Actions

Work Header

Second Time Lucky

Chapter Text

“What are you doing?” Taron whispers, shoving his hands into his suit pockets to wrap his fingers in the material. Richard’s eyes crinkle from smiling before he stalks towards Taron with the smile on his face growing with each step.
“What am I doing?” He asks; memories rushing through his brain at the conversation. “I’m getting married. What do you think you’re doing, Taron?”
“I’m not saying run away with me,” he starts to explain but trips over his own tongue. “At least, I don’t think that’s what I’m saying but-”
„Oh, I will. But you know, no running away on honeymoon without a wedding first. So get out of here and let me get dressed. You‘re not supposed to be in here anyway, you know.“
“Seems like I’ve got a talent for turning up in places I shouldn’t before a wedding,” Taron replies also thinking back to that strange day so many years ago. “I’ll leave you to get dressed now. It’s bad luck to see the bride in her wedding outfit before the ceremony.”

That quip earned Taron a light smack on the back of his head before he could leave the vestry. Taron had already gotten dressed in his suit for the day before he went to see Richard. He had been lost in memories a lot ever since the proposal happened and just now standing in front of Richard in another vestry had brought them to the surface again. He couldn’t help but start THAT conversation again but this time with a very different ending. Now, as he came out of the vestry, Jamie wasn’t looking at him with concern and pity written on his face. No, Jamie was standing there, dressed in a suit as well and smiling happily at him. Today would be very different to that wedding about 6 years ago. Today Taron would marry the love of his life. Today Richard would get a second chance at marriage.

Jamie who acted as best man was waiting for him in the first row, where they would remain until the ceremony would begin. Next to Jamie were all the people he loved most. The ones he wanted close when he would take that one big step. There was his mum in her new navy-blue dress with a proud smile on her face. Next to her were his younger sisters, who weren’t so young anymore, and his stepdad. His dad was there sat next to his aunt. And then in the row behind there was Elton, David and their boys as well as his best friends from Aberystwyth. All of Richard’s family and friends were sat on the other side. Taron saw Richard’s mum sitting there smiling at him just as proudly as his own mum did. The Scottish woman had really taken him to her heart and the same went for Taron. He absolutely adored Richard’s parents. They were the most lovely, charming and hilarious people. Taron certainly got to know where Richard got all his charm from.

“Did you find him?” Jamie asks, just like he did all those years ago.
“Yup.” Taron murmurs with a grin.
“Did he seem okay?”
“A bit nervous,” Taron answered. They had agreed that Taron would be waiting at the altar with Jamie and that Richard would be walking down the aisle. He wouldn’t walk with his father though because “I’m not a bride, T!” but he would be joined by his best man. No one but Richard, not even Taron, knew whom he had chosen to be his best man. Richard had kept that a closely guarded secret and so they were all anxiously waiting to see who would walk through that door with him in just half an hour.

Just then said door opened and the priest entered the church. Both of them weren’t overly religious but it was still something that they had agreed on very early on in the planning. At first they had feared that it would be very difficult as a gay couple to find a church and priest that would agree to marry them. Maybe the churches opinion had shifted towards greater acceptance or it was just a bit of luck but it had been surprisingly easy for them to find the church in which they now found themselves. The priest was a young man of Taron’s age who had absolutely no problem with their sexuality and who had been very gracious with accepting the wishes of the couple concerning the ceremony. The priest stopped when he reached Taron and welcomed him and Jamie. He also briefly said hello to the families of both grooms before he went to finish the last preparations.

While they waited Taron couldn’t help but take another trip down memory lane.

Chapter Text

It was only a few months short of it being six years since Taron thought his whole world had crashed down around him. When Richard had finally confessed his love for him but then went on to marry another woman only a few minutes later, breaking Taron’s heart into a million pieces in the process. Taron had gone home broken and thinking that he had destroyed not only his friendship with Richard but also his wedding. And months later Richard had stood before him, telling him that he had signed the divorce papers and that he wanted to be with him. Taron still remembered the exact words he had said to Richard that day in his mum’s kitchen. How he had asked Richard for some time and how he had kissed him softly as a promise. A promise of what Taron wasn’t quite sure but he knew that at that moment he had needed to make this gesture. Time was all he needed.

And time it took. It was almost a year before they finally got together – properly this time. In that year Taron and Richard had talked over everything that happened between them. Richard had explained why he had done everything he had done. Taron in return had explained how he had felt from the moment he had gotten the wedding invitation to the moment Richard had sat in his kitchen months after the wedding. Taron remembered vividly how he had called Elton on the train to Wales after he had left the wedding. He had called and immediately started to rant about Richard. About what he had done and how much he hated him right now. Elton had replied with: “Taron, I get that you’re angry at him.”
“I’m not angry! I’m in pain. And he put me here!” had been Taron’s reply to that and that had in turn made Elton speechless for a moment. He had known how hard Taron had fallen for Richard and this conversation made him even more worried about Taron’s wellbeing than receiving a wedding invitation had. He talked to Taron a bit more since it seemed that he needed it badly to stay sane. After he had hung up he immediately texted Jamie. From what he had managed to make out in Taron’s rant, Jamie would be the one checking up on Taron sooner rather than later.

Taron and Richard had also discussed their reasons for not talking about their feelings when they were fooling around and found out that both had the exact same reason. It turned out both of them had been afraid that the other one didn’t feel the same and that by confessing to being in love they would destroy their friendship. They had discussed everything they could think of. Richard opening up to Taron in a way that he had never done with anyone else. When they ran out of things to discuss they talked about anything and everything. With each conversation Richard proved to Taron how serious he was about making it up to him and he also showed Taron that he would never rush him. He allowed Taron all the time he needed and never asked for anything that Taron wasn’t ready to give yet. There were a few kisses exchanged over the course of that year and each of them had been initiated by Taron.

Taron also talked with all his friends a lot during that time. He valued their opinions greatly and so he was constantly reporting back to them and asking for their opinion on what he should do. He remembered talking to Jamie on numerous occasions. Jamie had become one of his closest friends since filming and Taron appreciated his opinions so much because he also knew Richard better than most of his other friends. Jamie also talked with Richard a lot and so probably knew more about their situation than anyone else. His old schoolfriends were great and were probably the reason it took a year for them to get together. Had it just been Taron they would have gotten together much earlier because he was never the most patient man and he had still loved Richard even if he had hurt him. His friends have taken longer than him to forgive Richard and Taron actually was glad that they had kept him from giving in. They had needed that year to sort everything out and for them to start this relationship on good, solid grounds and not on hurt feelings and guilt.

