Author's Note: This is for Katie, who came home from work the other day and said, "I have a Drake and Josh fic idea. You should do what happens when Drake's dad dies. It could be so angsty,"
and so I wrote it.
In my head, this is a companion to "Like Yellow Does on Blue" set a few years after that peice, but they both stand alone. I've made Megan four years younger than the boys here, since I'm pretty sure that's the age difference at the end of Season 4, but with D&J you can never really tell. Whatever. It's four years now.
Warnings: Swearing, because Drake is angry and lots of angst, and slash(obviously).
Disclaimer: Nope. Still not mine.
The chair was hard, uncomfortable and ugly, but Drake glanced at it longingly anyway. He would give anything to just be allowed to sit down for a minute, to just sit and close his eyes and block out this ugly room full of strangers. He'd give anything to stop having to give fakes smiles and accept fake sympathy. He wishes he could just stop allowing people to touch him and pull him into awkward hugs, and pat his head like he was a child. He's so tired of this day and this sham of a funeral but it won't end. There's a line of strangers and they all seem to want to talk to him.
"I'm so sorry for you loss," The strangers say. Which is such bullshit. His loss? His real loss was the day he was 9-years-old and he watched his father drive away and out of his life. That was when his fucking loss was, not last week when his father dropped dead of heart attack at 56, and not today.
"You look so much like him," other strangers say, touching his hair and it takes everything he has not to visibly wince. Drake can barely remember any of his father's features, all he can see when he thinks about it, is reddish hair and a smile that looks like lie. Drake doesn't want to be told he looks like a man that ran out them, a man that hasn't acknowledged a birthday or any other major life event in over a decade, an man who ran to Detroit, to marry a woman half his age, and to have a daughter, a half sister Drake hadn't even known existed until they got the phone call four days ago.
He steals a glance at the only sister he does know, Megan, and she gives a sad smile and shrug. She's holding up pretty well, but then she's always been the stronger of the two of them. Her smile to the strangers is stiff, and her posture is angry, but he's pretty sure his discomfort is even more obvious. He sighs and turns to face yet another stranger, this one claiming to be his father's best friend.
"My god, its amazing- you look so much like him," the stranger says, laying a hand on Drake's shoulder, "it's funny, I didn't even know Greg had a son," he muses.
"There's a shock." Drake mutters under his breath before he can stop himself.
"What was that?" The stranger asks, and for a second, Drake considers telling this man just what kind of guy his 'best friend' was, but then he feels a familiar hand on his shoulder, and a comforting presence behind him. He leans back against Josh's warm frame and blows out a breath,
"Just uh, that my dad's life in Detroit was pretty different than his life in San Diego," Drake says lamely, and the stranger nods and makes more awkward conversation, but Drake's stopped listening. He's just concentrating on the sound of Josh's breathing, slow and steady, calming. The stranger finally walks away, and Josh pulls on his arm,
"Let's get you out of here," he says, and Drake nods numbly.
"Thank you," he says softly, when the boys are outside, "fuck its cold," he adds under his breath, crossing his arms against the blast of cold Michigan air.
"How you holding up?" Josh asks, come to a stand still in the funeral home's parking lot.
"I hate this," Drake admits.
"I know." Josh says, and God, Drake is so glad he's there. Josh had been in the middle of final's week, but when Drake had called him, he'd insisted on coming up to Detroit with him and Megan.
"I don't know why I have to be here- it's all such crap" Drake says, running a frustrated hand through his hair.
"He was your father dude, you had to come," Josh says softly.
"Why? So I can listen to strangers talk about how great he was? I haven't, hadn't seen that man in like ten years, and now I'm supposed to pretend I care that he's dead?" Drake says, pulling away from Josh and beginning to pace in small angry circles.
"You do care," Josh says.
"Do you know some asshole actually asked me if I was going to be speaking at the funeral?" Drake asks, ignoring Josh's statement, "Yeah, like what would I say? 'gee my dad was so great. I'll really miss him. I'll really miss never knowing where he was or what he was doing, I'll miss waiting, stupidly every birthday for him to call like maybe this year would be different. I'll really miss the way no matter what I did or accomplished I was never important enough for a single fucking minute of his time-" Drake breaks off and takes a long shuddering breath. He doesn't want to cry, not even in front of Josh, because his father just isn't worth it.
"It's ok to cry you know," Josh says, smiling sadly at him.
"He's not worth it," Drake insists.
"He was your father," Josh repeats, "Nothing he did or didn't do changes that."
