A/N: If you haven't seen Bare and are for some reason reading this anyways, you will NEVER be more emotional than you are when you take my advice and GO WATCH IT NOW. Seriously. It absolutely wrecked me. I felt the strong urge to write a resolution and here we are. Review, my lovelies, and I shall shower you with thanks.
Disclaimer: Oh my God… if Bare were mine I could die happily. No joke.
Because We Knew You
Peter doesn't necessarily like to think of Jason's death as a good thing, but he has to admit that however horrifyingly painful the experience had been for him he had, at least, come out of it changed for the better.
Everyone had, if he really thought about it. Even Ivy, who had had the most to lose, sustained the most damage and had been left the most barren except of course in the literal sense. Jason had been the final straw. He had, although unintentionally, managed to turn them all from children to men and women, prepared them for the world that they were being thrust into so fast they could hardly comprehend it.
Jason had done what nobody at that damn school had managed, even when it was their job. He had forced them to grow up.
Peter. Peter had gained an unexpected ally in the girl that had once glared at him across the room, inspired such jealousy that he could hardly breathe. Ivy had become his closest friend, his confidant, and if he were honest she had become almost his replacement. He was as gay as ever, of course, a word that he still had trouble saying out loud. But she was his Most Important Thing.
Well. Next to the kid.
Ivy, she had found what she was looking for and not at all in the way that she had hoped for or expected. In fact, this was better. She had blinked and all of a sudden instead of a string of painful, unfulfilling one night stands, instead of the constant torture of loving and never being loved in return, instead of her own despair over the death of her future son's father, she was being showered with praise. Affection. Everything she had craved in the concentrated form, a ball of sweetness that was Peter, the last person she could ever have expected to love her.
Love comes in a lot of forms and she's ashamed, now, that it took her so long to realize that. It seems impossible when she's lying, sweaty and exhausted, in a hospital bed with a beautiful baby boy in her arms and Peter beaming at her elbow, cooing as her son- their son- meets them for the first time.
It's not going to be an easy road. She's still an unwed teenaged mother, but she's no longer just a statistic. At the very least, in her own mind, she has become something more: a mother. A friend. And as long as she can focus on those, focus on being the best of those two things that she can be, everything is going to be alright.
As for the aforementioned friend, Nadia has turned out to be just about the best aunt in the world. Maternal instinct had apparently bloomed in her overnight, and with that all of the resentment between her and her former frenemy dissolved back into its original state. Their easy friendship, buried for so many years, is still a bit gritty but it's refreshing nonetheless and especially when they have this common ground now. This adorable little blonde boy with the dimples and the same laugh as his father, who's long gone now.
Even Matt had gained something, more profound than anything he'd ever experienced in church. His faith couldn't compare to this. Peter mused, as he held the curly-haired boy's hand loosely and watched his five year old son bound through the sprinkler, that Matt had learned more than any of them about what it meant to love someone.
Sometimes he paused to reflect on that last year of high school, which seems so far away now, only five years later. Sometimes he does it just to see Jason's youthful grin in the catalog of his memories, immortalized at eighteen. Sometimes he does it to stop and appreciate how far they've all come since.
That year had passed in such a blur, pausing only on the painful moments. It's hard now to remember the way Jason's hair had fallen over his eyes and the easy way he smiled, the birthmark on his hip just peeking out above the waistband of his jeans. It's hard to know that it's hard, that it takes so much effort just to remember the boy he had loved so much that even now he lies awake at night and clutches at his chest and feels empty, wondering if Jason can see him in heaven, if he has some kind of x-ray vision and is staring straight back at him from the blank, blank ceiling that yields him no answers. Despite all of his schooling, he still chews his lip once in a while and wonders.
Are you there? Are you? How can he possibly be sure of the answer?
He's young and he knows, logically, that in due course he'll probably stumble across someone else who will love him, who he will love as much or more than he loved Jason once upon a time as a confused and tortured teenager in the closet. He knows that life has more to offer him and that there will be more obstacles, more tragedies. But he knows, as well, that no one else will touch his soul quite the way that Jason McConnell did.
The blue-eyed McConnell baby is a curious thing, more curious than anything, because between the baby and Jason everything had shifted. Irrevocably, they had all been changed. The very thing that had threatened to tear them all apart was suddenly the glue that held them all together. That kept them in touch, that put smiles on their faces, that lifted them from the depths of hell back into God's good graces- and each other's'.
Peter knows that he's never been great at all of this doctrine stuff, and he knows that nothing is set in stone. But he knows- knew, he reminds himself, past tense- Jason. Even after everything, he knows Jason, and he can't bring himself to hate him for what he's done. He has to love him. He has to love him, no matter how much it hurts that he'll never see him again. He's done them all so much good. Surely it's enough that he's forgiven?
And even though he killed himself, took his own life in a direct violation of the Bible's teachings, Peter can be sure beyond the shadow of a doubt that if there's a heaven, he's in it.
Because of him- because of Jason- they had this miracle, this once in a lifetime chance to mend the broken bridges and seal up the cracks and start fresh, just the four of them.