Then there were all the conversations he had with Elton. Taron had never been gladder to have the older man in his life. Elton had stayed true to his words and remained his touchstone. He could trust Elton to always be honest even if it would not be what Taron wanted to hear. He loved going ‘round to Elton and David’s every once in a while. Just getting to talk to them in person, playing with their boys helped him a lot. Sometimes he would even bring Richard along. Those were rare occasions though since they both were busy with work.

It was Jamie who pulled Taron out of his memories. Apparently, it was time for them to get up and stand in front of the altar. The ceremony was about to begin soon. Jamie had asked him quietly what he had been thinking about when they had arrived at their designated place.
“Just memories,” replied Taron and smiled at Jamie. He was so grateful for his friend. That year and the months before hadn’t been easy but Jamie had been there for him through it all and it had all lead them to this. Taron couldn’t be happier. He might have gotten lost in the memories once again if the music hadn’t started just then. All heads turned to the church doors where Richard would be making his entrance any moment now. Taron would finally see his soon to be husband in his wedding outfit. It was the other thing, apart from the best man thing, that Richard had kept secret from him all this time.

Then, finally, the doors opened and there stood Richard with the biggest smile on his face. That was the first thing Taron noticed. He had never seen Richard smile that much. It was mesmerising. Only then did his eyes wander down and take in Richards outfit. That in turn made Taron’s smile widen. Of course! How could Taron expect anything else from his fiancé. Richard stood there in his family’s traditional highland dress. He was wearing his green-blue tartan kilt and the silver sporran was hanging from his waist. With that came the knee-length white socks and his Sgian-dubh was tucked into the right sock. Then there was the black vest and jacket to top it all off. Taron couldn’t take his eyes off him. He had only seen Richard in his Kilt once before and he loved that he chose to wear it on his wedding day. The highland dress he wore was specific to his family and Taron felt that by wearing it at his wedding Richard was welcoming him into his family.

Once Taron could tear his eyes away from Richard for a moment he saw who was standing beside him, smiling just as much. And Taron really should have expected this.

Chapter Text

Once Richard reached Taron and stood next to him Taron leaned in to whisper into his ear: “So it’s a best woman, huh? Is that where you always ran off to without saying where you went? Did you go meet her?”
Richard just seemed to smile even wider than before if that was even possible and nodded. Yes him and his best woman had had a few meetings to go over everything and since Taron wasn’t supposed to know it all had to happen in secret. Richard remembered exactly how hard it was to keep it all a secret but seeing Taron’s face when he entered the church had made it all worth it. He had made the right choice when he had asked her.

*** September 2027 ***

Richard left the flat while Taron was still sleeping. He had left him a note telling him what he was off to do but without telling him where exactly that was. Richard was on a mission, you see. Richard had immediately given Taron his blessing to ask Jamie to be his best man. That had left Richard wondering who he should pick. He had actually planned on asking Jamie himself since he was quite sure that Taron would ask one of his welsh friends. One from his gaggle of Bernies as he loved to call them. However Richard had also fully understood Taron’s reasoning behind not choosing one of them but going for Jamie instead.
“If I asked one of them that would look like choosing a favourite and I don’t want that. I’d rather have Jamie standing next to me and have them all close to me instead of someone feeling left out because he wasn’t chosen as the ‘best’ man.”
It was a very valid reason and so of course Richard had not argued with Taron. But that left him with apparently no one he really wanted to ask. That was, until he thought of her.

And that’s where he was off to, on this fresh autumn morning. After Taron had started questioning him about when he was going to ask someone to be his best man he would finally ask the person he thought fitting for the job. They had agreed to meet up at a cafe. Since his and Taron’s engagement had become public knowledge already Richard didn’t need to worry about anyone over-hearing them. If it should become a story then the surprise would be gone but that wouldn’t mean the end of the world. When Richard reached the cafe, she was already there, greeting him at the entry.
“Hiya Richie. How are you? How’s Taron?”, she asked while pulling him into a hug.
“Rose! It’s so lovely to see you. You look great. And we’re both very good. You?”, he replied.
„Oh we‘re just fine, as well,“ answered Rose while they both finally made their way inside the cafe.
„We? Is Matthew here, too?“, Richard asked confused.
„Oh, no! He‘s working,“ laughed Rose, her hand coming to rest on her belly as it had become habitual by now. She wasn‘t showing very much yet but Richard still got it.

„Oh my god! That‘s so exciting. Congratulations!“, exclaimed Richard, immediately pulling Rose into another hug. He was over the moon for her. She had finally gotten all the happiness that Richard couldn‘t give her but which she throughly deserved. Not long before him and Taron finally got together properly, Matthew had walked into Rose’s life and swept her off her feet. Now she was getting that baby she had always dreamt of and Richard was marrying Taron. Somehow it seemed that their very short-lived marriage had led them both to the right person. And he had been more than glad that she had wanted to stay in touch with him. Since then they’ve become great friends, including Taron and Matthew, and that was the reason why he had asked for this meeting in the first place.


Once they had found a table and had ordered their drinks, Rose wanted to know, what the reason for this meeting was.
“When are you due?”, he asked, hoping somewhat egoistically, that the dates would fit.
“End of April next year. Why are you asking?”
“Well, me and Taron were planning on getting married in July, on the tenth anniversary of our first meeting, and I wanted to invite you and Matt along with the little bubba of course.”, explained Richard not yet asking what he was actually planning on asking her.
“Oh, Rich. Of course we’ll come. And Taron’s okay with your ex-wife being invited to your wedding?”
“He loves you and Matt just as much as I do and it was actually his idea to invite you. But that’s not all I wanted to talk about. Would you be my best man? Well, my best woman really?”, Richard asked tentatively. He didn’t know if he was asking too much of her. Yes, they both wanted her there and she had been seemingly happy about the invitation but maybe it was too much to ask her to play an active part in the whole thing. They were after all, no matter how well they got along now, once standing were he and Taron would be standing.

But Richard needn’t have worried. Rose was delighted that she was asked to act as best woman and she immediately agreed, before Richard got the chance to backpedal as he was wont to do when it came to things like this. It reminded her of that letter she had written him after their wedding. She could still see that shy boy in him even if all these years with Taron had helped him slightly in that regard. But in situations like these he was still nervous as ever that the answer would be negative. That he had asked too much. That he had thought too much about his own wishes and neglected to think of the needs and wishes of others.

