HLVRAI Short Stories @tomster
Darnold and Forzen take Care of a Baby

Darnold was just playing with the baby boy himself, Joshua, by holding his arms up and helping him walk around, smiles on both their faces.

Gordon looked at them and smiled as well, before going back to him and Forzen's conversation. "You do understand right?? Like, nothing needs to be classified?"

"Yeah dude, I, uhm, got the uh,,," He pulled the list out from his pocket, unfolding it to reveal Gordon's handwriting, being tidy and organized for once. "the list, right here, man, uh, you're all, uhm, good, yeah."

"Okay, okay, just, had to make sure." He said, relieved a bit, sighing. Then he smiled at seeing Darnold just bonding with Joshua it seemed.

Gordon looked at them and smiled as well, before going back to him and Forzen's conversation. "You do understand right?? Like, nothing needs to be classified?"

"Yeah dude, I, uhm, got the uh,,," He pulled the list out from his pocket, unfolding it to reveal Gordon's handwriting, being tidy and organized for once. "the list, right here, man, uh, you're all, uhm, good, yeah."

"Okay, okay, just, had to make sure." He said, relieved a bit, sighing. Then he smiled at seeing Darnold just bonding with Joshua it seemed.

He walked over, and scooped Joshua into his arms, giving him a kiss on the forehead. "Hey little guy, dad's gonna go out for a bit. You feel okay with these guys takin' care of you?"

Joshua just looked at him, smiling and reaching for his nose. He snuggled his nose against his hand before placing him back down with Darnold.

"Bye-bye buddy!"

Darnold made Joshua wave at him, as he said "Bye Gordon, you go have a good time!"

"Will do Darnold!"

"Mm, about time dude, c'mon, we could be late to, uhm, the gamer fest." Benrey had said, grabbing his sleeve and tugging a bit. Gordon just chuckled a bit and waved at them three before being dragged out of his house by Benrey for a "fun day out", as said by Benrey.

"Mm, about time dude, c'mon, we could be late to, uhm, the gamer fest." Benrey had said, grabbing his sleeve and tugging a bit. Gordon just chuckled a bit and waved at them three before being dragged out of his house by Benrey for a "fun day out", as said by Benrey.

"Sure! What're you gonna feed him?'

"Mac'n'cheese broo, Gordon said, uhm, it's fine for him to eat, it's soft, so, uhm, he doesn't have to chew."

"Huh.. Okay then!" Darnold went back to giving Joshua his attention as Forzen went to the kitchen.

"Mac'n'cheese, Gordon said, uhm, it's fine for him to eat, it's soft, so, uhm, he doesn't have to chew."

"Huh.. Okay then!" Darnold went back to giving Joshua his attention as Forzen went to the kitchen.

"Should've expected that. Well, let's just play with some toys! First, though, I have to find them, stay there okay?" He said as he started getting up, booping his nose which caused him to giggle.

He smiled, and walked away, going to his room. He looked around a bit, mumbling to himself under his breath "Now, where would his toys be in here?"

Guess he'd first check the giant chest beside his race-car themed crib. Good thing no key was needed! But sadly, all he found were clothes. He stopped looking after seeing just the clothes, and closed it up after making sure it was all neat again.

He looked to see a drawer by his crib too, and walked on over, bending a bit to reach the first drawer and open it, surprisingly there were some toys in there. He wasn't going to judge how Gordon and Benrey organized Joshua's room, it was their life anyway, and just took as many toys as he could fit into his arms, closing the drawer with his foot as he walked away.

When he came back to the spot in the living room where Joshua was supposed to be, he found it empty, leaving him confused. He dropped the toys, looking around before seeing Joshua on top a bookshelf.

"WH-!?" He spewed out in a panic, walking over and taking him off there, setting him on the floor. "Bud, how'd you get up there??"

He looked to see a drawer by his crib too, and walked on over, bending a bit to reach the first drawer and open it, surprisingly there were some toys in there. He wasn't going to judge how Gordon and Benrey organized Joshua's room, it was their life anyway, and just took as many toys as he could fit into his arms, closing the drawer with his foot as he walked away.

