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This page last viewed: 2017-06-23 and has been viewed 1200 times
Warnings: Light slash, religious (roman-catholic) themes/beliefs discussed
Notes: BA POV (Still having a hard time writing 'ain't')
Thanks to Penny for the correction of my grammatical errors, Wilma for comments and suggestions and Viskey especially, for helping me with BA's 'voice'! Thanks, Ladies!
The beliefs expressed in this story are solely my own, not that of the characters or the owners of the characters. No infringement is intended, no money is made from this. They are not mine… darn it!
Should the Catholic Church take offense….too bad!
The alarm clock rings, interrupting my pleasant dream.
Still half asleep I reach out with my arm to keep my lover from jumping out of bed.
I wanna have a few minutes snuggling time.
But my arm falls onto the empty other half of our bed.
Blearily I open my eyes and rub them tiredly.
The alarm clock on the other side of the bed reads 4.30 AM.
That's even earlier than on a workday when the alarm rings at exactly 5.50 AM.
Then I realize that it's Sunday.
What's my lover doing up so early on a Sunday morning?
He comes back into the room and sits down on his side of the bed, already fully dressed.
I roll towards him and shut off the alarm.
When I try to pull him back onto the bed, he resists and brushes a quick kiss against my brow.
"Go back to sleep", he says softly. "I should be back around noon."
What *is* going on?
He's refused to have sex with me for the last three days and today, on a Sunday, he leaves the house this early?
Of course, I know that he has every right to refuse to sleep with me, but we've only been together for 3 month, 3 weeks and now 1 day and he assures me that 'nothing is wrong'.
I can't go back to sleep now.
So I get up and quickly get dressed, intending on following my lover and finding out where he's going.
He's on his way to the door already, but turns to look at me when he hears me following.
"You want to come?" he asks surprised.
I just scowl at him.
He grins and asks:
"Are you sure?"
My scowl deepens.
Looking me over my lover sighs.
"You'll have to change into something … smart."
I raise an eyebrow at him, but obey silently. My curiosity is at a point where I won't argue with him about it. The black cargo pants and black shirt will have to do. I don't exactly own 'smart' clothes.
Face knows that, too.
When I come back into the hall, he smiles at me approvingly though he looks a little impatient.
Seems, we're on a schedule and he hates to be late.
He reaches out for the gold around my neck, but I grasp his hands in a tight grip.
No one touches my gold, not even him.
"BA", he says with a hint of impatience in his voice
Looking at Face, I see him arguing with himself about pushing the issue or letting it go.
Must be really important for him to risk me getting angry at him. Usually he avoids that at all costs in our private life.
If it's this important to him and makes him happy, we're going to argue about this another time.
I let go of his hands and he looks at me surprised that I'm really letting him do this. Then his mouth curves into a seductive smile and he steps very close to me. He smoothes his hands up my chest, around my neck, like he sometimes does when he wants to kiss me, and unclasps one chain after the other, laying them carefully on the sideboard.
When he comes to the cross I wear somewhere underneath he smiles and leaves it be.
Without him needing to tell me, I take of the rings on my fingers, except for the one he gave me 3 month, 3 weeks and 1 day ago.
He smiles at me again and in his eyes I can see muted happiness.
Nodding he turns and opens the door, preceding me to the garage.
Since I dunno where we're going, I reluctantly admit, that it'll be him that will have to drive.
He could tell me where to go, but this don't seem to be the time for an argument about it.
And having Face driving me around in the 'vette ain't bad.
Though it's still early and dark, it ain't that cold and I have a feeling we ain't going far.
I hate not being the driver, not being able to control the vehicle I'm traveling with, for him I can do it and it gives me time to concentrate on what I wanna say.
Face backs the car out of the garage with practiced ease.
It's really a good thing to have a place to call home for real, to own it, to live in it long enough to learn how to drive onto the street blindfolded if necessary.
Watching my lover's darkened profile, only illuminated by the passing streetlights, I marvel again at how lucky I am that he chose me of all people.
