Status: Completed

Same Time, Next Year



"You're certainly full of life this year," Mary giggled, cupping both sides of Billie Joe's face with her hands as he pressed his body weight down atop hers. He nuzzled her neck and snaked his arms around her chest as he rolled them onto their sides.

"I think it's just you," he smirked, nipping playfully at her earlobe.

"Or maybe you're just horny."

"Possibly," Billie Joe replied as if he wasn't letting on to something.

Mary pulled her self away from him, reluctantly, running a hand languidly down his bare chest which she tapped and raised her eyebrow. "You've gained some weight, you know. What happened to the scrawny twenty-year-old I met eight years ago?" She pressed the tip of her tongue to the bottoms of her front teeth as she smiled teasingly.

Billie Joe just laid their on his side, using his right arm and hand to prop up his head as he shrugged. "He grew up." He watched her smooth back as she pulled the top blanket off the bed and wrapped it around her bare body, smirking when it slipped a little she almost tripped with it, standing up off the bed. "So you voting Bush or Gore?"

Mary whipped her head around. "That's like asking which village idiot I prefer."

Billie Joe laughed hard on that one. "Point taken. But seriously...nepotism, or blandism?"

"Neither? Is Perot running again? What about Powell, Dole?"

"Or Dukakis," Billie Joe laughed. "Or Quayle."

"Okay, this isn't 1988."

They were silent for a moment as Mary walked over to the bathroom and pushed open the door enough to reach behind and grabbed two robes. Both royal blue. She let the blanket drop as she slipped on her robe and began to tie the terry cloth belt around her waist. She picked up the blanket and walked over to Billie Joe with his robe and handed it to him, while sitting down on the edge of the bed.

"You're beautiful," he spoke quietly as he took the robe from her.

Watching his eyes, Mary narrowed her own. "I never cease to amaze me, Billie Joe."

He sat up and began pulling his robe on. Tying the belt around his waist, he dipped his head but looked over at her. "Things aren't that great with me and Adrienne," he finally admitted.

"Gee, you coulda fooled me," she replied sarcastically. "What's your good and bad thing? We seemed to skip over that when you threw me into bed the moment you walked in the door."

He allowed a faint smirk to pull at the corners of his lips as he looked down at his hands and stood up. Billie Joe crossed the room and went up the two steps to the living room area and to the wet bar. When he began to pour two glasses of brandy, he greeted Mary as she stepped up behind him, semi-surprising him. She took the glass he offered him with a soft smile and moved to the couch where she awaited Billie Joe to join her.

"Good thing first?" he asked.

"It's up to you."

"Right. Well, how about you go first?" he suggested, looking at her from over the rim of his glass as he took a sip.

She twisted her lips in a peculiar way as she considered everything. "Well, Chris is twelve and Sean is seven now. Both in boy scouts and youth baseball. Real cute with their uniforms. And Andrew is there with them along the way, coaching them, heading up scout meetings..." she smiled. "They had this one excursion over the summer where there was this Indian theme. And there Andrew sat in a circle with them, wearing this Indian headdress made out of construction paper and feathers."

Billie Joe watched her face and smiled with her.

"Seems like a really good father."

Mary nodded. "He's a great father. And he adores little Dawn."

"That's right, she's three now. Glad to say I got to meet her. Has your eyes," Billie Joe remarked, referring to three years prior when he had to deliver Mary's daughter when they couldn't get to a hospital or get a doctor in time.

"I have pictures," Mary announced, leaning forward to grab up her purse from the floor that was randomly by her feet. She pulled out her wallet and flipped it open to the photo section and pointed.

Billie Joe took the wallet from her and studied the pictures. "So what's the bad thing?" he asked, while still looking.

"He's too involved with other things. The garage is thriving with business. He's heading up all the meetings for baseball and scouts. And at the end of the day, we're both real tired and it's like we're there together, but not," she explained, ruefully. "But I love him. He's a really good man."

Billie Joe looked over at Mary as he closed her wallet and stuck it back in her purse. "The kids are cute."

"Thanks." She turned and moved closer to him, linking her arm through his and resting her chin on his shoulder. "So what's your good and bad thing? Hmm?"

Billie Joe placed a kiss on Mary's forehead before giving a deep sigh. "The good thing...Adrienne's an awesome mom for our boys. Joey's five now and Jacob just turned two," he began. "She's always there for them, and helping out with Adeline Records. She's true in everything she does and I just admire her for that."


"But, we've just been arguing a lot lately. Not huge fights, necessarily. Just spats here and there. I'm always gone with touring or recording and it's really coming to a head. We're thinking about separating."

Mary lifted her head and pulled back, looking at him. "You can't. I mean, after all this time I feel like I know Adrienne. You love her, I know that. And you've been together a decade now. How can you just throw that away?"

"It's not like I want to. She's comfort."

"Exactly. She's your wife. She loves you, you love her. Of course your gonna be a part from time to time. But maybe incorporate her into your daily routines. If you're going to the studio. Bring her along sometime. Or, if you're going on tour, bring the whole family. Especially if the kids aren't in school. Call her everyday if you have to be a part. Remind her that you love her. Trust me, that is one of the simplest things a man can do. Three little words."

After a moment, he nodded. "I love you."

"Exactly. Tell her that. Every day. I promise that, alone, will reassure--"

"No, Mary. I mean, I love *you*."

She bit her bottom lip and met his gaze. Those green eyes spoke so much emotion, and yet they were so deceptive at the same time. Just when she thought she was beginning to figure him out, he threw something out there to throw her off.

"I know," she smiled lightly, running her hand up and down his arm. She let her fingers trail up his shoulder and to his neck, the tips dancing gently on the skin just below his ear as she snaked her fingers into his tousled dark hair. Mary pulled his head closer to her and she pressed her lips against his cheek and kissed him before resting her forehead against his temple.

"Can we go back to bed?" he asked, almost in a whisper.

Mary nodded.