He picked up a rattler, and shook it in front of Joshua, getting his attention. He just stared at it, before trying to grab it. Darnold let him have it, and he shook it, smiling widely, gasping a bit in awe.

Darnold found it so damn cute, and giggled a bit. He covered his mouth while he giggled, and after the tiny giggling fit was over, uncovered it, grabbing what seemed to be a chew-toy.

He shook it in front of Joshua, who dropped the rattler and reached for it instead. He gave it to him, and Joshua tried biting into it with his baby teeth. Darnold just watched him with a smile.

He looked back at the toy pile and saw what seemed to be a fake toy phone, and picked it up, pretending he was getting a call, looking at Joshua. "Hello there! Hm? You need Joshua right now? Oh yes, he's certainly here! Hold on, let me get him."

He brought the phone up to Joshua's ear, who was a bit confused, until hearing Darnold say "You got a friend calling! Better answer it!"

Joshua took the toy phone from him, and blew raspberries, slobber going down his face a bit as he pushed random buttons, hard.

Darnold just watched, he was hoping to maybe pretend he was someone calling him, but this worked too.

Just as he was about to pick out another toy for him, he heard Forzen say "Yo, uh, dudee, the food's, uhm, ready."

He got up, and picked up Joshua, bringing him over to the dining room's table and setting him down on there, setting up his 'lil high chair.

Once he was done, he turned around to see Joshua, crawling over to the edge, and in a slight panic yelped and leaned over the table, grabbing hold of him as to not let him crawl off.

Darnold just watched, he was hoping to maybe pretend he was someone calling him, but this worked too.

Forzen came in with three bowls of Mac'n'cheese. "Hm?? What's this, uhm, gettin' hurt about?"

"Nothing, just kiddin' around a bit!"

"Mm, okay then. You, uh, want me to feed him, or uh?"

"Sure." He smiled at him, and Forzen looked away, he wasn't trying to be rude he was just trying to not blush at the sight.

He gave Darnold his bowl, and set down his own bowl on the table, standing in front of Joshua with the last bowl in his hands.

Well, he placed the bowl down first and grabbed a napkin, making a "DIY bid" for him, before he picked the bowl back up and grabbed a spoonful of Mac'n'cheese.

"Nothing, just kiddin' around a bit!"

Joshua just watched the spoon come close, and didn't open his mouth as the spoon hit him a few times. Forzen tried again, then again.

"Sure." He smiled at him, and Forzen looked away, he wasn't trying to be rude, he was just trying to not blush at the sight.

"Maybe he's not hungry? Or, you could try singing him that train song parents always do."

"Train song? You mean like, uh,, 'Choo, choo, here comes tha' uh, train'?"

"Yeah, that! My parents always did that, helped me eat."

"Oh, uhm, okay."

He turned back to Joshua, and grabbed another spoonful of Mac'n'cheese, slowly hovering it over to his mouth, saying "Choo, chooooo! Uhm, here comes tha' train! Open your, uh, mouth for it to arrive, attt, it's station, which is, uhm, your mouth?"

Joshua just watched as it came closer, and opened his mouth, eating it finally. Forzen pulled out the spoon, proud of himself for finding out how to get Joshua to eat.

"Hey, look, it uhm, worked dude." "Good job! Keep going, he's probably still hungry."

"Oh, uhm, okay." And he continued, over and over he did the same method, worked like a charm. It wasn't long until Joshua's bowl was empty.

He looked to his own bowl. "Yo, the kid, might uh, might still be hung-"

"I think he's had plenty. Why don't you eat while I clean him up?"

"Uhm, sure."

Forzen sat down where his bowl was, and poked his food for a while as Darnold was wiping Joshua's face up with a napkin, and looked back at Forzen. "Well, eat up hon! You deserve it."

Forzen took a bite, taking his time to slowly eat his bowl, while Darnold smiled and went back to cleaning up Joshua's chair.

"Oh, uhm, okay." And he continued, over and over he did the same method, worked like a charm. It wasn't long until Joshua's bowl was empty.