*** end of flashback ***

Before sitting down next to Richard’s parents, Rose leant in to kiss both Richard and Taron on the cheek. Taron’s smile had been proof to her that she was indeed welcome in her role for the day. No matter how often Richard had assured her that Taron would be alright with her not just being a guest, she had always had that tiny voice in the back of her head, telling her that this was all a mistake. That it was wrong to be the best (wo)man to the man you were once married to yourself. Seeing that cheeky smile on Taron’s face now finally made her forget all her sorrows. And as if his smile hadn’t been enough his quickly whispered “I’m so happy he chose you” surely was. Now she could sit down and relax. For a moment at least.

As soon as Richard and Taron finished chatting and actually stood quietly next to each other, with Rose and Jamie on either side, the priest started the ceremony. It would be a simple one with only about 80 people present. Both Taron and Richard had wanted to write their own vows since they both thought the traditional ones to be a bit outdated and not really fitting for them. Rose had helped Richard with his vows. Delivering words was his strong suit as an actor but actually writing them down turned out to be much more difficult for him. Especially since what he was writing was so personal. Richard wasn’t a very open person when it came to feelings. He preferred to keep things private. So writing his vows had been a challenge for him but Rose really felt that they had found the right words in the end and she couldn’t wait to see Taron’s reaction.

Out of the two of them Taron had always been the more open person. He felt things very acutely. A phrase which he had always used to describe Elton but fit him just as well. It was one of those qualities the two man shared. Taron couldn’t keep his feelings hidden for very long And if they wanted to get out nothing could stop that from happening. Not even a wedding, as Richard had learned. So for him writing the vows had been more easy than for Richard. Jamie had helped him rephrase some things but most of it he had done on his own. He had appreciated Jamie’s help in other things - like choosing the rings. Jamie has married twice and therefore knew a bit more about that side of a wedding than either Taron or Richard did. When Richard and Rose got married they had a wedding planer so Richard didn’t have very much to do with the planning then. The rings they had chosen were now safely stored away in the pocket of Jamie’s suit until they would be needed.

After the usual welcoming of the guests the priest asked Richard and Taron to lay their hands on top of each-other’s.
“Dear Taron, dear Richard, these hands that you are holding in this moment,” he began “are the hands of your best friend. They are young and strong and they are full of love. These are the hands that hold you on your wedding day and shall hold you every day from this day forward. These are the hands that will work alongside your own ones as you build your life together. These are the hands that will love and care for you through the years. They will hold you when fear or grief torments your mind. These hands will comfort you like no other with the slightest touch. These are the hands that will give you strength when you struggle. These are the hands that will wipe the tears from your eyes countless times. Tears of sorrow and tears of joy. And lastly, these are the hands that even when wrinkled with age, will still be reaching for yours. They will still give you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch. A touch from these hands.”

Chapter Text

The priest finished his blessing and Richard and Taron reluctantly let go of each other’s hands again. They were asked to sit down on the stools that have been set up in front of the altar for them. Jamie and Rose also each took their seat in the first pew on either side. Rose next to Richard’s mum and Jamie next to Taron’s mum. It was now time for the readings as the priest had explained before he had asked the four of them to take their seats.
„Taron and Richard have both asked one person to come up and read a text of their own choosing,“ the priest explained. „Neither of them knows what text this person has chosen to read out today to honour them on their wedding day. For the first reading I’d like to ask Tom to come up here.“

Tom made his way to the altar. His hands, that were holding the text he was going to read, were shaking slightly. He smiled over at Taron and Richard before he started to speak.
„For those of you who don’t know me, I’m one of Taron’s best friends. We met in school and remained close ever since. I’ve witnessed the ups and downs of Taron’s relationship with Richard and I couldn’t be happier to have been asked to read this short text for you. I feel like it fits so incredibly well to the relationship we’re celebrating today.”
Tom, who was not used to speaking in front of so many people was slightly nervous, but Taron smiled at him so brightly that he felt the nerves ebb away. He focused on Taron and Richard and began his reading.

“Destiny is a mysterious thing. No matter what you do or where you go, you cannot avoid it. And, no matter how hard you try, even putting forth your greatest effort, you can’t force it to happen before its time. This occasion we witness today is the destiny of two souls. There is not a force in the universe that could have kept Taron and Richard apart, and there is nothing they could have done to come together sooner. Each of them had to live their lives, lives that were steppingstones that have led to this moment in time, this uniting of hearts and minds that shall be forever more. This occasion we celebrate today is destiny of two souls.”

When Tom finished Taron knew what he had meant when he said that the text fit their relationship. Taron had gotten lost in memories often these past couple of weeks and he really felt like each of the memories him and Richard made separately or together has somehow led them to this. Even just Tom standing where he was now and saying nice things about Richard seemed impossible 6 years ago. Taron still remembered that afternoon when Tom had come over once again to see how Taron was and found Richard sitting in the kitchen with Taron.

***November 2022***

Taron and Richard had been sitting in the kitchen of Taron’s childhood home when the doorbell rang, and Tina let Tom in. It had been two days since Richard had arrived in Wales and so far, he the only people he had to deal with were Taron and his mum. Richard didn’t know why Tina didn’t have a problem with him like everyone else seemed to have but he was glad that she treated him like before. Or at least she started to go back to that. But she never treated him badly like he had expected. After all he had broken her boys’ heart and Richard knew how close Taron and his mum were. However, meeting Tina was never the one thing he feared most. He was dreading meeting Taron’s childhood friends since he started thinking about actually going to Wales. He would find out how that would go in just a moment since he could hear Taron explaining to Tom that Richard was in the kitchen and that he had been her for a couple of days now.

Tom didn’t wait to hear what else Taron wanted to tell him. He made his way into the kitchen. Richard awkwardly greeted him, not really knowing what he should do.
„Madden, what are you doing here? Haven’t you hurt him enough?“ he asked Richard. Before Richard could even think of an answer to that question, Taron stepped into the kitchen, telling Tom to leave it. He knew that if Tom continued to have a go at Richard it would lead to Richard eventually agreeing with him which would then lead to the Scotsman apologizing all over again before walking out, never to return again.
“It’s alright Tom. He wouldn’t be here if I hadn’t let him. We’ve actually talked a lot of things through already,” explained Taron. His best friend seemed somewhat appeased but that didn’t stop him from throwing distrustful glances at Richard every now and then.

At some point Richard made his way to the guest room where he was staying for the moment. He felt like he got in the way of Taron and Tom talking this situation through properly and so he left the two of them alone in the hope that Taron could somehow persuade his friend that everything was going to be alright and that Richard did not intend to hurt Taron any more than he already had. Richard knew that if Taron’s friends didn’t approve there was little chance of Taron actually giving their relationship, or whatever you wanted to call what they have had, a second chance. When Tom left with a “I guess I’ll see you round, Richard.” both Taron and Richard took that as a first sign of acceptance. Now it was Richard’s turn to prove that he was worth a second chance.

