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Fic: Elizabeth - Chapter 3 (2/3)
Chapter 3 - Part 2

Tommy just playfully whispers in his ear, “My secret,” and leaves to change his clothes, leaving Adam behind with his mouth wide open. When Adam recovers from the surprise, he hurries to get changed himself, and shortly after putting their makeup on they are both ready to leave.

When Adam’s phone buzzes he gets up from couch to leave. After a few steps he stops and spins around, closing the distance between him and Tommy. He doesn’t really think about it when he bows down and kisses Tommy quickly on his soft lips. When his lips leave Tommy’s he looks into Tommy’s eyes, caressing his cheek. “Have a good day. See you later,” and with that he leaves for sure.

Tommy is just sitting there on the couch, watching the main door, his heart beating fast. He’s still sitting on the couch when Mike arrives to pick him up.

They go shopping for groceries and other useful things and after that, as planned, they pick up Adam’s and Tommy’s suits for the Sunday charity event and when everything is done, lunch is in order. They go for Mexican and if Mike is surprised that Tommy orders salad, he’s not letting it show. They talk about their music together and future plans and Tommy is literally babbling about how Elizabeth is perfect and beautiful, but Mike can’t miss Tommy’s intention to exclude Adam from their conversation. He think he knows why, but he decides to try to talk to Tommy.

So, how are things going in the Lambert-Ratliff household?” He can see the immediate change on Tommy’s face, from excitement to surprise to sadness, only to be replaced by what he perceives as fake calmness.

It’s going okay,” Tommy says, but he’s not able to look at Mike, staring instead at his hands.

Tommy,” Mike starts, and covers Tommy’s hand with his own. “I know when you are okay, and this is not okay. So tell me what’s going on. I’m your friend and you know I would never betray your trust.”

Tommy squeezes Mike’s hand and finally looks at him, his face full of sadness. “You will tell me ‘I told you so’,” he says, staring into space. “Yesterday we were visiting Elizabeth and I realized how much I wanted this whole thing to be real. To have her, and to have him. I realized that…”

Tommy’s voice breaks and he takes another breath to finish his sentence, but Mike finishes it for him. “…that you love him.”

Yeah,” Tommy nods, fighting hard to stop the tears that are ready to ruin his makeup.

Then tell him. I’m sure he loves you too. You can see it in his eyes every time he’s close to you …”

Tommy just shakes his head. “No, I can’t tell him. He loves me, sure, but just as a best friend, he told me that. He doesn’t love me like that. When I offered to help, he didn’t sign up for anything else but his best friend helping him and now I have to learn to deal with it.”

Mike watches him, speechless, wondering how Tommy — well both of them — could be so blind. He tries to talk some sense into Tommy, but he’s not really listening. He just repeats himself like a broken record.

Please Mike, stop it. I know how it is and how it’ll end. Just promise me you’ll be here for me, to listen to me when I will need it and to help me get through it at the end, because when I have to leave … then I will need someone to help me.”

Mike can barely stand the huge amount of sadness radiating from Tommy; the feeling that no matter what happens, he won’t get what he desires. So he does what Tommy needs, holds him tight, assuring him he’ll always be there for him. After that Mike stops pushing and changes the subject and shortly, Tommy is back to his usual self. Mike only wonders how long Tommy can hide his feelings inside before he really does end up with broken heart.

After their lunch, Mike brings Tommy back to Adam’s house and when they are unpacking everything the doorbell rings. Tommy asks Mike to see who it is and bring them in, as he has his hands full of bags and their suits.

Shortly after that, Mike ushers in an older lady Tommy has never seen before. Mike sees the confusion on Tommy’s face so he introduces them. “Hey man. This lady is from social services and she came to visit you and Adam.”

Tommy recovers from the surprise quickly, puts everything down, and hurries over to welcome her into their home “Oh, welcome. You must be Jane. But Adam didn’t tell me you’d be coming for a visit,” he says apologetically, and shakes her hand, smiling.

Oh he doesn’t know yet. I told him I would come for an unannounced visit. Is Adam at home?”

Before answering her Tommy looks at Mike “Thank you for helping me today, you can see yourself out right?”

Mike just smiles and leaves, leaving them alone. After he’s gone Tommy looks back at Jane. “Oh I’m so sorry, I forgot to introduce myself. I’m Tommy, Adam’s fiancé.”

She smiles at him, looking around their living room area. “Nice to finally meet you. I was getting really worried about Adam’s case as you were never around.”

Tommy wants to say something in response, when he realizes that he has some food that needs attention. “Would you mind following me to our kitchen? I know it’s not really polite, but I have some groceries that need to be put into the freezer and fridge.”

She smiles. “Oh, that’s okay, we can talk in the kitchen as well.”

