Somewhere Only We Know- The Short Story by Nichelle Wellesly
Summary:

New take on Episode 301. What would have possibly happened if Justin had been the one to punch Michael instead of Brian? Thank you Deb Tanner for the idea!

 


Categories: QAF-U.S. FICTION, Family, Angst, Anti-Ethan, Anti-Michael, Brian/Justin, Canon, Could be Canon, Drama, Justin/Ethan, PLOT BUNNIES Characters: Ben, Brian, Emmett, Ethan, Justin, Lindsay, Melanie, Michael, Other Canon Characters, Ted, Vic
Challenges: None
Series: Somewhere Only We Know
Chapters: 4 Completed: Yes Word count: 25146 Read: 41415 Published: September 08, 2015 Updated: September 23, 2015
Chapter 2 by Nichelle Wellesly

CHAPTER TWO

 

 

 

I came across a fallen tree

 

I felt the branches of it looking at me

 

Is this the place we used to love?

 

Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?*

 

Brian reluctantly woke up to the sun streaming through the window, still clutching the pillow like an alcoholic with his last bottle. The fact that the sun was shining on the day of the Munchers' anniversary party was not lost on Brian. Given his mood in regards to his own...whatever the fuck it was... he was glad that he was not going even though he had been invited. After his one and only foray into that heteronormative zone called a relationship, the last thing Brian needed was to see two people happy in one.

 

He shifted out of bed, deciding the best way to get on with his life would be to get out of the loft he once shared with Justin. If Justin was happy, that was all that mattered and it was time he began anew. He set the coffeemaker while checking his messages. Of course it was Michael practically begging him to call him, wanting to make sure he didn't have any repeats of the erotic asphyxiation episode the last time he was depressed and alone in the loft and ranting about what a selfish little shit Justin was; imploring him to change the outgoing message on his answering machine. He had to hand it to Mikey. If anyone was in his corner as to who was right and who was wrong in the Brian and Justin saga, Michael would always side with Brian no matter the facts. But he had no right to tell Brian what he should do or feel regarding Justin- including but not limiting to changing his answering machine greeting. He promptly deleted the message. Lindsey called to tell him she thought he should still go after Justin and that she was worried about him being alone. He deleted that message too. Cynthia called regarding a change in an account he was working on which needed to be completed by Monday. He would go into the office tomorrow. Claire called needing money and to bitch about Joan again. He debated changing his phone number in that instant but if he did he wouldn't be able to slip it to Justin without the eyes and ears of the family speculating let alone Ian hovering which he had been doing all week. That boy really needed to get a clue. Justin like confident men, not the clingy type but that was for the blond to tell him and not for him to interfere. Then there was a message which didn't say anything but Brian knew instantly who it was. It was the only message in the bunch he didn't delete. He could hear Justin breathing on the other end before the call disconnected. Brian closed his eyes and replayed the message, debating with himself if he should erase it and pretend it never happened. His finger lingered over the erase button but he couldn't bring himself to press it. I must be glutton for punishment. Sunshine has at last turned me into a fucking masochist.

 

He left the machine and walked slowly toward the bathroom. Setting the hot water, Brian stripped down and stepped in. Closing his eyes and letting the hot water wash over him, he was assailed by memories of showers with Justin after their morning fuck-fests. He could remember every single one dating all the way back to the morning after they met. Justin always excelled at water sports. He'd start off with the most excellent blow job; those plump lips settling on my dick like they were made to be there. Brian reached blindly for the soap and finding it poured a generous amount into his hand. He slicked his cock in the exact way he always felt Justin's tongue licking and caressing it like it was his favorite lollipop. He always avoided the head and hummed against the base, sending vibration to Brian's balls as he massaged Brian's thighs and his ass. Eyes still closed, he knew he was leaking pre-cum profusely as he continued to caress himself in the way Justin would if he was there. Brian took one finger and ran it through the clear liquid, swirling it around for a few moments before pinching the head lightly. The warmth of the water reminded Brian of the heat of Justin's mouth as he always sucked on the head of his penis before deep-throating him. A deep moan escaped the man as he thought back to how good he always felt when Justin would do that to him. His whole being would tremble while being inside that mouth and looking down into eyes as blue and lust blown as the Caribbean Sea. He missed those eyes, missed the man who they belonged to.

