A/N: There WILL be Raven Cycle on !
Ravens Don't Babysit
Is the Cabinet in session today at HQ?
The message flashed on Gansey's screen. A quick affirmative reply was followed by Henry's equally rapid: Excellent. Will be right up.
"Henry's coming over," Gansey said. Blue reached over and plucked a single mint leaf from the small plant on his desk, handing it to him without taking her eyes off the book nestled on top of her stockinged knees. Colorful mismatched patterns swirled up each leg, stripes on one side and paisley on the other. Gansey wondered absently if she'd actually stitched together two pairs of stockings or if they came that way. He blushed when he realized where his eyes had wandered in his musings.
"What do the Chinese want with the President?" Ronan quipped from where he sprawled over the couch, a lanky spiderweb of ripped black jeans and long limbs clashing poetically with the dusty mop of Adam's hair brushing against his chest. Adam smirked from his spot on the floor, surrounded by flashcards etched with Physics formulas.
"It's his other half that needs attention," Noah muttered, gaining a whoop from the Lynch-Parrish peanut gallery.
The doorbell interrupted Gansey's rebuke. Blue looked up from her book finally at the sound. "Doorbell?" she said.
Gansey nodded towards Ronan, who'd slipped his headphones back on, choosing the route of ignoring Henry as a way to ensure he didn't have to get up off the couch.
"Useless dream thing," Adam said, flipping over a card with Moment of Force written in block letters. He frowned. "Rings every time someone comes to the door, whether they want to be announced or not."
Ronan smirked above him, his eyes closed. He was still except for his thumb, which was running in intricate tiny swoops on the skin just above Adam's t-shirt. Gansey pretended not to notice.
"It is nice to know when you're about to be interrupted," Gansey said. Ronan's smirk deepend and Adam blushed. Gansey hurridedly clarified. "If I am reading, or writing perchance, I will have enough time to find a stopping point."
Ronan whispered something in Adam's ear. Adam blushed as red as the faded Coca-Cola shirt he wore but kept his eyes focused on the Factors Determining the Turning Effect of a Force on an Axis. Blue giggled. "Stopping points," she said. "Always important."
Henry pushed open the door just then, saving Gansey from himself. He looked every inch an Aglionby boy, spotless white sneakers, Tears to Fears teeshirt under a white trainer jacket, matching sunglasses perched just in front of his spiked hair.
Every inch Aglionby except for the small thrashing child wedged up under his arm.
"Mr. President, Madame Secretary, my good sirs- what an excellent hideaway for the ministers of state. This place is astounding. Every inch a Gansey relic." Henry walked in, ignoring the puerile kicks landing on his backside and the slack jawed faces surrounding him. Only Ronan seemed apathetic, though it was possible he just hadn't noticed yet, too immersed in the screeching chords assaulting his ear drums and the feel of short cropped hairs on his fingertips as his hand wandered up toward Adam's hairline.
"Henry," Gansey started, then stalled, not sure where to proceed after that.
Blue saved him. "Is that a child?"
"If you mean to ask, is this a real child or one of Ronan's dream things, yes- this one is real," Henry said, hefting the squirming bundle inattentively. "It belongs to Mrs. Woo."
Henry nodded. "And it is every bit as charming." Henry plopped the child on top of Ronan, who sat up with a curse. "One chemical weapon's progeny tended by a demon."
Ronan stared at the child, who stared back then promptly burst into tears, drool sliding out of its mouth and onto Ronan's pants.
"Gross," Ronan and Blue said.
"Is it toilet trained?" Gansey asked.
"Is it gendered?" Adam asked.
Noah held a pizza crust out to the child, who hid from it. Noah waved the crust, making engine noises as he pushed it closer to the child's mouth. It sealed its mouth closed, shaking its head vigorously. Ronan twitched beneath it, trying to extricate himself without letting the child know.
"I really don't think this is the proper place for a child," Gansey began, waving his hand out over the wasteland of the first level for further explanation. Henry grinned at him, waggling his eyebrows as he waved his hand over the assembled crew.
"I think it's perfect. Edification and all that."
"For us, or for him?" Adam asked from the floor.
Ronan succeeded in extricating a leg with only minimal slobber, raising it up and over Adam's head. He slid the other leg down, framing Adam. The kid rocked back on his heels, falling backwards against the arm of the couch. It looked around and promptly burst into tears.
"See?" Henry said, gesturing at the couch menagerie. "He likes Ronan."
Ronan scowled at Henry, sliding his headphones off. "Shut up," he said to the kid. "I can't hear myself think."
"Your music is a billion times louder than that kid," Blue said.
"I choose the music," Ronan said. He pointed at the kid. "That's gotta go."
"Two hours," Henry said, backing toward the door. "Thank you ever so much!" He clapped his hands together and bowed dramatically, then turned and fled.
"What the-" Ronan growled. The kid cried louder, fat tears running down its chubby cheeks.
Adam reached behind him and grabbed Ronan's headphones off the couch, sliding them over his own ears. His mouth moved silently, either reciting lyrics or formulas.
"Gansey, get rid of it," Ronan said.
Gansey crossed his arms thoughtfully, examining the small child. "Henry did say only two hours."
"No," Ronan said.
"Surely he must have a good reason."
"He can go screw a cow," Ronan said.
Blue stood up and dogeared her book, tossing it onto Gansey's mattress. "We can do it," she said. "I think."
Gansey cast about him for something to get the child to stop crying, suddenly aware of just how bare his living quarters were. Blue stood in front of his bare bed, not even a suitable sheet set for a blanket fort. Henrietta sprawled across the floor, a child's dream and his nightmare should said child ever find it. He ran his fingers over his chin, looking down at the first floor in abject desperation.
"Ronan," Blue said, waving her hand in front of the crying child. "Any dream things in that pigsty you call a room this little guy might like to play with?"
"That terd factory isn't touching my stuff," Ronan said, still sharing a couch with the object of his derision, mostly because Adam still sat between his legs, his head nodding either to the beat or to the cadence of his inner fact recitation.
Noah waved the pizza crust again.
"How old is that, Noah?" Blue asked.
Noah shrugged. "Found it under the couch." Blue gasped, snatching the crust from Noah. She scrubbed her face, her hair escaping from its myriad clips even more with the movement. She looked wild and beautiful, and suddenly Gansey really wanted to prove he could handle the situation.
"A walk," he said. "Perhaps it would like to go for a walk?"