Tommy just nods and picks up the few remaining bags, and with a simple “this way” he heads towards the kitchen. When Jane sits down he offers refreshments and makes them both coffee. Jane starts questioning him and he tries his best to answer every question while stuffing things into the cabinets, fridge and freezer. The questions are ALL easy; she asks about his childhood and about his hobbies and his previous and current work, not really getting into the adoption case. He thinks she wants to make him feel comfortable at first and the questions that she’s really interested in asking will come later.

After everything is put away, he offers Jane a tour. She accepts and Tommy shows her around. He explains why they have small barricades around the grill and swimming pool and shows her that all the corners on the tables have plastics covers and even though they know Elizabeth will not be in danger for some time to come (before learning to walk) they often have friends and family members with kids visiting, so they took precautions already.

Then he shows her the first floor and as Tommy is showing her around, Jane never stops with her questions. She really likes Adam’s office/their music room and after an awkward moment she even peeks into their master bedroom. She sees how Tommy is blushing so she assures him that their bedroom is the last thing she needs to see. She does, however, fall in love with Elizabeth’s future bedroom, and remembering how he felt when he saw it for the first time, Tommy’s not surprised at all.

When the tour is over, they head for the living room. Tommy quickly prepares a plate of fruit and delivers it with coffee, putting both on the coffee table. When they settle in, Jane finally starts asking the questions Tommy was expecting her to ask.

He explains that when he and Adam started working together they were just friends, but after some time passed, Tommy realized he felt more than friendship and when Adam broke up with Sauli, he finally found the strength to tell him how he felt, and they’ve been inseparable ever since.

She says she understands but she asks why Adam never brought him to the sanatorium before, and that she understands that he is famous and other reasons he gave but she just doesn’t understand that fear.

Tommy smiles fondly at her. “I know a lot of people don’t understand it. Sometimes even his friends. But it’s not just because he’s famous. He can deal with paparazzi and stuff like that, but he’s afraid that people will try to stick their noses where they have no right to, and that it could hurt him and Elizabeth. He has to be careful. He wasn’t before and one of his oldest friends betrayed him for easy money. And then of course there's my part.”

She nods with understanding. “You mean the part he never took you with him?”

Tommy nods again “You have to understand, Adam is very protective of the people he loves. He knows it wasn’t easy for me to accept that I could love a man. Not many people know I'm bisexual, well except my family and friends, and he’s trying to protect me. Get me to be comfortable enough to tell everyone else. I know we haven't been together the longest time, but we both know we will spend our lives together and…” before he can continue he hears keys in the lock and the door closing.

Then he hears Adam calling him. “Tommy, I’m home. Got out of the studio a little bit earlier than expected.”

Tommy quickly excuses himself, running to greet Adam as far from Jane as possible. “Hey baby, I’m happy you’re home early as we have a visitor.” He all but yells and the second Adam is close enough, he embraces him whispering,

“Your friend from social services is here; she has a lots of questions and so far it’s going well so when we get to the living room, kiss me nicely and play along with me, okay?” He looks at Adam, who is standing there like a statue, completely shocked, so he shakes him a bit. “Okay, Adam?” Adam finally reacts, but only nods.

When they get back to the living room Adam greets Jane but excuses himself. He just wants to go to their bedroom to change and says that he will be back right away. Tommy leaves too, telling Jane he wants to prepare tea for Adam and that he will be right back. He hopes Jane will find the album they prepared, as he left it laying out. She might not admit she looked inside, but if she does, it’ll serve them well.

When Tommy gets back with Adam’s tea, he can see the album positioned a bit differently, so he thinks that his plan worked out well. Meanwhile, after a mini freak out in their bedroom, Adam comes back, changed into plain jeans and a tee-shirt. Tommy is sitting on the couch again talking to Jane. When he sees Adam, he gestures for him to join them.

Adam sits next to Tommy and puts his arm around Tommy’s waist. Tommy turns around and gently kisses Adam’s chin. “I was just telling Jane why you never visited with me, about how protective you can be. And that you never told me that my visit was necessary too. That you tried to protect our privacy, because when we finish this adoption people will know and the circus will begin.”

Yes,” Jane says, “He told me he was really upset with you, told you that you are over-protective and selfish, because you were risking everything unnecessarily.” Then she smiled some more. “I’m sure you meant well, but it was a mistake to hide your lovely partner, Adam.”

Adam blushes at that, but Jane continues. “I want to ask you something thought. Is it true that Tommy threw a vase at you?”

Tommy fakes a horrified look, but has a hard time not smiling. “Jane, I told you that in confidence. You promised not to say anything!”

She just waves her hand. “Oh my dear, no secret is safe with a woman. So is it true?”

Adam smiles fondly because Tommy is so good at this game. “Yes it is. It was an old and beautiful vase and he still owes me for it. I think he wanted to smash his guitar over my head, but he loves his guitars too much to destroy one like that.”

