: To Dance Troubles AwayAuthor
: Maeve BranRating
: A quiet evening in the Crane/Shore household gets turned upside down by the appearance of an heir of a late client.Disclaimer
: I do not own Boston Legal or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, nor do I make any profit on this piece of fiction.Notes
: Written for stellar_dust in Yuletide 2009.
Alan Shore sat on the balcony, enjoying the night air while sipping a fine aged Scotch. An expensive Cuban cigar smoked in his hand. There was no better way to unwind. He stretched and reached an arm around the frosted blond sitting next to him.
"Well, Shirley, it's nice to finally get you to myself," Alan said to his companion. He set down his glass and took a long puff on his cigar. After exhaling he resumed his conversation. "What's that you say? You're pleased to finally be invited to the balcony. Well I'm happy you're here too."
Alan took the last swallow of his Scotch and the last puff on his cigar. Then he snuffed out the stub in the ash tray and stood up.
"May I have this dance?" he asked as he extended his hand. His companion reached her hand towards his and he pulled her to her feet. He danced her around the balcony, humming softly to himself with a dopey look of happiness.
"Alan, what are you doing with MY Shirley Schmidt-ho?" came the voice of an angry Denny Crane from the open doorway.
Alan stopped dancing but continued to cradle the life sized doll in his arms as if it were simply a pause in the dance. "I didn't think you'd mind," he said.
"You didn't think I'd MIND?" Denny returned. "What gave you that idea? I've repeatedly told you the Shirley Schmidt-ho was mine."
"Since we got married what is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine. So I thought..." Alan replied as he began to dance with the doll again.
"You're MARRIED?" The young brunette next to Denny practically screeched. "To HIM?"
"Well, yes," Denny said blandly. "Is that a problem?"
The brunette looked from Alan, who had stopped dancing again, to Denny and shrugged. "Not if it isn't a problem for him."
"We have a very open marriage," Alan said as he crossed the distance to stand next to them. "It's not a problem for me."
"So this is Alan, I presume?" the brunette prompted.
Alan looked to Denny but he was busy reaching for the Shirley Schmidt doll, so Alan introduced himself. "Yes, I'm Alan Shore, Denny's husband." He extended his hand and she shook it.
"Nice to meet you Alan. I'm Faith," Faith replied.
Alan released the Shirley Schmidt doll to Denny, who promptly started dancing around the balcony with it while humming tunelessly. Faith watched, bemused, for a minute.
"I can see you make a perfect couple," Faith observed dryly. "You seem to have a common interest."
"You have no idea," Alan said as he watched his husband dance with the life sized doll of their former colleague and friend. "Is there something I can help you with?" he asked to change the subject.
"I, uh, came to see about an inheritance I don't remember having from a family member," Faith nodded at the dancing Denny. "He was named as the attorney in the letter I received, so I came to Boston only find he was no longer with Crane, Pool and Schmidt..."
"Neither of us are anymore," Alan agreed. "You said an inheritance? Denny was a litigation attorney."
"So they said over at Chang, Poole and Schmidt when they told me that Denny Crane was no longer there and where I could find him," Faith continued. "So I came here and Denny said that 'Alan would handle everything' and would I like a drink. So here I am."
"Here you are," Alan said. "Would you like to go look at the will now? It will be in the files in the study."
"Sure," Faith said as she turned towards the apartment but stopped at the door. "Will he be alright? He seemed not right..."
Alan took a look at the still dancing Denny and called out to him, "Denny, Faith and I are going to go look for that will in the files."
"Have a good time," Denny waved a hand absently in their direction. "Me and Shirley will dance for a little while before finding our room."
Alan looked hard at Denny but decided that Denny was mostly lucid and all right where he was, so Alan led the way to the study. There, he gestured to the chair across the desk as he took the one behind it.
"So what's wrong with Denny?" Faith asked, concerned. "Unless you don't want to tell me. That's fine. That was sort of private."
"Not at all," Alan said. "Denny has Mad Cow."
"Really?" Faith asked, surprised.
"That's just what we call it. It's really the beginnings of Alzheimer's," he replied as he opened the filing cabinet. "So what was the name of this relative?" he asked, returning to business.
"Patience Lehane," Faith replied. "She was my mother, at least before she turned me over to the foster system."
Alan sorted through the files. "Lehane, Patience. It says here the death notice went out over five years ago."
"Yeah, I just got it last month and this was the first I could get here. What with one apocalypse after another," Faith continued, answering the implied question.
"It took five years to catch up to you?" Alan asked, intrigued.
"Well, I was broken out of prison and then kept busy in Sunnydale and running here and there rounding up new recruits. Add in the apocalypses, it's been a little hard to get mail regularly," Faith explained.
"That's interesting," Alan said, politely disbelieving, as he perused the will.
"So what did dear old Mom leave me," Faith asked. "And you can just explain it in plain English. The last time lawyers tried that lawyer talk on me, my eyes glazed over."
"Okay. Your mother apparently left you the house she'd inherited a few years before her death, and-- oh, my God," Alan swore as he read the last section of the will.
"What?" Faith asked truly interested in what could cause that reaction in this apparently unflappable lawyer.
"She claims that Denny Crane is your biological father," Alan replied.
"Sweet," Faith said. She looked at Alan speculatively, and a shit eating grin broke out. "Does that make you my step dad?"
Alan stared at her, watching his plans go right out the window. He'd thought when Denny first brought her out that Denny was going to make a play for her, and while Alan had an open mind that had just been too weird the first time that problem came up. Denny had already been down the road of sleeping with a daughter of a former flame-- though fortunately that had turned out to be all it was. At any rate Alan had planned, when Denny seemed absorbed in the Shirley Schmidt doll, that he would read the young woman the will and make a play to prove just how open his marriage to Denny was... but that one phrase "Step Dad" killed even Alan's formidable libido.
"I guess it does," Alan said with a wry smile. "Provided that the DNA tests verify what Ms. Lehane claimed."
"You just say where and when," Faith said as she got up to go. "And I'll be there, Step Dad." She pulled a card out of her purse and dropped it on the table, then turned it over and scrawled her hotel info on the back.
After handing the card over, Faith left. Alan picked it up, stared at it, and then glanced back at the will. Then he got up, poured himself a fresh glass of Scotch, and headed out to the balcony to tell his husband that he might have a daughter. He watched Denny continue his dance as he drained his Scotch, then set his glass down next to the other one.
"Mind if I cut in?" Alan asked as he gently pried the doll from his husband's arms. He put the doll in his chair, then took Denny's hands to lead him in a dance. "Denny, I have some interesting news..."