A/N: My first Fan Fiction in decades.
Disclaimer: I do not own any of the characters. They belong to Andrew Marlowe and ABC.
She was relaxing on the new sofa, the fire taking the chill out of the loft's air. Richard had snapped up the small loft in his building when it hit the market. She didn't ask him to buy it, but he insisted that it would be perfect for her to be in the same building as them. Despite all his complaints about her years living with him, it was evident he wanted her to remain close by. He said he wanted to be sure she was safe.
Her new living quarters were still a work in progress. Along with the time spent on the preparations for the wedding, she and Kate had spent fun hours browsing flea markets, furniture stores and boutiques to furnish the space. Richard had been surprised at the neutrality of the colors she had chosen. Well, she couldn't have an apartment that clashed with her wardrobe. That just wouldn't do.
In a few days, Richard and Katherine would legally become husband and wife. She had always hoped her little boy would find a partner in life, an enduring love like she never had. You always want happiness for your child. She was so grateful for the joy that Katherine brought her son.
A knock at the door interrupted her reverie, and she set her glass of wine on the end table. She didn't expect anyone, so she checked the peephole before she opened the door.
"I never thought I'd see you again," Martha whispered as she opened the door.
"I missed Richard's other weddings. I wasn't going to miss his last one," the father of her son said as he stepped into the apartment. "I knew it wouldn't last with Gina, and the wedding with Meredith happened so quickly I couldn't get here in time."
As they walked to the seating area, he absorbed the space. He committed it to memory like so many details of her life. It was a life he would never be able to share. She motioned to the sofa, and he sat on the cushion next to hers. She raised her glass and an eyebrow, silently asking him if he wanted some wine. He just shook his head.
"You have been keeping an eye on us, you told Richard. It would have been nice to know that during the DECADES." She emphasized the last word to let him know she still harbored the pain. "Are you going to make an appearance at the wedding or lurk in the background?"
"If possible, I will don a disguise and mingle with the guests. I never want to put my family in danger again. Paris has made me even more cautious than I ever was before. If I have any inkling that it's going to be dangerous for any of you, I will watch from a distance. I have some toys at my disposal, that will make that easy." He sighed a little and gazed out the window at the lights of the city as he spoke. A look of sadness, maybe regret, flitted quickly across his face.
Martha noted his hidden pain and spoke calmly. "Tell me something. How did you know that Richard was your son? How did you even find out he had been born? After four decades, I think I deserve some answers."
"You are a public persona. Broadway actresses aren't that hard to find," he replied with a small smile. "It was easy to determine that Richard was mine. I did the math, and you did name him after me."
"Was Alexander you're real name or the false identity of the day?"
"Martha, what we had that night was more than magical, it was real. I gave you my real name. The CIA had wiped all traces of my birth name from the public record. You couldn't have found me with that name. I didn't want to leave you or hurt you, but my job made it impossible to stay. It was too dangerous for you and for Richard."
"I'm sure your country is grateful," she sighed with a tinge of bitterness.
"My country doesn't even acknowledge my existence. I've given it my whole life, given up any chance for a family life, given up my chance for love and happiness. It's not a decision I would make again in hindsight, but I can't change it now. What's done is done." Alexander almost whispered the final sentence.
After a moment of waiting to see if he would continue, Martha spoke. "I have no regrets about that night. My greatest joy and deepest love was born of that night….our son. He's a good man and a loving rascal, who has brought me sleepless nights and innumerable moments of happiness. I'm sad for you. Sad that you missed out on what has been my deepest source of joy. I may not have been the best mother, but I tried. Somehow, he grew into a son any mother would be proud of. Somehow he became a father any child would treasure, even though he was denied the experience of having one of his own." She paused and took a sip of her wine. "Does Richard know you're here?"
"No. I didn't want to be a distraction. The time I was in New York for the Gemini case, I could tell that my presence opened old wounds in him. If not for Paris, I would never have told him who I am." Alex paused, sighed and continued. "I have watched you both from afar. I even stood in line for him to sign a copy of Storm Rising. I keep it in a safe deposit box in DC. I've been to a few of your plays, but I always sat in the balcony. I was mesmerized by your performance every time. It pained me to leave the theater each time. It pains me to leave your presence every time, even though you have no idea that I am there." Alex had stood and walked to stare out the window as he spoke.
"This weekend is their weekend, the beginning of their forever. Don't spoil that for them. Richard didn't have any expectations of seeing you during his other weddings. I am sure he hopes you show up for this one. Find some way to let him know that you are here, but don't disrupt Katherine's moment. She deserves for her day to be what she dreams. Detectives Ryan and Esposito will be at the wedding, and in their minds you are a wanted fugitive. If they see you, they will try to arrest you," Martha cautions him.
Alex turns back to Martha from the window. "I sent Richard a copy of Casino Royale after Paris. I assume he knew that meant I had survived?" Martha nods at his words. "I have a copy of Live and Let Die that I would like you to give him on his wedding day. Would you do that for me? I want him to know that I'm here in the city, but I don't want him to look for me. You know him. What should I do?"
"Do you have the book with you?" After Alex shakes his head, Martha questions him, "Will it be arriving by messenger or mail?"
Alex returns to his place on the couch. "A delivery will arrive here tomorrow."
"I'll give it to him when I think the time is right. It will probably be the day before the wedding. I'm not going to tell him that you are possibly one of the guests. It would just make him search the crowd for you. I'll let him think you are watching from a distance. If you do attend the ceremony, don't let him see you, please." The last had a tone of imploring that Alex didn't miss.
"I understand the security for the ceremony and reception are going to be tight. The number of guests is much lower than I had anticipated. I may not be able to blend in as easily as I had originally planned. It's a really small wedding for someone of Richard's fame," Alex looked to Martha for some insight.
"Katherine wanted it to be family and friends only. The mayor and some author friends of Richard's will be there, but no one from Black Pawn. Paula, his agent, did make the list. It's a small gathering of people that are important to them. Gina and Meredith are not invited." Martha emphasized the "not" with a smile.
"Would you let me kiss you before I go?" Alex questioned with a look of hope.
"What's done is done. We can't go back, but a kiss and an embrace would not be unwelcome." Martha stood as she spoke.
Alex stood and held her close. They both savored the feeling of the other tight against them. He kissed her with decades of longing and love. It wasn't fierce, but gentle and magnificent. "I never stopped loving you. Never."
"I was the lucky one. I had the symbol of our love as the center of my world. Thank you for that. There are no regrets. How could I regret a night of love that created him. You weren't the greatest love of my life. Richard is." Martha felt a single tear trail down her cheek. "I'll give him the book." She gazed up at him for a moment. "Will I ever see you again?"
"If I'm lucky, we'll see each other again. If not, you'll hear from my attorney about the estate." Alex took Martha's hand after he spoke. "I tried to help you while Richard was small. Did you notice the discrepancies in your bank account periodically?"
Martha smiled at him, "I wondered who my secret benefactor was. It was always a surprise to see those cash deposits in my account. It took a couple of years for me to notice they mostly occurred close to Richard's birthday or around the anniversary of our night. It was a little painful to think they could be from you. I wanted more from you than just money." Another tear escaped from her eye as she looked at him. " I wanted you."
"I wanted you. I still want you." He paused as he pondered his next words, "What's done is done. Good night, Martha." Alex started for the door, but turned back, "Thank you. Even though I wasn't able to be a presence in his life, I knew I had a son. He's a good man. Thank you."
After a peck on the cheek and a quick embrace, he left. Martha sat back on the sofa, sipped her wine and let the tears fall silently.