***end of flashback***

When Taron focused back on what was actually happening in front of his eyes, he saw that Richard’s mum Pat had already taken Tom’s place at the microphone. She shortly introduced herself, just like Tom had done, before beginning her chosen reading written by Robert Fulghum.

“Richard and Taron - You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance in the Abbey Road studios to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, and even long before you have been making other promises and agreements in an informal way.
All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks—all those sentences that began with ‘When we're married...’ and continued with ‘I will and you will and we will...’ those late night talks that included ‘someday’ and ‘somehow’ and ‘maybe’ -and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart.
All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, ‘You know all those things we've promised and hoped and dreamed - well, I meant it all, every word.’ Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another - acquaintance, co-star, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years.
Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this is my husband.”

Taron remembered many promises that have been made over the last few years. It all started with that promise of ‘I’ll be yours, if you give me time’ that was sealed with a light kiss back in Wales. There was the promise of marriage that Taron remembered like it was yesterday and then there was one promise made on Christmas Day a bit over four and a half years ago...

***Christmas 2023***

Taron had invited Richard to spend Christmas Eve with him, his mum and his sisters in Aberystwyth. Richard had agreed but only if Taron would accompany him to Elderslie on Christmas Day. Taron had thought long and hard about what he was going to get Richard for Christmas and he finally found the perfect gift. Now he couldn’t wait for their first Christmas they actually spend together. His sisters were just as excited, if not even more. They adored the Scottish man. The now 13 and 11-year-old girls couldn’t wait to see him again. They had gotten used to having him around almost every day when he had stayed in Wales with them for about a month before he eventually went back to live in L.A. They had even persuaded their mum to open presents on Christmas Eve this year because they wanted Richard to be there since they also got a present for him.
“We have to be there when he opens it, mum,” the teenager explained, not taking no for an answer. Tina eventually gave in. There was no changing the girls mind once they’ve got an idea in their head. They came after their brother in that respect. Not that Taron minded rescheduling the opening of presents. It actually fit well with his plans.

Finally, Christmas Eve came around and Richard found himself once again on the couch in Taron’s childhood home surrounded by Taron’s family. Both his sisters had cuddled up to him on either side and Taron was looking on from the armchair with a fond look in his eyes. Tina was still standing in the kitchen. She was just putting the finishing touches to their Christmas dinner when she called them all to take their place at the dining table. The dinner was great, yet Taron couldn’t wait for all to be done with eating because that would mean that it was time for presents. He really wanted to give Richard his present and he was getting quite impatient.

Finally, they all gathered around the Christmas tree. Mari and Rosie were both once again clinging to Richard. After the two girls had opened their present it was finally time for Taron to give Richard his. He handed the small rectangular box to the man who has finally been freed from his sisters’ arms, the two of them now too busy playing with their new toys. Richard looked at Taron with huge eyes when he realized what was inside the box.
“Rich, I… This is a friendship ring. A bit over a year ago you promised me to give me my time and not push me into doing anything that I wasn’t ready for and that’s what you have done. Now, it’s time for me to keep my promise. Will you be my boyfriend?”

***end of flashback***

They’ve come a long way in those years and many more promises have been made. One of those promises was the one of forever. And that promise was the reason why they were here today but also the reason why Taron kept getting lost in his memories.

Richard’s mum had now sat down again, and the priest spoke up once more. He invited Taron and Richard to stand and for Jamie to bring the rings. Jamie smiled at them before handing them both the ring they were meant to place on the other’s finger and returning to his place. The two of them then turned around to face each other and the priest asked Richard to take Taron’s hand into his own.

Chapter Text

Once Taron’s hand was held in Richard’s strong grip, the priest spoke up once again.
“Richard and Taron, you both have wished to write your own vows. As unique as your story, as unique shall be your vows.”
Taking a deep breath Richard turned to face Taron properly but not before throwing a quick glance to Rose for some mental support in form of an encouraging smile. It turned out to be harder than he thought it would be. It never occurred to him that this wouldn‘t be like any job. This was him and not some character he could hide behind. This was Richard Madden and not David Budd or John Reid. This was just a shy boy from Elderslie who couldn‘t believe his luck when he thought about the man standing opposite him right now.

Richard looks down to his shoes, just to gather his thoughts, before he finally looks into the gleaming eyes he grew to love so much and then he starts talking. Hesitantly at first but with every word Richard grows in confidence. Everything seemed easier if Taron was by his side and so did this.
“Taron, I don‘t really know how to tell you what you make me feel. From the moment I first saw you at Abbey Road I knew that you were special. Whenever I‘m around you I feel like I finally am the man I was always supposed to be. We may not have had the easiest start but now I wouldn’t want to change a thing. All of it just made me fall deeper in love with you and showed me that true love can overcome anything. Now we’re standing here about to be husband and husband. With this ring I give you my promise that from this day forward I will give you all my love. My heart shall be your shelter and my arms your home. As I place it on your finger, I trust you with all that I am and all that I shall become.”

As soon as Richard had finished his vows, he slid the ring onto Taron’s finger. He was so nervous however that the ring got caught on one of Taron’s knuckles for a bit. That made the both of them giggle and in the end, Taron helped Richard with it by putting his own hand over Richard’s shaky one. Just like before with his speech, it made Richard calm down immediately. This moment seemed to also help Taron collect himself slightly. Richard had noticed that Taron had started to tear up while he had been speaking. Taron was emotional anyway and started to cry easily. Richard had once claimed that human kindness would be enough to make Taron cry. It seemed that today would be no different. He wondered however how well Taron would get through his own vows. If he nearly started crying in an interview just because he mentioned his mother and auntie, then how would he deal with this? Well, Richard was about to find out.

Richard noticed Taron taking a deep breath like he had done moments before.
“Richard, there’s so much I want to tell you. So many words to express how you make me feel. I could tell you how much I love your laugh, your blue eyes. I could tell you how much I adore your humour, your charm and your Scottish accent. I could list all of the things I love about you and yet it still would never be enough. You are everything to me and I feel like the luckiest person on earth to be the one who gets to be loved by you. The love you show me is beyond anything little Taron could have dreamed up. It is heart-warming, genuine and fierce. At the same time your love has taught me to find what I spent so long searching for within my own self. You complete me Richard. With this ring I promise to love you with all I have to give and all that I am in the only way I know how - completely and forever.”

