AN: This is short. All the new parts didn't want to work for me, so Brenda and Jason are going to bed and hopefully tomorrow the characters will all be willing to socialize with each other.
"We're going to be okay," she said once the lights were out and they were once more separated by her giant pillow.
"We are," he confirmed. They had to be. He was pretty sure he couldn't survive losing this. He was silent for a moment. "We have to be," Jason added realizing that she needed to know how much this meant to him.
Her hand found his, even past that giant pillow.
"I don't understand any of this," he found himself explaining.
"I know. I'm sorry."
"I'm trying," Jason wanted more than anything to have this figured out, to be that guy in the videos for more than just his family's sake, but his own.
"I can't catch up on everything that's happened if I can't understand it."
"I love you, not Jax or Sonny."
"And I still have a decade of memories that tell me differently." That was the simple and basic fact he was left dealing with.
"Remember how I told you it was weird," her voice lightened.
In the hospital that first day. "Yea."
"When we woke up in that motel the morning after, we blamed the shots and said we'd never do it again. That morning I knew I'd screwed up more than I ever had before because you were finally my friend again. You were finally really my friend and I wanted to be able to go back to that because that was all I wanted Jason, I tried so hard to go back to that Jason. What was suddenly between us shouldn't have been possible."
"How'd we go from never doing it again to-"
"Doing it all the time?"
Funny, in bed with her, her fingers over his hand, he didn't even have the desire to flinch from that statement.
"I dared you to kiss me."
"You dared me to kiss you?"
"Prove that it was a fluke."
"Did you believe that?"
"I wanted to."
"So what happened then," his lips twitched up in a smile. He liked the thought of Brenda overwhelmed by a relationship, surprised by it instead of chasing it.
"It was even better sober."
"So we figured we'd just keep doing it until it left."
"But it didn't?"
Her head shook against her pillow. "Jax was already separated Jason. It was supposed to be me and Jax. I was okay with that, but then there was you and-" Brenda shrugged her shoulders.
In the darkened room he stared at her, his wife. He had known her for years, but it had also taken him years to realize she wasn't who he thought she was and she had proved that these past few days. Suddenly her naivety and relentless devotion to love wasn't such a bad thing.
"Half of my life Jason, I'd known you for half of my life and one day everything just changed."
'Things happen in relationships, things that change them even though you don't want them to. Some things are only right in a certain place and time. We weren't right for 16 years, then one day I couldn't understand how I made it without you.' Jason recalled Brenda's words to him in the hospital. "So suddenly we were just right." From what he had heard from Emily and Carly, there had been no grand gestures, there had simply been them.
"Like you wouldn't believe."
A thought started to occur to him, but he pushed it away. "You were happy when I got my memory back."
"Yes," she only hesitated for a second as she answered. "It was harder, but-"
"He was your friend."
"You never deserved to have that time stolen from you."
"Even though I apparently can't handle emotions?"
She chuckled slightly. "You handle everything Jason. You always have. You're doing it right now."
"Didn't you just accuse me of trying to leave?"
"I'm hormonal, don't start with me."
He laughed. "Did you try to go back to Jax?" Jason snuck in the question.
"Jason!" Brenda scolded.
"I'm trying to understand."
"One dinner," she admitted.
"After we were together?"
"Technically we weren't together."
"Just sleeping together."
"One dinner," she repeated.
"That was it?"
"It wasn't right," she explained yet again.
"I was in love with my best friend Jason," she cut him off; then flinched.
"So you loved me first?" He couldn't help but smirk.
"I'm just trying to get the story straight, you had said-"
"I couldn't kiss him anymore Jason," she said in resignation, "it just wasn't the same. He wasn't you."
"And that was it?" Jason wondered, still amazed by that, amazed by the 180 his life had done.
"That was it," she confirmed.
"We kissed and-"
"It wasn't a fluke," her voice once more got wistful.
With Brenda distracted by their past memories, he moved in closer, kissing her as he hadn't yesterday, not stopping at chaste. Allowing himself to taste her, she didn't fight him, but joined in quickly. Eager to be close to her husband.
She was right that had never been there before or maybe it had been hidden by the anger and disgust he normally associated with their kisses. That had long since been erased, the person with him now was more than just his friend, but his wife, the mother of his children; she had given him the life he had longed for.
He had just rolled her onto her back when he started to laugh.
"Really Jason," she asked in annoyance.
"That's pretty-" he glanced down at her stomach.
"Humanly impossible to maneuver around? Trust me I'm aware," she rolled her eyes.
He gave it another look.
She laughed and shoved at his shoulder, "Go back to your side."
He chuckled to himself and did as she said.
He awoke with the dread of parents knowing they had overslept. He could hear the boys playing loudly as he saw his alarm clock an hour later than Garrett's normal wakeup. Brenda was asleep with her head titled at an awkward angle, mouth slightly open…He knew he'd heard her snoring during the night.
He let out a sigh of relief as he heard Missy's voice as he walked towards the playroom. Then he was suddenly confronted with the horror of the day, today was Elizabeth's memorial service. The event Jake was refusing to discuss. He had refused to pick out pictures of he and his mother with Jason and Brenda. He had no interest in seeing Cameron, so he definitely didn't want to do it with him and Lori. Sara had offered to come by, by Jake had informed them all he would rather play, so she had stayed home, saying they shouldn't force it. They could avoid picking out pictures, but they couldn't avoid her memorial, they couldn't avoid her death.
