Alex took a slow, deep breath. His eyes opened, focusing on the wall behind him. There was a seam in the wallpaper that was starting to unstick itself. He reached back and rubbed it with two fingers, smoothing it down, only to watch it curl right back up. His brow furrowed, and he reached out to try it again, watching the exact same thing happen as before.

"It's been like that for a long time. I'm pretty sure it's not going to stay, even if you do it a hundred more times."

Alex lifted his head, looking over at Ryan, who was standing in front of a full-length mirror. He picked himself up off his back, resting on his elbows. Ryan glanced over at him again, a knowing smirk on his face. Alex pushed one shoulder forward in a shrug, his lips tugging into a slight grin.

"You never know. I might have the magic touch."

Ryan laughed quietly, shaking his head.

"Yeah, if you can somehow make thirty-year-old wallpaper sticky again."

Alex grinned, moving to lay on his back again. His arms crossed lazily over his stomach, and his cheeks went slightly pink.

"I can make some things sticky," he looked at Ryan again, their eyes meeting, "with just a simple touch." His fingers wiggled against his stomach, and he laughed. Ryan laughed, too, and shook his head as he glanced down at his shirt. Hopefully he hadn't skipped a button.

"That's true, I suppose." His gaze shifted over to the bed, before making his way over to kneel on either side of Alex, hands resting on his hips gently. "But," he said a little quieter, leaning over him so they were face to face, "the wallpaper probably isn't in love with you."

Alex felt his cheeks grow warmer, their eyes locked for a moment, before Ryan leaned down and pressed their lips together. When he pulled back, he brushed his nose against Alex's, back and forth, before grinning and moving off the bed. Alex swallowed, and nodded, watching as Ryan moved back to the mirror. His eyes scanned over Ryan's body.

The black pants were new. The dress shirt was, too, but the pants more so than anything. Being so used to jeans or pajama pants, or.. nothing, the fresh looking black was interesting. Ryan pulled at his sleeves, checking all the places that needed buttoning once again, before looking over at Alex again.

"I never figured she would go with the true black and white wedding. She always used to say it was too formal, and too unoriginal. I can still remember her saying that she thought a bright pink, or neon green dress was all she would ever consider." Ryan grinned, looking back in the mirror. "Polka-dots or something, for all the guys." Alex nodded, pushing himself up to sit on the edge of the bed, instead of laying on it.

The girls had been in Ryan's parent's room since before the sun even considered getting up, and the guys had been banished to anywhere but. Even Alex wasn't allowed in. Not that he was offended. At all. But that's how it had been worded, when one of Kelsey's many female friends, or maybe a cousin, had roared out the orders. "No guys allowed past this point, for any reason, until the night is over! Not even you!" After poking a finger into Alex's chest, she had thundered down the hall, and slammed the door shut.

Was he really that.. feminine? He didn't try, really. Sure, he wore make up sometimes, and his clothes were a little tight. And he didn't have a problem being called Mommy, but only if it was Ryan saying it. And he had wanted to look 'pretty' for him. Okay, yeah. So maybe he was.

After they had been ordered away, Alex helped Ryan find all his clothes, and they had made their way back upstairs, only to find that his room had been claimed already, by nearly half of the guys. Ryan didn't mind, but be knew that Alex didn't like situations like that, so they had moved to a guest room instead. And there they had been, for a couple of hours. Had it taken a couple hours to get Ryan dressed, though? Of course not.

Ryan ran a hand through his hair, smoothing it down, moving it away from his eyes. He noticed Alex staring at him in the mirror, and he grinned.

"You should stop that."

Alex blinked, his focus being torn at Ryan's words.

"Hm?" he asked, their eyes meeting in the reflection.

"I said, you should stop looking at me like that."

"Like what?" Alex grinned, standing up off the bed and coming over to wrap his arms gently around Ryan's waist, peering over his shoulder into the mirror. "Like I think you should take these clothes back off, so we can keep doing what we were doing?" Ryan's grin grew, and he turned around, pulling Alex closer to him.

