April 1999

Disc: Mine? Nope. Theirs? Yup.
Rating/Pairing: PG M/K
Summary: The guys look back on days gone by. Notes: Thanks for the quick beta, Lucy! I cannot explain why, but I was suddenly knocked over by a wave of schmoop and this is what I coughed up once I regained consciousness. *I* must be getting sappy in my old age. Anyway, it's just a snip.


Later
by Frankie
==========

Alex walked in the front door of the old two-story house and set his shopping bags down on the floor in the foyer.

"Fox, I,m back." His voice echoed down the long corridor and he listened for the usual response from his longtime lover. He was greeted by silence. "Fox?"

Hearing nothing, he started up the stairs. Alex knew that his imagination sometimes got the better of him and wasn,t going to panic just because Fox wasn,t answering him. It didn,t mean that anything had happened to him, it could just mean he was taking a nap or something equally innocuous. He entered the bedroom quickly and looked around.

"Fox?"

A muffled voice came from behind the heavy oak door toward the back of the bedroom. "I,m in the closet."

Alex smiled and sighed with relief. He had no idea what Fox was doing in there, but at this point he didn,t really care. Opening the door, Alex was surprised to see Fox on the floor of the walk-in, surrounded by boxes whose contents were scattered around him in seemingly random piles. Knowing this man the way he did, Alex was sure that things were a lot more organized than they appeared.

"Is there something I should know?" Alex asked as he sat down on the floor as close to his lover as he could without disturbing the carefully arranged mess.

Fox looked up, the light glinting off his glasses. Alex loved when he wore them and couldn,t resist leaning over and kissing him softly on the mouth.

"Why? What do you mean?"

"Well, you said you were in the closet. I just wondered if we were taking a step backwards."

Alex grinned as Fox rolled his eyes and shook his head.

"You know, if I,m going to go back in the closet after all this time, I,d better start making calls now. Do you have any idea how many people are still dying for the chance to tell me _I told you so,?"

No matter how secure Alex was about their relationship, the reminder that some of Fox,s friends were waiting for him to come to his senses always twisted Alex,s insides into knots. The fact that they,d been together for more than twenty years wouldn,t make a bit of difference to those people. Alex looked down and did his best not to show his hurt.

"I,m sorry, baby." Fox put his hand on Alex,s leg and rubbed it reassuringly. "Hey, look at me."

Alex raised his head and saw the concern written all over Fox,s face. After all these years, he could still make Alex,s heart race simply by looking him in the eye.

"I love you, Alex. I don,t care what people think." He smiled. "If I did, we would have never gotten together, never mind built the life we have now." Fox leaned over and kissed the top of Alex,s head, pausing to breathe in deeply, savoring the clean, sweet smell of his lover,s hair.

"I know," Alex whispered as he raised his hand and put it on the back of Fox,s neck. "I love you."

"Okay," Fox said as he leaned back and once again turned his attention to his task. "I,m almost finished here. Maybe later we could go to lunch at that new café that opened down the street."

"Yeah, that sounds great." Alex nodded as he looked at the mess. "Um, Fox, what exactly are you doing?"

"Oh." Fox stopped looking through the boxes and surveyed the area around him as if seeing it all for the first time. "I got the cleaning bug this morning while you were gone and I decided to finally go through some of these boxes."
He reached across Alex,s lap and picked up a pile of papers. "I can,t believe some of the stuff that,s in here. I don,t think I,ll be throwing any of it out."

"What is it?" Alex moved some of the piles and scooted a little closer to Fox so he could put his arms around his middle, his head resting on a still strong back.

"Clippings, photos, various documents_.old love notes." He smiled wickedly and dragged out the last three words in a low, lecherous voice that made Alex laugh. "I also found some newspaper articles from when you had your surgery."

"What? Let me see those." Alex grabbed the yellowed pieces of paper out of Fox,s hand and pored over them. When he had finished reading them he looked up. "I can,t believe you kept these. How come you never showed them to me?"

Fox shrugged. "I don,t know. I didn,t know if you,d think I was morbid to want to commemorate your new arm with a scrapbook." He grinned. "Do you think it,s dumb?"

Alex shook his head and kissed Fox,s cheek. "No, I think it,s sweet. I never had you pegged for a sentimental old fool."

"You,re kidding, right? Honey, I have saved every little bit of our lives and stuffed them into these boxes. I don,t know why I thought I,d actually get rid of anything."