Now Richard was never one to tear up quickly, but Taron seemed to have found the right words to do just that. It was his turn to get emotional as Taron placed the ring on his finger. He hadn’t expected this, after all he had gone through all of this once before. Only now though did Richard realize that he could hardly remember that wedding ceremony from six years ago. It all seemed to have gone by in a blurr apart from one moment and he could still see that moment so picture clear that it might as well have happened yesterday.

*** 2nd September 2022***

Richard didn’t really understand what was happening. Just a few minutes ago he had almost kissed Taron and confessed his love. Now he saw Taron standing up. Was he actually going to say something? Did he just want to leave so he didn’t have to watch Richard get married? He couldn’t really blame him if that was the case. But it didn’t look like Taron had the intention of leaving without any words in his direction. Jamie whispered something to Taron that Richard couldn’t quite get but Richard could guess that Jamie wanted the same as him. Stop Taron from talking about them and causing a scene. When Taron took a deep breath, Richard tried what Jamie had already failed at.
“T, please!”, he pleaded with Taron as quietly as possible but loud enough for Taron to hear them. But Taron hadn’t listened to Jamie and he certainly wouldn’t listen to Richard. At least not anymore.

“I… Rich… You’re marrying the wrong person! This is a mistake. I beg you… Please don’t do it,” was what Richard could hear before it seemed like his world had stopped turning for a moment. He felt Rose staring at him and he knew that whatever he said now, someone would get his heart broken as soon as he answered Taron’s plea. In the end Richard decided to take what seemed the easier way.
“Just leave, Taron. Just… please go,” was his answer and he knew then that Taron would be a broken man. At least for the foreseeable future. He could see it in his face when the realisation that he had lost sunk in. Not wanting to see Taron break down completely he turned around again. He wouldn’t be able to cope if he had to look at Taron’s face any longer. Not long after he heard shuffling, murmuring of the guests and then one of the doors opened and closed again. Taron had left then.

The rest of the ceremony passed by without Richard really noticing anything. His thoughts seemed to have left with the Welshman and didn’t seem to want to return to the happenings. He only noticed that the priest had asked him if he wanted to take Rose as his wife when he felt him staring at him. He wondered how long they had been waiting for an answer from him, but he hoped that no one noticed.
The next thing he remembers is being at the reception and everyone coming to congratulate the newlyweds. Jamie came up looking like he didn’t really want to be there. He quickly said his congrats and then left. Only later did Richard notice that Jamie left the reception and didn’t just go to talk to someone else. Someone who didn’t just break their friend’s heart. And then there was Dex. Richard could tell that he wanted to talk to him in private and so he excused himself for a moment.

“Richard. I would say I’m happy for you, but I don’t know if that’s appropriate. I’m not just saying that because of Taron either, you know. I saw the way you were with each other and I saw the way you were ever since Taron stood up. If I’m completely honest with you, I don’t think you’re very happy either. But that’s not for me to judge, is it? Just promise me one thing Richard, whenever you feel ready for it and he is too, talk to him. Don’t let it all end with this. Both you and him deserve better. Your friendship deserves better than to end like this.”

***end of flashback***

Richard might not be able to remember much about his first wedding, but he was absolutely certain that he would not forget one single moment of this one. Not the look on Taron’s face as Richard made his vows. Not the tears and certainly not the moment the priest pronounced them husband and husband. This was it. This was the moment they had waited for ever since Richard had proposed to Taron.

***April 2027***

Richard and Taron had been invited to dinner by Jamie and Kate, who were in London for a while since he was working on a movie here. As they drove across London to get to the restaurant, they had agreed to meet up at Richard suddenly pulled over and stopped the car. It was only when he asked Taron to get out of the car with him that Taron noticed where exactly they had stopped. The car stood right in front of the Abbey Road studios. Taron could see the famous zebra crossing a few meters down the road.

“What are we doing here, Richard?”, asked a very confused Taron. He didn’t get why Richard suddenly wanted to stop and why they had to get out of the car just to stand in front of Abbey Road studios. If Richard needed the loo he would have waited until they were at the restaurant or if he couldn’t wait, then Taron needn’t get out of the car with him.
Richard didn’t answer Taron with any explanation for his behaviour. Instead he began to speak about them and what the place meant to them. Was he just very sentimental today? Was this what this was about?

“Taron, around nine years ago we met in this very studio,” he said. “You were singing your heart out and as soon as I saw you and you smiled at me, I knew that we would get on very well. That you were going to have a big role in what is the story of my life. Of course, it wasn’t all sunshine and roses, but we made it through. And with everyday my love for you grew. Now, I know we haven’t really talked about this, but I just couldn’t wait any longer…”
Richard got down on one knee while speaking those last few words and fished out a small box from his trousers. The box looked suspiciously like the one Richard got for Christmas when Taron had asked him to be his boyfriend. Now instead of a friendship ring there was an engagement ring in it.

Taron, who finally understood what Richard was doing, could only nod before his eyes started to get wet with tears. Richard hadn’t even asked the question yet when Taron blurted out “Yes! Yes, yes, yes, Richard! I love you so much.”

***end of flashback***

They had gotten to the restaurant with some delay but that was instantly forgiven when Jamie noticed the ring on Taron’s finger that hadn’t been there before. Now when Richard looked at Taron’s hand that was still in his own, there was yet another new ring adorning that hand. This was when Richard realized, that they were actually married now, and he couldn’t wait one moment more. He laid one of his hand on Taron’s cheek and gently pulled him in for a kiss. He didn’t really care that the priest hadn’t said yet, that they could kiss. His impatience made the guests laugh for a moment but that laughter soon turned into applause when Richard and Taron broke the kiss and just stood there leaning their foreheads together with the biggest smiles on both of their faces.

Chapter Text

After that everything went by in a bit of a blur. The priest officially declared them husband and husband. They shared another kiss and not much later Taron and Richard found themselves in the garden of Cluny Castle in the beautiful countryside of Aberdeenshire where the wedding had been held as well. Richard and Taron had fallen in love with this place as soon as they had set their eyes on it. The chapel belonging to the castle, the garden with the little pond in it, as well as the rooms they could use for themselves and the guests. It was just what they had looked for. Getting married in Scotland or Wales had been a priority in their planning. It just made more sense than to have the wedding in England.

Since the wedding and the reception were both held at Cluny Castle, they didn’t have to organise transport for themselves and the guests. They left the chapel together, hand in hand, followed by Jamie and Rose who have linked their arms. The rest of the guests led by Taron and Richard’s families followed the foursome. All of them walked around the castle to get to the garden behind it, where tables have been set up for the reception. Taron and Richard kept standing next to the gravel path before they would sit down. This allowed for them to personally thank all the guests for coming, which in turn gave the guests the chance to congratulate the newly married couple.