Well, until Joshua started to prod at his chest. He smiled, losing that concern by looking at Joshua.

He went over to the couch, letting Joshua sit on his lap, holding up his arms and playing around with him a bit.

Forzen sat right by them, moving his knees to his chest and resting his hands on them, just watching them. Darnold picked up Joshua, putting him in between him and Forzen, patting his head a bit.

He looked around for something to do, then saw a TV, he knew that babies really shouldn't watch TV, but, once in a while couldn't hurt! He stood up, grabbing the remote, shaking it a bit to keep his hand occupied with a smile on his face as he sat back down, turning on the TV.

He flipped through the channels, until he got onto Lilo & Stitch being played. He decided that was a good enough movie, and set down the remote, holding up Joshua again.

He set him onto his lap again, and they all three watched the movie, Forzen very casually slipping his arms around Darnold's shoulder, the other hand holding onto Joshua's hand and placed his head on Darnold's other shoulder.

Well, until Joshua started to prod at his chest. He smiled, losing that concern by looking at Joshua.

Darnold just watched, he was hoping to maybe pretend he was someone calling him, but this worked too.

Just as he was about to pick out another toy for him, he heard Forzen say "Yo, uh, dudee, the food's, uhm, ready."

He got up, and picked up Joshua, bringing him over to the dining room's table and setting him down on there, setting up his 'lil high chair.

Once he was done, he turned around to see Joshua, crawling over to the edge, and in a slight panic yelped and leaned over the table, grabbing hold of him as to not let him crawl off.

The movie was over, and Joshua was clapping at the end, waking up a sleepy Darnold. He smiled, yawning and picking up the remote and turning the TV off.

He picked up Joshua, leaving the remote behind and getting up, startling Forzen a bit which caused him to stop leaning on him for support.

He watched Darnold just pat Joshua's back, bouncing him up and down, mostly for fun but also to help kinda see if he was full. Seems he was since he was letting out gas.

Darnold stopped after a while, and poked Forzen on the back. He turned around, letting out a little "Hm?"

"Can I see the list?"

"Oh, uhm, yeah sure." He said, looking through his pocket before handing it over to Darnold.

"Thank you." Darnold told him, looking at it

"You're, uh, welcome." Forzen replied, sinking into the couch a bit.

Darnold looked through the list, seeing nothing new really, just basic info about Joshua.

He gave it back to Forzen, asking him "Want to go take a walk in the park?"

"Uh, but, wouldn't, uhm, Gordon be mad, about, nott staying in his, uh, house?"

"I'm sure he wouldn't be, besides, we can be trusted to take care of Joshua anywhere!"

"Mm, okay, but like, uh, let's go to the park too, to uhm, get this 'lil dude, uhmm, some fun exercise."

"That was what I was thinkin'!" Darnold said, going to the kitchen to put down Joshua on the counter while he collected some supplies for their walk.

Forzen came inside as well, taking Joshua off the counter since he was trying to reach for a salt shaker. "You're, uhm, you're really like Gordon, huh?? You're, a bit clumsy, but uh, it's alright 'lil dude."

Darnold heard his tiny rambles to Joshua, pretty adorable in his opinion, and grabbed some cold milk bottles and water bottles. He placed them on the counter Joshua was just on, taking him from Forzen.

"Can you go find something to put these in?"

"Oh, uh, yeah."

He walked off, leading Darnold to just play a bit of catch with Joshua, throwing him in the air and catching him as soon as he started falling. Joshua giggled each time he did that, his smile almost shining. Darnold giggled with him as well.

Forzen was in Gordon's bedroom, looking around for something to carry their supplies in when he found his closet. He never said they couldn't go through there, even if it is a breach of privacy. Made Forzen uncomfortable opening it up and looking around.

Forzen was in Gordon's bedroom, looking around for something to carry their supplies in when he found his closet. He never said they couldn't go through there, even if it is a breach of privacy. Made Forzen uncomfortable opening it up and looking around.

