Epilogue

Cody let out a weary but soft sigh as his back and legs ached and began screaming for movement, having grown cramped trapped almost within the small space of the front passenger seat of a black Nissan Altima that was pretty spacious but, did very little for the comfort of his long legs. He groaned as he sat up higher in his seat and stretched, holding his arms out as far as he could and pushing back, sighing in relief as his back began to pop along his spine and the pain eased, somewhat. Looking out the window at the world quickly passing by he was greeted with so much luscious green it never ceased to take his breath away. He'd never seen anything quite like it what with living in the middle of the desert his entire life but this, this could definitely grow on him. The land was lush with tall bright green grass that he would bet came up to his knee or higher and trees that were so full of leaves on each branch they seemed ready to burst at the seams. Just beautiful and so full of life…Probably why Randy had loved it there so much…

He let drew his eyes from the window and found a bottle of water he'd be nursing still in the cup holder, snatching it carefully and taking a slow thoughtful sip. How could Randy even stand to live in Las Vegas coming from a place where green didn't even exist unless it was in the form of money? And really how or when had Randy ever been happy there? When he was getting fucked over by a stripper caught up with the wrong people? Or how about when he was black mailed into running drugs across state lines after being drugged and practically raped all night? Or better yet how about when he got shot in the chest and fucking died on the operating table?-?

Really though when had Randy EVER truly been happy to be in Las Vegas? That was easy. The moment he left.

Cody turned and smiled at his lover staring so carefully at the road before them and couldn't help but want to lean over and curl against him, hug him tight and refusing to ever let go. God he'd come so close to losing him too many times and just to see him sitting there beside him simply driving the car was a blessing that made him almost want to cry out with pure joy. They made it! They fucking made it!-! Despite all of Michael's efforts they fucking made it and now they were far away from that wretched fuck-hole town and with a last minute but still very romantic proposal they were never going back!

It was several weeks later but they'd moved just as soon as Randy was released from the hospital; Cody having taken care of every last detail down to getting the key to their new home, as well as their furniture shipped and delivered. As for everything being unpacked, put away and organized that was a different matter but at least everything was done with Las Vegas! At least they were safe from that hot mess! Sure Randy might miss his friends there like Hunter, John and Tristan and most certainly the "lab rats" but Dorothy said it best, there's no place like home! And Randy was so happy to be home; especially now that Cody was there! As for his friends themselves and what they'd done since Mizanin's reign of terror ended Hunter had been promoted to Captain and John was now the chief of police; meaning they all moved up a rank and got their long desired career positions they'd all worked so hard for; including Adam and Jay who moved up to lead crime scene investigators. As for Tristan he moved into his own apartment with Justin and was currently taking it one day at a time with John and last Randy heard things were going fine; which was nice to know seeing as how Tristan's head had been utterly fucked after everything Mizanin had put him through…

And that went for Cody too. His head had been so completely turned around by Michael but now, now he was himself again. And Randy was just in awe. He still couldn't believe he'd come so far just to be with him; how could he be so lucky? How could he really be so fortunate after ALL they endured? He didn't know but he was enjoying every second of it. And why not? Cody was finally safe and he finally had the beautiful god all to himself! No one could ever touch his Cody again; and if they did Randy would tear then to shreds faster than they could fucking blink! No one would ever hurt him again, he'd make sure of it!

Of course, not that they were worried about anyone coming after them out there in the middle of nowhere but they'd seen stranger things and Randy would much rather be prepared! Unlike before when he'd been too blind to see trouble coming!

"Are we almost there?" Cody asked timidly, "Just about," Randy answered with a weak smile, "I'd say it's another five miles or so. Why? Are you nervous?" Cody ducked his head slightly as if ashamed but had a small weak smile of his own, "Oh yeah, aren't you? They haven't seen you in so long."

Randy shrugged, "I guess but they're family so I'm probably not feeling it like you are." Although he was incredibly nervous to see his mother after all this time. She had to be angry with him but he was angry with her too so he wasn't holding his breath for a joyful reunion. But, at least they'd agreed to a home coming "get together". He was certainly still mad at her for ignoring him for almost a whole year but she promised she had a good reason that she insisted would come to light just as soon as they arrived. He did his best believer her. He did his very best to trust her but he was just so scared. What if she still blamed him for leaving and turned on him all over again?-? Oh god that would just kill him right now! Especially if his father was mentioned or thrown in his face! His fear of that very thing happening is exactly why he hadn't told her or anyone in his family about being shot and almost dying. And one could imagine why he would chose not to do that! He reached over and put his hand over Cody's thigh and it brought a smile to his face. It always did.