Once they were all sat down, it was time for the best man speech that Jamie had been looking forward to ever since he had been asked by Taron. There was so much he could say about his two friends. He saw the development of their relationship from the very start up to this moment. He might not have the stories from their childhood, like Tom or Taron’s other friends from Wales would have had, but he’s got different stories to tell. Then again Jamie wouldn’t be recounting all the embarrassing stories he could think of just to embarrass the two of them. It’s just not the kind of person he was. He wanted to keep it more on the emotional side but couldn’t resist throwing in a few funny lines.

Jamie took the microphone, that had been provided for this purpose and stood up. “Welcome everyone. Now I would start off my speech by saying, ‘Doesn’t the bride look beautiful today?’, but you would argue over who I was talking about, so I’ll just say, ‘Don’t they make a beautiful couple?’

Being married myself, Taron asked me if I had any advice for him and I thought long and hard about what I can pass on. I have thought of two things. Firstly, you now have the opportunity to be fulfilled and happy for the rest of your life. You’ve been given the precious gift of marriage and you’ve got to make it your life’s goal now to nurture and protect it. Secondly, your priorities have now changed. Your choices are now simply: what will make your marriage stronger and what will make the other person happy? With that in mind your journey together will become poetically straight forward and inspiring.

Most of you will know that we might not have been here today, had everything gone slightly differently. From the moment I first saw the two of them together, I knew. I knew that their lives would be entwined from now on. I didn’t know then how, but I knew that something magical had happened, when Richard joined the two of us on set. Not long after, I had the misfortune to enter Richard’s trailer at precisely the wrong moment. I went there to ask about a scene we were supposed to film later that day and I left feeling embarrassed, slightly horrified, yet happy. They had realised what they meant to each other, or so I thought. I don’t need to go into what happened since that moment. This is neither the place nor the time for that.

What I do want to say though is that they learnt the most valuable lesson through that experience. They learnt to talk. You all know Taron could ramble on for hours if needed or if a few drinks have been provided but what I mean is that they started talking about themselves. They put into words how they felt and that’s ultimately why we are here today.
I couldn’t be happier that the road has led us here. That road that was destined for Richard and Taron may have been a bumpy one, but they have reached their destination unscathed and with a new friend and a godchild that they picked up along the way.

All that’s left for me to say is that please, do keep talking and please lock the trailer door next time you’re on set together. Would everyone now join me in a toast. To Taron and Richard.”

Jamie finished his speech and soon found himself in a hug with a crying Taron. From his point of view, he could see that Richard was wiping a tear from his eye as well. Once Taron let go, Jamie was pulled in for a hug by Richard.
“Thanks mate,” he heard before he was released once again. Jamie was relieved that his speech had been well received by not only the grooms but the guests as well. He had never done a best man speech before and he didn’t know if it was appropriate to bring up Richard’s failed marriage to Rose. In the end he had decided that it was after all the reason Taron and Richard actually got together and so it deserved to be mentioned.

Not long after that, dinner was served, and the fun side of the proceedings would soon begin. It was during dinner that Jamie finally got the chance to talk to Rose properly for the first time that day. She had really become a great friend to all of them and Jamie was glad to see that she agreed to not only attend the wedding but to being Richard’s best woman. He, like Taron, had not known about it and so he had thought she didn’t come when he didn’t see her in the chapel.
Rose had handed her daughter Isla to her godfathers who were now trying to feed her with the bottle. She didn’t seem to like it though and with her tiny fists knocked the bottle out of Richard’s hands. Taron who found that hilarious, laughed at his husband who had bent down to pick the bottle up again. Once he had it, Richard handed it to Taron with the words, “You do it then.” Taron took the bottle from Richard, started humming the melody to the first song that came to his mind and fed Isla without having any problems.

Once they had burped Isla and she fell asleep, now back in Richard’s arms, Taron talked to Richard about the memories that have gone through his mind all day. Jamie’s speech had brought up one more. The day they first met each other at Abbey Road.
“Remember when you walked in that day? I could see you talk to Dex through the glass, suddenly your smile widened, and you said something to him. Remember what that was? I never found out and I’m curious to know.”
“Oh that. I told Dex that you sounded amazing and he told me that you had never sung that good before. Not that you were bad before, just that you were even better than usual. And you know Dex… he just winked at me and then turned back around to watch you. He probably knew then that we would end up together. You were already trying to impress me then. Before we had been properly introduced. “
“Of course,” answered Taron. “Meeting you was a huge deal for me. Not only did everyone tell me for years that we would get along, but I would be meeting the Richard Madden from Bodyguard, who everyone was talking about.”
“Yeah,” laughed Richard. “I was that bloke from that show you hadn’t even seen a minute of.”

“Are you ever gonna let that go?”, groaned Taron. “I’ve seen it by now, haven’t I? Had you told me that your bum would play such a huge part in it I might have watched it earlier.”
“Oh, so you only care about my bum?”, Richard asked with a smirk on his face.
“Of course. That’s the only reason why I married you,” Taron answered with the same smirk. He loved these moments of banter with his husband. Taron still couldn’t quite believe that he could now actually call Richard his husband.
“Idiot!”, answered Richard before giving Taron a quick kiss. He enjoyed the banter just as much as Taron did and the topic of Taron not watching Bodyguard was one of his favourite topics. It never bothered him, he just found it hilarious and loved to tease Taron with it.

Chapter Text

Soon enough the time came for that moment both Richard and Taron had been dreading. Dancing. If the filming of Rocketman had proved anything it was that the both of them were both not good at dancing. Jamie had jokingly suggested that they could do a re-make of their ‘Honky Cat’ dance routine before Mr ‘I am a professional dancer on the side’ actually gave them some useable advice. The one thing Taron and Richard had agreed on, when it came to their first dance was the song choice. When Jamie had asked what they would dance to they had both looked at each other and then simultaneously answered with the same song without having talked about it first.

Just when Taron was about to get lost in his memories once again the guests all quietened down and Taron looked around himself to see what was going on. Richard seemed to be just as confused. They quickly realised that there was now a piano standing next to the dancefloor that hadn’t been there before. And next to it stood Jamie and Elton asking for the guests’ attention. It was Elton who spoke up first.
“As you all know I don’t really perform live anymore. But how can I refuse when the best man here-“ Elton pointed at Jamie “-asks if I would play one song at my dear boys’ wedding? So, here I am.”
Jamie then took over and asked the newly-weds up onto the dancefloor. Richard and Taron just stared at the two men, not believing what was going on, until Tina gave Taron a nudge. They slowly made their way up to the dancefloor where Taron couldn’t resist pulling first Elton then Jamie into a bear hug.

