A/N: This is officially it people. The end of the line. FUll stop. The Epilogue.
Gabe stepped into the sun and smiled, he was free. It was over. They had won.
Joel and Dimitri flanked him; he looked over at the older of them and couldn't stop the giggle that escaped him at the suit Joel had managed to find for the court hearing. His wild blonde hair was tied back and he looked… uncomfortable.
The blonde shot him a sour look and Dimitri chuckled as he pressed against Gabe's back, pressing kisses to the back of his neck. "All done Gabe. He's officially gone."
It was surreal; for that part of his life to be truly over with. He had been fighting against it for so long, that to have it gone left him feeling light enough to float away. He didn't think he would ever forget the look on James' face as he had been led away.
He would carry the scars from that part of his life forever, but it was finally finished. He could close the book on that and start to live a normal life. Well, as normal as it got.
Nixy was running towards them with Jenny and Dave in tow as they slumped on the steps outside the courthouse waiting for Holly and Joe to finish up with the lawyers.
The girls fell on them laughing and cheering, ruffling Gabe's hair and pulling at Joel's suit.
Gabe finally broke free and laughing asked, "Jenny, you let her buy ice cream again didn't you?"
Nixy cackled and nodded, pulling Jenny around in front of her and standing up on tip toes to see over her shoulder, "It's because she loves me Gabe. In special ways. Ways that lead to ice cream and lots of sex!"
Jenny spluttered and elbowed Nixy before her sugar-fuelled mouth took the statement even further. Gabe and Dimitri just laughed.
Joel looked down at the people surrounding him and he couldn't stop the wide smile that fixed itself on his face. This was what it had all been for. They had been through hell and back and they had made it. They had got away, beaten James and he could honestly say that he was happy, Gabe was happy. There was nothing more than this.
Sitting in the sun and laughing, feeling free and clear and light as a feather.
When they got back to the house, finally, Calleigh and Marie were waiting, Sarah and Stacie perched in front of cartoons. There was more laughter and congratulations and even dancing as Joel and Calleigh whirled around the room at high speed to the theme song for Looney Tunes; much to the delight of the small girls.
It was after the high spirits and the laughter and the telling of how it had all finally happened that the knock on the door came. Tentative and quiet.
Joe heaved himself out of the chair and went to answer it even as Dimitri and Gabe started giggling at something else.
Gabe shushed his boyfriend at the sound of voices, one of them Joe's and the other familiar in a way he couldn't quite place.
He looked towards the door as it opened and felt the attention of the room follow his as he watched Joe step into the lounge, "Gabe, there's someone here to see you."
Curiosity and a little trepidation borne of a history of bad meetings lit in him as as he sat up a little, squeezing Dimitri's arm where it wrapped around his stomach. He saw Joel right himself as well and Nixy and Jenny stopped their quiet conversation as the door swung open to reveal a face Gabe knew very well.
The man was tall and thin, wiry with long greying hair, brushing his shoulders; glasses perched on the tip of a thin nose and bright green eyes filled with tears as he looked down at Gabe.
Gabe froze, stopped breathing, forgot everything that had happened and was on his feet in seconds.
Tentatively he stepped forward and was pulled into a bone-crushing hug even as he stuttered out, "Dad?"
Nodding and pulling away to look down at his son, he pushed hair out of his eyes and studied him for a long time, "It's me. I finally found you Gabriel."
There were tears and laughter and stories of a lifetime of pain and newfound happiness.
The sun set on a family reunited and wealth of promise for the future. Gabriel had found what he had spent so long looking for, praying for: Home.
A/N: That's it. All finished. Finally. In a way this Epilogue was totally unnecessary, but from the minute I started I wanted to end with Gabe and his Dad reunited. So I did it lol.
This story has kicked my ass in so many ways and for so long that it is officially weird to be able to say it's all over. So I'm just going to briefly say thank to everyone ever who reviewed, added this to their favourites or their alerts. Basically I would have totally given up if it wasn't for those pesky little alerts that popped up in my inbox every now and then.
I hope you all enjoyed it, even though it was sporadic and probably made you want to hurt me for the big long gaps between updates.
Of course this is not going to be the last you see of these guys. I'm already tossing an idea around about a spin-off/sequel type thing. But I promise nothing, because if I do then murphy's law states I will inevitably give up on it and disappoint everyone.
Update!! 03/10: As of now I've started uploading the side story that was bugging me when I finished this. Finally lol. It's called Special Coffee, focussing on Joel, because I love him so much, and Sean... Remember him? Pesky little blak haired teen that sort of fell by the wayside back in the earlier chapters. Well, I'm working on chapter three so go check it out!! I'm shamelessly pimping it, because Sean and Joel aren't getting much love at the moment xD Love you guys!
x x x