How Green Becomes Wood

'Yeah," Sloan replied, nudging Alec, "and it helps when they speak like a greeting card." She turned to the rest of the table, specifically Milo, Peter, and Becky, "You have someone coming to get you, right? Because I don't think you can all fit in my car even if we squeezed."
"I do not!" Alec protested.

"Yeah, you do," Xander said mildly.

"I'm just saying that it's wonderful to have good friends who drive you to be the best you you can be!"

"How is that not like a greeting card?"

"Well, I'd say it's more like Dr. Suess."

Becky ignored the twins as she answered. "My mom's coming to pick me up. Oh, I need to text her that we're wrapping up here." She pulled out her phone and did just that.

Peter checked his watch. "Crickey. We should definitely be wrapping things up. My dad's coming to get me, and he said either be ready when he gets off work or I have to figure my own way home. I really hate taxies." He pulled out his phone and texted his dad where they were.
"I never said it was a bad thing," Sloan said with a casual shrug, finishing the rest of her milkshake because there was no way she was going to leave any of it behind.

"My grandparents are coming," Milo mumbled, surprised she looked at him when addressing the group, and realizing he had expected she was hardly aware he was there at all.

"Cool. I mean, I could fit a fourth person in my car, I just don't know where you live."
Peter grinned at Sloan. "Thank you for having a gymnastics tournament so that we could have this awesome party." Turning to Milo, he said, "My dad wouldn't mind giving you a lift if you'd like to save your grands a trip." He paused and frowned. "I've been hanging out with Xander too much. Sorry, if you'd like to save your grandparents a trip."

"My mom will be here in like five minutes to pick me up," Becky said.
Milo pulled on the ends of his sleeves, continuing to further stretch them out. Soon they'd practically be bell sleeves. "I already texted them," he said, "but thank you. They'll be here soon, probably."
"Awesome," Peter said agreeably. Then he raised his voice. "Alright, everyone! Does anyone want a second milkshake or fries or anything at all? Last call before your bankroll leaves!"

Becky laughed and leaned over to lightly tap Peter's shoulder. "You are ridiculous, but if your offer is serious..."

"Oh, it is, but you better hurry before your rides get here," Peter grinned. "I'm getting a milkshake, myself, and a couple of things for my parents."

"Well, in that case, I'll take a small shake, myself," Becky said.

The twins declined, and Peter checked with Milo and Sloan before going to place their orders. It wasn't long before Becky's mother arrived, and shortly after, Peter's dad pulled into the parking lot. The twins waited until Milo's ride arrived, and then headed home with Sloan. Xander had gathered a lot of info about Milo's interests, and he couldn't wait to share it with Daizi. Alec just wanted some tea after yelling so much and a nap. Cheering for your friends was exhausting! They did end up bringing home a milkshake for both Dark and Daizi and a few fries to share with Enkidu.
Sloan denied the offer with a laugh, stating some small joke about how she was way too tired and if she ate anything more, she'd fall asleep before making it home. Milo said nothing, but the absolute thought of asking for anything more seemed entirely like a nightmare.

When the twins returned home, Daizi was lounging on the couch, propped up with Ivy in one arm, and Dark asleep and dead to the world against her. She had been singing softly to the both of them, but when she heard the twins come home, she swiveled as much as she could and said, quietly, "Welcome home. Dark said Sloan did well."
Alec bit down any excitement that threatened to bubble up despite his exhaustion. "She did great!" he whispered. He held up a milkshake. "We got you both a treat. Well, Peter did. We just picked it out. We'll put them in the fridge for you."

Xander murmured a quiet greeting, and the pair of them slipped into the kitchen to put the shakes where Dark and Daizi could find them later. He wanted to talk to Daizi, but he'd wait until after Dark woke. Then they tip-toed upstairs to try to be as quiet as possible.
"I'm glad to hear that!" Daizi replied, "and that's very kind, thank you... What is it?" She figured he was probably holding it up, but she couldn't smell anything. But she fully believed he had presented some edible item.

After some time lying on the couch with him, Daizi carefully and cautiously extricated herself from underneath him, since her arm was falling asleep, and she thought it was probably best that she extricate herself, lay Ivy down in her crib, and stretch. Then, she pulled a blanket over her husband, and crept upstairs.
"A milkshake," Alec replied, realizing his mistake. "It's in the fridge for when you want."

Later, when Daizi came upstairs, Alec lay dozing on the bed, and Xander sat on the floor reading a book on horses. He looked up when he heard Daizi walking upstairs and got up to open the bedroom door. "Hey. No longer a bed?"
"If a bear were to hibernate and then awake to learn his food was all gone, how do you think the bear would react?" Daizi asked with a similar smirk, "And is that so? That is very helpful information. What kind of art in particular?"
"Ya snooze, ya loose," Xander grumbled softly before turning his attention to the museum thing. "He said he liked... uh, the fellow who painted the ballerinas in that soft style. He likes art like that and photography. Like the history of it and candid photos."
"Really? That's good to know--nothing I have any practical knowledge of, but I can definitely work with that. Is there anything else he said he liked?" Daizi asked, crossing her arms and shifting her weight to one hip, "It's a big museum."
Xander thought back over the conversations and relayed everything he could think of that might help Daizi. There was a lot of detailed rambling as he tried to convey everything. He hadn't often done nice things for people on a larger scale, and this was a massive scale! He felt out of his depths here.
At the end of their conversation, Daizi nodded slowly and said, "I've got some ideas, and I know my friends will be glad to run with this and put together something really neat. Don't you worry."
"Thanks. I really appreciate it," Xander said with a nod. "It feels..." He hesitated a moment. "I dunno why it's so important, but... it is," he admitted a little reluctantly.
"You don't have to try to explain it to me," Daizi said gently, "Look around you. You're at home amongst people who care about grand gestures. I'm glad to help you with it. I understand needing to do something nice for someone you care about."
Xander looked away, still feeling shy and slightly uncomfortable about all this despite his determination to follow through with it. It just felt... he wasn't sure how it felt. Odd. Hopeful? Yet also like something he wasn't supposed to do, but he wasn't sure why. He shook off the thought and turned his attention back to Daizi. "Thanks. I appreciate what you're doing."