"Mm, I wouldn't have a problem with that." Their lips met, and Alex let out a tiny moan, his arms coming up to wrap around Ryan's neck. After somehow managing to miss the bed completely, and instead end up with Alex pinned against the wall, one leg between Ryan's, their kisses only continued to grow stronger. But suddenly Ryan pulled back, pulling Alex's hands around to the front of his neck, to the tie that didn't actually need tying, just as the door slid open.

"Knock, knock, you two." They both turned to see Anne standing at the door, leaning in with a smirk on her lips. A moment of silence passed, before Alex coughed.

"Uhh.. yep, looks straight to me." he said, hiding his shortness of breath the best he could, pulling at the tie and brushing it off quickly. Ryan nodded, grinning, before turning to face his mother. Anne smiled, coming into the room. She and Ryan took a few steps closer to each other, and Alex moved to sit on the edge of the bed again.

"Well look at you, Mr. Good Lookin'." Anne commented, checking over the buttons that he'd been over three times, but still found some to fix. Never mind the ones Alex had successfully undone for him, after all his hard work. "Does the jacket fit right?" she asked, pulling it off of the back of a chair and holding it out for him. Ryan rolled his eyes, but stuck one arm in, and then the other, sliding it up onto his shoulders.

The three of them turned to look in the mirror, two of them admiring the look in their own ways. Anne grinned, patting him on the shoulder, before looking over at Alex on the bed.

"Your mom and grandma are still coming, right?" she asked, moving closer to him as Ryan slipped the jacket back off, returning it to it's place on the chair.

"Yes, as far as I know. I didn't hear anything from her saying she had to work." he said, pulling his phone out to check for any messages. He shook his head at the blank screen, giving Anne a small smile in reply. She smiled too, and nodded.

"That's great. I sure hope we have enough places to sit. Could be a big issue, in this heat, people not having a place to sit." Anne started, but stopped herself. "Anyway, we should get things going here in a bit, is that what you're wearing?" she asked, looking him over.

"Oh, no. I have to change." he said, looking down at what he had on briefly. Anne nodded, and started to say something, before she was cut off.

"Anne! Anne, we need you, hurry!"

She sighed, shaking her head as she made her way to the door, closing it behind her after giving them a short wave of goodbye. Ryan grinned, moving to sit beside Alex on the bed, wrapping a hand around his back to rest on his hip.

"You need help with those jeans?" he asked, a smirk on his lips as his fingers moved to slip slowly into his pocket. Alex laughed, sounding a little too giddy than he planned, and shoved Ryan away playfully. Ryan pushed him back, and then they came together for a quick kiss, before Alex got up and headed for the door.

After an hour of his grandma yelling across the house to his mother, and his mother yelling back, and another thirty minutes of Alex trying to get used to the fact that he wasn't comfortable at all in the clothes his mother had bought for him, just for today, and fifteen more minutes trying to convince Cricket that she would be just fine home alone for a while, the three finally made it out the door.

One look at the Hosford home told Alex that he had only met the tip of the iceberg earlier, as far as people go. He couldn't imagine where they all were. Sure, the property was very large, but still. This was unbelievable. Did this many people really want to come to a wedding?

They didn't risk walking through the house, and instead made their way around to the back, where the wave of people they met was even worse than Alex had imagined. A quick but careful glance around the crowd told him that Ryan wasn't outside, but watching people slowly take their seats told him that he should probably do the same, instead of going inside to find him.

Finding a set of three chairs, they sat down a few rows back from the front, Alex taking his place on the inside of the row. Emily started complaining right away about the heat, fanning herself with her hand. Elizabeth told her that it would only be a little while longer outside, and that she would be fine. Alex sighed. This could take forever.

