The Easter Egg Hunt 14k
Category: ER, romance, holiday
Synopsis: A little Easter fun
Notes: This is my first full-length DM fic. As it's also my only one to date, I decided just to put the story here.
"Steve, can I ask you a favour?" Mark Sloan looked at his son across the breakfast table.
"Well, you can ask," Steve said. "Might not get the answer you want though."
Jesse snickered at that, from his position the other side of Steve, munching on toast.
"Careful," Steve warned. "I know all your tickle hot spots."
Jesse pulled a face at that. "Spoil sport," he muttered into his mug of coffee.
"If you don't mind?" Mark asked.
"Sorry, dad, what did you want to ask me?" Steve said apologetically.
"It's just that as it's Easter next weekend, the hospital have agreed that it would be nice to give the kids in Pediatrics a bit of fun, so we're going to have an Easter Egg hunt for them."
"I'm not going to dress up as the Easter bunny!" Steve broke in before his father could say any more.
"I'm not asking you to," Mark said. "I'm not a masochist."
"Okay, what do you want me to do then?" Steve asked, slightly mollified by that remark.
"I'd like you to help by hiding the eggs for the kids to find," Mark explained. "The hunt is due to start at 10am so you'd need to be there a couple of hours before to get the eggs all hidden."
"I can do that," Steve affirmed. He looked at his lover. "Wanna help Jess?" he asked.
"He can't help," Mark spoke before Jesse had a chance to reply.
"Why not?" Steve asked.
"I'm helping the kids out during the hunt," Jesse explained, getting up to start clearing the breakfast dishes away.
"Oh," Steve said. "Well, I guess I can manage by myself then." He wasn't quite pouting, but the look on his face suggested that Steve was far from happy at the thought of having to crawl through bushes hiding eggs by himself.
"Great!" Mark said. He checked his watch. "We need to get going, Jess or we'll be late," he said, turning to the younger doctor.
"I'm ready," Jesse said.
"See you later," Steve said to his dad as he headed for the door. Mark waved a hand in the air. Steve turned to his lover. "Lunch?" he asked.
"If I can," Jesse nodded. "Come by the hospital around 1 o'clock, okay?"
"Okay," Steve bent to kiss the other man. "Have a good day."
Jesse returned the kiss enthusiastically. "You too," he replied when he eventually let go. "Be careful."
The sound of Mark sounded the car horn reached them. Jesse broke away reluctantly to head for the door. Steve watched him go, then turned back to the kitchen with a sigh to finish clearing up. He was due to spend the morning in court testifying so didn't have to leave just yet.
Clearing up finished, he picked up his suit jacket and tie, not wanting to put the tie on till he absolutely had to. As he headed out the door, he thought about the Easter Egg hunt again. It might be fun, he decided and the chance to watch Jesse with kids was an opportunity not to be missed. His lover's enthusiasm and caring nature made him a great hit with the children in the hospital and Steve felt a small pang at the thought that they would probably never have children of their own, unless they were able to adopt. It was something they had never discussed, but it was obvious Jesse loved children. Perhaps it was time to have that conversation, Steve thought to himself as he drove to the courthouse on automatic pilot. They had been together for nearly a year, after all. He thought about how and when to raise the subject the rest of the way to the courthouse, only dropping it when he arrived at his destination, instead forcing himself to think about his upcoming testimony.
Two days later, Steve got home late after a difficult day tracking down a poisoner to find his dad, his lover and Amanda sitting at the dining room table painting eggs.
"Hey guys," he said.
Jesse jumped up and gave him a hug and kiss. "Beer?" he asked rhetorically, going to the kitchen to bring back bottles for himself and Steve as well as fresh drinks for Amanda and Mark.
Steve dropped into a chair, exhausted but curious despite himself.
"What are you doing?" he asked, gesturing at the table.
"Painting the eggs for the Easter Egg hunt," Mark explained.
Steve grunted in understanding and took the cold bottle of beer gratefully from Jesse's hand. He downed the beer in a few gulps, setting the empty bottle on the table and reaching to carefully pick up and examine one of the eggs.
"This is beautiful," he said, turning it over in his fingers.
"Jesse did that one," Amanda said, smiling at the doctor as he returned with another bottle of beer for Steve and some Chinese food he had reheated in the microwave.
"Here you go," Jesse put the plate and bottle down in front of Steve, then resumed his seat.
"Thanks," Steve said, acknowledging the food as he set the egg down carefully and exchanged it for a fork. "I didn't know you were artistic," he commented to his lover as he started to eat.
"Well, I'm not really," Jesse protested, picking up his paintbrush again.
"Don't be so modest, Jesse," Mark said. He pointed to several other eggs. "Those are all Jesse's work too."
Jesse concentrated on the egg in his hand, painting on a spiral design, ignoring the blush he could feel heating his whole face at the praise from the others. He'd never gotten much in the way of compliments for his artwork in the past, although it was something he loved. The warm regard of his substitute family meant a lot to him.
The day of the Egg hunt dawned sunny and bright, the typical LA smog burning off quickly, to leave clear, cloudless skies. Steve looked up appreciatively at the morning sky, wishing Jesse were beside him to enjoy it too. He had reluctantly left Jesse sleeping in bed to go and plant the eggs in the garden of one of Community General's board members, who had offered his premises for the hunt; no doubt hoping for some nice free publicity, Steve thought to himself sourly.
The Egg hunt was due to begin at 10 am, then would be followed by a picnic lunch in the grounds of the house, before the children were taken back to the hospital. The families of all the children would be present during the day, but the hunt itself would be chaperoned by doctors, allowing the parents a chance to relax and enjoy themselves, something which was all too rare for families of sick children.
