CHAPTER TITLE: Glad We’re All Here _Thirty-Two_of One Hundred
RATING: this chapter: PG
WORD COUNT: this chapter: 790
WARNINGS: this chapter: none, Jennifer POV
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: ‘I was, at last, ready so we went inside and I saw him almost immediately, standing in front of the covered paintings with the other two artists.‘
Jennifer thinks about Justin, Brian and momentous moments
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
A Time From Now
Glad We’re All Here
Later that Night - Pittsburgh
The cab dropped the three of us off near the center where a crowd was already gathered out front. I’d wanted to pick him up at the airport, but he’d said that he’d already made arrangements with Brian, so he would meet us here. Probably was for the best, he certainly didn’t need his mother acting silly around him especially in public, but I just couldn’t help it, I was just so very proud…maybe more like in awe of him. My son, a part of something so important, his very first commission and it mattered, had meaning. Certainly not art just for art’s sake. This…this mattered.
“Jennifer, are you cold?” Tucker asked, pulling me even closer to him. “You’re trembling; maybe we’d better go inside.”
“Actually no, I’m not cold,” and glancing around for Molly, realizing he was already holding her hand, I relaxed. “I don’t want to go in just yet, if you don’t mind, I want to take this all in, it’s just so…so --”
“Overwhelming?” he asked
That was it; the whole experience was definitely overwhelming. I was overwhelmed, so many people, many more than expected I should imagine and obviously not only from Liberty Avenue. Even a number of city officials were in attendance because not just this neighborhood had been wounded by the ugliness of what happened here, this whole city had been, but with this memorial perhaps some healing could begin. I just wished they’d made more headway on solving this crime, I knew Carl was doing everything he could, but things like this take time. They will eventually catch the murderers, the hateful people who’d done this, I had to believe.
“C’mon, let’s go in, I know Justin must be anxiously awaiting you,” Tucker said, grandly.
“And me,” Molly added.
“And you,” he said
She giggled. I think she might have just a little crush on him and who could blame her. I couldn’t believe how fortunate I was to have found this man; he was so good for both of us. I hadn’t been sure if I should bring her with us, but he’d convinced me that it was the right thing to do. After all, she was thirteen now, she had a right to take part in this commemoration, to understand what happened here and to share in this. Tucker was right; she should be here with us.
When I was finally ready, we went inside and I saw him almost immediately, standing on a makeshift stage in front of the covered paintings with the other two artists. All three were from this community, two men, one woman, one older and two younger, all at different stages of their careers. I’d asked Brian if he’d had anything to do with Justin being selected, he assured me he hadn‘t. Justin had been chosen for who he was and for what he’d been through. He was one of the two who had actually been at Babylon that night. He’d been chosen on his merit and on his experience. I also saw others standing with them, parents with children and I suddenly realized that they were the families…the parents, brothers and sisters of those who died and they were all looking around almost shyly. I hurt for them.
Justin looked so handsome, so much more grown-up, older and it had only been four months since he’d left. And maybe not older exactly, maybe more mature. I watched them for a minute, Justin with Brian, and I could see, even from across the room, the love between them, both so easy and natural with each other, so alone with each other even in a crowded room. There had been a time when I could not have imagined thinking this, but now I meant it. I was glad for Brian. They certainly weren’t easy on each other, but they helped one another become more than they could have been otherwise.
“C’mon, Jen,” Tucker said, tugging on my arm and I went with him to Justin. He saw me…saw us and his face lit up. God that incredible smile.
“Okay?” Molly asked. I nodded and she broke free of Tucker and bolted across the room, Brian barely had time to grab his champagne from him before she threw herself into her brother’s arms and they all laughed. Alright, Justin and Molly laughed, Brian grinned. “I’m glad you’re here, brat,” he told her and I realized so was I. I truly was glad that we were all here. The unveiling would take place in an hour, we had time.
Next Chapter: Justin spends some quality time at the studio
for original post & additional chapters, please see here