With his head hung over a chapter about proses, Alex drummed the pencil on the thick pages of the book. With his boyfriend preoccupied with Warblers practice, Alex decided to deduct a few inches from the mountain of homework piled up in his room. None of the teachers in this school seemed to understand the word 'mercy', especially one particularly prejudiced teacher who, for some reason, loathed Windsor. And- oh, look at that- Alex was a Windsor. Perfect.

Alex was about to turn the page when a knock interrupted. Looking up, he emitted a sigh. He sluggishly lifted himself from the bed and walked towards the door. When he opened, he was shocked to see Dane's dad staring right back at him with a sheepish smile.

"Hi." Derek greeted. "Can I come in?"

"Mr. Seigerson?" Slack-jawed at the presence of a parent (nevermind that it was Dane's- although that's probably a crucial detail as well), Alex gaped openly. "What are you doing here?"

Derek looked like he was mulling over something. "I'll tell you inside."

Finally stepping back, Alex let his boyfriend's father in- in his room which he just realized was a mess from all the homework and discarded clothes. Hoping to make a better impression, he scrambled to pick up a few shirts and threw them unceremoniously into his dresser.

Derek snorted, but not because of the lack of tidiness of the room. "I see Murdoch hasn't changed." His brown eyes were trained on the open Literature book on the bed, accompanied by piles of copies of proses.

Alex chuckled uneasily. "Yeah. He's.."

"Hilariously biased?"

Alex was going to say iron-fisted, but sure, he'll go with that. "Yeah.."

Derek snickered, reminiscent of his old days at Dalton. But then he suddenly turned to Alex with a fatherly glint in his eyes, and tension flooded the room. "As to why I'm here though."

Alex gulped. Time for the inevitable.

"I just wanted to say.."

That if he ever hurt his son, he'll punch him in the face so bad, his surrogate mother will feel it?



Not what he was expecting.

"Uh- what?"

Derek grinned, sitting on a clean space on the bed and leaned forward so that his elbows were on his knees. He looked up at Alex, the wrinkles on his forehead from fatigue becoming visible. "You realize that Dane wouldn't have come out if it weren't for you, right?"

Despite his restless nerves, Alex had to protest. "Sir, I-"

"Call me Derek."

Sure. First-name basis. Why not. "Um, Derek. I'm flattered that you think I hold that much influence over your son, but the truth is, this was all him. I didn't even know he was coming out."

Derek smiled endearingly. "You don't see what the rest of us see, kid."

Alex narrowed his eyes. "..which would be?"

Derek maintained that knowing smile. "You'll find out soon enough. Anyway, I've said my peace, so I better get going. Don't want Dane to catch me sneaking around here."

Wide-eyed, Alex spluttered. "Dane doesn't know you visited?"

"Nope. And I'd like to keep it that way, alright? Don't want him freaking out about me seeing his boyfriend."

Flushing at the term because it came from his boyfriend's father, Alex nodded. He knew better than to disagree.

"Good." Derek nodded once and made to leave, before turning back again for one last inquiry. "Oh and- quick question, you're Shane and Reed's son, right?"

Slightly confused, Alex nodded. "Yes, sir- Derek."

"And your cousin, Alice- she's dating Jules and Lo's son?"

That's about right. "Yes."

"Huh." Derek smiled nostalgically. "If all goes well, you'll have one hell of a family tree."

Alex didn't understand, but smiled and nodded anyway.

Having noticed the lack of realization on the boy's face, Derek snorted. "Bye, Alex. I'll see you around."