Summary: Sooner or later you have to come into contact with the in-laws
Warnings: Some homophobia
Notes: I just couldn't help writing this after I re-watched the season and the preseason teaser about having in-laws and how both sets of families would potentially react to the impromptu marriage between the boys.
He complains about his own parents but it’s coated with love. His parents are unsophisticated and simple and tacky in an entirely different way than he is and Cheeks dreads the feeling that he’s never belonged in their simple, stereotypical Jersey home. His mother’s phone call after the Vegas incident is filled with shouting and recriminations but it’s mostly about having to hear about his life through tabloids and ESPN now that his husband is a sports player.
They don’t care that he married a man. They care that he got married in Vegas, of all places and that they’ve never met this lovely young man. Cheeks idly wonders as he listens if his parents would have rather had a professional sports player for a son than their flamboyant, self-promoting drama queen of a son.
His mother wants them to have a real wedding. He flatly refuses, because he doesn’t want to be the daughter his mother never had and a venue covered in pink bows.
Then his mother surprises him and says “Well, if you’re not going to let me be at the wedding, at least let me speak to my new son.”
“My mother would like to speak to you.”
Brady looks completely shocked and Cheeks nearly feels bad. He watches his husband’s lips as they try and a form words but leave him looking like a dying fish. He just shoves the phone into Brady’s hand and perches at the vanity pretending to organize all of his products as Brady says, “Hello, Ma’am…uh, oh…Cheryl.”
“Yes, well we didn’t tell anyone, really. No, no…” Cheeks glances back in the mirror to see the wince cross his face. “I mean it looked bad, but we were just so excited, you know. He’s amazing.” As Brady says it, his eyes catch Cheeks and they both grin.
“Yeah. Uh, that’s…we haven’t…” Brady is scratching the back of his head as his eyes cast around the room, “November is a ways away. I’m sure…ok. Umm… Oh, Sir.”
“Thanks. Yeah, I think our chances are good this year. Well, they have a good team, Sir. I understand. You should come out some time.”
Cheeks turns, eyes wide and signals and for the phone call to be aborted. But no, Brady is obliviously talking stats and potential golden gloves and it’s too late. He’s been suckered into a baseball conversation with Cheeks’ father. Cheeks closes his eyes and pretends that he could maybe, just maybe, sink into the floor. Instead he works on his look for the day, tuning out the sound of his husband…husband of all things, chatting away to his father like they’re old friends.
Finally, the phone is hanging back in his face and Brady is smiling at him sheepishly. “Your mom wants to talk to you again.”
“Steven,” and Cheeks cringes. “This Brady seems like a very nice young man. I think you’re father and I are going to make a trip out to LA. And I fully expect to see you home for Thanksgiving and Christmas, no excuses. If you have the money to throw a wedding in Vegas you can afford a flight home. Love you.”
And the phone line is dead in his hand before he can explain that he didn’t throw a wedding; Vegas jumped them. “Goodbye,” he mutters at it, tossing it on the bed.
“They’re nice,” Brady says, picking up the phone and carefully slipping it back into place, “Your parents.”
“That’s because you’re not their kid. Ugh,” “I do not want to go home to Jersey for the holidays.”
“Hey, it might be nice,” Brady insists, sitting on the bed and grabbing a sneaker. “Normal.”
“Normal is over-rated,” Cheeks reminds him. “She’s going to make us stay in the house.”
Brady smiles at him suggestively and waggles an eyebrow. “Like you’ve never had fantasies of defiling that house.”
It’s that hidden kinky side under the layers of normal and polite that got him hooked on Brady Kelly after the first two weeks of boredom. Cheeks pouts anyway. “My mom’s house doesn’t have a dungeon.”
“We can be creative,” Brady says, cupping Cheeks’ hips with his huge hands and dragging him close.
Cheeks responds with two hands on Brady’s shoulders and shoves him back on the bed. Brady goes with little effort, but keeps his grip on Cheeks’ hips and Cheeks lands exactly where he wants to. Right on top of his husband. “I’ll show you creative right now.”
Brady, however, never complains about his family. He only mentions them on rare occasions, in an offhand way as if it isn’t weird. Pronouncements that begin with “My mom always says…” or “My dad taught me…” and that’s about it. Cheeks has also heard nothing of how they have reacted to the news of their son’s wedding. He asked if they even had TV’s and Brady had just rolled his eyes and said “We’re Mormons not Mennonites,” and left it at that.
So two months into marriage when he enters the house after a 15 hour call and gets no response to his cheery, “Honey, I’m home!” Cheeks goes investigating. He can hear a hushed, angry tone hiding in the back of the apartment. The den door is only slightly ajar and he can see Brady hunched over with his forehead in his hand.
“I…I know.” Brady says, voice tight like he’s on the verge of crying. “Dad…” and then lets out a huge, heavy sigh. Cheeks slides down the wall and settles in to listen. Brady doesn’t say much for awhile, Cheeks can just hear his careful, controlled breathing and the tinny sound of a very angry person on the other end of the line.