Once Taron found himself in Richards’ arms, Elton sat down at the piano. He started playing the ‘We all fall in love sometimes’ while Richard whispered into Taron’s ear, “You ready?”
Taron nodded and they slowly started moving around the dancefloor. They had actually managed to learn a few steps and were now trying to show off to Jamie that they weren’t complete idiots when it came to dancing. That proved more difficult than expected though. Being watched by all their family and closest friends didn’t help the nerves and sooner than either of them liked, Richard had stepped onto Taron’s feet one time too many. In the end they ended up hugging each other close and just swaying to the music. This caused their audience, especially their mums, to awe.

As soon as the song was over, the dancefloor was filled with other couples joining in. The music came once more from the speakers so that Elton could enjoy the party as well. Taron and Richard were still hugging each other, forgetting about the world outside of their little bubble, when Richard felt a tap on his shoulder. It was Pat Madden who demanded to dance with her new son-in-law. Taron pressed a quick kiss to his husbands’ lips before he turned his attention to his mother. Richard didn’t get a break for long before Taron’s mum made the same demand Pat had made a moment ago. Having danced with their new mothers-in-law and their own mums Taron and Richard finally managed to sneak off the dancefloor and leave the dancing to actually talented people. Their lack of talent was once more confirmed (had the film not been enough?) when Tina came over to them and praised Jamie’s tremendous dancing skills.

*******

It was way past midnight when Taron and Richard finally stumbled into their room at the castle. They were just about to fall on the bed to continue the celebrations when Richard noticed that something was lying on the covers. It was a neatly wrapped present with a small card attached to it. He broke their kiss that had been getting very passionate by now to examine the present. Taron, who had his back to the bed, didn’t understand what had suddenly got into Richard. He was about to complain about the lack of attention from his husband when he saw what he was doing.
“What’s that?” Taron asked, wondering why there was a present laying here instead of downstairs where all the other presents were stored for now.
“I have no idea, T. According to the card it’s from Elton and David,” explained Richard, just as confused.
“But there’s a present from Elton and David downstairs.”
Both of them sat down on the bed, still wondering about the mysterious present.

Taron took it out of Richard’s hands to examine it a bit closer. What would Elton send to their room instead of it being given to them as a normal wedding present? That’s when it dawned upon him. He started laughing as soon as the thought entered his mind. That would be such an Elton thing to do and Taron loved it. Richard still looked like he didn’t know what was going on and Taron’s reaction was not making anything clearer. So, Taron took it upon himself to explain his thoughts to Richard, who looked scandalised at the suggestion his husband made.
“Oh, come on Dickie. Don’t be the prude, you’re not. I know you’re not. What else could it be?”
“I don’t know, T. But it can’t be what you’re suggesting. It can’t. He wouldn‘t do that,“ argued Richard, still looking at the present Elton and David had delivered to their room. The card that had come with it had only read ‚Enjoy - Love David and Elton‘.
Ever since then Taron and Richard had been trying to guess what was in it, with Richard being slightly worried about the odd shape. Taron was insisting on his suggestion being right.
„He would though Dickie. It’s Elton we’re talking about! Just look at it. It’s long and round. How can it be anything else? And you know how he loves to tell everyone about Eminem’s wedding present for him.
“But why would he think that we’d want anything like that? It doesn’t make sense, Duckie!” complained Richard once more.
“Oh honey, it’s a bit of fun. I don’t think he actually expects us to use it.”

“Go on, love. Open it. See for yourself, if you don’t believe me,” Taron suggested, handing the present back to Richard. He took it back and carefully started to unwrap it. Once he could peek inside, it was Richard who couldn’t stop laughing. Now it was Taron who was looking at his husband, confusion written all over his face. Just a moment ago Richard had been worried about the content of the present and now he was crying tears of laughter. What was going on?
“I told you he wouldn’t!” was all Richard managed to get out before he had another laughing fit. Taron grabbed the present once more and that’s when he started laughing as well. It really wasn’t the sex toy Taron had been expecting. It turned out to be a can of whipped cream.
“Well, that might just be even kinkier than my initial suggestion,” exclaimed Taron, sending Richard into another laughing fit.

In the end the can remained unopened. Another thing was at the forefront of Taron’s mind and they were also both to stuffed with delicious food to even consider it. There was one question Taron needed answered and he needed the answer right now. He had been dying to know ever since he first lay his eyes on Richard, when he entered the church.
“So, Mr Madden-Egerton,” Taron inquired, his hand slowly making his way up Richards’ thigh, “have you gone fully traditional with your Highland-dress or did you cheat?”
“Why don’t you find out, Mr Madden-Egerton?”, whispered Richard, putting his hand over Taron’s and helping it along. When their hands reached their goal, Taron was not disappointed.
“You drive me mad, Dickie,” moaned Taron before he claimed Richards lips in a kiss that turned passionate very quickly.
“I aim to please, darling”

Chapter Text

«Daddy?» a little boy, who just turned five, asked his father who had just tucked him in for the night.
“Yes, cariad?” answered Taron
“Do you love papa, daddy?” Evan asked shyly.
“I love him very much. Why do you ask, darling?” Taron really wanted to know what made his son ask that specific question. He had never asked that before. He had always been sure and would answer any questions about him having to dads instead of a mum and dad with the same answer. ‘I don’t need a mummy. I have two daddies who love each other, and they love me.’
“James from Kindergarten told me that his mummy doesn’t love his daddy no more and he never sees his daddy now. I don’t want to not see Papa anymore, Daddy,” the young boy explained. This, Taron thought, explained why their son had clung onto Richard ever since he had picked him up from kindergarten. He must have been worried that he might lose him if he let him go. High time for Taron to reassure his son that that was never going to happen. Even if worse came to worst and they should break up, he would never stop his son from seeing his other father. He knew what it meant when parents got separated, but his mum would never have kept his dad away from him.

“Oh darling, you don’t have to worry. Your papa will stay right here. I love him soooooo much…” Taron explained, stretching his arms as far as they will go. Evan looked at him with huge eyes, as if he couldn’t believe the amount of love his dad had for his other dad.
“That is a lot daddy. Does papa love you just as much?” he questioned his father further. He was excited now. Sleeping could wait. He needed more answers from his dad.
“Yes, he does, Cariad. And you know what? We both love you even more,” said Taron and pressed a kiss to the boy’s forehead.
“Really? I love you, too, daddy. And papa, too. Will you tell him?” Evan wanted to know.
“Of course I will. I’ll go and give him a big kiss from you, yeah? Goodnight, darling. Sleep tight.” Taron kissed him and left the room, leaving a little night light on.