Before he knew it, there was music playing, and more people had taken their seats. Someone tapped his shoulder, and he turned around to see some of Ryan's friends. Laura squeaked a little, moving to give him a tight hug around his neck and shoulders. Greg was next to her, with a girl he had never seen before. Morgan was there, too. She gave him her typical wave, and he waved back with a grin.

Taking the chance to look around, he saw other people he knew, too. From the place they had been to eat so many times, the man from the feed store. Even the girl from the vet's office, along with the woman who had been behind the desk, as well as who he assumed was her father. No wonder there were so many people here. They had invited the whole town.

To his right was Brian's side of the family, along with enough friends and other people he knew to fill his side just as full as Kelsey had managed to fill her's. He shook his head and turned back around in his chair. He definitely wouldn't be sticking with this crowd after the wedding was over.

When everyone was finally seated, the music changed slightly, and some people turned to look back behind them. Alex did the same, and Anne was there, walking up the aisle. Her smile was big as ever, and he didn't think he'd ever seen her look as nice as she did. When she got closer, Anne gave Alex a small wink, before making her way to the front.

After a quick glance across the crowd of people, she looked at the pianist, who slid easily into music that everyone recognizes at weddings. The crowd made a collective move, all standing, and turning to look in the direction Anne had just come from.

Alex watched as couples walked along the open aisle, not paying much attention to them. He didn't actually know any of the people, guessing they were friends from college. Possibly family. Wouldn't surprise him. But after a slow minute of watching the train pass, Alex felt his heart skip lightly.

Ryan came into view, his arm being held by another of the people he didn't know. She looked slightly familiar, though. Ah, yes. The girl who poked him earlier. Of course they would get paired up. As they got closer, Ryan finally saw Alex, too, and their eyes met. They both grinned. Alex felt the urge to reach out and touch him when they got within reach, but he stopped himself. Instead, he watched as the two made their way to the front, and went to their respective sides.

After a few more bridesmaid and groomsman pairs had made their way up to the front, followed by the ring bearer and flower girls, the music changed again, as did everyone's level of focus. A low mutter of compliments flooded the air as Kelsey took her first few steps towards everyone, Mike's arm in her grip.

When the wedding was over, the procession reversed itself as everyone clapped. Alex almost sighed a breath of relief, finally able to get out of the heat, but Emily did it for him, muttering under her breath about hating weddings, heat, and Texas. Following the large crowd, everyone made their way back towards the house. Alex longed for their nice air-conditioned house, but he would settle just fine for the fans on the back deck if it would help him avoid the massive crowd.

To his pleasant surprise, though, he found that a large number of people decided that the heat really was just too much. Or maybe they just had to get home, he wasn't sure. The license plates on the cars gave away than many of them were pretty far from home. Those that were leaving had trapped Kelsey and Brian into the front of a long line of hugs, kisses, and well-wishes. Alex wondered if any of them would be back for when the baby was born. Or if any of them even knew. He surely couldn't still be the only other one, right?

After the train of goodbyes was done with, there were still plenty of people scattered around the house and property. Alex stuck close to his mom and grandmother, mostly because he didn't really know where else to go. But when there was suddenly a short blonde wrapped around him, he knew that he would at least have a little while to talk to someone else.

"Alex, I've missed you!" she squealed, pulling her face away from his chest only for a second. Alex laughed lightly, bringing a hand up to pat her on the back a few times.

"How have you been?" he asked, looking down at the top of her head. He wondered if that's how Ryan felt, looking down at him all the time. She looked up at him now, though, her brown eyes wide like her smile.

"I've been great! Ugh, I really don't want school to start again, nobody is gonna be there!" Alex nodded his sympathy, noticing as Greg came up with his arm around the girl he didn't know, Morgan trailing behind. Greg rolled his eyes, shaking his head at his sister.

"Laura, for God's sake, do you ever not latch on like a parasite?" Alex looked up at him, and Greg gave him a sorry look and a shrug. They both smiled, though.

"Ugh, shut up, you jerk. Alex doesn't mind, right?" she asked, her large brown eyes focused on his face again.

