(Note: Likely inaccurate Mandarin in this chapter)
“I should let you know, Mister Harwood,” Dennis brought up as he set his teacup down, “my granddaughter is a bit…different than most grandchildren.”
Harwood shrugged. “Grandchildren are grandchildren, no matter what.” He then watched as Marc swept up the broken ceramic on the floor. “Though, if Sinbad was there when you adopted her, would that mean…?”
“Yes, I would believe so,” Dennis answered for him, as if he predicted what he was going to say. “My granddaughter is your granddaughter as well.”
A little while after he said that, the apartment door opened, revealing Blaise holding Sagebear. The moment Sagebear saw Harwood, she began wriggling about before she was back onto the ground.
Harwood’s face lit up in vibrant joy. He never expected to have any grandchildren, let alone a precious furry dog for one. He jumped to his feet and opened his arms to her.
“Aiyah!” He exclaimed when she started bounding towards him. “Wo shi yeye!”
When she got close enough, he scooped her up into his arms, chattering to her in Mandarin spoken in a baby voice. Sagebear seemed beyond happy to see him, as well.
When Shark awoke that night a couple hours later, it was to an empty bed and a note on the pillow. Grabbing it, he tried to make sense of it through his half-asleep mind:
Went to go get pizza for us. I’ll be back soon.
Behind the note was a set of folded clothes, presumably pajamas. Their clothes from earlier had been set on the dresser situated in front of the bed.
Sitting up, Shark unfolded the clothes and began to get dressed. Yawning and rubbing his eyes, he swung his legs over the side of the bed.
The wooden floor felt strangely nice under his bare feet. Shark almost didn’t want to lift his feet off it when he pulled the shorts on.
Trying to ignore her spouse dragging her, Annette turned her attention to the immense, psychedelic dimension she’d been brought to.
“Every time we come in here, it’s always so different!” She said to them as she watched the other portals. “I get so confused each time another Twinbrook flies over us-“
Becoming irritated, The Builder then turned and grabbed her by the lips. They snarled at her, having quite enough of her talking.
“Weh! Weh! That’s all I’m hearing from you right now! Weeeeeeh! For once in your miserable little life, shut up!”
Clearly offended by this, Annette slapped them away, knocking their sunglasses off in the process. When she did, she then ran back towards Bridgeport, jumping back into the portal.
“Ow! You stupid little…!” The Builder was on the ground now, trying to find where their glasses skittered off to. “Get back here!”
Harwood was quite taken by Sagebear lavishing kisses on his leathery old face. The others looked on, smiling at the sweet little scene.
“Look at her, having the time of her life!” Dennis said as he clasped his hands together. “She’s so happy to meet her other grandpa now.”
With much reluctance, Harwood set her down and toward Marc. “Go on now. Say hello to your uncle. Say hello to Uncle Marc.”
Sagebear complied, waddling over and sitting on Marc’s lap. Apparently unsure as to what to do, Marc just kept his hands on his sides.
“I, uh…Never really had much experience with a dog before…” Slowly, he put his hands on her back, gradually petting her.
“Aw, don’t worry!” Blaise told him, waving his concerns off. “In time, petting her will feel like second nature to ya!”
When Sinbad returned to the cabin, pizza in tow, he saw Shark reclining on the couch, watching TV.
“Hey,” he said to get his attention. “I’m back.”
Smiling, Shark got up and took hold of the pizza, feeling his hands touch Sinbad’s. When he did, he started blushing.
“You got Canadian bacon with extra cheese, right?” Sinbad nodded. Even after a year apart, he still remembered what Shark’s favorite toppings were.
A few minutes later, both men were on the couch, cuddling and munching on pizza. Occasionally, one leaned over and planted a kiss on the other’s lips.
Sidling up to Sinbad, Shark rested his head on his shoulder. He sighed contentedly, which didn’t go unnoticed by Sinbad.
“I love you,” he whispered.
Sinbad stopped eating his pizza slice. Setting it down, he draped an arm across Shark’s shoulders, and leaned in to his ear. He then whispered what he finally felt ready to say:
“I love you, too.”