Title: Blue-eyed Angel, Epilogue

Author: Goddess Evie
Date: August 11, 2015
Category: JJHR, Angst
Summary: A day in court.

Disclaimer: I do not own JQ. I make no money off this story. I am only using the characters for my own unique story. I also do not own "Bohemian Rhapsody" by Queen, but I certainly sing it all the time (who doesn't?). I merely use the lyrics to enhance my humble writing.

Author's Note: I'm late as usual with this epilogue. By about two months. But it's here. And now I can really say this fic is done. The story? No, not by a long shot. But I had to make sure this story was truly finished before my life got TOO busy, which it's already on the way to being. Of course, this evil author left you on a cliff hanger. Don't worry. Everything'll be wrapped up in the final installment of this trilogy. Whenever I get around to writing it.

As always, thanks for all the support via favorites, follows, and reviews. You guys are the best.

Epilogue: …just killed a man, put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead. …life had just begun, but now I've gone and thrown it all away. … Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go. Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth.

Two weeks. It had only been two weeks since the attack on the compound, but somehow Benton was sitting at the defendant's table with Mr. Fitzmichael. Between them was an empty chair where Jonny had been sitting. But Jonny was now on the witness stand.

In the focus of the last two weeks of recovering from the attack, Race calling in favors at I-1 to get info on whoever had been behind the attack (and getting frustratingly nowhere), dealing with the police and Jonny's technical break of parole, as well as the media, keeping Jonny and Jessie's appointments with Dr. Goodwyn, ramping up security, and even reveling just a little in the hope brought to the family by Jonny's return to speaking, the prosecuting attorney had somehow managed to get a court date through.

Damn news channels, Benton thought to himself as he watched his son. If it hadn't been for them, we could have postponed revealing that Jonny was talking again.

Mr. Fitzmichael had truthfully told Benton they wouldn't have been able to postpone it for very long, a few days at the most. But their attorney agreed it would have been better. He would have had time to prepare for the barrage of court documents the prosecuting attorney had filed at the court hurrying the trial along.

"Because of the sensitivity of the case, and the damage it is causing both families involved, I would like to see this case closed as quickly as possible, while still being handled with compassion and care," the judge had said when Mr. Fitzmichael had tried to move to have the court date put off.

The prosecuting attorney—not Mr. Daniels. Zach's mother had hired someone to replace him—stood before the witness stand. Looking like a vulture, to Benton. Jonny sat looking down at his feet, shoulders hunched a frown on his face. Benton hurt so deeply to see his son this way. So completely opposite from his usually cheerful, care-free self.

Race and Estella sat on the bench behind the defending attorney's desk, bookends to Jessie and Hadji between them. Dr. Goodwyn was present as well. Even the judge had agreed that the Jonny and Jessie's fragile states required her presence should anything go wrong.

Please don't let anyone go wrong, Benton prayed, though he couldn't say who or what he prayed to.

Everyone except maybe Jonny had pleaded with Jessie to sit this one out, but she'd insisted on coming. Dr. Goodwyn had even taken a moment to speak with her, but Jessie had been adamant. As a last resort, Race had attempt to lay down the law and tell her she couldn't come. His edict had been useless. She sat resolutely on the bench and without looking Benton knew she had eyes only for his son.

And when Jonny looked up, his gaze went straight to meet hers. Benton wished he could catch his son's eyes even just once to show his support and encouragement. But those had become even more inseparable than they'd been even before this whole mess had started. Especially since Jonny had started talking again.

A part of him, the father who still saw Jonny as a baby, a toddler, certainly no more than seven or eight, was a little jealous. So was the part that raged that Jonny was all he had left of Rachel. But the rest of him, the parts that knew Jonny was growing up, and that loved Jessie as a daughter, kept those parts under check. He knew what it was like to be in love, and he couldn't deny his son that. He couldn't deny Rachel's son that.

"Mr. Quest, please tell us what happened the day of Zach's death," Mr. Kent, the replacement attorney, asked.

To Jonny's credit, he didn't even flinch. But he took his time in answering. Benton glanced at Mr. Fitzmichael. The attorney gave Benton one of those "I know hell all about what's going on here" looks. Everyone had thought it odd that Mr. Kent had called Jonny to the stand as his first witness—with nary a deposition beforehand to gauge him. Mr. Fitzmichael had tried to block the maneuver, but since Jonny was one of two eye witnesses to the event, the judge had overruled.

Jonny looked up. Immediately his eyes went to Jessie, but this time Jonny's gaze didn't stay on her. Benton could track it's movement as Jonny looked at Hadji, then Race, then finally at Benton himself.

The deep sadness Benton saw in his son's beautiful blue eyes—Rachel's eyes—almost brought a sob from Benton. That sadness transported him ten years ago to his wife's death. It was the last time Benton had seen that sadness. In his own eyes. For months, whenever he'd look at himself in the mirror.

Finally Jonny spoke.

"I killed Zach Ellis."

The courtroom erupted in chaos.