And then, like whenever he’s pushed too far, Brady explodes. “I don’t know what you want me to do about it! I’m not sorry and I’m not taking it back! ”
“NO! You listen. I’m gay. I’ve always been gay and I just couldn’t…I couldn’t lie anymore to make you and mom happy or to make it easier. And Cheeks makes me happy and I love him, and you already decided you stopped talking to me when I got excommunicated so… I don’t know what you want.”
Brady’s explosion is over and right on track he’s defaulting to sad and a little defeated. Cheeks feels like he might cry for him. It’s such a contrast from the strong, stubborn, charismatic guy that Brady shows the world.
“I was already in hell.”
Having heard enough, Cheeks pushes off the floor and through the door, neatly slipping the phone out of Brady’s stunned hand. Brady makes a grab but Cheeks dances away.
He puts the phone to his ear and the booming voice of a man echoes in his ears. Suddenly, he can understand why Brady pulled the patriarch card their first week of marriage. “…A huge embarrassment. The congregation hasn’t stopped the whispers. That footage…that…that thing you’ve married. Your mother cries nearly every day. We thought the first revelation was bad…”
Cheeks got used to being called names years ago and the sudden flash of pain is a lot less sharp than it used to be. The ache that settles in his chest is more for his husband than it is for him. Brady may be able to pass but at least Cheeks parents never referred to him as a thing when he came home covered in bruises with FAG emblazoned on his face in permanent
The anger at the injustice that they still face burns through him. “You have no right to call my husband and abuse him like this.”
“Who is this?”
“That thing he married,” Cheeks spits acidly into the phone. He can see the horror that crops up on Brady’s face and manages to keep him away from the phone. “And, for your information, your son is perhaps one of the best sports players since forever and isn’t a total douche which is a small miracle to be proud of. And he is a pioneer and brave and amazing and you’re lucky to even know him. I am very lucky to have married him and if you think he’s and embarrassment you don’t need to bother knowing him.”
“You have no right to—”
“You have no right!” Cheeks can hear his own voice getting shrill because he cannot seem to tamp down on this feeling of rage. “He is—“ And then the phone is out of his hands, and Brady has turned away.
“Dad, you always used to say if you had nothing nice to say, then you shouldn’t say anything. I think it’s best if we stop before things are said that people regret.” And the ever polite Brady slams his thumb on the disconnect button and actually throws the phone.
Cheeks pouts up at Brady. “I had that.”
In reply, Brady frames his face and crushes his lips to Cheeks. Cheeks swallows the gasp and throws his arms around his husbands neck and pushes off so that he can jump and wrap his legs around Brady’s middle. Brady backs him into the wall and the pictures rattle, but there is a hand that has snuck behind his head to save it from being pounded into the wall.
Cheeks tilts his hips and grinds against his husband’s stomach.
Brady groans and nudges back. Cheeks wiggles seductively and lets his teeth grate on Brady’s tongue. Brady pulls his head back and gulps in air. Cheeks’ head gets pushed further into the wall as Brady bumps foreheads. “I love you. I don’t…” Brady’s voice cracks and he clears his throat before trying again. “I don’t know if you know how much.”
“I love you too,” he replies and nips Brady’s nose.
“I’m sorry you even had to hear him. I don’t want you to have to hear that.”
Cheeks shrugs and rakes his teeth down Brady’s neck. “I’ve been hearing it all my life.”
“Yeah but, that’s my dad. He shouldn’t be…” Brady shudders as Cheeks continues his ministrations. “You deserve more.”
“You deserve more.”
“Well, yeah,” Brady says, and grins earnestly, “but I get a famous hot actor and plans for a dungeon. And you’re a bonus. Just don’t tell my husband.”
Cheeks stops as a laugh rumbles through Brady’s chest. He decides not to act as hurt as he would like to. Getting a laugh out of Brady is enough to let him pass. Instead, Cheeks fuses his mouth to Brady’s again.
Later, once they’re lying on the chaise Cheeks put in the den, Cheeks begins drawing designs on his husband’s back. “My mom is already asking what you get a famous baseball player for Christmas.”
“I think telling her you really want some toys for our dungeon are out of the question.”
Brady rubbed a large hand up and down Cheeks’ bicep. “I’m sure we can come up with some ideas that won’t horrify your mother.”
“They’re coming in two weeks.”
“Ok,” Brady says as simply as if Cheeks suggested eggs for breakfast, which he wouldn’t because it’s ten bajillion calories, “We’ll clean out the spare bedroom. I’ll get some tickets set aside. We’re playing the Mets. I think your dad just wants to watch his team for free.”
Cheeks decides not to ruin the moment by saying that he’s pretty sure his dad wants to point down to the baseball field and tell people ‘that’s my son-in-law’ or that his parents probably like Brady more than him. For the first time in a long time, he’s excited to see his parents and show off his husband; even if he’ll complain the entire time they’re there. As Brady pulls him a little closer and presses a kiss to his temple, Cheeks can’t help but think again, that this wasn’t such a mistake after all. Even if it does come with in-laws.