Title: Fly Away
Fandom: United States of Tara
Pairing: Marshall/Jason
Prompt: #16 - Exodus
Rating: PG
Notes: Not taking season two into consideration now, although parts of it may show up later.

Hitch Maurio was a man who had, in all of his years of serving God, never anticipated that his greatest trial of faith would not come from some catastrophic world event, but his teenage son, Jason. Jason, with that Gregson boy – he didn't even want to look at his son right now. He was already beginning to think of ways to spin it to the congregants, if things got out of control.

Jason, on the other hand, had never seen his father this angry before. Not during one of his endless weekly sermons, not when he had come home with an F on the geometry test he had forgotten about, and not when Jason had, accidentally, broken the windshield on the family's brand-new car with a stray football. Never. He cast his glance downward, pointedly avoiding looking anywhere near his father. He couldn't take the shame.

They heard his mother's footsteps as she climbed the stairs. She seemed to be taking an eternity climbing, each step slowly easing under her weight.

As soon as she entered the bedroom, leaning against the doorframe for balance, and said, in a particularly emphatic voice, "What's wrong? Is everything okay?" Jason had a gut feeling that this wasn't going to end well for him.

He was right.

"You have disgraced this family," his father continued, pacing around the room, "you lied to me, you lied to yourself, and you lied to God. What do you have to say for yourself?"

Jason looked up at the ceiling and opened his mouth to form some sort of reply. "I –"

"You know what? I don't care. I don't care what you have to say for yourself."

"Hitch –" his mother interjected.

"Judy, stay out of it."

"You asked me –"

"Because you need to realize what your son is – a homosexual deviant."

Jason rose to his feet, from the sitting position he had been in for the entire conversation, and turned to face his father. "I'm leaving," Jason said, with an even tone, grabbing his backpack from the floor and making strides across the carpet toward the door.

"If you walk out that door, you can forget about being our son."

"Can't we talk this out?" his mother asked, a pleading look in her eyes, "Sit down; talk it out like a family."

"The time for talking has passed," his father replied, "if Jason is unwilling to repent and change his ways, then I can't see him as my son."

Without another word, Jason walked out the door, his head held high. He had made his choice. The clock on the mantel said 6:13. Only half an hour had passed – half an hour that had irreparably changed his life.

He could almost swear that he heard his father's voice yelling down at him, "And don't bother coming back!"

The air felt clean and crisp, almost like a rebirth of sorts. He was free, away from his father. He could run in the park, wear holes in his sneakers by walking the sidewalks of town – or he could find Marshall; let him know what had happened.

The walk to the Gregson house was almost as though he was walking on air.

A bleary-eyed Marshall answered the door. "Jason? I thought –"

"Not here. Can we go to your room?"

"Um," Marshall glanced backwards, almost as if he was making sure no one else was around, "sure, I guess, let's go."

Once in his room, and the door closed behind them, Jason began recapping the events that had transpired after Marshall's departure. "He told me that if I left, I shouldn't come back."

"And you left."


"I can't have you moving in," Marshall said, before quickly adding, "it'd stress my mother out, and she's, um, not herself when she's stressed."

"No, that's okay," Jason said, blowing out a breath and sighing, "can I stay over tonight, at least?"

"Sure, whatever, I'm sure it'll be fine with my parents."

Jason curled up on the floor, safely ensconced in Kate's neon-pink sleeping bag that Marshall had retrieved from the attic that evening. "Thanks, Marshall," Jason said, turning over and closing his eyes, attempting to forget the events of the past few hours.

"You're welcome," Marshall murmured, staring at the ceiling. Fate had a funny way of playing its hand, it really did.

And across town, a father paced across his son's bedroom floor, crucifix in hand, sprinkling vials of holy water and reciting prayers, "by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls."

It was all he knew how to do.

-to be continued-