Notes: Thanks to Tracy for making sure this worked in this incarnation, and as always, to Gail.
Tony Fitzhugh and his partner and roommate, Roan Sinclair, walked into the store 'where America gets its photos developed,' disposable cameras in hand.
"Well, I guess Sage and Jackson thought this would be a good idea." Tony looked at the camera he held.
"I had fun at the wedding, Tony. Didn't you?"
"Yeah, but… "
"What? Were the perfumes the women wore too overpowering?" It was easy to see Roan was worried about him.
"Nothing like that, babe." Tony smiled to himself. It always made him feel good when Roan reacted that way. Especially now that they'd become lovers. All the years they'd been together, each unwilling to say anything about their growing feelings for the other in case it proved to be the end of their friendship.
Oh, how wrong they had been.
He grinned, remembering his reaction when Roan had been kidnapped one time too many.
~ ~ ~
He stormed into the loft, followed by Roan, who kept trying to soothe him. "I'm okay, Tony."
And Tony whirled around, fisted his hands in Roan's thick curls, and pulled their mouths together in a kiss that curled his toes, raised his blood pressure, and, he was positive, caused a ripple in the Force.
Roan's soft moan brought him back to his senses.
"Oh, jesus, Roan! What have I done?" Tony braced himself, unsure if Roan was going to slug him or turn on his heel and walk out.
Roan's eyes were still closed, but his lips were slightly parted in a dreamy smile. "You kissed me!"
"Uh… yeah. I did."
"Do you plan on doing it again?"
"I… " This wasn't a time to waffle. It was time for him to stand up, to take a stand, to… "Yes. I do."
"Tony." Roan raised his hand, not to slug Tony but to rest his palm against Tony's cheek. "All I have to say is… " Tony held his breath. "It's about time!"
Yeah, it was.
And it just kept getting better.
~ ~ ~
"Tony, did the alcohol get to you?"
"Oh. No." He shook his head just to emphasize that he'd had no problem with the variety of mixed drinks they'd been served, including some that were directly from the Lone Star State.
It had been Jackson's idea to have an open bar. 'After all, I'm only getting married once!' The man had been downright giddy that Sage Green, the Texas transplant, had agreed to make an honest man of him. And while, after the first couple of hours, things had gotten a bit raucous, they'd also gotten a bit blurred, and he wasn't too sure what had gone on.
"Nah. It's just the responsibility of taking the pictures. I'd have been happier if they'd gone the professional photographer route."
"Yeah, I have to agree with you, but Sage said it would mean more to them if their friends took the pictures. Everyone would be more relaxed."
"Maybe, but if one more flash went off in my eyes, I wouldn't have been responsible for my actions."
Roan patted his shoulder, and it was all Tony could do to keep from purring like a big old pussycat. He did love when Roan put his hands on him.
They arrived at the photo counter, and the woman behind it smiled at them. "How can I help you today?"
"We'd like these developed."
"Okay. I'll need your phone number first."
"Why?" Roan asked.
"It puts you in our system."
He leaned next to Tony and whispered loudly enough for the woman to hear, "Big Brother is watching."
"I assure you, sir… "
"It's okay." Tony rattled off the number of the loft, and she keyed it into her computer.
"Ah. Mr. Fitzhugh?"
"Tony, you've had a digital camera for forever." Well, since Christmas two years before when Roan had given him one. "When was the last time you used a camera with 35mm film?"
"Back when I was in Vice."
The woman had been listening with interest. "Oh, was that you, Mr. Fitzhugh? Now that's a story I'd like to hear about!"
Tony blushed and Roan snickered. "So would I!"
"Uh, the film?"
"Of course. Are these separate orders?"
Tony glanced at Roan and smiled. "No, we're together."
She nodded, her eyes on the computer screen. "And you're dropping off 35mm rolls. Would you like more than one set of prints?"
"No, I think one will be enough."
"Okay. Would you like a CD with that? It only costs $2.99 more and you'll have all the pictures on it."
"No. This is for someone else. They wanted us to take pictures of their wedding - "
"That's so great!"
