‹ Prequel: God Please
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Second Chance

Faith, Hope, and Comfort from Family

Four long months had passed since they had last seen the Sullivans. Jimmy's parents were such awesome people and they had pretty much adopted all of his closest friends as their own from early on. When the drummer left this world it was never a question whether they would still be considered part of the family.

As soon as the door opened, Barb gathered the couple into her arms and held them tight. A few tears escaped each of them briefly, but it was good for them. It was a cry of mixed emotions for all. It was the first time they had seen one another since they had lost Gray, and in seeing one another it always brought up memories of Jimmy who connected them all.

Once they made it inside, she called for Joe and they all got settled into the kitchen. That was the standing order in their household unless otherwise noted. Barb loved to cook for others, and everyone adored her food, so it just became the place to be. It was familiar and comfortable. That was something the younger couple definitely needed right now.

"So, tell me what's wrong," she said in between fragments of whatever song she was humming presently. It was always something. No doubt it's where the drummer got his cheerful personality. "Get those looks off your faces, kids. Where do you think my son got that intuition you all always talked about?" the question came without so much as a glance over her shoulder while putting several pots and pans on the stove.

"He always led us to believe he was just magic," the guitarist said with a soft laugh now.

"You have no reason the believe he wasn't," Jimmy's dad replied with a twinkle in his eyes.

"Now, I will ask again. What's troubling you two?"

"Honestly guys, I'm not sure I even know where to start." Brian admitted with a small exhale of air he hadn't known he was holding until then.


The duo hugged the Sullivans long and hard before they finally left following their hours long visit. The afternoon had been filled with a plethora of different feelings for both couples. What was for sure was they had all needed it. In the end, Brian felt confident with what came of their time together. He felt like he had gotten answers to many questions that had been weighing on his mind, and he was able to let go of some things that needed to be put to rest. It felt a lot like the times he used to go to Jimmy for advice, and that felt good.

After a long day, the two were mentally exhausted, but they knew going home to sleep wasn't the best thing. They preferred to be asleep more than they were awake at the present time, however, they knew well that depression fed on numbness and sleep. Instead, they opted to spend the remainder of the evening with Zack and Johnny. Lacey was out of town for the weekend and the youngest Avengedman had no qualms about opening their home for a game and movie night. The rhythm guitarist said he had snacks covered, so Brian stopped along the way to get the drinks.

When they arrived, the tired twosome really weren't prepared for what greeted them at the door. Somehow in the last half hour since they had spoken, the dress code had changed drastically. Blue and brown eyes widened at the sight of the younger man, though they really shouldn't have been as surprised as they were at his antics.

"Johnny, why the hell are you dressed like a pirate?" he demanded and an eyebrow arched with his tone.

"Uh, Johnny? Are you wearing bloomers?" several spurts of amusement escaped her at the utterly ridiculous sight.

"Aye!" the growl only furthered their amusement, but he continued on with totally obnoxious gusto. "Why aren't ye dressed up? Did ye not get the memo?"

"N--" he was cut off before he could even finish.

"No?!" he bellowed, completely into his character. "Wait here!"

The shorter Haner jumped a little when the door slammed harshly in their faces. About a minute later, it reopened no more than a foot. A quickly scribbled letter was thrust into Brian's chest now.

"Arrgh!" was all that he said before they were once again separated by the heavy piece of wood.

Arrgh! This be a costume party! Entrance will not be permitted without full regalia! A paper bag with a face drawn on it will not be accepted- that means YOU, Haner!

Laughter that he had sorely missed filled the air around them briefly as his wife left the Seward's doorstep.

"What's so funny?"

"He's got your number, babe."

"Hey. I only did that one time. Once!" he defended and crumpled up the paper as he trotted to catch up with his wife. "Where are you going?"

"To the costume store, obviously."

"Obviously," he snorted, still unsure of this hooplah. "Em, are you serious? We can just go in the back, you know. "

"Johnny is smarter than you give him credit for. He's got it locked by now," she pointed out while waiting for him to unlock the car door. "I've spent nearly a month alternating between crying and sleeping. We said we needed to get out of this cycle. Why not start by dressing up as someone else for a night?"

"Can't argue with that. You've got a point." a sigh left him as they backed out of the driveway.

Some would find it strange to go from crying, to being numb, to laughing, then to attending a costume party. A surprise one, at that. However, he would say to that line of thinking that you cannot judge someone else's grief. It was moment by moment, and he had promised himself and Emily he would put his all into each one. Up to and including dropping over three hundred dollars on outfits and accessories to be the most dramatically dressed at Johnny's little party. The as yet unamused guitarist would get more into it once they were there, and until then, seeing the intermittent smiles of his heart and soul was more than enough reason to humor this random shindig.