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Fic -- Dads' Night Out
happy Roscoe
Title: Dads' Night Out
Rating: PG
Word Count: 2155
Characters: Roscoe Dillon/Lisa Snart, Len Snart, Digger Harkness, Mark Mardon, James Jesse/Hartley Rathaway, Mick Rory, Josh Mardon, Nate Dillon.
Summary: The Rogues have a get-together...with a couple of young interlopers.
Warnings: Very mild profanity.
Notes: Set in the Dillonsverse. For spankingfemme's birthday! (It's a bit late.)

“I do not freakin’ believe it,” Lisa groaned as she hung up the phone, an expression of utter frustration on her face. Roscoe looked at her quizzically. “The sitter cancelled. You’ll have to stay home with Nate tonight.”
“What? No!” he replied in dismay. The Guys’ Night Out with the Rogues had been planned for weeks, a rare opportunity to meet with old friends, and he hated to miss it. “Couldn’t we get one of the neighbours to watch him? Or one of your friends? Or perhaps you could take him with you.”
“Pretty much all of my friends are going to your little boys’ shindig or the dance practice, and Nate isn’t welcome at the studio anymore. Remember what happened last time?”

Memories of Nate’s antics nearly ruining a past recital suddenly came to mind, and he grimaced. “Right.” Well, no one had ever promised parenthood would be easy, but missing the outing was a disappointment. On the other hand, there could be alternative options. “What if I took him with me?”
Lisa looked very skeptical. “You sure you want to do that? He’d be a handful.”
“Of course I’d rather not, but maybe I can pawn him off onto Jesse or something. And it’s certainly a better idea than staying home all night.”
“If you say so,” she replied with raised eyebrows, her tone still sounding dubious. But she had to hurry off with Star to the dance studio, so Roscoe continued his preparations for an evening with the guys.

Len arrived to pick up his brother-in-law half an hour later, with Mick unexpectedly in tow.
“Uncle Len, Uncle Mick!” Nate squealed joyfully, and Len lifted him into the air with obvious avuncular pride.
“Hey kiddo, great seeing you! Yer dad’s goin’ out with us tonight,” Len said as he hugged him and put him down. He surreptitiously handed the boy some candy for later consumption.
“I’m coming with you!” Nate enthused, and his uncle frowned.
“He’s, uh, correct,” Roscoe said with some embarrassment. “The babysitter cancelled, and he has to come with us. It’s either that or I can’t go.”
Len began to grumble that he couldn’t go, but Mick quickly cut him off before the arguing started.
“The more the merrier! Let’s go, guys, or we’ll be late.”

They met up with the other Rogues outside their favourite bar, and Nate was delighted to see Josh Mardon standing next to Mark.
“For cryin’ out loud!” Len complained when he saw Josh. “We’re the Rogues, not the Daddy Society!”
“Sorry, but Julie really wanted him out of her hair tonight,” Mark said apologetically. He then noticed Nate, who was jumping around with excitement, and let Josh run over to greet the other boy. “Hey cool, he’ll have somebody to play with!”
Mark was mostly relieved to not be the only guy bringing a kid, and was fairly certain Len would focus any resentment at his brother-in-law.

Nate was thrilled to see Josh and all his uncles, and nearly overwhelmed himself trying to greet everyone at once. The Rogues’ children had a special fondness for James, who was the most fun and always had the best tricks, so Nate hugged his leg first and was rewarded with a cute little puppet.
“This isn’t gonna be much fun,” Digger complained, because as much as he liked the kids, he still didn’t want to spend an evening with them. “We won’t be able to go to the bar, y’know.”
“Good point,” Len noted, and thought about it for a moment. “What about the Fox and the Fiddle? It’s sort of a pub, but kids are allowed in.”

Digger grumbled quietly about the situation, but that place actually had the atmosphere of a bar and was acceptable to him and the others. So the group headed across town, with Nate and Josh talking a mile a minute and getting thoroughly spoiled by their uncles. James showed them silly stunts and had the best “Got Your Nose” shtick the boys had ever seen.

The Rogues and their entourage were placed at a large table near the kitchen, which at first seemed perfect. The boys were fascinated to watch employees coming and going with plates of food, and their relatively quiet behaviour allowed the adults to converse. But soon the men had stopped paying much attention to the kids, and Nate and Josh were able to sneak away without notice.

