Xander watched Caden go back and forth with the Memory game, which was nothing fancy, just tiles on the coffee table. He didn't want to play any other game. But he would color, draw a quick picture, maybe want a snack, watch a video, yet he always came back to Memory.
Xander mostly listened, and would ask every fifteen minutes or so if he needed to go potty. Then Caden would tell Xander, he could do it himself.
"Great. I'm glad you can do it. All by yourself." Xander was relieved to hear Caden explain it to him.
Honestly, he was a little nervous. It had been awhile since he'd babysit. Or it felt so. It made him miss home. Wondering what the neighbor kids were up, too. It was true they were tight knit, and they always enjoyed the holidays together.
And then J worried him.
It sort of felt like another babysitting gig, and this one was going so well. Xander hated if Joey ruined it.
But Joey was really cool when it came to kids. Evidently. He talked to Caden about cartoons and Legos, like Caden and he were the same age.
"What are you doing, here, man?" Joey asked when he was getting Caden ready for bed.
"I wanted to do a favor for a friend." He didn't think this was the time, or place to tell J the truth.
Yes, jealousy had gotten the best of Xander, a few weeks ago. He didn't like the fact that Gun could treat Mae like a girlfriend, but he didn't want anyone to know how he felt about Xander. But things were a drift, and he thought it best to do something nice for Mae instead of taking her out. It all seemed fine now. Or at least, he wanted it to be.
"I thought you were just hiding from me." Joey sighed and then told him about his worst fight with Becca. "I'm not ever seeing her again." He sounded like he meant it, but Xander wasn't going to hold it to him. They'd probably make up, just in time for the holidays.
J watched TV while Xander read Caden a book.
Of course, Caden told him, he sounded funny.
"I'm afraid, you're right."
Caden asked him if he wanted him to read it in Korean to him. "It would sound even funnier."
They both had a laugh over that. Afterwhile, Caden got out a picture book and pointed to items in the book, asking what they were in Korean.
Caden did have a way of making him smile. It wasn't long until Caden fell asleep in his arms. He slowly, put him to bed and pulled up his blanket to make sure he was warm.
Xander went out to the livingroom. Of course, Joey hadn't gone anywhere, but he was asleep on the couch.
"I didn't think you were coming back." Joey yawned when Xander woke him.
"I figured you had better things to do than be here." Xander shrugged.
"Are you mad at me?" Joey wanted to know.
"No." Xander shook his head.
"I don't want to make you mad. I like going to your place." He made himself at home on the couch.
"You, bring food over, we eat. We watch TV." Xander set down on the couch, but he held on to a pillow as if he needed to hold on to something.
"Don't make it sound so boring." Joey looked at him. "Its just, I don't like all these expectations with Becca. I'm thinking she's weird now."
"Did you go out for a long while?" Xander asked.
"Just over the summer. First girl I met here. It was at a show. You know, death metal stuff." J told him.
Xander only nodded, thinking they definitely didn't have the same taste in music.
"It was like, she wanted everything to be a porn." Joey hugged himself a little more. "I mean, she's so..I don't like it when she hits me."
"She hit you?" Xander felt bad to him.
"I never hit her. I mean, I wouldn't. I have a little sister.. you know, and my mom..is like..a single mom, and you know, what would she think?" J stared at the TV. "And there is that thing where she's into girls, too."
"You. don't think Becca will be back?" Xander asked.
"I don't think so. I hope not. I mean, I'm just gonna lay low. I'm not even gonna .., you know..." He shrugged as if Xander would know what he meant.
It felt like a multiple choice question to Xander. If it was weed, well..a smile came to Xander's face. He didn't see Joey stopping that habit anytime, soon. It was pretty clear J didn't even like doing that alone.
"What?" Joey wanted to know.
"Nothing." Xander did his best not to smile.
"What is it?" Joey was awake now.
"I was just thinking, I should get a Christmas tree." Xander bit his bottom lip.
"A real one?"
Xander nodded. He looked at Mae and Ben's silver artificial tree. It was very retro. There were already a few presents under the tree.
"I could help you decorate it." Joey perked up.
"Do you have any ornaments?" Xander looked at him.
"No, but..but we could get some. And lights. Lots of lights." Jay smiled.