Title: And I Tell You, This Is Love – 1/5 Author & Beta: Shadowfax27 Fandom: CSI: Miami Pairing: Eric/Ryan Category: Humor, Fluff Fic Rating: PG-13 for some sexual innuendo – it’s the Hardy Boys! Can you blame me? Disclaimer: I own nothing but the cute little Halloween Penguin who decided to nudge me off the couch as I was watching CSI: Miami Monday night. Summary: Ryan and Eric take their daughter trick or treating. A/N: It’s been a while since I wrote anything, eh? RL and the absence of a reliable PC are to blame. But now I’m back (slowly but surely!). I’m trying something sort of new for me. I’m gonna keep these chapters fairly short so that they’re manageable. Oh, and for the record, I haven’t gone trick or treating since I was 17, but I do remember a lot of what we did back then. So I’m basing this fic on some of my personal experience. Written Entirely For: Alligator138. ----- Chapter 1 – A Princess, Her Prince, And His Royal Steed “Rapunzel, Rapunzel! Let down your golden hair!” A series of squeals and giggles, followed by the unmistakable pitter-patter of tiny princess feet echoed through the brightly lit hallway of the second floor. The cacophony of delighted sounds reverberated off the cream-colored walls, bouncing off the hardwood staircase, and into the waiting ears of one very attentive royal horse – a Cuban stallion, to be exact. He saw a pair of dainty slippered feet stop just a few steps down from the second floor landing, and with a flourish inherent in six-year old girls who dreamed about fairy tales and “happily ever afters”, she tossed her long, braided, golden blonde hair over the banister and giggled even more. “Whoa! That’s quite some hair you got there, princess!” Eric beamed as he reached up and lightly tugged on the fake hair, running down about three and a half feet in length. “Papa!” The little girl tittered but spoke to him in a teasing, admonishing tone, “You’re not s’posed to call me ‘punzel. Only the han-some prince can call my name!” “Oh, right. Yes, of course,” Eric rolled his eyes good-naturedly. “Only the handsome prince can call you to let down your hair. Well, what am I then?” “You…” he heard the unmistakable and amused voice of his lover as he came down the stairs, “…are supposed to be the royal aaa— I mean horse. The royal horse.” “I heard that.” “Yeah, well…” Ryan shrugged and stood a few steps down from where their daughter stood. “It’s either that or be the wicked old hag who imprisoned our little princess in the tower.” “I could’ve been the handsome prince, you know?” Eric interjected half grudgingly. Still amused, the younger man merely looked at him and chuckled, “Yeah, you could have. But we let Ali choose, didn’t we? And she chose me. Guess I made a more handsome prince.” Ryan winked on that last remark, knowing that it would annoy the heck out of his lover. The older man huffed and grunted before making a suspicious whinnying sound in the back of his throat. He crossed his arms and was mumbling something about “princes” and “being handsome” and “playing favorites with their daughter” and something that sounded a lot like “royal pain in my ass” under his breath when Ali gave an elated “Weeeeee!” That seemed to dispel any grudges on the part of the Cuban, and he looked up just in time to see Ryan scoop up their daughter under her armpits, turn around on the steps, and then carry her down the rest of the stairs at arm’s length, her teeny feet dangling like pretty little chandelier. Ryan set her down in the foyer, and both men took the time to inspect and admire their finished handiwork for the first time. Except for the little pink princess dress, slippers, and braided wig and tiara that Ali wore, which they had bought beforehand from the local Halloween specialty store in the mall, the rest of her costume was painstakingly agonized over by both of her dads for over a week. Yes, it took them that many nights to draw up the plans and find the supplies necessary to make a convincing looking tower that they could both agree on – a tower that would be long enough to encase their daughter in but not too difficult to create. The tower had to fit her just so, but it also had to be loose enough so that she could get in and out of it easily and be able to walk in it by herself. The result was an impressive single-piece, lightweight cardboard concoction that was conical in shape and widened gradually at the base like a laboratory flask. The bottom of the tower came up at just around the ankle area so that “people could see my princess feet,” as Ali had so keenly put it. Then they left one small window for their daughter’s face to look out of (and her hair to fall through) in the top “tower” section of the costume and two small windows on either side of the main body of the tower for her arms to dangle from. “Not bad,” Eric smirked as he nodded his head. “Yeah,” Ryan