"Uh.. yeah, no, I.. I don't mind." he said, shrugging a little. Laura turned and stuck her tongue out at her brother, before giggling and turning back to Alex.

"So where's Ryan? He looked really great in his tux, didn't he? Oh my gosh, he totally did."

Alex laughed, his eyes scanning the crowd.

"I haven't seen him out here, yet." he explained, and Laura made a 'hm' sound, before releasing her grip on him when Anne spoke up, her voice raising over the voices of the crowd.

"Everyone, everyone, can I have your attention please? Thank you. If everyone could please move back out to the tables and such, that would be wonderful. It's time for the reception to begin!" People started talking again right after she was done, but they all started moving towards the steps again. The five of them moved that way, too, and Alex wasn't sure where his family had gone. Maybe they already left.

Finding a table with a fair amount of shade from one of the very few trees on the property, they all sat down. Alex turned to watch all the people that had gone inside return to the heat of the afternoon, their discomfort showing on their faces. The tables filled a little faster than the chairs for the actual wedding had been, and it looked as if Anne could have ordered for just a few more. The people that ended up standing didn't look like they minded much, though.

As Kelsey and Brian came back out, there was more clapping, until they reached a longer table up at the front of the large collection of round ones. The two sat down, along with both their parents, and a few other people. They all talked for a second, and then Kelsey stood up, pulling Brain with her. The crowd hushed, and the focus was pulled to them.

"First off, I would like to be the first to thank you all so very much, for coming to our wedding. I know it's hot, and I'm sure you're all ready to get out of these clothes. I know I am." Kelsey pulled at her dress a little, and everyone laughed quietly. "But seriously, all of you have made today amazing, for.. gosh, I finally get to say it, my husband and myself."

The two smiled at each other, sharing a kiss, and there was more clapping. Laura aww'ed them from her seat next to Alex, and someone shouted 'get a room!' jokingly. Brian laughed, pointing him out in the crowd.

"Next on the list, buddy." More laughter followed, and finally they sat down. Alex watched as Anne stood up to say something, but he was startled when arms wrapped around him, and he felt lips pressed to his neck. He turned around quickly, a familiar face close to his.

Alex smiled, his cheek dimpling as he reached out for Ryan to pull him closer, their lips meeting quickly. Morgan moved over a seat, so that Ryan could sit next to Alex, their fingers lacing together. Ryan waved at Laura and Greg, and Greg's girlfriend, before turning to listen to the continuing speeches. But Alex couldn't focus on anything but Ryan.

When everyone had said all that they wanted to, most of the food had been eaten, and more people were starting to leave, Ryan and Alex said goodbye to their friends. Laura gave them both a big hug, and then ran after the group. Ryan laughed, and pulled Alex closer to him.

"She sure does like hugs, doesn't she?" Alex asked, looking up at Ryan. He nodded, a grin on his face.

"Yeah, she sure does." The two made their way towards the house, Ryan saying hello to the few people still lingering outside. Alex finally sighed his breath of relief as they stepped inside, the cool air hitting him and feeling better than he could ever remember air feeling.

"Well, here comes the happy couple." The two looked over at Anne, and she was looking right back at them. Alex felt his cheeks tinge a light pink, and he grinned down at the floor. Ryan let go of Alex now, giving Anne a hug.

"You pulled it off, Mom. Good job." Anne laughed, putting her hands on her hips.

"What, you ever doubted me?"

"Noo, of course not." Anne gave him a look of shock, going right back to her smile.

"Hey now. Look, I even have food left over. You boys will have to help eat it."

"Mm, of course. I don't think anything you've ever made has gone in the trash."

"Yeah, except all those vegetables that used to go straight to Hank, that you two thought I never noticed. Not so sneaky, after all."

"We knew that you knew. But you never said anything, so why stop?"

Anne laughed, another look of shock passing over her features.

