25. We can take anything
Sitting amongst his fellow students, his boyfriend's hand clasped tightly in his own and his friends all around him, Lucas glanced around at everybody's faces.
Josh's sporting friends would miss him. Or at least, they would miss the person they thought him to be.
Not even Lucas or his friends in the choir knew who Josh really was. They knew some of the things he was capable of but they still didn't really know him.
"Don't let it get to you baby." Jensen whispered into Lucas's ear.
After being released from the gym, Lucas caught up to Coach Kennester. Eyes on the floor, he simply told her it would no longer be necessary to show the footage Benny and Asher had managed to film on Sue's Corner.
"I guess I'll just have to improvise a series of jokes related to one Joe Blake's ridiculous hair." Sue sighed before heading off down the corridor.
The choir members didn't bother attending their last lessons of the day. Instead they headed outside to the bleachers and sat down together in an awkward silence.
Seeing that Jane and Brent were holding hands, the dark haired girl resting her head on the drummer's shoulder, Lucas assumed that he was correct in thinking the big announcement Jane never got to make was about her and Brent getting back together.
Feeling Jensen press a kiss to his head, Lucas closed his eyes and for a few fleeting moments he almost forgot about that morning's tragedy.
"Ok, like why are we all moping as if we actually give a shit?" Tatia finally asked. "So what if the kid killed himself? Good riddance I say."
"Tatia." Molly admonished. "That's not a nice thing to say."
"Well the guy wasn't exactly a nice person," Tatia pointed out. "Do you all suddenly have amnesia or something? Am I the only one who remembers what an asshole he was? We shouldn't be sat out here looking all depressed like a friend or a pet just died. He wasn't our friend ok, he was a bullying little scumbag and we shouldn't be mourning him."
"Tatia." Molly repeated just shaking her head with a sigh.
"He was a bastard," Dean said and they all turned to look at the large-mouthed blonde. "But none of us wanted him dead."
"Oh whatever," Tatia scoffed. "The jerk killed himself, big deal. I'm not saying we should throw a party but we shouldn't be sulking either. I didn't like him, I'm not going to miss him and I don't care that he's dead."
"You didn't see him." Molly told her quietly. "You weren't alone in that room with his body unable to do anything but stare at it, you don't… you just don't understand. You didn't see him." She repeated.
"It was horrifying," Elena spoke up. "Seeing him hanging there, knowing that he did it to himself… the feelings I felt in that moment will never go away."
"He wasn't Josh anymore." Sakura said. "He wasn't a jock, a bully, a stalker or a closet-case. He wasn't anything."
"Just a body." Jake said. "Just a kid."
"I've always been obsessed with death," Sakura commented. "But actually seeing the dead body of somebody we know…" she trailed off with a shudder even though there was no wind to cause a chill. "I always thought of death in a glorified way, that it was something beautiful, just like childbirth. But seeing the body, there was nothing glorious or beautiful about that experience. That moment in the choir room will haunt me forever."
"Ok Morticia Addams just shut up." Tatia told the Gothic girl.
"Well I do care." Molly replied.
"So do I." Lucas sighed.
"You've gotta be kidding me," Tatia muttered. "Jensen, come on, back me up here."
"Fuck, I don't know." Jensen swore. "This day just kinda sucks you know."
"Oh whatever," Tatia huffed crossing her arms over her chest and sneering at them all. "When you babies are done with crying over the poor misunderstood psycho why don't you give me a call."
She made to storm off but Molly caught hold of her arm.
"What?" Tatia demanded.
"You're being a bitch," Molly informed her. "More so than usual. That usually means you're scared, upset or so confused that you don't even know what to do or how you're supposed to feel. And that's ok. None of us need to have all the answers right now. We just need to be here to support one another and help each other through them. So if you want to make some more nasty comments then go right ahead, we're listening. But don't you dare walk away from us."
Without a word or scathing retort of any kind, Tatia sat back down and silence swept over them once more.
"Hi Barbie." Dean eventually said making his voice sound funny and the others looked to him incredulously. "Hi Ken." He continued making his voice higher and causing Kurt to gape at him in shock. "Do you wanna go for a ride?" He asked even as most of the others shot him variations of 'what the fuck?' expressions.
"Sure Ken." Molly smiled at him.
"Jump in…" Dean said.