 

Justin would then beg Brian sweetly to fuck him while standing and turning his back to him. He had the most enticing ass- plump, warm and insatiable. Brian tightened his fists around his cock after applying more soap as if it were their favorite lube. He could almost hear the pleas which always left the younger man when Brian decided to take his time, to fuck him slowly instead of the pulse-pounding rhythm Justin thought he craved. It was in those moments that Brian would work his hardest to pull the most amazing sounds from the blond; it was then that Brian's heart and soul would sing even though Justin didn't know it. He was never just another fuck. Brian had always tried to show him that. He began to rock into the tightness of his own hand, pretending it was the tightest ass he'd ever been in while moaning Justin's name over and over again. The hot water continued to rain down on him as he continued to be lost in his fantasy. No other man could do what Justin did for him, could make him feel, make him whole. He pumped his hips faster and harder at the thought- at the visual of the tight bubble butt which would push back into him with wild abandon, trying to get closer as he tried to stay inside forever. Brian's moans and cries were increasing in volume as he heard his lover's demanding and driving him to move faster and harder and deeper. ‘Fuck me, Brian' that voice would urge and Brian would be only too happy to comply. He gritted his teeth feeling the ball of electricity expand at his spine. He could almost see it forming as he pounded his fist even as the voice in his head demanded even more of him. That voice wanted it all and Brian would give it that. Placing one hand on the wall in front of him, he kept up the punishing rhythm. His back was aching but he would be damned if he was going to stop. ‘Don't stop. Don't you dare. Fucking. Stop.' He kept going until finally the culmination happened on a mighty gasp and a solitary shout echoing within the shower walls. Brian leaned into the wall, opening his eyes slowly. Instantly he was reminded of all he had lost. He looked down dispassionately as his seed was washed down the drain. Taking up the soap, he washed himself down quick and left the shower stall, not looking back, afraid of what he would see if he did.

 

He stood at the sink and took care of the rest of his ablutions, brushing his teeth and shaving while managing but barely to keep his mind blank. He had to or he would never leave the house in his quest to reclaim his life. Justin was living his, wasn't he? So Brian should follow suit and do what made him happy. He knew it was still fairly early in the day but Woody's would be opened at one. He donned a pair of black 501s and a gray shirt to match his mood, although no one but him would know that. He looked at his hair deciding that he kinda liked it longer so he would fore go his usual Saturday trip to the barber. He almost laughed aloud when his stomach growled as he stood there preening. Brian thought back and he couldn't remember the last time he'd eaten. He didn't know whether Justin was working or not but he didn't want to go the the diner anyway. It was tough enough to not speak to Justin but even tougher not doing so under the close scrutiny of the people both of them considered family, Michael most of all. He knew Mikey knew much more about the situation than he let on and maybe someday he would ask him about it. But not today. Today was for reclaiming his Justin-free zone and goddammit, he would make progress. Brian was all about living in the solution instead of dwelling on the problem. With a new determination (to eat at least), Brian left the loft on his way to a diner in the heart of breeder central. If he had to endure the unwanted advances of some hetero chicks, so be it. It was almost noon and he was fucking hungry.

 

Oh simple thing, where have you gone?

 

I'm getting old and I need something to rely on

 

So tell me when you're gonna let me in

 

I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin*

 

 

 

At the same time across town.....

