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The next couple of days passed in a blur and before either of them realized it was the week of Thanksgiving, their first holiday as an actual family of six. Nick was beside himself with excitement and trying hard to keep his expectations in check. They got the older kids back on Saturday night and by the time Monday rolled around Nick was bouncing off the walls. Kevin watched with a light heart and a smile as Nick practically bounced from room to room trying to entertain four different kids for days on end, never losing energy or focus on the tasks at hand. It was the happiest Kevin had seen Nick in years and knowing he had something to do with it was the best feeling in the world.

They had promised the kids they could pick all of the things they would make and Kevin had ordered enough groceries for an army. As expected their Thanksgiving menu consisted of pizza, corn dogs, mac and cheese and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Kevin planned on sneaking a pumpkin pie in there somewhere but that was as traditional as they were going to get. As "anal" as he was, he was surprisingly okay destroying what was typically a very traditional meal to make it fun and exciting for his family. Of course that's what all this was about, creating new memories and new traditions with the family he and Nick were creating. It only made sense they completely changed the way any of them ever celebrated Thanksgiving. He had to admit after the turmoil of the last several days he was looking forward to having this time to begin working on their relationship, their family. After their argument Kevin really started to feel like they were getting on the same page, and was starting to get excited about the possibilities for them.

As originally planned, Kristin was planning on joining them for the actual dinner part of their celebration, but the cooking and parade time would be just for them. Kevin chuckled to himself as he remembered days before when Nick begged and pleaded with him to be able to watch the Thanksgiving day parade before they got started on any actual cooking. Of course, how could he resist those baby blue eyes he loved so much. That’s how he found himself crammed on the couch with a bouncing boyfriend on one side, hyperactive four year old on the other while the other two kids attempted to build Legos on the floor. Saoirse made this task difficult as she kept trying to knock down everything they put together. Kevin had to give his boys credit. They took it all in stride and hadn’t lost their temper with her yet. Kevin smiled to himself, his heart growing with love as he enjoyed the quiet morning in front of the television watching the Thanksgiving day parade. Each new float and musical performance seemed to captivate Nick and Odin more than the last. The look of pure joy crossing Nick’s features was enough to make Kevin burst. He could care less how long the parade too, if they ended up having to eat frozen pizza for dinner it wouldn’t matter at all if he could continue to see that look on his face.

Nick caught him staring and turned to look at him. “What Kev?” he asked, his eyes twinkling.

Kevin shook his head. “Nothing at all, baby.”

Nick tilted his head to the side and looked at him curiously. “Why are you staring at me?”

Kevin blushed and smiled. “You’re adorable. And I love you.”

It was Nick’s turn to blush and he smiled back at Kevin before returning his attention to the tv. Odin recognized Mickey Mouse and started yelling to look at the next float coming down the parade route. Yes, Kevin could get used to this. The quiet moments doing nothing but watching a parade, everyone doing their own thing in a room but doing it in the company of each other.

It was hard to remember how quiet and boring his life had been on the weeks the boys were with Kristin. Nick had brought so much life, love and noise into his life in the short time they’d been together, but Kevin never wanted to go back to the way it had been before. He’d been slowly dying in his loneliness, his unrequited desire for the other man and since Nick had come to him, since they had begun this journey together, Kevin felt like he’d never imagined feeling before.

He was brought out of his thoughts by the feeling of Nick threading their fingers together as he picked up Kevin’s hand from where it was resting on the couch cushion. Nick rubbed it gently with his thumb and then relaxed his fingers, but refused to let go. He turned his attention back to the parade, a soft smile sitting pleasantly on his lips. Kevin’s face reflected the smile as he settled back into the couch to continue watching the parade and enjoying their first holiday together.


Something was burning, three kids were screaming and at the same time the smoke detector went off the doorbell also rang. Nick looked up at Kevin with sheer panic in his eyes as everything seemed to go off the rails at once. Taking charge, Kevin started barking orders.

