|jule1122 (jule1122) wrote in qaf_prompts,|
@ 2009-09-14 18:15:00
|Entry tags:||author: jule1122, fic, prompt: moving|
Moving Prompt Ficlet: The Shadows and the Frame
Title: The Shadows and the Frame
Author's Note: Thank you to _alicesprings for not only coming up with the challenge, but also for betaing this story for me! The title comes from a k.d. lang song.
When Lindsay came back downstairs after putting the kids to bed, she found him standing in front of the painting. She stood next to him, resting her hand against his back. “It was good of you to come.”
“I wanted to.” Justin turned to her and smiled softly.
“I’m sure Brian would be here if he could.”
The look he gave her reminded her that Justin didn’t need her reassurances any more. He hadn’t in a long time. “How long has it been?”
“Four months,” he answered quickly, almost cutting her off.
Lindsay winced. She couldn’t imagine being away from Mel for that long. “I’m sorry. You could have gone to Pittsburgh. We would have understood.”
Justin shook his head. “We’ve had this planned for a long time, and the kids were expecting us. At least one of us needed to be here.”
“They adore you, you know. It means the world to them that you’re here.”
Justin turned to fully face her then and took her hand. “Lindsay, it’s OK. I’m not angry or disappointed. I want to be here. You don’t have to apologize for that or for anyone.”
What happened to the boy who’d slept on her couch and desperately searched for any sign that Brian loved him? She searched his face and found traces of that boy in the man he’d become, but the differences brought home the fact the he knew Brian in ways she didn’t, and he didn’t need her to translate anymore. Not sure of what to say, she turned her attention back to the painting, his long ago going away gift to them.
“Do you remember helping us pack before we moved? You told Melanie you couldn’t help thinking of the picture of Ellis Island. Sometimes when I look at this, I wonder if you painted a bit of your own dreams into it.”
“I’d like to think I’m more subtle than that,” Justin said with a slight laugh.
“I didn’t mean it as a criticism. But with everything that was going on at the time, I can’t help but think...”
“I was painting my unvoiced desire to go to New York?” Justin finished. “I meant it when I told you New York wasn’t my opportunity of a lifetime.”
“But you still went.”
“It was still one hell of an opportunity.”
Justin flashed an open, happy smile, and Lindsay was tempted to change the subject. But she watched the fading light cast shadows over the painting she loved so much, and she spoke without thinking. “But not your dream?”
“Part of my dream, just not all of it.”
“When I gave Brian the article, I wasn’t trying to interfere.”
“You were doing what you thought was best for me. And you weren’t wrong. If I hadn’t gone, it would have stayed between us. “He, we,” Justin said more gently, “would have wondered.”
Like she and Brian wondered. Justin didn’t say it, but he knew. Maybe it was her own dream she saw in his painting. But she’d made her peace with that dream, found a new one, in Canada of all places. And Brian had Kinnetik.
“And now you don’t have to wonder. You’ve really made a name for yourself.”
“Brian and I are good.” Justin answered the question she hadn’t been able to ask since he’d arrived alone. “And this is just a painting that means a millions things and nothing. You know that.”
“It’s not just a painting. It’s a Justin Taylor, and that means something.” She let him lead her into the kitchen where a bottle of wine was waiting. They spent the rest of the evening talking about art without any subtext or her less than subtle probing for information. Still, she noticed how at times he talked about New York as if it were already in the past. And that night when she went to bed, she told Melanie they needed to hold off on making plans to spend next Christmas in New York.