Part 64

Now the labourer’s task is o’er;
Now the battle day is past;
Now upon the further shore
Lands the voyager at last.
Father, in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.
JC’s voice rang out pure and clear as he sang over Chris’s open grave.

There the tears of earth are dried;
There its hidden things are clear;
There the work of life is tried
By a juster Judge than here.
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.

He blinked back his tears as his friend’s body, wrapped in white silk and laying on a simple wooden board, was carried from the infirmary by Joshua, Kieran, Jovian and Jewel.

There the sinful souls that turn;
To the cross their dying eyes;
All the love of Christ will learn
At his feet in paradise
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.

The four boy’s lowered Chris’ body into the ground, bowing their heads in grief. They stepped back to allow Chris’ daughters to drop a single flower into the open grave. The boys then took their turn, one by one paying their last respects

There no more the powers of hell;
Can prevail to mar their peace;
Christ the lord shall guard them
He who died for their release.
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.

Still singing JC dropped his bloom onto his friend’s body, steadying his voice as Justin followed suit. They stepped back allowing Lance access. The blond alien was aloof and detached. He gazed dry eyed at his lover’s body, he lifted the single red rose that he had gladly spent the extra precious energy on, replicating the flower exactly. He inhaled the sweet scent, pricking his thumb on a pointy thorn, a single drop of his blood dripped onto the silk but he never noticed the pain as he dropped the rose.

“Earth to earth, and dust to dust.”
Calmly now the words we say,
Leaving him to sleep in trust
Till the resurrection-day,
Father in Thy gracious keeping
Leave we now Thy servant sleeping.

As JC sang the last haunting notes, everyone left leaving just JC and Lance standing by the graveside, The slender brunette placed his hand on the broken mans shoulder, lending him his strength. Lance faltered and JC grabbed him as his knees buckled.

“I wasn’t sure before.”

JC never spoke, just listened.

“I was going to do a test … but I put it off … I thought I had time.” Tears trickled slowly from the aliens sea green eyes. “I did it this morning … it’s positive.”

JC gathered the grief stricken man up in his arms, weeping with him.

“I’m having a baby Jace … and I never got to tell him.”

JC stroked the hair away from Lance’s eyes. “He knows baby he knows.”


The little blue-eyed boy shifted on his Gran‘pa’s bed, his face solemn as he listened to the old mans tale. The bedroom door opened. “Didn’t I tell you not to wear Gran‘pa out Harry?”

“He’s no bother Gem.”

“You would say that! You would never do as you were told either.” Jewel sat on the side of his father’s bed pulling his great grandson onto his lap.

Harry wriggled about till he was comfortable then asked . “What happened to uncle Lance Gran’pa?”

“Lance was very brave, he gave birth to Christopher Allen in the late fall. He carried on for twenty more years before he joined his lover. Justin and I buried him next to Chris, reuniting them in death.”

JC gazed out of the window watching the sun beginning to set. “Seven years later I buried my beloved Justin next to them, I thought my heart would break. I wanted so much to go with him, but your great granddaddy wouldn’t let me. I tried to go … really I did but time and time again he reached into my mind and begged me to stay .” Jewel reached out and closed his hand over his father’s hand, squeezing it affectionately.

“We needed you poppa, we still need you.”

JC smiled lovingly at his youngest quad, “I’m tired baby, I think I’ll take a nap before dinner.” Jewel kissed JC’s forehead and lifted Harry up carrying him from the room.

“Love you Gran’pa.” The little boy blew a kiss.

“I’ll wake you in an hour or so poppa.”

“Thank you Gem.” JC snuggled down under his comforter to sleep.

He looked at the sun setting, his eyes heavy, he blinked, trying to focus on the man that seemed to have appeared before him from no where.

“Joshua, my love, its time for you to rest now.”


“I’ve come to take you with me precious.”

“Gem won’t let me go.”

“Jewel is busy with Harry.”

“I missed you Justin, I missed all of you.”

Justin held his hand out to his lover. “Take my hand my love Chris and Lance are waiting for us.”

JC’s mouth trembled. “But I’m old Justin .. You … you look the same as when I first saw you.”

“Take my hand my darling.”

JC reached out a shaking hand marked with the years of time and hard work. His fingers brushed those of his dead lover and immediately began to straighten, the dark liver spots that coloured his once pale skin began to fade. He took a tighter hold allowing his husband to help him out of bed, his bent spine that had withered with age unfolded making him stand tall and straight. Justin drew him into his embrace, holding him close. “You are as beautiful now Joshua as you were on the first day I made love to you.“

JC nuzzled into his neck. “I’m ready Justin.” He sighed and followed his one true love, their hands clasped tightly, into the light.


Jewel watched his great grand son playing in the same compound that he himself had played in as a child. The colony had grown so much. Jaden and his lover, Crystal and her husband, Bonnie, Claude and their spouses had taken their families and left twenty years since. Eventually Kieran and Sapphire had taken their children and stepped out on their own. They still gathered for important days. Days that celebrated the landing, remembered the unfaltering bravery of Christopher Kirkpatrick and of course their beloved poppa’s birthday. Bastian came out of the communal kitchen, a tradition that Jovian and him had carried on. He watched his fifty-year-old son with pride as he scooped up his giggling grandson.

“Dinners ready poppa. Want me to go wake Gran’pa.” Jewel got stiffly to his feet, he was beginning to feel his age these days.

“No I’ll go Bastian. You take that monster of a grandson of yours back to his daddy.” Jewel scraped back his silver grey hair and walked slowly to his father’s house. The bedroom was in darkness as he moved to his poppa’s bedside, sitting next to him, he reached out and stroked the grizzled old face, gasping and drawing back his fingers from the icy cold skin. Tears began to flow relentlessly down his face.

When he hadn’t arrived at the dinner table twenty minutes later, Jovian went looking for his baby brother. He clasped his hand across his mouth to stop himself from crying out loud. Jewel had washed and wrapped JC in a white silk shroud. Jewel looked up his eyes bloodshot from crying. “He left us Jovie!”

“He was tired Gem, he missed daddy so much.”

“I know, but I didn’t want him to go alone.”

“You couldn’t go with him Gem-Gem, it’s not your time.”

The two men gazed down on their beloved sire as they held each other, sharing their grief. Neither of them missed the gentle sloping smile on JC’s lips.

The End.

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