I realize I have some ongoing stories... I've been working on them but yeah, I've been out of the loop for various reasons... but I started and (gasp) finished a story.
Many thanks to beta Big J and to Butterflytiger_1982!!
This is VERY anti-Mikey. I'm not, but this story is...
I walk into the church and am immediately wrapped in the warm music flowing from the organ; it soon ends and the cavernous space is silent except for a few coughs and a sneeze or two. I stand at the very back of the church and wait breathlessly; then he stands proudly, although I can tell he's a little nervous. He searches the congregation with anxious eyes till he spots me and he smiles shyly at me. I sign, "I love you" while mouthing the words simultaneously (it's our little thing – so shut up before you snort), and I nearly melt when I see him beam at me, way too excitedly and lovingly for the solemnity of the moment and setting. That's my son, my beautiful son and he's decidedly a Kinney, even if he's in a church choir: Screw what protocol dictates, he'll smile if he damned well pleases.
Then he signs and mouths "I love you" back to me and I almost laugh out loud with pride.
So, I guess you know that normally, Brian Kinney setting foot in a church voluntarily would be a sign of the Apocalypse (without the expectation of fucking the priest, that is) - but Gus is seven years old, a beautiful singer and today is his first solo. And most of all: He's my son and I love him more than my life. Maybe that's another sign of the Apocalypse but fuck it: Bring it on. The four horsemen might be hot.
I see Lindsay's blond hair and Mel's clipped brunette 'do from the back. I can tell they both realize I'm here because Linds's shoulders are shaking as she tries to keep her laughter under control and Mel is sitting suddenly straighter, her back rigid as if in a rage. They know I'm here, not from turning to see me but because Gus is so blatantly obvious in his response to my arrival.
I lean against the wall smiling, and then notice a few people whispering because Gus isn't looking at the conductor who is poised, ready for Gus to sing - no, my son is looking at me! I point towards the conductor so Gus will turn his attention to him. He does, steels himself, takes a deep breath and begins to sing. Fuck me, but he sings so confidently, so beautifully, so purely and without effort, I'm blown away as I always am the times he's sung for me. A sap; I'm officially a sap for my boy. I can't help it.
As his melodic voice envelopes me, I relax completely. I stare in wonder and after a while my eyes wander around the entire all-boys choir. They're all fine boys but mine is the stand-out: He sings like an angel, he has a strong and happy personality, he has a healthy confidence that most of the boys his age lack and he's the most sensitive, kind child - hell, human being I've ever met. (He must've gotten those last two qualities from Lindsay.) Yes, he's definitely the stand out.
Ha. I suppose I can admit I'm a bit biased...
My wandering eyes then land on the 'conductor'; a youth himself, really - but older, of course than the children he directs; he's twenty, twenty-one, maybe. He's hot, actually - from the back, anyway. That's all I can see at the moment. He has a sizzling bubble butt and blond, longish hair - and from his movements, he's VERY into the music and is especially into how my son sings; therefore, I immediately like the man.
After the service is over and the congregation is filing out, shaking hands and exchanging platitudes with the Father at the door, I hang in the shadows, dodge Gus's Moms and hurry into the altar area where the choir has gathered to get ready to leave. The boys are changing into their 'Sunday street clothes'. I search the room for Gus and when my eyes land on him, I find him a ways to the side; he's beaming at the conductor who is apparently heaping praises on him. I make my way over to the two and when I'm within earshot, I hear the man telling Gus how phenomenal and brave he is, how proud he should be of himself, how strong and lovely his voice is and now it's not only Gus eating up his praises - it's me. That's MY son! Gawd! I may as well give up and become an official 'soccer mom'.
I reach them and stand behind the conductor; Gus looks up, noticing me and his smile gets even bigger. It looks like the top of his head might come off, his smile's so wide. "DADDY!! I'M SO HAPPY YOU CAME!! I SAW YOU! DID YOU SEE ME SIGN 'I LOVE YOU' LIKE YOU DID TO ME?" he yells, startling the conductor who turns to see me. "LIKE WE ALWAYS DO?" he adds. I'm tempted to put my finger to my lips to hush him but his excitement is so fucking endearing I decide to let him be the seven-year-old he is; Joanie would've boxed me on the ears and hissed, "Be respectful in the house of the Lord!" I refuse to channel that holy-roller freak.
The man and I are silent for a moment, looking at each other; I discover he's beautiful not just from the back. He has deep blue eyes and porcelain-like skin which looks so incredibly soft, I want to reach out and touch him right here and now.
I muster my wits and smile broadly at my son. "Yes, Sonny Boy, of course I saw you - you know I'd never miss this. And you know how I don't like to--"
"--even set foot in a church!" he finishes for me, laughing. He runs the short distance between us and I'm nearly bowled over in a fervent hug (which, I admit, I readily return). When we release each other, a small friend of his - Jason, I think - comes over and drags my boy a little ways away. I'm left here with a big, goofy smile, staring after him.
"I'm Justin." I hear from beside me. Startled, I look over and find the blond conductor guy gazing at me, his hand out to be shaken. I'd forgotten he was there for a second.
I shake his hand. "I'm Brian Kinney. I'm Gus's Daddy." Pfft. 'Duh, Kinney,' I think to myself.
"I gathered; he's thrilled you came. Honestly, I am too - I've only met his Moms. But I can easily understand why I haven't met you yet if you're not a religious person."