"You get out of here, you brat." she said, pushing him out of the kitchen playfully. Ryan laughed, grabbing Alex's hand as they made their way into the living room. The few people still there were gathered around the front door, or Kelsey and Brian, however you wanted to look at it. Basically, this translated into: everyone was looking to leave, the bride and groom especially.

Ryan pulled Alex towards the stairs, and the two headed up to his room, which was now void of any sign that it had been occupied a few hours earlier, thankfully. Nothing worse than coming back to a messy room that you had left clean. Ryan sat down on the bed, leaning back against the wall and holding an arm out as an invitation for Alex to join him. With a heavy sigh, he did.

Resting his head against Ryan's shoulder, Alex turned and looked back so that their eyes met. A quick smile was captured in a kiss as Ryan pressed their lips together. Alex turned himself slightly, moving to grab onto Ryan's sleeve as their kiss deepened, only to have a knock at the door.

"Alex?" suppressing a small groan of frustration, he glanced over to see Kelsey looking at him, a smile on her face, though she looked slightly apologetic.

"Hi, Kelsey." he said, moving away from Ryan to sit on the edge of the bed.

"I don't mean to interrupt, but we're headed out, and I just wanted to say goodbye. I'm not sure when I'll get to see you guys again." Alex felt a pang of guilt, hearing her voice crack towards the end of what she was saying. He stood up, and she walked into the room, wrapping him in a hug. The bed squeaked as Ryan stood up, too, coming over to make a Kelsey sandwich. Alex smiled when he heard Kelsey laugh, but the emotion changed when she sniffled.

"Kelsey?" Alex pulled away from the hug, moving to look down at her. She shook her head and laughed again, her voice broken though.

"I swore I wouldn't cry, and I did so well until now." she explained, looking up at him, a tear escaping and rolling quickly down her cheek.

"Aw, Kels. Don't cry. Come here." Ryan pulled her around, wrapping her in a tight hug. She buried her face into his chest, and he rubbed her back comfortingly, catching Alex's worried gaze.

"Ugh. God. Okay, okay, I'm good, I swear." She laughed again, pulling away and wiping her cheeks. "These are happy tears." Looking up at Ryan, Kelsey hugged him again, going up on her toes to kiss his cheek. "I love you, baby brother." Ryan grinned, giving her a wink in reply. Kelsey turned to look at Alex, and then back at Ryan. "Can I talk to him for just a second?"

There was a look shared between them, and then with a nod and a smile, Ryan moved towards the door, giving Alex a quick glance before he left the two of them to talk alone. Kelsey grabbed Alex's wrist and pulled him over to the bed, sitting down. Alex did too, unsure of what she would say. A moment of silence passed as she seemed to gather her words.

"I just wanted to say thank you. Not only for helping me out with everything, you know, but just.. for everything. Which really sounds redundant, I know," she laughed, smiling up at him, "but I don't think there's another way to put it." Alex nodded, understanding, and grinned back at her. "And I just wanted you to know that, no matter what happens.. I'm really that glad I got to know you." With that, she leaned over and kissed his cheek, pulling him into another hug.

"I'm really glad I met you too, Kelsey." Alex looked at the ground, quiet for a second, before continuing. "I.. I'm going to see you again though, right?" Kelsey giggled, pulling back to look at him.

"I sure hope so! We'll only be gone for two weeks on our honeymoon, and then after that, I definitely plan on coming back home more often, with.. you know." They both glanced down, a hand coming to rest gently on her stomach.

"How is it, uh, the baby doing?" Alex looked back up at her, and she nodded as she spoke.

"Just fine. I've been to the doctor, and all is well, as far as we can tell." Alex nodded too, grinning.

"That's good. So I'm not the only one that knows any more."

Kelsey laughed, her eyebrows raised.

"What, you getting tired of being the only one? Secrets wear you down pretty fast, huh?"

"No, no, not at all. I just.."