 

Justin let himself into his mom's condo. He knew she wasn't home since Molly had an away game later this afternoon. It was a relief of sorts not to have to answer the questions about where he was staying. His mother certainly wouldn't approve of Justin having to use a communal shower and although he liked baths once in awhile, he was sick of having to take them in place of a nice hot shower. Lord knew he needed one today. From the time Ethan had arisen it had been nonstop badgering. Justin, as a rule, was not a morning person and although he'd been up for hours, he still didn't like any important conversations before he had at least one cup of coffee and a hot shower. Granted he was also used to a heavenly morning fuck to begin an early day as well but Ethan would never be able to live up to Justin's high expectations. So after a heated conversation about how Justin spent his night and why he chose not to wake Ethan, only to find that Ethan had been spying on him while he was lost in thought and drawing none other than Brian (although Ethan still didn't realize that part or if he did, Ethan didn't say for which Justin was grateful) and of course the references to Justin's downgrade from a loft straight out of Architectural Digest (Ethan loved to throw that in his face), he'd left for his mother's house advising Ethan they were due at Mel and Lindsey's house at noon. Ethan had offered to drive him and wait as an apology having borrowed one of his friends' car but Justin declined stating he needed the time to himself.

 

He went into the kitchen to start the coffeemaker then headed upstairs to the guest bathroom which he always used when staying the night there. He hadn't been back since he'd moved in with Brian after the bashing but he knew he was always welcome. Removing the clothes he'd traveled in, he put them into the washing machine across the hall while he prepared the water to the much anticipated shower. Instantly he was assailed by memories of the last shower he took. It was the morning of the making the biggest fucking mistake of his pathetic stupid life and Brian had fucked him against the shower tiles. He remembered the cool wet wall against his back while feeling the strength in Brian's corded arms and back; the heat of his mouth and cock stabbing into him while Justin's legs squeezed Brian's torso with every thrust drilled into him. It had been hard and fast in its delivery, brutal in the intensity and a claiming Justin could never forget. His own dick twitched strongly at the memory. God how he wished he'd have thought things through instead of being impulsive and regretting his actions now. It seemed like his list of incredibly stupid things to do was growing by leaps and bounds per second. Trying to drown out more fantastic-fuck memories, he pushed his head under the spraying water. ‘Self-pity makes my dick soft, Sunshine.' He laughed out loud thinking about when Brian had told that and he'd responded, ‘Don't worry, Mr. Kinney, if there's one thing I can do is get it up again.' That was the day after Sap's party; mere hours after the one and only time Justin had topped Brian to seal a deal about PIFA between them. At least that was what it was supposed to be but it wasn't- Justin knew that now. Brian had given him what he needed to feel like a man, to feel secure in their relationship (even though Brian hated that word, that's what it was), to feel like his equal. And with a few short ill-timed circumstances and conversations, it all came crashing down around them. Were they doomed from the start? Possibly but Justin knew he would have enjoyed the road to heaven or hell a lot more with Brian than in his current situation.

 

Justin grabbed the bottle of soap he always kept there and began to soap himself. His body missed Brian's. It seemed such a trivial thing to miss but he was used to having sex whenever the mood hit, sometimes six or seven times a day. To not have that anymore with a person he loved even then seemed like the end of the world to Justin. He touched himself as if Brian was with him. He wished more than anything that he was or that he could call him at least. He'd slipped up the other day, dialing the number automatically before even realizing it and letting it ring until the voicemail came on. He wanted to say something- that he was sorry for the way things ended between them, that he missed him, that he wanted to see him- but he said none of those things opting to remain silent like some fucking obscene caller. But he knew Brian would know he called; knew that Brian would know the reason. In spite of it all, they still had that connection to each other and no amount of distance would or could destroy it. Justin believed that with every fiber of his being even if he was hellbent on seeing this thing with Ethan through to its end.

 

