite the small things that reminded him of Alyssa. He rummaged through the messy cupboards until he found a few clean glasses and grabbed two, one for Niko and one for Zac. The picture-perfect family that had lost their third. As he put ice in their cups from the ice trays and refilled them before filling the glasses, his mind began to wander a little past his comfort zone and his heart sank further into his chest. Shaky breaths provided him as he tried to pull himself out of this state that he was doing so well at avoiding for these past weeks. And minutes passed before he finally did, closing his eyes and sighing in relief before he carefully picked up both waters and walking to the bathroom.
“Here, bud,” he offered the cup to his nephew as he sat in the bathtub that was filling up with bubbles, completely oblivious to the time spent away from them momentarily. If he had realized, he would have apologized though, but if just felt like a blank slot of time in his head.

message 16: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 01, 2018 10:53PM) (new)

Alex watched as Zachary took small sips of the water he had just given him in the bathtub, his sniffles slowing over time as the bubbles surrounded him in the warm water. It seemed that he had calmed down some, but he knew it wasn’t that easy. That it would probably take a while before he agreed to put on one of those pull-ups, or even return to his room, nevermind getting him to sleep. The nightmare was engraved in husband mind, and the more attention he tended to it, the longer it would stay. If only he could will it away, but it wasn’t that easy with everyone so fragile and suffering.

When he felt eyes on him, he turned to see Niko’s honey eyes, and he wished more than ever he could read the almost-curious expression. He smiled softly and took a full step into the quaint bathroom so he wasn’t just awkwardly standing away from them. “Um, I got you a glass, too,” he told him quietly, offering the ice water to him with a slight smile of assurance. He figured Nikoli needed something to drink other than the ‘bad soda’, as Zac had called it, especially after being woken up so suddenly. He figured he had been used to that, though, which was sad for both of them. It seemed that neither of the ones who lived in the house had been getting the proper sleep he needed. He looked back to Zac, chewing on his lip absentmindedly.

message 17: by [deleted user] (new)

“Of course,” Alex mumbled with a half smile, shuffling closer to hand Niko his glass before stepping back so the quaint bathroom wasn’t too crowded. He alternated his smaller stature on his feet and wrapped his arms around himself as he watched his beautiful nephew now that he had calmed down some. Zac’s hair was already damp, his curls sticking to his eyes as he focused on the small rubber duck in front of him. His small nose and his dark eyes paired with his tan skin and thick hair looked perfect. He reminded him so much of Alyssa, if not at the funeral when he saw him for the first time since he was a baby, then it was most certainly now more than ever. If only his older sister was there to complete her family that she always wanted, as they were practically in shambles now. Alex had heard about Niko once the couple began to hang out, and he knew how happy they made eachother. Things were supposed to be perfect. But rather she had left the world so simply, and now it seemed like there was nothing. His eyes cut to the young man, who was also glancing over at him before both their eyes turned back to the boy in the bathtub, surrounded by bubbles.That kid deserved to always be happy, more than any other child.
When he heard his small voice, he reached over and took his half-empty glass from his hands, setting it gingerly on the counter by the sink in case he wanted it before going back to bed, if that were to even happen tonight. Maybe that was unlikely, but he wouldn’t know, having not gotten to know this boy as much as he had wished in he three years he had the opportunity to. He bit his lip and stayed quiet for another minute, watching as shampoo was lathered on Niko hands and ruffling it on his son’s head as he quietly played in the water.

message 18: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex didn’t care at this point that he was exhausted and his mind was shortstopped and he smelled foul this early in the morning because his mind was mostly focused on his nephew. And when he counted to twenty in a voice that sounded justified like Alyssa learning Niko’s first language, shaky yet so certain as he recited his numbers.
“Oh my goodness, Zac!” he praised quietly, a small smile spreading on his face as he saw the slight happiness wash over the boy’s face when the water poured over his head. “That’s amazing. You’re so smart.” And he must’ve known that, too. The kid was only three and he was a genius that Alex couldn’t help but admire. It was all because of his wonderful parents.
A minute of hesitance passed before Alex finally spoke up again, his own arms wrapped tightly around his waist as he rested on the doorframe. “D’you want me to run up to the store in a few hours? I could grab some stuff for you, if you'd like,” he tentatively asked as Niko wrapped up the boy so he was bundled in a galaxy towel. He wished he had gotten to know his sister’s perfect family she had constructed over a matter of years. He knew that she was in love with hernhusband and her son, but not that Zac loved the sky, or that he looked like a perfect combination of he two parents.