Jane starts to laugh and after a few more easy questions (this time), she tells them that she will take her leave.

It was real pleasure to meet you Tommy. You will get my recommendations. One more thing though. We didn’t get to meet yesterday. And from what I’ve heard, you haven’t meet Amy either. If you're free, I’d like for you to come for another visit on Friday. Is this okay with you? If you have a performance or something else I can try and reschedule.”

They both assure her that that’s okay, and that they will come on Friday. She also recommends that they keep the next weekend free, and when they ask why, she just says that they will have to wait and see, and with that, she leaves their house, with Tommy showing her out.

The second she leaves, Adam’s self-control is gone and he collapses on the couch, shaking. Tommy finds him in this state and hurries to sit down next to him “Adam, baby? What’s going on? Are you okay?”

Adam tries to calm down, but doesn’t really manage to. “She was here, without letting me – letting us -- know? What would have happened if she came by last week? What if you weren’t living here yet? When we weren’t ready? I… I… I could have lost Elizabeth, this is all my fault. I’m so stupid, Elizabeth…”

Tommy gets off the floor and takes Adam in his arms. “Adam stop it. We overcame all your mistakes. She didn’t come last week, she came today and you heard her, she liked us. IT WILL BE OKAY, WE WILL MAKE IT. You will get your little girl. Calm down please. Breathe with me. Come on.”

When Tommy feels Adam’s breathing becoming more even, he kisses Adam’s shoulder getting up from the couch “Lay down for a few, I’m going to cook some dinner for us and then we’ll go to bed early, okay?” Adam nods, his eyes still closed and Tommy leaves.

He makes them chicken breasts with herbs, salad for Adam and fries for himself. He knows how things are these days so he puts a few fries on Adam’s plate and takes a small portion of salad for himself. He puts the food on the coffee table and looks at Adam asleep; his heart clenches on the sight of this beautiful man. He gently wakes Adam up and they take their time eating dinner, talking mostly about Adam’s day at the studio.

Tommy convinces Adam to go to bed early because even though Adam doesn’t want to admit it, Tommy can see how physically exhausted Adam is. They lie in bed, watching TV, and soon Tommy realizes that Adam is asleep. Tommy shuts off the TV off, pillows his head on Adam’s chest and the simple rise and fall of Adam’s chest helps him to fall asleep.

Their weekend is spent stress-free. On Saturday Adam enjoys watching Tommy rock the stage with Ravi. Truth is, he’s watching from backstage because he knows that this evening belongs to Tommy and Ravi and not to him. He watches Tommy have fun, enjoying playing his beloved guitars again and his whole being is shivering with pleasure.

They go out for some dancing for a bit, and even though the paparazzi spot them at Bootsy Bellows, it can’t ruin their evening.

Sunday is more fun for Adam on the red carpet of the charity event they’re going to. Tommy begs Adam to spare him from all the photographs. Adam just laughs because he knows Tommy doesn’t like the attention. They decide that Tommy will not walk the red carpet and they will just meet inside. People spot Tommy leaving Adam’s limousine and some of them even ask about it, but Adam never answers, just changes the subject.

At the end of the weekend they have only a few pictures together from the after party and fans are mostly tweeting about how cute they are together and that they’re happy they had fun. All in all, the weekend was great in both, Adam’s and Tommy’s eyes, and they both fell asleep tired but satisfied.

Over the next week, Adam is busy in the studio and he asks Tommy to forgive him for not being home more, because now it’s Tommy, mostly, who is taking care of the house even though he’s working with Mike too. Tommy just laughs it off. He tells Adam not to be silly, that he doesn’t mind.

Adam still feels bad so he surprises Tommy one evening, knowing that Tommy will be at Mike’s that day. He gets home from the studio early and prepares a delicious dinner for them. Tommy is speechless when he sees the dinner, wine, candles and soft, quiet music playing in background.

They eat together, talking about their days, about the days ahead, and about the weekend. After dinner they enjoy some wine on the couch, in front of the fire, and suddenly Tommy feels more strongly than ever, how important Adam is to him and that he wants one thing more than anything else right in that moment. He raises his head and whispers a proposal into Adam’s ear, “Dance with me?”

Adam is surprised, because if there’s one thing Tommy doesn’t do, it’s dancing. “You don’t…” he’s not allowed to finish his sentence

“…Please.” The plea is soft and quiet and after that Adam just stands, pulls Tommy into his arms, holding him tight in his embrace. They’re moving slowly, floating, lost in the slow rhythm of the music. Tommy rests his head on Adam’s chest, enjoying the closeness, fighting against his heart, his desire to look up, close the distance, and kiss Adam.

After the music stops Adam gently teases him about being a great dancer and Tommy smiles at him, thanking him for the compliment and the dance.