Thinking about Brian, Justin couldn't help but touch his ass hole. Running the finger about the rim, he missed the feeling of Brian's tongue there. The man made his entire body an erogenous zone- no one could work him over the way Brian did. Using no other lube but the hot water and shower gel already coating his body, he pressed gently but firmly at the outer ring, releasing a small gasp then sigh as it gave way. One hand held him steady against the wall as the other's singular digit continued its progress toward his sweet spot. He relished the initial burn which always came with penetration. He'd missed it beyond words this past week. Adding a second finger, he could remember the last time Brian had fingered him, taking his time, making Justin pant and beg like a bitch in heat. He fucked himself on his fingers harder trying to get the angle just right. When he found it, Justin let out a loud groan with Brian's name whimpered at the end of it. He penetrated himself harder and deeper imagining that the best lover he'd ever had was there with him- thinking about their hard and fast as well as the slow and sensual fucks they always shared under water that was just shy of scalding. So lost in the fantasy, he didn't hear the words he moaned and pleaded of his imaginary lover. The culmination happened all too soon, with Justin cumming so hard his knees buckled with the force of it. Panting while at the bottom of the shower, he knew the wetness he felt near his eyes had nothing to do with the shower. He missed Brian with every fiber of his being; every pore on his body missed that magnificent man. But you can't go back, Justin. You've made your decision so be a man and stick to it.

 

It was at that moment he heard his cell phone ringing and the doorbell simultaneously cranking out Fur Elise. Leave it to his mom to have Beethoven as a door chime. He sighed. He knew who was at the door but the ring was what caused him to gasp. Brian was calling him. He raced toward the bed to pick it up but as he looked down at the dial, his fingered hovered. He wanted to answer it, he really did... but what good would it have done either of them? When he had called yesterday, he was shocked to find that Brian had not changed the answering machine. His voice still rang out loud and clear telling callers that they were not home and to leave a message so they could return the call and Brian in the background saying ‘or not.' Maybe he just hadn't gotten around to it yet since it was the busy season at Vanguard. Either way, he was still touched by it. Phone still in hand, he put his formerly dirty clothes in the dryer knowing his mom would take them out and get him to him during the week. He put his clean clothes on in a hurry and headed downstairs.

 

"What are you doing here, Ethan?"

 

"I was worried about you. We didn't exactly part on good terms this morning. You left angry."

 

Justin huffed out a breath. "I wasn't angry. I was...upset. There's a difference."

 

"Be that as it may, I didn't like it. Can I come in?"

 

Justin's first inclination was to tell him no but his WASP upbringing kicked in. He stepped aside and allowed Ethan inside. He headed back to the kitchen to pour himself a cup of coffee and offered Ethan one which he declined. Justin ignored the curious stare Ethan was giving him until he couldn't stand the heavy silence anymore. "What?"

 

"Do you still love him?"

 

"Yes," Justin said. He wasn't going to lie to Ethan. It wouldn't be fair to either of them- not to Ethan, Brian nor himself. "But that doesn't mean there isn't room in my heart for more than one person."

 

"How could you still have feelings for that...Justin he lied and cheated on you."

 

"Shut up, Ethan. You don't know anything about it."

 

"Yes I do. You told me. Besides I know his type."

 

Justin closed his eyes. Ethan really had no idea about Brian or anything about them as an acknowledged couple or not, but this was not a conversation he was going to have with Ethan. Not now and possibly not ever. "Look, Ethan, can we just forget about Brian today? I have to go to this party since it's a ‘family' thing and Mel and Lindz have been good to me. I owe them at least this much. You don't have to come if you don't want to."

 

"But I want to. I want to know them the way you do," Ethan said. "I just don't want a run-in with Brian. I don't want you around him."

 

Justin laughed. "The party is the last place Brian will be today. It's not his scene."

 

"I suppose you're right. It's not Babylon."

 

"Ethan-" Justin didn't take kindly to anyone criticizing Brian except maybe himself...but that was different since he knew Brian better than anyone.

 

Hearing the clear warning in Justin's voice, Ethan hastily said, "Okay, Justin, I'm sorry. That was out of line."

 

"It was. I don't want to talk about Brian anymore okay?"

 

"Fine by me." Ethan flashed Justin a smile while crossing behind the kitchen island to stand in front of his boyfriend. "Can I have a kiss? We can have makeup sex later since this was our first argument."