“Mason, take the dish towel and go wave it in front of the smoke detector in the foyer until the noise stops. Nick, you go deal with the door while I try to get control of whatever is happening here.” Kevin quickly removed the cookie sheet from the oven. The pizza had expanded in the oven and some of the sauce and pepperoni had leaked down the side of the pan and was burning on the coils of the oven. It was going to be one hell of a mess to clean up, but at least dinner wasn’t ruined. He put the pizza on the counter and gave the macaroni a stir. He was just getting ready to put the pie in the oven when he heard a commotion in the hallway.

Tossing a glance at Odin and Saoirse to make sure both were still content with the coloring pages Maxwell had found for them, he went after Nick to see what was going on. He dismissed Mason with a hug as he came through the foyer, his arms tired of flapping the towel. Mason agreed to watch the younger kids as Kevin continued on to the front door. He stopped in his tracks as he rounded the corner and his eyes landed on the blue eyes of his cousin.

“Brian?” he asked, confused.

Nick was grasping the door frame as he looked from Brian, to his suitcase and duffle bag and then back to Kevin. Brian stood bashfully on the doorstep and shifted his weight from one foot to the other.

“Hey guys,” he said softly. “How’s it going?”

“What are you doing here?” Nick asked as he stepped aside and allowed Brian to enter the house.

Brian hefted both bags in his arms and entered the room, dropping them beside the front door. Nick closed the door and met Kevin’s eyes behind the other man. Kevin studied Nick for a moment trying to gauge his reaction. Neither of them had been expecting the other man, let alone on Thanksgiving and by the looks of it, Brian was completely alone.

“I uh, I didn’t really have anywhere else to go.” Brian said, his voice faltering. “Leighanne kicked me out. She’s leaving me.”

The air in the room shifted as Nick threw his arms around the older man. Kevin quickly followed suit and all three met in a hug. After a few minutes they all pulled away from each other. “Would it be okay if I stayed here for a few days until I figure out where to go from here.”

Kevin met Nick’s eyes above Brian’s head. Each man nodded slightly before turning to their band mate and friend. “Of course you can stay.’ Kevin said.

“Thanks guys. I know this is a horrible time. I’m sure you guys had your own plans.” Brian said.

“We can adapt.” Nick said, leading Brian back towards the kitchen.

“What is that smell?” Brian asked entering the kitchen. He surveyed the scene in front of him before turning to the other two men. “What in the world are you guys making? This is Thanksgiving?”

Nick smiled and looped his arm through Kevin’s. “Welcome to the first Richardson-Carter Thanksgiving. Where kids decide the menu, whatever they want goes. Don’t worry Saoirse wanted mac and cheese so you’ll have your favorite too.”

Brian laughed and settled into a kitchen chair to hug each of his nephews in turn and then picked up a crayon to begin coloring. Nick turned to Kevin and smiled a half smile. Their eyes met and an unspoken message passed between them. Neither were particularly happy about sharing their bubble with anyone, especially not on Thanksgiving. But Brian was family and this is what being there for family was all about, especially on holidays. Kevin pulled Nick close and placed a kiss on his lips, soft and sweet. Nick pulled him closer and buried his face against Kevin’s neck. “I hate this.” he whispered against Kevin’s smooth skin. Kevin nodded but didn’t reply as he rubbed his hands up and down Nick’s back.

Kevin looked up and saw Brian looking at them before looking away quickly. Nope, he was not looking forward to this at all. Their perfect holiday was quickly turning into anything but. As much as he wanted to find out what was happening with Brian, he selfishly just wanted this time with Nick and their kids. He took a deep breath and placed his lips against Nick’s forehead before pulling away. He couldn’t let anything else burn, especially now when they had someone else to feed.


Dinner went off relatively well. Kristin arrived just as Nick was setting the last of the corn dogs on the kitchen table. She had not been informed of the menu ahead of time and was as delighted as Nick and Kevin were to try something new, especially in the spirit of starting anew. Everyone skirted around the reason from Brian’s sudden presence and the lack of family accompanying him. Kristin left soon after dinner, promising to be back on Saturday for their weekly switch off.