message 19: by [deleted user] (new)

A smile tugged on his lips faintly as he heard his name come from the little boy. Zac had just said it so gently and innocently, almost as if it were Alex’s own sister, or rather Zac’s mother. She was all the good qualities that their parents had possessed, and ten times better, too. And Zac had said the word ‘uncle’ before it, something he hadn’t quite heard many times before then. He wished it was something he was able to hear more often from the boy who had already grown up so much. On top of seeing that perfect toothy smile that was contagious at the mere sight. It made Alex smile just to see the response he pulled from his nephew at the genuine compliment that he was wonderful. He was only three and he could count to twenty in Spanish, for God’s sake. It made him happy.

When Niko answered his suggestion with something he didn’t expect, Alex glanced back up at the other male. It was certainly a welcomed idea that he would join in on, unless it wasn’t even an invitation. But he smiled and nodded; the idea was great seeing as the family probably hadn’t gone out much. Alex, too. “That sounds like a good idea-,” he started before a whine and a bolt to the door interrupted. He held his shoulders as he passed by and picked him up into his arms, getting more frustrated as tears welled in his eyes.
“Hey, Zac? I know you’re okay, I know you’re a big boy,” he assured softly, brushing his damp curls behind his ears as he gradually squirmed less in his arms. The nightmares tormented him, it seemed, and Alex could empathize with that. “Can you try one on though? Your daddy, he bought these for you. We can take it off if you don’t like it... but can we compromise for now?”

message 20: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex held him close as the boy was bundled in the fluffy child, calming down but clearly still upset. He subtly looked to Niko apologetically once or twice, afraid that he was overstepping. He knew that he was called to come to their house and he came over as quick as he could, but maybe his presence wasn’t necessary anymore and he was just searching for something he didn’t have, especially in his own apartment.

“You are certainly not a baby, Zac. I promise. Okay?” he told him quietly and shifting Zac in his arms so he was more or less facing him. So he could look into his dark brown eyes, a little lighter than his own to mimick his father’s eyes. Alex’s were nearly black, but Zac’s were expressive and colorful and able to show whatever emotion he was feeling. He felt doubt and uncomfortable, but security, too. Like he trusted his surroundings.
“Did you know I wore pull-ups until I was 6? Babies aren’t 6. You’re already a couple steps ahead of me.” He laughed quietly and brushed on stray curl back with the others. He was only telling the truth; he certainly had worn pull-ups to bed until that age, and he knew Zac neither was or acted like a baby because he was able to have a conversation, especially this one, with him. “Trust me on this one, please? For your daddy. I know, I probably seem super mean. Will you tell me all of the planets in our solar system while we try one of them out though?”

((it’s okay! wonderful writing as always))

message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex looked over to Niko once more when he heard him jump in regarding his suggestion. He nodded and looked back to those golden eyes, eager and hopeful for a positive response from his reluctant nephew. And he was met with a reply that made him nearly beam like one of those stars in the sky. He barely knew him, but it was surely something the boy would say. He nodded and took one more hesitant glance to the father before he began to slowly step out of the room and to the living room just so they could sit down and put the pull-up on that was in Niko’s hands.

“Sure, let’s count Pluto as a planet. A small one, but still a planet,” he assured, nodding as they sat down on the couch. An animated gawp appeared on his face as he gasped once he heard his fun fact. And he couldn’t get over hearing Uncle Alex. Maybe it was his tired mind, but it did make him feel somewhat happy. “A star? Bigger than all the stars in the big dipper?” he asked in near disbelief, ruffling his hair with the towel playfully. God, was the boy adorable. He would listen to him talk about the sky above them for hours if he ever was given the opportunity to because of the curious and happy expression in his eyes when he spoke of it.

