He's like the wind

Chapter 16: Family ties

I struggled momentarily with the weight of the stage light I was holding, before weaving my way in and out of the dirty dancers who were busy at work inside the dance hall of the staff building.

I finally arrived at Gina, the leader of this whole operation, and gave her a small smile.

"Where should I put this?" I asked.

She looked at the heavy stage light for a moment, as if contemplating. I'd only spoken to Gina a few times but she was officially one of the most bubbly people I'd ever met.

"Give it to Brian." She finally decided.

"Oh I see..." Came a voice out of the crowd, I turned to see the very man, Brian Kinney, stride into the open space between Gina and me. He was glowing in a bright white t-shirt that made his bronze skin even more prominent, he was also rolling his eyes.

"Give all the heavy stuff to me?" He asked.

Gina merely grinned and winked at him.

Brian shook his head good-naturedly before leaning down and taking the light out of my arms, I hadn't realised how much they'd been aching until they were empty.

"Thanks," I said.

Brian gave me his patented smirk. "No problem, at least it wasn't a watermelon this time."

Brian laughed as I felt the blush creep up over my cheeks before he disappeared into the crowd once again.

All of this was in aid of a party, Daphne's welcome back party.

I smiled as I thought of her, I couldn't help it, seeing her back in full health was all I could ask for, and it was all down to my Father.

"What's wrong?" I nearly jumped out of my skin when I felt Brian snake his warm arms around my waist and felt his breath ghosting across my skin.

"Oh, nothing." I said finally. "why?"

"You just looked a little bit forlorn," he admitted, I felt him shrug.

I guess that's just what happened every time I thought about my family, about how I'd gotten everything I'd ever wanted here but I'd also become alienated from them.

I twisted around in Brian's arms so I could see his face, I smiled as I saw his hazel eyes staring at me with a look of concern. "I'm fine, really. Just thinking. Besides, this is a happy day, Daph's okay."

A small smile crept across Brian's face at the mere mention of her name, he nuzzled into my neck. "Yeah," he half-whispered against my skin.

A couple stopped in front of us, I didn't really know them that well, all I knew was that the man's name was Charlie, but his girlfriend was staring at us with a look of awe on her face.

"You guys are so cute." She said.

I didn't reply, I wasn't exactly sure how to respond to that. Brian, however, stepped in and saved me.

"Thanks, Kel, you know me."

She gave him a look of playful disdain before the couple moved on to whatever tasks Gina had them performing.

I looked at Brian and he kissed me lightly on the temple. "Come on, Sunshine," he began, "let's go and collect the invalid."

Brian and I walked in comfortable silence to Daphne's cabin, I was quite happy to sketch out the contours of his forearm with my hand, despite how much he told me it tickled.

There was just too much of Brian to worship, no matter how long we were together I'd never be able to commit all of him to memory.

When we reached the cabin, Brian opened the door and Daphne was laying on her bed talking to Bobby who was perched on the end of it.

The pair gave us a smile as we entered the room, although I could swear I saw a faint blush manifest on Bobby's cheeks the moment we entered.

Confused, I stared at the both of them until I noticed that Bobby and Daphne were holding hands.

Everything clicked into place suddenly, I turned and saw Brian grinning like a cat that had got the cream.

Bobby immediately dropped Daphne's hand and stood up.

"Hey Bri, hey Justin." He greeted, stuffing his hands in his pockets.

Brian was smiling so widely it actually looked like he was incapable of replying so I spoke first.

"Hey, Bobby." I said.

"Is everything."..?" He trailed off, obviously referring to the surprise party back at the staff building.

I nodded, smiling. "Yep, all sorted."

Bobby nodded. "Good, good," he said, looking like he had no idea what to say next.

Brian, who had apparently found his voice, spoke up from behind me.

"We just wanted to quickly check on you, Daph." He began, "make sure you're okay."

Daphne nodded, beaming at him. "Yeah, I feel fine."

Brian's smile returned, but this time it was for a different reason.

"Well, anyway," he began, seizing my hand, "me and Sunshine have a dance lesson to get to, so we'll see you tonight."

Before either of them could respond, Brian had hauled me out of the door and back into the sunshine.

As soon as we were out of earshot of the cabin, all it took was one look at each other before we both burst into a fit of joyous laughter.

"Do you think there's something going on between them?" I asked eventually as Brian pulled me into his arms.

"I don't know," he admitted, "but it looks like it."

I hugged Brian back for a minute before pulling away. "Are you okay with that?" I asked.

Brian stared at me for a moment, almost like he wasn't sure what I was asking him.

Seeing as I was used to his long silences, I didn't take it as anything bad.

After a moment, he spoke.

"Bobby is the only member of my biological family that I really care about," he admitted, "and he's stuck with Daph through this whole pregnancy thing, through everything."

I nodded, Brian merely shrugged.

"I guess all I ever wanted for her was for her to find a decent guy like that."

I nodded again, "yeah, you're right." I momentarily thought back to all of the things Bobby had done, how, in a way, he'd been my first friend here. "They deserve each other," I finally decided.

"Justin, where the hell are you taking me?" Daphne asked mock-frustratedly, trying to peak out from behind her blindfold.

I batted her hand away as gently as I could. "Will you stop peaking?" I asked incredulously, "we'll be there in a minute, you're the most impatient person I know."

Daphne huffed before she smiled.

"Hey, Justin," she began, gripping my hand a little tighter as I guided her over the steps to the entrance of the staff building.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"I just wanted to say thank you," she began, "for everything you've done for me, for everything you've done for all of us."

My eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "What do you mean?" I asked, "I haven't really done anything."

