Title: Preying Eyes Epilogue
Fandom: Still clueless. Must figure out before the next one comes along.
Pairing: Adrien Lupei/Elliot Deacn
Word Count: 1,892
Summary: Aleja’s promised family dinner.
Continued from here.
“According to the security company, someone accessed the system via the keypad approximately twenty minutes before I arrived home,” Adrien told his mother.
“You need to change your code,” Dante said, acknowledging something that had been on Adrien’s mind since he got the news an hour earlier. “You can’t use your birthday or other easily gained information.”
“He doesn’t,” Aleja laughed. “He uses mine.”
And suddenly it made sense why Daniel Fulton had figured it out so easily. “I’m an idiot.”
“Nah, Dante said, giving him a one-armed hug. “You’re just too trusting. Honestly, growing up in a place like this, it’s hard not to be.”
“But you’re okay,” his Uncle Emilio said. “Aside from the couple of scratches?”
Adrien nodded. “I’m still a bit freaked out, but unharmed. Having Elliot here last night helped.”
“And we get to meet him when?” Dante leaned both arms against the kitchen island, waiting.
“Soon,” Adrien grinned. “I promise. He had to go in and fill out an incident report this morning, but he’ll be back later.”
“Perfect,” Aleja said. “Since we’re all together for the first time in a long time, I say we have dinner at my place tonight. You bring Elliot or don’t bother showing your pretty blue eyes, got it?”
“Yes, ma’am,” Adrien said. He had no other choice, his mother was a force of nature when she wanted to be.
“How does Elliot know Damon,” Emilio asked. “God, I haven’t seen him in a few years.”
“Damon is Elliot’s partner,” Adrien said. “Which reminds me, when he told me last night that Daniel Fulton wasn’t my father, I asked him if he knew who was.”
His mother’s face tensed. It always did when his paternal lineage was mentioned. “What did he tell you?”
“That it wasn’t his information to tell and that I should ask you.” He turned his eyes on his mother, relieved to see that she’d relaxed somewhat. “I want to know,” Adrien said. “I mean, I don’t even have a name but… well, if there’s a reason why you’re not saying, then I can live with that too. I guess I just need to know that he’s not a psychopath like that guy last night.”
Dante snorted. “No, he’s definitely nothing like fucking Fulton. He’s a good man, Adrien.”
“So, why isn’t he in my life?” It was a reasonable question, right?
“Because things were different twenty something years ago,” Emilio said. “But know that it wasn’t ever his preferred choice.”
“More like the town’s decision in the end,” Dante spat. “But it’s always been obvious that he cares and is proud of you.”
“This is all I’m going to get, isn’t it?”
“Yes,” Emilio laughed, hugging Adrien to soften the blow.
“Maybe someday I can give you the truth, but for now, this is all I have to offer,” his mother said.
Unsatisfied, Adrien frowned. “I guess I can live with this for the time being. Knowing that you’re lack of disclosure isn’t because he’s insane or an asshole helps.”
“Good,” Aleja said. “Now, can we eat our damn donuts? I’m starving. Damon woke me up at the crack of freaking dawn to tell me you were fine.”
He’d had a hard time convincing Elliot that dinner with his family was a good idea. When Adrien’s mother called to say that she’d invited Damon, his wife, Keren, and their daughter, Chelsea, to dinner as well, Elliot had finally given in.
“At least Damon will defend me against your family’s united front,” Elliot said.
“I wouldn’t be too sure about that,” Adrien chuckled. “Mama says that Uncle Dante and Damon were joined at the hip in high school. You might need to form a unified front against them.”
“You are not making me want to have dinner with any of you right now.” Elliot lifted his coffee mug to his lips and smirked. “But this I can handle.”
Elliot had returned to the house just after noon. Adrien’s family had cleared out by then, thankfully. Aleja and Emilio had headed off to the store to plan dinner while Dante had invaded the quiet of Damon’s home. Adrien was certain Keren was losing her mind at the moment because Dante was like a giant child when kids were involved and Chelsea adored the big dork.
“So happy you aren’t afraid of me like you are of my family,” Adrien said.
“Nah,” Elliot grinned. “You’re a pushover.”
“Guilty,” Adrien said. “So does this mean you’ll have a fit when I tell you that my mom wanted us to come by early, before everyone gets to her place? She said she wanted to have a few minutes to get to know you without her brothers being obnoxious idiots.”
Elliot was completely, utterly out of his league. If Adrien was vibrant, funny, and excitable – which he undoubtedly was – his uncles were over the top. Although Emilio tended to be a little more reserved, he and Dante both never hesitated to laugh out loud at the slightest amusement or shout out their disagreement. In a way, it was refreshing to see such unbridled enthusiasm. In others, it was intimidating as hell.
Elliot looked across the table as Dante told some story from high school and caught Damon’s eye. His partner smiled back and gave a wink, Suggesting Elliot to let it go without a word. Adrien’s fingers brushed Elliot’s knee and he caught those beautiful blue eyes watching him. Relaxing instantly, Elliot gave his boyfriend a slight nod and tried to focus on the ridiculous story being told by Adrien’s uncle, with a multitude of interjections from around the table.