Even though Adam’s answer “Anything for my best friend” hurts, he doesn’t let it show. And when Adam yawns adorably, Tommy tells him to go to bed, that he will clean up the kitchen. He doesn’t want to go without helping but Tommy tells him not to argue, that he did more than enough already so he should just go and take a rest.

Adam tells him he will miss him in the bed that he’s not used to falling asleep alone anymore. Tommy promises to join him soon and with that Adam heads upstairs. Tommy cleans up all the dishes in the kitchen, blows out the candles and organizes the living room. He locks the door and heads to their bedroom. When he gets there, Adam is already sleeping. Tommy doesn’t want to disturb him so he takes a short shower in the guest room.

When he gets back, he can’t help but watch Adam while he sleeps. The darkness doesn’t give away much, but Tommy doesn’t need light to see him. When he can’t bear to watch Adam any longer, he turns around and looks out the window, into the night, wishing upon a star. He has to laugh at himself and his previous wishes. Once he wished for a new car or a better guitar. That seems so meaningless now. He would trade all the wishes that came true for the one wish he has now. He would trade his car, all his guitars, hell, even his job either for the one thing he’s wishing for deep inside his heart. For Adam to love him.

Tommy is so deep in thought he doesn’t hear Adam wake up. His voice is soft and drowsy “Tommy? Are you okay? What are you doing there?”

Tommy turns around and sleepy Adam is so adorable, he smiles fondly. “I’m okay, don’t worry. Just couldn’t sleep, that’s all.”

Adam yawns widely, lying down again. “Come to bed, please. I can’t sleep well without you.”

Tommy gets into bed and slips under the covers. The second he lies down, Adam spoons him from behind. He lets himself to be held, caressing Adam’s hand. On the verge of falling asleep he dares to ask, “What will you do when I’m gone? When this is all over?”

“I don’t want to think about that. Not yet. But I’ll have Elizabeth.”

Tommy doesn’t have an answer for that, so he just listens to Adam’s breathing becoming steady. He thinks about what he will do when this is over, because sleeping in Adam’s arms is so easy. He’s noticed that he sleeps better now so he wills himself to sleep so he can enjoy it, while he can.

Friday comes quickly and in the afternoon, they’re heading out of LA again. They have the album with them to show it to Amy and they’re also taking care of some details regarding their relationship. When they get to the hospital, Jane is waiting for them, looking awfully serious. Hand-in-hand, they greet her. Adam is the first one to ask, “What happened Jane? You look worried.”

Jane tries to smile, but fails completely. “I’m worried. Unfortunately Amy’s condition worsened this week. She’s ready to meet you, but I just want to warn you. She is weak and she doesn’t look good. I just wanted you to be prepared.”

They both nod and Jane shows them the way to the Amy’s area. They already know the way, but she’s just being polite. They greet everyone on the way, then Jane knocks softly on the door and they go inside. Amy is lying on the hospital bed, pale and tired, but still holding Elizabeth, playing with her. She looks from her daughter to them and smiles weakly. “Hey Adam, nice to see you again.”

Adam smiles back at her, trying not to sound nervous “Hey Amy. This is Tommy, my better half,“ Adam says and Tommy gets in front of him and stretches out his hand to shake Amy’s.

“It’s nice to finally meet you, Tommy,” she says.

After the introductions Jane excuses herself and leaves them alone. Amy has lots of questions for them and they take turns answering them; from questions about how they first met, how long they´ve known each other, to more complicated ones like what their families think about the adoption and why they think they will be good parents. They answer according to their fake story, backing up some of the answers with their fake album, but for some questions, they can answer truthfully. She smiles a bit when they’re telling her how they clicked immediately during Tommy’s audition.

As their conversation progresses, Amy starts to feel more and more tired. Adam takes Elizabeth from her and goes to prepare her formula, so they can feed her. When he leaves Amy asks Tommy how hard was it for him to come to terms with the fact that he had feelings for a man.

He says that it wasn’t that dramatic because Adam was his friend before that. He was more surprised than shocked. Adam returns with Elizabeth and her food just in time to hear the last part of Tommy and Amy’s conversation.

“You love him so much. I can tell. I see it in your eyes.” Tommy helps her settle in a different position while answering her.

“I do. He’s everything to me.” Adam’s heart clenches, because he wishes those words were true, but he knows they're not.

He kisses Elizabeth’s head gently, breathing in her sweet smell, whispering, “It’ll be okay, daddy will be okay, daddy will be okay.” He waits another second to pull himself together and appears in the doorway. Tommy smiles at him the second he sees him and makes a space on his chair, so Adam can sit down and feed Elizabeth. They’re still talking but Amy mostly observes. When Elizabeth is fed, they switch places and now Tommy is sitting, Elizabeth resting against his shoulder so she can burp.