“We have to see what’s in there,” Josh told the younger boy, and Nate nodded enthusiastically. Their eyes were fixed on the kitchen door, and they dodged hustling waiters who looked at them warily. Nate almost ran into a barmaid carrying a tray of beers, the situation saved only by her quick reflexes. But the door suddenly swung wide in front of them, giving a glimpse of the amazing wonders within, and the boys excitedly ran inside.

“Hey, you’re not supposed to be in here!” a cook exclaimed crossly when he saw the children enter the kitchen. He grasped both boys by the shoulder and marched them back out, and then loudly addressed the entire pub. “Excuse me, folks, but who are the parents of these kids?”
“Oh God,” Roscoe groaned under his breath, thoroughly embarrassed. A small part of him thought about pretending that Nate wasn’t his, but the idea was quickly dismissed and he got up with Mark to fetch their sons.

“I am very sorry,” Roscoe said with a red face as he ushered Nate back to the table, and Mark did the same.
“They had big knives in there, Daddy!” Nate chirped, utterly unconcerned by his father’s discomfort.
“And they were making French fries,” Josh added with excitement, as that was his favourite food and he was looking forward to getting his own plate of them.
“Don’t ever sneak away like that!” Mark scolded them both. “You’re not allowed to leave the table unless one of us is with you!”
“No fair,” Josh sulked with a petulant expression, but the stern look on his father’s face indicated he probably shouldn’t argue about it. So he and Nate restlessly kicked the table and made noise while they waited for the food to arrive.

Eventually the food was brought out and everyone began to eat, but only five minutes passed before Nate whined that he needed to use the washroom. Roscoe got up to go with him and Josh declared he needed to go too, so the three of them walked towards the restroom and paused by the cash register. The boys had noticed a bowl of candy there and begged loudly to have some, and Roscoe chided them about their dinners cooling back at the table. Indignant and unhappy at being denied something he wanted, Josh's over-excitement suddenly manifested itself as a crackle of electricity. Nearby, the pub employee who was ringing in another customer stared at his computer screen in disbelief when it sparked and went blank without warning.

“It’s gone dead. Everything’s dead!” the young man exclaimed fearfully.
“Let me see that,” Roscoe muttered, having had considerable experience working with advanced electronics. It didn’t take long for him to confirm that the pub’s computer and financial network had indeed been fried by the surge of electricity, and he let out the mildest of epithets. “Crap.”

“Out! All of you get out!” the manager shouted at the Rogues, having finally had enough of the children’s hijinks, and they had to abandon their meal halfway through. Digger swore angrily at everyone who gave them dirty looks, until Hartley reminded him that the kids were there and he reluctantly toned down his language. He wasn’t very happy at the boys either.

“Well, I’m still goddamned hungry,” Len growled as the group stood out on the sidewalk, and everyone had to agree. Nate and Josh started to whine about wanting more food until a sharp glare from Digger silenced them.
“Guys, it wasn’t Josh’s fault,” Mark said defensively. “He can’t always help those little bursts, they’re part of his powers.”
Stress had made Josh’s eyes begin to spark again, and Len shook his head in frustration.
“So keep the kid away from electrical stuff. Got it. Now where are we gonna go?”
James brightened, and when he got that kind of happy grin on his face the others knew to expect trouble.
“How about a family restaurant, guys?”

Half an hour later, the Rogues thus found themselves sitting unhappily at a ‘family’ restaurant which welcomed children. It was predictably loud and annoying, but the boys loved it.
“I bet they don’t even serve beer here,” Digger said resentfully, and although that proved to be untrue, the selection was rather meager.
“This place is beneath our dignity,” Roscoe complained, even though he’d previously eaten at establishments like this with Lisa and the kids. Somehow it seemed degrading to be there when he was with the guys, in spite of the presence of two children.
“Nah, this is great!” James beamed cheerily, since he enjoyed the cacophony and having a young audience to watch his tricks. “You guys should lighten up, `cause all this crankiness isn’t good for your health.”