((sorry, super short!))

message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

Alex held Zachary close for another minute as he soon completely calmed down, before he finally handed him to Nikoli, a fond smile spreading on his face as he was told of the sky above them. The three year old boy was spewing facts as if he were some notorious astronomer, but in actuality it was his talented little nephew who was so eager to learn, much like his sister, the more Alex thought about it. It was amazing how strikingly similar they were to eachother; it made that small quirk of his lips stay as he continued to talk on the topic.
“You’re so smart, bud. I’m serious,” he complimented quietly, glancing to Niko for a moment. He knew the couple was fresh out of college, he knew they were still only young adults, he knew they were inexperienced, but they had raised a child better than anyone else ever could. And now that half of the parenting was gone... well, Alex just wanted to give them help in any way he could if that was what the family wanted. Niko and Alyssa were in love, he knew that too. And things like that we’re never supposed to end as abruptly as Alyssa did. Everything now came full circle back to Alyssa in Alex’s mind. Maybe it was like that before her death but he had never realized it. Now? It was more clear than ever.

“Which one is the hottest planet?” he asked him curiously after a moment as Niko fastened the pull-up on him. It was still dark outside, the sun having yet to make an appearance, but he also doubted a chance to put Zac to bed. He would try, of course. The child needed it, and then he could shower, Niko too, and they would be able to go to the store. As long as he wasn’t overstepping, of course.

message 23: by [deleted user] (new)

Alexander chuckled fondly as he heard his nephew open up whilst talking about space, it made him beyond happy. Who appeared to be a closed off and anxious boy, likely due to his mother’s passing, turned out to be so infatuated and willing to tell everyone about what he was passionate in. He smiled and listened intently as the boy ran closer to him to tell him even more. It made him proud, in a way, to see his nephew that he barely knew reflecting Alyssa more than one could imagine. And they looked so alike too, with the dark eyes and upturned nose and lips that always seemed to be almost smiling. And he was so smart, just like her, and excited to show the world just that. This family certainly didn’t deserve to be broken, and yet it had.
“That’s right, bud. Venus is burning hot. Not as hot as the sun though, right?” he replied, ruffling Zac’s hair as he beamed happily like the little kid he was. He seemed so awake despite the few hours of sleep that ended wrong he had. It must have been the best sleep he had experienced in some time though; not that Alex had gotten much better sleep. His mind often resorted to short dazes where he was still awake, but he did nothing. He preferred actually being productive with the time he spent awake, but it was getting more and more difficult the more he spiraled out, but he just didn’t want to accept that yet.

“Did you get at least a few hours of sleep?” he asked him softly, cutting a short glance to him that became a little longer as he looked the male over. His colorful eyes were sparkling towards his son despite showing tired undertones throughout his entire body. He felt terrible for not doing his job: he could’ve just put the damn pull-up on but they were just so exhausted and he put it off until it was too late and Zac had woken up from another nightmare.

((again, sorry for the delay! i’m going to try to stay up to date on my rps until i don’t have my phone on me for a week, so my apologiessss))

message 24: by [deleted user] (new)

((thanks, i definitely will! i’m gonna miss this cute rp though ): and sure, we can skip to that ^.^))

As Zac’s face dropped, so did Alex’s. Not knowing merely one fact had managed to throw off his excitement and passion towards the subject. “Hot enough to know not to get too close,” he added playfully yet softly, trying to get the little boy to cheer up upon seeing him frown. He hated the idea of Zac doubting his intelligence; he was three years old and spewing facts as if astronomy was his major. He knew his nephew had gotten it from his parents, of course. Alyssa was always so passionate regarding the arts, and Alex admired that. He wished he could learn how to open up to the world so easily like she did every day. That was also how Alex came to the realization that Nikoli was good for her, as she excitedly told Alex about her boyfriend while she was in college and Alex was still cooped up at home. Flash forward a few years and they were married with a kid. Three more years and she was taken away from the world.