But, hey, he found a baby strap and a bag! He quickly got out of there, closing the closet door and bedroom door to not breach Gordon's privacy any further.

He came back to see Darnold still playing a bit of catch with Joshua, and he looked away with a small smile, his hand covering his mouth a bit. But, he shook his head, the smile going away as he put the cold milk bottles and water bottles in the bag.

Darnold stopped playing catch with Joshua and kissed Forzen on the cheek as a surprise. "Maybe pack some snacks too?"

Forzen smiled a lot at that, covering his mouth with both his hands. "Uhm, uh, yeah, uhh, I uh, will."

"Thank you!" Darnold went back to playing with Joshua, while Forzen packed the snacks in.

Joshua just watched as it came closer, and opened his mouth, eating it finally. Forzen pulled out the spoon, proud of himself for finding out how to get Joshua to eat.

Forzen and Darnold exited the house, Forzen having the bag strapped on his shoulder and Darnold carrying Joshua on the baby strap.

They walked away from Gordon's house, following a trail to what seemed to be the park.

Darnold started up the conversation "We should do this more often! Joshua is a pretty good kid, isn't that right?" He said, rubbing Joshua's head, who was falling asleep a bit. Darnold just chuckled a bit at that.

"Yeahh, uh, I think so too. But, like, we aren't, uh, really gettin' paid, y'know?"

"Hm? What do you mean?"

"Like, we uhm, have our own jobs, and get, uh, paid yeah? But like, uhh, barely? Like, all that, nasty stuff we eat, because of uh, y'know.. So, maybe, we could,, uh, try getting paid for babysitting?"

"Maybe, let's talk about this later and maybeee not ask Gordon to pay us since he's, 'y'know'." Darnold smiled at Forzen, who smiled back.

They kept on walking, and Forzen kept his hands to himself, but, just as he was about to try to hold hands with Darnold, Darnold had stopped walking, causing him to take his hand back to his side as Darnold turned back towards him "We're here!", he told him.

Darnold started to un-strap Joshua, waking him up from his quick nap. Forzen just sat down on a nearby bench, putting the bag beside him instead of on his shoulder, relieving it for some time.

Darnold placed the strap with Forzen, going over to the swings with Joshua. He put him in a baby swing, making sure he was as comfy as he could be in there. He pulled back the swing and let it go, leaving it swinging with a giggling Joshua. He kept pushing it, smiling at watching Joshua having quite the bunch of fun.

Forzen was watching from the bench, before looking away, opening the bag to get a water bottle. And while he looked away, Darnold noticed something slide on over to behind his foot. He looked to see a small ball.

He stopped pushing Joshua, picking up the ball and looking around a bit, before seeing a boy come up to him. The boy stopped in front of him, his hands behind his back. "Hi mister! That's, uh, my ball! Can I have it back..?"

"Of course!" He replied, handing right over to the boy. "Say, are you playing with anyone else?"

"Mm, no, but like, it's normal for me to play by myself, funner that way."

"Really? Well, you do you kid! Do you at least have any friends at school or anything?-"

Darnold and that kid kept talking, Joshua had stopped swinging it seemed, and Forzen was just drinking some water, once the bottle was out of his face and he gulped the water down, he looked back over at the swings to see Joshua missing and Darnold talking with some kid.

He quickly got up in a bit of a panic, placing the cap on the water bottle and throwing it into the bag. He looked around a bit before seeing Joshua, just climbing on top a climbing tube.

Forzen immediately ran up to stairs leading up there, and placing his hands above the entrance of the tube, jumped up, grabbing hold of Joshua's torso and holding onto the sides of the tube with his legs. He sighed, and quickly sat on it rightly, hopping down with a Joshua in hand. "Buddy, how'd you, uh, get over here??"

He felt a tap on his shoulder and saw Darnold. "What're you doing over here?"

"Uhm, uh, Joshua was gettin', uh, fussy, so, I thought I'd try to let him, uh, go on the stairs?"

"Okay thennn…"

And just then, Joshua started fussing and started to cry, wailing a bit loudly.

"Guess it didn't work."