"Hmm, what else are you hiding in here." Alex started picking up pieces of paper and glancing at them.

"Hey, I have this stuff organized. Don,t mess up my system."

"Yeah, whatever," Alex said, continuing his investigation. He picked up another newspaper clipping, this one much smaller than the ones about his surgery. "Oh my god. Fox_" He looked at his lover, tears making his eyes glisten slightly.

Fox frowned and took the paper from Alex,s hand. He smiled. "Oh, yeah. Well, it was such an important time in our lives, I wanted to remember every moment."

"I would never have thought to keep the personal ad that brought our son to us." He took the paper back and read it again. ",Looking for committed gay couple to adopt baby boy., What a simple sentence, huh? Look how much it,s done for our lives."

"I know. I was so self-obsessed and focused on the wrong things before. Even you seemed more prepared to be a parent."

Alex smirked. "I did? That,s a scary concept."

Fox laughed. "God, anyone listening to us would wonder what the hell we were thinking wanting to bring a kid into our lives."

"I,m grateful everyday for him. I really think he kept us sane, you know." Alex paused and fixed Fox with a mischievous grin. "Well, one of us anyway."


"You,re funny." Fox smiled then kissed him, sighing at the soft warmth of Alex,s lips against his. "I love you so much. I can,t think of any other person I,d have wanted to help me raise a child."

"Help? Excuse me, but who was the one who got up to do all the 3am feedings, hmmm?" Alex smiled. "You know, I,ve always had a sneaking suspicion that you,ve considered Chris to be more your son than mine."

"What? No, I haven,t. Okay, let me put it another way." He took Alex,s hand in his and raised it to his lips. "I can,t think of any other man that I,d have wanted to have children with. How,s that?"

Alex laughed. "Better. Oh, speaking of our little bundle of joy, did I tell you he called this morning when you were in the shower?"

"No, why didn,t you get me? I wanted to talk to him. I miss him." Fox pouted and Alex resisted the urge to ravage his mouth.

"I know you do, but he couldn,t talk for very long. He just wanted to tell us that he,s bringing someone with him when he comes home on break."

"What? Who? He,s too young to be bringing someone home to meet his parents."

"Fox," Alex squeezed Fox,s hand reassuringly, "he,s eighteen and you have to let him live his life. He,s brilliant, like his father, and extremely sensible, like his other father." He smiled at the amused expression on Fox,s face.

"I know that. I just don,t want him to jump into anything without thinking about what he,s doing."

"I,ll forget you said that."

"Okay," Fox laughed, "point taken. So, who is this mysterious person he,s bringing home?"

"I don,t know. He said her name is Vicky and that we will love her. That,s all he told me."

"Well, we only have a week to get ready for them, so I guess I should clean up this mess." Fox started picking up the stacks of papers and putting them back into the boxes.

"Let me help."

Soon they both had everything cleaned up and had vowed to go through everything together once Chris came home.

"He may get a kick out of some of the photos of his dads when we were young bucks," Fox said as he placed the boxes back on the shelf.

"Yeah, the ones that never made it into the albums. I can,t believe that,s where they,ve been all these years. I bet he thinks that our lives began when we got him."

Fox turned to Alex and put his arms around him. "In a way it did." He kissed the tip of the pert little nose. "It was the start of our life as a family."

"Good point. Before that we were just two guys who couldn,t keep our hands off each other. Then we became two responsible adults who raised one hell of a kid."

"Well," Fox said, pulling Alex closer to him, "I certainly hope you remember that we did revert to our old habits every now and then."

"Uh huh. What do you think the chances are we could take a stroll down memory lane? Instead of going out, I could always make us lunch_later."

Fox smiled. "I,d say they,re very, very good." He kissed Alex,s neck. "Hmm, if I,d known that cleaning out a few boxes would lead to this, I wouldn,t have waited so long."

"Aww, you say that like you haven,t gotten lucky for a while." Alex removed Fox,s glasses.

"Well, we,ve been busy. I guess I,m just spoiled."

"Yeah, you are, but I wouldn,t want you any other way."

"God, Alex. Are we getting sappy in our old age?" Fox asked as they walked hand in hand to the bed and sat down.

"Yeah, I,m afraid we are. Great isn,t it?"

Fox stroked the side of his face and kissed him. "Perfect."

===end===