Thanks: Thanks to Sage for middle-of-the-night beta
Notes: For the O.C. challenge on ds_flashfiction
Tony DiNario did not have an easy life. For a start, his wife was always ragging on him to clean up his act. Now, Tony was an easy-going guy, but there was only so much ragging a guy could take from his wife before he had to dig in his heels and show her who was the man. In Tony's case, digging his heels in meant keeping his business to himself. What Maria didn't know wouldn't hurt her, and if she objected to anniversary presents off of the back of a truck, well, what did she expect? Diamond earrings?
On top of his wife, Tony had to deal with his in-laws, since they lived with them, and Tony's in-laws were some prize fruitloops, if you asked Tony's mother, which Tony had but only once. There was Frannie, who had actually lied to a guy to get him to marry her. When the guy found out that, no, he wasn't her first and only, he skipped town leaving Frannie crying over her wedding ring, but jeez, she had had it coming. And so was it Tony's fault if he'd been the one to spill the beans (in the men's room at the wedding reception)? He was no good at deception. He was a straight-shooting, plain-talking guy, just like his old man.
Then there was Ma Vecchio, who was the most amazing cook Tony had ever met (and okay, maybe this was the real reason he'd agreed to move in with Maria when she suggested it, not to mention the financial aspect because Tony didn't like to sully himself with finances). It was true she was a little over-bearing sometimes, and sometimes Tony lay in bed at night and thought how Maria was growing up to be just like her momma, and Christ if that didn't give him waking nightmares that could last a week. But she was all right, deep down, once you got past her habit of asking embarrassing questions in company.
And lastly, there was Raimundo, Tony's brother-in-law. Tony hadn't known what to make of Ray to start off with. He was a cop, and Tony had never had much truck with cops before he met the Vecchios. They made him nervous. For the first couple of months in the house, Tony had slept badly, and when he did manage to get some shut-eye, he woke up with an aching jaw, a fact that'd made his dentist point out that you only got one lot of enamel in a lifetime, and if you didn't take care of it, you'd end up like the old guys down at the Seniors' Center, smacking their dentures. Tony's dentist looked like that guy off E.R., that Clooney guy, and when he smiled, his teeth gleamed. Tony's dentist had made an impression.
But yeah, Ray. Ray was a queer kind of guy. He was all big talk and fancy clothes, but he never seemed to have any girls over. He was a cop, but for the longest time he never seemed to solve any crimes. Tony would've called him a loser, except for how it was Ray who put the bacon on the breakfast table, and Tony figured you didn't knock down the guy who put food in your mouth. His old man had taught him that. So Tony couldn't figure Ray... until one night when Tony was brushing his teeth after his late-night cup of hot chocolate and he happened to look out the bathroom window and saw his very own brother-in-law hitting second base with that Mountie he'd been palling around with. In the driveway. The Mountie was leaning back against the side of Ray's car and Ray was leaning against the Mountie, and it weren't first aid they were doing down there. The Mountie had his hands on Ray's shoulders, and they were getting into some serious macking.
Tony choked on his toothpaste, coughing so hard his eyes watered. Maria came in to see what the fuss was about, but when Tony (still hacking like his old man before he ended up in the hospital with emphysema) pointed out the window, she peered out and then looked at him wide-eyed. "What?" she asked, flinging her hands in the air so that her leopard-print housecoat fell open and he could see her tits. "What, you saw Annie LaRusso in her underwear again? Jeez, you guys! Get over it. These are women's bodies! We all got one. Why do you gotta get all excited about the ones you can't have, huh? Answer me that."
Tony figured it wasn't worth the trouble of telling her what he'd really seen. It'd only lead to yelling and crying, and probably Ma Vecchio wouldn't cook for a month she'd be so upset, and then Tony would have to eat Maria's cooking. He shuddered, and put his hands on Maria's shoulders to distract her. "Okay, sugar," he said. "Come on." And he took her to bed.