CHAPTER FORTY SIX
Brian fiddled with Rocky as Kevin drove them through their home town. He looked out across at the fields and trees… he could even see the park where his mother used to take him as a child. Sammy would have loved it here. He wished that he could’ve taken him to visit this place…
“When will I get to see him, Kev?” he murmured.
“Soon,” Kevin promised. “You feeling a little better now, Brian?”
He nodded slowly. His eyes had finally stopped stinging after all of his tears. His fear of heights had deserted him upon the plane. It had been quite peaceful looking at all of the clouds outside of the plane. He had imagined what it would be like to float away with them and forget about his troubles… forget about living. It wasn’t as if he had a life anymore.
Nick sat in the back seat, unusually quiet. He had met them at the airport with his rucksack and embraced Brian tightly as soon as he saw him. Since though, he had barely said a word but Brian was too wrapped up with his own melancholy to wander about his best friend’s unusual silence and behaviour.
Brian closed his eyes. Soon he would be home and in the arms of his mother. He really needed her now. He felt like a little boy again the way he kept crying. But it wasn’t his mother who he really wanted, it was his own little boy.
Brian looked out of the window, vaguely taking in his surroundings. He could hear people laughing. A child as well. He banished the tears from his eyes as he imagined that it was Sammy’s voice he could hear… but it wasn’t. He could see the dark haired young boy laughing with his father. Brian turned away from the happy family.
Kevin parked them in front of Brian’s parents’ home and then turned to stare at his vacant cousin. Brian still stared out of the window. He could see a line of trees behind some houses… the wood where him and his brother had played. He’d told Sammy about that wood. He’d promised to take him there. He would never get the chance now. There was so much on Sammy’s life he was going to miss out on…
“Brian?” Kevin said.
Brian turned around and forced himself to smile.
“Come on,” Kevin said. He reached out and grabbed Brian’s bag.
Slowly, Brian climbed out of the car and felt a slight summer breeze blowing on his face. He could smell the pollen from the flowers growing in the garden. He’d forgotten how much he loved this place.
He stood by the road, looking around at the place he knew so well. Home…He usually felt better when he came home. Now, it felt awful Sammy could be thousands of miles away and he didn’t know where he was… Would he hate him for not coming to see him on his birthday?
“Why don’t you go and look round the back, Brian?” Kevin said.
Brian looked about. Kevin and Nick were standing on the doorstep. No one had come to greet them. Brian nodded. The sun was burning brightly, so his parents were probably outside enjoying the clement weather.
He pushed the gate open and walked up the winding, cobbled path, counting each slab as he always had done since he was a child.
There were voices laughing. They were coming from the garden. Brian gulped. He wasn’t sure if he could join in with the laughs and the smiles that undoubtedly went with them. How could he? There was only one thing that would make him smile again and he didn’t know where he was anymore.
He slipped into the garden quietly. He didn’t want to disturb everyone’s fun. His mother and father were laughing and talking at the far end of the yard by a big tree. Brian remembered that tree. His father had made him and his brother a swing to play on.
To his surprise, he found that his brother, Harry was sat on a bench chatting amiably with AJ and Howie. He stopped in shock.
“Hey Rok!” AJ called, holding up a glass of fruit juice. “Join the party!”
“What?” Brian asked. He wasn’t in the mood for AJ’s jokes. He wanted to greet his parents and then crawl away to his room where he could be alone with his misery.
“Hi little bro!” Harry yelled, also holding up a drink. “You’re a little late, though! We expected you to arrive earlier! Mom and dad are over there.” He gestured to the huge tree.
Howie smiled from his own seat and helped himself to a sandwich from a table, which had been carried outside. He gave a cheerful wave to Brian.
Brian felt like screaming. How could they be so happy? How could they be acting like this when he had just had his little baby snatched so cruelly away from him?
He turned and saw Kevin and Nick just entering.
“Everything okay?” Kevin asked. “It’s a lovely day, isn’t it?”
Brian was about to tell him what he really thought of his day so far when he stopped. The swing… there was a child on the swing…
Sammy jumped from the swing and dashed over to him with a bright, happy smile.
Brian felt the small cry come up in his throat, but it was muffled by a sob. Sammy bounded up to him laughing. Brian felt his legs melt from beneath him and he sunk to the floor just as Sammy hurled himself into his arms.