He took a deep relaxing breath, letting it out slow until he felt confident again. He could do anything just so long as Cody was there; his beautiful lover was definitely his rock and vice versa and he'd proved that he'd do anything to keep it that way. At least, he hoped so anyway. He took a bullet to the chest for him and almost died from it! That has to prove a whole hell of a lot and clear up any lingering doubts Cody may have! Call him crazy if you want but Randy loved Cody with all his heart and nothing was ever going to change that! True his past was incredibly jaded and tortured but the past was just that, the past. And that didn't have to make Cody who he was because Cody was already someone before falling in with Mizanin and he was still there, buried deep beneath the ruble of his fucked up life. Only, Randy had been generous enough to dig him out and save him from Michael, and from himself.

"Wow," Cody suddenly gasped suddenly in awe, his hand closing over Randy's excitedly, "Is that it? That big house off the road?" He pointed to a tall red brick house centered directly in the middle of a spacious, luscious green lot neatly fenced off and completely with a gate he would have to get out and unlock. That is, if his key still fit.

"Yep that's it, pretty big ain't it?"

"Yeah and it's beautiful!"

"My father and grandfather build it about twenty years ago. Of course Dad almost died from pneumonia after working during the rain trying to get it finished before Thanksgiving. My Mom wanted to pull her hair out she was so mad at him. I can still hear my Dad re-telling the story and doing just this awful impression of Mom screaming at him as the doctor admitted him to the hospital... She always laughed at him later though..." He finished and let out a chuckle, "I guess she forgave him..."

"They must have really loved each other."

"They did, my Mom was my Father's sug, he'd do anything for her..." He gripped the steering wheel tight, "Except quit the force." The one request he should have obliged. God he missed him and he admired him but, he wasn't going to follow in his foot-steps. Randy wasn't going to work the streets as a detective not a single day longer. No instead he took a job at the local sheriff's office doing desk work on small misdemeanor cases. Of course he hadn't started there yet but he was certain it would be just what he needed and, just what would keep him safe. No more close calls because as far as he was concerned that last one was way, WAY too fucking close!

"Baby..." Cody comforted in a gentle tone, squeezing his hand tight. "I'm so sorry..."

"It's alright," He squeezed back but couldn't take his eyes from the house, "I'll be okay." Or he would try to be anyway, and with Cody by his side he knew he would be just, not as soon as he wanted. Eventually he would be though, with time.

But right now wasn't the right moment for all of that inner turmoil because they were pulling on to the long dirt road that led up to the drive way of his childhood home, relieved to find the gate open on its own. He took a careful breath, forcing a smile before glancing at his lover he was more than eager to introduce and leaned over for a kiss, slowing the car to a steady creep like pace towards the house. "Love you."

"Love you too," Cody returned the wards and a quick kiss and a smile, "Now stop stalling."

"Ouch, busted!" He lightened the mood with a laugh, "Can't slip anything passed you can I?"

"Nah!" He gave one more kiss and righted himself in his seat, "Now drive pretty boy I'm getting hungry!"

Randy laughed; Cody was always hungry these days! Ever since he'd kicked that nasty drug habit he'd been trying to watch his food intake but often he gave up and pigged out on something; mostly fruit. Which of course randy loved to watch him eat fruit, especially an orange that typically spewed juice down his chin to his delectable neck where he was more than happy to lick it away...Funny, now that he thought about it they'd had sex just about every time Cody ate an orange and his boy ate them A LOT. Like they kept a huge bag of them in the pantry and several in the fridge; Cody liked them cold…

He brought the car to a stop in front of the house, his foot resting over the break as he took another deep breath. Time to do this...home coming...thing. Whatever, it was time. They got out and Randy was quick to take Cody's hand as they approached a short row of steps before the front door. "Ready?" He asked although mainly for himself, smiling nervously as Cody nodded.

"Yep, how about you?"

"As ready as I can be" Oh God! He gave the solid wood door a firm knock, hand squeezing Cody's tight.

