Title: Over the River
Email address: Peach1250@hotmail.com
Warnings: This story contains m/m relationship. If these things bother you *GO AWAY NOW*
Rating: PG And it's all Josan fault.
[Note from Josan: Yes, it is. And I'm quite willing to accept all the blame...and the credit as well! <g>]
Archive: DitB, RatB, SKSA, Fullhouseslash, Baldheaven. Anyone else just ask.
Disclaimer: The characters of Skinner, Krycek and the X-Files belong to Chris Carter, 1013 Productions and the Fox Network. No copyright Infringement is intended no money is being made.
Summary: Family visit.
NOTES: Thanks to Josan as always. This is the result of a challenge from Josan to write a relationship story with NO sex not even a p---- anywhere. [Bet you thought I'd goof on that one, right Josan?]
This is part of the HMV universe, and takes place before Thomas Wolfe. Aunt Jenny is named for my beautiful JenR who makes such pretty pictures for me. Thanks Jen.
"Alex, why didn't you wake me?"
I walked over to his chair, leaning down to kiss him. His hand curled around my neck in a gentle caress.
"You got in so late last night, I didn't have the heart."
"But we were going to leave early. It's a pretty long drive."
"I know but I called my aunt and told her we'd be later than planned. Besides your mother isn't flying in there until tomorrow, so it's fine."
I hadn't told him but I was very nervous about meeting his Aunt Jenny. I knew she was already aware of our relationship. Why not? She had known he was gay since he was in high school - but I still worried. I was afraid I would come up lacking in her eyes.
After all, I'm older and not very good-looking. I often wonder why he stays with me. He could have anyone he wants.
I was also nervous about his aunt and my mother meeting. It had taken some fancy footwork on my part to get my mother to agree to go there for Thanksgiving. It hadn't been that long since I had confessed to her about my relationship with Alex.
She had taken that news better than I had expected. But I still worried that somewhere deep down she wasn't as ok with it as she acted. Holidays are stressful even when you have the normal lifestyle that the world expects you to have and that Alex and I definitely don't.
"Come on, Walter, I've already put everything in the car so, if you're ready, we can go."
"Yeah, I'm ready."
He smiled at me then and I knew we would get through anything that life handed us. My mother loves me, she would learn to love him.
The trip was pretty uneventful except for the flat tire. But the spare was fine and we decided we could get the other one fixed after the holiday before we drove home.
I was excited by the time we arrived. I had wanted to know more about my lover and figured his aunt would be just the one to ask. Female relatives seem ready to brag at the drop of a handkerchief about how cute or smart or funny the children were. Who knew, maybe she would even have a picture of him on a bearskin rug to show me.
The neighbourhood was pleasant, most of the homes older. I wasn't surprised to see that the one we stopped in front of was well maintained. I knew that Alex paid for a lawn service as well as other things for his aunt, just as I covered certain of my mother's expenses.
He pulled me toward the door as I protested we should get the luggage.
"We can come back for that. I know she's anxious to meet you."
"Well, I'm nervous about meeting her. What if she doesn't like me?"
"I love you and that's all that matters to her. She'll..."
The door swung open and a small dog, yapping and jumping excitedly, attacked Alex. A beautiful woman with his green eyes stood watching as Alex bent to pet the dog.
"Hi, Igor. I know you missed me, boy."
When he straightened, His aunt moved with the grace of a dancer into his arms and he hugged her close. Then stepping back, he reached for my hand.
As he pulled me toward her I noted the resemblances. Her hair had once been the same dark colour as my lover's, although now it was peppered with grey. She wasn't very tall but I didn't think she was concerned with that since her shoes were flats. She was dressed in a green flower print dress that brought out her eyes to great effect.
"Aunt Jenny, this is my Walter. Walter, I'd like you to meet my Aunt Jenny."
"Welcome, Walter. It's nice to finally meet the man who makes my Alexei so happy."
I was surprised when she moved forward and kissed me lightly on the cheek. I knew then that this would be all right. Her hand entwined with my free one and she pulled me toward the door before I had a chance to answer.
"Alexei, I'm putting you and Walter in the guestroom. I didn't think the two of you would be comfortable in your old room. That will be all right with Walter's mother, won't it? I mean, I know you haven't slept under the same roof with her yet and..."
"It'll be fine, Mrs..."
"Call me Jenny."
I smiled at her then. One of the unadulterated smiles not many get to see. Yeah, it was going to be fine. Her tone had told me that she had no problems with us being in the same room and in the same bed.
"My mother knows we share a bed. I made it clear to her that I won't pretend otherwise."
"Good, I look forward to meeting her. What time does she get in tomorrow?"
"Her plane lands at three. I told her I would meet her at the airport."
Alex took my coat and hung them both in the small closet in the entryway. We talked as she led us toward the kitchen. The odours coming from there were making my mouth water.
"I made Alexei's favourites for dinner. I hope you like ethnic food, Walter."
"Aunt Jenny, his middle name is Sergei. How could he not?"
"How indeed. We save the dinning room for special dinners. I have everything set up in the kitchen."