"Yeah but it should. This shouldn't be important. I can't let this be important," Drake says and Josh shakes his head.
"You don't get to pick that Drake, life kinda decided this one for you and it is important. It just is." Josh says, reaching out an arm to grab Drake.
"Well that's crap." Drake says, but he lets himself be pulled into Josh's embrace anyway. "Want to hear something stupid?" Drake asks after a few minutes of silence.
"I'm listening," Josh says, running his hands up and down and in circles on Drake back, and for a second Drake wonders how he ever handled anything before he had Josh in his life.
"I just- I was kind of thinking that maybe coming out here would prove me wrong. Like maybe someone could up to me and be like, 'Drake! your dad talked about you all the time, look at this album where he saved all your school pictures, see it's your graduation announcement, and a blurb in the newspaper about you playing on TRL, and another about your record deal. He kept up with it all,' you know, some Hallmark movie of the week bullshit like that, but he didn't. He just didn't care." Drake says, and as much as he hates it, a few years slip down his cheeks.
"You don't know that for sure." Josh says.
"Yeah. I do. You heard that guy man, he never even knew my dad had a son. He never talked about me, or Megan, never cared." Drake says, resting his head on Josh's chest.
"Yeah but-" Josh starts then stops and Drake can feel him sigh, "It's not stupid." he says after a minute.
"What?" Drake asks.
"Wanting him to have cared, wanting to know he still thought about you, it's not stupid." Josh says.
"Yeah it is, I should have known better." Drake says, "I mean this is the guy who left my mom a wreck for over a year, this is the guy who, when Megan was six and in the hospital for two weeks with terrible pneumonia, didn't even call or send a card, even though my mom told him." Drake finishes, wincing at the memory. Megan had been so sick and so scared, and she kept calling out for her daddy to come read her a story, like he used to. He's pretty sure those two weeks were even harder on his mom than the weeks right after his dad left.
"That makes him an asshole, it doesn't make you stupid for wanting him to be different." Josh says.
"How do you do that?" Drake asks, smiling a little, though there are still a few tears snaking their way down his face.
"Do what?" Josh asks, and Drake pulls back a little to look at him.
"Always know something smart to say about everything." Drake says, and Josh grins that lopsided sheepish grin of his and says,
"Oprah?" and Drake laughs, actually laughs for the first time in a week.
"Thank you." Drake says.
"She does give great advice," Josh says, and Drake's not sure wether he is being serious or not, but it doesn't really matter, he leans up and kisses Josh softly.
"He never even met you. How weird is that?" Drake asks, because really of all the things his father doesn't know about his life and the way its changed in the past ten years, Josh is probably the biggest. Bigger than his record deal or this whole almost-adult thing he has going on, because none of that means anything without Josh. He doesn't know how his father would have felt about it, if he would have approved, on any level, of their relationship, because that's not the sort of thing Drake ever knew about his father. He doesn't really care.
"Very weird," Josh agrees, kissing Drake's forehead affectionately.
"God, I'm so glad you're here." Drake says, and Josh grins again.
"Where else would I be?" He asks.
"Living your life?" Drake suggests.
"You are my life," Josh says simply, and for about the millionth time that year, that month, that week, that day, it occurs to Drake that he doesn't deserve Josh at all. He never has, but Josh doesn't seem to mind. Josh is just always there, always fixing his problems and grinning those grins of his and making Drake feel like everything will be ok in the end. Drake is more grateful then he knows how to express, so he just says,
"I love you." and kisses Josh again.
"Love you too," Josh murmurs, kissing him back. There is a long, delicious minute then, when Drake is able to totally forget why he is standing in a freezing cold parking lot, to forget why his chest feels so heavy and why his head hurts so much, to forget everything except Josh and the feel of his mouth and his hands. Drake keeps his eyes closed after they break apart, wanting to savor the moment and the warmth and the forgetting, then he opens his eyes and sighs.
"We should go back. They'll think you kidnapped me." Drake says.
"I did consider that." Josh says, "But then I figured that would make me an enabler."
"A what?" Drake asks.
"An enabler, letting you run away from this would make me an enabler." Josh says, and Drake isn't really sure that explanation makes any sense, but he smiles anyway.
"Let's just get back in there." He says.
"We did abandon Megan." Josh says, "And she will kill us if we leave her alone for too long,"
"Exactly," Drake says, kissing Josh again, then tugging on his hand and leading him back into the ugly room filled with ugly chairs and strangers.