Pairing: Ali + Blake, Adam/Blake
Word Count: 2803 (holy crap!)
Warnings: Just my usual crackhead humor
Short Summary: Blake runs into his ex-wife after 18 months. Adam is not prepared.
Author’s Notes: I follow this wonderful blog on Tumblr and after reading the tags on this post, I couldn't help myself. Back in 2007, I started an original fic based on one of my favorite characters, Ali, and a man I loosely based on the real Blake. This story is, in a sense, an AU of my own original fic. But it's also a bit of RPF. So, yeah. Weird. But um, well, you are on MY blog after all. Enjoy or not. Helpful critiscm or outright rotten tomatoes may be hurled here: email@example.com
Blake stopped at the sound of the familiar voice, turning in disbelief. There’s no way, I’m hearing things, he thought to himself. But he wasn’t. Running directly towards him was a wild-haired, blue-eyed little boy. Following close on the kid’s heels was an equally wild-haired little girl with the same blue eyes and a temper to be wary of.
Scanning the crowd, he spotted her, there, bringing up the rear, as per usual. She hadn’t changed much in the eighteen months since he’d last seen her and, even if she had changed completely, he felt certain that he’d always know her on sight. They’d gone through entirely too much together to ever forget what they’d had.
Before he’d screwed it up.
“Cookie,” he called out before being tackled at the knee by his rugrats.
Blake knelt down and gathered his kids into his arms, hugging them hard against his chest. It’d been too long since they’d been together. Honestly, it’d been his fault, with the tour, the show, and everything else going on, he just hadn’t had time. He knew that he needed to make time, but he hadn’t. It hurt too much.
And now they were here. All of them, just like it had been before he’d walked out on all of them.
Ali stopped three feet from where he’d gathered their kids, shaking her head, smiling. “You never change, you know that, right?”
He looked up and met her blue eyes with his own. “What do you mean?”
She gestured to the people having to alter their paths to get around their little impromptu family reunion. “Other than the fact you stopped in the middle of the sidewalk? Not much, Cowboy.”
Laughing, he squeezed his kids one last time before standing and herding them off towards an empty table. Figuring that a) Starbucks wouldn’t care if they used one table and b) that Ali was probably in desperate need of some caffeine at the moment, he sat down. She hesitated for a moment before pulling out a chair and sitting.
“Why are you here in LA? Or am I allowed to ask?” He knew that she’d taken a transfer out of her old position, one that put her behind a desk and kept her out of the line of fire for the most part. He also knew that she still had top level security clearance as well, so whatever her reasons for visiting California, they might still have something to do with national security.
Ali looked away quickly, trying to compose herself. She hadn’t been prepared to run into her ex-husband, even knowing that she’d eventually have to fess up one of these days. The guy had proposed to her after all, leading to her considering a transfer of quite another sort.
“Cookie, what aren’t you telling me?”
Shrugging, she figured it was best to just get it out in the open. “Visiting someone. Someone that I’ve been seeing for nearly a year now.”
Stunned, he sat back in his chair, unable to speak. He was happy for her, of course, but he honestly never thought she’d get involved again. Certainly not this soon. Would she? Rayna tugged on his arm, demanding his attention. With effort, he pulled his eyes off his former wife and moved them to his little girl.
“What’s up, buttercup?”
“Hold me, papa.”
How could he resist a request like that? He held out his arms to her and helped her into his lap. Her hair had grown wild since he’d last seen her, those obnoxious curls loosening up into long, auburn waves. She was looking less and less like him and more and more like her mother. Rayna had even acquired Ali’s sarcastic quirk of the lips. His heart swelled with love and pride and regret. He’d lost so much, but he’d managed to find a way to move on, and hopefully even find something good again.
Rory watched his father cuddle and tickle his sister dejectedly. Stuck between wanting to crawl all over him and dying to be a big boy who didn’t need cuddles, he wasn’t sure what he should do. Knowing her mini-Blake well, Ali casually kicked the boy’s father under the table. Blake looked up, smartass comment forming on his lips, when he saw her tilt her head slightly towards the glowering six-year-old.
He got it. “Hey Bucky, why don’t you come over here and give your old man another hug, huh?”
“Well,” he drawled, “okay, if you really wanna.”
Blake grinned. “I really wanna. Now get your backside over here.”
Rory hopped down from his seat and climbed happily into his daddy’s lap, wrapping one small arm around his middle. Ali couldn’t help but soak it all up while she could. A lot of things had changed between them, but his love for his kids never would. She could always count on him to be their favorite person and that was okay with her. When it got to be too much for her to witness, she looked off down the street, watching the people come and go on their errands in the California sun.
It was then that she spotted him.
