CHAPTER TITLE: Part One: Meant to Be
Part Two: Our Futures Come Together _Fifty-Two of One Hundred
RATING: both chapters: PG
WORD COUNT: both chapters: 1,230
WARNINGS: both chapters: none
Part One_Lindsay POV & Part Two_Brian 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: ‘Soon enough they’d be in Pittsburgh and soon enough they’d have Brian’s answer and they would just have to take it from there.’
Lindsay & Melanie realize that some opportunities are even worth facing Brian
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
Meant to Be
Three Weeks Later - An early morning flight between Toronto & Pittsburgh
Lindsay used the hour and a half flight to fine tune her Brian-speech, imagining any and all objections, many of her own making, all reflecting her own fears, that he might have such as –this is a really big step…partnerships are always complicated…this is a major investment…the responsibility of owning, not just working, in a gallery. And on and on. She was sure, so sure, felt the destiny of it deep inside herself, but still she was concerned. Concerned? She was scared shitless. Was she ready, really ready to do this? Time would tell because the one thing she did know was that she was going to make this work, even without Brian’s help, she knew she’d find a way.
Across the aisle from her, Gus sat next to Melanie reading his book with her assistance, leaving Lindsay free to concentrate. She’d glance at Melanie every once in awhile and especially when Gus was able to sound out a particularly difficult word. JR was asleep in her baby-seat by the window. They were so fortunate, two such beautiful children, a lovely home in a thriving city and now with this amazing opportunity, they would be set, yet she was scared. So, she confirmed for the hundredth time, “We’re doing the right thing, aren’t we? We are…right? This just feels so…so…meant-to-be.”
“Yeah, Linds,” Melanie said. “We are doing the right thing. This chance is practically being handed to us, we’d be foolish not to take advantage of it and it’s a win-win situation…we win…Preston and Andrew win…everyone wins. So, yeah…this is absolutely the right thing to do.”
Lindsay relaxed. Soon enough they’d be in Pittsburgh and soon enough they’d have Brian’s answer and then, they’d just have to take it from there.
Our Futures Come Together
Later That Day - Pittsburgh
I didn’t have any questions, but since she’d worked so hard on it, I let Lindsay deliver her little speech. What I did have was a change, could be major, could be minor…just depended. “No, not a loan.” My change.
“What?” Lindsay said.
She looked somewhat wounded and Melanie looked smug. I’d wanted to see how she’d read me and she’d obviously read me as an asshole, a rejecter of dreams, a big bad man. I clarified, “Just not a loan, Mel.” Old habits die hard. I’d wanted to fuck with her some, but not at Lindsay‘s expense.
“Then what?” Melanie said, shooting her smug little daggers my way.
I waited with Gus dozing; curled next to me on the sofa. Planes always made him a little fuzzy around the edges; he was like his Daddy Justin that way. Still, I didn’t wait too long. Lindsay was too invested in this, so I explained, “I want in as an investor, as partner in the partnership. I’ve always dreamed of being an entrepreneur…always.”
I could practically see the wheels spinning in Melanie’s brain. I knew she’d been handling certain financial aspects of the Preston’s gallery and, if this worked, I would become part of her domain, so the wheels spun and, as usual, she was straight forward. She asked, “A percentage?”
“I’d need to research it, but something in that vein, something equitable, Melanie, to us all. You look relieved, Lindsay, did you doubt me?”
Leaning into me, stroking Gus’ hair, she said, “I know you have certain goals you’re working towards that require pretty large sums of money to achieve. I don’t want anything to get in the way of that. As far as we’re concerned, the sooner you’re in New York the better. Maybe we’ll even be able to see you more often with Justin’s input. Gus misses you Brian, he really does…we miss you.”
“Well, I wouldn’t go that far,” Melanie said, laughing. She so missed me.
“Lindsay, when it’s time, alright? And not for another couple of years mini--”
“At least, Linds. Probably longer. Boston first, the preliminary paperwork is already in the works there and then New York, a year or two later at least. Kinnetik is doing well; we’re landing more and more clients from out of state and yes, even from New York. It’s just a matter of time. A national agency’s even shown some interest so…who knows?”
“You wouldn’t sell? “Lindsay asked.
“Not a sale, Linds, an acquisition, a different ballgame entirely. So, as I see it, everything will come together when it does. I told Justin once that it’s just time. It ebbs and flows, it does what it does and we‘ll meet somewhere along the way.”
“Almost philosophical, Brian,” Melanie said.
“You sound surprised, I do have a Masters. Why do you always want to sell me short, Mel?”
“Seems to me you’re the one always wanting to sell yourself short, Brian.”
And she was probably right. Sometimes it was just easier to keep expectations low so no one expected too much, free to live as I pleased. “Guess we all have to grow up sometime. Speaking of which, you haven’t said much about my new place. I didn’t expect any ooohs or ahhhs, but at least you, my small man, now have your very own bed--”
“Where?” the small man yelped, all fuzziness suddenly gone.
He was less than impressed with his new digs because the room was still empty. “We should probably get you some furnitu--”
“Soon, very soon, but now my question would be, where are you ladies taking us guys for dinner?” Their glance said it all. “Not the diner?” And I may have actually whined…a little. But of course, that was where we ended up because I couldn’t say ‘no’ to a squealing Gus any more than I could say ‘no’ to his moms about moving away or about their buying galleries in foreign countries or anything honestly. I really was such an easygoing guy. Why people couldn’t understand that fundamental truth about me was frustrating. Maybe I should just change my name to Brian Pushover Kinney and be done with it. But it was all good and soon I’d be able to add art gallery, along with ad agency and dance club, to my growing list of business investments. One day, the title under my name would read Entrepreneur and that would be…very nice.
So with only a minimal amount of bickering between Brian and Melanie and only because of invaluable advice from Preston, within a month the partnership was a done deal. Brian agreed to silent-partner status, since Lindsay was finally in her element and needs no substantial advice from him.
Shortly thereafter, free of their most pressing obligations, Preston and Andrew embarked on the around-the-world cruise of their dreams, sending the kids, via Lindsay and Melanie, postcards from every port-of-call along the way. The moms used the postcards to track their voyage for Gus using a big laminated world map nailed to the kitchen wall, pushpins and string. First he would fine the city where the granddads were, then he would tack the postcard somewhere nearby, usually in the ocean or on one of the Arctics, just depending, and then he would connect the two using the string and the pushpins. He took the map to his second grade class for Show & Tell, amazing Mrs. Boyum, his 2nd grade teacher, and his classmates with his new found knowledge about geography which means where things are in the world.
No one could know it then, but Gus’ lifelong obsession with world exploration was set into motion by Preston and Andrew‘s postcards. Eventually, he would travel most of the globe using both the visuals of photography and the literary prose of the travel essay as ways to capture and share his passion. And while eventually the map, its string and pushpins would be discarded, Gus would keep the postcards always in a box he made during the summer between second and third grades. Long after both Preston and Andrew had died, Gus kept the postcards they’d sent to him during their most wonderful around-the-world cruise, along with several hundred more he’d managed to collect, both from others and on his own, along the way.
Next Chapter: Brian experiences the age-old adage that shocks-to-the-system can work both ways
for original post & additional chapters, please see here