"Uh, yeah-" Forzen started to walk back to the bench, where the bag was. He quickly sat Joshua down on there, getting a bottle of milk for him. He held it up to his mouth, forcing it in a bit but not to hurt him or anything, just to help him nurse a bit.

He held up the bottle, making him drink it, feeling a bit of joy at noticing Joshua hold the bottle too, right on top his hands. He finished the bottle pretty quickly, with some breaks to breathe in between drinking it of course.

He placed the empty bottle back into the bag, and took him into his arms, placing him over his shoulder and patting his back, bobbing him up and down to help him let out gas.

Darnold just watched, smiling widely at that. He grabbed the strap, placing it on himself and buckling it up the best he could. Forzen stopped patting up Joshua, helping him buckle up the rest of the strap with one arm, the other holding onto Joshua.

Once the strap was all buckled up, they placed Joshua in, Forzen buckling him up and then grabbing the bag off the bench.

"Where, uhm, where do we go now?"

"Why don't we go get a tiny treat, for ourselves?"

"Where, uhm, where'd we get this, uhh, treat from though?"

Darnold pointed in a direction, where a large store not too far away was. "How about there?"

"Oh, uh, sure." Forzen had never seen that before… But he's also never seen any of where they were, so it made sense.

"Can I see the list?"

They passed by the entrance, where a sign saying some special event was there, but they didn't pay any attention really to it, instead going straight in and looking around.

Forzen found a map, and looked at it, quickly finding their location.

"So, what uhhh, what kind of treat were you, uhm, thinking of?"

"Maybe we could go get a 'lil something to eat, maybe there's a cafe or something in here!"

Forzen looked at the map, looking on it for a bit before pointing somewhere on it. "There, uh, we can go there."

"Sounds like a plan, lead the way!"

And so Forzen did, noticing Darnold grab hold of his hand as he trailed behind him.

He gave it back to Forzen, asking him "Want to go take a walk in the park?"

They'd had a bit of trouble getting to the cafe, but they made it! They sat down at a table, Darnold being glad there was a high chair already set and placed Joshua in, though there was no strap in, but it was probably fine!

Forzen grabbed a menu, looking at the options. "Hey, do you, uh, have money on you? I might have, uh, left my wallet back home."

"Yep, right here!" Darnold said, grabbing it out. Forzen went back to looking at the menu, staying silent and then giving it to Darnold.

Darnold looked at the menu and asked "So, you know what you're getting?"

"Uh, yeah, I wouldn't have, given you the menu if I, uhm, didn't."

"Okay, okay, well, I already know whzt I want to order too." He placed the menu back.

They waited for a waiter, Forzen just looked away, tapping the table, while Darnold played peek-a-boo with Joshua.

Soon enough a waiter came by, and they ordered, Forzen asking for just a glass of water and a small strawberry milkshake while Darnold ordered a medium coffee and a cinnamon roll, and they got some yogurt for Joshua of course.

Soon as the waiter was gone, Darnold was a bit, nervous? He pulled his hand over to Forzen's, who quickly put it by his side, looking to him.

"Y'know, you really haven't eaten much."

"... Yeah, uhm, I guess, just, not hungry."

"But, you never eat much at all."

"What're you talking about?"

"I've seen you just prod at your food, staring for gosh knows how long. You never finish your food either…"

".. Like I, uhm, said, just, not hungry."

"... We really should talk more at home."

He slid his hand away, looking away, one arm resting on the table, keeping his head up.

Forzen looked away awkwardly, a bit upset at how serious that had been. That was before his eyes wandered to Joshua's hair chair to find it empty, again. "HU-?"

He saw him, just crawling on the floor, towards a very crowded place… He quickly got up, and ran over, following him. Darnold just watched, before grabbing 20 dollars and putting it on the table, running off after them.

Seemed there were adults and teens all over here, it was also darker and there. With… Video games all around. Wasn't this where Gordon and Benrey were? Oh God, they couldn't find out they just, let Joshua wander around here!

Forzen was almost where Joshua was, before someone seemed to snatch him right up. They ran with him in arm, him seemingly wailing out for help.