Alex shook his head out of his thoughts and looked up to the young man, momentarily distracted by Zac crawling up onto the couch by him. “That’s good,” he said, a soft smile tugging on his lips. He was happy that he had helped Nikoli get at least a few hours of sleep before waking up yet again because he certainly needed something to get him through the next day. Hopefully he was able to get a full 8 hours soon. He shrugged at Nikoli’s question and gently helped give Zac to his father. Watching as he lovingly held him and comfortingly carded through his curls. He knew the broken family was likely suffering far more than him.

Alexander certainly hadn’t expected an appreciation, explaining why he nearly froze when Nikoli thanked him. In his own eyes, it was debatable that he hadn’t helped much at all: he was unable to prevent another nightmare or another accident. But the other part of his mind pushed past this worry as his smile only returned to his face. “Of course, um, I’m happy to,” he told him honestly, eventually turning to directly face both of them then. Maybe Nikoli didn’t know it, but the visit certainly had helped Alexander beyond words, as well. It made his heart swell to see the two of them again despite the horrible circumstances.

message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

At this point, both young males had taken a much-needed shower and had changed, the sun rising as they got ready for the day. Luckily for Alex, he always kept a spare change of clothes in his old car; it had simply been habit because of how afraid he used to be of being unprepared. He was currently dressed in a pair of black jeans and a loose gray tee, hair damp and eyes still exhausted. The shower had helped, though, and now that he was around others, it was more than a necessity to act accordingly. He was happy to see his nephew and his father, after all. He hadn’t seen them in almost two years if one disregarded their interaction at the funeral. Her funeral.

He was slipping on an oversized burgundy sweatshirt when Nikoli asked him a question while Zac scampered to his room. He shook his head before running a hand through his messy hair.
“I don’t mind,” he said quietly with a small wave of his hand, not wanting to inconvenience them necessarily. He was there to help them, after all. But an idea in his head allowed his eyes to spark and bite down hard on his lip before asking without second thought.
“Actually, um... have you been to Clarté before?” he asked hesitantly, eyes flashing over to Nikoli for a moment before away again, as if regretting the question for a reason he didn’t know. He assumed that the family had before: Alyssa took Alex there often after she received a summer job there as a teenager, getting a great discount. And once Alex could drive, he came to visit her. That is, until she moved away for college. It was still around a half hour from where they were currently, so he definitely understood just how ridiculous the question was. Everything was about the girl these days, anyway.

message 26: by [deleted user] (last edited Jul 29, 2018 06:22AM) (new)

They all looked like hell, and he was sure they al knew it. Alexander had discoloration under his eyes since he was a child, so it wasn’t too unusual of a sight. But the purple hue only got stronger and soon the eyebags became one of the primary features on his face recently, and it was clear it had taken a toll on Alyssa’s family too. Even the little boy resembled a young picture of him, with the obvious tire in his eyes. It was practically heartbreaking, seeing them go through it, as well. Sleep just didn’t seem to be so nurturing and comforting anymore.

Niko’s voice snapped him out of his thoughts eventually. He looked up quickly again and shook his head to rid of some exhaustion before replying.“Um, would you want to go there then maybe?” he offered hesitantly, worrying his lip until it was nearly red raw. He never meant to bite his lip, but the childhood habit was picked back up weeks ago. After the accident, of course. Clarté was a distant memory of his, and it made him happy to hear the reassurance that Nikoli had been there previously.
He eventually garnered the motivation to stand and walk over to the counter, where he grabbed the car keys and tucked them away into his pocket for now. Wherever they were going, he would be driving because his car was the last in the driveway. He hadn’t expected any of this when he showed up at their house last night, but he was fairly certain that he was glad it had happened. Maybe it’s was necessary for all of them.

message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

((hi b! just a quick reminder ^.^ ))

message 28: by [deleted user] (new)

((of course!))

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