"Silly boy, of course it is."
The door was pushed open and my eyes almost popped out of my head. It might not have been the dinning room but it still looked like more than a simple weeknight dinner. The table was covered with a lace tablecloth, candles waiting to be lit, beautiful china laid out, real napkins in holders - no paper on her table.
Alex motioned me to sit at the head of the table and when I protested, he told me guests were always seated there. Tomorrow, I would be family; tonight, I was a guest. I sat and watched as my lover removed the bottle of vodka from the freezer. Moving to the table, he poured the icy liquor into our glasses.
His aunt then removed salad plates from the freezer as well and placed them on the table. The salad was removed from the fridge and brought to the table.
"Alexei, dish up the salad please while I check the fish. Walter, would you light the candles, please."
I rose to do as asked, finding the matches lying next to the candle holders. Alex dished up the salad and his aunt soon joined us. They each reached to take my hands and I watched as Alex and his aunt bowed their heads. She spoke softly, the words of the prayer in Russian with Alex softly translating for me. I developed a decided lump in my throat when she asked that Alex and I be watched over.
They released my hands. Alex raised his glass as his aunt instructed me to eat. I smiled and dug in. When we were through with the salad and the main course placed on the table, I started digging for information.
"So, Jenny, tell me, what Alex was like as a boy."
"After dinner, I'll show you the picture albums. He was such a beautiful boy, and so smart."
She winked at me as Alex rolled his eyes and made a face at her.
"Aunt Jenny, stop it. Don't you dare drag out the albums. He doesn't need to see me with birthday cake all over my face. Or with scabby knees from falling off my bike."
"I was going to show him the good ones. Like the ones in front of the fireplace at Christmas."
"Why do I not believe that? You want to show him the ones I keep trying to throw out."
I couldn't stop the chuckle at his obvious exasperation.
"Alex, you might as well give in. I know I don't have any chance of my mother not showing you all the terrible ones of me. And she has one really bad one I wish had never been taken. So, come on, show me yours and I'll show you mine."
The minute it was out of my mouth, I realized how that sounded. My face flamed, Alex snorted and Aunt Jenny coughed politely into her napkin. I'll have to give them both credit, they made no remarks to increase my embarrassment.
"I'll go along with you seeing the ones from high school and college but the baby pictures stay put away until I see pictures of you. And I want one of you in your dress blues."
"Mom will be only too happy to get those out for you. I won't mind you seeing those at all. I think I looked pretty good in uniform."
His eyes sparkled at me as he nodded. The conversation moved on to other things including how things were going in the neighbourhood. Aunt Jenny mentioned that one of his old classmates had moved back to town. Alex asked how he was. She told us which of the vegetables in the garden had faired best over the summer. Alex moaned that it would have to be his least favourite.
After dinner, we helped clean up then followed his aunt into the living room. I started a fire at her request then settled down to look at photos. She kept her word and only showed me my Alex as a gawky teenager. His beauty was evident even then.
All too soon it was bedtime. We slipped into our coats to go get our bags, since the temperature had dropped. The bedroom was done in shades of blue and green. The bed was only a queen size but that didn't matter. We always sleep close. He snuggled into my arms with only a sweet goodnight kiss. Morning came all too soon.
I went down to find them talking in Russian, tea brewing on the stove. As soon as they saw me, they switched to English.
"Walter, you and Alexei will have to fend for yourselves for breakfast. My neighbour was taken to the hospital during the night and I wish to go check on her and see if I can make her more comfortable. But I'll be back before your mother arrives."
"No problem, Jenny. I know how to cook a couple of things."
"He's a good cook, Aunt Jenny. Don't let him pull your leg."
"Ok. I'll see you both later."
She hugged Alex and kissed his cheek then moved to kiss mine as well. We ate breakfast as we scanned the paper then Alex suggested we go for a drive.
"Will you show me your school and where you used to hang out?"
"I didn't hang out much, Walter. I was keeping a very low profile. I didn't want a repeat of my old school."
"Alex, I'm sorry."
"It's ok. I do want to show you the town. It's a pretty nice little place."
We drove around, him pointing out his school, the library where he spent many afternoons reading about the past. Reminding me that he knew history much better now that he had visited so many of our past lives. We checked out a couple of shops he liked and I bought a Christmas gift for Kim.
Before I knew it, it was time to go pick up my mother. Alex offered to wait in the car but I wanted him there. I knew he thought that my mother still saw him as the man who corrupted her baby boy. But if there was any truth to her thinking that then we needed to get them together more often. How else was she to learn what a wonderful man he is?
He did hang back as I moved to welcome her. I lifted her in my arms, hugging her close and realized she had lost more weight. Since she no longer had my dad to cook for, she didn't eat as regularly as she should.
I waved to Alex and he came forward.
"Hello, Mrs. Skinner, how are you? I'm so glad you decided to come spend Thanksgiving here with us."
"I'm doing just fine, Alex. For someone who just had the most god awful snack ever inflicted on someone on a plane trip."