"I'm not a church fan. Organized religion gives me the willies, for the most part. I'm Agnostic, I guess - I dunno. The whole God/church thing just doesn't fit into my life except when it comes to Gus. Even then, I just love to see and hear him sing."
He smiles. "He's absolutely wonderful, Mr. Kinney. I'm glad you're proud of him - you ought to be," he offers almost coquettishly which must be my imagination. Church is like my kryptonite: My sexual pseudo-superpowers and sense of perception are completely dulled. "I am too, actually. Agnostic, I mean. For the most part," he adds.
I look at him a moment a little puzzled. "Hmm. And you conduct a boy's church choir - why, exactly?"
He laughs slightly and looks down shyly, kicking out a pointed toe at nothing on the floor and clasping his hands behind him. Dulled sexual powers and sense of perception aside, I would swear he's acting like an infatuated schoolgirl! "The music. The boys' voices are so moving; boys' voices aren't like women's, as many people say. There's a clarity, confidence and purity to the boys' voices that I've never heard anywhere else. Gus in particular really sings beautifully, you know..." he says with a small smile.
I smile slightly myself. "Yeah," I agree. I pause another moment. "So, you aren't some child molester, are you?" (Hey, Kinneys are Kinneys, no matter what age - at least my son and I are. Neither of us care much what others think or expect of us and neither of us beat around the bush.)
Justin's smile disappears and he looks stricken, shocked and sickened. "Wha....?" he mutters in a whisper.
"You heard me. Are you?" Merciless, aren't I? Yes. When it comes to Gus.
He shakes his head to pull himself together. He eyes me critically a second or two. "Mr. Kinney--"
"Call me Brian - unless you're some sicko..."
Justin snickers slightly. "Um... Okay, then Brian: NO, I'm not a child molester. The idea makes me sick.
"Are you?" he then asks.
Okay, now I know for sure that I like Justin. He was only thrown momentarily by my question and for someone who apparently spends a lot of time with a bunch of 'churchy' do-gooders and biddies, I'm impressed. "No," I answer, grinning wryly. "I'm perverted in much different ways: Consenting, willing adults only."
Justin chuckles. "Whips and chains, eh?"
Huh? Even my kinky brain didn't immediately jump there. "Sometimes..." I say finally. "Certainly, when requested."
"Hmm," he muses, and I notice that he's blushing like one of his Choirboys. I dare to think he looks 'adorable' but only because I'm thinking it, not saying it.
Suddenly, Justin's tackled by a wee towhead. "James!"
"Mama said I could come back here!!" the child says happily. He can't be older than four.
"I'm glad you did, son! How'd we sound to you and Mama there in the front row?"
"Lovely!" a dark-haired, lightly chocolate-skinned young woman interjects, walking up to Justin for a hug. "That child sang a lovely solo!"
Justin smiles. "Daph, meet Brian Kinney - 'that child's' father!"
The woman turns and beams at me. "Mr. Kinney - you must be so proud! Your son has a voice like an angel! And his presence and confidence are astounding!"
I shake her proffered hand and then give it a polite kiss. She blushes deeply. Gawd. "Yeah, he's a bit of a ham, I'm afraid. But thank you - Daphne, is it? And please, call me Brian."
"Yes, I'm Daphne or Daph if you like. Well, Brian, James here wants to be just like...?" She pauses and raises her brows slightly in question.
"Gus. My son's name is Gus."
"Of course! James wants to be just like Gus-- I had to shush him during the service at least three fuckin—er," [she catches herself and looks at me, stricken… but she blushes only until she see I'm grinning. Relieved, she flashes a little grin herself;] "-three times after your boy's solo… he couldn't stop raving about him! Our son is joining the choir next year we hope... he's so excited. He wants to be a choir director like his Daddy some day..." she smiles down at her child who is busy looking at all the activity around the room.
I thank her for her kind words about Gus and assure her that I'm certain with his passion, her boy will get into the choir. In the back of my mind though, I'm confused; my gaydar is never off and even in the power-sapping holy sanctuary of St. Mary's, I could have sworn Justin is gay... but he has a son and apparently, a wife. I glance over at Gus who is no longer with Jason but is now grudgingly enduring the gushing attention of his mothers. I roll my eyes. "Well, I better go get Gus; he was just with his moms for an overnight and he comes home today, so we have to get all his stuff in the car. Surprising how much he just had to pack for just one night." I glance over at Gus who at that moment looks at me with a pleading expression. I know that look very well - it practically screams, "save me". "Besides, he looks like he needs to be rescued from his doting mothers."
Daphne and Justin chuckle.
"Nice to meet you both and you practice your singing, James. You'll be doing solos in no time," I wink at the child.
Justin and Daphne say goodbye. Justin seems hesitant, like he really doesn't want me to go; like he wants to talk to me more. Judging from his squirming, he'd rather Daphne and his son weren't here at the moment either.
I shrug it off.
James pulls my hand to stop me as I start towards Gus; a little surprised, I look down into his clear blue eyes - eyes just like his father's. He gazes up at me with a look of absolute innocence and glee. "I hope I sing as goodly as your son!" the lad exclaims. Then he gives me an intent, appraising look. "You're pretty. You're really pretty - I like looking at you."
Even me, Brian Kinney can be knocked off balance sometimes- and this is one of those times. What child would say such a thing? Justin looks like he wants to crawl under a rock. "Umm... Thank you, James. You, too." I pause a beat. "Well, see you all," I say awkwardly and I head over to Gus and his Moms.