As promised, he went back to the living room to deliver a kiss to Richard. He told his husband all about the questions their son had just asked him. Richard was as surprised to hear about them as Taron had been when he had been questioned by Evan. He would talk to him in the morning, Richard had said, to reassure him once again that he wouldn’t lose him.
“You know, it’s our 7th wedding anniversary in a couple of days. Should we ask Jamie if he had time to look after Evan in the evening?”
“You planning on taking me out Mr Madden?” Taron asked with a wink.
“It’s Mr Madden-Egerton, you know. And no, I was actually planning on taking Kate out,” Richard joked, receiving a hit on the shoulder from his husband for it. “Of course I want to take you out. And I’m sure Evan would like to see his godfather again. It’s been quite some time now, with Jamie being so busy.”

“Time really does fly doesn’t it?” Taron asked. This evening really had brought to his mind once more how far him and Richard had come since filming Rocketman. How has it been over 15 years already? Elton would be turning 90 in a couple of years, Richard will be 50 next year and here they were, still as close as ever – if not closer – with a beautiful son to top it all off.
They had started to look into the possibility of having children a few months after their wedding. Isla, Rose’s little girl, had just strengthened their wish for a family of their own. She was such a sweet little girl. Taron, having helped raise his two little sisters, was amazing with Isla. Whenever Richard saw the two of them together the thought of a baby of their own which Taron could spoil rotten would enter his mind. Eventually he talked about these thoughts with Taron. After all they had promised to talk openly about anything when they talked about everything that went wrong with them back in Wales all those years ago. Taron, it turned out, had had the same thoughts.

Not long after they started looking into their options, they met with a young pregnant woman who wanted to give her child up for adoption. After a few meetings she had decided that Taron and Richard were the people she wanted to adopt her yet unborn boy. That’s how Evan had entered their lives. He was born only a few days after Richards birthday and just before their second wedding anniversary. They had asked Jamie to be his godfather, since he played such a huge part in them even getting together, and Rose is his godmother.

***

The next morning, while Richard talked to Evan, Taron called Jamie.
“Hey mate, what’s up?” he heard over the speaker. Jamie’s British accent seems to be stronger than it usually is, which means he’s most likely back home. That would also mean that he is on a break from filming his latest movie and possibly has got time to look after Evan for a night. Maybe Kate and their two kids are also with him and Evan could go spend some time around there. He loves to play with what he calls his cousins, even though they aren’t related. Evan also loves to call Jamie his uncle which makes Jamie grin like the Cheshire cat whenever he does it. Evan going to Jamie’s could also mean that he gets to stay the night and that would leave Richard and Taron with an empty house for the night. Something they don’t have very often and something that they would make the most of.

“All good here. How about you? Are you back home for once then, Mr Bell?”
“I am. My mum wanted to see her grandkids. She’s always complaining that she doesn’t get to see them very much,” Jamie complained but with a tone that suggested that he wasn’t really annoyed with it. His mum had raised him and his sister on her own before she met Jamie’s stepfather, just like Taron’s mum had. Taron knew exactly how much Jamie loved his mum and that he would take every chance he got to go back home for a bit.
“My mum does that, too, and I don’t live across the Atlantic,” was Taron’s response to that.

“Talking of kids… are you free on Thursday?”
“Think so, yeah. Why are you asking?”
“Well me and Dickie wanted to go out and celebrate and we were wondering if you could take Evan for the night,” Taron explained.
“Oh right. Wedding anniversary. Should have known... Sure thing. Bring him over. I’d love to see the little tyke again. You go and enjoy the night.”
“Thanks, J. You’re a star.”
“Yeah, I know,” Jamie laughed. “Just don’t go too crazy. I don’t want Evan to worry about his clumsy Papa again.”
“What do you mean clumsy? If anyone is clumsy here it’s me, not Dicky,” wondered Taron. He had never heard about this. What did their boy worry about that he wouldn’t tell them but apparently did talk about with Jamie?
“Has he never asked you about it?” Now it was Jamie’s turn to be surprised. “He asked me why his papa in the morning sometimes had bruises on his neck, that weren’t there when he said goodnight to him. What was I supposed to tell the kid? That his daddy loves to bite papa’s neck? So, I just told him that Rich was clumsy and sometimes tripped when it was dark.”

Taron blushed as he listened to Jamie’s explanation. Shit! He didn’t think that Evan noticed the marks he liked to leave on Richard’s neck. He might have to tone it down for a bit. Or make Richard wear scarves or turtlenecks more often.
Eventually Richard and Evan joined Taron in the living room, so he put the call on speaker so that they could say hi to Jamie as well. Jamie and Evan already made plans for what to do on Thursday. After the call ended the young boy’s excitement at getting to spend the night at his uncle’s house was so huge that he couldn’t stop talking about it. Thursday couldn’t come quickly enough for him or his parents. It was good to see the boy this happy after he had been so quiet and clingy all afternoon the day before.

***

They had just finished their lunch when they sent Evan to his room to get his favourite cuddly toy and his already packed bag with the essentials he would need for the stay at Jamie’s. While he was off to get the things he needed, the two adults busied themselves in the kitchen with cleaning the table and doing the dishes.
They arrived at Jamie’s flat in London by 2pm. Since Jamie promised Evan to go to the park with him and his own two kids, they had agreed to drop him off earlier than initially planned. Not long after they rang the doorbell, Jamie opened the door and was greeted with an excited 5-year-old jumping into his arms.
“Hi there, little man,” laughed Jamie and kissed the top of the boy’s head. “You’ve grown since I last saw you.”
“He’s almost as big as you now J,” joked Richard and earned a playful swat from Jamie for his comment.

They talked with the Bell’s for a bit before saying goodbye to their son. Richard bent down to give his son a kiss goodbye.
“You be nice for Jamie, yeah? Love you, mo chridhe.”
“Love you, too, papa. Don’t fall over tonight, please.”
This left Richard very confused while Jamie just winked at Taron, who couldn’t hold back his laughter.
“I’ll make sure the light stays on, so papa doesn’t trip, okay cariad?” the Welsh man answered before Richard could question what his son had meant. Taron signalled to his husband that he would explain later.
Evan went off to play with Jack while Taron and Richard thanked Jamie once more for taking him for the night.

Jamie hugged them both tightly before wishing them a happy anniversary and reminded Richard of something he had said during a drunken phone call from Brandon’s flat.
“You see, Rich, marriage doesn’t always go to shit. Not when you found the right person.”