After dinner Nick started baths with the younger two kids and left Kevin and Brian alone in the kitchen to handle the clean up. Mason and Maxwell had long since went upstairs to play video games and settle down for the evening. Kevin busied himself putting away leftovers and loading the dishwasher so he wouldn’t start interrogating the other man. Brian was content sitting on the barstool at the island watching. After several moments he finally spoke.

“Thanks for letting me stay, Kev. I know you’re not exactly thrilled to see me, especially showing up unannounced.” Brian started.

Kevin stopped what he was doing and turned to look at his younger cousin. “Stop. I am happy to see you. I want to be there for you. I don’t know what happened, but I can guarantee you Nick and I probably understand exactly how you’re feeling.”

Brian nodded. “I’m not ready to talk about it yet.”

Kevin smiled. “I figured as much. You always needed time to come to terms with things yourself first cuz. Don’t worry about it. We’re here for you when you’re ready. You can stay in the guestroom Nick used to use if you want or the smaller guest room down here.”

Brian laughed. “I will definitely stay down here. I don’t want to be on the same floor as you two when you start going at each other.”

Kevin blushed. “Hey now, there are kids in the house. Lots of kids. We don’t exactly get much time to ourselves.”

“Aww Is Kevvy not getting any?” Brian said cackling.

Kevin smiled wickedly. “Not what I said at all. What I am saying is we’ve gotten very good at making the most out of our limited time.”

“I do not need this image in my head.” Brian shrieked as he covered his face with his hands.

Kevin shrugged. “You’re the one assuming. I just had to correct your very incorrect assumptions.”

They both laughed and Brian finally stood to help. With two of them moving they finally got the kitchen cleaned up. Kevin got clean sheets and blankets out of the linen closet for Brian and left him alone to make up the guest room.

Once he got upstairs he yelled for Mason and Maxwell to join them in Odin’s room for stories and snuggles. The boys were down the stairs in record time and were just getting settled when Nick walked in with Saoirse freshly diapered and in her pajamas. Nick smiled as his eyes settled on Kevin already set up in the rocking chair with Odin in his lap. Maxwell had picked the story this time, a story about construction equipment that he’d loved since he was Saoirse’s age. Nick leaned down and planted a small kiss on Kevin’s mouth before settling on the floor at his feet with the baby in his arms. Mason and Maxwell drew close to both of them as they settled in to listen to the story. Nick smiled as he watched Kevin act out the characters in the story. The way his green eyes twinkled with mischief and love were almost too much for Nick to handle. Looking around the room, full of kids and love, Nick was reminded he had a lot to be thankful for.


Later that night as they climbed into bed Kevin grabbed Nick around the waist and pulled him down on the mattress against him. Nick let out a laugh and fell against him gracefully. Kevin took his lips in a kiss and then pulled away, leaning his forehead against the younger mans.

“I’m sorry our Thanksgiving ended up with a houseguest.” Kevin said gently as he slid his hand up the back of Nick’s shirt. He rubbed and gently scratched the skin, causing goosebumps to rise on Nick’s skin.

Nick pressed his mouth against Kevin’s taking a gentle lick across his lips before pulling back. “It’s okay. Thanksgiving is all about family. Our immediate family and our extended. Brian is family any way you look at it. I wish it could have just been us, but I am also thankful he felt comfortable enough to come to us.”

Kevin nodded and shifted to bring Nick even closer. “I understand baby. I hope it was still a nice day for you. I had a great time and I think the kids did too.”

Nick moved to begin placing kisses down the side of Kevin’s neck, eliciting a moan from the older man as he moved to give Nick better access. “You know.” Nick said as he pulled back. “I was thinking about how young Odin and Saoirse are and how they will probably never remember the way it was before. Before all of this, before us. When they think about their family holidays and tell their friends and future spouses, they will only remember exactly how it is now, how to them, it was always just the six of us. That is something I am very thankful for.” Nick said looking in Kevin’s eyes.

