(ducks and covers)
Here's the final chapter for We Found Us.
Actually, it's been on my computer for a while; I just forgot to post it.
My memory was jolted when Youngest Child played in a soccer game today and an opposing player was named "August."
Still don't own anything related to Glee.
Pretending that nasty break up a couple of weeks ago didn't occur .
(covers her ears and sings, "Lalalalalala.")
Enjoy, my lovelies.
"Remember that parents' night before our first year? We were spying from the second floor landing and we almost got caught. I remember being soooooo worried about getting in trouble. That was nothing compared to what we did here at good old Dalton as we got older!" Michael said, taking another drink of his soda.
"Oh, shall we count up the number of questionable activities you've been involved in since our innocent espionage?" AJ asked. "Let's see, there was the time all the chairs in the dining room went missing…"
"Hey, that was a lot of work!" Jacob piped in. "And besides, the planning for that one took skill and finesse. Where would YOU hide 250 chairs on this campus and not draw suspicion?"
"I'm pretty sure I would not try to make them look like deck chairs around the pool," Gavin said. "Nothing strange or alarming about that!" All four boys laughed about how Michael and Jacob's prank had been busted before anyone got down to breakfast that morning, and how the custodians insisted that the boys return all chairs to their rightful places in the 45 minutes before the meal began.
"Yeah, that wasn't one of our better moments," Michael conceded. "Kind of weird to think that this is our last night at Dalton, huh?" Michael said what all the boys had been thinking, but didn't dare speak out loud. Tomorrow was graduation. After the reception, the boys would pack their things and head out for good. For four years, Michael, Jacob, and AJ had shared a room. When Gavin transferred junior year, he became part of their group and might as well have been there since freshman year. The room got quiet, as the boys looked at each other.
"Hey, look," Jacob said, "I'm not one for mushy stuff, but let's promise to work really hard at staying in each other's lives. We're going to be all over the country soon, and right now," he paused to wipe an uncustomary tear from his eye, "I don't know what I'm going to do when I wake up in the morning and you guys aren't around." All four boys stood up and wrapped their arms around each other in an emotional group hug.
"Okay," Gavin said, breaking away, "Let's figure this out now. We'll set meeting dates over the next year. We fly, we drive, whatever it takes, but we establish when we are getting together. The days are sacred: injury, death, and wedding dates are the only things that get in the way. Agreed?"
The other three boys nodded their heads. Out came the phones, opened to calendars. Dates were discussed, plans were batted around. ("I've heard there's a place where you can learn how to base jump, you know, jump off buildings or cliffs with parachutes…" was met with, "NO!" and "ILLEGAL!") The boys agreed that they'd meet the second weekend in December New York at Kurt and Blaine's house. This, of course, would be an easy trip for AJ and Gavin. Michael would have a bit of traveling to do, as he'd be in school at the University of Washington; Jacob's academic career was taking him to a private college South Carolina, where lacrosse was king. They sealed the deal with the ridiculous secret handshake they made up freshman year. Shortly after that, AJ walked Gavin to his room, a few minutes later, he returned to room 208 for his last sleep at Dalton.
Graduation went off without a hitch. The Hummel-Andersons, the Hudmels, and the O'Keefes sat together, sets of parents and grandparents proud of "their boys" as they each referred to Gavin and AJ. Because the classes at Dalton were small, the graduation ceremony allowed for more personal accounts of the graduates' lives while attending the school. AJ's soccer coach, science teacher, and the school nurse all gave emotional talks about the man AJ had become in his four years at Dalton. Gavin's literature teacher, soccer coach, and math teacher did the same for him. Tears flowed in the audience as each graduate was lauded for their contributions to life at Dalton and for the changes the young men would make in the future world. After a reception in the main hall, it was time to pack up and leave.
Knowing how crazy check out would get, Kurt had both AJ and Gavin pack their belongings a week earlier and ship them to New York. After their trip to Europe, both boys would attend NYU for pre-med, so Gavin's stuff would be stored at the Hummel-Anderson's until a plan for living arrangements was made. Gavin and AJ simply needed to pack a duffle with enough clothes to get them to New York.
"I hate to rush you, but we need to be back at Grandpa and Grandma's house by 4:00 to catch the airport shuttle," Blaine whispered into AJ's ear. AJ caught Gavin's eye, letting him know it was time to go. The boys told Blaine and Kurt they'd meet them on the front steps in fifteen minutes; AJ and Gavin made their ways back to the dorm to say goodbye.
AJ and Gavin walked into 208 just in time to hear, "…and that's why the first Star Wars movie will always be superior to…"
"Guys. Really?" Gavin asked.
