I brought Hannah with me to see Brian before we left to go home. Brian asked us to come there instead of him coming to my mom’s house. When we pulled up, Ted was standing outside and asked me to open the back of the car. I did, but was confused at why he putting suitcases in the car.
“Did you really think he was staying here if you and Hannah were leaving?” Ted asks me.
“I thought he was going to stay to handle things here first. I can’t believe he didn’t tell me.” I told him.
“Are you really upset that he’s coming with you?” Ted asks.
“I think I’m more surprised than upset.” I tell him, going up to see Brian.
“Dad, he’s coming with us.” Hannah tells me, excited.
“So I just heard from Ted.” I tell her, looking at Brian.
“Hannah, want to help me carry these bags down?” Ted asks as he comes back to get more.
“Brian, why didn’t you tell me you were coming?” I ask, after Hannah follows Ted.
“Justin, I can’t be apart from you again. If you go, I follow.” He tells me.
“What about Gus?” I ask him.
“It’s going to take time to get this to mediation, and then if that doesn’t work, court. Gus will be visiting us, Mel and I already agreed to that. I’ll have to come here to help get things set up, but until then I can be with you and Hannah.” He tells me.
“Have you asked my mom to help you find a place to set up shop?” I ask him.
“Your mother knows a place we can look at?” He asks.
“She’s a realtor, so I’m sure she can help.” I tell him.
“I'll get Ted and Cynthia to contact her, hopefully they can find something that I'll approve of, without me having to be here.” He tells me, grabbing his briefcase.
“You're really leaving with me?” I ask.
“I want to see the place you made a home for Hannah.” He tells me.
“It's the first place that was mine.” I tell him.
We were in the car, and all I could think about was the way Justin seemed to cherish that something belonged to him. It’s something he never had when we were together, some place he wasn’t dependent on someone else to be able to live.
“Why are you so quiet?” Justin asks.
“Thinking of the past, how none of us ever realized how hard it must have been for you, not having anything permanent to call home.” I tell him.
“It wasn’t horrible, but I hated always having to depend on people for everything. Even when Emmett and I moved to Georgia, he was the one paying for everything. I've tried to pay him back but Emmett won’t take it.” He tells me.
“Emmett’s always been that way. He'd give his last dollar to anyone, going without things. It's why we ate at the diner so much, I could pay for things and he just took it as normal.” I tell him.
“He wanted me concentrate on school and Hannah. I helped out when my scholarship came through but I'll never be able to pay him back for being there through everything.” He tells me.
“He told me how hard it was for you. I get the feeling he spared me from the worst.” I tell him.
“Brian, to me it all turned out the best it could, Hannah made it and is now a healthy child. If you want to know, then let me tell you the good things, because there is no reason to tell you things that didn’t matter, when she survived everything.” He tells me.
“I want to know it all, not just the happy parts.” I tell him.
“I couldn’t sleep. In my head she would stop trying if I closed my eyes. Everyday she passed a milestone was a day I could close my eyes for a second. Emmett tried, but she needed me to do what she couldn’t, so I used my fingers so she knew I was there, because I couldn’t hold her all the time. My mother showed up and promised me that she would watch Hannah while I slept, she stayed until we were out of the hospital. Is that what you need to hear from me? Because there were so many good days that the bad ones don’t mean as much. The day she didn’t have to have a breathing machine, and when they handed me a bottle to feed her for the first time. When she finally reached five pounds and the doctor smiled the first real smile, because he knew it was time for me to have my daughter go home. Instead of thinking about how bad it was, all I remember is walking out the door with a healthy baby.” He tells me.
“You never hated me because you did it alone?” I ask.
“Why are you asking all this, I thought we were letting go of the past?” He asks.
“I want to know everything about her, and you. We really haven’t talked about it.” I tell him.
“Hannah is like you in a lot of ways, she’s goes for what she wants and doesn’t let anything get in her way. She’s a neat freak like you, which is so much fun when I work. There isn’t a sport that doesn’t interest her. She takes the time to find out what she wants to know, not asking anything until she runs into a wall. Evolution has her stumped because she understands the theory, but not how the earth was here to begin with. She’s well above average in intelligence, but has never treated anyone differently if they have learning disabilities. She got your need to help people.” He tells me.
“Why Hannah Kinsey?” I ask.
“I’ve always like Hannah and Mel talked about it being the name she wanted to name a girl. The name means grace, and in a way it seem to fit Hannah. Kinsey was just a way to have your name in hers. I never really liked Brianna. I’ll admit I almost made it Kinney. It was petty but I remembered how much Mel gave you a hard time and thought since I took the name she talked about, why not pair it with yours, a little revenge for all the shit she put you through over Gus.” He tells me.