Tommy gently sways her in his arms and when she burps, he asks Amy if she wants her back. When she shakes her head, stating she’s too tired, he keeps swaying her and soon enough she’s sleeping in his arms. Tommy gently deposits her into her crib and gets back. In that short time, Adam has taken his place in the rocking chair. He raises his eyebrow but Adam just smiles widely and pats his own lap. Tommy returns the smile, sits on Adam’s lap, and entwines their fingers.

Amy watches, mesmerized by the couple that is prepared to replace her when she's gone, and she feels strongly that she has chosen well. She takes a deep breath, and tells them she has something to say, but asks that they not interrupt her. When they promise, she starts to speak.

“After my family disowned be, because I didn’t want to give up my baby, and after I found out I was sick, I decided to put the baby up for adoption only by a couple. You both know that, and I only want to tell you that I couldn’t have chosen better. I feel the love you two share, so I have decided to tell you something. Last time you were here, I wasn’t having a procedure, I wanted to watch you, without anyone in the room with you. You two being there alone gave you no reason to pretend.”

When neither of them say anything, surprised into silence, she just shakes her head and continues. “I know it wasn’t right, to spy on you like that, but I had to. I saw what I saw and after today’s visit, I’m sure that you will be great fathers for my girl. I wanted to ask you one more favor though.”

When both men find their voices again, after being shocked by Amy’s confession, Adam holds Tommy close while talking. “We understand why you did it. It’s okay. Ask us anything, and if we can honor your request, we will.”

Amy rests her gaze on the crib, her eyes watering. “Tell her about me. One day, when she’s old enough to understand. I don’t want her to think I abandoned her. Tell her I loved her. That I didn’t want to leave her, but I had to.” When she finishes, tears are rolling down her face.

Adam and Tommy tell her not to worry, that they both promise to tell Elizabeth how beautiful, kind and loving her mom was. That she will know from the beginning that she had a mother.

A soft knock on the door interrupts their conversation. Jane comes inside, pointing out that it’s getting late and that Amy needs to take her medicine. She asks Amy if she already told them. When she says that she didn’t, they look confused and Adam asks, “What is it that you were going to tell us?”

Amy smiles again as she explains. “You know, when Jane was visiting you last week, she asked you to arrange for a weekend off. I asked her to ask you because I have a bit of an unpleasant procedure to go through this weekend and I thought that if you wanted to, you could take Elizabeth with you, for a weekend. Well for one night, really…so what do you think?”

Adam and Tommy can’t really process what just happened; they’re just sitting there, speechless. Jane laughs and shakes her head “I think that would be a 'yes'.”

Adam is the first to find his voice. “Yes, oh my god, yes! Thank you, but this isn´t common practice is it?”

“Usually it’s not, but this case is anything but common…” Jane pauses, and looks at Amy who nods, giving her permission to continue. “Where was I? Yes I know. It’s not standard practice but Amy has already signed the adoption papers, along with the judge, so technically she’s already your daughter. The only signature missing is yours, Adam, but as we agreed, you will sign the papers when the time comes.”

While Jane is explaining things, tears start rolling down Adam’s face and Tommy hurries to comfort him. He takes Adam in his arms and just holds him. When Adam has his feelings under control again he turns around and faces Amy. “I’m sorry, it just got to me. I can’t believe you signed the papers already.”

“I told you, I’m sure I chose well.” Tommy takes Adam by the hand and just thanks her.

Jane joins their conversation, thinking about practical things. “So tomorrow I will bring this little princess to your home and I will pick her up on Sunday afternoon or evening. Is that okay with you?”

They both nod vigorously and when that is settled, Jane asks them to leave as it’s getting late for Amy. They say their goodbyes and leave the hospice. On the way home, Adam can’t wrap his head around the fact that Elizabeth is practically his. Tommy tells him that he told him they would make it together and when they get home and leave the car, Adam takes Tommy into his arms, laughs loudly and pure and Tommy can’t think of anything better. Before they go to bed that night, they prepare everything they might need and the two of them can’t wait for Elizabeth to be there with them.

On Saturday morning, they are both nervous. Adam is not able to focus on anything at all. Tommy decides that for their own safety, Adam should just sit on the couch and look pretty. Adam doesn’t even take offence, just feels a bit ashamed. Tommy pats his shoulder, telling him that it’s okay, that he understands.

After Tommy makes them breakfast, he sits down on the floor in front of the fire and starts to play his acoustic guitar. Soon enough Adam is joining in, singing along. Adam is grateful that his nerves are giving him a break and he knows that Tommy knows, he can’t resist singing along with him, and that it will soothes his nerves. Tommy just knows him really well.