"What?" Michael and Jacob said at the same time.
"You were having the same argument the day after I met you two years ago! Give it up, already!" Gavin responded.
"Seriously, at our meet-ups during the year, the Never-Ending-Star-Wars argument is banned, got it?" AJ ask, grinning. All of the boys laughed and then stopped.
"Well, I guess this is it." Everyone looked at Michael and then at each other. This was the last moment the boys would be all together, as Dalton students.
"I'm not saying goodbye," Jacob said. "I'm saying something old, like what my grandpa would say, like, 'So long' or 'Until we meet again'…wait, that last one sounds lame. Uh, I'm just…" and the tears began to flow. Hugs were all around. Promises were made to keep in touch. At last, AJ and Gavin pulled away.
"My dads are waiting for us, so we have to head out. I just want you boys to know that I love you and that my time at Dalton would not have been as hilarious and adventurous had it not been for you. I'm not saying goodbye either. So, until next time…"
AJ waved, pulled Gavin through the door, and stopped in the hall. For just a moment, their eyes connected over the sadness of leaving their friends, but then, from the depths of room 208 they heard, "So, as I was saying, there is no way to even compare the cinematography of the first movie to any other…"
AJ and Gavin rolled their eyes. "Let's get out of here," AJ whispered in Gavin's ear.
Instead of waiting on the front steps, the boys found Kurt and Blaine in the entry hall, talking to David. As they walked to the floor below, everything hit AJ at once. He stopped near Blaine, and broke down in tears.
"Son, what's wrong?" Blaine asked.
"This," AJ said through his tears as he motioned with his hands around the room. "This will never be again!" And with that, AJ rested his head on his dad's shoulder and cried his goodbye to Dalton. Because Blaine and Kurt and David had attended Dalton, they knew the emotions of the moment well. They also knew that their boy would be fine and that he'd carry Dalton around with him for the rest of his life.
When AJ felt better, they headed to the car and started their long ride to Lima, where they'd catch a shuttle to the airport. In the wee hours of the morning, they'd find themselves back in New York, back home.
The rest of the week was a whirlwind. After coming home, the Hummel-Andersons hosted a graduation party for AJ. Gavin met the people who'd played a part in AJ's childhood. Everyone, from coaches to music teachers, to childhood friends and their parents, showed up to wish AJ (and Gavin too!) well. It was an exhausting afternoon, but Gavin never left AJ's side. At one point, Kurt leaned over to Blaine and said, "Look at those two and their prep school manners. If nothing else, the tuition was worth that, don't you think?" Blaine grinned and nodded his head.
Knowing their time would be limited, Kurt and Blaine had hired a caterer for the party. This meant clean-up was minimal for the Hummel-Andersons, to after the last of the leftovers was stashed in the refrigerator, all four retired to the patio in the back yard.
"I'm exhausted, but what a great day!" Blaine enthused.
"AJ, you have a ton of people who adore you," Gavin said, as he rubbed AJ's back. "Honestly, I thought we'd never get to everyone."
"We did have a good turnout," Kurt noted. AJ grinned and nodded his head.
"It was great to see everyone. I'm so glad Spencer was able to stop by before heading off to boot camp. I can't imagine him in the Air Force, but you know, there was that slumber party where he tried to parachute off the end of the couch," AJ recalled.
"Oh, and you had no part in that, Mr. Man?" Blaine said. "You are probably the reason he enlisted!"
"Well, it's been a great day, but I'm ready for sleep. Join me?" Kurt asked, turning to Blaine.
"I thought you'd never ask!" Blaine said. Both of the boys rose and hugged Kurt and Blaine. "Hey," Blaine said, "tomorrow, let's sit down and talk about next year and get things figured out. You'd probably like everything nailed down before you leave for Europe, right?"
"Yeah, Dad. That would be great. Actually," AJ paused and picked up Gavin's hand, "we've been talking and I think we have a plan that will work our really well."
"Excellent. How about talking after dinner tomorrow night?" Blaine asked.
"Perfect," AJ said, hugging his dad one more time.
After a swim in the pool, Gavin and AJ headed upstairs to AJ's room. "Do you think your dads will go for us living here for college?" he asked.
"I'm guessing they'll love the idea. Daddy K is always complaining about how the house is too quiet when I'm away. And besides, living here will cut down on expenses. We're both going to be going to school for a long time, so any extra money that can go for tuition is a good thing," AJ said. He paused and looked at Gavin, who had a pensive look on his face. "What?" AJ asked.
