It concerns me starting this with Lindsay, but she & Melanie were the first to leave
and for me, that's when the next part of the story begin
STORY TITLE: A Time From Now
CHAPTER TITLE: The First Four Drive Away_One of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 1,210
WARNINGS: this chapter: none_Lindsay POV
NON-CANON: Britin is in the countryside outside of Pittsburgh, not in West Virginia
DISCLAIMER: Nothing I can say that hasn’t been said already. Not mine
Originally Beta'ed by herefordroad,all subsequent mistakes are mine
Story throughout contains excerpts from The Brian Kinney Operating Manual including commentary from the Editors
SUMMARY FROM THE EDITORS: ‘But finding freedom had its costs and for her the biggest price she had to pay was leaving Brian...’
Lindsay muses on whatthehell? while Melanie drives her and the kids to their new life in Toronto.
AUTHOR‘S NOTES: This story projects 59 years into the future and reflects all that that entails, many of the loose ends are tied-up. I dance with POV, I dance with time, in essence, I just dance to the song Brian & Justin sang to me.
Contains: Brian_others, Justin_others. They grow old, they are always together for just as long as time allows but, ultimately, they will die.
As someone wise once said, ‘In the end, it’s all about Brian and Justin’ and I can only agree
The First Four Drive Away
Late Summer 2005 - On the highway between Pittsburgh & Toronto
Time flowed, barely noticed and then only because of the subtly shifting sunlight filtered through the car’s windows and because of the also subtly shifting countryside without, while within they were surrounded by silence as Melanie drove them to Toronto. Slouching into the sun-warmed passenger door, cocooned in monotony, Lindsay’s aching eyes were fixed on, without really seeing, the beauty beyond, without really even being aware of anything other than the reality of their leaving. The thrilling yet sobering reality that they’d left behind everything they had ever known, that each passing mile took them further from home, that each passing hour took them further from family and friends. The change had come fast…too fast, everything…their whole world changing too fast to consider the consequences, to really understand the whys. Yet it was done.
Why had they acted so quickly? Because maybe if they hadn‘t, they never would have, because maybe, otherwise, they never could have left behind the thousand little things that had made their ten-year life together in Pittsburgh theirs? How many times had she gone over this? How many times had she questioned if they were doing the right thing? Melanie’s arguments then making much more sense than now, then as theory, now as reality and her determination was dissolving as ‘it will be fine, it will be fine’ became her only mantra because it had to be.
Under other circumstances she would find inspiration in the countryside beyond, at any another time she would be painting its endless and subtle changes in her mind, but not now. There will be other trips between Canada and America, other times over the years where, in its familiarity and serenity, she would find that inspiration, but not now. All she knew now was that they were driving on an unfamiliar highway through an unfamiliar landscape, moving further away from Pittsburgh toward Toronto and toward a life completely undiscovered. Trembling, mostly with expectancy, but also with fear, Lindsay sighed.
In over an hour; they hadn’t spoken, there hadn’t been any need to, so with the kids finally settled-down, asleep in the back and, having no tangible distractions to concern her, she instead found her way back to the intangible, back once again to her questions of why and her reasons for guilt as tears threatened, as that tightness forming again…yet again…right at the back of her throat, as she remembered, as she fought remembering, the most terrifying why of all, the most horrible guilt of all…the reality of Dusty and that she would never see her again. Why was such shit allowed to happen, why Dusty and not her? Why? The service, the burial, she flash-relived the whole mind-numbing ritual, like a bad dream. And so her mind, slowly awakening from its healing numbness, fought for denial except she had been there, she had seen and finally she had to accept that Dusty was really dead. Killed by madmen who, unknowingly, were compelling them to leave their country for one they believed safer for them and their children. But now they wouldn’t be there with Marie as she struggled every minute of every hour of each day with that reality…with that forever. They wouldn’t be there to help her learn how to live her life without Dusty because they were fleeing. And with history repeating itself, a legacy handed-down. Melanie’s grandparents fled one life to find their freedom in a new country and now they were doing the same. That was the truth of it; they were in search of a new life. Nothing more.
But finding freedom had its costs and for her the biggest price she’d had to pay was leaving Brian. Not only the loss of him, her oldest friend, but even more the guilt of taking his son away, of taking Gus from his father. Brian had always believed that there would be an endless amount of time, what he hadn’t done yet; he would have time to do later. He’d always have time later to be a good father for Gus, but time wasn’t endless and later would now be in another country. She shifted, suddenly uncomfortable, difficult emotions creating a kind of restlessness as she remembered the fear in his voice that last time at the park. Afraid, he had been genuinely afraid his son would forget him. She knew then, saw it in his eyes, heard it in his voice. ‘Don’t let him forget me, Lindsay, don’t let him forget me‘. He’d asked and she’d promised. Gus would know his daddy, would love him as she always had. She sighed, remembering, brushing away her few remaining tears, she whispered to him, her love carried on the subtly shifting light of a shared sun. Cherished and forever.
From Brian to Justin, think of one, think of the other, even, or maybe especially, because now they were apart and in him finding another source of many of her whys and guilts. Her deepest sense of guilt, acknowledged, understood was the part she had played in Brian and Justin’s destiny, but she knew Brian wouldn’t have wanted to stand in his way. She also knew Justin needed to be where he had a better opportunity for success, a major city, and New York fit the bill. No longer in Brian’s shadow, he needed, for a while anyway, to be on his own. Her whys.
Her guilt? That maybe she was living vicariously through him. Because there were regrets, there always would be, that she hadn’t had the guts to make the move when the time had been right. She remembered telling Justin she hadn’t gone to New York because she hadn‘t had the talent, but that was a lie. She just hadn‘t had the will, the determination, the guts to find out. How wrong it would be if her scenario played out in the same way for him. She made a vow to find ways of supporting him on his journey. Contacting Simon, taking even further advantage of their long-time friendship, would be one way and contacting Sam; if possible, would be another, their combined savvy and influence could only be a positive…
And so time flowed, barely noticed until, at Melanie’s gentle nudging, she was brought back from her future dreams of gala Manhattan gallery openings to her current reality of the seemingly endless highway before them. “You still with me?”
“Yeah, I am,” and stretching, turning to her, Lindsay said, “Getting tired? Want me to drive for a while?”
“No, I’m good actually, keeps my mind occupied.” And Lindsay let it go because she knew that like her, Melanie really didn’t want to think too much, both of them just wanted to do. Drive to Canada…settle into their new house…figure out all the legal considerations of moving to a new country…get Gus into a decent school…next step…next step…each next step. Just focus on each next step so that all the unknowns would eventually become known. What else was there to do? Smiling, Lindsay gratefully went back to her Justin-inspired Manhattan day-dreaming and to a future of shared, even if as yet unimagined, possibility.
Next Chapter: Justin muses on whatthefuck? while in the air between Pittsburgh and his new life in New York
for original post & additional chapters, please see here