Steve watched his lover with a small smile on his face. Jesse was getting right into the Easter egg hunt, enthusiastically helping the smaller children and those who were having trouble getting around by themselves. He had to admit it had been a brilliant idea on his dad's part, getting the doctors to help out the kids from Pediatrics on this special day. The weather was perfect too - not too hot or humid, meaning the kids wouldn't get too tired too soon.
"Beer?" the voice of his dad made Steve look up. He smiled and took the cold bottle being held out to him.
"Thanks dad," he said.
"Hard to tell who's having the most fun, the kids or Jess," Mark Sloan remarked as he sat on the bench next to Steve.
Steve snorted in amusement. "Definitely Jess," he remarked. "He's just like a kid himself times like these." He took a mouthful of beer, then gestured with the bottle. "He's been out there for over an hour with those kids and he's found more eggs than anyone else."
Mark nodded agreement as he took a drink from his own bottle. "If I didn't know better, I'd say he'd had inside help." He cast a sidelong glance at his son, who had hidden the eggs early that morning.
Steve turned and gave his father an innocent, level gaze. "I don't know what you mean," he said calmly. Then turned back to watch Jesse again, a smirk playing about his lips.
Mark grinned. He wasn't sure that Jesse did know where to look or just had a knack for the game, but either way the doctor was keeping the kids excited and enthusiastic as he went from one to another, helping them search, praising their success, suggesting a new place to look.
The parents were having a good time, watching their kids relax and forget their sicknesses and ailments for a few hours, without any pressure on them. This might just be the start of a new Easter tradition for Community General, he mused.
Just then, Jesse came up and flopped on to the bench next to Steve. He snagged the bottle of beer from his lover's hand and drank deep. Steve opened his mouth to protest, then stopped, mesmerised by the motion of Jesse's Adam's apple as he swallowed.
Jesse put the empty bottle down. "Man, I needed that," he announced, casting a smile at both Mark and Steve. "Those kids are hard work."
"You've done a great job," Mark hastened to assure him, seeing his son was incapable of speech for the moment. "You know, you two don't have to stay around for lunch if you don't want to, you've done more than your fair share to make this day a success."
Jesse looked at Steve, seeing the heat in his partner's eyes.
"If you're sure you don't need us?" he asked, getting to his feet.
"No, Jess," Mark said, shaking his head. "There's more than enough of us here to manage over lunch and to get the kids back to the hospital safely. You and Steve head on home and enjoy the rest of the day."
"Thanks dad," Steve said getting to his feet and putting an arm around Jesse. "We'll see you tonight for dinner."
"Of course," Mark said. "See you later." He smiled at them as they walked off, arms around each other. They had been together for such a long time that nobody paid any attention to public displays of affection between the two men. Any newcomers who might comment unfavourably were quickly put in their place by either the hospital staff or Steve's work colleagues. Although cops were not normally known for their tolerance of the gay lifestyle, they had no problem accepting this relationship; Steve had proved time and time again that it made no difference to how he did his job.
"That was nice of Mark," Jesse commented to Steve as they walked out to Steve's truck together.
"Uh hmm," Steve agreed. He hitched a finger through one of Jesse's belt loops, fingers caressing the doctor's waist above the waistband of his jeans as he did so.
Jesse squirmed for a moment, sensitive to touch just there. Then he sighed and relaxed against Steve.
"Where do you wanna go for lunch?" he asked, leaning against Steve's side as he waited for his partner to unlock and open his door for him.
"Home will be fine," Steve said. He flashed a hot look at Jesse as he circled the truck to the driver's door.
"You don't want to drop into Bob's?" Jesse asked, surprised, referring to the BBQ restaurant he and Steve co-owned with Mark.
"Sarah runs the place just fine," Steve commented. "I trust her."
Jesse snorted in amusement. "Can I have that in writing?" he chuckled. "I'm sure Sarah would love to hear that."
Steve hit Jesse gently on the forearm. "She knows I trust her," he said. "There's no way she'd be allowed to open or close the place by herself otherwise."
Jesse had to concede the truth of that statement and settled back into his seat to Steve-watch as they drove home. They had a beach house of their own, a couple of miles down the beach from Mark's house and Jesse loved it. However, he had a feeling they wouldn't see anything of the beach until they got to Mark's house for dinner this evening. Instead, it was far more likely they would be spending the afternoon in bed, which suited Jesse just fine, especially as his lover had had to leave him alone in bed early that morning. Afternoon sex was just as enjoyable as morning sex after all. He sighed to himself in pleasure at the thought of some quality time together with his partner. Both their jobs were time consuming and they were often too tired at night to do more than collapse into bed together and snuggle as they went to sleep. That was when they were actually working the same hours. Police work and hospital shifts meant that sometimes they passed each other in the hall with no more than a hello and a quick kiss.
"What was the sigh for?" Steve asked, smiling at Jesse as they drew up in front of their home.
"Just looking forward to some quality us time," Jesse replied with a smile of his own.
"Yeah, it's been a while," Steve agreed. He pulled Jesse to him for a kiss before releasing him to allow them both to get out of the truck and head indoors.
They walked into the house together, hand in hand. Once inside, Jesse didn't hesitate, pushing Steve back against the door for another long, probing kiss, grinding his hips against his lover as he did so.
Steve laughed into his lover's mouth, enjoying Jesse getting aggressive and taking control. It was always a major turn on for him when Jesse took charge of their lovemaking.
That was Steve's last coherent thought for a while as Jesse proceeded to make him lose his mind by going down on him right there in the hallway, until they lay collapsed together in a sated heap of tangled limbs and heaving breaths. It was some time before they recovered enough strength to stagger into the bedroom together and finish undressing, before crawling into bed to nap for a while and recoup their energy for round two.