" - and it's bad enough we had to take the pictures when we were a little looped."
"Looped?" Roan snickered, then tried to hide it with a cough when Tony glowered at him. "Yes, I suppose we were. Just a tad."
"I don't need the added responsibility of making decisions about CDs," Tony said loftily, secretly pleased he'd made his lover laugh. "If they like the prints and decide they want the CD, would they still be able to get it?"
"We'll hold off on that, then."
"Not a problem. And when would you like to pick these up?"
"We're not in any rush. The bride and groom are on their honeymoon."
She smiled at him. "I can probably have these ready for you by about 2 this afternoon. Will that be okay?"
"Yeah, that's fine."
She keyed something into the computer, clicked on something else, and then handed him a piece of paper. "Your claim check, Detective Fitzhugh. I'll see you this afternoon. Or whenever you're ready to come in."
"Thanks." Tony took the claim check, draped an arm over Roan's shoulders, and turned to walk out. "Let's go get lunch, babe."
"That's so cute," he heard the woman whisper to herself, and he could tell from her tone of voice she was serious.
He and Roan had decided to keep their relationship under wraps for the time being, but it was nice knowing there was someone on their side, even if she was a total stranger.
* * *
"Yeah, babe?" They'd picked up the prints that afternoon and had returned to the loft that was their home, and were now going through them.
"Uh… I've got to be up front about this with you."
Uh oh. That didn't sound good. And on top of that, Roan's face was flushed. He never blushed. "What's wrong, babe?"
"You'd better take a look at these." He handed the pictures to Tony.
There were shots of Sage and Jackson standing before the minister who performed the ceremony, dancing together for the first time as husband and wife, feeding each other pieces of cake, kissing because someone had tapped on a glass until they had. "These look good."
"Yeah. Keep going."
Tony turned over a picture of the happy couple on the dance floor, wearing sunglasses and holding beer bottles - obviously a gag shot - and he smiled. There he was doing one of the line dances that no wedding reception seemed to be without.
The next picture, and every one after that, was of Tony. Sometimes he'd realized Roan was aiming the camera in his direction, and he'd deliberately mugged for the lens. But sometimes he'd been unaware, and those pictures took his breath away: Tony dancing; Tony crossing to the bar to get a refill for both him and Roan; Tony in profile. As the sequence progressed, he could see the love in them. Not that he had revealed that emotion, but it was obvious from the care that had been taken, even with Roan three sheets to the wind, that he loved him.
"I… I must have had too much to drink. I'm sorry, Tony!"
"Why are you sorry?"
"We can't give these pictures to Sage and Jackson!"
"Sure we can. Oh, not the ones of me - and by the way, I love you too - "
"Tony, what are you talking about?"
"These… " He held up the majority of the pictures Roan had taken. "… they show how much I mean to you."
"Well, you do. But you didn't screw up."
It was easy for Tony to see Roan was working himself into a frenzy of remorse. "I don't think you screwed up. But we'll set that aside for the time being. Here." He handed Roan the photos he'd taken.
As with Roan's pictures, the first ten or so were of the bride and groom, their captain and the other men in their department taking turns dancing with Sage, while their wives and girlfriends danced with Jackson. Tony knew exactly when Roan came to the prints he knew would make his point. Roan's eyes widened and his lips parted.
Tony was pretty proud of those pictures. They'd come out damn good, even if he'd been half in the bag himself. "I especially like these." Roan had been talking to a couple of Sage's friends from Texas who'd flown up especially for the wedding. Tony had snapped one picture after another in rapid succession, and he was tempted to fasten them together and flip through them, positive he'd see Roan in action, hands waving to emphasize a point, a smile flashing across his face, and finally turning to look for him.
"We've got about a couple of dozen good pictures of Sage and Jackson. We'll give those prints to them and tell them the flash crapped out on the rest of them - "
"On both our cameras?" But Roan was smiling.
"Okay. Works for me."
"And you know what? We can start our own photo album with the pictures you took of me. And the ones I took of you. I think that would be a good idea. Don't you?"