Darnold and Forzen chased after this supposed kidnapper, Forzen bumping into a certain man by his elbow in his back.

Gordon was about to turn around and find out what was happening, before being tugged away by Benrey to go check something out. A close call that was.

They kept chasing this man, through the exit and to the parking lot, others watching in awe, confusion and terror.

They kept chasing this man, through the exit and to the parking lot, others watching in awe, confusion and terror.

Soon, this shady man was at what seemed to be his car, trying to grab his keys, not before being cornered by Forzen and Darnold.

"Give the baby back, or uhm, we'll make you pay?"

"Pay?? Hah! Like you'll do anything! I could drop this kid right now on his head, and you could-"

Suddenly, Darnold was tugging at Joshua, who was still sobbing his tiny heart out, and the man tried holding onto him, but Forzen pulled him away, holding him down on the car.

Darnold was relieved, even crying a bit at seeing Joshua a-okay, hugging him and trying to calm him down.

Forzen was just holding the strange man down on his car, not letting go, well, until the man started screaming for help. That's when Forzen grabbed hold of Darnold's hand, running away from the scene that was being made.

They ran and ran out of there, leaving behind the bag of water bottles and milk bottles, also forgetting their food, and they probably wouldn't even get those things back, the price of having bad luck.

They walked away from Gordon's house, following a trail to what seemed to be the park.

They all finally made it back to Gordon's home, locking the front door. Darnold was just calming down a very fussy Joshua, while Forzen went to go get him a milk bottle.

He gave it to Darnold once retrieving it from the fridge, which Darnold mumbled a "Thank you hon." at that, starting to feed Joshua.

After he was all fed up, he seemed quite tired, and Darnold went into the bathroom with him, leaving him in the tub by himself to get some clothes. He went as quick he could, coming back to just a tired Joshua in the bath, very glad that he hadn't disappeared like before.

---

Darnold tucked Joshua in his crib, and he fell asleep quickly. He sighed, and walked out of there, turning the lights off and leaving a crack in the door.

He settled down next to Forzen, his head on his shoulder, as they just sat there, relaxing a bit, before the doorbell rang.

Darnold got up, groaning a bit, and opened the door, seeing Gordon and Benrey back home. Benrey zipped by him, saying a "Yoo, what's up gamers?" as they went over to the kitchen's table, placing down a bag of stuff.

"Just got Joshua to fall asleep. Did you guys have fun?"

Gordon closed the door behind himself, also going over to the kitchen table and placing down the bag he was holding. "Well, I mean, what do you expect out of a 'gamer fe-"

"Ebic gamer fest."

"Righttt, 'ebic gamer fest'? We just, saw some games, play tested others, we also got some games, merch, y'know, the usual. And some guy hit me hard in the back, didn't see who though."

"Well, 'least you had fun, right?"

"Yeah brooo."

Forzen got up from the couch, Benrey taking his spot immediately, grabbing the remote and turning the TV on, ignoring what was happening in favor of the awesome tellie".

Forzen was watching from the bench, before looking away, opening the bag to get a water bottle. And while he looked away, Darnold noticed something slide on over to behind his foot. He looked to see a small ball.

"Well, thanks guys, we had this planned for awhile, but kept delaying since we couldn't get any babysitters. So, a lot of thanks to you actually."

"It was no problem Gordon!"

"Yeah, it was, uhm, really nice."

"Good! Well, do you want to stay over a bit more?"

"No, I think we're good right now. Thank you anyway. We'll be heading on our way now!" Darnold said, heading towards the door, Forzen following.

"Bye guys!"

"Bye gamers, thanks for takin' care of Joshie-"

"Bye!!"

Darnold and that kid kept talking, Joshua had stopped swinging it seemed, and Forzen was just drinking some water, once the bottle was out of his face and he gulped the water down, he looked back over at the swings to see Joshua missing and Darnold talking with some kid.

They walked, hand in hand.

"First of all, let's never tell Gordon about what happened, okay?"

"Haha, yeah, okay."

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