"Really, guys, really?" Elena asked looking between the two as if they were both insane.
"Just trying to lighten the mood a little." Dean shrugged defensively.
"I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world," Jake sang in his very poor singing voice. "Life in plastic…" he continued looking a little uncertain.
"It's fantastic." Molly and Dean joined in.
"You can brush my hair…" Sakura added her vocals.
"Undress me everywhere…" Benny sang adding his voice to the mix.
"Imagination, life is your creation…" Dean, Molly, Jake, Sakura and Benny sang in unison.
"Come on Barbie, let's go party!" Dean half-sang and half-shouted.
"I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world," Brent and Jensen sang together causing Laura to giggle before joining in. "Life in plastic, it's fantastic. You can brush my hair, undress me everywhere. Imagination, life is your creation."
"I'm a blonde bimbo girl, in the fantasy world," Molly sang standing up to dance around a little bit, Sakura joining her. "Dress me up, make it tight, I'm your dolly."
"You're my doll, rock'n'roll, feel the glamour in pink," Benny sang. "Kiss me here, touch me there, hanky panky."
"You can touch, you can play, if you say: 'I'm always yours', I'm a Barbie girl," Molly, Sakura and Laura sang together while Brent drummed a beat on his knees, Benny and Jensen clapped along and Jake and Dean danced around with the three girls.
"Come on Barbie, let's go party." The boys minus Lucas sang.
"Ah-ah-ah-yeah." Molly, Sakura and Laura sang.
"Come on Barbie, let's go party." The boys repeated.
"Oo-ooh, oo-ooh." The three girls.
Having been gaping at the scene playing out before them, Jane and Elena made eye-contact before shrugging simultaneously and joining in.
"Make me walk, make me talk, do whatever you please," they all sang together apart from Lucas and Tatia. "I can act like a star, I can beg on my knees. Come jump in, bimbo friend, let us do it again, hit the town, fool around, let's go party. You can touch, you can play, if you say: 'I'm always yours'. You can touch, you can play, if you say: 'I'm always yours'."
"Come on Barbie, let's go party." Lucas sang standing up and offering his hand to Tatia.
"Ah-ah-ah-yeah." Tatia spoke with little enthusiasm as she shook her head before joining the others in their rendition of Aqua's Barbie Girl.
After finishing the song, they all looked around at one another before simultaneously bursting out laughing and it took a long while for them to stop.
"That was really fun." Sakura smiled. "Barbie Girl is actually a really good song."
"Who are we kidding?" Tatia asked. "That was super lame. If you guys tell anybody I sang that song with you then I'll deny it."
"So what do we do now?" Molly asked.
"I suggest we choose a Broadway classic as our next song selection." Jane spoke up eagerly.
"That isn't what I meant," Molly said. "I mean, what happens now? What are we supposed to do about… Josh?"
"Nothing." Jensen answered wrapping his arms protectively around Lucas. "He's out of our lives now, Molly. There's nothing we can do. We just need to forget about the jerk and move on."
"Excuse me; was nobody listening to me half an hour ago?" Tatia asked. "Because that was basically what I said."
"Well, now that we've all had a little time to process the initial shock we should unite together and strive to overcome this unexpected obstacle and carry on," Jane said. "We cannot allow anything to distract us from Sectionals. And since we're all gathered together I'd like to take this time to share the news I had hoped to divulge to you all this morning," she made a show of linking Brent's fingers with hers and holding their joined hands up for everyone to see.
"Boring." Elena commented.
"It won't last." Tatia said snidely.
"I can't even feign shock." Sakura shrugged.
"Again?" Laura groaned with a roll of her eyes.
"Lucas and I totally make a hotter couple than you." Jensen added smugly.
"Would a Bane (Brent and Jane) baby be really short or really tall?" Molly asked.
"Guys, Miss Blake's on her way over," Dean warned. "With… who are they?"
"Those are Josh's parents." Brent informed them all.
"Why is she bringing them towards us?" Lucas asked nervously and Jensen held him closer telling him to relax.
"Everybody just remain calm and act natural." Elena advised.
They all dropped their eyes to the floor hoping to avoid the gaze of the Guidance Counsellor as well as Mr and Mrs Tristan as though not looking directly at either of the adults would prevent them from being seen.
