Summary: One Shot Companion to Losing and Finding. The Ducks come together to remember one of their own on the official day to do so.
Author's Note: Felt like this was something that fit with today. Hope everyone's having a good Memorial Day. Happy Summer!
Disclaimer: I own nothing
Memorial Day used to mean a big barbeque up in Minneapolis. It meant one of the many excuses the Ducks made to get together, laugh, over eat, drink until they were silly, and reminisce about being kids together. This year, Julie just wasn't in the mood. She stood in the hot sun in front of Dean's tomb stone. The words still hit her every time she was here.
Soldier Friend Beloved
Beloved. That was for her. She'd never been more grateful in her life than when she'd seen that the first time. After all, he hadn't been her husband. They were only engaged, so her status after his death had been fuzzy at best. His parents had already been there, she could tell, the red white and blue wreath of carnations called out his mother's name. Pride. That was the main emotion that the Portmans felt. They were so proud of him. As time passed she was proud of him too. It had taken a while for her to get there. She had to get past shock, anger and sadness before she could get to pride.
"Thought I'd find you here," She turned around and smiled. Fulton was standing there. "Went to your place and you weren't there, this was my next stop." He put his arms around her and kissed her. "How you doing?"
"OK," She whispered. "I didn't think you were coming down this weekend. What about the barbeque?"
"Well," He sighed, "I thought about it, and then,"
"We all kind of realized that there was somewhere else we should be," Charlie Conway appeared walking behind him. He was carrying a yellow rose. After him, the team all came, one after the other, laying the flowers down. They all stood in a line, Connie held Kayla on her hip.
"Yellow roses?" Julie looked at them.
"It means friendship," Averman choked out from behind her, she turned and smiled at him. "And it's a Duck color."
"It's perfect," She whispered, lightly wiping her eyes, "He'd love it." She stopped. "I'd invite you all to the house, but I really don't have anything to feed you, or,"
"Do you think we came empty handed?" Goldberg looked at her and laughed, "We just froze the barbeque meat." Julie looked at him and laughed. "As long as that's OK with you."
"He loved a good party," Fulton looked at her and laughed.
"He loved any party," She laughed, "And he'd kill me if I wasted one of the best barbeque days of the year crying over some guy."
The rest of the day was spent back at the house, where they proceeded to carry on in their traditional Memorial Day activities of eating, drinking and reminiscing. But the reminiscing was not random memories from their childhood this time.
"I'll never forget the first time we saw him," Luis laughed, "Ken and I had already met and were talking and he ran in and started talking about you actually Jules. He'd seen you changing. He was very exciting."
"I don't remember anything about it," Ken laughed, "Except being terrified of him." Every one smiled.
"Personally my most vivid memory is JV/Varsity showdown," Connie smiled, "Julie is that when you knew?"
"No, I thought he was being an asshole," She shook her head, "Which he was. Nice abs though."
"Remember that first night in Minneapolis?" Charlie laughed nudging Fulton. "God, you were brutal."
"I was jealous," Fulton winked at Julie. "After all he was always the stronger skater."
"Didn't have a shot like yours though," Guy pointed at him. Julie looked at them. Clearly they had all had this conversation before. "No one did."
"Excuse me?" Russ said offended.
"My apologies," Guy nodded.
"I'm just going to get these," Julie picked up a few plates and walked into the kitchen. She didn't want to ruin every one's good time with a crying jag. Fulton followed her in and put his arms around her waist, resting his chin on her shoulder. "Hey." She whispered.
"You're doing great, you know that?" He whispered. She smiled.
"Thanks for bringing them," She said, "Really. I needed this."
"Have I not proved that I'm an awesome boyfriend yet?" He joked. She laughed. "It's OK to miss him Julie, I don't mind."
"I just can't stop thinking about the last time I saw him," She sighed, "He was on leave, but only for a few days, so he just went to Europe, and I met up with him there. It was like completely perfect." She sighed, "And it was just gone."
"The last time I talked to him," Fulton laughed, "He told me to make sure that you under no circumstances were supposed to spend any more money on the wedding." She laughed.
"I think I miss his laugh the most," She said softly. He nodded. "I mean, I'm happy, about us, I just can't help,"
"Wishing he was here," He whispered, she nodded, "I know, Julie, I get it. I feel the same way, a lot of the time." She smiled, "Why do you think this is working?" He kissed her.
"You know," Charlie said, sitting outside, holding Kayla, "I never would have guessed that they'd end up together."
"I think it's romantic," Connie said, "I mean, the way they helped each other and everything. She's been so much better since."
"I just hope he doesn't put too much into it," He shook his head. "She's still really fragile."
"Uncle Charlie," Kayla yawned, "I'm sleepy."
"I've got her," Connie said taking her and then walking upstairs. She stopped at the picture in the hallway.
"Is Uncle Dean in heaven?" Kayla asked. Connie hugged her.
"Yes he is," She whispered and kept walking, she lay her down, and covered up.
"Do you think he misses Aunt Julie as much as she misses him?" Kayla asked. Connie smiled and touched her daughter's face.
"I think so," Connie nodded, "You know that that's what today's all about right? Remembering the people we miss who died in wars."
"Then why do we have barbeques?" Kayla asked. Connie laughed.
"I'm not sure," Connie said, "Sleep tight honey." She kissed her.
That night Fulton looked at Julie as she slept with her head on his shoulder. This would be all patriotic holidays now, he knew that.
"Hey," He gently shook her awake. "We should get to bed."
"Not tonight," She snuggled into him. "I'd feel too weird." He laughed.
"I just meant sleep," He kissed her. "What's on your mind Cat?"
"Are you going to move back down here?" She asked.
"If you want me to," He whispered and kissed her. She smiled.
"I want you to," She smiled.
"You should really go to bed," He whispered.
"Five more minutes," She said and fell asleep again. He smiled and held her close.
Hope you guys like it! Happy Memorial Day once again.