 

Justin snickered. He supposed Ethan was right so he capitulated. Leaning in his placed his plush lips against Ethan's intending to draw back immediately. Ethan however, had other ideas and deepened the kiss almost immediately. Justin forced himself to concentrate on Ethan and not the comparison his body picked up on immediately. There wasn't any fire or passion in the exchange although Ethan kept moaning as if there were. Justin kissed him back allowing Ethan to pretend for his own sake. He was relieved when it ended. Justin looked at the starry look Ethan donned in his eyes and cleared his throat. "I suppose we'd better get going." He placed his coffee cup in the dishwasher with the other breakfast dishes he knew were in there from the morning. His mom wouldn't start the machine until after dinner and put the clean ones away before bed. It was always the way things were done in the Taylor household.

 

"I guess so. I'm kind of nervous about meeting everyone today."

 

Justin headed back out of the kitchen toward the front door. "Well you already know Lindsey and Melanie from the center. The rest of them you'll meet but..."

 

"But what?"

 

"You might want to stay clear of Michael. Debbie will be okay but Michael is Brian's best friend and will probably have a lot to say which wouldn't be pleasant."

 

"Then why are you going?" Ethan was getting defensive again.

 

"Because although Brian and I are no longer together, I still consider these people my family- even Michael to an extent. When I left home and my mom hadn't come around yet to me being gay, they provided a support system and have been there for me in ways no one else was."

 

"You mean regarding the bashing?"

 

"Among other things. Look, Ethan, like it or not, my friends- my family- is linked to both Brian and I, especially him. Don't force me to choose between you and them. You will lose."

 

"And Brian?"

 

Justin was exasperated at this point. "I'm here, aren't I?" Ethan nodded so Justin continued. "Let's just try to enjoy the day."

 

They stepped outside of the house and Justin locked up. Inside his pocket he clutched his phone tightly remembering the last call he received wishing that things were different.

 

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One Hour Later....

 

Michael was pissed. Brian was off somewhere God knew where, not returning his phone calls and here Justin is like laughing and joking like nothing ever happened. He had told him that he was a selfish ungrateful little prick and he should get the fuck out of all their lives; he had no right to be around now that he and Brian were no longer together. He thought he had made his point when Justin quit working at the diner. His mother had been pissed off with him saying that whatever went on between Brian and Justin was not his business but she was wrong. Brian was his best friend so everything that went on with him was his business regardless of what anyone else thought. He would always protect Brian like Galaxy lad did for Captain Astro.

 

"What's he doing here?" he asked irritated.

 

"The girls invited him," Debbie confirmed.

 

"And he has the fucking nerve to bring his new boyfriend," he said belligerently, rolling his eyes while Ben caressed his back. The group as a whole had been silent, letting Michael voice his anger without correction or agreement. What could they possibly say? Since they were all determined not to publicly choose sides- although they understood Justin's better than Brian's side of things- to Vic, Ben and Debbie it was just better to let Michael have his say so they could move on and not fuel Michael's fire.

 

Michael didn't agree with any of it. They were Brian's friends first and Justin and his little fucking boyfriend had no place here. He would make sure he knew that the first chance he got even if he had to sneak around to do it.

 

***

 

"How much longer do we have to stay?" Ethan asked sotto voce.

 

"What? Tired of your adoring public already?" Justin teased as he greeted another guest and introduced Ethan after Mel and Lindz had stopped by them to say hello.

 

"It's just that everyone is so...old."

 

"They are also people with established careers and work a lot for the gay community. You could do a lot worse than meeting some of these people. Mel and Lindz were responsible for me having my first art show."

 

"Really? I didn't know that. How much did you make?"

 

"It was for charity but the exposure and experience was really good for me. I was the youngest one there and sold out." Justin boasted smiling his WASP smile as yet another guest he'd met through Brian at the lesbians' failed luncheon. He had to admit, even if only to himself, that he wasn't sorry he came. It was good to see everyone again and they still treated him as they always have with the exception of one but that was to be expected. He decided to just avoid Michael for the rest of the day and disregard all of the comments he heard him utter whenever Michael was in close proximity to him. It was not his house and he had been invited so this was the one place Michael couldn't tell him to leave. And even though people asked him about Brian, a simple ‘I don't know' was all that was required and he was left alone to be with Ethan.

 

Now only if the remainder of the day would go so smoothly since he hadn't spoken to Debbie yet.