"I think it's a great idea, Tony!"
Tony really liked the way Roan showed him how much he approved of that idea.
* * *
Savage Garden's 'I Knew I Loved You' was playing on the CD player in the newlyweds' apartment.
Our song, Sage thought happily, and she recalled how wonderful it had been to dance to it in her husband's arms.
She smiled and picked up another stack of photos, this bunch taken by Captain Greenly. They'd gotten a lot of flack due to the similarity of their last names when she'd transferred from Texas, but that wouldn't be a problem any more, since she was now Detective Mrs. Burdett.
Shaking herself out of the lovely reverie of being married to the most wonderful man in the world, Sage leafed through the photos. She paused, studying one intently, then set it aside and went on to the next bunch of photos.
"Hmmm." She found something similar that drew her attention, and again set it aside. "Jackson… "
"It's a shame Tony and Roan's cameras didn't work well, but they did get some great shots," he said as he placed them on the table, trying to get them into some kind of chronological order. "I guess we're lucky no one else had problems."
"We are that, love."
"Though I'm a little confused. Take Roan's pictures. There are shots of the ceremony, and when you threw the bouquet and I tossed your garter, but there's a big gap in the middle."
"Maybe he dropped the camera and that got the batteries working again."
"Maybe." But she could see he wasn't certain about that.
"Well, it isn't really important. We've got so many great pictures."
"Yeah. And at least everyone remembered they were supposed to take pictures for us."
"Jackson… " She noticed that he was staring at a picture. "What've you found, love?"
"Uh… Take a look at this." He handed her the photograph. It was of the members of their department. The Captain had just made a speech. They were all laughing and looking toward him. All except Roan, who, while he was smiling, was looking at Tony as if he'd found the Holy Grail.
She swallowed a smile. She'd known it was just a matter of time. "Maybe you'd better take a look at these." They were the photos she'd set to the side.
"Who took this one?"
"I'm not sure, but there are about half a dozen that are very similar." One was of Tony obviously aiming the camera at Roan. Another was of Roan doing the same. The others were of the two of them together, Tony with his arm around Roan, Roan leaning into him, and one where they were laughing into each other's eyes.
"Oh my god! Does this mean what I think it means?!"
"I'd have to say that's a yes. Does that bother you?"
"Well… well… they're guys!"
Sage frowned at him. "So you're saying just because they're men, they're not entitled to fall in love?"
"No, of course not… But with each other? Tony's dated one woman after another, and so has Roan for that matter!"
"And obviously those women didn't do it for them. Think about it for a minute, love. Who nearly fell apart when Tony was shot and had to be hospitalized for a week that time? And who almost went off the deep end the last time Roan was kidnapped?"
"You're right. But why didn't I ever see it?"
"Probably because they didn't want you to see it. Think about it, love," she said again. "If word got out that Tony Fitzhugh was queer for Roan Sinclair, how likely would it be that backup would arrive when they needed it?"
"Yes, and I apologize. But that doesn't mean it isn't true. Maybe you and the Captain and Mike and Rick would back them up - "
She watched him, waiting as he processed what she'd said. Then his shoulders slumped.
"You're right. Oh, we'd be there for them, I don't doubt that for a second, but others… " He sighed. "I just don't know."
"So we'll keep their secret until they're ready to reveal it?"
"Yes, Sage." He looked at the picture of the gang from the precinct. "Do you think we should give these pictures to Tony and Roan?"
"No. We'll tuck them away in the back of a drawer. There's no need for them to know we know. And y'know what? I think we've looked at enough pictures for the time being."
"You're right! It's been fifteen minutes since I last kissed my wife!"
"Yes? Well, we can't have that, now can we?"
Jackson pounced on her and gathered her up in his arms, kissing her with a fierce hunger. She kissed him back with a hunger that was just as fierce, and he laughed in triumph and scooped her up.
As he strode toward the bedroom, she caught a final glimpse of the photo of Tony and Roan smiling into each other's eyes.
Oh yes, she'd known it had only been a matter of time.