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Jennifer was immediately surrounded when she walked slowly back into the waiting room.
“Is he ok?”
“How long is he going to be here?”
“What’s wrong with him?”
Jennifer held her hand up to stop all the bombarding questions coming at her from all directions. Her nerves were shot, her son was once again in hospital from serious injuries, it had been an incredibly long night and she still had to deal with Molly. She simply did not have the patience to answer everyone’s individual questions even if it made her a bitch.
“He is going to be ok. He has to stay in the ICU for the next two days. For now only Brian, Molly and I are allowed there to see him. His spleen was removed so he runs a very high risk a catching an infection so the less people he is exposed to right now the better.”
Tucker came up behind her as she was speaking and slipped his arm around her waist silently lending her his support. He knew that she was seconds away from collapsing.
“I’m going to go home now and I suggest you all do the same. We could all do with some rest.”
“But where is Brian?” Michael’s voice came out in his usual whine.
“He is staying with Justin,” was Jennifer’s simple answer.
“I thought that he could only see him for ten or so minutes according to hospital rules,” Lindsay sounded nearly as whiny as Michael.
“The head of the ICU recognised Brian from last time Justin was in hospital and has given permission for him to stay with him.”
“How could they recognise Brian he wasn’t here that long and he didn’t even visit Justin?” Mel still sounded pissed at Brian for that.
“Actually Brian was here every night that Justin was in hospital.” Jennifer contradicted.
She was getting tired of people thinking the worst of Brian. Sure, she had done it too in the beginning but now she knew better. The others had known Brian how long? You would have thought that they would know him well enough by now.
Shocked silence greeted her statement before everyone started talking, well more like shouting at once.
“No, he wasn’t. I’m his best friend. He would have told me.”
“Why didn’t he say anything?”
“I knew he loved Sunshine.”
“Why didn’t we know?”
“But Brian doesn’t love Justin like that. He’s just a trick that never left.”
“ENOUGH,” Jennifer shouted. “This has nothing to do with any of you. My sons’ relationship is personal and your opinions and comments are not appreciated.”
Stunned silence greeted her. Tucker had walked up behind her and helped her to put her coat on.
Shrugging into her warm coat, she continued softer, “We are all tired, in shock and in desperate need of a shower. There is no point in sitting around here. We can do nothing now. Everyone needs to go home and rest. Others were not so lucky in surviving and their partners and families are going to need support.”
This had the desired affect and soon enough everyone had cleared out the waiting area, walking to their cars in twos and threes.
“Why didn’t Brian tell me about staying at the hospital with Justin? I’m supposed to be his best friend,” Michael continued to whine to Ben on the way to their car.
Having expected this, Ben decided that just maybe his brunette husband needed a wake up call and might actually listen to reason this time.
“Michael, I think that things have changed. You may be Brian’s oldest friend but I believe that Justin is now his best and closest friend. Like it is with us, right?”
“Right…” the slow response came as Michael began to really think about what Ben had said.
“Mel, I’m confused. Why would Brian have stayed with Justin and why is he staying now? They aren’t even together anymore.”
“Sonofabitch,” Melanie whispered under her breath as she came to a startling realisation.
“He actually loves Justin. He really loves him. He’s not just fucking with him.”
Lindsay’s face quickly matched Melanie’s for shock and disbelief as they walked to the car.
“Jennifer, are you sure that you want to go home? I can always go for you and bring you back some things,” Tucker reassured her, wanting to do something, anything to help her out.
“No, I need to see Molly. Besides after all this time, I know Brian loves Justin and will look after him. I trust him.” She smiled slightly to herself after that.
They climbed into the car and drove to Molly’s friend, Amber. It was a relatively short drive that was done in companionable silence. Each taking the time to sort through their own thoughts. Jennifer especially was thinking on how to explain everything that had happened to Molly.
The front door flew open as they pulled into the driveway and before Jennifer even had a chance to climb out of the car; her daughter came hurtling towards her.
“MOM! Mom are you okay? Where’s Justin? Is he hurt? Is he okay? Why isn’t he with you?”
The mother grabbed her daughter in a fierce hug effectively cutting off all of the questions. After a few moments, she pulled away slightly.
“Molly, Justin is alive but he’s in the hospital. He was hurt badly in the explosion.” This was greeted with a look of absolute panic from the younger sibling.
“He will be fine, darling. Brian is at the hospital with him now. We can collect a few things from home and then you can go and see him. Okay?” she reassured her daughter while stroking her fingers through the young girl’s hair in a comforting gesture.
“Brian’s there?” she was confused. “Did they get back together and didn’t tell me?”
“No, but Brian found out about the explosion and drove to the club and ran into the burning ruins like a mad man looking for Justin. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got back together. Actually I think it would be a great thing. Justin and Brian are better together.”
Molly smiled briefly before her face fell. “Can we go please mom? I want to see him for myself.”
Tucking a strand of hair behind Molly’s ear she answered, “Of course.” She lifted her head to look at Amber and her parents over Molly’s shoulder. “Thank you for having her and sorry for cutting this visit short.”
Amber immediately came up and hugged her friend. “It’s not a problem. I hope your brother heals quickly. Don’t worry so much. Go and see him.”
“Thanks Amber,” she replied returning her hug.
“We’re gonna head home first so that I can clean up properly and grab a few things for your brother before we go to the hospital, sweetie,” Jennifer told her daughter as Tucker reversed out of the driveway.
Molly nodded in understanding and watched the houses go by as they drove down the street.