 

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Meanwhile at Woody's

 

 

 

Brian had been sitting there in queer hell. He was trying to mindlessly watch the beach volleyball scene on the television, sip his beer and let his mind escape into the glorious world of nothing. Instead he was interrupted by the argument of the century between two leather-clad bears.

 

"I say we go for the King Edward," Bear number one said.

 

"I say we go for the Queen Mary," the other weighed in his opinion.

 

"Why don't you both get a Prince Albert and be done with it? Brian said exasperated.

 

"We're not discussing piercings."

 

"They're silver patterns and he's being his usual goddamn stubborn self," the second bear said.

 

Brian sees that they are about to enter into full queen out mode when he interjects again. "Christ! Aren't there any good old fashion queers left? You know, not that I give a fuck but I know a couple of bulls that could advise you bears." He smiles congenially if for no other reason than dumping these two on Mel and Lindsey would regain his sense of peace within his favorite watering hole. In a rare show of altruism- which is really more selfish than not- he tells them about the Munchers and gets them to agree to pay them a visit. Whether he forgot that it was the day of their party or just didn't give a shit one way or the other, would be anybodies guess.

 

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Back at Muncher Mansion

 

Justin and Ethan venture inside the house, one looking for food and the other for the restroom. Ethan is following so close on Justin's heels that he knows if he stops short for any reason, Ethan will careen right into him possibly knocking them both over. After another round of hearing Michael's comments about him, the last thing Justin needs is any more embarrassment or harassment to the tune of Michael's whining voice. He really wanted to leave but etiquette demand that he stay a while longer. It wasn't a big surprise to find Debbie serving food in what would ordinarily be the living room since the dining room was teeming with people as well.

 

He tried to sneak by and avoid the scene, carefully keeping his head lowered while having Ethan dog his heels but no such luck.

 

"Hey. Hold it," Debbie calls out to him. "Get your perky little butt back here. Since when do you walk by me and not say hello?"

 

Justin would have picked another place entirely to have this particular confrontation and certainly not with Ethan there but he knows he doesn't have a choice. "Deb, please. This is hard enough," he pleads.

 

"Yeah well you could make it easier on yourself if you showed some manners," she says in her usual matter-of-fact way. "Who the fuck's he?" she indicated Ethan with an eye-cut but redirecting her attention immediately back to Justin. He introduces them and Debbie shakes his hand. "I've been keeping an eye on Sunshine ever since he left home."

 

"Sunshine?" Ethan teases but snaps in line when Debbie asks him if he has a problem with that.

 

She readdresses Justin sternly. "Whatever my son said to you, he does not speak for me or anyone else. We all still love you and you are still a member of this family. Do I make myself clear?"

 

He smiles at her and says simply, "Yeah."

 

"Good then I expect to see you back at the diner first thing tomorrow. Don't be late." As Justin smiles and turns away, Debbie addresses Ethan once more telling him he's fucking adorable. Justin can't deny that he is feeling relieved that all is well with Debbie. Out of the entire group, he really feared losing her especially since he'd already lost- although that may not have been an accurate description- Brian.

 

While Ethan heads to the table with the plates on it, Justin makes a bee line for the bathroom. He thinks that somehow Debbie may have scared the pee out of him.

 

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Brian arrived at house with his new friends in tow looking around for Mel and Lindsey. He didn't have to wait very long for them to find him.

 

"What the hell are you doing here?" Melanie asks without even so much as a hello first. Typical since she always treated him as if he were a nuisance so he decides to rub her face in it a little.

 

"I believe I was invited."

 

"You said you weren't coming," Lindsey says.

 

"Well I wasn't. However, my two new best friends..." Brian points to Bear one who announces that his name is Ned and then Bear two speaks up and announces his name is Bart. "...they can't seem to make up their minds on the Queen Mary or the King Edward and I thought you could settle it for them. Gotta piss," Brian said as he makes his escape from answering anymore of the Munchers questions or their deflection in terms of their new guests.

