“Alone at last,” Jeremy sighed as he closed the door to his apartment.
They sat together for a few minutes, stared at the quiet apartment and said nothing. When Jeremy looked at Landry, he saw a smile break on Landry’s face. They burst out laughing at the same time.
The week after they had been at Lake Cayuga had been the happiest they had been for quite a while – it had also been the most nerve-wracking for them both. They had decided to tell their families the truth and the enormity of their decision had been hanging in the air. Cece, of course, would be overjoyed when she’d find out. It was the rest of their families they had worried about.
There were no second thoughts, though. Jeremy and Landry had talked at length with each other about they both wanted to do – what they needed to do.
So they invited their families to New York for the weekend. Their parents had always liked each other, so when they saw who else was there, there was chatter from the start. Cece had a smile on her face, but she kept quiet. When Jeremy and Landry both stood up – holding each other’s hand – there was surprise on nearly everyone’s face – well, everyone except Cece’s, of course.
“So, Jeremy and I would like to tell you all that we are together – as in together,” Landry said, with a bit of nervousness in his voice. Everybody was quiet at first. Landry felt the pressure of Jeremy’s hold on his hand – the support unsaid, but felt.
“Uh, you’re dating?” came the question from Josh.
“Well, we think we’re beyond dating,” Jeremy answered, looking his brother straight in the eye. “We started dating in February – broke up for a couple of months…”
“… and decided to give us another chance,” finished Landry.
Cece looked around at the others’ faces and gave up on holding her feelings back. She shrieked at the news and launched herself to hug them both at the same time. “Thank God, you’re back together,” she said, still not letting them go.
“Cee – you knew?” Landry’s mom Janice asked.
“I found out when I visited Landry last time,” Celena explained.
“Well, it seems we’re the last to know,” Shirley, Jeremy’s mom, said.
“Not the last ones,” Jeremy said. “We’re telling the team when training starts on Monday.”
“We wanted you all to know at the same time,” Landry replied. “Cece finding out wasn’t really planned, but we wanted to tell you ourselves.”
“We know there will be a lot of questions – from you, the people who know us and those who think they know us. We’ve pretty much asked ourselves the same questions – and the answer is simple,” Jeremy explained. Landry looked at Jeremy and said, “How can something that gives us so much happiness and peace of mind be bad? I feel – I know I am a better person when I am with Jeremy, so how can I not want to be with him?”
“We are still ourselves,” Jeremy added. “We have the same values, the same dreams and wishes. The only thing different is that we’d rather be with each other than be apart and miserable.”
Jeremy’s brothers had smiles on their faces and gave Jeremy and Landry hugs. “Just give us a bit of time to digest this, okay?” Josh remarked. Jeremy’s sister-in-law was tearing up and said “You should have said why you never liked all the girl friends I tried to hook you up with.”
When Landry grinned and looked at Jeremy, Jeremy just gave him a small push. “Don’t flatter yourself,” Jeremy said with a grin.
Their dads were still quiet, though.
“Are you happy – the both of you?” the words came from Gie-Ming.
Jeremy and Landry looked at each other first before they turned to look at Jeremy’s dad. They answered “Yes” at the same time. Gie-Ming smiled at his son and then Landry. “He’s always known what he wanted and worked hard to have them.” The hug he gave them both was short but strong.
Landry turned towards his own dad. When Steve approached them to give them a hug, Landry felt a huge load off his chest. He sought comfort in his father’s arms – and got it. “I know you both enough to know that this is not something you just decided to throw at us,” Steve murmured. “You’re choosing a challenging road ahead of you, but all that matters is what you feel for each other. No matter what happens, we’ll be here for you.”
The only people who had not yet given them hugs were their moms.
Shirley and Janice were giving each other a hug instead.
“What?” Janice said. “We just discovered that we’re not getting any grandchildren from the two of you – we are allowed to comfort each other.”
They all laughed at that, of course.
The whole weekend had come and gone – the two families bonding over Jeremy and Landry. Jeremy’s apartment had been full of life and sound.
“I love our families, I really do – but I think I am deaf,” Jeremy commented as they sat on to the couch beside Landry.
Both their families had just left; Cece and Landry’s parents were staying the night at Landry’s apartment and the rest of the Lins at Josh’s place. Tomorrow, they would all travel back to California.
Tomorrow, Jeremy and Landry face their team.
“You worried?” Jeremy asked Landry.
“Honestly? No. I have not felt less worried about what the guys think and for that matter everyone else,” Landry answered; there was surprise in his voice.
