Okay, I admit it. I've put off writing this for five days. I just don't want the story to be over… :'(
So here's the info you need to know:
Find me on tumblr at flightofdeathfrench . tumblr . com
I have a series of Jogan drabbles called 100 Days of Jogan, which you can find at this link: http:/www . fanfiction . net/s/7024041/1/100_Days_of_Jogan
I have a choose-your-own adventure fic called Stuart Road Trip, which you can find at stuartroadtrip . tumblr . com
Thank you all so much for reading, and I'd love if you'd review to tell me what you thought of the story as a whole. It's the longest thing I've ever written (50,000 words O.O). I really hope you all had as much fun reading it as I had writing it!
As always, Miss CP Coulter owns Dalton and I do not.
So now…without further ado, I present to you, the end.
"You are going to cry," Julian says, looking at Logan in the mirror.
Logan looks back at Julian through the mirror. "I am not going to cry."
"You so are. You did at Tabby's graduation."
"That was different." Logan pulls at his shirt collar. "I'm not a sap, Julian. I'm not the type of guy who cries at his kids' graduations."
"Then why did you cry at Tabby's?"
"It was the onion in my sandwich, I already told you that like a thousand times!" Logan looks at himself in the mirror and then at Julian. He reaches over and runs his hand through Julian's hair.
"It couldn't have been the onions because – what was that for?" Julian tries to smooth his hair down.
"No, it looks better all messed up." Logan smirks. "And it was the onions. But they aren't giving out food anymore at these things so we'll be fine. Though it's really depressing because then I can't have French fries…"
"What will your excuse be this time then, Lo?"
"Personal rain cloud that landed on my face," Logan replies calmly, messing up Julian's hair again. "Good, leave it like that."
"It was really sweet, you know," Julian says, turning to walk out of the room, "you crying at her graduation. And hot. It was kind of hot. So you should definitely do it again."
"I'll do it for you," Logan says, rolling his eyes. "Just for you."
"That's so nice of you." Julian turns and catches Logan in his arms. "You're the best."
"We aren't doing this right now," Logan says, kissing his husband's nose and pulling away. "This whole sappy thing. I thought we agreed once a month and no more."
Julian pouts. "Fine." He stomps out into the hallway. "Tabby!" he shouts. "Are you ready?"
"Almost!" The door to Tabby's room opens and the junior in college peeks out. "Jackson told me not to wear a dress so I'm trying to figure out which dress to wear."
Julian rolls his eyes again. "We'll be in the car," he says, but then Tabby opens the door further and steps out.
"Is this okay?" she asks, fingering the fabric.
What little of it there is.
Logan turns and looks to see what she's wearing, and he raises a disapproving eyebrow. "You're wearing that?"
"I thought." She does a little twirl and her boobs almost fall out of the top. "Is it okay?"
Julian blinks rapidly, trying to figure out how best to handle this. "I'd, uh, prefer if it was…"
"Mom said it's fine," Tabby says, cutting him off. She flounces past her fathers and down the steps.
Julian and Logan share a look before following her.
"Loe." Julian slides onto the bleacher next to his ex-wife. "You told Tabby that dress is acceptable for her to wear in public?"
"Of course." Loe's husband of three years, Richard, wraps his arm possessively around her. Julian feels Logan retaliate by wrapping his own arm around Julian. It's funny because neither of these actions is necessary in the least. "She's in college, Julian."
"I don't care, it's just…" Julian realizes he's being an overprotective father – again – and he should stop. But still. "Whatever. As long as you think she's not asking for…"
Logan squeezes Julian's shoulder and Julian turns to look at him. "She'll be fine," Logan says quietly. "She took karate for seven years." He pauses and leans in to whisper in Julian's ear, "And if it's the sex with her boyfriend thing that you're worried about… That never bothered you when we were dating."
Julian rolls his eyes. "I just…" He sighs. "Okay."
Logan kisses him quickly, just as Pomp and Circumstance starts playing.
Tabby whips out her phone and starts texting. Logan nudges her in the ribs. "Pay attention or Jackson will give you hell," he hisses.
"There's no way he can see me," Tabby says, annoyed, but she puts her phone into her purse anyway.
The graduates walk onto the field in slow motion and sit down even slower. Once they're all seated, the principal and superintendent speak, and then the valedictorians. It's all about finishing up a chapter in their lives and starting a new one, and there's a lot of reminiscing and nostalgia. Logan and Julian are very bored with the whole thing so they occupy themselves by holding hands and whispering little comments to each other like 'He shouldn't have said it like that, it's terrible grammar' or 'I wonder how many mothers are already crying' or making fun of the speeches.