"I…I don't know. I was just thinking about fate, and how all these pieces of a life have to fall into place to make things happen. If Michael and Jacob hadn't locked you out of your room that first day when I met you, we might now be here right now, you know?" Gavin wrapped his arms around AJ's neck and hugged him.
"Eh, don't give Michael and Jacob so much credit. I would have found you anyway," AJ said, grinning into Gavin's hair.
"Well, I'd like to think so, but still…" Gavin countered.
"What matters is that we are here right now, done with high school, preparing to take the trip of a lifetime, ready to take steps towards being grown up and in love. I know I'm in love. What about you?" AJ asked.
"Hmmm, let me think on that one…Ouch!" Gavin yelped as AJ pinched him. "Okay, okay. In love. Definitely in love. With you." Gavin moved towards his boyfriend and kissed him gently. "M'kay, I'm tired now too. I think it's time for bed." AJ agreed and within moments, the boys were crashed in the middle of AJ's bed.
"Night, love," AJ said.
"Night, AJ," Gavin said. "See you in the morning."
"Not if I see you first!"
"Har har. You are hysterical."
"I think that's a brilliant plan. How about this: we knock out the wall between the spare room and AJ's room and make an apartment…well, sort of an apartment. You'd have a study area, a sitting area, a bedroom and a bathroom. We could still have meals together, but you'd have all the space you'd need for yourselves." Blaine looked expectantly between AJ and Gavin and then to Kurt, whose face held a growing grin.
AJ and Gavin looked at each other and smiled. "Perfect," they both said at the same time and then laughed.
"That settles it," Kurt said. "I'll call a contractor and have them work while you are away. I can't imagine it will take long to take down a wall and do the finish work. When you get back from Europe, you'll have a place of your own!"
"Speaking of which," Blaine asked, "are you all packed and ready to go?"
"We are, except for our carry-on bags," Gavin said. "I'm not sure how I'm going to sleep tonight! I'm so excited!"
"Baby, you've been to Europe how many times before?" AJ asked.
"But never with you," Gavin responded, smiling in a sickly sweet way.
"Oh please," AJ said.
"I'm getting out of here before I get a cavity," Blaine said, laughing. "So, we leave at 6:30 tomorrow morning, right?"
"A little earlier, if you want to stop for coffee," Kurt added.
"Coffee stop is on!" Blaine said. "Good night boys. Try to get some rest."
"Night, Dads," both boys said.
When the boys' bags were checked, the four walked towards security. "Call us when you land in London and remember to check in with your old dads every once in a while," Kurt said, hugging Gavin first. "I'm jealous. This trip is going to be amazing!" he said as he hugged Gavin.
"We'll call, promise," Gavin said. "Dads, thanks so much for this trip. We're still a little blown away that we're heading to Europe! It doesn't seem real!"
"Love you, Dads," AJ said, as he hugged both his fathers. "Thanks…for everything." Tears welled up in Kurt's eyes as he hugged the boys again. "Aw, Daddy, we'll be back before you know it!"
"I know, I know. This is bigger than you taking a trip. This is you two, growing up. You'll come back from Europe and you won't need us anymore," Kurt said, wiping a tear away. Blaine put an arm around his shoulder and squeezed.
"Nonsense!" AJ exclaimed. "We'll always need you! You know that!" AJ hugged his dad and said, "We need to get through security if we're going to make or flight. Bye Dads! See you in a month!" AJ grabbed Gavin's hand and started walking towards the check in station.
"Say 'hi' to my cousin, the Queen of England," Kurt said, offering his official royal wave.
"Dad it's still the same: just because you THINK you are part of the Royal Family doesn't mean you are," AJ said, grinning over his shoulder. Blaine laughed and rolled his eyes.
"A boy can dream, can't he?" Kurt asked.
Back at the car, Kurt was quiet. "What's going on in that amazing brain of yours?" Blaine asked, reaching for Kurt's hand.
Kurt sighed. "It feels like all we ever do anymore is say 'goodbye' to AJ. It just gets me down sometimes."
"Well, you know how the old saying goes: "We have to say goodbye in order to say hello again,'" Blaine said.
Kurt was silent for a moment. "Are you always this corny? How have I missed this? After all these years…"
Blaine laughed and smiled smile that made his eyes crinkle. "Let's head for home, sweet-cheeks-muffin-snookie-candy-lips-pookie-bear-snuggle-rainbow-kissy-face!"
"Oh, god. Drive. Quietly," Kurt said, smiling at his husband.
And there you have it!
Thanks for hanging in there with my random posting schedule.
There may be more stories in the future, so keep your peepers wide open!
Girl From The West xxoo