"Are you sure that I look alright?" Cody looked down at himself in dark blue jeans and a tight white shirt, "I feel so… underdressed."

"You look fine Cody; in fact you look sexy as hell in my jeans." Cody had misplaced so many boxes in the house he hadn't been able to find his clothing that morning so he'd just thrown on a pair of Randy's, much to Randy's delight. "Oh hush your option doesn't count!"

"Oh yeah why's that?"

"Oh I don't know maybe it's because you'd think I'd look sexy in a piece of cheese and nothing else! I swear you'd like it if I wore just a thin slice right over my junk and nothing else and cheese isn't even sexy."

"Wait, what kind of cheese?"

"Shh!" Cody laughed and gave him a playful slap on the shoulder, "Stop it! We are not seriously talking about cheese right now when I'm about to meet your family!" Randy returned the laugh as he wrapped him in a firm hold with one arm around his waist, kissing his cheek quickly. "Aww come on Cody don't be so worried! I'm sure my family will love you."

"They do know you're gay right? This isn't going to be a huge surprise to them right?-!"

"Of course not," He'd told his mother about Cody just as soon as he'd gotten out of the hospital, and she'd taken the news surprising well. That and the fact that she claimed she already knew that. "And I've told my friends all about you too." And they seemed to know about his being gay too. Which just blew him away because, how could any of them have known? He hid it so well! Didn't he?-?-?

"Oh god..."

Randy laughed at his lover's fearful nervousness as he nuzzled his neck and gave it a tender kiss, "Don't worry Cody," He assured sweetly, "They'll love you, I just know it. What's not to love?"

"See your opinion is totally biased! I'm so doomed!"

"No shit!" Suddenly came a voice Randy recognized as his younger cousin Anthony in a surprised greeting, "Hey guys he's here! Come here you big handsome goon!" Anthony boomed and stepped forward, forcing them into embracing in a brief but, tight hug. "How in the hell are you man?-! It's so good to finally see you out here again!" Anthony was taller than the last time he'd seen him, standing about 6' foot now with short dark brown hair that was trimmed neatly and styled upwards with gel. He was only a few years young but he had enough meat on his bone to pull off twenty eight easy. "I'm good man, good to see you too." He patted his shoulder as he drew back. "But hey man there's someone I want you to meet," He stepped over and gestured to Cody beside him still seemingly nervous and uncertain. "Anthony this is Cody…My fiancé." Boy did that sound strange, the word fiancé. He'd never imagined actually being engaged to anyone before but yet asking Cody to be his forever was just too wonderful to pass up or deny. So he hadn't and he hadn't looked back since. Saying fiancé was the only strange part that always made him want to chuckle because, Cody was his, and he didn't need to label him with a ring to prove that. But, for everyone else, Cody was his fiancé- or his bride to be as he liked to say and tease Cody with when they were alone.

"It's nice to meet you Antony," Cody shook his hand with a nervous smile, "Randy's told me a lot about you, it's nice to put a name to a face."

"Same here man, good to meet you but I should warn you that we are a very loud family so don't worry if you find everyone shouting for your attention. Otherwise the others might scare you away and then Randy might never some back!"

"Stop your lying Anthony and let those boys in here!" A sweet, kind, warm female voice sounded from somewhere in the house and Randy froze as he recognized his mother's voice from behind his cousin, his heart already racing. "Mom?"

"Randal, my sweet pumpkin!" Randy blinked, still otherwise frozen. Pumpkin?-? She hadn't called him that in YEARS! She came bursting forward out of the house and threw her arms around him in a joyful hug. "My baby boy! Oh how I've missed you!"

Really?-! She sure had a fucked up way of showing it! Over the past year she hadn't said more than ten words to him and she fucking missed him?-! He had half a mind to push her away and rip her a new one! But he didn't; he wouldn't dare! What would his father say?-! He hugged her tight, almost lifting her off the ground and fighting tears as he pressed his face into her neck. God he even missed her smell! The sweet mixture of sunshine and roses, just like her prize winning garden he'd completely forgotten about! "Mom," He whispered to himself, hugging tighter for a brief moment until she made a small pained sound and he quickly nearly released her all together. "It's so good to see you," Because she'd never been willing to visit! "And to hear your voice." Because she'd ignored him for a fucking YEAR!