Tommy is in the middle of making lunch, well in the middle of ordering one from their favorite restaurant, when the doorbell rings. Adam rushes to buzz the gate and soon enough, Jane is parking her car in his driveway. Adam is waiting by the door, the anticipation killing him. Jane comes out of the car, goes around to the other side, and brings a sleeping Elizabeth to a waiting Adam.

Adam asks her politely if she'd like to come inside, but she says she needs to be on her way. When she’s gone, Adam looks at the sleeping baby, his daughter. He knows he’s close, but he hasn't quite won yet. He still has to be careful, but the sight of the little girl makes his insides jump like crazy with happiness. He smiles and heads inside. Tommy is already waiting in a hall, his smile so wide it splits his face in two.

“Here is our little angel,” he all but whispers. When they get to the living room, Tommy asks, “What should we do? Should we take her out of the baby seat and lay her on the bed?” Adam thinks about it for a few seconds before answering.

“I’m not sure. I don’t want to wake her up. She’s so sweet like this.”

They decide not to move her and Tommy rushes to the gate because their lunch will be arriving soon and they don’t want the delivery person to ring the bell. Shortly after that, he brings their lunch inside and they eat it in silence, mostly just smiling and watching Elizabeth. Adam never thought that just watching a sleeping baby could be so relaxing and fill someone with such happiness. He feels like he needs to share his thoughts and Tommy can’t agree with him more.

After an hour Elizabeth starts to fidget and soon she’s fully awake, whining. Adam asks Tommy if he wants to pick her up, but Tommy just rubs Adam's hand, “First time holding her in your own home? It has to be you.”

Adam smiles thankfully at Tommy and then he turns around, watching Elizabeth with admiration “Come on baby, stop crying. Daddy is here. Daddy will take care of you.”

Tommy watches how tender and loving Adam is when he picks Elizabeth up, how lovingly he talks to her. Adam closes the distance and Tommy kisses little Elizabeth’s head. Elizabeth is watching him with her eyes wide open, exploring the space around her that she doesn’t know, but she doesn’t stop whining.

When Adam’s swaying doesn't help he whispers in her ear, “Okay, okay baby. Do you have a dirty diaper, or are you hungry? You know what? Daddy will go and change your diaper and papa will prepare something good for lunch. What do you say? Do you like that?”

Elizabeth spits out her pacifier and smiles at them, and both men are watching and that smile; it just warms everything inside them. Adam doesn't stop swaying her and Tommy realizes what Adam whispered to her.

“Papa? You said papa will …” he covers his mouth in surprise.

Adam, too, realizes what he said, and he wasn’t really thinking at all. He just sees Tommy that way and now Tommy looks shocked so he tries to make it right. “I’m sorry Tommy… I wasn’t thinking… If you don’t want to…”

Tommy shakes his head “No, no, I want to!”

Adam just smiles at him “Then go, papa, make some lunch for our baby girl.”

Tommy likes the sound of Adam’s words, and he gently strokes Elizabeth’s cheek before leaving for the kitchen.

“Formula or chopped veggies?” Tommy asks because he’s not sure what to prepare. On his way to change Elizabeth, Adam laughs. “Make both, we'll see what she likes.” Later when she’s changed they feed her for the first time, giving her a baby side dish of chopped vegetables. When she obviously doesn’t like that very much, Tommy has the answer.

“I told you, man. She doesn’t like vegetables. I bet if I chopped up some tacos, she'd eat it.”

Adam laughs. “Smart ass. Give me her bottle.” Adam repositions himself on the couch and takes Elizabeth in his arms. Tommy sits next to him and together, they hold the bottle Elizabeth is eating from. When she's had enough, Tommy takes her and rests her on his shoulder. After she burps they put her into the play area they made for her in the living room.

There's a small playpen with so many toys, they wondered if they were crazy while preparing it. Elizabeth is fed and in a new diaper and she’s completely content. She lies on her back, playing with one of the toys Adam and Tommy got for her.

They both watch her, fascinated. She seems to be in her own world, focusing on the toy, chewing on it or passing it back and forth between her hands. Adam puts his arm around Tommy’s waist, talking to him, but his gaze stays fixed on Elizabeth. “I never thought that watching a baby for hours could be such an amazing and perfect way to spend my free time.”

Tommy rests his head on Adam’s shoulder “I know. I spent some time with Bridget while I was visiting Lisa, but this is different.” They both stay there, not wanting to force themselves to go and do anything else.

In some ways, their first day with Elizabeth is monotonous. They watch her and change her diapers and feed her, but it’s the best Saturday they had in a long time. Elizabeth is their sun that shines throughout their day. The only dispute comes when they're deciding where to put her crib, since Adam felt she should sleep in her room, but Tommy can’t stand to hear her cries coming through the baby monitor. In the end, they agree that since it’s her first night she can sleep in their bedroom, and when she’s a bit older, she’ll staying her own room. Tommy is happy and he knows Adam won't be able to leave her there crying so he takes it as his personal win. They may have thought the day went great, but they don’t feel the same way about the night.

