My head hurts. In fact, this is what I would imagine it would feel like to be run over by a steam roller. I can hear Beau. She may as well scream in my ear. She's not even on the same floor as me. Groaning, I get up and stagger downstairs in hopes of finding painkillers.
Beau takes my appearance as... I dunno what she takes it as, but that grin fills half her face and she rushes over to me. I pick her up and hug her, hoping it'll shut her up and look over at John.
"Where're the painkillers?"
"On the kitchen counter waiting for you with a glass of water," he smiles. I manage a weak smile back before I put Beau back down and shuffle off to go try and get rid of my hangover. Beau huffs and goes back over to John as I leave. Yeah, kid, one day you'll have a hangover like this. Then you'll understand.
I down the painkillers and try to wash the taste of chips and puke out of my mouth. I stay in the kitchen, sat on the counter, until John carries Beau in for lunch. He passes her to me and I give him a sort of surprised look. Why? Can't she just sit in the front room and stick her fingers in plug sockets like I used to?
"Want me to make you something?" I shake my head slightly and then regret it as my brain pounds. "Sure?" he asks, making some peanut butter sandwiches. I look away from them. Just the sight of food right now is enough to make me feel ill.
"M'sure." He chuckles slightly and finishes with the sandwiches.
"Can you carry her in for me? My hands are kinda full."
"You're a crap dad," I smile slightly, "you're s'posed to be able to carry multiple kids and food and not drop any of them."
"Well, I'm not technically a dad yet so..." I just roll my eyes. "What?"
"You're taking the place of her dad. Same thing."
"She's only here cause she kept asking Mari when I was getting home," he says with a kind of sad smile. Way to make me feel bad there, John.
"She's not coming back, then?"
"Not likely," he sighs. I bite back a sigh of my own and swallow whatever was left of my pride and hug him. He hugs back a little bit and I let go, flopping on the sofa. John sits on the floor with Beau and takes a bite out of her sandwich.
"Now that's just mean," I chuckle.
"I'm hungry," he shrugs. Beau pouts and shuffles over to me, bringing her sandwich with her. I smile slightly and lift her onto my lap, glad she's staying pretty quiet. She giggles and huggles me. John smiles up at us both.
"Sure you're not her real dad? She sure took a shine to you."
"Fairly sure," I laugh slightly.
"Only fairly?" he chuckles.
"C'mon, man. What're the chances of me ever getting near enough to a woman like that to make a baby?" I giggle.
"Okay, so they're pretty slim," he admits with a laugh and I arch an eyebrow. Pretty slim? I'd say pretty much impossible. Beau tugs at my shirt and I look down at her.
"Wha's your name?" she asks, taking a bite of her sandwich.
"Want some sammich, Unca Maxxie?" I smile slightly, kinda surprised by this. Unca Maxxie?
"No, I'm fine, thanks, sweetie."
"D'you got any candy?"
"I haven't, sorry, Beau. I can always get you some later on though, if that's alright with Pops over there," I smile.
"Sure, just not before bed." Beau's face lights up in that huge grin again and I laugh slightly. "You're good with kids," he adds, smiling.
"I've never looked after a kid in my life," I mutter. Not like I had any younger siblings too care for, and I never did babysitting for anyone else - no one wanted a fag looking after their kids after all.
"Then you'd be awesome with kids with a little practice."
"I doubt it," I smile, "my tactic would be to bribe them with sweets to keep them happy and go tell them to do some drawing so they're happy and quiet. Not sure that would always work."
"Well I tell you what. You can take madame here to the park while I get her room sorted out in case Mari decides to let her stay the night," he says with a smile.
"Yay, park with Unca Maxxie!" I give John this kind of horrified look. Park? Now? I'm hungover. I've not had a shower or a change of clothes and I can still taste puke. And you want me to take her to the park? Beau turns her puppy eyes on me. "Pwetty please?" The look of horror doesn't budge.
So the puppy eyes are even more puppyish and I cave.
"What do you even do in a park?" I ask kinda exasperated. Only times I remember being in a park were to be drunk or to smoke. Or to have sex.
"Play!" Beau grins. John just looks kind of shocked.
"What's that look for?" I ask him.
"You never went to the park when you were a kid or something?" he laughs a little. I frown. What's funny about that? Of course I never went. Do my parents seem like the type of parents to give a shit about taking their kid to a park to play?
"No," I tell him simply as Beau slides off my lap to go put her shoes on.
"Ah c'mon, Maxxie. She's a kid. Kids play. You just have to sit and watch and join in if she tells you to." I give him a kind of uncertain look. I'm sure I can figure out the swings and slides bit. It's the moving and being around noise bit I'm not so keen on. "You'll do fine," he says, patting me on the back.