She knew from that first glimpse that this was the man Blake was in love with. Even if she hadn’t seen their budding bromance on TV and all over the internet, she’d have known instantly that he was the one. Although he was nothing like Billy had been, Adam had Blake’s type written all over him. Tall, handsome, brooding, it was all there. Plus, he had a beautiful smile and a playful streak, two things that Blake needed in a lover.
Adam was headed towards the area where the kids had spotted Blake earlier, walking at an unhurried pace, enjoying the mild winter weather. A small plastic bag dangled from one wrist, swinging in time to the tempo of his steps.
Blake finally noticed his lover strolling along the boulevard. “Adam,” he hollered. “Here, buddy!”
The man’s dark head pivoted before spotting Blake. Waving, he made his way towards the coffee shop. Halfway to the table, he noticed the children crowding his boyfriend’s lap and stumbled. It wasn’t unusual for Blake to be stopped by fans on the street, or even for him to sit down and chat with them for a bit, but this? This was new.
The little girl with the bright eyes had her head tilted up, fingers running along Blake’s jaw, testing the prickly factor of his unshaven face. When she’d least expect it, he’d quickly move his jaw, bringing his mouth in line with her questing fingers and giving them a quick kiss. She’d giggle and repeat.
The boy was older, maybe six or seven years old and made Adam stop in his tracks. From his out of control golden brown curls, to his penetrating blue eyes, the kid screamed Blake at him. When he flashed an all-too-familiar grin at the woman sitting across the table from him, it hit him. These were Blake’s kids. There was no other explanation for the boy that was for sure. He was damn near a carbon copy of his father. Now that he was looking, he could see a lot of Blake in the little girl as well. Those eyes, he thought, they’re a dead giveaway.
“Hey,” he greeted, bolstering his courage as best he could. “Sorry it took so long, that clerk was new.”
Blake’s smile lit up his face. “Hey Adam, no worries. Sit, I want you to meet someone. Uh, someones?”
Adam laughed, taking the seat beside his lover, unsure of how close he should sit. If this woman with the intense gaze was his ex-whatever, how would she feel knowing her one-time man was now with a man? “Blake, you are such a dork.”
“No,” the woman corrected, leaning across the table to emphasize her point. “He is the biggest dork I have ever met in my entire life. And if you knew my brother even slightly, you’d understand what a huge statement that is.”
Adam let out a breath he hadn’t realized he’d been holding in. It seemed like she wasn’t going to be a bitch about things at least. “Does that mean your brother is a huge dork as well?”
“Oh, no, her brother? Her brother bypasses ‘dork’ by a mile. And that friend of his…”
“Do not bring ‘Zook into this, Blake. Let the watch thing go, will you?”
It was like watching a tennis match when these two conversed, Adam realized. Smart comebacks from Blake, intelligent and precise strikes back from the woman.
Blake tickled the little girl under her chin causing squeals of mock protest to emerge. “This is Rayna,” he told Adam, clutching the wriggling child to him. “And this is Rory.” The boy blinded Adam with a very Blake-like smile before reaching out a hand. The older man shook the boy’s hand soberly.
“I’m Allyson,” the woman said, reaching a hand out as well. “Not only is Blake a dork of epic proportion, he also lacks even the basics of manners.”
He could tell she was teasing by the affection in her voice. Shaking her hand, he noticed her firm grip and no-nonsense approach to things. It was a wonder they’d stayed together long enough to produce two kids what with how much of a goof Blake could be.
“I have manners,” Blake protested, loosening his grip on a squirming Rayna. “I just sometimes choose not to use them.”
Before Ali could respond, Rayna was tugging on her hand. “Mama? Mama?”
“What, child?” She leaned closer to her daughter, waiting patiently.
“Mama,” she repeated, lifting a finger pointing across the street. “There’s a candy store there, can Papa get us some candy?”
She gave Blake a side glance, anticipating his affirmative response. At his slight nod, she focused back on Rayna. “Yes, Raynie baby, you can take your Papa over to the candy store, but he’s got to get me a coffee first.”
“YAY,” the kids chorused together, eliciting a chuckle out of the man slowly beginning to feel like a third wheel.
“Blake, you take the monkeys to get some candy and I’ll get the coffee. Deal?”
“Oh no, no way am I leaving you here. With her.”
“You say that like it’s a bad thing, Cowboy.”
“Cookie, I know you and I know the kind of things you like to tell people about me. Uh-uh.”
“Aw, come on man,” Adam grinned. How bad could she be? “I’ve known you for what? Two years now? I’m not sure there’s much that can surprise me.”
Blake studied his face for a moment, searching for something but not knowing what. “Okay,” he consented. “But,” he looked at Ali sternly, “you behave.”
Ali lifted her palms in the air in a gesture of innocence. He mock-glared at her before lifting his son off his lap and onto the ground. Standing, he took a small hand in each of his and headed towards the candy shop across the street.