"It's so good to have you home," She whispered, his voice cracking with emotion, "It just hasn't been the same around here with you."

"I love you Mom," But he was so fucking ANGRY with her! How could she try to push to him out of her life like that?-! Because he was a cop?-! Because he was gay?-! He knew he was supposed to wait until a better time but fuck it he wanted answers! Yes, he loved his mother but, "Where in the hell have you been!" He had really needed her during those trying time with Michael and she couldn't even be bothered to return a fucking phone call! The hurt she caused, oh god it ran so fucking deep it would take YEARS to repair and mend because he'd always be waiting for her to "dump" him again. And why not she'd done it before so what would stop her from doing it again? She'd pushed him away and forgotten about him before so that should it make it all that much easier for her to try it a second time! And for what?-! He didn't even fucking know! Was it the job? Really?-! She'd in a sense disown her own son for following in his beloved fathers foots steps?-!

Apparently so!

"Hush about that now, Pumpkin," She sniffled as she stepped away and let him go with teary eyes and a faltering smile, "My goodness Randal where are your manners!" She laughed weakly and whipped the corner of her eyes, looking at Cody oddly, fondly. "Aren't you going to introduce us?-! I know I taught you better manners than this! Who's your friend here? It this Cody?-?"

Randy almost sighed; apparently they weren't talking about this yet. Apparently she wasn't fucking ready! He fought a scowl that he hid behind a blank expression, his heart shaking in his chest with fear and ready to fall apart at any moment. So he reached out and found Cody's hand, pulling it in and squeezing tight, and his whole world felt at peace once more as Cody's fingers wrapped around him and squeezed right back. God he loved him!

He finally nodded as he watched Cody swallow hard out of the corner of his eye, almost fighting a smile at his lovers continued nervousness. "Yes mom this is my Cody. Cody, meet Mom. Mom, meet Cody."

"Hello." Cody greeted softly and gave her a gentle, kind smile, "It's so nice to finally meet you Ms. Orton, Randy sure has missed you." He ducked his gaze nervously towards him and smiled, "He's spoken of you quite often." Only he wasn't happy when he mentioned her and truthfully, he had mentioned her only to complain about the pain she continued to cause. But of course he left that part out. They shook hands. She seemed so nice and gentle wearing a soft yellow sun dress with light white flowers; her soft blonde hair combed neatly and blowing gently in the cool breeze. "Names Stacy since my boy forgot to mention that," She was so warm, her smile even Cody thought could actually light up the world on a cloudless, bright shiny day summer day. "It's very nice to meet you Cody. You aren't afraid are you? I'm sure my son has told you many scary things about this little town and his wretched old mother!" Both Cody and Randy jerked back at that. His wretched old mother?-! Is that what she thought she was?-?-? Fucking hell they really, REALLY need to fucking TALK. "No, no it's alright, I'm very happy to meet you…and everyone else." He smiled back and gave Randy's hand a tighter squeeze, "You all seem very nice…" Meaning he wasn't worried about anyone "gay bashing" or trying to chase them off with burning pitch forks and bibles but, her, Randy's mother, he was definitely worried about.

"Well this party's not going to get started with us just standing out here," She sniffled and caught a tear dashing down her cheek, "Let's go inside before the others ambush you boys at the door. Come on now there's plenty to eat and everyone's just so excited that you've come!" They smiled but Randy found himself frozen in place again, too afraid to take another step into the home he hadn't felt welcome in for so many years… Since his father died… Fuck this was going to be so hard.

His mother went into the house and Cody followed, tugging on his hand as he took a quiet deep breath, resisting the urge to hang his head. His mother was avoiding him, almost like she didn't even want him there! Fuck maybe this was a huge mistake because he could already feel himself starting to crumble beneath her gaze and something told him, she was hiding something. Something BIG. He could see it in her eyes!

Anthony suddenly popped out from behind the door as it closed behind the, grabbed Cody by the shoulder and guiding him away, "Stick with me or they'll mob you with questions," Anthony warned as he gestured to the living room at the end of the hallway by the stairs, "But don't worry everyone's real nice here…"

Randy picked up the pace to catch up but just as he passed his mother she put her arm around him and it almost scared the shit out of him but he caught his fearful instinct to jerk away and carefully draped his arm around her shoulders as they continued to walk slowly down the hallway; smiling as Cody was lead further ahead by a very excited Anthony. He used to hold her like this all the time…He used to enjoy her leaning on him and giving her a strong hug that told him just how much she loved him and now fuck, it had been so long he'd almost forgotten what it felt like!