They had spent a lot of time talking about where they wanted to go with their relationship and Landry had been more relaxed since they came home from Lake Cayuga. He’d been practically staying at Jeremy’s place since then, too. The concierge at the apartment building must be wondering about that, but right now, it did not feel that important what the concierge thought.
Waking up to Landry in the morning was – bliss. That is the only way Jeremy could describe it. They slept and woke up in each other’s arms – maybe because they wanted to both make up for all the time they wasted not being together.
Landry smiled. The wheels in Jeremy’s mind are turning – he could see it in his face. He knows exactly what can stop them from turning. The feel of Landry’s lips could always snap Jeremy out of his thoughts. “You went out of orbit again,” Landry murmured against Jeremy’s lips. Jeremy kissed him back, relishing the sensations Landry evoked in him.
“You can always bring me back,” he replied.
“I do my best,” Landry said with a grin.
“Cleaning up can wait – later – tomorrow…” Jeremy said while he looked around the apartment. There was a twinkle in his eyes.
“Definitely,” Landry agreed; his attention was on Jeremy – just Jeremy.
Everyone was there. The locker room was buzzing: players were finding their gear, asking each other about their off-season activities and the staff was already trying to figure out how the practice sessions today would proceed.
Everyone who mattered was there.
They had told the Coach that they wanted a word with the team before they piled out onto the court. Coach Woodson did not ask why, but he allowed them five minutes.
Jeremy and Landry stood up in the middle of the room. A whistle from Jared cut through the chatter.
“Jeremy and I have something we need to say,” Landry said.
“You’re finally getting married?” Melo shouted from the back. There was laughter at that statement. Landry and Jeremy smiled at him and each other. “We’re not at that point yet,” answered Jeremy.
The group suddenly became quiet as they understood what Jeremy’s words expressed. Landry took hold of Jeremy’s hand and said, “We’re together. “
The way he said it – it sounded like he braced himself. He looked around at the other guys. Some had surprise on their faces. Their closest friends had smiles on theirs.
“Well, It’s about damn time,” Shump laughed, walking towards them to give them shoulder slams – like he loved to do. Their other teammates started approaching them to either shake their hands or give them a hug. Melo was shaking his head as he neared them. “Heck, good thing I didn’t bet with Lala on you two. She had you pegged since February,” he explained.
Jared and Tyson just gave them hugs – their support visible in their eyes – no need for them to say anything.
“Wait,” someone said – it was Bibby. “Do you expect us to keep this a secret? ‘Cause, man, I suck at keeping secrets.” The others all looked at Jeremy and Landry for an answer.
“We’re not going to hold a pressconference to proclaim it,” Jeremy answered with a smile.
“Neither are we going to hide our feelings,” Landry supported him.
“If you get asked about us – at any point – tell them to ask us directly. We won’t lie, ” Landry continued, “we’re done with keeping secrets.”
“And if anyone here has a problem or any question or would just like their opinion expressed, we’re all ears, Landry and I. We’d rather you talk with us about anything than hear it from somebody else. It’s still us guys, we’re still your friends and teammates,” Jeremy ended.
“As long as you don’t let it affect your game, it’s fine by me,” Coach Woodson said.
“And if you two lovebirds are done,” he continued, ”isn’t it about time we start our season?”
Everybody started talking and finding their gear. Jeremy and Landry sat by their lockers – they gazed at each other – relief mirrored in their eyes.
“Oh, please, no gooey eyes in here,” Novak exclaimed from Landry’s side.
“Man, no wonder you weren’t hitting on me,” Josh said to Jeremy, “You’d rather have Landry.”
The guys were obviously not going to give them an easy time. The ribbing continued on the court, of course. Practice was the same – well, almost, Jeremy observed. The team was adjusting to the whole thing – just as Jeremy and Landry were.
To celebrate the start of the season, they all decided to have lunch – at Clyde’s.
“Are you ready?” Landry asked Jeremy.
Jeremy gave him a nod and said “In this together.”
They walked out of MSG with hands intertwined, their teammates beside and behind them.
People they passed on the street noticed the team, others noticed Jeremy and Landry’s linked hands. A few noticed their happy faces.
Jeremy and Landry only had ears and eyes for their friends – and each other – which was all that mattered.
NOTE to the READER:
Wow, I guess that was it, huh? LinLan: The Love Story ends here.
This feels cathartic for me – I just can’t explain it. I hope you all enjoyed this fanfiction. I’ve certainly had fun writing the series – I have laughed, gotten frustrated and angry like the characters, and I have cried.
If you ever miss LinLan in the future, you know where to find them..
Be sure to check out the other stories we have on our site, too.