I watched as my lover smiled down at my mother. The one time we had gone to see her so that I could introduce him to her, it really hadn't been much of an opportunity for him to encounter her sense of humour.
"I'm sure Aunt Jenny will see to it that you get a proper dinner tonight."
"Really? I thought we might be doing take out so we could do early prep for tomorrow."
I noticed Mom's hair was even whiter than the last time I saw her. She had it pulled up into one of the elaborate styles she wears in the daytime. At night it would be hanging down in a long braid down her back. I wondered how much she missed my Dad brushing it for her. Her brown eyes hadn't lost any of the intelligence I was used to seeing. And I thought she and Jenny were probably the same height.
"Maybe I'll suggest that to her. It would certainly make tomorrow easier all around if we did some of the prep tonight."
Alex insisted on letting me drive and sitting in the back on the way to his aunt's. Mother chattered to us on the way, bringing me up to date on all the cousins. Alex was quiet except for giving me directions. When we reached the house, I opened the door for mother and told her to go up and we would follow with her bag.
"Alex, you ok?"
"Guess it's my turn to be nervous. I don't want your mother to hate me."
"She doesn't hate you. She will learn to love you, Alex."
"I don't know about that. After all I turned her baby boy out. You never even looked at a man until I walked into your life. She must resent me for that."
I looked toward the house and saw that Jenny was leading my mother inside.
"Alex, my mother wants my happiness. She wants me to love and to be loved. That's more important to her than the gender of the person who gives that to me."
"Yeah, well, when she met me, she didn't have to deal with seeing us go to bed in the same room or coming out of that room in the morning."
"Alex, she's my mother. Don't you think I might have gotten some of my appetites from her? She and my father were very affectionate. I walked in on them in compromising positions on more than one occasion. She coped with it better than my dad did."
"Let's go in. I don't want Aunt Jenny boxing my ears for bad manners."
"I'd pay to see that." I laughed as he frowned at me.
"Don't forget who is Master here." His growl contained no bite.
"I'll never forget that, Master." My smile showing just how unconcerned I was with the implied threat.
I grabbed my mother's bag and followed him to the door. I heard Aunt Jenny's voice call out as the door was closed.
"We're in the kitchen. Put Evelyn's bag upstairs."
Alex took the bag for me and motioned for me to go join the ladies. I found them discussing what to order for dinner.
"Walter, your mother had the best idea. We're going to order in for dinner. That way we can make the desserts tonight and have less to do tomorrow. What do you and Alexei want to eat?"
"You call him Alexei? I think I like that better than Alex."
"Then you should call me that as well, Mrs. Skinner." Alex said as he joined us.
"Only if you will stop being so formal with me."
"What shall I call you?"
"What would you be comfortable with? Sharon called me Evelyn. My son-in-law calls me Ma. I would be fine with either of those."
I watched the green eyes as he thought on his options, hoping he would come up with another alternative. My mother had never been really comfortable with having my friends call her by her first name. That just wasn't done in the south. Sharon, being my wife, was allowed this but it was always a sore spot. I mean she never said it but I can read my mother. As for Gavin calling her Ma, well, let's just say she puts up with it because she recognizes it to be affectionate on his part.
"Would it be all right for me to call you Mother?"
Later, I would tell him that he won her over with that one sentence. With that one line, he told her just how important I was to him. He told her how much he wanted to be part of the family. And he showed her the proper respect.
"I think I would like that, Alexei."
The conversation moved back to what to order for dinner. That taken care of, we pretty much listened as the ladies talked about the menu for the next day. Dinner conversation consisted of more getting to know you stuff, with Jenny and Mom learning they shared several interests.
After dinner, Alex and I were kicked out of the kitchen. We settled in one of our favourite positions on the sofa and watched a little TV. We were both dozing when they finished up for the night and came out.
"Walter, are you two going to sleep on the sofa all night?"
I smiled up at her and shook Alex gently. Jenny started up the stairs as we got up. At the door to the guest room, Alex kissed his aunt and she went on to her room. I started to lead Mom to her room when she stood on tiptoe and kissed Alex on the cheek.
"Goodnight, Alexei. See you in the morning."
He ducked into the guestroom quickly. I showed Mom to Alex's old room and kissed her cheek. "Thanks, Mom."
"Accepting him. He was so worried that you'd hate him for corrupting me."
"Walter, you are your own man. You always have been, since you were three and decided you didn't need mom to help you with things. He couldn't make you do anything you didn't want to do. How could I hate someone who obviously makes my son so happy?"
"How, indeed? Would you let him know that?"
"Of course, I will. Now go to bed, after all you have a long day of pigging out and watching football scheduled for tomorrow."
I smiled and kissed her cheek again. Turning, I hurried to the guestroom and my lover. I found him standing just inside the door with bright wet eyes.
"No more worries?"
"Good, let's get some sleep. Need our rest for all that pigging out and couch potato behaviour tomorrow."
We were snuggled close, Alex warm in my arms when his voice whispered across my skin.
"Have I ever told you how glad I am that you find me in all my lives?"
"Not half as glad as I am. I love you, Alex."
"And I love you, my beautiful slave."
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