Then names start being called and they let go of each other's hands and Julian claps until his hands hurt at which point he stops and leans over to Logan. "Applaud extra for me, please."
"Why?" Logan asks, clapping for Greg, Lydia.
"Because my hands will start bleeding if I do this for any longer."
Logan just nods and keeps clapping. After a few names, he says, "I think you might have been clapping too hard. The trick is to make the appearance of clapping without actually clapping."
"You're so helpful," Julian says sarcastically.
They're quiet until Jackson's name is called. "Larson, Jackson."
Julian watches his son walk onto the stage set up in the middle of the football field, take his diploma, and walk off. And then that's it.
Julian glances at Logan and sees that he's rubbing at his eye. "I am not crying," Logan whispers.
Julian rolls his eyes. "Whatever you say." He puts his arm around Logan and leans in to whisper in his ear. "You are adorable when you cry."
"Shut up." Logan blinks a few times. "Just look away please?"
"I don't want to."
Julian whips his head around to stare at the football field, while watching Logan out of the corner of his eye.
Julian loves peripheral vision.
"Julian." Loe nudges him in the ribs. "Are we going to ignore each other the whole time?"
Julian raises his eyebrows. "Um…no?"
"Alright, talk to me. How's it going?"
Julian is surprised. Sometimes he and Loe talk, but that's only when they're shoved into situations together like this one and usually it's only short little "hi hello how are you I'm good" conversations. They never go out of their way to have deep and meaningful discussions about their lives. Like Julian said many years before – they would have made great friends. Their marriage ruined their relationship, though, and they hardly know each other anymore. They have both changed so much – in good ways. Richard is good for Loe and she loves him very much, finally agreeing to marry him after eight years of dating. Julian feels a little bad about that one – he knows she would've agreed sooner if there wasn't the whole messy divorce thing they had to go through that made her scared of marriage and commitment for quite awhile. Then there's Logan, who is everything that Julian has ever wanted. Somehow he ended up with Logan, through fate – though Clark and Derek say that it was more than fate; they like to remind Julian and Logan on a weekly basis that they were the ones who'd gotten them together. Since Loe and Julian are both perfectly happy, they don't really need to talk to each other anymore and so they don't.
To say that it is unusual for Loe to instigate a conversation is an understatement. Maybe it's supposed to have some sort of significance – like this really is the end of more than just Jackson's high school career. Because Loe and Julian won't see each other much after this. They won't have to drive their kids to each other's houses for the whole split custody thing. They won't have to coordinate birthday parties together, or figure out who's paying for clothes and toys and iPods. Maybe Loe wants to go out on a good note. (Even though they still have to talk every now and then on the phone or shoot off a quick e-mail about financial stuff for college.)
"Pretty good," Julian responds, allowing Loe to have this. It's what she needs and Julian doesn't hate her so why not talk to her?
"Do you have any big empty-nest plans yet?" Before Julian can respond, Loe is off and running, talking about this big vacation to Hawaii that Rich is taking her on once Jackson leaves for college in August.
Julian throws in a 'that sounds nice' and an 'I hope you have fun' every now and then but as he learned in their five years of marriage, it doesn't take particularly much to keep Loe talking once she's started. Plus, Julian gets the feeling that Loe isn't telling him all these things for his personal benefit. He suspects she feels like she has to, because this is the end, after all.
When graduation ends, Logan's arm is around Julian's shoulders and he squeezes periodically to keep Julian from falling asleep out of boredom. Tabby is off with her boyfriend and Julian can only hope they aren't behind the bleachers before he sees them walking around with a group of friends, laughing and talking like they'll never see each other again (she's clinging to her boyfriend's hand and it makes Julian sad to see it because he knows that someday that boy might break her heart or, worse, marry her and take her away from him). Loe is still talking about her vacation plans and Julian has no idea how she's managed to go on for so long like this. Jackson is scanning the crowd for someone, and Julian thinks he's looking for them until he sees Jackson's face light up and follows his son's gaze to his girlfriend. So Julian turns to Logan, forgetting about being polite to his ex-wife, and says, "What are we going to do once Jackson goes off to college?"
"We can play board games," Logan says, and then laughs. His laugh is infectious to Julian, so Julian laughs too.
If this were a movie, there would be a montage of Julian's life from now until he died, but it isn't a movie. It's just real life, which is unpredictable and uncertain. Sometimes you end up with a happy ending and sometimes you don't.
In Julian Larson's case, he ended up with the happiest ending of all, rivaled only by Logan Wright's happy ending.