"I understand, Alex. Don't worry. And thank you, for that. I'm sure most other people would've cracked by now. Or maybe I'm just used to being around so many big-mouths! Nothing is ever safe around here." Alex laughed a little, shrugging.

"Well.. I did let it slip to Cricket once. But I'm pretty sure the secret is safe with her." They both laughed now, before falling into a short, but comfortable silence. Kelsey reached up and patted Alex gently on the knee, pushing on it gently as she stood up. She glanced down at her wrist, before shrugging, tapping it a few times.

"Looks like it's time for me to get outta here. I'm going to call, I hope to hear from you, okay?" Alex nodded, and watched as she let herself out of the room, leaving the door cracked open. He took a deep breath, letting it out slowly as he laid himself back on the bed. What a long day. And he hadn't even really done anything. He had spent most of the day with Ryan, though. Who wouldn't be tired after all that time with him?

Alex smiled, rolling over onto his side. He wondered if Kelsey would send him back in. He bet they were talking downstairs. They had such a cool relationship. He wondered what it would be like to have siblings. Would they like him? Would they be younger or older? Brother or sister? Maybe he would've had more than one. Maybe it was better that he was an only child. He could manage taking care of himself, but he wasn't sure he would've wanted more responsibility, what with his mom working all the time.

Pushing himself back up, Alex sat on the edge of the bed again. Where the heck was Ryan? He pulled his phone out of his pocket, not having any trouble since his pants were so much looser than normal, and checked for any new messages. Not finding one, he sent one. He was probably really lazy for doing it, since he was more than likely just right downstairs in the living room, or maybe the kitchen.

He listened, trying to hear any voices. There were none. In fact, all he could hear was the water running in the kitchen, being turned off, and then some humming. Anne. She sure could keep her cool. If his mom was faced with that much cleaning up to do, she might have a stroke. His focus was pulled back when his phone told him there was a new message. He opened the phone, reading what it said.

"Come find me?" Alex closed the phone, blinking as he looked out the window. "Come find you.." Standing up off the bed, Alex made his way out of Ryan's room, down the stairs, and into the living room. A quick glance around told him that he was alone there. He paused, listening to Anne hum before the lightbulb went off. Of course. Where else would Ryan be?

Alex slid the heavy door open, the distinct smell hitting him immediately. He smiled. It reminded him of Ryan. Not much didn't, these days, but especially the horses. The barn. Everything about it. Closing the door behind him, he turned around to a typical horse greeting; heads sticking out of their stalls, watching calmly. Skye tossed her head, nickering a soft hello. He reached out gently towards her, scratching her on the nose.

"Hey there," he said quietly, turning to look down at the other end of the barn, "have you seen Ryan come through here?" He grinned at the thought of talking to a horse, but when she tossed her head, almost nodding, he didn't feel so silly. Giving her one last pat, he moved on, making his way silently along the stalls of horses. It was fairly dark, being so late, but the light coming from the staircase at the end told him exactly where to go.

Climbing the stairs, he wasn't sure why, but his heart started to thump a little heavier. He was pretty sure that the climb up a set of stairs wasn't the reason, either. When he finally reached the top, he stepped silently into the room, crossing his arms over his stomach. Ryan had his back to him, and Alex noticed he was looking out the window that was still just as dirty as the first day he'd been there. And since it was dark out anyway, he guessed he was mostly standing there just to be doing something. Clearing his throat, Alex got Ryan's attention, making him turn around.

"Oh, hey. Sorry, I was just.. thinking." he explained, taking a few steps away from the window. Alex grinned, nodding. After a second of silence, Ryan moved over to the couch, sitting down. Alex joined him.

"What are you thinking about, hm?" he asked, snuggling himself close to Ryan, who wrapped his arms around him comfortably.

"Just.. stuff." he grinned, getting a look from Alex.

"Using my words against me now?" Ryan laughed, shaking his head.

