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A series about coming of age, and dealing with real-life issues…
Title: Positive…
Story Type: AU
Word Count: 2102
Warnings: Love, Understanding, Compassion…
Beta Queen:
[livejournal.com profile] bigj52

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, plot, etc. are property of their respective owners, including, but not limited to Russell T. Davies, Cowlip, and Showtime. The author of this story is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended…

Story Summary: Gus is devastated, feeling scared and alone…

Chapter Summary: Trying to make sense of the madness, and come to grips with reality.


Chapter Eleven

Just as I suspected, Lindsay totally freaked out when she found out about our harrowing experience the last night of our vacation.  She kept insisting she was right, and that it’s time I came home and started obeying and respecting her decisions. Mel isn’t happy about what we went through, but she understands and knows it wasn’t our fault. She’s trying to make my mom see reason, but Lindsay can be as stubborn as a mule when she puts her foot down.

Cole and I are planning to take the train to Philadelphia for Bobby’s funeral, but my dads insist on driving us. Lindsay can’t understand why we even want to go. She thinks it will just prolong us dwelling on what happened, and that we should just forget about it. She doesn’t understand how close we became in such a short time, and Sam really needs our support. Bobby gave his life that night to save Sam. After the first few blows he covered Sam’s body with his, trying to protect him from being seriously injured.

Justin says that when he was bashed, everyone just wanted to forget about it. But it was always there eating away at him and dad, and the more they ignored it, the more it weighed on them. It left them both with unresolved issues that have lasted for years. They’ve just recently started working through all the problems that manifested from their denial over the years. They believe that as painful as it is, that Cole and I need to work through it and let our anger and fears out, instead of holding it all inside.

It took two weeks for all the red tape to be cleared with the Mexican government for Bobby’s body to be released.  Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales are struggling to accept what’s happened. It’s hard enough to lose a son in the prime of his life, but to learn that he was also gay has been a huge shock. But they’re receiving advice and reassurance from their pastor, finally accepting the reality of the situation. Sam’s parents are also still in shock. Thankfully Sam only received a broken leg, a mild concussion and numerous bruises. He was in the hospital for a couple of days and then he returned to Pennsylvania.

Gus and Cole aren’t sure if their presence will be welcomed, but they decided they needed to attend Bobby’s funeral. Not only to show support for Sam and Bobby’s family, but for them to find closure. They’ve called Sam several times, but his mother always insists he needs his rest, and isn’t up for conversation. Of course she’s never told Sam they called.

The long drive to Philadelphia is quiet and somber, as Gus and Cole can’t help feeling guilty for what happened. Justin reassures them that even if they had tried to intervene it was probably unlikely that they could have helped, and they probably would have suffered injuries themselves. They left early on Friday afternoon, arriving five hours later. After checking into their hotel, Brian took everyone out to dinner. Afterwards the boys went swimming in the hotel pool, needing to relax and just not think about the upcoming funeral.

Late Saturday morning Brian and Justin dropped the boys off at the church. They offered to attend the funeral service with them, but Gus preferred him and Cole went on their own, saying that they’d call when they were ready to be picked up.

Brian drove to the downtown shopping district that catered to tourists, featuring small boutiques and art galleries. They played tourists, window shopping, and stopping to drink lattes as they strolled around the area. He knew Brian was getting antsy, so they had lunch and Justin sent him on his way to go shopping in the fashion district. Along the way Justin is surprised to find a huge artist’s supply store which carries everything he could possibly want. For the next hour he stocks up on brushes, paints and canvases. Then he cruises the art galleries, where he comes across a gallery featuring a photography exhibit from one of his classmates from PIFA. He was excited to see her collection, and was taken with one of her sunset photos.

He wished he had known about the show’s opening, because he would have loved to see her again after all these years. He walked through the gallery, impressed by the range of exhibits and artwork on display. He was stunned when he came upon one of his favorite paintings, hung right in front of a soft leather sofa.  So he took a seat and let himself get lost as he absorbed its beauty. He wasn’t sure how long he sat looking at it, becoming completely enthralled by its colors and textures.

Justin has been in the gallery for almost an hour and the salesgirls are bickering over who is going to go over and assist him. Or more appropriately ask him to leave, as he is dressed in faded jeans and an old David Bowie t-shirt. They’re convinced he’s only in the gallery to escape the summer’s heat and rest, assuming he’s a local street person. After all this is the city’s cultural center, and it’s unlikely that he’d be able to afford lunch from one of the street vendors, let alone purchase any artwork. Finally, the manager pushes the sale clerk over to inquire if Justin needs any help; i.e. escort him to the door.


Gus and Cole found a seat at the back of the crowded church, feeling slightly out of place, not knowing anyone and never having met Bobby’s parents. It’s hard to watching his large family mourning his loss, bringing them back to the horrible experience they endured. It’s a long Catholic service with lots of prayers and testimonials. Friends and family tell antidotes of Bobby’s life, about his love of life and his generous nature. It’s obvious that he is loved, and will be missed by everyone.