Kevin felt his eyes dampen and told himself they were long past the tears. “That’s beautiful, baby. I am and will be forever thankful you showed up on my doorstep. I love you.”

Nick nuzzled his face into the side of Kevin’s neck and resumed his kisses. Stopping suddenly, Nick sat up, pulling the older man with him. Nick climbed onto Kevin's lap, pressing their bodies close together as he resumed his earlier movements. He started off slowly with small nibbles and bites before moving his way down the side of Kevin's neck and to the place where his neck and shoulder met. Biting the other man playfully he pulled away and reached for the bottom of Kevin's sweater. "I'm very thankful I can do this whenever I want." he said, smiling seductively as he pulled the sweater and undershirt over Kevin's head and tossing it to the floor. He continued to lick and suck the exposed flesh of his lover eliciting several throaty moans from the other man.

Not one to sit idly by, Kevin gripped Nick's hips in his hands and began pushing his own hips into Nick's, grinding their straining erections together. Nick pulled away long enough to let out a moan of his own before swatting Kevin's hand. "Stop. I'm not through telling you all that I'm thankful for yet and you're making it hard to concentrate."

Kevin chuckled but released Nick's hips and let go. With a sly grin. "I'm sorry baby, please continue."

Nick smiled back before thanking Kevin's lips in a breathtaking kiss, tongues caressing, loving each other. As the kiss became more demanding Nick broke free and then returned to nuzzling the older man's neck. "I'm very thankful for this place right here." he said, darting his tongue out to lick the skin. "I'm thankful for it because I fit so nicely here, like this part of your body was made for me to snuggle into."

Kevin groaned out and tried his best not to thrust his hips up onto the other man. The teasing touches were getting to be too intense but Nick had never taken his time like this before, usually their roles reversed and damn if Kevin wasn't going to enjoy every moment of it. Everywhere Nick's hands touched felt like fire had ignited his skin. His need for the other man growing by the second. Nick began kissing a line down Kevin's chest stopping at first one nipple, licking and sucking until it peaked in a tiny bud, before moving onto the other. Doing the same while pushing his hips down into Kevin again caused the older man to groan out. "God Nicky, I don't know how much teasing I can take."

Nick smiled against his skin as he nuzzled his nipple with his nose. Continuing down Kevin's lean chest nick continued to place several kisses, sometimes biting gently, love bites, but always licking. He traced a line down Kevin's stomach with his tongue stopping only when he'd reached the other man's belly button. Nick shifted his weight down the other man's body and he moved. Peering up at Kevin with bright blue eyes he smiled. "Know what else I'm thankful for Kev?" Nick poked his tongue out and licked the outer ring of Kevin's belly button. Kevin didn't answer, instead he threw his head back as he gripped the bedsheets. Nick smiled and plunged his tongue into the tight crevice poking it in and out, imagining what he could do to the other man if his tongue was elsewhere. Kevin bucked his hips up against him as he moaned. "Nicky, please."

"Please what baby? I just want to finish telling you all the things I love about you. How you're the thing I'm most thankful for this year. How you make everything else seem trivial in comparison." Nick sat up on his legs and let his hands drift to the button on Kevin's dress pants. Undoing it slowly he pulled down the zipper and shifted to the side to pull the pants and boxer briefs down and off the other man. Once Kevin was completely naked and spread out before him Nick sat back and smiled.

"Now this, this is what I'm most thankful for."

Nick moved closer to the other man, locking and sucking on his inner thigh and he moved closer and closer to his prize. Once he was directly in front of Kevin's straining erection he shot a glance at his lover. Kevin's green eyes were trained on him, almost begging. Nick smiled at him, determined to put him out of his misery. In one fell motion he took the entire length of the other man in his mouth, stopping only when Kevin hit the back of his throat. "Holy shit baby," Kevin ground out trying desperately not to buck his hips up and choking the other man.