"I'm so sorry honey," His mother startled him again with her soft words and an apology. "There are things that happened here that you don't know about yet and I just couldn't be the one to tell you. I wanted to, believe me I did but it just wasn't my place baby, it just wasn't." He stopped them, "Wait," He was so lost, "Mom what are you talking about? What's going on?"

"You know your mother loves you, don't you Pumpkin? I may have been absent this past year but your mother always loved you and no matter what that will never change. Whether your gay, straight, policeman, fireman, hell even an damn bum mooching off the welfare system I'd still be your number one fan-"

"Then where have you been?-!" He almost jerked away again. "What the hell Mom you wouldn't even call me back!"

She glared up at him but not in an angry way, more like an irritated mother readying to scold her son. It felt nice. "Excuse you don't you speak that way to me!" She scolded firmly and Randy almost smiled. "Your father and I taught you better than that and I won't have you using those foul words in my home." She dropped her arm away and came to stand before him, fussing with the buttons on his dark blue shirt and straightening them in their holes. Just like she used to do to his Dad every morning before he went off to work. "Now you stop giving your old mother a hard time and just listen for a moment alright?" He nodded, looking down at her and fighting more angry tears. Finally she was ready to talk and yeah, he was going to shut the fuck up and listen. Because whatever her reason for pushing him away like she had, HAD to be good. It just had to be or he was going to fucking lose it.

"After you left," She began with a shaky sigh, smoothing her hand down the front of his shirt and now fussing over a small wrinkle there, "I was very angry with you but, so happy at the same time. It was difficult because all I wanted is for my little boy to be happy and even though I didn't like what you were doing, I was so proud of you. I still am. You've turned into quite a remarkable young man Randal, and your mother loves you very much." But? He tensed, he sensed a HUGE but coming on! "But I was just beside myself with grief, I thought you were doing this to punish me or to get back at me for letting your father die." She looked up, stopping him before he could even start. What in the hell was she saying?-! He'd NEVER think something so horrible, so WRONG! Oh god he didn't blame her at all!-! "I know that's not true, Pumpkin, I figured that out once I calmed down. It was just all the years of being angry with your father and then you leave and I just got angry all over again. But…You're far more important to me than my stupid anger and I swear to you I was going to call to try and plan a visit." Then why hadn't she? Why had she stayed away for so long?-? "But, well,…You know how your Mother just can't keep secrets? You know how terrible I am at not spilling the beans and getting my mouth into trouble?-?" Yes he knew that part of her well, his father used to scold her for ruining birthday and Christmas presents all the time. She just got so excited, it was so cute Randy thought. Because she wouldn't mean to but somehow the gift or surprise would somehow find her lips and find its way out to the one person it shouldn't have. Randy always figured it was just because she was an honest person but, that might have changed over the past year. He might have been wrong about that theory. And yeah, so, he did know that about her but, what did that have to do about this?-?

He nodded, remembering her request for open ears and remained silent. She smiled and patted his shoulder, "Well then that explains part one of why I couldn't even return your calls Pumpkin, I have a HUGE surprise for you."

He frowned hard, his mouth falling open in an angry outburst of swears and frustrated huffs. God where was Cody when he needed him! "Stop it!" He put his hand up in a desperate ceasing gesture. "Mom please just tell me what's going on! I don't know what you're talking about or why you'd do this!" He couldn't fucking take this anymore! Why wouldn't she just fucking SAY IT?-! Whatever it was she should just fucking SAY IT!-! "I just want to know why you fucking hate me!-!"

She gasped in outrage, eyes growing wide. Shit, he hadn't meant to say that! Oh god oh shit OH GOD! Instantly she grabbed his chin, yanking it down to her level before he could even blink. "Randal Keith Orton don't you EVER speak to your mother that way again! I could never hate you!"

"Then where have you been?-! Why couldn't you even talk to me?-! I need you and you weren't there!"

"I couldn't be there for you because you needed me to be there for you HERE!" She let go of his chin and whirled around, "Come here!" She said and he followed, hot on her heels and still reeling. What the fuck had she meant that by her needed her here?-! That wasn't not what he'd fucking needed!-!

