A/N: This is taken at the end of SECOND CHANCES, where Alex helps the girls to shear 500 sheep for the Japanese company in one night. Alex stays at Drovers and forgets to call Fi. =))

"We have to talk," Alex stated. He didn't know how he was supposed to broach the subject, but he knew he had to tell her about Claire, and about where he stood with Fiona. They needed to be upfront and honest with each other.

"Yeah," she agreed. "We do. I don't want you going off to help Drover's anymore."

"Fi," he said, with an air of irritation. "We've done this before. I told you, it's what neighbours do. I've been doing this for years. They help us out, too, when we need them. It's the country life. It's different from the city. People here care about us."

"You mean Stevie cares," she barked. "It's what you do for Stevie. It has nothing to do with anyone else."

"We're mates, Fiona. Alright?"

"Pick one, Alex," she groaned. "You can't have us both."

"I don't know what you're on about?" he shot back.

"I saw the photos that Patrick took," she yelled. "I saw the way that the two of you looked at each other."

He shook his head. He had no idea what she was talking about.

"I'm sick of the same conversation, Fi-"

"I'm pregnant!" she blurted out.

Alex stood there. Stunned into silence. He certainly hadn't been expecting that.

"Your- your what?"

Maybe he hadn't heard right.

She smiled. "I'm pregnant. I need you here with me."

Alex felt his chest tighten. That hadn't been the plan. After talking to Dave about how different it was with Claire, he was beginning to think that maybe he and Fiona weren't suited after all. He didn't think it was fair to waste his life or hers, pretending that he was happy in that kind of relationship. In fact, he pictured himself with someone like Stevie… she was a lot like Claire. They knew how to have a conversation. They knew what the country was like. There was REAL expectations.

But Fiona was pregnant and Alex wouldn't walk out on his kid. Not for anything. It was the way he was. He was old-school. He'd had enough lies in his life, regarding his own father. He would never do that to his own child.

"That's great!" he beamed falsely.

"You're happy?"

"Yeah, I'm wrapped. I'm going to be a dad."


He found the photo in the album that was left in the lounge room at Killarny. He flipped through it, trying to find the photo that Fiona was talking about. There was Kate. Jodi. Regan. The photos were good. Real good. Patrick had a talent, for sure.

He turned the next page, and there it was.

Alex was looking at her, and she was looking at him.

He remembered the hug. The way he drew her into his arms. It had felt so right. So perfect. So fitted. The two of them were familiar. It was easy.

Nothing about his relationship with Fiona had ever been easy. Complicated. Quick. Argumentative. When Fiona yelled at him, Alex felt trapped and annoyed. But when he fought with Stevie, there was a ball of knots in his stomach, that never left him until they'd made up again.

Did that mean something?

He stared at the photo. Stevie was beautiful, dressed in jeans and a black tank top, sweaty and smelly from the sheep shearing. And yet, he was content and happy, whenever he was with her. It was like everything else in the world drifted away.

He had forgot to call Fiona. He hadn't even remembered her, when he was with Stevie and the rest of them. It was like he belonged there. As if he was a part of Drover's Run.

And not for the first time, did he wish that Fiona wasn't pregnant.


"Alex, can I have a word?" Stevie asked, as she climbed out of her Ute.

Fiona stared at her.

Stevie was determined to stop the wedding, before he made a mistake. Before he was trapped in a marriage where his wife was lying to him every day. It wasn't fair on Alex. Thank God she had found him before it was too late. And if he chose to marry her after he learned the truth, then that was his problem. But it wasn't fair to marry based on a lie.

"Yeah," Alex turned to Fiona. "I'll be right back."

"Alex, I-"

Stevie could see that she was terrified, and serves her right for lying to him. Stevie had no sympathy for her, only for Alex.

Alex stepped away and followed Stevie a few metres away from Fiona, so that she wouldn't be able to overhear the conversation. She stared at them the whole time. "What's up, mate?"

Stevie sighed. "Fiona is lying to you," she stated. Make it quick, like ripping off a band-aid.

He frowned. "What do you mean?"

"I mean, she isn't pregnant. I know what she told you, but- she's not pregnant, Alex."

Alex stared at her.

Stevie shook her head, her eyes locked on his.

"How do you know?"

"Because I- I called her on it, and she didn't deny it. Ask for evidence, Alex. Get medical proof. Something. Anything."

He broke eye contact and looked over at Fiona. It was written so clearly across her face. It was true. Fiona had lied to him. Tricked him into marrying him… he had almost made the biggest mistake of his life. He looked back at his best mate. It must have taken her guts to tell him that.

"Thanks," he nodded. "I'll talk to you later. I need to talk to you about some things but I have some things I need to talk to Fi about first."

Stevie nodded and took her leave, knowing that Alex wasn't going to stay with her. There was something in his eyes, and she knew, she just knew he would come away from it, still as strong as he always had been.

Alex Ryan was a fighter. Nothing kept him down for long.

Stevie had a feeling that what Alex had to say to her, was a good thing.

GUESS WHAT?! I found a WHOLE heap of old S&A FF that I haven't posted, so for a few weeks I'll be posting a few. I hope you're looking forward to them. All of them revolve around season 6. There is so much drama to write about. Care to leave a review? …. PLEASE!