it talks to me in tiptoes
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Hatchetfield Universe - Team StarKid
Stephanie Lauter/Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy
Peter Spankoffski | Hot Chocolate Boy, Stephanie Lauter
Additional Tags:
Not Canon Compliant, Future Fic, Musical: Nerdy Prudes Must Die, Fluff, Domestic Fluff, Established Relationship, Married Life, Banter, Early Mornings, referenced pregnancy and childbirth, Children of Characters, audhd stephanie lauter, also autistic pete but . it's not that prevalent, they say i love you in 100 different ways, Autumn
Part 2 of flufftober 2023, Part 1 of comfortember 2023
Published: 2023-10-27 Words: 1,249 Chapters: 1/1

it talks to me in tiptoes


“The Secret History.” When Steph’s face falls into an even deeper confused expression, Pete continues, looking back onto the cover, “Bunch of gay people in England.”

“At six in the morning?”

COMFORTEMBER Day 3: Leaves Changing + FLUFFTOBER Day 15 + 20: Early Morning + Reading Together


there are brief mentions of childbirth and pregnancy from both of them so !! mind that if it's a touchy topic

it talks to me in tiptoes

“Hi.” Pete whispers as he settles next to Steph.

It’s a brisk early October morning. Late enough so the sun is starting to rise, but early enough that neither of their kids is up yet. He’s checked on both of them personally, both in deep sleep in positions that would surely warrant a back pain for him, and both him and Steph have the baby monitor app on his phone.

The driveway is covered in bright red and orange leaves. The autumn downpours haven’t come to Hatchetfield yet, so it’s all crispy and colorful, like a weird fall-themed parade coming through the entire town, the last remnants of summer hanging around. Steph’s morning tea, a staple of every fall since is blowing steam as she stares forwards, almost eerily still. Their sofa, a worn–out rescue from a Facebook group neither of them is sure they even belonged to, creaks under their shared weight as Pete sits.

“Hi.” She smiles back, pressing against Pete’s still sleep–warm body and opens the blanket enough for him to slip under it. Her hair tickles him in the face as he leans back, fixing his glasses on the crown of her head. Steph already started wearing her thicker pajamas. She always got cold faster than him.

Their neighborhood is empty this time of day. Before people properly wake up and start getting ready to school and work, kids running out in front of their tired parents and engines reeving, it’s almost like time stops and hangs in the air, soft and gentle and quiet, everything moving to make room for their love.

“The leaves are changing.” He says, quietly, half–expecting Steph to be asleep against him once again. There’s a big, old oak tree standing right in their driveway — it gives their front yard a nice shade in the summer, and a lot of problems with the amount of leaves falling in autumn. And birds shitting on their car. It also gave them a boar problem one year because of the green acorns, freshly fallen off. (Stephanie still brings up Pete getting chased by one at any given occasion. He will never forgive her for that.)

“Do you think we could pay our neighbors’ son to rake them up?” Steph’s voice is croaky when she speaks. Their neighbors’ son is in middle school, Pete’s pretty sure of that, he looks like every other seventh grader, still wearing shorts in temperatures Pete considers arctic, and regularly runs errands for the entire street so he can buy Robux, as the boy himself says. Whatever it is.

Pete turns to her with a small smirk on his face. “You’re so lazy you’re becoming a capitalist.”

“Shut up!” She pushes against him, making both of them lean backwards. Dangerously enough for Pete to put a hand around the tea cup. “You’re not the one who pushed out a whole baby out of herself half a year ago. I have every god–given right to be as lazy as I want.”

“Feeding off children’s labor—”

Pete!” She slams against him once more, and now the tea sways back and forth in the cup, a sizable amount spilling out onto the blanket, leaving a dark stain on it. “You’re going to make me spill even more. I hate you.”

“Pass me some of it?” He takes the cup from her hands without a sound of protest. Steph is not the type of person to fight when he wants her to share something.

Pete grimaces when the sweet, hot liquid hits his tongue, feeling as if molten sugar is sweeping across his mouth, and struggles with actually swallowing it. The feeling sticks to his throat, hanging around and behind his molars. “Jesus. You always sweeten it so much.”

Steph shrugs. “Sounds like a you problem.” Then, when he stays quiet for a minute at best, ten seconds at worst, in the best Spankoffski–née–Lauter fashion, starts looking around, trying to distract herself with something.

“What’s that?” She motions towards the half–open book on Pete’s lap.

“The Secret History.” When Steph’s face falls into an even deeper confused expression, Pete continues, looking back onto the cover, “Bunch of gay people in England.”

“At six in the morning?”

Pete shrugs and shuffles until his back touches the couch, making himself more comfortable and opening the book once again, this time planning to actually focus on reading until one of their kids wakes up.

Unfortunately, being married to Stephanie Lauter has more sides than being married to the love of his life.

Because she’s constantly fidgeting. Once Pete stops paying attention to her, she begins shifting, fixing the blanket and then the pillows, making him sit up to fluff up one. Muttering to herself. Then she cracks her knuckles an obnoxious amount of times, almost getting up just to sit down again. Sighs. Tries to reach up to take a spider’s web that’s hanging above them.

Like a puppy. He remembers making that connection for the first time in high school, soon after Homecoming, and getting hit with one of the first “What–The–Fuck–Spankoffski” stares. They still make him cringe and writhe, but the first times were almost unbearable from his girlfriend of whole two weeks. She’s a puppy clawing and whining at him for attention, and it’s the sweetest thing for Pete Spankoffski

Finally, she settles her chin on his shoulder, leaning further and further until she’s almost fully touching him. He feels her observing his every move, every breath and shift of pages. Her arms wrap around his waist, freezing cold fingers sneaking under his sweater and pressing into his warm skin, and he finally decides it’s enough.

“What are you doing?”

Nothing.” She replies like she’s actually doing nothing, completely innocuous in her tone. Damn it, three years in the drama club in high school and Solomon Lauter, she’s really good at acting like nothing is going on. His wife will be the death of Pete.

Steph huddles closer, her chin digging into his collarbone like a dull knife. A cold dull knife.

“At least stop stabbing me.”

“Sorry.” And she seems genuinely remorseful, which surprises Pete. Shifts so she’s now laying horizontally across his shoulder, her hair tickling his cheek and neck, Pete starts to think that maybe she's going down from her tea-induced sugar high. It's all before she blurts out, “Wow, this book is shit.”

Steph!” He exclaims, mock–offended, and slams his book closed for additional effect.

Steph throws her hands up. “What! I’m just expressing my opinion.”

“Express it somewhere else?”

Steph stares at him for a good moment, processing a counterargument in her head before continuing, “I’m going to rant to your six–month–old son about how fucking horrible Secret Physiology—”

“—Secret History!—”

She glances at him, “—is. He’s a better listener than you.” Steph grumbles, but makes no indication of moving. In fact, burrows her freezing cold nose into the back of Pete’s neck, feeling like a popsicle being pressed. “Big surprise that he managed to be like this with a Spankoffski for a father.”


Steph nods thoughtfully, yawning. “Yeah.”

Steph finally — finally! — settles against him, like she tired herself out, mostly burrowing behind Pete like a vole burrowing itself a hole, fetal position. It’s not long before he can hear the steady, rhythmic breaths against his pajama shirt, Steph sluming, emitting warmth against his back like a personal heater.

Yeah. Whatever you say, Steph.”


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