Research: Have googled different combinations of 'child' 'son' 'boy' 'kid' 'teen' and 'nickname' or 'pet name' and have only come up with some really unhelpful teen chat forums and lists of names for pets. Yeah. I also searched back through the archives here and although there are some previous questions on nicknames none of them really touch on what I need.
Question: My main character, an adult male is interacting with . . . let's call him a stepson for simplicity's sake. The piece is written from the adult's POV. For reasons I will not go into, I cannot use the kid's name in the piece, at all, not even in description. This is a problem, because I honestly don't think my MC would think of him as 'the kid' the entire 2500 words. It's becoming awkward and unrealistic trying to dodge around using the kid's name.
So what I'm looking for is a generic nickname that men give to teenage boys who they are in a friendly father-son relationship with. Things like Buddy, Kid, Slugger or Ace, except that for other reasons I can't go into I cannot use any of those, either. Frustrating, isn't it? The kid in question is very mature and independent so cheesy or little-kiddy nicknames just wouldn't sit right. I just desperately need something that I can throw in instead of a name.
Can anyone help me? Pretty please?
ETA: I've got it, thanks everybody. I'm going to go with the 'nicknamed after a hobby/obsession' idea.