They walked a few steps down the hallway and turned towards the stair case, his mother leading them to the second story and to his old childhood room at the end of the wide walk way. They stopped at the door, is mother turning and calling out to someone but he had missed who. His heart was pounding in his ears, ready to break at any fucking second!

"Damn it Mom tell me what's going on!" He begged her but before she could answer another door at the opposite end of the entry way opened and his jaw dropped. A familiar face greeted him with a wide smile, her long brown hair even longer than he remembered and flowing gracefully down her back and along her shoulders and arms. He just couldn't believe it, "Samantha?-!" No fucking way! What in the hell was she doing there?-! He hadn't spoken to her in-in months!

"Randy!" She exclaimed excitedly and ran to him, throwing her arms around him for a tight hug. "Oh my god it's so good to see you!" She was so light he could have picked her up and shook her about like she was nothing but, of course he didn't! They broke apart and she kept hold of his hands, squeezing them tight with excitement shinnying all over her pretty face. He'd missed her too but, how awkward was this! "Yeah you too!" He tried to mimic her excitement, "Um, um how-uh, how are you?" He stuttered and mentally kicked himself. Fucking SHIT! How fucking awkward seeing as how she was the last women he'd slept with! And seeing as how that was the last thing he and Sam had done together as well! Shit shit shit! Cody! Where in the hell was Cody?-!

"I'm great actually and yourself?"

"Good just…" He hesitated as he looked back and forth between his mother and Samantha who exchanged a quick but knowing look. "Just trying to figure out what's going on around here." Would someone PLEASE tell him what the fuck was going on?-! Was this it?-! Was Samantha the big surprise?-! Surely not!

"Randy? You up here?" He finally heard Cody's voice and turned just in time to see him make the last step up the stairs, "Oh hey there you are…" Cody sighed softly, "Anthony said to come find you?" Randy frowned, sure he was happy Cody was there but, he hadn't verbally asked for him so…What in the hell was Anthony talking about? He shook it off and took hold of Cody's hip and gently tugged him closer. It didn't matter, Cody was there now and he finally felt safe again.

"Actually, sorry, that was us." Sam explained briefly and gave Cody a welcoming smile, "Don't worry Randy I'm not going to hate on your boyfriend."

"Fiancé," He corrected but let Cody go. He just…wanted her to know that.

"Right, him either." She grabbed Cody in a quick hug and cupped his face with a soft sigh, "Damn you're one good looking dude," She smiled wide, "And now that I see you I just know, for sure, that I didn't turn Randy gay because you are fucking gorgeous, and you are enough to turn anyone gay." She gave him a peck on the lips, "Yeah yeah yeah I know, Randy was born gay and all that but honey, you seal the deal."

"Why thank you." Cody smirked and seemed smug, eyes bright with confidence and pride. "You're quite beautiful yourself."

"Oh you are just perfect! Randy is so lucky."

Cody still smiled but slowly shook his head, "No I'm lucky to have Randy. He's perfect but, something tells me you already knew that."

"Smart guy," She said with a wink. "Randy picked himself a winner."

"He's also standing right here," Randy objected with a slight laugh, glancing back and forth between them and his smile grew. At least this wasn't turning out to be a disaster; Sam and Cody seemed to just…click if that made sense. They weren't good friend but, they could be. And Randy was happy to be in the middle.

"Come on, there's someone really special that I want you two to meet." Sam broke away after another moment of cooing over Cody's handsomeness and waved his mother away kindly, "I've got it from here Stacy you're safe to go check on the stuff in the oven."

"Oh!" His mother gasped in remembrance, "My brownies! Oh heavens I forgot all about them!" Her eyes grew wide as she hurried off and down the stairs quickly and quietly; leaving just the three of them standing there in the wide entry way, just outside his childhood bedroom door…

"Now try to keep it down she's been pretty fussy this morning," Samantha explained quielty as she turned and opened the door, revealing his once light blue walls had been painted a light shade of pink with white playful pony wall paper lining the boarders around the ceiling. There was a crib, a tall pink one surrounded by pink sheer curtains and in front of the window he used to sneak out of so many years ago. He held his breath as they continued on inside, looking around and finding everything to be in pink or white and so many Disney character stuffed animals they were crammed onto tall pink bookcases and arranged neatly and in order. His room was a nursery. That's what he was seeing…But…Why?-?-?