Everyone knows babies wake up constantly every 2 or 3 hours, but to have one of those babies in your bedroom is a totally different thing. Adam realizes this after another loud cry wakes him and Tommy up. He is totally exhausted and the readout on the clock is 4am. He has trouble even opening his eyes. He’s happy but at the same time so desperate. Tommy can see it and at that moment, he’s grateful that his insomniac nights prepared him for sleepless nights like this one.

He strokes Adam’s chin, a sympathetic look on what Adam perceives t be his beautiful but tired face. “I've got her, go to sleep. I’m used to sleepless nights, more than you are.”

But Adam refuses to be a coward. “No, it’s not fair. It’s only day one. What am I going to do when…”

Adam stops speaking immediately because he doesn’t want to think about the inevitable, or say it out loud. But they both know what he was about to say; “…when you won't be here” but they both decide to let it go, not to talk about it.

Adam gets up and wants to take Elizabeth out of her crib, but Tommy stops him. “My turn for diaper changing, go warm up her bottle.” He smiles and Adam yawns and without thinking kisses Tommy briefly.

“Thank you; I'll try not to kill myself on the way down to the kitchen.”

Tommy laughs quietly watching Adam leave. “I don't know how you could overlook installing some kind of bottle warmer in her bedroom.”

Adam shakes his head and yawns again. “I know, my bad. I'll order something like that first thing Monday,” and with that he’s gone.

Tommy starts to sway a crying Elizabeth in his arms and heads for the changing room that adjoins her bedroom, talking to her quietly. “It’s okay princess. Papa will change your smelly diaper and daddy will feed you and then you can sleep again.”

He starts undressing her and gets rid of the dirty diaper, cleans her up and uses baby lotion. While putting the new diaper on and getting her dressed again, he’s still talking to her and Adam gets to hear the last part that makes him smile lovingly.

“See, you're like new again. I know you like it better when daddy sings for you but believe me, papa can’t sing and when you're older, you will appreciate me not singing for you.”

Adam smiles and reveals himself, moving out of the shadows. “You know everyone loves when you sing along with me.”

Tommy turns around and smiles back, picks Elizabeth up from the changing table and nestles her on his chest,

”That’s not true. I’m only mouthing the words, not really singing along.” He gestures for Adam to sit in the rocking chair. Adam sits down and takes Elizabeth, feeds her, smiling down on her. When she's had enough, Tommy deposits the bottle and they head back to the master bedroom.

Fed and changed, Elizabeth falls asleep soon after that, and both men do as well. The rest of the night is filled with a few hours of sleep.

Morning continues in the same rhythm and even though Adam looks like a zombie and Tommy isn’t far from it, they are both sad because they know that soon Jane will come to take Elizabeth away. Adam is on the verge of breaking down and Tommy tries to comfort him. When the doorbell rings, Tommy buzzes the gate for Jane and opens the door for her. She comes inside and greets Adam.

“Good afternoon Adam. How was your time with Elizabeth?” Adam tries to hide how he really feels so he smiles and continues to get Elizabeth ready for her trip back. “It was amazing, Jane. We had so much fun and so little sleep.”

Jane smiles back knowingly. “Oh I believe you. You both look tired and well, I raised some children myself. So is Elizabeth ready to go?”

Tommy sees Adam's breath hitch so he hurries to answer. “She is. She’s changed and fed. There should be no problems on the way back.”

“That’s great” She says, and takes a sleeping Elizabeth from Adam. I have to go but I will call you with any news okay?”

They both nod and kiss Elizabeth and in a few seconds she’s gone; Adam can’t help it, and the tears start rolling down his cheeks. Tommy closes the distance between them and wipes his tears away. “Oh no, Adam. Come on. You know she’s not gone for long. She’ll be back and then she'll stay forever.”

“I… I know. I don’t kno … know why I’m cry…crying again.”

“I know why. You are over-sensitized after having her here and we didn’t get much sleep. So now we’re going to go upstairs and take a nap. Because If I’m right, tomorrow is a big day for us and we have to look perfect” Tommy leads the way to the bedroom. Adam is holding his hand the whole time and when they lie down on the bed, Tommy pillows his head on Adam’s chest. He caresses Adam’s side and Adam’s caressing Tommy’s hair and in a few short moments both men fall asleep.

Adam wakes up suddenly. After a moment he realizes that they only went to take a short nap, but judging from the dark sky outside his bedroom windows, it must be evening already. He gently shakes Tommy to wake him up. “Tommy. Tommy wake up, we have to take showers and talk about dinner.”

Tommy looks at him, but his eyes are barely open. “Don’t wanna… back to sleep … talk and shower tomorrow.”

