Disclaimer: They aren't mine. They belong to CBS, MGM, Trilogy Entertainment Group, The Mirisch Corp., and the people from the TNT or whoever has the legal rights now. I have only used them for pleasure, I don't get any monetary profit with this. So don't sue me I have no money.
The ATF/AU universe is Mog's creation and I hope she doesn't mind I have played in for the third time. Since this is only my third fanfiction and a short one, I think I can commit mistakes yet...;-) Feedback is really, really appreciated.
This is an answer to Kathy Michael Biehn birthday challenge. I have another Chris Larabee fanfiction waiting... I don't forget Robin.
Comments: Thank you to Kathy for helping me with the grammar and for her suggestions that were very helpful and inspired. And of course, for sending this challenge that stuck this idea in my mind. Thank you to Ruby for his 'Adam's Touch' that probably put the child on my head, and to Tidia, whose 'A normal day' without she knowing it... inspired me to. And I don't forget Robin, thank you for encourage me to write Chris stories... I'll do it.
Warnings: Though this is a Chris story... Vin always has a part in the ones I write so... he is here too. I place Chris family some time in the past, Adam is younger that he usually is in the stories.
I don't know if there is someone who has written a similar story. If there is, I'm sorry. If anybody wants to use some idea that could be originally mine, please, you only have to ask. Tessa is my creation.
The force of a little form hitting Chris's body suddenly interrupted his pleasant dreams in the warm nest that his bed had become. The most odd fact was that the thing remained above his still-sleeping body, not allowing him to move.
"Wake up, Daddy, it's your birthday," the sweet voice announced.
"I know, Adam, but let me sleep five more minutes." Chris managed to cover his head with the quilt.
"No, no." His brown hair waved from side to side as the little boy shook his head. "You must wake up, Dad...I have something for you." He was really enjoying himself.
Chris took the covers off of his face, revealing the mess his hair had become and a wide in his face, while the restless little form that was his son threw his arms round Chris's neck.
"Happy birthday, Daddy!"
Chris wrapped his strong arms around his son's body in an affectionate hug. "Thank you, little man," he said, kissing him on the cheek.
The boy got out of his father's arms, jumped off the end of the bed and picked something up off of the floor. It was a sheet of paper full of colors that the four-year-old boy handed to his father.
"I drew this for you."
Chris picked up the paper and saw what seemed to be a house, some kind of animals he supposed, because they had four legs, and some people, all of them brightly colored.
The boy was on the bed again, crawling until he reached his father. The boy picked up the drawing and with a voice that sounded adult to Chris, he added "Let me explain it to you. You can't understand otherwise."
"Okay, okay, explain it to me, Professor Adam."
The boy sat in the hole Chris's crossed legs had formed.
"This is the ranch... Did you see the red roof I drew?" Adam turned to his father, then shrugged his little shoulders and went on with his explanation. "I know it isn't red, but Tessa, my best friend at the school, told me that true homes have red roofs so..." He inclined his head while he explained it.
Chris only could see the back of his son's head and the drawing between the little hands. Chris held a corner as Adam pointed to the animals.
"These are the horses... I wanted to draw them as they really are... but have you seen how great they look, this green horse and that purple one? They are my favorites."
Adam turned his head to his father again. His father's smile encouraged him to go on.
"And that's me with Mom and you. And this one, that's this car-it's Uncle Buck coming to pay us a visit"
Chris saw the three figures holding his hands with wide grins on their faces and their names at their feet. There were some irregular words written. It was amazing how Adam had learned to read and to write. His handwriting was clumsy yet, but Chris felt so proud when he saw him write his name for the first time 'Adam Larabee', as it was at the left top corner of the paper. Without a doubt, his child had drawn it at school. At the bottom he could read 'Happy Birthday Daddy' in the same irregular letters.
Chris had his arms resting around his son's body. He felt the urge to hold him and he did, ending the hold with tickling that made the paper fly from the boy's hands to the floor as Adam tossed and turned, trying to avoid his father's hands.
"Stop, stop it..." Adam managed to answer.
Sarah come from the kitchen with a tray- his birthday breakfast in bed. "Morning, Cowboy, happy birthday!"
Chris let the boy go, who took a seat on the bed in the place normally occupied by Sarah. She approached with the tray, placing it over Chris legs.
Sarah leaned over him, holding his face between her hands, adding "You're getting old, honey, but I still love you. In fact, I'm happy I can share that with you," and kissed his lips softly. Chris closed his eyes keeping the moment forever in his heart and in his mind.
Chris opened his eyes and fixed them on the paper he was holding in his hands.
"You okay?" Vin said.
Vin was crouched in front of Chris, his eyes staring into Chris's face. He really was worried for bringing back memories that he didn't know were sad or happy.
One minute of silence to Vin felt like an hour. He bit his lower lip and fixed his eyes on the thick book in his hands, American History, the pages of which had kept in secret Adam's drawing for so long.
Finally he had enough courage to meet Chris's eyes. They were shining. Vin's voice got caught in his throat.
"Thank you, Vin," Chris said softly.
"What? Why?" Vin's puzzled look met Chris's grateful ones.
"This drawing was a birthday gift to me from Adam. He was only four when he drew it and had just learned to write."
Chris tried to reorganize his thoughts. "I thank you, because I normally only have bad memories of them. The bomb, their deaths... my solitude, my loneliness, getting myself drunk, pushing Buck aside. It was so long since I remembered something nice. In fact, I have thought about it... I would have to think more about it. Remember the good things as I think Buck does."
"Chris, I don't think you should thank me. I just wanted to check that lie Buck and Ezra had created. JD and I keep saying there wasn't an Indian leader called Granite Pebble. In that way, you should thank them, too."
Chris chuckled. "I know. But if you hadn't insisted on finding out, I'd never have opened this book again. And I didn't know the drawing was there."
"Okay, Chris. Think about it as another birthday present. Now, come on, let's go... The guys are waiting for you to pay for more rounds... Old man!" Vin said, slapping his best friend's back lightly and reached for the door as quickly as he could.
"I'll have your head, Tanner!" Chris added, placing the drawing carefully again between the pages of the book and swearing to himself he would frame and hang it in some visible place to remind him...They were better-the good memories.
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