“Shit.” Tobias muttered under his breath as he continued pacing back and forth across his bedroom. “Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit. Shit.”
“Will you cut that out?” Stefan rolled his eyes at him from where he sat on the bed. “Just… just try to calm down, okay?”
“Calm down?! Are you serious?” Tobias held his face in his hands for a moment. “What the fuck am I gonna tell Mama and Papa?”
Stefan just shrugged. “What about ‘Happy Grandparents Day’? It’s actually next weekend, y’know. Convenient, huh?”
“Shut up! This isn’t funny, okay?!”
“No kidding.” Stefan shook his head, his expression hardening. “But you’re the one who got yourself into this mess. What the Hell were you thinking, Tobi? Didn’t you…?” He paused.
Tobias looked uncertainly at him.
“I dunno, ‘wrap it up’ or something?” Stefan continued. “Don’t you remember all those lectures from Mama and Jonas when we turned thirteen?!”
His brother sighed heavily, and dropped onto the bed before replying. “Yeah, I just whipped out that box of condoms I had in my bag…” His voice was dripping with sarcasm. “You think I was planning this? I didn’t think things were gonna go that far! It just sorta… happened! I wasn’t really… prepared… or anything.”
“Then how the Hell is this a surprise?! You must have known the chance you were taking! Even you aren’t that dumb, Tobi.”
Tobias lowered his head for a moment, his cheeks reddening slightly. “I know, I just… I thought if I was quick enough…” He paused. “I mean… if I was really careful… And I didn’t… y’know…” Tobias shrugged uncomfortably. “I mean, if I…” He made a quick pulling motion with his hands.
“I get it, I get it!” Stefan held up his hands, his own embarrassment apparent on his face. “Jesus, spare me the details, okay?” The young man shook his head. “Obviously it didn’t work.”
“Yeah, no shit.”
Neither brother spoke for a long time. It was Stefan who finally broke the silence.
“Look.” He said softly. “I know I’m being a jerk right now, but… You know I’ve got your back, right?”
Beside him, Tobias nodded slowly.
“And you and Colette… You’ll get through this.” He continued gently. “Together.”
Tobias just sighed. “I sure as Hell hope so. She hasn’t even told her parents yet.” He shook his head. “She promised she’d talk to them today… And I told her I’d talk to mine, too…”
“You have to.” Stefan replied firmly. “I have no idea what you’re gonna tell ‘em, but… Mama and Jonas have to know.” He paused for a moment, thoughtful. “Hey, grandpa and vovó are gone this weekend, right? So it’s probably the perfect time to tell them anyway.”
Tobias hesitated, then gave a quick nod. “You’re right.” He reluctantly agreed. “Tonight, after dinner. I’ll do it.”
Tobias felt like he was going to be sick. And it had nothing to do with the dinner he’d just eaten.
They know something’s up. He thought, studying his mother’s face as she sat back down at the table. His parents had been exchanging unusual glances throughout the entire meal, and were both much quieter than usual. They can tell.
Under the table, Tobias felt a sharp kick against his shin. Ow! Wow, Stefan. Subtle.
“Uh… Mama? Papa?” He cleared his throat nervously before continuing. “W-would you guys mind if we… Like, talked and stuff? Like in the living room, maybe?”
There it was again – another one of those strange looks.
“Of course, honey.” Mari replied sweetly. “And actually…” Her eyes flickered between both of her sons for a moment. “Jonas and I wanted to talk to both of you anyway.” Her smile widened as she spoke.
“O-okay…” Tobias glanced sideways at Stefan for a moment, but his brother merely shrugged. “L-lets uh… go to the living room? Maybe?”
Tobias could feel the dampness of sweat on his palms as he led his family into the other room. Oh God, how am I gonna do this?
“So… What was it you wanted to talk about?” Jonas asked his stepson kindly.
Both of Tobias’ parents were looking at him expectantly. He felt his heart begin to race nervously under their gaze.
“Uh… W-why don’t you guys go first?” He choked out.
Under the coffee table, Tobias felt another rough kick from his brother.
Mari took a deep breath. “Okay.” She said, reaching out to hold one of her husband’s hands in hers. “Well… Jonas and I… The two of us… We’re…” The woman paused for a moment, laughing softly to herself. “Shit, I might as well spit it out, huh? We’re having a baby!”
Tobias found himself completely unable to breathe. A… BABY?! He tried desperately to form some sort of coherent thought, but failed. Miserably. A baby?! Mama’s having a BABY… the same time… as COLETTE…?!?! Holy shit. HOLY SHIT.
“W-what?!” He managed to sputter at last.
“I know, I know… This is… HUGE.” His mother laughed nervously. “And I know it’ll be a pretty big gap between you guys, but… We’re just so happy. And we know the two of you will be amazing big brothers.” Mari beamed proudly at her sons as she spoke.
Tobi stared down at the floor, saying nothing. And for a while, none of them did.
“A BABY?!” Stefan’s ice-cold voice finally broke his silence. “What the FUCK?!”
Mari and Jonas exchanged a nervous glance. “Y-yeah…” Jonas said uncomfortably. Tobias could tell his smile was forced. “I know this is kind of a shock… But your Mutter and I, we both – ”
“Is this some kind of JOKE?!” Stefan rose to his feet, staring daggers at his mother and step-father.
Oh God, Stefan SHUT UP. Tobias thought miserably. He wanted to intervene, but no matter how hard he tried, words still seemed to fail him.
“N-not at all, honey. Jonas and I… We’ve been talking about this for a while. And now seemed like the best time.” Mari tried to explain. “We finally felt ready.”
“Ready for WHAT, Mama?!” Stefan snapped back at her. “Ready to start your REAL family now that your two little accidents are all grown up?!”
Mari narrowed her eyes at her son. “WHAT?! Stefan, listen to yourself! How can you –”
“Oh, and speaking of ‘accidents’… Great job teaching your kids not to make the same mistakes you did…” Tobias felt all the color drain from his face as Stefan turned to look at him. “Don’t worry, Tobi. Just put up with this one for a few years, then you can Colette can start your real family.”
“Stefan!” Jonas was on his feet. “Get back here! Don’t think you can just – Oh, goddamn it!”
Another silence… This one ten times more horrible and uncomfortable than the last. Tobias wasn’t sure whether he wanted to laugh, or cry, or scream. Maybe all three.
“Tobi…” At last, his mother spoke. “W-what was your brother talking about..?”
Oh God. He took a deep, shuddering breath.
“M-mama… Papa… Colette’s pregnant.”