Jason needed Brenda awake.
For this moment though, he smiled seeing the two brothers. The sandy blonde and light brown heads inches away from butting heads as they were leaning over a carefully organized mess of cars.
"Morning Jason," Missy smiled as she sat at the arts and crafts table with her school books open.
"Morning," he nodded.
"Morning," the boys called out in unison, but barely glanced up at him.
"I made pancakes, the batter is in the fridge and I put away the groceries."
"You went shopping?"
Her eyes briefly widened.
"Dad it's Saturday," Jake quickly turned.
Missy quickly added, "Yea groceries were delivered this morning like always."
"So there's batter and fresh fruit if you want."
"Did you guys have fruit?"
They both snorted.
"They both had a banana before breakfast," Missy supplied. "There was a bunch of baby stuff. I put it in the nursery."
Jason pushed open the door the nursery and looked in the box Missy had left. Diapers, creams, wipes, powders, the exact same items Brenda had ordered online days before. "I ordered it already," he whispered. His eyes closed briefly in pain before he quickly stepped out and shut the door.
No one was able to wallow in the house as everyone seemed to stop by.
Monica with dresses.
Courtney with lunch.
Carly to bitch out AJ and Sonny and even Michael.
Michael to occupy all four kids and Jason was pretty sure hit on Missy.
Lucy with an under eye cream she suggested they both use.
Kevin, whom he and Jake had both ignored.
The day passed too quickly for everyone's taste because as Emily arrived for an early dinner and to help get the boys ready did they realize they would all have no choice, but to face the truth, they would have to say goodbye to Elizabeth.
Spinelli flung his arms around the older man.
Brenda shot him a dirty look as Georgie and Robin looked on in embarrassment. "Do not make me regret telling you Spinelli, take that outside or upstairs before the kids hear you."
Jason gave Brenda a confused look.
"That could not happen in the middle of the memorial, deal with him."
Jason shook his head, he didn't have the energy to deal with Spinelli, who looked as if he was fresh from the airport. "I'm fine Spinelli."
"We will talk tomorrow, go get ready and I'll see you in an hour."
"We have to do this," Brenda didn't look at him, she was staring out the bedroom window wearing one of the simple black dresses Monica had brought over earlier.
"He's going to know by how they look at him, the pity."
"He needs to know how much people loved and respected Liz."
She nodded and Jason knew she didn't believe him for a minute.
"What are you actually thinking?"
She turned with a small smile, "Home school?"
He smiled weakly back, "You done getting ready?"
"I can't deal with pantyhose."
"Leave in a half hour?" Jason nodded.
Brenda nodded back and moved to walk by him.
His hand moved to her arm without thought, "He will get through this."
Brenda simply nodded.
She froze by her dresser as he walked out of the bathroom.
"Oh," Emily said walking into the room, stunned as well.
"Someone just tell me what I did?" Jason didn't have the patience for their theatrics.
"You're in all black," Emily pointed out.
"We're going to a memorial."
"You don't wear all black," Brenda added.
"I mean it's fine, you can wear whatever you want," Emily nodded, walking on eggshells like their mother.
"Everyone will know," Brenda gave a slight shake of her head.
"So maybe that's fine-"
Brenda shot her sister in law a dirty look.
"I'll change," Jason said before this went any further.
"You can tell anyone you want tomorrow, you know when Jake and I aren't there," Brenda called out after him.
The memorial almost felt as if it was an out of body experience. Audrey had wanted to keep it simple. A priest led them in prayer, but mostly people wandered around looking at pictures and sharing stories of Liz with each other. They would do something bigger at some point in the future and hopefully one day they would find Liz and give her a proper farewell.
The shock of it all was still evident on people's faces, especially as they looked at pictures and then looked around the room to see the faces of her young children.
Jason noted how everyone took turns with him, blocking others from exposing the truth on Elizabeth's day.
He found himself staring just as others had at the pictures. Lucky and Liz as teenagers, their weddings, their children. It looked like the type of life he had wanted for her. She looked happy, he looked happy, Jason wondered why it hadn't been enough.
If he thought the guilt had been bad before…It was nothing compared to standing in that room. Standing in that room listening to how grateful they were that he had been there to at least save the children.
He hadn't saved her.
He hadn't loved her.
Not enough to fight for her, not enough to try for her.
Walking away had seemed the only option at the time.
Agreeing to let Lucky be Jake's father.
Less than a week with Jake had proven that to be wrong. He would fight, kill, change every aspect of himself that he could to stay with his son.
He should have done the same for Liz.
"How are you holding up?" Audrey asked him as he brought her a cup of water.
"I think I'm supposed to be asking you that."
"Humor me then."
"Let people in Jason, she wanted you to be happy. Things just got mixed up," Audrey spoke softly with a hand on his arm. "Your brother looks panicked, I think you're out of view." Audrey lifted up a hand and gave a gentle smile from the doorway to calm AJ down. "Don't ever forget how blessed you are to have so many people that love you."