"Gosh, no." After a pause, and seeing that Alex was still giving him the look, he laughed again and sighed. "Okay, yeah. I am. Why, you gonna do something about it?" he asked, raising a brow. Alex glared at him playfully, before reaching up and placing his hands on Ryan's cheeks, pulling his face down for a kiss. Grinning against his lips, Ryan moved, pushing Alex back against the couch and climbing on top of him. Alex laughed, turning his head away, only to have Ryan kiss his neck instead. Alex hummed happily, and his hand moved to rest on his neck.

"You looked really nice today." Alex pulled gently at his tie that he still had on. He felt Ryan grin against his skin, and moved to look at him when he sat up a little.

"Thank you. I actually don't think I've been so uncomfortable in clothes since.. the last formal event I was in, I suppose." He laughed quietly, and Alex nodded. "But if it was for Kelsey, then I don't mind so much." Alex grinned now.

"Yeah." Ryan brought his hand up, moving some of Alex's hair out of his eyes.

"And hey, what about you, huh? I thought you didn't own anything but those crazy tight jeans." Alex laughed, shrugging his shoulders against the couch.

"I don't. My mom got these for me just for today. She said that if I was careful with them, she could probably take them back." Ryan laughed now.

"Yeah, I can see that happening. 'Um, excuse me? Yeah, I need to return these pants. They're just too easy to get on and off. My boyfriend would have a fit if he could actually get my pants off me without a fight.'" Alex gasped, giggling as he pushed his shoulder.

"Jerk." he muttered, and Ryan grinned, moving to kiss his neck again.

"So how about it, you think we can get these off in record time?" he asked, his hands moving slowly down Alex's sides, making him squirm.

"Mmmh, Ryaan." he complained, but not stopping him. "Wait, what about you? I thought everything you have on has to go back? We wouldn't want to mess anything up.."

"Hmm. True. Should I go ahead and take it all off now, just in case?" he asked, smirking down at Alex, who rolled his eyes with a grin. He thought for a second, reaching up to take his tie off. He tossed it onto the table, and Ryan sighed in relief.

"Whew. I feel so much more relaxed now. Thank you, Alex."

"Mm. Ryan?" he asked, his grin fading into seriousness.


Alex brought his hands from Ryan's neck to his chest, down to his stomach, one hand resting on his side, the other pulling at his shirt. Arching back against the couch a little, he whispered;

"I love you." Ryan let his grin fade now too, his eyes searching Alex's face, his large blue eyes. He brought his hand up to cup Alex's cheek gently, watching him lean into it as he closed his eyes. Ryan swallowed, leaning down slowly to let their lips press together.

"I love you too, Mommy." he whispered back, watching Alex grin, his dimple showing. Without talking, the two moved so that Ryan was pressed up against the back of the couch, Alex in front of him. With Ryan's arms wrapped around him, Alex snuggled back against his chest, playing with his fingers gently. The two stayed quiet for a long while, until the silence was broken with a small laugh from Alex.

"This room has a lot of memories, doesn't it? For us, I mean. I'm sure it has a bunch from you and your friends and stuff, but.."

"Yeah. It does." Ryan understood where he was taking his thoughts. "Some good, some.. not." he recalled, and Alex nodded against his shoulder.

"Mostly good." he added, smiling slightly to himself as he pulled Ryan's arm tighter around him.

"Would you mind.. adding another good thing to the list?" he asked, making Alex turn to look at him, his brow furrowed slightly.

"What do you mean?"

Ryan shrugged his shoulders lightly against the couch, making a gentle 'mm' sound as he moved to kiss Alex's forehead. He brought his hand that was wrapped around Alex up, rubbing his hip before reaching up with the arm he had been propped up on, pulling at one of his fingers. Alex watched him, words and breath escaping him as he felt the band of warm metal slide over a finger of his own.

"You tell me."

AN: I'll be posting some new updates on my page soon, check there for more information. Thank you all for reading along with me. Hopefully it was a pleasant journey. I appreciate all of your words of support and encouragement, and I know I wouldn't have made it this far without it.