None of this ever happened, Adam and Matt belong to themselves. I made no money from this and I don't expect to. The lyrics used are ever so slightly adapted from those by Willie Nelson and are used without permission or intention to breach copyright.

***

Adam strolled out onto the deck, guided there by a strong sense of curiosity and the sound of a few chords being strummed experimentally on an acoustic guitar. It was the first time since the start of their relationship that he had actually been to Matt's house. With their schedules and his recent need for medical attention, they had been apart a lot and when they were together, it tended to be only for a precious few hours after an event that went by far too quickly. But now, Matt had two blissful weeks of holiday, courtesy of a false injury and Adam's next appointment with the doctor wasn't until after that, so they finally had some time together.

For Adam, the southern states of America were a largely unexplored wonderland. It amused and charmed Matt when his lover would comment with such enthusiasm on things that he himself had grown up with and which had faded into the background somewhat. And Adam was fitting right in with Matt's way of life when he was back home. Far from the uptight control-freakish way he was often perceived, when Matt was at home, he was one of the most laid back people Adam had ever encountered. He would never have imagined Matt Hardy lounging in a hammock for half of the day with the back doors flung open so that the music coming from the stereo could be heard in the garden.

As Adam stepped out of the house, he saw that Matt was sitting on the swing, which was something else Adam loved about this house. Swings that he had had at home were either made of plastic or made of tyres that smelled funny in hot weather. This one was made of rough rope and a length of wood with some cushions piled haphazardly onto the wood. There was just something about it that absolutely delighted Adam. He didn't know whether it was because it was 'quaint', or somehow more genuine than anything he had had as a kid or even just because Matt made it himself and he really didn't care, just knew that it was one of the best places to sit and watch the evening crawl in.

The swing was wide enough for two people normally, but with his guitar on his lap, Matt took up most of the room. Silently, Adam stepped up behind Matt and kissed the curve of his ear, running his hand over Matt's arm. Matt turned his head slightly and smiled.

"Morning. I didn't know you were awake,"

"I wasn't. But now I am. What're you playing?"

"Country stuff. You wouldn't approve," Matt said with a grin. Adam wrinkled his nose and sat down a little way from Matt, looking up at him through his eyelashes.

"You're probably right. So what is it? Dolly Parton? Johnny Cash?"

"There's nothing wrong with Johnny Cash!" Matt protested.

"Matthew."

"Adam?"

"You will not convince me that country music is anything other than a bunch of rednecks wallowing in self-pity."

"Did I ever say it wasn't?" Matt asked with a small smile. "Wallowing in self-pity is good for the soul you know."

"Bullshit," Adam said, lightly disguised with a coughed. "Okay then. Convince me."

"Huh?" Matt looked up from the fret board of his guitar where his fingers had been aimlessly doodling a melody.

"Play me one country song that'll convince me that it's not all crap."

"Uh…" Matt looked at Adam doubtfully.

"You can't!" the blond crowed. "You so totally can't!"

"Ha, yeah, okay Edge," Matt teased. "Okay, hang on a second." He strummed another couple of chords and then looked up. "This is my favourite country song in the world. Ever. So watch what you say, boy," he ordered, with an exaggerated twang to his voice. Adam smiled softly. Matt moved easily into a picked introduction that he obviously knew well. Adam, from where he was sitting, was struck, not by the melody or the sounds of the music, but by the way Matt looked as he played. He seemed entirely focused on the fret board and strings of his guitar, as if he had become one with them and was pouring his whole soul into the melody. Adam felt his throat go slightly tight, just from gazing at the beauty that was Matt Hardy. If he thought the image of Matt playing his guitar was entrancing, he didn't believe there was a word yet invented that would convey the depth of feeling that washed over him when Matt opened his mouth and began to sing in time with the notes he was playing.

"In the twilight glow I see your

Blue eyes crying in the rain

When we kissed goodbye and parted

I knew we'd never meet again,"

Adam believed for a moment that he could feel his heart pounding in his throat, something that usually only happened when Matt was staring at him with fiery, intense passion in the depths of his warm brown eyes. He looked up at Matt, only to see that his eyes were closed. As Adam watched, Matt licked his lips briefly and then carried on singing.

"Love is like a dying ember

And only memories remain

And through the ages, I'll remember

Blue eyes crying in the rain,"

Matt's voice was rich and deep, flowing through the lyrics as naturally as if he were strolling around the back yard. Adam swallowed, trying to get rid of the lump that had unexpectedly formed in his throat. Matt, on the other hand, seemed completely unaffected, his eyes still closed, a small line of concentration appearing on his forehead as he played a simple, looping rhythm a few times. When he started to sing, Adam tilted his head to see him better.

"Someday when we meet up yonder

We'll stroll hand in hand again

In the land that knows no parting

Blue eyes crying in the rain," Matt sang the final words with such a depth of feeling that it amazed Adam. After a few more plucked notes, Matt muted out the strings on his guitar and sat silently for a moment before opening his eyes and wiping at them with the heels of his hands. Adam was a little surprised; maybe Matt wasn't so unaffected as he first thought. In less than a minute, the few tears in Matt's eyes were gone and he was looking at Adam with a challenging smile. "Well?" he asked. "Do I have a convert?"

Wordlessly, Adam stood up and took the guitar from Matt's hands, leaning it against the wall of the house. "Obviously not," Matt grinned. "Damn Canadians. No sense of style." Adam rolled his eyes and took hold of the ropes of the swing, leaning down to plant a soft kiss on Matt's lips. His blond hair fell forward, cloaking both of their faces. The way it brushed against Matt's skin, so silky and soft, made him want to bury his face in Adam's hair and not move all day.

"That was beautiful, baby," Adam murmured, his lips only millimetres from Matt's. "You've got your damned convert." Before Matt could say anything else, Adam had pulled him up out of the swing and wrapped his arms around Matt's waist, trailing his fingers over the other man's hips before finally sliding his hands into the back pockets of Matt's jeans. Matt draped his arms around Adam's shoulders and leaned their foreheads against one another.

"I knew it," he whispered. "Embrace the inner redneck, Adam. Give in to your hick subconscious."

"Will you shut up?" Adam laughed. "I'm trying to have a 'moment' with you, here,"

"Yessir," Matt grinned, making the motion of zipping up his lips before replacing his arm over Adam's shoulder, his fingers twining in the silky blond of his lover's hair. Adam gave Matt several light kisses on the lips and chin before he spoke again.

"I love you," his voice was low and heated.

"I love you, too," Matt assured him, his own voice full of care and tenderness.

"Even if you do make me like country music when you sing it."

"Even if you do make me listen to even weirder music than Jeff does," Matt shot back smartly.

"Well then I guess we're even," Adam grinned.

"I guess we are." Matt was silent for a moment and then met Adam's gaze shyly. "Kiss me?"

"With pleasure," Adam said softly.