She tsked at me. "Are you kidding? You saved my life, you gave Brian a reason to smile everyday...I'm just really glad you're a part of our lives."

I was silent for a moment. "Yeah, me too." I replied quietly.

Luckily, I didn't have to think about it any more as we reached the entrance to the dance hall.

I pushed the door open with one hand whilst leading Daphne inside.

"Okay, stop." I said, Daphne stopped. I looked around the room, everyone was ducked out of sight behind the furniture but I could still see the odd foot and arm, I rolled my eyes to myself.

I stepped behind Daphne, one hand on the light switch.

I took of her blindfold and switched the light on.

"SURPRISE!" Everyone shouted, jumping out. Daphne momentarily looked like she was going to have a heart attack.

"Oh my God!" She exclaimed, putting her hand on her forehead. "Jesus," she exclaimed again as everyone gathered around her.

Everyone began chattering away excitedly to her, asking all sorts of questions, but they were all silenced by Brian wading his way through the crowd and picking his best friend up in a bear hug,

Daphne clung onto him and I saw a few stray tears fall from her eyes.

"I love you," Brian told her, and the simple words took me back to Brian saying the same thing to me. Sometimes life was so strange, all these different types of love and yet it all really boiled down to the same thing. We all needed each other to survive.

I shook my head, this was about Daphne.

"I love you, too," she told him, beaming despite her tears. She wiped her nose. "What's all this about?" She asked.

"Welcoming you back," I supplied.

Another tear fell from Daphne's eyes. "I'm not sad," she clarified, "I just...wow."

Somewhere behind them, music began to play.

Daphne laughed and tugged on Brian's arm. "Do you get the first dance?" She asked.

Brian cocked his head to the side for a moment like he was thinking.

"Actually..." he began, "I've got a better idea."

Brian pulled in a member of the crowd I hadn't noticed before. Bobby.

Brian essentially pushed Daphne and Bobby into each other, I watched Daphne blush as Bobby took her hand and lead her into the middle of the floor before I noticed Brian had slipped away into crowd.

Following suit, I followed him until I found him again.

"Hey," I said.

"Hey," Brian replied, holding a hand out to me. I took his hand and he lead me outside of the double doors.

It was cool outside and the sky was dotted with stars, but Brian was the most beautiful thing I could see.

"That," I began, gesturing to the dance hall, "with Daphne and Bobby, that was smooth."

"Yeah," Brian agreed, smile still in place. "I did need to talk to you, though."

"Oh," I said before I could help myself. "What's up?"

Brian itched the back of his neck lightly. "I just wanted to apologise," he admitted, "you know, for being angry with you the other night."

"Brian..." I began, but he cut me off.

"No, I get it, I do. It's not easy telling your parents."

"I know how hard this is to keep a secret," Justin said, "I really do, I know it's frustrating..."

Brian nodded. "Yeah, I know," he laughed slightly to himself. "You just make me so happy," he admitted, "a part of me wants to shout it out for everyone to hear."

He chuckled again and shook his head to himself.

I smiled at him, I was sure he could see the love in my eyes.

"Would your parents have a major problem with you being gay?" Brian asked eventually, "or would they have a problem with me being lower class?"

I sighed sadly to myself, I reached out and took Brian's hand in mine, it was warm to the touch. It was always warm to the touch.

"I'm not sure," I told him, "my Father just seems to hate anyone different to him, but I like to think my Mother understands."

Brian met my eyes with a warm half-smile.

"What?" I asked.

Brian shrugged. "Nothing," he said, "you just really care about what your Mother thinks about you, but not your Father."

I nodded sadly. "Yeah, it's just, my Mother is so passionate and so clever, she's just weighed down by my Father and I hate that."

Brian placed an arm around me and squeezed me reassuringly. "I don't want to screw up your relationship with your family."

I shook my head immediately, it was so Brian to blame himself for everything. "You wont, okay? I love you," I told him, he smiled sadly. "More than anything," I clarified, "you can't see it and I hate that, but you brought me to life, I don't want to give you up. But even if I did come out to my parents, you'd lose your job..." I sighed frustratedly, "this is all such a big mess."

Brian just hugged me tighter, "don't worry," he said against my skin, "we won't be here forever."

I sighed internally but I couldn't help but agree in melancholy.

….

Daphne finally made her way over to me, laughing about something.

"Hey," I said, smiling, "you enjoying yourself?"

Daphne nodded. "This is amazing, Justin."

I grinned to myself, "how did the first dance with Bobby go?"

Daphne immediately blushed and I rolled my eyes. "Come on, Daph," I told her, "you don't have to be embarrassed, I'm really happy for you."

A small smile played on her lips and she pulled me into a hug. "Thanks," she said.

"It's good to have you back." I replied.

When we pulled apart, Brian joined us.

Daphne laughed, "okay, you can have your boyfriend back now." She said, making her way to someone else.

I grinned as I watched her go.

"She tire you out?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

Brian scowled at me. "You'd think she wasn't even sick." He said.

I smiled at him. "It's good to see you smiling again," I admitted, and it really was. This was the first time since all of this had happened that I'd seen Brian really without a care.

Brian gave me his half-cocky, half-totally adorable grin before dragging me out into the dance floor.

I laughed as we began swaying to the music, my mind was taken back to when I'd first seen him and Daphne dancing and wishing it was me in his arms.

But that was such a long time ago.

Brian ran a hand through my hair, smiling at me.

"I love you, Sunshine." He said.

I smiled hugely at him, and before he could say anything else, I leaned in and kissed him.

"Justin!"

I immediately pulled away from Brian, startled. He looked confused, I looked to try and see who had called me.

Stood there in the middle of the crowd was my Mother, a look of complete shock on her face.