"Hello kids," Miss Blake said gently. "I understand it's a troubling time for you all right now so I am willing to overlook the fact you're skipping class just this once. This is Mr and Mrs Tristan, they um, they'd like to talk to you Lucas." She said offering Lucas a reassuring smile as he pulled his head up to face them.
"You're Lucas?" Mrs Tristan asked softly looking at Lucas through red-rimmed eyes, it was clear she had been crying. "Lucas Benson?"
"I am." Lucas nodded in confirmation unsure as to why they wished to speak to him.
A new wave of tears fell from Mrs Tristan's eyes as she threw her arms around Lucas holding him close.
"Our Josh spoke so fondly of you." Mrs Tristan told him through a broken sob. "We know how close you and he were. You were very special to him."
"Oh." Lucas replied when nothing else came to his mind. He looked helplessly round at the other but they didn't seem to know what to say either.
"Our Josh," Mr Tristan said addressing Lucas as Mrs Tristan finally released the boy from her tight hug. "Did he say anything to you, anything that may have indicated why he… why he left us?"
"No," Lucas answered quietly. "He didn't. I'm sorry."
"Are you sure, sweetheart?" Mrs Tristan pressed. "Can't you think of anything at all?"
"No." Lucas repeated. "I don't know anything. I had no idea that he would… I had no idea." He said unable to complete the sentence and verbalise what Josh had done.
"You'll come to the funeral won't you?" Mrs Tristan asked and Lucas bit down on his lip as he looked to Jensen and the others not wanting to say yes but not knowing how to tell the grieving woman no.
"Of course." Molly answered on everybody's behalf. "Your son will be sorely missed." She told them, being kind enough to speak the words she believed Mr and Mrs Tristan would like to hear.
"Thank you," Mrs Tristan smiled at her pulling the blonde into a hug. "Sorry, I don't know your name."
"I'm Molly," she answered. "I was… I was the one who found him."
"Oh you poor girl." Mrs Tristan said hugging her closer and shedding fresh tears.
"I stayed with him," Molly told her not able to refer to Josh as just a body in front of his parents. "I didn't want him to be alone."
Crying a little harder, Mrs Tristan hugged Molly once more before telling them that she'd be in touch about the funeral.
"Damn, that was awkward." Laura breathed out.
"Are we going to go?" Benny asked looking round at them all and taking hold of Molly's hand. "To the funeral?"
"I think we have to." Molly said. "For them," she nodded in the direction the two Josh's were walking off in. "And for us. Saying goodbye might help."
"So we have to go to some dumb funeral and act like the jerk actually meant something to us?" Tatia asked not sounding impressed with the idea. "That's bullshit. When they lower his coffin into the ground we should shout out what an asshole he really was."
"We can't do that." Lucas told her as he melded himself against Jensen's side. "His parents loved him. They didn't know the truth and they don't need to. Just let them remember their son in as good a way as possible."
"So… we're going to go to the funeral?" Dean asked.
"Yes." Lucas answered with a sigh. "Molly's right. We have to go."
The group made their goodbyes and headed home.
"Never a boring day in Lima right?" Jensen asked jokingly with a hint of a laugh.
Lucas let out a small chuckle in response that turned into a sob part way through.
"Just let it out baby," Jensen told him cuddling him close and pressing light kisses to the countertenor's face. "Let it out, babe."
The crying only lasted for a minute or two before Lucas dried his eyes and let out a dark chuckle.
"It's been a long day." Lucas said matter-of-factly.
"Yeah." Jensen agreed. "But we survived it, right? Just like when we came out as a couple to the school. That week was pretty tough but we got through it. Or when you introduced me to your old man, we were both scared to death that James might shoot me. Hell, sometimes I think he still might, but we deal. You and me, baby, we can take anything."
"I know we can." Lucas smiled and Jensen grinned back at him as they moved in for a slow sensual kiss.
"So… sex?" Jensen asked with a smirk and a wink.
"No," Lucas replied. "I want you to make love to me tonight, I need you to. My place?"
"Sounds perfect baby." Jensen told him.
After another kiss, they moved back into the front of the car so Lucas could drive them to his house, feed his dad the pitiful 'we're doing homework' lie before leading Jensen down to his basement so they could make love.
"I love this song." Lucas commented as 'My Boyfriend's Back' began to play on the radio.
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