We do fit together, which surprised no one more than us.
A reason for that is my habit to keep my mouth shut. I still do it, waiting him out, until he starts talking by himself.
This time though I have to start the conversation.
He's still radiating that muted happiness mixed with anticipation thrumming beneath his skin.
I hope I won't destroy that by my next words.
"You know I hate talking about … stuff."
I have to stop.
Suddenly I dunno what to say.
Face throws me a sideways glance, waiting for me to finish what I'm saying.
" I don't wanna challenge your right to say 'no' , but…"
I can't continue, because Face has taken his hand off the steering wheel and put it on my leg.
He smiles at me and says:
"I'm sorry, BA. I … I'm not used to this, you know? I thought you might not understand. Stupid, huh?"
I growl at him to signal my forgiveness and he laughs.
It's good to hear him laugh and see him this carefree and happy.
For too long we had to worry every minute if this was the last one. If today was the day our luck would run out and we'd end up in the slammer.
Now we're finally free.
And if Face wants to get up at 4.30 in the morning and drive who knows where, I'm the last person to say 'no' to him.
He don't need to tell me what his reason is, he will if he's ready in his own time.
I just need to be silent and wait.
Face squeezes my leg and puts it back on the steering wheel.
Then he throws a quick look at me and sighs.
"If one of us", and I know he means Hannibal, the fool and himself with that statement, "would die, would sex be on your mind? And if the anniversary of that day came around wouldn't you refrain from your own pleasures to concentrate on remembering the friend, to reflect and mourn? And I'm not talking about the fact that all of us would want the others to move on and have fun despite the loss. But I do think it's not too much to ask to give 2 or 3 days a year to remember a dear friend, an important person, to reflect on one's own mortality and failures, to be a little introspective.
And I have every intention of giving you anything you want tonight", he adds and winks at me.
I have to suppress a groan, but my mind is whirling.
I understand his reasons, appreciate them even, but why didn't he tell me?
"Who?" I just ask.
At first I think that's an exclamation of exasperation, but then I realize he's serious and I *know* what today is.
Of course, Face celebrates it. Being raised in a catholic orphanage it would have been ingrained into him.
And of course, you don't have sex on Good Friday. Suddenly I do feel stupid not thinking about the date.
"Remind me next year. I'm not that good on keeping track with religious holidays. Please, Face?" I ask softly.
He looks at me out of the corner of his eyes, swallows and nods.
I know he will. The thrumming anticipation is back.
He knows I've figured out where we're going though and laughs softly at my scowl..
"It'll be fine, BA. If Murdock can sit still for 2 hours, so can you. And I promise you good food afterwards with lots of milk."
"The fool's coming, too?"
"I asked him to help me several years back and he's been doing it ever since. Hannibal wondered why we refused missions on Easter Sunday every year, so I decided to show him. He's accompanied us the last two years.
You've been visiting your mother every year since we weren't going on missions anyway, so I never thought to ask this year either. I'm sorry."
This time it's me who reaches out and I squeeze his leg to let him know it's okay.
He smiles that brilliant smile of his. For a moment, my thoughts drift to tonight, and the promise he made earlier.
Before I realize it, my lover has pulled the 'vette into a parking spot a little way from the church and hurries out.
"I hope Murdock and Hannibal saved us seats or we'll be standing."
I start to apologize, but he cuts me off.
"It's more important that you're here."
I just nod, there's nothing to add.
* * *
Entering the church, I'm surprised that it's dark inside. The only light in the entrance area are a few lamps that are there to keep people from bumping into things and each other.
The atmosphere is hushed and I start to feel uncomfortable as always when I'm in a church.
I know my figure and dress style aren't exactly fit for a church.
There are also some things that I've done that I think HE wouldn't like should I ever get to close to HIM, so I usually keep a distance. Dunno how Face does it though.
Face's hand is suddenly at the small of my back and he guides me to a table where small candles are sitting in plastic cups.