Nick smiled around Kevin's cock as he picked up his pace. He pulled up, almost letting Kevin fall completely out of his mouth before plunging back down, licking the length of him as he went. Nick continued to bob up and down, enjoying the moans the other man couldn't control as he went. He began to hum, just a hit to add to the friction the older man was undoubtedly feeling. Not wanting Kevin to come this way he stilled his actions, taking one last lick up the shaft and sucking gently in the head of Kevin's cock. Pulling back he smiled down at his love, his best friend, his everything. Thankful was exactly what he was feeling. He felt it coursing through his veins every time the other man looked at him. Every smile, every touch. Every whispered 'I love you'. All of these things Nick would be eternity grateful to share with the other man. Suddenly he was overcome with emotion and could feel the tears nip at the corner of his eyes. Kevin felt Nick pull away and opened his eyes.

Green eyes met watering blue and smiled. "What's the matter, baby" Kevin whispered.

Nick shook his head. "Nothing. Everything is perfect. I was just thinking the thing I'm most thankful for this year is us, you. I can't live without you anymore baby."

Kevin smiled and took the opportunity to reverse their positions. Taking Nick by surprise, he flipped them over until Nick was in his back, pinned underneath him. He leaned down and gently kissed the younger man. Pulling away he whispered. "I am eternally thankful you showed up on my doorstep. I can't live without you either baby. I love you. Let me show you how much."

Nick moaned and nodded his head. "Please baby, no more teasing. I need to feel you."

Kevin kissed him again, not meaning it to get as intense as it did, but both men were consumed with each other, the emotions flowing through the room and their desire to express their love to the other. Breaking away Kevin was able to pull himself back far enough to focus on the task at hand. He leaned over, grabbing the lube from the nightstand drawer before returning between Nick's legs. He opened the tube and was squeezing it out into his hand when Nick stopped him.

"No fingers, just you baby. Just want to feel you." Nick said softly as he pushed his hips up into Kevin, emphasizing his point and rubbing their erections together.

Kevin nodded and proceeded to lube up his cock. Once he was ready he ace himself at Nick's entrance and leaned down to capture his mouth as he pushed inside the tight heat of his lover. They moved together effortlessly, soft and gentle at first until neither of them could take the pace any longer. "Harder baby. Fuck me." Nick breathed out in between gasps and moans.

"So tight Nicky, God baby I love you." Kevin moaned as he picked up the pace, slamming into the other man before pulling out and doing it again. He hit Nick's prostate with every thrust, causing the younger man to yell out in pleasure each time. Before long they were coming together, exclamations of love pouring out of them as they rode our their climax together.

They lay together, sweaty and covered in Nick's cum but neither could be bothered to care. Nick snuggled closer to the older man as Kevin pulled out of him and spooned up behind him. "I love you baby," Kevin said before dropping a kiss against Nick's sweaty forehead.

"I love you too." Nick smiled to himself as he held onto Kevin's arms wrapped securely around his middle. "I never want to move."

Kevin smiled against the back of the younger man's neck. "You don't have to until one of the kids wakes up." he said, chuckling softly. "We can wash the sheets tomorrow."

A few moments later Nick began to chuckle. "What's so funny?" Kevin asked as he nipped and kissed against Nick's shoulder blade.

"Just thinking I can't believe we did all of that with Brian sleeping downstairs."

Kevin laughed at that. "We'll get used to it because I'm not going without you because he's staying here. He can wear ear plugs."

Nick laughed and rolled over in Kevin's arms. He placed a small kiss against the other man's lips and then pulled back. "Thank you, for all of this, for making this the best year ever, for loving me."

Kevin smiled at the younger man. Before nuzzling into his neck. Placing soft kisses against the heated skin he responded. "Loving you is easy baby. I've been doing it for so many years it just comes naturally. I'm just thankful from here on out I can share it with you."

The two lovers smiled and settled down in the sheets, wrapped tightly in each other's arms. It was true. They both had a lot to be thankful for this year.