He followed her quietly up to the crib, peeking in and seeing a small set of bright blue eyes shining up at him, wide and innocent. "Wow Samantha she's beautiful!" He said quietly, smiling down at the little baby all cozy in her light pink one snap, forgetting all questions and just gazing at her fondly.

"Her name's Alana." Samantha said as she leaned over and carefully scooped the pretty little doll out of her crib, smiling wider as she brought her closer for a better look.

"Hi there baby girl," He said to her gently, running a tender finger down her soft short little arm, "You sure are a pretty little thing aren't you? You've got your mothers looks that's for sure."

"Hmm well, mostly," Samantha sighed softly, smiling at her fondly, proudly. "She has your eyes..." WHAT!-!-!-! Randy jerked back, "Wha...wait-WAIT!" He blinked and tried to comprehend her words but for the life of him they just wouldn't sink in! "What are you saying?-!" Oh god did she just fucking say HIS eyes?-! HIS?-! "She's-she's mine?-!"

"She's ours." Samantha informed as she grabbed a small bottle from beside the crib on a small pink table and placed it to Alana's small baby mouth, "Isn't she beautiful Randy? My God she looks so much like you."

What the FUCK?-! "Why didn't you tell me?-!" He was suddenly mad, his face turning red, "What the hell Samantha?-!" How could she keep something like this from him?-! They had a daughter for fucks sake! That wasn't something she nor his mother had any right to keep from him! "How could you do this?-!"

"Shh! Watch your language!" She glared up for only a second, still smiling as if she'd done nothing wrong. "I wanted to tell you but I knew how important going to Las Vegas was for you and when you left you made it pretty clear that you never wanted to come back. I didn't want to drop this on you when you'd just moved. Besides I didn't find out till about five months into the pregnancy because I was still acting normal until suddenly I gained twenty pounds and started throwing up in the mornings. And by then I hadn't heard from you very much at all and I seriously didn't think you'd even believe me unless you actually saw her."

"She's my daughter, Samantha," He hissed softly threw his teeth, "I would have come back for her!" In a fucking heartbeat! This was some scary business but Alana was his daughter and he instantly regretted not being there for her already! How could everyone fucking keep this from him?-! Why hadn't anyone even HINTED?-!

"Yes but," She looked up again, her smile widening as she found Cody wide eyed behind them. "You never would have met Cody."

Randy's face fell. Shit. Cody! Oh god he must be freaking out by now!-! He turned and found him gapping in shock, pale as a freshly cleaned sheet. "Hey..." He went to him and touched his cheek in concern, oh god what if Cody didn't want a kid?-! What if this scared him off completely?-! Fuck Randy was terrified too so he understood but it was sinking in fast that now he had certain things to do, certain responsibilities he was happy to fulfill. He could only hope that Cody would want the same things! "You alright?" Please please please! Don't let him be afraid!

"Uh, uh yeah." Cody stuttered slightly before snapping his mouth shut. "Don't-Don't worry about me."

Oh but he was worried. Especially now! "I promise we'll talk about this later," He wasn't going to assume that Cody would stay now that there was a child in the mix, how could he? A baby was a HUGE responsibility and they'd only just moved and started fresh. Honestly he wouldn't blame Cody if he bailed and went back home because this was just too much. After all he'd pushed Cody pretty hard by moving him out of his home town to a tiny suburb and changed his entire life set up completely. Except his medical school issues; those they had sorted out and effectively taken care of what with the help of Michael's money Randy hadn't had to give back so now Cody was enrolled and starting his next rotation in the fall. Which now as he thought about it became another reason that might make Cody just turn and,...turn and…walk away

"You-You want to see her?" He asked carefully; he had to be sure!

Cody nodded quickly; his eyes brightening briefly threw the fear and panic clouding them to shiny yet dim orbs of terrified blue. And Randy was right there with him, just as scared, just as uncertain and terrified. Could he even be a good father?-? Would he fuck this up just like he had so many other important things in his life?-! And he had every right to fear because without Cody by his side…He just didn't know if he could do it. He just didn't know if he was strong enough or good enough to be anyone's father!