He picks up two and drops a dollar note into the basket, handing one of the candles to me.
Then he straightens and scans the rows in front of us, probably looking for Hannibal and Murdock.
I see them, too, and we head off in their direction.
It's a little awkward to get into the row for we have to step by the people already sitting in it, but we manage and I sink down with a sigh of relief.
The church is packed and I'm glad that Murdock and Hannibal did save us seats.
I have no problem standing motionless for two hours or more, but I'd rather not do it this early in the morning when I don't have to anymore.
Sitting next to Face and the others calms me and I start looking around.
The people in our row have all the little candles in their plastic holders in front of them and they wear the same expression of anticipation that I detected in Face earlier.
The front of the church is as dark as the rest. The only light is coming from the high windows behind the altar. It's a little lighter outside. But inside it's dim, and I adjust only adjust slowly to the darkness.
Suddenly I'm glad Face made me wear other clothes and took off my gold, 'cause it really would have been unfitting.
Suddenly the people around us rise to their feet and Face beckons me to follow suit.
Dimly I see the priests and altar boys enter and walk silently to the altar through the still dark church.
Somewhere behind us, a deep male voice begins to intone a slow moving song.
The service continues and I indulge myself by watching my lover in the dim light. I can't see his expression, but he still radiates the same anticipation I feel from the people around us. But he's also calm and … at peace I'd have to say. Something I haven't felt in a long time.
He catches me watching him and motions me to turn towards the back of the church.
"Watch", he whispers.
One of the priests is holding a huge, several feet long candle in front of him standing in the middle between the last rows.
A small boy is holding a lantern next to him and it's the only candle lighted in the entire church.
Another priest takes a wick and holds it to the flame of the lantern, then moving the lighted wick to the huge candle, igniting it.
The light in the lantern is snuffed out, so now the flame of the huge candle is the only light source in the entire church.
My eyes are drawn to it and I can't look away. It burns steadily, not flickering, as if it was aware of its importance.
Then a young, female choir member starts to sing a version of a 'Hallelujah', with a clear voice.
The singer gains strength as the song continues and I know it might sound stupid, but I can almost imagine how the song climbs higher and higher until it hits the ceiling and fills the whole church.
The singer stops and it seems that the whole church takes a deep breath.
Then the people around us start in with the same song and it raises and gains strength, until it's a force that moves me in a way only very few things have ever done in my life.
There's so much joy and happiness in it and the people are singing with all their heart.
I look over at my lover. Face's singing, too. He has his eyes closed and basks in the rush of emotions the song is creating.
And I realize that this is what he has been waiting for. The anticipation is gone, replaced with joy, happiness, and peace.
Someone nudges my arm and I look down to see the woman sitting next to me, holding out her now lighted candle to me. It takes a moment for me to realize that she wants me to light my candle on hers.
I do so and nudge my lover to get him to light his candle, too.
He smiles gratefully at me and his eyes sparkle with the reflected light from the candle.
Everyone passes the light to his or her neighbor and soon the whole church is filled with the lights of hundreds of candles.
At that moment, Face opens his eyes and looks straight at me.
And I start to understand what draws him here.
This isn't about an old man faraway, about dusty beliefs, but about the victory of light over dark, of love over hate, of life over death, of spring over winter and about the people celebrating it.
Face smiles at me when he sees my understanding and I cannot help but smile back.
I turn my attention back to the front, but the prayers and songs lull me into a state of relaxation and peace.
Suddenly Face touches my arm and beckons me to follow him out of the bench.
The bench is half-empty and I realize that it's communion time.
I'm about to voice a whispered protest, but the fool and Hannibal aren't going toward the front of the church, but towards the exit.
The fool's starting to bounce with excitement again and I'm amazed that he was able to suppress his need to move, talk or *do* anything this long.
But I realize that he did it for the man leading the way out of the church and I smile again.
I seem to be doing it a lot more ever since Face and I got together.