“Daddy! Daddy! Daddy!” Sammy said, burying himself in Brian’s arms.
Brian clutched him, hardly daring to believe that he wasn’t dreaming. This had to be a dream… It was so perfect. He ran his fingers through Sammy’s blond hair to reassure him that this was truly reality. It was him… he was here with him now.
Sammy gave him a sloppy kiss on the cheek and smiled at him.
“They told me you were coming, daddy.”
Brian rubbed the tears from his joy filled eyes and smiled at him, his little baby. “H – Happy birthday,” he stammered.
Sammy gave him another hug and clambered onto Brian’s lap. AJ came over and watched them both embrace. His parents were coming to join them now. Brian couldn’t believe it. He was so happy…
“H – how?” he asked, turning to Harry, AJ and the others. “Are Sammy’s new family here?”
AJ grinned. “Yep.”
“I told you you’d see him soon,” Kevin said.
“You knew?” Brian said, rubbing Sammy’s back.
“I wanted to surprise you.”
Nick knelt down beside Brian and Sammy and tapped the boy on the shoulder. “So Sammy, do you like the birthday present me and Kevin got you?”
Sammy looked up at Brian and smiled. “Yes.” He gave Brian another tight hug.
Brian held him back and wondered if he could ever love somebody more than this. It was such a different feeling to experience the love a child. It was so different to being in love with another adult. Different… but just as wonderful.
“Brian, you haven’t met Sammy’s new family yet,” Howie said.
Brian nodded slightly. He felt more comfortable with meeting Sammy’s new parents now that he knew that Sammy still loved him and that he was still his daddy.
“Okay.” Carefully, he stood up with Sammy in his arms and looked around for them.
“What do you think of them?” Harold asked.
“Who? Where are they?”
“Your daddy can be a real idiot at times, can’t he Sammy?” Nick said, rolling his eyes.
Brian rounded on his parents, tears shining in his eyes. “Y – you?” He gulped slightly, begging for it to be true.
Jackie smiled and Brian felt the tears slowly slide down his cheeks.
“What do you think? Do you trust us enough to look after your son for you?” Harold asked, his eyes twinkling.
Brian felt the sobs take him over. He placed Sammy down and ran to give his own father a hug.
“Thank you,” he whispered. “Thank you so much.”
“I know it’s not ideal,” Jackie said. “But Sammy can stay with you whenever you’re not on tour and he can come and visit you during your concerts.”
Brian broke away from his father and embraced his mother instead. Did anybody else’s parents love their child as much as this? Yes, they must do because Brian knew he loved Sammy as much as his parents loved him.
“How did you get him?” he whispered.
“Hilary asked us if we wanted to adopt him. It seemed the best thing she could do. This way, you still get to see him as often as you like and it gets around the board because Sammy has been adopted by two parents, but of course he’ll always be yours,” Harold said.
“So, this time he’s staying? They won’t take him away again?”
Brian kissed his mother on the cheek and gave her another loving embrace.
“I – I don’t know what to say. Thank you. I love you both so much.”
Harold ruffled his hair. “I think your son wants some attention. He has a pile of presents to open! He refused to touch a single one until you arrived, but I think he’s getting a little impatient now!”
Brian laughed and turned to Sammy who was bouncing up and down beside him. He scooped him up into his arms and kissed him on the head. He felt the tears trickling down his face. He couldn’t stop them, not with all of the emotions inside of him.
“I bet you’re dying to open all of those presents, hey?” he said.
Sammy smiled and pressed his face up against Brian’s.
“You’re crying,” Sammy said, tracing one of Brian’s tears with a tiny hand. “Are you sad?”
“No,” Brian whispered. “Not anymore.”
He carried his son in his arms over to the swing. He could play with him now, play with him until dark. He would never have to let him go again.
Author Note: Thanks to everyone who read this and helped it win so many awards! I had no idea it would be so popular!
There is a kind of spin-off sequel to this story called Time's Enemy, which features an older Sammy. It's a science fiction story about time travel.
There's also a cheesey short story with Sammy in it called Christmas Time. Enjoy!
If you want to send me feedback on any of my stories, or if you want to use this story on your own website or adapt it to another fandom then drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll talk about it.