He stepped aside to let Cody move closer, grabbing his hand just as soon as he could reach it and squeezing it tight, relief flooding threw him as Cody instantly squeezed back. "She's a DOLL." Cody said in awe as he brought his hand up to her, smiling wide as she grabbed his finger and held on to it; her tiny fingers gripping tight. "She's perfect…"

"Isn't she?" Samantha agreed in a soft tone, gazing down at her with a wide, adoring smile as Randy stepped in closer and took his first long look at his…his daughter. She was quite beautiful with her almost invisible soft light brown hair and perfect little face and the cutest little nose he recognized to be definitely from his side of the family. And her eyes too, she definitely had his eyes. God she was beautiful! Unlike anything he'd ever seen before and he already loved her so incredibly hard!

"I-I-I'll just leave you two to talk." Cody said after a moment and stepped away, carefully removing Alana's fingers from around him slowly.

"Wait just a sec," Samantha asked softly, "I need to talk to both of you because this concerns little Alana and where she's going to stay while I'm deployed to IRAQ."

"Deployed?-!" Randy's voice rose an octave as he tore his eyes away from Alana, "You're in the army?-!"

"Air force actually, and I signed up just after you left."

"Jesus Samantha," He breathed in worry, "How long are you going out there for?"

"A year," She sighed hard, "And believe me I don't want to go. I'd give anything to stay here with Alana."

"We'll take good care of her..." Cody offered in a timid tone, biting his bottom lip briefly. "If-If that's what you're getting at..."

"It is but I'm sure you two have a lot to discuss before I leave next week so just take your time and let me know what you've decided, Alana can stay with your mother until you're ready."

"Next week?-!" Randy repeated in horror. What the fuck next fucking WEEK?-! Okay Randy, don't panic! This would all work out they just needed to hit the store and buy like, EVERYTHING and then baby proof the house and rearrange schedules…They could do all of that in a week right?-! Fuck!-!-! They were going to have to! He'd only just met her and the thought of being away from her was too much to even bare! He just loved her so completely, so instantly!

"Sorry I thought I'd have more time but they called me last week and told me to pack up for deployment." Samantha said as she set the bottle down and placed Alana carefully against her shoulder, "Listen if you guys need more time Alana can always stay here until you've gotten settled."

"There's not much to decide if Cody's on board," Randy stated with a nod, "Alana will stay with us." He added firmly as he put his arm around Cody's waist, pulling him close and wished so much that he could tell him how wonderful he really was. Without hesitation Cody just accepted the news of Alana and although he seemed nervous, he was still there! He hadn't run away or tried to back out; he'd instantly accepted that she would stay with them! God he was so lucky! SO fucking lucky!-! "I love you." he whispered to him and pressed his lips to his ears, "I love you so much," More than he could ever describe.

"Here, you want to hold her?" Samantha suddenly offered to Randy and as he nodded she carefully placed her in his arms, everyone sighing in relief as he brought her against his chest securely and held her just right.

Cody peeked over his shoulder; smiling again as he brought his hand up and again she grabbed his index finger and held on tight. "I think she likes you," Randy whispered and Cody laughed softly, "I think so too."

"So, you're really okay with this?" He whispered, looking back and forth between them but mostly staying on Cody. "You want to stay with us?"

"Of course I want to stay baby," Cody whispered and gave his ear a tender nuzzle but quickly went back to gazing at the beautiful baby girl clutching onto his finger, "How could anyone say no to you? Or to her?" Randy smiled and let out a breath he hadn't realized he'd been holding, his gaze joining Cody's on little Alana starring up at him with wide, innocent, curious eyes with a faint smile over her tiny little lips. Cody was right how could anyone say no to her? She was absolutely perfect.

They just stood there smiling down at her for a long moment, in awe over every little thing she did and beyond excited. What did their future hold now with little Alana in the picture? Neither of them was very sure but one thing they were both entirely certain of as they stared down into that beautiful baby's eyes was that neither of them would ever leave her. Nor each other.

Ever.

The End

Yay! It's finally finished!-!-! Over all I am proud of this beast as it is over two hundred thousand words O_O Only regret is that I wish I had more patients so that this could have been a little more in depth because I ended up cutting a few characters and some I had smaller parts that I decided not to pursue. Again it's the whole patients thing :X. So really thank you to everyone for reading and don't be afraid to look for more fics in the future ;) I've got quite a few on the way!