A small smile crossed Adam’s face as he watched the three of them move farther away. Blake was so at ease with his kids, tugging on one’s arm and pushing the other to the side. It must’ve made walking difficult for the little ones, but the sounds of their giggles said otherwise. He was still staring after they’d disappeared inside, waiting for Blake to pop his head back out or somehow acknowledge him there.
“So,” Ali said, startling Adam out of his reverie. “You said there wasn’t anything that could surprise you about him. I’m taking that to mean that he told you about the kids?”
He looked her over carefully before answering. “No, no he didn’t tell me about them – or you, either, really. And as shocked as I was at first, it fits, you know? A boy like that, he needs kids.”
Ali smiled sadly, knowing he was right. “And he’s a good father, you know. Made my job twelve times harder, but he was always a good father.”
Adam believed her. He had that quality to him, the take-no-shit attitude, but also a live-and-let live one as well. It made for an interesting balance of aggressive yet protective male.
“How long have you been seeing each other?”
“Wh-what? We’re not…”
“Oh please. I was married to the man. I know that look he’s been giving you.” She touched his wrist with the tips of her fingers, gently. Comfortingly. “I’m glad, to be honest. You’re a million times better for him than that bottle-blonde he left me for.”
That was news to him. Married? Bottle-blonde –oh. Oh. Yeah. He knew who she was referring to. The one that had broken Blake’s heart. The one they both owed their budding relationship to. Her. “Well, we still haven’t made it official, but we’ve – we’ve been together for about four months now.”
Ali gave his wrist a quick squeeze before letting go. “Meaning you’re still in the fun part of the relationship. The discovery. The learning. Enjoy it. He’s a wonderful man, but he had too many things pulling him in too many directions when we were together. I think he’s learned how to cope with it all finally. He’ll be good to you.”
He looked up, hoping to catch sight of his love on his way back to his side. A grin crept slowly across his lips at the sight he saw. Blake was making his long-legged way across the street, holding Rory by one hand, a candy necklace wrapped around his wrist. On his other hip sat Rayna, plastic tiara resting upon her head, gigantic sucker in her grasp. Stickers decorated the front of Blake’s favorite flannel shirt and parts of his face. A Tootsie Pop – cherry Adam knew from experience – sticking out of the corner of his cocky smirk.
“See,” she laughed taking in the sight for herself. “This is what I mean. He was like my child, too.”
“I can sympathize with that,” Adam consoled. “So, what did you bring me?”
Blake stopped short, panic crossing his face. “Bring you? I was supposed to bring you some candy?”
“Duh Blake. Told you had had no manners, Adam.”
“Ah, but that’s not true,” he said. “Rory, hand your Mama the bag.”
Rory obliged with a sugar-induced giggle. Ali looked inside and shook her head in defeat. He’d remembered. She knew he would, too.
“Oh, I see how you are. You bring her candy but not me?”
“Aw, Adam, but I thought I was your sweet?”
Ali reached into the bag and removed half of the contents. “Here Adam, I’ll share.”
His eyes lit up. “Twizzlers! My favorite. Ooooh, and they’re strawberry too.”
“Hah!” Blake exclaimed. “At least I’ll never forget what to bring you now ‘cause they’re her favorite too. She must really like ya to give any of them up.”
“How could she not?”
Blake eyed him for a minute before remembering the kids observing the conversation. “Hey Cookie? How long ya gonna be in town?”
Her brow furrowed, wondering just why he’d ask that. “A few days. Why?”
He shot a quick glance at Adam before hurrying on with his question. “Can I take them home with me. Uh, us? Just for tonight? It’s been so long and…”
Blake was looking at her with desperation in his eyes. Adam was watching him with pure and utter adoration. And the kids were looking between them all, waiting.
“You’ll have to follow me back to my hotel to get their stuff, but sure. Why not? I can’t tell you how long it’s been since I’ve had five minutes to myself.”
Blake looked at Adam, afraid of what he might see written on his face. “So, what do you think? You up to a couple kids tonight?”
“Why the hell not? I mean, it’s not like I wasn’t already going to have you with me, right?”
“Why do I feel like I was just insulted?”
“Because you were,” Ali and Adam said in unison. “JINX!”
Blake looked at Rayna still perched on his hip. “Why me?”
“Because you can take it, Cowboy. Now, let’s go pack the kids up so you can have them. Okay?”
Blake squeezed Rayna and nodded. “Okay.”
Adam reached out a hand to Rory and said, “You comin’ too, buddy?”
With a nod, he took the proffered hand like he’d known him all along.
“You know,” Ali said casually, “I never did get my coffee…”
“Damnit,” Adam muttered. “I knew I forgot something.”
“It’s all good, buddy,” Blake comforted him, putting an arm around his waist. “We have the kids. She can go get her own coffee.”
Adam chuckled, knowing that there was never a dull moment with his man around.