 

He makes his way into the house and up the stairs unhindered by the other members of the family or even other guests as most he would know or associate with are outside with the exception of Debbie who he hears giving orders to the clean-up crew. As he opens the bathroom door he runs into the one person he didn't think he would...or should. He knows the same look of shock he sees in Justin's face is also registered in his own. Brian certainly didn't expect to see Justin but on the off chance he did, he would have guessed it would have been outside in the presence of Ian or surrounded by other people but never with his dick hanging out, pissing over the toilet while focusing on the Brian. It's not that they haven't shared the activity before but under the circumstances... any decent person would have made their apologies and backed out gracefully but there are a million things running through his head in that moment but he has to keep up appearances for his own sake. Justin looks fucking beautiful, but then again, he always did.

 

"Brian-"

 

"Watch where you're aiming," he says nonchalantly as he unzips his pants to join Justin at the porcelain throne to relieve himself.

 

"Can't you wait until I'm finished?" Justin asks a little indignant and noticeably uncomfortable at Brian's presence just then. Good. It means Justin has been thinking about him too. They've been around each other so long and so much that Brian can tell. The initial gleam of excitement Justin always got when Brian entered a room was still there amid the trepidation and it gave Brian what he needed to get through the moment.

 

"What's the the big deal? I've seen it." He sneaks a look over at Justin while the other man is willing himself not to look up from his task. As he hears Justin zip his jeans he snarkily says, "Don't forget to wash your hands." But then pauses briefly after biting his lip. And when Justin turns to look at him, Brian makes the eye contact he's been craving. The one thing Justin could never do was maintain eye contact with Brian and lie. His eyes were always expressive and he missed looking into them but Justin didn't need to know that. So he pushes down the feelings of loneliness and hurt and wishes Justin well. It's all he can do until Justin figures things out for himself. "By the way, I hope you get what you want."

 

On the other side of the door, the same feelings are wracking the younger man. He didn't expect to run into Brian today. In fact, he'd been avoiding the places in the last few days where he knew Brian would be. Not for Ethan although okay...that was a part of it because he didn't feel like having to deal with the questions. But he'd been staying close to Ethan's apartment or busying himself at school for his own peace of mind. If Justin was Superman, Brian Kinney would be his kryptonite- the most beautiful but deadly substance Justin could never have enough of. He knew this and yet was still inexplicably drawn to him despite their differences. Justin washed his hands and hurried back down the stairs feeling as if the hound of hell was at his heels. He had to get back to Ethan to make sure there wasn't a scene made which Ethan was bound to do when he found out that Brian was there. He grabbed a glass of red wine from the passing waiter and engrossed himself in mundane conversation to take his mind off the man who had just surfaced behind him from inside the house. He saw Michael corner Brian instantly.

 

"Do you believe the nerve of that little twat showing up with his new boyfriend? I told him to stay the fuck out of our lives." Michael's voice carried to where Justin was standing. It was then obvious that although Ethan had seen Brian, the fact that Justin was standing there with him went a long way to calming the brunet twink. Justin had been worried about the wrong person causing the unnecessary scene. He tried to engage Ethan in conversation again when he heard Brian's response.

 

"Why'd you do that?"

 

Michael got indignant. "After what he did?"

 

"He didn't do anything. We were never happily married. He was always free to go, so was I."

 

"You're just saying that. He's a selfish little shit."

 

Justin looked over at the scene then as Brian said, "Be quiet, Michael." Michael wouldn't listen though.

 

"He used you and he took from you and he never gave back a thing."

 

Brian raised his voice to speak over Michael. "I said be quiet." Brian closed his eyes to block out Michael's whining and insults. Justin stood there listening as if by compulsion- unable to move, unable to focus on anything else but the heated exchange and what it was doing to Brian. He unconsciously stepped closer to the scene, snatching his arm from Ethan's grip in the process.

 

"And this is the thanks you get for saving his life. If you ask me it wasn't worth it. You might as well have just left him lying there..." Michael never got the chance to finish the thought, his head snapping in whiplash motion from the left hooked punch he never saw coming.

 

 

 

 

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