Earth Tones
Chapter One: You're Uptight Like A Little Pilgrim

AN: So yeah, this is the story of Ayden Christopher. He first appeared (as a baby) in "Rose Tints Their World", the third story in my Chris X Justin series. For anyone who's interested, that series started with "He Paints His World In Black And White".

Anyway, this story takes place when Ayden Christopher first turns sixteen. If you're familiar with the other characters and the story of his parents (Nicole Fresk and Tristan Hartford) this story will make more sense, but if you aren't I will try to stick in brief explanations where I can, okies?

Also, in the rewrite of "Shades Of Gray", Ayden Fresk, Ayden Christopher's uncle, doesn't commit suicide like he did in the original. I just haven't actually written it yet. That's why he's still alive in this story.

So now, join my land of yaoi goodness… and let me take you away for a while…

I'm so unnecessarily melodramatic sometimes.


School. Otherwise known as hell. I had begged my godparents to let me go off to boarding school somewhere so as not to deal with the people in the south, but to no avail. I was still stuck at Ezekiel High.

Chris and Justin Fresk had raised me since I was only about six months old. I called them my mom and dad, but they aren't my birthparents. My mother died in childbirth and my father abandoned me shortly after. The last I heard he was living in London. Chris is technically my uncle, but he was named godparent along with his husband Justin. It had been almost sixteen years since we moved into this house, and in truth I was just biding my time until I could leave.

I tried, long ago, to call them both "Dad" or something, but the names Mom and Dad fit them both so well.

Mum was short and thin, with blonde hair that fell to his mid-back and big blue eyes. He looked younger than his thirty-eight years. Most people guessed he was only about thirty. He had become a stay-at-home mom with the help of his mother, Xain, when I came to live with them. His body showed signs of his hard past, stories I had put together from overheard conversations between him and Dad. Once the stories were known, it was easy to pick up on the faded track marks on the crook of his arm, the last remaining evidence of his addiction.

Dad was tall in comparison, at just under six feet tall. He had light brown hair and sharp gray eyes. He was extremely protective of Mum, and although I never managed, through all of the whispered conversations I heard, to understand why, I was sure there must be a good reason. He owned an advertising company, but worked as an elementary school teacher, and he was an excellent artist, although the only time you could tell lately was when he drew on the paper table covering of the local restaurant.

Now, in case you've made it this far and still don't get it, both of my parents are men. Yeah. Try getting people to understand that in the south.

They're very open about it, too. If it hadn't been for Xain easing me into shounen-ai anime when I was younger I would have been a little less horrified, a little more scarred than I was when I walked in on them in the shower one morning. But they made up for it when they walked in on me and the neighbour boy a few months later.

It was amusing, actually, to watch Mum and Dad trying to be all stern when Xain was bouncing around in the background waving her metaphorical yaoi flag.

But where was I? Oh yes. Getting home from school…

I walked into the house and started to stalk up the stairs to my room when I suddenly heard Xain speak. I jumped in surprise. I wasn't expecting her to be home this early.

"Hey Ace," Xain said. I looked into the living room to see her sitting on the couch, smiling cheerfully. She had called me Ace since I was little. It started out as my initials, AC, but she decided that sounded weird, added an 'e', and made it Ace.

"Hey Xain. What're you doing here?" I asked her. She looked at me in obvious surprise.

"I live here," she said.

"No, I know. I mean, what are you doing home so early?"

"When do I ever work late on your birthday?" Oh right. My birthday. That was today.

"Oh, okay. Where are Mum and Dad?"

"They'll be here shortly. Justin went to the store and Chris hasn't come home from work yet. They should both be here within a half hour, actually."
I nodded.

"You want to watch a movie?" she asked. I smiled. That meant anime. Probably yaoi. As a result of her viewing habits I had grown up confused about my sexuality, finally accepting that I was bi.

"Whatcha got?" I asked.

"Um… Sukisho and… Loveless."

"Sukisho. Loveless sucks."

"Do not speak such nonsense!" Xain exclaimed, sounding genuinely shocked that I would insult her anime in such a way.

At that moment Mum walked through the door carrying a large box, probably a cake. He was closely followed by Dad.

"Happy sweet sixteen!" Mum exclaimed, beaming at me. I rolled my eyes. He was a little too enthusiastic about things like this.

My birthdays are always the same. We eat cake, I open presents, the adults drink themselves stupid (as they do only on special occasions, it's not an everyday thing or anything), and I go off with my few friends in pursuit of more interesting pastimes.

This year was shaping up to be no different. I got some nice presents, though. Xain got me the complete Rurouni Kenshin anime series, which was the first anime (other than Sailor Moon) that I absolutely worshipped. Mum got me a really nice digital camera and printing dock. My intended major in college was photography. And Dad… got me a car.

Yeah, I was shocked too.

It wasn't anything particularly flashy, just a Honda civic, but it was mine, dammit. Plus it was a really cool shade of blue. Yeah, I'm a total girl when it comes to cars, unlike one of my namesakes, my uncle Ayden, who's a total car fanatic.

So after staring at the keys for a minute as though I couldn't quite comprehend what they were, I followed the others out to the driveway where my wonderful new car was parked. Someone (Mum, no doubt) had tied a humongous bow on it. What made it worse was that it was pink.

Sometimes I wondered if he truly understood that I was a boy.

At that moment a slate gray SUV pulled up at the curb and a tall, thin man got out of it. I heard a sharp intake of breath from Mum.

"Oh shit," Dad breathed.


AN: I will write a one-shot of any two characters of mine, chosen by the person who guesses who the man is… It might be fairly easy. I think it's fairly easy. I might have to write more than one one-shot. If that makes sense.

So I have no idea whatsoever why I'm starting this when I already have four stories active. It just kind of appealed to me all of a sudden. I might lose steam after a while though, but hey, I always finish my stories eventually, don't I?

Please review!

♥'s and X-Rated Thoughts—Luci-chan