• Thursday
  • SFOJFKBrooklyn, NY

Not particularly fond of flying, having seen La Bamba one too many times as a kid, Brandon's pre-take-off jitters may have only been matched by his on-flight fidgeting. Altogether, he might've seemed just a little quieter and more spaced-out than usual, though he noticeably loosened up once they'd started delving into the comics Maya had packed for the unusually long flight.

As soon as they touched down in New York, his relief—along with all the excess energies that'd been cooped up in a seat for eight hours—was probably palpable enough that his entire persona might've seemed to do a one-eighty; a little extra eager to do his bellboy thing with their bags and a touch overly personable when meeting Maya's uncle ...followed by the much-anticipated Mama L. After all the stories he'd heard about Maya's grandma, and out of respect for the esteemed matriarch of the household, he naturally opted for the pull-out couch in the study—probably crashing hard and fast in the wake of all the first meets and greets of the night.

  • Friday
  • Camden, NJ | Harlem, NY | Brooklyn, NY

Up before the crack of dawn, accordant with his usual waking habits, Brandon had gotten dressed and ready before wandering downstairs to find breakfast being prepared. Offered—mildly insisted—to help in the kitchen but was adamantly shooed out with a rolled newspaper to his chest by Mama L.; felt hella awkward about the fact that he neither reads the papers, nor does he ever know what to do with himself when he's not doing something, but appreciated the hospitality and now has the living room wallpaper memorized. (He's certain he caught Lottie quirk a brow at the untouched newspaper, though she said nothing about it and grumbled instead about what was taking the two other ladies so long to get ready, embellishing with a quip about how Maya would probably be late to her own funeral. At this point, Brandon's confirmed to himself that he likes her, but just smiles and nods and shrugs a non-committal "kinda'..?" when asked if Maya was more punctual in SF--the focus on his answer thankfully detracted by Maya and Simone's yawning appearances.)

Most of the court appointment's details, as well as the lack of Julien's presence, Brandon didn't ask too many questions about till much later that night once they got back back from Ginny's Supper Club--while they were in an actual Uber returning from Uncle Leo's in Manhattan, after Brandon had volunteered to be designated driver (for at least half their party) to give Lucas a chance to enjoy his off-service time. He's still not 100% on the dynamics between the girls and their father, but does wonder aloud if he and Maya ought to check in on Julien over the weekend. "Just to see what's up? If he's doing okay?"

  • Saturday
  • Harlem, NY | Brooklyn, NY

Ahem, Brandon would've asked why he couldn't join the ladies for Mama L's day of pampering and shopping, facetiously checking his nails and asking Maya if she thought he should get them done. "Like with the colorless stuff. Maybe just a.. Buff. ...do people buff their nails, or is that just for cars?" All jokes aside though, he would've been happy to hang back with the fellas, having gotten to know Lucas a little better from some half-drunken life story spillage the night before. What happened during Boys' Noon In shall forever stay a mystery 'cos gentlemen's code of conduct and whatnot. (They traded small-talk while watching ESPN and were about to start a game of poker before Brandon blurted stuff out about his poker hustling life..)

By the time the ladies got back, the dudes were delirious for the return of estrogen ...or, well, Brandon was. And from there he was probably pretty glued to Maya's side throughout the rest of the party, while doing his best to not start digging himself a burrow in some corner of the room because sheeesh, that's a whole lotta people! Mama L. was pretty evidently well-loved by many, and Brandon may have had a misty-eyed, hand-skishing moment or five during the heartwarming engagement.

  • Sunday
  • JFKSFOOakland, CA

Departing Day included Brandon attending an early-morning Baptist church service and thankfully not being interrogated about his own religious upbringing--possibly 'cos of Sid's "one heathen per household" rule. It was bittersweet having to say their goodbyes to a whole side of Maya that he hadn't previously been privy to, a little surprised by how unguarded and carefree she seemed with her family compared to the ways he noticed her stiffen even in the company of her daily colleagues. Around then would be when he realized that he couldn't remember the last time he'd seen her out among her friends, and it'd occur to him how odd it was that all her social ties seemed to be on the opposite coast from where she'd chosen to settle down...

All that aside, he'd jump on the chance for a little sightseeing, having been to New York only once previously with her, and just as briefly. Would've suggested somewhere typically touristy as a result, like somewhere they could catch a view of the famous city skyline and maybe wolf down a coupla Coney Dogs.