“Mel wanted her place in Gus’s life, I understand now how hard it was to love someone knowing that your place isn’t secure. If you wanted to, you could take Hannah and close me out of her life and I couldn’t fight you.” I tell him.
“I put your name on her birth certificate, so you are considered her parent.” He tells me.
“Unlike what I did with Gus, I didn’t do anything to help with Hannah’s upbringing.” I tell him.
“Money isn’t the answer to everything.” He tells me.
“It would have made it easier on you.” I tell him.
“Brian, we always had a roof and food. Hannah never went without the things that were important.” He tells me.
“I spent my childhood going without everything and I never want my children to feel that.” I tell him.
“There have to be limits. Hannah takes care of her things because she earns them. She will never be raised to think that she entitled to anything and losing the value for the things she gets.” He tells me.
“I made a lot of money Justin, and one day she’s going to inherit it.” I tell him.
“Which doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t work for what she wants.” He tells me.
“The way you had to.” I tell him.
“The way I wanted to. I never wanted someone to take care of me.” He tells me.
“No, that was one thing that made you different from the rest.” I tell him.
I locked up the loft and was headed out for the night. Lindsay was waiting outside when I came out. I walked past her, without saying anything. Lindsay and I were not friends and never had been.
“Are you now Brian’s caretaker?” She asks. “You know all that means is that Brian will call to get you to take his drunk ass home. How does it feel to be Michael’s replacement?” She asks, when I unlock my car door still not replying. “Where is he anyway?” She asks, when nothing seems to bother me.
I thought about it for a minute then decided it wouldn’t hurt to tell her. “He left. Only this time without a way for you or Michael to contact him.” I tell her, smiling as I get in the car and leave.
I walked into Babylon, since Ma was in one of her moods. I saw the guys with Brandon and went over to see if it was just that Ma was being so pushy that had them ignoring me.
“Hey Bran, sorry about Ma.” I tell him.
“It’s Brandon.” He tells me.
“I know, but you know when you’re friends, they call you nicknames. Brian used to call me Mikey all the time.” I tell him.
“Like the kid in the commercial?” Kevin snickers.
“Mikey likes it?” Jason yells out.
“It’s kind of a ridiculous name for an adult.” Brandon tells me, looking around.
“It was our thing. When Brian used it I knew it was his way of saying he cared. I made sure no one used it but him. You could if you want.” I tell him.
“Why would I bother?” He tells me, sounding like Brian.
“It’s what friends do.” I tell him.
“Well Michael, I see my night improving, so bye now.” Brandon tells me, taking a guy to the backroom.
“Brian used to do that all the time too. Guys were practically lined up to get a chance with him. I used to have to explain the rules to the guys who thought they would be the one Brian Kinney kept. Which never happened, he barely remembered their names. They couldn’t figure out that Brian wouldn’t settle down, so I made sure they understood the rules.” I tell Kevin and Jason.
“Then how did the twink steal the stud from your clutches?” Kevin asks.
“I would have to say it was the ass, man it really was something to see.” Jason tells Kevin.
“Brian just felt sorry for Justin. Nothing about Justin is worth the time.” I tell them.
“Could you imagine what they looked like dancing together, I bet it was hot as hell.” Kevin tells Jason.
“Brian was hot, not Justin.” I tell them.
“Don’t you mean you weren’t, because no one talks about you and Brian, but there’s a shit load on Justin and Brian all over Liberty Avenue.” Kevin sneered at me.
“Please, Justin was a footnote in my time with Brian.” I tell him.
“Isn’t it past your time Pop?” Jason asks me, walking off with Kevin.
“Ask anyone, Brian never did anything without me.” I yell.
“That’s because Brian couldn’t do anything without you pestering him to death.” A guy says behind me.
“Like you know anything.” I tell him, not bothering to turn around.
“I know that Brian and Justin were the main attraction and you were the one who lived in Brian’s shadow, never getting a life of your own. I guess you never changed.” He tells me.
“It’s none of your business.” I tell him turning around. “David, when did you get back?” I ask.
“I came back a few years ago. I just didn’t bother to contact you again.” He tells me.
“David, are you ready? The guys decided that reliving their youth wasn’t what they thought it would be.” A guy says as he kisses David.
“It’s like a rerun without end around here.” David tells him, looking at me.
“I told you this was a total waste of time. I can’t figure out why anyone would still frequent the place when they could father some of these kids.” He tells David.