Hannibal catches my eye and I nod at him. He's already reaching into his shirt pocket for the never-forgotten cigar, but graciously waits to pull it out, until we step out of the church's portal onto the sweeping stair into the early morning light.
Face takes a deep breath and stretches.
He looks around surreptitiously, then turns towards me and kisses me softly. I hand my candle to Murdock and enfold my lover in my arms, the way he likes it and the kiss deepens until Hannibal clears his throat, grinning at us.
Face is flushed and tries to smooth his ruffled hair back into place.
I let him go reluctantly, but he just leans in and say's softly:
"Happy Easter, BA. And thanks."
Before I can answer, Face turns to Murdock and hugs him enthusiastically, wishing him a Happy Easter, too.
Hannibal's hug is shorter, but no less heartfelt and we all share the moment of friendship between us.
Then Murdock can't contain his excitement any longer and skips down the steps, pulling Face with him.
"I'm huuuuuuungry", he declares.
Face leads the way towards the community house of the parish and informs Murdock in a patient tone, tinged with laughter:
"You know what you have to do first, though, right?"
"Take all the little, teeny eggies, that have been dressed in their Sunday best and find them the person they belong to. Did I get it right, huh?"
"Almost. You do know that the … eggies will be eaten then, do you?"
My lover always amazes me how he can keep a straight face during crazyman's antics.
"Zat is zee way of zee eggie. To be eaten or not to be eaten, zat is zee question."
The other's ain't even trying to stifle the laughter. Trust Murdock to know when we need the mood to lighten, even though we're not hunted anymore. I just glare at him and he grins back at me.
* * *
As we enter the parish hall, I'm amazed at the activity going on. I never noticed so many people leaving the church before us.
Tables are set in rows, with chairs on either side. Plates, knifes, forks and coffee cups are set in front of every chair. In the middle of the tables are colorful spring flowers set in a variety of vases, candles and food.
Bread, butter, cheese in many varieties, sausages, jam, honey and a lot more.
Face hadn't been kidding when he talked about good food for me.
Several elderly women are busy distributing glasses, missing cutlery, napkins and pots full of steaming coffee.
The fool is sidling over to where a stack of boxes is sitting next to the door. He peeks inside and gives a small whoop of delight, starting to talk immediately to what I assume are the Easter Eggs.
Suddenly there's a sharp whistle and everyone hurries to finish what they are doing.
Murdock positions himself behind the stack of boxes with eggs and Face and Hannibal stand next to them.
Face motions me to join them, so I go over to stand next to the fool and behind my lover.
Soon the door opens and the parishioners surge inside. Seems the mass is finished.
Murdock hands both Face and Hannibal a brightly decorated egg and they hand them to the first people coming through the door wishing them a 'Happy Easter'.
The women – no matter what age – get a peck to the cheek, while their husbands or fathers look on good-naturedly.
Many parishioners greet Face by name and give him a hug.
At first I'm a little put out, but soon I realize how much Face is enjoying himself so I contend myself to scowl occasionally.
Everyone seems to be having fun, especially the elderly ladies who seem really eager to get a kiss from Face.
Some seem to fancy Hannibal though and he complies to their demands laughingly.
No wonder both Hannibal and Murdock came back to doing this again, judging from the fun they are having.
The fool seems to take great pleasure in picking exactly the right egg for every person, occasionally muttering comments like: "No red for you, sir, red doesn't go with your tie" or "no, the nice lady wants an orange egg".
The parishioners take his antics in stride and wait patiently until Murdock has chosen the perfect egg for every person until they move forward to take it.
Suddenly a resolute looking, elder, white-haired lady hugs Face gently and looks straight at me.
"And who is that hunk of a man, honey?"
I can't see my lover's face, but judging from Hannibal's grin it must be a sight to behold.
Face grabs the woman closer and whispers something in her ear, which makes her look me up and down. Then she nods.