Afterwards there’s a burial in the cemetery next to the church, then a reception in the church’s parlor. Being in the back they were the first to exit the church. They’re standing near the steps, when they notice a large garden with benches and walkways on the side of the church. So Cole and Gus decide to walk through the gardens to lighten their somber mood. Sam’s surprised to see them as he calls out to them; he’s on crutches as he makes his way over to them. They sit together on one of the benches and console each other, catching up on everything that’s been happening.

Sam isn’t the least bit bitter or upset they hadn’t come to their rescue. He totally understands they needed to evade capture.  He’s so grateful to see them, because it’s been hard for his and Bobby’s families to come to grips with everything that’s happened. What he needs right now is to be able to talk through his emotions, especially with someone who truly understands what he’s going through. Surprisingly his and Bobby’s parents have been trying hard to be accepting and understanding, as they cope after finding out about their relationship.

During the reception, Sam introduces them to his and Bobby’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gonzales. They were welcoming, glad to have met them. Sam’s parents realize he needs their friendship to help him as he grieves. The boys make plans for Sam to take the train to Pittsburgh to visit before school starts in the fall. Spending time together will be helpful for them all to adjust and accept what’s happened.

Back at the gallery…

“Hello, I’m Heather. I was wondering if there is anything I can help you with?”

Justin’s still lost in his thoughts as he absorbs the painting in front of him…

“Sir, this gallery isn’t a place to loiter from the summer’s heat.”

“I’m sorry. What?”

“I asked if you needed any help, or if you planned on purchasing anything.”

Justin frowns, thinking she’s really rude. He’d throw a fit if he caught anyone in a gallery selling his paintings, being so discourteous to a customer.

“Yes, I was wondering if this painting is for sale, or if it’s simply on loan for the exhibit.”

“This is an original painting, and part of the Vanderbilt estate’s private collection.”

“So, it is for sale?”

“Excuse me. I’ll check and see.”

Walking away she rolls her eyes, wondering why she didn’t just tell him to leave. He couldn’t afford to buy a simple print let alone an actually painting, not to mention such an expensive work of art of this caliber. But she’ll have Doreen handle this, after all she is the gallery manager.

The gallery owner doesn’t usually stop by on the weekend, but he needs some paperwork from his office. He notices Justin sitting, looking at the Jackson Pollock painting, lost in his thoughts. He’s slightly starstruck as he approaches Justin, unable to believe his good fortune of finally meeting the reclusive and world-renowned artist in his art gallery, of all places.

“Mr. Taylor. It’s an honor to have you visit my gallery. I’m Andrew Dalton.”

Justin stands and shakes his hand. The girls are gawking, wondering who Justin is, and hoping they don’t lose their jobs for being impolite and bad mannered.

“I was just admiring the painting. Of course I’ve seen prints of it and studied Pollock in art school, but to see it in person is simply mesmerizing.”

“It is very impressive. My old college roommate is the estate’s accountant, and he made the arrangements for it to be exhibited here in my gallery. To be honest, I was shocked when I was offered the opportunity to display it, and then to learn that the estate was interested in selling it.”

A huge grin spreads across Justin’s face. “This would be the perfect tenth anniversary present for my husband. How soon can I have it delivered?”

“Well I was hoping to display it through the end of August, but if you need it delivered before then we can arrange it.”

“I need it by the second week of September, if that works for you.”

“That’s perfect. I’ll make all the arrangements.”

“Thank you. Oh, I’d also like to purchase the Lilith Goldman photograph, titled Sunset Bay.”

“Yes, she’s a very talented artist, and that was also one of my favorites of her photographs.”

“I wish I had known about the opening for her exhibit. I would have loved to see her again. We went to PIFA together years ago.”

“I’d be glad to contact her, and let her know you’d like to get in touch.”

“Thanks. I would love that. Here’s my accountant Ted Schmidt’s business card. He’ll make arrangements for a certified check to be delivered.”

“Perfect. Would you be interested in being added to our art show invitation list?”

“Yes. That sounds great. Ted will also give you my business contact information.”

Just then Justin’s phone rings, “Excuse me. I have I take this. It’s my son.”

Several minutes later Justin steps back to finish up his conversation.

“I’m so excited about finding the painting. I know my husband is going to be so surprised.”

“Mr. Taylor, I’m so glad to have met you.”

“Please call me Justin.”

“I hope this isn’t too forward, but I’d love to show some of your paintings.”

Justin grins. It still amazes him when people express interest in his artwork.

“Again, simply give Ted your contact information and he’ll have my agent contact you.”

Justin steps outside to wait for Brian to pick him up. He’s excited that for once he’ll be able to surprise Brian, instead of it always being the other way around. Yes, Brian may have been against celebrating birthday, holidays, and anniversaries. But he’s changed over the years and now he goes out of his way to outdo himself every year.

Driving back to pick up the boys he schools his enthusiasm, not wanting Brian to see his excitement. Knowing Gus and Cole are returning from a sober occasion, they’ve decided to go Hershey Park the next day before heading back to Pittsburgh. Gus wants to go, and even though Brian will deny it, he wants to go too. It’s one of those things he never got to do as a child. Going with Gus lets them experience it together and for him to let his guard down. Besides it will help lighten the seriousness of the weekend, allowing everyone to have fun at the amusement park, and let’s not forget the chocolate factory.



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