Adam smiles at Tommy’s sleepiness but tries to persuade him all the same. “Come on baby, at least take your clothes off,” but sleepy Tommy is stubborn Tommy.

“Naaah… tired” Tommy states, rolling onto his side. Adam decides that they'll go back to sleep, but first he has to undress himself. Doing that is easy, but Tommy? That's a completely different story. He takes a breath and starts undoing the buttons on Tommy’s shirt. Tommy grunts and protests, but Adam is persistent. Adam can’t help himself but he has to admire Tommy’s pale skin and his tattoos. He has a really hard time not touching and caressing Tommy’s torso. He takes a few deep breaths and starts to undo Tommy pants. Tommy grunts, but not that vehemently as to indicate that he’s too tired or lazy to do it himself. “Adam!!”

Adam smiles widely but he’s not stopping at all. “Tommy, you can’t just sleep in your jeans. Either let me finish, or do it yourself.”

Tommy growls, being his stubborn self. “I’m too tired, not going to help.” Adam laughs which only makes Tommy grumpier. “Okay, lazy ass. I’m going to undress you.”

Tommy lies on his back with his eyes closed and Adam isn’t sure if he’s really sleeping or if he’s just pretending. But he doesn’t care as he wants to go back to bed himself, so he just continues to undress him. He pops the button on Tommy’s jeans and opens his fly. He gently smacks Tommy's hip and when a tiny little smile spreads across his face, Adam knows he’s not sleeping.

“I know you're doing this just to see me naked,” Tommy teases and lifts his body just a bit so Adam can take off his jeans.

“How can I refuse such a beautiful sight?” Adam adds, his voice just a bit hoarse. He teasingly scratches Tommy’s legs as he’s taking his pants off. As Adam is focused on taking Tommy’s shoes off, he doesn’t even notice that Tommy has opened his eyes and is watching him. In the dim light, he can’t miss the firm muscles in Adam’s chest. He’s fascinated by his broad shoulders and tattoos covering his skin. His breath gets a little uneven when he dares to look below the level of his waistband. He has to close his eyes again because he doesn’t want to embarrass himself if Adam were to catch him watching him like some voyeur.

When Adam is done taking his pants and shoes off, he dares to quickly look over Tommy’s perfect body, and for a short moment his fantasy takes him to “What if” land again. How many times in the last few weeks has he thought about “What if?” He can’t even count. He shakes his head at his silly thoughts, despite the fact that he wants them all to be real, and lays down next to Tommy, bringing him into his arms.

Tommy sighs contentedly, kissing gently Adam’s bare chest “Thank you.”

Adam strokes his head whispering back, “Anytime. Now we should go back to sleep, because we have the big day tomorrow.”

Tommy is almost asleep when he says, “It’ll be a great day. I can’t wait.”

Adam doesn’t answer because before he finds an answer, Tommy is already asleep again. He keeps caressing Tommy gently until sleep overtakes him as well.

Monday is lazy and peaceful, for Tommy anyway. He stays in bed late, being disturbed from his laziness only briefly by Adam leaving for the studio. He can’t say he minds though, because Adam disturbed him with a sweet goodbye kiss. And because the day would only get crazier later on, Tommy decides to do nothing and provoke Adam a bit so somewhere around noon he snaps a picture of himself and sends it to Adam with the simple note, “still in our bed.” The reply comes back quickly, and Tommy just smiles.

“I don’t envy you at all J. Now get your ass out of our bed and get ready J

Tommy sends back a quick “K’boss” to Adam and lies back down subconsciously hugging Adam’s pillow. He grunts and finally leaves the warm bed, then goes to take a shower and make some lunch.

He spends the rest of the afternoon in front of the TV, waiting for Adam to come back. When he hears the door open and close he smiles, because the fun is about to start. Adam comes closer and leans down to give Tommy a quick, sweet kiss. “Are you ready for today and for what's ahead?” he asks, sounding nervous.

Tommy kisses Adam’s chin in return, nodding. “I am, no worries. I told you, it will be okay. Now if you can pick me up, or help me get off your couch, we can go get ready.” Adam laughs and takes Tommy’s hand in his own and tries to pull him up. He can feel Tommy resisting with a wide smile on his face. Adam puts on a fake frowns, but after a thinking for a moment, he leans down, picks Tommy up like he weighs nothing and throws him over his shoulder.

Tommy yelps and starts to squirm. Tommy laughs loudly and starts cursing at Adam, but Adam has no mercy whatsoever. He slaps him but continues walking towards the bedroom. When he gets there, he warns Tommy and then drops him onto bed. Tommy recovers quickly and attacks Adam, drags him down and they start a tickling war. After a short fight Tommy is defeated and on his back, Adam triumphantly hovering over him. Finally Adam gives up and collapses next to Tommy, they are both still laughing like teenagers.

Chapter 3 - Part 3 here


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