Aloud Face makes the formal introduction and as I take her hand, the lady, whose name I now know is Mrs. Whiteman, looks hard at me and whispers:
"Hurt my honey here and I'll sic Hugh on you."
Face hears and snickers, so I look questioningly at him.
His eyes flicker to the tiny round man standing behind Mrs. Whiteman and I can't help myself but giggle.
Judging from the twinkle in Mrs. Whiteman's eyes, she ain't mad at me and I try to rule my face into my most fearsome expression.
"Mrs. Whiteman, I promise to do anything in my power to keep your honey from being hurt", I say as seriously as I can.
Face chuckles again and I scowl.
The Whitemans move on and soon all people who came here after church are seated at the tables and eating.
Noises of talk and the clutter of cutlery fill the room and Face turns to me with a content smile on his face.
I nod at him, to let him know that he did well.
The fool is peering into the remaining box and muttering to himself again. When he straightens, he holds four eggs and hands one to each of us carefully, keeping the last one for himself.
Face looks down at the egg in his hand contemplatively for a moment, then straightens and leads us to one of the tables in the back of the room, where Mrs. Whiteman and her husband saved us seats.
There's also a huge pitcher full of milk waiting and I just know that Face has organized it for me, when I wasn't paying attention.
We sit down and I realize how hungry I am.
Before I can make a grab for the milk, Murdock intercepts my hand.
"Tick my egg", he demands.
I sigh, but do as he wants, hitting the tip of my egg to the tip of his.
Mine breaks, so I start peeling it, grinning at the fool, 'cause now he can't eat his, until he finds somebody else to hit his egg.
However, Face is already holding out his own egg, for Murdock to tick his against it.
"Stop egging him on", Hannibal admonishes smiling, which earns him a slap on the arm from Murdock.
"That was a horrible pun, Hannibal. And how am I supposed to help the eggies find their destination if no one ticks them with me?"
The Whitemans join in on our laughter and finally I manage to grab the milk.
* * *
After we have all eaten enough to last us the whole day, helping with the clean up ain't easy, but that's what we came for, too, apparently.
Stepping out of the community building into the bright sunlight when we're done, I realize it's almost noon. Face wasn't kidding when he said he'd be back around noon.
Hannibal yawns suddenly and looks surprised himself.
"Seems I'm not as young as I used to be", he admits sheepishly. "So, what are the plans for the rest of the day?"
My mind immediately jumps to the plans I have for tonight and it seems that Face's thoughts are along that line, too, because he throws me a significant look.
Maybe I don't even have to wait until tonight.
Even though he feels he's getting old, Hannibal has still that uncanny sense of catching our moods and this is no exception.
So he grins at Murdock and throws an arm around his shoulder.
"Seems like it'll be just you and me, kid. Fancy showing this old man the new plane you bought?"
Face and I walk them to Murdock's car, which hasn't been parked as far from the church as the 'vette, since they arrived earlier.
"Thanks, guys", Face says sincerely as we draw to a halt beside the car. "It was a pleasure as always."
"No, thank *you*", Hannibal answers and we all nod in agreement. "Count on us next year."
"If you're not feeling too old to get up so early", Face quips and his eyes twinkle.
"Never", is Hannibal's parting shot, as he and Murdock drive away.
We make our way to the 'vette in companionable silence.
Face seems to be a little introspective and I don't jibber-jabber like the fool just to fill the quiet.
When we reach the car, Face seems to snap out of it and grins at me.
"What now, BA? Shall we go help the kids find eggs in the park?"
I growl at him. He knows exactly what I want and he wants it, too. He just can't help but tease me.
I have the growing suspicion that he gets off on me growling at him so I indulge him.
He makes a few more ludicrous suggestions, which I answer with a more threatening growl every time.
When he stops the Corvette in our garage with screeching tires I make a grab for him, but he jumps out over the door laughing.
As I follow him slowly into the house – need to give him time to set up a proper ambush – I smile yet again.
What better way to celebrate the victory of love than making love?
Life ain't going to get much better than this.
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