“This is like a story from the Baby-Sitters Club,” Digger grumbled, and Roscoe looked at him curiously.
“How do you know about the Baby-Sitters Club?” Roscoe asked with genuine puzzlement. He had a young daughter and sometimes bought books for her, but Digger had no such excuse.
“It was on the telly,” Digger replied quickly, and looked away before anyone could catch his embarrassed expression.
“I’m gonna pretend I didn’t hear any of that,” Len announced as he took another swig of cheap beer, although James laughed merrily.
“Like I said, guys: lighten up!”

Josh and Nate were having a blast, because they could be as loud and hyper as their dads permitted and didn’t have to worry about any scolding from a manager. It was less pleasant for (most of) the Rogues, who struggled to hold a conversation over the din and found the place too family-oriented for their tastes; even the guys who were parents or reformed still had a bit of an edge. And a child’s noisy birthday party at a nearby table irritated all the Rogues but James.

The bland food was a disappointment to everyone, even to those with low expectations.
“The fries aren’t as good as the ones at the last place,” Josh told Mark with a slightly wrinkled nose. It was his sole complaint about the establishment.
Nothin’s as good as the last place,” Digger said between bites of undercooked fish, and Len had to agree.
“Let’s finish our food and get out before one of us snaps,” he suggested tersely, and the other adults nodded. James was still enjoying himself, but knew very well that one of the guys might act out if pushed too far. It was better to come back later when he wasn’t surrounded by grumps.

Once everyone had finished eating, Len paid the bill with stolen money and they hastily retreated to the calmer streets of downtown Keystone.
“Well, that was a bit of a bust…” Hartley said ruefully. Ordinarily the guys would stay up late to drink and talk, but with small children around they couldn’t even stay out past ten.
“Hey, I had fun,” James grinned as he put an arm around his boyfriend.
“James, you could have fun in an empty room,” Hartley snarked at him with a smirk, and James pretended to be greatly offended. The children laughed delightedly at his comedic over-exaggerations.

Len and Digger stood a short distance away as the others talked, and Roscoe noticed they were staring a bit too longingly at an idling armoured car. Chagrined, he walked over and frowned at them, pointing at Nate to remind them that they were supposed to behave when his children were around. The Dillon kids had no idea their parents were ex-criminals and that some of their uncles still practiced the trade.

“Okay, it’s official: there’s no fun to be had tonight, so let’s all go home,” Len growled. The Rogues politely agreed with an element of relief, and Nate and Josh reluctantly said goodbye to their beloved uncles. James secretly gave the kids some toys as he hugged them goodnight, and then Len and Mick drove the Dillons home.
“I’ll be around to see Lisa soon,” Len told his brother-in-law from the car, and after some cheery waving Roscoe and Nate went into the house.

“So glad that’s done with. Let’s head back to the bar,” Len said with rolled eyes, and he drove away while Mick texted Digger, James, and Hartley. Half an hour later, the five men met up again at the Rogues' favourite watering hole. There, the guys enjoyed a late night of drinking and carousing with only adults present, free to be as rowdy and crude as they wished. Just like back in the old days.

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Aw, life really changes when you have kids.

James totally took them to a Chuck E Cheese type place, didn't he?

It does seem that way. I think it'd be even more jarring if you came from such an unusual lifestyle as the Rogues did, and then tried to clean up your life for your kid(s). It'd be like another world entirely.

I think so. Pity the poor Rogues at one of those places :>

LOL! Aw poor Roscoe and Mark ;) They'd have been better off going back to Len's and putting the kids down to sleep upstairs so they could all have fun together :P I'm surprised Digger didn't at least find some satisfaction with getting his food and drink for free at the other bar for getting kicked out LOL! ;)

Well, Len is always secretly glad to be rid of his brother-in-law, and he was kind of pissed at Mark for bringing Josh along :> I think the guys without kids (James has a kid, but Billy wasn't around) just wanted to have fun without anything to do with kids.

Digger might have been happy about the free food, but he didn't get very far into it, so the feeling would be bittersweet ;)

And Roscoe and Mark were left feeling rather domestic by the end there *snerk* ;)

They're dads now, that's kind of their role these days :> (well, Roscoe more than Mark, because he lives with his kids. Mark's more of a part-time dad). They like to think they're big bad dudes, but they're really just middle-aged dads ;)

And seeing them in that light is so fun ;)

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