Even though he’d been worried about this dinner, his stress had eased as the meal had moved towards dessert. It seemed like even Keren was at home in this house, among these crazy people. But then, she was married to Damon so it made an odd sort of sense.
“She went to school with them, too,” Adrien whispered into his ear. “But not until high school. By then it was too late to break up their little posse.”
Grinning, Elliot pictured the lovely woman trying to beg a younger Damon to find better friends. “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em,” he whispered back.
“Pretty much,” Adrien agreed. Something caught his attention at the table and Adrien squinted at his mother. “Mama, that is not true. I know better than that.”
Adrien’s mother narrowed her eyes at her son, giving him a playfully angry look. “Oh you think so, do you?”
He flicked his eyes towards Damon and then back to his mother. “I’m pretty sure I would have heard about this long before now if it was true. I mean, I’ve known Damon all my life. This would have come up before now.”
Emilio laughed. “There is so much you don’t know about your mother, Adrien.”
Dante nodded. “About all of us, but that’s how life works. Your parents and, in this case anyway, your uncles, keep secrets from you.”
“And we do it mostly to horrify our children later,” Damon added.
Elliot watched Adrien’s confused gaze sweep the table. He was beginning to feel bad for his boyfriend and was considering threatening the lot of them for teasing Adrien.
“Don’t look at me,” Keren laughed. “This was all before I moved to this one horse town.”
“Excuse you,” Emilio joked. “This town has at least three horses, thank you.”
The table erupted into a mishmash of laughter, teasing banter, and friendly debate. Elliot leaned into Adrien’s shoulder. “What did your mother say to stir all this up?” He’d been too focused on what Adrien had been saying to pay attention to the conversation going on around them.
Adrien turned his head, lips brushing Elliot’s ear. “Apparently my mother dated your partner in high school.”
“What?” Elliot had to choke back his surprise. “And you didn’t know?”
“I had no idea,” he confirmed, leaning heavily against Elliot’s side. “I am shook.”
“I would be, too,” Elliot said, sliding his arm around Adrien.
“It could be worse,” Adrien said, smiling. “I could hate the guy, right?”
“Exactly,” Elliot said. He reached for his cup of coffee and brought it to his lips for a drink. The weight of Adrien’s body against his was a warm comfort, Elliot could feel the earlier tension in his boyfriend’s frame ease as the conversation moved from his mother’s dating habits to other, less disturbing topics.
“I can’t imagine finding out my mother dated some jerk like that freak that had been stalking me,” he said, breath hot on Elliot’s skin. “And then get told later –surprise! – that he’s my father. I think I’d shoot myself.”
“We can’t have that,” Elliot said, meaning it. “I have a hard time believing your mother would hook up with a jackass though. Can’t say I see her putting up with anyone’s bullshit.”
A smile lit Adrien’s face. “Yeah, she never put up with mine and she loves me.”
“And generally,” Elliot laughed. “If you’re going to put up with anyone’s crap, it’s going to be someone you love.”
“Amen to that,” Dante said, drawing them back into the conversation. “Sorry, couldn’t help but eavesdrop there, guys. I mean, having a personal and private conversation at a table full of people is a pretty dumb idea.”
“Or,” Damon said, grinning. “It is when he’s at your table.”
Aleja rolled her eyes and pushed her chair back before another friendly argument could break out. “Dessert?”
A resounding chorus of ‘yes’ echoed through his mother’s dining room, signaling both the best part of the night and the inevitable conclusion to it all. As unwilling as he’d been to attend this family dinner, Elliot found himself not wanting it to end. Adrien’s family was not only welcoming, but warm and affectionate as well. They’d been curious and interested in him and his backstory, listening with care to his answers to their multitude of questions. Elliot wasn’t sure how much of that was Damon’s influence, but he’d take it, if it helped his relationship with Adrien grow into what he believed it could be.
“You’re coming home with me after this is all over, right?”
Elliot nodded. “You couldn’t keep me away,” he said.
“Perfect,” Adrien said, taking Elliot’s hand into his own. “After all this family togetherness the last thing I want to do is spend the night alone.”
“As long as you have me,” Elliot said. “You’ll never have to spend another night alone.” Ever. Not if he had anything to say about it.
Adrien leaned in and kissed his cheek, not caring that his mother or Elliot’s partner sat watching, never mind all the other eyes focused on them currently. They were a scary bunch, but Elliot figured they’d drop the overprotective act as soon as they were sure he wasn’t here to hurt Adrien or take advantage of him. Even Elliot had to admit, if it was his son or brother in this position, he’d be just as ruthless. He respected it even if it annoyed the hell out of him. All this meant was that he and Adrien would be closer and stronger by the time they gave in and accepted him. It was well worth the aggravation.
Wait, Adrien was worth the aggravation. Yeah, that was better.