agreed heartily, impressed with his own handiwork. “I dare say it looks like it was done by a professional.” “Yeah, but let’s not forget who did the paint job,” Eric winked. “Ha! That’s only because you couldn’t draw a proper brick-stone!” Ryan retorted, rolling his eyes. “Well, brick-stones aren’t supposed to be in a straight line, querido,” Eric objected, knowing how much his OCD-prone lover would love to argue the fact. “They’re supposed to have imperfections. We’re talking about ancient architecture here.” “Uh-huh. And if I had let you continue on drawing, then our daughter would’ve been encased inside the leaning tower of Pisa instead of a proper fairy tale tower,” Ryan parried back. “Can we go trick or treating now, please?” Ali’s excited voice cut into their mock argument. “Sure, sweetie. Just let me make sure that the royal horse is ready, and we’ll be off in a minute,” Ryan replied, turning to look at the Cuban teasingly. “I’ll show you what kind of a horse I am later, oh handsome Prince,” Eric whispered hotly into the younger man’s ear when Ryan took hold of his reins. Shuddering, Ryan replied in kind, a challenge in hushed tone, “Oh yeah? You gonna give me the ride of my life?” “Well, I am the royal stallion,” Eric answered smugly, a wicked gleam in his eyes. Ryan snorted at the remark but didn’t argue. He didn’t take his eyes off his lover either. It felt a bit odd talking about naughty things to a horse costume, even if he could easily imagine the fine-looking man inside. Eric was dressed head to toe just like a regal white steed with a royal purple and gold banner draped across his back. They had actually stumbled upon the costume at one of those rent-a-costume stores that specialized in medieval and fairy tale attires. Even so, the costume fitted his body well enough that the younger man could still see the faint traces of the Cuban’s gorgeous physique underneath. Ryan, on the other hand, was quite lucky to find a complete prince’s attire in white and gold from the same store. He wore his hair sleeked back a bit, just like he used to style it when he was still working for Patrol, which reminded Eric of the first time they met at the scene of a bus crash all those many years ago. The attire also reminded Eric of the kind of princely uniform that Prince Charming wore in “Cinderella” when they first met at the royal ball, and he thought proudly that his partner, in no uncertain terms, looked most devastatingly dashing in it. Quite handsome, actually, in his proud and accurate opinion. “Is everything ready for the ‘trick or treaters’?” Eric asked offhandedly, aware and yet distracted by the way Ryan was running his fingers lightly over his costumed chest. “Yep. The basket of candy’s already out on the front porch with a sign to take only one piece.” “You really believe kids will follow that rule? Especially teenagers?” Ryan shrugged, “Some probably will, but it doesn’t matter. I’d rather all the candy be gone by the time we get back than have to hide them from Ali.” “Good point,” Eric conceded, nodding. “You look really han-some, Daddy,” Ali cut in softly, a shy and adoring look in her dancing eyes. “Why, thank you, darling,” Ryan turned around, beaming proudly at their daughter. “Hey! What about me?” Eric nearly whined, flailing his hoofed arms. “Doesn’t your Papa look good too?” Laughing heartily, Ali replied, “Yes, Papa. Like the bestest royal horse ever!” “You hear that?” Eric nudged Ryan. “I’m ‘the bestest royal horse ever’ according to our daughter,” he smirked. Ryan was about to parry back with another sarcastic remark when Ali cut in unknowingly once more. “How do I look?” she asked to no one in particular, turning to do a little pirouette. “Absolutely gorgeous, princess!” Ryan replied with a smile. “The most beautiful little princess we’ve ever seen!” Eric added, beaming. Ali giggled once more at the compliment and then walked over to the coffee table to retrieve her “trick or treating” basket. They watched as she strode purposefully towards the front door, half waddling in the process. “Coming, Daddy? Papa?” “Right behind you, sweetie,” Ryan replied. And with that, Ryan tugged on his stallion’s golden reins, and the three headed out into the night holding hands, Ali in the middle, holding both of her fathers’ hands, an excited bounce in every one of her little steps as they went “trick or treating” from house to house and from townhome to townhome in their neighborhood on Halloween night. --- TBC I dare say this is the first Halloween Penguin I’ve encountered. Glad it’s not the spooky kind the first time around. *shudders* A/N: This was supposed to be a one-shot, but it snowballed into 5 small chapters. Meh. Updates will be posted on Mondays. And yes, I decided to name the little girl “Ali.” I couldn’t think of any other name, and the Penguin demanded that I use it.